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Israel, US Mulling Training Syria Terrorists with Saudi Arabia

Al-Manar | April 1, 2014

Top Israeli and US military officials discussed on Monday the possibility of “security cooperation” between the Zionist entity and some Arab states in the Persian Gulf.

The New York Times reported that a meeting took place on Monday between Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and Gen. Martin Dempsey, visiting chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff in al-Quds.

Prior to the meeting, Gantz hinted that even in the current period of instability there could be opportunities, Israeli daily, Haaretz reported.

Those opportunities became clearer when Dempsey said after the meeting that the discussions included “an outreach to other partners who may not have been willing to be partners in the past,” the Israeli daily said according to NYT.

“What I mean is the Gulf States in particular, who heretofore may not have been as open-minded to the potential for cooperation with Israel, in any way.” Dempsey said.

Haaretz noted that while Dempsey did not go into specifics, other American military officials said that possibilities include “intelligence-sharing, joint counterterrorism exercises and perhaps looking for how Israeli and Saudi troops could jointly work on the training of Syrian opposition fighters.”

Remarking that “world jihadists are not fighting only against Israel,” Gantz added that it would be in the interests of both Israel and neighboring states to “look for ways to combat common enemies.”

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. Over 140,000 people have been reportedly killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by the foreign-backed militants.

Western powers and some of their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – are reportedly supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

April 1, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel, US Mulling Training Syria Terrorists with Saudi Arabia

Al-Manar | April 1, 2014

Top Israeli and US military officials discussed on Monday the possibility of “security cooperation” between the Zionist entity and some Arab states in the Persian Gulf.

The New York Times reported that a meeting took place on Monday between Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and Gen. Martin Dempsey, visiting chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff in al-Quds.

Prior to the meeting, Gantz hinted that even in the current period of instability there could be opportunities, Israeli daily, Haaretz reported.

Those opportunities became clearer when Dempsey said after the meeting that the discussions included “an outreach to other partners who may not have been willing to be partners in the past,” the Israeli daily said according to NYT.

“What I mean is the Gulf States in particular, who heretofore may not have been as open-minded to the potential for cooperation with Israel, in any way.” Dempsey said.

Haaretz noted that while Dempsey did not go into specifics, other American military officials said that possibilities include “intelligence-sharing, joint counterterrorism exercises and perhaps looking for how Israeli and Saudi troops could jointly work on the training of Syrian opposition fighters.”

Remarking that “world jihadists are not fighting only against Israel,” Gantz added that it would be in the interests of both Israel and neighboring states to “look for ways to combat common enemies.”

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. Over 140,000 people have been reportedly killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by the foreign-backed militants.

Western powers and some of their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – are reportedly supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

March 1, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

West defending dictatorships from democracy in Persian Gulf

By Finian Cunningham | Press TV | December 9, 2013

In a breathtaking display of absurdity, US secretary of defense Chuck Hagel and Britain’s Foreign Minister William Hague were among senior Western delegates to address the annual conference on “regional security” held in Bahrain at the weekend.

These officials pontificated about regional threats, conflict, international law, human rights and so on; meanwhile out on the streets of Bahrain, not far from the venue, peaceful protesters calling for democratic freedom were being bludgeoned by regime police thugs.

How absurd can it get? Like a comedy double act, Hagel and Hague were enthusing about high-minded democratic principles to their unelected, dictatorial hosts, the Al Khalifa rulers, surrounded by representatives of the other Persian Gulf Arab dictatorships, prime among them the absolute, tyrannical monarchy of the House of Saud.

And yet outside, ordinary Bahraini civilians yearning to see these same principles put into practice were getting their heads cracked open by uniformed thugs acting under the orders of the very same despots applauding Hagel and Hague. Talk about inside-out, upside-down doublethink.

When Bahrain’s mainly Shia majority rekindled their decades-old protests against the unelected Khalifa crime family in February 2011, it was the Saudi-led [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council that marched into the tiny island to crush the pro-democracy movement.

The GCC military force is perversely, but aptly, named “a defense operation”. For its purpose is not the defense against some alleged, non-existent threat from without, but the imminent threat from within.

That threat is the spread of democracy in the region, which would sweep away the unelected super-wealthy families that rule over Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain – the six member states of the [Persian]GCC.

The Saudi-led invasion of Bahrain in March 2011 to wipe out “the contagion” of democracy in the oil-rich region was given the green light by Washington and London, with whom the Saudi rulers consulted days before sending in the troops and tanks.

Saudi forces still remain in Bahrain – albeit covertly, wearing Bahraini uniforms – where they continue to brutally attack pro-democracy demonstrators every week, as they have done for the past nearly three years.

And it’s not just protesters on the streets that are killed and injured. Saudi-backed Bahraini forces attack whole villages and family homes with night raids and poisonous gas, many of the occupants, including infants and elderly, having died from suffocating fumes.

Thousands of Bahraini families have been ripped apart, as fathers, mothers, sons and daughters are hauled off to jails and torture centers. The prisoners are denied any legal rights, convicted on the basis of tortured confessions, and many of them imprisoned for life.

Prisoners who have incurred disabilities and diseases from their trauma are also denied basic medical attention, putting their lives at risk. Such detainees include the photographer Hussain Hubail, suffering cardiac problems, elderly political opposition leader Hassan Mushaima, who is battling cancer, and human rights defenders Abdulhadi al-Singace and Naji Fateel, both of whom have become paralyzed from their physical beatings.

The same vicious assault on pro-democracy civilians goes on in Saudi Arabia where some 30,000 prisoners of conscience are rotting away behind dungeon bars, as well as in the other Persian Gulf states, although to a lesser extent.

The US and British governments are fully apprised of the systematic violations and torture carried out by their Persian Gulf dictator allies. Let’s be under no illusion. It’s not just that Washington and London are merely aware of the abominations and turn a blind eye; these Western governments are colluding in the ongoing barbarity.

Addressing the Manama Dialogue conference in Bahrain at the weekend, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said: “I am under no illusions, like all of you, about the daily threats facing this region, or the current anxieties that I know exist here in the [Persian] Gulf.”

Indeed, Hagel is “under no illusions”. The threat to security that he alludes to is not the fairytale, fictional threat attributed to Iran.

The very real danger is that of democracy taking hold in the Persian Gulf. Whereby the people of the region might be able to avail of the vast oil wealth for genuine social development instead of the billions of dollars being funneled into the hands of crony royal families who in turn squander these billions on American and British weaponry.

The abundantly evidenced risk to security in the region is from the US and British-backed Arab tyrannies fuelling terrorism in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere, as well as brutally repressing their own people.

When Hagel and Hague and their despotic clients talk about “defense” what they are referring to is the defense of dictatorships against democracy in the Persian Gulf and the protection of multi-billion-dollar weapons contracts to American and British companies (who in turn buy political prostitutes like Hagel and Hague to do their bidding).

There is zero evidence of any other kind of threat, certainly not from Iran, except in the figment of twisted, propagandized imaginations. By contrast, the evidence for American and British-backed despotic terrorism (including that of nuclear-armed Israel) is glaringly real in the form of thousands of lives killed, maimed, displaced and rotting away in ghettoes and jails.

But cracks in this absurd façade are appearing and widening. The Omanis have given notice that they are no longer willing to participate in this ludicrous charade, saying at the weekend that they will not be part of any Persian Gulf military club, probably knowing that its pretext is patently untenable.

Also, Western and international public awareness is becoming increasingly indignant and intolerant of the parody. Why are billions of dollars being spent on planet-destroying weapons and manufacturing terrorism when so many urgent social needs are being trampled on at home and abroad?

Ordinary people around the world know that the threat to peace, security, democracy and prosperity is not Iran or any other alleged bogeyman.

They know the real and imminent danger stems from elite Western-dominated capitalism and its satellite terrorist-sponsoring regimes in Israel, Saudi Arabia and the other Persian Gulf dictatorships.

The truth is both arresting and liberating. Western ruling cliques and their despotic “allies” – under the control of corporate fascism – are now seen more acutely than ever as the enemies of democracy and peace.

The absurd pretence otherwise is well and truly over.

December 10, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran-US Interim Agreement: Historic Breakthrough or Historic Sellout?

By James Petras :: 12.08.2013

Introduction

The recent interim accord between the six world powers and Iran has been hailed as an “historic breakthrough”, a “significant accomplishment” by most leading politicians, editorialists and columnists (Financial Times, (FT) 11/26/13, p. 2), the exceptions being notably Israeli leaders and the Zionist power brokers in North America and Western Europe (FT 11/26/13, p. 3).

What constitutes this “historic breakthrough”? Who got what? Did the agreement provide for symmetrical concessions? Does the interim agreement strengthen or weaken the prospects for peace and prosperity in the Gulf and the Middle East? To address these and other questions, one also has to include the powerful influence wielded by Israel on US and European policymakers (Stephen Lendman).

The Historical Record: Past Precedents

For over a decade the major US intelligence agencies have published detailed accounts of Iran’s nuclear program (see especially the National Intelligence Estimate 2007 (NIE)). The common consensus has been that Iran did not have any program for developing nuclear weapons (National Intelligence Estimate 2004, 2007). As a consequence of this ‘absence of evidence’, the entire Western offensive against Iran had to focus on Iran’s “potential capacity” to shift sometime in the future towards a weapons program. The current agreement is directed toward undermining Iran’s potential ‘capacity’ to have a nuclear weapons program: there are no weapons to destroy, no weapon plans exist, no war plans exist and there are no strategic offensive military operations on the Iranian ‘drawing board’. We know this, because repeated US intelligence reports have told us that no weapons programs exist! So the entire current negotiations are really over weakening Iran’s ongoing peaceful, legal nuclear program and undermining any future advance in nuclear technology that might protect Iran from an Israeli or US attack, when they decide to activate their “military option”, as was pulled off in the war to destroy Iraq.

Secondly, Iran’s flexible and accommodating concessions are not new or a reflection of a newly elected President. As Gareth Porter has pointed out: Nearly ten years ago, on November 15, 2004, Iran agreed “on a voluntary basis to continue and extend an existing suspension of enrichment to include all enrichment related and reprocessing activities” (Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service 11/26/13). According to Porter, Iran was ending “all manufacturing, assembly, installation and testing of centrifuges or their components”. Despite these generous concessions, on March 2005, the Europeans and the US refused to negotiate on an Iranian proposal for a comprehensive settlement that would guarantee against enrichment toward weapons grade. Iran ended its voluntary suspension of all enrichment activity. The US, led by Zionists embedded in Treasury, (Stuart Levey) then escalated sanctions. Europe and the UN Security Council followed in kind. The practice of the US and Europe first securing major concessions from Iran and then refusing to reciprocate by pursuing a comprehensive settlement is a well established diplomatic practice. Iran’s flexibility and concessions were apparently interpreted as “signs of weakness” to be exploited in their push toward ‘regime change’ (An Unusual Success for Sanctions Policy, FT 11/27/13, p. 10). Sanctions are seen as “effective” political-diplomatic weapons designed to further weaken the regime. Policy-makers continue to believe that sanctions should be maintained as a tool to divide the Iranian elite, disarm and dismantle the country’s defensive capacity and to prepare for “regime change” or a military confrontation without fear of serious resistance from the Iranians.

The entire charade of Iran’s ‘nuclear weapons as a threat’ has been orchestrated by the Israeli regime and its army of ‘Israel Firsters’ embedded in the US Executive, Congress and mass media. The ‘Big Lie’, promoted by Israel’s propaganda machine and network of agents, has been repeatedly and thoroughly refuted by the sixteen major US Intelligence Estimates or NIE’s, especially in 2004 and 2007. These consensus documents were based on extensive research, inside sources (spies) and highly sophisticated surveillance. The NIEs categorically state that Iran suspended all efforts toward a nuclear weapons program in 2003 and has not made any decision or move to restart that program. However, Israel has actively spread propaganda, based on fabricated intelligence reports, claiming the contrary in order to trick and push the US into a disastrous military confrontation with Israel’s regional rival. And the President of the United States ignores his own intelligence sources in order to repeat Israel’s ‘Big Lie’!

Given the fact that Iran is not a ‘nuclear threat’, now or in the past, and given that the US, European and Israeli leaders know this, why do they continue and even increase the sanctions against Iran? Why do they threaten to destroy Iran with pre-emptive attacks? Why the current demands for even more concessions from Tehran? The current negotiations and ‘agreement’ tell us a great deal about the ‘ultimate’ or final strategic aims of the White House and its European allies.

The ‘Interim Agreement’: A Most Asymmetrical Compromise

Iran’s negotiators conceded to the’ 5 plus 1’ all their major demands while they received the most minimum of concessions, (FT 1/25/13, p. 2).

Iran agreed (1) to stop all enrichment to 20 percent, (2) reduce the existing 20 percent enriched stockpile to zero, (3) convert all low enriched uranium to a form that cannot be enriched to a higher level, (4) halt progress on its enrichment capacity, (5) leave inoperable half of its centrifuges at Natanz and three-quarters of those at Fordow, and (6) freeze all activities at Arak heavy water facility which when built could produce plutonium. Iran also agreed to end any plans to construct a facility capable of reprocessing plutonium from spent fuel. The Iranian negotiators agreed to the most pervasive and intensive “inspections” of its most important strategic defense facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has been closely allied with the US and its EU counterparts. These “inspections” and data collection will take place on a daily bases and include access to Natanz and Fordow. The strategic military value of these inspections is inestimable because it could provide data, heretofore unavailable, for any future missile strike from the US or Israel when they decide to shift from negotiations to the ‘military option’. In addition, the IAEA inspectors will be allowed to access other strategic facilities, including sites for developing centrifuges, uranium mines and mills. Future “negotiations” may open highly sensitive military defense sites such as Parchin, where conventional missiles and warheads are stored.

Obviously, there will not be any reciprocal inspections of the US missile sites, warships and military bases in the Persian Gulf, which store weapons of mass destruction aimed at Iran! Nor will the IAEA inspect Israel’s nuclear weapons—facilities in Dimona – despite Israeli threats to attack Iran. No comparable diminution of “military capacity” or nuclear weapons, aimed at Iran by some members of the ‘5 plus 1 and Israel’ is included in this “historic breakthrough”.

The ‘5 plus 1’ conceded meager concessions: Unfreezing of 7% of Iranian-owned assets sequestered in Western banks ($7 billion of $100 billion) and ‘allowing’ Iran to enrich uranium to 5 percent –and even that “concession” is conditioned by the proviso that it does not exceed current stockpiles of 5% enriched uranium. While the Iranian negotiators claim they secured (sic) ‘the right’ to enrich uranium, the US refused to even formally acknowledge it!

In effect, Iran has conceded the maximum concessions regarding its strategic national defenses, nuclear facilities and uranium enrichment in what is supposedly the ‘initial’ round of negotiations, while ‘receiving’ the minimum of reciprocal concessions. This highly unfavorable, asymmetrical framework, will lead the US to see Iran as ‘ripe for regime change’ and demand even more decisive concessions designed to further weaken Iran’s defensive capacity. Future concessions will increase Iran’s vulnerability to intelligence gathering and undermine its role as a regional power and strategic ally of the Lebanese Hezbollah, the current beleaguered governments in Syria and Iraq and the Palestinians under Israeli occupation.

The ‘Final Settlement’: Decline and Fall of the Islamic Nationalist Republic?

The real goals of the US sanctions policy and the recent decision to enter into negotiations with Iran have to do with several imperial objectives. The first objective is to facilitate the rise of a neo-liberal regime in Iran, which would be committed to privatizing major oil and gas fields and attracting foreign capital even at the cost of strategic national defense.

President Rohani is seen in Washington as the Islamic version of the former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev. Rohani, like his ‘model’ Gorbachev, ‘gave away the store’ while expecting Iran’s imperial adversaries to reciprocate.

The ‘5 plus 1’, mostly veterans of the ‘imperial shake down’, will take all of Rohani’s concessions and demand even more! They will “allow” Iran to recover its own frozen assets in slow droplets, which the neo-liberals in Tehran will celebrate as ‘victories’ even while the country stagnates under continued sanctions and the people suffer! The US Administration will retain sanctions in order to accommodate their Israeli-Zionist patrons and to provoke even deeper fissures in the regime. Washington’s logic is that the more concessions Teheran surrenders, the more difficult it will be to reverse the process under public pressure from the Iranian people. This ‘rift’ between the conciliatory government of Rohani and the Iranian people, according to CIA strategists, will lead to greater internal discontent in Iran and will further weaken the regime. A regime under siege will need to rely even more on their Western interlocutors. President Rohani ‘relying on the 5-plus-1’ will be like the condemned leaning into the hangman’s noose.

Rohani and the Neo-Liberal Collaborators

The ascendancy of Rohani to the Presidency brings in its wake an entire new political-economic leadership intent on facilitating large-scale, long-term penetration by Western and Chinese oil and gas companies in the most lucrative sites. Iran’s new oil minister, Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, has made overtures to all the oil majors, and offers to revise and liberalize the terms for investment and provide concessions designed to greatly enhance multinational profits, in the most lucrative fields (FT, 11/27/13, p. 2). Zangeneh has kicked out the nationalists and replaced them with a cohort of liberal economists. He is preparing to eventually lay-off tens of thousands of public sector oil employees as an incentive to attract foreign corporate partners. He is prepared to lower fuel subsidies for the Iranian people and raise energy prices for domestic consumers. The liberals in power have the backing of millionaires, speculators and political power brokers, like Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani head of the key Expediency Council, which drafts policy. Many of Rafsanjani’s followers have been appointed to key positions in President Rohani’s administration (FT, 11/26/13, p.3).

Central to the ‘Troika’s (Rohani-Rafsanjani-Zangeneh) strategy is securing the collaboration of multi-national energy corporations. However that requires lifting the US-imposed sanctions against Iran in the shortest time possible. This explains the hasty, unseemly and one-sided Iranian concessions to the ‘5-plus-1’. In other words, the driving force behind Iran’s giveaways is not the “success of sanctions” but the ascendancy to power of the Iranian comprador class and its neo-liberal ideology which informs their economic strategy.

Several major obstacles confront the ‘Troika’. The major concessions, initially granted, leave few others to concede, short of dismantling the entire nuclear energy infrastructure and lobotomizing its entire scientific and technical manpower, which would destroy the legitimacy of the regime. Secondly, having easily secured major concessions without lifting the sanctions the ‘5-plus-1’ are free to escalate their demands for further concessions, which in effect will deepen Iran’s vulnerability to Western espionage, terrorism (as in the assassination of Iranian scientists and engineers) and preemptive attack. As the negotiations proceed it will become crystal clear that the US intends to force the ‘Troika’ to open the gates to more overtly pro-western elites in order to eventually polarize Iranian society.

The end-game is a weakened, divided, liberalized regime, vulnerable to internal and external threats and willing to cut-off support to nationalist regimes in the Middle East, including Palestine, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. The US recognized and seized upon the rise of the new neo-liberal Rohani regime and secured major unilateral concessions as a down payment to move step-by-step toward bloody regime change. Washington’s “end game” is the conversion of Iran to a client petrol-state allied with the Saudi-Israeli axis.

As far-fetched as that appears today, the logic of negotiations is moving in that direction.

The Israeli-US Differences: A Question of Tactics and Timing

Israeli leaders and their Zionist agents, embedded in the US government, howl, pull out their hair and bluster against the ‘5-plus-1’ transitional agreement with Iran. They downplay the enormous one-sided concessions. They rant and rave about “hidden agenda”, “deceit and deception”. They fabricate conspiracies and repeat lies about secret “nuclear weapons programs” beyond the reach (and imagination) of any non-Zionist inspector. But the reality is that the “historic breakthrough” includes the dismantling of a major part of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, while retaining sanctions – a huge victory of the Zionists! The ‘5-plus-1’ negotiated a deal which has secured deeper and more extensive changes in Iran while strengthening Western power in the Persian Gulf than all of Netanyahu’s decade-long campaign of issuing ‘military threats’.

Netanyahu and his brainwashed Zionist-Jewish defenders in the US insist on new, even harsher sanctions because they want immediate war and regime-change (a puppet regime). Echoing his Israeli boss Netanyahu, New York Senator Chuck “the schmuck” Schumer, commenting on the interim agreement brayed, “The disproportionality of this agreement makes it more likely that Democrats and Republicans will pass additional sanctions” (Barrons 12/2/13 p14) This is the same stupid policy that the embedded Zionists in Washington pursued with Iraq. Under the Bush Presidency, top neo-con Zionists, like Wolfowitz, Ross, Indyk, Feith, Abrams and Libby, implemented Ariel Sharon’s war dictates: (1) murdered Saddam Hussein (regime change) (2) destroyed Iraq’s economy, society and modern infrastructure, and (3) provoked ethnic fragmentation and religious war – costing the US over 2 trillion dollars on the war, thousands of US lives (millions of Iraqi lives) and at a cost of hundreds of billions in high oil prices to US consumers – further shattering the US domestic economy.

Among the few moderately intelligent and influential Zionist journalists, Gideon Rachman, who realizes the strategic value of the step-by-step approach of the Obama regime, has called for the White House “to take on the Israel lobby over Iran” (FT, 11/26/13, p. 10). Rachman knows that if Israel’s howling stooges in the US Congress drag the country into war, the American people will turn against the Israeli lobby, its fellow travelers and, most likely, Israel. Rachman and a few others with a grain of political sophistication know that the Rohani regime in Tehran has just handed over key levers of power to the US. They know that the negotiations are moving toward greater integration of Iran into the US orbit. They know, in the final instance, that Obama’s step-by-step diplomatic approach will be less costly and more effective than Netanyahu’s military ‘final solution’. And they know that, ultimately, Obama’s and Israel’s goal is the same: a weak neo-liberalized Iran, which cannot challenge Israel’s military dominance, nuclear weapons monopoly, annexation of Palestine and aggression against Lebanon and Syria.

Conclusion

Having secured a “freeze” on Iran’s consequential nuclear research and having on site intelligence on all of Iran’s major national defense and security facilities, the US can compile a data base for an offensive military strategy whenever it likes. Iran, on the other hand, receives no information or reports on US, European or Israeli military movement, weapons facilities or offensive regional capabilities. This is despite the fact that the ‘5-plus-1’ countries and Israel have recently launched numerous devastating offensive military operations and wars in the region (Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Libya and Syria). Having set the agenda for negotiations as one of further unilateral concessions from Iran, the US can at any point, threaten to end negotiations – and follow up with its ‘military option’.

The next step in the unilateral disarmament of Iran will be the US demand to close the strategic Arak heavy water plant. The US will demand that Iran produce a basic minimum amount of uranium and retain a stock pile to cover a few days or weeks for energy, research or medical isotopes. Washington will strip Iran of its capacity to enrich by imposing quantitative and qualitative limits on the centrifuges that Iran can possess and operate. During the next round of negotiations, the US will preclude Iran from undertaking the reprocessing of uranium at Arak or any other site. The US will tell ‘the Troika’ that the “right” (sic) to enrich does not extend to the right to reprocess. The US will demand stringent “transparency” for Iran, while maintaining its own high level secrecy, evasion and ambiguity with regard to its military, diplomatic and economic sanctions policy.

In a word, the US will demand that Iran surrender its sovereignty and subject itself to the colonial oversight of an imperial power, which has yet to make a single move in even reducing economic sanctions. The loss of sovereignty, the continued sanctions and the drive by the US to curtail Iran’s regional influence will certainly lead to popular discontent in Iran – and a response from the nationalist and populist military (Revolutionary Guards) and the working poor. The crisis resulting from the Troika’s adoption of the “Gorbachev Model” will lead to an inevitable confrontation. Over time the US will seek out an Islamist strongman, an Iranian version of Yeltsin who can savage the nationalists and popular movements and turn over the keys to the state, treasury and oil fields to a “moderate and responsible” pro-Western client regime.

The entire US strategy of degrading Iran’s military defenses and securing major neo-liberal “reforms” depends on President Rohani remaining in power, which can only result from the Obama regime’s compliance in lifting some of the oil and banking sanctions (FT 12/1/13, p. 6). Paradoxically, the greatest obstacle to achieving Washington’s strategic roll-back goal is Netanyahu’s power to block sanction relief – and impose even, harsher sanctions. The result of such an Israel Firster victory in the US would be the end of negotiations, the strengthening of Iran’s nuclear program, the demise of the oil privatization program and added support to regional nationalist movements and governments. President Rohani desperately needs western imperial reassurance of the benefits (sanction relief) of his initial giveaways. Otherwise his credibility at home would be irreparably damaged.

The imperial prize of a militarily weakened and neo-liberalized Iran, collaborating in maintaining the status quo in the Middle East, is enormous but it clashes with the Zionist Power Configuration, which insists on all power to the Jewish state from the Suez to the Persian Gulf!

December 9, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran, Iraq, Syria sign agreement to boost transit cooperation

Press TV – January 13, 2013

Iran, Iraq, and Syria have signed a memorandum of understanding to expand their trade cooperation and boost the transit of goods through their borders.

Deputy Iranian Roads and Urban Development Minister Shahriyar Afandizadeh told the Fars News Agency on Saturday that the tripartite agreement on transportation and the transit of goods was signed in Tehran last week.

He added that senior Iranian, Iraqi, and Syrian trade officials agreed to facilitate the transport of goods by rail and road.

Afandizadeh noted that a rail line connects Bandar Imam Khomeini on the Persian Gulf in Iran’s southwestern province of Khuzestan and the town of Shalamcheh on the border with Iraq.

He said plans have been drawn up for the establishment of a railway connection between Shalamcheh and the Iraqi port city of Basra. Once the project is completed, the railway link will stretch to the Syrian port city of Latakia and subsequently to North Africa, the Iranian official stated.

Afandizadeh added that the Iran-Iraq-Syria railroad connection will accelerate the transit of goods from the northern coast of the Persian Gulf to African and European countries and make the process more economical.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches paramount importance to the transit of goods and is seeking to expand its transit ties with neighboring states,” Iran’s deputy roads and urban development minister said.

He also noted that Iran is making efforts to boost the transit of goods from the port city of Chabahar in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan to former Soviet republics.

Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Oman, and Qatar also plan to sign an agreement to enhance transit cooperation in the near future, Afandizadeh said in conclusion.

January 13, 2013 Posted by | Economics, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran captures another intruding US drone

Press TV | December 4, 2012

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has captured a US ScanEagle drone over the Persian Gulf waters upon its intrusion into the Iranian airspace.

IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi made the announcement on Tuesday, adding that the Iranian armed forces enjoy full intelligence command over foreign movements in the Persian Gulf region.

Referring to the captured ScanEagle drone, the Iranian commander pointed out, “Such drones are usually launched from large aircraft carriers.”

The ScanEagle drone, which has a 10ft (3m) wingspan, is a long-endurance aircraft built by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing.

Iran has released footage of the captured drone.

A report on the website of the Wall Street Journal on Sunday cited US officials as saying that Washington has stepped up its spying operations on Bushehr nuclear plant in southern Iran “over the past two months”. The report said that the increased spying missions by the US on the Iranian nuclear facility “has been conducted in part with the Pentagon’s fleet of drones operating over the Persian Gulf.”

Commander Fadavi further said that the IRGC Navy is fully monitoring all the movements of the foreign forces in the Persian Gulf and the strategic Strait of Hormuz to counter any potential threats against the country.

Earlier in December 2011, the Iranian military also grounded a US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft while it was flying over the Iranian city of Kashmar, some 140 miles (225km) from the Afghan border.

The US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft was downed with minimal damage by the Iranian Army’s electronic warfare unit. The drone was one of America’s most advanced spy aircraft.

Last month, Iran repelled a US drone that had entered the country’s airspace above the territorial waters of the Islamic Republic in the Persian Gulf.

Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Aerospace Division of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), said that the drone had been driven away by Iranian forces as it attempted to gather intelligence around Kharg Island in southern Iran.

Hajizadeh also warned that the country’s armed forces would respond with stronger action if US drones attempted to violate Iran’s airspace again.

December 4, 2012 Posted by | Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

US arms sales hit record high of $66.3bn in 2011

Press TV – August 27, 2012

The United States’ weapons sales tripled in 2011, reaching to a record high of USD 66.3 billion, with Persian Gulf Arab countries as the main customers, a new Congressional report said.

A new report from the Congressional Research Service said that the country’s weapons sales in 2011 was an “extraordinary increase” over the USD 21.4 billion in deals in 2010.

The report also said that the figure was the largest single-year sales total in the history of US arms sales.

The former high record was in 2009, when the country’s arms exports reached to USD 31bn.

Saudi Arabia was the largest customer of the US arms, as it bought USD 33.4bn worth of weapons, including 84 advanced F-15 fighters, ammunition, missiles and logistics support.

The Kingdom’s arms deal with the US also included dozens of Apache and Black Hawk helicopters and upgrades of 70 of the F-15 fighters in the current fleet.

The United Arab Emirates spent USD 3.49 billion to purchase a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, which is an advanced anti-missile shield containing radars. The Arab nation also bought 16 Chinook helicopters for USD 939 million.

Oman also spent USD 1.4bn last year to buy 18 F-16 fighters.

Other significant customers for the US arms were India with a USD 4.1bn deal for 10 C-17 transport planes and Taiwan with USD 2bn for Patriot antimissile batteries, that has angered Chinese officials.

August 27, 2012 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , , , , | 2 Comments

US ship fired without warning, surviving Indian fishermen say

Muthu Muniraj (C), one of the Indian fishermen who survived a deadly attack by a US Navy ship in the Persian Gulf, lies in a hospital bed in Dubai on July 17, 2012.
Muthu Muniraj, one of the Indian fishermen who survived a deadly attack by a US Navy ship in the Persian Gulf, lies in a hospital bed in Dubai on July 17, 2012.
Press TV – July 17, 2012

The Indian fishermen who survived a deadly attack by a US Navy ship in the Persian Gulf say they received no warnings before a .50-caliber gun opened fire on their boat.

The incident occurred on Monday off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

“We had no warning at all from the ship, we were speeding up to try and go around them and then suddenly we got fired at,” 28-year-old Muthu Muniraj told Reuters from a hospital in Dubai on Tuesday.

The Bahrain-based US Navy Fifth Fleet issued a statement on Monday saying that the USNS Rappahannock only attacked a small motor boat near the Dubai port of Jebel Ali, killing one and injuring three Indian fishermen, after they “ignored the warnings and came too close.”

The statement added that the US ship used a series of non-lethal, preplanned responses to warn the vessel’s operators to turn away from their “deliberate” approach before resorting to lethal force.

A spokesman of the US Navy Fifth Fleet, Lt. Greg Raelson, stated that an internal inquiry into the incident had not been completed and added that the fishing craft did not respond to the non-lethal measures taken by the US vessel. “That was when the security team fired rounds from the .50-caliber… Our ships have an inherent right to self-defense against lethal threats.”

“We know warning signs and sounds and there were none; it was very sudden. My friend was killed, he’s gone. I don’t understand what happened,” said Muniraj, whose legs were punctured by the rounds of the US ship’s .50-caliber gun.

Muthu Kannan, 35, said, “We were fishing and then on the way back they started shooting at us, so many shots, like a storm.” Kannan had a gunshot wound to the abdomen and a lower leg wired into place with metal rods.

“This is not the first time for us to go out in the boat and we all know what a warning is… All I can remember is a lot of shooting,” said 26-year-old Pandu Sanadhan.

Meanwhile, India has called for a full investigation.

On Tuesday, Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said, “India’s ambassador in Abu Dhabi has requested UAE authorities to probe the circumstances of the tragic incident.”

Jebel Ali port, one of the largest ports in the Middle East, is the most frequently visited port by ships of the US Navy outside the United States.

Washington recently expanded its military presence in the Persian Gulf, sending an unspecified number of F-22 stealth fighters and warships to the region.

July 17, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

US vessel opens fire on boat off UAE coast, killing 1

Press TV – July 16, 2012

A US vessel has opened fire on a boat off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in the Persian Gulf, killing at least one person and injuring three others.

The dead man and the three injured people are reported to be Indian fishermen.

It was not immediately clear why the USNS Rappahannock attacked a small motor boat near the Dubai port of Jebel Ali on Monday.

US consular officials in Abu Dhabi have confirmed the incident but refused to provide further details.

Local officials say the boat could have been mistaken as a threat.


US tries to justify deadly attack in Persian Gulf, says boat ignored warnings

Press TV – July 16, 2012

The US Navy Fifth Fleet says the sailors on the ship that launched a deadly attack in the Persian Gulf had warned the fishermen on the targeted boat before they opened fire.

The Bahrain-based fleet issued a statement on Monday saying that the USNS Rappahannock only attacked a small motor boat near the Dubai port of Jebel Ali, killing one and injuring three Indian fishermen, after they “ignored the warnings and came too close,” Xinhua reported.

The statement added that the US ship used a series of non-lethal, preplanned responses to warn the vessel’s operators to turn away from their “deliberate” approach before resorting to lethal force.

Jebel Ali port, one of the largest ports in the Middle East, is the most frequently visited port by ships of the US Navy outside the United States.

Washington recently expanded its military presence in the Persian Gulf, sending an unspecified number of F-22 stealth fighters and warships to the region.

July 16, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Pro-Israel Saban Center Proposes New Framework for Persian Gulf Security

By Maidhc Ó Cathail | The Passionate Attachment | July 3, 2012

In the Saban Center for Middle East Policy’s newest Middle East Memo, “Security in the Persian Gulf: New Frameworks for the Twenty-First Century,” Kenneth Pollack proposes “a new security architecture for the region.” According to a summary on the center’s site:

Pollack analyzes security arrangements in other parts of the world and focuses on two options: expanding the GCC and turning it into a formal military alliance and creating an arrangement modeled on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. In weighing each option, Pollack finds that the latter can better furnish a path toward peace and security.

Any consideration of how likely Pollack’s CSCE model would contribute to “peace and security” in the Persian Gulf requires an understanding of whose interests the author and his employer represent.

The Saban Center was established in 2002 with a pledge of nearly $13 million from the Israeli-American media mogul Haim Saban to the Brookings Institution. Having once admitted to the New York Times, “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel,” Saban told an Israeli conference in 2010 that establishing think tanks was one of his “three ways to be influential in American politics” — along with making donations to political parties and controlling media outlets — so that he could “protect Israel, by strengthening the United States-Israel relationship.”

Before becoming a senior fellow at the Saban Center, Kenneth Pollack was a member of the U.S. National Security Council. While advising on American security, Pollack was mentioned in relation to the 2005 criminal indictment against Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman as one of the government officials who provided classified information to the two former AIPAC employees about Washington’s Iran policy. Presumably, all three were motivated, like Saban, by their overriding concern for the security of the Jewish state.

In light of Saban and Pollack’s profound concern for Israel’s security, “Security in the Persian Gulf” should be seen as yet another attempt to advance Israeli interests in the region by influencing American politics.

July 3, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

15,000 American forces stationed in Kuwait: Senate account

Press TV – June 20, 2012

A US Senate report indicates that the United States has now nearly 15,000 troops in three bases across Kuwait- – triple the average number of American forces in the Middle Eastern country before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee released the report on Tuesday, considering how to promote the US interests in the Persian Gulf region after the American forces left Iraq last year.

According to the report, having the military bases throughout the region is a “lily pad” model to allow for a rapid escalation of military forces.

The Kuwaiti bases “offer the United States major staging hubs, training ranges, and logistical support for regional operations,” the report said, adding, the “US forces also operate Patriot missile batteries in Kuwait, which are vital to theater missile defense.”

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has recently said there are roughly 40,000 American troops in the area to respond to the region’s possible conflicts.

The American forces have also been stationed in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby had said, “The secretary (of defense) has been very clear that while we do this shift in focus to the Asia-Pacific, that the Central Command area of responsibility will still remain a high priority.”

June 20, 2012 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US to send ‘mothership’ to Middle East

Press TV – January 28, 2012

The US military plans to deploy a large floating base, unofficially dubbed the “mothership,” for commando teams to the Middle East amid recent developments in the region.

The Navy is converting an aging warship it had planned to decommission into a makeshift staging base for the commandos in response to requests from the US Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, The Washington Post reported on Saturday.

The floating base could accommodate smaller high-speed boats and helicopters commonly used by the United States Navy’s Sea, Air, and Land Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs.

Lieutenant Commander Mike Kafka, a spokesman for the Navy’s Fleet Forces Command, declined to elaborate on the floating base’s purpose or to say where exactly it will be deployed in the Middle East.

There are indications that the Pentagon will send the vessel to the region by early summer, and Navy documents show that it could be headed to the Persian Gulf.

The deployment of the floating base to the Middle East marks a return to maritime missions for SEAL teams, who have been engaged in ground operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for the past decade.

The US Navy had earlier planned to retire the amphibious assault ship USS Ponce and decommission it in March 2012 after 41 years of service. The warship was sent to the Mediterranean Sea last year to provide military support to NATO air strikes on Libya.

The USS Ponce will be instead transformed into what the US military calls an Afloat Forward Staging Base.

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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