It’s A “Geopolitical Earthquake”: A Stunned World Responds After Saudi Alliance Cuts All Ties With Qatar

 

Virtually nobody saw it coming.

Late on Sunday night, the Saudi-led alliance of Gulf Arab states, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain including Egypt, shocked the world when they announced they had severed ties and closed borders with one of the Gulf’s wealthiest, if smallest, neighbors Qatar, a (now former) member of the Gulf Cooperation Council in what we called a “geopolitical earthquake” and what Bloomberg dubbed an unprecedented move designed to punish one of the region’s financial superpowers for its ties with Iran and Islamist groups in the region.” Continue reading

Erdoğans Transition

BERLIN/ANKARA (Own report) – The German government is negotiating new German Turkish arms deals, as was confirmed by the German Ministry of Economics. Brigitte Zypries (SPD), Minister of the Economy, spoke with the CEO of Rheinmetall weapons manufacturer about upgrading the Turkish Leopard battle tank. “In principle,” such deals with NATO partners “can not to be restricted,” according to Berlin. The German government is also seeking to re-invigorate German-Turkish economic cooperation, to strengthen bilateral relations. Germany does not want to loose Turkey as a “bridge” connecting Germany and the EU to the Middle East. Under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Ankara is not only strengthening the country’s economy and, in the long run, make it one of the world’s top ten economies (“Vision 2023”), he is also planning to transform the country into an independent regional power, forming alliances as it chooses – no longer dependent on the western states. The reorientation of its foreign policy is accompanied by the country’s transformation into a presidential dictatorship. Continue reading

Iran Loses Nuclear Device, Sparks GCC Worry

 

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is concerned over a missing radioactive device from Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor, Saudi-owned Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported on Thursday.

Aside from the security concerns, at the forefront in the GCC’s mind is what impact the radioactive device—wherever it may be today—could have on water supplies.

According to the newspaper, the device went missing after the car transporting it was stolen. Thankfully, the vehicle was recovered, but the radioactive nuclear device was not so lucky. Continue reading

Is Berlin Ready to Rearm?

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German Patriot missiles being sent to Turkey in December 2012. (Getty Images)

 

Langley Intelligence Group says yes, and Bible prophecy agrees.

Berlin is working to create an anti-Iran alliance, and its boost in arms sales to Persian Gulf nations portends a shifting military culture, which could soon push Germany itself to rearm, Langley Intelligence Group Network said on April 24.

The report focuses on the “Merkel Doctrine,” as the German media terms it, which refers primarily to Berlin’s efforts to form a balance of power against Iran by arming Sunni Arab nations and Israel. The term is also taking on a secondary meaning about the increasing impetus for Berlin to move toward a more robust use of the German military.

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Russia and China rush to fill Mideast void left by Obama

It was meant to be a farewell visit by a cherished friend heading for retirement. Instead, Barack Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia Tuesday and Wednesday turned into an unwanted call by an uninvited guest at an inconvenient time.

It started a the airport, when Saudi King Salman sent one of his nephews to greet the US president on arrival in Riyadh. The gesture was specially telling because the Saudi monarch had spent much of the day personally welcoming other leaders at the airport. It ended not much better: forced smiles, unconvincing statements of solidarity.

It was typical of what has become the Obama Doctrine: dropping old allies in the hope of turning adversaries into new friends.

Needless to say, the gamble has failed. Continue reading

Update: America Has No Arab Allies

On December 9, 2015, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

His comments state the reality of so-called Arab allies. Continue reading

Saudis Risk Draining Financial Assets in 5 Years, IMF Says

Such was the price to be paid for King Abdullah’s economic war on America’s oil independence from shale before he passed away. The Saudi-friendly IEA has said America will never take the crown from Saudi Arabia whereas a Saudi prince has mentioned oil will never see under $100 per barrel ever again. The baton has now been passed to King Salman and he will be continuing the attack for an indefinite duration.

In the end, it was a matter of who had more asset reserves: American oil companies or the Saudi coffers built on decades of exports.

In this game of economic chicken it looks like the American oil companies who are already down to the “bare bones” might be the first to blink, however, total destruction on both sides shouldn’t be dismissed.

 

  • Estimate based on current fiscal policies amid oil’s slump
  • Saudi authorities are already planning spending cuts

Saudi Arabia may run out of financial assets needed to support spending within five years if the government maintains current policies, the International Monetary Fund said, underscoring the need of measures to shore up public finances amid the drop in oil prices.

The same is true of Bahrain and Oman in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, the IMF said in a report on Wednesday. Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have relatively more financial assets that could support them for more than 20 years, the Washington-based lender said. Continue reading

Gulf states in talks to buy Iron Dome from Israel

Gulf states are in talks to buy the Iron Dome defense system and possibly other Israeli-developed weapons for protection from “a growing arsenal of Iranian missiles,” Sky News reports.

Bahrain’s foreign minister, Khalid bin Mohammed, told the channel that the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait, are interested in purchasing the Israeli weapon for the entire council. Continue reading

How Russia Is About to Change the World

From 2010 and today still very relevant:

 

In a remote corner of the globe, a port bristles with cranes, smokestacks, mammoth ships—and trouble for Europe.

In January, Russia made a world-changing move. It completed a new oil pipeline and port complex that sets Russia up to become a more powerful oil exporter than Saudi Arabia. The ramifications for Europe and Asia are profound: The shape of the global economy—and the global balance of power—will soon be altered forever.

December 28 was a big day of ceremony in Russia. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin pushed a button that transformed global oil dynamics. The button released thousands of barrels of Siberian crude into a waiting Russian supertanker and heralded the opening of Russia’s first modern Pacific-based oil export facilities.

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Report: Iran sends navy vessels near Yemen amid airstrikes

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Iran dispatched a naval destroyer and another vessel Wednesday to waters near Yemen as the United States quickened weapons supply to the Saudi-led coalition striking rebels there, underlining how foreign powers are deepening their involvement in the conflict.

Iran’s English-language state broadcaster Press TV quoted Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari as saying the ships would be part of an anti-piracy campaign “safeguarding naval routes for vessels in the region.”

The maneuver comes amid an intense Saudi-led Gulf Arab air campaign targeting the Yemeni rebels, known as Houthis, who come from a Shiite sect. Critics say Shiite power Iran backs the Houthis, though both the Islamic Republic and the rebels deny any direct military assistance. 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

Saudis sound alarm on Obama ‘caving’ to Iran

Warns U.S. wants agreement ‘at any price’

TEL AVIV – The U.S. and Western powers currently negotiating with Iran on its nuclear capability are willing to reach an agreement with Tehran at any price, warns a paper prepared by Saudi Arabia’s intelligence organizations.

The document, the contents of which were obtained by WND, was presented by the Saudis this week to all members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, an umbrella made up of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf, except for Iraq. The council consists of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Continue reading

Russia Making Major Push Into Mideast Market

DUBAI — Following a decade of “near-absence” in the Middle East, Russia is once again asserting itself as it looks to sell arms to former Soviet-era clients while breaking into the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market.

“Moscow’s policies again have become markedly more active,” said Dimitry Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center. “During his presidency, Vladimir Putin made trips to the region and paid a visit to Tehran, the first one since Stalin’s wartime allied conference journey.

“However, Russia’s policies are not yet embedded within some overall strategy and are largely driven by a set of pragmatic considerations. Russia’s principal objectives are to advance its economic interests and to counter threats to Russia’s national security,” Trenin wrote in a paper for the Washington-based Century Foundation.

Yuri Baramin, a UAE-based Russian political and military analyst, said the Russian approach to the Middle East can be described as a “wait and see approach.”

Continue reading

Gulf states plan joint naval force: Kuwaiti official

KUWAIT CITY // The Gulf states plan to launch a joint naval force, a top Kuwaiti defence official said on Wednesday, in a bid to protect waters shared with neighbouring Iran.

The new force is expected to be formed in the “coming months”, Maj Gen Ahmad Yussef Al Mulla was quoted as saying by the official Kuna news agency. Continue reading

U.S. suggests Israel form new alliances in changing Mideast

JERUSALEM — The United States has envisioned new power alignments in the Middle East that could include Israel cooperating more closely with the Gulf Arab states.

Officials said such factors as the Arab Spring, the threat from Iran and the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood have opened opportunities throughout the Middle East. Continue reading