China’s New Gold-Backed Oil Benchmark to Deal Blow to U.S. Dollar

ISTOCK.COM/SELENSERGEN

 

New financial instrument gives oil-exporting nations their long-sought alternative to the petrodollar.

China will soon introduce a crude oil futures contract denominated in yuan and convertible into gold, the Nikkei Asian Review reported on September 1. Analysts say that since China is the world’s largest oil importer, the move could deal a major blow to the global influence of the United States dollar.

The contract would allow oil exporting nations such as Russia, Iran and Venezuela to conduct sales in yuan, instead of in U.S. dollars, and to then change the yuan into gold on both the Hong Kong and Shanghai exchanges. This would also allow these countries that often fall afoul of American foreign policy to circumvent dollar-based U.S. sanctions.

The Chinese government has been developing the gold-backed futures contract for years, and Oilprice.com reports that it is expected to launch this year. It will be China’s first commodities futures contract available to foreign entities, and analysts expect many oil-exporting nations and firms to find it appealing. Continue reading

US troops in Syria battle anti-Assad rebels once funded by the CIA

 

American troops deployed in Syria have exchanged fire with rebels that were until recently supported by the United States Central Intelligence Agency. In 2013, soon after the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War, the then-US President Barack Obama instructed the Central Intelligence Agency to provide covert support to fighters in Syria. Acting on the president’s directive, the CIA promptly joined forces with spy agencies from Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to assist fighters affiliated with the Free Syrian Army. At that time, Washington saw the Free Syrian Army and forces affiliated with it as ideologically moderate. It also agreed with the group’s main aim, which was to topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Continue reading

Officials: Mysterious Jets Over Philly Were Actually Saudi Arabian Aircraft

Please see the video at the source.

 

(credit: Steve Lindsay)

 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We’re learning more about the five planes flying in formation Monday night over the Philadelphia and South Jersey area.

A spokesperson for the FAA told KYW Newsradio on Monday that the group of jets flying in formation was a “military operation.” Continue reading

Iran building a separate troop landing terminal in Tartus – report

With Netanyahu due to meet Wednesday with President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, in an effort to block a permanent Iranian presence in Syria, Saudi sources reveal that Iran has started building a separate terminal at the Syrian port of Tartus to accommodate Iranian and Hizballah landings. 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

China sends troops to military base in Djibouti, widening reach across Indian Ocean

Soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army stand on a ship sailing off from a military port in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, on Monday. Photo: Reuters

 

Beijing says facility needed for anti-piracy operations but rivals expected to be alarmed

China has taken a decisive step ­towards establishing a maritime force that can reach across the ­Indian Ocean with its first ­deployment of troops to its ­military facility in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.

China has presented the ­facility as a support base to run anti-piracy operations in waters along Africa’s east coast as well as peacekeeping and ­humanitarian missions in the region.

But given it sits at the shipping choke point of the Gulf of Aden which opens to the Suez Canal and beyond, China’s ­regional neighbours including Japan, ­India and Vietnam were likely to view the deployment with alarm, mainland experts said.

Continue reading

The Sectarian Divide in the Middle East

(click to enlarge)

 

July 7, 2017 Transnational issues like religion and ethnicity have long bedeviled the countries of the modern Middle East. Major Arab states like Egypt, Syria and Iraq began to flirt with pan-Arabism – a secular, left-leaning ideology that sought political unity of the Arab world – not long after they were founded. Continue reading

The Coming Revolution – the Next 4th of July

 

There is a revolution coming that is engulfing the world. Governments are broke and are taking drastic measures to stay in business. Not all revolutions are bloody. There have been revolutions such as that in Russia when the army stood down and would not fire upon the people. Even in Saudi Arabia, there is talk of revolution and civil war as a rift within the Royal family has been unfolding and the army is by no means united behind one faction. Continue reading

At This Stage, The Trump Administration Consents To Iran’s Regional Expansion, Exchanges Messages Seeking An Understanding With Iran; Qatar Crisis, Escalation Of Conflict Between Iran And Its Axis And Saudi-Sunni Camp Are Outcome Of U.S.’s Incoherent Dual Policy

Introduction

Recently, there have been significant developments in the conflict/rivalry between, on the one hand, Saudi Arabia and the Sunni axis that it established, and on the other hand Iran and the resistance axis. These developments concern not only the forces in the region but also the U.S. and Russia. Both these camps are vying for support from the U.S., which at this stage is striving for understandings and negotiations with Iran and, according to Iranian sources, is already conducting secret contacts with it; this is happening as the U.S. is, for now, coming to terms with Iran’s expansion in the region. These developments are impacting the reshaping of the Middle East as well as the power relations among the leading elements within it. The current Qatar crisis is a new manifestation of the generational geo-political Sunni-Shi’ite Saudi-Iranian struggle, and is the outcome of the policy of a U.S. administration in which two political camps are discernible. One is that of President Trump and his close advisors, who support Saudi Arabia and the Sunni axis, and the other is that of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who are showing sympathy for Qatar and acting to preserve the pro-Iran status quo of the Obama era. Continue reading

The World’s Most Dangerous Man

 

On June 19, Saudi Arabia reportedly captured three members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. A newsworthy story in its own right.

But what the Saudis allege the three were doing is much bigger news.

When captured, these three men were on-board one of three boats that were approaching the offshore Saudi oil field Marjan.1

They were not there for sightseeing.

The vessels (again this is according to the Saudis) were loaded to the brim with the types of materials that made the intent of the Iranians very clear… Continue reading

Saudi Strikes Back Against U.S. Shale

Saudi Strikes Back Against U.S. Shale

 

The price of oil is plunging.

For the first quarter of 2017 West Texas Intermediate (WTI) held a pretty stable range between $54–58 per barrel. Now it is back to the roller coaster that we have been on since mid-2014.

As I write this, WTI is struggling to hold $43 per barrel and is sinking like a rock. Continue reading

New Crown Prince Mohammed seen taking a harder line on Iran

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

 

In elevating his son Prince Mohammed to next in line to the throne, Saudi King Salman approved a strategic realignment with the U.S. under Donald Trump and handed sweeping new powers to the 31-year-old who has been highly critical of regional rival Iran.

The decision by King Salman to promote his son to crown prince and consolidate his power was endorsed by 31 of 34 members of the Allegiance Council, made up of senior members of the ruling Al Saud family, Reuters reported on June 21. Continue reading

Soros, Clinton-linked Teneo Donors to McCain Institute

Soros, Clinton-linked Teneo Donors to McCain Institute

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) asks questions at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

 

An investigation into the funding behind the McCain Institute shows the non profit organization which received unspent campaign funds from the Senator who bears its name has received money from billionaire activist George Soros and Clinton-linked Teneo

(WASHINGTON, DC) Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain in 2012 turned over nearly $9 million in unspent funds from his failed 2008 presidential campaign to a new foundation bearing his name, the McCain Institute for International Leadership.

The institute is intended to serve as a “legacy” for McCain and “is dedicated to advancing human rights, dignity, democracy and freedom.” It is a tax-exempt non-profit foundation with assets valued at $8.1 million and associated with Arizona State University. Continue reading

Arms for the World

BERLIN (Own report) – German arms exports are leveling out at a new record high, as indicated by the Arms Export Report for 2016 and the first four months of 2017, published last Wednesday in Berlin. According to the report, the German government has approved €6.85 billion worth of military equipment sales in 2016 – one billion less than in 2015 but significantly more than the fluctuations around five billion in the overall value of arms exports since 2003. The main recipients of German deliveries include countries of the Arab Peninsula, particularly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with the aim of forming a military counterforce to Iran. For over two years, they have been waging war against Yemen – also using German weapons. Berlin has also approved the sale of patrol boats to Saudi Arabia, which can be used to escalate the famine blockade around Yemen. Algeria and Egypt are receiving German warships. A closer cooperation with the navies of these two countries would enable Berlin and Brussels to complete their control over the EU’s southern flank. German arms recipients include several countries around the Pacific basin, prone to become Western partners in the event of a conflict with the People’s Republic of China.

Continue reading

Saudi Arabia Claims it Detained Three Members of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

Saudi Arabia Claims It detained Three Members Of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

An oil rig is seen at Saudi Aramco’s Marjan oil field in the Eastern Province. (Courtesy of Amec Foster Wheeler)

 

The Saudi Navy has reportedly detained three members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from a boat seized on Friday evening. The boat allegedly approached Saudi Arbia’s offshore Marjan oilfield in an attempt to target it. Continue reading