Sayyed Nasrallah Warns “Israel” against Any Mistake, Balance In Favor of Resistance Axis

8/5/2021

Sayyed Nasrallah Warns “Israel” against Any Mistake, Balance In Favor of Resistance Axis 

Zeinab Essa

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on the last Friday of the Holy Ramadan month a speech marking Al-Quds international Day.

At the beginning of his televised speech, Sayyed Nasrallah assured that he is neither infected with Covid-19 nor suffering any of its symptoms. “I’m just suffering from bronchitis which happens to me regularly due to seasons’ change,” His Eminence clarified.

Regarding the marked event, he stressed that “The Palestinian people grants the Resistance its legitimacy, given that they did neither abandon their state nor Al-Quds.”

“What we are witnessing today in the Palestinian squares and in Sheikh al-Jarrah Neighborhood is a good proof to this,” the Resistance leader added, noting that “The most important and dangerous development that must be affirmed is Gaza’s participation on the front line as this opens great horizons to the resistance.”

He further underscored that “the ‘Israeli” entity is fully aware that the involvement of Gaza in the conflict resembles a very serious threat.”

In parallel, Sayyed Nasrallah urged the leaders of Palestinian resistance to “continue with this approach as it will change the rules of engagement [with the ‘Israeli’ enemy].”

Hailing the Palestinians’ steadfastness, he stated: “We are sure that the Palestinian people are suitable to preserve Al-Quds, its land, and rights.”

“The ‘Israelis’ thought that economic pressure and the atmosphere of desperation will affect the Palestinians, but they were shocked,” His Eminence went on to say.

Moving to the Iranian Front, Hezbollah Secretary General underlined that “All ‘Israeli’ bets regarding Iran have failed.”

“The Axis of Resistance’s solidness is very important to the region and it will reflect majorly on the Palestinian Cause and the struggle with the ‘Israeli’ enemy,” he added, noting that “Iran has greatly crossed the dangerous phase and the enemy’s bets to take Iran to war have ended. The bets of some regional countries on this have also ended.”

On the same level, Sayyed Nasrallah viewed that “Iran today is the strongest country within the Axis of Resistance and all American and ‘Israeli’ options to force Iran to give up its nuclear program have ended.”

His Eminence also recalled that “The biggest Iranian response to the Natanz attack was increasing the Uranium enrichment, which terrified ‘Israel’.”

According to the Resistance Leader, “Based on our experience with Iran in the past 40 years, Iran does not bargain at the expense of its allies; it does not negotiate on their behalf and it does not abandon them.”

Expressing Hezbollah’s support to every regional, international, or Arab dialogue, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that “Dialogue strengthens the Axis of Resistance and weakens the enemy. We’re assured towards Iran’s [behavior].”

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah commented on the talk about Saudi-Iranian talks by saying: “Many Arab states are in contacts with Syria, and Saudi Arabia can’t impose its conditions on Syria regarding its relations with Iran while it is itself negotiating Iran.”

“Those who should be concerned with the Iranian-Saudi talks are the Riyadh allies, not the allies of Iran,” His Eminence said.

Meanwhile, he mentioned that “Syria is on the path of recovery and the most dangerous challenge it’s facing is that of economy.”

“This challenge isn’t limited to Syria alone, but to several peoples in the region,” he stated, praising the fact that “The people of the region are determined to withstand and confront.”

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated that “Yemen is a qualitative accumulation to the Axis of Resistance under its young and honest leadership.”

“There is a breakdown of some axes and alliances that appeared in face of the Resistance Axis,” His Eminence viewed, pointing out that “The moral balance is in favor of the Resistance’s Axis.”

Commenting on the “Israeli” scene, he explained that “The ‘Israelis’ are concerned today due to the growing capabilities of the Axis of Resistance.”

“The ‘Israeli’ entity is in trouble and its wall is cracking; there is a leadership crisis and this is a sign of collapse and weakness,” Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say, noting that “All signs of weakness and decline began to appear clearly in the enemy’s entity, while we are witnessing the renewed activity of the Palestinian people.”

In this context, Hezbollah Secretary General predicted that “The course in the enemy’s entity is heading to a civil war and there is serious concern in the enemy’s society over this reality.”

He also recalled that “The Syrian defense missile that hit Dimona worried the ‘Israelis’,” noting that “The enemy’s army is not confident of its ability to confront fire from several fronts should war erupt.”

“The ‘Israelis’ are worried due to the operations taking place in the West Bank and due to Gaza’s involvement in the developments taking place in Al-Quds.,” Sayyed Nasrallah unveiled, pointing out that “The ‘Israeli’ ground forces are worried and weak and this is why they are holding several military drills.”

On this level, Sayyed Nasrallah sent the apartheid entity a sounding warning: “Hezbollah won’t tolerate any ‘Israeli’ mistake during the major ‘Israeli’ drill that begins Sunday. We will take calm and responsible precautions.”

“The enemy must know that we will be cautious, alert and prepared,” His Eminence added, warning that “Any wrong move towards Lebanon during the drill will be an adventure by the enemy. The enemy will be mistaken should it think that we will be afraid to confront any attempt to alter the rules of engagement or any security or military action.”

He also was clear enough to tell the “Israelis”: “We will not be lenient and we will not tolerate any mistake, violation or hostile move by the enemy across the entire Lebanese territory.”

Regarding the issue of maritime border demarcation, Sayyed Nasrallah declared that “We [Hezbollah] don’t interfere in the issue of maritime borders and this is left to the Lebanese state.”

He reminded that after 2000 liberation, “Hezbollah interfered in the issue of Shebaa Farms and Kafrshouba Hills after the Lebanese state confirmed that they are Lebanese.”

Commenting on those who interpret Hezbollah’s silence over the issue as “embarrassment towards the allies,” His Eminence said: “This is not true… We, as a resistance, have not and will not interfere in the issue of the border demarcation. Let the State shoulder its historic responsibility as to the demarcation of the border and the preservation of the Lebanese people’s rights and let it consider that it is relying on real strength.”

“We have found that it is in Lebanon’s interest and in the certain interest of the resistance that we stay away from this issue,” Hezbollah’s leader added, noting that “Lebanon is not weak at all” and that “the United States and ‘Israel’ can’t impose on the Lebanese what they want.”

Sayyed Nasrallah: Resistance Growing Stronger, We Won’t Tolerate Any Israeli Adventure

Sayyed Nasrallah
Hezbollah S.G. Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah via Al-Manar TV on International Al-Quds Day (Friday, May 7, 2021).

Video

Marwa Haidar

Stressing that the Axis of Resistance has been growing stronger while the Zionist entity is witnessing many rifts, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah warned the Israeli enemy against committing any folly during a maneuver  in the coming days.

Delivering a speech via Al-Manar on the occasion of International Al-Quds Day, Sayyed Nasrallah saluted Palestinian people for their steadfastness in face of continuous Israeli attacks.

Sayyed Nasrallah explored points of strength within the Axis of Resistance, noting that Iran has overcome the threat of war as all US and Israeli options against the Islamic Republic have failed.

His eminence also said that the war in Syria has been over, noting that several Arab states are contacting Damascus.

“We have overcome the stage where our front is targeted, and this is a source of concern to the Israeli enemy.

On the other hand, Sayyed Nasrallah said that the Zionist entity has been witnessing several rifts including the internal political crisis, the revive of Resistance spirit among Palestinian people and the emergence of Gaza to be a part of the equation of Resistance and West Bank Resistance against the Israeli enemy.

On the issue of border demarcation, Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated Hezbollah’s stance.

“The party who decides in this regard is the Lebanese state. The government here bears historical responsibility to defend our country’s rights.”

COVID-19 Infection?

Sayyed Nasrallah started his speech by reassuring his supporters that he is not a COVID-19 patient, noting that the cough he had was due to a tracheal disease.

His eminence was responding to speculations circulated after he repeatedly coughed during a religious sermon earlier on Wednesday.

International Al-Quds Day

Talking about the occasion, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that Al-Quds Day is an ideological, religious, humanitarian and moral issue.

“It’s about the absolute right of the Palestinian people that will never change by place or time.”

His eminence saluted Palestinian people for sticking to their right in Al-Quds, noting that such steadfastness gives legitimacy to the Axis of Resistance as well as to all forms of support this front offer to the Palestinian people.

“Palestinians did not abandon their land. Despite all these years they are still sticking to their rights. What we have been seeing in the latest weeks proves this. Unarmed Palestinians in Damascus Gate and in Al-Quds are heroically confronting armed Israeli forces.”

In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah hailed the Palestinian Resistance in Gaza for getting into the scene of the confrontation in Al-Quds, describing this development as important and in favor of Palestinians in Al-Quds.

“The Israeli enemy had been previously keen to separate between Gaza and Al-Quds. Hereby, I call upon Palestinian factions in Gaza to go ahead with this decision which falls in favor of Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Powerful Iran

Hezbollah S.G. described Iran as the most powerful state in the Axis of Resistance, despite all US and Israeli attempts to topple its establishment.

“All US and Israeli schemes against the Islamic Republic were foiled and Iran has overcome the threat of war. Ira has already retaliated to Israeli attacks on Natanz nuclear facility by enriching uranium up to 60 %, and this what scares the Zionist entity a lot.”

Hitting back at those who say that Iran allies must be concerned in case a rapprochement takes place with Saudi Arabia, Sayyed Nasrallah said the Islamci Republic and throughout 4 years did not abandon its allies and has been keen to preserve the national interests of their countries.

“Those who must be concerned are US allies,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

Syria, Iraq and Yemen

Sayyed Nasrallah touched upon the situation in Syria, Iraq and Yemen as he stressed that the Axis of Resistance emerged victorious and more powerful.

“The war in Syria is over and several Arab states are reportedly having contacts with Damascus now. In Iraq, attempts to revive ISIL have failed so far.”

“Elsewhere in Yemen, Yemeni people are more steadfast and victorious in the seventh year of the Saudi aggression. The game-changing capabilities of Yemeni army which have been advancing make the Axis of Resistance more powerful.”

‘Israel’ Weakened

Sayyed Nasrallah then talked about rifts within the Zionist entity, noting that one of the prominent aspects of this rift is the internal political crisis.

“There is a real leadership crisis in the Zionist entity, and such crises indicate the extent of weakness which this regime has reached. Some Israeli analysts say that a civil war in the Zionist entity is possible.”

His eminence also cited when a Syrian anti-aircraft missile hit an area near Dimona nuclear site in the Zionist entity earlier last month.

“This incident proved failure of the Israeli defense systems. In case of a war in the region, would the Israeli defense systems be capable to intercept thousands of rockets?”

Sayyed Nasrallah noted, meanwhile, that the stampede in Mount Meron showed how the Israeli home front is not ready to deal with such situations in case of a real war.

“Zionists are worried about the revival of operations in West Bank and the emergence of Gaza to be part of the equation of confrontations in Al-Quds.”

His eminence added that failure of Israeli strategies on Iran is also one of the rifts within the Zionist entity.

Sayyed Nasrallah noted that the Israeli forces have been lacking morale, and this problem is prompting the Zionist army to intensify drills.

Israeli Drill

Sayyed Nasrallah warned the Israeli enemy against committing any folly during a drill that will start on Sunday.

“In light of this situation we are on high alert and we will closely monitor the enemy movements.”

“Any folly or any attempt to change the rule of engagement is an adventure that we won’t tolerate at all.”

In the end of his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the responsibility is to defend Al-Quds with all means, calling for more cooperation and patience among powers in the Axis of Resistance.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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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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المنطقة على حافة الهاوية 
فوق الصفيح الساخن The area on the edge of the cliff above the hot tin

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

المنطقة على حافة الهاوية فوق الصفيح الساخن

بالتزامن مع انطلاق مفاوضات فيينا التي فرضت خلالها إيران شروطها لجهة استبعاد المشاركة الأميركية في قاعة الاجتماعات ونزع العلم الأميركي من القاعة، طالما لم تعُد واشنطن للاتفاق النووي من بوابة رفعها للعقوبات على إيران، بدأت جولة استهداف إسرائيلية استفزازية مكثفة لإيران، تضمنت خلال عشرة أيام عملية استهداف لإحدى السفن الإيرانية في البحر الأحمر، وغارات على مواقع إيرانيّة في سورية، وعملية تخريب في منشأة نطنز النووية داخل إيران.

الإنجاز الدبلوماسي الضخم الذي حققته طهران تجسّد، بقبول واشنطن أن عليها التقدم بالخطوة الأولى للعودة المتبادلة إلى الالتزامات المنصوص عليها في الاتفاق النووي، وقبول واشنطن بالتخلي عن أطروحات من نوع تعديل الاتفاق بالبنود النووية ومداها الزمني وتوسيع نطاقه ليطال الصواريخ البالستية الإيرانية والملفات الإقليمية، وقبول عنوان العودة الحصرية للاتفاق كما تم توقيعه في عام 2015، وصولاً لإعلان أميركي واضح بالاستعداد لرفع عقوبات لا تتسق مع الاتفاق النوويّ لضمان عودة إيران الى الاتفاق وموجباته، خشية أن تبلغ إيران مرحلة امتلاك مقدرات إنتاج سلاح نووي بينما المفاوضات تراوح وتستهلك الوقت.

السعي لتخريب فرص التوصل للعودة للاتفاق معلن في كيان الاحتلال، وطرق التخريب لم تعد متاحة من خلال إقناع الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة بفرملة الاندفاع نحو العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، والتباين واضح في مقاربة موقع الاتفاق النووي من السياسات في كل من واشنطن وتل أبيب، لذلك لجأت قيادة كيان الإحتلال الى بديل عملياتي هو الضغط الميداني الاستفزازي القائم على توسيع نطاق الأذى بإيران أملاً ببلوغ حافة الحرب معها، على قاعدة ان هناك معاهدة تعاون استراتيجي ملزمة للأميركيين بدخول اي حرب يمكن لكيان الاحتلال التعرّض لها او التورط بها.

الواضح أن إيران وقوى محور المقاومة قد قرّروا عدم الأخذ بالحسابات التي تراهن عليها قيادة كيان الاحتلال، وعنوانها دفع إيران وقوى المقاومة للانكفاء رغم التعرّض للأذى وجرح الكرامة، أملاً بخلق مناخ يضغط على المفاوضات، ويقنع الأميركيين بالقدرة على إضعاف إيران، والتمهل قبل الموافقة على ما لا تريد قيادة الكيان أن يحدث، فالواضح أن قرار الردّ قد بدأ، وهو متواصل وسيستمر، وعلى الأميركيين أن يتحمّلوا تبعات معاهدتهم الاستراتيجية مع كيان الاحتلال، مقابل سعيهم للعودة إلى الاتفاق النووي، وإذا كانوا عاجزين عن ضبط أداء قيادة الكيان تحت سقف يتيح مواصلة هادئة للمفاوضات، فعليهم أن يختاروا بين الاتفاق والمعاهدة، وتلك مشكلتهم وليست مشكلة إيران ولا مشكلة قوى المقاومة.

الرد الإيرانيّ، كما تقول قيادة الكيان، بدأ بصاروخ بعيد المدى على سفينة عائدة للكيان مقابل ميناء الجميرة في الإمارات، وإيران تقول إنها ستردّ على استهداف منشأة نطنز سيكون في عمق الكيان، وتقول إن تصعيد تخصيب اليورانيوم الى 60% هو أحد الردود على الاستهداف طالما أن أحداً لا يملك لا القدرة ولا الشجاعة لفعل ما يلزم للجم كيان الاحتلال.

واشنطن وعواصم الغرب معاً أمام مفصل نوعيّ سيقرّر الكثير، والكرة في ملعبهم جميعاً، كما تقول إيران.


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مقالات ذات صلة


The area on the edge of the cliff above the hot tin

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In conjunction with the start of the Vienna negotiations, during which Iran imposed its conditions in terms of excluding the American participation in the conference room and removing the American flag from the hall, as long as Washington did not return to the nuclear agreement from the gateway to lifting sanctions on Iran, Israel began an intense provocative campaign against Iran, which included, within ten days, the targeting of one of the Iranian ships. in the Red Sea, raids on Iranian sites in Syria, and sabotage at the Natanz nuclear facility inside Iran.

The huge diplomatic achievement achieved by Tehran was embodied by Washington’s acceptance that it must take the first step for a reciprocal return to the obligations stipulated in the nuclear agreement, and Washington’s acceptance to abandon the amendment of the terms of the nuclear agreement and its timeframe and expand its scope to Iranian ballistic missiles and regional files, and return to the agreement as was signed in In 2015, leading to an American announcement of its readiness to lift sanctions not related to the nuclear agreement to ensure Iran’s return to the agreement and its obligations, fearing that Iran would reach the stage of acquiring the capabilities to produce a nuclear weapon while negotiations hover around and consume time.

The Zionist entity’s endeavor to sabotage the chances of reaching a return to the agreement is declared, and the methods of sabotage are no longer available by persuading the new American administration to brake the return to the nuclear agreement with Iran, and the contrast is clear in Washington and Tel Aviv. Therefore, the occupation entity resorted to an operational alternative, which is provocative field pressure, hoping to reach the edge of war with Iran, on the basis that there is a strategic cooperation treaty that binds the Americans to enter any war that the occupation entity can be subjected to or become involved in.

It is clear that Iran and the forces of the resistance axis have decided not to accept the calculations of the leadership of the occupation entity, whose title is pushing Iran and the resistance forces to retreat, convincing the Americans of the ability to weaken Iran, and slowing down before agreeing to what the entity’s leadership does not want to happen. It is clear that the response decision has begun, and it is continuing. And it will continue, and the Americans must bear the consequences of their strategic treaty with the occupation entity, in exchange for their endeavor to return to the nuclear agreement, and if they are unable to control the the entity’s leadership under a roof that allows for a quiet continuation of negotiations, then they must choose between the agreement and the treaty, and that is their problem and not the problem of Iran nor the problem of powers Resistance.

The Iranian response, as the entity’s leadership says, began with a long-range missile on a ship belonging to the entity opposite the port of Jumeirah in UAE, and Iran says it will respond to the targeting of the Natanz facility, which will be in the depth of the entity, and says that the escalation of uranium enrichment to 60% is one of the responses to targeting as long as No one has the ability or the courage to do what is necessary to restrain the occupation entity.

Washington and the capitals of the West together in front of a specific joint that will determine a lot, and the ball is in their court all, as Iran says.


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كيف حققت إيران
انتصارها الدبلوماسيّ؟ How did Iran achieve its diplomatic victory?

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

كيف حققت إيرانانتصارها الدبلوماسيّ؟

9/4/2021

ناصر قنديل

انتهت اللجان التقنيّة في فيينا من القسم الأول من التحضيرات لمسودة العودة الأميركيّة عن العقوبات ومسودة العودة الإيرانية للالتزامات، وتستأنف اللجان مهامها الأسبوع المقبل. ووفقاً للمبعوث الروسي الى فيينا، فإن تقدماً كبيراً تم تحقيقه على طريق النجاح بالعودة الى الاتفاق النووي، فالسؤال الأول هو على أي قاعدة تتم هذه العودة؟ وهل هي تتم في منطقة وسط بين طهران وواشنطن، أم بتراجع إيراني طلباً للتفاهم، أم يتنازل أميركي واضح لحساب الشروط الإيرانية؟ ولرؤية الجواب نستعيد مواقف الطرفين من القضايا الرئيسيّة التي ظهرت حولها نتائج بائنة خلال الأيام الماضية، حيث أصرت واشنطن على ربط العودة للاتفاق بتوسيع نطاقه النووي ومداه الزمني من جهة، وبالتفاهم على البرنامج الصاروخي الإيراني والملفات الإقليميّة من جهة ثانية، كما قال وزير الخارجية الأميركية توني بلينكن مراراً، وتحدّث الرئيس جو بايدن أكثر من مرة، وبالمقابل أصرّت إيران على اعتبار أن الأمر الوحيد المطروح للبحث هو سبل العودة إلى الاتفاق كما وقع عام 2015، وبالتوازي حاولت واشنطن أن يكون التفاوض مباشراً بين الفريقين، ثم ارتضت دعوة أوروبيّة لحضور اجتماع الـ 5+1 كإطار لهذا التفاوض مع إيران، ثم قالت لا مانع من أن يكون هذا الاجتماع إطاراً لتفاوض غير مباشر، أما الأمر الثالث الذي كان عنواناً لتجاذب علني بين العاصمتين فكان يتصل بتحديد مَن يبدأ الخطوة الأولى، كما قال المبعوث الأميركيّ الخاص بالملف النووي الإيراني روبرت مالي، حيث كانت واشنطن تقول إن على إيران العودة لالتزاماتها أولاً وتردّ طهران بأن على واشنطن رفع العقوبات أولاً.

في فيينا صدرت مواقف من المبعوث الأميركيّ روبرت مالي الذي كان يمثل إدارة الرئيس جو بايدن في المفاوضات مع الجانب الأوروبيّ والجانب الروسي كوسيطين للتفاوض مع إيران، تقول رداً على المحور الأول إن واشنطن وافقت على العودة إلى الاتفاق النوويّ بصيغته الموقعة عام 2015، والتخلّي عن اشتراط البحث بتعديله كمضمون ومدة زمنية، وكذلك التخلّي عن إدماج الصواريخ البالستية الإيرانية والملفات الإقليمية، بملف التفاوض، بما يعني بوضوح لا لبس فيه القبول بالسقف الذي رسمته طهران وتمسكت به؛ أما في المحور الثاني فقد كان واضحاً ان إيران رفضت كل تفاوض مباشر أو غير مباشر، ورفضت بالتالي اعتبار واشنطن عضواً في صيغة الـ 5+1 التي صارت بعد الانسحاب الأميركي 4+1، واشتراط إلغاء العقوبات لاعتبار عودة واشنطن لعضوية الـ 5+1 قائمة، ورضخت واشنطن لقبول الشرط الإيراني فجلس المبعوث الأميركي في غرفته ينتظر نتائج المحادثات الجارية في قاعة التفاوض، بعدما أصرّ الوفد الإيراني على نزع العلم الأميركي من القاعة. أما في المحور الثالث فقد كان واضحاً ما تطلبه واشنطن مقابل ما تطلبه طهران، حيث كل منهما تدعو الأخرى للبدء بالخطوة الأولى، وقد صرّح الناطق بلسان الخارجية الأميركية نيد برايس بوضوح أن واشنطن ارتضت أن تبدأ هي بالخطوة الأولى برفع العقوبات، وتسعى لتجزئة هذه العودة وتحديد حجم الخطوة الأولى التي ستقوم بها لضمان القبول الإيراني، لأن واشنطن كما قال برايس تريد ضمان امتثال إيران لالتزاماتها، ولو كان المطلوب لذلك رفع العقوبات التي لا تتّسق مع الاتفاق النووي الموقع عام 2015.

الذين يستغربون ما يجري من حلفاء واشنطن ويقولون بدأنا نشعر أن إيران هي الدولة العظمى وليست اميركا، تقول التحليلات الأميركية إن إيران التي كانت متحمّسة للعودة إلى الاتفاق أو للإلتزام الأوروبي بالمتاجرة والمعاملات المصرفية مع إيران في السنة الأولى بعد الانسحاب الأميركي، لأن الاقتصاد الإيراني تفاعل مع الاتفاق واستثمر مليارات الدولارات في مشاريع انفتاحية سياحية وعقارية ومصرفية، واحتاج سنتين لاحتواء التحولات اللازمة، لم يعد كذلك بعدما قطع شوطاً كبيراً على خط البناء الذاتي للاقتصاد المغلق على الغرب ويخشى ان تؤدي العودة إلى الاتفاق إلى عودة الانفلاش الانفتاحي ومخاطرة عودة أميركية جديدة للعقوبات بعد أربع سنوات، بينما بدأت إيران تتلمّس عناصر القوة في فرص التكامل الاقتصادي الآسيويّ خصوصاً عبر اتفاقها مع كل من الصين وروسيا وجيرانها. وبالتوازي تقول تحليلات أخرى إن إيران تسارع الخطى في تخصيب اليورانيوم وتخزين المخصب، وتفضل إكمال مسارها لامتلاك ما يكفي من مقدرات إنتاج سلاح نوويّ ولو لم تقم بإنتاج هذا السلاح، وثمة تحليلات ثالثة تقول إن الانتخابات الرئاسية الإيرانية التي يسيطر المحافظون على مسارها، ستعني في حال حدوثها من دون توقيع العودة إلى الاتفاق أن لا عودة بعدها، وأن لا تيار إصلاحياً ستقوم له قائمة بعدها، ولتقاطع هذه التحليلات يستنتج الخبراء الأميركيون أن على واشنطن أن تلهث وراء طهران للعودة الى الاتفاق، وتدفع فواتير هذه العودة قبل نهاية شهر أيار المقبل، وتسأل ما دامت الحرب غير ممكنة، وبديل الاتفاق هو العقوبات، فماذا جلبت العقوبات في عهد الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب وقد بلغت حدّها الأقصى؟ ويجيبون أن مهلة امتلاك إيران لمقدرات إنتاج سلاح نووي تراجعت من سنة الى عدة أسابيع، وأن مدى الصواريخ الإيرانية زاد من 3000 كلم الى 7000 كلم، وأن انتصارات سورية تمّت في زمن العقوبات وعهد ترامب ومثلها الصواريخ الدقيقة لحزب الله، ومثلهما التحوّل النوعيّ في قدرات أنصار الله الذين يسيطرون اليوم على أمن الطاقة وأمن الخليج.

هكذا قضي الأمر الذي فيه تستفتيان.


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أخبار متعلقة


How did Iran achieve its diplomatic victory?

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Nasser Kandil

– Technical committees in Vienna have completed the first part of preparations for the U.S. return draft on sanctions and Iran’s return of commitments, and the committees will resume their duties next week. According to the Russian envoy to Vienna, significant progress has been made on the road to returning to the nuclear agreement. The first question is on what basis does this return will take place? Is it taking place in a middle area between Tehran and Washington, or is it an Iranian retreat to seek understanding, or a clear American concession to Iranian conditions? To find out the answer, we will reclaim the positions of the two sides during the past few days. Washington insisted on linking its return to the agreement to expanding its nuclear scope and timeframe on the one hand, and Iranian missile program and regional files on the other hand, as US Secretary of State Tony Blinken said repeatedly, and President Joe Biden spoke more than once. Iran insisted that the only matter on the discussion table for is how to return to the agreement as signed in 2015. Washington tried to have direct negotiations between the two sides, then accepted a European invitation to attend the P5+1 meeting as a framework for this negotiation with Iran, then accepted indirect negotiation. The third issue was open conflict between the two capitals, was determining who would initiate the first step. The US envoy, Robert Malley, said, as Washington used to say, that Iran should return to its obligations first and Tehran said Washington should lift sanctions first.

– In Vienna, positions were issued by U.S. envoy Robert Mali, who represented President Joe  Biden’s administration in negotiations with the European side and the Russian side as mediators for negotiations with Iran, saying in response to the first axis that Washington had agreed to return to the nuclear deal as signed in 2015, abandoning the requirement to consider amending it as content and duration, as well as abandoning the integration of Iranian ballistic missiles and regional files, with a negotiating file, which clearly means unequivocal acceptance of Tehran’s ceiling. In the second axis, it was clear that Iran had rejected any direct or indirect negotiation, and therefore refused to consider Washington as a member of the P5+1 formula that became after the U.S. withdrawal P4+1, the requirement to cancel sanctions to consider Washington’s return to the P5+1 list, and Washington relented to accept the Iranian condition, and the U.S. envoy sat in his room awaiting the results of the ongoing talks in the negotiating room, after the Iranian delegation insisted on removing the U.S. flag from the room. On the third issue, both Washington Tehran, where calling on each other to start the first step, and U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price has made it clear that Washington has agreed to begin the first step of lifting sanctions, and is seeking to fragment this return and determine the size of the first step it will take to ensure Iranian acceptance, because Washington, as Price said, wants to ensure Iran’s compliance with its obligations, even if sanctions that are inconsistent with the 2015 nuclear deal are required.

– Those who are surprised by what is happening from Washington’s allies and say we have begun to feel that Iran is the superpower and not America. American analyzes say that Iran in the first year after the American withdrawal was eager to return to the agreement or to the European commitment to trade with Iran, because the Iranian economy interacted with the agreement and invested billions of dollars in open tourism, real estate, and banking projects, and it took two years to contain the necessary transformations. Iran is no longer like this after a long way in the line of self-construction of the economy closed to the West and is afraid that returning to the agreement will lead to an open fracture and that America will re-enact sanctions after four years, while Iran began betting on the opportunities for Asian economic integration through its agreement with China. Russia and other neighbors. In parallel, other analyses say that Iran is accelerating its pace in enriching uranium and storing enrichment, and prefers to complete its path to have enough capabilities to produce a nuclear weapon and if it does not produce this weapon. There are third analyses that say that the Iranian presidential elections, which are controlled by the conservatives, will mean that if it happen without signing the agreement, it will eliminate the chance for the reform movement to continue. From the intersection of these analyses, the American experts conclude that Washington should chase behind Tehran to return to the agreement, and pay the bills for this return before the end of next May, and they ask as long as the war is not possible, and the alternative to the agreement is sanctions, so what did the sanctions that reached their maximum in the former President’s era brought? They answer that the period for Iran’s possession of the capabilities to produce a nuclear weapon decreased from one year to several weeks, and that the range of Iranian missiles increased from 3,000 km to 7,000 km, and that Syrian victories took place during the sanctions and Trump era, as well as the precision missiles for Hezbollah, and the same was the qualitative change in the capabilities of Ansar Allah, who control energy security and Gulf security today.

– The game is almost over.


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Nuclear Deal Committee Concludes Meeting, Iran Reiterates Call for Lifting US Ban

April 9, 2021

manar-09754580016179661313

Nuclear Agreement Joint Committee ended the second round of its 18th regular meeting Friday in the Austrian capital Vienna. After the meeting, the delegations of Iran, Russia, China, France, Britain, Germany, the European Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency agreed to hold the next meeting next Wednesday at the level of assistants to foreign ministers of member states.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for political affairs Abbas Araqchi says Tehran will not stop any of its nuclear-related activities until Washington lifts the whole sanctions and returns to the 2015 nuclear deal.

Emphasizing on Iran’s principle stance on lifting of sanctions, Araqchi said that Tehran will not halt or even reduce the pace of its nuclear activities in particular in uranium enrichment sector.

The 20 percent enrichment of uranium is going forward even with the faster pace than the speed that the Iranian parliament envisaged in its law, he said, adding that 20 percent enriched uranium are being produced now.

The trend will go on until an accord will be reached, which will oblige the US to lift all of its sanctions, he stated, stressing that the whole sanctions should be lifted in one stage.

He further pointed to the negotiations with Europeans, Russia and China, noting that the claim that Iran is discussing with Europeans and they are holding talks with the Americans is not true, because the Iranian delegation in Vienna are negotiating with a set of current member states of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), including the UK, France, Germany as well as Russia and China; then, they put forward the issue with the US in a way they know themselves.

Araqchi went on to say that there are signs that the Americans are reviewing their own stance and move forward to lift all sanctions, but the Iranian side is not still in a position to make a judgement, because the negotiations have not been finalized.

According to the Iranian diplomat, a long way is still ahead; although, the pace of negotiation is moving forward and the atmosphere of the talks are constructive.

Source: Al-Manar English Website and IRNA

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لماذا لا تملك واشنطن خياراً غير العودة للاتفاق النوويّ؟ Why does Washington have no choice but to return to the nuclear deal?

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

مفاوضات فيينا تنتهي بنجاح.. واتفاق على استكمال المباحثات

لماذا لا تملك واشنطن خياراً غير العودة للاتفاق النوويّ؟

ناصر قنديل

يتزامن في 22 أيار المقبل الموعد المعلن من إيران للانتقال الى مرحلة تخصيب لليورانيوم على درجة 40%، مع مرور ثلاثة شهور على دخول الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن الى البيت الأبيض، والزمن القياسي بالنسبة لمهمة بحجم الملف النووي الإيراني، من موقع إدارة أميركية تدخل للتوّ الى موقع القرار وتمسك بعشرات الملفات الدولية والداخلية الضاغطة والملحّة، وهذا يعني أن انعقاد اجتماع فيينا الذي يجري تحت عنوان وضع خريطة طريق لعودة واشنطن وطهران الى التزاماتهما بموجب الاتفاق النووي، تعبير عن سرعة استثنائية بمفهوم العلاقات الدولية، مع التزام مبدئي من الطرفين الأميركي والإيراني بالاستعداد للعودة الى التزاماتهما، وخلافهما حول كيفية هذه العودة، كما قال المبعوث الأميركي الخاص للملف النووي، روبرت مالي، مع اعترافه بأن مناقشة القضايا الخلافية من خارج الاتفاق كقضية الصواريخ البالستية الإيرانية والنزاعات الإقليمية، يجب أن تنتظر لما بعد العودة الى الاتفاق الأصلي. وهذا الاعتراف الأميركي يزيل أول عقبة من طريق العودة للاتفاق.

الواضح أن النقاش الدائر في فيينا لا يتصل بمبدأ العودة الأميركية عن العقوبات، ولا بمبدأ العودة الإيرانية عن تخفيض الالتزامات بموجبات الاتفاق، فمن الزاوية القانونية المبدئية يشكل الاتفاق مقايضة بين التزامين، أميركي برفع العقوبات، وإيراني بقبول ضوابط للملف النووي، ونحن اليوم أمام إعلان متبادل لترجمة هذا الاستعداد، تراجعت لأجله واشنطن عن دعوات سابقة للرئيس بايدن وفريقه تشترط للعودة إلى الاتفاق ورفع العقوبات باتفاق آخر، يضمن مزيداً من الضوابط التقنية، ويمتد لزمن أطول، ويطال تفاهمات أشمل نحو ملف الصواريخ البالستية الإيرانية وملفات النزاع الإقليمي، وهذا أكبر تحول يفتح الباب للعودة إلى الاتفاق النووي، لأن ما تبقى يقوم على قاعدة سياسية تتصل برغبة وقدرة الفريقين الأميركي والإيراني بتسهيل المهمة على الشريك الآخر في الاتفاق. فواشنطن تطلب من طهران، كما قال مالي، مساعدتها على تسويق العودة للاتفاق أمام الداخل الأميركي، بينما تتمسك طهران بمعادلة قانونيّة قوامها، أن طهران خفضت التزاماتها رداً على الانسحاب الأميركي من الاتفاق، ولم تنسحب من الاتفاق، بل أبقت بنداً من بنوده يجيز هذا التخفيض مقابل إخلال الأطراف الأخرى بموجباتها، ولذلك تتشدد طهران باعتبار العودة الأميركية إلى الاتفاق، وترجمتها بإلغاء كل العقوبات التي صدرت بناء على الانسحاب الأميركي، لتتم مطالبة إيران من قلب الاتفاق ووفقاً لبنوده بالعودة الى موجباتها.

في فيينا تشكلت لجان من المشاركين الدوليين مع كل من الفريقين الأميركي والإيراني نسختان من لجنتين، واحدة للالتزامات الإيرانية وواحدة للالتزامات الأميركية، لإنتاج تصوّر تفاوضيّ مع الوفد الإيراني في ملفي العودة للالتزامات والتراجع عن العقوبات، ومثله تصور تفاوضي مع الوفد الأميركي المقيم خارج قاعة الاجتماعات لملفي العودة عن العقوبات والعودة للالتزامات، والبدء بمحاولة تقريب التصورين سعياً لمنطقة وسط، والمقصود بالمنطقة الوسط هو تحديداً، ما هو حجم العقوبات الذي يمكن التفاهم مع واشنطن على رفعها قبل العودة الإيرانية إلى التزاماتها، مقابل ضمانة المشاركين الدوليين بأن إيران ستعود، وتقبله إيران للبدء بالخطوة الأولى في العودة إلى التزاماتها، وما هي المدة التي تطلبها واشنطن وتقبلها إيران لاستكمال إنهاء العقوبات، قبل أن تُقدم إيران على الخطوة الأخيرة في العودة إلى التزاماتها.

الطريق الذي فتح في فيينا محكوم أميركياً باللاعودة، وباب النهاية الوحيد له هو العودة إلى الاتفاق بأقل المخاطر والخسائر الممكنة، وفقاً لمعادلة قالها كل من وزير الخارجية الأميركية توني بلينكن ومستشار الأمن القومي جايك سوليفان، ومضمونها السباق مع الزمن للعودة إلى الاتفاق قبل أن تمتلك إيران المقدرات اللازمة لإنتاج أول سلاح نوويّ، طالما هي خارج الاتفاق، والموعد الأميركيّ المرتقب لذلك هو نهاية شهر أيار.

فيديوات متعلقة


Why does Washington have no choice but to return to the nuclear deal?

Nasser Kandil

– Next May 22 coincides with the announced date of Iran to move to a stage of uranium enrichment at a level of 40%, with the passage of three months after the entry of US President Joe Biden to the White House, to hold dozens of international and internal files that are pressing and urgent, and this means that the Vienna meeting that is taking place under The title of laying out a road map for the return of Washington and Tehran to their obligations under the nuclear agreement is an expression of exceptional speed in the international relations, with an initial commitment on the American and Iranian parties to prepare for a return to their commitments, and their disagreement over how to do this return, as said by the US special envoy for the nuclear file, Robert Malley, admitting that outside the agreement such as Iran’s ballistic missile issue and regional conflicts, discussing issues outside the agreement, such as the Iranian ballistic missile issue and regional disputes, must wait until after the return to the original agreement. This American admission removes the first obstacle to returning to the agreement.

– It is clear that the debate in Vienna is not related to the principle of U.S. return from sanctions, nor to the principle of Iran’s return from reducing obligations under the agreement, from the initial legal point of view the agreement constitutes a trade-off between two commitments, the U.S. lifting of sanctions, and Iran accepting controls on the nuclear file, and today we are facing a mutual declaration to translate this readiness, for which Washington has retracted earlier calls for President  Biden and his team to return to the agreement and the lifting of sanctions with another agreement, guaranteeing more technical controls, extending longer, and extending broader understandings toward the Iranian ballistic missile file and regional conflict files, the biggest shift opens the door to a return to the nuclear agreement, because what remains is based on a political base related to the desire and ability of the U.S. and Iranian teams to facilitate the task over the other partner in the agreement. Washington is asking Tehran, Mali said, to help it market the return to the agreement in front of the U.S. interior, while Tehran adheres to a legal equation, that Tehran has reduced its obligations in response to the U.S. withdrawal from the agreement, and has not withdrawn from the agreement, but has kept one of its provisions authorizing this reduction in exchange for other parties violating its terms.  Tehran therefore tightens its consideration of the U.S. return to the agreement, translated into the abolition of all sanctions issued based on the U.S. withdrawal, so that Iran is asked to reverse the agreement and in accordance with its terms to return to its obligations.

– In Vienna, committees of international participants were formed with both the U.S. and Iranian teams, two versions of two committees, one for Iranian commitments and one for U.S. commitments, to produce a negotiated vision with the Iranian delegation in the return of commitments and the lifting of sanctions, as well as a negotiated vision with the U.S. delegation residing outside the meeting room to lift sanctions and return to commitments, and to begin trying to bring the two scenarios closer together in an effort to find a settlement. What is meant by the settlement is specifically, what is the size of the sanctions that can be agreed upon with Washington to lift them before Iran returns to its commitments, in exchange for the international participants ’guarantee that Iran will return, and Iran accepts it to start the first step in returning to its commitments, and what is the period that Washington demands and Iran accepts to complete End the sanctions, before Iran takes the final step in returning to its commitments

– The road opened in Vienna is doomed to  return, and the only end door to it is to return to the agreement with the least possible risks and losses, according to an equation said by U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken and National Security Adviser  Jake Sullivan, and its content is the race against time to return to the agreement before Iran has the capabilities to produce the first nuclear weapon, as long as it is outside the agreement, and the expected U.S. date is the end of May.

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ماكرون أربك واشنطن في لبنان والملف النوويّ Macron confused Washington in Lebanon and the nuclear file

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


ماكرون أربك واشنطن في لبنان والملف النوويّ

 ناصر قنديل

حاولت فرنسا في عهد الرئيس أمانويل ماكرون أن تستعيد صورة الدولة المستقلة والمتوازنة، وأن تقود الاتحاد الأوروبي تحت هذا العنوان، وخلال سنوات مرّت على انتخابه كانت هذه المحاولة تحت الاختبار، والأبرز كان استحقاق الحفاظ على الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، بعدما انسحبت منه إدارة الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب، ووقفت أوروبا قبل أن يبدأ تفكك وحدتها موحّدة تحت شعار حماية الاتفاق. وخلال هذه السنوات فشلت أوروبا وفي المقدّمة فرنسا في تقديم المثال والنموذج الذي كان ينتظره العالم لتقديم نموذج الاستقلال والاقتدار، فبقي القرار الأميركي حاكماً ومقرراً للحركة الأوروبية وفي قلبها الحركة الفرنسية.

راهنت إدارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن على تغيير في مقاربتها للملفات الساخنة لتتفرّغ لأوضاعها الداخلية، وتستردّ ما وصفه بايدن بقوة المثال بدلاً من مثال القوة الذي وسم به سلفه ترامب، وكان لفرنسا مكانة خاصة في مقاربة بايدن للسياسات الخارجيّة الجديدة، فخطاب بايدن عن المواجهة مع روسيا والصين يبدأ باستنهاض أوروبا وحلف الأطلسي، وفي قلبهما فرنسا، والعودة للاتفاق النوويّ بصورة سريعة تحفظ ماء وجه واشنطن تقوم على رهان عنوانه فرنسا، حتى جاء اختيار بايدن لكل من وزير خارجيّته توني بلينكن ومبعوثه إلى إيران روبرت مالي، الفرانكوفينيين اللذين عاشا وتعلّما في فرنسا تعبيراً عن هذا الرهان.

دخل الرئيس الفرنسي على خطة الرئيس الأميركي نحو ملفات السياسة الخارجيّة، ووضع معادلة عنوانها حماية الدور الفرنسي بتفويض أميركيّ في التعامل مع الملف اللبنانيّ بعدما خسرت فرنسا نفوذها في ليبيا أمام تركيا، مقابل تحرّكه تحت المظلة الأميركيّة في الملفات الدوليّة وفي طليعتها تفعيل العلاقة الأميركية الأوروبية، وتنشيط حلف الأطلسي، والاصطفاف في مواجهة روسيا والصين، والتحرّك على خط التفاوض مع إيران في شروط العودة إلى التفاهم النوويّ معها، وبدا بعد الاتصال الهاتفي بين بايدن وماكرون أن فترة اختبار أميركيّة منحت لفرنسا.

خلال أسبوع من الاتصال الهاتفي أعلن ماكرون ضمانته للسعودية بالشراكة في مفاوضات الملف النووي، ضمن معادلة رسمها ماكرون ووزير خارجيّته، تقوم على تولي السعودية تسهيل مهمة فرنسا لبنانياً، مقابل حصول فرنسا على موافقة أميركيّة وإيرانيّة على ضم السعودية إلى مفاوضاتهما حول الملف النووي الإيراني، فسقط الحل اللبنانيّ المنتظر وصار مرتبطاً بالملف النووي الإيراني، على الأقل في التسهيل المنتظر من السعودية، وارتبك الدور الفرنسي الوسيط في مفاوضات الملف النووي بسبب الفيتو الإيراني على الوساطة الفرنسيّة، بعد هذا الإعلان، واضطرار واشنطن لسحب التفويض الممنوح لفرنسا كوسيط، لضمان مواصلة التفاوض، سواء عبر الدور الذي كان مؤجلاً لمبعوثها روبرت مالي، أو عبر تكليف مفوّض السياسة الخارجية الأوروبية جوزيب بوريل بتولي المهمة الفرنسية.

بدلاً من المراجعة الفرنسية للدور، مضت إدارة الرئيس ماكرون بالهروب إلى الأمام، وبعد خسارة التفويض الأميركي، تواجه مخاطر خسارة التفويض الأوروبي، فوزير خارجية فرنسا أحرج أوروبا بحديثه عن طلب العقوبات الأوروبية على المسؤولين اللبنانيين، ما اضطر بوريل إلى الإعلان عن موقف واضح مختلف عنوانه دعوة الأحزاب اللبنانية إلى إنجاز اتفاق سياسي يتيح منع الانهيار، بينما فرنسا بشخص وزير خارجيتها تريد أوروبا واجهة لضغوط تنقذ مبادرتها المترنّحة، أملاً بتجاوز مأزق وعود ماكرون التي لم تتحقق للسعودية.

شيئاً فشيئاً تسود نظرية أميركية، وتبدأ لتصبح أوروبية، عنوانها خفة الرئيس ماكرون، ويصل بعض الخبراء الأميركيين للقول إن الشهور الأولى من ولاية الرئيس بايدن ضاعت بسبب خفة ماكرون، وبعضهم يقول إن الانتظار الصيني الإيراني للإعلان عن توقيع الاتفاق الاستراتيجي، كان لمنح بايدن فرصة تظهير مقاربة جديدة للعلاقات الدوليّة، فتمخض بايدن وأجهض ماكرون، على طريقة تمخّض الجبل فأجهض فأراً.

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Macron confused Washington in Lebanon and the nuclear file

Nasser Kandil

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– France tried under President Emmanuel Macron to restore the image of an independent and balanced state, and to lead the European Union under this title, and within years of his election this attempt was tested, most notably the merit of maintaining the nuclear deal with Iran, after the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from it, and Europe stood before the disintegration of its unity began under the banner of protecting the agreement. During these years, Europe, led by France, failed to provide the example and model that the world was waiting for to present the model of independence and power, and the American decision remained the ruler and rapporteur of the European movement and at the heart of the French movement.

The administration of US President Joe Biden wagered on a change in its approach to hot files in order to devote itself to its internal conditions, and to recover what Biden described with the power of the example instead of the example of power that characterized his predecessor Trump, and France had a special place in Biden’s approach to the new foreign policies, so Biden’s speech about the confrontation with Russia and China It begins with the revival of Europe and NATO, with France at their heart, and a quick return to the nuclear agreement that saves Washington’s face, based on a bet whose title is France, until Biden chose each of his foreign minister Tony Blinken and his envoy to Iran, Robert Malley, the Francophenians who lived and learned in France as an expression of this. the bet.

– President Joe Biden’s administration has bet on a change in its approach to the hot files to take off its domestic situation, and recovers what Biden strongly described as an example instead of the example of power that his predecessor Trump has branded. France has a special place in Biden’s approach to new foreign policies, Biden’s rhetoric on confrontation with Russia and China begins with its Europe and NATO, where France is the heart. The quick return to the nuclear deal will save Washington’s face water depends on France, and explain Biden’s choice to appoint too Francophenians who lived and educated in France, as his foreign minister, Tony Blinken, and his envoy to Iran, Robert Malle.

-The French President entered into the US President’s plan towards foreign policy files, and set up an equation titled protecting the French role with an American mandate in dealing with the Lebanese file after losing its influence in Libya to Turkey, in exchange for moving under the US umbrella in the international files, on top of which is the activation of the US-European relationship, and the revitalization of NATO, aligning itself in the face of Russia and China, and moving on the line of negotiations with Iran in terms of returning to a nuclear understanding with it, and it seemed after the phone call between Biden and Macron that an American test period had been granted to France.

– After the phone call between Biden and Macron that an American test period had been granted to France .The French president entered the plan of the U.S. on the foreign policy files. He put an equation to protect the French role under U.S. mandate in dealing with the Lebanese file after France lost its influence in Libya to Turkey, in exchange for the revitalization of NATO, in the face of Russia and China, and moving on the line of negotiation with Iran.

– Within a week of the phone call, Macron announced his guarantee to Saudi Arabia in partnership in the negotiations on the nuclear file, within an equation drawn by Macron and his foreign minister, based on Saudi Arabia to facilitate the mission of France Lebanon, in exchange for France’s approval of the inclusion of Saudi Arabia in their negotiations on the Iranian nuclear file, the expected Lebanese solution fell and became linked to the Iranian nuclear file, at least in the facilitation expected from Saudi Arabia, and the French mediating role in the nuclear file negotiations was confused by the Iranian veto on the French mediation., After this announcement, Washington was forced to withdraw the mandate granted to France as a mediator, to ensure the continuation of the negotiations, whether through the role that was postponed to its envoy, Robert Malle, or by assigning the European foreign policy commissioner, Josep Borrell, to assume the French mission.

-Instead of the French review of the role, President Macron’s administration proceeded to flee forward, and after losing the American mandate, He faces the risks of losing the European mandate, and the French Foreign Minister embarrassed Europe by talking about the request for European sanctions against Lebanese officials, which forced Borrell to announce a different clear position entitled: Call The Lebanese parties reach a political agreement that allows preventing the collapse, while France, in the person of its foreign minister, wants Europe to face pressures to save its faltering initiative, hoping to overcome the deadlock and Macron’s unfulfilled promises to Saudi Arabia.

– Little by little, an American theory prevails, and it begins to become European, titled the lightness of President Macron, and some American experts arrive to say that the first months of President Biden’s term were lost because of Macron’s lightness, and some say that the Chinese-Iranian wait to announce the signing of the strategic agreement was to give Biden the opportunity to demonstrate an approach to international relations, Biden labored and Macron aborted, the mountain gave birth to a mouse.

Report: Iran to Cease 20% Enrichment if US Lifts “All Sanctions”

Report: Iran to Cease 20% Enrichment if US Lifts “All Sanctions”

By Staff, Agencies

An unnamed senior Iranian official recently revealed that Iran will stop its 20% uranium enrichment “only if the US lifts all the sanctions” that were imposed under the Trump administration and have been kept in place by the Biden White House.

The Iranian official informed Press TV that “20% uranium enrichment is in line with Paragraph 36 of the [2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], and will be stopped only if the US lifts all the sanctions.”

“The Biden administration is losing time, and if it fails to lift the sanctions soon, Iran will take the next steps, which will be further reduction” of its commitments to the nuclear deal, the senior official said.

In January, the Iranian parliament boasted that its scientist had produced 17kg of enriched uranium in less than a month at its Fordow nuclear facility. This exceeds their purported production timeline which listed Iran’s goal at a rate of 120kg of 20% enrichment uranium per year.

The unidentified individual’s remarks came as a response to the Monday report from Politico that the US was seeking to issue a new proposal that requires Iran to ease its nuclear practices in exchange for relief from US sanctions.

The proposal, which has not been confirmed by the Biden camp, is expected to request that Iran ceases its use of advanced centrifuges and the pullback on enrichment of uranium supplies to 20% purity, among other efforts.

A senior official to the Biden administration would not give details on the conversations leading up to the proposal, but insists that “we are ready to pursue a mutual return to the [Iran deal].”

Shahrokh Nazemi, the head of press at Iran’s mission to the United Nations, responded to the Politico revelation by indicating that “the [deal] needs no specific proposal,” and that the US needs to follow commitments to the 2015 agreement.

Sanctions placed on Iran have put the country in challenging situations over the years.

Mahmoud Jarafi, the deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, told the Isna news agency that “because of [US] sanctions, we have problems with bank transfers, and if no solution is found, we will even be forced to stop work at the first unit of Bushehr.” Bushehr is a plant that operates as part of a joint nuclear program between Iran and Russia.

Moscow has argued for the use of nuclear energy for civilian purposes in Iran, but US sanctions have plunged the country into an economic crisis. Iran has long maintained that its nuclear program was meant for peaceful purposes and not for making bombs.

The Biden administration’s alleged proposal is slated to be set forth this week, setting the stage for future talks between the US and Iran. However, the lack of diplomatic ties is sure to be one of the greatest hurdles in reaching nuclear negotiations.

Iran has remained head strong in their use of nuclear energy, and has recently solidified an investment deal with China that is sure to cause reaction from the United States.

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Chinese Foreign Policy Outlook

Chinese Foreign Policy Outlook

March 13, 2021

By Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog

China achieved miraculous progress during the last four decades, which were never seen in humankind’s known history. There must be many reasons for its rapid developments, but its foreign policy was one of the significant reasons. In simple words, China opted for a reconciliation policy and avoided any confrontation with any other nation or country. It helped China to focus only on developments and achieved the desired results.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed outlooks of Chinese foreign policy and answered questions about the country’s foreign policy and external relations at a virtual press conference on Sunday during the fourth session of the 13th National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature. Some of the highlights are given below:-

Pandemic

Through innovative “cloud diplomacy,” President Xi Jinping has championed solidarity in the world’s fight against COVID-19 and pointed the way forward for the international community to jointly fight the virus.

China will continue working with other countries in ongoing efforts to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic ultimately. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, China has carried out its most extensive emergency humanitarian action, contributing to the world’s anti-coronavirus efforts.

On China-Russia relations

In the face of the once-in-a-century pandemic, China and Russia have stood shoulder to shoulder and worked closely to combat “both the coronavirus and the political virus.”

China and Russia should be each other’s strategic support, development opportunity, and global partner. It is both an experience gained from history and an imperative under the current circumstances.

On CPC leadership

Facts have proved that the Communist Party of China’s leadership is the most prominent political advantage of Chinese diplomacy. Leadership will offer fundamental support for China’s diplomatic agenda to secure more victories.

Wang said that China’s diplomacy is people-oriented diplomacy led by the CPC, and the Party set the direction for China’s diplomatic agenda. The original inspiration and mission of the CPC – to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation — determine China’s diplomacy’s responsibility.

On China-Africa relations

Helping African countries contain the COVID-19 pandemic and bringing their economies back on track is the top priority of the China-Africa cooperation. China will always support developing countries. China has started to provide COVID-19 vaccines to 35 African countries and the African Union Commission already.

On ‘patriots administering Hong Kong’

Hong Kong is a particular administrative region of China. One cannot talk about loving Hong Kong without loving its motherland, adding that love for the country and Hong Kong is entirely consistent. Hong Kong enjoyed no democracy during colonial rule. Since its return to the homeland 24 years ago, no one is more concerned about Hong Kong’s democratic development and wishes Hong Kong to remain prosperous and stable than the central government, he said.

On China-US relations

It is logical for China and the US, two countries with different social systems, to have differences and disagreements. “What matters most is to manage them effectively through candid communication to prevent strategic miscalculation and avoid conflict and confrontation.”

China hopes the US can remove its unreasonable restriction on bilateral cooperation as soon as possible and refrain from artificially creating new ones. China is willing to work with the US and set China-US relations on a new path of healthy and steady development.

On Taiwan question

The two sides of the Taiwan Strait must be and will surely be reunified, which is the trend of history and the entire Chinese nation’s collective will, Wang said, adding the one-China principle is the political foundation of the China-US relationship. It is considered a red line and should not be crossed. There is no room for compromise or concession from the Chinese government on the Taiwan question.

“We would hope to see a clear departure from the previous administration’s (Trump Administration) dangerous practice of ‘pushing the red line’ and ‘playing with fire, and we hope that the Taiwan question will be handled prudently and properly,” Wang said.

China stresses the UN’s core status

The UN is not a club for big or rich countries. All countries enjoy equal sovereignty, and no country is in a position to dictate international affairs, Wang said. He also urged efforts to enhance the representativeness and voice of developing countries in the UN to better reflect the common aspiration of most countries.

China, EU not systemic rivals

The China-Europe relationship is equal and open and not targeting any third party or is controlled by anyone else. China never intends to divide relations between Europe and the United States, Wang said, adding that the country is glad to see the European Union uphold multilateralism and remain devoted to coordination and cooperation among major countries.

China opposes ‘vaccine nationalism.’

China opposes “vaccine nationalism,” rejects any “vaccine divide” or any attempt to politicize vaccine cooperation. More than 60 countries have authorized the use of Chinese vaccines. China has provided COVID-19 vaccine aid free of charge to 69 developing countries urgently need while exporting vaccines to 43 countries.

On China-Arab relations

China will work with Arab states in solidarity, pursue expected progress, and prepare for a China-Arab States Summit.

In the past year, relations between China and the Arab States have continued to progress amid various challenges, Wang said, adding their joint fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has set an excellent example for international cooperation.

On multilateralism

Building small circles in the name of multilateralism is, in fact, “group politics,” multilateralism with one’s own interests taking precedence, is still unilateral thinking, and “selective multilateralism” is not the right choice.

Genuine multilateralism means openness and inclusiveness instead of closeness and exclusion. It means equal-footed consultation instead of supremacy over others.

China’s WTO accession

The past two decades had taught China four crucial lessons: China will stay committed to the fundamental policy of opening-up, remain committed to the principle of win-win cooperation, remain committed to the right direction of economic globalization, and we must stay committed to the central role of the WTO.

“China has injected energy into economic globalization and facilitated the optimization of global industry chains and resources,” he said.

On China-Japan relations

China and Japan should remain focused without being distracted by any single event to make the bilateral relations more mature and stable. China and Japan should support each other in hosting the upcoming Olympic Games this year and next year. China hopes the Japanese society would truly embrace an objective and rational perception of China to solidify public support for long-term progress in China-Japan relations.

‘Xinjiang genocide’ claim a thorough lie

The so-called claim of genocide in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region is preposterous, a rumor fabricated with ulterior motives and a complete lie.

Some western politicians chose to believe in the lies cooked up by a few instead of listening to the voice of 25 million Xinjiang residents of various ethnic groups, Wang said, adding that they chose to dance with the clumsy dramas by a few anti-China forces instead of acknowledging the progress in Xinjiang.

On China-ASEAN relations

Wang said that China stands ready to develop an even closer community with a shared future with ASEAN as the two sides celebrate the 30th anniversary of establishing bilateral dialogue relations this year.

China will continue to prioritize efforts to meet vaccine demand from ASEAN and further consolidate beneficial cooperation and see that China’s new development paradigm is better to align with the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, he said.

On the Belt and Road Initiative

China’s commitment to supporting the Belt and Road Initiative has not changed, and the country will continue to work with stakeholders to advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, Wang Yi said.

COVID-19 may have changed the world, but the need for Belt and Road cooperation has not subsided, he said.

“As we pursue a new development paradigm, we will explore better pathways for Belt and Road cooperation and offer greater opportunities to BRI partners,” he added.

In the new development stage

China will create a better business environment, pursue opening-up at a higher level, and work with various countries to accelerate an open world economy, Wang Yi said.

China is like an express train with the greater driving force and load capacity accelerating towards a new goal in the further development stage, he said.

On China-India relations

China stands in a firm position to solve border disputes through dialogue and consultations and, at the same time, is determined to safeguard its own sovereign interests, Wang Yi said.

Border issues are not the whole of the China-India relationship, Wang said, noting that what happened again proves that initiating confrontation will not solve the problem and that returning to peaceful negation is the right way forward.

On climate change

Even though China and the US, and the European Union are in different development stages and face other challenges, they share the same mission in coping with climate change.

Wang urged enhanced communication and coordination between the three sides. They play a leading role in the international community, adding that China welcomes the US’s return to the Paris Agreement and expects that the US will shoulder its responsibility and make its due contribution.

On Iran nuclear issue

China hopes the United States will show sincerity on the Iran nuclear issue, take actions as quickly as possible, including removing unjustified unilateral sanctions and lifting the “long-arm jurisdiction” on third-party entities and individuals, Wang Yi said.

At the same time, he said, Iran should resume compliance with the Iran nuclear deal and shoulder its responsibility of nuclear non-proliferation, Wang said.

On the South China Sea

The only intention of some Western countries, including the United States, is to stir up troubles in the South China Sea in the name of so-called free navigation and undermine peace in the South China Sea and disturb regional stability, Wang said.

He called on China and ASEAN countries to continue to remove distractions and press ahead with Code of Conduct consultations, and continue with the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

On Myanmar tensions

Relevant parties in Myanmar should maintain calm and exercise restraint, address their differences through dialogue and consultation within the constitutional and legal framework, and continue to advance the democratic transition.

“The immediate priority is to prevent further bloodshed and conflict, and ease and cool down the situation as soon as possible,” Wang said.

On China and Latin America

China is providing COVID-19 vaccines to 12 Latin American and Caribbean countries. “China and Latin American and Caribbean countries have stood alongside and supported each other in COVID-19 response and economic recovery,” he said. “Our cooperation best illustrates the saying, that ‘a bosom friend afar brings a distant land near.”

On objective coverage of China

China hopes to see and welcome more journalists in Edgar Snow’s mold in this new era among foreign journalists.

Wang Yi said he hopes that foreign journalists will not apply any filter to their camera, whether beautiful or gloomy, when reporting on China.

“Truthful, objective, and fair stories will always appeal to people and can stand the scrutiny of history,” he said. “However the world changes, the media should stand by their professional ethics.”


Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. (E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com).

Official: Biden Must Learn From History, Drop Language of Force against Iran

Official: Biden Must Learn From History, Drop Language of Force against Iran

By Staff, Agencies

An Iranian official says the Islamic Republic will never engage in any negotiations with the United States under pressure and threats, warning new American President Joe Biden against making the same mistakes that his predecessors made in their treatment of the Iranian nation.

In a tweet on Friday, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who advises the Iranian Parliament’s speaker on international affairs, said “Biden must learn lessons from history” and avoid going down the same path of confrontation taken by previous US administrations vis-à-vis Iran.

“The great and mighty nation of Iran should be addressed with the power of logic rather than the logic of brute force,” wrote the official. “Without any doubt, no negotiations will be held with the United States under pressure and threats.”

Amir-Abdollahian once again reaffirmed Iran’s position and ruled out any negotiations with the United States on the nuclear deal.

“The United States should first focus on negotiations with its own nations, which has become bipolar,” referring to the political chaos that broke out in America following the disputed 2020 presidential election.

“The sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran are taking their last breaths,” he added.

The comments come amid a diplomatic spat over the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement, whose fate has been shrouded in doubt since Washington’s unilateral pullout in May 2018.

Following its exit, the US under then president Donald Trump re-imposed the tough economic sanctions on Iran that were lifted by the UN-endorsed agreement in an abortive attempt to force Iran back to the negotiating table so Washington can get more concessions from Tehran and secure a “better deal.”

Under Trump, tensions between Iran and the US reached a new high as the hawkish president unleashed a so-called maximum pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic with the aim of paralyzing its economy and international dealings.

Washington also successfully pressured its European allies in the deal – France, Germany and Britain – (to evade their own contractual commitments to Tehran, mainly neutralizing the US economic sanctions).

Correction by Brother roberthstiver,: the above Para should read:  “to evade their own contractual commitments to Tehran that had mainly neutralized the US economic sanctions“.

Following a year of strategic patience, Iran began to retaliate by resorting to its legal rights under Article 36 of the JCPOA and suspending its obligations stipulated in the accord.

Now, Biden – who served as vice president when the Iran deal was inked – has indicated a desire to rejoin the deal, but, in practice, he has so far adhered to his predecessor’s pressure policy, despite criticism of Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].

Turning a blind eye to the fact that it was the US that first threw the deal in crisis, the Biden administration says Tehran should take the first step towards reviving the deal by resuming its commitments before Washington comes back to compliance.

Iran, however, insists that the ball is in America’s court, and that it will not reverse its countermeasures unless the US lifts all the sanctions it imposed on the Islamic Republic after quitting the deal practically and verifiably.

Amid the spat, the Biden administration offered last month to attend joint talks with Iran and other parties to the deal over the matter. Tehran, however, says no such talks or meetings are needed and Washington can only rejoin the negotiations after meeting Tehran’s condition.

Breaking: Iran stands firm…US must rejoin JCPOA before talks begin

Iran’s military power continues to grow in quantity and quality so it is better able to defend itself

March 8, 2021

No negotiation will take place between Iran, US before sanctions removed: Source tells Press TV

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ABOUT VT EDITORSVT EditorsVeterans Today
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Editors is a General Posting account managed by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff. All content herein is owned and copyrighted by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duffeditors@veteranstoday.com

[ Editor’s Note: Neither Iran nor Biden are under any significant pressure to move first on fixing the JCPOA. Both know that a misstep could torpedo an effective solution, and those involved in ‘blinking first’ would be blamed for the failure.

Both the US and its EU JCPOA partners want to pretend that it is inconsequential that Iran is not reaping any trade benefits from the deal, although Iran gave up most of its nuclear program to come to the JCPO Agreement.

Iran does not want to be put into a position of accepting the breach of the deal as “no big thing,” and hence no compensation would need to be discussed. Iran would then be in a much weaker position for a new deal, with the obvious caveat that it could be broken again, making Iran twice the fool.

Imam Reza Shrine, Mashad, Iran – Jim Dean archives

Iran has nothing to lose by holding firm on the idea that it is owed its benefits from the deal, where the EU has also had a free ride, having offered nothing more than promises.

Iran’s military power continues to grow in quantity and quality, so it is better able to defend itself; and if the Western Powers squeeze it any more, it would probably dial back its nuclear commitments, like they have already started to do.

So Iran’s offer is simple, to “give us our money, remove the sanctions, and we will go back into full compliance again”. Or if the US continues to demand renegotiations, Iran could counter that it would consider that track if control and oversight of Israel’s nuclear program would go on the table at the same time. Israel would refuse, of course.

Frankly, I would have played that card already and watched the hypocritical Western world fake nuclear hypocrites deal with openly protecting Israel’s right to have them… what I call the ‘nuclear supremacist’ position. “We are Jews and we can have or do anything we want or we will call you bad names.”

Biden is not about to go to war over Iran, and Iran knows that. He would look foolish to pick up the Trump sanctions mantle, but it would be awkward for the Republicans to fry him on that.

What Biden does want is to deescalate the Persian Gulf to release US military forces to intimidate China on the sea and Russia in the Arctic. But he can’t do it all at once. Regions much be secured before new battles begun Jim W. Dean ]

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Iran is in no hurry to surrender to Western demands. It is stronger now than ever due to the continued threats.

First published … March 08, 2021

There will be no negotiations between Iran and the United States on any matter before Washington removes illegal sanctions it has unilaterally imposed on Tehran, an informed security source tells Press TV.

The security source, which talked to Press TV on condition of anonymity on Sunday, noted that the Western countries’ interpretation of recent remarks by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif about a new plan for negotiations with the United States are erroneous and no such plan exists.

“The idea of a step-by-step plan for starting talks between Iran and the United States has been rejected at the highest levels of the Islamic Republic and there will be no contact between Iran and the US before sanctions are removed,” the security official added.

The security source’s remarks came after Rouhani’s Thursday statements in which the Iranian chief executive slammed US for violating the 2015 nuclear deal, adding that Washington should take practical steps to rejoin the deal and lift all sanctions it has re-imposed on Tehran.

Rouhani noted that if the US took steps to that effect, Iran would reciprocate “action with action.”

“The US, as the one who violated the deal, shall lift all sanctions and take practical steps in order to be able to return to the JCPOA,” Rouhani argued, using an acronym to for the landmark nuclear accord signed between Iran and six countries in 2015.

The Iranian foreign minister also said a day later that Tehran would soon present a “constructive concrete plan of action” through proper diplomatic channels.

He made the remark in reaction to earlier statements by an Iranian politician who claimed in an interview that if the West sent “clear signals” to Iran and, for example and announced that the US sanctions would be removed within a year, Tehran would be ready to restart negotiations with Washington.

“As Iran’s FM & chief nuclear negotiator, I will shortly present our constructive concrete plan of action—through proper diplomatic channels,” Zarif tweeted

Iranian polity is vibrant & officials express diverse opinions

But those opinions should NOT be confused with state policy

As Iran’s FM & chief nuclear negotiator, I will shortly present our constructive concrete plan of action—through proper diplomatic channels#CommitActMeet

— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) March 5, 2021Some Western circles had mistakenly taken Rouhani’s and Zarif’s remarks as a sign that Iran is ready for renewed talks with the US with European sources saying that Tehran is giving positive signs about opening informal talks about its nuclear program.

Iranian Defence Minister Vows to Level Tel Aviv and Haifa If Israel Makes Wrong Move Against Tehran

Source

Israel’s Defence Minister Benny Gantz earlier revealed that Tel Aviv is drafting new plans to attack Iran’s nuclear infrastructure if it believes that Tehran is building nuclear weapons. Gantz noted that Israel is ready to make the move even without approval from its allies or any other state.

Tehran will level two of Israel’s biggest cities if Tel Aviv tries to attack the Islamic Republic, Iran’s Defence Minister Amir Hatami has warned.

“Sometimes, [Israel] makes big claims against the Islamic Republic of Iran out of desperation to allegedly threaten it, even though [Tel Aviv] knows […] that if it does a damn thing, we will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground”, Amir Hatami stated during a speech on 7 March.

Hatami stressed that Iran today possesses the means to protect the country and its “stability”. He added that Tehran also has “soft power” resources to assure the nation’s security.

Israel Draws Up New Plan for Strikes on Iran’s Nuclear Facilities

The Iranian defence minister delivered his remarks in response to a recent interview by his Israeli counterpart, Benny Gantz, with Fox News in which he revealed that Tel Aviv is updating its plans for a potential strike against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear infrastructure. According to the Israeli defence minister, Tel Aviv will be ready to carry out the updated plan unilaterally and without approval from its allies, if it sees signs of escalating nuclear activities in Iran.

Israel has repeatedly accused Iran of devising plans to build nuclear weapons, continuing to make the allegations even after Tehran agreed to limit its nuclear programme under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, in 2015. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that his country’s intelligence obtained documents presumably showing that Tehran did not actually limit its nuclear activities and purportedly did not abandon plans to build a nuke.

Third stage of Israeli space launch vehicle Shavit

© CC BY-SA 3.0 / טל ענבר SHAVIT 3RD STAGEIran Asks Why Israel Gets Preferential Treatment With IAEA Despite Its Arsenal of Nukes

Iran has multiple times rejected the said allegations that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, insisting on the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme. Senior officials in Tehran stressed that the use of nukes goes against the country’s official religion – Islam.

At the same time, Tehran pointed out the double standards of the international community and global bodies, as all eyes are on the Iranian nuclear programme, while little attention is given to similar activities in Israel. The latter, unlike Iran, has never joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and persistently refused to either confirm or deny allegations of having a nuclear arsenal.

BIOGRAPHYGordon Duff, Senior EditorSenior Editor , VTGordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He is a disabled veteran and has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.

Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.

Gordon’s Archives – 2008-2014gpduf@aol.com

Blinken paves the way for a return to the nuclear deal in compliance with Iran’s terms بلينكين يمهّد للعودة إلى الاتفاق النووي رضوخاً لشروط إيران

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

Blinken paves the way for a return to the nuclear deal in compliance with Iran’s terms

Nasser Kandil

– In the context of a radio interview with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, she said, “We have come a long way towards preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and all of this was subsequently abandoned by the Trump administration. Current U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken responded to Clinton’s question about his expectations of the outcome of Iran’s absence from the 5+1 meeting, with the participation of Russia and China, by saying that Iran “is speeding up towards the day when it will have the ability to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon in a very short time», considering that when the agreement was reached in 2015, Iran was tending to make this period a mere weeks. Blinken warned that allowing this to happen, and Iran’s acquiring a nuclear weapon, or being on the threshold of possessing a nuclear weapon, “enables it to act with greater impunity,” noting that taking military action against it would have “different consequences,” concluding that “the best answer is” We reached the agreement “that” put the nuclear program in a box, cut its tracks to be able to produce the materials needed to make a nuclear weapon, “and pushed the period called” the time of penetration to more than one year. “

– Blinken said that because of the agreement «we had very strong sanctions » through the use of the Snapback mechanism, to automatically reimpose them if Iran violates the agreement, adding that “after we got out of the deal, Iran felt good,” as if saying: “We can move forward; We no longer comply with the commitments we made. ” And Blinken went on to say,“ And now she returns to that point, where she can produce fissile material for a very powerful weapon in a short time. He stressed that «we have an interest in returning it to the box, then see if we can actually build something longer and stronger in terms of the duration of the agreement, as well as deal with some of the other actions that Iran is taking, because we have a real problem with ballistic missiles and what they are doing in their vicinity».

– In practice, Blinken rearranged President Joe Biden’s administration vision papers regarding the Iranian nuclear file, from the stage on which Iran should start the first step, to the stage we started the first step with the indirect release of Iranian deposits of more than ten billion dollars in South Korea and Iraq, in exchange for Iran attending a joint session Within the 5 + 1 platform, and then here he is rearranging the cards again with Iran’s refusal of less than an American declaration to retract the sanctions as a condition for Iran’s retreat from implementing its obligations stipulated in the agreement. He withdraws from the table the issues of Iranian missiles and Iran’s regional role to the post-return phase. Regarding the nuclear agreement, and the implementation of its obligations from both sides, that is, the lifting of sanctions in return for Iran’s return to its obligations, Blinken’s equation is clear, that Iran is comfortable not returning and approaching with a missile speed that it has sufficient capabilities to produce a nuclear weapon, and that Washington has an interest in blocking this path, and that the abolition of sanctions is a reasonable cost to achieve this goal, because the alternative is to confront a situation that “enables it to act with impunity.” “Knowing that carrying out military action against it will have various consequences,” concluding that “the best answer we came to was the agreement” that “put the nuclear program in a box and cut its paths to be able to produce the materials they need to build a nuclear weapon, and pay the nominal period at the time of penetration.” To more than one year ».

– The Biden administration in Blinkin’s tongue goes back to what the Barack Obama administration reached when Biden was vice president, betting on more time to bring Iran to an agreement that includes the missile file and the regional situation will mean giving Iran more time to acquire the capabilities to produce a nuclear weapon. The bet that something has changed as a result of the sanctions imposed by the administration of former President Donald Trump, is disappointing, as Iran appears more comfortable in its steps outside the agreement than it was in the days of previous negotiations, so priority is given to returning to the agreement and then it is possible to know what should be done to discuss the rest, “We have an interest in returning that to a box, and then seeing if we can actually build something longer and stronger in terms of the duration of the agreement, as well as deal with some other measures that Iran is taking, because we have a real problem with ballistic missiles and what they are doing in their vicinity.”

بلينكين يمهّد للعودة إلى الاتفاق النووي رضوخاً لشروط إيران

ناصر قنديل

في سياق حوار إذاعيّ مع وزيرة الخارجية السابقة هيلاري كلينتون قالت فيه «قطعنا شوطاً طويلاً نحو منع إيران من الحصول على سلاح نووي، وكل ذلك جرى التخلي بعد ذلك عنه من قبل إدارة ترامب. أجاب وزير الخارجية الأميركية الحالي توني بلينكين على سؤال كلينتون حول توقعاته لنتائج غياب إيران عن الاجتماع الذي وافقت عليه واشنطن ضمن صيغة الـ 5+1، بمشاركة روسيا والصين، بالقول بأن إيران «تسرع نحو اليوم الذي سيكون لديها فيه القدرة على إنتاج ما يكفي من المواد الانشطارية لسلاح نووي في وقت قصير جداً»، معتبراً أنه عند التوصل إلى الاتفاق عام 2015، كانت إيران تتجه إلى جعل ​​هذه المدة مجرد أسابيع. ونبّه بلينكن إلى أن السماح بحدوث ذلك، وامتلاك إيران سلاحاً نووياً، أو أن تكون على عتبة امتلاك سلاح نووي «يمكنها من التصرف مع إفلات أكبر من العقاب»، علماً بأن القيام بعمل عسكري ضدها ستكون له «عواقب مختلفة»، مستنتجاً أن «أفضل إجابة توصلنا إليها كانت الاتفاق» الذي «وضع البرنامج النووي في صندوق، وقطع مساراته لتكون قادرة على إنتاج المواد التي تحتاج إليها لصنع سلاح نووي»، ودفع المدة المسماة «وقت الاختراق إلى أكثر من عام واحد».

قال بلينكن إنه بسبب الاتفاق «كانت لدينا عقوبات قويّة للغاية»، عبر استخدام آلية «سناب باك»، لإعادة فرضها بصورة تلقائية إذا انتهكت إيران الاتفاقية، مضيفاً أن «الأهم من ذلك هو نظام المراقبة والتفتيش الأكثر تدخلاً الذي نمتلكه على الإطلاق لأي اتفاق للحدّ من الأسلحة». وقال إنه «بعد خروجنا من الصفقة، شعرت إيران بحال جيدة»، كأنما تقول: «يمكننا المضي قدماً؛ لم نعد نمتثل للالتزامات التي تعهدنا بها»، واستطرد بلينكن: «وها هي الآن تعود إلى تلك النقطة، حيث يمكن أن تنتج مواد انشطارية لسلاح في غاية القوة في وقت قصير»، وشدّد على أن «لدينا مصلحة في إعادة ذلك إلى صندوق، ثم معرفة ما إذا كان بإمكاننا بالفعل بناء شيء أطول وأقوى من حيث مدة الاتفاق، وكذلك التعامل مع بعض الإجراءات الأخرى التي تتخذها إيران، لأن لدينا مشكلة حقيقية مع الصواريخ الباليستية وما تقوم به في جوارها».

عملياً أعاد بلينكين ترتيب أوراق رؤية إدارة الرئيس جو بايدن تجاه الملف النووي الإيراني، من مرحلة على إيران أن تبدأ الخطوة الأولى، إلى مرحلة بدأنا الخطوة الأولى بالإفراج غير المباشر عن ودائع إيرانية تزيد عن عشرة مليارات دولار في كوريا الجنوبية والعراق، مقابل حضور إيران لجلسة مشتركة ضمن منصة الـ 5+1، ثم ها هو يعيد ترتيب الأوراق مجدداً مع رفض إيران لما هو أقل من إعلان أميركي بالتراجع عن العقوبات كشرط لتراجع إيران عن تنفيذ موجباتها التي نص عليها الاتفاق، فيسحب عن الطاولة قضيتي الصواريخ الإيرانية والدور الإقليمي لإيران إلى مرحلة تعقب العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي، وتنفيذ موجباته من الفريقين، أي رفع العقوبات مقابل عودة إيران الى التزاماتها. ومعادلة بلينكين واضحة، أن إيران مرتاحة لعدم العودة والاقتراب بسرعة صاروخية من امتلاك مقدرات كافية لإنتاج سلاح نووي، وأن واشنطن صاحبة مصلحة بقطع الطريق على هذا المسار، وأن إلغاء العقوبات كلفة معقولة لتحقيق هذا الهدف، لأن البديل هو مواجهة وضع «يمكنها من التصرف مع إفلات أكبر من العقاب»، مضيفاً، «علماً بأن القيام بعمل عسكري ضدها ستكون له عواقب مختلفة»، مستنتجاً أن «أفضل إجابة توصلنا إليها كانت الاتفاق» الذي «وضع البرنامج النووي في صندوق، وقطع مساراته لتكون قادرة على إنتاج المواد التي تحتاج إليها لصنع سلاح نووي، ودفع المدة المسمّاة وقت الاختراق إلى أكثر من عام واحد».

تعود إدارة بايدن بلسان بلينكين الى ما توصلت اليه إدارة باراك أوباما يوم كان بايدن نائباً للرئيس، وهو أن الرهان على مزيد من الوقت لجلب إيران إلى اتفاق يتضمن ملف الصواريخ والوضع الإقليمي، سيعني منح إيران المزيد من الوقت لامتلاك مقدرات إنتاج سلاح نووي، وأن الرهان على أن ثمّة ما تغير بفعل العقوبات التي فرضتها إدارة الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب، يكشف عقماً وخيبة، فإيران تظهر أكثر راحة في خطواتها خارج الاتفاق مما كانت عليه أيام المفاوضات السابقة، لذلك يعطي الأولوية للعودة إلى الاتفاق وبعدها يمكن معرفة ما يجب فعله لبحث الباقي، بقوله، «لدينا مصلحة في إعادة ذلك إلى صندوق، ثم معرفة ما إذا كان بإمكاننا بالفعل بناء شيء أطول وأقوى من حيث مدة الاتفاق، وكذلك التعامل مع بعض الإجراءات الأخرى التي تتخذها إيران، لأن لدينا مشكلة حقيقية مع الصواريخ الباليستية وما تقوم به في جوارها».

Is the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) a ‘dead letter’?

Biden: Surrounding Contradictions and Ineffectiveness بايدن المحاط بالتناقضات لن «يشيل الزير من البير»

By Nasser Kandil

Many questions are raised about what the new US President Joe Biden’s ascent to the Presidency will bring in the shadow of the dark page represented by ex-President Trump’s time in office. Many rush to envision a rosy period represented by Biden due to the large thorns left behind by Trump, although the real picture is different. Biden’s rule as “Walking between the dots,” and “Ma bisheel al zeer min al beer” as a popular Arabic saying goes implying ineffectiveness, are invitations to lower expectations. The options awaiting Biden are complex and difficult, and the contradictions which surround the pressing dossiers he will be presented with will guarantee the every supposedly possible option to undertake will create a crisis of equal peril in parallel to the one he will resolve. This suggests that the utmost that Biden will be capable of is crisis management to keep big explosions at bay, while lacking the ability to achieve major breakthroughs.

The position the US finds itself in is similar to that the Occupation is in, namely both the inability to wage war and to forge settlements, for structural reasons in both situations. The Israeli Occupation, whose leaders and generals have gotten to the point of acknowledging the inability to wage war, appears unfit for something else.  When the Occupation emerged victorious from its wars, it fell under the illusion that making settlements was superfluous, and drew illusory high ceilings for settlements, which made them impossible. When the Occupation failed to realize its goals in the wars it waged or was defeated in, it considered any realistic settlement as a confirmation of its resounding defeat and its dissolution as an entity based on power. The powerful “Israel” does not make settlements because it feels no need for them, but rather feels the desire to impose on its opponents conditions of surrender. “Israel” the weak, weakens first in the view of its extremists, which then robs any ruling politician of the needed delegation to enter into the realm of settlements, and to the same extent robs that politician of the ability to wage more wars.

In the American case, Biden faces challenges of the caliber of reaching understandings with Moscow and Peking on the basis of partnership and not merely the diffusion of conflict. Based on the opinions of all the experts, an entrance into such assumed partnership constitutes an American acknowledgment of loss in stature which Biden knows he has to avoid for the duration of  his internal war with the Extreme Right which has become more powerful, and the title for  dangerous domestic polarization, and which asks for proof of hanging on to American distinctiveness and excellence. In parallel, what Biden needs in the Middle East is to appear as a defender of “Israel” and able to decrease tensions, when pursuing either course will cause damage to the other. He has to prove the efficacy of the Nuclear Agreement with Iran in comparison to Trump’s policies, without allowing Iran appearing to benefit. He also has to reunify his allies, starting with Europe, Turkey, Egypt, and the Gulf, which raises the question about what he will do with the Muslim Brotherhood and with Libya. If he gives precedence to the alliance with Egypt, France, and the Gulf over the alliance with Turkey, how will he prevent losing Turkey and the risk of her positioning more clearly with the Iranian-Russian alliance? In consequence, conceding a Russian Iranian Turkish cooperation ending in a compete American defeat in Syria and Iraq?

What will Biden do in the domestic arena, and could he take steps to decrease the level of anger and anxiety among the Black, Latino, and Muslim Minorities without increasing the level of anger among the White racist and organized extremists? Would he succeed in containing the Extreme Right through cooperation with the Republicans without making concessions at the expense of economic and social programs which impinge on the rich in favor of the poor and weak, whose proportion has much more than doubled with COVID? And could fracturing in the ranks of Democrats be avoided with concessions to Republicans?

The first matter which has to addressed by Biden is foreign, namely the consideration of how to deal with the Nuclear Agreement, which will be under domestic scrutiny, and the scrutiny of all of Washington’s allies and opponents and their evaluation – a dossier in which Biden has  little room for maneuver.  Any discussion of requests related to Iran’s missile program and regional crises, and even calls about a basis for return to the Nuclear Agreement or calls for going back on nuclear escalation steps Iran had undertaken are outside of Iranian consideration.

Biden faces two difficult choices. Lifting sanctions imposed on Iran since 2017, a clear  Iranian condition for mutual return to the same Nuclear Agreement without negotiations, will result in increased domestic polarization and a widening of the gap with opponents, and an  escalating Israeli and Gulf climate. Keeping sanctions under the slogan of anticipated negotiations which will not materialize, at the risk of transforming his Administration into another Trump Administration, which will close Peking and Moscow doors, and result in the staggering and fall of the Nuclear Agreement, and in an escalation in regional tensions.

بايدن المحاط بالتناقضات لن «يشيل الزير من البير»

ناصر قنديل

أسئلة كثيرة تحيط بما سيحمله تولي الرئيس الأميركي الجديد جو بايدن لمقاليد الرئاسة، في ظل الصفحة السوداء التي مثلها حكم الرئيس المنتهية ولايته دونالد ترامب، ويتسرّع الكثيرون في رؤية مرحلة وردية يمثلها بايدن بسبب حجم الأشواك التي تركها ترامب، لكن الصورة ليست كذلك. فحكم بايدن سيمرّ بين النقاط كما يُقال، ولن يكون بايدن قادراً أن «يشيل الزير من البير» كما يقول المثل الشائع، في توصيف الدعوة لتخفيض سقف التوقعات، فالخيارات التي تنتظر بايدن صعبة ومعقدة، والتناقضات التي ستحيط بالملفات الملحّة المطروحة أمامه تتكفّل بجعل كل من الخيارات الافتراضيّة سبباً لأزمات لا تقلّ خطورة عن التي سيعالجها، ويمكن القول بحساب هذه الفرضيات أن أقصى ما يستطيعه بايدن هو إدارة الأزمات بما يستبعد فرص الانفجارات الكبرى، لكن دون القدرة على صناعة الانفراجات.

وضع أميركا اليوم يشبه في الاستعصاء الذي يقع فيه وضع كيان الاحتلال بالعجز عن خوض الحروب والعجز عن صناعة التسويات، ولأسباب بنيوية في الوضعين. فكما أن كيان الاحتلال الذي بلغ باعتراف أركانه وقادته مرحلة العجز عن خوض الحروب يبدو غير صالح لغير ذلك، فهو عندما خرج منتصراً في حروبه توهّم أنه يُغنى عن صناعة التسويات ورسم لها سقوفاً وهميّة عالية، ما جعلها مستحيلة، وعندما هزم في حروبه أو فشل في تحقيق أهدافها، بات يعتبر كل تسوية واقعية تكريساً لهزيمة متمادية ستتكفل بانحلاله ككيان قائم على القوة، بحيث إن «اسرائيل» القوية لا تصنع التسوية لأنها لا تشعر بالحاجة إليها بل الرغبة بفرض شروط الاستسلام على خصومها، و»إسرائيل» الضعيفة تضعف أولاً أمام المتطرفين فيها، فيفقد أي سياسي حاكم التفويض اللازم للخوض في غمار التسويات، بمثل ما يفقد القدرة اللازمة على خوض المزيد من الحروب.

في الحالة الأميركيّة أمام بادين تحدّيات من عيار الوصول لتفاهم مع موسكو وبكين على قواعد شراكة لا مجرد ربط نزاع، ووفقاً لكل الخبراء يشكل الانخراط الأميركي في هذه الشراكة المفترضة تسليماً بتراجع المكانة الأميركية يعرف بايدن أن عليه تجنبه طالما أن معركته الداخلية مع اليمين المتطرّف الذي زاد قوة، وصار عنواناً لانقسام أهليّ خطير، تتم تحت عنوان إثبات التمسك بالتميّز الأميركي والتفوق الأميركي. وبالتوازي ما يحتاجه الرئيس الأميركي في الشرق الأوسط الجمع بين الظهور كمدافع عن «إسرائيل»، وقادر على تخفيض التوتر؛ والسير بواحد من الاتجاهين يصيب الآخر بالضرر، وعليه أن يثبت أهليّة التفاهم النووي مع إيران بالمقارنة مع سياسات ترامب، من دون أن يسمح بظهور إيران مستفيدة، وكذلك عليه أن يُعيد توحيد صفوف حلفائه، بدءاً من أوروبا وتركيا ومصر والخليج، فماذا يفعل بالإخوان المسلمين؟ وماذا يفعل بليبيا؟ وإذا قرر تغليب التحالف مع مصر وفرنسا والخليج على تركيا كيف يستطيع منع خسارتها وتموضعها بصورة أوضح ضمن الحلف الروسي الإيراني؟ وبالتالي التسليم بتعاون روسي إيراني تركي ينتهي بخسارة أميركية كاملة في سورية والعراق؟

ماذا سيفعل بايدن في الشق الداخلي، وهل يمكن السير بخطوات تخفض منسوب الغضب والقلق عند الأقليات السمراء واللاتينيّة والمسلمة من دون رفع منسوب غضب القوة البيضاء العنصرية المتطرفة والمنظمة، وهل يمكن احتواء الشارع المتطرّف من خلال التعاون مع الحزب الجمهوري من دون تقديم تنازلات على حساب البرنامج الاقتصادي الاجتماعي الذي يفرض المزيد من الأعباء على الطبقات الغنية لصالح المزيد من الضمانات للفقراء والضعفاء، الذي ارتفعت نسبتهم بأضعاف مع نتائج وباء كورونا؟ وهل يمكن تفادي تصدعات في صفوف الديمقراطيين مع كل تنازلات يتمّ تقديمها للجمهوريين؟

الاستحقاق الأول الذي ينتظر بايدن سيكون خارجياً، البتّ بكيفية التعامل مع الملف النووي الإيراني، وسينظر كل الداخل الأميركي لكيفية تعامله مع هذا الملف، كما سيقيم كل من حلفاء واشنطن وخصومها هذا التعامل ويبني عليه تقييماته، وفي هذا الملف حدود ضيقة للمناورة، فإيران ليست بوارد أي بحث بطلبات تتصل بملفها الصاروخي وأزمات المنطقة، ولا حتى بقواعد العودة للتفاهم النووي ودعوتها للتراجع عن خطواتها النووية التصعيدية، وأمام بايدن خياران صعبان، العودة عن العقوبات التي فرضت على إيران منذ 2017 كشرط إيراني واضح عنوانه عودة عملية متبادلة الى قواعد الاتفاق نفسه من دون تفاوض. وفي هذه الحالة سيجد بايدن نفسه أمام تصاعد الانقسام الداخلي واتساع الفجوة مع الخصوم، كما سيجد مناخاً «إسرائيلياً وخليجياً تصعيدياً، أو خيار المضي بالعقوبات تحت شعار انتظار التفاوض المفترض الذي لن يتمّ. وفي هذه الحالة سيفتتح ولايته بالتحول الى ترامب آخر، فتنغلق الأبواب أمامه في بكين وموسكو ويترنح الاتفاق النوويّ نحو السقوط، ويرتفع منسوب التصعيد في المنطقة.

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Iran: “ball is in US court” to return to nuclear deal

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Pompeo’s Last Stand

Ph.D., Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest.

Source

Philip Giraldi

January 21, 2021

The neocons and the media demand tough talk and even tougher action from their candidate and Pompeo is already running hard to oblige them.

Pompeo's Last Stand - TheAltWorld
© Photo: REUTERS/POOL New

It is finally over. Joe Biden has been inaugurated President of the United States while his predecessor Donald Trump has retired to Florida. Trump intends to remain the driving force in the Republican Party but there are many in the GOP who would like to see him gone completely and the national media is obliging by depriving him of a “voice,” cutting him off from his preferred social media. The Democratic Party’s top “megadonor” Israeli film producer Haim Saban goes one step farther, recommending that all the media stop reporting on Trump and his activities, thereby taking away his platform and making him disappear politically speaking.

Prior to the inauguration, which proceeded protected by an unprecedented display of military and police, there had been so much going on in and around Washington that other serious developments worldwide were not getting the attention that they merited. President Donald Trump was impeached for “high crimes and misdemeanors” relating to his alleged encouragement of the January 6th rioting at the U.S. Capitol building, but to my mind the recent travels and meetings involving Secretary of State Mike Pompeo could turn out to be far more damaging to America’s long-term interests. One wonders why Pompeo was engaging in frenetic activity with the Administration that he represented being about to vanish in a few days, but the answer is perhaps obvious. Trump and Pompeo want to lay a foreign policy mine field for the Joe Biden White House, locking the new administration into policies that will prove difficult to untangle.

Pompeo has been most active in four areas: Iran, China, Cuba and Yemen. Iran, as has often been the case with the Trump Israeli-driven policy in the Middle East, has been the principal focus. The Trump Administration has consistently responded to Israeli and also Saudi perceptions of the threat from Iran to the entire region, even though those claims were generally based on self-interests and deliberately falsified intelligence. Washington has withdrawn from the nuclear agreement with Iran signed in 2015 and has been waging incrementally expanded economic warfare against the Iranians for the past three years. It has collaborated with the Israelis on assassinations and air attacks on primarily civilian targets in Syria and Lebanon.

During Trump’s last two weeks in power there was much talk about the possibility of a U.S. attack on Iran. The Israeli military was on alert and there was a surge in attacks on Syria, frequently using Lebanese airspace. One incident in particular on January 6th used U.S. intelligence to enable multiple bombing attacks on targets inside Syria, killing 57. Pompeo reportedly dined publicly in a well-known Washington restaurant Café Milano on the day after the carnage to discuss the “success” with Israel’s head of Mossad Yossi Cohen.

The public meeting with Cohen was a sign from the Trump Administration that the U.S. supports Israel’s bombing campaign against claimed Iranian targets in Syria. If Biden wishes to change that, he will have to do so publicly, earning the ire of Israel’s friends in the Democratic Party and media. And more was to come. Last Tuesday, Pompeo gave a speech in which he accused al-Qaeda and the Iranian government of being “partners in terror” , constituting an “axis” of terrorism. He further claimed that al-Qaeda has a “new home base” and a “new operational headquarters” built for it in Tehran, an assertion that ran counter to the intelligence collected by U.S. counterterrorism officials, who said there was no evidence to support such a claim. In fact, the Intelligence Community has long asserted that al-Qaeda is fundamentally hostile to Shi’ite Iran and that the Iranians return the favor. In other words, Pompeo is either lying or making something up that will be an impediment if Biden tries to improve relations with Tehran. Pompeo also went so far as to declare that Iran is the “new Afghanistan” for al-Qaeda, which is meant to imply that Iran is now its home base and safe haven. There is also no evidence to support that claim.

The Trump Administration has also included Cuba on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, based on nothing whatsoever, apparently as something of a throw away item to shore up support from the rabid Cuban exile community in Florida. So too the decision to designate the Houthis of Yemen as terrorists to give a parting gift to the Saudis and the UAE. Yemen is suffering from famine and the terror designation will have a drastic impact on imports of food and medicine, condemning many Yemenis to death. Daniel Larison opines that the “Houthi designation is by far the worst thing that Pompeo has done as Secretary of State, because if it is not quickly reversed it will lead directly to the deaths of tens and possibly even hundreds of thousands of people. It takes severe cruelty to look at a war-torn, famine-stricken country that depends heavily on outside aid and imports and then choose to suffocate the survivors with additional economic warfare. That is what Pompeo has done, we shouldn’t forget that.”

And, incidentally, the United States gains absolutely nothing from killing thousands of people in Yemen, but that is not all. Pompeo has also opened the door to new problems with China. His easing of the longstanding restrictions on contacts between American diplomats and Taiwanese has been described by the State Department as a strong gesture of support for the democratic government and “ally” in Taipei. It overturns more than forty years of “strategic ambiguity” which has prevailed since Richard Nixon traveled to Beijing and recognized the communist People’s Republic of China as China’s only legitimate government, to include over Taiwan by implication. The so-called “One China” principle states that Taiwan and China are part of the same China with the U.S. recognizing, though not necessarily endorsing, that the PRC has a historic claim to sovereignty over Taiwan.

Apart from locking in policies that Biden will find hard to shift, Pompeo also has a secondary motive. It is widely believed that he would like to run for president in 2024. He will need the support of the Israelis and their powerful domestic lobby as well as the Cubans in Florida and it does not hurt to show him playing hardball in the Middle East and against an increasingly vilified China. The so-called neocons, who have again become influential in the Republican Party and the media, demand tough talk and even tougher action from their candidate and Pompeo is already running hard to oblige them.

US economic decline and global instability

US economic decline and global instability

January 19, 2021

by Phillyguy for The Saker Blog

Summary

The US emerged from WWII as the world’s preeminent economic and military power. Seven decades later, American power is in decline, a direct consequence of decades of neoliberal economic policies, spending large amounts of public money on the military and attainment of economic/military parity by Russia and China. These policies have eroded US economic strength and are undermining the role of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, key pillars of US global power. In this essay, we highlight how this situation evolved and its implications for US foreign policy and international relations.

Foundations of American Global Hegemony

The US emerged from WWII as the world’s leading military and economic power. This power was further solidified at the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, held in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire in 1944, which came to be known as the ‘Bretton Woods Agreement’. This agreement: 1) pegged the value of member country’s currencies to the US dollar, which was pegged to the price of gold, and 2) created the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, later known as the World Bank. The purported goals of the Bretton Woods system were to ‘stabilize currencies and promote international economic growth’. This conference also recognized the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. 12

International economic relations started to change in the mid-1970s as US corporate profits began to stagnate/decline, a direct consequence of spending lots of taxpayer money on wars in Korea and Vietnam and increased competition from rebuilt economies in Europe, primarily Germany (Marshall Plan) and Asia- Japan, South Korea (Korean and Vietnam wars) and more recently China. US policy makers responded to these economic challenges in several ways. 1) Recognizing that the government had insufficient gold reserves to cover all of the dollars in circulation, in 1971 President Richard Nixon was forced to suspend convertibility of the dollar into gold, effectively devaluing the US dollar and making it a fiat currency. 3 2) In the early 1980s, US policy makers began instituting neoliberal economic policies. Neoliberalism can be broadly defined as policies promoting free-market capitalism, deregulation, and a reduction in government spending and was widely promoted in the US by President Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) and in the UK by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (1975-1990). 4 These policies included multiple tax cuts for the wealthy, financial deregulation, attacks on labor and poor, job outsourcing and spending $ trillions of taxpayer money on the military. 5 A short description of these policies and their impact on US society follows.

Tax Cuts

Beginning with the Reagan Administration, a number of tax cuts were enacted which reduced and/or eliminated top tax rates, corporate taxes and inheritance taxes (aka ‘death tax’; see Table 1). It should be noted that to market this legislation and ‘sell’ it to a generally uninformed American public, these bills frequently contain words or phrases in their titles which convey a positive and progressive message, such as ‘Economic Recovery’, ‘Tax Reform’, ‘Economic Growth and Tax Relief’, ‘Jobs and Growth’ and ‘Jobs Act’. After all, who is against ‘Economic Recovery’ and ‘Growth’ or a ‘Jobs Act’? However, to quote Phaedrus (Greek; circa 444 – 393 BC) ‘things are not always what they seem’. Each of these pieces of legislation was the result of massive lobbying campaigns by large financial interests- banks and corporations, with the goal of rolling back ‘New Deal’ tax and economic legislation enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the depths of the Great Depression (1933-1939) 67 and ‘open up’ the economy to unregulated and risky financial schemes, which under the right circumstances can yield substantial profits, but when things do not proceed as planned, can lead to large losses, as observed during the 2008 financial collapse. An analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) concluded that between 2001-2018, 65% of the benefit from these tax cuts went to the wealthiest (top 20%) households, while federal tax revenues declined $5.1 Trillion and federal deficits grew $5.9 Trillion. 8 As a result of the COVID19 pandemic, federal deficits are now hemorrhaging.

Attacks on Labor and Poor

In 1981, members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) went on strike. President Reagan declared the strike a threat to ‘national safety’ and ordered all workers back to work, under the Taft-Hartley Act (1947). Of the circa 13,000 striking air traffic controllers, only 1,300 returned to work; Reagan fired the remaining 11,345 air traffic controllers who were still out. 9 The decline in labor solidarity was readily apparent as there was little support for striking PATCO workers from other unions. As a result, this began a frontal assault on union workers and labor.

During the 1992 presidential campaign, Bill Clinton vowed to ‘end welfare as we have come to know it’ 10 and in 1996, signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, creating the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (aka TANF) program 11, which changed the financing and benefit structure of cash assistance to poor people, Predictably, these changes did not ‘end welfare’ but increased poverty. Not surprisingly, Conservatives in Congress want to use the TANF model to ‘reform’ other federal programs such as Medicaid.

Job Outsourcing

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), enacted Jan, 1994, created a ‘free trade’ agreement between Canada, Mexico, and US. While not fully appreciated at the time, this trade agreement would have a major impact on US industrial policy and jobs. NAFTA enabled large American corporations such as auto makers- Ford, General Motors, etc., to build manufacturing plants in Mexico taking advantage of lower wage rates and import the finished products back into the country duty free. The savings in labor costs is significant- the 2020 manufacturing wage in the US- $23/hr 12 vs $2.50/hr in Mexico 13 (90% lower) and not surprisingly, decreased labor costs boost corporate profits. On the negative side, NAFTA has: 1) led to the loss 4.5 million manufacturing jobs, with many of these displaced workers were forced to take lower paying jobs, 2) reduced growth in the export of manufactured products and services, 3) increased trade deficits with Canada and Mexico 14.

Job outsourcing has acquired the acronym ‘Globalization’ implying that it is a natural form of economic evolution, enabling large corporations to make their operations more cost-effective and efficient. Not surprisingly, the reality is somewhat different. Since passage of NAFTA, large corporations from the US and other countries have moved their manufacturing to Mexico, China, India, and other low-wage platforms to reduce labor costs, take advantage of lax environmental regulation and more favorable tax policies which increase corporate profits. It should be stressed that these polices have been voluntarily enacted by large financial interests in the US and other countries based on economic decisions and the relentless drive of capitalism to maximize corporate profits. During his 2016 ‘Make America Great Again’ campaign, presidential candidate Donald Trump repeatedly stated that China has ‘stolen’ American jobs and been involved in massive ‘theft’ of intellectual property 15 . Indeed, China has aggressively pursued economic development and has clearly taken advantage of technology transfer by multinational corporations 16. However, China is certainly not unique as these practices are frequently used by other developing countries. For example, during the Industrial Revolution (circa 1760-1840), the developing US manufacturing base relied largely on knowledge and technologies that had been developed in Europe, primarily the UK. No doubt, some of this technology was acquired by unscrupulous methods. Thus, while Trump was correct in pointing out that many American jobs had indeed moved to China, he has repeatedly failed to acknowledge that these jobs were deliberately moved by American corporations because it is more profitable. Trump’s allegations also beg the obvious question, if large US corporations and their functionaries in government were concerned about technology transfer to China, they should not have moved their production and associated ‘sensitive’ technology out of the US in the first place. Following his electoral victory in 2016, Trump attempted to force corporations to repatriate outsourced jobs. While some US-based firms left China, little of this production was moved back to the US; the vast majority were relocated to Vietnam, Thailand, India, Mexico and other low-wage platforms 17. A fundamental axiom of Capitalism is that business enterprises always seek the highest rate of return on their capital investments. Further, US CEO compensation is typically tied to stock price. Given this reality, large US corporations have curtailed domestic business spending (i.e., investing in new plants and equipment) and instead have allocated large amounts of money for stock buybacks. The reason for this behavior is clear- investments in new plants and equipment have payback periods ranging from years-decades, while spending money on share buybacks and stock futures results in near instantaneous increase of equity prices and higher financial compensation for corporate management. No one forced the CEOs of Apple, Nike, Levis, GM, etc. to move their RD/production facilities to China or other countries. Rather, this was done deliberately to maximize corporate profits. Unfortunately, the proverbial ‘chickens are coming home to roost’. The US is lagging behind China in 5G technology because corporate CEOs have been more interested in boosting stock price and their financial compensation, rather than investing in new plants and equipment to compete with China in this technology.

Financial Deregulation

The Glass-Steagall Act was part of the Banking Act of 1933, and established a barrier or ‘firewall’ between commercial banks, which accept deposits from working people and issue loans and investment banks that sell investment products, such as stocks and bonds. 7 Not surprisingly the financial industry lobbied heavily to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act; in 1999, this lobbying paid off as Bill Clinton enacted the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA; aka the Financial Services Modernization Act), which repealed the depression era Glass-Steagall Act thus loosening regulations on banking. Prior to leaving office, Clinton also signed The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (CFMA) into law, which exempted over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives from regulation.

A derivative is defined as a financial security whose value is based or ‘derived’ from an underlying asset- bonds, commodities, currencies, interest rates, stocks and market indexes. 18 Not surprisingly, derivatives can potentially yield a large financial reward to savvy investors. On the down side, derivatives carry significant ‘market risk’ and lead to financial losses, which can rapidly accelerate during periods of collapsing equity prices. Warren Buffett has described the $ multi-quadrillion derivatives market as “financial weapons of mass destruction. 19 As Pepe Escobar has pointed out, ‘If Tehran were totally cornered by Washington, with no way out, the de facto nuclear option of shutting down the Strait of Hormuz would instantly cut off 25 percent of the global oil supply. Oil prices could rise to over $500 a barrel or more even $1000 a barrel. The 2.5 quadrillion of derivatives would start a chain reaction of destruction.’ 20

Financial deregulation enacted during the Clinton Administration (see Table 1) have been considered a major cause of the 2007-2008 GFC. 21 As pointed out by Pam Martins-

‘The Glass-Steagall Act had kept the U.S. financial system safe for 66 years. It took just nine years after its repeal by Clinton for Wall Street to enrich its own pockets to the tune of billions of dollars, blow up the U.S. economy, and then collect an astounding and secret $29 trillion in below-market-rate loans from the Federal Reserve to bail itself out.’ 22

Unfortunately, none of the structural economic problems giving rise to the 2008 crisis were resolved and as we are now seeing, have returned with a vengeance from the COVID19 pandemic. As a result, American Capitalism confronts the deepest crisis since the Great Depression, plagued by excess capacity and slack demand, high unemployment, with millions of families facing eviction from their homes, food insecurity, loss of medical insurance and financial ruin. Debt levels have exploded- projected US government debt for 2020- $3.1 Trillion (CBO estimate), while total debt levels are projected to reach $80 trillion, up from $71 trillion at the end of last year. 23 A further indication of the severe structural economic problems confronting American capitalism is that the financial industry has been unable to recover from the Global Financial crisis of 2008 and is still dependent on taxpayer support to function. Indeed, since April, the FED has pumped circa $ 7 Trillion of taxpayer-backed funds to Wall St for share buybacks and to purchase toxic corporate debt and mortgage-backed securities. 24 Without this support, many corporations and banks will collapse. 25

Enduring Economic Power

Despite continuing economic decline, the US still wields considerable global economic power, which stems from several factors.

1) Dollar- The US dollar is the world’s reserve currency, and as of 2019, comprises 60% of central bank foreign exchange reserves; circa 90% of forex trading involves the U.S. dollar. 2627 The dollar (i.e., ‘Petrodollar’) is used for purchase of crude oil. 28

2) FED– The US Federal Reserve System was set up following the 1910 secret meeting of executives from large banks- J.P. Morgan, Rockefeller, and Kuhn, Loeb & Co. for ten days on Jekyll Island, Georgia, which was followed by Congress passing the Federal Reserve Act (Dec, 1913), which established the Federal Reserve System as the central bank of the United States. The Chairman, currently Jerome Powell, and FED Governors are appointed by the US President. Thus, the ‘FED’ was set up by private bankers to support the interests of large banks and has effectively no public control over its actions. 29 Of the 12 Reserve banks in the Federal Reserve System, the New York FED (NY FED) wields the most power. 30 The NY FED directs monetary policy through open market operations, emergency lending facilities, quantitative easing, and foreign exchange transactions. It also stores gold on behalf of the U.S. and foreign governments, other nation’s central banks, and international organizations. FED policies, such as setting interest rates and money supply are closely followed by the European Central Bank (ECB), Bank of England, Bank of Japan (BOJ) and other central banks.

3) SWIFT– The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) system is used to conduct financial transactions between 11,000 SWIFT member institutions and is the largest financial network in the world. 31 SWIFT is described as a ‘cooperative society’ under Belgian law, owned by its member financial institutions and headquartered in La Hulpe, Belgium. Due to its dominant global economic position, the US has been able to exert a strong influence on SWIFT policies, such as enforcing unilateral US economic sanctions (effectively a form of financial warfare) on the Islamic Republic of Iran, Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea and other countries deemed an obstacle to US global hegemony. 32

WWII and subsequent events shaping US foreign policy

Nuclear Attacks on Japan

The twentieth century was marked by turbulence, economic depression, war and economic prosperity. Eclipsing all prior conflicts, WWII was the deadliest conflict in human history, resulting in circa 75 million fatalities, with approximately twice as many civilian vs military casualties. During the war, the Soviet Union, much of Europe and Japan experienced high casualties and physical destruction. At the end of the war, the US dropped ‘Little Boy’ an enriched uranium gun-type fission device on Hiroshima, Japan on Aug 6, 1945, followed 3 days later, with ‘Fat Man’, a plutonium implosion-type nuclear weapon dropped on Nagasaki, resulting in circa 250,000 casualties. 33

While much has been written about the decision by the US to attack Japan, when the outcome of the war was all but certain, several things stand out.

1) The Soviet Union suffered the most physical destruction and casualties in WWII, a minimum of 25 million. In comparison, the US experienced circa 400,000 casualties.

2) During the war, the Soviet Union was an ally of the US/allied forces. As the war began winding down, this relationship rapidly changed, as the ruling elite, led by President Harry Truman were positioning the US as the world’s leading military power and viewed the USSR as a threat to American global hegemony. Thus, by dropping atomic bombs on Japan, the US was: i) sending an unmistakable message to the global community of US military might, and ii) also sending a warning to Stalin and the Soviet Union to not interfere with US global policies.

3) As pointed out by Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Center for Research on Globalization, as early as 1945 “the Pentagon had envisaged blowing up the Soviet Union with a coordinated nuclear attack directed against major urban areas. The Pentagon estimated that a total of 204 atomic bombs would be required to Wipe the Soviet Union off the Map”. 34

Iron Curtain & Truman Doctrine

On March 5, 1946 former British PM Winston Churchill delivered a speech at Westminster College, Fulton, MO, dubbed the ‘Iron Curtain speech’, stating

‘From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an ‘iron curtain’ has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in some cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow.’ 35 In his speech, Churchill stressed the need for the US and UK to work together, acting as ‘guardians of peace and stability’ against the menace of Soviet communism. As a representative of the [former] British Empire, Churchill was signaling that the UK would willingly serve as a junior partner to American imperialism.

In a speech to Congress March 12, 1947, President Harry Truman laid out the ‘Truman Doctrine’, whose primary goal was to ‘contain Soviet geopolitical expansion’ and more broadly, implied American support for other countries ‘threatened’ by Soviet communism. The Truman Doctrine became the bedrock of post-WWII US foreign policy and in 1949, led to establishment of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Truman’s speech is considered by many to be the start of the ‘Cold War’.

Demise of Soviet Union

Between 1988–1991 the Soviet Union experienced a process of internal disintegration which began with growing unrest in its various constituent republics are subsequent political and legislative conflicts between the republics and the central government. This is not surprising considering that the country was the largest country in the world, covering a vast land mass of 22,400,000 square km2 with a diverse population of circa 290 million consisting of 100 distinct nationalities. In addition, the USSR faced near continuous hostility from the US, UK and other imperialist powers since its very inception. The collapse of the Soviet Union and ‘end’ of the Cold War was interpreted by some in the US, notably Charles Krauthammer as the beginning of a US-directed ‘unipolar’ movement and a ‘new world order’ by President GW Bush. As is usually the case in global affairs, things did not go exactly as planned- the cold war never ‘ended’ and a ‘multipolar’ world emerged.

Project for the New American Century (PNAC)

The PNAC was founded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan in the Spring of 1997 as ‘a non-profit, educational organization’ that had a neo-conservative philosophy with close ties to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and endorsed strong American global leadership. 36 The PNAC had a particular focus on Iraq, predating the Bush Presidency and in Jan, 1998, sent a letter to then President Bill Clinton stating:

‘We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy toward Iraq is not succeeding……We urge you to seize that opportunity, and to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the U.S……That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power’. 37

In Sept 2000, ironically a year prior to 911, the PNAC would publish an influential policy document “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” that would serve as a blueprint for US foreign policy in the 21st century. Summarized in its Statement of Principles:

‘As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the world’s most preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievement of past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?’

‘[What we require is] a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States’ global responsibilities.’

‘Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises its power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global leadership of the costs that are associated with its exercise. America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of the past century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.” 38

The PNAC advocated: 1) increased ‘defense’ spending to ‘carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future’, 2) ‘strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values’, 3) ‘promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad’, and 4) ‘accept responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles’.

Many PNAC members would go on to hold high level positions in the GW Bush administration, including: Elliott Abrams, Richard Armitage, John Bolton, Dick Cheney (Vice President), Eliot Cohen, Paula Dobriansky, Aaron Friedberg, Francis Fukuyama, Zalmay Khalilzad, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Richard Perle, Peter Rodman, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Robert Zoellick, William Schneider and James Woolsey. 39 Not surprisingly, these individuals would play a major role in shaping post-911 US foreign policy.

911 and Eruption of US Military Activity

On the morning of Tuesday, Sept 11, 2001 the US experienced the deadliest attack in its history. According to the ‘official’ narrative, nineteen people affiliated with al-Qaeda, a radical Islamic group, hijacked 4 jet aircraft- 2 from Boson, 1 from Newark and 1 from Washington Dulles. Two of these aircraft subsequently crashed into the World Trade Center (WTC) in NYC resulting in the collapse of building 1 (WTC1) and building 2 (WTC2), one hit the Pentagon and the fourth crashed into an empty field in Shanksville, PA. 40 Two decades later, there are still multiple outstanding questions about 911, including what did the intelligence community- FBI, CIA know about the hijackers prior to 911, why didn’t the Pentagon immediately scramble fighter jets to intercept the hijacked aircraft, and why did steel framed buildings that had been ostensibly engineered to survive an impact from an airplane, rapidly collapse? 41

As it turned out, 911 would be a ‘watershed’ event, showcased in President George W. Bush’s 2002 State of the Union address where he delivered his [in]famous ‘axis of evil’ speech, designating three countries- North Korea, Iran and Iraq- as rogue states that he claimed ‘harbored, financed and aided terrorists’. 42 Indeed, 911 would set the stage for US military engagements, currently stretching from the Levant, to Caspian Basin, Persian Gulf, South-Central Asia, China Sea, Indian Ocean, Horn of Africa, the Maghreb, to Eastern Europe and Russian border (Figure 1). 4344. These conflicts and conflict zones are summarized in Table 2.

Invasion of Afghanistan

The Pentagon has had a longstanding interest in Afghanistan, due to its strategic location in southern Asia- sharing borders with Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan to the north, Iran to the west, and Pakistan to the south and east. During the Soviet–Afghan War (1979-1989), the Mujahideen, headed by Osama Bin Laden fought a nine-year guerrilla war against the Soviet Army and Afghanistan government, receiving material and financial support from the US, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other countries and has been described as a ‘Cold War-era proxy war’, pitting the US against the USSR. In October 2001, immediately following 911, the U.S. launched its invasion of Afghanistan, rapidly ‘defeating’ the Taliban, and soon thereafter, installing a new government headed by Hamid Karzai in Kabul, and declaring the country ‘liberated’. 45. It soon became obvious that this rapid ‘success’ would be short lived. Despite spending over $1 trillion of US taxpayer money and deploying more than 100K troops, the conflict in Afghanistan continues and is the longest war in US history. The Taliban currently control >50% of Afghan territory and Afghanistan has the dubious distinction of supplying >90% of the world’s heroin 46

War on Iraq

Following defeat of the Central Powers in WWI, the Paris Peace Conference (1919-1920) assembled diplomats from 32 countries, resulting in the creation of the League of Nations, denounced by Lenin as a “thieves’ kitchen” and the ‘awarding’ of German and Ottoman overseas possessions as “mandates,” primarily to Britain and France. 47 Well aware of Iraq’s large energy reserves and strategic importance, Winston Churchill managed to cobble together Basra, Bagdad and Mosul into the ‘state’ of Iraq, while at the same time, carve out the state of Kuwait, which has 499 km of Coastline on the Persian Gulf, compared with Iraq, which has 58 km. 4849 This was likely done to limit Iraqi coast line and access to the Gulf.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and 911 attacks provided the directors of US foreign policy considerable latitude to pursue a more aggressive foreign policy. As described above, the PNAC laid out their perspective in their 2000 policy manifesto ‘Rebuilding America’s Defenses’. The Bush Administration was literally infiltrated with PNAC members, led by Vice President Dick Chaney and Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld who were well aware of Iraq’s large energy reserves and was ‘ripe’ for the picking. All that was missing was a ‘marketing’ strategy, using 911 as a rationale for initially invading Iraq and then attempting to widen US control of other countries in the Middle East, with the goal of governing the regions vast energy reserves and selling this to a skeptical American public. This was accomplished using corporate media and testimony by Colin Powell, a respected former four-star Army General and 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The stage would be set by a 2002 piece by Michael Gordon and Judith Miller in the paper of record (NYT), alleging that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was secretly building ‘weapons of mass destruction’ (WMD). 50 This piece would form the basis of Collin Powell’s Feb 5, 2003 Speech before the UN, setting up a casus belli (Latin, ‘occasion for war’) for the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq. 51 As is now well known, the piece by Gordon and Miller was essentially fabricated as was much of Powell’s UN speech. 52 As preparations for Invading Iraq were being formulated, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others estimated the costs of the conflict to be below $100 billion and ‘reassuring’ nervous Americans that Iraq’s oil ‘would cover’ the cost of the war. 53 As is now readily apparent, the Iraq war which is still ongoing, has been a strategic disaster, resulting in thousands of American casualties, killing or displacing circa 25% of the Iraq population, led to the creation of ISIS and has cost US taxpayers circa $ 5 Trillion. The extent of this disaster was pointed out in vivid detail by Thomas Ricks, former US military reporter for the Washington Post, in his 2006 book- ‘Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003 to 2005. As pointed out by General Wesley Clark in his 2007 interview with Amy Goodman, US plans to invade Iraq were formulated within days after 911. In addition, these plans also included strategies for ‘taking out’ six other countries in 5 years, including Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.” 43

Libya, Syria and Yemen

On Mar 19, 2011 a multi-state NATO-led coalition began a military intervention in Libya, to implement UNSC Resolution 1973, which ‘demanded’ an immediate ceasefire in Libya, including an end to the current attacks against civilians and imposed a no-fly zone and new sanctions on the Qadhafi regime and its supporters. This resolution would be used by US/NATO to overthrow the Libyan government and kill Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would later ‘joke’ about Qaddafi’s death, commenting ‘We came, we saw, he died’. 54 In a 2016 interview with the BBC, President Barack Obama stated- failing to prepare for the aftermath of the ousting of Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi was the ‘worst mistake’ of his presidency’. 55 Gaddafi’s removal plunged the country into chaos and became an international arms bazaar for radical Islamic groups, as he predicted. 56 Since 2014, the country has fractured- split between forces loyal to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), supported by Turkey and Qatar and the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Benghazi-based Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and supported by Egypt, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Russia.

The US has been intent on ‘regime change’ in Syria since at least 2007. 43 Syria occupies a strategic position in Western Asia, sharing borders with Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan (see Figure 1). Direct US involvement in the war on Syria began in 2014, with the support of US vassals- Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Israel, with the goal of removing President Bashar al-Assad from power, a policy which remains in effect today. Due to the loyalty of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) along with support from Hezbollah, the Islamic Republic or Iran and Russian Air Force and advisors, Syrian forces have fortified control over much of the country and Bashar al-Assad remains in power.

Yemen occupies a strategic position on the Arabian Peninsula, abutting the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, which connects the Arabian Sea to the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. Thus, the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait is considered a strategic ‘chokepoint’ that can be closed during a military crisis and thus, of interest to major global powers. 57 In 2015, the Houthi Ansarullah movement overthrew the Yemeni government, led by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, forcing him to flee to neighboring KSA. In response, Mohammed bin Salman (aka MBS), Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, formed a ‘coalition’ consisting of circa 10 countries, including Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)- the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, along with Egypt, Jordan, Sudan and Morocco. While not directly involved in the Yemen conflict, the US, UK and other imperialist countries have provided the Saudi coalition with intelligence, logistical and material support. 58 As pointed out by HRW and others, the war on Yemen has been a humanitarian disaster, leading to massive cholera epidemics, poverty, starvation and physical destruction of the country’s infrastructure. 5759

2021 and Beyond

The US emerged from WWII as the world’s dominant economic and military power. This power has been facilitated by the dollar’s privileged status as the world’s reserve currency, giving Washington the ability to print money and effectively ‘weaponize’ the dollar. Since the mid-1970s, US global power has been systematically undermined from decades of neoliberal economic policies and costly wars. Since 2001, the US has been involved in conflicts in Afghanistan (longest war in US history), Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen. These conflicts have been humanitarian disasters, resulting in the injury or death of thousands of American soldiers, while displacing/killing an estimated 37 million people in the affected countries. The ongoing refugee ‘crisis’ in Europe is a direct consequence of these wars, with millions of people escaping the chaos, violence and poverty that US/NATO wars have created. 60

The costs of these wars to American taxpayers have been staggering. In addition to spending circa $14 trillion on the Pentagon (2001-2020) 61, post-911 conflicts have cost taxpayers circa $6.4 trillion. 60 Despite expending astronomical amounts of financial and human capital on these wars, the American empire has been unable to extract significant imperial rent from these countries. Unfortunately, the Pentagon is incapable of extricating itself from these conflicts as doing so is an admission of failure and by extension military/geopolitical weakness. No amount of jingoistic and bellicose rhetoric from politicians in Washington or talking heads on corporate media changes this reality.

The Trump administration has accelerated US global isolation by exiting or contemplating leaving: Paris Climate Accord, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP), Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA; Iran Nuclear deal), Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Open Skies Treaty, UN Human Rights council, World Trade Organization (WTO) and several other agreements. 62 At the same time, China has been actively negotiating multiple trade agreements, including: $400 billion comprehensive energy and security agreement with Iran 63; Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with 15 Asian countries including Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia and is the largest trade deal in history 64; EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment 65. Significantly, the US is not a party to any of these agreements and trade will be conducted using regional currencies, excluding the dollar. Not surprisingly, these trade deals are exacerbating tensions between the US, China and other countries. 66 US economic decline has now progressed to the point where the very survival of the American Empire depends on continued money printing to prop up Wall St and large banks, subsidize the military and war. This was recently summarized by economist Richard Wolff- “The Federal Reserve is sustaining US capitalism — directly by loaning to corporations and indirectly by loaning to the federal government — to run a huge deficit, excess of trillion dollars… The federal government is not an intrusion; the federal government is the only thing that keeps private capitalism from a complete bust… And what do we know about this way that the Federal Reserve is keeping capitalism going? It’s funding the most extreme inequality in a century of American history.” 25

Thus, the US is stuck between the proverbial ‘rock and a hard place’. The very functioning of the American state- keeping Wall St. and large banks solvent and funding the Pentagon and ongoing wars, requires continued public support- i.e., providing unlimited amounts of ultra-cheap money from the Treasury, as laid out in a recent presentation by FED chair Jerome Powell. 67 Indeed, anytime there is so much as a hint that interest rates are going up, equity markets fall. These policies have become so ingrained and accepted as the ‘normal’ functioning of the state, that they were not addressed by Donald Trump or Joe Biden, during the 2020 campaign. The problem is that this is further undermining the strength of the dollar and jeopardizing its role as the world’s reserve currency 68, readily seen from the rising price of gold, which increased 25% last year. History tells us that over the last 700 years, world reserve currencies maintain their position on average 100 years. 69 At this point, the dollar has been the reserve currency for 77 years. 70 As the global economic vise continues to tighten, American foreign policy is becoming increasingly reckless and bellicose, while debt levels continue rising, putting increasing downward pressure on the dollar. When the dollar crashes the American Empire will crash with it. The American ruling elite are courting a rendezvous with disaster.

Notes

1. Bretton Woods Agreement and System by James Chen Apr 30, 2020; Link:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/brettonwoodsagreement.asp

2. Launch of the Bretton Woods System- The international currency system became operational in 1958 with the elimination of exchange controls for current-account transactions By Robert L. Hetzel Federal Reserve History; Link: https://www.federalreservehistory.org/essays/bretton_woods_launched

3. Nixon Ends Convertibility of US Dollars to Gold and Announces Wage/Price Controls- With inflation on the rise and a gold run looming, President Richard Nixon’s team enacted a plan that ended dollar convertibility to gold and implemented wage and price controls, which soon brought an end to the Bretton Woods System. By Sandra Kollen Ghizoni, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Aug 1971; Link: https://www.federalreservehistory.org/essays/gold-convertibility-ends

4. The Politics of Privatization: How Neoliberalism Took Over US Politics By Brett Heinz; Sept 8, 2017; Link: http://www.faireconomy.org/the_politics_of_privatization

5. Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems- Financial meltdown, environmental disaster and even the rise of Donald Trump – neoliberalism has played its part in them all. Why has the left failed to come up with an alternative? By George Monbiot Apr 15, 2016; Link: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiot

6. New Deal by History.com Editors Nov 27, 2019; Link: https://www.history.com/topics/great-depression/new-deal

7. Glass-Steagall Act by History.com Editors Aug 21, 2018; Link: https://www.history.com/topics/great-depression/glass-steagall-act

8. Federal Tax Cuts in the Bush, Obama, and Trump Years Report July 11, 2018 Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy; Link: https://itep.org/federal-tax-cuts-in-the-bush-obama-and-trump-years/

9. Labor Day: Ronald Reagan and the PATCO Strike by David Macaray HuffPost Aug 20, 2017; Link: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/labor-day-ronald-reagan-and-the-patco-strike_b_59a6d604e4b05fa16286beb1

10. How Bill Clinton’s Welfare Reform Changed America- Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign placed welfare reform at its center, claiming that his proposal would “end welfare as we have come to know it.” By Mary Pilon Aug 29, 2018; Link: https://www.history.com/news/clinton-1990s-welfare-reform-facts

11. The Real Lessons from Bill Clinton’s Welfare Reform- The 1996 creation of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program effectively killed cash assistance. Now, Republicans want to use it as a model for the rest of the social safety net. By Vann R. Newkirk II Feb 5, 2018; Link:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/welfare-reform-tanf-medicaid-food-stamps/552299/

12. United States Average Hourly Wages in Manufacturing-1950-2020 Data; Link: https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/wages-in-manufacturing

13. Mexico Nominal Hourly Wages in Manufacturing- 2007-2020 Data; Link: https://tradingeconomics.com/mexico/wages-in-manufacturing

14. NAFTA’s Legacy: Lost Jobs, Lower Wages, Increased Inequality; Link: https://www.citizen.org/wp-content/uploads/nafta_factsheet_deficit_jobs_wages_feb_2018_final.pdf

15. The White House is only telling you half of the sad story of what happened to American jobs by Linette Lopez Jul 25, 2017; Link: https://www.businessinsider.com/what-happened-to-american-jobs-in-the-80s-2017-7

16. China, Saudi Arabia and the US: Shake Up and Shake Down. By Prof. James Petras Global Research, Dec 04, 2017; Link: http://www.globalresearch.ca/china-saudi-arabia-and-the-us-shake-up-and-shake-down/5621487

17. Why bringing manufacturing jobs to the U.S. from China is “highly unlikely” by Victoria Craig Marketplace Morning Report Aug 27, 2020; Link: https://www.marketplace.org/2020/08/27/trump-manufacturing-jobs-china-trade-war-deal/

18. Derivative By Jason Fernando Dec 5, 2020; Link: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/derivative.asp

19. What are the Main Risks Associated with Trading Derivatives? By J.B. Maverick Apr 3, 2020; Link: https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/070815/what-are-main-risks-associated-trading-derivatives.asp

20. War on Iran & Calling America’s Bluff by Pepe Escobar April 24, 2019; Link: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/04/24/pepe-escobar-war-on-iran-calling-americas-bluff/

21. Bill Clinton – 25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis – TIME; Link:

http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1877351_1877350_1877322,00.html

22. The Bizarre Action in U.S. Treasuries Is Linked to the U.S. National Debt and the Repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: Aug 29, 2019; Link: https://wallstreetonparade.com/2019/08/the-bizarre-action-in-u-s-treasuries-is-linked-to-the-u-s-national-debt-and-the-repeal-of-the-glass-steagall-act/

23. World economy engulfed by “debt tsunami” by Nick Beams Nov 20, 2020; Link: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/11/21/debt-n21.html

24. The Fed Man Song (to the music of Beatles ‘The Taxman’) by Jack Rrasmus Nov 16, 2020; Link:

The Fed Man Song (to the music of Beatles ‘The Taxman’)

25. Capitalism is on life support by Richard Wolff Democracy at Work Jan 4, 2021; Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYrgFU-P63g

26. IMF Currency Composition of Official Foreign Exchange Reserves (COFER); Link:

https://data.imf.org/?sk=E6A5F467-C14B-4AA8-9F6D-5A09EC4E62A4

27. Why the US Dollar Is the Global Currency By Kimberly Amadeo July 23, 2020; Link: https://www.thebalance.com/world-currency-3305931

28. The Rise of the Petrodollar System: “Dollars for Oil” By Jerry Robins Thu, Feb 23, 2012; Link: https://www.financialsense.com/contributors/jerry-robinson/the-rise-of-the-petrodollar-system-dollars-for-oil

29. Federal Reserve Act; Link: https://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/fract.htm

30. Federal Reserve Bank of New York By Investopedia Staff Dec 18, 2020; Link: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/federal-reserve-bank-of-new-york.asp

31. SWIFT; Link: https://www.swift.com

32. SWIFT and the Weaponization of the U.S. Dollar- The U.S. has used the system as a stick before. Continuing down this path could trigger de-dollarization and an ensuing currency crisis. Saturday, Oct 6, 2018; Link: https://fee.org/articles/swift-and-the-weaponization-of-the-us-dollar/

33. The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Link:

https://www.atomicarchive.com/resources/documents/med/med_chp10.html

34. “Wipe the Soviet Union Off the Map”, 204 Atomic Bombs against 66 Major Cities, US Nuclear Attack against USSR Planned During World War II When America and the Soviet Union Were Allies. By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, Oct 27, 2018; Link: http://www.globalresearch.ca/wipe-the-ussr-off-the-map-204-atomic-bombs-against-major-cities-us-nuclear-attack-against-soviet-union-planned-prior-to-end-of-world-war-ii/5616601

35. The Sinews of Peace (‘Iron Curtain Speech’) Mar 5, 1946; Link: https://winstonchurchill.org/resources/speeches/1946-1963-elder-statesman/the-sinews-of-peace/

36. Project for the New American Century Oct 16, 2019; Link: https://militarist-monitor.org/profile/project_for_the_new_american_century/

37. 1998 PNAC Letter to President Clinton on Iraq Jan 26, 1998; Link: https://zfacts.com/zfacts.com/metaPage/lib/98-Rumsfeld-Iraq.pdf

38. Rebuilding America’s Defenses- Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century. A Report of The Project for the New American Century By Donald Kagan, and Thomas Donnelly Sept, 2000; Link: https://cryptome.org/rad.htm; https://archive.org/details/RebuildingAmericasDefenses

39. List of PNAC Members associated with the Administration of George W. Bush; Link: https://gyaanipedia.fandom.com/wiki/List_of_PNAC_Members_associated_with_the_Administration_of_George_W._Bush

40. The 9/11 Commission Report- Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States; Link: https://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report_Exec.pdf

41. Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth; Link: www.ae911truth.org

42. President Bush cites ‘axis of evil,’ Jan. 29, 2002 By Andrew Glass Politico Jan 29, 2019; Link: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/29/bush-axis-of-evil-2002-1127725

43. “We’re going to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran.” Interview with General Wesley Clark Global Research, Feb 06, 2018; Link: https://www.globalresearch.ca/we-re-going-to-take-out-7-countries-in-5-years-iraq-syria-lebanon-libya-somalia-sudan-iran/5166

44. A Timeline of the U.S.-Led War on Terror- In the wake of the attacks of 9/11, President George W. Bush called for a global “War on Terror,” launching an ongoing effort to thwart terrorists before they act. By History.com Editors May 5, 2020; Link: https://www.history.com/topics/21st-century/war-on-terror-timeline

45. A timeline of U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan since 2001 AP July 6, 2016; Link:

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2016/07/06/a-timeline-of-u-s-troop-levels-in-afghanistan-since-2001/

46. Washington’s Twenty-First-Century Opium Wars: How a Pink Flower Defeated the World’s Sole Superpower- America’s Opium War in Afghanistan by Alfred McCoy Tom Dispatch Feb 21, 2016; Link: https://tomdispatch.com/alfred-mccoy-washington-s-twenty-first-century-opium-wars

47. The First World War – A Marxist Analysis of the Great Slaughter by Alan Woods June 2, 2019; Link: https://www.marxist.com/first-world-war-a-marxist-analysis-of-the-great-slaughter/16.-the-treaty-of-versailles-the-peace-to-end-all-peace.htm

48. Paris 1919: How the Peace Conference Shaped the Middle East; Link:

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=afb36eefd9184d99afb1d654dc987767

49. The Impact of Western Imperialism in Iraq, 1798-1963 By Geoff Simons Dec, 2002; Link: https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/169-history/36399.html

50. Threats and Responses: The Iraqis; U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts By Michael R. Gordon and Judith Miller NYT Sept. 8, 2002; Link:

https://www.nytimes.com/svc/oembed/html/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2002%2F09%2F08%2Fworld%2Fthreats-responses-iraqis-us-says-hussein-intensifies-quest-for-bomb-parts.html#?secret=uidQmCNcdY

51. Colin Powell Still Wants Answers- In 2003, he made the case for invading Iraq to halt its weapons programs. The analysts who provided the intelligence now say it was doubted inside the C.I.A. at the time. By Robert Draper NYT Jan. 11, 2021; Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/16/magazine/colin-powell-iraq-war.html

52. Lie After Lie: What Colin Powell Knew About Iraq 15 Years Ago and What He Told the U.N.- The evidence is irrefutable: Powell consciously deceived the world in his 2003 presentation making the case for war with Saddam Hussein. By Jon Schwarz

Jon Schwarz The Intercept Feb 6, 2018; Link:

https://theintercept.com/2018/02/06/lie-after-lie-what-colin-powell-knew-about-iraq-fifteen-years-ago-and-what-he-told-the-un/

53. The cost of the Iraq war Mar 19, 2013; Link: https://www.registerguard.com/article/20130319/OPINION/303199842

54. The Libya Gamble- A New Libya, with ‘Very Little Time Left’. The fall of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi seemed to vindicate Hillary Clinton. Then militias refused to disarm, neighbors fanned a civil war, and the Islamic State found refuge. By Scott Shane and Jo Becker NYT Feb. 27, 2016; Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/28/us/politics/libya-isis-hillary-clinton.html

55. President Obama: Libya aftermath ‘worst mistake’ of presidency BBC April 11, 2016; Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36013703

56. Coups and terror are the fruit of Nato’s war in Libya- The dire consequences of the west’s intervention are being felt today in Tripoli and across Africa, from Mali to Nigeria by Seumas Milne The Guardian May 22, 2014; Link: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/22/coups-terror-nato-war-in-libya-west-intervention-boko-haram-nigeria

57. Strategic Importance of the Indian Ocean, Yemen and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait by Phillyguy for The Saker Blog Aug 5, 2020; Link: https://thesaker.is/strategic-importance-of-the-indian-ocean-yemen-and-bab-el-mandeb-strait/

58. Ending the Yemen war is both a strategic and humanitarian imperative by John R. Allen and Bruce Riedel Brookings Monday, Nov 16, 2020;

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2020/11/16/ending-the-yemen-war-is-both-a-strategic-and-humanitarian-imperative/embed/#?secret=48yOxEXf85

59. U.S. War Crimes in Yemen: Stop Looking the Other Way- The State Department warned for years that the U.S. was complicit in war crimes in Yemen. No one put a stop to it. Foreign Policy in Focus by Andrea Prasow Sept 21, 2020; Link:

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/09/21/us-war-crimes-yemen-stop-looking-other-way

60. Costs of War Brown University; Link: https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar

61. U.S. military spending from 2000 to 2019; Link: https://www.statista.com/statistics/272473/us-military-spending-from-2000-to-2012/

62. Here are all the treaties and agreements Trump has abandoned By Zachary B. Wolf and JoElla Carman, CNN Fri, Feb 1, 2019; Link: https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/01/politics/nuclear-treaty-trump/index.html

63. A China-Iran bilateral deal: Costs all around- Beijing sees an opportunity in Tehran’s international isolation – but may not realise the tangle it is entering. By Jeffrey Payne Sept 2, 2020; Link: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/china-iran-bilateral-deal-costs-all-around

64. China signs huge Asia Pacific trade deal with 14 countries By Jill Disis and Laura He, CNN Business Tue Nov 17, 2020; https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/16/economy/rcep-trade-agreement-intl-hnk/index.html

65. The Strategic Implications of the China-EU Investment Deal- The EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment is a win for China, and a blow to transatlantic relations. By Theresa Fallon Jan 4, 2021; Link: https://thediplomat.com/2021/01/the-strategic-implications-of-the-china-eu-investment-deal/

66. EU–US tensions mount after EU signs trade deal with China by Alex Lantier Jan 4, 2021; Link: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/01/05/euch-j05.html

67. Fed chief pledges massive support for Wall Street will not cease by Nick Beams Jan 16, 2021; Link: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/01/16/powl-j16.html

68. Is the US Dollar’s Role as the World’s Reserve Currency Under Threat? International Banker. Sept 30, 2020; Link: https://internationalbanker.com/finance/is-the-us-dollars-role-as-the-worlds-reserve-currency-under-threat/

69. 3 Major Signs That Precede the Fall of World Reserve Currencies- Economics by Graham Smith Oct 24, 2019; Link: https://news.bitcoin.com/3-major-signs-that-precede-the-fall-of-world-reserve-currencies/

70. 75 Years ago the U.S. Dollar Became the World’s Currency. Will that last? By Greg Rosalsky Jul 30, 2019; Link:

https://knpr.org/npr/2019-07/75-years-ago-us-dollar-became-worlds-currency-will-last

Figure 1 and Tables 1, 2

Figure 1. Map of Western Asia and Middle East. Source: https://ian.macky.net/pat/map/easa/easa.html

Table 1. Major economic legislation since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.

DateTitleAdministration
1981Economic Recovery Tax ActReagan
1986Tax Reform Act of 1986Reagan
2001Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA)GW Bush
2003Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (JGTRRA)GW Bush
2010Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation ActBush/Obama
2012American Taxpayer Relief ActBush/Obama
2017Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA)Trump
1993North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)Clinton
1996Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA)Clinton
1999Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA; Financial Services Modernization Act)Clinton
2000Commodity Futures Modernization Act (CFMA)Clinton

Table 2. US involvement in conflicts and conflict zones since 911.

ConflictAdministrationDate
AfghanistanGW Bush2001-present
IraqGW Bush2003-present
LibyaObama2011- present
UkraineObama2014-present
SyriaObama2014-present
YemenObama2014-present
Eastern Europe/Russian BorderClinton- Trump1997-Present
China Sea/Western PacificObama/Trump2011-present
Persian GulfBush/Obama/Trump2003-present

Iranian Nuclear Weapons. Is Israel Too Scared To Strike?

The key standoff in the Middle East, that between Israel and Iran, has been steadily ramping up.

Over the last two months Israel and its allies, primarily the US and Saudi Arabia, have done quite a bit to antagonize Iran and attempt and impair it from achieving its ambitions.

Iran’s response is coming, and the aim is an asymmetric counter attack that would heavily hamper Israel’s interests.

Tehran’s response will likely be two-pronged:

On the one hand through its proxies and allies – namely the Houthis in Yemen who are pushing back Saudi Arabia and inflicting heavy losses on it. Iran recently sent advanced suicide drones to Yemen, so Riyadh appears to be in for a surprise.

Separately, it’s operating through its allies in Iraq and Syria, as reports of US convoys suffering explosions are becoming a rather regular occurrence.

On the other, Iran’s nuclear program appears to be developing steadily, and the Wall Street Journal even stoke the oven by claiming that Tehran was nearing production of a “key material for nuclear warheads”.

There’s been no confirmation to that, but it also works to Iran’s benefit and will be used as a mechanism to check if Israel is willing to attack its nuclear program, once again, after allegedly killing Iran’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Tehran is working to produce its enriched uranium, which it maintains is for peaceful purposes, and uses this as a lever to pressure the United States and force Israel’s hand. Most recently, Iran said that Washington’s return to the Nuclear Deal, as incoming President Joe Biden has signaled, was simply “extortion” if its not accompanied by a lifting of sanctions.

As such, Iran says that not only must Washington want to return, but it also needs to do something to make up for their past failures – namely, lift the sanctions the Trump Administration imposed.

Israel, feeling the urgency of its situation, warned that if the US were to return to the Nuclear Deal, it would feel forced and strike the facilities being used in Iran’s nuclear program, in order to hamper any progress, it may be having towards an alleged weapon. If this really happens, this will easily lead to a large-scale regional war.

Currently, Israel and the US have largely played their hands – attacks on various proxy positions, as well as various threats and military deployments.

For Iran, the field is wide open and its Tehran’s turn to make its move and it is likely to be an asymmetric action, not focused in a single point of tension, but rather on several.

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