Turkey Moves to Closer Relationship with Iran

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan met Thursday with Iran’s Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Mohammad Baqeri in Ankara to discuss greater levels of military cooperation between the two nations.

 

Turkey and Iran have agreed to boost military cooperation after talks in Ankara this week between the Iranian armed forces chief of staff and Turkish leaders, President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said on Thursday.

Iran’s military chief General Mohammad Baqeri met Erdogan on Wednesday on a visit that Turkish media said was the first to Turkey by an Iranian military chief of staff since the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran. Continue reading

Iranian president threatens to revitalize nuclear program

 

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s president warned Tuesday that it could ramp up its nuclear program and quickly achieve a more advanced level if the U.S. continues “threats and sanctions” against his country, which signed a landmark nuclear accord with world powers in 2015.

Hassan Rouhani’s remarks to lawmakers were his most direct warning that the deal could fall apart and risked ratcheting up tensions with the United States. President Donald Trump has repeatedly said he wants to scuttle the accord, which limited Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon while ending most sanctions against it. Continue reading

Russia: Who Stole What For North Korea

Over the weekend Russia made a point of revealing another of their post-Cold War EW (electronic warfare) aircraft. This one is called the Il-22PP and described as an airborne electronic jammer that can block all manner of signals but particularly the digital ones (like Link 16) favored by Western warplanes. The Il-22PP was also described as being able to protect itself from anti-radiation missiles, like the American AGM-88. Since late 2015 Russia has revealed (to the public) the existence of other post-Cold War electronic warfare aircraft by using them in Syria or over Ukraine. Not so the Il-22PP, at least not yet. Continue reading

Iran Sending Warships to Atlantic Ocean Amid Massive New Military Buildup

Iranian military ship and light replenishment ship are seen docked for refueling / Getty Images

 

Iran boosts war spending by $500 million after U.S. issues sanctions

Iran is preparing to send a flotilla of warships to the Atlantic Ocean following the announcement of a massive $500 million investment in war spending, according to Iranian leaders, who say the military moves are in response to recent efforts by the United States to impose a package of new economic sanctions on Tehran. Continue reading

Iran to ‘counter’ U.S. sanctions with more funding for missiles, Quds Force

Iranian parliament. / IRNA

 

As some lawmakers chanted “Death to America,” Iran’s parliament on Aug. 13 granted its initial approval for increased funding of Teheran’s missile program and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force.

Parliament overwhelmingly approved the outlines of the bill to “counter America’s terrorist and adventurist actions,” state broadcaster IRIB reported. Continue reading

Russia Eyes Rapid Middle East Energy Expansion

Graph 1. Russian Participation within the framework of the Iran Petroleum Contract.

 

Having battled through the travails of an ever-tightening sanctions regime and a prolonged economic downturn, which in most cases led to a freezing up or lowering of expenditures and the adoption of a very risk-averse investment strategy, Russian companies are now destined to embark upon a new expansion, this time in the Middle East. With the recently imposed U.S. sanctions further impacting Russia’s ability to form partnerships with Western majors, Iran, Iraq and possibly even Syria will become the new hub of Russian oil-related investments. Immensely rich in oil, yet lacking the funds necessary to exploit it, virtually unsanctionable for any potential cooperation with Russian companies (even sanctions vis-à-vis Iraq are implausible given the ongoing fight against the Islamic State) and brought ever closer together politically on the back of recent developments in the region, the Middle East-Russia axis is bound to get stronger with time. Continue reading

Wintershall warns U.S. against playing ‘geopolitical football.’

 

German energy company Wintershall, a European partner with Russia’s Gazprom, said the European energy sector can’t be used for “geopolitical football.”

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a bill into law that sanctions Iran, North Korea and Russia. The Russian measure in particular is significant given the election issue clouding the Trump administration. Continue reading

Trump Will Now Become the War President

President Trump has been defeated by the military/security complex and forced into continuing the orchestrated and dangerous tensions with Russia. Trump’s defeat has taught the Russians the lesson I have been trying to teach them for years, and that is that Russia is much more valuable to Washington as an enemy than as a friend. Continue reading

Historic Shift in Geopolitical Alignments: India and Pakistan Join Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

 

On June 9, both India and Pakistan became simultaneously members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a Eurasian economic, political and mutual security organization largely dominated by China and Russia. 

While the SCO with headquarters in Beijing is not officially a “military alliance”, it nonetheless serves as a geopolitical and strategic “counterweight” to US-NATO and its allies. It also plays a significant role in the development of  Eurasian trade, e.g. in support of China’s Belt and Road initiative, oil and gas pipeline corridors linking SCO member states, etc.

In the course of the last few years, the SCO has extended its cooperation in military affairs and intelligence. War games were held under the auspices of the SCO.

The members of  the SCO include China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Pakistan and India are now full members since June 9, 2017. Iran is an Observer Member slated to shortly become a full member.

The SCO now encompasses an extensive region which now comprises approximately half of the World’s population. Continue reading

Iran Revolutionary Guards Find New Route to Arm Yemen Rebels

Member of a special force loyal to Houthi rebels holds RPG launcher / REUTERS

 

LONDON (Reuters) — Iran‘s Revolutionary Guards have started using a new route across the Gulf to funnel covert arms shipments to their Houthi allies in Yemen’s civil war, sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters.

In March, regional and Western sources told Reuters that Iran was shipping weapons and military advisers to the Houthis either directly to Yemen or via Somalia. This route however risked contact with international naval vessels on patrol in the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.

For the last six months the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has begun using waters further up the Gulf between Kuwait and Iran as it looks for new ways to beat an embargo on arms shipments to fellow Shi’ites in the Houthi movement, Western and Iranian sources say. Continue reading

Europe’s Cities Absorb Sharia Law

If the West keeps betraying the democratic value of individual freedom, Islamic fundamentalists, like those who imposed burqas on Libyan women, will do the same to Western women. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

 

  • London Mayor Sadiq Khan banned advertisements that promote “unrealistic expectations of women’s body image and health”. Now Berlin is planning to ban images in which women are portrayed as “beautiful but weak, hysterical, dumb, crazy, naive, or ruled by their emotions”. Tagesspiegel‘s Harald Martenstein said the policy “could have been adopted from the Taliban manifesto”.
  • The irony is that this wave of morality and “virtue” is coming from cities governed by uninhibited leftist politicians, who for years campaigned for sexual liberation. It is now a “feminist” talking point to advocate sharia policy.
  • To paraphrase the American writer Daniel Greenfield, the irony of women celebrating their own suppression is both heartbreaking and stupefying.

Within days after the Islamic State conquered the city of Sirte in Libya two years ago, enormous billboards appeared in the Islamist stronghold warning women they must wear baggy robes that cover their entire bodies, and no perfume. These “sharia stipulations for hijab” included wearing dense material and a robe that does not “resemble the attire of unbelievers”.

Two years later, Europe’s three most important cities — London, Paris and Berlin — are adopting the same sharia trend.

Continue reading

Headlines of the Day for 07.31.2017

WAR FOOTING: US Air Force unleashes supersonic bombers in ‘North Korea nuke drill’ as it’s claimed Donald Trump is ‘poised to launch military strike’ against the rogue state

South Korea considers a nuclear arsenal to counter the North

Xi Calls for Strong Army, Tells China Troops ‘World Isn’t Safe’ (Bloomberg)

Iran rules out halt to missile tests as tension with US rises

755 US diplomats must leave Russia: Putin

Iran launches rocket in latest step toward putting military satellites in orbit

Iran announced Thursday that the country had successfully launched into space one of its “Simorgh” rockets capable of putting 250-kg satellites into orbit. No other details were given. Continue reading

“Pushing Back” Iran

 

On both the left and the right, there is a consensus in Washington that the United States needs to “push back” against the Islamic Republic’s nefarious actions in the Levant, Iraq, and Yemen. The clerical regime largely controls the ground war in Syria: Tehran’s foreign Shiite militias, imported from Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and Iranian-directed native forces lead the battle against the Sunni insurrection. In Iraq, the Islamic Republic has energetically encouraged sectarian conflict, aiding politicians and militias that have taken a hardline toward political compromise with Sunnis. Iraqi members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have become senior officials in the government. And in Yemen, Iran has backed the Shiite Houthis in their campaign to dominate the country. What once would have seemed far-fetched—Tehran trying to develop a Lebanese Hezbollah-like movement among Yemen’s “Fiver” Zaydi Shiites, who have never been close to the “Twelver” Jafaris of Iran—is now conceivable. If such Shiite militancy becomes anchored in the south of the peninsula, Tehran will surely try to aim it northward toward the badly oppressed Shiites of Bahrain and the oil-rich Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Continue reading

The Saudi Power Balance Is On A Knife-Edge

 

The sweltering heat of Saudi Arabian summer will feel like a cool breeze compared to the geopolitical fire that could soon take over the country if ongoing internal power struggles destabilize the Kingdom’s Royal Family and national security in the coming weeks.

After his successful elevation to Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) has been appointed by King Salman to be in charge during his holiday to Morocco. The King’s holiday comes at a time of relative instability in the Kingdom, as the effects of the removal of former Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef at the end of the Ramadan period continue to linger. Continue reading