Talks on Iran’s Nuclear Program to begin on Tuesday in Qatar – Reports

27 Jun 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Iran’s Foreign Ministry revealed that JCPOA talks would resume on Tuesday in Doha, Qatar.

Negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program to lift US sanctions will begin on Tuesday in Qatar.

Negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program will begin on Tuesday in Qatar, according to the IRNA news agency, citing an Iranian Foreign Ministry source.
 
“Negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program to lift US sanctions will begin on Tuesday in Qatar,” the source told IRNA.

Since 2018, when then-US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from it and began reimposing harsh economic sanctions on Iran, the nuclear deal has been hanging by a thread.

Although US President Joe Biden’s administration has sought to return to the agreement, saying it is the best way forward with the Islamic republic, it has expressed growing pessimism in recent weeks.

The talks, according to Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh, will take place “in an Arabian Gulf country in the coming days, later this week” and will focus on the lifting of US sanctions.

Separately, Iran’s Tasnim news agency reported, citing an unnamed foreign ministry source, that Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri would visit Qatar on Tuesday for “negotiations on lifting sanctions,” and that the US-Iran indirect talks would take place there.

A State Department spokesperson in Washington confirmed that the talks would take place this week in the Gulf.

“We are prepared to immediately conclude and implement the deal we negotiated in Vienna for mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA,” he said, referring to the deal’s formal name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Khatibzadeh voiced hope for “positive results” from the talks.

Exclusive: Qatar may host indirect talks between Washington and Iran

Seyed Mohammad Marandi, A media advisor to the Iranian nuclear team, said earlier to Al Mayadeen on Monday, that Qatar will host indirect talks between Iran and the United States regarding reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Speaking with Al Mayadeen, Marandi stated that Qatar is one of the options offered to host indirect negotiations between Iran and the US.

During EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell’s visit to Iran, Tehran and Brussels are discussing the location for the coming JCPOA talks.

According to reports, Borrell had stated that Vienna would not host the next talks. “Talks between Iran, the United States, and European Union will not take place in Vienna because talks will not happen in US+P4+1 format,” Borrell said.

He explained that the negotiations will be held in the coming days and that they will be similar to the indirect negotiations between Iran and the US in Vienna.

Israel Murders Iranians While Biden Kills the Iran Deal

June 23, 2022

By Connor Freeman | The Libertarian Institute |

In a clear message to Tehran, an American B-52 flew over the Persian Gulf as soon as Joe Biden entered the White House. Biden promised to return the U.S. to the Iran nuclear deal. But indirect talks to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which began last April, have stalled for three months without a resolution in sight. Counting on the reliable support of Biden and bipartisan Iran hawks in Congress, the nuclear-armed Israeli apartheid regime intends to kill the deal entirely.

Tehran, a decades-long signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, is neither seeking nor has ever sought nuclear weapons. But the Islamic Republic, once Tel Aviv’s “best friend,” serves as Israel’s favorite boogeyman, superficially justifying billions of dollars in American military aid each year. The JCPOA threatens the racket.

Formally known for years as “Israel’s man in Washington,” President Biden is essentially pursuing ultra-Zionist Donald Trump’s foreign policy regarding Iran and supporting, tacitly or otherwise, Tel Aviv’s relentless attacks against Iran and its allies. Biden is continuously imposing yet more sanctions, increasing the “Maximum Pressure” on the economically crippled Iranian people.

The rial has hit all-time lows. With a population of 82 million, almost half of all Iranians live below the poverty line, and inflation is somewhere between 40-50%.

America’s self-styled sanctions artists delight in seeing the results of their economic war on Iran: excess deathssevere medical shortagesprohibitively high prices for staple goodsplummeting incomesand social unrest over food costs.

This year, Tel Aviv has been bombing Syria, Tehran’s ally, at the usual weekly rate. A recent strike, coming from the illegally occupied Golan Heights, attacked Damascus International Airport. The airstrike targeted the facility’s only working runway Israel had not yet destroyed, rendering the airport temporarily inoperable.

Shortly afterwards, The Wall Street Journal put out a story confirming that Tel Aviv coordinates with the Pentagon on many of its strikes in Syria.

The Israelis just wrapped up month-long war drills, the largest held in decades, aimed squarely at Tehran. Exercises over the Mediterranean Sea, with over 100 aircraft and navy submarines, spanned 10,000 kilometers and were designed to simulate repeated airstrikes on Iran and their civilian nuclear facilities.

Early reports were that the U.S. Air Force would participate, providing refueling planes, but this reportedly did not come to pass. Although General Michael Kurilla, the new head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), observed some of these Chariots of Fire exercises.

On May 22, 2022, the Israelis carried out a high profile assassination of a senior colonel in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei. Shortly afterwards, citing an unnamed intelligence official, The New York Times reported Tel Aviv had informed Washington that it was responsible. Israel’s attacks seem to be primarily focused on the Iranians’ drone program, namely killing people who work on drone technology and attacking related sites.

As Dave DeCamp, Antiwar.com news editor, reported,

Israel was immediately suspected of the assassination since it has a history of carrying out targeted killings and other attacks inside Iran. Israel rarely officially acknowledges such operations, and it’s typical that its responsibility is revealed by leaks to the media, often by Israeli officials.

Israeli officials claimed to the Times that Khodaei was in charge of a secret covert IRGC group known as Unit 840, which Iran denies exists. The Israelis claim Khodaei was involved in plots to kill and kidnap Israeli civilians and officials around the world, but there’s no evidence Tehran was planning to target Israelis abroad.

Two people affiliated with the IRGC told the Times that Khodaei was a logistics officer who played a key role in transporting drone and missile technology to Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon and advised militias in Syria. Iran has said Khodaei was involved in the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Israel is suspected to have subsequently poisoned and murdered two Iranian scientists including Ayoub Entezari, an aerospace engineer, who reportedly worked on missile and drone projects, and Kamran Aghamolaei, a geologist.

Last month, a few dozen miles south of Tehran, quadcopter suicide drones attacked the Parchin military complex. The drones hit a building being used for drone development and killed a young engineer. In February, Israel used six quadcopter drones in a strike targeting another Iranian drone facility in Kermanshah which did significant damage. In Tabriz, there were reports of another Israeli attack on a drone factory, as many as three people may have been killed. This month, two additional IRGC members also working in the aerospace industry died during mysterious accidents in Iran. Both deaths were declared “martyrdoms.”

In the midst of these soaring tensions, Robert Malley, Biden’s Iran envoy, is telling Congress “all options are on the table.”

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly voted to pass a non-binding resolution which insists they would never support a restoration of the JCPOA if the IRGC were removed from the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) blacklist. The FTO designation is ostensibly one of the final sticking points preventing the deal’s straightforward revival. Congress has been sending messages, loud and clear, to Tehran and Biden that the deal has virtually no support.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is peddling baseless stories about Tehran attempting to assassinate his predecessor Mike Pompeo. Pompeo enthusiastically supported Trump’s Maximum Pressure campaign as well as the drone strike murder of top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, leader of the IRGC Quds Force. Though these claims of Pompeo’s life being endangered remain unproven, U.S. taxpayers pay millions per month for a security detail to put his and Blinken’s mind at ease.

Much like Tel Aviv’s unproven accusations that the IRGC is out to kidnap and murder Israelis, especially in Istanbul for some reason, this obviously plays well with the overall anti-JCPOA campaign.

The IRGC is the only state military organization on the terrorism blacklist. Considering the myriad preexisting sanctions on the unit, it is a superfluous insult. In 2019, Trump implemented this policy at the behest of Israeli-partisan hawks like Mark Dubowitz at the Foundation For Defense of Democracies, a notoriously anti-Iran think tank. This is one of the largest bricks in the so called “sanctions wall” precluding any of Trump’s successors from ever returning to the deal for fear of the built-in political toxicity. It is enough to keep Biden and the cowardly Democrats from backing what is ultimately Barack Obama’s deal in favor of a neoconservative-style Iran policy.

As May began, Israel started making these claims about a global Iranian plot to kill Israelis. At that time, the JCPOA negotiations were seemingly stalled irrevocably because of the IRGC-FTO issue. But then the Vienna talks’ broker, European Union nuclear negotiator Enrique Mora, traveled to Tehran. He took meetings with Iran’s lead negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani as a last ditch effort to break the deadlock. Mora was sent by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. As a result of the American led sanctions blitz on Russia, Europeans are in desperate need of another crude supplier as Borrell has noted. The same week, the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, also made a trip to Tehran and pushed for progress during meetings with President Ebrahim Raisi as well as Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. On May 13th, Borrell announced Mora’s mission went “better than expected,” Vienna talks had been unblocked, and a final deal was within reach.

Days later, coinciding with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s visit to Washington, and his meetings with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin, Khodaei was murdered in the drive-by shooting. Israel’s assassination campaign had commenced.

Two days after the Khodaei killing, Politico reported that the final decision to keep the IRGC on the FTO list was made. On Twitter, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett thanked Biden for the “principled decision and for being a true friend of the State of Israel.”

Following Trump, Biden’s administration is also continuing to seize tankers, stealing Iranian oil and pirating it for profit. Ironically, after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, there was some talk from Biden officials about making a deal with the Islamic Republic to put Iran’s abundant oil back on the market to reduce global energy prices. But this was apparently never taken seriously.

Biden instead prefers to kowtow to the genocidal Saudi regime which along with Abu Dhabi and Washington have starved to death and bombed over 400,000 Yemenis, including more than 263,000 children.

Those deaths mean little to the Abraham Accords caucus. This bipartisan coalition in Congress is working to ensure Washington arms these tyrants further while the Pentagon assists them in joining forces, as well as integrating missile defenses with Tel Aviv eyeing Tehran. As Biden heads to the Middle East, there is even talk of the U.S. offering security guarantees to the United Arab Emirates.

For almost a year, the Israelis have been pushing an anti-Iran, NATO-style, U.S. led alliance in the Middle East. In recent weeks, Gantz has openly promoted this strategy which Bennett is said to have suggested to Biden during a White House meeting last year.

As Iran is encircled militarily and strangled economically, the American Empire is refusing to allow them any breathing room. Each day the U.S. forgoes lifting sanctions and restoring the deal the likelihood of a hot war increases.

Given the size of Iran, its population, its geostrategic location, substantial ballistic missile deterrent, its Axis of Resistance partners, and the wide variety of U.S. military targets in the region, a war with Tehran would likely dwarf the catastrophic damage, scope, and deaths of America’s other Middle East wars.

If the JCPOA fails, the hawks armed to the teeth surrounding Iran may try to goad Tehran into leaving the NPT. Whether this happens ultimately or not, Israel may use the coming breakdown in diplomacy to justify instigating its long desired war. Rightfully, the Iranians will see such an Israeli attack as an American declaration of war.

This week, Tehran has formally dropped their demand for removing the IRGC from the FTO list. Washington has not yet responded. Contrary to the corporate press narrative, the ball is now firmly in Washington’s court.

Iran called Biden’s bluff. It is imperative that the American people now assert our support for terminating the unjustified and brutal Maximum Pressure campaign as well as denounce Israel’s murderous aggressions.

The Iranian people deserve to live and trade in peace.

Biden Regime Continues to Steal Food from Syria

 MIRI WOOD

Biden regime has stolen more Syrian wheat. On 18 June, American illegals in the Levantine Republic moved forty trucks filled with the country’s grain, moving them into Iraq via criminal use of the al Walid Crossing in the al Yarubiyah region of Hasakah governate.

Indigenous locals told the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) that Biden forces engaged in their latest round of massive theft of Syrian grains with the assistance of the armed insurrectionist SDF separatist Kurds (ironically or arrogantly supported by the same US politicians who screech the loudest over ”domestic terror” fears in their own country). The SDF terrorists function as cannon fodder committed to ethnic cleansing and assisting NATO oligarchs in creating a new Sykes-Picot occupation, and sometimes are permitted to pretend that they are guarding American military invaders, occupiers, and food and oil thieves.

Armed SDF preventing flour delivery to commercial bakeries.
Illegal Biden forces continue to support armed insurrectionist SDF.

The latest theft of essential food grains belonging to Syria comes two days after the Biden troops stole another forty tankers of Syrian oil — a criminal habit launched by war criminal Republican Trump, and accelerated by war criminal Democratic POTUS.

In exchange for the stolen Syrian food grains, Biden forces dumped a “convoy loaded with damaged military vehicles into Iraqi territory through the illegal Al-Waleed crossing [into Syria]. According to the sources, the column includes 36 vehicles, including 8 tankers loaded with damaged military armored vehicles, 9 refrigerators, 4 tankers loaded with generators, 7 carriers and 8 armored vehicles.”

Syria News reminds our readers that on 15 June, UN humanitarians issued a public letter via ReliefWeb to the Security Council, calling for UNSCR 2585 (2021) to be renewed on 10 July, and also calling for the further increase of cross-border corridors which will further breach Syria’s sovereignty.

UNSC Resolution 2585 Supply Lines to Al Qaeda in Idlib from NATO Turkey
UN ‘humanitarians’ want to breach Syria’s sovereignty but are not concerned with Biden’s looting of oil & food grains.

The humanitarian Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect aptly described the original SC Resolution 2165 (2014) as cross-border entries “without the consent of the Syrian government.”

Syria News again reminds our readers that not one of the NATO-affiliated UN humanitarians has ever uttered a condemnation of the massive Trump and Biden thefts of Syrian oil and wheat.

We do not anticipate a condemnation of Biden’s most recent war crime against the Syrian Arab Republic.

— Miri Wood

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Biden Forces Continue Trump Looting of Syrian Oil in Ethnic Cleansing

 

MIRI WOOD

Biden criminal forces in Syria continue looting Syria’s oil reserves launched by Trump. This supremacist theft is part of the neo Sykes-Picot plot to ethnically cleanse Syria of its indigenous population, by depriving the citizenry of its essential raw materials. The latest mass theft was stolen from the al Jazirah region of Hasakah governate, which happens to be in Syria, which is not part of the United States.

Biden imperial US again helping to destroy Syrian water supply.
Biden regime, like the Trump regime, can not read a map.

Syria News reminds its readers — particularly the minority of western colonialists who are so engrained with their entitlements as to almost be functioning at the level of deformed genetics — that when Trump stood outside the White House to announce how much he loves stealing from another people’s country, even those suffering Trump Derangement Syndrome were stricken deaf, dumb, and blind to this savage war crime.

Biden forces smuggle dozens of tankers loaded with stolen Syrian oil into Iraq

We remind our readers — particularly those suffering the fantastic delusions that there is a difference between the war crimes of the Democrats and the war crimes of the Republicans, that Biden illegals in Syria have also continued the Trump legacy of stealing Syria’s essential foodstuffs.

On Thursday 16 June, the ‘Brandon’ regime military illegals in the Levantine Republic, exited the country with forty-two vehicles, most of which were tankers laden with stolen Syrian oil.

To further flaunt exceptional American right to invade, occupy, and steal, the Biden regime forces exited Syria via the illegal al Walid crossing into Iraq, another country that the US continues to criminally occupy, despite the Iraqi Parliament having convened to vote, and then subsequently voting for our supremacist yanquis to leave, more than two years ago (the vote was met by threats of illicit sanctions, by Trump, and the ongoing, squatting by the Biden forces).

Biden regime criminals brought massive weapons into Syria, via the al Walid illegal crossing.
Biden regime criminals continue to loot Syria’s oil, transporting the booty into Iraq, via illegal al Walid crossing,

In other Syria news, which continued to be ignored by NATO-affiliated media, NATO-supported terrorists bombed houses in Kasab, Latakia, on Wednesday, and two more children were injured in a landmine blast on Thursday,

The supremacist Biden regime forces will continue to loot Syria’s wealth, as the UN will continue to ignore it, and colonialist media will continue to normalize it as part of the new, undeclared Sykes-Picot balkanization and ethnic cleansing until Syria finds a way to destroy all terrorists occupying the homeland.

— Miri Wood


Syria News is a collaborative effort by two authors only, we end up most of the months paying from our pockets to maintain the site’s presence online, if you like our work and want us to remain online you can help by chipping in a couple of Euros/ Dollars or any other currency so we can meet our site’s costs on time; you can also donate with Cryptocurrencies through our donate page.
Thank you in advance.

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Whose Lies Can You Trust?

May 29, 2022

Source

by James Rothenberg

I read that we’ve entered a “post truth” age. I dislike the term because it seems too sure of itself, as if it encompasses all there is to encompass. As if it should come to mean the same thing to everyone. The worst is “holocaust”, a word I’ve forbidden myself to use for the reasons just mentioned.

Sure, something’s been accelerating. It’s hard to miss the competitive manipulation taking place in the “information age”, another shorthand though with more authenticity. At a certain point in his presidency, the Washington Post catalogued 10,000 of Donald Trump’s lies. They were practically giddy about it. “Now we’ve got him!”, they seemed to be saying. “10,000!”.

Isador Feinstein Stone published the newsletter, I. F. Stone’s Weekly, from 1953-1971. Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, and Eleanor Roosevelt were among the first subscribers. (If the reader is unimpressed, this is a good place to stop.) As an investigative journalist, Stone’s bedrock principle was that all governments lie. It’s tempting to say that we find too few like him today. More to the point, there are always and everywhere too few like him. They are the anti-authoritarians.

Once we accept as a given that all governments lie, it reduces to, whose lies can you trust? The answer is easy. You’ll trust the lies of your own country before any other. An example of “post truth”? No, the truth about the lies.

To lie is to be at cross-purposes with the target of the lie. It exposes an adversarial relationship between the two. The unavoidable conclusion is that government is in an adversarial relationship with its own people. How do these cross-purposes come to exist between our government and the people it lies to?

First we should define the sides in this internal conflict because it’s not just government on one side. Multinational corporations have become such a potent force that government must consult with them, and vice versa. Their symbiosis is based on capitalism with a revolving door existing between the public and private sector. When you’re high up in one, you’re not far from the other.

We wouldn’t know we were being lied to without government’s microphone, the mega corporations that disseminate information to us, also a potent international force. And then, easy to overlook, what is government but the only two competing political parties in America, “both sides of the aisle”. There is an aisle, and Democrats and Republicans do sit on opposing sides. And they do have their differences. Otherwise you couldn’t tell them apart. But these differences largely run along cultural lines, and increasingly so.

Not that these are unimportant. They’re very important, but the parties come to be identified mainly by their stances and clashes on sexuality, civil rights, reproduction, religion, immigration and skin color to the exclusion of what could be the most crucial area to disagree on, but isn’t.

Are we to assume that because they differ so strongly on certain things, that their agreement on other things is a good indication of their virtue? I think not because such conformity is less a sign of reasoned judgment than of subordination to larger interests. The result of their general agreement is that we have no major political party independent of capitalist imperialism as promulgated by Wall Street, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the intelligence/security industry.

This is where the “national interest” is manufactured, the great secret plans that are hammered out for our own good. Ordinary people cannot be entrusted to determine the interests of their own country because they might be at odds with the manufactured kind.

Imagine if the public had had a say over the question, in 2003, of whether or not we should invade Iraq. No, forget that. That’s not a good example. The public was in favor of it. But why? For months we were the target of an intense propaganda campaign to sway our support for a decision to attack that had already been made. If you convince people that we’re fighting them “over there” so that we don’t have to fight them “over here”, well, that figures to be enough to win them over.

Now go back to 1991 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Much talk about a “peace dividend”. Nice ring to it. The United States has had the lion’s share of the world’s wealth since WW2, and now it had the wealth and no viable rivals anywhere in sight.

However, it was considered to be in the “national interest” to expand NATO, an alliance solely formed to counter the communist menace of the Soviet Union, which no longer existed. There was to be no peace dividend. It’s a made-up thing anyway.

Since then, 13 countries have joined NATO pushing east toward Russia’s borders. Russia’s leadership regards it as a provocation. You can argue against this but only if you wouldn’t consider it a provocation if Russia had formed a military alliance with Cuba, Mexico, and Canada, or any of the three. I suspect patriotic Americans will reject this dialectic.

Imagine if the public had had a say over the question, in 1991, of whether or not we should expand our military alliance with its attendant costs, or whether we should reap the dividend by seeking a more cooperative relationship with the whole of Eurasia including the Middle East. Missing was the propaganda campaign to win our support for a peace dividend so that we could spend “over here” instead of “over there”.

People will instinctively choose peace over war. We are naturally possessed of that much empathy for others. You have to be marshaled into killing. That we identify with peoples’ suffering is evident in all the Ukrainian flag flying. That’s people, not states. States deal in straight power concepts. It is in the anarchist spirit to resist this.

To declare that Ukraine is a pawn in a great-power game greatly overstates the country’s role. A pawn can force a win by checkmate or through progression. A better metaphor is Ukraine is the board the game is being played on. The main players are the United States and Russia.

The US-led NATO contingent would like to diminish Russia as a regional power so that it can fully concentrate on its primary target, China. Russia would like to diminish NATO and expand its influence throughout Eurasia.

On February 4, Russia and China formally announced a strategic partnership, essentially declaring their intention to remake the world order. This wouldn’t have come as a surprise to the United States because it sits atop the existing world order — precariously — and knows perfectly well about the threat China poses to its hegemony. Russia needs China. China doesn’t need Russia, but finds it useful. This accounts for its “hands off” policy in Ukraine.

Putin seems to have calculated, correctly, that the United States has no appetite for a direct military clash over Ukraine. The partnership building with China was likely decisive in ordering the strike. The United States is in full-hypocrisy mode when Nancy Pelosi pledges, “to help the Ukrainian people as they defend democracy for their nation and for the world.”

You’re supposed to be oblivious to the United States orchestrated coup, in 2014, that removed a democratically elected Ukrainian president because he was not sufficiently pro-West. The script never changes. But you can trust it.


James Rothenberg writes on U.S. social and foreign policy.

UN rapporteur: Human Rights in Iran Severely Affected by US Sanctions

May 19, 2022

A top UN human rights official has slammed the United States for its brutal sanctions regime against the Islamic Republic of Iran, asserting that harsh economic sanctions have had a damaging impact on human rights in the country.

Alena Douhan, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights, who is on an official visit to Iran these days, convened a press conference in Tehran on Wednesday afternoon.

Speaking to reporters, Douhan noted that decades of sanctions have wholly affected Iranian people’s lives and have particularly hit the low-income section of the society.

While presenting her assessment of the unilateral coercive measures (UCM) against Iran, the UN official who works under a mandate from the United Nations Human Rights Council, called on Washington to abandon its hard-nosed policy of maximum pressure against Iran and other countries.

Douhan, who arrived in Tehran earlier this month, said she had met with many civil society members, representatives of financial centers, diplomatic community during her visit.

She said she will address her concerns about the legality of US sanctions in her final report, which will be released at a later date.

Douhan’s mission from May 7 to 18 is the first to Iran by a UN special rapporteur.

Before embarking on the trip, the UN official said she hoped to “gather first-hand information on the impact of unilateral coercive measures on the full realization of all human rights” in Iran.

“My visit will aim at covering all walks of life and sectors affected by such measures,” she noted, dismissing speculation in the Western media that she was heading to Iran with a specific agenda.

She told reporters on Wednesday that the US has since the 1970s imposed crippling economic and trade sanctions on Iran and significantly expanded them since the early 2000s.

In May 2018, the former US President Donald Trump, after unilaterally withdrawing his country from the 2015 nuclear deal, reinstated harsh economic sanctions on Iran and slapped new ones in an unprecedented move that was widely decried.

Under the 2015 agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), international sanctions on the Islamic Republic were eased in exchange for Tehran putting limitations on certain aspects of its nuclear activities.

Trump’s sanctions deprived the Islamic Republic of economic dividends under the accord as it barred countries and international firms from working with Iran.

The mercurial real estate tycoon-turned-president’s successor, Joe Biden, who was vice president when the JCPOA was inked in 2015, promised to return his country to the deal. But his administration has failed to honor the commitment, following Trump’s legacy.

According to the UN special rapporteur, the US continues to illegally ban trade and investment in Iran, forcing foreign companies to leave the country for the fear of sanctions.

Douhan’s landmark visit to Iran came amid the stalemate over the nuclear deal, with the US showing reluctance to respond to Iran’s proposals.

Decrying the US decision to abandon the nuclear deal and continue with its sanctions regime, she said the deal was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

“Applying extraterritorial sanctions on Iranian companies or companies working with Iran … is illegal under international law,” she asserted.

Commenting on Iran’s frozen assets abroad, the UN official said the assets estimated to be around $120 billion need to be unblocked.

“I urge the states that have frozen the assets of Iranian Central Bank to immediately unfreeze Iran’s funds based on international law.”

Douhan began her 11-day visit to Iran on May 7, a day before the fourth anniversary of the US illegal withdrawal from the JCPOA.

Last week, Iran’s top human rights official Kazem Gharibabadi said Douhan’s visit was only aimed at gathering information on the impact of sanctions to hold countries (US) to account.

“Nations hit by sanctions should use all available resources to hold the countries calling for and enforcing unilateral sanctions liable,” Gharibabadi said.

His comments came in response to reports in Western media accusing Iran of exploiting the visit to avoid accountability and “deflect attention” from its alleged human rights violations.

In her Wednesday press conference, Douhan also welcomed Iran’s efforts to support Afghan refugees, displaced by the 20-year US war, despite reeling under sanctions.

“I call on the sanctioning states, particularly the US, to abandon the unilateral sanctions,” she stated.

She also referred to stalled negotiations in Vienna to bring the US back to the JCPOA, urging the JCPOA signatories and the US to resume the negotiations.”

Iran and the P4+1 group of countries – Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia – have held several rounds of sanctions in the Austrian capital since April 2021 to revive the JCPOA.

Iran says its primary goal at the talks is to have the illegal US sanctions removed.

Source: Iranian media (edited by Al-Manar English Website)

Schenker Acknowledges: US Exploited 2019 Protests, Fastened Lebanon Economic Collapse: Video

May 15, 2022

On eve of parliamentary elections in Lebanon, David Schenker, former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, made remarks on the dangerous role played by the former US administration to fasten the economic collapse in Lebanon and to maintain the siege on the country.

During The Washington Institute’s virtual Policy Forum entitled “Hezbollah-Shia Dynamics and Lebanon’s Election: Challenges, Opportunities, and Policy Implications,” Schenker acknowledged that the former US administration of Donald Trump exploited the 2019 protests in a bid to defame and weaken Hezbollah along with its allies.

The US official said that former US administration imposed sanctions on financial organizations affiliated with Hezbollah and on Jammal Trust Bank, noting that the step was directly after Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Lebanon’s issuer rating to C from Ca.

The US was behind downgrading Lebanon’s rating and the Trump administration was keen to synchronize this move with sanctioning Jammal Trust Bank, Schenker told the forum.

In this context, the US official said that Washington also sanctioned Hezbollah’s major ally Gebran Bassil as part of efforts aimed at laying siege on Hezbollah and its allies.

He noted that while he was in his post he visited Lebanon for two or three times, adding that during these visits he met anti-Hezbollah Shiite businessmen and journalists.

https://english.almanar.com.lb/ajax/video_check.php?id=107329

Furthermore, Schenker said he was not optimistic about 2022 elections and that he did not think the results will sway the current political situation in the country, noting that the US administration should not bet on these elections.

In an assessment of Hezbollah rival candidates, Schenker described them as “individualistic, self-centered and narcissistic leaders.”

He claimed that they are mostly seeking to obtain titles and the benefits of leadership rather than creating actual change in the political composition of the country.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Not Only Americans Milk Saudis, ‘Israelis’ Do Too

April 19, 2022 

By Staff | Haaretz

After the New York Times published a report that Saudi Arabia put $2 billion into Jared Kushner’s investment fund despite objections he was too inexperienced, the matter raised a big question for Etyan Avriel who asked: Does the deal have an ‘Israeli’ angle – and could former Mossad head Yossi Cohen be involved?

In an analysis entitled “Trump’s People Pocket Saudi Billions. What about Top ‘Israeli’ Officials?”, Avriel, the co-founder of TheMarker, the business newspaper of the Haaretz Group, tackled the ‘Israeli’ angle of the story. He uncovered that like Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in the ‘Israeli’ entity, too, politicians and senior officials receive payments for the “public service” they provide for tycoons.”

“We could fill an entire newspaper with examples, which raises the question of whether the Kushner deal has an ‘Israeli’ angle,” Avriel noted as he started to explain the following:

Kushner, who promoted ties between Saudi Arabia and the United States, is also the person most responsible for the Abraham Accords, the 2020 agreement between ‘Israel’ and the UAE and Bahrain. He obviously had ‘Israeli’ partners, including the former Mossad chief, Yossi Cohen, and the US ambassador to Tel Aviv at the time, David Friedman [this according to foreign reports].

The author then asks: Did they also get something like the generous investment received by Kushner from Bin Salman?

There may be no definitive answer to this question. But one could point to several facts that raise some questions. According to several media reports, Cohen, for example, had planned, to join former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s fund. Instead, he was appointed head of the ‘Israeli’ operations of SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision venture capital fund.

The Saudi sovereign wealth fund is the anchor investor in the Vision fund, after putting at its disposal no less than $45 billion in 2017, with the UAE state investment company Mubadala providing a further $15 billion [SoftBank itself invested $28 billion].

In other words, the Vision Fund, which is funded almost exclusively by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, appointed to an important position that no doubt comes with a hefty salary and other perks Kushner’s partner in warming relations with the US and ‘Israel’, even though Cohen has no experience in business, high-tech or capital markets. Is this a coincidence?

There’s more. Last December, ‘Israeli’ Channel 12 television revealed that Cohen, while still chief of Mossad, helped his daughter Achinoam get a job as a director in a company controlled by Tahnoun bin Zayed, the UAE national security adviser, a counterpart to the head of Mossad in that country. One of bin Zayed’s companies has opened an office in Herzliya for the company employing Cohen’s daughter, but Cohen denies any improper ties. “I never turned to Sheikh Tahnoun on any topic connected to my daughter or her employment,” he claimed in comments to ‘Israeli’ Channel 12.

Other senior officials in the ‘Israeli’ Middle East diplomacy are linked to the same businesses. Friedman, for example, is a partner in the same Mnuchin’s fund that has received billions of dollars from the Saudis and Emiratis.

“Kushner, Mnuchin, Friedman and Cohen may have made ‘peace’ between ‘Israel’ and several Arab states, but they also leveraged the ‘peace’ into millions of dollars for each one of them personally, and in very short order,” the author concluded.

Pentagon general deplores removing IRGC Quds Force off terror list

Friday 8 April 2022

Source: Agencies

Milley’s personal opinion is to keep, particularly, Iran’s Quds Force on the terror list.

By Al Mayadeen Net 

Pentagon general deplores removing IRGC Quds Force off terror list

The Pentagon’s top general, Mark Milley, vocalized that he was against the delisting of the IRGC as a “terrorist organization”.

“In my personal opinion, I believe the IRGC Quds Force to be a terrorist organization, and I do not support them being delisted from the foreign terrorist organization list,” said Milley in a congressional hearing. 

What was noticeable is Milley’s particular singling out of the IRGC Quds Force – whose former commander was assassinated martyr, Qassem Soleimani – at a time when Washington contemplates removing the IRGC off the terror list altogether. 

Removing the IRGC off the US terror list, to Tehran, is a main condition for the restoration of the 2015 nuclear deal, which was obstructed by former US President Donald Trump in 2018. Trump designated the IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization after withdrawing from the deal. 

Israelis panic

While Washington discusses removing the IRGC from the terror list, “Israel” tries everything to obstruct the decision. 

Israel Hayom expects that “Israel” will continue to make strong statements against the Biden administration’s intent to remove the IRGC from its terror list, saying that even if this leads to foiling the deal in Congress, “Israel” will continue to publicly oppose the nuclear deal.

It noted that it is expected that the Israeli opposition will make it harder for the deal to be approved in Congress, and that “Israel’s” political leadership believes removing the IRGC from the list is “unethical”, and that it jeopardizes the lives of Israelis and others.

Read more: “Israel” pleads with US to keep IRGC on ‘terror list’

The US administration is currently considering the removal of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps from its terror blacklist in exchange for a commitment from Iran to “de-escalate” in the region, according to Axios.

One of the remaining points in the Vienna Talks is the removal of IRGC’s designation as a terror group. The terror designation means that criminal penalties would be imposed on anyone doing business with any individual or entity connected to the IRGC.

Furthermore, Israeli media reported a source close to the US administration as saying that “Former President Donald Trump’s decision in 2019 to put Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on the list was a dangerous and short-sighted move.”

The same source added that the move prioritized rhetoric over the security of the US and its partnership, stressing that including the IRGC on the list had increased Iran’s hostility.

In the same context, the Israeli Channel KAN reported that “the Gulf countries have called on the White House not to remove the IRGC from the list.

On his account, Channel 12‘s political analyst Amit Segal affirmed that “Israel” is not alone in calling on Biden to refrain from removing IRGC from the terrorist list.”

Last Sunday, Israeli PM Naftali Bennett expressed hope that the decision will not go through. 

“We are still hoping and working toward preventing this from happening,” he said.

Events Like These Only Happen Once Every Century (Sergey Glazyev)

April 03, 2022

Translated by Leo.

Bolds and italics used for emphasise.

“Events like these only happen once every century”: Sergei Glazyev on the breaking of an epoch and the change of ways.

Is it possible to stabilize the ruble in three days? And why are the Ukrainian ‘zombies’ not giving up?

“After failing to weaken the People’s Republic of China head-on through a trade war, the Americans shifted the main blow to Russia, which they see as a weak link in world geopolitics and economics. The Anglo-Saxons are striving to realize their age-old Russophobic ideas of destroying our country, and at the same time weakening China, because the strategic alliance of the Russian Federation and China is too tough for the United States. They have neither the economic nor military power to destroy us together, and not separately,” says Sergey Glazyev, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, former adviser to the President of the Russian Federation. About what opportunities are now opening up for the Russian economy, whether the Central Bank panders to the enemy and whether a new world currency will replace the dollar, Glazyev spoke in an interview with BUSINESS Online.

The new world economic order is socialist in ideology”

– Sergey Yuryevich, commenting on today’s tragic events, you wrote in your Telegram channel that we should have read your book about the “last world war”, written about 6 years ago. How did you manage to predict everything so accurately?

– The fact is that there are long-term patterns of economic development, the analysis and understanding of which makes it possible to predict the events that are taking place at the present time. We are now experiencing a simultaneous change in the technological and world economic structures, while the technological basis of the economy is changing, there is a transition to fundamentally new technologies, and the management system is also changing. Events like this happen about once a century. However, technological structures change about once every 50 years, and their change is usually accompanied by a technological revolution, depression and an arms race. And world economic structures change once every 100 years, and their change is accompanied by world wars and social revolutions. This is due to the fact that the ruling elite of the countries of the core of the old world economic order impedes changes, does not take into account the emergence of more effective management systems, tries to block the development of new world leaders using them, and tries to maintain its hegemony and its monopoly position by any means, including military and revolutionary ones.

Say, 100 years ago, the British Empire was trying to maintain its hegemony in the world. When it was already losing economically to the combined resources of the Russian Empire and Germany, the First World War, provoked by British intelligence, was unleashed, during which all three European empires self-liquidated. I am talking about the collapse of tsarist Russia, the German and Austro-Hungarian empires, but here we can even put a fourth – the Ottoman Port. As for Britain, for some time it retained global dominance and even became the largest empire on the planet. But due to the inexorable laws of socio-economic development, the colonial world economic structure, based in fact on slave labor, could no longer ensure economic growth. The two fundamentally new political models that emerged – the Soviet and the American ones – demonstrated a much greater efficiency of production, since they were already organized on other principles: not on private family capitalism, but on the strength of large transnational corporations with centralized structures for regulating the economy and with limitless monetary emission of credit through fiat money (paper or electronic means – ed. note). They enabled the mass production of products much more efficiently than the administrative systems of the colonial empires of the XIX century.

The emergence of social states in the USSR and the USA with centralized control systems made it possible for a sharp jump in their economic development. In Europe, the corporate governance system was formed, unfortunately, according to the Nazi model in Germany, and also not without the help of British intelligence. Hitler, relying on the support of the British intelligence services and American capital, quite quickly deployed a centralized corporate management system in Germany, which allowed the Third Reich to very quickly capture the whole of Europe. With God’s help, we defeated this German (more precisely, European – taking into account today’s realities) fascism. After that, two models remained in the world, which I attribute to the imperial world economic structure: Soviet and Western (with the center in the USA). After the collapse of the Soviet Union, which could not withstand global competition due to the fact that the directive system of government was not flexible enough to meet the needs of technological progress, the United States seized global dominance for a while.

– But now this period of “American unipolar loneliness” is already ending, and, probably, not only thanks to Russia, but primarily to China and the Asian regions as such. Is it not?

– Indeed, the hierarchical vertical structures characteristic of the imperial world economy turned out to be too rigid to ensure continuous innovation processes and lost their comparative effectiveness in ensuring the growth of the world economy. On its periphery, a new world economic order has been formed, which is based on flexible management models, a network organization of production, where the state works as an integrator, uniting the interests of various social groups around achieving one goal – raising the public welfare. The most impressive example of such an integral world economic structure today is China, which for more than 30 years has outpaced the growth rate of the American economy by three times. At the moment, China is already surpassing the United States in terms of output, exports of high-tech goods, and growth rates.

Another example of a model of a new world economic order, which we called integral (due to the fact that the state in it unites all social groups of different interests), is India. It has a different political system, but it also has the primacy of public interests over private ones, and the state seeks to maximize growth rates in order to fight poverty. In this sense, the new world economic order is socialist in ideology. At the same time, it uses market mechanisms of competition, which makes it possible to provide the highest concentration of resources for making a technological revolution with goals to ensure economic leaps based on a new advanced technological order. If we look at growth rates after 1995, we see that the Chinese economy has grown 10 times, while the US economy has grown by only 15 percent. Thus, it is already obvious to everyone that at present the pace of world economic development is shifting to Asia: China, India and the countries of Southeast Asia already produce more products than the US and the EU. If we add to them Japan or Korea, in which the management system is similar in its principles to the integration of society around the goal of increasing public welfare, then we can say that today this new world economic structure already dominates the world, and the center of reproduction of the world economy has moved to Southeast Asia. Of course, the American ruling elite cannot agree with this.

– To come to terms with it, I would say…

– Yes. They, like the British Empire once, seek to maintain their hegemony in the world. The events taking place today are a manifestation of how the US financial and powerful oligarchic elite are trying to maintain world domination. It can be said that for the past 15 years it has been waging a world hybrid war, seeking to chaoticize countries beyond its control and restrain the development of the People’s Republic of China. But due to the already archaic system of governance, they cannot do this. The financial crisis of 2008 was such a transitional moment when the life cycle of the outgoing technological order actually ended and the process of massive redistribution of capital into a new technological order began, the core of which is a complex of nanobioengineering and information communication technologies. All countries began to pump up the economy with money. The simplest thing a modern government can do is to give all businesses access to cheap long-term money so they can adopt new technologies. But, if in America and Europe such funds went mainly into financial bubbles and covered the budget deficit, then in China this colossal money emission was completely directed to the growth of production and the development of new technologies. There were no financial bubbles, while the ultra-high monetization of the Chinese economy did not result in inflation, the growth of the money supply was accompanied by an increase in the production of goods, the introduction of new advanced technologies and an increase in public welfare.

Today, economic competition has already led to the fact that the United States has lost its leadership. If you remember, Donald Trump tried to contain the development of China through a trade war, but nothing came out of it.

“The Americans have opened a biological front of war by launching the coronavirus in China

– Why? Did Trump, accustomed to taking risks and going all-in, lack the determination?

– And even Trump couldn’t get it out, because China has a more efficient management system that allows you to concentrate the available production resources to the fullest. At the same time, effective money management keeps money emission in the contour of expanded reproduction of the real sector of the economy, focusing on financing investments in development. China has the highest savings rate of any country, with about 45 percent of GDP invested, compared with 20 percent in the United States or Russia. This, in fact, ensures the ultra-high growth rates of the Chinese economy.

In short, the US was doomed to lose this trade war because China could produce more efficiently and finance development cheaper. The entire banking system in China is state-owned, it works as a single development institution, directing cash flows to expand production and master new technologies. In the United States, the emission of money goes to finance the budget deficit and is redistributed into financial bubbles. As a result, the efficiency of the US financial and economic system is 20 percent – there only every fifth dollar reaches the real sector, and in China almost 90 percent (that is, almost all the yuan that is created by the Central Bank of the PRC) feeds the contours of the expansion of production and ensures ultra-high economic growth.

Trump’s attempts to limit China’s development through trade war methods have failed. At the same time, they boomeranged at the United States itself. Then the Americans opened a biological war front by launching the coronavirus in China, hoping that the Chinese leadership would not cope with this epidemic and chaos would arise in China. However, the epidemic has demonstrated the low efficiency of healthcare and has created chaos in the United States itself. The Chinese system of government has shown much greater efficiency here as well. In the Celestial Empire, the mortality rate is significantly lower, and the pandemic was dealt with much faster there. Already in 2020, they even reached economic growth of 2 percent, while in the United States there was a decline of 10 percent of GDP (analysts noted the largest drop since the Second World War – ed. note). Now the Chinese have restored the growth rate of about 7 percent per year, and there is no doubt that the PRC will continue to develop confidently, expanding the production of a new technological order.

In parallel with the trade war against China, American intelligence services were preparing a war against Russia, since the Anglo-Saxon geopolitical tradition considers our country the main obstacle to establishing world domination of the US and British power and financial elite. It must be said that the war against the Russian Federation unfolded immediately after the annexation of Crimea and after the American special services organized a coup d’état in Ukraine. It can be said that they tricked Russia into agreeing to the American occupation of Ukraine, considering it as a temporary phenomenon. However, the Americans took root on ‘Ukrainian Independence’, created not only strongholds, growing Nazis under their wing, but also trained the Nazi armed forces, gave the Nazis the opportunity to receive a military education, trained them in their academies, ‘sewed together’ all the Armed Forces of Ukraine with them. And for 8 years they have been preparing the Armed Forces of Ukraine for the fight against the only enemy – Russia. While the mass media, which in Ukraine are also completely controlled by the Americans, formed the image of the enemy in the public mind.

In addition, the United States used the monetary and financial front of the hybrid war against the Russian Federation. Already in 2014, they introduced the first financial sanctions and knocked out a significant part of Western loans from the Russian economy. Now we are witnessing the next phase, when they have actually disconnected Russia from the world monetary and financial system, which they dominate. However, I predicted all this 10 years ago, based on the theory of changing world economic structures and the specific logic of the US ruling elite, focused on world domination. Anglo-Saxon geopolitics is traditionally oriented against the Russian Empire and its successors, the USSR and the Russian Federation, because, since the days of the British Empire, Russia has been seen as the main opponent of the Anglo-Saxons. All the so-called geopolitical science that was being written in London came down, in fact, to a set of recommendations on how to destroy Russia as the dominant force in Eurasia. I mean all sorts of speculative constructions like “countries of the sea against countries of the land” and so on.

– How did Russia get in the way of the ‘sea countries’ that much? After all, geographically with the UK, we have never bordered.

– In this regard, a formula was invented: whoever controls Eurasia controls the whole world. Actually, applied developments have already gone further. Zbigniew Brzezinski’s theorem is known that in order to defeat Russia as a superpower, Ukraine must be torn off from it. All this political dogma, which, it would seem, has long gone down in history, is nevertheless reproduced today in the thinking of the American political elite. I must say that there are still courses in geopolitics of the XIX century at Harvard and Yale University, sharpening the brains of future American politicians against Russia. So they, in fact, jumped on this old and time-tested Russophobic stream, which has always been characteristic of Anglo-Saxon geopolitics. And, considering Russia as the main opponent of their dominance in the world, in accordance with the proposal of Brzezinski, they used Ukraine as an outpost, more precisely, as a tool to undermine Russia, weaken it and, in the long run, destroy it as a sovereign state.

So, what is happening today was easily predicted based on a combination of long-term patterns of economic development, which actually doomed the world to a hybrid war, and the traditional Russophobia of the Anglo-Saxon political elite. After the weakening of the PRC did not work out through a trade war, the Americans transferred the main blow of their military and political power to Russia, which they consider to be a weak link in world geopolitics and economics. In addition, the Anglo-Saxons seek to establish dominance over Russia in order to realize their age-old Russophobic ideas of destroying our country, and at the same time weakening China, because the strategic alliance of the Russian Federation and China is too tough for the United States. They have neither the economic nor the military power to destroy us together, neither separately, which is why the United States initially sought to quarrel us with China. That didn’t work for them. But they, using our, I would say, placidity, seized control over Ukraine, and today they are using our fraternal republic as a weapon of war to destroy Russia, and then to seize control of our resources in order, I repeat, to strengthen their position and weaken China’s position. In general, this is all obvious, like two plus two equals four.

“The Americans will not be able to win, just as the British did not succeed in their time

– Probably, this is obvious, but not for everyone. Among the Russian elite there are many opponents of an alliance with China. At least, before the special operation in Ukraine, it seemed to these people that American and Western culture is more understandable and closer to us than hieroglyphic Chinese wisdom, and that we will always find a common language with our “Western partners”.

– You know, back in 2015 I wrote the book “The Last World War. The USA is Starting and Losing”, which you mentioned at the beginning of the conversation – everything was thought out and justified there. The United States embarked on a worldwide hybrid war – started with the Orange Revolutions to disrupt regions of the world it did not control – in order to strengthen its position and weaken the position of geopolitical rivals. After the famous Munich speech of President Putin (February 2007 – ed. Note), they realized that they had lost control over Yeltsin’s Russia, and this seriously worried them. In 2008, the financial crisis broke out and it became clear that the transition to a new technological order was beginning, and the old world economic order and the previous management system no longer ensured sustainable economic development. China was now leading the way. Well, then afterwards the logic of deploying of a world war happens, only not in the forms that existed 100 years ago, but on three conditional fronts – monetary-financial (where the United States still dominates the world), trade-economic (where they have already lost superiority to China) and information-cognitive (where the Americans also have technologies that are superior to ours). They use all three of these fronts in an attempt to keep the initiative and maintain the hegemony of their corporations.

Well and finally, the fourth front is the biological one, which opened with the advent of the coronavirus from the US-Chinese laboratory in Wuhan. Today we see that a whole network of biological laboratories existed in Ukraine. So the United States has long been preparing to open the biological front of the world war.

The fifth, and most obvious, front is, in fact, the front of combat fighting – as the last tool for forcing the states that they control into unquestioning obedience. Today, the situation on this front is also escalating. That is, active operations are underway on all five fronts of the world hybrid war, and the result can be predicted. The Americans will not be able to win, just as the British did not succeed in their time. Although Britain formally won World War II, they lost politically and economically. The British lost their entire empire, losing more than 90 percent of the territory and 95 percent of the population. Two years after World War II, where they were the winners, their empire collapsed like a house of cards, because the other two winners – the USSR and the USA – did not need this empire and viewed it as an anachronism. Also, the world will not need American transnational corporations, the American dollar, American monetary and financial technologies and financial pyramids. All this will be a thing of the past in the near future. Southeast Asia will become the obvious leader in world economic development, and a new world economic order will be formed before our very eyes.

– To paraphrase [Erich] Remarque, we can say that changes have finally come on the western front. But what signs do you see of this powerful global system soon becoming a thing of the past?

– After the Americans seized first the Venezuelan foreign exchange reserves and handed them over to the opposition, then the Afghan foreign exchange reserves, before that the Iranian ones, and now the Russian ones, it became completely clear that the dollar ceased to be the world currency. Following the Americans, the Europeans also committed this stupidity – the euro and the pound ceased to be world currencies. Therefore, the old monetary and financial system is living its last days. After American dollars that no one needs are sent back to America from Asian countries, the collapse of the world monetary and financial system based on dollars and euros is inevitable. Leading countries are switching to national currencies, and the euro and the dollar are ceasing to be foreign exchange reserves.

– How do you see the world after the disappearance of the dollar monopoly?

– We are currently working on a project for an international treaty on the introduction of a new world settlement currency pegged to the national currencies of the participating countries and to exchange commodities that determine real values. We won’t need American and European banks. A new payment system based on modern digital technologies with blockchain is developing in the world, where banks lose their importance. Classical capitalism based on private banks is fading away. International law is being restored. All key international relations, including the issuance of world currency circulation, begin to form on the basis of agreements. At the same time, the significance of national sovereignty is being restored, because sovereign countries are coming to an agreement. The basis of global economic cooperation is joint investment in order to improve the well-being of peoples. Trade liberalization ceases to be some kind of priority, national priorities are respected, each state builds such a system for protecting the internal market and its economic space that it considers necessary. That is, the era of liberal globalization is over. Before our eyes, a new world economic structure is being formed – an integral one, in which some states and private banks lose their private monopoly on the issue of money, on the use of military force, and so on.

“The third scenario is catastrophic. Destruction of mankind

– Why did you call your book “The Last World War”? What feeds your hope that this global war is really the last one?

– I called this world war the last one, because we see that there are several scenarios of movement out of today’s crisis. The first scenario, which I have already talked about, is calm and prosperous. It consists in overcoming the US monopoly. In order to do this in the financial sector, you need to abandon the dollar. In order to overcome the monopoly in the information and cognitive sphere, it is necessary to isolate our information space from the American one and switch to our own information technologies. Creating their own contours of the reproduction of the economy, but without the US dollar and the euro and relying on their information technologies for managing money, the countries of the new world economic order ensure high rates of economic development, while the Western world is collapsing. There they have a situation of collapse of financial pyramids, disorganization and a growing economic crisis, aggravated by growing inflation due to the uncontrolled issue of money over the past 12 years.

The second scenario of a possible development of events is similar to the one that Hitler wanted to realize during the period of the change of previous world economic structures. This is an attempt to create a world government with a superhuman ideology. If Hitler conceived the German nation as superhumans, then the current ideologists of world domination impose on humanity the transition to a post-humanoid state. In contrast to the post-humanism of the West, the core countries of the new world economic order are characterized by a socialist ideology, albeit with respect for private interests, protection of private property and the use of market mechanisms. In China, India, Japan, and Korea, socialist ideology dominates – or rather, a mixture of socialist ideology, national interests, and market competition. It is this mixture that forms a fundamentally new power-political elite, focused on economic development and the growth of the well-being of nations.

It is different for Western politicians, intellectuals and businessmen. What we see today is an attempt to form a certain image of a new world order with a world government at the head, where people are driven into an electronic concentration camp. You can see by the example of restrictions during the pandemic how it happened: all people are given tags, access to public goods is regulated through QR codes, everyone is forced to walk in formation. By the way, in the scenario of the Rockefeller Foundation back in 2009, the pandemic and, in fact, everything that happened in connection with it, was amazingly sorted into pieces – they actually predicted the future. This scenario was called Lock Step, that is, “Walk in formation”, and the Western world followed it. Sacrificing their own democratic values, they try to force people to obey commands. International organizations, including the World Health Organization, are used as a kind of stronghold for assembling a world government that would be subordinate to private capital.

But, I must say, Donald Trump greatly interfered with these plans, because he stopped the signing of agreements on Transatlantic and Trans-Pacific partnerships, where all countries participating in the agreements sacrificed national sovereignty in all disputes with big business. And you need to understand that today any transnational corporation can act as a foreign investor, including in the United States. According to these agreements, if there is foreign capital in the business, then in a dispute with the national government, some kind of international arbitration court is formed, it is not clear how and by whom it was drawn up. And these unelected judges, appointed, in fact, by big international business, these disputes are resolved. In fact, it was about the fact that the state was losing all sovereignty in regulating relations with big business. However, Trump stopped the agreement – the United States never signed it. Thus, the process of forming a world government was stopped. This is the second alternative, and it is now in crisis due to the collapse of the idea of globalization and the gradual abandonment of ‘pandemic’ restrictions.

It must be understood that the option of a world government is incompatible with sovereign Russia, with our independence and role in the world. Within the framework of the globalist scenario, the Russian Federation is viewed as a territory that is intended for exploitation by Western transnational corporations. The “indigenous population” must serve their interests. Under such a scenario, Russia disappears as an independent entity, just like China, by the way. The Western world government may incorporate some of our oligarchs into its version of the future, but only in second and third-rate roles.

The third scenario is catastrophic. The destruction of humanity…

– That same apocalypse which everybody talks about?

– Well, not everyone… But everyone, of course, is afraid. By the way, about the American biological laboratories that are engaged in the synthesis of dangerous viruses, it was mentioned in my other book, which was published a little later: “Plague of the XXI century: how to avoid disaster and overcome the crisis?”

I remember back in 1996, when I had to work in the UN Security Council, I proposed to develop the concept of national biological security. Because even then, almost 30 years ago, genetics was a sufficiently developed science to synthesize viruses directed against people of a certain race or a certain gender, a certain age. This has been possible for a long time. It is possible to make a virus that will only work against whites, or vice versa, only against blacks, only against men, or only against women. Now the Americans are going further – you see that, data which agrees with our Ministry of Defense, they announced the day before, that American biological laboratories were developing viruses targeted against the Slavs. Apparently, it is possible today – to make a virus against some ethnic group that has its own genetic code.

What is happening in Ukraine today is an echo of the agony of the US power elite, which cannot come to terms with the fact that they will no longer be a world leader. This becomes clear to everyone – at least to those who are not connected with the Americans by their own interests and are not subject to their cognitive influence.

I’ll give you an example. When the US imposed sanctions on Russia in 2014, I asked my Chinese colleagues: “Do you think the Americans can impose sanctions with regards to China?” They were certain that they can’t. They said that it was impossible, because the US depends on China just as strongly as China depends on the US. That is, America will be more expensive for itself. Two years had passed, and Trump launched a trade war against China. And Beijing now understood that America is an enemy that will drown the Chinese economic miracle by all means. Prior to this, my reasonings with my Chinese colleagues were not very convincing, just as, however, my book you mentioned did not greatly influence our political and economic elite. My arguments were dismissed. Although we have been saying for many, many years that the dollar should be refused. Foreign exchange reserves should have been removed from dollar instruments, from the euros-to-gold, it should have been necessary to switch to our own monetary and financial system, develop our own settlements in national currencies with partners. We have been offering all this since the 2000s, when it was already clear what the world economic development was leading to. And now, finally, everyone has seen the light.

The Americans zombified Ukrainians and turned 150-200 thousand people into a fighting machine that works without thinking”

– Judging by the heart-rending howl that comes from the camp of the liberals, as well as the events in Ukraine, not everyone has seen the light yet.

– Yes, we are faced with the fact that in 8 years the Americans have managed to fool the Ukrainian people so much that the people who resist the Russian army, the so-called Armed Forces of Ukraine, look simply zombified. They are manipulated like puppets. It is not Zelensky who commands the Ukrainian Army, not even the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and the General Staff – but the Pentagon. It commands very effectively from the point of view in the fight of “to the last Ukrainian soldier”, because these zombie guys do not give up. But they are in an absolutely hopeless situation. All experts have already acknowledged that Russia won the military special operation, that the Ukraine has no chance of resistance, that the entire military infrastructure has been destroyed… The Armed Forces of Ukraine is only left with surrendering in order to minimize human losses. However, Ukrainian officers (and especially, of course, nationalists) act like zombies controlled from the outside – they follow instructions from the Pentagon that come to their personal computers and special tablets.

Moreover, the Americans command their marionettes from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, breaking them into the appropriate units. Each unit is assigned a number, and every number is given artificial ‘military intelligence’ with tasks every day. They really turned 150-200 thousand people into a fighting machine that works without thinking, only stupidly follows all their orders. For 8 years, they have achieved that they forced a significant part of the youth of Ukraine not only to stand up against Russia, but through brainwashing made them their weak-willed tools. Not just cannon fodder, but controlled cannon fodder.

Being in an absolutely hopeless situation, surrounded, deprived of any supply at all, they still continue the senseless war, dooming themselves to death, and dragging the surrounding civilians with them to the grave. This is a clear example of how modern American technology works. We must understand that in front of us, we have a very powerful force. You know, before [the war], we have heard from Russian experts and politicians that the Ukrainians themselves will suffocate economically and then crawl to us, and in general where will Ukraine go without us? After all, it will not be able to ensure the reproduction of the economy without our resources and cooperation with us. Indeed, Ukraine has entered a state of economic catastrophe, as we expected, as we explained to our Ukrainian colleagues. The Ukrainian republic has become the poorest state in Europe along with Moldova. Due to the fact that Ukraine has terminated ties with Russia, its losses amount to more than 100 billion dollars. Nevertheless, this did not prevent American and British political strategists and instructors from forming a 200,000-strong army of thugs and murderers who completely inadequately imagine reality and are an obedient instrument of American interests.

– Aren’t there equally obedient American marionettes in Russia? Is it only Ukrainians who were zombified?

– Yes, and here it should be noted that practically the same thing is happening with the Central Bank, but only on other issues.

– Before we move on to the Central Bank, let me clarify. You said that you are working on introducing a new currency. And in what format and with what team?

– We have been doing this for a long time as a group of scholars. 10 years ago, at the Astana Economic Forum, we presented the report “Toward sustainable growth through a fair world economic order” with a project for the transition to a new world financial and monetary system, where we proposed to reform the IMF system based on the so-called special drawing rights, and on the basis of a modified IMF system – to create a worldwide accounting currency. By the way, this idea aroused great interest then: our project was recognized as the best international economic project. But in a practical sense, none of the states, represented by the official monetary authorities, was interested in this project. Although it was followed by Nursultan Nazarbayev’s publications, which proposed a new currency. If I remember correctly, he offered Altyn.

– Altyn? That is interesting.

Yes, the publication of his article on this topic even took place in Izvestia. But the matter did not come to negotiations and political decisions, and to this day it is rather a proposal of experts. But I am sure that the current situation is forcing us to create new payment-settlement instruments very quickly, because the dollar will practically be impossible to use, and the ruble, due to the incompetent policy of the Central Bank, which, in fact, acts in the interests of international speculators, cannot find sustainability.

Objectively, the ruble could become a reserve currency along with the yuan and the rupee. It would be possible to move to a multi-currency system based on national currencies. But we still need some equivalent for pricing… Now we are working on the concept of the exchange space of the Eurasian Economic Union, where one of the tasks is the formation of new pricing criteria. That is, if we want metal prices to be formed not in London, but here in Russia, just like oil prices, then this implies the emergence of some other currency, especially if we want to act not only within the Eurasian Economic Union, and in Eurasia in a broad sense, at the center of a new world economic order, to which I include China, India, Indochina, Japan, Korea and Iran. These are large countries, all of which have their own fundamental national interests. After the current stories with the confiscation of [Russia’s] dollar reserves, I think no country will want to use another country’s currency as a reserve. So a new tool is needed. And from my point of view, such a tool, for a start, can become some kind of synthetic settlement currency, which would be built as such an aggregated index.

– Can I have some examples? What it is?

– Well, let’s say, ECU ₠ (European Currency Unit) – there was such an experience in the European Union. It was built like a basket of currencies. All countries that participate in the creation of a new accounting currency should be entitled to the presence of their national currency in this basket. And the common currency is formed as an index, as a weighted average component of these national currencies. Well, to this we must add, from my point of view, commodities: not only gold, but also oil, and metal, and grain, and water. A sort of commodity harness, which, according to our estimates, should include about 20 goods. They, in fact, form world price proportions and therefore must participate in the basket for the formation of a new accounting currency. And an international treaty is needed, which will determine the rules for the circulation of this currency and create an organization like the International Monetary Fund. By the way, 15 years ago we proposed reforming the IMF, but now it is already obvious that a new monetary financial system will have to be built without the West. Perhaps someday Europe will join it and the US will also be forced to admit it. But so far it is clear that we will have to build without them, for example, on the basis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. However, these are just expert developments, which we will submit to the authorities in the coming month.

– And at the level of the government or at the level of the president?

– We will first send it to the departments that are responsible for these issues. We will hold discussions, develop some kind of common understanding, and then go to the political level.

The Central Bank continues the policy of pandering to the enemy”

– In your Telegram channel, you write that all that remains is to nationalize the Bank of Russia. Why hasn’t it been done yet? For example, there is a point of view that Elvira Nabiullina remains at her post as a screen, but will no longer manages anything serious. Can you refute or confirm this?

– You know, I don’t want to engage in conspiracy theories.

– This is a conspiracy theory?

– Yes, we can talk about the American Deep State in conspiracy terms. In this case, conspiracy theories are a very appropriate direction of thought, because in America, behind the screen of presidents and congressmen, there are some deep forces – special services. And in our Fatherland, everything is simple. We have a president, a head of state who has built a vertical form of power. It is absolutely clear in our country how the parliament and the judiciary are formed. Here, no conspiracy theory, in general, can be applied. The same goes for the Central Bank. Let me remind you that, according to the law on the Central Bank, all its property is federal property. Therefore, the Central Bank is a state structure, there is not the slightest doubt about it.

– And they always said that the Central Bank was separated, as if on the sidelines.

– The Board of Directors of the Central Bank is appointed by the State Duma on the proposal of the President. I served for many years as its representative on the national banking board, which oversees the activities of the Central Bank. I can say that there is no doubt that the Central Bank is the state body for regulating monetary circulation, and it is also the main financial regulator in the country.

But there are nuances. The Constitution stipulates that the Central Bank conducts its policy independently, that is, it is independent of the government. But this does not mean that it is independent of the state. This is a state-owned agency. Here the judicial system in our country is also officially independent of the government. Therefore, being an independent body, the Central Bank is nevertheless formed as a state regulatory body and must perform the tasks that are necessary for the development of our economy. To do this, it is necessary to involve the Central Bank in strategic planning. The classics of monetary circulation stipulates that the main goal of the monetary authorities, that is, the Central Bank, should be to create conditions for maximizing investment. That is what the banking system should be doing – maximizing investment. Because the more investments, the more production, the higher the technical level, the lower the costs and the lower the inflation, the more stable the economy. It is possible to achieve macroeconomic stabilization in the modern economy only on the basis of accelerated scientific and technological progress. Attempts to target inflation (such a buzzword), which the Central Bank has been practically imitating for the past 10 years, by manipulating the key interest rate against the backdrop of a freely floating ruble, is short-sighted, primitive and counterproductive. Usually these measures are recommended by the IMF for underdeveloped countries that themselves do not know how to think.

What is inflation targeting in practice? This is an extremely primitive and internally contradictory set of measures, the application of which drives the economy into a stagflation trap. The Central Bank threw the ruble into free float, which is absurd from the point of view of inflation targeting in an open economy, where the exchange rate directly affects prices. And we see how the devaluation of the ruble periodically accelerates prices. In addition, they reduced monetary policy to only one absolutely primitive tool – the manipulation of the key interest rate. But the key rate is the percentage at which the Central Bank lends money to the economy and withdraws money from the economy. Its attempts to suppress inflation by raising the interest rate cannot succeed in today’s economy, because the higher the interest rate, the less credit, the less investment, the lower the technical level and competitiveness. The decrease in the latter entails the devaluation of the ruble in 3-4 years, after they raise the interest rate, supposedly to fight inflation. Having let the ruble exchange rate float freely, they, in fact, gave it at the mercy of currency speculators.

The Americans really like these politics, so they praise the leadership of our Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance in every possible way. After all, what is important to them? So that everything is tied to the dollar, so that the ruble is a ‘junk’ currency that is unstable. And this is a paradox, because the amount of foreign exchange reserves of the Russian Federation has recently been 3 times more than the ruble money supply! This means that the Central Bank could have stabilized the exchange rate at any level. But it didn’t do that.

And who are the speculators to whom the Central Bank actually threw the ruble to be torn to pieces? The main speculators are American hedge funds, which actually shape the ruble exchange rate by manipulating the market. But the Central Bank does not notice this, or rather, pretends to not notice. In order to keep them in the foreign exchange market by raising the interest rate, the Central Bank kills credit and makes our economy dependent on foreign sources of credit, and the foreign exchange financial system dependent on the interests of speculators. This is in whose interests the Central Bank works, hiding behind cool buzzwords like ‘inflation targeting’, which has shamefully failed in these past years in terms of real price dynamics. So in our country the weakest point of the entire national security system in general is the Central Bank. Its leadership is hit by the enemy’s cognitive-weapon, in other words, zombified by it. In fact, our monetary authorities are doing what the enemy needs.

By the way, I proved mathematically and chronologically that the first wave of sanctions was imposed against Russia only after the Central Bank prepared the ground for this, namely, it let the ruble exchange rate float freely and announced that it would raise the interest rate, if inflation would start in the country. As soon as the Central Bank moved to this strange policy, the Americans immediately imposed sanctions. Their speculators ensured the collapse of the ruble exchange rate, this caused an inflationary wave, and the Central Bank, on the instructions of the IMF, raised the interest rate, which completely paralyzed our economy. The total damage from this policy today has already reached 50 trillion rubles of non-produced products and about 20 trillion rubles of unfinished investments. Now you have to add to this the 300 billion dollars invested in foreign assets, which are now frozen – that’s the damage.

Therefore, when we talk about the nationalization of the Central Bank, we are not talking about formally nationalizing it (it has already been nationalized), but about bringing it into a policy of conformity with national interests. Right now, its policy is contrary to national interests. And there is no conspiracy here. We see in whose interests such a policy is pursued. The Central Bank raised interest rates to 20 percent, giving the bankers a dominant position in the economy. Possessing the most expensive and scarce resource, money, they determine which enterprise will survive, and which enterprise will die, go bankrupt, and so on. Rising interest rates are holding the entire Russian economy hostage to a handful of bankers. This is the first. Secondly, the leadership of the Central Bank allowed another collapse of the ruble exchange rate and closed the currency exchange. As a result, today banks have become the main currency speculators: they buy currency for about 90 rubles per dollar, and sell it for 125. The difference settles down for them as excess profit.

– But why, in your opinion, does the Central Bank of the Russian Federation pursue a policy in the interests of the enemy?

– As I said, it does this on the recommendation of the International Monetary Fund. But its interests are also shared by our large banks, which objectively like this policy, as well as our monetary and financial structures, which are also involved in manipulating the ruble exchange rate. Therefore, an influential lobby is formed around this policy, which supports this policy based on its own private interests. These interests run counter to the interests of the country, they are directly opposite to them. And, if you look at what the Central Bank is doing today, I have no doubts that it continues the policy of actually pandering to the enemy. It undermines macroeconomic stability by allowing international speculators to manipulate the ruble exchange rate and does not control the foreign exchange position of banks that have become currency speculators, although the Central Bank could easily withdraw banks from the foreign exchange market by fixing their foreign exchange position, forbidding banks to buy foreign currency. And secondly – by raising the interest rate, the Central Bank actually killed investments in the development of the Russian economy, which are very much needed right now, primarily for import substitution and for the restoration of economic sovereignty, while our leadership says that we should not be afraid of sanctions, because they create conditions for economic growth, for import substitutions…

Look, about a third of EU imports have left our market. These are huge opportunities for import substitution. If we assume that our enterprises begin to develop these markets, then we will develop at a rate of 15 percent per year. But this requires loans. Import substitution cannot arise without loans. We need loans to set up production facilities, to master new technologies, to load idle production capacities. We have long developed such a strategy of advanced development at the Academy of Sciences, and we are promoting it. But, unfortunately, the insane, from our point of view, policy of the Central Bank has quite specific influential structures which it likes and supports. That is why the policy is so stable.

It is possible to stabilize the ruble in three days”

– Sergey Yuryevich, if this is not conspiracy theory, then why does the Central Bank continue to pursue such a policy? Only based on the interests of lobbyists?

– To whom is the war, and to whom is the mother dear. Commercial banks earn a 40% profit on currency speculation. You bought 90 rubles per dollar – sold it for 125. 35 rubles – nothing is easier! As a result, we have inflation, imports are becoming more expensive, everyone sees this insane rate. Prices for all goods are rising, but the banks are making super profits.

Again, a very influential lobby has formed around this policy, and admitting the failure of such a strategy for many people means, in fact, admitting their incompetence and even sabotage. And speculators with large banks are quite influential structures in our country that influence decision-making.

– Well and what, does this information not reach the first person (Putin), is it blocked?

– When I was an adviser, I communicated this information.

– Were you listened to?

– Yes, there were discussions, discussed at the Economic Council, then it was closed so as not to irritate the officials. Now I don’t want to comment on it. We see today that if we do not change the monetary policy, then it will simply be impossible for us to survive in this hybrid war. We now need to counter economic sanctions with a serious increase in domestic production. There are production facilities for this, people, raw materials, brains – too, but there is no money. Right now, the simplest thing that the state can give people is money.

– What is your feeling? Is there an understanding at the top?

– I think that you need to directly address this question to them.

– But many people call you almost the Number 1 person in the current situation – a public figure who can save Russia.

– Thank you for this review. I try my best.

– I just want to understand: if before there was no prophet in our Fatherland, now has he appeared? Is this a temporary situation with the Central Bank?

– It is so protracted, I would say, for 30 years. If we had carried out a competent monetary policy in accordance with the requirements of the new world economic order, the integral system, we would have developed like China – by 10 percent a year. There were such possibilities. And we basically been stomping in the same spot for these past 30 years. So the point is not even whether they listen or not, you just need to look objectively and see how China and India are developing and how we are developing. What prevented us from developing in exactly the same way?

Moreover, the control system of the new world economic order, which I describe in my books, is universal. She worked successfully in Japan before the Americans broke the Japanese economic growth. And even in Ethiopia, where they also began to form this management model (and achieved growth by several times). That is, this universal management model of the modern economy, focused on the growth of social welfare through investment in a new technological order, needs to be implemented. At the same time, of course, the targeted use of money implies a high responsibility. Throwing money from a helicopter – is not our thing.

– It’s not our path.

– We are talking about targeted credit emission based on modern digital tools with a strict control system focused on investments in new technologies. We know how to do this, how to minimize the human factor through the introduction of digital technologies, including the digital ruble. But this is disadvantageous for those who still adhere to the old strategies. They made a cash cow out of Russia, they sucked out 100 billion dollars from it abroad to offshore companies. But now the Americans have closed offshorization for us. There is a real opportunity, we must use it.

– What would you advise people? Now the main query on the Internet search engines is where to invest money in an era of turbulence. What should people do?

– First of all, do not make sudden movements, I would say that. In any case, what certainly is not necessary – to run after dollars or euros. Because we do not know what will happen next with these currencies. If our system is disconnected from the Western system, then our banks cannot effectively invest dollars and euros anywhere except in currency speculation. But I hope that our authorities will still curb the foreign exchange market.

In this context, what the banks did, raising the interest rate on foreign currency deposits sharply, turned out to be a clear overkill, which spurred panic. I think the ruble will stabilize if, of course, speculators are removed from the foreign exchange market and foreign currency is sold only for importers and people who transfer money abroad within reasonable limits to relatives or are going on a business trip in accordance with the regulations. The rest is to block the channels of currency leakage. Then our foreign exchange inflow will normalize again.

You know, we have a very positive trade balance. Mandatory sale of 80% of foreign exchange earnings has been introduced. If this revenue is sold on the stock exchange, then the amount of currency will be more than what importers need. We will have a surplus of currency. This means that the ruble will strengthen, that is, it will return to the old indicators – 80 or even 70 rubles per dollar. But until the Central Bank removes speculators from the market and allows commercial banks to become such, the ruble exchange rate will not stabilize. So, unfortunately, the monetary authorities have not yet come to their senses and have not begun to implement the correct policy of macroeconomic stabilization, I can’t give any advice other than investing in gold if possible (especially since the government removed VAT from gold). There are no other real assets and no safe haven.

– So, buy gold?

– Buy the essentials. Or invest in real estate, in something reliable. As for investments in dollars and euros… They have ceased to be a currency for us. This is no longer a currency, but some obligations of other countries that may or may not be fulfilled. So we need to look for other possibilities. But I would like to emphasize once again that with the right policies, we can very quickly stabilize the ruble and even restore its purchasing power.

– And in what perspective, after all?

– It can be done even tomorrow, you understand? The Primakov government and [Viktor] Gerashchenko did it in one week.

– Is the government capable of doing this?

– Of course it can. To do this, in general, two decisions need to be made: to fix the currency position of commercial banks and introduce the norms for the sale of foreign currency for non-trading operations, to keep the freely convertible foreign exchange market only for trading operations. That’s all. This can be written in 15 minutes and announced within a day, introduced within three days – and the ruble will stabilize.

In snub to Washington, UAE reaches out to Russia

Washington’s geopolitical cards are dwindling rapidly. The high-level UAE visit to Moscow this week has consolidated OPEC+ support for Russia in the energy war now raging between east and west.

March 18 2022

The UAE is the fourth West Asian state to have travelled to Moscow in the past week to strike agreements unfavorable to Washington.Photo Credit: The Cradle

By MK Bhadrakumar

Four top foreign minster level diplomats from Qatar, Iran, Turkey and the UAE travelled to Moscow this week, in as many days, in an impressive display of strategic realignment by regional states against the backdrop of the US-Russia conflict unfolding over Ukraine.

The arrival in Moscow of the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan on Thursday is the most striking. This is happening within a fortnight of the country’s inclusion on 4 March in the Grey List of the global financial crime watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), due to alleged financial crimes. The FATF recommendations for the UAE include:

  • Implementing a more robust system to collect case studies and statistics used in money laundering (ML) investigations;
  • Demonstrating a sustained increase in effective investigations and prosecutions of different types of ML cases;
  • Probing increase in the number and quality of suspicious transaction reports filed by financial institutions and other entities; and,
  • Monitoring high-risk ML threats, such as proceeds of foreign predicate offences, trade-based ML, and third-party laundering.

The FATF is one of those tools of torture that the west has finessed in the international system to humiliate and punish developing countries whom it wants to teach a lesson or two. A cursory look at the countries figuring in the 22-member Grey List would reveal that the UAE shouldn’t really belong there — Albania, Burkina Faso, Haiti, South Sudan, Uganda, Yemen and so on.

But the west’s calculation is that the economy of a country gets affected in a negative manner when it figures on the Grey List — with international financial institutions starting to look at it as a risky nation for investment, which in UAE’s case also renders a lethal blow to its flourishing tourism industry.

Indeed, this happened under the watch of an American, Vincent Schmoll, who is holding interim charge as the acting FATF executive secretary since January. Schmoll used to be a functionary at the US Treasury. Conceivably, Washington’s writ runs large in this episode.

US-UAE relations have been experiencing some tumult during the past year. The trouble began soon after President Donald Trump’s departure from the White House. In January 2021, on Trump’s last full day in office, Abu Dhabi had signed a $23 billion agreement to buy 50 F-35 fighter jets, 18 Reaper drones, and other advanced munitions, but incoming President Joe Biden froze the deal as soon as he entered the Oval Office.

A number of factors might have influenced the Biden administration’s calculations, apart from the fact that the lucrative F-35 deal was a Trump legacy. As it transpired, in a delaying tactic, Washington began voicing serious concerns about the UAE-China relationship and the particularly strong economic ties developing between Abu Dhabi and Beijing. Notably, Washington wanted the UAE to put an end to a 5G contract with Chinese tech giant Huawei, which is the undisputed global leader in next-generation 5G technology.

Meanwhile, in addition to the Huawei issue, US intelligence agencies claimed to have discovered that Beijing was building what they thought to be a secret military facility at the Khalifa port in the UAE.

Emirati officials denied the allegation, but under pressure from Washington, were forced to halt the project, although the Persian Gulf states in general, and the UAE in particular, do not like being pushed to take sides between Washington and Beijing. They consider that their best interest lies in maintaining neutrality and balancing relations.

The end result, as everyone knows, was that much to the annoyance of Washington, Abu Dhabi finally hit back by opting for 80 Rafale combat aircraft from France in a deal worth over $20 billion last December.

Then came the bombshell in February with the sensational disclosure that the UAE has plans to order 12 L-15 light attack planes from China, with the option of purchasing 36 more. A UAE defence ministry statement said the purchase is part of the country’s efforts to diversify weapon suppliers. As an aside, the UAE air force operates mainly American-made F-16 and French-made Mirage fighters.

Only a week later, all hell broke loose when the UAE resisted American pressure and abstained (twice) on US-led Ukraine-related UN Security Council resolutions condemning Russia. Subsequent reports said that the Biden administration conveyed its displeasure to Abu Dhabi.

Soon after that, according to a Wall Street Journal report last week, Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan failed to take a call from Biden who apparently wanted to discuss the US expectation that the UAE would pump more oil into the market to bring down skyrocketing prices.

Yet another complicating factor is that the Biden administration blundered into the intra-Gulf rivalries by designating Qatar as a ‘Major Non-NATO Ally’ (MNNA). On 31 January, Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani became the first Persian Gulf leader to meet with Biden in the White House and media accounts of the visit highlighted a $20 billion deal for Boeing 777X freighter aircraft. Additionally, the emir met with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and discussed weapons sales.

Given this backdrop, Foreign Minister Abdullah Al-Nahyan’s arrival in Moscow couldn’t have been any less dramatic. The Russian side has divulged few details about the visit. The big question is whether any arms deal was been discussed.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made a statement that the talks covered “a wide range of issues related to our bilateral relations and international agenda. For obvious reasons, we paid a great deal of attention to the Ukrainian developments. We spoke in detail about the goals and objectives of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine to protect people from the Kiev regime, and to demilitarize and de-Nazify this country.”

The UAE foreign minister reportedly told Lavrov that his country aimed at further systematic development of relations with Russia and diversification of the areas of bilateral cooperation. In what was possibly an indirect swipe at the US sanctions aimed at isolating Russia from the world economy, Al-Nahyan said:

“It is always important for us to keep our finger on the pulse and make sure that relations between Russia and the UAE move forward. There is no doubt that we are aimed at the systematic development of these relations and the diversification of the areas of bilateral cooperation so that it meets the interests of both our citizens and state institutions and other structures.”

He stressed that the parties should strengthen cooperation on energy and food security. Clearly, the US cannot count on the support of the Persian Gulf region in its campaign to isolate Russia or to dismantle OPEC+ – an increasingly influential body consisting of the 13 OPEC members plus ten non-OPEC oil exporters, which is chaired by the largest producers Russia and Saudi Arabia. The Gulf countries are, one by one, seeking out Russia to signal their solidarity and register their own desire to shake off US hegemony.

Interestingly, last Tuesday, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa had called Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss “topical issues of Russia‒Bahrain cooperation in politics, trade and the economy… (and) expressed the shared intention to further develop the friendly ties between Russia and Bahrain.” This, despite the fact that the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet and the US Naval Forces Central Command are based in Bahrain.

Such display of solidarity by the ‘non-western international community’ brings some vital nuance to the global geopolitical chessboard: for one, it makes a mockery of the western sanctions against Russia. The Gulf countries are avid ‘globalizers’ and trading nations — Dubai, in particular. As time passes, western companies are sure to find ingenious ways to trade with Russia via resourceful intermediaries in the Gulf region.

Abdullah Al-Nahyan’s trip to Moscow is a demonstrative act of defiance, both symbolically and strategically. It is a mark of the Persian Gulf region’s growing alienation from Washington. Reports suggest that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who travelled to both the UAE and Saudi Arabia this week to press for increased oil production to lower oil prices, also came back empty-handed.

Contrary to Washington’s hopes, there is every likelihood that the OPEC+ will continue to strengthen its strategic autonomy vis-a-vis the US. Previously, Russia used to be a voice of moderation within the group. This will have profound implications for the world oil market.

The high attention Russian diplomacy paid to the West Asian region in the recent decade is returning dividends, for sure. Russia offered its Persian Gulf interlocutors something they never experienced before with a great power – an equal partnership based on mutual respect.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

More on this Topic

And now, a few words from our wannabe Overlords

February 24, 2022

Biden’s Real Challenge is Not Russia or China, but Poverty in America

February 19, 2022

By Ramzy Baroud

Mainstream US media continues to celebrate the supposed strength of the US economy. Almost daily, headlines speak of hopeful numbers, sustainable growth, positive trends and constant gains. The reality on the ground, however, tells of something entirely different, which raises the questions: Are Americans being lied to? And for what purpose?

“US Economy Grew 1.7% in Fourth Quarter, Capping a Strong Year,” The New York Times reported. “US Economy Grew 5.7% in 2021, Fastest Full-Year Clip,” The Washington Post added. Reuters, Voice of America, The Financial Times, CNN, Market Watch and many others all concurred. But if that is the case, why then is US President Joe Biden’s approval rating at an all-time low? And why are many Americans literally going hungry?

In a national opinion poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos and published on February 3, only 41% of US adults approved of Biden’s performance in office. A whopping 56% disapproved. The numbers were not a complete shock as the downward trajectory of the Biden presidency has been in effect soon after he moved to the White House over a year ago.

The truth is, Biden was not the Democrats’ top choice nominee for president. Judging by various opinion polls and the early results of the Democratic primaries in 2020, it was Bernie Sanders who represented the Democratic hope for real, substantive change. Party politics, liberal media insistence that Sanders was not ‘electable’ and fear-mongering regarding a second Trump term in office pushed Biden through the ranks of nominees to be presented as America’s only hope for salvation.

While Republicans remain committed to the Donald Trump legacy and are still largely politically and ideologically united, Democrats are growingly unconfident in their leadership and uncertain regarding the future of their democracy, governance and economy. Of course, they are blameless in holding such views.

While the Democratic leadership continues to obsess with its fear of Trump, and while liberal media insists that the US economy is as healthy as it can be, the average American continues to struggle against encroaching poverty, inflation and lack of future prospects.

Here are some sobering numbers: 56% of all Americans cannot produce a meager $1,000 as an emergency expense from their existing savings, CNBC reported; 1 in 10 US adults have gone hungry last December as a result of poverty, Forbes.com reported; Columbia University Center on Poverty and Social Policy revealed that child poverty rate in the US stands at 17%, “one of the highest among developed countries”.

If American workers are studied separately from the larger population, the numbers are even more grim: three quarters of American workers said that “it was very or somewhat difficult to make end’s meet,” according to a study conducted by Shift Project, and reported in NBC News online. 40% of the polled workers said that they are not able to come up with $400 in emergency money. But the most shocking of all, according to the same study, is that “around 20% said that they went hungry because they couldn’t afford enough to eat”.

Aside from occasional government handouts, which were provided by both the Trump and Biden administrations, little has been done by way of structural changes to the US economy that would ensure greater equality among all sectors of society. Instead, the administration’s priorities seem to be allocated to something else entirely.

Writing in Politico, David Siders describes the current political discourse within Democratic Party circles, where “Democrats are losing their minds over 2024”. Since the Democratic President’s public approval ratings are “dismal”, Democrats fear the return of Trump. “All anyone can talk about is Trump —donors, policy folks, party insiders, the media,” Siders quoted a Democratic advisor as saying. The same advisor described “a weird cycle” where the “conversation keeps coming back to Trump”.

Whether conscious of this obsession or not, the Biden administration seems to operate entirely according to a political strategy that is predicated on tarnishing Trump and his supporters, retelling, over and over again, the story of the January 6 insurrection, hoping for a Republican split or any other miracle that would bolster their chances of maintaining their Congressional majority in the next November mid-term elections.

While doing so, the Democratic leadership seems oblivious to the harsh reality on the ground, where food prices are skyrocketing and where inflation has reached unbearable levels. According to new data, released on February 10 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US consumer price index (CPI) rose by 7.5% in January compared to the same month a year ago, making it the “fastest annual pace since 1982,” the Financial Times reported.

The rise in inflation is not a one-time-off event, as CPI has been rising at a sustainable level of 0.6 % on a monthly basis. Ordinary people can feel this increase almost every time they go shopping. Small business owners, especially restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores, are left with one out of two options: either increasing their prices or shutting down completely. Consequently, large segments of the already vulnerable US population are growing more desperate than ever.

To avoid providing real answers to difficult questions about the welfare of millions of Americans, about the real function of their democratic institutions and about existing corruption within the US political system – regardless of who controls the Congress or resides in the White House – Democrats and their media are either blaming their Republican rivals or creating foreign policy distractions. They continue to speak of a ‘China threat’ and an ‘imminent’ Russian invasion of Ukraine and such, while the real threat is that of detached politicians who are amassing wealth, fighting for power and prestige while their countrymen and women continue to go hungry.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

Assisted ‘genocide’: How allied weapons embolden Saudi crimes in Yemen

January 25, 2022

By Farah Hajj Hassan

How the Saudi coalition’s crimes began with weapons from allied nations and why they are determined to remain silent.

Assisted Assassinations: How allied weapons enable Saudi crimes in Yemen

As it turns out, the real-life monsters behind the Saudi-led coalition war on Yemen and the massacre of its people are the same champions and cheerleaders of human rights around the world oozing with hypocrisy and double standards. UNICEF has called the situation in Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and the UK, France, Canada, and the US are among the countries responsible for making that nightmare a reality.

The US Department of State reports that human rights abuses of Saudi Arabia include, but are not limited to, “unlawful killings, executions for nonviolent offenses, torture, and cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of prisoners, serious restrictions on free expression, the press, and the internet, severe restrictions of religious freedom,” and many many more. As of 2020, Saudi Arabia remains the world’s largest arms importer. Arms sales from the US alone amounted to $3 billion from 2015-2020, agreeing to sell $64.1 billion worth of weapons to Riyadh. 

In what universe does that sound like a government worth funding with weapons? Why then do we not hear the same cries of human rights resounding in the West? Because the west and its previous administrations have long ago sold their soul to the Saudi regime before any of their current administrations can even remember. 

A permanent [bloody] record

US President Joe Biden made foreign policy commitments to end the selling of “offensive” weapons to the kingdom and “end all support” for a war that created a humanitarian catastrophe. 

How did Biden deliver? A major arms sale two months ago, including 280 air-to-air missiles valued at $650 million.

At the time, the Pentagon’s statement said the sale would help to “improve the security of a friendly country that continues to be an important force for political and economic progress in the Middle East.”

Does the US consider economic progress to be the complete destruction and demolishment of a country along with 3,825 murdered children? 

The former administration under Donald Trump shamelessly embraced arms sales to Saudi Arabia that in no doubt helped prolong the war that has killed thousands in what is considered the Arab region’s poorest nation, further destabilizing the already volatile region. 

Unlike Biden, Trump was very public about the economic and diplomatic benefits that would follow the sale, with no regard to the thousands being killed and maimed as a result of the US-designed and manufactured weapons. 

Entesaf Organization for Women and Child Rights in Yemen reported the data, adding that more than 400,000 Yemeni children are suffering from severe malnutrition, 80,000 of whom are at risk of facing death. The number of displaced families as of November has reached 670, 343 in 15 governorates.  Where exactly does Saudi Arabia intend to implement its economic progress in Yemen to allow those families to prosper? 

Britain has been under increased scrutiny over its arms deals to Saudi Arabia and remains silent on the crimes it repeatedly commits. 

The mind-boggling hypocrisy of the west almost has no end. The frenzy that surrounds the defense of Saudi Arabia by its allies can be mirrored with the hysteric defense of “Israel” while it commits its crimes against the Palestinians on a regular basis.

In numerous TV interviews, British and American officials can be shown echoing the same formula we have heard countless times in the last twenty years. Begin with a dictator or lack thereof, blame the people for overthrowing said dictator or supporting him, blame Iran for “emboldening” and training militias, and bam! Claim your get-out-of-jail-free card in international law.

Clean smiles, dirty hands

Other Saudi allies have had their fair share of arms deals that enabled Saudi aggression.

Canada for instance has long been an arms exporter to Saudi Arabia. In 2020, Canada sent close to $2.9 billion of arms hardware to Saudi Arabia. The exports included light-armored vehicles, 31 large-caliber artillery systems, and 152 heavy machine guns

Justin Trudeau, a man who has repeatedly come out and condemned and apologized about residential schools, remains silent regarding the Yemeni children whose schools have been rendered to piles of dust.

In August, Amnesty International Canada and Project Ploughshares urged Canada to end their sales of weapons to Saudi Arabia as a report surfaced accusing the Prime Minister of violating the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) by exporting weapons to Saudi Arabia. The report detailed evidence that weapons from Canada to the Kingdom were used in the war, including LAVs (light-armored vehicles) and sniper rifles. Under the previous Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada inked a $12 billion deal to ship Canadian-made LAVs to Saudi Arabia.

France and the UAE: A match made in hell

In December 2021, France signed a deal with the UAE worth $19.20 billion to supply 80 Rafale fighter planes by Dassault Aviation, the largest single purchase of the Dassault-made Rafale outside of the French Army. Human Rights Watch criticized the sale, saying the UAE has played “a prominent role” in the atrocity-ridden war on Yemen. The statement also said that Riyadh was in 2020 the largest buyer of French weapons.

In a report titled “Arms sales: France and the United Arab Emirates, partners in the crimes committed in Yemen,” numerous organizations list how France failed to respect its human rights commitments according to the UN Arms Trade Treaty which “regulates the international trade in conventional arms.” The report details that the UAE is a strategic ally of France and describes the former as a “repressive dictatorship”, where all dissenting voices risk imprisonment or torture, recalling the unjust sentences issued against 69 human rights activists in 2013 after an unfair trial. 

The investigative French website Disclose revealed that France delivered tens of thousands of arms to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar during President Francois Hollande’s reign in 2016, despite knowing that they would be used in the war on Yemen.

The website quoted “secret defense documents” that “since 2016, France has allowed the delivery of about 150,000 shells” to its two Gulf allies.

The French President met with Mohammed Bin Salman as one of the first western leaders to visit the kingdom since the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

The hypocrisy with France, in particular, is that it prides itself in its secular mantra, and its policies have mostly targeted Muslims and adopted highly anti-Islamic rhetoric. Macron’s cozying up to MBS tells a different story, with the Secretary-General of Amnesty International commenting on the move by suggesting that it is part of a “rehabilitation” policy of the Saudi Prince. She expressed, “It grieves me that it is France, a country of human rights, which is used as the tool of this policy.” 

Typhoons of misery for Yemen

Over half of Saudi’s combat aircraft deployed in bombing operations in Yemen are provided by none other than the UK.

The United Kingdom signed off on arms exports worth nearly $1.9 billion to Saudi Arabia between July and September 2020 following the lifting of a ban on weapons sales to the Gulf country. “UK-made weapons have played a devastating role in the Saudi-led attacks on Yemen, and the humanitarian crisis they have created, yet the UK government has done everything it can to keep the arms sales flowing,” said Sarah Waldron, a spokesperson for the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT). 

The published value of UK arms export to the Saudi-led coalition since the beginning of the war is £6.9 billion, and CAAT estimates that the real value is over £20 billion.

Between January 2015 and December 2019, the British government approved 385 licenses for the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia. The UK Government has confirmed that the Saudi-led coalition attacked Yemen with weaponry that was manufactured in the UK, including Typhoon and Tornado fighter planes, Paveway bombs, and Brimstone and Stormshadow missiles. 

The British government has also admitted that precision-guided weapons have also been used in the war on Yemen. 

The Mwatana’s 2019 report “Day of Judgement: the role of the US and Europe in civilian death, destruction, and trauma in Yemen,” dissects the details of UK weapons and attacks on civilians in Yemen including an attack on a community college, warehouse, and multiple factories. 

Raining missiles 

Days ago, the Yemeni Armed Forces announced “carrying out a qualitative military operation, Yemen Hurricane, in response to the escalation of aggression against the country.” The operation targeted Abu Dhabi’s airport, the oil refinery in Mussafah in Abu Dhabi, and several other sites in the UAE.

Ali Al-Qahoum, a member of Ansar Allah Political Bureau, blessed the Yemeni operation in the UAE depth, saying that “this operation and others will continue as long as the aggression and siege continue with strategic goals further ahead.”

Yemeni victims of the Saudi-led war filed a complaint against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for financing terrorism.

The complaint was submitted on behalf of the Yemeni NGO, the Legal Center for Rights and Development, which is based in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

The war on Yemen in numbers

Nowhere to run

The megaphones of human rights campaigns and global petitions against the war on Yemen must be amplified, keeping in mind that the enemy is not Ansar Allah, neither is it the Palestinians, nor is it the Lebanese, or the Chinese, or the Russians. The true enemy of the West is the Axis of Resistance. Time has proven that a refusal to kneel to the demands of the West is all it takes to become an enemy. 

If the cries of the virtuous remain unheard and the coalition and governments complicit in the massacres refuse to listen, then the Yemeni people surely will be left with the only other alternative. It was, is, and will always be the only key that unlocks the shackles of oppression and brutality; Resistance. 

And one thing will certainly never change. The Saudi royals, no matter how enshrined in gold, can never cleanse themselves of the crimes they have committed against humanity, for conscience is the one thing they cannot buy. 

Biden: Iran Nuclear Talks Advancing, Not Time To Give Up

Jan 20 2022

BY Staff, Agencies

US President Joe Biden said Wednesday that it is “not time to give up” on the Vienna talks aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

“It’s not time to give up,” Biden said at a press conference to mark his first year in the White House.

“There is some progress being made,” he said.

“P5+1 are on the same page but it remains to be seen,” Biden said in a reference to the nations taking part in the negotiations in Vienna.

Talks to restore the 2015 accord between Tehran and world powers — United States, France, Britain, Russia, China, and Germany — began last year but stopped in June after the election of the administration of Iranian President Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi.

The talks resumed in November.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed last week that there were only “a few weeks left” to save the Iran nuclear deal, and the United States is ready to look at “other options” if the talks fail.

The 2015 deal offered Iran relief from some sanctions that have crippled its economy, in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

Then-president Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the deal in 2018 prompted Tehran to walk back on its commitments.

IRG Chief: Totally Defeated Enemies Are Not Safe Anywhere

January 10, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Chief Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG] Major General Hossein Salami said there is no safe territory for the enemies, as “they have been defeated in all their conspiracies and have been rendered helpless, tired, and disappointed.”

General Salami made the remarks while addressing a ceremony in Tehran on Sunday evening, saying, “We are victorious today and this is what the facts of the field say.”

“Today, the swords of the Muslims to fight the enemies have been unsheathed, and [therefore], there is no safe territory for the enemies,” he said.

Salami further underscored that Iran’s missile strikes against US military bases in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the IRG Quds Force, was a “slap on the face” of the US, which saw itself as the world emperor.

“Whose face was this slap delivered on?” he asked, rhetorically. “It was a stinging slap on the face to the United States, which considered itself the emperor of the world and did not stop making threats of tit-for-tat retaliations.”

General Salami also noted that unlike the Americans, “we did not assassinate a defenseless and unarmed commander, who was fighting terrorism across the Muslim world and had traveled to Iraq at an official invitation, with a drone and in the dead of the night.”

General Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s world-renown counter-terrorism commander, along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], and their companions were killed in a US drone strike authorized by former US president Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.

Two days after the attack, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill that requires the government to end the presence of all foreign military forces led by the US in the country.

Both commanders were highly revered across the Middle East because of their key role in fighting the Daesh [Arabic for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] Takfiri terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.

On January 8, 2020, the IRG targeted the US-run Ain al-Assad in Iraq’s western province of Anbar by launching a volley of missiles in retaliation.

According to the Pentagon, more than 100 American forces suffered “traumatic brain injuries” during the counterstrike on the base.

Iran has described the missile attack on Ain al-Assad as a “first slap.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, General Salami asserted that Iran’s enemies have been defeated.

“Depression and despair can now be seen on the faces of officials from our enemies since they cannot advance their policies,” he noted.

“If we had not resisted, they [enemies] would have taken away our identity, prestige, honor, security, and dignity. The United States, the Zionist regime, some European countries, and reactionary regimes in the region cannot stand the Iranian nation’s stability, splendor, and strength,” the IRG chief added.

General Soleimani’s ’Heroic Struggles Will Never Be Forgotten’ – EU Lawmaker

Jan 09 2022

By Staff, Agencies

A member of the European Parliament condemned “unlawful” US assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and his Iraqi trenchmate, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Clare Daly said the two commanders’ heroic efforts to combat terrorism will never be forgotten and that their legacy will prevail.

“Thinking today of #GeneralSoleimani & #AbuMahdialMuhandis unlawfully assassinated by the #US on this day two years ago..#Anti_terrorism_hero. Their heroic struggles against terrorism will never be forgotten..their legacy will prevail,” Daly said in a tweet on January 3 on the second martyrdom anniversary of the two anti-terror commanders.

Daly embedded in her tweet a Twitter post by the Iranian Embassy in Croatia, in which the diplomatic mission had hailed General Soleimani’s effort to restore regional peace and fight against the Takfiri Daesh [Arabic for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] terrorist group.

The Embassy said former US president Donald Trump, who ordered the assassination, aimed to save Daesh terrorists and protect the legacy of his predecessor, Barack Obama, by conducting such a heinous act. 

“Efforts to bring peace to the region and the fight to save defenseless people from a demon called Daesh, were great concerns of Qassem Soleimani. With the assassination of the Iranian General, Trump sought to save Daesh criminals and protect Obama’s legacy,” the Iranian Embassy tweeted.

General Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG]’s Quds Force, and his Iraqi comrade al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], were martyred along with their companions in a US drone strike authorized by Trump near Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.

Both commanders were highly revered across the Middle East because of their key role in fighting Daesh in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.

Five days after the barbaric crime, in a military operation codenamed Operation Martyr Soleimani, the IRG launched a volley of ballistic missiles at the Ain al-Assad airbase in Iraq’s western province of Anbar.

Iran said the missile strike was only a “first slap” in its process of taking “hard revenge” and that it would not rest until the US military leaves the Middle East in disgrace.

Iran Blacklists 51 US Officials, Cmdrs. for Involvement in Soleimani Assassination

Jan 09 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Tehran has updated the list of American individuals it blacklisted for involvement in the US assassination of top Iranian counter-terrorism commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and his companions, adding 51 US officials and commanders to the list.

In a statement released on Saturday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said the United States, by conducting the “callous terrorist act,” acted in glorification of terrorism and in violation of the fundamental human rights.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran underlines that the heinous terrorist act will not in any manner diminish the resolute determination and resolve of the Islamic Republic of Iran in following the path of the revered General Soleimani in fighting terrorism and terrorist groups, in particular, the US-backed terrorist groups,” the statement read.

On January 3, 2020, the US military conducted an air operation under Trump’s order targeting General Soleimani near Baghdad International Airport after his arrival. The attack also killed the general’s companions, including Deputy Commander of the Popular Mobilization Units [PMU] Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

The following is the full text of the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s statement and the name of the individuals freshly blacklisted:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in accordance with the “Act on Countering Violations of Human Rights and Adventurist and Terrorist Actions of the United States of America in the Region”, particularly, Articles 4 and 5, and in addition to the American individuals including Donald Trump, Michael Pompeo, John Bolton, Mark Esper, Gina Haspel, Christopher Miller and Steven Mnuchin and also Matthew Tueller, Steven Fagin and Rob Waller, who were listed respectively on 19 January 2021 and 23 October 2020, identifies and imposes sanctions as set forth in the abovementioned Act on the following persons for the role they played in the terrorist act of the United States against Martyr General Qassem Soleimani and his companions, in glorification of terrorism and in violating the fundamental human rights. The said persons, as the case may be, have taken part in decision-making, organizing, financing, and carrying out the terrorist act or have otherwise justified terrorism which is a threat to the international peace and security through supporting such egregious terrorist attack.

It is reiterated that the United States, by conducting the callous terrorist act, has flagrantly breached its international legal obligations in countering terrorism and terrorism-financing, in particular, the obligation to refrain and desist from organizing and participating in terrorist acts and the obligation to respect, protect and fulfill human rights which constitute internationally wrongful acts entailing the international responsibility of the United States. As such, the Islamic Republic of Iran, in conformity and compliance with its human rights obligations and also duties in combating terrorism and countering terrorism financing, in particular the state terrorism perpetrated by the United States and to ensure the international peace and security, imposes the sanctions as stipulated in the Act on the said persons on a reciprocal basis.

The Islamic Republic of Iran underlines that the heinous terrorist act will not in any manner diminish the resolute determination and resolve of the Islamic Republic of Iran in following the path of the revered General Soleimani in fighting terrorism and terrorist groups, in particular, the US-backed terrorist groups.

In the light of the above and taking into account the provisions of the “Act on Countering Violations of Human Rights and Adventurist and Terrorist Actions of the United States of America in the Region”, all relevant national authorities will take appropriate measures for effective implementation of the sanctions set forth in the Act.

The freshly designated Americans are:

Mark Alexander Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Robert Charles O’brien Jr., former national security advisor, Paul M. Nakasone, director of the National Security Agency [NSA] and commander of United States Cyber Command, Robert Greenway, former deputy assistant to the president and senior director for Middle Eastern and North African Affairs at the National Security Council, Victoria C. Gardner Coates, former deputy national security advisor, Matthew F. Pottinger, former deputy national security advisor, Joseph Keith Kellogg Jr., former national security advisor to the vice president, Frank Dixon Whitworth, director for Intelligence of the Joint Staff, Andrew P. Poppas, former director of operations of the Joint Staff, Kenneth Franklin McKenzie Jr., commander of the United States Central Command [CENTCOM], Richard Douglas Clarke, commander of the United States Special Operations Command [SOCOM], Scott Alan Howell, former commander of Joint Special Operations Command [JSOC], James C. Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command [AFSOC], Joseph Thomas Guastella, former commander of United States Air Forces Central Command, David L. Goldfein, former chief of staff of the Air Force, Stephen R. Jones, Jason B.Bell, Andre T. Johnson, Kevin Auger, Jordan Smith, Abishai Giles, Landon Quan, Mark R. August, Bradley Chance Saltzman, Mark Holmes Slocum, Nathan Andrew Mead, Timothy Garland, Staci Coleman, Kurt A. Wendt, Alexus Gregory Grynkewich, Daniel H. Tulley, Rodney Lee Simpson, Allen Ray Henderson, Jason Colon, Brenden Endrina, Tayler Arbaugh, Ryan Kuhn, Jordan Cornelius, Korbin Steinwehr, Antonio Dorce, Charles Seth Corcoran, James Neal Blue, Linden Stanely Blue, Michael Anthony D’andrea, John M. Keane, Reuel Mark Gerecht, Andrew Croft, Nimarta Nikki Haley, John Michael Mulvaney, and Erik Dean Prince.

As Israel Plots Endgame in Occupied Golan, Bennett Must Remember Lessons of the Past

January 5, 2022

Israeli Government approves a plan to double the number of illegal Jewish settlers in the Golan Heights. (Photo: via Prime Minister of Israel Twitter page)

By Ramzy Baroud

With Syria still embroiled in its own war, Israel has been actively rewriting the rule book regarding its conduct in this Arab country. Gone are the days of a potential return of the illegally occupied Golan Heights to Syrian sovereignty in exchange for peace, per the language of yesteryears. Now, Israel is set to double its illegal Jewish settler population in the Golan, while Israeli bombs continue to drop with a much higher frequency on various Syrian targets.

Indeed, a one-sided war is underway, casually reported as if a routine, everyday event. In the last decade, many ‘mysterious’ attacks on Syria were attributed to Israel. The latter neither confirmed nor denied. With the blanket support given to Israel by the Donald Trump administration, which recognized Israel’s illegal annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights of 1981, Israeli reluctance to take credit for the frequent and increasingly destructive and bloody air raids has dissipated.

Briefly, some in the Israeli government were concerned by the possible repercussions of the advent of Joe Biden to the White House in January 2021. They worried that the new president might reverse some of the pro-Israel decisions enacted by his predecessor, including the recognition of the “Sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” due to the “strategic and security importance to the State of Israel”. Biden, a long-time supporter of Israel himself, did no such thing.

The initial concern about a shift in US policy turned into euphoria and, eventually, an opportunity, especially as Israel’s new Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, is eager to break the Right’s historic dominance over the Jewish settlement movement in occupied Palestinian and Arab lands.

“This is our moment. This is the moment of the Golan Heights,” Bennett declared triumphantly at an Israeli government cabinet meeting held specially to officiate plans regarding the further colonization of the Golan on December 26.

The following statement by Bennett speaks volumes about the context of the Israeli decision, and its future intentions: “After long and static years in terms of the scope of settlement, our goal today is to double settlement in the Golan Heights.” The reference to ‘static years’ is an outright rejection of the occasional freezing of settlement construction that mostly took place during the so-called ‘peace process.’ Bennett – who, in June 2021, was embraced by Washington and its western allies as the political antithesis to the obstinate Benjamin Netanyahu – has effectively ended any possibility of a peaceful resolution to Israel’s illegal occupation of the Golan.

Aside from predictable and clichéd responses by Syria and the Arab League, Israel’s massive push to double its settlement activities in the Golan is going largely unnoticed. Not only Israel’s right-wing media, but the likes of Haaretz are also welcoming the government’s investment – estimated at nearly $320 million. The title of David Rosenberg’s article in Haaretz tells the whole story: “Picturesque but Poor, Israel’s Golan Needs a Government Boost to Thrive.” The article decries government ‘neglect’ of the Golan, speaks of employment opportunities and merely challenges Bennett’s government on whether it will “stay the course”. The fact that the occupation of the Golan, like that of Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, is illegal under international law is absent from Israeli media coverage.

Namely, Israel’s main focus currently is to normalize its occupation of Arab land entirely. But if that mission has failed over the course of 54 years, can it succeed now?

For Israel, the illegal settlement enterprise, whether in the Syrian Golan or in occupied Palestine, is synonymous. It is inspired by deep-rooted ideological and religious beliefs, compelled by economic opportunities and political interests and assuaged by the lack of any meaningful international response.

In the case of the Golan, Israel’s intention was, from the onset, to expand on its agricultural space, as the capture of the fertile Syrian territory almost immediately attracted settlers, who set the stage for massive agricultural settlements. Although the home of merely 25,000 Jewish settlers, the Golan became a major source of Israeli apples, pears and wine grape production. Local tourism in the scenic Golan, dotted with numerous wineries, thrived, especially following the Israeli annexation of the territory in 1981.

The plight of the steadfast Golan Arab Druze population of nearly 23,000 is as irrelevant in the eyes of Israel as that of the millions of occupied Palestinians, whether under siege in Gaza or living under a perpetual occupation or apartheid in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Golan population is equally isolated and oppressed but, like the Palestinians, continues to resist despite the heavy price of their resistance. Their hardship, however, is likely to increase with the expected doubling of the Jewish settler population.

Israel is, of course, aware that popular uprisings will eventually be mounted in response to its latest colonial endeavors, but various factors must be giving Bennett the confidence to continue with his plans. A major source of reassurance is that it could take Syria years to achieve any degree of political stabilization before mounting any source of challenge to the Israeli occupation. Another is that the Palestinian leadership is in no mood for confrontation, especially that it is, once again, on good terms with Washington, which has resumed its funding of the PA soon after Biden’s inauguration.

Moreover, in Israel, the anti-settlement movement has long subsided, crystallized mostly into smaller political parties that are hardly critical in the formation or toppling of government coalitions.

More importantly, Washington has no interest to initiate any kind of diplomatic efforts to lay the ground for future talks involving Israel, the Palestinians and certainly not Syria. Any such attempt now, or even in coming years would represent a political gamble for Biden’s embattled administration.

Israel understands this absolutely and plans to take advantage of this opportunity, arguably unprecedented since the Madrid talks over thirty years ago. Yet, while Bennett is urging Israelis in their quest for settlement expansion with such battle cries as “this is our moment’, he must not underestimate that the occupied Palestinians and Syrians are also aware that their ‘moment’, too, is drawing near. In fact, all popular Palestinian uprisings of the past were initiated at times when Israel assumed that it had the upper hand, and that people’s resistance has been forever pacified.

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website iswww.ramzybaroud.net

Top IRGC’s commander: Trump, other assassins of Gen. Soleimani not safe

January 5, 2022

By IFP Editorial Staff

, Esmail Qa’ani

A senior commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says ex-US President Donald Trump, who ordered the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, and his other partners in crime won’t be out of harm’s way.

At a ceremony on Tuesday marking the martyrdom anniversary of his predecessor, Esmail Qa’ani, who heads the IRGC’s Quds Force, said Iran is determined to avenge General Soleimani’s blood “in its own style.”

“Criminal Trump and his overt and covert partners, such as [his foreign minister] Pompeo are known to us. Martyr Soleimani had repeatedly humiliated Pompeo in the region and they thought they had achieved a victory by assassinating him,” he said.

Nevertheless, Trump and his other partners remain “under the magnifying glass” and they will not be safe, he added.

Addressing the Americans, Qa’ani said, “You imagined that you hit and ran, but the Islamic society and the world’s freedom-seekers will take revenge in a way that you won’t forget as long as you’re alive,” he said.

In the wake of Gen. Soleimani’s murder, Iran and other regional nations were seeking the US withdrawal from the region, Qa’ani said. Something worse, however, happened to the Americans and they were instead expelled.

He added that the people of Iraq, where Gen. Soleimani was targeted in a drone strike in early 2020, and the country’s resistance forces will not tolerate the presence of the remaining 2,000 US troops on their soil.

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