Iran poised to resume enrichment at deep Fordow facility

 

After Iran warned it will leave the nuclear accord unless benefits are forthcoming, an atomic energy official in Tehran said that uranium enrichment would resume at Fordow – if that happens. Continue reading

Why Italians are fed up with Europe

Joep Bertrams

 

The rise to government of Eurosceptic parties is the consequence of austerity policies made in the name of cleaner public finances and of the euro convergence criteria.

Two Eurosceptic forces are now governing Italy. On one hand the 5-Star Movement, the anti-system party of Luigi de Maio founded by the humorist Beppe Grillo. On the other, far-right xenophobic Liga led by Matteo Salvini. How could this have happened? How did one of the European Union’s six founding members, host of Treaty of Rome in 1957, and for a long time the EU’s most Europhile country, give a parliamentary majority to groups so hostile to European integration? Continue reading

Tone of Upcoming G7 to be ‘Confrontational’

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel got the ball rolling Wednesday by asserting she was going to engage in a diplomatic full-court press on the president’s EU tariffs, which impact her country the most. She was soon followed by French President Emmanuel Macron, who said he plans to “stand up” against his friend the president.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow tried to downplay the situation Wednesday afternoon, calling it “a family quarrel,” and said the president is merely “trying to fix this broken system” But, then he added:

“He’s sticking to his guns. He’s going to talk to them. The lines are open.” Continue reading

Merkel Backs Macron’s European Army Initiative

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“I am in favor of President Macron’s proposal for an intervention initiative,” the German chancellor told Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper on Sunday.

The topic has been under discussion since September, when French President Emmanuel Macron laid out his vision for a pan-European “military intervention force” with a shared military budget funded by aggregated tax receipts and supervised by a single finance minister. Macron’s vision – which is central to his integrationist message – was similar to a proposal laid out during a speech last summer by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who declared at the time that “soft power alone is not powerful enough.” Continue reading

Saudi Arabia Threatens War with Qatar

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(Photo Credit: Vitaly V. Kuzmin via Creative Commons 4.0)

 

The kingdom has threatened to build a nuclear waste dump literally at the border with its diminutive neighbor too.

King Salman has said Saudi Arabia would take military action to eliminate the Russian-made S-400 aerial defense system if it is installed in neighboring Qatar, which has reportedly entered into a deal to purchase several of the launch systems despite being home to a major U.S. Central Command base.

Accoring to Reuters, Salman “recently” wrote a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron that states, in part:

“The kingdom would be ready to take all necessary measures to eliminate this defense system, including military action.” Continue reading

Europe Plotting to Undermine New U.S. Sanctions on Iran

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, and Germany Foreign Minister Heiko Maas

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, and Germany Foreign Minister Heiko Maas / Getty Images

 

Lawmakers working to ensure harsh repercussions for skirting new U.S. sanctions

European countries are currently examining a range of options to counter the reimposition of harsh U.S. sanctions on Iran in a bid to continue doing business with the Islamic Republic, a move that is being met with chilly reception on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are already putting in place measures to ensure that any European nation caught skirting U.S. sanctions faces harsh repercussions, according to a new policy paper being examined by lawmakers and viewed by the Washington Free Beacon. Continue reading

EU Launches Rebellion Against Trump’s Iran Sanctions, Bans European Companies From Complying

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.

Continue reading

Merkel: Europe can no longer rely on US and Britain

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.

 

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Chancellor Merkel at the rally

 

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

Military Axis Berlin-Paris

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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.

Continue reading

Iran: There is No ‘Plan B’

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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

Export World Champion under Pressure

BERLIN (Own report) – With intense shuttle diplomacy, members of the German government are seeking to avert the impending US punitive tariffs on European goods and the loss of access to the important US market. Following Germany’s Finance Minster Olaf Scholz’s visit to the US capital yesterday, Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected in Washington on Friday. Already in the run up to these visits, Berlin seems ready to envisage a revival of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This strategic decision is accompanied by a clear frontline position against China, as was resolutely demanded by the Trump administration. In addition, German-Russian business relations are increasingly under attack in Washington. At the same time, EU criticism of Germany’s unilateral trade policies is growing. Germany’s export oriented economy is particularly vulnerable to the protectionism that is gaining strength on a global scale. Berlin’s Beggar-thy-Neighbor-Policy could prove a strategic disadvantage under these new global economic conditions. Continue reading

Russian reinforcements head for Syria: Warships laden with tanks, military trucks and armoured patrol boats sail towards the Middle East as the world awaits Putin’s response to airstrikes

On its fourth deployment of Russian military equipment to Syria the ship was seen laden with tanks, trucks, ambulances and a bomb radar

On its fourth deployment of Russian military equipment to Syria the ship was seen laden with tanks, trucks, ambulances and a bomb radar

 

  • Project 117 Alligator-class landing ship was spotted at Bosphorus, Turkey en-route to Syria on Sunday
  • The Russian vessel was laden with tanks, ambulances and IED radar after Friday’s US-led Syrian air strikes
  • A RoRo Alexandr Tkachenko was also seen carrying high-speed patrol boats, temporary bridge and trucks
  • US, UK and French forces backed strikes that obliterated three targets in response to chemical weapon attack
  • Vladimir Putin warned there would be ‘consequences’ to military action against him and Bashar al-Assad

Two Russian warships laden with military vehicles have been spotted en route to Syria after Friday’s US-led airstrikes obliterated three suspected chemical weapons sites.

An Alligator-landing ship was pictured cruising down The Bosphorus on Sunday as the world awaits Vladimir Putin’s response to this week’s co-ordinated military action against Syria.

The vessel was spotted on its way to the Russian naval base at Tartus on the north Syrian coast. Continue reading

Trump announces strikes on Syria following suspected chemical weapons attack by Assad forces

Damascus sky lights up with surface to air missile fire as the U.S. launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the Syrian capital Damascus, Syria, early Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Hassan Ammar / AP)

 

The president did not specify a target for the strikes, but said the United States would aim to hit sites “associated with the chemical weapons capabilities” of Assad’s regime.

President Donald Trump on Friday ordered the United States military — in conjunction with France and the United Kingdom — to launch strikes on Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad on a Damascus suburb last week.

The president did not specify a target for the strikes, but said the United States would aim to hit sites “associated with the chemical weapons capabilities” of Assad’s regime. Continue reading

Ayatollah Khamenei is lone nuclear holdout after Kim’s invitation to Trump

 

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un invitation to meet US President Donald Trump to talk about denuclearization has left Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei high and dry. He is now the only world ruler still holding out against discussing his country’s nuclear program. Instead, the ayatollah using it as muscle for trying to impose Iran’s will on the United States in the Middle East. “Rocket man” in Pyongyang may have factored into his provocative policies the inevitability of having to face Trump at some point to discuss terms for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, while preserving his regime. His escalations were countered by the pressure of biting world sanctions, in the imposition of which even China was active. Now, Khamenei can no longer escape the realization that he will have to face the US and renegotiate the changes Trump is demanding for filling in the loopholes in the nuclear deal which Tehran signed with six world powers in 2015. Continue reading

‘France will strike’ if proven chemical bombs used in Syria: Macron

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a Trianon Council meeting (Conseil de coordination du dialogue de Trianon) aiming to strenghten the links between France and Russia at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Febuary 9, 2018. REUTERS/Ludovic Marin/Pool

 

PARIS (Reuters) – President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that “France will strike” if chemical weapons are used against civilians in the Syrian conflict in violation of international treaties, but that he had not yet seen proof this was the case.

Macron said last May that the use of chemical weapons would represent a “red line”. In a telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday expressed concern over signs that chlorine bombs had been used against civilians in Syria. Continue reading