The Saudi-Iran Brewing War

 

The turmoil in the Middle East has been instigated in part by fiscal mismanagement. When the money was rolling in with high oil prices, it was assumed, as always, that whatever trend is in motion will remain in motion. Consequently, the government expanded their spending assuming money would continue to flow in. When oil broke, the fiscal mismanagement has been exposed for all to see if they care to look.

Falling oil prices have decimated revenues and trade in the region. Security worries about terrorism, particularly in the US, have led to cuts in airline routes. Then there has also been a long-running diplomatic and trade impasse between Saudi Arabia and its allies on the one hand, and Qatar on the other. Now the good-old-days of easy money and rapid growth has led to concerns about over-capacity, waste, and corruption that nobody cared about when money flowed like oil.

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IRGC General Kawthari: Israel Will be Wiped off Planet Earth in 25 Years or Less

Please see the source for the video.

Transcript:

General Ismail Kawthari, Deputy Commander of the IRGC Tharallah Base, told Al-Alam TV that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had said “that this entity [Israel] must be wiped off the Planet Earth within 25 years,” but that in his own opinion, that was the maximum period, and “God willing, it will happen before that.” The interview aired on September 27.

Interviewer: Iran has provided aid to Hizbullah, Syria, and the resistance movements in Palestine for almost four decades, but it has paid a steep political price for this. Will Iran continue to pursue this policy of support for the axis of resistance, despite the political price this exacts? Continue reading

Ignoring empty threats, Iran tightens its military noose around Israel

Hamas’ Saleh Arouri in Tehran.

 

Iran pressed ahead with its plans this week, regardless of the loud scorn and threats poured on Tehran from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Cairo and Washington.

On Friday, Oct. 20, less than two weeks after Saleh Arouri, Deputy Chief of the Hamas political bureau, approved an Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation agreement between his party and the rival Fatah, he was leading a large Hamas delegation to Tehran. Continue reading

Analysis: West should prepare for chemical attacks by the Islamic State

Biochemical terrorism

 

A German newspaper reported last week that at least one European intelligence agency has already warned that the Islamic State is exploring the use of chemicals for attacks in Europe. Such an eventuality would be a radical departure from prior attacks by the Islamic State in the West. In the past, the militant group has shown a strong preference for low-tech means of dispensing violence, such as firearms, vehicles and knives. But it has utilized chemical substances in Iraq and Syria, and its technical experts have amassed significant knowledge about weaponized chemicals. Continue reading

Iran’s Rev Guards place command post and 5 bases in Kirkuk

Military sources in Iraq reported Wednesday that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) operational Al Qods arm had planted a command center and five bases in the Iraqi oil town of Kirkuk, after driving the Kurds out. An officer called Haji Ihsan was given this command. Continue reading

Iran on Pathway to Fully Restart Nuclear Weapons Program

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani sits among senior army staff / Getty Images

 

Top lawmakers urge Trump not to leave deal

Iran is on the pathway to fully restarting its contested nuclear weapons program due to insufficient international inspections of its military sites and caveats in the landmark nuclear deal that permit it to reengage in nuclear enrichment work within the next several years, according to experts who testified Wednesday before Congress. Continue reading

Asset prices are high across the board. Is it time to worry?

 

With ultra-loose monetary policy coming to an end, it is best to tread carefully

IN HIS classic, “The Intelligent Investor”, first published in 1949, Benjamin Graham, a Wall Street sage, distilled what he called his secret of sound investment into three words: “margin of safety”. The price paid for a stock or a bond should allow for human error, bad luck or, indeed, many things going wrong at once. In a troubled world of trade tiffs and nuclear braggadocio, such advice should be especially worth heeding. Yet rarely have so many asset classes—from stocks to bonds to property to bitcoins—exhibited such a sense of invulnerability. Continue reading

Former CIA Chief Warns of N. Korea’s Other Nuclear Weapon

This is why Kim Jong-un continues provoking America. Every day there are two North Korean EMP satellites passing over America, twice a day. He’s waiting for a military response. He’s hoping for a reason. Trump is left with a very dangerous position thanks to the Obama, Bush and Clinton administrations who did nothing before it was too late. Kim Jong-un knows he’ll lose in a war against America but he only has to press a button before he dies. Then it’s bye bye for America which will be reset to the stone age.

For the record, this is the first time ever someone from the CIA at his level has admitted (publicly) there are two North Korean EMP satellites circling the globe.

 

FILE - Former CIA Director James Woolsey testifies on Capitol Hill, Aug. 16, 2004, in Washington.

FILE – Former CIA Director James Woolsey testifies on Capitol Hill, Aug. 16, 2004, in Washington.

 

Advances in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs are pushing the international community to respond with increasingly strict sets of sanctions, with the latest round, passed this week, capping the country’s oil imports while banning its lucrative textile exports.

Despite the pressure, the Kim Jong Un regime continues to pursue the development of a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could strike the continental United States, among other targets. Continue reading

US military leaves E. Syrian base at Zaqaf, Hizballah moves in

The US military folded its tents at Zaqaf, its last base in eastern Syrian Zaqaf base near the Iraqi border and Hizballah and other pro-Iranian militia moved in, without a pause. The changeover was accomplished Wednesday when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu arrived home after a speech informing the UN General Assembly: ”Israel will defend itself with all its military strength and act to prevent Iran establishing itself in Syria… and establishing new bases along our northern border.” Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkott in his New Year message elaborated on this pledge. Continue reading

The World Is Creeping Toward De-Dollarization

The issue of when a global reserve currency begins or ends is not an exact science. There are no press releases announcing it, and neither are there big international conferences that end with the signing of treaties and a photo shoot. Nevertheless we can say with confidence that the reign of every world reserve currency has to come to and end at some point in time. During a changeover from one global currency to another, gold (and to a lesser extent silver) has always played a decisive role. Central banks and governments have long been aware that the dollar has a sell-by date as a reserve currency. But it has taken until now for the subject to be discussed openly. The fact that the issue has been on the radar of a powerful bank like JP Morgan for at least five years, should give one pause. Questions regarding the global reserve currency are not exactly discussed on CNBC every day. Most mainstream economists avoid the topic like the plague. The issue is too politically charged. However, that doesn’t make it any less important for investors to look for answers. On the contrary. The following questions need to be asked: What indications are there that the world is turning its back on the US dollar? And what are the clues that gold’s role could be strengthened in a new system? Continue reading

Can Putin keep Hizballah from Israel’s borders?

Enemies of the Trump administration have hampered the White House to the extent where it is affecting political affairs, limits the ability to physically defend allies or even being able to take the time to address concerns. This is when it gets dangerous.

 

 

Israel’s northern borders with Syria and Lebanon were on edge this week, as Prime Minister Binyamin prepared to raise Israel’s concerns about southern Syria at a critical meeting with President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, Aug. 23, at the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem noted that he would be accompanied by Mossad Director Yossie Cohen. He has just returned from a failed attempt in Washington to draw the Trump Administration’s attention to the deteriorating security situation on Israel’s northern borders, where Russian Muslim troops are already in position. Continue reading

Iran to ‘counter’ U.S. sanctions with more funding for missiles, Quds Force

Iranian parliament. / IRNA

 

As some lawmakers chanted “Death to America,” Iran’s parliament on Aug. 13 granted its initial approval for increased funding of Teheran’s missile program and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force.

Parliament overwhelmingly approved the outlines of the bill to “counter America’s terrorist and adventurist actions,” state broadcaster IRIB reported. Continue reading

Russia Eyes Rapid Middle East Energy Expansion

Graph 1. Russian Participation within the framework of the Iran Petroleum Contract.

 

Having battled through the travails of an ever-tightening sanctions regime and a prolonged economic downturn, which in most cases led to a freezing up or lowering of expenditures and the adoption of a very risk-averse investment strategy, Russian companies are now destined to embark upon a new expansion, this time in the Middle East. With the recently imposed U.S. sanctions further impacting Russia’s ability to form partnerships with Western majors, Iran, Iraq and possibly even Syria will become the new hub of Russian oil-related investments. Immensely rich in oil, yet lacking the funds necessary to exploit it, virtually unsanctionable for any potential cooperation with Russian companies (even sanctions vis-à-vis Iraq are implausible given the ongoing fight against the Islamic State) and brought ever closer together politically on the back of recent developments in the region, the Middle East-Russia axis is bound to get stronger with time. Continue reading

Trump Will Now Become the War President

President Trump has been defeated by the military/security complex and forced into continuing the orchestrated and dangerous tensions with Russia. Trump’s defeat has taught the Russians the lesson I have been trying to teach them for years, and that is that Russia is much more valuable to Washington as an enemy than as a friend. Continue reading

Russia flies 2,000 mercenary troops into Syria

 

Russia is engaged in a major buildup in Syria, both in support of the de-escalation zones established in conjunction with the United States, and in order to solidify its military control of the country.

debkafile’s military and intelligence sources reported exclusively on Wednesday, August 2, that 2,000 mercenaries had just been airlifted into the country, boosting to a total of 5,000 the number of mercenaries on hire from the Wagner Group private contractors for service under the Russian flag in Syria. They are all retirees from elite units of the Russian ground forces, air force or navy. Continue reading