Oil World Turns Upside Down as U.S. Sells Oil in Middle East

  • Cargo said to be condensate meant for Abu Dhabi’s splitters
  • U.S. exported about 700,000 barrels to U.A.E.: Census Bureau

The United Arab Emirates, a model Persian Gulf petro-state where endless billions from crude exports feed a giant sovereign wealth fund, isn’t the most obvious customer for Texan oil. Continue reading

Iran threatens to hit Saudi, Abu Dhabi and Dubai air and sea ports, ships more missiles to Yemeni Houthis

 

Military tensions rise in the Gulf region amid Iranian threats and supplies of extended-range missiles to the Yemeni insurgents.

Tehran has warned Riyadh that unless the Saudi blockade of Yemeni ports is lifted, Revolutionary Guards missiles supplied to the Yemeni Houthi insurgents will be loosed against the seaports and airfields of Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The warning was forwarded to their governments through the Omani back channel. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia to Extract Uranium for ‘Self-Sufficient’ Nuclear Program

The Kingdom Tower stands in the night in Riyadh / REUTERS

 

ABU DHABI (Reuters) — Saudi Arabia plans to extract uranium domestically as part of its nuclear power program and sees this as a step towards “self-sufficiency” in producing atomic fuel, a senior official said on Monday.

Extracting its own uranium also makes sense from an economic point of view, said Hashim bin Abdullah Yamani, head of the Saudi government agency tasked with the nuclear plans, the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE). Continue reading

Islamic State To Target Saudi Arabia Next

The meteoric rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which has since styled itself the Islamic State in an affirmation of its broader aspirations of dominion over a self-declared caliphate beyond the territories where it exercises control, has aggravated the Middle East’s already treacherous geopolitical landscape. Having emerged out of conflict and instability in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State has arguably matched or otherwise exceeded the capabilities of fellow extremist groups such as al-Qaeda, its regional affiliates and other violent Islamist organizations. Despite its recent setbacks—notably in Syria’s Kurdish-majority town of Kobane (a.k.a. Ayn al-Arab), located in the northern Aleppo province—the Islamic State has demonstrated an impressive ability to capture, control and consolidate its hold on territory and sustain its insurgent and support cadres. It also operates a sophisticated information and propaganda wing that exploits social media as a force multiplier alongside its scorched earth campaign. It has also drawn support from independent sympathizers and ideological allies throughout the broader Middle East and around globe—including among locally focused extremist factions in Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Pakistan and Yemen. These attributes are reminiscent of al-Qaeda’s at the pinnacle of its influence. However, they also reflect the simmering competition between the Islamic State and its al-Qaeda precursor as well as the latter’s regional affiliates such as Jabhat al-Nusra (Terrorism Monitor, February 20). The Islamic State’s increasingly strident discourse and threats also illustrate its rising ambitions; in addition to confronting the incumbent regimes in Iraq and Syria and rival militants and insurgents, the Islamic State has an ambitious set of goals that include challenging Saudi Arabia. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia prepares for Iran nuclear deal

Saudi Arabia is quietly preparing for an international nuclear agreement with Iran that it fears will rehabilitate its Shiite Persian rival. King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz al Saud’s approach eschews the public spectacle of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress (indeed, the Saudis don’t want any association with Israel) and instead focuses on regional alliances to contain an emergent Iran.

The Saudis publicly welcomed Secretary of State John Kerry’s assurances in Riyadh last week that Washington will not accept a bad nuclear deal with Iran and that a deal will not inaugurate a grand rapprochement between Washington and Tehran. They remain deeply skeptical about the negotiations, however, and are preparing for any outcome in the P5+1 process. Continue reading

The Islamization of France in 2014

The Muslim population of France reached an estimated 6.5 million in 2014. Although French law prohibits the collection of official statistics about the race or religion of its citizens, this estimate is based on several recent studies that attempt to calculate the number of people in France whose origins are from Muslim majority countries.

This implies that the Muslim population of France is now roughly 10% of the country’s total population of 66 million. In real terms, France has the largest Muslim population in the European Union.

Consequently, Islam was an ever-present topic in newspaper headlines during 2014. What follows is a chronological review of some of the main stories about the rise of Islam in France during 2014:

On January 1, Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced the most anticipated statistic of the year: a total of 1,067 cars and trucks were torched across France on New Year’s Eve, a “significant reduction” from the 1,193 vehicles that were burned during the annual ritual on the same holiday in 2013.

Car burnings, commonplace across France, are often attributed to rival Muslim gangs that compete with each other for the media spotlight over who can cause the most destruction. An estimated 40,000 cars are burned in France every year. Continue reading

Rome will be conquered next, says leader of Islamic State

With the United States committing national suicide, NATO on the brink of crumbling (one Ukraine-Russia war away where it purposely won’t get invovled, breaking its reliability) and a regional Islamic caliphiate taking over the Middle East with its eyes now set on Rome, we’re now looking at the staging ground for the Biblically prophecisied King of the North (Germany via a new United States of Europe) versus the King of the South (likely Iran) wars. It’s, like in WWII, where the Vatican worked hand-in-hand with European governments, Germany (King of the North) in this case, which will also resurrect the world’s last great empire — a new Holy Roman Empire. A few people might look at this and laugh, but today’s jokes are tomorrow’s reality. The buildup and developments are documented on this site which shows a clear trend an direction to come.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed leader of the Islamic State stretching across Iraq and Syria, has vowed to lead the conquest of Rome as he called on Muslims to immigrate to his new land to fight under its banner around the globe.

Baghdadi, who holds a PhD in Islamic studies, said Muslims were being targetted and killed from China to Indonesia. Speaking as the first Caliph, or commander of the Islamic faithful since the dissolution of the Ottoman empire, he called on Muslims to rally to his pan-Islamic state.

“Those who can immigrate to the Islamic State should immigrate, as immigration to the house of Islam is a duty,” he said in an audio recording released on a website used by the group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.

“Rush O Muslims to your state. It is your state. Syria is not for Syrians and Iraq is not for Iraqis. The land is for the Muslims, all Muslims.

This is my advice to you. If you hold to it you will conquer Rome and own the world, if Allah wills.Continue reading

Saudis parade nuclear missiles for the first time in defiance of US-Iranian nuclear accord

Saudi Arabia became the first Middle East nation to publicly exhibit its nuclear-capable missiles. The long-range, liquid propellant DF-3 ballistic missile (NATO designated CSS-2), purchased from China 27 years ago, was displayed for the first time at a Saudi military parade Tuesday, April 29, in the eastern military town of Hafar Al-Batin, at the junction of the Saudi-Kuwaiti-Iraqi borders.

Watched by a wide array of Saudi defense and military dignitaries, headed by Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister Salman bin Abdulaziz, the parade marked the end of the large-scale “Abdullah’s Sword” military war game.

Conspicuous on the saluting stand was the Pakistani Chief of Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif alongside eminent visitors, including King Hamad of Bahrain and Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.

debkafile’s military and intelligence sources report the event was deliberately loaded with highly-significant messages, the foremost of which was that the Middle East is in the throes of a nuclear arms race in the wake of the Iranian program. Continue reading

Oman’s $3 Billion Railroad Plan to Blunt Iran Oil Risk: Freight

Oman, which faces Iran across the Strait of Hormuz, said it’s poised to start raising cash for a $3 billion rail line offering an alternative route for oil and freight shipments that funnel through the 21 mile-wide channel.

The nation of 3.3 million people, located on the southern side of the strait, is considering issuing bonds by the end of 2014 to kick-start funding for the track across some of the Arabian peninsula’s harshest terrain, Abdulrahman Al Hatmi, a director at Oman National Railway Co., said in an interview. Continue reading

Strategic ties with UAE likely to result in billion-pound defence contracts for UK

UK defence companies would benefit from a more energetic UK-UAE bilateral relationship, especially since the UAE is keen to replace its ageing Mirage fighter jets with the BAE Systems Typhoon in a deal worth $10 billion (c. £8bn), according to a new paper from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

As the UK appears to strategically orientate its defence and security posture towards the Gulf region from 2014, with the Minhad airbase in Dubai undoubtedly forming a major focal point of the future British presence, new research suggests that the UAE government is also committed to reinvigorating its relationship with the British; possibly at the expense of other potential strategic alliances. Continue reading

Red scare: Blind Chinese dissident claims Chinese communist conquest of U.S. academia

Blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has now released a statement concerning his allegations that New York University is severing relations with him to curry favor with China’s oppressive Communist government and assure completion of a gleaming portal campus in Shanghai.

The statement, obtained Sunday night by The Daily Caller, is a humdinger. In addition to squarely accusing NYU of caving to Chinese pressure, the self-taught lawyer and famed human rights activist charges that a large number of American academics and academic institutions have become wrapped in the tentacles of China’s communist government.

The work of the Chinese Communists within academic circles in the United States is far greater than what people imagine, and some scholars have no option but to hold themselves back,” Chen said. “Academic independence and academic freedom in the United States are being greatly threatened by a totalitarian regime.” Continue reading

Persian Gulf states ‘unable to protect themselves’

Despite massive spending on Western weapons, the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf are “unable to secure themselves from any external threat” — meaning Iran — and are running up huge public and foreign debt, a Gulf think tank says.

Omar al-Shehabi, director of the Gulf Center for Development Policies in Kuwait, said that even though the defense expenditure of the six Gulf Cooperation Council states is the highest in the world, exceeding the combined military spending of Israel and Britain, they still have to “rely on Western countries to provide military protection and security.” Continue reading

Report: UK plans largest military presence in Gulf states since 1971

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