Iran Threatens Gulf Oil Producers

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(Photo Credit: Asharq al-Awsat English Archive)

 

Wednesday, while most Americans were otherwise preoccupied with the Independence Day holiday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened an open act of war against his neighbors:

“The Americans have claimed they want to completely stop Iran’s oil exports. They don’t understand the meaning of this statement, because it has no meaning for Iranian oil not to be exported, while the region’s oil is exported. The Americans say they want to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero… It shows they have not thought about its consequences.” Continue reading

Turkey about to conclude a deal with Israel on ‘all issues’: Turkish official

Istanbul: Turkey is about to conclude a deal with Israel on “all issues”, a Turkish official said on Tuesday, a sign the two former allies may be moving toward a compensation agreement for the killing of 10 Turkish activists by Israeli commandos in 2010.

The two countries have stepped up efforts in recent months to restore a relationship that was severely damaged after an Israeli raid on a Turkish boat, the Mavi Marmara, which had been trying to breach a blockade on the Gaza Strip. Continue reading

NATO Ships in Turkey

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We have been receiving reports from people on the ground in Turkey that (1) NATO ships have arrived and are now docked there it appears to enforce perhaps a blockcade or a show of support for Turkey. (2) On the other hand, there are reports that Russian ships are being held there in port while other reports are denying they cannot leave. Continue reading

Russia May Use Navy to Blockade Syrian Coast

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet may be used in Syria to blockade the Syrian coastline and deliver armaments, as well as possibly deliver artillery strikes, the head of Russian State Duma’s defense committee and former Black Sea Fleet commander Vladimir Komoyedov said.

Continue reading

Taiwan defense ministry assesses chance of PLA invasion

In its 2015 report on China’s military power, the ministry assessed that China might invade Taiwan in some critical situations, which could include a declaration of formal independence or moves by the country toward de jure independence. Other scenarios also include massive civil unrest, Taiwan obtaining nuclear weapons, or foreign troops being deployed in Taiwan. Continue reading

Erdogan: Turkey to normalize relations with Israel “within days”

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he is prepared to normalize ties with Israel within days or weeks after counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu apologized for a deadly raid in 2010.

Erdogan, speaking on US broadcaster PBS late Monday, said US President Barack Obama was instrumental in arranging a phone call between the leaders of Israel and Turkey, once intimate allies, but who have been at odds since a 2010 Israeli assault on a Gaza-bound flotilla of aid ships in which soldiers shot dead nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists.

Officials said the two government in recent weeks have been narrowing the gap between them by overcoming sticking points including the amount of compensation to be paid to Turkey.

Erdogan said the issue has been resolved. Continue reading

China betting on overland energy-supply lines

SINGAPORE – China’s strategy to diversify supply routes for its rapidly rising energy imports has just taken a major step forward.

On July 15, natural gas from Myanmar (aka Burma) started to flow along a recently completed pipeline that stretches for 1,100 kilometers from the sea coast, through jungle and mountains, to Kunming in southwest China.

There it will feed into other gas lines supplying homes, industries and power plants generating electricity in the world’s biggest energy user. Continue reading