Channel 10 reports Obama team has been negotiating terms with Tehran, didn’t fully coordinate with Israel, intended to present a fait accompli in Geneva
The Geneva negotiations between the so-called P5+1 powers and Iran are a mere “facade,” because the terms of a deal on Iran’s nuclear program have been negotiated in talks between a top adviser to President Barack Obama and a leading Iranian nuclear official that have continued in secret for more than a year, Israeli television reported Sunday. Continue reading
DUBAI // Arabian Gulf states aim to integrate their air defence systems to meet threats from ballistic and cruise missiles.
“Advances in science and technology have made the world networked and connected,” said Maj Gen Staff Pilot Mohammed bin Sweidan Saeed Al Qamzi, commander of the Air Force and Air Defence.
“We need to be a single force to overcome our common threats and challenges. While the UAE faces no armed conflicts, civil wars or internal instability, we must remain vigilant to deter conflicts that are occurring regionally. We must maintain strong air defence forces to continue protecting our national and regional interests.” Continue reading
Dubai: Since the election of US president Barack Obama, concern has been raised repeatedly in Gulf states about the US’ commitment to the security and the strategic importance of the region. More recent US positions however have sounded alarms in Gulf capitals that America may be abandoning its Gulf allies.
The US and the Gulf states’ very publicly diverging positions on the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, its reluctance to go to war with Syria and its most recent attempt at a rapprochement with Iran is likely to evoke fears of an American “grand bargain” with Iran at the expense of the Gulf.
Professor Tim Niblock of the University of Exeter, a leading academic of Gulf Studies, says the Gulf fears are there and they are well founded. Continue reading
King Abdullah names Prince Bandar, director general of the Saudi Intelligence Agency, on top of his post as secretary-general of the National Security Council.
Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar bin Sultan fell in love with the United States when he was still an air force pilot and took aerobatics training on an American air base. The romance was renewed several years later when he was named the Saudi ambassador to Washington, a tenure that lasted 22 years. He was a regular guest of George H.W. Bush and later his son, and was the only ambassador guarded by the U.S. Secret Service. Continue reading
Dubai: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s recent five-day trip to China after assuming power has been termed highly successful in Islamabad. Important deals were inked on this visit that is emblematic of Sharif’s economic policy aimed at fixing the country’s staggering economy. But more significant is the strategic development pertaining to the decision to develop the trade corridor between the two countries — a project with regional implications beyond South West Asia.
The much-publicised agreement to speed work on developing a 2,000-km trade corridor linking Gwadar Port on Pakistan’s Makran Coast to Kashgar in China’s Xingjian province has been called a “game changer” by Sharif. Continue reading
As Germany’s presence in the Middle East continues to grow, have they emerged as the “new America” over the region?
Give Germany credit. As America unwisely abdicates its leadership role in the Middle East, Berlin is quietly and steadily positioning itself to play a decisive role in the future of this important region. Right now, German foreign policy in the Middle East isn’t controversial, dramatic or eye-catching. Especially not compared to recent events in Egypt, Gaza, Syria and Iran.
The New America
Germany’s presence there, politically, commercially and militarily, is already more significant than most people realize. Continue reading
LONDON — Britain intends to establish a permanent military presence in the Gulf, the report said.
The Royal United Services Institute asserted that Britain seeks to restore military bases in Gulf Cooperation Council states. The London-based think tank said Britain was working to reach agreements for army, air force and naval installations. 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
Both the German public and the general public have been victim of a masterful public relations campaign, aided and abetted by an Anglo-Saxon mass media terribly ignorant of true history, which has convinced the world at large of two great lies—that Germany is now a model, peaceful democratic nation, and that it is simply not capable of raising a powerful military force to be a threat, yet again, to world peace.
Yet German power can no longer be hidden. Even certain German politicians are beginning to express concerns at the scope of the nation’s weapons industry. Continue reading
Last month, German-Foreign-Policy.com reported that “government advisers in Berlin are debating war scenarios for a possible Western military intervention in Syria” (March 6). Citing reports from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (swp), an influential think tank that advises the Bundestag and the German government on foreign policy, German-Foreign-Policy.com reported on the growing discussion in Germany over the need for foreign military intervention in Syria, and the need for Berlin to play a leadership role.
The swp says Syria is descending into a full-scale civil war. This, according to some experts, would undoubtedly demand foreign military intervention. According to the swp’s director of the Security Policy Research Group, “Even though ‘all Western countries show basic signs of war fatigue,’ their ‘readiness’ to go to war could be ‘reactivated’ if the humanitarian situation deteriorates—as the West’s interventionist mood has shown during the war on Libya” (ibid).
This week, German-Foreign-Policy.com cited a German government adviser stating that in the event of military intervention in Syria, “German participation should be assured.”
Again, why does Berlin appear substantially more interested in the crisis in Syria than it was with Libya? Because overthrowing the pro-Iranian, anti-Western Assad regime meshes with Berlin’s larger geopolitical and strategic ambitions for the Middle East! As Karsten D. Voigt, the German government’s former coordinator of German-American cooperation, recently explained, the tension between the West and Syria and its international allies is not about “human rights versus dictatorship”—it’s about “geostrategic interests.”
One of Germany’s primary aims in the Middle East is to develop an axis with Middle Eastern states that oppose Iran.
As the Trumpet has long reported, this explains why Germany has for years been stepping up its political, financial and military investment in countries such as Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordon. Berlin has formed solid trade relationships with virtually all these countries, covering every industry from telecommunications to the military. A recent European Commission summary report, for example, showed that the EU, led by Germany, was the world’s largest exporter of weapons to Saudi Arabia and that in 2010 EU member states delivered at least €3.3 billion (us$4.34 billion) worth of military equipment and licenses to Riyadh.
Germany’s interest in Syria’s revolution must be considered in this context. From Berlin’s perspective, the rebellion in Syria is a prime opportunity to transform the country into a pro-German, pro-Arab state. It believes Assad’s downfall would be devastating to Iran and its radical Islamist supporters.
For Germany, Syria’s revolution isn’t about a humanitarian crisis at all. It’s about geopolitics and the advancement of Germany’s strategic interests in the Middle East!
Full article: Will Germany Intervene in Syria? (The Trumpet)
“They have increased the number of submarines … they increased the number of fast attack craft,” Vice Admiral Mark Fox told reporters. “Some of the small boats have been outfitted with a large warhead that could be used as a suicide explosive device. The Iranians have a large mine inventory.”
“We have watched with interest their development of long range rockets and short, medium and long range ballistic missiles and of course … the development of their nuclear program,” Fox, who heads the U.S. Fifth Fleet, said at a briefing on the fleet’s base in the Gulf state of Bahrain.
Iran now has 10 small submarines, he said.
Full article: U.S. Navy: Iran prepares suicide bomb boats in Gulf (Reuters)
Western powers have entered into a tense endgame with Iran over its nuclear ambitions. In the second part of this new report from the Globalist Reseach Center, energy expert Matthew Hulbert explores the critical role the China-Saudi relationship might play in its resolution.
The sanctions strategy that Western nations is enacting against Iran’s oil weath depends on more than just those Western nations. The interest (and actions) of the Gulf states and Asian nations also matters critically. Only East-West cohesion can seriously undermine Iran’s hydrocarbon economy. But getting the Saudis to wield such a brutal oil weapon to shoot down Persian nuclear plans will not be quick or easy given the stakes involved.
The al Saud are well aware of the other (more credible) hedges Iran has up its sleeve (beyond cutting off oil flows through the Strait of Hormuz). At the top of the list is stirring Shia schisms in Iraq, Bahrain, Syria, Lebanon and in Saudi Arabia itself.
The “Arab Awakening” is still sufficiently fresh in the minds of Gulf region leaders to set them on edge. Iran has dropped hints that it could have played much tougher with Riyadh over its intervention in Bahrain.
Full article: Iranian Endgame: Part II — The Saudi Dimension (The Globalist)
See also: Iranian Endgame: Part I — Sanctions and Asia (The Globalist)