U.S. Looks To Find Alternatives To Iranian Oil For Allies

 

The United States—which is pushing to have all Iranian oil customers stop importing crude from Tehran—is looking for alternative oil supplies for its allies whose imports will be disrupted by the U.S. sanctions on Iran, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing a senior U.S. administration  official. Continue reading

Iran Sanctions Are Damaging The Dollar

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Painful sanctions on Iran have demonstrated the long reach of the U.S. Treasury, forcing much of the globe to fall in line and cut oil imports from Iran despite widespread disagreement over the policy. Yet, we are only in the first few chapters of what may ultimately be a long story that ends with the erosion of the power of the U.S. dollar.

The role of the greenback in the international financial system is the reason why the U.S. can prevent much of the world from buying oil from Iran. Oil is traded in dollars, and so much of international commerce is based in dollars. In fact, as much as 88 percent of all foreign exchange trades involve the greenback. Continue reading

Putin forced by US, Turkey to shelve Idlib offensive

Russian President Vladimir Putin will receive Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan at Sochi on Monday for a final bid to get the joint Russian-Iranian-Syrian assault on Idlib, the last Syrian rebel holdout, underway. DEBKAfile’s military sources report that Putin was forced to back away from the operation last week when Turkey began delivering large quantities of heavy weapons to its proxy rebel groups in Idlib province. Continue reading

Kerry Meeting With Iran to Salvage Nuke Deal With Rogue Diplomacy

John Kerry and Javad Zarif / Getty Images

 

Shadow diplomacy aids Iran’s regional pursuits

Former Secretary of State John Kerry disclosed that he has been conducting rogue diplomacy with top Iranian officials to salvage the landmark nuclear deal and push the Islamic Republic to negotiate its contested missile program, according to recent remarks.

Kerry, in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt to promote his new book, said that he has met with Iranian Former Minister Javad Zarif—the former secretary’s onetime negotiating partner—three or four times in recent months behind the Trump administration’s back. Continue reading

PLA Expanding Power Through Belt and Road Initiative

Randall Schriver / Getty Images

 

Schriver: U.S. to bolster Taiwan air defenses, submarines

China’s military is a key player in the Belt and Road economic initiative around the world that is being used to expand Beijing’s overall global power, a senior Pentagon Asian affairs official says.

Separately, the Pentagon is working with Taiwan’s government to bolster the island’s air defenses in the face of growing missile and aircraft threats from China, said Randall G. Schriver, assistant defense secretary for Asian and Pacific security affairs. Continue reading

Iran Vows Strikes Outside Borders, ‘Beyond the Seas’

General Yahya Rahim Safavi

General Yahya Rahim Safavi / Getty Images

 

A top Iranian military leader warned on Monday that Iran is plotting strikes outside of its own borders and will even go “beyond the seas” to carry out attacks on those it perceives as enemies, statements that further highlight Iran’s clandestine operations inside the United States and in Europe. Continue reading

Putin is ready go all the way against the US in Syria. Where does this place Israel?

 

Russian-Syrian success in the high-stakes Idlib offensive would give Tehran a major victory and renewed footing in Syria. This would torpedo the US-Israeli campaign to drive the Iranians out.

After a series of aerial bombardments, the Russian-Syrian-Iranian offensive to gain control of Idlib, the last rebel stronghold in Syria, is ready to go, having meanwhile gained the valuable increment of Hizballah fighters. After returning home from the Syrian battlefields, these Lebanese Shiite fighters were given fresh orders over the weekend to return to Idlib and Hama. Continue reading

How Iran Plans To Bypass The World’s Main Oil Chokepoint

Iran

 

Iran Tries to Bypass the Hormuz Strait

Global markets have recently gone into overdrive in anticipation of the US-Iran standoff’s outcome. President Trump is building up pressure on Tehran, his latest move was to announce his chairing of a UN Security Council meeting on Iran (the US is holding the council presidency this month), most likely to lambast once more the Iranian regime, whilst the Iranian authorities are reverting to their traditional threat, the closing off of the Hormuz Strait. Yet behind the bellicose façade, under the international radar Iran has been proceeding gradually with the construction of oil export infrastructure that bypasses the potentially fatal chokepoint and gives the Ayatollah regime a viable alternative to Kharg and Lavan islands, which currently account for the overwhelming majority, more than 95 percent, of Iran’s oil exports. Continue reading

Report: Iraq is ‘Teetering on the Brink’

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(Photo Credit: Iraqi Social Media)

 

Iran’s meddling via Shi’a proxies is reaching a boiling point in its neighbor.

The report published by OilPrice.com notes that political bickering between rivals Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki over the formation of a leading parliamentary coalition could create a leadership vacuum in which a former nemesis rises from the ashes. It further states: Continue reading

Iran Touts Collaboration With Soros’ Open Society Foundations

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif / Getty Images

 

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the Islamic Republic has had a long and successful working relationship with the Open Society Foundations, a massive philanthropic organization run by liberal billionaire George Soros. Continue reading

Iran Sanctions, Emerging Markets And The End Of Dollar Dominance

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The trade war is a rather strange and bewildering affair if you do not understand the underlying goal behind it. If you think that the goal is to balance the trade deficit and provide a more amicable deal for U.S. producers on the global market, then you are probably finding yourself either confused, or operating on blind faith that the details will work themselves out.

Case in point, the latest reports that the U.S. trade deficit is now on track to hit 10-year highs, after a 7% increase in June. This is the exact opposite of what was supposed to happen when tariffs were initiated. In fact, I recall much talk in alternative media circles claiming that the mere threat of tariffs would frighten foreign exporters into balancing trade on their own. Obviously this has not been the case. Continue reading

Germany, seeking independence from US, pushes cyber security research

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German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer talks to journalists after the ARD- Sommerinterview in front of the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany August 5, 2018. REUTERS/Joachim Herrmann

 

BERLIN: Germany on Wednesday announced a new agency to fund cutting-edge research on cyber security and to end its reliance on digital technologies from the United States, China and other countries.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told reporters that Germany needed new tools to become a key player in the field of cybersecurity and shore up European security and independence. Continue reading

The World Is Ganging up Against the Dollar

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Shutterstock

 

The U.S. has been highly successful at pursuing financial warfare, including sanctions. But for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

As the U.S. wields the dollar weapon more frequently, the rest of the world works harder to shun the dollar completely.

I’ve been warning for years about efforts of nations like Russia and China to escape what they call “dollar hegemony” and create a new financial system that does not depend on the dollar and helps them get out from under dollar-based economic sanctions.

These efforts are only increasing. Continue reading

Europe Is Working On Alternative To SWIFT For “Financial Independence” From The US

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German foreign minister Heiko Maas

 

In the aftermath of a report that Germany was working on a global payment system that is independent of the US and SWIFT, on Monday Germany and France said they’re working on financing solutions to sidestep U.S. sanctions against countries such as Iran, including a possible role for central banks, Bloomberg reported.

“With Germany, we are determined to work on an independent European or Franco-German financing tool which would allow us to avoid being the collateral victims of U.S. extra-territorial sanctions,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday during a meeting with press association AJEF. “I want Europe to be a sovereign continent not a vassal, and that means having totally independent financing instruments that do not today exist.”

The discussions, which also involve the U.K., are a signal that European powers are trying to get serious about demonstrating a greater level of independence from the U.S. as President Donald Trump pursues his “America First” agenda. Continue reading

The Tectonic Plates of Geopolitics Are Starting to Shift

The United States is currently waging economic warfare against one tenth of the world’s countries with cumulative population of nearly 2 billion people and combined gross domestic product (GDP) of more than $15 trillion.

These include Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of Congo, North Korea and others on which Washington has imposed sanctions over the years, but also countries like China, Pakistan and Turkey which are not under full sanctions but rather targets of other punitive economic measures.

In addition, thousands of individuals from scores of countries are included in the Treasury Department’s list of Specially Designated Nationals who are effectively blocked from the U.S.-dominated global financial system. Many of those designated are either part of or closely linked to their countries’ leadership…

But in recent months it seems that America’s unwavering commitment to fight all of the world’s scourges has brought all those governments and the wealthy individuals who support them to a critical mass, joining forces to create a parallel financial system which would be out of reach of America’s long arm. Should they succeed, the impact on America’s global posture would be transformational.

– From the recent article: The Anti-Dollar Awakening Could Be Ruder and Sooner Than Most Economists Predict

The peak of American empire has already come and gone, a reality not yet widely appreciated due to the continued dominance of the global financial system by the U.S. dollar, still the world’s preeminent reserve currency. U.S. leaders have always used the USD as a weapon, but it’s only in recent years that geopolitical rivals and long-standing allies alike have started to come to an increasingly vocal understanding that the unipolar role played by the U.S. in the world’s centralized financial system is well past its expiration date. Continue reading