بوتين والأسد يفتتحان المرحلة الجديدة

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يقدم الاجتماع الهام الذي جمع الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين بالرئيس السوري بشار الأسد في موسكو، تأكيداً جديداً على ما أظهرته أحداث السنوات العشر الماضية من إشارات لموقع ومكانة سورية في معادلات المنطقة، بعدما أريد لهذه الأحداث ان تمحو تلك المكانة التي حجزتها سورية على مدى عقود ماضية، وتكمن أهمية لقاء الرئيسين بوتين والأسد أنه يأتي في لحظة تقاطع جملة أحداث دولية وإقليمية وسورية، ليشكل نقطة انطلاق لمسار جديد ترتسم معالمه بسرعة بعد جمود امتد لسنوات في ملفات المنطقة منذ إعلان الانسحاب الأميركي من التفاهم النووي مع إيران، ضمن سياق تصعيدي لكسر جبهة المواجهة التي تضم روسيا والصين وإيران وسورية ودول وقوى آسيوية أخرى، جمعها السعي لكسر مشروع الهيمنة الأميركية على أكبر قارات العالم مساحة وسكاناً، والتي تختزن أكثر من نصف ثروات العالم وأكثر من نصف قدرات العالم العسكرية، فصمدت جبهة المواجهة ونجحت باحتواء عاصفة التصعيد.

خلال هذا العام ومع تسلم الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة، شهدت آسيا تكريساً لتفاهم القوى الصاعدة في آسيا على قطع الطريق أمام عروض الصفقات الثنائية التي توهمت إدارة الرئيس الأميركي الجديد جو بايدن أنها سياسة قادرة على استعادة زمام المبادرة، وبدأت ملامح التسليم الأميركي بالفشل مع الانسحاب الأميركي من أفغانستان، الذي تزامن مع انتقال دول وقوى محور المقاومة إلى الهجوم لكسر خطط الحصار الأميركية، فخرجت فلسطين منتصرة من معركة سيف القدس، وخرجت إيران بانتخاباتها الرئاسية تحمل راية القائد الجنرال قاسم سليماني بإخراج القوات الأميركية من المنطقة، وبلغ الملف النووي الإيراني مراتب علمية تضع واشنطن بين خيارات أحلاها مر، فإما تقبل بلوغ إيران اللحظة النووية الحرجة المتمثلة بامتلاك كمية من اليورانيوم المخصب على درجة عالية تكفي لتصنيع قنبلة نووية، أو الانكفاء عن الشروط وقبول العودة بلا شروط إلى الاتفاق النووي، وتوج هذا الهجوم المعاكس مشهد السفن الإيرانية التي استقدمها حزب الله تحت شعار السفن قطعة أرض لبنانية، لتنقلب واشنطن من خط الحصار إلى البدء بفك الحصار من باب التراجع عن بعض عقوبات قانون قيصر لتتيح نقل الغاز من مصر والكهرباء من الأردن عبر سورية إلى لبنان.

موسكو كانت على ضفة التلقي لكل هذه المتغيرات المتحركة، حتى جاءت زيارة المبعوث الأميركي الخاص بالملف الإيراني روبرت مالي إلى موسكو مدخلاً لإحداث النقلة في السياسات، فسورية هي حجر الرحى في معادلات المنطقة، وقد باءت كل محاولات تجاوزها بالفشل، بمثل ما فشلت خلال السنوات الماضية مشاريع إسقاطها وتفتيبها، فلا شام جديد فاعل بلا الشام، ولا قمة جوار العراق تنجح بلا الجار الأول، وواشنطن تعترف بفشل العقوبات في صناعة السياسة كما اعترفت بفشل القوة العسكرية بصناعتها وفقاً لتوصيف الرئيس بايدن لحاصل الحرب في أفغانستان، ويحضر العرض الروسي على طاولة المباحثات، تشجيع روسي لإيران للعودة إلى مفاوضات فيينا وإنجاز تفاهم تقني أولي مع الوكالة الدولية للطاقة الذرية مقابل التزام أميركي بالتخلي عن الأوهام التي عطلت التوصل لتفاهم في جولات فيينا يضمن العودة إلى الاتفاق الأصلي من دون تعديلات وشروط وإضافات، ودعوة روسية لواشنطن لحسم أمر الانسحاب من سورية لقوات أميركية تتواجد بصورة غير شرعية، لحساب تولي موسكو مواصلة الحرب على “داعش” وإدارة الحوار بين الجماعات الكردية التي ترعاها واشنطن والدولة السورية وتنشيط العملية السياسية، بما يفتح الباب لسقوط الذريعة التركية للبقاء في شمال غربي سورية. وجاءت المعارك التي خاضها الجيش السوري في منطقة الجنوب، والتي انتهت بدخوله إلى درعا تحت نظر قاعدة التنف لتقول لجميع الجماعات الموهومة بالإسناد الأميركي أن مرحلة جديدة قد بدأت، وأن بسط سيطرة الدولة السورية على كامل أراضيها تنطلق.

يدرك الأميركيون معنى فقدان المشروعية الداخلية والخارجية للبقاء في سورية والعراق بعد انسحابهم من أفغانستان، بعدما فقدوا شرعية هذا البقاء في العراق بعد مطالبتهم من مجلس النواب العراقي بالانسحاب، بينما لم يملكوا شرعية وجودهم في سورية يوماً، كما يدرك الأميركيون أن فترة السماح المتاحة أمامهم لإعلان الانسحاب لن تطول قبل أن تبدأ عمليات المقاومة باستهدافهم، ويدركون أن المخرج المتاح بأقل الخسائر هو تظهير الانسحاب من سورية كحلقة من حلقات تقاسم مهام الحرب على الإرهاب مع روسيا، وإظهار نية التشارك مع موسكو في الدفع باتجاه تنشيط فرص الحل السياسي في سورية على قاعدة التراجع التدريجي عن العقوبات وفكفكتها لحساب توفيرالتمويل لإعادة النازحين وإعادة الإعمار، كما قالت دراسة الدبلوماسي الأميركي السابق الخبير بشؤون سورية جيفيري فيلتمان، ونصائح السفير الأميركي السابق لدى سورية روبرت فورد.

مرحلة جديدة في المنطقة ستبدأ من سورية، وفرص يمكن أن يلتقطها، ويفترض أن يلاقيها بعض العرب واللبنانيين كي لا يظهروا مجرد صدى للصوت الأميركي.

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العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي… بلا شروط

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  رغم الكلام الفارغ الصادر عن المسؤولين الأميركيين، تحت عنوان أنّ واشنطن لن تواصل التفاوض حول الملف النووي الإيراني إلى ما لا نهاية، وعن خيار التخلي عن الاتفاق النووي، أو عن وجود بدائل للعودة إلى الاتفاق، يعرف كل مسؤول في واشنطن وتل أبيب والرياض وباريس ولندن وبرلين أن ليس في جعبتهم شيء غير العودة إلى الاتفاق، وأنّ كلّ الطلبات الإضافية كأثمان للعودة، سواء في الملفات الإقليمية أو ملف الصواريخ أو إبقاء بعض العقوبات، سيعني عدم العودة، كما يعرفون أنه عندما تقول إيران إنها لن تواصل التفاوض إلى ما لا نهاية وإن لديها بدائل للاتفاق، فيجب أن يأخذوا كلامها على محمل الجد، ذلك أن الزمن يفعل لصالح إيران، وفقاً لما يقوله الأميركيون والإسرائيليون وما قاله بالأمس مدير عام الوكالة الدولية للطاقة الذرية، عن أنّ إيران تستثمر الوقت لمراكمة المزيد من اليورانيوم المخصّب بنسب عالية يجعلها أقرب لما يسمّونه بالحظة النووية الحرجة، وهي لحظة امتلاك ما يكفي لإنتاج قنبلة نووية.

بالتوازي لا يملك الأميركيون والأوروبيون سوى إغواء رفع العقوبات لتحفيز إيران لقبول العودة، والالتزام بموجباتها المنصوص عليها في الاتفاق، خصوصاً أن إيران التزمت منفردة لسنتين بالاتفاق في ظل الانسحاب الأميركي بلا سبب أو مبرّر كما يقول جميع الشركاء الآخرين بمن فيهم الأوروبيون ووكالة الطاقة الذرية والأمم المتحدة عدا عن الصين وروسيا، والعودة عن العقوبات اليوم هي إعلان العودة إلى الاتفاق من الجانب الأميركي لامتلاك مشروعية مطالبة إيران بالعودة المماثلة، ووفقاً لما يقوله الأميركيون و»الإسرائيليون» أيضاً فإنّ رفع العقوبات عن إيران لم يعد يملك ذات السحر الذي كان يملكه قبل ست سنوات يوم توقيع الاتفاق في مثل هذه الأيام، حيث كانت العقوبات صادرة عن الأمم المتحدة، وهذا قد سقط إلى غير رجعة، وفتح أمام إيران الطريق لحلول اقتصادية ومالية عديدة، لم تنجح العقوبات الأميركية بتعطيلها، فالمتاجرة بين إيران وروسيا والصين وتركيا وباكستان واليابان وكوريا الجنوبية والعراق  وسواها من الدول، بقيت تجد بدائل لها تتفادى العقوبات الأميركية، فيما نجحت إيران بتطوير صناعات نفطية أضعفت حاجتها لتصدير النفط الخام، كما نجحت بتطوير اقتصادها لتفادي حجم الاقتصاد الاستهلاكي والريعي لحساب الإنتاج.

عندما تقول واشنطن إنها تستعجل العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي تسهيلاً للتفرغ لمواجهة الصين، فهل تنتظر من الصين أن تقف مكتوفة الأيدي، وهي تعلم وتقول إنها تعلم، أن الاتفاق الاستراتيجي الاقتصادي بين الصين وإيران أفقد العقوبات الأميركية فعاليتها، وأسقط قيمة العودة للاتفاق النووي بالنسبة لإيران، وجعل عائداته مجرد مكاسب إضافية لا يجوز إضاعتها، لكنها لا تستحق القتال من أجلها، فيما تعرف واشنطن أن الضفة الدولية الموازية للاهتمام الأميركي بالمواجهة التي تمثلها موسكو باتت شريكاً استراتيجياً لطهران في العديد من السياسات الإقليمية، التي تجعل الحفاظ على إيران قوية موضع اهتمام صيني- روسي، لا يمكن للأميركي تبديله لا بالإغراءات ولا بالتهديدات لكل من الصين وروسيا.

الكلام الأميركي عن بدائل يعني شيئاً واحداً هو العودة إلى خطة الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب التي صعد الرئيس جو بايدن على قاعدة القول بأنها خطأ جسيم، وأنه في ظلها طوّرت إيران نظام الصواريخ وطوّرت قوى المقاومة مزيداً من الحضور، وتمّ اختصار المسافة عن اللحظة النووية الحرجة من سنة إلى بضعة أسابيع كما قال كل من وزير الخارجية الأميركية أنتوني بلينكن ومستشار الأمن القومي الأميركي جايك سوليفان والمبعوث الأميركي الخاص روبرت مالي مراراً، أما الرهان على الخيار العسكري، فهل من عاقل يتخيّل أنّ أحداً يأخذه على محمل الجد في ضوء المشهد الأفغاني، والتلويح بالاعتماد على ضربات «إسرائيلية» يبدو مجرد مزحة سمجة في ضوء الكلام «الإسرائيلي» والمؤيد أميركياً بأن إيران وقوى المقاومة في وضع تفوّق استراتيجي، وفائض قوة يتيح تحويل أي تحرش «إسرائيلي» جدي إلى مبرر لمواجهة شاملة لن تكون نهايتها في صالح «إسرائيل».

مرة أخرى كما كانت الحال عليه قبل ست سنوات، لا بديل للاتفاق مع إيران إلا الاتفاق مع إيران، ومضمون الاتفاق عودة غير مشروطة عن العقوبات، على قاعدة الالتزام المتبادل بالاتفاق الأصلي من دون الرهان على متغيرات وتحوّلات، هي في غير صالح الثنائي الأميركي «الإسرائيلي».

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Raisi: Unconstructive IAEA Attitude Can’t Have Constructive Response

September 9, 2021

Raisi: Unconstructive IAEA Attitude Can’t Have Constructive Response

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian President Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi warned the United Nations nuclear watchdog against the consequences of its “unconstructive” attitude towards Iran.

Raisi made the remarks during a phone call initiated by European Council chief Charles Michel, which he had officially requested to hold with the Iranian chief executive.

“Instances of Iran’s serious cooperation with the [International Atomic Energy] Agency [IAEA] serve as shining examples of its will to observe transparency in its nuclear activities,” Raisi said.

“[However,] the agency’s unconstructive attitude will be disruptive of the negotiation course,” he noted, adding, “Naturally, it defies logic to expect Iran to offer a constructive reaction to such attitude.”

The IAEA has, on several occasions, relied on so-called information provided to it by the US and the Zionist Mossad spy agency to allege the presence of “uranium traces” on some locations inside the Islamic Republic.

The body that is forbidden from trusting alleged data provided to it by foreign intelligence services has been using the claims to request visits to those sites on Iranian soil.

Tehran, which has been warning the agency against adopting such approaches, has, nevertheless, provided it with voluntary access to those sites to show its goodwill. The good-faith gestures have not stopped the agency, though, from repeating such requests.

Raisi said Iran was the only country that stood by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] in the face of the United States and Europeans’ non-commitment.

The US left the historic 2015 nuclear deal three years after its conclusion and began reinforcing its oppressive sanctions against the Iranian nation. Its European allies in the deal—the UK, France, and Germany—were quick to start toeing Washington’s sanction line as closely as possible.

Raisi also took exception to Europe’s refusal to duly condemn the US’s early 2020 “terrorist” assassination of Iran’s senior anti-terror commander, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

The entire world witnessed that Iran was the only country to truly confront Daesh’s [Arabic for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] terrorism in Iraq and Syria, the Iranian president asserted.

He called General Soleimani, who used to direct Iran’s military advisory assistance to Baghdad and Damascus in the face of the group, “a hero of terror fight in the region and the world,” censuring European countries for failing to adopt a “just position” on his assassination.

NYT: “Israel’s” Spy Agency Snubbed the US, Trust Broken

August 28, 2021

NYT: “Israel’s” Spy Agency Snubbed the US, Trust Broken

By Staff, Agencies

A new report says the “Israeli” regime gave the administration of US President Joe Biden a last-minute notice before an act of sabotage that caused a power outage at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility earlier this year.

Citing unnamed American and “Israeli” sources, the New York Times reported that former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered “Israeli” security officials to reduce the information that they conveyed to the US about planned operations in Iran.

On April 11, when the attack took place at Natnaz nuclear site, the “Israeli” entity’s Mossad spy agency gave the US less than two hours’ notification, far too short a time for Washington to assess the operation or ask Tel Aviv to call it off, according to the report.

“Israeli” sources said they concealed information from their American counterparts because there had been leaks regarding earlier attacks.

Senior Biden administration officials said the “Israelis” violated an unwritten agreement to inform the United States of covert operations.

After the Natanz attack, CIA director William Burns called Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, expressing concern over the snub, the report said.

Cohen claimed that the belated notification was due to operational constraints and uncertainty about when the attack would take place.

One day after the “Israeli” act of nuclear terrorism, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Washington “was not involved in any manner.”

The US, however, has a history of collaborating with the “Israeli” entity in sabotage acts against Iran.

For example, the Stuxnet computer virus is widely believed to have been developed jointly by the United States and the entity. It was the first publicly known example of a virus being used to attack industrial machinery. It was discovered in 2010 after it was used to attack a uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, Iran.

The April attack occurred less than a week after the first talks began in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on a potential revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA], something the “Israeli” entity opposes.

Former US president Donald Trump abandoned the agreement and reimposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the JCPOA had lifted. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of the “maximum pressure” campaign.

Following a year of strategic patience, Iran resorted to its legal rights stipulated in Article 26 of the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of non-compliance by other signatories.

Now, the Biden administration says it wants to compensate for Trump’s mistake and rejoin the accord, but it is showing an overriding propensity for maintaining some of the sanctions as a tool of pressure.

Tehran insists that all sanctions should first be removed in a verifiable manner before the Islamic Republic reverses its remedial measures.

The last-minute notification of the Natanz operation was the starkest example that the entity had changed its procedures since the Trump presidency.

For the American-“Israeli” intelligence relationship, it was another a sharp turnabout.

زمن قاسم سليماني


الخميس 26 آب 2021

 ناصر قنديل

شكل استشهاد الجنرال قاسم سليماني رئيس أركان محور المقاومة، وقائد الجناح العراقي في محور المقاومة ابي مهدي المهندس، عنواناً لزلزال إقليمي ودولي، وداخل كلّ من إيران والعراق ودول محور المقاومة، لم تظهر كلّ تردّداته بعد، وإذا كان الأميركيون قد قرّروا الانحناء أمام عاصفة الردّ الفوري على عملية الإغتيال التي تمثلت بقصف قاعدتهم في “عين الأسد” بالصواريخ من إيران وببيان إعلاني، بصمتهم أمام الردّ في سابقة فريدة في تاريخ الجيش الأميركي، ظناً منهم بأنّ هذا سينهي الأمر عند هذا الحدّ، فهم يكتشفون وسيكتشفون أنّ الزلزال مستمرّ، وتردّداته لا زالت تحكم معادلات المنطقة وستحكمها أكثر فأكثر، فالكثير من الخطط التي خرجت الى العلن بعد العملية كانت خططاً وضعها الجنرال سليماني، وبعضها كانت خطط احتياط لمواجهة سوء تقدير الموقف من الأميركي لموازين الردع وارتكابهم حماقات كبرى تراهن على كسر هذه المعادلات، وجاءت عملية الاغتيال أكبر هذه الحماقات، ولعلّ الأميركيين سيكتشفون في يوم غير بعيد أنّ أفغانستان وفلسطين كانتا ساحتين رئيسيتين لما أعدّه وهيأه سليماني، وأنه صاحب حضور فيهما يصعب حصر تأثيره، وأنه أولاهما بالحضور والمقدرات النوعية والعلاقات المميّزة بكلّ القيادات العاملة فيهما عناية استثنائية بمجرد اطمئنانه عام 2017 لصيرورة الانتصارات في سورية، تتويجاً لعلاقة مميّزة أنشأها ورعاها بين حركتي حماس وطالبان.

الموج الشعبي الهادر الذي خرج في تشييع هذين القائدين في العراق وإيران، أنجز مهمته في إيران مع وصول الرئيس السيد إبراهيم رئيسي الى الرئاسة، وهذا الموج لن يهدأ حتى ينجز مثل ذلك في العراق، وكما دخلت إيران رسمياً زمن الجنرال قاسم سليماني، سيدخل العراق رسمياً زمن القائد أبي مهدي المهندس، والترابط الذي حمله استشهاد القائدين معا يحكم الربط بين مساري التحوّلات في بلديهما، وليس من باب الصدفة تسمية قائد ملف أفغانستان في فيلق القدس الجنرال إسماعيل قآني لقيادة الفيلق خلفاً لسليماني، كما ليست صدفة تسمية الدبلوماسي حسين أمير عبد اللهيان المعاون السياسي لسليماني وزيراً للخارجية في عهد السيد رئيسي، ومع نيل حكومة رئيسي ثقة مجلس الشورى الإيراني، الذي يشكل الجنرال سليماني الأب الروحي للغالبية المسيطرة عليه، تدخل إيران رسمياً في ظلّ رعاية الإمام الخامنئي زمن سليماني، لتبدأ ترجمة الردّ على اغتياله واغتيال رفيق دربه المهندس، والردّ ليس بالضرورة عسكرياً، فالجانب المعنوي من الردّ العسكري قد تمّ، لكن الردّ هو كما قال الإمام الخامنئي وكما أكد السيد حسن نصرالله، بإخراج الأميركيين من المنطقة انطلاقاً من أفغانستان، ومروراً بالعراق وصولاً الى سورية، وربما يكون الأميركيون قد اكتشفوا أو هم سيكتشفون بصمات سليماني وأنفاسه في ما لحقهم في أفغانستان، لكنهم حكماً سيرون بأمّ العين حضوره وحضور المهندس في كيفية خروجهم القادم من العراق.

معادلة كش ملك هي التي تحكم اللعبة الإيرانية مع الأميركيين رداً على الاغتيال، أيّ المضيّ بجملة من الخطوات والإجراءات المعقدة والمتعدّدة الميادين والمبتاعدة جغرافياً لوضع الأميركي في منطقة قرار صعب بين الانكفاء أو الحرب، حيث لا يستطيع اتخاذ قرار الحرب، وهذا ما حصل في أفغانستان، وهذا ما سيحصل مع عبد اللهيان في الملف النووي، وهذا ما سيحصل في العراق مع توصية الانسحاب، وهذا ما يحصل مع سفن المقاومة، وهذا ما سيحصل في سورية، وفي اليمن وفي غزة، وحيث تتحرك إيران ويتحرك محور المقاومة.

وصية سليماني ومشروعه غير منفصلين، لكن مشروعه الذي اقتنع به الروس والصينيون هو آسيا خالية من الوجود الأميركي، لكن مع عرض الخروج المشرف على الأميركيين بتثبيت معادلات استحالة المواجهة أمامهم وجرهم إلى فرص الانسحاب ضمن تفاهمات وتسويات، أما وصيته فهي فرض الخروج المذلّ على الأميركيين، ومشهد أفغانستان يشرح الكيفية، ومشكلة الأميركيين أنهم لم يفهموا بعد لماذا لم تلق عروضهم لتفاهمات ثنائية مع كلّ من إيران وروسيا والصين قبولاً، ولم ينتبهوا انّ ثلاثي آسيا متفق على عدم منحهم فرص الثنائيات والاستفراد، وعازم على إخراجهم من آسيا، وأفغانستان تمنحهم فرص أفضل للفهم إنْ استطاعوا عرض تسويات تضمن انسحابهم بلا أثمان مقابلة، لاستباق ما ينتظرهم من اختناقات في مربعات الخيارات الصعبة بين مواجهة انتحارية وانسحاب مذلّ؟

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The Persian Gulf is Once Again at the Center of Western Provocations

17.08.2021 

Author: Viktor Mikhin

IRN52345

As part of a concerted effort to pressurize Iran ahead of the expected resumption of nuclear talks in Vienna, Washington and its European allies appear to be using a mysterious and not entirely understandable attack on an oil tanker operated by Israel to extract additional concessions from Tehran.   In doing so, says the well-informed Iranian newspaper Ettelaat, they are unwittingly playing into the hands of an Israeli scheme aimed at railroading the very nuclear deal that Washington and the Europeans are supposedly trying to revive. The controversy over the recent attack on the Israeli Mercer Street continues unabated, and the US and Britain rushed to bring the issue even to the UN Security Council. However, they failed to reach a consensus on Iran there.

In this connection, it may be recalled that an Israeli ship was attacked off the coast of Oman on July 29 while it was sailing from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to the Port of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates. An oil tanker operated by Zodiac Maritime, owned by Israeli shipping magnate Eyal Ofer, was reportedly attacked by suicide drones. A Zodiac Maritime spokesman said two crew members, British and Romanian nationals, died in the attack. The attack, for which Tel Aviv, London, and Washington instantly and unsubstantiated accused Iran, marked the beginning of a coordinated diplomatic campaign against Tehran at a time when nuclear talks on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal had stalled after six rounds of painstaking negotiations in Vienna. The last round of talks in Vienna was completed more than a month ago, and differences over how to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) are still unresolved. The US has steadfastly refused to lift all sanctions imposed by the Donald Trump administration and to give assurances that it will not withdraw from the JCPOA again, as it did in the past. The sixth round was also held when a transfer of power in Iran connected with the June 18 presidential elections, in which Ebrahim Raisi won a confident and predictable victory.

In a separate statement, US CENTCOM spokesman Capt. Bill Urban said that based on the fact that “the vertical stabilizer is identical to those identified on one of the Iranian UAVs designed and manufactured for the one-sided kamikaze attack, we could assume that Iran was actively involved in the attack.”  In a joint statement, the foreign ministers of the G7 countries (Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States) condemned Iran for the attack. “This was a deliberate and targeted attack and a clear violation of international law,” the statement said. “All available evidence points to Iran.” There is no excuse for this attack.   Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh instantly responded that the G7 condemnation consisted of unfounded accusations. “Israel is likely to be the real culprit behind the attack,” the spokesman added. “For experts and those who know the history of our region, it is nothing new that the Zionist regime is scheming such plots,” Said Khatibzadeh emphasized.

Sensing a change of plans in Tehran, the US and its European allies launched a diplomatic campaign to intimidate Iran into returning to the talks in Vienna without any new demands. Washington’s main concern was that the negotiating team of new President Ebrahim Raisi would return to Vienna with new spirit and demands, amounting to a reversal of the American progress made in the last six rounds. This concern is not groundless: the Tehran Times, which presents the official point of view, reported that the Iranians were even considering, among other options, abandoning the results of the Vienna talks under Hassan Rouhani. The same newspaper, citing official sources, concludes that Tehran may reject the results and set a new agenda for negotiations with the West to resolve the remaining issues in a new format and spirit.  This is why the US, in an apparent attempt to influence the plans of the Iranian ayatollahs, has sought to increase diplomatic pressure on Iran since the end of the sixth round. They have threatened and are threatening to withdraw from negotiations, openly opposed to lifting all sanctions, and have even prepared new oil sanctions against Iran.

Then there was the incomprehensible attack on Mercer Street, which the US and its allies saw as a gift to exert further pressure on Iran. While the hype surrounding this attack is still going on, the known provocateur, Britain and its allies, in a spirit of high probability, have concocted several stories about the hijacking of commercial ships off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in the Gulf of Oman. Once again, they have accused Iran, without evidence and with impudence, of playing a role in these events. How can we not recall the dirty work of London and its notorious international organization Médecins Sans Frontières in accusing Damascus of the use of poisonous substances?

Iran fully understands the ulterior motives behind this drama, which the West has habitually turned into a farce. Iranian officials warned the West not to engage in dirty propaganda games to gain concessions. Commenting on the alleged attempted seizure of a ship in the Gulf of Oman, the Iranian Embassy in Britain stated on Twitter: “To mislead the public around the world for diplomatic gain in New York is not fair game.” But this unfair game can lead to the opposite result. The US and Britain have enlisted Israel’s help in their campaign of putting pressure on Iran, which is likely to have unintended consequences for them.

“We have just heard a distorted statement about the Mercer Street incident. Immediately after the event, Israeli officials blamed Iran for the incident. That’s what they usually do. This is a standard practice of the Israeli regime. Its purpose is to divert world attention from the regime’s crimes and inhumane practices in the region,” said Zahra Ershadi, the charge d’affaires ad interim of Iran’s permanent mission to the United Nations. She made the remarks after a closed-door UN Security Council meeting on the recent oil tanker incident in the Gulf of Oman.

Israel’s ambassador to the US and the UN, Gilad Erdan, threw aside his restraint and revealed some of these targets. He said that Israel would ultimately like to see the current regime in the Islamic Republic of Iran overthrown. “In the end, we would like [the government] to be overthrown and [for] regime change to take place in Iran,” Gilad Erdan said when asked about Israel’s strategy toward the Islamic Republic, according to the Times of Israel. The statement was made after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s blunt remarks that Tel Aviv allegedly knows for a fact that it was Iran that attacked Mercer Street.

Regardless of Israel’s goals for Iran, the current approach of London and Washington is unlikely to produce results, as Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has unequivocally and firmly made it clear that the West is unlikely to succeed in intimidating the Iranians and the country’s leadership. Moreover, no one will force the Iranians to give up their legal rights and freedoms.

Viktor Mikhin, corresponding member of RANS, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook” .

محاولات التحوّل من حائر إلى قائد

 سعادة مصطفى أرشيد _

يحتاج نفتالي بينيت رئيس وزراء (إسرائيل) الهابط من عالم الإعمال والتجارة إلى عالم السياسة، أن يبدو بمظهر قوي، قادر على الاشتباك وتحقيق انتصارات عزيزة وبعيدة عن قدراته، وهو قد تسلّم الحكم من بن يامين نتياهو المتمرّس والذي استطاع حفر اسمه عميقاً في تاريخ دولته القصير، بما يملك من دهاء وقدرات استثنائية، وها هو مستمر في دوره كقائد للمعارضة، قادر على نصب الكمائن وإحاكة المؤامرات بهدف إسقاط خصومه الكثر، الذين لا يجدون ما يجمعهم سوى رغبتهم في إخراجه من عالم السياسة سواء كرئيس وزراء أو كزعيم معارضة، ومن جانب آخر، فإنّ الأغلبية البرلمانية الداعمة للحكومة هشة وهزيلة وقابلة للسقوط إنْ خرج عضو واحد من التحالف، لا بل انْ غاب عن جلسة برلمانية بدواعي المرض أو السفر أو حتى إنْ تأخر بسبب أزمة سير، والدعم الذي يتلقاه بينيت من الإدارة الأميركية على أهميته للبقاء، وكيديته المفرطة تجاه نتنياهو، إلا انه غير قادر على رسم صورة الزعيم القوي.

حاول بينيت الدفع باتجاه الاشتباك مع إيران متخذاً من حوادث السفن ذريعة لإقامة تحالف انجليزي – أميركي – (إسرائيلي) وبالطبع عربي، ولكن الإدارة الأميركية كان لها رأي آخر، فهي تريد الابتعاد عن المنطقة ومشاكلها والتركيز على الصين وبحرها وطريق حريرها السياسي والاقتصادي، وهي ترى أنّ عدم الوصول إلى اتفاق مع إيران، أمر يضرّ بخططها الإستراتيجية، فيما الوصول إلى كلمة سواء وصيغة مقبولة للتعامل مع إيران أمر بالغ الضرورة، خاصة لدرء مخاطر تحول إيران وانفتاحها بشكل واسع على الصين وروسيا وكوريا الشمالية، فكان لا بدّ لنفتالي بينيت ان يبتلع أقواله واتهاماته، ومعه الانجليز الذين تخلوا عن حذرهم التقليدي وبالغوا في حماستهم للمواجهة مع إيران، ولكن ذلك أمر لم تدركه حتى الآن بعض فضائيات الخليج مثل «العربية» و»الحدث» ومثيلاتهما، التي لا تزال تنفخ في نار المواجهة .

 رأى بينيت أنّ لديه فرصة في لبنان، فالوضع الداخلي قد بلغ مرحلة حرجة من التدهور، تشكيل الحكومات يتعذر ويتعرقل بفعل داخلي وضغوط خارجية، وتحقيقات قاضي تحقيق تفجير المرفأ تثير من الغموض أكثر مما تكشف من حقائق، وفي مشاريع الفتنة والشقاق أخذت تصدر عن مرجعيات دينية – طائفية عليا، كان آخرها ما صدر عن بكركي، وسعر صرف الليرة ينهار برعاية حاكم مصرف لبنان ودولته المالية العميقة، وقد أوصل اللبنانيين إلى حدود العوز والفاقة، فيما نفذت الأدوية والمستلزمات الطبية من سوق الدواء بعد أن توقف استيرادها بسبب عدم توفر النقد الأجنبي، والإشكالات اليومية غير البريئة تؤذن في حال لم تتمّ محاصرتها من فورها بالتطور نحو اشتباك واسع قد يصل إلى الحرب الأهلية، كما حصل في الشمال وخلده وشويّا. مجموع هذه المعطيات جعلت من بينيت يفكر بتجريب حظه مع لبنان ومقاومته، ويفترض أنّ بإمكان جيشه الاشتباك مع إيران من هذه الخاصرة، وأنّ باستطاعته أيضاً العودة إلى مرحلة ما قبل حرب 2006، عندما كان «الإسرائيلي» يملك القدرة على توجيه ضرباته إلى لبنان عند كلّ حاجة أمنية أوسياسية، أو حتى عند أيّ شعبية انتخابيه مؤقتة، وذلك عندما يفرض قواعد اشتباك جديدة من موقع القوي، بدل قواعد الاشتباك المعمول بها منذ أكثر من عقد ونصف العقد.

اخذ بينيت قراره، وأخذت المقاومة إجراءها التحذيري، والنتيجة أنّ الاشتباكات بين المقاومة اللبنانية و(إسرائيل) بقيت محدودة والقصف المتبادل على جانبي الحدود طال مناطق غير مأهولة، وأرست المقاومة في نهاية الاشتباك بردودها الحاسمة قواعد الاشتباك المعمول بها، يضاف إلى ذلك أن الإدارة الأميركية، وإن كان لا مانع لديها من تغيير قواعد الاشتباك لصالح (إسرائيل) وربما ترغب في ذلك، إلا أنّ لديها كما ورد آنفاً، ما يدعوها لان تكون راغبة عن هذا التوتر، ثم ترى أنها مطمئنة إلى تموضعها الجديد، وبما صنعت من عوامل اقتتال داخلي وما زرعت من صواعق تفجير في بلادنا، كفيلة بظنّ الاستراتيجية الأميركية على إبقاء المنطقة غارقة في صراعاتها التي تحول دون قيامها بأي فعل ايجابي لصالح قضاياها الكبرى وأمنها القومي .

 لما كان نفتالي بينيت قد فشل في استغلال حادث السفينة، وفشل في تغيير قواعد الاشتباك مع لبنان ومقاومته، فهل يجد ضالته في غزة؟ وهي التي خسرت جزئياً مع خسارة حركة النهضة موقعها في تونس، ولا تجد حماساً عالياً لدى الأتراك مؤخراً، ولا يعطيها حليفها القطري أكثر من حقيبته الشهرية، ولم تستطع أن تحوّل انتصارها في حرب «سيف القدس» إلى إنجازات على الأرض، فيرفع الحصار عنها، وتصلها الكهرباء ووقودها، ويُعاد إعمارها، وغير ذلك مما تعهّد به الوسيط المصري الذي لدغ غزة ومقاومتها لا مرتين فحسب.

*سياسي فلسطيني مقيم في الكفير – جنين – فلسطين المحتلة

Iran embraces its Eurasian future

Iran embraces its Eurasian future

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

Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi was sworn in as the 8th president of Iran this Thursday at the Majlis (Parliament), two days after being formally endorsed by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei.

Representatives of the UN secretary-general; OPEC; the EU; the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU); the Inter-Islamic Union; and quite a few heads of state and Foreign Ministers were at the Majlis, including Iraq President Barham Salih and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

The Islamic Republic of Iran now enters a new era in more ways than one. Khamenei himself outlined its contours in a short, sharp speech‘The Experience of Trusting the US’.

Khamenei’s strategic analysis, conveyed even before the final result of the JCPOA negotiations in Vienna in 2015, which I covered in my Asia Times ebook Persian Miniatures , turned out to be premonitory: “During the negotiations I repeatedly said they don’t uphold their promises.” So, in the end, “the experience tells us this is a deadly poison for us.” During the Rouhani administration, Khamenei adds, “it became clear that trusting the West doesn’t work”.

With perfect timing, a new, six-volume book, Sealed Secret, co-written by outgoing Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and two top JCPOA negotiators, Ali Akbar Salehi and Seyed Abbas Araghchi (who’s still involved in the current, stalled Vienna debate) will be published this week, for the moment only in Farsi.

Professor Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran summed up for me the road map ahead: “Iran’s foreign policy decisions are pretty clear. Iran will be putting less emphasis on Western nations, especially European, and more emphasis on the Global South, the East, neighboring countries, and of course that will include China and Russia. That doesn’t mean the Iranians are going to ignore Europe altogether, if they decide to return to the JCPOA. The Iranians would accept if they abide by their obligations. So far, we have seen no sign of that whatsoever.”

Marandi could not help referring to Khamenei’s speech: “It’s pretty clear; he’s saying, ‘we don’t trust the West, these last 8 years showed that’, he’s saying the next administration should learn from the experience of these 8 years.”

Yet the main challenge for Raisi will not be foreign policy, but the domestic framework, with sanctions still biting hard: “With regard to economic policy, it will be tilting more towards social justice and turning away from neoliberalism, expanding the safety net for the disenfranchised and the vulnerable.”

It’s quite intriguing to compare Marandi with the views of a seasoned Iranian diplomat who prefers to remain anonymous, and very well positioned as an observer of the domestic conflict:

“During Rouhani’s 8 years, contrary to the Supreme Leader’s advice, the government spent lots of time on negotiations, and they have not been investing on internal potential. Anyhow the 8 years are now finished, and contrary to Rouhani’s promises we currently have Iran’s worst economic and financial record in 50 years.”

The diplomat is adamant on “the importance of paying attention to our internal capacities and abilities, while having powerful economic relations with our neighbors as well as Russia, China, Latin America, South Africa as well as maintaining mutual respectable ties with Europeans and the US government, if it changes its behavior and accepts Iran as it is and not always trying to overthrow the Iranian state and harm its people by any possible means.”

Iranians are heirs to a tradition of at least 2,500 years of fine diplomacy. So once again our interlocutor had to stress, “the Supreme Leader has never, ever said or believed we should cut our relations with Europeans. Quite the opposite: he deeply believes in the notion of ‘dynamic diplomacy’, even concerning the US; he said multiple times we have no problem with the US if they deal with us with respect.”

And now, let’s time travel

There are no illusions in Tehran that Iran under Raisi, much more than under Rouhani, will remain the target of multiple “maximum pressure” and/or Hybrid War tactics deployed by Washington, Tel Aviv and NATOstan, crude false flags included, with the whole combo celebrated by US Think Tankland’s analyses penned by “experts” in Beltway cubicles.

All that is irrelevant in terms of what really matters ahead in the Southwest Asia chessboard.

The late, great René Grousset, in his 1951 classic L’Empire des Steppes, has pointed out “how Iran, renewing itself for fifty centuries”, has “always given proof of astonishing continuity.” It was because of this strength that Iranian civilization, as much as Chinese civilization, has assimilated all foreigners that conquered is soil, from Seljuks to Mongols: “Every time, because of the radiance of its culture, Iranism reappeared with renewed vitality, on the road to a new renaissance.”

The possibility of a “new renaissance”, now, implies a step beyond the “neither East or West” first conceptualized by Ayatollah Khomeini: it’s rather a back to the (Eurasian) roots, Iran reviving its past to tackle the new, multipolar, future.

The political heart of Iran lies in the sophisticated urban organization of the northern plateau, the result of a rolling, pluri-millennial process. All along Grousset’s “fifty centuries”, the plateau has been the house of Iranian culture and the stable heart of the state.

Around this central space there are plenty of territories historically and linguistically linked to Persia and Iran: in Eastern Anatolia, in Central Asia and Afghanistan, in the Caucasus, in Western Pakistan. Then there are Shi’ite territories of other ethnic groups, mostly Arab, in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Yemen (the Zaidites) and the Persian Gulf (Bahrain, the Shi’ites in Hasa in Saudi Arabia).

This is the Shi’ite arc – evolving in a complex Iranization process that is foremost political and religious, and not cultural and linguistic. Outside of Iran, I have seen in my travels how Arab Shi’ites in Iraq, Lebanon and the Gulf, Dari/Farsi Shi’ites in Afghanistan, those of Pakistan and India, and Turcophone Shi’ites in Azerbaijan look up towards political Iran.

So Iran’s large zone of influence relies mostly on Shi’ism, and not on Islamic radicalism or the Persian language. It’s Shi’ism that allows political power in Iran to keep a Eurasian dimension – from Lebanon to Afghanistan and Central Asia – and that reflects once again Grousset’s “continuity” when he refers to Persian/Iranian history.

From Ancient History to the medieval era, it was always out of imperial projects, born in Southwest Asia and /or the Mediterranean basin, that came the drive to attempt the creation of a Eurasian territory.

The Persians, who were halfway between Mediterranean Europe and Central Asia, were the first who tried to build a Eurasian empire from Asia to the Mediterranean, but they were halted in their expansion towards Europe by the Greeks in the 5th century B.C.

Then it was up to Alexander The Great, in pure badass blitzkrieg mode, to venture all the way to Central Asia and India, de facto founding the first Eurasian empire. Which happened to materialize, to a large extent, the Persian empire.

Then something even more extraordinary happened: the simultaneous presence of the Parthian and Kushan empires between the Roman Empire and the Han Empire during the first two centuries of the first millennium.

It was this interaction that first allowed commercial and cultural trade and connectivity between the two extremities of Eurasia, between the Romans and the Han Chinese.

Yet the largest Eurasian territorial space, founded between the 7th and 10th centuries, following the Arab conquests, were the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates. Islam was at the heart of these Arab conquests, remixing previous imperial compositions, from Mesopotamia to the Persians, Greeks and Romans.

Historically, that was the first truly Eurasian economic, cultural and political arc, from the 8th to the 11th century, before Genghis Khan monopolized The Big Picture.

All that is very much alive in the collective unconscious of Iranians and Chinese. That’s why the China-Iran strategic partnership deal is much more than a mere $400 billion economic arrangement. It’s a graphic manifestation of what the revival of the Silk Roads is aiming at. And it looks like Khamenei had already seen which way the (desert) wind was blowing years before the fact.

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

AUGUST 3, 2021

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By Staff, Agencies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Iran Behind Strike on Israeli-Managed Tanker?

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By Stephen Lendman

Source

On July 30, Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime said an attack on the Liberian-flagged Japanese-owned Mercer Street tanker it manages killed two crew members onboard.

The incident occurred in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Oman.

According to Tehran-based Al-Alam News, attacking the Mercer Street was in response to Israeli aggression on Syria’s Dabaa airport that killed two resistance fighters.

On Friday, Zodiak Maritime said the following:

“Details of the incident are still being established and an investigation into the incident is currently underway.” 

“We continue to work closely with the UKMTO (United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations) and other relevant authorities.”

Calling the incident “suspected piracy (sic),” the company said it’s “not aware of harm to any other” crew members.

According to Refinitiv ship tracking, the Israeli-managed tanker was en route to the UAE port city of Fujairah from Tanzania.

It continues to an unnamed location with a US naval escort.

Press TV said the attack came “against a backdrop of the Israeli regime’s various assaults on cargo ships across the Persian Gulf region and elsewhere.”

A statement by Britain’s war ministry said it’s “aware of reports of an attack on a merchant vessel off the coast of Oman.” 

“UK military headquarters in the region are currently conducting investigations.”

Israel’s Ynet News quoted an unnamed Bennett regime official vowing a tough response.

An unnamed Biden regime official called the incident an attack by more than one drone — with no further elaboration.

A report by Dryad Global maritime intelligence said drones in the area were spotted before the attack.

In early June, Iran’s Kharg, its largest warship, mysteriously caught fire and sank in the Gulf of Oman near the Hormuz Strait.

At the time, Iranian media reported that crew members on board were rescued, dozens injured from the incident.

Around the same time, a large-scale fire occurred at Iran’s Tondgooyan Petrochemical Company.

In April, Israel was believed behind an attack on Iran’s MV Saviz commercial vessel in the Red Sea.

Ahead of the incident, an unnamed Biden regime official said Israel informed the US of a planned attack on the vessel. 

These and other incidents in recent years heightened tensions between Iran, the US, and Israel.

On August 1, interventionist Blinken and his counterpart Yair Lapid discussed a joint Biden/Bennett regime response to the July 30 incident against The Mercer tanker — according to State Department mouthpiece Price.

The incident comes against the backdrop of Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif’s sharp rebuke of the US and E3 for pressuring, bullying, and blackmailing Iran to accept unacceptable JCPOA changes.

Regional tensions remain heightened at a time of nuclear deadlock.

What Biden regime envoy for Iran Robert Malley falsely called its “unrealistic demands” suggests that the US and E3 intend abandoning the JCPOA if Iran won’t accept what’s unacceptable.

That’s where things appear to be heading.

Years of negotiations for JCPOA agreement in 2015 proved once again that diplomatic outreach to the US-dominated West assures failure even when deals are made.

How to Undermine a Diplomatic Triumph

About me

26 July 2021

by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—The Backstory

The true status of current negotiations to reinstate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran is unknown to the American public—most of whom are tragically indifferent to the outcome. This is so even though the successful negotiation of this deal with Iran back in 2015 represents one of the greatest triumphs of diplomacy in the last hundred years. What we do know is this triumph was followed by tragedy—a premeditated tragedy—the sort of tragedy only fools can produce. But very few Americans care. That is the way it is with foreign policy. On the one hand, you can start wars to great public acclaim, and on the other, you can destroy hard-won diplomatic achievements almost without public notice. 

At the end of President Obama’s term of office (January 2017) the JCPOA was complete and in force. In exchange for a lifting of “nuclear-related sanctions,” Iran undertook not to pursue research that might allow her to develop nuclear weapons. Up until May of 2018 “Iran’s compliance has been repeatedly verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which oversees the most intrusive inspections regime ever negotiated.” It was in May of 2018 that Donald Trump, perhaps the most despicable human being to hold the presidency since Andrew Jackson, withdrew from the JCPOA, apparently for two reasons: (1) was the treaty was completed by Obama and Trump wanted to destroy the achievements of his non-white predecessor, and (2) Trump thought he could bully the Iranians into a “better deal.” It is important to note that the other signatories to the treaty did not initially follow Trump’s lead. “The leaders of France, the United Kingdom, and Germany issued a joint statement on behalf of their countries that reemphasized their support for the deal and its importance to the nonproliferation regime.” The United Nations expressed “deep concern” over Trump’s decision and released a statement in support of the JCPOA. Russia’s Foreign Ministry also reiterated its support for the JCPOA, and further stated that “U.S. actions compromise international trust in the IAEA.”

How did the Iranians react to Trump’s withdrawal from the treaty and reimposition of harsh sanctions? At first, Tehran suggested that if the other signatories to the agreement would remain loyal to their obligations, Iran too would keep to the treaty. Unfortunately, most of the European nations involved would soon succumb to U.S. economic pressure and cease to hold to their obligations. Nonetheless, it was not until a year following Trump’s irresponsible act that Iran announced that “The Islamic Republic of Iran in reaction to the exit of America from the nuclear deal and the bad promises of European countries in carrying out their obligations will restart a part of the nuclear activities which were stopped under the framework of the nuclear deal.” Even while the Iranian government took this position, it insisted that if at any time the United States returned to the treaty and removed all nuclear-related sanctions, Iran too would return to its obligations. Tehran even suggested a process whereby the U.S. and Iran would take simultaneous steps to that end. 

Everyone but Trump devotees, Israel and its supporters, and those Iranian exiles who would like to see the return of the country’s monarchy recognized that the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA had been a mistake. Accordingly, in the campaign run-up to the 2020 presidential election in the U.S., the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, promised that upon election he would rejoin the treaty if Iran returned to compliance as well. 

Biden did win, but he has not yet fulfilled his promise. Instead, he entered an extended period of negotiations that is still ongoing. At first it was said that these were about “who goes first” when it comes to returning to requirements of the treaty. Was Iran to give up the small steps in nuclear enrichment since the Trump withdrawal, or was the U.S. going to go first in removing the draconian sanctions placed on Iran by the Trump administration? It was Iran who realized the childish nature of this question and offered a simultaneous return to the compliance mentioned above. While the Biden administration rejected this offer, it has been reported that now both sides are working toward “simultaneous, sequential steps” back to requirements of the treaty. 


Part II—Misleading the American Public


In the meantime, the Biden administration has been releasing misinformation to the public. For instance, Biden has insisted that sanctions relief depends on Iran “returning to compliance.” But, of course, for anyone familiar with the relevant events, it was Washington that broke the treaty and needed to return to compliance. Any subsequent Iranian actions following Trump’s folly were, and still are, perfectly legal under the terms of the JCPOA. Joe Biden can continue to justify draconian economic sanctions in this way—sanctions that are ruining the lives of millions—only because he is addressing an ignorant American audience. 

When Iran failed to be bullied, Biden’s diplomats adopted a “shift the blame” tactic. In May 2021, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “Iran, I think, knows what it needs to do to come back into compliance on the nuclear side, and what we haven’t yet seen is whether Iran is ready and willing to make a decision to do what it has to do. That’s the test and we don’t yet have an answer.” Translation: the American people should know that we, the Biden administration, are trying, but those Iranians seem to be too thick-headed to do what is necessary. So if the whole thing fails, it is their fault and not ours. 

Blinken went on, “If both sides can return to the original deal, then we can use that as a foundation both to look at how to make the deal itself potentially longer and stronger—and also [to] engage on these other issues, whether it’s Iran’s support for terrorism [or] its destabilizing support for different proxies throughout the Middle East.”

That scenario will not encourage the Iranians. They have repeatedly stated that the JCPOA, and the present negotiations, are about two things: sanctions and the scope of nuclear development. It is not about Iranian foreign policy, which has been so blandly assumed to be “terrorism” by both Trump and Biden. If Mr. Blinken keeps tagging on these extras, we will still be running in circles come Christmas.   

What is the diplomatic aim of the Biden administration? Is it to pursue the Democrats’ traditional, and bankrupt, aim of sounding as tough on foreign policy as the Republicans? That irrelevant goal (remember most Americans don’t care about foreign policy) would not be surprising coming from a professional Democratic politician of Joe Biden’s generation. However, after all the work that has gone into the JCPOA and all the suffering endured by the Iranian population due to brutal U.S. sanctions, such a petty motive reflects the mentality of a street gang competing with rivals, rather than the peaceful ends of an alleged civilized society. 

With statements like this, Secretary of State Blinken transforms himself into someone we might mistake for a

Fox News TV anchor. It would seem that many who pride themselves on eschewing Fox’s lies are ready to swallow whole Mr. Blinken’s bunk. 

Part III—An Israeli Connection?

We know that ex-Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and ex-President Trump were in agreement on Iran policy. In this regard, all the yelling and screaming about Iran’s nuclear program carried on by both men hid their real goal. Particularly for Netanyahu, the hyperbole was aimed at creating a “credible reason” to force regime change in Iran, even if it meant a U.S. invasion. Essentially, the model here was Iraq. Netanyahu was ready to pursue this end till the last dying American soldier. Obviously, the JCPOA was a major obstacle in that path. So was Barack Obama, who thought he was helping Israel and the world in general by negotiating the treaty. 

Now Netanyahu and Trump are gone from office. However, why should we believe that the new Israeli government has changed the ultimate goal? And why should we believe that Joe Biden—who is, as he never fails to remind us, an “ironclad” Zionist—will really follow in Obama’s footsteps?

In June, Israel sent some of its highest-ranking leaders to see Biden. These included Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Defense Minister Benny Gantz. Both meetings were basically about Iran. “Iran will never get a nuclear weapon on my watch,” Biden told Rivlin. This was billed as a “stark warning” to Iran—a country which has, for religious as well as other reasons, disavowed the desire for such a weapon. How many Americans know this? Does President Biden know this?

Many scholars and other experts in Middle East policy believe that “Mr. Biden’s calculations are rooted in a different era of American-Israeli relations—when Israel’s security concerns commanded far more attention than Palestinian grievances.” This is true. But there is a more personal connection. Biden personally identifies with Israel like no other U.S. president since Lyndon Johnson. He collects yarmulkes and is reported to have knelt down in an impromptu “show of respect” after learning that Rivka Ravitz, President Rivlin’s Orthodox chief of staff, was the mother of 12 children. The Israeli Orthodox Jews often have such large families out of fear of a “demographic holocaust”—that is, the consequences of the Palestinians’ much higher birth rate than that of most Israeli Jews. Finally, Biden has completely accepted the highly debatable notion that world Jewry, many of whom are not Zionists, cannot be safe apart from the existence of Israel. 

Those same experts also believe that, when it comes to Israel, President Biden’s approach has much to do with domestic politics. Thus, getting back to the JCPOA is less important than catering to the desires of the Israel Lobby. This only makes sense for a politician born and bred to the power of that lobby.

Part IV—Conclusion


The U.S. and Israeli leaders are suffering from a group-think environment and tunnel vision, all shaped in good part by political pressure generated by dominant special interests.  At least in this instance, one cannot say the same for the Iranians who, though led by a rigid religious elite, broke through their tunnel vision and joined the JCPOA treaty. The present stalemate is the work of American ideologues tied hand and foot to a major U.S. lobby. 

Outside the tunnel one can see the obvious answer to the present stalemate. Having been polite and empathetic toward Rivlin and Gantz, Joe Biden should ask over to the Oval Office an outsider, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. At the end of June Guterres said, “I appeal to the United States to lift or waive its sanctions outlined in the plan.” He also appealed to Iran to return to full implementation of the deal. Right from the beginning of Biden’s election, the Iranians have been willing to follow Guterres’s lead. It is Biden who has temporized while being encouraged by his confidants from Jerusalem. 

Cleric politician calls on Raisi to follow long-term strategic ties with neighbors

24 July 2021 

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Cleric politician calls on Raisi to follow long-term strategic ties with neighbors. A member of the Expediency Council has called on the incoming administration of Ebrahim Raisi to establish long-term strategic ties with neighbors and countries which are not influenced by the United States’ anti-Iran position.

TEHRAN (Iran News) – Cleric politician calls on Raisi to follow long-term strategic ties with neighbors. A member of the Expediency Council has called on the incoming administration of Ebrahim Raisi to establish long-term strategic ties with neighbors and countries which are not influenced by the United States’ anti-Iran position.

Gholamreza Mesbahi Moqaddam also said “the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is set by the Supreme National Security Council” and the president is chairman of the council and a change in government will not lead to a shift in foreign policy.

“Of Course,” the cleric politician remarked, “approaches are different. Certain approaches are resistant in the face of global arrogance and some are flexible.”

On his prediction of the foreign policy of the Raisi government, he told IRNA,  “My prediction of the approach of the government of Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi is resistance against global arrogance.”

Noting that a “balanced approach” and not a cut of ties with countries is favorable, Mesbahi Moqaddam said such an approach has presented Iran to the world as an independent country which acts based on its interests.

The Expediency Council member also said his prediction is that the United States will not lift all sanctions against Iran even if the 2015 nuclear deal is revived.

The Americans will not lift all sanctions because they consider sanctions as a “pressure tool” to follow their policies against Iran, noted the cleric politician.

Iran and the remaining parties to the nuclear deal, officially called the JCPOA, have been holding sixth round of talks. The last round ended on June 20.

The U.S. is participating in the talks indirectly. Iran has said it will not talk directly to the U.S. until Washington rejoins the agreement and recommit itself to the legally binding agreement.

Iran’s chief negotiator Abbas Araqchi has said the next Iranian government will continue the talks.

“It is clear that the Vienna talks must wait for a new administration in Iran. This is a requirement of any democracy,” Araqchi tweeted on July 17.

He added, “We are in a period of transition and a democratic transfer of power is taking place in Tehran.”

Raisi will be sworn in as president on August 5.

There is still no official word about Raisi’s choice for the post of foreign minister and his foreign policy team.

Related

Red Alert in Iraq… Time for the U.S. to Decide

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amro@amrobilal.net), is an independent Palestinian writer and Political researcher. He writes for various Arabic news outlets, some of which are Al-Akhbar newspaperAl-Mayadeen Satellite News ChannelArabi 21, and Rai Al-Youm, and UPROOTED PALESTINIANS

July 15, 2021

By Amro Allan

‘President Joe Biden may be nearly done with America’s two-decade military involvement in Afghanistan, but another nearby war zone, where U.S. troops have been based for almost as long, is threatening to become a major thorn in the White House’s side: Iraq’, says Foreign Policy in its Situation Report on July 8, 2021, entitled ‘Red Alert in Iraq’. This comes after two fairly heated weeks in Iraq and Syria, where an escalation in the resistance groups operations against American troops was noticeable, both in frequency and in nature.

For instance, on Wednesday, July 7, 14 rockets hit Ain al-Assad Air Base, the largest military installation in Iraq housing U.S. troops, wounding at least two American soldiers. Another suicide drone attack, a day before, targeted U.S. forces based in Erbil airport, not far from where the U.S. consulate is located. Also, there were multiple improvised explosive device (IED) attacks against convoys transporting U.S. military logistic supplies, that took place in various Iraqi towns and cities in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, in Eastern Syria, U.S. occupation forces were busy fending off suicide drone and rocket attacks targeting al-Omar oilfield and nearby areas. Al-Omar oilfield is the largest in the country, and It is invested with both the U.S. forces and their collaborators  the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

No American soldiers have been killed in these recent intense activities in Iraq and Syria. However, Michael Knights, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, explains ‘It’s already very intense. The strikes aren’t killing people, but they could, easily, if they want them to’, and he adds ‘The missile defences are quietly working quite well. But what we haven’t seen is determined efforts to kill Americans’.

Many analysts consider this escalation a retaliation for the second round of U.S. airstrikes under Biden’s administration on June 27. Those airstrikes used the pretext ‘Iran-backed militia’, although in reality, they targeted a static Iraqi-Syrian border position of the Iraqi security forces (Popular Mobilisation Forces) under Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, killing four members of brigade 14 of the PMF.

While agreeing with this analysis in principle, I believe widening the scope would put the latest events in the broader context they deserve.

It is quite clear that Biden’s administration’s main foreign policy strategy, and indeed the U.S. establishment’s attitude in general of late, is to concentrate its overseas efforts on opposing the rise of China and Russia:  what Biden dubbed defending and strengthening democracy. This focus shift first took shape during Obama’s days in 2012 with his (unsuccessful) ‘Pivot to Asia’ policy and it has remained in principal a U.S. foreign policy objective since. But this shift naturally requires an improved allocation of U.S. resources.

Thus, when Biden came to power, he followed in the steps of his two predecessors in aiming to disengage from the ‘Middle East’ and West Asia in general as much as possible.

As the QUINCY Paper No. 7 entitled ‘Nothing Much to Do: Why America Can Bring All Troops Home From the Middle East’, published on June 24, 2021, poses the question ‘Three successive American Presidents — Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden — have pledged to end the post 9/11 wars and reunite U.S. soldiers with their families.

Yet, fulfilling that pledge has proven tougher than expected. Do U.S. interests in the region require so much of the U.S. military that full-scale withdrawals are not feasible?’. The paper argued that ‘the United States has no compelling military need to keep a permanent troop presence in the Middle East.

The two core U.S. interests in the region — preventing a hostile hegemony and ensuring the free flow of oil through the Straits of Hormuz — can be achieved without a permanent military presence. There are no plausible paths for an adversary, regional or extra-regional, to achieve a situation that would harm these core U.S. interests. No country can plausibly establish hegemony in the Middle East, nor can a regional power close the Strait of Hormuz and strangle the flow of oil. To the extent that the United States might need to intervene militarily, it would not need a permanent military presence in the region to do so’.

The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, to be presumably fully completed by September 2021, was the first manifestation of Biden’s drawdown policy from West Asia. However, when it came to Iraq and Syria, the equations were quite different.

Despite Biden’s pledge to return to the JCPOA in his election campaign, there was an assessment that was widely spread between Iranian officials which says that the Biden administration would capitalise on Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ policy to extract concessions from Iran, before re-joining the JCPOA. Those concessions are related to two aspects:

  • Change in Iran’s foreign policy, especially its support for resistance groups in the region. This is to  the benefit of the Zionist entity, which remains a core influence on U.S. foreign policy.
  • Imposing restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missiles programme.

This American approach became apparent after Biden took office, and during the latest Vienna talks to salvage the nuclear deal. However, contrary to Biden’s false assumptions, the Americans found out that Iran will not give them any concessions, and that it meant what it said when Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei stated back in 2015 ‘We negotiated with the U.S. on the nuclear issue for specific reasons. The Americans performed well in the talks, but we didn’t and we won’t allow negotiation with the Americans on other issues’.

This has put the Americans in a quandary. Biden found that he could not withdraw from Iraq and Syria without getting guarantees from Iran and the Axis of Resistance related to the security of the Zionist entity, as the Axis of Resistance will never offer any guarantees at the expense of the Palestinians’ inalienable rights. Nor could Biden maintain the same level of American involvement in the ‘Middle East’ indefinitely. As this would be at the expense of the main U.S. foreign policy strategy, “Facing the Chinese challenge”, according to the terminology the  U.S. uses.

Furthermore, this American quandary has deepened after the battle of the ‘Sword of Jerusalem’ exposed many of the Zionist Entity’s [Israel]  weaknesses tactically and strategically in the face of the Axis of Resistance.

Based on this overview, we can expect a fairly heated summer for the U.S. occupation forces in the region, as from the Axis of Resistance point of view, the negotiations for the American withdrawal from the ‘Middle East’ and West Asia in general are not open-ended.

And it seems that the U.S. needs a nudge to decide whether: to start a meaningful and peaceful drawdown, with minimal losses; or risk a new ‘Middle East’ all-out war by trying to impose its sovereign will on the whole region.

And I believe, based on the Americans’ experience of the past two decades, that the consensus within the U.S. institutes is that the latter option would be highly costly. Not to mention that based on the current balance of powers in the region, as we read them, the outcome is not guaranteed to be in the favour of the U.S., nor in the favour of  “Israel” its closest ally.

لماذا تخشى «إسرائيل» حرباً جديدة مع لبنان؟

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ابراهيم الأمين

الإثنين 12 تموز 2021

تلهّي سياسيين أو ناشطين في مناقشة الخلافات الداخلية على طريقتهم، أمر تعوّده الناس منذ قيام هذا البلد المسخ. لكن الأمر لا يستقيم عندما يتصدّى هؤلاء، بالتعاون مع ماكينة إعلامية تحتاج إلى «مطابقة للمواصفات المهنية»، للتعامل مع التدخلات الخارجية كأنها جزء من منازعات قوى السلطة داخل الحكم وخارجه. وحتى الذين يريدون تحديد المسؤوليات عن الأزمة، يسارعون الى رمي كرة النار في حضن اللبنانيين حصراً، بطريقة تبرّر الدور السلبي للحراك الإقليمي والدولي الذي يتحمّل مسؤولية كبيرة، وكبيرة جداً، عن الأزمة وعن تفاقمها في الآونة الأخيرة.

في سلوكيات الدول، إقليمياً وعالمياً، ما يكفي للجزم بأن هذا الخارج لم يكن يوماً يريد لبنان إلا وفق ما يناسب استراتيّجيته. وما نعرفه، بعد كل أنواع التجارب، هو أن ما ينفع إسرائيل يتقدم على كل أمر آخر. وهذا ما يستدعي مراقبة ما يقوله وما يفكر به العدو حيال الأزمة اللبنانية.

تبدو «إسرائيل»، هذه الأيام، منشغلة بالأزمة التي تواجه لبنان، وبتأثير تفاقمها على أمنها «القومي». وتنقل وسائل إعلام العدو تصريحات وتحليلات وتسريبات، عن مسؤولين في قادة الحكومة والجيش والأمن، بأن لبنان دخل مرحلة الانهيار الشامل، وأن هناك «خشية» من أن يتحوّل الانهيار الى «ورقة قوة في يد حزب الله». ومع كل قراءة، يجري الحديث عن التشاور الدائم بين «إسرائيل» وأميركا وأوروبا ودول عربية حول ما يجب القيام به، ليس لمنع الانهيار، بل لـ«منع وقوع لبنان في يد حزب الله».
ما الذي تخشاه «إسرائيل»؟

أولاً، تبدي تحفّظاً عن العلاج السياسي الذي يتطلّب تغطية حزب الله أو موافقته، وتحاول دفع القوى الخارجية المؤثّرة الى خوض معركة إبعاد أي حكومة جديدة عن الحزب ومنع مشاركته فيها. وهي تعتقد بأن مجرد وجود الحزب داخل الحكومة سيقيّدها ويمنعها من القيام بخطوات تناسب متطلبات الغرب. وحصة «إسرائيل» من سلطة المطالب الغربية تركّز على فكرة إمساك الدولة بسلاح المقاومة أو تقييده، وعلى فرض آليات تعاون أمني مع لبنان يوفر الأمن لحدود إسرائيل ويمنع أيّ دعم، ولو سياسي، لقوى المقاومة في فلسطين.
ثانياً، تبدي «إسرائيل» رفضاً دائماً لتسليح الجيش اللبناني بما قد يسمح له بعرقلة نشاطها في الجو أو البحر، أو حتى في البر. لكنها، اليوم، تريد من العالم التدخل لمنع انهيار الجيش، لكن شرط ربط مساعدته بآلية تسمح للغرب بالإشراف المباشر على عمله. وهي تعتبر أن كل فراغ أمني يحصل بسبب تراجع الجيش أو القوى الأمنية سيملأه حزب الله الذي سيتصرف براحة أكبر في حال تفكّك القوى الأمنية والعسكرية.

ثالثاً، تريد «إسرائيل» تعزيز الضغط الاقتصادي والمعيشي على الدولة وعلى الناس لدفعهم إلى انتفاضة في وجه حزب الله. لكنها تخشى أن يعمد الحزب الى استغلال نفوذه الميداني الكبير براً وبحراً، والى استغلال علاقاته وقدراته لتوفير ما يعطّل مفعول الحصار على لبنان. ولذلك، تحاول الضغط كي يلجأ الغرب، بالتعاون مع «عربه»، إلى وضع آليات للإشراف على المساعدات المقترحة للبنان، منها نشر قوات أجنبية ولو على شكل «قوى إسناد» لعملية توزيع المساعدات كما يروّج المغفّلون. ويعتبر العدو أن مزيداً من التورّط الغربي في لبنان سيسمح ليس فقط بممارسة الضغط المباشر على الحكومة، وبالتالي على حزب الله، بل ربما يوفر أيضاً عناصر حماية لقوى ومجموعات لبنانية تخشى المواجهة المباشرة والكاملة مع الحزب. وينبغي لفت الانتباه الى أن جانباً من الضغوط الإسرائيلية الكبيرة على واشنطن لعدم العودة الى الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، يرتبط بتقدير العدو أن رفع العقوبات سيسمح بضخ مليارات الدولارات في الخزينة الإيرانية، وسيجد جزء من هذه الأموال طريقه إلى حزب الله، كما أنه لا يوجد ما يمنع إيران من استغلال جزء من أرباح النفط لزيادة نفوذها في بيروت.

رابعاً، تشهد «إسرائيل» نقاشاً حول طريقة التعامل مع لبنان، وما إذا كان ينبغي الاستمرار بشعار أن كل لبنان رهينة للحزب ويجب أن يدفع الجميع ثمن ذلك، أو العودة الى سياسات الثمانينيات حول وجود إمكانية للتعاون مع قوى في لبنان، أو استغلال الظروف الحالية لخلق بيئة معارضة لحزب الله والعودة الى العمل داخلياً.

قلق العدو من كونه مكبّل اليدين إزاء أي عمل عسكري مكشوف مستمر. لذلك، يبدو منطقياً أن يفكر بعض قادته بأن الفوضى السياسية والأمنية والاقتصادية في لبنان قد تسمح بمزيد من الأعمال الأمنية ــــ العسكرية ضد حزب الله، ربطاً بما لا ينفكّ الإسرائيليون عن ترديده من أن حزب الله، رغم الأزمة الحالية وتعقيداتها، «مستمر في برنامج دقة الصواريخ والتزود بمنظومات دفاع جوي تهدد حرية عمل سلاح الجو الإسرائيلي في سماء لبنان».

وإلى ذلك، كان لافتاً ما نقل أمس عن مصدر أمني إسرائيلي من أن «الوضع القابل للانفجار في لبنان، يقرّب إسرائيل من المواجهة… وحرب لبنان الثالثة مسألة وقت».

ما الذي يعنيه ذلك، ولماذا يفكّر العدو بأن الأمور قد تتطوّر الى حدود نشوب حرب جديدة، وهل يتم الأمر على شكل ما فعله في كل حروبه السابقة، أم أن لديه خططاً تفترض ردوداً قاسية من المقاومة تقود الأمور الى المواجهة… أم أنه يخشى أن يبادر حزب الله نفسه الى شنّ الحرب… وخصوصاً بعدما علّمتنا غزّة أن زمن ابتداء الحروب من جانبنا بات متاحاً؟

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“الإنذار الأحمر” وفشل الرهان الأميركي

11/07/2021

عمرو علان

المصدر: الميادين نت

لا يأتي التصعيد العسكري ضد القوات الأميركية في العراق وسوريا مفاجئاً لبعض متتبّعي السياسة الأميركية في المنطقة.

قالت مجلة “فورين بوليسي”، في “تقرير الوضع” ليوم الخميس، 8 تموز/يوليو 2021، إن العراق دخل في حالة “الإنذار الأحمر”. وأضاف التقرير أنه ربما يكون الرئيس جو بايدن على وشك التخلص من أعباء الانخراط العسكري الأميركي في أفغانستان، والذي امتد إلى قرابة عقدين من الزمن، إلاّ أن هناك ساحة حربٍ أخرى توجد فيها قواتٌ أميركيةٌ، وتُنذر بأن تتحوّل إلى شوكةٍ في خاصرة “البيت الأبيض”، في إشارةٍ إلى الساحة العراقية. 

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يأتي إعلان “الإنذار الأحمر” بعد تصاعد العمليات العسكرية ضد القوات الأميركية في الساحة العراقية، وتوأمها الساحة السورية، بحيث قامت قوى المقاومة المسلَّحة، خلال الأسبوعين الأخيرين، باستهداف عدة مواقع في العراق وسوريا توجد فيها قواتٌ أميركيةٌ، كان بينها – على سبيل المثال لا الحصر – استهداف “قاعدة الأسد” الجوية في العراق بأربعة عشر صاروخاً، أدَّت إلى وقوع إصابات في صفوف الأميركيين. وتمّ أيضاً استهداف مطار أربيل، الذي تتمركز في داخله قوات أميركية – والذي يقع بالقرب منه مبنى القنصلية الأميركية – بعدة مُسَيَّرات مفخَّخ.، وبالإضافة إلى تلك الهجمات، تعرَّضت عدة قوافل دعمٍ لوجستيٍّ للقوات الأميركية لهجماتٍ عبر عبواتٍ ناسفةٍ في أكثر من مدينةٍ عراقيةٍ.

أمّا الساحة السورية فشهدت، في الأيام القليلة الماضية، عدةَ هجمات بالمُسَيَّرات المفخَّخة على مواقع لقوات الاحتلال الأميركي الموجودة في حقل العمر النفطي.

لا يأتي هذا التصعيد العسكري ضد القوات الأميركية في العراق وسوريا مفاجئاً لبعض متتبّعي السياسة الأميركية في المنطقة. لعلّ القراءة الأدقّ تضع هذه الهجمات في سياق المعركة المستمرة من أجل إنهاء الوجود العسكري الأميركي في منطقة الهلال الخصيب، لا لمجرد كونها ردّاً ظرفياً على العدوان الجوي الأميركي الأخير في 27 حزيران/يونيو، والذي استهدف مواقع الحشد الشعبي العراقي المرابطة عند الحدود العراقية السورية. 

من خلال متابعة أداء إدارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن لبضعة شهور، منذ تولّيه دفّة الحكم، يبدو أنها جاءت، وفي مخيِّلتها مقارَبة لوضع المنطقة، تقوم في جزءٍ من جوانبها على أساس الاستثمار في سياسات إدارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب السابقة، والمتعارَف عليها بـ”سياسة الضغوط القصوى” تجاه إيران، بحيث بات واضحاً في السياسة الأميركية الخارجية الميل إلى محاولة التَّخفُّف من أعباء منطقة غربي آسيا العسكرية قدر المستطاع، بهدف التركيز على منافسة صعود جمهورية الصين الشعبية في الساحة الدولية. ويبدو أن رؤية التخفُّف هذه كانت تقوم على تصوُّرين اثنين:

– التصور الأول يقوم على الانسحاب العسكري من أفغانستان، كما يجري الآن فعلاً، في محاولةٍ لإقفال باب الاستنزاف في هذه الساحة، ولاسيما أن الانسحاب الأميركي مِن أفغانستان لا يؤدّي إلى زيادة التهديدات على أمن الكيان الصهيوني. 

– أمّا التصور الثاني فيقوم على العودة السريعة إلى الاتفاق النووي الإيراني، على أساس قراءةٍ تقول بوصول إيران إلى مرحلة الإنهاك التامّ، بفعل “سياسة الضغوط القصوى”. وعليه، صارت اليوم إيران جاهزةً لتقديم التنازلات المطلوبة أميركياً في سياساتها الخارجية في الحد الأدنى، ولاسيما تلك التي تتعلق بمنطقة غربيّ آسيا ودعم حركات المقاومة في الإقليم، الامر الذي يجعل استمرار الوجود العسكري الأميركي – ولو في حدوده الدنيا – في العراق وسوريا، غير ذي تكلفةٍ تذكر. وكذلك، من الممكن إجبار إيران على تقديم تنازلاتٍ في برنامجها الصاروخي الساعي لتطوير الصواريخ الباليستية في الحد الأقصى، بحسب الفهم الأميركي.

إلاّ أن التصور الثاني اصطدم بمعطيين، أحدهما قديمٌ والآخرُ مستجدّ. أمّا المعطى القديم، فيتمثّل بأن إيران كانت قد رفضت، على نحو حاسمٍ، مناقشة برنامجها الصاروخي في أثناء جولات التفاوض التي أفضت إلى توقيع الاتفاق النووي مع إدارة الرئيس الأميركي الأسبق باراك أوباما في عام 2015، ناهيك برفض إيران القاطع المساومةَ خلال جولات التفاوض تلك على سياساتها الخارجية ودعم حركات المقاومة في الإقليم. فدعم حركات قوى المقاومة، ضمن السياسة الخارجية الإيرانية، مبنيٌّ على رؤيةٍ استراتيجيةٍ، تندرج ضمن مشروعها الأشمل في الإقليم الذي يقضي بمجابهة القوى الإمبريالية العالمية، بالإضافة إلى التأصيل الشرعي لهذا الالتزام الأخلاقي بدعم المستضعَفين ضمن نظام حكم الجمهورية الإسلامية.

ويضاف إلى هذا وذاك أمرٌ رئيسٌ، يتمثّل بأنَّ حركة قوى المقاومة في الإقليم تنطلق من إرادةٍ ذاتيةٍ لطرد المحتل عن أراضيها، وهي لا تأتمر بإرادة أيّ قوى إقليميةٍ، بل إن المسألة تكمن في تكامل أهداف قوى المقاومة ومصالحها مع المشروع الإيراني الأشمل في المنطقة، والذي يرمي إلى التخلص من هيمنة القوى الإمبريالية العالمية على عموم منطقتنا.

بعد الخروج الأميركي الأحادي الجانب من الاتفاق النووي، عبر قرارٍ من إدارة الرئيس الأميركي السابق دونالد ترامب، أكّد المرشد الإيراني السيد علي خامنئي في عدة تصريحاتٍ، أنه في حال العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي، يجب على الحكومة الإيرانية التزام هذه الضوابط التي تمنع التفاوض على كلٍّ مِن برنامج إيران الصاروخي وسياساتها الخارجية. وعلى ما يبدو، فإن إدارة الرئيس جو بايدن أخطأت عند تصنيف هذه التصريحات على أنها تصريحاتٌ تفاوضيةٌ، ليتبيّن لها بعد ذلك، في محادثات جنيف، أنها كانت مواقف مبدئية لا يمكن لأيّ حكومةٍ إيرانيةٍ تجاوزها، فخاب رهان إدارة جو بايدن على لجم حركات المقاومة في كلٍّ مِن العراق وسوريا، من خلال محاولة الضغط على إيران.

أمّا المعطى المستجدّ، فكان معركة “سيف القدس” التي كشفت فيها فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية المسلّحة في غزة هشاشةَ الكيان الصهيوني، وأظهرت بوضوحٍ مدى التهديد الذي تمثّله حركات المقاومة المسلّحة في فلسطين وفي الإقليم على أمن الكيان الصهيوني ومستقبله، ولاسيّما في ظلّ فشَل الرهان الأميركي على انتزاع ضماناتٍ من إيران وسائر أركان محور المقاومة، ترتبط بحفظ أمن الكيان الصهيوني في مقابل العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي، بحيث كان رهاناً مبنياً في الأصل على قراءةٍ خاطئةٍ لحقيقة موقفَي حركات المقاومة وإيران كما أسلفنا.

لهذا، نجد الأميركي اليوم كمن “بلع المنجل”، فلا هو قادرٌ على الانسحاب من سوريا وتخفيف حضوره العسكري في العراق، ليتفرّغ لمواجهة الصين قبل تأمين ضمانات لأمن الكيان الصهيوني ومستقبله، ولا هو قادرٌ على البقاء أبداً بالزَّخَم نفسه في المنطقة لحماية أمن الكيان الصهيوني، بسبب ما لهذا من آثار سلبية فيما بات يعدّها معركته الرئيسة ضدّ الصين، وتِباعاً روسيا.

يمكن التنبّؤ بكون محور المقاومة يقرأ هذا المأزق الأميركي. فإن صحّت هذه النبوءة، وأظنها صحيحة، فعندها يمكن فهم سياق التصعيد العسكري في وجه القوات الأميركية في الأسبوعين الأخيرين. وهذا يُبشِّر باستمرار هذا التصعيد، وبصيفٍ ساخنٍ نسبياً للقوات الأميركية، لإفهام الأميركي أن استحقاق الانسحاب من المنطقة هو استحقاقٌ جديٌّ، وأن عملية التفاوض على سحب قواته لن تستمر إلى ما لا نهاية.

Khatibzadeh: Iran’s Stance on JCPOA Not to Change with Administration Change

 July 6, 2021

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh stressed that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and lifting sanctions are among Iran’s principled stances, saying they will not alter with government change.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Khatibzadeh said if any agreement is made, the next Iranian government will abide by it.

Unlike the approach taken by other parties, compliance with commitments has always been considered as a principle for Iran, he said.

Despite the fact that some topics still need decisions, progress in Vienna talks is a reality accepted by all parties, he added.

In fact, the finalization of the agreement to revive the JCPOA depends on other parties’ political will, Khatibzadeh reiterated. adding that Iranian delegation is trying to conclude negotiations and to lift cruel sanctions against Iran.

He went on to say that no deadline will be set and negotiations will be underway until the agreement is achieved to meet Iranians’ interests.

He also said that as always mentioned, Iran is not in hurry to reach agreement but will not let erosive talks.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Khatibzadeh said 13 prisoners were recently released from Japan’s and Afghanistan’s prisons and have returned home.

Reacting to Western media claims regarding the US message through diplomatic channels to Iran on recent attacks again Syria and Iraq, he said Iran has always stressed that the language of threat and force will not help establish security in the region.

He advised the US to be aware of the fact that bullying approach not only will bring no result but will deteriorate conditions in West Asia.

ُStressing that Iran has never intended and does not intend to interfere in internal affairs of Iraq, the spokesman said that the US continuous attacks against Iraq and Syria forces’ positions on common borders were only in line with hurting those who stand against the ISIS and reinforcing this terrorist organization.

The Iranian diplomat emphasized that Iran’s opposes the Zionist regime’s membership in the African Union as an observer.

He urged members of the African Union to respect approvals of the international bodies like the organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on opposing granting membership to Israeli regime in regional and international organizations to show their political determination regarding commitment to Palestinian cause.

He noted that OIC Secretary-General Yousef al-Othaimeen in a letter to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had appreciated Iran’s commitments to the OIC principles and Iran’s participation in supporting the Islamic states’ joint efforts on issues related to Muslim Ummah.

He added that granting the observer position to the Zionist regime by the African Union would encourage the regime to continue its colonial and racist policies and to conduct military strikes and commit more crimes against the Palestinians.

Hailing truce In Ethiopia after eight-month war, Khatibzadeh congratulated the Ethiopia Government and nation for holding the 6th round of parliamentary election in a peaceful atmosphere.

Iran urges all sides to support the ceasefire to help establish peace and security in the region.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Khatibzadeh said that Saudi officials should know that based on its principled positions, Iran has always been after preserving peace and security in the Persian Gulf by the regional states.

This approach has contributed ending existence of the ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq and preventing infiltration of Takfiri groups’ in the Persian Gulf littoral states.

Iran has always welcomed negotiations to achieve results and has had positive view toward talking to Saudi Arabia.

He also reacted to claims made by some Western media on Iran’s sports and its participation in Olympic Games, saying such claims are incompatible with the spirit of Olympic Charter and sports objectives.

Iran, with all its cultural considerations, is among pioneers of gender equality, and this year, the Iranian girls will have an effective presence in track-and-field category after 57 years.

Khatibzadeh went on to say that Iran’s consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif will resume activities after the situation calms down.

Regarding Azerbaijan initiative in line with creating a regional 3+3 cooperation context, he said that after liberating Azeri lands, grounds have been prepared for Caucasian states as well as Iran, Russia, and Turkey based on respect of territorial integrity of all regional states.

Thanks to its close ties with Caucasian states, Russia, and Turkey, Iran can take important strides in this regard, he noted.

SourceIranian Agencies

First we take Tel Aviv…

July 5, 2021 – 21:17

Iran remains unmoved as Israel resorts to military threats

TEHRAN – With the Vienna nuclear talks hitting a deadlock after the sixth round, Israel finds itself more isolated on Iran and is unable to influence the talks, something that prompted it to try out a new military stunt in order to get the talks moving in line with Israel’s interests.

During his recent trip to Washington, Chief of Staff of Israeli Armed Forces Aviv Kochavi reportedly conveyed clear messages to the U.S. administration regarding the possibility of the U.S. returning to the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. These messages included threats of an Israeli military attack inside Iran. The Israeli general held behind-closed-doors meetings with several high-ranking American officials including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, CIA Director William Burns, and DIA Deputy Director Suzanne White.

In these meetings, Kochavi claimed that Israel had made a decision to dismantle the alleged Iranian military nuclear program a year before the U.S. 2020 presidential election and the start of the buzz over a return to the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). According to Israeli reports, Kochavi also told his American interlocutors that the Israeli army has devised at least three military plans in order to thwart the Iranian nuclear program, and that the previous Israeli government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, put aside funds for these plans, and that the current government, led by Naftali Bennett, pledged to add large sums in order to fill gaps related to readiness as soon as possible.

This saber-rattling came against a backdrop of a diplomatic war of words between Iran and the U.S. after the sixth round of the Vienna talks which resulted in little progress compared to previous rounds. The U.S. demanded a commitment from Iran to discuss other thorny, non-nuclear issues such as Iran’s missile program and its regional influence while rejecting Iranian demands regarding the lifting of all Trump-era sanctions and the provision of a guarantee that Washington would not withdraw from the deal again once it is revived. In fact, disagreements between the two are so deep that the mere resumption of the talks now hangs in the balance, with Russia is now insinuating that the talks may not be resumed any time soon.

This charged atmosphere has led Israel to remarkably increase diplomatic contacts with the U.S. in the hope that these communications would affect the U.S. stance toward the Vienna talks. But the Israelis themselves have acknowledged that they are unable to influence the U.S. Iran policy. 
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Monday that Tel Aviv can no longer influence the new deal that the Biden administration seeks, one that would be “longer and stronger” than the existing one that is the JCPOA. 

But the Israelis seem not to be giving up on their anti-JCPOA crusade. They appear to have reverted to the decades-long dream of getting the U.S. to do their own job with American blood and treasure: an American military strike against Iran. Haaretz reported that Israeli officials are trying to convince the U.S. into bringing up the military option against Iran if it continued its nuclear activities, hoping that making hostile announcements would create deterrence against Iran. 

But one diplomat predicted that the Biden administration was less likely to attack Iran if it violated the terms of the agreement, Haaretz said, adding, Americans do not currently want the potential for a military conflict in terms of their priorities.

In doing so, the Israelis signal their assessment that threats of military strikes work with Iran, something that belies the most recent bouts of escalation during the Trump administration. Over the course of the Trump presidency, the U.S. issued a whole range of stark threats against Iran from attacking cultural sites to starving the Iranian people but none worked with Tehran. In addition, the Israelis themselves launched what they call the “campaign between wars,” a military doctrine mostly aimed to confront Iran’s spheres of influence in the region while keeping the confrontation below the threshold of an all-out war, to eliminate its regional influence and undermine its nuclear program. But they failed to achieve their goal as Iran’s nuclear program continues to advance and the country’s sway continues to expand.

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Terrified Washington resorts to piracy as it loses grip over West Asia

Terrified Washington resorts to piracy as it loses grip over West Asia

June 25, 2021

by Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

In what can only be called an act of piracy, the US government “seized” several pro-resistance media outlets in a coordinated attack this week. One of the outlets that were siezed was Presstv.com. Other web domains, including Palestine al-Youm, a Palestinian-directed broadcaster, Karbala TV – the official television of the Imam Hussein (PBUH) shrine in the holy Iraqi city of Karbala, Iraqi Afaq TV, Asia TV and al-Naeem TV satellite television channels, as well as Nabaa TV which reports the latest stories about Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries, were also seized.

Citing bogus reasons such as “threat to national security”, the US regime once more proved what a great leader of democracy and freedom it indeed is. Apparently, Washington believes that it cannot win a free and fair debate with outlets such as PressTV, so the only way to “win” is to prevent others from presenting their viewpoint. Imagine if other countries did the same thing and seized CNN or Fox News’ website. The US would probably start a war if countries like Iran or North Korea made such moves. The self-worshipping West loves to criticize other countries for “suppressing free media” while they portray themselves as a safe haven for “opinions of all kinds”.

The fact that the United States ranks last in media trust — at 29% — among 92,000 news consumers surveyed in 46 countries, doesn’t seem to matter. That’s worse than Poland, worse than the Philippines, worse than Peru, yet Washington still seems to have the “moral” right to condemn these countries as well, because any lack of trust in US media is explained as being the result of “foreign disinformation campaigns” and totally not related to the fact that the US media only exists to manufacture consent for Washington’s continued imperialist aggression.

Ironically, the suppression of information is happening while Washington funds and supports perhaps hundreds of propaganda networks such as BBC Persian, VOA Iran and ManotoTV, all known for disseminating vulgar and unprofessional propaganda. Some of these networks are being run by the family members of the Shah of Iran and via using the Iranians’ plundered wealth, to openly call for violent regime change and the return of the degenerate monarchy. Other networks, connected to John Bolton’s close friends in the MEK terrorist cult, openly call for terrorist attacks inside Iran. These are the people that want “democracy” for Iran, and these are the people that Washington supports.

If it hadn’t been proven a thousand times before, then this pathetic move proved once more that America’s claim about advocating freedom and democracy as well as freedom of expression is nothing more than a lie and hypocrisy. Washington is and has always been morally bankrupt, however, this recent act of thuggery shows that Washington, known for lecturing other governments overseas about free speech, democracy, and freedom of expression, is also scared and panicking.

Of course they are afraid. Is it a coincidence that these seizures happened right now? No! The Iranian nation elected what the westerners call a “hardliner” president. They know that the game of “diplomacy and talks”, which they use to stall the lifting of sanctions, is over. President-elect Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi won’t be as kind to them as the previous administration has been. He has already declared that there will be no talks with Washington over the US return to the JCPOA. On top of that, Yemen’s Ansarullah movement has rejected the Saudis shameful “peace proposal” and are in their way to capture the crucial city of Ma’rib, further humiliating Washington. So Washington resorted to silencing the world’s poorest country, which is under siege by land, sea and air in what can only be called a genocide.

There is absolutely no way for Washington to save face here. It is clear that they are terrified as the pro-resistance outlets are getting their messages across. More and more people are seeing Washington for what it is: a terrorist entity that takes pride in killing and starving people who refuse to bow down to them. This coincides with Washington’s waning influence in the region of West Asia, or as they call it, the “Middle East”. (the term “Middle East” is a colonial term from the British Empire era in which Europeans believed that they were the centre of the world, while West Asia was “the near east”).

Apparently, hundreds of US troops, aircraft and air defence batteries are being withdrawn from the puppet Persian Gulf kingdoms, as the Biden administration allegedly wants to focus on Russia and China instead. In reality, this is Washington’s way of quietly leaving the region as they know and understand what the inevitable alternative would be – getting kicked out of the region with force. Throughout the region, from Syria and Iraq, to Palestine and Yemen, the forces of colonialism and imperialism are losing ground and influence. Their repeated and continued atrocities and crimes are fuelling the fire in our hearts as more and more people, not just in the region, but worldwide are realizing the criminal nature of the imperialists.

This is not the first time nor the last time that the imperialists and their tools have silenced the voices of dissent. Throughout the years, tens or perhaps hundreds of thousand blogs, and social media pages have been shut down for supporting Syria, Palestine or Yemen. I have personally had 4 social media accounts shut down over the years, for supporting Syria’s legitimate government, for posting pictures in loving memory of Martyr Soleimani and for speaking out against the genocide going on in Yemen. But I will not back down, nor will I give up, and neither should anyone who has spoken out against the savage actions of the imperialists. It should never be forgotten that they silence and shut us down because they fear us, not because they are morally superior to us.

Resistance must continue on all fronts. Every act of aggression should be seen as an opportunity to show the world what liars and hypocrites the Western warmongers are who think that they can win the hearts of the people of this region through their lies and crude propaganda while bombing the people’s homes and loved ones.

A Sovereign Iran will Move Closer to Russia-China

22/06/2021

A Sovereign Iran will Move Closer to Russia-China

Iran’s president-elect will ‘Look East’ while seeking to exit ‘strategic patience’ when dealing with the US

By Pepe Escobar posted with permission and first posted at AsiaTimes

In his first press conference as President-Elect with 62% of the votes, Ebrahim Raeisi, facing a forest of microphones, came out swinging and leaving nothing to the imagination.

On the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal, the dossier that completely obsesses the West, Raeisi was clear:

– the US must immediately return to the JCPOA that Washington unilaterally violated, and lift all sanctions.

– The JCPOA negotiations in Vienna will proceed, but they do not condition anything in terms of Iran’s future.

– The Iranian ballistic missile program is absolutely non-negotiable in the framework of the JCPOA, and will not be curbed.

Asked by a Russian journalist whether he would meet President Biden if a deal was struck in Vienna and all sanctions lifted – a major “if” – Raeisi’s answer was a straight “No”.

It’s crucial to stress that Raeisi, in principle, favors the restoration of the JCPOA as its was signed in 2015 – following the guidelines of Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. But if the Vienna charade goes on forever and the Americans keep insisting on rewriting the deal towards other areas of Iranian national security, that’s a definitive red line.

Raeisi acknowledged the immense internal challenges he faces, in terms of putting the Iranian economy back on track, getting rid of the neoliberal drive of outgoing Team Rouhani, and fighting widespread corruption. The fact that election turnout was only 48.7%, compared to the average 70% in the prior three presidential contests will make it even more difficult.

Yet in foreign policy Iran’s path ahead is unmistakable, centered on the “Look East” strategy, which means closer cooperation with China and Russia, with Iran developing as a key node of Eurasian integration or, according to the Russian vision, the Greater Eurasia Partnership.

As Professor Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran told me “there’s going to be a tilt eastward and to the Global South. Iran will improve relations with China and Russia, also because of US pressure and sanctions. President-elect Raeisi will be better positioned to strengthen these ties than the outgoing administration.”

Marandi added, “Iran won’t intentionally hurt the nuclear deal if the Americans – and the Europeans – move towards full implementation. The Iranians will reciprocate. Neighbors and regional countries will also be a priority. So Iran will no longer be waiting for the West.”

Marandi also made a quite nuanced distinction that the current policy was “a major mistake” by Team Rouhani, yet “not the fault of Dr. Zarif or the Foreign Ministry, but the government as a whole.” That implies the Rouhani administration placed all its bets on the JCPOA and was completely unprepared for Trump’s “maximum pressure” offensive, which de facto decimated the reformist-minded Iranian middle class.

In a nutshell: in the Raeisi era, exit “strategic patience” when dealing with the US. Enter “active deterrence”.

A key node of BRI and EAEU

Raeisi was met by those who control the “international community” narrative with proverbially derisive and/or demonizing epithets: loyal to the “repressive machinery” of the Islamic Republic, “hardliner”, a violator of human rights, mass executioner, anti-Western fanatic, or simply “killer”. Amnesty International even called for him to be investigated as perpetrator of crimes against humanity.

Facts are more prosaic. Raeisi, born in Mashhad, has a PhD in jurisprudence and fundamentals of Islamic law and a further jurisprudence degree from the Qom seminary. His previous positions include member of the Assembly of Experts and chief of the Judiciary.

He may not have been exposed to the Western way of life, but he’s not “anti-Western” – as he believes Iran must interact with all nations. Yet foreign policy must follow Khamenei’s guidelines, which are very clear. Without understanding Khamenei’s worldview, any analysis of Iranian complexities is an idle sport. For essential background, please refer to my Asia Times e-book Persian Miniatures.

It all starts with Ayatollah Khomeini’s founding concept of an Islamic Republic, which was indeed influenced by Plato’s Republic as well as Muslim political philosopher al-Farabi’s Virtuous City (also Plato-influenced).

On the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Khamenei updated his concept of foreign policy, as part of a clear map for the future. This is absolutely required reading to understand what Iran is all about. An excellent analysis by Mansoureh Tajik emphasizes the ways the system strives for balance and justice. Khamenei could not be more straightforward when he writes,

Today, the challenge for the US is Iran’s presence at the borders surrounding the Zionist regime and dismantling the illegitimate influence and presence of America from West Asia, Islamic Republic’s defense of Palestinian fighters at the heart of the occupied territories, and defense of holy flag of Hizbullah and the Resistance in the entire region. If in those days, the West’s problem was preventing Iran from buying even the most primitive forms of arms for its defense, today, its challenge is to prevent the Iranian arms, military equipment, and drones reaching Hizbullah and the Resistance everywhere in the region. If in those days, America imagined it can overcome the Islamic System and the Iranian nation with the help of a few self-selling Iranian traitors, today, it is finding itself in need of a large coalition of tens of hostile yet impotent governments to fight Iran. Yet, it fails.”

In terms of Big Power politics, Iran’s “Look East” policy was devised by Khamenei – who fully vetted the $400 billion-worth Iran-China comprehensive strategic partnership, which is directly linked to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and also supports Iran joining the Russia-led Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU).

So it’s Iran as a key Eurasian connectivity hub that is going to shape its geopolitical and geoeconomic future. And not the West, as Marandi stressed.

China will be investing in Iranian banking, telecom, ports, railways, public health and information technology – not to mention striking bilateral deals in weapons development and intel sharing.

On the Russian front, the impetus will come from the development of the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC), which directly competes with an East to West overland corridor that can be hit anytime with extra-territorial American sanctions.

Iran has already struck an interim free trade agreement with the EAEU, active since October 2019. A full-fledged deal – with Iran as a full member – may be struck in the first few months of the Raeisi era, with important consequences for trade from the South Caucasus to wider Southwest Asia and even Southeast Asia: Vietnam and Singapore already have free trade zones with the EAEU.

The American rhetoric about Iran’s “isolation” does not fool anyone in Southwest Asia – as the developing interaction with China-Russia attests. Add to it Moscow’s reading of the “mood for deepening dialogue and developing contacts in the defense sphere”.

So this is what the Raeisi era is leading to: a more solid union of Iranian Shi’ism, socialism with Chinese characteristics and the Greater Eurasia Partnership. And it doesn’t hurt that state of the art Russian military technology is quietly surveying the evolving chessboard.

Biden Admin Complicit in Trump’s Crimes against Humanity – Araqchi

14/06/2021

Biden Admin Complicit in Trump’s Crimes against Humanity - Araqchi

By Staff, Agencies

The US administration of Joe Biden has partaken in ex-president Donald Trump’s crimes against humanity for 144 days, the Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said, criticizing Biden’s administration for continuing Trump’s policies.

“The US has for the past 3 years targeted every single Iranian living anywhere with its brutal & unlawful sanctions”, Araqchi made the remarks in his Twitter account, in reference to the Americans’ moves against the Iranian nation following the unilateral withdrawal of former US administration from Iran’s nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].

“The current US admin has partaken in these crimes against humanity for 144 days”, the top Iranian negotiator also said, criticizing Joe Biden’s administration for continuing Trump’s policies.

“Iranians should not have spent a single day under sanctions”, he also stressed.

Since April, representatives from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries have been holding talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and bringing the US back to compliance with the accord.

The US, under Trump, unilaterally left the JCPOA in 2018 and returned the sanctions that had been lifted against Tehran as part of the agreement.

Biden said Washington is willing to return to the pact if Tehran first suspends its countermeasures taken in response to the US violations and reimposition of sanctions.

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