«الشرق الأوسط الإسلاميّ» مركز ثقل العالم بين بكين وطهران…The “Islamic Middle East” is the center of the world’s gravity between Beijing and Tehran…

**Please scroll down for the Adjusted English Machine translation**

«الشرق الأوسط الإسلاميّ» مركز ثقل العالم بين بكين وطهران

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 محمد صادق الحسيني

كلّ المؤشرات والقرائن والوقائع الميدانيّة على أكثر من صعيد إقليمي ودولي باتت تؤكد انعدام الرؤية الاستراتيجية لدى الدولة التي كانت يوماً الأعظم في العالم وهي الولايات المتحدة الأميركية…!

بايدن يطلب اللقاء مع بوتين على عجل لوقف تدهور العلاقات بين بلديهما، وإجراء تهدئة تمنع تقدم الحليفين الاستراتيجيبن الصين وروسيا على حساب الدولة التي تهشّمت صورتها في أكثر من ساحة دولية رغم ظاهرها المخادع كدولة عظمى!

محاولة بايدن هذه لا تحمل أيّ معالم صفقة او اتفاقيات بين البلدين، بل تهدف اساساً الى منع موسكو من توظيف كل من الصين والهند وايران كمجال حيوي لتنشيط المقدرات الروسية الهائلة في هذه البلدان بديلاً عن أوروبا التي تحاول واشنطن إغلاقها بوجه موسكو قدر الإمكان…

وفي سياق مثل هذه الأولوية الاستراتيجية فقط يمكن فهم محاولات واشنطن المتعثرة لكنها المصرّة على وقف تهوّرات حليفيها التاريخيين جنوب وغرب إيران، ايّ الكيانين السعودي و»الإسرائيلي»!

وقف حرب اليمن حتى على سبيل الخدعة والمناورة تحتاج اليها واشنطن حتى تتمكن من وقف التمدّد الإيراني الذي يزداد اندفاعه مع كلّ يوم يمرّ على تخبّط إدارة محمد بن سلمان الغارقة في مستنقع حرب اليمن الآسن والذي لم يعد يجلب للرياض سوى سرعة أفول القبيلة السعودية الحاكمة، وإنْ على مراحل…

هكذا تفهم أيضاً خطوات حكومة بايدن التي تتخلّى شيئاً فشيئاً عن تهوّرات نتن ياهو وتحاول استبداله بالثنائي بينيت – ليبيد الأميركيّي النزعة والجنسية الثانية…

ثمّة رعب خفي يحكم كلّ تصرفات إدارة بايدن من أمر تعتبره ربما نهاية التاريخ الأميركي الحقيقية وليست نهاية تاريخ فوكوياما الشهيرة.

فمركز ثقل العالم يُسرع في الانتقال من الغرب الى الشرق وكلّ العلائم في المعلوماتية والتقنيات وحروب الجيل الخامس والاقتصاد والثقافة والفنون وعالم ما بعد الدولار تفيد بأنّ الغرب لم يعد مركز العالم ولا حتى النموذج المحبّب أو الجاذب لغالبية سكان الكرة الأرضية كما كان في القرن الماضي.

إنّ القرن الذي أنهينا عشريّتين منه بات قرن الصين وروسيا وإيران بامتياز، وكلّ قوى الحرية والتمرّد على الهيمنة الغربية في العالم لا سيما الهيمنة الأميركية منها باتت ترنو لرؤية عالم ما بعد أميركا.

حتى ربيبة أميركا الصهيونية في حرب الـ 11 يوماً الأخيرة على فلسطين – سيف القدس – لم تتمكّن من تحقيق ولو صورة نصر بل على العكس تماماً، 4 أيام متتالية تقوم نحو 200 طائرة عسكرية إسرائيلية (ايّ نحو ثلثي الطيران الحربي) بقصف شريط لا يتجاوز نحو 30 كلم من البحر غرباً حتى الشجاعية شرقاً، ولا نتيجة تذكر سوى تهديم أبنية وقتل أطفال ونساء وفشل عسكري تامّ، وانقلاب الصورة لدى الرأي العام حتى الغربي ضدّ تل أبيب ووضعها في صورة قاتلة المدنيين ولا غير…

كلّ هذا من علامات جغرافيا آخر الزمان وانحطاط القوة الغربية وضياع الرؤية لدى الأميركي الذي ظنّ يوماً انه سيد العالم، فإذا به يكتشف انه بات محاطاً بقوى تفوقه بكلّ شيء تقريباً إلا القتل والمخاتلة والخديعة طبعاً!

حتى الاتفاق النووي وليالي الأنس في فيبنا باتت سراباً في سراب بالنسبة للأميركي فلا هو قادر على إعادة إحياء الاتفاق كما يريد ولا هو قادر على إعادة إيران الى المربع الذي يرغب…

إيران الجديدة القادمة بسرعة خلال الأشهر الثلاثة المقبلة لم تعد أصلاً بحاجة الى إحياء الاتفاق النووي، بعد أن دخل في دور المحاق داخلياً في زمن انتخابات مصيرية ستنقل إيران مباشرة الى نادي الدول العظمى من دون حتى رفع العقوبات…

تذكروا ماذا قال الإمام السيد علي الخامنئي في أكثر من خطاب:

إنّ مفتاح اقتصاد إيران ليس في لوزان ولا جنيف ولا نيويورك… إنه في داخل إيران…

جاء الوقت لتتمّ ترجمة هذا الشعار على يد الرباعي (رئيسي – جليلي – زاكاني – قاضي زاده هاشمي)، في إطار حكومة شبابية ثورية مبدئية هي أيضاً جزء من تحالف «شرق أوسطي إسلامي» يقف خلفه سور الصين العظيم وسيف القيصر الروسي.

ووجهته القدس دائماً وأبداً…

في مثل هذه الأجواء والفضاءات يمكن فهم ما تفضّل به القائد التاريخيّ المشرقيّ الشجاع سماحة السيد حسن نصر الله في ثلاثينية المنار لتحرير فلسطين عندما قال :

استيراد البنزين والمازوت والفيول من الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران من قبل حزب الله مباشرة أو شركات خاصة تابعة هو خيار سياسي واقتصادي واجتماعي للأكثرية اللبنانية التي تعاني المذلة لأنّ بعض السياسيين يؤثرون رضى الأميركي على مصلحة المواطنين، والشروع بهذا الخيار سيؤدّي إلى جهود أميركية علنية لمنع وصول البواخر، وبالتالي سيفضح كلّ الدعاية السخيفة والكاذبة التي تقول إنّ أميركا تقف إلى جانب الشعب اللبناني، ولذلك قد يؤدي التهديد وحده إلى حلّ المشكلة ولو بشكل جزئي…

ولكن يبقى خيار الاتجاه الفعلي إلى الشرق هو الحلّ الجذري لكلّ مشكلات دول وقوى التحرر العربية والإسلامية من جبال الأطلس الكبير غرباً الى سور الصين العظيم شرقاً…

قد نرى تقلب وجهك في السماء فلنولينك قبلة ترضاها.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…


The “Islamic Middle East” is the center of the world’s gravity between Beijing and Tehran…

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Mohamed Sadek Al , Husseini

All indicators, evidence and facts on the ground on more than one regional and international level now confirm the lack of strategic vision of the country that was once the greatest in the world, the United States of America…

Biden urgently requests a meeting with Putin to stop the deterioration of relations between their two countries, and to conduct a calm that prevents the progress of the two strategic allies, China and Russia, at the expense of the country, whose image has been shattered in more than one international arena, despite its deceptive appearance as a superpower!

Biden’s attempt does not bear any features of a deal or agreements between the two countries, but rather aims mainly to prevent Moscow from employing China, India and Iran as a vital area to stimulate Russia’s enormous capabilities in these countries as an alternative to Europe, which Washington is trying to close to Moscow as much as possible…

It is only in the context of such a strategic priority that it is possible to understand Washington’s faltering attempts, but it is determined to stop the recklessness of its two historical allies, south and west of Iran, that is, the Saudi and “Israeli” entities!

Stopping the Yemen war, even as a trick and maneuver, is needed by Washington in order to be able to stop the Iranian expansion, which is getting more and more motivated with each passing day, as the Mohammed bin Salman administration floundered in the bitter quagmire of the Yemen war, which no longer brings Riyadh only the speed of the demise of the ruling Saudi tribe, albeit in stages…

This is also how to understand the steps of the Biden administration, which is gradually abandoning Netanyahu’s stinking recklessness and trying to replace him with Bennett-Lapid American duo of American Behavior and second nationality.

There is a hidden horror governing all the actions of the Biden administration from something it considers perhaps the true end of American history, not the end of Fukuyama’s history.

The center of weight of the world is accelerating the transition from west to east and all the signs in informatics, technology, 5G wars, economy, culture, the arts and the post-dollar world indicate that the West is no longer the center of the world, nor is it even the beloved or attractive model of the majority of the earth’s population as it was in the last century.

The century from which we have finished is the century of China, Russia and Iran with distinction, and all the forces of freedom and rebellion against Western hegemony in the world, particularly American hegemony, are now looking forward to seeing the post-American world.

Even the Zionist America’s 11-day war on Palestine , the Sword of Jerusalem, has not been able to achieve even a victory image, quite the contrary, four consecutive days in which some 200 Israeli military aircraft (about two-thirds of the military aviation) bomb a strip not more than 30 km from the sea west to Shujaiya to the east, and the result is little but the destruction of buildings and the killing of children and women and a complete military failure, and the reversal of the image in public opinion even western against Tel Aviv and putting it in the form of a deadly civilian and nothing else…

All this is a sign of the geography of the end of time, the decline of Western power and the loss of vision of the American, who once thought he was the master of the world, so he discovers that he is surrounded by forces that surpass him with almost everything but killing, imagination and deception of course!

Even the nuclear deal and the nights of the people of Our Country have become a mirage for the American, he is not able to revive the agreement as he wants and he is not able to return Iran to the square he wants…

The new Iran coming quickly over the next three months no longer needs to revive the nuclear deal, after it entered the role of internal catch-up in the time of crucial elections will move Iran directly to the club of the great powers without even lifting sanctions…

Remember what Imam Ali Khamenei said in more than one speech: The key to Iran’s economy is not in Lausanne, Geneva, nor New York… It is inside Iran…

The time has come for this slogan to be translated by the Quartet (Main – Jalili- Zakani – Qazizadeh Hashemi), within the framework of an initial revolutionary youth government that is also part of the “Middle Eastern Islamic” alliance behind which the Great Wall and the Sword of the Russian Tsarstand.

Jerusalem is always and never directed…

In such an atmosphere and space, it is possible to understand what the courageous, levantine historical leader, His Eminence Hassan Nasrallah, preferred in the 1930s to liberate Palestine when he said:

The import of gasoline, gasoline and fuel from the Islamic Republic of Iran directly by Hezbollah or private subsidiaries is a political, economic and social choice for the lebanese majority, which suffers humiliation because some politicians influence the satisfaction of the American on the interest of the citizens, and initiating this option will lead to public U.S. efforts to prevent the arrival of ships, and therefore will expose all the silly and false propaganda that says that America stands with the Lebanese people, so the threat alone may solve the problem even partially…

But the option of the actual direction to the east remains the radical solution to all the problems of arab and Islamic liberation countries and forces from the Great Atlas Mountains to the Great Wall to the east…

We may see your face flip in the sky.

we are still alive, say god

China Covers The Entire Middle East Through Iran

By Denis Korkodinov

Source

China Covers The Entire Middle East Through Iran

Israel and the United States, through their sanctions, pursued the goal of punishing the Ayatollah’s regime, but created a unique “window of opportunity” thanks to which China encompasses not only Iran, but the entire Middle East.

Iran continues to experience significant difficulties from a series of “strange incidents” that, if they do not directly indicate Israel’s involvement, then leave no doubt about who benefits from it. In this regard, it is logical to conclude that Tel Aviv and its partners turned out to be too far from their original goals: to force Tehran to abandon its nuclear ambitions and overthrow the Ayatollah regime. Beijing is becoming a key beneficiary of strategic omissions made by the administrations of Benjamin Netanyahu and Joe Biden.

2010 was a turning point in the history of the anti-Iranian conflict. The era of cybernetic technologies began to replace the stage of active use of traditional types of weapons. Thus, Washington and Tel Aviv managed to introduce the Stuxnet computer virus into the Iranian nuclear program, thanks to which the countries of the “anti-Iranian axis” were able to quickly obtain information on the location of nuclear centrifuges used by Tehran, their capacity, structure and workload. More than 10 years have passed since then, and Iran has undoubtedly succeeded in cyber warfare (thanks, among other things, to China), as a result of which it can also boast of various “gadgets” introduced into the global computer system, capable of extracting top-secret information online from practically anywhere in the world and influence technological processes. For example, in May 2020, Iran, thanks to a virus attack, was able to disable the water supply system in a number of Israeli cities, which, in turn, provoked an Israeli reaction against the Shahid Rajai port located in the Iranian city of Bandar Abbas (Hormozgan province) through which almost half of all Iran’s maritime trade passes.

Starting on June 26, 2020, the Islamic Republic was rocked by news of a string of fires and explosions at strategic sites, including power plants, refineries, ballistic missile fuel production centers and centrifuges for enriched uranium production. The Natanz disasters, for example, have led to power outages in cities such as Quds and Garmderra, which are strategically important because they have several underground military installations linked to Iran’s missile and nuclear programs.

It is worth noting that Tehran is not interested in recognizing all incidents as acts of Israeli aggression. After all, a strict secrecy regime prevents the Iranian leadership from disclosing information about the location of military installations, even in the event of an accident. In addition, in public space, Tehran would look extremely vulnerable if it recognized the effectiveness of Israel’s actions to inflict harm directly on the territory of the Islamic Republic. Consequently, all cases of damage were identified by the Ayatollah regime as minor man-made or natural accidents. And, despite the fact that these “accidents” indicate major problems in Iran’s national defense system, it is worth noting that American and Israeli actions are still not capable of not only destroying the Ayatollah regime, but also forcing it to abandon its nuclear ambitions. In addition, under the influence of sanctions in the Iranian political system, there has been a clear turn towards ultra-conservatism, since the current President of the country, Hassan Rouhani, is no longer able to meet the demand of 80 million ordinary Iranians for a decisive response to Washington and Tel Aviv. In light of this, it is quite obvious that following the results of the presidential elections in Iran, the victory will be won by a follower of the most radical direction in foreign policy, who will not hesitate when it comes to the possibility of unleashing a large-scale military conflict.

Tehran, despite the resistance of a number of countries, continues to actively interfere in the internal affairs of its neighbors. This is dictated not only by the desire to find alternative ways out of the deep crisis, but also by the possibility of once again hurting Israel. In other words, the sanctions policy against Iran, implemented at the initiative of Washington and Tel Aviv, turned out quite differently from what its organizers had planned. Iran not only has not lost its regional influence, but has begun to look closely at China. Meanwhile, if Tehran’s interests in the Middle East cause shock in Israel and the USA, then Beijing’s interests there can also cause real panic in the entire Middle East Quartet (USA, EU, UN and Russia).

The Ayatollah regime has already signed a strategic partnership agreement with China. The term of this agreement was 20 years with the possibility of its extension. During this time, Beijing has pledged to invest over $ 400 million in the Iranian economy in exchange for 10 million barrels of Iranian oil a day. Among other things, China intends to help Tehran in the military sphere: provide modern types of weapons and exchange intelligence information. In other words, Israel and the United States, through their sanctions, pursued the goal of punishing the Ayatollah’s regime, but created a unique “window of opportunity” thanks to which China encompasses not only Iran, but the entire Middle East.

The Iranian presidential shocker

The Iranian presidential shocker

May 26, 2021

The undisputed leader of the tightly vetted pack is soft hardliner Ebrahim Raeisi, the Islamic Republic’s Chief Justice

by Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

When Iran’s Interior Ministry released on Tuesday the final list of candidates approved by the 12-member Guardian Council to run for President in the upcoming June 18 election, all hell was breaking loose in Tehran for at least 24 hours.

An “unofficial” list of the 7 candidates for the presidential election was already circulating and causing quite a stir, but not confirmed yet to be final.

The talk of the town was that the list barred a lot of important people. Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was out. So was Ali Larijani – a former Parliament speaker, and even the current Iranian Vice President, Es’haq Jahangiri, who should be the top reformist running.

The Fars news agency had broken the story on Monday, announcing the final 7. They got everything right – from the elimination of Ahmadinejad, Larijani and Jahangiri to the fact that no women candidates were approved.

Fars is very close to the IRGC. So what happened makes perfect sense. Including the rumors swirling around Tehran that outgoing President Rouhani went into panic mode, calling Ayatollah Khamenei for a revision of the list.

As it stands, the Magnificent Seven who will be running are Ebrahim Raeisi, Saeed Jalili, Mohsen Rezaei, Alireza Zakani, Seyyed Amir-Hossein, Ghazizadeh-Hashemi, Albdolnasser Hemmati and Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh.

The undisputed leader of the pack is Raeisi, the head of the Judiciary since 2019. He is technically a Principlist – an Islamic Revolution conservative, in Iranian terms – but says he will run as an independent. Call him a soft hardliner.

Among the others, the only one relatively known outside of Iran is Jalili, also a Principlist, and former top nuclear negotiator as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from 2007 to 2013.

At least in thesis, two reformists are left: Mehr-Alizadeh and Hemmati, the current governor of the Central Bank. But they have no national appeal.

So Raeisi now seems to be nearly a done deal: a relatively faceless bureaucrat without the profile of an IRGC hardliner, well known for his anti-corruption fight and care about the poor and downtrodden. On foreign policy, the crucial fact is that he will arguably follow crucial IRGC dictates.

Raeisi is already spinning that he “negotiated quietly” to secure the qualification of more candidates, “to make the election scene more competitive and participatory”. The problem is no candidate has the power to sway the opaque decisions of the 12-member Guardian Council, composed exclusively by clerics: only Ayatollah Khamenei.

The Guardian Council cryptically stated that only 40 out of 592 candidates had submitted “all the required documents” to the Interior Ministry’s election HQ. There was no explanation about the content of these “documents”.

Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaee, the Council’s spokesman, dismissed any politicking: decisions were made based on “election law”. So no one can contest them – except Khamenei. He stressed that the Council “had not been informed” of any action by the Leader.

The end of the reformist era

Vice President Jahangiri, who would have been the reformist standard bearer, did not take it lightly: in a forceful statement, he said, “the Council naturally bears the responsibility for the decision and its legal basis and for the political and social consequences arising from it.”

More crucially for the Tehran establishment, he highlighted a “serious threat” to the system: “I hope that the republican aspect of the establishment, the effective participation of the people in determining their own fate, the national interests, and the future of Iran will not be sacrificed to immediate political expediencies.”

Advisers to former President Ahmadinejad – still extremely popular nationally – told me they are still weighing their options: “It is a very big disappointment, but expected. A big mistake, that will lead to anger and distrust among common people, and eventually backlash.”

Professor Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran remarked, “there’s still some uncertainty about the candidates.” He’s not making a full assessment yet because he’s not sure the vetoing of Larijani, especially, “will be the final say”.

Even as the Magnificent Seven are now free to start campaigning, the overall sentiment is that the Rouhani-Zarif era seems to be over, not with a bang but a whimper.

At the JCPOA negotiations in Vienna, Iranian deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi continues to sound as a realist, stressing, “I am not confident that it would be possible to conclude the negotiations but there is a possibility.” That would require “political decisions to be made”, a direct reference to Washington.

Everyone in Vienna knows that what was agreed to far on the JCPOA revival was the easy part. The real problem are the remaining hundreds of sanctions that must be canceled by the US Congress – and that’s not gonna happen.

Besides, the Americans continue to insist that Tehran should first resume the nuclear commitments it has suspended – following its legal retaliation rights as defined by Article 26 of the JCPOA. Tehran’s red line is clear: it was Washington which ditched the JCPOA, so it’s up to the US to first remove all sanctions, “practically and verifiably”.

Tehran has reiterated over and over again it will walk out of Vienna by the end of May if there’s no deal. The IRGC couldn’t care less: they are already in post-JCPOA mode. Focused on the Iran-China strategic deal. Focused on wider Eurasia integration alongside Russia and China. And relying on the perfect candidate placed to become the next Iranian president.

Putin rewrites the law of the geopolitical jungle

Putin rewrites the law of the geopolitical jungle

April 23, 2021

By Pepe Escobar and first posted at The Saker Blog

Putin’s address to the Russian Federal Assembly – a de facto State of the Nation – was a judo move that left Atlanticist sphere hawks particularly stunned.

The “West” was not even mentioned by name. Only indirectly, or via a delightful metaphor, Kipling’s Jungle Book. Foreign policy was addressed only at the end, almost as an afterthought.

For the best part of an hour and a half, Putin concentrated on domestic issues, detailing a series of policies that amount to the Russian state helping those in need – low income families, children, single mothers, young professionals, the underprivileged – with, for instance, free health checks all the way to the possibility of an universal income in the near future.

Of course he would also need to address the current, highly volatile state of international relations. The concise manner he chose to do it, counter-acting the prevailing Russophobia in the Atlanticist sphere, was quite striking.

First, the essentials. Russia’s policy “is to ensure peace and security for the well-being of our citizens and for the stable development of our country.”

Yet if “someone does not want to…engage in dialogue, but chooses an egoistic and arrogant tone, Russia will always find a way to stand up for its position.”

He singled out “the practice of politically motivated, illegal economic sanctions” to connect it to “something much more dangerous”, and actually rendered invisible in the Western narrative: “the recent attempt to organize a coup d’etat in Belarus and the assassination of that country’s president.” Putin made sure to stress, “all boundaries have been crossed”.

The plot to kill Lukashenko was unveiled by Russian and Belarusian intel – which detained several actors backed, who else, US intel. The US State Department predictably denied any involvement.

Putin: “It is worth pointing to the confessions of the detained participants in the conspiracy that a blockade of Minsk was being prepared, including its city infrastructure and communications, the complete shutdown of the entire power grid of the Belarusian capital. This, incidentally means preparations for a massive cyber-attack.”

And that leads to a very uncomfortable truth: “Apparently, it’s not for no reason that our Western colleagues have stubbornly rejected numerous proposals by the Russian side to establish an international dialogue in the field of information and cyber-security.”

“Asymmetric, swift and harsh”

Putin remarked how to “attack Russia” has become “a sport, a new sport, who makes the loudest statements.” And then he went full Kipling: “Russia is attacked here and there for no reason. And of course, all sorts of petty Tabaquis [jackals] are running around like Tabaqui ran around Shere Khan [the tiger] – everything is like in Kipling’s book – howling along and ready to serve their sovereign. Kipling was a great writer”.

The – layered – metaphor is even more startling as it echoes the late 19th century geopolitical Great Game between the British and Russian empires, of which Kipling was a protagonist.

Once again Putin had to stress that “we really don’t want to burn any bridges. But if someone perceives our good intentions as indifference or weakness and intends to burn those bridges completely or even blow them up, he should know that Russia’s response will be asymmetric, swift and harsh”.

So here’s the new law of the geopolitical jungle – backed by Mr. Iskander, Mr. Kalibr, Mr. Avangard, Mr. Peresvet, Mr. Khinzal, Mr. Sarmat, Mr. Zircon and other well-respected gentlemen, hypersonic and otherwise, later complimented on the record. Those who poke the Bear to the point of threatening “the fundamental interests of our security will regret what has been done, as they have regretted nothing for a very long time.”

The stunning developments of the past few weeks – the China-US Alaska summit, the Lavrov-Wang Yi summit in Guilin, the NATO summit, the Iran-China strategic dealXi Jinping’s speech at the Boao forum – now coalesce into a stark new reality: the era of a unilateral Leviathan imposing its iron will is over.

For those Russophobes who still haven’t got the message, a cool, calm and collected Putin was compelled to add, “clearly, we have enough patience, responsibility, professionalism, self-confidence, self-assurance in the correctness of our position and common sense when it comes to making any decisions. But I hope that no one will think about crossing Russia’s so-called red lines. And where they run, we determine ourselves in each specific case.”

Back to realpolitik, Putin once again had to stress the “special responsibility” of the “five nuclear states” to seriously discuss “issues related to strategic armament”. It’s an open question whether the Biden-Harris administration – behind which stand a toxic cocktail of neo-cons and humanitarian imperialists – will agree.

Putin: “The goal of such negotiations could be to create an environment of conflict-free coexistence based on equal security, covering not only strategic weapons such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, heavy bombers and submarines, but also, I would like to emphasize, all offensive and defensive systems capable of solving strategic tasks, regardless of their equipment.”

As much as Xi’s address to the Boao forum was mostly directed to the Global South, Putin highlighted how “we are expanding contacts with our closest partners in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BRICS, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the allies of the Collective Security Treaty Organization”, and extolled “joint projects in the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union”, billed as “practical tools for solving the problems of national development.”

In a nutshell: integration in effect, following the Russian concept of “Greater Eurasia”.

“Tensions skirting wartime levels”

Now compare all of the above with the White House Executive Order (EO) declaring a “national emergency” to “deal with the Russian threat”.

This is directly connected to President Biden – actually the combo telling him what to do, complete with earpiece and teleprompter – promising Ukraine’s President Zelensky that Washington would “take measures” to support Kiev’s wishful thinking of retaking Donbass and Crimea.

There are several eyebrow-raising issues with this EO. It denies, de facto, to any Russian national the full rights to their US property. Any US resident may be accused of being a Russian agent engaged in undermining US security. A sub-sub paragraph (C), detailing “actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the United States or abroad”, is vague enough to be used to eliminate any journalism that supports Russia’s positions in international affairs.

Purchases of Russian OFZ bonds have been sanctioned, as well as one of the companies involved in the production of the Sputnik V vaccine. Yet the icing on this sanction cake may well be that from now on all Russian citizens, including dual citizens, may be barred from entering US territory except via a rare special authorization on top of the ordinary visa.

The Russian paper Vedomosti has noted that in such paranoid atmosphere the risks for large companies such as Yandex or Kaspersky Lab are significantly increasing. Still, these sanctions have not been met with surprise in Moscow. The worst is yet to come, according to Beltway insiders: two packages of sanctions against Nord Stream 2 already approved by the US Department of Justice.

The crucial point is that this EO de facto places anyone reporting on Russia’s political positions as potentially threatening “American democracy”. As top political analyst Alastair Crooke has remarked, this is a “procedure usually reserved for citizens of enemy states during times of war”. Crooke adds, “US hawks are upping the ante fiercely against Moscow. Tensions and rhetoric are skirting wartime levels.”

It’s an open question whether Putin’s State of the Nation will be seriously examined by the toxic lunatic combo of neocons and humanitarian imperialists bent on simultaneously harassing Russia and China.

But the fact is something extraordinary has already started to happen: a “de-escalation” of sorts.

Even before Putin’s address, Kiev, NATO and the Pentagon apparently got the message implicit in Russia moving two armies, massive artillery batteries and airborne divisions to the borders of Donbass and to Crimea – not to mention top naval assets moved from the Caspian to the Black Sea. NATO could not even dream of matching that.

Facts on different grounds speak volumes. Both Paris and Berlin were terrified of a possible Kiev clash directly against Russia, and lobbied furiously against it, bypassing the EU and NATO.

Then someone – it might have been Jake Sullivan – must have whispered on Crash Test Dummy’s earpiece that you don’t go around insulting the head of a nuclear state and expect to keep your global “credibility”. So after that by now famous “Biden” phone call to Putin came the invitation to the climate change summit, in which any lofty promises are largely rhetorical, as the Pentagon will continue to be the largest polluting entity on planet Earth.

So Washington may have found a way to keep at least one avenue of dialogue open with Moscow. At the same time Moscow has no illusions whatsoever that the Ukraine/Donbass/Crimea drama is over. Even if Putin did not mention it in the State of the Nation. And even if Defense Minister Shoigu has ordered a de-escalation.

The always inestimable Andrei Martyanov has gleefully noted the “cultural shock when Brussels and D.C. started to suspect that Russia doesn’t ‘want’ Ukraine. What Russia wants is for this country to rot and implode without excrement from this implosion hitting Russia. West’s paying for the clean up of this clusterf**k is also in Russian plans for Ukrainian Bantustan.”

The fact that Putin did not even mention Bantustan in his speech corroborates this analysis. As far as “red lines” are concerned, Putin’s implicit message remains the same: a NATO base on Russia’s western flank simply won’t be tolerated. Paris and Berlin know it. The EU is in denial. NATO will always refuse to admit it.

We always come back to the same crucial issue: whether Putin will be able, against all odds, to pull a combined Bismarck-Sun Tzu move and build a lasting German-Russian entente cordiale (and that’s quite far from an “alliance’). Nord Stream 2 is an essential cog in the wheel – and that’s what’s driving Washington hawks crazy.

Whatever happens next, for all practical purposes Iron Curtain 2.0 is now on, and it simply won’t go away. There will be more sanctions. Everything was thrown at the Bear short of a hot war. It will be immensely entertaining to watch how, and via which steps, Washington will engage on a “de-escalation and diplomatic process” with Russia.

The Hegemon may always find a way to deploy a massive P.R. campaign and ultimately claim a diplomatic success in “dissolving” the impasse. Well, that certainly beats a hot war. Otherwise, lowly Jungle Book adventurers have been advised: try anything funny and be ready to meet “asymmetric, swift and harsh”.

مفاوضات فيينا: بين التراجع الأميركي والقلق الصهيوني وتوازن القوى الجديد The Vienna Negotiations: Between American Retreat, Zionist Anxiety, and the New Balance of Power

* Please scroll down for the ADJUSTED English Machine translation *


مفاوضات فيينا: بين التراجع الأميركي والقلق الصهيوني وتوازن القوى الجديد


 حسن حردان

ارتفع منسوب القلق في كيان العدو الصهيوني، مع توارد الأنباء عن قرب توصل مفاوضات فيينا الى اتفاق على العودة المتزامنة من قبل الولايات المتحدة والجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية إلى الالتزام بالاتفاق النووي كما نص عليه عام 2015، وهي الصيغة التي يجري وضع اللمسات الأخيرة عليها وتقضي بأن تقوم واشنطن برفع كلّ العقوبات عن إيران والعودة إلى الالتزام بالاتفاق وتأكد طهران من هذا الالتزام، وفي المقابل تقوم إيران بالعودة عن خطواتها التي اتخذتها بالتخلي عن التزاماتها بموجب الاتفاق، انْ لناحية وقف التخصيب بنسبة 60 بالمئة والعودة إلى التزام نسبة 3,67 بالمئة، أو لناحية السماح لمفتشي وكالة الطاقة الدولية بالعودة الى ممارسة عملهم في مراقبة البرنامج النووي.

هذا التطور أحدث صدمة وقلقاً داخل كيان الاحتلال الصهيوني، وأثار انقساماً في اجتماع الكابينيت، المجلس الوزاري المصغر، حول طريقة التعامل مع هذا التطور الذي اعتبر «إسرائيلياً» بأنه يشكل تنازلاً أميركياً أمام إيران، يلحق الضرر بـ «إسرائيل» وحلفائها من بعض الحكومات العربية… ولهذا حذّرت مجموعة كبيرة من المسؤولين السابقين في الاستخبارات «الإسرائيلية» والجيش وهيئات إنفاذ القانون، بايدن من التسرّع في إبرام اتفاق نووي مع إيران.

المجموعة التي ضمّت 2000 مسؤول رفيع المستوى، قالت في رسالة إلى بايدن، إنّ «التسرّع في التفاوض مع إيران يعرّض «إسرائيل» وحلفاءها العرب الجدد للخطر بشكل مباشر».

وأفاد موقع «واشنطن فري بيكون» أنّ الرسالة التي صاغها «منتدى الدفاع والأمن الإسرائيلي»، تُعدّ إشارة واضحة على أنّ «إسرائيل» وحلفاءها العرب في المنطقة متحدون في معارضة جهود إدارة بايدن للانضمام مرة أخرى إلى الاتفاق النووي. واعتبروا أنّ الاتفاق النووي الإيراني معيب ويعد تهديداً مباشراً للاستقرار الإقليمي…

لكن الأسئلة التي تطرح في هذا السياق هي:

أولاً، لماذا قرّرت واشنطن العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي كما وقع عام 2015 طالما انه يشكل ضرراً لحلفاء أميركا في المنطقة وفي المقدمة الكيان الصهيوني؟

وثانياً، لماذا يعتبر المسؤولون الصهاينة عودة العمل بالاتفاق النووي يلحق ضرراً بالكيان الصهيوني وحلفائه من الأنظمة العربية؟

وثالثاً، ما هي النتائج التي ستترتب على التوصل لهذا الاتفاق وفق الشروط الإيرانية؟

أ ـ انّ قرار إدارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي وقبول شروط إيران برفع كامل العقوبات بالتزامن مع عودة طهران للالتزام بالمثل بنصوص الاتفاق، حسب الأنباء الواردة من مفاوضات فيينا، لم يكن ليتمّ لو كان لدى الإدارة خيارات أخرى أفضل… بل انّ واشنطن تقدم على التراجع أمام ايران، حسب ما يرشح من مفاوضات فيينا، نتيجة انسداد الخيارات الأخرى أمامها ووصولها إلى قناعة بأنّ خيار العودة إلى الاتفاق وعدم الاستمرار في محاولات الضغط لتعديله أو تجزئة رفع العقوبات المفروضة على إيران، إنما يشكل أقلّ الخيارات سوءاً بالنسبة للسياسة الأميركية… لماذا؟

لأنّ خيار مواصلة سياسة الحصار والعقوبات لم يعد يجدي نفعاً بعد أن نجحت إيران في إجهاض أهداف الحصار، من خلال :اعتماد سياسات اقتصادية تنموية عزّزت…ـ الاكتفاء الذاتي… وإقامة علاقات اقتصادية مع دول ترفض سياسة الهيمنة الأميركية، لا سيما روسيا والصين، والتي كان آخرها الاتفاقية الاستراتيجية بين طهران وبكين والتي شكلت ضربة موجعة لسياسة الهيمنة الأميركية وأسقطت الحصار الأميركي على إيران بالضربة القاضية كونها أمّنت لإيران تصدير نفطها بكميات كبيرة ومنتظَمة على مدى 25 سنة واستثمارات صينية في شتى المجالات تناهز الـ 450 مليار دولار، هذا إلى جانب توطيد علاقات التنسيق والتعاون الاقتصادي والأمني مع روسيا وإقامة علاقات اقتصادية مع دول جمهوريات آسيا الوسطى لا سيما، دول جوار بحر قزوين مما أدّى إلى تحرّر إيران من تأثير العلاقات مع الغرب، وأوجد بدائل جديدة تجعل طهران قادرة على تأمين احتياجاتها وتصدير منتجاتها من دون الخضوع للابتزاز الذي تمارسه الدول الغربية…

أما الخيار العسكري فإنّ إدارة بايدن تدرك جيداً بأنه محفوف بالمخاطر الكبيرة على الوجود والمصالح الأميركية في المنطقة وعلى أمن الكيان الصهيوني… بسبب القدرات العسكرية الرادعة التي تملكها إيران وحلفائها في محور المقاومة…

في حين انّ خيار الحرب الأمنية غير المباشرة لتعطيل البرنامج النووي الإيراني لإضعاف موقف طهران وفرض الشروط عليها، لم يحقق أهدافه، بل أدّى إلى نتائج عكسية، حيث ردّت إيران على الهجوم الصهيوني التخريبي الذي استهدف مفاعل «نطنز»، بالعمل سريعاً على وضع جيل جديد متطوّر من أجهزة الطرد المركزي بدلاً من الأجهزة التي تضرّرت، ورفع نسبة تخصيب اليورانيوم من 20 بالمئة إلى 60 بالمئة مما عكس جاهزية إيران للمواجهة ونجاحها في تطوير قدراتها النووية وامتلاكها الاحتياطات اللازمة للتصدي لأيّ استهدافات أمنية للبرنامج النووي… وكان من الطبيعي أن يؤدّي هذا النجاح الإيراني إلى تعزيز موقف إيران ورفع سقف وشروط التفاوض من قبلها مع مجموعة 4  + 1 من ناحية، وانسداد أيّ أفق أمام واشنطن لتحسين شروط عودتها إلى الالتزام بالاتفاق النووي من ناحية ثانية… وبالتالي اضطرارها إلى التراجع وإبداء المرونة أمام إيران بالتخلي عن الرهان لتعديل شروط العودة للاتفاق والقبول بالعودة المتزامنة غير المشروطة المقرونة برفع العقوبات دفعة واحدة كما تطالب طهران…

ب ـ انّ قلق المسؤولين الصهانية من عودة واشنطن إلى الاتفاق النووي بالشروط التي ترضى إيران، إنما مردّه إلى جملة أسباب:

السبب الأول، إدراك تل أبيب بأنّ الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية ستحقق انتصاراً جديداً في معركتها لتكريس استقلالها والحفاظ على برنامجها النووي والحصول على المنافع الاقتصادية التي ينص عليها الاتفاق من دون إدخال أيّ تعديلات على الاتفاق سعت إليها حكومة بنيامين نتنياهو دون جدوى.. وهذا يعني أنّ إيران الثورة ستصبح في وضع أقوى داخلياً وخارجياً حيث سيتحسّن الوضع الاقتصادي الإيراني بشكل كبير وينعكس ذلك بتحسين قيمة العملة الإيرانية وبالتالي تحسّن الوضعين الاجتماعي والمعيشي للشعب الإيراني الأمر الذي يزيد من التفافه حول قيادته، ويضعف الجهات المرتبطة بالخارج التي كانت تسعى الى استغلال الضائقة الاقتصادية نتيجة الحصار لتأليب الناس ضدّ نظام الجمهورية الإسلامية… ومن الطبيعي انّ تَحسّن الوضع الاقتصادي ومستوى معيشة الشعب سوف ينعكس بتعزيز موقف إيران السياسي واستطراداً دورها على الساحتين الإقليمية والدولية…

السبب الثاني، إدراك المسؤولين الصهيانية أنّ تنامي قوة إيران الاقتصادية واستعادتها لوارداتها النفطية، والاستثمارات الخارجية التي ستحصل في إيران، وارتفاع معدلات النمو في الاقتصاد والدخل على حدّ سواء، سوف تمكن إيران من زيادة قدراتها على دعم حلفائها في محور المقاومة، مما يقوّي من قدراتهم في مواجهة قوى الإرهاب المدعومة أميركياً، ومن الاحتلال الصهيوني…

السبب الثالث، قلق الصهاينة من التحوّل الذي ستحدثه عودة واشنطن إلى الاتفاق النووي بالشروط الإيرانية، على صعيد موازين القوى الإقليمية، في مصلحة المحور المناهض للهيمنة الأميركية، على حساب المحور الموالي لهذه الهيمنة والذي يضمّ الكيان الصهيوني وحلفاءه من الأنظمة الرجعية التابعة والتي بات يرتبط بعضها باتفاقيات مع كيان العدو… مما يضعف هذه الأنظمة ويجعلها مضطرة إلى التوقف عن مواصلة سياسة العداء لإيران والبحث عن سبل تطبيع العلاقات معها، وفي هذا السياق يمكن وضع الأنباء التي تحدّثت عن بدء حوار سعودي إيراني برعاية عراقية.. والذي تزامن مع الأنباء عن قرب التوصل إلى اتفاق في فيبنا لإعادة العمل بالاتفاق النووي… وتفاقم المأزق السعودي في اليمن بفعل نجاح المقاومة اليمنية في مواصلة توجيه ضربات موجعة القواعد والمنشآت الحيوية العسكرية والنفطية في قلب المملكة.

ج ـ انّ إنجاز الاتفاق بالشروط الإيرانية المدعومة روسياً وصينياً، سوف يكرّس المعادلات الجديدة على الصعيد العالمي، والتي تأتي نتيجة فشل الحروب الأميركية في تحقيق أهدافها لناحية إضعاف إيران وإسقاط الدولة الوطنية السورية والقضاء على قوى المقاومة وإعادة إخضاع العراق للهيمنة الأميركية، وصولاً إلى عزل إيران والعمل على تطويعها، ومحاصرة روسيا والصين، وإحباط تطلعاتهما لإقامة نظام دولي متعدّد الأقطاب…

انّ إخفاق الحروب الأميركية وفشل أهدافها المذكورة، أدّى إلى خروج دول وقوى محور المقاومة أكثر قوّة وقدرة، والى تعزيز قوة إيران السند الأساسي لهذا المحور، وعودة روسيا بقوة إلى الساحة الدولية كلاعب أساسي انطلاقاً من انتصار سورية ومساهمتها في هذا الانتصار في مواجهة الحرب الإرهابية الكونية التي شنّتها أميركا بوساطة جيوش الإرهاب القاعدي والداعشي…

 انّ هذا التحوّل سوف يجعل الكيان الصهيوني محاصراً ببيئة استراتيجية جديدة من محور المقاومة الممتدّ من لبنان مروراً بسورية والعراق وغزة واليمن وصولاً إلى إيران، فيما الولايات المتحدة الداعم الأول للكيان الصهيوني تتراجع هيمنتها في المنطقة وعلى الصعيد الدولي ولم تعد قادرة على شنّ حروب جديدة فيما هي تنسحب مهزومة من أفغانستان بعد أطول حرب خاضتها… واستطراداً فإنّ هذا التحوّل سوف ينعكس بتعزيز موقف روسيا والصين في السعي الى إقامة نظام عالمي جديد يقوم على التعددية القطبية بديلاً عن نظام الهيمنة الأميركي الأحادي القطب.. الذي لم يعد ينسجم مع موازين القوى الجديدة في العالم…


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The Vienna Negotiations: Between American Retreat, Zionist Anxiety, and the New Balance of Power

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Hassan Hardan

The level of concern in the Zionist entity has risen, with reports that the Vienna negotiations have reached an agreement on the simultaneous return by the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran to compliance with the nuclear agreement as stipulated in 2015, a formula that is being finalized and requires Washington to lift all sanctions on Iran and return to compliance In return, Iran is backing away from its steps to abandon its commitments under the agreement, with a 60 percent suspension of enrichment and a return to a 3.67 percent commitment, or allowing IAEA inspectors to return to their work monitoring the nuclear program.

This development caused shock and anxiety within the Zionist occupation entity, and sparked a split in the meeting of the cabinet, the mini-ministerial council, on how to deal with this development, which considered “Israeli” as a U.S. concession to Iran, hurting Israel and its Arab allies. That’s why a large group of former Israeli intelligence, military and law enforcement officials warned Biden not to rush into a nuclear deal with Iran.

The group of 2,000 senior officials said in a letter to Biden that “rushing to negotiate with Iran directly puts Israel and its new Arab allies at risk.”

According to the Washington Free Beacon, the letter, drafted by the Israel Defense and Security Forum, is a clear indication that Israel and its Arab allies in the region are united in opposing the Biden administration’s efforts to rejoin the nuclear deal. They considered the Iran nuclear deal flawed and a direct threat to regional stability…

But the questions asked in this contextare:

First, why did Washington decide to return to the nuclear deal as it signed in 2015 as long as it is harmful to America’s allies in the region and at the forefront of the Zionist entity?

Secondly, why do Zionist officials consider the return of the nuclear agreement to harm the Zionist entity and its Arab regime allies?

Thirdly, what are the consequences of reaching this agreement in accordance with Iranian conditions?

A: U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration’s decision to return to the nuclear deal and accept Iran’s terms of lifting all sanctions in conjunction with Tehran’s return to similar compliance with the terms of the agreement, according to reports from the Vienna negotiations, would not have been possible if the administration had other better options… Washington is even pushing back against Iran, as nominated from the Vienna negotiations, as a result of the blockage of other options before it and its conviction that the option of returning to the agreement and not continuing to try to pressure it to amend it or fragment the lifting of sanctions against Iran is the least bad option for U.S. policy… But why?

Because the option of continuing the policy of embargoes and sanctions no longer works after Iran succeeded in aborting the objectives of the embargo, by: Adoption of economic and development policies that have strengthened…- self-sufficiency, and the establishment of economic relations with countries that reject the policy of American hegemony, especially Russia and China, the latest of which was the strategic agreement between Tehran and Beijing, which constituted a painful blow to the US policy of hegemony and brought down the American blockade on Iran by a knockout because it has secured Iran to export its oil in large and regular quantities over a period of 25 years, and Chinese investments in various fields amounted to about 450 billion dollars, in addition to strengthening coordination relations and economic and security cooperation with Russia and establishing economic relations with the countries of the Central Asian republics, particularly the Caspian neighbors, which led to Iran’s liberation from the influence of relations with the West, and created new alternatives that would make Tehran able to secure its needs and export its products without being subject to blackmail by Western countries…

As for the military option, the Biden administration is well aware that it is too risky for U.S. presence and interests in the region and for the security of the Zionist entity, because of the deterrent military capabilities of Iran and its allies, while the option of indirect security war to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program to weaken Tehran’s position and impose conditions on it, did not achieve its objectives, but backfired, as Iran responded to the Zionist sabotage attack on the Natanz reactor, working quickly to develop a new generation of centrifuges instead of damaged devices, and raising uranium enrichment from 20 percent to 60 percent, reflecting Iran’s readiness to confront and its success in developing its nuclear capabilities and having the necessary precautions to counter any security targets of the nuclear program. It was only natural that this Iranian success would strengthen Iran’s position and raise the ceiling and conditions of its negotiations with the 4+1 group on the one hand, and block any horizon for Washington to improve the terms of its return to compliance with the nuclear agreement on the other. Thus, it has to back down and show flexibility for Iran to give up the bet to amend the terms of the return of the agreement and accept the simultaneous unconditional return coupled with the lifting of sanctions at once, as Tehran demands.

B:. The concern of Zionist officials about Washington’s return to the nuclear deal on the terms that satisfy Iran is due to a number of reasons:

The first reason is Tel Aviv’s realization that the Islamic Republic of Iran will achieve a new victory in its battle to consolidate its independence, maintain its nuclear program and obtain the economic benefits provided for by the agreement without any amendments to the agreement. This means that Iran revolution will become in a stronger situation internally and externally where the Iranian economic situation will improve significantly and this is reflected in the improvement of the value of the Iranian currency and thus improve the social and living situation of the Iranian people, which increases its rallying around his leadership, and weakens those associated abroad who were seeking to exploit the economic hardship as a result of the embargo to turn people against the regime of the Islamic Republic… It is natural that the improvement of the economic situation and the standard of living of the people will be reflected in strengthening Iran’s political position and increasing its role on the regional and international arenas.

The second reason, Zionist officials realize that Iran’s growing economic strength and recovery of its oil imports, foreign investment in Iran, and high growth rates in both the economy and income, will enable Iran to increase its capabilities to support its allies in the axis of resistance, strengthening their capabilities in the face of U.S.-backed terrorist forces, and the Zionist occupation…

The third reason, the Zionists are concerned about the transformation that Washington’s return to the nuclear agreement on Iranian terms will bring, in terms of regional power balances, in the interest of the anti-American axis, at the expense of the axis loyal to this hegemony, which includes the Zionist entity and its reactionary allies, some of which are now linked to agreements with the enemy entity… Weakening these regimes will forces them to stop hostility and look for ways to normalize relations with Iran, and in this context the news of the start of a Saudi-Iranian dialogue under Iraqi auspices which coincided with the news that an agreement was reached in Vienna to reintroduce the nuclear agreement. Moreover the Saudi impasse in Yemen has been exacerbated by the success of the Yemeni resistance in continuing to strike vital military and oil bases and facilities in the heart of the kingdom.

C:. Achieving of the agreement on Iranian terms backed by Russia and China will perpetuate the new equations globally, as a result of the failure of the U.S. wars to achieve their goals in terms of weakening Iran, overthrowing the Syrian national state, eliminating the forces of resistance and re-subjecting Iraq to American hegemony, leading to isolating Iran, the main support of resistance axis, and besieging Russia and China, and thwarting their aspirations to establish a multipolar international order.

The failure of the American wars and the failure of their aforementioned goals led to the strengthening Iran, and the emergence of the countries and forces of the axis of resistance more powerful and capable, and to the strong return of Russia to the international arena as a key player based on the victory of Syria and its contribution to this victory in the face of the global terrorist war that America launched it through the armies of al Qaeda and ISIS terrorism

This transformation will make the Zionist entity besieged by a new strategic environment from the axis of resistance extending from Lebanon through Syria, Iraq, Gaza and Yemen to Iran, while the United States, the first supporter of the Zionist entity, is retreating its hegemony in the region and internationally and is no longer able to wage new wars as it withdraws defeated from Afghanistan after the longest war it has fought… Furthermore, this shift will be reflected in strengthening Russia and China’s position in seeking a new multipolar world order as an alternative to America’s unipolar hegemony.


Related

Iran & Russia set to sign comprehensive strategic agreement – Al Mayadeen TV report

April 16, 2021

Original link: http://middleeastobserver.net/iran-russia-set-to-sign-comprehensive-strategic-agreement-tv-report/

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1B6J1X8sjsk

Description: According to a recent Al Mayadeen TV report, the purpose behind Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s recent visit to Tehran was to pave the way for the signing of a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement between his country and Iran.This comes after Iran and China signed a 25-year comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement of their own late last month.

Source: Al Mayadeen TV (YouTube) : Date: April 13, 2021(Please help MEO keep producing independent translations for you by contributing a sustainable monthly amount https://www.patreon.com/MiddleEastObserver?fan_landing=true)

Transcript :

Reporter:

Sergey Lavrov is in Tehran. Iranians see the visit of the Russian foreign minister as important both in timing and content. The two parties signed two MOUs in preparation for the signing of a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement similar to (Iran’s recent) agreement with China. This significant development in the relations between the two countries is accompanied by similar political stances in many areas.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iranian Foreign Minister: 

The United States must understand that (imposing) sanctions is not the (right) approach for dealing with Iran. In addition, the European Union has proven, in its submission to the extremists in the US and the Zionist entity, that it no longer has a place in the international community.

Reporter:

In the same manner, the Russian guest condemned the policies of the US and Europe as well.

Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister: 

We condemn any attempt to disrupt the nuclear negotiations, and we demand that Washington implements the nuclear agreement in full. We are surprised by the European Union’s decision to impose sanctions on some Iranian officials. We consider this a mistake worse than a crime, (a mistake) deliberately committed in the midst of the negotiations in Vienna.

Reporter:

The sudden European escalation that coincides with the Natanz incident may cast a shadow over the second round of the Vienna meetings, and cause tensions on multiple levels.

Iran realizes that it is difficult to cope with the accumulated crises, whether regarding its nuclear program and economic sanctions, or its (troubled) relations with the West and its conflict with Israel. However, (Iran) also realizes that its ties with Russia and China have become stronger than ever before and that this is sufficient to reduce American and European pressures placed upon it.

Ahmad Al-Bahrani – Tehran – Al-Mayadeen

To read transcript: http://middleeastobserver.net/iran-russia-set-to-sign-comprehensive-strategic-agreement-tv-report/

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مفاوضات فيينا وتعزيز أوراق القوة الإيرانية… واشنطن أمام الخيار الوحيد The Vienna negotiations and the strengthening of Iranian power cards … Washington faces the only option

** Please scroll down for the ADJUSTED English Machine translation **


مفاوضات فيينا وتعزيز أوراق القوة الإيرانية… واشنطن أمام الخيار الوحيد

حسن حردان

استؤنفت مفاوضات فيينا بين إيران ومجموعة 4+1 التي تتمحور حول شروط العودة إلى الالتزام بالاتفاق النووي… في ظلّ تعزّز أوراق القوة الإيرانية التي زادت من قوة وموقف المفاوض الإيراني من جهة، وأضعفت القدرة الأميركية الأوروبية في التأثير على موقف طهران من جهة ثانية.. حتى أن المراقب للمشهد يلحظ بوضوح ان واشنطن وحلفائها لم يعد لديهم من خيار سوى التراجع أمام إيران وقبول الصيغة التي ترضى بها للعودة إلى الالتزام بالاتفاق النووي، إذا كانوا يريدون الحفاظ على الاتفاق والحيلولة دون انهياره سقوطه.

لماذا نخلص إلى هذا الاستنتاج؟

انّ أيّ مدقق في التطورات التي سبقت استئناف مفاوضات فيينا يتبيّن له أنّ هذه الجولة، قد سبقتها مواجهة حامية بين إيران وكيان الاحتلال الصهيوني ومن ورائه الولايات المتحدة والدول الأوروبية، في محاولة مستميتة لإضعاف الموقف الإيراني التفاوضي الذي تميّز بالثبات والصلابة في الجولة الأولى من المفاوضات في مواجهة محاولات واشنطن فرض شروطها على إيران للعودة إلى الاتفاق النووي الذي انسحبت منه، وهي شروط ترفضها طهران التي تصرّ على قيام واشنطن أولاً برفع كلّ العقوبات دفعة واحدة دون ايّ تجزئة، والتأكد عملياً من رفع العقوبات، وتعويض إيران عن الأضرار التي ألحقتها العقوبات بالاقتصاد الإيراني.. عندها فقط تقرر إيران التخلي عن كلّ الخطوات التي اتخذتها بخفض التزاماتها بالاتفاق، وتعود إلى العمل به…

محاولة التأثير على الموقف الإيراني تمثلت في الاعتداءات التي قام بها العدو الصهيوني، بداية باغتيال الموساد للعالم النووي الإيراني فخري زادة، ومن ثم استهداف سفن تجارية إيرانية في المياه الدولية، وصولاً إلى عملية التخريب التي استهدفت أخيراً مفاعل «نطنز» في أصفهان، في محاولة لإلحاق أضرار جسيمة في البرنامج النووي، وبالتالي توجيه ضربة موجعة لجهود إيران في تطوير عمليات تخصيب اليورانيوم وزيادة نسبتها.. وقد جرى توقيت هذا الاعتداء على «نطنز» عشية استئناف مفاوضات فيينا لأجل إضعاف موقف إيران التفاوضي، وجعلها تبدي المرونة اتجاه الشروط الأميركية..

غير أنّ حساب الحقل الأميركي “الإسرائيلي” الغربي لم يتطابق مع حساب البيدر.. نتائج هذه الاعتداءات كانت مخيّبة تماماً لما أرادته عواصم العدوان، حيث جاء الردّ الإيراني قوياً على الرؤوس الصهيونية والأميركية الحامية، وأدّى إلى إصابتها بصدمة وصاعقة مدوية.. وتجلى هذا الردّ الإيراني في المستويات التالية:

مستوى أول، الردّ سريعاً بوضع أجهزة طرد مركزية جديدة أكثر تطوّراً من تلك التي تعرّضت لأضرار نتيجة الاعتداء الصهيوني على مفاعل “نطنز”، واتخاذ قرار برفع نسبة التخصيب إلى 60 بالمئة دفعة واحدة وهو ما عكس الجاهزية الإيرانية والتطوّر الذي أنجزته إيران على صعيد تطوير برنامجها النووي وانّ أيّ اعتداء يستهدفه لن ينجح في وقفه أو تعطيله أو تأخيره والتأثير على عجلة استمراره…

مستوى ثان، الردّ على الاعتداء على السفينة الإيرانية بضرب سفينة صهيونية قبالة ميناء الفجيرة.. وإعلان وكالة “تسنيم” الإيرانية المسؤولية عن الهجوم في رسالة نارية إيرانية قوية لكيان العدو بجاهزية طهران للردّ والمواجهة إلى أبعد الحدود…

مستوى ثالث، استهداف مركز معلومات وعمليات خاصة تابع للموساد “الإسرائيلي” في شمال العراق بالتزامن مع استهداف السفينة الصهيونية.. وذكرت قناة “العالم” نقلاً عن مصادر، أنّ الهجوم نتج عنه مقتل وإصابة عدد من عناصر القوات “الإسرائيلية”. ووصفت المصادر استهداف مركز المعلومات للموساد بأنه “ضربة جدية لإسرائيل”.

وذكر موقع “إنتل سكاي” المتخصص بمراقبة حركة الطيران والملفات العسكرية والمدنية، أنه تمّ توثيق عملية استهداف مركز المعلومات والعمليات الخاصة التابع للموساد، مشيراً إلى أنّ صور العملية ستنشر قريباً.

هذا الردّ الإيراني المتعدّد الأشكال، والصدمة التي أصابت المسؤولين الصهاينة والأميركيين والأوروبيين، خصوصاً إزاء إعلان إيران رفع نسبة التخصيب في “نطنز” إلى 60 في المئة، دفعهم إلى اتخاذ قرار بالتهدئة ووقف التصعيد والضغط على المسؤولين الإسرائيليين بعدم الردّ على استهداف السفينة “الإسرائيلية” ووقف التصعيد.. وهو ما أكدته صحيفة “نيويورك تايمز” الأميركية نقلاً عن مسؤول “إسرائيلي”.

انطلاقاً من ذلك فإنّ إدارة بايدن باتت خياراتها محدودة جداً، أمام تزايد قوة الموقف الإيراني التفاوضي… فهي إما تقبل بشروط إيران للعودة إلى الاتفاق النووي، أو مواجهة انهيار وسقوط الاتفاق، لأنّ واشنطن فقدت ورقة القوة المتبقية لديها للضغط على إيران وهي ورقة الحصار الاقتصادي، وذلك بعد توقيع طهران وبكين اتفاقية التعاون الاستراتيجي ببن البلدين والتي شكلت ضربة قاصمة للحصار الأميركي من ناحية، وأطلقت رصاصة الرحمة على مشروع الهيمنة الأميركي المتداعي من ناحية ثانية…

هكذا فقد عزز الاتفاق الإيراني الصيني معطوفاً على العلاقات الاستراتيجية الإيرانية الروسية… موقف إيران في إحباط الضغوط الأميركية وجعل العقوبات غير ذات تأثير على إيران.. ولهذا باتت واشنطن في موقف ضعيف في مواجهة الموقف الإيراني الذي أصبح أكثر قوة.

انّ تحرّر إيران من ايّ ضغط اقتصادي، وعلاقات اقتصادية مع الغرب من خلال الاتفاقية الإستراتيجية مع الصين للتعاون الاقتصادي بين البلدين والعلاقات الاقتصادية والأمنية المتطورة مع روسيا، واستعداد إيران لتصبح عضواً كاملاً في منظمة شنغهاي.. وامتلاك إيران قدرة الردع والدفاع عن سيادتها واستقلالها، يضع واشنطن أمام خيار وحيد وهو النزول عن أعلى الشجرة والتخلي عن عنجهيتها وقبول شروط إيران للعودة إلى الاتفاق النووي..

او أنّ إيران ستواصل خطوات خفض التزاماتها وتطوير برنامجها النووي ورفع نسب التخصيب إلى نسبة ال 90 بالمئة، وهي النسبة التي تمكنها من امتلاك كامل القدرة النووية للأغراض السلمية ودخول كلّ مجالات الصناعة النووية.. من دون أن تملك واشنطن ايّ قدرة في منع إيران من تحقيق ذلك أو التأثير على قرارها الذي بات محصّناً بكلّ عناصر القوة..

من هنا فإنّ إدارة بايدن ليس أمامها من خيارات، بعد أن صبح هامش المناورة لديها محدوداً جداً.. فالزمن لا يعمل لمصلحتها، وقدرتها في التأثير على الداخل الإيراني أصبحت ضعيفة جداً بعد نجاح إيران في إسقاط أهداف الحصار وإجهاضه.


فيديوات ذات صلة


فيديوات ذات صلة


The Vienna negotiations and the strengthening of Iranian power cards … Washington faces the only option

Hassan Hardan

Vienna negotiations between Iran and the 4+1 group, which revolve around the terms of a return to compliance with the nuclear agreement, have resumed… Iran’s strength sheets have strengthened the Iranian negotiator’s strength and position on the one hand, and weakened U.S.-European ability to influence Tehran’s position on the other. The observer of the scene even clearly notes that Washington and its allies have no choice but to back down against Iran and accept the formula it accepts to return to compliance with the nuclear agreement, if they want to maintain the agreement and prevent its collapse.

Why do we come to this conclusion?

Any scrutiny of the developments leading up to the resumption of the Vienna negotiations shows that this round was preceded by a fierce confrontation between Iran and the Zionist occupation entity, including the United States and European countries, in a desperate attempt to weaken Iran’s negotiating position, which was characterized by stability and solidity in the first round of The negotiations are in the face of Washington’s attempts to impose its conditions on Iran to return to the nuclear deal from which it withdrew, conditions rejected by Tehran, which insists that Washington first lift all sanctions at once without any fragmentation, make sure that sanctions are lifted, and compensate Iran for the damage done by the sanctions to the Iranian economy. Only then will Iran decide to abandon all the steps it has taken by reducing its commitments to the agreement, and return to its work…

The attempt to influence Iran’s position was the attacks carried out by the Zionist enemy, beginning with Mossad’s assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Fakhrizadeh, and then targeting Iranian merchant ships in international waters, and to the sabotage that finally targeted the Natanz reactor in Isfahan, to cause serious damage to the nuclear program, thereby severely damaging Iran’s efforts to develop and increase its proportion. The attack on Natanz was timed on the eve of the resumption of Vienna negotiations to weaken Iran’s negotiating position and make it show flexibility toward U.S. conditions.


However, the results of these attacks were completely disappointing for what the capitals wanted, as the Iranian response came strong against the Zionist and American hot heads, which led to their shock and a thunderbolt .. This Iranian response was manifested in the following levels:

First level, the rapid response to the development of new centrifuges more sophisticated than those damaged because of the Zionist attack on the Natanz reactor, and the decision to raise the enrichment rate to 60 percent at once, which reflected Iran’s readiness and the development achieved by Iran in the development of its nuclear program and that any attack targeting it will not succeed in stopping, disabling, or delaying it and affecting the wheel of its continuation…

The second level is the response to the attack on the Iranian ship by striking a Zionist ship off the port of Fujairah … and the Iranian “Tasnim” agency claiming responsibility for the attack in a strong Iranian fiery message to the enemy entity that Tehran is ready to respond and confront to the utmost limits …

A third level, targeting an Information and Special Operations Center of the “Israeli” Mossad in northern Iraq in conjunction with the targeting of the Zionist ship. Al-Alam tv, citing sources, reported that the attack resulted in the death and injury of several members of the “Israeli” forces. The sources described the targeting of Mossad information center as a “serious blow to Israel.”

According to intel sky website, which specializes in monitoring air traffic and military and civilian files, the targeting of Mossad’s Information and Special Operations Center has been documented, noting that images of the operation will be published soon.

Iran’s multifaceted response, and the shock to Zionist, U.S., and European officials, particularly over Iran’s announcement to raise nutans’s enrichment rate to 60 percent, prompted them to take a decision to calm down, de-escalate and pressure Israeli officials not to respond to the targeting of the “Israeli” ship and de-escalation. This was confirmed by the New York Times, quoting an “Israeli” official.

Accordingly, the Biden administration has become very limited in the face of the growing strength of Iran’s negotiating position… It either accepts Iran’s terms to return to the nuclear deal, or faces the collapse and fall of the agreement, because Washington lost its remaining strength paper to put pressure on Iran, the economic blockade paper, after Tehran and Beijing signed the strategic cooperation agreement between the two countries, which was a severe blow to the U.S. blockade on the one hand, and fired a mercy bullet at the crumbling U.S. hegemony project on the other…

The Iran-China agreement has thus strengthened Iran-Russia strategic relations… Iran’s position in thwarting U.S. pressure and making sanctions have no impact on Iran. That’s why Washington is in a weak position in the face of Iran’s position, which has become stronger.

To free Iran from any economic pressure, economic relations with the West through the strategic agreement with China for economic cooperation between the two countries and advanced economic and security relations with Russia, and Iran’s readiness to become a full member of the Shanghai Organization. Iran’s deterrence and defense of its sovereignty and independence puts Washington at the sole choice of getting off the top of the tree, abandoning its arrogance and accepting Iran’s terms for a return to the nuclear deal.

Or Iran will continue to step down its commitments, develop its nuclear program and raise enrichment rates to 90 percent, which will enable it to have the full nuclear capability for peaceful purposes and enter all areas of the nuclear industry. Without Washington having any ability to prevent Iran from achieving this or influencing its decision, which has become immune to all elements of force.

The Biden administration therefore has no options, as its margin of maneuver has become very limited. Time is not working for its own good, and its ability to influence Iran’s interior has become very weak after Iran’s success in dropping and aborting the targets of the embargo.


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Sitrep China : Smörgåsbord of notable international data points (and a little opium war)

Source

APRIL 13, 2021

Sitrep China : Smörgåsbord of notable international data points (and a little opium war)

Selections from Godfree Roberts’ extensive weekly newsletter: Here Comes China.   You can get it here: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe

Further selections and editorial commentary by Amarynth:

  1.  I am looking for a little help for the Saker Blog and this regular sitrep specifically:  an analyst that can analyze or even just educate on the Chinese military weaponry complex.  What do they have, why and what are they working on?  If you have the required background and knowledge, my email is at the bottom of this page and each page of The Saker Blog.

A great and modern China history from the Epic China series by Nathan Rich:  How China Fell into the Opium Wars (1793-1838)

If you want to get the first few of this series, look for the Epic China videos on Nathan’s Youtube channel here:  https://www.youtube.com/c/NathanRichHotpot/videos

Data Points

Ed: China will not have anything resembling a monopoly structure in business and ever-popular Jack Ma is having his knuckles rapped through a series of actions, starting with not allowing Ant Group its biggest IPO in the world ever, in Hong Kong and now Alibaba has been fined:  China’s market regulators imposed an 18.2 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) fine on Alibaba, which amounts to 4% of the company’s revenues in 2019.

  • Regulators lift standards for finance execs to bring once freewheeling fintech giants like Ant Group into line. They require high social credit scores for directors, supervisors, and senior executives who “have a big impact” on the operational management. Read full article →

Ed: Many Saker blog readers know a lot about CHIPS (semi-conductors) and we’ve speculated in the past on what China’s actions are going to be regarding CHIP sanctions.  Now, we’re beginning to see the actions:

  • Chinese semiconductor equipment company AMEC said its etching equipment has been used in a tier-one customer’s 65 nm, 14 nm, 7 nm, and 5 nm lines. Plasma etchers perform microscopic engraving on chips with a precision of tens of thousandths of a hair’s diameter. AMEC’ etching equipment revenue was $197 million in 2020, up 60% YoY. Read full article →
  • Shanghai Tianshu Zhixin launched Big Island, China’s first homegrown 7nm GPGPU (General-Purpose Graphics Processing Unit) chip, which can complete the artificial intelligence processing of hundreds of camera video channels per second. Its performance is twice that of mainstream products in the market. Read full article $→

Ed: Higher Education:  Since Chinese students are generally being made unwelcome to study in the west, China did not miss a beat and most of the IVY’s and notable universities now have campuses in China.  The education to my understanding is more free-wheeling as in a western style, but students still have to take the required courses in Marxism and ideology.  It is mind-blowing how China takes everything thrown and simply turns it around into another opportunity.  “You don’t like us there, well, we’ll just get together over here!”  (No, China did not steal the US jobs – they walked off all by themselves as a result of insane policies and a bloated industrial cost structure – now, US, you’re losing your students and your source of educated workers and no doubt, we will hear the cries:  ‘China stole our students!’.)

  • International schools in China are booming as Covid-19 travel restrictions limit the number of students seeking education overseas. Demand is particularly high in the mainland portion of the Greater Bay Area, which has had fewer international schools than Beijing and Shanghai. Read full article $→

Ed: Money makes the world go round:

  • The World Bank is still the largest creditor in poor countries at $106 billion but China is close at $104 billion. In sub-Saharan Africa, China (US$62 billion) has outspent the World Bank (US$60 billion) as the biggest official lender to Africa’s poor countries.   Read full article $→

Ed: China’s influence mostly in the creation of infrastructure in terms of Belt and Road methodology is becoming very visible and seemingly no area of the world is too far away:

  • Guinea:  With the fourth and final generator successfully connected to the grid at the end of March, Guinea’s Souapiti 450MW hydropower station, above, became fully operational, doubling Guinea’s power generation capacity and turning it from a blackout stricken country into an electricity exporter.  Read full article →
  • Logistics:  China has the world’s largest and fastest-growing logistics market. It grew from $300 billion in 2001 to $2 trillion in 2018. A select few traditional logistics players have begun transforming their businesses to respond to these drastic changes in China’s logistics industry. As they adapt, three trends have developed. Read full article → 
  • Brazil: Petrobras has signed a $10 billion loan from China Development Bank to cover its massive debt burden for 2022, and says the loan comes with supply commitments to Chinese buyers. Read full article →
  • In 2019, the PRC surpassed the US as the leading trade partner with Brazil, Chile, Peru, and Uruguay and is now the region’s second-largest trading partner behind the US. Trade with Latin America soared from $17 billion to $315 billion between 2002 to 2019, with plans to reach $500 billion by 2025,” SOUTHCOM’s Admiral Craig Feller told the Senate Armed Services Committee. Read full article →

Ed: We have gotten accustomed to the superb level of diplomatic skill by Russian diplomats under the leadership of Foreign Minister Lavrov.  Up to now, the generally accepted idea was that China is in a sense leaving the global diplomatic task (as well as the military task) up to Russia in their partnership.  The new news is that China is joining the ranks of the superb diplomats and slowly picking up its own diplomatic function.

  • Russia and China agree to develop infrastructure via the Belt and Road Initiative; promote dialogue among civilizations; a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine; promote policies of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons; and collective security with a focus on new and enhanced Middle East Trust mechanisms. Read full article $→
  • Post-Iran-China, it’s not far-fetched anymore to even consider the possible emergence in a not too distant future of a Himalaya Silk Road uniting BRICS members China and India (think, for instance, of the power of Himalayan ice converging into a shared Hydropower Tunnel).

Ed: Explosive news of the week was the speech by Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev.  What is notable here is that he states not only the Russian position but combines it with the Chinese position.  We should understand from that, that both countries are of one mind – the US-controlled Biolabs in far-off places must be investigated.  This is an outflow of the ‘China virus’ accusations from the US.  Watch this space – we will no doubt see more developments here.

  • “Let me draw your attention to the US-controlled, permanent biological laboratories that appear mainly near Russian and Chinese borders, where outbreaks of non-typical diseases were recorded in the areas where those laboratories are located, said Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev. [The US is the only country blocking a verification mechanism under the 1972 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction]. Read full article →

Ed: And of course, we cannot help but end this data point section on a low note from a losing old SourPuss and its few lame ‘allies and partners.

  • The US considers boycotting 2022 Beijing Olympics, says US State Department: “‘It [a joint boycott] is something that we certainly wish to discuss. A coordinated approach will not only be in our interest but also in the interest of our allies and partners.” Read full article →

Ed: May I then be the first one to declare that it is folly to March on Beijing with a Trade War.  The next longer read will explain.


Longer Read

Martin Jacques: The Communist Party of China (CPC) is like no other party in the world. It requires us to rethink the very idea of what a political party is. It is a phenomenon intrinsic to China. It is ineluctably Chinese. If the imperial dynasties defined Chinese governance for two millennia, the CPC has assumed similar importance since 1949. There has been an overwhelming failure to grasp the nature of the CPC in the West. This ignorance reached new heights after 2016. Read full article $→

Cynthia Chung and Matt Ehret of Rising Tide Foundation discuss with Jeff J. Brown his book, “BIG Red Book on China”: Part 1 of 2. China Rising Radio Sinoland 210408

Cover Image:  China’s share of citable articles in the various technology journals is growing by leaps and bounds.

This is but a fraction of what I gleaned from the Here Comes China newsletter.  If you want to learn about the Chinese world, get Godfree’s newsletter here: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe

The second coming of Ben-Gurion

Source

April 5, 2021 – 17:44

The reasons behind capsizing the Taiwanese cargo ship “Ever Given”, on the 24th of March, have become clear.

The cargo ship capsized in the Suez Canal for more than 6 days. Failing to float the ship is not the news, or that the reasons behind the accident were a human failure. But the real news behind it is the reviving of the old-new plans that were and are still alive in the dreams of the Zionist entity which is enlivening the “Ben-Gurion Canal” project. Yes, Ben-Gurion Canal has surfaced once more.

The project aims to connect the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Gulf of Aqaba to the Mediterranean through the Negev desert. The idea of digging a canal opposite the Suez Canal began in 1963. It is recommended in a memo submitted by Lawrence Livermore Patriot Laps in the United States of America. The memorandum was proposed as a response to the decision taken by President Gamal Abdel Nasser to nationalize the Suez Canal in 1956. 

The memorandum suggested: In order to ensure the flow of navigation in the Red Sea, an alternative canal should be opened in the Gulf of Aqaba. It will be drilled through the Negev desert, which was described as an empty area that can be dug using nuclear bombs: Firstly, the project was halted due to the radiation that nuclear bombs could cause; and secondly due to the opposition that the project would face by the Arab countries, led by Nasser.

Today, political alliances have changed the face of the region, particularly after the implementation of the Abraham Accords by several Arab countries. Therefore, a political atmosphere is compatible. Hence, serious deliberations of the project, after the Ever-Given capsizing, provide the idea that the accident was contrived. It was intended as a new window for the return of the talks over finding an alternative to the Suez Canal. 

In principle, that the accident was premeditated is a fair assumption. In an article I previously published on the Al-Ahed website, I talked about Israel’s attempt to control and expand access to the gates of the water routes to the Mediterranean through the Abraham Accords. It was not a peace agreement. Rather, it was actually an economic treaty with Morocco, the Emirates, and Sudan. Once Oman signs it, Israel will be able to control the water routes from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Persian Gulf, and finally control the Red Sea through the upcoming Ben-Gurion Canal, which will provide enormous income for Israel.

Firstly, Israel and the United States are in dire need of the project to compensate for the severe economic contraction due to the Coronavirus pandemic and unstable conditions. The treaties were signed between Israel and the Arab countries so as to guarantee Israel’s political and economic stability, and to maintain its presence in the region.  

And secondly, the project is driven by the need to restrain the rise of the economic power of China, and to hold back its ongoing project known as “One Road, One Belt”. The Chinese project aims to build a train line that starts from the provinces of China in the west towards West Asia and secure water routes around the world. It is a multi-billion-dollar investment project. For example, before the Corona pandemic, several parties in Lebanon hosted the Chinese ambassador, who explained the benefits of the project, which will employ tens of thousands of workers, employees, and specialists along the train line, which will be used mainly to transport goods between China and Europe. Therefore, the U.S. is trying to hamper the Chinese trade route by creating an alternative route to compete with. So, the new stage of struggle will witness an economic war aiming to control seaports and global trade routes.

This American-Israeli project has overlapped with joining several agreements and draft agreements. For example, the United States and the United Arab Emirates have joined the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum as observers. And starting Monday, March 29th, the Military Cooperation Agreement between Jordan and the United States will take effect, which probably aims to find an alternative place for the American forces outside Iraq and Syria.

Thirdly, preparations are underway for the implementation of the New Levant Project, which extends from Iraq to Jordan to Palestine across the Arabian Peninsula to the Sinai Desert. The project aims to create a new trade route that does not pass through Syria and Lebanon, but rather through the New Levant lands extending from the Persian Gulf in the south to the Mediterranean in the north, and through it will pass new oil and gas pipelines from Iraq to Jordan, which will replace the Tab line.

The New Levant project might forfeit Syria’s geostrategic importance for the Americans as one of the most important global and historical trade lines between the north and the south throughout history. However, the project lost its momentum at this stage because of Israel’s drive to be part of it, which forced the Iraqi government to cease working on it.

The secrecy of the canal project’s memorandum was revealed in 1994. It was waiting in the drawers for new conditions to revive it. It seems that the capsizing of the ship was the perfect plan. The capsizing oddly coincided with the signing of the 25-year comprehensive strategic partnership between Iran and China. The current events are evidence that the need to change alliances has become inevitable in the region. This explains the economic pressure on Syria and Lebanon and the continued decline in the price of lira in the sister countries. The Americans hoped that through sanctions they would impose conditions for reconciliations with “Israel”, impose the demarcation of borders between the Palestinian and Lebanese borders to the best interest of Israel, and prevent Hezbollah and its allies from participating in the coming government. Eventually, the U.S. would have the upper hand to prevent the Chinese route from reaching its ultimate destination to the Mediterranean Sea. However, the reasons behind Biden’s escalating tone towards China and Syria were revealed once Iran and China signed the document for cooperation. The protocol also revealed the hidden options Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah spoke of in his speech on the 18th of March.

The developments in the region may change the course of the Syrian crisis.  The “One Belt and One Road” project will not achieve its real success until it reaches the port of Latakia, or/and the port of Tripoli, if the Lebanese desire, in exchange for the ports of Haifa and Ashkelon in Palestine. However, this cannot be achieved as long as Syria is still fighting its new independence war against America and Turkey. Yet, the coming of the Chinese dragon to Iran may mark a new era. Syria constitutes one of the main disputes between China and the United States. It seems that the withdrawal of the latter to Jordan under the new military cooperation agreement has become imposed by the new coming reality. The Americans can manage from there any new conflicts in the region or prolong the life of the crisis and thus obstruct the Chinese project without any direct clashes.

The construction of the Ben-Gurion Canal may take several years. However, the project is now put into action. Thanks to “Ever Given” capsizing, the canal building is now scheduled around May 2021. It is clear now who is the main beneficiary of this calamity, which hit one of the most important global navigation points, namely the Suez Canal.

Normalization agreements were primarily aimed to expand Israeli influence over waterways. The disastrous consequences on the region are starting to be unwrapped.  The major target is going to be Egypt. Egypt’s revenue from the Suez Canal is estimated to be 8 billion dollars. Once Ben-Gurion is activated it will drop into 4 billion dollars. Egypt cannot economically tolerate the marginalization of the role of the Suez Canal as one of the most important sources of its national income, especially after the completion of the construction of the Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia. Confinement of the Nile water behind the water scarcity will cause the Egyptians to starve. It will have disastrous consequences on Egypt and Europe. Since the latter will receive most of the Egyptian immigrants; however, this is another story to be told.
 

RELATED NEWS

China’s Iran Deal Is Just the Beginning ” الاتفاقية مع إيران استراتيجية صينية أشمل لتنمية نفوذها في الشرق الأوسط

الاتفاقية مع إيران استراتيجية صينية أشمل لتنمية نفوذها في الشرق الأوسط

الكاتب: إيرييل ديفيدسون وآري سيكوريل
المصدر: ذا ناشونال إنترست
اليوم 7/4/2021

ينما تسعى بكين إلى تحقيق توازن للقوى في المنطقة لمنافسة الدول الغربية، فإن العبء يقع على عاتق إدارة بايدن لتحدي مكائد الصين في الشرق الأوسط.

وزير الخارجية الإيراني محمد جواد ظريف ونظيره الصيني وانغ يي.
وزير الخارجية الإيراني محمد جواد ظريف ونظيره الصيني وانغ يي يتبادلان وثائق الاتفاقية

كتبت إيرييل ديفيدسون بالاشتراك مع زميلها آري سيكوريل، وهما محللان وباحثان في مركز بحثي صهيوني أميركي مرتبط بـ”إسرائيل”، مقالة مشتركة في مجلة “ذا ناشونال انترست” الأميركية، يحرضان فيها واشنطن على الاتفاقية الصينية الإيرانية، إذ دعيا الولايات المتحدة إلى منع الصين من دعم خصوم الولايات المتحدة أو اكتساب نفوذ شديد على شركاء الولايات المتحدة في المنطقة.

وفي ما يلي ترجمة بتصرف للمقالة:

أعلنت الصين وإيران أخيراً عن “شراكة استراتيجية شاملة” لمدة خمسة وعشرين عاماً، تسعى إلى زيادة التعاون العسكري والدفاعي والأمني ​​بين إيران والصين، مما أثار فزع خصوم البلدين.

لا يشير الاتفاق إلى تجسيد تحالف إيران والصين، ولكنه يشير بدلاً من ذلك إلى استراتيجية صينية أوسع لتنمية نفوذها في الشرق الأوسط. ومن المفارقات أن هذا يأتي في وقت ظهر فيه إجماع من الحزبين في واشنطن على أن الولايات المتحدة يجب أن تقلل من مشاركتها في الشرق الأوسط لمواجهة التحدي الذي تشكّله الصين الصاعدة.

يُظهر الاتفاق الإيراني الصيني أن الشرق الأوسط ساحة مهمة لمنافسة القوى العظمى الناشئة مع الصين. تحتاج الولايات المتحدة الآن إلى منع الصين من تعزيز خصوم الولايات المتحدة واكتساب نفوذ شديد على شركاء الولايات المتحدة في المنطقة.

بالنسبة للإيرانيين، لا يمكن أن يكون توقيت الاتفاق أكثر ملاءمة. إن طهران بحاجة ماسة إلى السيولة بعد أن شلت العقوبات الأميركية اقتصاد البلاد وتأمل أن يخفف الاتفاق مع الصين من سطوة العقوبات الأميركية. مع كون الصين مشترياً مفترضاً لصادرات النفط الإيرانية لعقود مقبلة عدة، فإن جهود إدارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن لجر طهران إلى طاولة المفاوضات ستثبت أنها أكثر صعوبة.

وفي الوقت نفسه، ستكسب الصين إمدادات النفط من إيران لتغذية اقتصادها سريع النمو، وشريكاً إقليمياً يشاركها مصلحتها في كبح الامتداد العالمي لقوة الولايات المتحدة.

وبالتالي، قد يكون التأثير الفوري للاتفاق هو قيام الصين عن غير قصد بتسهيل المزيد من التخصيب النووي الإيراني. لكن من غير المرجح أن تنتهي آثاره المزعزعة للاستقرار عند هذا الحد، لأن مصلحة الصين تمتد عبر المنطقة.

بالإضافة إلى إبرام الاتفاقية، تضمنت رحلة وزير الخارجية الصيني وانغ لي إلى الشرق الأوسط كذلك تشكيل خطة أمنية إقليمية مع المملكة العربية السعودية، ولقاء في اسطنبول مع نظيره التركي، وإعلان أن الإمارات ستنتج جرعات لقاح سينوفارم الصيني بقيمة مائتي مليون دولار. وفي الوقت نفسه، تعمل الشركات الصينية المملوكة للدولة على توسيع استثماراتها في “إسرائيل” والسعودية والإمارات العربية المتحدة كجزء من “مبادرة الحزام والطريق”.

يأتي هذا النمط المتزايد من المشاركة الإقليمية الصينية، إلى جانب الوعود السخية، وإن لم تكن واقعية تماماً، بالاستثمار الأجنبي في وقت تقوم فيه الولايات المتحدة بتقليص وجودها في الشرق الأوسط وإعادة تموضعها بشكل متوازن. قد يبدأ شركاء الولايات المتحدة التقليديون، برؤية إيران تستفيد من السخاء الصيني وعلاقاتهم الخاصة بواشنطن، في النظر إلى الصين على أنها بديل جذاب بشكل متزايد.

تمثل أنشطة الصين في الشرق الأوسط خطراً على الولايات المتحدة لأن الصين تلعب في الميدان بطريقة سياسية واقعية بالكامل – فقد تدعم أعداء أميركا (على غرار إيران) أو قد تحاول استمالة حلفاء الولايات المتحدة (على غرار “إسرائيل”). بكين ليس لديها ولاءات. إنها تسعى لتقوية خصوم الولايات المتحدة أو سرقة شركائها التقليديين.

إن واشنطن ليست عاجزة عندما يتعلق الأمر باحتواء النفوذ الصيني في المنطقة. تحتاج الولايات المتحدة إلى استراتيجية مدروسة للتخفيف من سعي الصين لتحقيق نفوذ أكبر في الشرق الأوسط، استراتيجية تسعى إلى الحد من النفوذ الصيني بين شركاء الولايات المتحدة وإحباط الجهود الصينية لتقوية خصوم الولايات المتحدة. 

ويوصي الكاتبان أن تقوم هذه الاستراتيجية على:

أولاً، يجب أن تعمل واشنطن مع شركائها للحد من وصول بكين إلى البنية التحتية الحيوية والملكية الفكرية والتقنيات بين شركاء الولايات المتحدة. ونظراً لأن منظمتنا، المعهد اليهودي للأمن القومي الأميركي، قدمت أخيراً توصيات “لإسرائيل”، يجب أن يشمل ذلك تمكين الشركاء لتطوير أنظمة رقابة قوية على الاستثمار الأجنبي المباشر والصادرات، وتقديم مصادر تمويل تنافسية لشركات الشرق الأوسط المتعطشة للاستثمار.

في الوقت نفسه، يجب على الولايات المتحدة أن تدرك أنها لا تستطيع منع جميع الأنشطة الاقتصادية الإقليمية الصينية. وبدلاً من ذلك، يجب أن تشجع أميركا الصين على الاستثمار في بناء البنية التحتية غير الحيوية في المنطقة وفي الشركات التي تتعامل مع التحديات المشتركة، مثل الاحتباس الحراري.

وفي التعامل مع المحاولات الصينية لبناء علاقات مع خصوم الولايات المتحدة، قد تحد العديد من التكتيكات “الناعمة” كذلك من قدرة الصين على تكوين علاقات مستقرة مع الأنظمة. على سبيل المثال، فيما يتعلق بطهران، يمكن للولايات المتحدة إطلاق مجموعة من العمليات السيبرانية والمعلوماتية والنفسية التي تركز على الكشف عن التوترات الداخلية الخاصة بين الحكومتين الصينية والإيرانية، والتي قد تشمل الإشارة إلى الإبادة الجماعية المروعة التي ارتكبتها الصين ضد السكان المسلمين الإيغور. (في شينجيانغ) ونفاق الأنظمة الإسلامية التي تتسامح مع ذلك، بحسب توصية الكاتبين.

وفي الجانب الإعلامي، انتقد عدد كبير من الأصوات الغموض والطبيعة السرية لعملية التفاوض بين الصين وإيران، ويجب على الولايات المتحدة تضخيم هذه الأصوات عبر مختلف المنافذ الدولية. ومن شأن حملة منسقة من هذا النوع أن تساعد على تقويض صدق الاتفاقية، وبالتالي تقويض قدرة كل طرف على الاعتماد على بعضه البعض على المدى الطويل.

وختم الكاتبان بالقول: بينما تسعى بكين عن عمد إلى تحقيق توازن القوى في المنطقة لمنافسة الدول الغربية ، فإن العبء يقع على عاتق إدارة بايدن لتحدي مكائد الصين في الشرق الأوسط، والتي تتراوح من التدخل مع شركاء أميركا التقليديين إلى تشجيع خصوم الولايات المتحدة. وأضاف أن الاتفاقية الأخيرة بين الصين وإيران ليست سوى غيض من فيض.

*إيريل ديفيدسون وآري سيكوريل هما محللان سياسيان بارزان في المعهد اليهودي للأمن القومي الأميركي في مركز جيمندر للدفاع والاستراتيجية.

نقله إلى العربية بتصرف: الميادين نت

China’s Iran Deal Is Just the Beginning “

Source

April 6, 2021 

As Beijing deliberately pursues a balance of power in the region to rival Western countries, the onus will fall on the Biden administration to challenge China’s Middle Eastern machinations, which range from intervening with America’s traditional partners to emboldening its adversaries.

by Erielle Davidson Ari Cicurel

China and Iran recently announced a twenty-five-year “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” which seeks to increase military, defense, and security cooperation between Iran and China, to the consternation of both countries’ adversaries. 

The pact does not signal the materialization of an Iran-China alliance but instead points to a broader Chinese strategy to grow its influence in the Middle East. Ironically, this comes at a time when a bipartisan consensus has emerged in Washington that the United States should reduce its engagement in the Middle East to address the challenge posed by a rising China.  

The Iran-China deal evinces that the Middle East is an important arena for the emerging great-power competition with China. The United States now needs to prevent China from strengthening U.S. adversaries and gaining predatory influence over U.S. partners in the region. 

For the Iranians, the timing of the deal could not be more apropos. Tehran is desperate for cash after U.S. sanctions have crippled the country’s economy and hopes the pact with China will cushion the blow from U.S. sanctions. With China as a supposed purchaser of Iranian oil exports for several decades to come, the Biden administration’s efforts to drag Tehran to the negotiating table will prove much harder. 

Meanwhile, China is to gain both oil to fuel its rapidly growing economy and a regional partner that shares its interest in curbing the global reach of U.S. power. 

The immediate impact of the deal, thus, might be China unintentionally facilitating further Iranian nuclear enrichment. But its destabilizing effects are unlikely to end there, for China’s interest extends across the region. 

In addition to concluding the pact, Chinese foreign minister Wang Li’s trip to the Middle East also included the formation of a regional security plan with Saudi Arabia, a meeting in Istanbul with his Turkish counterpart, and an announcement that the UAE will produce two hundred million doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine. Meanwhile, Chinese state-owned companies are expanding investments in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates as part of the Belt and Road initiative.

This increasing pattern of Chinese regional engagement, coupled with generous, if not entirely realistic, promises of foreign investment comes at a time when the United States is reducing and “rebalancing” its presence in the Middle East. Traditional U.S. partners, seeing Iran benefit from Chinese largesse and their own ties to Washington cool, might begin to view China as an increasingly attractive alternative. 

China’s activities in the Middle East present a risk to the United States because China plays the field in a wholly realpolitik fashion—it may support America’s enemies (see Iran) or it may court or attempt to court U.S. allies (see Israel). Beijing has no allegiances. It seeks both to strengthen U.S. adversaries or steal its traditional partners.

Firstly, Washington should work with its partners to limit Beijing’s access to critical infrastructure, intellectual property, and technologies among U.S. partners. As our organization, the Jewish Institute for National Security of America, recently recommended for Israel, this should include both empowering partners to develop robust oversight regimes for foreign direct investment and exports and offering competitive sources of financing for investment-hungry Middle Eastern firms.

Simultaneously, the United States should recognize it cannot block all Chinese regional economic activity and instead, should encourage China to invest in building the region’s non-critical infrastructure and in firms tackling shared challenges, like global warming. 

In dealing with Chinese attempts to build ties with U.S. adversaries, several “soft” tactics also might limit China’s ability to form stable ties with regimes. For example, vis-à-vis Tehran, the United States could launch a combination of cyber, information, and psychological operations centered on revealing privately held internal tensions between the Chinese and Iranian governments, which might include pointing out China’s horrific genocide of its Uighur population and the hypocrisy of the Muslim regimes that tolerate it. 

On the information side, a plethora of voices have criticized the ambiguity and secretive nature of the negotiating process, and the United States should amplify those voices across various international outlets. A coordinated campaign of this nature would help to undermine the sincerity of the pact and, in turn, the ability of each party to rely on each other in the long term. 

As Beijing deliberately pursues a balance of power in the region to rival Western countries, the onus will fall on the Biden administration to challenge China’s Middle Eastern machinations, which range from intervening with America’s traditional partners to emboldening U.S. adversaries. The China-Iran deal is just the tip of the iceberg. 

Erielle Davidson (@politicalelle) and Ari Cicurel (@aricicurel) are senior policy analysts at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America’s Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy. 

Nasrallah: US’ top priority is preventing a China-Russia-Iran alliance

Source

Nasrallah: US’ top priority is preventing a China-Russia-Iran alliance

April 05, 2021

Description:

In a recent televised speech, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah claimed that the Biden administration’s top priority today was to prevent the formation of a major alliance or axis between China, Russia, and Iran.

Nasrallah also claimed that the United States and Israel were today in a state of decline, while the Iran-led ‘Axis of Resistance’ was on an upward trajectory.

The ‘Axis of Resistance’ broadly refers to a strategic anti-Israel/anti-US imperialist alliance composed of, but not limited to, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Iraq’s Hashed al-Shaabi, Yemen’s Ansarullah, and various Palestinian armed factions.

Source: Spot Shot (YouTube)

Date: 4 April, 2021

(Important Note: Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing as little as $1/month here )

Transcript:

Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah:

Of course, the Israelis too – (staying on) the Israeli file – the Israelis these days, I mean in the past few weeks and months, almost every day, despite the (many military/security) manoeuvres, they (nevertheless) express very publicly their concerns and worries over the fact that the Axis of Resistance is developing, that it is developing its capabilities. On the other hand, yes indeed, the Resistance (Axis) is working on the development and accumulation of its capabilities. This means that their worry has (real) foundations, (the Israelis) are not making up (this sense) of worry and concern.

Today, the Axis of Resistance is not silent, it is not an axis experiencing stagnation. On the contrary (my) honourable brothers, the Axis of Resistance has (successfully) passed – in these past 10 years – through the worst, most dangerous phase of its life and history. This is evident in what happened in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq (these past 10 years), as well as (what happened in) the entire region, and in the severe embargo and maximum sanctions (campaign) on Iran and so on.

Indeed, this axis is facing these threats with increased work, hard work, diligent work, away from any type of showing-off (i.e. fruitless muscle-flexing). (The goal of all this work) is to accumulate the capabilities and power (of the Resistance Axis), (capabilities) that will decisively decide the future.

I would like to conclude with the following words; I wish to depict the international and regional scene, and share some advice too, advice to (some in) Lebanon and to the region as a whole, not only to the Lebanese. Today, there is definitely a (particular) scene in the world, and I will be brief here, as I have already taken a lot of time and I have only got a few more minutes according to the brothers. They gave me limited time, otherwise, these days I’m taking much time – I’m delivering long speeches.

There are significant international developments (occurring today), and it is clear that the top priority of the US administration is China and Russia. China as an economic force that can become the top economic force in the world, which Biden says will not happen (as long as) he is around. Russia, of course, is not an economic threat. They rather view it more from the military, political and security angles, in addition to competition (with it) on the global (level).

There are ongoing American efforts to prevent the formation of a coalition, front, axis, or something of this nature, whereby Iran stands besides China and Russia. For this reason, they are seeking to address the nuclear file issue with Iran, with an emphasis on diplomacy. Of course, the emphasis on diplomacy here is not an American act of kindness; it is a testament to the power of Iran. By the way, Iran’s position on this issue is powerful and firm. What (Iran) did not give to Trump under the maximum sanctions (campaign) and daily war threats, it will not give (Biden) today while it stands on the verge of (successfully) overcoming the embargo and sanctions phase.

So, these are the priorities of the Americans, they are trying to work out how to deal with the files of the (Middle East) region in one way or another; let’s go to Yemen and see how we can extinguish the Yemen war, or let’s go to Afghanistan and see how we can clean up the situation in Afghanistan. (This is what is on their mind), but their approach is not clear yet, because they have not taken final decisions (on these high-level matters), according to the information (we currently have).

Regardless of what some analysts say, concerning Syria and Lebanon, it is obvious that the (the American side) is distracted from Palestine. What I want to say – through this quick analysis – to the friends of America in our region, and to whoever is betting on the American administration in our region, I say to them that (America’s) priorities – or in other words, there are new developments that they need to take into consideration.

The first development is that the new American priorities are not (related to) our region, except for what relates to Israel. Their priorities now are Russia, China, and how to resolve the issue with Iran. Thus, if you want to resolve your crises, end your wars, solve your problems, improve your situation and achieve compromises, if you are waiting for the Americans to achieve all of this, then the wait will be very long.

Secondly, America is no longer the America that you know. There is a new term that his eminence Imam Khamenei presented last year, and he had placed a lot of emphasis on it. I hereby call for reflection on (this term) so that we don’t take it as a mere headline or form of political rhetoric: “The decline of America”. America is in decline. In the words of some literature, it can be described as (on a) “descending arc”. America is now in a state of fall; in a state of descent.

America’s upcoming challenges today, most of them are related to internal problems, regarding the Corona Virus; the economic situation and its consequences; the white race (and race-related issues), fanaticism, infighting and associated dangers. America has never experienced internal dangers the likes of which it is facing today. This requires a prolonged discussion, but there is a (certain) outlook (on this issue which I will share later).

Of course, when we talk strategically, we are not talking about one year, or two, three, four or five – we are talking about a trajectory. The trajectory of the US is a trajectory of decline, descent, and downfall. Whereas the trajectory of the Axis of Resistance in the region, (with its) states, movements, and peoples, is an upward trajectory.

Priorities will (thus) be different. Therefore, I hereby call on you all, as states, peoples, regimes, movements, peoples, sects, groups, and whatever else: let us not wait for America, let us not wait for the (rest of the) world. Let us not wait for international developments. Let us hold dialogue on the regional and national (levels). Let us hold dialogue among all the states of the region, and dialogue among the peoples of the region, in order to resolve our problems and crises.

Let us not put off until tomorrow what we can do today, as the present day is better for you than tomorrow. I believe that all those who belong to the Axis of Resistance, as a result of the honesty, sincerity, and concern (they have) for their homelands, they are ready to reach certain resolutions, solutions, and compromises that would allow us to overcome all these difficult phases. This is the horizon that we see before us.

Of course, in light of this international and regional shift, Israel, just like its master, is on a path of decline. It is on “the descending arc”. The earnest wish of his eminence, (the late) Sheikh Ahmad Zein, that which the brothers spoke about before me, this wish is strong and vibrant. God willing, some of us – at the very least – will enter (the city of) al-Quds and pray in al-Quds, God willing. This is the horizon which we can see.


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How Eurasia will be interconnected

How Eurasia will be interconnected

April 04, 2021

by Pepe Escobar posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

The extraordinary confluence between the signing of the Iran-China strategic partnership deal and the Ever Given saga in the Suez Canal is bound to spawn a renewed drive to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and all interconnected corridors of Eurasia integration.

This is the most important geo-economic development in Southwest Asia in ages – even more crucial than the geopolitical and military support to Damascus by Russia since 2015.

Multiple overland railway corridors across Eurasia featuring cargo trains crammed with freight – the most iconic of which is arguably Chongqin-Duisburg – are a key plank of BRI. In a few years, this will all be conducted on high-speed rail.

The key overland corridor is Xinjiang-Kazakhstan – and then onwards to Russia and beyond; the other one traverses Central Asia and Iran, all the way to Turkey, the Balkans, and Eastern Europe. It may take time – in terms of volume – to compete with maritime routes, but the substantial reduction in shipping time is already propelling a massive cargo surge.

The Iran-China strategic connection is bound to accelerate all interconnected corridors leading to and crisscrossing Southwest Asia.

Crucially, multiple BRI trade connectivity corridors are directly linked to establishing alternative routes to oil and gas transit, controlled or “supervised” by the Hegemon since 1945: Suez, Malacca, Hormuz, Bab al Mandeb.

Informal conversations with Persian Gulf traders have revealed huge skepticism about the foremost reason for the Ever Given saga. Merchant marine pilots agree that winds in a desert storm were not enough to harass a state of the art mega-container ship equipped with very complex navigation systems. The pilot error scenario – induced or not – is being seriously considered.

Then there’s the predominant shoptalk: stalled Ever Given was Japanese owned, leased from Taiwan, UK-insured, with an all-Indian crew, transporting Chinese merchandise to Europe. No wonder cynics, addressing the whole episode, are asking, Cui Bono?

Persian Gulf traders, in hush hush mode, also drop hints about the project for Haifa to eventually become the main port in the region, in close cooperation with the Emirates via a railway to be built between Jabal Ali in Dubai to Haifa, bypassing Suez.

Back to facts on the ground, the most interesting short-term development is how Iran’s oil and gas may be shipped to Xinjiang via the Caspian Sea and Kazakhstan – using a to-be-built Trans-Caspian pipeline.

That falls right into classic BRI territory. Actually more than that, because Kazakhstan is a partner not only of BRI but also the Russia-led Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU).

From Beijing’s point of view, Iran is also absolutely essential for the development of a land corridor from the Persian Gulf to the Black Sea and further to Europe via the Danube.

It’s obviously no accident that the Hegemon is on high alert in all points of this trade corridor. “Maximum pressure” sanctions and hybrid war against Iran; an attempt to manipulate the Armenia-Azerbaijan war; the post-color revolution environment in both Georgia and Ukraine – which border the Black Sea; NATO’s overarching shadow over the Balkans; it’s all part of the plot.

Now get me some Lapis Lazuli

Another fascinating chapter of Iran-China concerns Afghanistan. According to Tehran sources, part of the strategic agreement deals with Iran’s area of influence in Afghanistan and the evolution of still another connectivity corridor all the way to Xinjiang.

And here we go back to the always intriguing

Lapis Lazuli corridor – which was conceptualized in 2012, initially for increased connectivity between Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.

Lapis Lazuli, wonderfully evocative, harks back to the export of an array of semiprecious stones via the Ancient Silk Roads to the Caucasus, Russia, the Balkans and North Africa.

Now the Afghan government sees the ambitious 21st century remix as departing from Herat (a key area of Persian influence), continuing to the Caspian Sea port of Turkmenbashi in Turkmenistan, via a Trans-Caspian pipeline to Baku, onwards to Tblisi and the Georgian ports of Poti and Batumi in the Black Sea, and finally connected to Kars and Istanbul.

This is really serious business; a drive that may potentially link the

Eastern Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean.

Since Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan signed the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea in 2018, in the Kazakh port of Aktau, what’s interesting is that their major issues are now discussed at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), where Russia and Kazakhstan are full members; Iran will soon be; Azerbaijan is a dialogue partner; and Turkmenistan is a permanent guest.

One of the key connectivity problems to be addressed is the viability of building a canal from the Caspian Sea to Iran’s shores in the Persian Gulf. That would cost at least US$7 billion. Another issue is the imperative transition towards container cargo transport in the Caspian. In SCO terms, that will increase Russian trade with India via Iran as well as offering an extra corridor for China trade with Europe.

With Azerbaijan prevailing over Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh flare up, while finally sealing a deal with Turkmenistan over their respective status in the Caspian Sea, impetus for the western part of Lapis Lazuli is now in the cards.

The eastern part is a much more complicated affair, involving an absolutely crucial issue now on the table not only for Beijing but for the SCO: the integration of Afghanistan to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

In late 2020, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan agreed to build what analyst Andrew Korybko delightfully described as the PAKAFUZ railwayPAKAFUZ will be a key step to expand CPEC to Central Asia, via Afghanistan. Russia is more than interested.

This can become a classic case of the evolving BRI-EAEU melting pot. Crunch time – serious decisions included – will happen this summer, when Uzbekistan plans to host a conference called “Central and South Asia: Regional Interconnectedness. Challenges and Opportunities”.

So everything will be proceeding interconnected: a Trans-Caspian link; the expansion of CPEC; Af-Pak connected to Central Asia; an extra Pakistan-Iran corridor (via Balochistan, including the finally possible conclusion of the IP gas pipeline) all the way to Azerbaijan and Turkey; China deeply involved in all these projects.

Beijing will be building roads and pipelines in Iran, including one to ship Iranian natural gas to Turkey. Iran-China, in terms of projected investment, is nearly ten times more ambitious than CPEC. Call it CIEC (China-Iran Economic Corridor).

In a nutshell: the Chinese and Persian civilization-states are on the road to emulate the very close relationship they enjoyed during the Silk Road-era Yuan dynasty in the 13th century.

INSTC or bust

An extra piece of the puzzle concerns how the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) will mix with BRI and the EAEU. Crucially, INSTC also happens to be an alternative to Suez.

Iran, Russia and India have been discussing the intricacies of this 7,200 km-long ship/rail/road trade corridor since 2002. INSTC technically starts in Mumbai and goes all the way via the Indian Ocean to Iran, the Caspian Sea, and then to Moscow. As a measure of its appeal, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Oman, and Syria are all INSTC members.

Much to the delight of Indian analysts, INSTC reduces transit time from West India to Western Russia from 40 to 20 days, while cutting costs by as much as 60%. It’s already operational – but not as a continuous, free flow sea and rail link.

New Delhi already spent $500 million on a crucial project: the expansion of Chabahar port in Iran, which was supposed to become its entry point for a made in India Silk Road to Afghanistan and onward to Central Asia. But then it all got derailed by New Delhi’s flirting with the losing Quad proposition.

India also invested $1.6 billion in a railway between Zahedan, the key city in southeast Iran, and the Hajigak iron/steel mining in central Afghanistan. This all falls into a possible Iran-India free trade agreement which is being negotiated since 2019 (for the moment, on stand-by). Iran and Russia already clinched a similar agreement. And India wants the same with the EAEU as a whole.

Following the Iran-China strategic partnership, chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, Mojtaba Zonnour, has already hinted that the next step should be an

Iran-Russia strategic cooperation deal, privileging “rail services, roads, refineries, petrochemicals, automobiles, oil, gas, environment and knowledge-based companies”.

What Moscow is already seriously considering is to build a canal between the Caspian and the Sea of Azov, north of the Black Sea. Meanwhile, the already built Caspian port of Lagan is a certified game-changer.

Lagan directly connects with multiple BRI nodes. There’s rail connectivity to the Trans-Siberian all the way to China. Across the Caspian, connectivity includes Turkmenbashi in Turkmenistan and Baku in Azerbaijan, which is the starting point of the BTK railway through to the Black Sea and then all the way from Turkey to Europe.

On the Iranian stretch of the Caspian, Amirabad port links to the INSTC, Chabahar port and further on to India. It’s not an accident that several Iranian companies, as well China’s Poly Group and China Energy Engineering Group International want to invest in Lagan.

What we see in play here is Iran at the center of a maze progressively interconnected with Russia, China and Central Asia. When the Caspian Sea is finally linked to international waters, we will see a de facto alternative trade/transport corridor to Suez.

Post-Iran-China, it’s not far-fetched anymore to even consider the possible emergence in a not too distant future of a Himalaya Silk Road uniting BRICS members China and India (think, for instance, of the power of Himalayan ice converging into a shared Hydropower Tunnel).

As it stands, Russia is very much focused on limitless possibilities in Southwest Asia, as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made it clear in the 10th Middle East conference at the Valdai club. The Hegemon’s treats on multiple fronts – Ukraine, Belarus, Syria, Nord Stream 2 – pale in comparison.

The new architecture of 21st century geopolitics is already taking shape, with China providing multiple trade corridors for non-stop economic development while Russia is the reliable provider of energy and security goods, as well as the conceptualizer of a Greater Eurasia home, with “strategic partnership” Sino/Russian diplomacy playing the very long game.

Southwest Asia and Greater Eurasia have already seen which way the (desert) winds are blowing. And soon will the masters of international capital. Russia, China, Iran, India, Central Asia, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Korean Peninsula, everyone will experience a capital surge – financial vultures included. Following the Greed is Good gospel, Eurasia is about to become the ultimate Greed frontier.

Iran-China deal hailed as geopolitical game changer

By VT Editors -April 8, 2021

Carl Zha is an American-Chinese social media activist with an extensive knowledge of Chinese foreign policies. He tells Press TV about the importance of the Iran-China economic pact and its possible ramifications for the region and beyond.

This article is based on an episode of Presscast, a podcast by Press TV

Carl Zha is an American-Chinese social media activist with an extensive knowledge of Chinese foreign policies. He tells Press TV about the importance of the Iran-China economic pact and its possible ramifications for the region and beyond.

This article is based on an episode of Presscast, a podcast by Press TV

Very little has been published on the Iran-China agreement and its possible outcome for the region since it was announced last year.

How important is this deal?

So, we know approximate figure, 400, billion (dollar value of agreement), it’s a pretty big number, and it’s touted as a strategic partnership between China and Iran, where both sides committed to broaden the economic cooperation that both sides already have but increasing investment, increasing cooperation in developing infrastructures. So I think it’s a really big deal because we have all the usual outlets in the mainstream media talking about it or the conservative media in the US are, are taking the stance, oh, you know, like the “Biden’s screwed up. He made Iran and China get together, now they have formed the axis of evil, now we are screwed!” You know it’s a good thing when these people are starting to talk like that.

What are the western media criticisms of the deal?

Um, actually I hear a lot of, you know, I saw a lot of criticism for like the, the Iranian dissidents in the diaspora, I mean a lot of them are posing this as somehow Iran selling out to China. You know I see like an astroturf Twitter campaign about you, Iran, get out of “China, get out of Iran”, right, which is totally overblown because as far as I know, you know China is not is not, you know, posting its military to Iran and China. China is in Iran to do business. Right and it’s a deal, agreed by two sovereign governments between the sovereign government of Iran and China. It’s not like one side is pointing a gun to the other side, say hey, sign at the dotted line, and as a matter of fact, it has nothing to do with the United States.

Iran and China have long standing ties through the Silk Road

The fact that people in the US media are getting worked up about it is rather ridiculous, (since) this is a deal between two nations with long standing ties through the Silk Road, I mean Iran and China have had a historical relationship for over 1000 years, you know, way longer than United States even existed. The fact that the people in Washington, who can barely find Iran and China on a map, are worked up about a deal of cooperation, mind you have a deal of cooperation and friendship between Iran and China. It says a lot more about them than about the deal itself it’s, it’s this fear that oh my god you know all these people are ganging up on us. It’s like no, this has nothing to do with the US.

US foreign policy hostile toward both nations

Iran and China are just continuing their historical relationship. There’s every reason for the two nations to work together, especially when both are being put under pressure by US foreign policy, you know, US foreign policy has been very hostile toward Iran since 1979. US foreign policy has been increasingly hostile toward China since 2010. So I mean, when, when US policymakers realize, China now is in a position strong enough to challenge the US hegemony, and that’s what they’re really worried about they’re worried about the position of the US as a hegemon [sic] in the world; they are worried that US hegemony is going to disappear and be replaced by a multipolar, multilateral world, which, I don’t understand why that’s a bad day, for them it is.

Ever since the United States pulled out of the nuclear deal in 2018, and reapplied sanctions China remained the sole buyer of Iranian petroleum, the sole lifeline that Iran could rely on at the time was coming from China and what they’re doing now is just a continuation of their previous businesses dealings which has now been made official.

China and Iran Cooperation goes a long way. I mean not just, just, historically, but also in the modern time, you know China has always dealt with Iran and in the latest round of sanctions  the US placed on Iran, China continue to do business (with Iran) despite the US sanctions because, you know, the, the US sanctions rely on the premise that the US has dominate the global finance right and because US threatened to sanction, any company, any government that has dealing with Iran, but China is in a position today where you can basically ignore the US sanction and continue to, to work on its traditional relationship, normal relationship, with Iran. And I think that is what has upset people in Washington, because they see the US is losing its grip.

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

This deal comes in the backdrop of the broader Belt and Road initiative, if I’m not mistaken, please give us more information if you available. This corridor that China has been trying to build through Pakistan and now it connects Iran to this road and maybe later Turkey can, you know, get added to this, how do you view this?

Yeah, I mean, actually the Belt and Road Initiative serves two purposes. The first, the most important purpose is to build up infrastructures throughout the world, throughout especially the global south. So, people there can be increased interconnectivity in the world, that that, you know, people make it seems like, oh, China is building a port So China’s increasing its inputs, but look, a port is is open, a port sits on the ocean, It’s open to anyone. You know Chinese can use the Japanese can use, anybody who wants to do business in Iran can use that board. So that’s a point that’s increasingly global interconnectivity includes the increase of global trade, which for some weird reason the US is trying to oppose. I mean, they, they’re the real reason is really about preserving the USA, Germany, but they, they’re really bending backwards to perform all kinds of mental gymnastics to justify why that’s, that’s a bad thing. And I think he shows how desperate they are. But, as you mentioned the Belt and Road Initiative, there’s another purpose of building a road initiative, it is to bypass the US Navy’s chokehold on the, the world, shipping, trade, because, you know, US Navy, makes no, they do not even disguise the fact that they, they, they always talk about the chokehold on the Malacca Strait, which is where most of the Middle East oil flows to East Asia like two countries like China, Japan and Korea, and, and what China is doing is kind of diversify its energies, by, by building pipelines and building roads and rails through, you know through Central Asia through Pakistan to Iran so they, the oil or gas doesn’t have to go, get on tankers and goes through the Strait of Malacca to China, they can maybe go overland and then the trade can also be carried on overland, not having to route to avoid a possible US Navy blockade, you know like what they’re currently doing right now, sending warships to the Persian Gulf, sending worships to the South China Sea, that’s basically the US demonstrating “look I can, I can, you know choke off your lifeline, anytime”, and the Belt and Road Initiative bypasses that by building alternative routes.

Peking is increasing its influence with Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka which may give India cause for consternation.

https://if-cdn.com/ubIRQ9A?v=1&app=1

Do you think that Delhi may feel left out as the route is not to go through India but through Pakistan or maybe Sri Lanka?

Yeah, I mean, India, feels like the South Asian subcontinent is its own backyard, you know, it feels like you know it feels pressure when China builds a relationship with its neighbors like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal.  But China actually very much want to include India in the Belt and Road Initiative, because India is a huge nation with 1.3 billion people, it’s a large market, and China very much want India to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative, by having deepened economic engagement with India. But the problem with India is that if you wants to keep China at arm’s length, because they see this rather than as an opportunity of cooperation and engagement, they see this as some kind of, you know Chinese influence encroaching on other nations. India is also  participating in the so called plod the, you know the cloud of democracy that’s promoted by the United States that’s the US, Japan, Australia, India to form this circle of containment around China, and that will just increase the kind of the friction between, between India and China, but like I said, you know, like, I think Chinese government will be very happy if India just suddenly says we’re going to be on board with the Belt and Road Initiative, you know we love to trade with China, but that’s not happening right now, India has recently banned all the Chinese apps in their market. So, so they’re, they’re following the kind of the US led initiative to decouple from the Chinese economy, and also India had, you know that Iran and India, they had a deal concerning the port of Chabahar. So, so, like India did have this opportunity to, you know, engage with Iran, engage with China, it’s really up to India to decide what they really want.

I think they had payment issues due to US sanctions and that stopped them from developing further. Iran certainly needed this agreement, for certain reasons that you might be aware of. But do you think that China also needed this agreement to happen?

Oh sure, I mean, you know, the whole point of the Belt and Road initiative is, you know, China was to engage more deeply with the global south countries and Iran is a very important strategic country in the Middle East. It sits right by the Persian Gulf, but you know, it sits right across Hormuz Strait, a very strategic point. And so, you know China very much would like to deepen its engagement with Iran, especially right now, when both China and Iran face heavy diplomatic pressure from the United States it makes even more sense for the two sides to to cooperate and, you know, China also wanted, like, kind of, you know, make more inroads into the broader Middle East market because you know, traditionally China imports its energy from the Middle East, including Iran. But right now, you know, China has, has built up a lot of capacity in the past decades, just building out its own domestic infrastructure. And now, China has acquired all this expertise, and all these capacity but China is is being built out in China are people seeing videos of Chinese high speed rails and bridges. Now, all these Chinese companies they have all these expertise and all this capacity. The whole point of the Belt and Road initiative is to invest abroad, you know, to continue to provide opportunities for these Chinese companies to do business abroad, and to export the excessive Chinese capacity, and Iran is a very important country in the Middle East; traditionally Iran is like the centrepiece of the Middle East. It sits right, square, in the middle of the Silk Road and culturally, politically, economically Iran has always been important. So, so for this (reason), I think it’s a major win for China as well.

How do you think this deal can change the geopolitical alignment in the region, what do you think things will change in the region in the next five years?

Yeah, I think, like you said there has always been a relationship between Iran and China. This just makes it more official, you know, traditionally, China has always traded with Iran buying energy, selling everything including weapons. So, but, but it’s more of an ad hoc basis, because there’s almost never like any kind of formal alliance between the two nations, despite both facing the Western pressures, but not now. I think they, this is like the official blessing of the relationship like, let’s, let’s get together, I think it provides a more supportive network, a framework for them to be engaged in a more productive, cooperation.

Now, maybe this deal can give Iran, another bargaining chip by telling the United States okay you’re not going to buy our oil anymore. No problem. We sold it to China. Do you think this is going to help Iran in it negotiations?

Oh yeah, definitely no doubt I mean what China did in a lot of places was to provide an alternative to the World Bank, in that to all these US dominated international institutions, and, now Iran can play that China card like luck. You know it’s not; we’re not coming to you because you are our only option, you know, you can give us a better deal, or we can walk away.  You are totally right that you give yourself a stronger negotiation position at the table.

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Iran, The Point of Strength in The Strategic Agreement with China

Iran, The Point of Strength in The Strategic Agreement with China            

Charles Abi Nader

None of the serious observers of the strategic engagement between the East and the West in general, specially between the Americans and their Western and regional allies on the one hand, and Russia, China, Iran and their allies on the other, imagined that there would be a capacity for the US-led Western camp to succeed in encircling the aforementioned Eastern camp triangle, neither economically, nor politically, nor militarily.

The latest strategic deal between China and Iran confirmed the equation [of the inability of encircling]; it articles, points, and directions it tackled showed that the US-led Western camp, in addition to its failure in imposing its authority in the East, it is indeed close to be encircled itself by the trio of knights of the stated Eastern camp.

From the political-strategic perspective, once the extent and validity of this convention is revealed in broad geography on one hand, or in the future regarding its period [25 years], or in the specialization of the strengths of the two states’ economies, especially in fixing a permanent, strong and honest importer of Iran’s oil and gas [China], this is enough for the world, especially the Americans, to forget the possibility of and impact of sanctions on Iran and to consider that any pressure on it, no matter how long it may last, will remain ineffective.

From the economic perspective, the aforementioned agreement between China and Iran revealed much strength, and the numbers allocated to finance large-scale projects indicate the magnitude of what awaits economic relations between the two countries. The area of the work sector and the extension of these projects, east, north-east, north-west and south, starting from the western front of this economic front, i.e. from Iran, through its landlines or through its vital ports, are sufficient to predict the size and magnitude of the effects of these projects in terms of trade, industry, business and exchange.

Concerning the military or military-strategic subject, which can be separated from the political and economic ones, where it remains linked to the level of tension of relations and the seriousness of the engagement between the two camps, it can be divided into two main parts:

First: Concerning the possibility that the engagement may lead to a war, this possibility sounds far-fetched. There will be no winner, no loser, no victor, and no defeated, since any military confrontation between these poles [the three most powerful countries including Iran] would be devastating to a wide range of the world’s geography. And of course, most parties of this confrontation have sufficient nuclear deterrence or destructive capabilities to cause mass destruction.

Second: Concerning the armaments, the acquisition of qualitative capabilities, and the imposition of control and influence, we can deduce how sensitive is Iran’s geographical position and the importance of its specific capabilities and qualitative weapons. This will be a vert strong point serving the interest of this strategic alliance with China as the following:

Concerning military capability:

– Iran has demonstrated, in various confrontations or engagements that took place in the Gulf region, the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman, that it possesses the appropriate deterrence weapons capable of achieving and imposing a strategic balance, including ballistic or winged missiles and from the world’s most advanced unmanned aircraft, as well as the latest maritime capabilities capable of controlling the world’s most sensitive waterway.

– By confronting American units deployed in the region and Washington allies, primarily the ‘Israeli’ entity, Iran has been able to impose a strategic deterrent balance, demonstrated by its units in several incidents where it has been able to outperform, by shooting down, capturing and controlling the most sophisticated American surveillance, espionage and attack aircraft to most naval-sea confrontations in the Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman, between American and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard units, where all American and non-American military ships or cruisers entering Iranian territorial waters are treated as peers.

Concerning the geographical location:

–  Iran’s geographical location plays a pivotal role in any strategic engagement or any competition over influence or control between the major powers, as Iran is located on the Gulf and at the entrances to the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea, the most influential connection point between the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab Strait on the one hand, and between the northern Indian Ocean and the South China Sea on the other hand. These marine areas are currently considered the world’s most important engagement spot, and most countries that are able to seize them or to own more than one naval fulcrum are competing on them. Iran represents through that position, and as a key partner, the most influential strength in consolidating China’s situation and position against the United States of America.

– Additionally, the importance of Iran’s geographical location is not limited to strengthening the elements of the alliance with China; Through this distinct geography, Iran represents more than a suitable fulcrum for any similar alliance with Russia, which needs a key supporter from its southern backyard, towards Central Asia or towards the South Caucasus. Iran’s position as a partner or as an ally of Moscow is capable of playing a defining and influential role in any confrontation imposed on Russia from the South.

Hence, considering this distinct geographical location of Iran and its effective capabilities, the latter is arguably the most influential strength in the strategic agreement with China or in any similar agreement with Russia.

Nixon ‘opened’ China, but only superpower China could ‘open’ Iran (1/2)

Friday, 02 April 2021 2:52 PM  [ Last Update: Friday, 02 April 2021 2:52 PM ]

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Nixon ‘opened’ China, but only superpower, socialist China could ‘open’ Iran (1/2)
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

By Ramin Mazaheri  cross-posted with The Saker

One thing about Western business media is that whenever any imperialism-opposing nation has a major success their subsequent understatement speaks volumes, as evidenced by an article in the oil trade press, The Iran-China Axis Is A Fast Growing Force In Oil Markets, at the website OilPrice. For trade journalists they are quite behind the trends of their industry: Iran and China are now a permanent force in the oil world, but far beyond that realm as well.

In reading OilPrice over the years I am not surprised: they have repeatedly reacted to the bilateral 25-year strategic agreement — which has just been fully signed — as though it was something which had not been in discussion for years; with total consternation as to why these two countries could want to ally with other; with an Iranophobia so enormous that their bias is rarely even barely concealed.

The outlook of their journalists is that of businessmen, and thus it’s the incredibly narrow and self-serving point of view of a specialist. It is unsurprising that — when compelled to formulate a political or moral viewpoint — OilPrice has a totally Cold War view of the world, which is typical in the West, and which explains why their headline calls it an “Iran-China Axis” instead of an “Alliance.” The use of such a term is typical Western media propaganda designed to conflate the right-wing Germans of the World War II era with modern Iran and China, even though the latter are totally different from the former in political ideology, economic structure and social morality.

It’s a nonsensical and historically-nihilist conflation, but when examining OilPrice’s take on the Iran-China deal, we are reminded that Western business media is quite content to sensationalize, to warmonger and to create sustained market panic in order to increase the grip of militarism in the Western psyche and to continue the inequitable Western domination of the oil trade. OilPrice, specifically, also wants the price of oil to always increase.

Thus the article is full of many stupidities worthy of the idiocies of George W. Bush, the paranoia of J. Edgar Hoover, the anti-socialist hysteria of the Dulles brothers and the hypocritical phoniness of Barack Obama. Things of the lowest order of political analysis and knowledge abound, such as: “The first is they are both absolute dictatorships,” “the rogue Islamic country,” China’s Belt and Road Initiative is “a shield for China’s true intentions” and a “Trojan horse” for “military expansion,” etc.

(Of course, few international projects as transparently pragmatic and non-ideological as China’s BRI — if you accept China’s offer of mutually-beneficial cooperation there is no additional demand to also legislate acceptance of their “universal” values.)

But we benefit from knowing the oil trade’s viewpoint because while there are so very many financial shenanigans in the Western economy, there is still a “real” economy, and oil is its lynchpin.

Oil is also the lynchpin of the US dollar’s global preeminence and overvaluation. Indeed, this article’s concluding paragraph is a reminder of those very fundamental — yet often forgotten — facts: “Finally, the introduction of a war premium to oil prices will cause a commensurate re-evaluation of oil equities in non-belligerent countries. The modern economy runs on petroleum products and derivatives, and will for many decades.”

 The Great Financial Crisis and subsequent Great Recession proved that the Western economy is indeed incredibly vulnerable to many types of phonily-inflated equities, economic fundamentals-untethered financial products, sham derivatives concocted by high finance and more besides. However, the author is correct when he writes that paragraph because the Petrodollar — the forced sale of oil in dollars — is the most important and longest-running financial sham. It replaced the gold standard, after all.

But China and Iran’s unprecedented petrodollar end run (and via a new joint China-Iranian bank) is just one part of why their bilateral agreement is such a huge deal. Not only does the pact upset the delicate balance of Western financial chicanery, but it permanently upsets longstanding Western geopolitical advantages, global geopolitical reality and especially the idea that the United States is the sole portal through which modern history can enter.

US has fallen so very far since 1971— now they are even behind China, and Iran just proved it

The bilateral deal’s importance can’t be understated for either side, and I have written about it for years. It’s as if — in the year 1545 — the Bolivian silver miners at Potosi struck a fair deal with the Spanish crown: Instead of getting enslaved, sham conversions and colonized Bolivia would still be an Incan cultural force today, with almost 500 additional years of illustrious history, learning and advancement. Thankfully, China is socialist — thus it is anti-imperialist and mindfully chooses cooperation over enslavement (either literally, through local puppets or through debt). Thankfully, Iran is not the shell-shocked Inca — they know who their enemies are, and also who works with enough goodwill to be welcomed.

For a more modern take, the deal is the equivalent of Richard Nixon’s “Opening of China” in 1971, except in a total role reversal: What is historically vital is no longer the position of the US, but the attitude of the superpower China.

Iran is often described as the last great “untapped market” — against all odds, expectations and supposed historical inevitabilities they chose the East as partners, not the West. That’s gigantic.

The deal will mark the “Opening of Iran” because it is not a mere “lifeline” to Iran – as it is often falsely described – but a guarantee of real prosperity, as it will be administered by Iran’s successful, revolutionary political structure. It is absolutely not more than just the achievement of stability, which Iran achieved entirely on its own starting in 1979, when the slogan was “Neither East nor West but the Islamic Republic.”

To quote from the OilPrice article:

“The New York Times is quoted as saying-

 ‘The partnership, detailed in an 18-page proposed agreement obtained by The New York Times, would vastly expand Chinese presence in banking, telecommunications, ports, railways, and dozens of other projects. In exchange, China would receive a regular — and, according to an Iranian official and an oil trader, heavily discounted — supply of Iranian oil over the next 25 years.’

 And there you have it.”

And there you have it, indeed.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, right, and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi are seen in this photo while signing the “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” deal between the two countries in Tehran on March 27, 2021. (Via IRNA)

Oil-based cars and machines may be significantly phased out by greener technologies in 25 years or so, but Iran has made a superb bargain to sell as much oil as they can while they still can. The “heavy discount” is only about 4%, but I can see how – as a Western “oilfield veteran” – this OilPrice author expects everyone to scratch and claw for every penny he or she can grab. For Iranian bureaucrats, however, a longer-term economic view is required, as is less greed.

War —  and sanctions (what used to be called “blockades” in English) are indeed war — certainly does force civilians and civil servants into more moral and more intelligent behaviors: self-sacrifice, unity, collective action, planning, determination, study, reflection, etc. The West’s sanctions have been perhaps praised in Iran nearly as often as they have been derided because Iran has had no choice but to build up its domestic capabilities — economic, intellectual, moral and natural — which naturally demanded a long-term commitment of domestic effort, political policies and acceptance of the national consensus.

But if the economic impact of illegal Western sanctions encouraged Iran’s leaders to make a 25-year oil bargain at only a 4% loss, then I say: take the money and run. If Washington, London, Paris and Tel Aviv fully had their way Donald Trump would have succeeded in forcing Iran to get 0% value from China —instead Tehran settled for 96% value over 25 years. If Iran doesn’t get yuan for every barrel that’s fine —China has technologies and skills which Iran can learn from, assimilate into future domestic projects and then likely export.

But this is what nobody seems to get about the indubitably socialist-inspired modern Iranian economy: Iran doesn’t do Western capitalism, i.e. it doesn’t sell out. Chinese companies will work alongside Iranian industries, all of which are state-owned and state-controlled to a degree which is unthinkable in the neoliberal West. China is not “buying” Iranian corporations – this is not $400 billion in “mergers” and “take-overs” — they are buying Iranian products or bartering for them via techniques Iran can learn from and projects which Iran needs to see built.

And there you have it: Iran secured money and intellectual investment for 25-years, and there is no danger of this investment being hijacked by foreign capital from any nation, which is how foreign investment works in Western neoliberalism. If the Iranian government can redistribute money downwards so effectively over four decades of hot and cold war, then surely they can do better in times of economic prosperity —this is the argument many Iranians have made over and over and over, and the West is fearfully aware of this rationale.

$16 billion per year in cash/goods/skills, and throw in a little thing called diplomatic unity, over 25 years – remember to compare that with what the West just offered: In 2019 France proposed a one-time $15 billion credit line. It was shot down by Washington, and of course Europe complied because neither want Iran to be prosperous or stable.

An incredibly ‘woke’ cooperation between 2 different ethnicities, cultures, regions & religions

Iran has proven to the world that America no longer has the ability to control the main global gate, and that is indeed a real achievement, but this achievement was equally fueled by Western incompetence, cruelty, intolerance and greed. Iran and China have risen, thanks to their modern and revolutionary cultures and structures — of course — but just look at how far the West has fallen since 1971?

As for China it’s vital to remember that it was an oil embargo which pushed fascist Japan into war with the United States, but China now has a guaranteed source of oil stability. China, which imports 75% of its daily needs, is almost as oil-poor as Japan but now no matter what Western adventurism produces in the Straits of Hormuz Beijing can count on the certainty of enough oil supplies to get by.

Iranian oil is already serving as Beijing’s backup against Western imperialist immolation, as the OilPrice article relates in detail: “China is stockpiling oil at a pace unrivaled in the developed world.” Doing so is, “In a marked dichotomy with the U.S., China is building oil inventories by design.” China, in contrast to Western liberal democracy, actually has competent civil service motivated — not by “universal” values, perhaps — by actual values instead of personal greed.

And there you have it: good governance based on modern political ideas which value the individual citizen over the aristocrat’s dollars. That’s the reason why Iran and China rankle the West so much.

So how could the West possibly like the 25-year strategic pact – it’s a “permanent” sea change. It’s a “permanent” step up in class for both Iran and China, and via an incredibly unprecedented cooperation. “Our relations with Iran will not be affected by the current situation, but will be permanent and strategic,” said China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the signing.

But it’s not based on mere dollars — it’s a “pact” in a very broad cultural and political sense, and that’s both a shocking rejection of the Western model and the exciting proposal of something new for global humanity.

China and the USSR never cooperated as closely as this. Impressive Cuba, all alone in the New World, just can’t bring the heft which Iran brings to the table. North Korea is so beset upon and so war-scarred that they reject diplomatic ties like what Iran just accepted. You’d have to go back to the Eastern Bloc’s cooperation with Moscow to find something similar.

But what makes this cooperation so incredibly and excitingly “woke” is that it’s between two totally different cultures, religions and ethnicities. It’s truly a meeting of minds, as equals. We could truly go on and on about this aspect, and we should. We should also repeatedly point out that Western liberal democracy demands homogeneity via total submission to their hive mind, whereas socialist democracy protects, accepts and elevates differences and minorities in a consensus-based democracy.

It’s a meeting of two longtime empires whose modern political structures now explicitly forbid empire-building. But that’s a point which stresses the past and looks backward.

This is a meeting of two countries bravely and excitingly looking forward to this new century, whether it’s the 15th (less than two weeks ago the Iranian calendar reached the year 1400), or the 48th (it’s year 4719 in China).

It’s an incredible cooperation, and one so very long in the making.

Part 2 of this article examines how Western media responds to Sino-Iranian unity with hysterics at the prospects of reduced income from the Western imperialism machine. The article is titled: The Iran-China pact is a huge blow for Western imperialists who want war in Asia

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

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Pepe Escobar and Jeff J Brown

April 01, 2021

Pepe Escobar joins Jeff J. Brown for a great conversation about US, EU, China, Russia, Iran and DPRK

«اتفاقيّة التعاون الاستراتيجيّ الصينيّ الإيرانيّ» ثورة في العلاقات الدوليّة…The Sino-Iranian Strategic Cooperation Agreement” A revolution in international relations


**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

اتفاقيّة التعاون الاستراتيجيّ الصينيّ الإيرانيّ» ثورة في العلاقات الدوليّة

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط*

أفضت الحرب العالمية الثانية إلى قيام عصبة الدول المنتصرة في الحرب التي تولّت قيادة العالم وتحكّمت بمساراته وقضاياه صغيرها وكبيرها، ورغم قيام النظام العالمي يومها على الثنائية القطبية بين حلفين أطلسي تتزعّمه أميركا وشيوعي يقوده الاتحاد السوفياتي، فقد كانت الأرجحيّة واضحة لصالح الحلف الأول على حساب الحلف الثاني الذي كان الاقتصاد موطن الوهن والضعف الرئيسيّ فيه بعكس الحلف الأول المتمتع بخيرات ذاتية ومغتصبة بحجم أضعاف ما يحتاج، أما الصين خاصة بعد نجاح ثورتها في العام 1949 في بناء الدولة التي يقودها الحزب الشيوعي فقد كانت محاصَرة إلى حدّ التضييق والتهميش في كثير من النواحي. أما إيران قبل ثورتها الإسلامية ونجاحها في العام 1979 في بناء دولة السيادة والاستقلال، فقد كانت شرطي الخليج لصالح الحلف الأول في مواجهة أيّ تحرك إقليمي أو دولي يهدّد مصالحه.

انطلاقاً من هذا الواقع عملت كلّ من الصين وإيران وفقاً لاستراتيجية تناسبها للنمو، وكان الاقتصاد لدى الطرفين بؤرة الاهتمام الرئيسيّ مع اهتمام بالشأن العسكري متفاوت السقوف بين الدولتين للدفاع عن النفس وحماية المرافق الاقتصادية. أما ردّة فعل نادي المنتصرين في الحرب الثانية فقد اختلفت حيال كلّ من الدولتين في سقوفها، لكنها تماثلت في طبيعتها القائمة على رفض تشكل قوة إقليمية أو دولية جديدة تنازع الغرب مواقعه ومصالحه من أي نوع كانت سياسية أو اقتصادية أو عسكرية أو سيطرة ونفوذ. وكان العنف الشديد يمارَس بوجه إيران التي شنّت عليها الحروب ثم الحصار الخانق، وكانت المشاغلة والمراوغة في العلاقات مع الصين بحيث لا تصل إلى العداء المكشوف المستتبع لشن الحرب، ولا تدخل في مجال الصداقة والحميميّة المطمئنة بأيّ حال.

لقد شكلت كل من الصين وإيران هاجساً مقلقاً للغرب، الأولى على صعيد دوليّ حيث إنّ تقدّمها الاقتصادي الذي حققته نتيجة التركيز على الاستثمار بدل الانشغال بالحروب والنزاعات وهدر المال من دون طائل، والثانية على صعيد إقليميّ فسّره الغرب بأنه تهديد لمواقعه في الشرق الأوسط الذي به وبما هو عليه من موقع وثروة وتنوّع يمكنه أن يديم سيطرته على العالم، ولذلك كانت أولوية المواجهة للترويض أو القمع، مركزة على إيران التي رأى فيها الغرب العدو الذي لا يمكن تأخير معالجة خطره ، وأن تطويعه واحتواءه يخفضان من مستوى الجهد المبذول باتجاه الصين إلى النصف إنْ لم يكن أكثر.

بيد أنّ الغرب استفاد من تجربة حرب صدام الفاشلة ضدّ إيران وهي الحرب التي شُنّت بقرار أميركي ومال عربي وخيضت بسلاح متعدّد المصادر من الشرق والغرب، وامتنع عن تكرار التجربة بعد أن لمس أنّ عود إيران تصلّب وأنّ خبراتها في حرب الجيلين الثالث والرابع تعاظمت، لذا وما أن تفكك الاتحاد السوفياتي حتى سارع الغرب إلى تطويق إيران من دون غزوها فنفذ الانتشار العسكري في الخليج مقابل السواحل الإيرانية الجنوبية الغربية، ثم احتل أفغانستان ليقفل حدود إيران الشمالية الشرقية وأخيراً احتلّ العراق ليحكم تطويق إيران من الغرب، وظنت أميركا أنّ هذا التطويق والعزل سيسقط الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران، لكن خاب ظنها.

ذهلت أميركا وكل مَن معها لفشل سياسة التطويق والحصار والاحتواء الممارسة ضد إيران، وشغلهم هذا عن متابعة ما يجري في الصين التي أطلقت «استراتيجية الانفتاح والإصلاح» وحققت بها ثورة نهضوية على أكثر من صعيد خاصة في السياسة والاقتصاد والإدارة والبناء العسكري، وظن الغرب بقيادة أميركا أن الوقت حان للعمل المتزامن ضد الطرفين، الصين وإيران عبر الانزياح إلى الشرق الأقصى عسكرياً للبدء بحصار الصين وتطويقها، أما إيران فتواجه عبر إسقاط محور المقاومة الذي نجحت في تشكيله، ونجح هو في قطف ثمار هامة في التحرير والمواجهة. وترجم الغرب اتجاهاته هذه في المفهوم الاستراتيجي الذي اعتمده للحلف الأطلسي في العام 2010 ليعمل به خلال عقد من الزمن ظن الحلف أنّ بإمكانه من خلاله إسقاط سورية، وتالياً إيران وحزب الله ومحاصرة المقاومة الفلسطينية وامتلاك قرار الشرق الأوسط والتفرّغ للصين في الشرق الأقصى.

بيد أنّ محصول البيدر الغربي لم يطابق حساب الحقل المشرقيّ، فمن جهة فشلت الحرب الكونية على سورية وصمدت إيران في مواقعها وأحرزت عبر حلفائها من سورية والعراق ولبنان وصولاً إلى اليمن انتصارات استراتيجية مذهلة، ما منع أميركا وحلفاءها من تحقيق أهداف حرب العقد – الكونيّة في الشرق الأوسط، ومن جهة ثانية استغلت الصين انشغال أميركا بالحروب منذ 1991 وعرفت كيف تتعامل مع الفشل الأطلسي وكان تركيزها على الاقتصاد والإنتاج وتطويره في الداخل وإيجاد الأسواق للصناعة والاستثمارات الصينية في الخارج.

وبعد أن كانت الصين قد بدأت بشن «هجوم اقتصادي استثماري» على الشرق الأوسط وعقدت الاتفاقات الهامة مع العراق و»إسرائيل» وآخرين ما أغضب أميركا وجعلها تضغط لتعطيلها، صنعت الصين مع إيران «القنبلة الاقتصادية السياسية العسكرية الاستراتيجية الكبرى» تحت اسم «اتفاقية التعاون الاستراتيجي الصيني الإيراني» فأحدثت ثورة في العلاقات الدولية وشكلت «كارثة استراتيجيّة على المشروع الغربي في المنطقة»، وجعلت بايدن يبدي بألم «قلقه العميق ومخاوفه الكبيرة» منها.

 لقد وقّعت الصين وإيران في 27/3/2021 هذا الاتفاق الاستراتيجي من دون اكتراث بالعقوبات الأميركية – الغربية اتفاقاً سيُعمل به خلال الـ 25 سنة المقبلة ويتضمّن «التعاون في المجالات السياسية والاقتصادية والتقنية، إلى جانب التعاون الدفاعي والعسكري، بما في ذلك إجراء مناورات عسكرية مشتركة»، فضلاً عن الاستثمار والمساهمة في بناء وتطوير البنى التحتيّة في إيران وخطوط المواصلات والنقل من مطارات ومرافئ وسكك حديد، ولذلك ننظر إلى هذا الاتفاق بأنه بحق ثورة في العلاقات الدولية من شأنها أن تفرض إيقاعها على الكثير مما تعمل به أميركا ضدّ أعدائها وتعوّل عليه لاستمرار سيطرتها وهيمنتها الدوليّة. ففي هذا الاتفاق من النتائج والدلالات ما لا يمكن حصره الآن، لكن نذكر بعضه كما يلي:

1

ـ أكد التقاء العملاقين الصيني والإيراني في هذه الصيغة فشل أميركا في خطط الحصار والعقوبات وإخفاق الحرب الاقتصادية عليهما. وبهذا كسر ذراع الضغط الثالث الذي كانت أميركا تعوّل عليه في الضغط على خصومها، إذ بعد فشل الذراع السياسية وفشل استراتيجية الحروب بالقوة الصلبة أو الناعمة ها هي سياسة الحرب الاقتصادية والعقوبات تلفظ أنفاسها على أبواب إيران والصين، وبهذا تثبت نتيجة المواجهة أنّ أميركا ليست قدراً لا يُردّ بل إنها مكوّن فيه من الوهن ولدى خصومها من القوة ما يجعلها تخسر ويُلوى ذراعها.

2

ـ خروج الصين من خلف السور العظيم واقتحام المنطقة المركزية في العالم من الوجهة الاستراتيجية ودخولها بقوة وثبات إلى غربي آسيا، حيث مصادر الطاقة والبحار الخمسة ما يعني أنّ حلم أميركا باحتكار السيطرة على الشرق الأوسط بات من الماضي الغابر.

3

ـ تعزيز فرص إحياء طريق الحرير التي تربط الصين بالغرب الأوروبي عبر آسيا الوسطى وبشكل خاص إيران، مشهد ستكون إيران فيه منطقة الوسط والتفريع وستعطيه دفعاً وزخماً هاماً. وسيلقى التسونامي الصيني الاقتصادي أبواباً تشرع له في الغرب رغم كلّ محاولات الحجب والمنع.

4

ـ تعزيز فرص نجاح مشروع «الحزام والطريق» الصيني الذي استماتت أميركا لمنعه وإسقاطه. وسيكون أكثر من سوق وميدان عالمي في القارات الثلاث قارات العالم القديم متهيئاً للاستثمارات الصينية.

5

ـ زعزعة موقع الدولار الذي لن يبقى متسيّداً على عرش الاقتصاد العالمي باعتباره العملة الكونيّة الوحيدة التي تتحكم أميركا باقتصاد العالم عبرها، حيث إنّ التحوّل إلى عملات أخرى محلية وإقليمية سيهزّ عرش الدولار من دون منقذ.

6

ـ لن يكون للعقوبات الأميركية أثر قاتل ومعطل لاقتصاد إيران والصين، فبترول إيران سيجد مَن يستهلكه والاستثمارات في إيران ستجد من يقوم بها وستبقى أميركا تراقب الأوراق تفلت من يدها.

7

ـ أما عسكرياً فإنّ شمول الاتفاق جوانب متصلة بالتسليح والتدريب والمناورات ففيه إشارة هامة إلى بناء نواة تحالف دفاعي ورسالة هامة بأنّ للاتفاقية ما يكفي من القوة العسكرية لحمايتها وحماية مَن ينظمّ إلى صيغ مثيلة لها مستقبلاً.

نكتفي الآن بهذا القدر من الإضاءة على هذا الاتفاق التاريخي الهام في أبعاده الاستراتيجية والسياسية والاقتصادية والعسكرية، ونقول إنّ فشل الحرب الكونية على سورية ومحور المقاومة وصمود هذا المحور غيّر العالم وفتح الطريق لإنهاء عهد سيطرة نادي المنتصرين في الحرب الثانية واستطاعت الدول التي تشكلت أنظمتها بعد الحرب تلك أن تتفلّت من الهيمنة الاستعماريّة وتهيّئ الفرص لنظام عالميّ مختلف يقوم على التوازن المبنيّ على الاستقلال والسيادة.

*أستاذ جامعي – خبير استراتيجي.


فيديوات ذات صلة


The Sino-Iranian Strategic Cooperation Agreement” A revolution in international relations

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Brigadier General Dr. Amin Mohammed Hatit*

World War II led to the establishment of the League of Victorious Nations in the war that took over the leadership of the world and controlled its paths and issues, small and large, and despite the fact that the world order was based on the bipolarity between two NATO allies led by America and a communist led by the Soviet Union, the clear economic superiority was in favor of the first alliance that enjoyed self-benefits and usurped at the expense of the second alliance that it needs, as for China, especially after the success of its Communist revolution in 1949, it was besieged to the point of restriction and marginalization in many respects. As for Iran, before its Islamic revolution and its success in the year 1979 in building a state of sovereignty and independence, it was the policeman of the Gulf in favor of the first alliance in the face of any regional or international move threatening its interests.

The reaction of the Victors Club in the Second War differed from both states in its ceilings, but it was similar in nature based on the rejection of the formation of a new regional or international power that the West disputes its positions and interests of any kind, political, economic, military, control and influence. There was extreme violence in the face of war-ravaged Iran and then the suffocating siege, and the confusion and prevarication in relations with China were so that it did not reach the open hostility that entailed the waging war and did not enter into the sphere of friendship and comforting intimacy in anyway.

Based on this reality, China and Iran have worked for a growth-friendly strategy, mainly focusing on economy , with an interest in military affairs, with varying ceilings between the two countries for self-defense and protection of economic facilities. As for the reaction of the victors’ club in the second war, it differed vis-à-vis each country in its ceilings, but it was similar in nature based on the rejection of the formation of a new regional or international power that competes with the West and its interests, political, economic, military, or control and influence. Therefore, the priority was focusing on confrontation taming or suppressing Iran, whose danger could not be delayed, and whose compliance would be cut the half if not more than the level of effort required towards China.

However, the West benefited from the experience of Saddam’s failed war against Iran, which was waged by an American decision and Arab money and was fought with a multi-source weapon from the East and the West. The West refrained from repeating the experience after noticing that Iran’s power had hardened and that its experiences in the third and fourth generation war increased, so as soon as the Soviet Union disintegrated, the West rushed to encircle Iran without invading it and carried out the military deployment in the Gulf off the southwestern Iranian coast, then it occupied Afghanistan to close Iran’s northeastern borders and finally it occupied Iraq to close the encirclement of Iran from the West, and America thought that this encirclement and isolation would bring down the Islamic Republic in Iran, but was disappointed.

America and its allies were stunned by the failure of the policy of encirclement, siege and containment practiced against Iran, which distracted them from China’s renaissance revolution, investigated on more than one level, especially in politics, economics, administration and military construction, and the West led by America thought that it was time to act simultaneously against the parties, China and Iran by shifting to the Far East militarily to start the siege and encirclement of China. As for Iran, it facing through the axis of resistance, which it succeeded in forming, the axis succeeded in reaping important fruits in liberation and confrontation. The West translated these trends into the strategic concept that it adopted for NATO in the year 2010 to work with it within a decade, which the alliance thought that through it it could overthrow Syria, and next to Iran and Hezbollah, besieging the Palestinian resistance and owning the Middle East decision and devoting itself to China in the Far East.

However, the western threshing crop did not match the expense of the Levantine field, on the one hand the global war on Syria failed and Iran persisted in its positions and achieved through its allies from Syria, Iraq and Lebanon to Yemen amazing strategic victories, which prevented America and its allies from achieving the goals of the decade-global war in the Middle East. On the other hand, China took advantage of America’s preoccupation with wars since 1991 and knew how to deal with the Atlantic failure. Its focus was on the economy, production and its development at home and creating markets for Chinese industry and investments abroad.

And after China had launched an “economic and investment attack” on the Middle East and concluded the important agreements with Iraq, “Israel” and others, which angered America and made pressure to disrupt it, China created with Iran the “major economic, political, military, and strategic bomb” under the name of the “Strategic Cooperation Agreement” causing a revolution in international relations and constituting a “strategic catastrophe for the Western project in the region”, that made Biden express painfully his “deep concern and great fear” of it.

On March 27, 2021, China and Iran signed this strategic agreement without regard to U.S.-Western sanctions, which will be in place for the next 25 years, including “political, economic and technical cooperation, as well as defense and military cooperation, including joint military exercises.” Investing and contributing to the construction and development of Iran’s infrastructure and transportation lines from airports, ports and railways, so we see this agreement as truly a revolution in international relations that would impose its rhythm on much of what America is doing against its enemies and counting on it to maintain its control and international dominance. In this agreement of results and implications, there is no limit now, but some of it is as follows:

1-The meeting of the Chinese and Iranian giants in this formula affirmed America’s failure in the siege and sanctions plans and the failure of the economic war against them. And with this breaking the third pressure arm that America was relying on to pressure its opponents, as after its political failure and the failure of the strategy of wars with hard or soft power, here is the policy of economic war and sanctions breathed at the gates of Iran and China, thus proving the outcome of the confrontation that America is not a measure of weakness and its opponents have the power to lose and twist its arm.

2-China’s exit from behind the Great Wall and the storming of the central region of the world from a strategic point of view and its strong and steady entry into Western Asia, where the sources of energy and the five seas, which means that America’s dream of monopolizing control of the Middle East is a past.

3-Enhancing the chances of reviving the Silk Road that connects China with the European West through Central Asia, especially Iran, a scene in which Iran will be a central and branching area and will give it significant momentum and impetus. The Chinese economic tsunami will open doors for it in the West, despite all attempts to block and prevent.

4-Enhance the chances of success of china’s Belt and Road project, which America has called for to prevent and bring down. More than one global market and field on three continents will be the old world, preparing for Chinese investment.

5-To destabilize the position of the dollar, which will not remain on the throne of the world economy as the only global currency through which America controls the world economy, as the transition to other domestic and regional currencies will shake the throne of the dollar without a savior.

6-U.S. sanctions will not have a fatal and disruptive effect on iran’s economy and China, Iran’s oil will find those who consume it and investments in Iran will find who is doing it and America will keep watching the cards get out of hand.

7-On the military side, the inclusion of the agreement has aspects related to armaments, training and exercises, which are an important reference to the building of the nucleus of a defence alliance and an important message that the Agreement has sufficient military force to protect it and to protect those who organize to similar formulas in the future.

We say that the failure of the global war on Syria and the axis of resistance and the resilience of this axis is not enough to end the era of the domination of the victors club in the second war, and the countries that formed their systems after the war were able to escape colonial domination and create opportunities for a different world order based on balance based on independence and sovereignty.

*University professor – strategic expert.

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A television report on the ‘historic, strategic’, 25-year agreement reached between Iran and China.

April 01, 2021

Original link: http://middleeastobserver.net/historic-25-year-strategic-agreement-between-iran-china-tv-report/

Description:

A television report on the ‘historic, strategic’, 25-year agreement reached between Iran and China.

Source: Al Mayadeen (YouTube)

Transcript:

Reporter:

Iran and China are entering a new phase of bilateral relations. After years of talks and discussions, both sides are tying up loose ends within the framework of a strategic cooperation document covering all fields.

The two sides describe this document as the roadmap for the future of their bilateral relations, with its clauses encompassing trade, economic, military, and cultural cooperation.

Jawad Mansouri, former Iranian ambassador to China:

While Iran enjoys diverse capabilities internally, it also has huge markets and an important regional, geographical location that enables it to cooperate with China in all fields. We are working on our local capabilities to defeat the US sanctions, and we do not reject the cooperation of friends in this regard.

Reporter:

It is true that economic cooperation forms the pillar of this treaty, but according to our observers, it nevertheless poses a political challenge for the common opponents of these two countries, as it opens the door for a new type of confrontation against the Euro-American camp.

Jawad Mansouri, former Iranian ambassador to China:

The current political and international circumstances, along with the pressure from Europe and the US, have caused China’s desire for cooperation with Iran to grow more than ever. In other words, when America imposes pressure on any two countries, it is natural for those two countries to increase their economic cooperation and exchange.

Reporter:

The two parties are aware of the challenges and risks awaiting the implementation of this agreement. The two sides, therefore, stress on the necessity of strengthening their ties on all levels.

Iranian-Chinese relations have reached a new critical, historical juncture, one drawn up by Tehran and Beijing according to a long-term joint strategic vision. Tehran considers today’s event an achievement that can be reached in every field, and one that can be achieved by (other) states of the region as well.

Malik Abed, Tehran, Al Mayadeen(Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing as little as $1/month here: https://www.patreon.com/MiddleEastObserver?fan_landing=true)

Sitrep China : Xinjiang backlash market shock

March 30, 2021

Sitrep China : Xinjiang backlash market shock

Selections from Godfree Roberts’ extensive weekly newsletter : Here Comes China, plus editorial notes. You can get it here: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe


The last two weeks we’ve watched in awe the Chinese telling the US in Alaska that a more assertive China now is a reality as the empire has left it no choice.  Of course the Alaska meeting was spiked with sanctions poison minutes before the meetings started, to present a strongman ‘advantage’ (or so they thought) to empire.   This backfired spectacularly and lasted but 15 minutes of a blistering response by China, so perfectly translated by the Chinese translator that she immediately became a new sensation in the eyes of the Chinese people.   The Chinese response is continuing and the stance is now permanent.  I think it is fair to say that China will take no more empire so-called ‘rules-based’ international order.

We saw Mr.Biden calling President Putin a “killer with no soul”.  We saw Russia moving away from empire, in action and in (less than diplomatic) words, with Foreign Minister Lavrov completing a triumphant visit to China directly after the Alaska meeting, and in press conferences making it clear that the petrodollar is now oh so last century news.  New economic and financial mechanisms will put it in its place and we already see this.  Take a look:

China signed a currency swap agreement with Sri Lanka before $3.7 billion of its foreign debt matures this year. Sri Lanka is entitled to a $1.5 billion swap facility from the PBOC, valid for three years. More than 22% of the nation’s foreign purchases were from China last year. Read full article →.

And then these wild two weeks ended with China and Iran signing a 25-year comprehensive strategic partnership, of course, not using any last century petrodollars.

The US fought back fiercely, with nothing else but rumors and the rest of the west sanctioned everything that they could possibly think of.  The rumors and propaganda are about Xinjiang and included the bathwater and the baby, cold war style, threatening hot war style and seemingly quite out of step with developments in the rest of the world.  We will look at the market fall-out in some detail.

But why now? Why did both Russia and China stand up and declare that they are here to stay, while we were used to a more muted approach from both?

James W. Carden and Patrick Lawrence considers that it is a deep disappointment with discovering the “retrograde character of the Biden administration’s foreign policies”  “We thought too well of the United States” Mr Yang, Foreign Minister of China said.  They had hopes for Biden, in other words. Given his fading competence, we ought to add, we think these policies will be shaped and directed in large measure by Blinken and Sullivan, with an adjunct role for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. This will prove another competence problem.

https://thescrum.substack.com/p/our-cold-two-front-war

What has not had much media coverage, is foreign minister Wang Yi’s tour to the Middle East after the Iran agreement announcement.   He visited Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Oman, all Belt and Road member countries.   To cap off these two weeks of telling empire to become productive, take their rightful place in the world if they can, stop playing warmonger and policeman and economic hitman, the take-away statement from this tour is that Wang repeatedly said global powers should butt out of making the Middle East their arena for big-power rivalry.

(Imagine empire confusion while the penny drops that their empire is over.  Anyone hearing someone playing the fiddle or more accurately the lute?)


A short video from Professor Bill Brown at Xiamen University in southeast China’s Fujian province about the changes in China after spending 33 years there.

The empire struck back with an all-out attack against the province of Xinjiang.  The Xinjiang cotton industry was attacked with baseless rumors and propaganda about the Uyghur people and the propaganda and sanctions machines went into overdrive and we saw sanctions everywhere, mainly against anyone buying cotton from the region.  It is quite ludicrous to pretend to care for the Uyghurs if your sanctions are designed to deprive them of their major industry and their income, which is from cotton.  As fast as the western sanctions were announced, they were responded to with reciprocal sanctions.  Mr.Lavrov already mentioned that there will be a concerted effort throughout the world to do away with unilateral sanctions, so, it is almost as if they do not matter, as no country in the world can or should spare the resources to manage all the sanctions.

But China is striking back hard.  In addition, the cotton manufacturers out of Xinjiang are bringing legal action against Adrian Zenz, who stitched together the rumors of forced labor, labor camps, forced sterilization, and many others.  If you do not want to watch this video, just take a scroll through the comments though.

The Chinese people got angry and a major market kerfuffle commenced and is still ongoing.  For Australia with their thoughtless comments against China, their trade (excluding iron ore) has dropped by 40%.

H&M’s agony, Nike’s fear, the market strikes back. H&M craters after saying it would not source cotton from Xinjiang. All e-commerce platforms removed it from their websites. Searches for ‘H&M’ and ‘HM’ yielded no results, celebrities cut ties, and 200 million Weibo users boycotted H&M’s 450 stores. Nike and Adidas are under attack for using the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), which stopped licensing farms in Xinjiang. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3126828/hm-under-fire-china-over-refusal-buy-xinjiang-cotton

A-list Uyghur stars Dilraba Dilmurat (Dílì Rèbā), an actress with a huge Han fan base, and Liú Yìfēi, who starred in Mulanended their business relationships with Adidas. Nike, Calvin Klein, and Converse have lost their Chinese brand ambassadors. https://supchina.com/2021/03/24/hm-faces-boycott-in-china-over-year-old-xinjiang-cotton-ban/

Japanese fashion retailer Muji, with 17% of its total sales from China, said its stores in China will continue carrying products made with Xinjiang cotton. The company has conducted due diligence on all companies in Xinjiang involved in its supply chain. https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Retail/Muji-features-Xinjiang-cotton-as-Chinese-netizens-lash-its-rivals

“H&M, Nike, and others are now suffering heavy losses to their reputations in the Chinese market. Enormous investment in public relations has been destroyed instantly. They need to complain to Western society, because they know that, whether they are active or passive, they have indeed done something intolerable to Chinese consumers”. – Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times.  https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202103/1219413.shtml

Why this focus on the Chinese province Xinjian?  Is it really caring deeply about the Uyghurs?  Of course not.  This is not how empire conducts its business.

“The investments and the infrastructure development under the BRI will bring an explosion of growth in Xinjiang. It will not just become a wealthy region, it will become ‘Dubai wealthy,’ said engineer Robert Vannrox, “the West does not want this. The more Chinese investment pours into Xinjiang, the louder the anti-China propaganda becomes.”


Cover Image: Chinese archaeologists announced Saturday that some new major discoveries have been made at the legendary Sanxingdui Ruins site in southwest China, helping shed light on the unified, diverse origin of the Chinese civilization.  https://www.shine.cn/news/nation/2103206280/

This is but a fraction of what I gleaned from the Here Comes China newsletter.  If you want to learn about the Chinese world, get Godfree’s newsletter here: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe

Amarynth

China, Iran sign 25-year comprehensive strategic partnership deal

March 27, 2021

Crossposted from PressTV

Video Player

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif have signed a 25-year comprehensive strategic partnership agreement, marking a milestone in bilateral relations between the two countries.   

The two diplomats put their signatures on the document in Tehran Saturday in a ceremony carried live on national television.

Wang and Zarif also marked “half a century of friendly dilomatic relations” by opening an exhibition of documents on the two countries’ bilateral ties.

Wang said China’s relations with Iran will be “permanent and strategic” and will not be affected by the current situation.

“Iran decides independently on its relations with other countries and is not like some countries that change their position with one phone call,” he said in his meeting with Ali Larijani, an advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

Referring to historic and friendly relations between Tehran and Beijing, Wang stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation within the framework of the 25-year strategic partnership agreement and expressed his satisfaction with the deal’s finalization.

The two sides further explored ways to develop political, economic and strategic ties, underlining the need for close consultations between the two countries to promote long-term cooperation.

The top Chinese diplomat who is in Tehran for a two-day visit also met with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.

The Sino-Iranian Comprehensive Strategic Partnership was announced in a joint statement during a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Tehran in 2016.

The cooperation roadmap consists of 20 articles, covering Tehran-Beijing ties in “Political,” “Executive Cooperation,” “Human and Cultural,” “Judiciary, Security and Defense,” and “Regional and International” domains, according to the statement released back then.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the document is a “roadmap” for trade, economic and transportation cooperation, with a “special focus on the private sectors of the two sides.”

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