Saudi Arabia has decided to explore dialogue with its great regional rival Iran for ending the Syrian conflict and assuring Lebanon’s political future, debkafile’s Gulf sources report. They have given up on US policy for Syria in view of Russian and Iranian unbending support for Bashar Assad; his battlefield gains aided by Hizballah and Iranian Bassij forces; and Turkey’s inaction after Saturday’s terrorist bombings in the town of Reyhanli near the Syrian border which caused 46 deaths. Continue reading
Step by step, day by day, the war inches closer.
Israel and Turkey agreed last week to start pooling their incoming intelligence on the Syrian civil war, debkafile’s intelligence sources report exclusively. Exchanges will take place at the highest level between Mossad Director Tamir Pardo and Hakan Fidan, head of Turkey’s MIT.
The United States will also provide additional security for Syria’s southern neighbor by the relocation of US Patriot missile interceptors from West Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to northern Jordan opposite the Syrian border.
US Patriots were deployed on the Turkish-Syrian border last year. Continue reading
Saudi Arabia is buying an armed drone from South Africa after the Obama administration declined to sell the oil-rich kingdom U.S. Predator or Reaper missile-firing unmanned aircraft.
The state-owned South African company Denel Dynamics is working covertly with the Saudis to develop the Seeker 400 drone into an armed combat system for the Saudi military, the Paris-based newsletter Intelligence Online reported March 27.
The Seeker 400 is an advanced version of the company’s Seeker II unarmed surveillance aircraft. Continue reading
A four-year FBI investigation into the transfer of classified weapons technology to China and other countries from NASA’s Ames Research Center is being stonewalled by government officials, sources tell FoxNews.com.
Documents obtained by FoxNews.com, which summarize these and other allegations and were given to congressional sources last week by a whistle-blower, described how a “secret grand jury” was to be convened in February 2011 to hear testimony from informants in the case, including a senior NASA engineer. But federal prosecutor Gary Fry was removed from the case, which was then transferred from one office in the Northern District of California to another where, according to the documents, “this case now appears to be stalled.”
“The information is staggering,” the whistle-blower told FoxNews.com. Continue reading
The study, to be published Friday in Water Resources Research, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, examined data over seven years from 2003 from a pair of gravity-measuring satellites which is part of NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment or GRACE. Researchers found freshwater reserves in parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran along the Tigris and Euphrates river basins had lost 117 million acre feet (144 cubic kilometers) of its total stored freshwater, the second fastest loss of groundwater storage loss after India.
About 60 percent of the loss resulted from pumping underground reservoirs for ground water, including 1,000 wells in Iraq, and another fifth was due to impacts of the drought including declining snow packs and soil drying up. Loss of surface water from lakes and reservoirs accounted for about another fifth of the decline, the study found. Continue reading
Sudanese opposition groups accused Khartoum this week of reaching a secret agreement with Tehran to establish an Iranian military base on the Red Sea.
Anti-government newspaper Hurriyat Sudan cited an unnamed opposition source on Monday as saying that the Sudanese government had struck a deal with Iran for building a base on the Sudanese coast.
Meanwhile, Sudanese rebel group The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said on Sunday that Sudan’s President Omar Bashir has reached a “very advanced” arrangement with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to establish a naval base either in Port Sudan or elsewhere on the Red Sea, according to the Sudanese anti-government news outlet Al Rakoba. Continue reading
WASHINGTON — Saudi Arabia could end up becoming an importer of crude
oil, a report said.Bright lights of Riyadh: Power demands in the kingdomare rising by eight percent per year. /Reuters
Citigroup said Saudi Arabia was rapidly depleting its oil reserves,
particularly through electricity generation. Continue reading
Believing this one might be a difficult thing to uphold. The energy resources available aren’t disputed, but the actual motive to use them are. Most of the news the last four years reflects that the Obama administration has gone out of its way to close everything up it can (i.e. available shale oil land in Colorado via making national parks out of everything) and kill Canadian imported oil. Only time will tell what will come of this anomaly.
* U.S. to become biggest oil producer by 2017
* To overtake Russia as top gas producer by 2015
* Moving to become self-sufficient in energy (Adds details, para 8-9) Continue reading
One can only conclude that, even after Iran has the bomb, the mantra “there is still room for diplomacy” will continue to issue from official US mouths and the Washington-Tehran dialogue drag on, possibly through new channels, as it does with Pyongyang.
After they meet, the US President may reward the Israeli Prime Minister with a marginally more assertive statement about Iran as a sort of consolation prize for his restraint. But that will not change the fact that neither has raised a finger to halt a nuclear Iran, both preferring to bow to domestic political pressures and considerations.
Their inaction has given two Middle East leaders a major boost for progress on their own nuclear initiatives.
Last March, Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who was recently appointed head of general intelligence, travelled secretly to Beijing and returned with Chinese President Hu Jintao’s consent to sell Saudi Arabia nuclear-capable CSS-5 Dong-Feng 21 MRBM ballistic missiles. He also agreed to send over Chinese nuclear engineers and technicians to help Saudi Arabia develop uranium enrichment and other nuclear production capacities.
This work is already in progress at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology near Riyadh.
In the last few weeks, Saudi Crown Prince Salman launched negotiations with Tehran on a non-aggression pact and other understandings covering bilateral cooperation behind America’s back on such issues as Syria.
It should be obvious from this development alone that the Middle East nuclear race, which both President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu admitted would be triggered by a nuclear Iran, unless preempted, is in full flight, a fact of which they have neglected to inform the general public in both countries.
But there is more.
After less than three months in office, the Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is following in Saudi footsteps: He will kick off his first foreign trips next week with a visit to Beijing, where he hopes to take a leaf out of the Saudi nuclear book. He then touches down in Tehran, ostensibly to attend the Non-Aligned Organization’s summit opening there on Aug. 26, but meanwhile to cultivate ties with Tehran for common action in the Middle East.
He has laid the ground for this by proposing the creation of a new “contact group” composed of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey to disentangle the Syrian conflict – again behind America’s back.
The optimistic presumption that the Egyptian president will have to dance to Washington’s tune to win economic assistance is proving unfounded.
And Obama’s hands are tied.
In June 2009, he bound his administration’s Middle East policy to mending American ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. Today, he can hardly starve the new Cairo administration of financial aid.
And the Egyptian president is riding high. Believing he can get away with it, he may even proclaim from Tehran that the two nations have decided to resume diplomatic relations after they were cut off for 31 years.
This chain of events confronts Israel with three strategic predicaments:
1. Even if Riyadh, Cairo and Tehran are unable to come to terms in their first efforts at understanding, the fact remains that Saudi Arabia and Egypt have set their faces toward détente with Iran.
2. Saudi Arabia and Egypt are on the road to a nuclear weapon although Egypt is still trailing far behind.
3. In the five weeks remaining before the Obama-Netanyahu meeting, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and China will be moving forward vigorously toward their strategic, military and nuclear goals, while the US and Israel will be stuck in the doldrums of their interminable argument over who goes first against Iran – if at all.
As Washington continues to become increasingly unreliable towards former allies/interests in the region, as the article puts it, look towards more of the same to continue transpiring.
Saudi Arabia continues to create an anti-Iranian alliance.
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah called for an extraordinary meeting of Muslim leaders to be held August 14-15, the country’s state news agency reported July 22. Saudi Arabia is the head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a 57-strong grouping of Islamic nations that has met 12 times since its foundation in 1969. This month’s meeting will be its fourth extraordinary summit.
King Abdullah called the meeting to “examine the situation in many countries of the Islamic world, intensify efforts to confront this situation, address the sources of discord and division therein, reunify the Islamic Ummah [community] and promote Islamic solidarity.”
United States-based intelligence company Stratfor wrote June 30 that Saudi Arabia “may be using the emergency summit to help position itself as a leader in the Muslim world, while casting Iran as a sectarian player.”
“It now sees a historic opportunity to seize the leadership of the Arab Middle East and to curtail Iranian influence in the region,” it continues.
Watch for Saudi Arabia to build a coalition of Middle Eastern nations opposed to Iran.
Right now, the Middle East is going through a key period of change. At the end, almost all the nations will be in one of two camps. One will be a radical Islamic camp led by Iran, which will include Iraq, Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia. The other will be an anti-Iranian coalition, with Turkey and Saudi Arabia as the major players, but also including other Gulf states and Syria. This coalition will align itself with Germany as Europe becomes wary of Iran’s growing influence. Already, Germany, alongside the U.S., is arming members of this group to counterbalance Iran.
This is what Saudi Arabia’s machinations with an emergency summit are all about. Amid the turmoil in the Middle East this summer, watch for these two key alliances to emerge.
Full article: Saudi Arabia Calls Extraordinary Meeting of Muslim Nations (The Trumpet)
These links [1, 2] discuss the probability that Saudi Arabia may soon be taking delivery of Pakistani nuclear warheads to put in the Saudi military inventory, making Saudi Arabia an instant nuclear power. I have addressed this possibility in previous posts, but it looks like this may become a reality very soon. Obviously, Saudi Arabia wants the ability to become a nuclear power immediately if Iran becomes a nuclear power. Since Saudi Arabia reportedly financed much of the development of the Pakistani nuclear weapons program, the Saudis likely have a right to obtain a certain number of the Pakistani warheads for themselves when the situation warrants.
There are those who doubt that this arrangement exists, but the reported fact that “at least two giant Saudi transport planes…are parked permanently at Kamra [Pakistan's nuclear air base]” gives strong credibility to the report that the Saudis are ready to receive an unknown number of Pakistani nuclear weapons at a moment’s notice if Iran’s nuclear program indicates it has reached the ability to produce nuclear weapons. Why else would Saudi transport planes be parked regularly at Pakistan’s nuclear weapon-equipped airbase? At the very least, the Saudis want to have as many nukes as Iran. It is also not impossible that Saudi Arabia so fears a nuclear-armed Iran that it would take delivery of the Pakistani nukes to perform a pre-emptive strike on the Iranian bomb facilities. Saudi Arabia is the guardian of Mecca of Medina and sees itself as the leader of the Sunni Islamic peoples. Iran is the leader of the Shiite Islamic people.
This report indicates that it is not only the Israelis and Americans that might be considering a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities. Sunni Arab Saudi Arabia has no intention of ever being dominated by the Shiite Persians. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are both Sunni Islamic nations.
Finally, remember the old adage: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” That has historically been a truism in Mideast politics. Iran is the growing enemy of both Israel and Saudi Arabia, so the Iranian nuclear program is pushing the Israelis and Saudis together as friends of necessity in this matter…whether they expected this to happen or not.
Full article: Saudis Obtaining Pakistani Nukes? (Steven Mcollins)
NATO, which proclaims non-involvement in the Syrian conflict, and Russia, which vows to block foreign military action against the Assad regime, are both moving large naval forces into the eastern Mediterranean opposite Syrian shores.
A flotilla of at least 11 Russian warships has been detached from Caspian Sea, Black Sea and North Sea fleet bases and is on its way to the Syrian coast for a maneuver; NATO has consigned its rapid response Maritime Group 2 to the same stretch of sea – where also five Israeli warships are deployed. The Western alliance has also increased surveillance flights over the Mediterranean from the Geilenkirchen air base in Germany.
This rush of military movements is explained officially by the big air-and-sea exercise launched by Syria Sunday, July 8, to simulate outside aggression. It follows Iran’s practice of continuous military drills for repelling mock Western or Israel attacks.
While these coordinated maneuvers are being presented as designed to fend off foreign intervention in the Syrian conflict, our sources report that they are in fact preparing for a potential US attack on Iran’s nuclear program, which is now expected in Gulf and European military quarters to take place in October, three months hence.
High-ranking Saudi princes associated with their national military and intelligence agencies frankly confided to Arab and Western officials on recent visits to Riyadh that the US and, possibly Israel too, are on the verge of war on Iran. “It is already decided,” they say. The only question still open is the date, which could be before or after the US presidential election on November 6.
Full article: NATO, Russian naval-air buildup in E. Mediterranean, French units to Gulf (DEBKAfile)