Iran Promises to Restart Nuclear Weapons Work as Tehran Identified as Top Global Threat

Head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi

Head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi / Getty Images

 

U.S. intel: Iran, Russia, China leading cyber charge against U.S.

Senior Iranian leaders on Thursday signaled the country is on the brink of restarting its contested nuclear weapons program, disclosing the Islamic Republic is prepared to restart the full-scale enrichment of uranium, the key component in a nuclear weapon, if it does not continue to receive cash windfalls from European countries still committed to the landmark nuclear agreement. Continue reading

What Would The End Of OPEC Mean?

OPEC

 

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries – the oil market institution that has exerted an unyielding power over the price of crude for nearly 60 years – is now in deep crisis. The latest OPEC meeting in Vienna offered new insights into the cartel’s raging civil war that is tearing it apart and threatens to ultimately make the cartel irrelevant.

In a two-year period since the group of 15 major oil producers formed an alliance with Russia, OPEC’s smaller members have been marginalized, their voices have been diminished and Saudi Arabia seems to prioritize its partnership with Moscow above all else. An unlikely partnership between Saudi Arabia and Russia is causing dissension within OPEC, with one of the oldest members announcing it would withdraw from the organization in January just days prior to the talks. With Russia tightening its grip over OPEC’s decisions and the United States officially reaching net oil exporting status in late November for the first time in decades, even if only briefly, the new world oil order is now dependent on three energy superpowers: Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States. Continue reading

China Intensifies Efforts to Topple U.S. Dollar

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China Photos/Getty Images

 

‘The pace of expansion has been explosive’ for China’s new yuan-denominated oil futures contract.

Less than a year after China launched an oil futures contract denominated in the Chinese currency, the contract is beginning to be embraced by global commodities traders.

The Chinese Communist Party has long desired to see the United States dollar sidelined and the Chinese currency, the yuan, take on a more central role in global finance. The latest major push toward that goal came on March 26 when China launched a new oil futures contract on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange denominated in yuan. Now the contract is finding increasing acceptance among multinational commodity traders, which could threaten the dollar’s position. Continue reading

Riyadh: Arabs in talks with US for NATO-style security pact

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Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir arrives for a press conference at the Diriya Palace in the Saudi capital Riyadh during the Gulf Cooperation Council summit on Sunday. Photo: AFP

 

Saudi foreign minister says it will be called the Middle East Strategic Alliance

Arab countries are in talks with Washington regarding a new NATO-style security agreement to protect the Middle East from “external aggression,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Sunday. Continue reading

U.S. Fears Iran Planning ‘Massive Regional War’ in Middle East

Israeli Merkava tanks parked near the border with Lebanon, after the area was declared a closed military zone by the Israeli army / Getty Images

 

Trump vows support for Israeli defensive operations after identifying Iran as source of tunnels into Israel

The Trump administration disclosed that Iran is behind the construction of several underground tunnels leading into Israel that Hezbollah militants and other terror forces have been using to conduct attacks, according to multiple U.S. officials who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon and communicated fears that Tehran is preparing to lead a “massive regional war.” Continue reading

U.S. Aircraft Carrier Heads To Persian Gulf In “Show Of Force” After Iran Ballistic Missile Test

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USS John C. Stennis nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, via Defence Blog

 

Days after Iran unveiled its first stealth destroyer in a televised ceremony on Saturday which saw the warship launched into operation in the Persian Gulf, and after the US condemned Iran’s test firing a medium-range nuclear capable ballistic missile on Sunday, Pentagon officials have announced the U.S. is sending an aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf in a show of force against Iran. Continue reading

U.S. Confirms: Iran Successfully Fired Nuclear Capable Missiles

Brian Hook

Brian Hook / Getty Images

 

In violation of ban, Tehran shows off nuke-capable missiles as U.S. pressures Europe to take tougher line

Senior U.S. officials confirmed early Monday that Iran has successfully test-fired multiple nuclear-capable missiles in violation of United Nations restrictions on such activity, drawing a fierce reaction from the Trump administration, which will pressure European leaders this week to take immediate action aimed at countering Iran’s latest military moves. Continue reading

The World Order of George H. W. Bush (1924-2018)

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A generation later, George H. W. Bush’s many presidential speeches about the “new world order” are especially striking for a naive-sounding but rigidly ideological outlook with origins on the Utopian and Marxist Left. He saw what he wanted to see, and tried to use his awesome powers to force his “vision thing” into being. He did not succeed. No one does. What such “seers” do, however, is enable the tricksters, frauds and villains of the world to advance. We might start with Bill Clinton.  Continue reading

Iran navy launches stealth warship in the Gulf

Note: Video available at the source.

 

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s navy on Saturday launched a domestically made destroyer, which state media said has radar-evading stealth properties, as tensions rise with arch-enemy, the United States.

In a ceremony carried live on state television, the Sahand destroyer — which can sustain voyages lasting five months without resupply — joined Iran’s regular navy at a base in Bandar Abbas on the Gulf. Continue reading

Iranian air freighters now routed to Beirut instead of Syrian air bases

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Day by day at least one, if not two, Iranian transport aircraft, are landing at Beirut international airport in the past week, DEBKAfile’s military sources report. Flights to Syrian air bases have all but ceased. On their return flights, they refuel at Damascus airport. Most of the incoming aircraft are Boeing 747s of Qeshm Fars Air, which serves Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Intelligence watchers, speculating about the reason for the accelerated Iranian air runs to Beirut and the nature of their cargoes, suggest that they are anxious to avoid encounters with the USAF aircraft circling Syrian skies (as DEBKAfile first revealed on Nov. 22). Another conjecture is that, since the Russian- S-300 air defense systems won’t be operational before the end of January, Iran and Russia agreed that it would be less hazardous for Iranian air deliveries to be routed to Beirut than to risk possible Israel air strikes over Syria. Continue reading

The Oil Powerhouses Replacing OPEC

Offshore rig

 

Three countries currently account for close to 40 percent of global crude oil production and only one of these countries is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The three are Russia, the United States, and Saudi Arabia and as their clout over oil markets increases with rising production rates, OPEC’s is set to decline, at least temporarily. Continue reading

Iran trains squads for terrorizing US forces in Syria. US air/naval buildup for striking back

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Iran’s proxy militias in Syria are being trained and armed for terrorizing US forces in eastern Syria, starting with IEDs like the bombs that bedeviled American forces in Iraq in 2004-2006. The mastermind of this campaign is Iran’s Mid East commander, Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani. DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that US commanders in Syria were forewarned of the coming campaign after it was approved by Tehran as retaliation for the sanctions re-imposed by the Trump administration.

They learned that terror squads, detached from the Iraqi and Afghan militias encamped in the eastern Syrian Deir ez-Zour province, had in the last few days completed their specialist training by Al Qods and Hizballah bomb experts. They were taught how to blow up American military installations, bridges and transportation routes and how to plant IEDs outside buildings and on the roads frequented by US military traffic. Continue reading

Top Iranian Commander Identifies US Bases “Within Reach” Of Precision Missiles

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Threats issued from Iranian officials against U.S. military operations in the Persian Gulf are nothing new, however, it will be interesting to see the White House response to an elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) commander specifically designating that American bases in Afghanistan, the UAE, Qatar, as well as U.S. aircraft carriers in the Gulf are within range of Iranian ballistic missiles.

Amirali Hajizadeh, the head of the IRGC airspace division, was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency, via Reuters:

They are within our reach, and we can hit them if they make a move… Our land-to-sea missiles have a range of 700 kilometers [450 miles]… and the US aircraft carriers are our targets. Continue reading

“Arab NATO” Gaining Momentum? Washington’s ‘Plan B’ For Countering Russia

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All wars initiated or supported by the US establishment  from the occupation of Iraq in 2003, to the second Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006, and to regime-change efforts in Syria in 2011 and the occupation of a third of Iraq in 2014  have failed in their goal of stoking the fire of sectarian war between Sunni and Shia in the Middle East. The failure of this strategy has pushed the US establishment towards two new options: the first, of using the media to reveal Saudi Arabia’s intention to harm the Iranian economy and assassinate its military commanders. The second is to promote and advertise for an “Arab (Sunni) NATO Army”. The goal is to keep the possibility of sectarian war alive. Continue reading

USS Truman carrier and strike force bound for waters off Syria amid Russian naval buildup

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The USS Harry Truman with a strike force of 5 guided missile warships were on their way on Sunday, Nov. 18 to waters off the Syrian coast. They entered the Mediterranean on Friday, Nov. 16, just as the Russian Middle East fleet wound up a series of search and destroy exercises against enemy submarines and warships. They were led by two Russian guided missile frigates Admiral Makarov and Admiral Essen, armed with Kalibr-NK cruise ship-to-shore missiles. Russia air force helicopters took part in the drills. By week’s end, there were 8 Russian warships in the eastern Mediterranean. Continue reading