Following our discussion of Europe’s angry response to Trump’s unilateral Iran sanctions, in which European Union budget commissioner, Guenther Oettinger made it clear that Europe will not be viewed as a vassal state of the US, stating that “Trump despises weaklings. If we back down step by step, if we acquiesce, if we become a kind of junior partner of the US then we are lost”, moments ago Reuters reported that the European Commission is set to launch tomorrow the process of activating a law that bans European companies from complying with U.S. sanctions against Iran and does not recognise any court rulings that enforce American penalties.
“As the European Commission we have the duty to protect European companies. We now need to act and this is why we are launching the process of to activate the ‘blocking statute’ from 1996. We will do that tomorrow morning at 1030,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.
The European Union (EU) is considering switching to euros instead of U.S. dollars in the oil trade with Iran, Sputnik reported on Wednesday, quoting a diplomatic source.
Iran, for its part, said as early as in mid-April that it would be switching to euros from U.S. dollars in reporting foreign currency amounts, to reduce the reliance on the dollar as it was expected that President Trump would not waive the sanctions this time around.
The EU vowed on Tuesday to seek ways to work and trade with Iran. Continue reading
The US, Swedish, and Finnish defense ministers signed a trilateral Statement of Intent (SOI) to expand defense cooperation on all fronts. The signing ceremony took place in Washington on May 8. In 2016, the two Scandinavian nations finalized separate defense SOIs with America. Now they have signed a joint document to unify those previous agreements and enhance their interoperability.
The Scandinavian visitors claimed this was just a starting point for a more mature relationship. The agreement emphasizes the countries’ combined joint exercises and streamlines the procedures that have been established to manage them.
Other issues covered by the SOI include regular trilateral meetings at all levels, the exchange of information (including about weapons systems), increased practical interaction, cooperation in multinational operations, improved communications, and the promotion of the EU-NATO strategic partnership. The latter issue will transform the Scandinavians into a connecting link that will eliminate the chance of any European deterrent that could operate with any real independence from its North American “big brother.” Washington wants to make sure that the PESCO agreement will not protect Europe’s defense industry from US companies. Continue reading
BERLIN/TEHRAN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – Berlin is seeking to use Washington’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal to increase its pressure on Tehran. In their joint statement published Wednesday, the governments of Germany, France and the United Kingdom declared their continued commitment to the agreement, while demanding that the Iranian government limit its ballistic missile program and its efforts to obtain influence in the region. The reintroduction of US sanctions offers Berlin a chance to disguise its continued pressure on Tehran as a war preventive measure. At the same time, US sanctions against Iran continue to fuel the power struggle between the EU and the USA. The Airbus Company alone could lose €16 billion in commercial deals due to the sanctions imposed by the US government. Commentators recommend resistance: “You don’t become a world power in a conference room.” At the same time, Israel is exacerbating the escalating tensions with its aggressions against Syria.
As mentioned many times throughout the years, a United States of Europe is Under Construction. All roads lead to Germany’s Fourth Reich centered in Berlin, which is laying the groundwork for a European Army to complete the realization of the world’s next superpower.
The German chancellor’s comments came after contentious meetings with US President Donald Trump at NATO and G7 summit meetings. Trump clashed with America’s allies over global warming, mutual defense and trade.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday that Europe has to forge its own path forward, as the United States and Britain were no longer reliable partners.
“The times when we could fully rely on others have passed us by a little bit, that’s what I’ve experienced in recent days,” she said while speaking at a campaign rally in Munich. Continue reading
For years there has been a struggle in the Eurozone between those that want to transform it into a transfer union and those that who want a Europe of independent and cooperating countries. The latter including Austria, Finland, the Netherlands and Germany want strict limits for deficits and debt brakes as envisioned in the Fiscal Stability Treaty. Some, such as the European Constitutional Group, even demand a mechanism for an orderly break-up of the Eurozone. The former including Mediterranean member states led by France, do not openly call their objective a fiscal union or the creation of a “European Super State” but prefer to talk about a “deepening of the European project.” The reason for this division is straightforward: The central and northern European countries would be the contributors to a transfer union while the club Med would be on the receiving side. Continue reading
Note: Please see the source for currency swap agreements chart.
For the past year and half a major topic throughout the alternative press has been the new Chinese oil futures contract settled/priced in yuan. The fact that China is directly challenging the Federal Reserve Note, U.S. dollar, is quiet a significant change. For those that have been paying attention this new futures oil contract is nothing more than the next step in China moving completely away from the Federal Reserve Note, and the “world reserve currency” system and towards a multi-polar world with several currencies being used for international trade. Continue reading
DEBKAfile Exclusive: Unusual Western military movements in the Middle East in the past 48 hours may tie in with President Donald Trump’s decision to jump forward his decision on the Iran nuclear deal. He released a Twitter post on Monday, May 7 saying: “I will be announcing my decision on the Iran Deal tomorrow from the White House at 2:00 pm.” – i.e. four days before the May 12 deadline. DEBKAfile‘s Washington and military sources report exclusively that the president’s announcement came against the background of unusual US, British and French forces heading for the Middle East and deploying in countries bordering on Syria. These startling events point suggestively in two directions: Continue reading
The editor in chief of Europe’s largest newsmagazine has written America’s obituary—quite literally. The title of Klaus Brinkbäumer’s new book is An Obituary for America: The End of a Friendship and the Future of the West.
In it, the Der Spiegel editor in chief reaches two surprising conclusions: America is dead, and Germany should be happy about it.
Spiegel Online published an article adapted from Brinkbäumer’s book under the title “Thank You, Donald! What Trump Means for Germany’s Future.”
The U.S., writes Brinkbäumer, is no longer a reliable partner. Therefore “we must emancipate ourselves.” Continue reading
PARIS/BERLIN (Own report) – Berlin is forging ahead with the German-French military cooperation by intensifying collaboration in air transport. In addition to ambitious armament projects, the defense ministries of Germany and France have reached an agreement last week regulating the operation of a joint air transport squadron based in Évreux (France) as well as the training of the necessary personnel. The squadron will be available to both countries’ tactical air transport and supplement the large A400 transport aircraft, which will also be procured jointly by the German and French armed forces. Experts view the current cooperation – for example in the framework of the Franco-German Brigade – to be insufficient, because, so far, diverging strategic goals complicate its deployment. For his “vision of a new Europe,” Emmanuel Macron, under whose presidency the cooperation is to be expanded and improved, will be awarded Aachen’s International Charlemagne Prize next week.
One of North Korea’s most senior intelligence officials, who played a major role in building Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program, has disappeared and is believed to have defected to France or Britain, according to sources. South Korean media identified the missing official as “Mr. Kang”, and said he is a colonel in North Korea’s State Security Department (SSD), also known as Ministry of State Security. Mr. Kang, who is in his mid-50s, enjoyed a life of privilege in North Korea, because he is related to Kang Pan-sok (1892-1932), a leading North Korean communist activist and mother to the country’s late founder, Kim Il-sung. Continue reading
Intensified Iranian-Syrian air traffic was detected in the wake of the April 13 US-UK-French air strikes on Syrian chemical sites, including at least two Syrian Air Force Il-76 cargo jets flying between Iran and Syria. DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that these flights most likely carried equipment and engineering personnel for Iran’s Precision Project for upgrading a portion of Hizballah’s arsenal. This project, under the direction of Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani, recently went into high gear. The engineering crews, who began arriving in Syria and Lebanon in February, are believed to have finished retooling several thousand of Hizballah’s short-range and medium-missiles and expected to meet their full target in the summer. Continue reading
BERLIN (Own report) – Germany’s defense minister reaffirmed that Berlin is basically ready to participate in military aggressions, such as the recent western attack on Syria. “We could also fulfill the contribution from the air that Great Britain had made in this case,” said Ursula von der Leyen, but “we weren’t asked this time.” She made this declaration in full knowledge of the fact that the Reference and Research Service of the German Bundestag – like numerous other legal experts – had classified that attack a clear violation of international law. According to the expert assessment of the parliamentary jurists, it was a “retaliation” patterned after military interventions preceding the First World War. Legality was not the justification for those attacks, but rather a subjective political moral legitimation. Claiming “legitimacy,” other countries may also decide to engage in military aggressions, warn experts. Admitting such a change of paradigm would cause “more, rather than less human suffering.”
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has vowed to ‘shred’ the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal if the U.S. walks away.
The Iranian government has urged Europe to “encourage” President Donald Trump to recertify the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, saying there is no “Plan B” should the nuclear agreement be terminated. Continue reading
Tension between Tehran and Jerusalem has been high since April 9, when an Israel air strike knocked out a Revolutionary Guards air force command center at the Syrian T-4 air base. But, apart from blistering threats of retaliation, Iran has none nothing. Israel celebrated its Independence Day under clear skies, although the following day, Friday, April 20, the Guards deputy commander Gen. Hossein Salami warned that Iran’s hand “was on the trigger of its missiles” and Israel’s air bases were “within reach.” But Tehran sees an opportunity for taking a high tone against Israel following three developments: