If Iran resumes enrichment, the US and Israel poised to attack its facilities

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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: If Europe fails to back Iran against the US, Tehran will resume uranium enrichment. He is asking for trouble. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei tried Wednesday, May 23, to counter Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s ultimatum with one of his own for the European powers, the UK, France and Germany, which are trying to save the 2015 nuclear deal after the US walkout. The dictates he put before them included: European banks must safeguard trade with Iran and stop seeking new negotiations on Iran’s ballistic missile program and regional Middle East activities to gratify the US president. The Europeans must further guarantee Iran’s oil sales and compensate Tehran for losses incurred from US sanctions. If Europe fails to meet Khamenei’s demands, Iran will go back to enriching uranium, effectively turning its back on the 2015 nuclear deal, he warned. Continue reading

‘Killer robot’ projects eligible for EU defence fund

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Lethal autonomous weapons are already in use, depending on the definition. The Phalanx CIWS is a radar-guided cannon. (Photo: U.S. Pacific Fleet)

 

The EU will allow companies developing so-called ‘lethal autonomous weapons’ to apply for EU funding, negotiators from the EU’s three institutions decided on Tuesday (22 May) evening.

The European Parliament, the European Commission, and the Council of the EU – representing national governments – struck a deal on the specifics of a €500m defence investment programme.

The parliament had originally wanted to bar controversial new weapon types from receiving EU subsidies, but gave up on that in Tuesday’s talks in order to strike a compromise, according to two sources who were in the room. 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

In Face of a Global Trade War

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – The EU announced its first defensive measures against US plans to penalize European companies’ business engagements with Iran, by reactivating the 1996 “Blocking Statute.” That law prohibits companies from terminating their business engagements with Iran, to avoid severe penalties in the United States. Some companies from Germany and other EU countries have already announced that they will cancel their contracts with Tehran to avoid endangering their business ventures in the US. German companies, involved in profitable ventures with Russia, could be facing a similar situation. Washington threatens to demand that businesses from Germany and the EU comply also with the April 6 sanctions announced by US President Donald Trump, against some Russian oligarchs and their companies. According to government advisors, German Russia-oriented businesses are “virtually panicking” because of the escalation of a global trade war.

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Why Does the Catholic Church Organize Europe’s Largest Nazi Rally?

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Participants with Croatian flags attend a commemoration rally at the Loibacher Feld in Bleiburg, Austria, on May 12. (GERT EGGENBERGER/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Last weekend, around 10,000 people gathered in a field near the town of Bleiburg in southern Austria for what the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance calls the “largest regular neo-Nazi rally” in Europe. Hitler salutes, racist flags and slogans were common. Kids ran around with fascist slogans on their T-shirts. Featured guests gave speeches defending fascism.

Efraim Zuroff, the Eastern Europe director for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, called the event “an affront to the memory of Holocaust victims.”

But the most surprising part of this event may be the identity of its organizer: the Croatian Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church.

What is the Catholic Church doing organizing a neo-Nazi rally? A look at history points to the answer. 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.

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EU Could Switch To Euros In Oil Trade With Iran

Oil tanker

 

The European Union (EU) is considering switching to euros instead of U.S. dollars in the oil trade with Iran, Sputnik reported on Wednesday, quoting a diplomatic source.

Iran, for its part, said as early as in mid-April that it would be switching to euros from U.S. dollars in reporting foreign currency amounts, to reduce the reliance on the dollar as it was expected that President Trump would not waive the sanctions this time around.

The EU vowed on Tuesday to seek ways to work and trade with Iran. Continue reading

Germany’s Priorities

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BERLIN/TEHRAN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – In talks with Iranian government officials on Tuesday, the German government will seek a solution in the dispute over the nuclear deal with Tehran. While trying to defend the interests of German industry, it is aiming for an independent Middle East policy. Because of its close alliance with Washington in the power struggle with Moscow and Beijing, this would be very important, as legitimization of Berlin’s claims to playing a leading role in global policy. While commentators are encouraging the government, the minister of the economy and business circles are warning against exacerbating the conflict with Washington. It is very risky for the German elite’s prosperity, because the United States is the largest market for German companies and, by far, their most important investment site. On the other hand, in Iran, the EU countries’ industry risks irrevocably losing out to China, due to the US sanctions.

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US, Sweden and Finland Boost Military Cooperation to Form New Alliance

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The US, Swedish, and Finnish defense ministers signed a trilateral Statement of Intent (SOI) to expand defense cooperation on all fronts. The signing ceremony took place in Washington on May 8. In 2016, the two Scandinavian nations finalized separate defense SOIs with America. Now they have signed a joint document to unify those previous agreements and enhance their interoperability.

The Scandinavian visitors claimed this was just a starting point for a more mature relationship. The agreement emphasizes the countries’ combined joint exercises and streamlines the procedures that have been established to manage them.

Other issues covered by the SOI include regular trilateral meetings at all levels, the exchange of information (including about weapons systems), increased practical interaction, cooperation in multinational operations, improved communications, and the promotion of the EU-NATO strategic partnership. The latter issue will transform the Scandinavians into a connecting link that will eliminate the chance of any European deterrent that could operate with any real independence from its North American “big brother.”  Washington wants to make sure that the PESCO agreement will not protect Europe’s defense industry from US companies. Continue reading

How to Become a World Power

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BERLIN/TEHRAN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – Berlin is seeking to use Washington’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal to increase its pressure on Tehran. In their joint statement published Wednesday, the governments of Germany, France and the United Kingdom declared their continued commitment to the agreement, while demanding that the Iranian government limit its ballistic missile program and its efforts to obtain influence in the region. The reintroduction of US sanctions offers Berlin a chance to disguise its continued pressure on Tehran as a war preventive measure. At the same time, US sanctions against Iran continue to fuel the power struggle between the EU and the USA. The Airbus Company alone could lose €16 billion in commercial deals due to the sanctions imposed by the US government. Commentators recommend resistance: “You don’t become a world power in a conference room.” At the same time, Israel is exacerbating the escalating tensions with its aggressions against Syria.

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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

Iran will quit nuclear deal, restart enrichment, ramp up military tension

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Exclusive: Tehran will challenge the US by restarting nuclear fuel enrichment and ramp up its military confrontation with Israel. The Iranian leadership reached these decisions on Thursday, May 10, after Israeli warplanes smashed its military assets in the Damascus area that morning, DEBKAfile’s exclusive intelligence sources report. These steps follow the strategic plans Tehran had drawn up for the eventuality of the US quitting the 2015 nuclear pact. In the coming weeks, therefore, Tehran will choose its moment to abandon the nuclear deal and restart high level uranium enrichment, in the face of President Donald Trump’s warning that this action would meet with “very severe consequences.” In light of Iran’s strategy, the US, after quitting the nuclear deal, Thursday asked the nuclear watchdog IAEA to continue inspections of the Iranian nuclear program. Washington intends to keep independent monitors accessing Iran’s nuclear activities for as long as they are permitted. Continue reading

The EU’s Backdoor Path to a Unified Superstate

For years there has been a struggle in the Eurozone between those that want to transform it into a transfer union and those that who want a Europe of independent and cooperating countries. The latter including Austria, Finland, the Netherlands and Germany want strict limits for deficits and debt brakes as envisioned in the Fiscal Stability Treaty. Some, such as the European Constitutional Group, even demand a mechanism for an orderly break-up of the Eurozone. The former including Mediterranean member states led by France, do not openly call their objective a fiscal union or the creation of a “European Super State” but prefer to talk about a “deepening of the European project.” The reason for this division is straightforward: The central and northern European countries would be the contributors to a transfer union while the club Med would be on the receiving side. Continue reading

EU holding nations to ransom, ‘do as we say or lose funding’

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Brussels has issued some thinly veiled threats to countries that essentially asks them to forego their national, legal sovereignty if they want to keep receiving EU funds…it sounds a bit like a ransom note.

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An Obituary for America: Germany Celebrates the End of the United States

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U.S. President Donald Trump listens during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the White House on April 27. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

 

The editor in chief of Europe’s largest newsmagazine has written America’s obituary—quite literally. The title of Klaus Brinkbäumer’s new book is An Obituary for America: The End of a Friendship and the Future of the West.

In it, the Der Spiegel editor in chief reaches two surprising conclusions: America is dead, and Germany should be happy about it.

Spiegel Online published an article adapted from Brinkbäumer’s book under the title “Thank You, Donald! What Trump Means for Germany’s Future.”

The U.S., writes Brinkbäumer, is no longer a reliable partner. Therefore “we must emancipate ourselves.” Continue reading