The visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu caused a boycott by more than 50 House Democrats and protests from the Jewish community. While speaking at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in D.C., Netanyhahu was faced with protests from a few dozen rabbis who oppose the state of Israel, as well as protesters with CodePink rallying outside the Cannon House Office Building. The CodePink protesters entered the House buildings and confronted members of Congress for their support of Netanyahu’s plan to halt nuclear talks between the US and Iran. Netanyahu also spoke to Congress directly asking those in attendance to abandon the talks with Iran, calling it a “very bad deal”.
Even with a number of U.S. sanctions against Iran coming to an end, the Iranian government has recently made a very important decision in regards to its oil payment system and it could spell bad news for the United States. This is because Iran has apparently decided to no longer accept U.S. dollars for payment on both its new and outstanding oil sales. Instead it will receive its payment in euros.
Reuters has cited an official from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) as stating that the new plan will apply to “newly signed deals” with France’s Total, Russia’s Lukoil, and Spain’s Cepsa.
Reuters quotes the official as saying that “In our invoices we mention a clause that buyers of our oil will have to pay in euros, considering the exchange rate versus the dollar around the time of delivery.”
In addition, Iran is also informing its trading partners, including India, that owe billions of dollars that it now prefers to be paid in euros instead of dollars.
“Iran shifted to the euro and cancelled trade in dollars because of political reasons,” the official source said, pointing out that this policy was concocted during the time of the sanctions.
A little known fact that many in the “anti-imperialist” crowd would rather ignore is that Iran and Hezbollah both supported the rebel uprising in Libya and welcomed Gaddafi’s demise.
An August 2011 report from the International Business Times noted Iran’s embrace of the “National Transitional Council,” the rebel government seeking to oust Gaddafi:
Iran is now supporting the National Transitional Council, Libya’s rebel-lead interim government, severing its final ties with Moammar Gadhafi.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi spoke with N.T.C. Chairman Mustafa Abdul-Jalil over the phone on Tuesday, congratulating the rebels on their victory over dictatorship. He also invited Abdul-Jalil to Teheran on a state visit in order to deepen bilateral ties.
Earlier in the campaign, Iran sent aid and humanitarian assistance to the Libyan people. The country has been supporting the rebels since March and called the fight against Gadhafi an Islamic Awakening. However, Iran is wary of the West’s involvement in the revolution, and thinks that NATO’s presence in Libya may come with the cost of colonization.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah took a particularly strident anti-Gaddafi stance, praising the Libyan rebels as “revolutionaries” and wishing them victory over the “arrogant tyrant” Gaddafi. After Gaddafi was ousted and lynched in the streets by rebels, Nasrallah praised Gaddafi’s killers as “revolutionary fighters” and congratulated them on their “huge victory over the dictatorial regime of tyrant Muammar Gaddafi.”
via Non-Aligned Media
by Brandon Martinez
Sep 26, 2015
We have been hearing loud assertions of Russian benevolence towards the Arab world for some time, usually emanating from certain dogmatic quarters of anti-Zionist, anti-imperialist circles on the web.
These analysts see themselves as top class mind readers, tapping into the brain of Vladimir Putin and interpreting his every geopolitical move in a positive manner, no matter how ugly or duplicitous it may appear to be on the surface.
Putin is playing a master class chess match against the New World Order, these partisan analysts say, ignoring or downplaying anything that doesn’t conform to their Russophilic talking points.
Putin is a super secret anti-Zionist who will ‘checkmate’ Israel any day now, these dogmatists theorize with confidence, without providing a tangible piece of evidence that this is true.
Putin is a Pragmatist, Not an Anti-Zionist
Russia under Putin’s leadership has pursued a delicate balance between ideological support as well as economic and military cooperation with Israel on the one hand, and cashing in on lucrative oil, gas, nuclear energy and military contracts with several Arab/Muslim states on the other.
Spellbound Putin supporters point to the ex-KGB strongman’s whimpered public statements in support of a “Palestinian state” as evidence that he’s an anti-Zionist. These lackluster analysts knowingly fail to point out that such rhetoric from the Kremlin is completely offset by Putin’s much more forthright and unequivocal proclamations in support of Israel in its current configuration.
During a meeting with a delegation of Israeli and Russian Jewish religious leaders in July 2014, Putin said he identifies with and supports the “struggle of Israel” against the native Arabs whose land and resources have been consistently usurped by European and Russian Jews who mass migrated to Palestine and then took much of it over through violence and terrorism in 1948. One rabbi at the meeting ‘blessed’ Putin’s leadership in Russia, saying it was the ‘will of god.’ Putin told the rabbis that he is a “true friend of Israel” and of its extremist prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Putin has described Israel as part of the “Russian world” because 15 percent of its population is of Russian origin. Despite living in Israel, many of these Russian-Israelis vote in Russian elections, and a good number of them cast their ballot for Putin. At a 2011 dialogue conference featuring organizations representing the major religious and ethnic groups in Russia, Putin stated that Israel is “a special state to us” because it is “practically a Russian-speaking country.” Russian-speaking Israelis form the base of the ultra-Zionist Yisrael Beiteinu political party, headed by Israel’s former foreign affairs minister Avigdor Lieberman who recently called for “disloyal” Arab citizens of Israel to be “beheaded.”
During a 2013 joint press conference, Putin and Netanyahu both affirmed that ties between Russia and Israel are getting ‘stronger and stronger.’ Putin said that “our relationship with Israel is both friendly and mutually beneficial.” He stressed that Russia and Israel cooperate in a “wide variety of areas,” including political, cultural, economic and military. He proudly noted that under his watch the Russian city of Gelendzhik was twinned with the Israeli city of Netanya.
Russia has fuelled Israel’s war economy, purchasing more than $550 million of Israeli drones since Putin became president. In 2010, Russia and Israel signed a five-year military contract that boosted “military ties between the two nations to help them fight common threats, such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.” Increased cooperation and information sharing between Russian and Israeli intelligence services was one result of the agreement.
by PressTV News Videos
Sep 25, 2015
A day after a catastrophic stampede in Saudi Arabia, Iranian officials say the death toll could dramatically rise.
via Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization
by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Aug 2, 2015
This short documentary examines the support that the US and Israel are providing to the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which use to call itself Al-Qaeda in Iraq and more recently calls itself the Islamic State, and its self-declared “caliphate.”
Audiences are presented with past analyses from the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya and Michel Chossudovsky, that connects the dots between the two crises in Iraq and Syria and the long war of the US that is ultimately aimed at controlling Eurasia.
The division of Iraq and the Middle East is part of a longstanding push into Eurasia by the US, Israel, and their allies that has consistently involved a set of pretexts and lies. Sectarian hatred between Shia Muslims and Sunni Muslims and between Kurds and Arabs is now falsely being presented as the basis for the conflicts in Iraq and Syria.
The US military cannot go into any country that it desires for regime change. This is why Washington has applied other techniques for regime change. In 2006, with the failure of the US to break the Resistance Bloc or Axis of Resistance in the Middle East, the US began its “redirection” policy and opted to use insurgencies, sectarianism, colour revolutions, and intensified covert operations.
One of the people that set the stage for the division of Iraq is Joseph Biden, the current vice-president of the United States. When Biden was a US senator in the US Congress, he presented the Biden Plan to divide Iraq into three sectarian entities in 2008. In part, the Biden Plan created one of the blueprints for the political face of the current crisis in Iraq.
The US also wants the federal government in Iraq to be replaced, because it refused to help the US and its allies in the war against Syria, its alliance with Iran, Iraq’s growing trade and purchases of military hardware from the Russian Federation, and Iraqi oil sales to China. Because of Washington’s desires for regime change in Baghdad and its plans to divide Iraq, the US government has been delaying aid to the Iraqi government. Russia and Belarus, on the other hand, have stepped in to militarily help Baghdad, alongside Iran and Syria.
While the US is covertly supporting the division of Iraq, Israel is overtly been supporting this as outlined by the Yinon Plan. After the ISIL’s 2014 offensive inside Iraq began, Iraqi officials reported that the Israelis were present in Iraqi Kurdistan and also involved in assisting the ISIL fighters inside Iraq’s borders. Tel Aviv has even openly told Washington to let the different groups in Iraq kill one another, just like Iran and Iraq were doing during the Iraq-Iran War. While Israel refuses to allow or recognize Palestinian independence, Israeli officials have called for the international community to recognize the dismemberment of Iraq by recognizing Iraqi Kurdistan as a separate republic. This is because Israel plans on using the Kurdish people as pawns and Iraqi Kurdistan as a regional outpost.
The Kurdistan Regional Government has used the ISIL’s 2014 offensive as an opportunity to takeover the multi-ethnic and oil-rich Iraqi city of Kirkuk and to announce that it plans to declare independence from Iraq. In part, petro-politics and control over energy is tied to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s plans of secession and its armed takeover of Kirkuk, which it has claimed as its historic capital. The Turkish government has already been making illegal energy deals with the leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government for Iraqi oil. Reports are also surfacing that Israel will buy Iraqi oil from the Kurdistan Regional Government via Turkey.
With the takeover of Kirkuk, Iraqi oil will be sent to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, which is the Eastern Mediterranean export terminal for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline. This not only gives Israel access to Iraqi oil, but also endangers Eurasian energy integration and the
Banyias-Kirkuk Pipeline running from Iraq to Syria.
The Iraqi and Syrian people must stand united in the face of the project to divide their ancient societies and countries.
by RT USA
Published time: July 08, 2015 20:07
Edited time: July 09, 2015 11:17
President Barack Obama’s reference to US training “ISIL forces” has raised eyebrows, no less because of the White House’s odd edit in the transcript of the president’s speech on confronting Islamic State.
After getting briefed on US efforts to fight the self-proclaimed Caliphate occupying large swaths of Syria and Iraq, Obama told reporters Monday at the Pentagon that the US was ramping up the training of local forces to complement airstrikes conducted by the US-led coalition.
What he actually said, however, was “we’re speeding up training of ISIL forces, including volunteers from Sunni tribes in Anbar Province.”
ISIL stands for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and is the US government’s preferred term for the group, also known as ISIS or, more recently, Islamic State.
The official transcript released by the White House contains the word “Iraqi” in brackets following the acronym ISIL, instead of something much more intuitive, such as prefacing the acronym with “anti-”. The clumsy edit allowed one to read the statement as if the US Commander-in-Chief was not confessing to training jihadist militants all over the region, but only the ISIL forces based in Iraq.
Obama’s omission and the White House’s attempt to explain it away have caused some perplexity on Twitter.
[related video with a different slip-up by Obama (a.k.a. Barry Soetoro): Was Joan Rivers Right ? Is Obama Gay and Michelle a Man Named Michael???]
via Activist Post
June 3, 2015
Considering the years of propaganda surrounding Iran and its nuclear program, it was clear to any informed observer that the recent US-Iran nuclear deal was nothing more than theatre. After all, the US/NATO imperialist machine has made its desire to wage war on the Persian nation explicit for some time. The only question is just how long this theatre will last before that goal is finally realized.
While the Western press and corporate media outlets have taken to presenting the Iran nuclear deal as either a tragic capitulation to the deadly warmongering Iranians or a brilliant lunge for peace with the deadly warmongering Iranians, the premise of their presentations are exactly the same – that Iran is dangerous, wants war, and is doing whatever it can to acquire a nuclear weapon.
This is, of course, despite the fact that there is no evidence that Iran is attempting to gain a nuclear weapon or has any aggressive intent in the region. In fact, the US and Israeli intelligence organizations have both determined that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon nor is it attempting to acquire one. Indeed, it has been admitted by military industrial complex firm, The RAND Corporation, that Iran’s military capabilities were largely defensive, not offensive. Even further, not only was Iran well within its rights to do everything it was doing in regards to nuclear energy and technology, the agreement signed with the West was an extraordinary act of conciliation and cooperation. Indeed, Iran bent over backwards to appease the West in its imperialists aims.
That being said, I have argued from the very beginning of the US-Iran nuclear talks that the diplomacy taking place was nothing more than theatre to be used later in the rush to war as evidence that the US did “everything in its power” to avoid confrontation. While the future is impossible to predict, one might reasonably believe that the US will soon sabotage the nuclear deal whose final touches and signatures are due at the end of June 2015.
The Saudi-led coalition resumed air strikes on Yemeni capital Sana’a after a five-day ceasefire. Dozens of families were forced out of their homes. These are the most large-scale bombings since the five-day ceasefire ended on May 17.
The issue at hand is that the Arabian coalition has so far been unable to combat the Houthis. With the help of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, their joint forces mounted a quick military offensive to the south of the country and ensured military domination over most of Yemen. Their advantage is indisputable in Aden and in the country’s northern parts. In other provinces (Hadhramaut, Abyan, Taez), the status of local tribal militias is determined by the renewal of massive funding to the local chefs from Saudi Arabia. However, this has so far been limited to several localities. The attempt to incite a mass revolt in Aden in late April-early May with the help of former Prime Minister of the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen) Haidar Abu Bakr al-Attas has also failed.
Presently, “the president-in-exile” Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi can only be seen as a “political corpse”. He is neither popular in the north, where he allowed the Houthis to overrun the Hashid tribal militia without coming to their aid, despite numerous appeals from the local tribal leadership; nor is he popular in the south of the country, where he failed to fulfil a promise to redistribute property and grant far-reaching political autonomy to the South. Due to this, Saudi Arabia’s agenda now includes a very important fundamental point: to find a leader capable of consolidating the anti-Houthi forces.
It is clear that Ali Abdullah Saleh will continue to hold onto his former stance: he has nowhere to run and the ultimate goal of his one-and-only strategy is guaranteeing that his tribe remains in the highest echelons of executive and military power. Riyadh does not intend to hand over these guarantees. However, the Houthis currently hold the military upper hand. Moreover, their leadership is currently ripe with stout supporters of “a war to the bitter end”, that is, the recreation of a Zaidi Muslim State. Most of the moderate Houthis leaders were lost during the suicide bombing of a Zaidi mosque in Sana’a in March. The other Houthis who are willing to find a compromise have been excluded from key decisions. Thus, it is still clearly premature to talk about the beginning of any real and effective peace talks. Neither the Houthis, nor Abdullah Saleh nor the members of the Arabian coalition, Saudi Arabia in particular, have any desire to hold such peace talks.
via Activist Post
May 9, 2015
Reports are now filtering in that preparations for a direct military assault on Syria are being made by Turkey in concert with the Saudis and Qataris. These reports are suggesting that the military offensive will take place within the next few days. Some reports speculate that such action could take place further down the road in late June.
At this moment, Turkish forces are reportedly gathering at the nation’s southern border and Syria’s northern border in a fashion that can signify little except the posturing for military action.
While this article is in no way attempting to make predictions regarding possible military action, to provide dates, or even the hint that these possible attacks will definitively take place, the stage has clearly been set for some time for us to contemplate the possibility of such an attack.
Indeed, in the last few weeks, geopolitical alliances and talks have begun to coalesce so as to indicate that such an attack is not only possible but probable in the near future. After all, the US and NATO have attempted to gin up support for a direct assault on Syria since early on in the crisis when it became apparent that proxy armies of terrorists alone were not going to accomplish regime change.
The plans – at least from Turkey’s side of the fence – appear to be twofold. First, the plan to attack Syria has been part of the NATO agenda from the moment the death squads were routed by Assad’s forces and Turkey has always been a major playing in this regard.
Secondly, Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan’s own governing party has been suffering under a number of scandals, criticisms, and failures over the last several months and, as is the case in every country, a foreign war is more than helpful in diverting the attention of the local population away from domestic concerns. While certainly not the cause, plunging support from the Turkish public is certainly a stick used to prod Erdoğan into further action.
Emboldened by their illegal war in Yemen and their ability to massacre civilians abroad with little condemnation, the Saudis are apparently feeling more capable of acting against Syria directly and especially in concert with the Turks and Qataris. These attacks on Syria would undoubtedly take place – much like the Yemeni strikes – with US backing and support.
Apr 3, 2015
Now it’s Yemen’s turn: Saudi Arabia – the richest petro-kingdom – is militarily assaulting the Arab world’s poorest state – and it has Washington’s full backing. Riyadh has made it clear it wants its man back in power in Yemen and the surrender of the Houthis. Neither is likely to happen. But a regional war is. CrossTalking with Sami Ramadani, Ali al-Ahmed, and Ervand Abrahamian.