IRAN WILL LEAVE VIENNA AT THE END OF THE MONTH IF BIDEN DOESN’T LIFT ALL SANCTIONS

By Elijah J. Magnier:

Iranian and Western delegations returned to their capitals after the third Vienna round, with optimism emanating from the statements of the gathered officials. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi issued positive information about the US lifting sanctions on energy, economic sectors, shipping, freedom of transportation, banks, and on many Iranian personalities. The negotiations have reached a stage where the elaboration of complex texts is on the table. Also, there were talks about the US releasing more than 90 billion dollars withheld from Iranian funds and another 20 billion frozen in Iraq, Korea and China from oil revenues. No details have been discussed so far about the interest on these funds held for many years due to US sanctions.

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There was also talk about the possibility of exchanging Iranian prisoners held in America, who number 18, including 7 in critical health condition, and others of Iranian – Western double nationality holders (American and British) detained in Iran on charges of espionage. This is an old Iranian demand that Iran insists on ending everything in one single exchange.

However, after lifting sanctions against individuals and accepting all demands, the biggest problem lies in Iran’s request to ensure that the lifting of sanctions will be applied in a specific time frame. According to a particular pre-agreed timetable, Iran wants to ensure that all frozen funds will return to the Central Bank. Countries around the world will be allowed to deal with Iran in all sectors without intimidation.

Iran has never requested the return of diplomatic relations with the US, but rather the lifting of the sanctions imposed on it since 2015 and that President Barack Obama agreed to cancel. Moreover, Iran wants to lift all additional sanctions added by Donald Trump when the nuclear deal was torn apart in 2018.

Negotiations have reached a reasonable level, although Iran still refuses to communicate with the US directly because the US is no longer a partner in the JCPOA and that talks could blow up any time. The US flag was removed from the negotiating room at the request of Iran. The Iranian delegation stressed the need for the US delegate not to be present at the same hotel where the negotiations are taking place until the White House announces the end of all sanctions. This is when the US will become a JCPOA partner again.

An Iranian decision-maker in Iran said that “the Leader of the revolution, Sayyed Ali Khamenei, will not give an unlimited time-space to negotiate in Vienna. This is the last month before the announcement of the clinical death of the JCPOA agreement if all Iranian conditions are not met.” The source asserts that “Iran will not accept the American evasiveness that called for easing the sanctions by lifting those related to the nuclear file and placing other sanctions related to Iran’s missile capability, the Revolutionary Guards and others sectors until a future negotiation to be established later. Either all sanctions are lifted, or no deal is reached because mid-solutions are not accepted.”

Top Iranian, Russian negotiators discuss JCPOA before key meeting to review ‘interim results’

By VT Editors -May 1, 2021

Press TV: The heads of the Iranian and Russian delegations to the Vienna talks have held talks ahead of a meeting of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA, commonly called the Iran nuclear deal, during which the participants are expected to review the interim results of the talks on the full restoration of the deal.

During the meeting, the two sides coordinated their stances and underlined the need to keep their positions close to one another.

The Russian side also reiterated its stance on the necessity of reviving the JCPOA and removing the United States’ sanctions on Iran.

The meeting comes hours before the participants to the JCPOA gather for a meeting to review the results of expert discussions held within three working groups that were created to resuscitate the nuclear agreement.

The ongoing talks began in the Austrian capital in early April to provide a path for all JCPOA signatories – particularly the US – to return to full compliance with the deal.

Under former US President Donald Trump, Washington turned into the first party to officially abandon its commitments after it unilaterally withdrew from the deal in May 2018 and imposed the “toughest ever” sanctions on Iran thereafter, setting the current crisis in motion.

The US then pressed the other parties – France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China – to abide by its sanctions, threatening them with secondary sanctions if they did not.

For its part, Iran waited for an entire year before it began to reduce its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA, arguing that the move was its legal response to the US withdrawal under Articles 26 and 36 of the pact.

Ulyanov, in a series of tweets on Saturday, explained the latest developments surrounding the Vienna negotiations.

Iran “is still not ready to meet with US diplomats,” the Russian diplomat noted, while pointing out that a “useful exchange of views” took place at the meeting.

According to Ulyanov, the next official in-person meeting of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA at the level of political directors will take place in Vienna on Saturday afternoon.

“It is necessary to summarize the interim results of negotiations on the restoration of the nuclear deal,” he added.

Iran has insisted that it will resume full compliance with its nuclear obligations only after it can verify that all US sanctions imposed after the deal went into force in early 2016 have been removed.

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واشنطن تعترف بمخاطر المُضي بخطة إسقاط لبنان

ناصر قنديل

منذ إعلان وزير خارجية فرنسا برونو لومير أمام وزراء مالية دول قمة العشرين تحذيره من الخلط بين مساعي مساعدة لبنان على التعافي الاقتصادي مع المواجهة التي تخوضها واشنطن مع طهران في مطلع العام 2020، وواشنطن ماضية في سياسات الضغوط القصوى وصولاً لإسقاط لبنان أملاً بأن تسقط بعض الشظايا على رأس حزب الله. وكانت تصريحات وزير الخارجية الأميركية مايك بومبيو ومعاونيه، تتركز في كل شاردة وواردة عن لبنان، تحت عنوان أن حزب الله سبب مشكلتكم أيها اللبنانيون، ومن دون مواجهة حزب الله لن يخرج لبنان من أي أزمة وسيصل إلى الانهيار، وليس خافياً كلام الرئيس الفرنسي ايمانويل ماكرون عن الدور التعطيلي لمبادرته الذي لعبته العقوبات الأميركيّة.

  مع تولي الرئيس جو بايدن وإعطائه الأولويّة للعودة للاتفاق النوويّ مع إيران، لم يتغير الخطاب الأميركي نحو لبنان، رغم التبدّل في الخطاب التحليليّ لأوضاع المنطقة الذي بدأ يتحدّث عن تغيير في السياسات سيلي التوصل لتفاهم يعيد الحياة إلى الاتفاق النووي، انطلاقاً من أن الضغوط الأميركية على حلفاء إيران كان جزءاً من كل، ومع انتفاء مبررات هذه الضغوط، لا قيمة لأن تسعى واشنطن لإسقاط لبنان أملاً بالضغط على حزب الله، وهي تمنح إيران ودائع محجوزة بمليارات الدولارات، تعلم أن بعضاً منها سيذهب لدعم إيران لحركات المقاومة وفي طليعتها حزب الله.

في قلب التصعيد بالخطاب الأميركي القائم على السعي للمضي قدماً بسياسة إسقاط لبنان، حذّر الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله، من غباء هذا الطرح، لأن بلوغ لبنان حافة الانهيار، سيصيب فئات وشرائح ومؤسسات، تهتم أميركا لبقائها معافاة، بينما ستكون المقاومة وبيئتها المستهدفين بالخطة الأميركية آخر مَن يتأثر بهذه الضغوط، وتحدثت تحليلات كثيرة عن مخاطر العبث الأميركي، كان بينها التحذيرات الأوروبية والفرنسية خصوصاً من مخاطر توجّه موجات من النازحين السوريين نحو أوروبا تحت ضغط الجوع والفقر، والتحذيرات المشابهة من تفكك المؤسسات العسكرية والأمنية تحت تأثير انهيار القيمة الشرائية للرواتب من جهة، ونمو التشكيلات المتطرفة في بيئات الفقر، في ظل كلفة محدودة للاستثمار الأمنيّ في بلد تنهار عملته الوطنية، ومخاطر نشوء إمارة لتنظيم داعش في شمال لبنان، لكن واشنطن بقيت تصمّ آذانها عن كل هذه التحذيرات.

المقال الذي نشرته صحيفة ذي هيل بقلم مسؤول قوة المهام الأميركية الخاصة للبنان إدوارد غابرييل، يوم أمس، يشكل أول اعتراف أميركي بمخاطر المضي في السياسات السابقة، فيتحدث عن مخاطر نشوء دولة فاشلة في المشرق بصفته مساساً بالأمن القومي الأميركي، ويشير إلى خطر انهيار المؤسسة العسكرية اللبنانية، التي تشكل استثماراً أميركياً ناجحاً، لا يجوز التخلي عنه، ويتحدث بصراحة عن كون حزب الله أول المستفيدين من الأزمة بعدما تهيأ لتحصين بيئته الحاضنة بوجه مخاطرها، وليس آخر الخاسرين فقط، ليخلص إلى دعوة المعنيين في إدارة الرئيس جو بايدن لاتخاذ مبادرات تسرع الدفع باتجاه ولادة حكومة جديدة، والتأكيد أن هذه الحكومة ستلقى الدعم المناسب لدى صندوق النقد الدولي لمساعدة لبنان على الخروج من الأزمة، وتأمين حزمة مساعدات لمنع سقوط لبنان الى حين ولادة الحكومة التي يمكن أن تتأخر الى ما بعد الانتخابات في العام المقبل، التي يحدّدها غابرييل موعداً لانطلاق خطة المساعدة الشاملة.

الكلام الأميركي الجديد، يفتح الباب لاتصالات أميركية فرنسية وأميركية روسية لبلورة مبادرات سياسية، لن تكون السعودية وإيران بعيدتين عنها، لتفحص إمكانية حل المشكلة الحكومية، بعد تبلور صورة المشهد الإقليمي وحدود التسويات الممكنة في الملفات الساخنة خلال الصيف، وربما يكون خيار تأمين شبكة أمان الحد الأدنى حتى الانتخابات المقبلة أحد الفرضيات المطروحة على الطاولة، كما خيار الانتخابات المبكرة، علماً أن تذليل العقبات امام تشكيل الحكومة سيبقى احتمالاً كبيراً إذا كانت مناخات التسوية هي السائدة في المنطقة.

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The Vienna shadowplay

The Vienna shadowplay

April 27, 2021

None of the actors can admit that revival of JCPOA pales compared with the real issue: Iranian missile power

by Pepe Escobar and first posted at Asia Times

Few people, apart from specialists, may have heard of the JCPOA Joint Commission. That’s the group in charge of a Sisyphean task: the attempt to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal through a series of negotiations in Vienna.

The Iranian negotiating team was back in Vienna yesterday, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi. Shadowplay starts with the fact the Iranians negotiate with the other members of the P+1 – Russia, China, France, UK and Germany – but not directly with the US.

That’s quite something: after all, it was the Trump administration that blew up the JCPOA. There is an American delegation in Vienna, but they only talk with the Europeans.

Shadowplay goes turbo when every Viennese coffee table knows about Tehran’s red lines: either it’s back to the original JCPOA as it was agreed in Vienna in 2015 and then ratified by the UN Security Council, or nothing.

Araghchi, mild-mannered and polite, has had to go on the record once again to stress that Tehran will leave if the talks veer towards “bullying”, time wasting or even a step-by-step ballroom dance, which is time wasting under different terminology.

Neither flat out optimistic nor pessimistic, he remains, let’s say, cautiously upbeat, at least in public: “We are not disappointed and we will do our job. Our positions are very clear and firm. The sanctions must be lifted, verified and then Iran must return to its commitments.”

So, at least in the thesis, the debate is still on. Araghchi: “There are two types of U.S. sanctions against Iran. First, categorized or so-called divisional sanctions, such as oil, banking and insurance, shipping, petrochemical, building and automobile sanctions, and second, sanctions against real and legal individuals.”

“Second” is the key issue. There’s absolutely no guarantee the US Congress will lift most or at least a significant part of these sanctions.

Everyone in Washington knows it – and the American delegation knows it.

When the Foreign Ministry in Tehran, for instance, says that 60% or 70% has been agreed upon, that’s code for lifting of divisional sanctions. When it comes to “second”, Araghchi has to be evasive: “There are complex issues in this area that we are examining”.

Now compare it with the assessment of informed Iranian insiders in Washington such as nuclear policy expert Seyed Hossein Mousavian:  they’re more like pessimistic realists.

That takes into consideration the non-negotiable red lines established by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei himself. Plus non-stop pressure by Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, who are all JCPOA-adverse.

But then there’s extra shadowplay. Israeli intel has already notified the security cabinet that a deal most certainly will be reached in Vienna. After all, the narrative of a successful deal is already being constructed as a foreign policy victory by the Biden-Harris administration – or, as cynics prefer, Obama-Biden 3.0.

Meanwhile, Iranian diplomacy remains on overdrive. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is visiting Qatar and Iraq, and has already met with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim al Thani.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, virtually at the end of his term before the June presidential elections, always goes back to the same point: no more US sanctions; Iran’s verification; then Iran will return to its “nuclear obligations”.

The Foreign Ministry has even released a quite detailed fact sheet once again stressing the need to remove “all sanctions imposed, re-imposed and re-labeled since January 20, 2017”.

The window of opportunity for a deal won’t last long. Hardliners in Tehran couldn’t care less. At least 80% of Tehran members of Parliament are now hardliners. The next President most certainly will be a hardliner. Team Rouhani’s efforts have been branded a failure since the onset of Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign. Hardliners are already in post-JCPOA mode.

That fateful Fateh

What none of the actors in the shadowplay can admit is that the revival of the JCPOA pales compared to the real issue: the power of Iranian missiles.

In the original 2015 negotiations in Vienna – follow them in my Persian Miniatures e-book – Obama-Biden 2.0 did everything in their power to include missiles in the deal.

Every grain of sand in the Negev desert knows that Israel will go no holds barred to retain its nuclear weapon primacy in the Middle East. Via a spectacular kabuki, the fact that Israel is a nuclear power happens to remain “invisible” to most of world public opinion.

While Khamenei has issued a fatwa clearly stating that producing, stockpiling and using weapons of mass destruction – nuclear included – is haram (banned by Islam), Israel’s leadership feels free to order stunts such as the sabotage via Mossad of the (civilian) Iranian nuclear complex at Natanz.

The head of Iran’s Parliament Energy Committee, Fereydoun Abbasi Davani, even accused Washington and London of being accomplices to the sabotage of Natanz, as they arguably supplied intel to Tel Aviv.

Yet now a lone missile is literally exploding a great deal of the shadowplay.

On April 22, in the dead of night before dawn, a Syrian missile exploded only 30 km away from the ultra-sensitive Israeli nuclear reactor of Dimona. The official – and insistent – Israeli spin: this was an “errant”.

Well, not really.

Here – third video from the top – is footage of the quite significant explosion. Also significantly, Tel Aviv remained absolutely mum when it comes to offering a missile proof of ID. Was it an old Soviet 1967 SA-5? Or, rather more likely, a 2012 Iranian Fateh-110 short range surface-to-surface, manufactured in Syria as the M-600, and also possessed by Hezbollah?

A Fateh family tree can be seen in the attached chart. The inestimable Elijah Magnier has posed some very good questions about the Dimona near-hit. I complemented it with a quite enlightening discussion with physicists, with input by a military intel expert.

The Fateh-110 operates as a classic ballistic missile, until the moment the warhead starts maneuvering to evade ABM defenses. Precision is up to 10 meters, nominally 6 meters. So it hit exactly where it was supposed to hit. Israel officially confirmed that the missile was not intercepted – after a trajectory of roughly 266 km.

This opens a brand new can of worms. It implies that the performance of the much hyped and recently upgraded Iron Dome is far from stellar – and talk about an euphemism. The Fateh flew so low that Iron Dome could not identify it.

The inevitable conclusion is this was a message/warning combo. From Damascus. With a personal stamp from Bashar al-Assad, who had to clear such a sensitive missile launch. A message/warning delivered via Iranian missile technology fully available to the Axis of Resistance – proving that regional actors have serious stealth capability.

It’s crucial to remember that when Tehran dispatched a volley of deliberately older Fateh-313 versions at the US base Ayn al-Assad in Iraq, as a response to the assassination of Gen Soleimani in January 2020, the American radars went blank.

Iranian missile technology as top strategic deterrence. Now that’s the shadowplay that turns Vienna into a sideshow.

Who Wags the Dog? Israel’s Friends in Washington Mean Constant War in the Middle East

Who Wags the Dog? Israel's Friends in Washington Mean Constant War in the Middle  East - Islam Times
Ph.D., Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest.

Philip Giraldi April 22, 2021

Biden, like presidents before him, is caught in the trap between an extremist-dominated Israel and the all-powerful domestic Israel Lobby.

Donald Trump, who was elected President of the United States in 2016, may have won due to voters attracted by his pledge to end many of the “stupid” wars that the American military was involved in worldwide. In the event, however, he ended no wars in spite of several attempts to withdraw from Afghanistan and Syria, and almost started new conflicts with cruise missile attacks and the assassination of an Iranian general. Trump was consistently outmaneuvered by his “experts” on the National Security Council and at the Pentagon, who insisted that it was too early to disengage from the Middle East and Central Asia, that America’s own national security would be threatened.

Trump did not have either the experience or the grit necessary to override his generals and national security team, so he deferred to their judgement. And as has been well documented he was under constant pressure to do Israel’s bidding in the region, which mandated a continued substantial US military presence to protect the Jewish state and to provide cover for the regular attacks staged by the Israelis against several of their neighbors. Motivated by the substantial political donations coming from multi-billionaires like casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, Trump conceded more to Israel than any previous president, recognizing Jerusalem as the country’s capital as well as Israeli annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights while also giving the green light to settlement expansion and eventual incorporation of all of the occupied West Bank into Greater Israel.

President Joe Biden has already indicated that he will if anything out-do Trump when it comes to favoring America’s persistent “ally” and “best friend” in the Middle East. Biden, who has declared himself to be a “Zionist,” is responding to the same lobbying and media power that Israel’s friends are able to assert over any US national government. In addition, his own Democratic Party in Congress is also the home of most of the federal government’s genuine Zionists, namely the numerous mostly Jewish legislators who have long dedicated themselves to advancing Israeli interests. Finally, Biden has chosen to surround himself with large numbers of Jewish appointed officials as his foreign policy and national security team, many of whom have close and enduring personal ties to Israel, to include service in the Israeli Army.

The new Secretary of Defense, former Lieutenant General Lloyd Austin has recently returned from a trip to Israel, where he confirmed one’s worst fears about the direction the Biden Administration is moving in. It was a first visit to Israel by a Biden Administration cabinet member. Austin met with his counterpart Benny Gantz and also with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, both of whom warned him that Israel considered renewal of any nuclear arms limitation agreement with Iran to be a threat, only delaying development of a weapon. As Bibi expressed it, “Iran has never given up its quest for nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them. I will never allow Iran to obtain the nuclear capability to carry out its genocidal goal of eliminating Israel.”

Austin responded by the usual two-step avoiding Israel’s expressed concerns, which might be considered a threat of an Israeli veto on Biden’s attempt to revert to the original 2015 JCPOA multilateral pact. He said that the Biden administration would continue to guarantee Israel’s “qualitative military edge” as an element in America’s “strong commitment to Israel and the Israeli people,” adding that “our bilateral relationship with Israel in particular is central to regional stability and security in the Middle East. During our meeting I reaffirmed to Minister Gantz our commitment to Israel is enduring and it is ironclad.”

Wrong answer general. The foreign policy of any country should be based on actual interests, not on political donations and effective lobbying, still less on what one reads in the Zionist mainstream media in the US. Netanyahu has stated that the Iran agreement is “fatally flawed” and has said recently that “History has taught us that deals like this, with extremist regimes like this, are worth nothing.” Israel, which uniquely has a secret nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, is one of the world’s leading violators of attempts to limit nuclear proliferation. It is also destabilizing to the entire Middle East region, an apartheid state – not a democracy – and its government is widely regarded as right-wing extremist. That Netanyahu should feel somehow empowered to talk down to the Iranians, and to the US, remains a mystery.

Beyond what goes on between Washington and Jerusalem, the real center of power, the Israel Lobby, consists of a large number of separate organizations that act collectively to advance Israeli interests. There is considerable corruption in the process, with cooperative congressmen being rewarded while those who resist are targeted for replacement. Much of the legwork on subverting Capitol Hill and the White House is done by foundations, which often pretend to be educational to obtain tax exempt status. “Experts” from the various pro-Israel groups are then seeded into the decision-making process of the federal government, serving as gatekeepers to prevent consideration of any legislation that might be objected to by Netanyahu.

One of the most active lobbying groups is the so-called Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) which is in fact closely tied to and takes direction from the Israeli Embassy in Washington. FDD is particularly focused on going to war with Iran and whenever there are discussions on Iran policy on Capitol Hill one can be sure that an FDD expert will be present and active.

And if you really want to know why America’s foreign policy has been so self-destructive, it has recently been learned that FDD was actually able to insert one of its employees into the National Security Council under Donald Trump. According to a report on Bloomberg, Richard Goldberg, an outspoken anti-Iran hawk and former associate of John Bolton, is leaving the council and would be returning “to [the Foundation for Defense of Democracies], which continued to pay his salary during his time on the National Security Council.”

The NSC exists to provide the president with the best possible intelligence and analysis available for dealing with problem areas, something that Goldberg, due to his conflict of interest, would have been unlikely to provide, particularly as he was still on the FDD payroll and was also being given generous travel expenses while working for the government. Whether he was also being paid by the NSC, which is referred to as “double dipping,” is not known. In any event, there is something very wrong about the appointment of a paid partisan who seeks war with a particular country to a vital national security position where objectivity is an imperative. Ned Price, former special assistant to President Obama on national security, commented “…we now know a White House point person on Iran policy was receiving a salary from and remained employed by an organization that has put forward some of the most extreme and dangerous pro-regime change policies.”

So Biden, like presidents before him, is caught in the trap between an extremist-dominated Israel itself and its demonic prime minister on one side and the all-powerful domestic Israel Lobby on the other. Unfortunately, one cannot expect the United States to get out from under the Israeli thumb no matter whom is elected president.

Iran will not nibble on US temporary sanctions relief bait

The US is in no credible position to demand new conditions for re-entering th JCPOA, which could just as easily be walked out on again

By Jim W. Dean, Managing Editor -April 23, 2021

Spokesman: Temporary agreement not on agenda of Vienna talks, Iran does not want lengthy negotiations

…from PressTV, Tehran

[ Editor’s Note: Iran is clearly putting the US in the dog house in terms of being the country that walked out on the deal and imposed sanctions. The US is in no credible position to demand new conditions for re-entering the JCPOA, which could just as easily be walked out on again.

In a way, Iran is fighting for any country that makes a deal with the US now or in the future. In the future, what would be the penalty for any US administration that walks out on deals after five years of negotiation?

Do other nations think by any means that if the US were successful in getting the Iran deal renegotiated, that other countries would attempt to do the same using the US model?

Trump’s trouncing of the deal has put future US negotiations in the maybe category, as the Republicans just recently held that they would not feel bound to any agreement that the Biden administration made in international diplomacy.

But the clock is ticking for the US, because if a deal is not made by the end of May, the Iranian people may feel it is time to vote in a more hard line government and let it have a try, after the moderates have been unsuccessful.

We are also vulnerable to other malefactors wrecking the deal with the tried and true false flag terror attack, one big enough to shut the talks down on the spot. The potential perpetrators of such an event are on a short list, and Israel is at the top, compliments of its past history.

Bibi is fighting for his political life and would do anything in his power to save his hide. He is already trying to break the Israeli election log jam of not being able to form a government by pushing for a straight up election on Prime Minister, as the polls currently show him winning it.

A desperate Bibi is a dangerous one, even with Gantz as Defense Minister, as that could change quickly if a new government was formed. We are all twisting in the wind now, until some grownups take over the insane asylum… Jim W. Dean ]

First published … April 22, 2021

The spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry says achieving a temporary agreement on how to revive Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers has never been on the agenda of the ongoing talks between Tehran and other signatories to the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Saeed Khatibzadeh made the remarks in an online Q&A session on Thursday, when asked about the main topics under discussion during JCPOA negotiations, which took place in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

“There has never been a discussion on a temporary agreement, but what has been discussed is full compliance of the United States with the JCPOA, the method used to verify [US compliance] and then retracting Iran’s remedial steps on the JCPOA,” he said.

Khatibzadeh added that there are still many differences on important issues, including the order of steps that must be taken, removal of all sanctions and verification of measures taken, but “I think that all parties have shown enough goodwill to move forward in Vienna.”

Asked whether participants in Vienna talks are compiling a new agreement parallel to the original one, he said, “The JCPOA was negotiated once and no new talks will be held on its contents.”

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman then added that a main concern not only for Iran, but also for other signatories to the JCPOA, is how to make sure that the United States will not  breach any future promises.

“This is a concern not only for Iran, but for the entire P4+1, because when the US left the JCPOA, it not only pressured Iran, but also mounted pressure on European countries to end their presence in Iran. Therefore, all parties are now seeking guarantees” that this will not happen again, Khatibzadeh said.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman emphasized that the background of US breaching its commitments has made verification of the utmost importance and “it is quite natural for Iran to want to painstakingly verify measures taken by the US.”

“This is why we emphasize that it is them (American) who must return to full [JCPOA] compliance first. We must verify this and make sure that they are not playing with words and will not try to undermine Iran’s foreign relations and trade,” Khatibzadeh added.

The spokesman further stated that just in the same way that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has stressed the importance of objective verification of Iran’s measures, Iran for its part, will not accept that sanctions would be removed only on paper.

“Therefore, Iran wants to verify the removal of sanctions in practice and see that sanctions have been really removed in various fields, including financial transactions, banking, oil sale, insurance, transportation and any other area related to the US commitments.”

The Foreign Ministry spokesman further noted that “Iran is in no hurry in [Vienna] negotiations, but at the same time, does not want to get involved in lengthy and attritional talks.”

Khatibzadeh’s remarks came after an informed source told Press TV that Iran does not accept the sequential lifting of sanctions in the ongoing talks on the revival of 2015 nuclear deal and the bans must be removed altogether.

The source said on Tuesday that the Islamic Republic would by no means settle for the suspension, easing or extending waiver of sanctions and that the bans should entirely be removed.

The informed source told Press TV that a one-week verification of lifting anti-Iran bans is not possible and it takes between three and six months to verify the lifting of sanctions.

The United States, under former president Donald Trump, left the JCPOA in May 2018 and restored the economic sanctions that the accord had lifted in addition to imposing new non-nuclear ones. Tehran returned the non-commitment of the US to the deal with remedial nuclear measures that it is entitled to take under the JCPOA’s Paragraph 36.

After a change of administration in the US, new President Joe Biden has claimed that Washington is ready to rejoin the deal.

The Islamic Republic has insisted that it would only stop its adherence to the JCPOA paragraph once the US lifted all the sanctions in one step and after Iran has verified that the sanctions relief has actually taken place.

The US so far failed to meet Iran’s condition. The diplomatic process began in Vienne on April 6 aimed at ending the dispute over the JCPOA.

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

* Please scroll down for the ADJUSTED English Machine translation *


مفاوضات فيينا: بين التراجع الأميركي والقلق الصهيوني وتوازن القوى الجديد


 حسن حردان

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

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

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

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

لكن الأسئلة التي تطرح في هذا السياق هي:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Hassan Hardan

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

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

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

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

But the questions asked in this contextare:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Related

Powerful explosion rocks ‘sensitive’ Israeli missile factory

Haaretz said officials may have underestimated the “collateral damage” of the test, which led to the explosion

Source

By Jim W. Dean, Managing Editor -April 21, 2021

..from PressTV, Tehran

[ Editor’s note: This is a strange story, as we have the larger mushroom cloud in the back left side, and the front right side one with the cloud reflecting the fire burning below it, not a flash from an explosion, but a fire.

Israelis have put out a story about a failed rocket test, certainly a possibility, but if it was something they did not want you to know, they would put out a cover story, like an engine test blowing up. So we must look for clues to test for veracity.

The first thing I see, which is most odd, is just one video for an event like this, especially if a rocket test had blown up, the noise would have been heard a long distance and the usual tons of people would have shot video. So far, this single video is all that I have seen, a hint that others have been blocked, and this one appears to have had the explosion trimmed off the front.

Rocket tests put out huge amounts of smoke, which gets the locals’ attention. A test, if that is what this was, would have had notification put out to the surrounding community. That would have had lots of people videoing, but when I Google ‘Israeli rocket test blows up’, all that comes up is the screen grab from the one video found.

That set off the ‘something is fishy’ bells going off at VT. The fire screen grab I have in feature is from unheard of Boom News edited story from older video clips and stills. 

If it was a rocket test, the exciting part would have been to catch the roaring engine at the beginning, but that was trimmed off the video. So at this point what I see is a cover story, which begs the question why, and why now?

We take a look at what event has been in the news, where somebody might want to inflict some payback on Israel, like Iran from the attack on Natanz, where Israeli media even publicized that Israel did it.

We have the timing. Did Iran wait until the second stage of the JCPOA talks adjourned before it decided to send Bibi a message that Iran can reach out and touch someone, and in a way that produced no visible casualties, which would have risked further escalation?

In the real world, we would have seen dozens of videos up, and with sound up on Youtube, but all we have is one silent Twitter video. Tomer and Israel went to a lot of trouble to clean all of the neighbors’ videos off the Net. You can guess the rest… Jim W. Dean ]

Next, from a long time VT reader, we have a machine translation from a Hebrew story on the event…JD

Due to malfunction: Explosion at IMI plant in Ramat Hasharon, no casualties

Above the IMI plant, a lot of smoke is billowed, which is probably caused by mixing different materials. The factory stressed that there was no danger as a result of the explosion. Firefighters who were called to the scene gained control of the incident and prevented the fire from spreading

An explosion was heard today (Monday) in the Ramat Hasharon area, due to an explosion at an IMI plant located in the area. Following the explosion, a lot of smoke rose over the factory. Firefighters and rescuers who arrived at the scene gained control of the incident and no casualties were reported.

An initial inspection revealed that it was an explosion in a room where smoke grenades were stored. According to sources in the factory, there is no danger as a result of the explosion. Balbit, the factory owners, explained that the explosion took place in a smoke factory, after mixing several substances caused the explosion. It was further reported that the smoke generated does not pose a danger.

Moshe Fadlon, mayor of Herzliya, said in response that “the municipality is closely monitoring what is happening in the area together with the fire brigade and environmentalists.” The mayor added that this is “land in which shells, explosives, chemicals and combustibles have been buried for years, a storm that ignites without any warning. This is exactly the fear of such lands. Marked or green will take the matter to his attention. “

First published … April 21, 2021

A powerful explosion has rocked a sensitive Israeli missile factory during a test for advanced weapons, according to a report.

The explosion took place on Tuesday during a ‘routine test’ by the Tomer factory for advanced weapon, Israel’s Haaretz daily newspaper reported on Wednesday.

There have been no reports of casualties so far. The factory develops rocket engines and houses various types of missiles.

Locals said they heard an explosion and saw a mushroom cloud at the weapons manufacturing facility, which is located in the central city of Ramla and produces rocket and missile systems used by the Israeli military. Tomer’s offices are located in proximity to residential areas.

“This was a controlled test with no exceptional circumstances,” Tomer claimed in reaction to the blast. Meanwhile, Haaretz said officials may have underestimated the “collateral damage” of the test, which led to the explosion.

Investigations into the cause of the incident has been launched. Established in 2018, Tomer is affiliated to the Israeli ministry of military affairs and is the manufacturer of a new ballistic missile system, the Arrow-4.

Israel’s Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 missile systems are already operational to intercept incoming missiles in the atmosphere and space. Back in February, Israel announced that it was developing the Arrow-4 with the United States.

“The development of Arrow-4 together with our American partners will result in a technological and operational leap forward, preparing us for the future battlefield and evolving threats in the Middle East and beyond,” Israeli minister of military affairs Benny Gantz said in a statement at the time.

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The Hawks Who Want War With Iran Are Working Overtime

Iran Israel JCPOA

April 15th, 2021

By Ariel Gold & Medea Benjamin

Source

Israeli leaders, Christian fundamentalists, and hawkish Washington neocons are doing everything in their power to block a peaceful US return to the JCPOA.

WASHINGTON (Jacobin) — Just as talks between the United States and Iran were taking place last week in Vienna, a cyberattack was carried out on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility. Reports are that the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, was behind the attack that blacked out the facility just one day after Tehran launched new advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges, and as US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was in Israel speaking about the United States’ “enduring and ironclad” commitment to the Jewish state.

This is the latest in a series of Israeli attacks on Iran designed to scuttle negotiations. Last summer, a number of explosions attributed to Israel broke out across Iran, including a fire at the Natanz site. These took place while US elections were in full swing and Biden was promising that if elected, he would return the United States to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) that Trump withdrew from in 2018. In November 2020, Israeli operatives assassinated Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s top nuclear scientist in the city of Absard outside Tehran. Had Iran responded, the United States might have been dragged into an all-out war.

Israeli officials have also directly lobbied the US Congress to quash the deal. In 2015, Netanyahu traveled to Washington, DC in 2015 to address a joint session of Congress in an attempt to uncut Obama’s original negotiations. This time, Mossad chief Yossi Cohen will be traveling to Washington to meet with top White House and US intelligence officials, and he hopes with Biden directly, to convince the administration that Iran has been concealing details about its nuclear program and therefore can’t be trusted. This is indeed ironic coming from a country that, unlike Iran, actually has nuclear weapons and refuses to disclose any information about its program.

Like Israel, the powerful US lobby American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is trying to convince Biden not to go back into the JCPOA. Last month, they organized bipartisan letters in the House and Senate, urging the Biden administration to insist on an expanded deal that included missiles, human rights, and Iran’s activities in the region. Since Tehran has been clear that an expanded or amended deal is a nonstarter, such “advice” was an attempt to quash talks.

The neoconservative think tank Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), which worked inside the Trump administration during and after Trump pulled out of the JCPOA, has been relentlessly pushing for war with Iran. After the United States recklessly assassinated Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani, FDD CEO Mark Dubowitz gloatedtweeting that the death of Soleimani was “more consequential than the killing of [Osama] #BinLaden”; and on April 11, the same day as the Natanz blackout, former CIA officer and FDD fellow Reuel Marc Gerecht, speaking on CNN, voiced disappointment that Trump hadn’t taken the United States and Iran into an all-out war.

Another group against a deal with Iran is Christians United for Israel (CUFI), one of the most powerful pro-Israel voices in the United States. In March 2021, CUFI urged the Senate not to confirm Colin Kahl for a top policy position at the Pentagon, claiming, “Kahl is a serial Iran appeaser” who “helped advance the disastrous Iran nuclear accord.” In response to the blackout at Natanz, they cheered Netanyahu, tweeting “‘Battling Iran is a colossal mission,’ Netanyahu says following blackout at Iranian nuclear plant.”

The People’s Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK, which the United States had previously designated as a terrorist organization and is known for assassinations and bombings it has carried out, is virulently opposed to US-Iran diplomacy. In March 2021, a number of US Senators attended a virtual event organized by the MEK-aligned Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC) calling for continued US sanctions and “bringing down the regime.” Senator Bob Menendez, the powerful chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was among several Democrats in attendance.

The opponents of the Iran deal are trying to keep in place the draconian wall of sanctions that the Trump administration imposed precisely to make it more difficult for a future US administration to rejoin the JCPOA. But these sanctions are causing immense suffering for ordinary Iranians, including runaway inflation and skyrocketing food and medicine prices. According to the UN, they contributed to the government’s “inadequate and opaque” response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has hit Iran particularly hard.

While “successful” in inflicting harm on the Iranian people, the sanctions have failed to broaden the terms of the talks, led the nation to increase its uranium enrichment, negatively impacted the human rights situation, and put the United States and Iran on the brink of an all-out war on multiple occasions.

That’s why so many people in Iran, and those who care about them, have been encouraged by this new round of diplomatic engagement. But Israel, AIPAC, CUFI, FDD, MEK, Menendez, and the like are probably instead hoping that Iran carries out the revenge that Iranian officials have called for in response to the Natanz blackout. But as the saboteurs of diplomacy hope for a violent escalation, let’s keep in mind — and hope Iran agrees — that the best revenge would be a revived JCPOA.

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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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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Biden Calls the “Killer”

Biden calls the “killer”

Source

THE SAKER • APRIL 13, 2021 

The big news of the day is that Biden decided to call Putin. Here is how the Russians reported this:

At the initiative of the American side, a telephone conversation took place between President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of the United States of America Joseph Biden. The current state of Russian-American relations and some relevant aspects of the international agenda were discussed in detail. Joseph Biden confirmed his earlier invitation to the Russian President to take part in the Climate Summit, which will be held via videoconference on April 22-23. Both sides expressed their readiness to continue the dialogue on the most important areas of ensuring global security, which would meet the interests of not only Russia and the United States, but also the entire world community. Moreover, Joseph Biden expressed interest in normalizing the state of affairs on the bilateral track and establishing stable and predictable cooperation on such pressing issues as ensuring strategic stability and arms control, the Iranian nuclear program, the situation in Afghanistan, and global climate change. In this context, the US President proposed to consider the possibility of holding a personal summit meeting in the foreseeable future. During the exchange of views on the internal Ukrainian crisis, Vladimir Putin outlined approaches to a political settlement based on the Minsk Package of Measures. It was agreed to give instructions to the relevant departments to work out the issues raised during the telephone conversation.

This is t he US version:

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President Vladimir Putin of Russia. They discussed a number of regional and global issues, including the intent of the United States and Russia to pursue a strategic stability dialogue on a range of arms control and emerging security issues, building on the extension of the New START Treaty. President Biden also made clear that the United States will act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to Russia’s actions, such as cyber intrusions and election interference. President Biden emphasized the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The President voiced our concerns over the sudden Russian military build-up in occupied Crimea and on Ukraine’s borders, and called on Russia to de-escalate tensions. President Biden reaffirmed his goal of building a stable and predictable relationship with Russia consistent with U.S. interests, and proposed a summit meeting in a third country in the coming months to discuss the full range of issues facing the United States and Russia.

Why the difference in tone? Because the Russians don’t believe in loud statements before a negotiation and, unlike “Biden”, they are not insecure in their legitimacy (both the legitimacy of their policies and the legitimacy of their government). As for Biden, he just produces the exact same type of hot air which the Trump administration became so infamous for. I can tell you what most Russians think when they hear this. They think: “sure looks to me like the old man is desperately trying to encourage himself!”. I totally concur.

This being said, there is also some very premature triumphalism in Russia. A lot of “hurray patriots” are saying “Biden caved in first”. Their arguments go something like this:

According to Defense Minister Shoigu, the US/NATO have about 40,000 soldiers along the Russian border (ostensibly as an exercise) and about 15,000 weapons systems. In response to that threat, Russia deployed 2 Armies and 3 Airborne Divisions along her western border. That is something of the size of 200,000 soldiers. The US Americans saw this and understood that the Russian “fist” could smash them. This is why Biden caved in.

Well, I am not at all so sure that “Biden” caved in or “blinked first”. Why?

  1. “In the coming months” is too late to defuse the current risks of war. They might meet in the upcoming climate conference on April 22-23. But that is the wrong format.
  2. The first rule of military analysis is “don’t look at intentions, but look at capabilities”. This is even more true for “declared intentions”. And what are we reading into “Biden’s” supposed intentions? “Pursue a strategic security dialog” is the best I can find, and I am really not impressed.
  3. Let’s assume that they meet before a full-scale war breaks out, and so what? Did Trump not meet with Kim Jong-un – did that do any good?

Last Sunday, Margarita Simonian, the head of Russia Today, said something very interesting on a Russian TV show (I paraphrase and summarize here):

We will never be able to reach a real agreement (to coexist) with the USA. Why? This is a country built on violence from Day 1. This is a country stuck with several ideological doctrines, including the Doctrine of Discovery to the Doctrine of Manifest Destiny. All these doctrines say the same thing: “we have the right to do whatever we want and we have the right to rule over everybody else. This land was ours, but those Indian SOBs had the arrogance to live there. So we will massacre them all and then create a beautiful feast when we will celebrate that they taught us what to eat (Thanksgiving Day). This was true not only in the 17th century. I remind you of the year 1831 when we already had the Decembrist revolt while the USA was engaged in a massive ethnic cleansing operation (the Trail of Tears) under the personal supervision of

President Andrew Jackson (a Democrat, by the way!) who deported 5 Indian tribes which were settled, had their own schools and many were Christianized. He deported them to Oklahoma using methods which resulted in thousands of deaths (one tribe lost ¼ of her people. My family was deported by Stalin (we were Armenians) and I can tell you that the methods used by Stalin during his deportations were a “gentle ballet” compared to what the “democractic United States” did.

We will never reach an agreement with them because we cannot agree to collapse. We will never reach an agreement with them because we cannot agree to become paupers. We will never reach an agreement with them because we cannot agree to give up our nuclear weapons. We will never reach an agreement with them because we cannot agree to forsake all our national interests and we cannot agree to only do that which they tell us to do (including to the detriment of our own interests). We will never reach an agreement with them because we will never agree to forget our history and we won’t agree to have our next generations consider themselves as a totally different nation. We will never reach an agreement with them because we will never agree to any of that, and they will never accept anything less! (emphasis added).

Frankly, I can only agree. From the First Crusade on, the core value and even identity of the political West (in its various manifestations) has always been imperialism. This is true of the Latin Papacy as much as it is true about Hitler’s National Socialism, and it is still true for today’s main ideology of the United States. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun. We can call these various manifestations of the united messianic West by many names (today I call it “Zone A”), but this changes nothing to its essence, nature and behavior: the pretextes (ideologies) change, the policies stay the same.

This is why I have been saying that Russia and the AngloZionist Empire are locked in an existential war from which only one party will walk away and the other one will be either destroyed (Russia by the USA) or profoundly change (due to the internal dialectical contradictions of capitalism and the unsustainable nature of the US society today).

And don’t assume that it is “only” Simonian who is “seeing the light”. The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Riabkov, made the following statement about the USA:

“They talk about a high price, but they never mention it. What they have done so far, we have, firstly, studied well, and secondly, we have adapted. We do not believe that such terminology is generally applicable: price, payment, and so on. We simply defend our interests and the interests of our citizens, the Russian-speaking population, and we will continue to protect them”. “The question is what conclusions are drawn from this situation in Kiev and from Kiev’s patrons. These conclusions do not set up a positive mood, these threats only strengthen us in the belief that we are on the right course: the United States is our enemy, doing everything to undermine Russia’s position in the international arena, we do not see other elements in their approach to us. These are our conclusions”.

Pretty clear, no?

Years, even decades, of non-stop US threats against Russia have (finally!) achieved their full effect: the illusions which many Russians had for centuries about their western neighbors have almost completely disappeared from the Russian society and the Russian consciousness. What is left is a firm determination to survive, to live, to do whatever it takes to prevent the Empire from “assimilating” Russia.

Russians now also clearly see another truism of western policies. I would express it as so: it really does not matter whom Russia fights – it maybe even be Satan in person (and in many ways it is, let those with ears…), the West will always, always side with our enemy, even if it is Satan in person (again, let those with ears…). Let me just give you one example which says it all:

The USA claims that it was al-Qaeda which did 9/11. Fine. A high-school physics can prove the opposite, but fine. Yet that self-same USA totally backed “al-Qaeda” (all the various denominations and aliases included) in both Chechnia and Syria (and in Serbia too, I would add). And they are still at it.

Another example? Sure.

The West always supported the worst, most violent, rulers in Russia. Conversely, the very best rulers in Russian history are vilified, slandered and despised in the West, and they are, of course, described as obscurantist tyrants, even when compared to the western leaders of the same time period they look like saints (which some of them literally are!).

Want to try one more? Okay.

Let’s look at religion. In the history of relations between Russia and the West, we see something interesting: it does not matter which branch of western Christianity (Latin or Reformed) is in power, the rulers of the West will always side against their putative “Christian brothers”, even if that means siding with non-Christians! Not much has changed between the 15th century, the Crimean War and today: the West always created an ad-hoc “ecumenical coalition” to try to finally conquer Russia.

The bottom line is this: Simonian is 100% correct. The West’s “program for Russia” has not changed and it remains the same: Russia must vanish. Nothing else is acceptable for our western neighbors.

So where do we go from here?

Frankly, I don’t know. I don’t think anybody does. But I can express my hopes.

I hope that the current Russian stance (we are willing to take on the combined might of the USA+NATO+EU and “why would we want a world without Russia?”) to overcome the West’s delusional narcissism (We are almighty! Nobody can stop us! We will crush you!) and get enough folks back in touch with the “real reality” (as many were during the Cold War). Next, I really hope that the Empire will not unleash the Ukronazis in the Donbass (yes, hope dies last, and I have to admit that I currently don’t see how the Ukies could deescalate). I hope that the people of the EU will liberate themselves from their current colonial status, and that they will regain at least a modicum of real sovereignty. Lastly, I hope that the US society will defeat the Woke-freaks currently in power and that the USA will become a powerful, but normal, country (like so many empires have done it before). The slogan “we want our country back” has my total sympathy. But that is a lot of hope, I know.

Now for a pessimistic shot of realism.

First, Biden, the man, not the collective “Biden”, is in no shape to negotiate with anybody. Neither is his Harris. At best, he can do what microbrains like John Kerry or Josep Borrell did: meet with their counterparts, declare A, then fly back home and immediately proclaim non-A.

Tell me – why would the Russian be interested in this kind of silly circus?

What about the collective “Biden” then? Well, Blinken is definitely smarter that this arrogant imbecile Pompeo, but he sure hates Russia no less. Is that an improvement? Maybe.

I am afraid that this proposed meeting will never happen, I think that the White House sees this as a subtle ruse to try to lower the Russian defenses (both military and political). Won’t happen. It is too late for that.

Could it be that “Biden” is throwing in the towel and seeking some kind of arrangement with Russia. Never say never, but I find this exceedingly unlikely. Why? Because of the centuries long ideological messianic narcissism and sense of impunity of the US rulers: they simply cannot fathom that their “city upon the hill” has been placed in a kind of a “mate in three” situation by a horde of vodka guzzling asian barbarians (just like they can’t fathom how those evil “Commie Chinks” have built an economy vastly superior to theirs).

A famous leader of the “united West” also had a hard time accepting that he, and his putatively “invincible armies”, had been comprehensively defeated by Russian subhumans. Even while he could hear the sound of Soviet cannons in his underground bunker.

Truly, some things never change.

انقلاب في الأردن أم في أميركا؟

عمرو علان - Amro 🇵🇸 (@amrobilal77) | Twitter
*كاتب وباحث سياسي

الأخبار

عمرو علان

الثلاثاء 13 نيسان 2021

تتميّز المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية بموقع جغرافي مميّز، فهي تشكل فاصلاً جغرافياً وحاجزاً بشرياً بين الكيان الصهيوني وبين العراق والسعودية، وبصورة ما أيضاً بين سوريا والكيان الغاصب، إذا ما أخذنا في الحسبان الحدود الأردنية السورية المشتركة، بالإضافة إلى كون الحدود بين الأردن وفلسطين المحتلة هي الأطول من بين دول الطوق.

أما سياسياً، فالمَلَكية في الأردن وأجهزة الدولة تربطهما مع المملكة المتحدة البريطانية والولايات المتحدة الأميركية علاقات وثيقة وقديمة أمنياً واستخبارياً وعسكرياً، ناهيكم بالعلاقات المميزة بين الحكم الأردني وبين الكيان الصهيوني، تتضافر كل هذه العوامل لتجعل الأردن ذا أهمية خاصة في الإستراتيجية الأميركية تُجاه العالم العربي، لذلك تُعد ديمومة الحكم في الأردن واستقراره من المسلّمات في العقيدة الأميركية، وبناءً عليه يُستبعد حصول أي تغيير أو محاولات تغيير في الحكم الأردني دون أن تكون لها ارتباطات دولية وإقليمية، أو دون أن تكون محكومة بسقف أميركي لا يسمح بانزلاق الساحة الأردنية إلى فوضى غير منضبطة، تُفضي إلى انعكاسات أمنية خطيرة على كيان العدو. إذن كيف يمكن تفسير إجهاض ما بات مرجّحاً أنه كان محاولة لاستبدال رأس الحكم الأردني عبر إحلال الأمير حمزة بن الحسين وليّ العهد السابق محل أخيه غير الشقيق الملك عبدالله الثاني؟
بدايةً نستذكر «صفقة القرن» التي طرحها الرئيس الأميركي السابق دونالد ترامب، والتي كانت ترتكز على ثلاثي ترامب وابن سلمان ونتنياهو، وكان واضحاً عدم رضى الأردن الرسمي عن تلك الصفقة بما تشكّله من تهديد مباشر للوصاية الهاشمية على المقدّسات في القدس المحتلة، ومن حيث كونها مقدمة لتنفيذ مخطط الوطن البديل في الأردن، وكان حضور الملك عبدالله الثاني لقمة القدس الاستثنائية التي عُقدت في إسطنبول في كانون الأول/ ديسمبر 2017 برغم الضغوط الإقليمية التي تعرّض لها آنذاك مع محمود عباس لثنيهما عن الحضور علامة فارقة في العلاقات السعودية الأردنية، حيث ظهرت للعلن بعدها آثار توتر العلاقات عبر وقف المساعدات السعودية للأردن وعبر ضغوط أخرى، لكن ما شهدناه في الأيام القليلة الماضية يشير إلى أن تأزّم العلاقات هو أكثر عمقاً مما كان ظاهراً، وأنه مذّاك الحين بدأت السعودية والإمارات بالتعاون مع نتنياهو بالإعداد إلى استبدال رأس الحكم في الأردن ضمن مسعى تنفيذ «صفقة القرن»، وعلى الأرجح أن ذلك كان بعلم ورضى أميركيين لما يشكّله الأردن من أهمية في الاستراتيجية الأميركية.

ما موقع الأردن من الإستراتيجية الجديدة لإدارة بايدن؟ هل تقرر تحويل المملكة الهاشميّة إلى ما يشبه قاعدة عسكرية أمريكية؟


لكن تعثر تطبيق «صفقة القرن»، وصعود الديمقراطيين إلى سدة الحكم الذين جاؤوا باستراتيجية مغايرة لتلك التي اتّبعها ترامب، يبدو أنهما فرضا تبديلاً في الأولويات الأميركية وتغييراً في طريقة التعاطي الأميركي مع ملفات المنطقة، ولقد كان لافتاً إبرام الاتفاقية العسكرية الأميركية الأردنية أخيراً، التي لاقت استياءً كبيراً في الأوساط الأردنية لما تتضمنه من تنازل عن السيادة الأردنية لمصلحة القوات العسكرية الأميركية، والتي تُحوِّل الأردن على امتداد أراضيه إلى قاعدة عسكرية أميركية، وقد تزامن توقيع هذه الاتفاقية مع الإعلان عن إحباط محاولة إطاحة العاهل الأردني عبدالله الثاني، لذلك يصير من المشروع ربط الخطوتين، إحداهما بالأخرى.
إذا ما صحّت هذه القراءة، فنحن نشهد انقلاباً في الإستراتيجية الأميركية تُجاه المنطقة العربية اقتضى طيّ صفحة مشروع سابق لمصلحة مسار جديد يتم العمل به، ويصير معه البعد الداخلي الأردني للأحداث تفصيلاً، ويصبح السؤالان الأهم: ما الذي ترسمه إدارة جو بايدن للمستقبل؟ وما هو موقع الأردن في هذه الإستراتيجية الجديدة الذي يلزمه معها تحويل الأردن إلى ما يشبه القاعدة العسكرية الأميركية؟
من المبكر الإجابة عن هذين التساؤلين بشكل قطعي، فنحن في انتظار تكشُّف المزيد من المعطيات، لكن من المفروغ منه أن احتمالية الانسحاب الأميركي من العراق، ومصير التوصل إلى تفاهم في الملف النووي الإيراني من عدمه، وما يخفيه الأميركي لسوريا في قابل الأيام، هي قضايا لعبت كلها أو بعضها دوراً في الهزة غير المسبوقة التي شهدها الأردن في هذه الأيام القليلة، وفي تحويل الأردن إلى منصة عسكرية أميركية يمكن استعمالها بصورة أو بأخرى.

مقالات سابقة للكاتب


Hezbollah Deputy SG Terms US Return To JCPOA Great Victory for Iran

12/4/2021

Hezbollah Deputy SG Terms US Return To JCPOA Great Victory for Iran

By Staff, Agencies

Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary-General His Eminence Sheikh Naim Qassem described the US return to Iran nuclear deal as a great victory for the Islamic Republic.

Sheikh Qassem said if Iran could make the US return to Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA], it has achieved a great victory.

Iran’s victory will be considered as a victory for the Resistance Movement to ‘Israeli’ occupation of the Palestinian territories, he added.

Earlier, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Friday that the removal of sanctions by the US must be the first step to revive the JCPOA, adding that Iran would reverse all the remedial steps as soon as it verifies that sanction are gone.

There is no need to negotiate US’ rejoining the JCPOA, as US path is completely clear in this regard, Araqchi noted.

“As the US withdrew the deal and resumed illegal sanctions against Iran, it can rejoin the deal in the same way and reverse the sanctions it imposed in total disregard of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231,” he added.

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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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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Analyzing Saudi Arabia’s Changing Attitude Towards Former Allies & Enemies

By Denis Korkodinov

Source

Analyzing Saudi Arabia

There is a huge possibility that the kingdom will nevertheless reconsider some of the directions of its foreign policy, given that the new US President Joe Biden and the head of the American State Department Antony Blinken began to exert tremendous pressure on Riyadh, demanding, in particular, to complete the war in Yemen.

A key feature of the development of the Middle East, from the mid-1970s to the present, is its direct dependence on the global hydrocarbon market. Nevertheless, based on the new geopolitical reality and the existing uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MENA states are forced to significantly reduce their costs and abandon projects related to ensuring regional interests. Saudi Arabia, which for a long time positioned itself as the leading donor for the overwhelming majority of states, is also forced to experience economic difficulties. Such a picture can negatively affect the kingdom’s ability to ensure the realization of its own regional interests and forces it to reconsider its relations with former enemies and allies. First of all, this concerns Iran and Syria.

The main stumbling block between the countries is the draft political settlement of the Syrian crisis. Official power in Damascus, are loyal to the Iranian Ayatollah regime. Riyadh, especially since the beginning of the period of the so-called “Arab Spring”, has been pursuing the goal of reducing Tehran’s influence in the region, but it no longer regards Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as an ideological adversary. Differences in views with Iran are the main source of existing problems on the path to normalizing Syrian-Saudi relations. However, there is a huge possibility that the kingdom will nevertheless reconsider some of the directions of its foreign policy, given that the new US President Joe Biden and the head of the American State Department Antony Blinken began to exert tremendous pressure on Riyadh, demanding, in particular, to complete the war in Yemen. It is quite clear that such a requirement is deliberately impracticable, primarily for political reasons. Thus, the withdrawal of Saudi troops from Yemen may cause another escalation of the conflict, which, in principle, is already clearly visible in the situation in the province of Marib. Of course, this development of events does not meet the interests of the Saudi monarchy, which is especially sensitive to attacks carried out by the Ansar Allah movement both inside and outside Yemen. It should also be noted that the withdrawal from Yemen risks undermining the position of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. In addition, Washington is seeking to re-establish a nuclear deal with Iran, thereby placing the kingdom at a real threat. In such conditions, Riyadh needs to urgently transform its foreign policy, including towards Syria.

On March 1, 2021, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov became the first “extra-regional” high-ranking diplomat to make an official visit to Riyadh and meet in person with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the United States announced a series of anti-Saudi sanctions. Moscow is highly counting on the kingdom’s assistance in recognizing the new Libyan government and resolving the Syrian crisis. According to Russia, this would serve as an international guarantee that the region can soon return to a peaceful life and forget about the time of the protracted Arab Spring. In turn, Riyadh is interested in using Moscow as a mediator in negotiations with Damascus. In addition, the kingdom pursues the goal of determining the direction of its further path in the international arena and finding a “spare ally” in the person of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Initially taking an irreconcilable position in relation to official Damascus, Saudi Arabia is gradually beginning to change its mind and is ready for a dialogue with Bashar al-Assad, including within the framework of the League of Arab States, from which Syria was excluded in 2011. Now Riyadh is considering the possibility of resuming Damascus’s membership in the “Arab family”, but the timeframe for the implementation of this plan is still unclear. So, according to a former employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, retired Colonel Abdullah Mohsen Lafi al-Shammari, this may not happen before the presidential elections in Syria to be held in December 2021. In addition, the question of whether Damascus will want to return to the Arab League raises great doubts. In any case, now Russia and Iran are almost completely compensating Syria for all the costs that could be borne by the member countries of the international Arab organization.

One can, of course, consider that the starting point of such a sharp turn in Saudi diplomacy is the “destructive” policy of US President Joe Biden, who, having attacked Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with harsh criticism, called this approach a “recalibration.” However, a former member of the General Staff of the Saudi Arabian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad al-Harbi, said there is an understanding in the Saudi court that the American “condemnation strategy” is part of a larger geopolitical game. Kuwaiti expert Abdul Mohsen al-Shammari is of the same opinion. At least no one in Riyadh views the murder of Jamal Khashoggi as a serious reason for breaking off relations with Washington. Based on the principle of “real politics,” the Saudi court will not revise the format of cooperation with the White House in the next 30-50 years, even if force majeure circumstances arise in the form of a global conflict.

By putting pressure on Mohammad bin Salman, Washington, apparently, hopes for his categoricality, primarily in issues related to Iran and Russia. Joe Biden dislikes that Riyadh has questioned the US plan to reopen the nuclear deal with Tehran. In addition, the royal family’s interest in developing a constructive dialogue with Moscow also raises concerns in the White House administration. At the same time, Washington’s anti-Saudi rhetoric can be viewed as a kind of manifestation of jealousy.

Recently, US President Joe Biden sanctioned strikes against Iranian targets in Syria. This was a kind of signal for Saudi Arabia, which the US administration thus asked to join its military campaign. And, apparently, in Riyadh they are in no hurry to welcome this “invitation”, preferring to renew good relations with Damascus, but at the same time not to offend Washington. This opinion was confirmed by the Saudi expert Mohammed al-Harbi and his Kuwaiti counterpart Abdul Mohsen al-Shammari.

It is also worth noting that Russia and Saudi Arabia are trying to put pressure on the United States to ease sanctions on Syria in accordance with the “Caesar’s Law.” Our countries agree that Caesar’s Law is generally toxic to regional security and stability. In particular, due to the worsening humanitarian crisis in Syria, the parties to the conflict may attempt another escalation and shift the field of armed struggle to other states. Recent negotiations between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, touched upon, among other things, this problem.

Saudi Arabia is ready to reconsider its relations not only with Syria, but also with Turkey, the political tension with which has become especially aggravated after the events of October 2018. Ankara and Riyadh actually took diametrically opposed positions in the international arena. In just two years, more than 20 Turkish schools have been closed in Mecca and Medina, and imports of Turkish goods into the kingdom in December 2020 reached an all-time low of $13.5 million, about 9 percent of imports in the same period in 2019. However, the situation began to change. Paradoxically, the reason for this was the results of the Second Karabakh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. At least Riyadh positively assessed the use of Turkish drones during the conflict as a tool for enforcing peace and in March 2021 expressed its intention to purchase 8 Bayraktar TB2 complexes from Ankara, which was officially confirmed by Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

Saudi expert Mohammad al-Harbi, speaking about the transformation of foreign policy approaches in the Middle East, noted that Riyadh is ready to forget about grievances and start building friendly relations with many regional and non-regional players. According to the Saudi general, under the influence of the global economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, the kingdom’s foreign policy has undergone dramatic changes. Ideological differences with many states are a thing of the past. There is a huge need for the development of a regional anti-crisis communication system. As a first step on this path, Riyadh is pursuing the goal of normalizing relations with Syria, as well as trying to neutralize the “sharp corners” in the dialogue with Turkey with the obligatory mediation of Russia.

The increased Saudi interest in the peace process in Syria certainly plays a defining role in bilateral contacts. Riyadh intends to contribute to the achievement of peace in the Syrian Arab Republic and agrees to a leading position in the country of Bashar al-Assad. Nevertheless, according to Muhammad al-Harbi, the process of revising the Saudi policy towards official Damascus is still at a starting level, and therefore, it is not yet clear what such a policy can lead to. Nevertheless, Riyadh intends to clearly and consistently implement the Syrian-Saudi “warming” project. It is noteworthy that the regime of Bashar al-Assad quite adequately responds to the good aspirations of the kingdom. At the very least, Damascus is showing international sympathy for the Saudis to become guarantors of security in the MENA region, while maintaining Moscow’s mediating role. However, now the main obstacle is the pro-Iranian and pro-Turkish armed formations that have occupied a significant part of Syrian territory. These “unwanted forces” act as a trigger in regional politics and significantly complicate the implementation of the peacekeeping project under the auspices of Saudi Arabia.

It is possible that following the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Riyadh, direct talks may be organized between the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad already directly in Moscow. In any case, the Saudi court feels a great need for such a negotiation process to take place. The Russian Kremlin, apparently, is working out the details of this plan, hoping, thereby, to strengthen its own positions in the region. After all, if Bashar al-Assad and Mohammed bin Salman really meet directly and can shake hands, then this will generate a global resonance, and this act in terms of its geopolitical impact can be comparable to the conclusion of the Versailles Peace Treaty. At the very least, Riyadh and Damascus, through the resumption of bilateral relations, will be able to end the protracted armed conflict that has led to the deaths of more than 2 million ordinary Syrians.

IRAN REJECTS IRAQI-US “COSMETIC SURGERY,” BUT US-IRAN COOPERATION IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE 1/6

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier:

Following the assassination of Brigadier General Qassem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps – Quds Brigade, the Supreme Leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei vowed before the world, but above all for his allies, that the US would pay the price by leaving West Asia. What Sayyed Khamenei said reflects his opinion and wishes as a Supreme Leader. These wishes do not always coincide with the State of Iran’s behaviour, which must build a relationship with other states according to Iran’s national interests. There is always a flexible line between what the Leader of the Revolution says and how he would like the Iranian government to act. 

However, when Sayyed Khamenei noted that no direct meetings would be accepted unless the US withdraw the harsh sanctions, he drew an unbreakable line the government will have to stick to, without necessarily including all sanctions but certainly the most important ones. Hence, Vienna’s indirect dialogue between the Iranians and those who signed the JCPOA (nuclear deal) but did not withdraw unilaterally as former President Donald Trump did.

Although Sayyed Ali Khamenei announced no time frame for the withdrawal of all US troops from West Asia, there is no doubt that Iran is ready to sit at the same table as its enemy if the outcome could help ease the economic situation in Iran. To Iran, the US administration, regardless of whether who sits at the top of its pyramid is republican or democrat, is not trustworthy. It can revoke international agreements, blatantly disregarding international law. However, in many circumstances, Iran’s supreme Leaders Ayatollah Khomeini and Sayyed Ali Khamenei have allowed the state to meet the Americans so as to favour Iran’s interests even if, from Iran’s perspective, the shadow of war with the US will always hover over the country as long as American forces are in the area. 

The Iranian officials are aware that the Biden administration faces many domestic and foreign challenges, with Russia and China as urgencies. However, for Tehran, its well-being represents the first urgency, and it is unwilling to understand the range of Biden’s priorities. This is why Tehran will not allow the US to rest in Iraq and why it continues to support its own allies in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza. 

In Iraq, officials are promoting some “cosmetic surgery” to apply to the US forces’ presence, as a compromise between what Iran wants and where Iraqis believe their interests lie. Suggesting replacing the US troops with a “European NATO” is a way to tell Biden’s administration that withdrawal is not really on the Iraqi agenda. With or without a nuclear deal, the US can only dream of a peaceful Mesopotamia for its forces in the months to come if the withdrawal is not reached or replaced by a “European NATO”. 

However, total compliance and return to the nuclear agreement will undoubtedly slow down the Iraqi resistance’s aggression against the US forces, which, more than ever, will not abandon Mesopotamia to China, Russia and Iran…

Russia ‘would really not want’ Cold War 2.0

Russia ‘would really not want’ Cold War 2.0

April 09, 2021

The Triple Yoda, Nikolai Patrushev, hopes cooler heads can avoid sanctions such as the SWIFT ‘nuclear option’

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

The Beltway was always fond of describing the late Andrew Marshall – who identified emerging or future threats for the Pentagon and whose proteges included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz – as Yoda.

Well, if that’s the case, then Chinese national security supremo Yang Jiechi – who recently made shark fin’s soup out of Tony Blinken in Alaska – is Double Yoda. And Nikolai Patrushev – Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation – is Triple Yoda.

Amid current ice-cold US-Russia relations – plunged into their worst state since the end of the Cold War – Triple Yoda, discreet, diplomatic and always sharp as a dagger, remains a soothing voice of reason, as demonstrated in a stunning interview by Kommersant daily.

Patrushev, born in 1951, is an army general who worked for KGB counter-intel in Leningrad, during the USSR days. Starting in 1994 he was the head of quite a few FSB departments. From 1999 to 2008 he was the FSB director, and led counter-terror ops in the North Caucasus from 2001 to 2003. Since May 2008 he is Russia’s top security advisor.

Patrushev rarely talks to the media. Thus the importance, for global public opinion, of highlighting some of his key insights. Let us hope the Beltway will be listening.

Patrushev clearly states that Russia does not want Cold War 2.0: “We would really not want that.” And he hopes that “common sense will prevail in Washington.”

Patrushev speaks

On Biden declaring Putin a “killer”: “I would not like to draw parallels, but exactly 75 years ago, in March 1946, Churchill delivered the famous Fulton speech in the presence of President Truman, in which he declared our country, his recent ally in the anti-Hitler coalition, an enemy. This marked the beginning of the Cold War.”

On Ukraine and Donbass: “I am convinced that this is a consequence of serious internal problems in Ukraine, from which the authorities are trying to divert attention in this way. They solve their problems at the expense of Donbass, while capital from the country has been flowing abroad for a long time … and Kiev is selling to foreigners – as they say now, at democratic prices – those remnants of industry that were able to stay afloat.”

On the first order of business for the US and Russia: It’s “the sphere of strategic stability and arms control. There is already a positive example here. It is our common decision to extend the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms, which was certainly not easy for the US administration.”

On possible areas of cooperation: “There is a certain potential for joint work on such issues as the fight against international terrorism and extremism … as well as Syria, the Middle East settlement, the nuclear problem of the Korean peninsula, the JCPOA with Iran … It is long overdue to discuss cyber-security issues, especially in view of Russia’s concerns and the accusations that have been brought forward to us for several years now.”

On contacts with Washington: “They continue. At the end of March, I had a telephone conversation with the assistant to the president of the United States for national security, Mr Sullivan .… By the way, it was held in a calm, business-like atmosphere, and we communicated quite thoroughly and constructively.”

On having no illusions about US apologies: “The United States dropped atomic bombs on Japan completely unnecessarily – although they knew perfectly well that the Red Army was starting hostilities against the Japanese grouping in Manchuria; they knew that Tokyo was ready to surrender. And the Japanese, and indeed the whole world, have been told for three quarters of a century that atomic strikes were inevitable … a kind of punishment from above. Remember what Obama said in his speech at the Hiroshima mourning event? ‘Death fell from heaven.’ And he did not want to say that this death fell from an American plane on the orders of the American president.”

On improvement of relations: “Given the unprecedentedly difficult nature of the internal situation in the United States today, the prospects for the further development of relations can hardly be called encouraging.”

On the US seeing Russia as a “threat,” and whether it is reciprocal: “We now see the main threat in a pandemic. For the United States, by the way, it turned out to be the moment of truth. The problems that American politicians were hiding from their fellow citizens became obvious, including by diverting their attention to the legends of ‘aggressive Russia.’”

On US bio-labs: “I suggest that you pay attention to the fact that numbers of biological laboratories under US control are growing by leaps and bounds across the world. And – by a strange coincidence – mainly at the Russian and Chinese borders … Of course, we and our Chinese partners have questions. We are told that there are peaceful sanitary and epidemiological stations near our borders, but for some reason they are more reminiscent of Fort Detrick in Maryland, where Americans have been working in the field of military biology for decades. By the way, it is necessary to pay attention to the fact that outbreaks of diseases uncharacteristic of these regions are recorded in the adjacent areas.”

On US accusations that Russia uses chemical weapons: “There is zero evidence, there is no argumentation either; some speculation does not even withstand an elementary test … When chemical incidents occurred in Syria, conclusions were drawn instantly and based on the information of the notorious ‘White Helmets.’ The organization worked so ‘well’ that it sometimes published its reports even before the incidents themselves.”

On NATO: “The question arises: who is holding back whom? Are Washington and Brussels holding back Russia, or is it their task to hold back the development of Germany, France, Italy and other European states? On the whole, NATO can hardly be called a military-political bloc. Remember how in the days of feudalism the vassals were obliged to appear to the master with their armies at his first  request? Only today they still have to buy weapons from the patron, regardless of their financial situation; otherwise questions about their loyalty will arise.”

On Europe: “Engaging with Europe is important. But being together with Europe at any cost is not a fix for Russian geopolitics. Nevertheless we keep the doors open, because we understand perfectly well that there is a momentary situation that Western politicians are guided by, and at the same time there are historical ties that have been developing between Russians and Europeans for centuries.”

On multipolarity: “There are a number of problems in the world today that, in principle, cannot be resolved without normal cooperation between the world’s leading players – Russia, the USA, the EU, China and India.”

The SWIFT ‘nuclear option’

Patrushev’s insights are particularly relevant as the Russia-China strategic partnership is solidifying by the minute; Foreign Minister Lavrov, in Pakistan, has called for literally everyone, “including the European Union,” to join Russia’s vision of a Greater Eurasia; and everyone is waiting for a face-off in the Donbass.

Patrushev’s diplomatic finesse still cannot erase the uneasy feeling in chancelleries across Eurasia about the distinct possibility of an incoming flare-up in the Donbass – with some extremely worrying consequences.

Dangerous scenarios are being openly discussed in Brussels corridors, especially one that sees the US/NATO combo expecting a de facto partition after a short hot war – with Novorossiya absorbing even Odessa.

If that is established as a fact on the ground, a new harsh round of US sanctions will follow. Iron Curtain 2.0 would be in effect; pressure for cancelation of Nord Stream 2 would reach fever pitch; and even the expulsion of Russia from SWIFT would be considered.

Dmitri Medvedev, currently Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council, once called the latter “the nuclear option.” Patrushev was diplomatic enough not to address its volcanic consequences.

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

April 9, 2021

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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

Related News

Tension in Ukraine and the Turkish Straits Issue التوتر في أوكرانيا وقضية المضائق التركية

Tension in Ukraine and the Turkish Straits Issue

Ukraine tensions - Russia, USA, NATO, the Turkish Straits

 ARABI SOURI 

حسني محلي
International relations researcher and specialist in Turkish affairs

The following is the English translation from Arabic of the latest article by Turkish career journalist Husni Mahali he published in the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news site Al-Mayadeen Net:

The Ukrainian interior, especially the border separating the west and east of the country, is witnessing a dangerous tension, which many expect will turn into hot confrontations between Ukraine backed by America and some European countries and Russia that support separatists in the east of the country, who in 2014 declared autonomy in the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

This tension acquires additional importance with the approaching date of the exercises scheduled to take place next month, with the participation of Ukrainian forces and NATO units, the largest of their kind since the fall of the Soviet Union. Moscow sees in these maneuvers, which bear the name ‘Defending Europe – 21’, as a direct threat, because they will include the Black Sea and the North Baltic Seas, which are potential hotbeds of confrontation between Russia and NATO.

All this comes as Washington continues its relentless efforts to include Ukraine and Georgia in the (NATO) alliance before the end of this year, after it included in 2004 both Bulgaria and Romania to it, in an attempt to tighten the blockade on Russia in the Black Sea, which Turkey also overlooks.

President Biden called his Ukrainian counterpart Zalinsky (a Jew and a friend of Netanyahu), and after that the contacts made by the defense and foreign ministers, the chief of staff, and the secretary-general of the US National Security Council with their Ukrainian counterparts this week, to prove the seriousness of the situation in the region, after Washington confirmed its absolute support for Ukraine in its crisis with Russia.

The Russian response to these US-Ukrainian provocations was not late, Moscow mobilized very large forces in the region, and large naval maneuvers began in the Crimea and the Krasnodar region in southeastern Ukraine and in the northern Black Sea.

The timing of the Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Shantop’s speech about President Erdogan’s powers to withdraw from the Montreux Convention gained additional importance, because it coincided with the escalation between Moscow and Washington, and sparked a new debate in the Turkish, Russian and Western streets, as 120 retired Turkish diplomats signed, and after them 103 admirals retirees, on two separate statements in which they denounced Shantop’s words, and said: ‘The withdrawal from the Montreux Agreement puts Turkey in front of new and dangerous challenges in its foreign policy, and forces it to align itself with one of the parties to the conflict in the region.

The response came quickly from Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu and Fakhruddin Altun, spokesman for President Erdogan, who accused the admirals of ‘seeking a new coup attempt. While the Public Prosecutor filed an urgent lawsuit against the signatories of the Military personnel’s statement, the leader of the National Movement Party, Devlet Bakhsali, Erdogan’s ally, demanded that they be tried and their pensions cut off. Some see this discussion as an introduction to what Erdogan is preparing for with regard to the straits and raising the level of bargaining with President Putin.

The ‘Montreux Convention’ of 1936 recognized Turkey’s ownership of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles straits while ensuring freedom of commercial navigation in them for all ships, and set strict conditions for the passage of warships owned by countries not bordering the Black Sea through these straits. Washington does not hide its dissatisfaction with this convention, and since the fall of the Soviet Union, it has been planning to send the largest possible number of its warships to the Black Sea and the bases it is now seeking to establish in Bulgaria and Romania, and later Ukraine and Georgia.

With Turkey’s support for this American scheme, Russian warships will find themselves in a difficult situation en route to and from the Mediterranean. Russian diplomatic circles have considered the Istanbul channel that Erdogan seeks to split between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, parallel to the Bosphorus, as an attempt by Ankara to circumvent the ‘Montreux Convention’, so that American and (North) Atlantic warships can pass through this channel in the quantity and sizes they want, far from the conditions of the Montreux Convention.

All these facts make Turkey, directly or indirectly, an important party in the possible hot confrontations in Ukraine, given Ankara’s intertwined strategic relations with Kiev, especially in the field of war industries, especially the jet engines for drones and advanced missiles. In addition to this, the Turkish religious and national interest in the Crimea region, which Muslims make up about 15% of its population, with their bad memories during the communist Soviet rule, the ideological enemy of the Turkish state, which is the heir to the Ottoman Empire, which is the historical enemy of the Russian Empire.

Whatever the potential developments in the Ukrainian crisis and their implications for the Turkish role in the Black Sea region, with their complex calculations, Moscow and Washington (and their European allies) do not neglect their other regional and international accounts in the Mediterranean and Red Sea regions, especially with the continuation of the Syrian, Yemeni, Somali and Libyan crises, and their repercussions on the balance of power in the basins of the Straits of Hormuz, Bab el-Mandeb and the Eastern Mediterranean, where ‘Israel’ is present, which borders Jordan with its recent surprising events.

Erdogan Used 3000 Syrian Terrorists in the Nagorno Karabach Battles

https://syrianews.cc/erdogan-used-3000-syrian-terrorists-in-the-nagorno-karabach-battles/embed/#?secret=MqFNSvMgQn

Here, the recent Russian-Iranian-Chinese moves with their various elements gain additional importance, because they disturbed and worried Western capitals, which found themselves forced, even in their last attempt, to distance Tehran from this alliance, by returning to the nuclear agreement as soon as possible.

Washington and Western capitals believe that this may help them to devote themselves to the Ukraine crisis, and then to similar issues in other regions, through which it aims to tighten the siege on Russia in its backyards in Central Asia and the Caucasus, where Georgia and Azerbaijan have direct links with Turkey.

It has become clear that, with all its geostrategic advantages, it will be the arena of competition, and perhaps direct and indirect future conflict between Washington and Moscow, as they race together to gain more positions in its arena, which supports President Erdogan’s position externally, because his accounts have become intertwined in Syria and Karabakh with Russia, and its ally Iran, it will also support his projects and plans internally to stay in power forever, thanks to US and European economic and financial support. Without this, he cannot achieve anything.

The bet remains on the content of the phone call that the Turkish president is waiting for from President Biden, for which many have written many different scenarios that will have their results reflected on the overall US-Russian competitions. This possibility will raise the bargaining ceiling between Erdogan and both Putin and Biden, whoever pays the most will win Turkey on his side or prevent it from allying with his enemy.

Intercontinental Wars – Part 3 The Open Confrontation

https://syrianews.cc/intercontinental-wars-part-3-the-open-confrontation/embed/#?secret=byysW2Qrix

Tsar Putin Brings the Sultan Wannabe Erdogan Half Way Down the Tree

https://syrianews.cc/tsar-putin-brings-the-sultan-wannabe-erdogan-half-way-down-the-tree/embed/#?secret=AkXY3KfFOg

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التوتر في أوكرانيا وقضية المضائق التركية

حسني محلي
باحث علاقات دولية ومختصص بالشأن التركي

حسني محلي

المصدر: الميادين نت

5 نيسان 12:08

مهما كانت التطورات المحتملة في الأزمة الأوكرانية وانعكاساتها على الدور التركي في منطقة البحر الأسود، بحساباتها المعقدة، لا تهمل موسكو وواشنطن حسابتهما الإقليمية والدولية الأخرى في منطقتي الأبيض المتوسط والأحمر.

التوتر في أوكرانيا وقضية المضائق التركية
تسعى واشنطن لضم أوكرانيا إلى حلف شمال الأطلسي

يشهد الداخل الأوكراني، وخصوصاً الحدود الفاصلة بين غرب البلاد وشرقها، توتراً خطيراً يتوقع الكثيرون أن يتحوّل إلى مواجهات ساخنة بين أوكرانيا المدعومة من أميركا وبعض الدول الأوروبية وروسيا التي تدعم الانفصاليين شرق البلاد، الذين أعلنوا في العام 2014 حكماً ذاتياً في جمهوريتي دونيتسك ولوغانسك.

يكتسب هذا التوتّر أهمية إضافية مع اقتراب موعد المناورات المقرر إجراؤها الشهر القادم، بمشاركة القوات الأوكرانية ووحدات الحلف الأطلسي، وهي الأكبر من نوعها منذ سقوط الاتحاد السوفياتي. ترى موسكو في هذه المناورات التي تحمل اسم “الدفاع عن أوروبا – 21” خطراً يستهدفها بشكلٍ مباشر، لأنّها ستشمل البحر الأسود وبحر البلطيق الشمالي، وهي ساحات المواجهة الساخنة المحتملة بين روسيا والحلف الأطلسي.

يأتي كلّ ذلك مع استمرار مساعي واشنطن الحثيثة لضم أوكرانيا وجورجيا إلى الحلف قبل نهاية العام الجاري، بعد أن ضمّت في العام 2004 كلاً من بلغاريا ورومانيا إليه، في محاولة منها لتضييق الحصار على روسيا في البحر الأسود الذي تطل تركيا أيضاً عليه.

وجاء اتصال الرئيس بايدن بنظيره الأوكراني زالينسكي (يهودي وصديق لنتنياهو)، وبعده الاتصالات التي أجراها وزراء الدفاع والخارجية ورئيس الأركان وسكرتير عام مجلس الأمن القومي الأميركي بنظرائهم الأوكرانيين خلال الأسبوع الجاري، لتثبت مدى جدية الوضع في المنطقة، بعد أن أكدت واشنطن دعمها المطلق لأوكرانيا في أزمتها مع روسيا.

لم يتأخّر الرد الروسي على هذه الاستفزازات الأميركية – الأوكرانية، فقامت موسكو بحشد قوات كبيرة جداً في المنطقة، وبدأت مناورات بحرية واسعة في شبه جزيرة القرم وإقليم كراسنودار جنوب شرق أوكرانيا وفي شمال البحر الأسود. 

وقد اكتسب التوقيت الزمني لحديث رئيس البرلمان التركي مصطفى شانتوب عن صلاحيات الرئيس إردوغان للانسحاب من اتفاقية “مونترو” أهمية إضافية، لأنه تزامن مع التصعيد بين موسكو وواشنطن، وأثار نقاشاً جديداً في الشارع التركي والروسي والغربي، إذ وقّع 120 دبلوماسياً تركياً متقاعداً، وبعدهم 103 أميرالات متقاعدين، على بيانين منفصلين استنكروا فيهما كلام شانتوب، وقالوا: “إن الانسحاب من اتفاقية “مونترو” يضع تركيا أمام تحديات جديدة وخطيرة في سياستها الخارجية، ويجبرها على الانحياز إلى أحد أطراف الصراع في المنطقة”.

جاء الرد سريعاً على لسان وزير الداخلية سليمان صويلو، وفخر الدين التون، المتحدث باسم الرئيس إردوغان، اللذين اتهما الأميرالات “بالسعي لمحاولة انقلاب جديدة”، فيما أقام وكيل النيابة العامة دعوى قضائية عاجلة ضد الموقعين على بيان العسكر، وطالب زعيم حزب الحركة القومية دولت باخشالي، حليف إردوغان، بمحاكمتهم وقطع المرتبات التقاعدية عنهم. ويرى البعض أن هذا النقاش مقدمة لما يحضّر له إردوغان في ما يتعلق بالمضائق ورفع مستوى المساومة مع الرئيس بوتين. 

وكانت اتفاقية “مونترو” للعام 1936 قد اعترفت بملكية تركيا لمضيقي البوسفور والدردنيل، مع ضمان حرية الملاحة التجارية فيهما لجميع السفن، وحددت شروطاً صارمة على مرور السفن الحربية التي تملكها الدول غير المطلة على البحر الأسود من هذه المضائق. لا تخفي واشنطن عدم ارتياحها إلى هذه الاتفاقية، وهي تخطط منذ سقوط الاتحاد السوفياتي لإرسال أكبر عدد ممكن من سفنها الحربية إلى البحر الأسود، وتسعى الآن إلى إنشاء قواعد في بلغاريا ورومانيا، ولاحقاً في أوكرانيا وجورجيا.

وبدعم تركيا لهذا المخطط الأميركي، ستجد السفن الحربية الروسية نفسها في وضع صعب في الطريق من البحر الأبيض المتوسط وإليه. وقد اعتبرت أوساط دبلوماسية روسية قناة إسطنبول التي يسعى إردوغان لشقّها بين بحر مرمرة والبحر الأسود، وبشكل موازٍ لمضيق البوسفور، محاولة من أنقرة للالتفاف على اتفاقية “مونترو”، حتى يتسنّى للسفن الحربية الأميركية والأطلسية المرور في هذه القناة بالكم والكيف اللذين تشاؤهما، بعيداً من شروط اتفاقية “مونترو”.

كل هذه المعطيات تجعل تركيا، بشكل مباشر أو غير مباشر، طرفاً مهماً في المواجهات الساخنة المحتملة في أوكرانيا، نظراً إلى علاقات أنقرة الاستراتيجية المتشابكة مع كييف، وخصوصاً في مجال الصناعات الحربية، وفي مقدمتها المحركات النفاثة للطائرات المسيّرة والصواريخ المتطورة. يُضاف إلى ذلك الاهتمام التركي الديني والقومي بمنطقة القرم التي يشكل المسلمون حوالى 15% من سكّانها، مع ذكرياتهم السيّئة خلال الحكم السوفياتي الشيوعي، العدو العقائدي للدولة التركية، وهي وريثة الإمبراطورية العثمانية التي تعدّ العدو التاريخي للإمبراطورية الروسيّة.

مهما كانت التطورات المحتملة في الأزمة الأوكرانية وانعكاساتها على الدور التركي في منطقة البحر الأسود، بحساباتها المعقدة، لا تهمل موسكو وواشنطن (وحلفاؤهما الأوروبيون) حسابتهما الإقليمية والدولية الأخرى في منطقتي الأبيض المتوسط والأحمر، وخصوصاً مع استمرار الأزمات السورية واليمنية والصومالية والليبية، وانعكاساتها على موازين القوى في حوضي مضيقي هرمز وباب المندب وشرق الأبيض المتوسط، حيث تتواجد “إسرائيل” التي تحتل فلسطين المجاورة للأردن بأحداثه الأخيرة المفاجئة.

وهنا، تكتسب التحركات الروسية – الإيرانية – الصينية الأخيرة بعناصرها المختلفة أهمية إضافية، لأنها أزعجت وأقلقت العواصم الغربية التي وجدت نفسها مضطرة، ولو في محاولة أخيرة منها، إلى إبعاد طهران عن هذا التحالف، عبر العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي بأسرع ما يمكن. 

وتعتقد واشنطن والعواصم الغربية أن ذلك قد يساعدها للتفرغ لأزمة أوكرانيا، وبعدها لقضايا مماثلة في مناطق أخرى، تهدف من خلالها إلى تضييق الحصار على روسيا في حدائقها الخلفية في آسيا الوسطى والقوقاز، حيث جورجيا وأذربيجان ذات الصلة المباشرة مع تركيا. 

وقد بات واضحاً أنها، وبكل مزاياها الجيوستراتيجية، ستكون ساحة المنافسة، وربما الصراع المستقبلي المباشر وغير المباشر بين واشنطن وموسكو، وهما تتسابقان معاً لكسب المزيد من المواقع في ساحتها، وهو ما يدعم موقف الرئيس إردوغان خارجياً، لأن حساباته باتت متداخلة في سوريا وكاراباخ مع روسيا وحليفتها إيران، كما سيدعم مشاريعه ومخططاته داخلياً للبقاء في السلطة إلى الأبد، بفضل الدعم الاقتصادي والمالي الأميركي والأوروبي. ومن دون ذلك، لا يمكنه أن يحقق شيئاً.

يبقى الرهان على فحوى المكالمة الهاتفية التي ينتظرها الرئيس التركي من الرئيس بايدن، والتي كتب من أجلها الكثيرون العديد من السيناريوهات المختلفة التي ستنعكس بنتائجها على مجمل المنافسات الأميركية – الروسية. سيرفع هذا الاحتمال سقف المساومة بين إردوغان وكلٍّ من بوتين وبايدن. ومن يدفع منهم أكثر سوف يكسب تركيا إلى جانبه أو يمنعها من التحالف مع عدوه.

حتى تلك الساعة، يبدو واضحاً أن الجميع يراهن على مضمون الصفقة التي سيقترحها الرئيس بايدن على الرئيس إردوغان، وشروط الأخير للقبول بتفاصيلها أو رفضها، وهو يدري أن الرئيس بوتين يملك بدوره ما يكفيه من الأوراق لإبقاء تركيا خارج الحلبة الأميركية، حتى لا تعود، كما كانت في سنوات الحرب الباردة، سمكة عالقة في الصنارة الأميركية. 

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