Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

China Trade and Relations

by Oui Fri Mar 10th, 2023 at 07:10:06 PM EST

Inevitable after defeat in Afghanistan Istanbul, pull-back leaving behind a terror state in Central Asia. Women’s rights, Human Rights … broken promises.

China Mediates Between Iran and Saudi Arabia

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani, Saudi Arabia’s national security adviser Musaid Al Aiban, and the director of the Office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chinese Communist Party Wang Yi attend a ceremony in Beijing on March 10, 2023 to sign a joint statement on restoration of ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Iran, Saudi Arabia agree to resume relations, re-open embassies | PressTV Iran |

According to the statement, Iran and Saudi Arabia highlighted the need to respect each others' national sovereignty and refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of one another. They agreed to implement a security cooperation agreement signed in April 2001 and another accord reached in May 1998 to boost economic, commercial, investment, technical, scientific, cultural, sports and youth affairs cooperation.

Iran, Saudi Arabia and China expressed their firm determination to make their utmost efforts to promote regional and international peace and security, it emphasized.

The statement further explained that delegations from Iran and Saudi Arabia, led by Shamkhani and Aiban, held several meetings over the past five days following Chinese President Xi Jinping's support for the expansion of ties between Tehran and Riyadh based on the principle of good neighborliness and his efforts to host meetings between Iranian and Saudi senior officials.

The talks between Shamkhani and Aiban were also held as a result of the keenness of Tehran and Riyadh to resolve differences through dialogue and diplomacy based on fraternal ties and both sides' adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Charter and international rules and principles, it added.

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters, enraged by the execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr by the Saudi government, stormed its embassy in Tehran.
The two sides had held five rounds of negotiations in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad since April 2021.

Islamist Jihad and Taliban Throw Out US and NATO

🇮🇷 🇮🇷 🇮🇷

IAEA reviews Iranian nuclear facilities

Complex cyber attack Technion in Israel

Iran Hacked Israeli University’s Advanced Weapons Research | Tikun Olam - March 7, 2023 |

Iran penetrated Technion's sensitive databases containing cyber-warefare and weapons development

“The [link: https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/us-envoy-nides-israel-can-do-whatever-they-need-on-iran-and-weve-got-their-back/] threat of a nuclear Iran is not just for Israel, it is for the Middle East and America. We are focused on this,” says the ambassador. “The cooperation between Israel and the US vis-a-vis Iran is lockstep. Every day.”

US Ambassador Tells Israel “We’ve Got Your Back” If You Attack Iran | Tikun Olam |

A coalition of 40 US anti-war groups has sent a letter to Pres. Biden urging him to renounce the statement of Amb. Nides.  They warn that Israel is looking for justification for such an attack; and Nides has just given it one.  As they wrote:

    … Publicly or even privately offering unconditional U.S. support for unspecified military action by Israel, or any ally,  sets an extremely dangerous precedent and  risks further escalation …

Twitter IAEA Grossi Tehran

CIA director: Iran's nuclear program advancing at "worrisome pace" | CBS News |

🇮🇷 🇮🇷 🇮🇷

US Sidelined

Agreement to restore diplomatic relations and re-open embassies and missions

Bennett: Saudi-Iran deal a failure of Israeli efforts to build anti-Tehran coalition | TOI |

Opposition puts blame on Netanyahu, saying he neglected Iran with focus on judicial overhaul; Likud MK also calls for internal talks `to reunite against the existential threat'

Biden's Concern for Human Rights Abuse | June 15th, 2021 |

Outcry as Saudi Arabia executes young Shia man for 'rebellion' | The Guardian |

Rights groups say Mustafa bin Hashim bin Isa al-Darwish was a minor when alleged offences committed.

Many years have passed sitting on death row before the teenager was executed.

Posted in my diary @BooMan ...  Thank You President Obama for Sending Timoney

Meanwhile the EU-27 under Charles-Josep-Ursula prepare to join Joe Biden in alliance against China ... economic ties and trade.

Biden's 'Multilateralism' Amounts To AmericaFirst!! | March 25, 2021 |

A new face, a bit of adjustment in packaging the act.

On Defense and Security, NATO and the EU preemptively complied with the wishes of the new Biden administration ... wishful thinking there will be reciprocity. 🥊

Related reading ...

Deglobalization: US Attack On Europe's Heart | Dec. 29, 2022 |


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Mar 10th, 2023 at 11:25:52 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Mar 10th, 2023 at 11:52:51 PM EST
whitehouse | Remarks by President Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen Before Bilateral Meeting, 10 Mar
ukraine, ukraine, more ukraine
whitehouse | Joint Statement by President Biden and President von der Leyen,
"Clean Energy Incentives Dialogue" racketeering
We have also taken unprecedented, coordinated, and effective sanctions and other economic measures together to further degrade Russia's capacity to wage its illegal war and its military-industrial system. We are deepening our joint work to aggressively enforce our sanctions and export control measures and also to end and deter circumvention and backfill, including by expanded authorities to close down Russia's access to all inputs that can support its war machine. As part of this, we are taking new steps together to target additional third-country actors across the globe to disrupt support for Russia's war from any corner of the world where it is identified. We are working in lockstep to limit Russian revenue even further while ensuring continued energy supplies to emerging market and developing countries via the G7+ price cap for seaborne Russian-origin crude oil and petroleum products. We will continue to work together to strengthen our economic restrictions to ensure that the costs to Russia of its illegal war continue to grow.
by Cat on Sat Mar 11th, 2023 at 02:42:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yesterday, while vdL was stroking Canadian "critical material" substitution, *.eu.com entertained continental industry resistance to a EU-CN wedgie.

Today, Axel Springer et al are running with one story.
Politico | U.S., EU search for climate truce -- and a united front against China, EU-US "deconfliction"

In their statement, Biden and von der Leyen spoke about cooperation -- a departure from the economic and trade anxiety that dominated relations the past several months -- and singled out [nope] China's "non-market [LOL!] policies and practices" in announcing ["]a dialogue["] on clean energy.
Other than that, I've seen no message from China, in particular, that the SCO region isn't prepared for further G7 import "restrictions" AKA self-destruction. ROW has been preparing "parallel" export markets and institutional credit for 20 years. For them, there's no where to go with all their "proven reserves" but up the value chain—with or without G7 licensed "zero-emission" tech.
by Cat on Sat Mar 11th, 2023 at 03:46:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nissan credit rating downgrade seen as start of 'fallen angels' cycle

The downgrade of Nissan's credit rating from investment grade to junk by S&P Global marks the start of a cycle that could see as much as $55 billion of so-called "fallen angels" this year, said fund managers.

Global supply-chain disruptions, higher labor costs and persistently high inflation in a slowing economy is expected to hurt companies in cyclical sectors like automotives, homebuilding and industrials, leading to rating downgrades of some investment-grade rated companies.

S&P cut Nissan's rating by one notch to BB+ or junk on Tuesday, saying its profitability will remain weaker than global peers as softening demand for new-car sales in the U.S. and Europe would pressure sales prices.

"We are now reaching that inflection point where you're going to start seeing that recession squeeze on companies' earnings," said Jason Friedman, global head of business development at Marathon Asset Management.

Nissan had $10 billion in outstanding U.S. dollar bonds, making it the largest fallen angel since 2020, said BofA Global Research in a report.

Fallen angel volume this year may not be as bad as 2020 when it touched $250 billion, but it could be significantly higher than $18 billion in 2022.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 11th, 2023 at 09:31:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is a euphemism for external USD-denomiated debt "geared" by FRB interest rates and owed to ...US commercial lenders.
by Cat on Sat Mar 11th, 2023 at 05:49:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[HUAC Chairman Marshal] Schiff previously introduced this legislation in the 117th Congress.

The bill is co-sponsored by Representatives Betty McCollum (MN-4), Mike Quigley (IL-5), Dina Titus (NV-1), Dan Kildee (MI-8), Eric "Ima Klan Act Freeman" Swalwell (CA-14), Ed Case (HI-1), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-34), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-8), Susan Wild (PA-7), Jason Crow (CO-6), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Dean Phillips (MN-3), Jill Tokuda (HI-2).

To read the full bill text, click here.

GT Voice | Washington has an inflation headache, and we have a cure, 9 Mar
by Cat on Sat Mar 11th, 2023 at 05:42:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Beginning of a 'new era' after White House meeting between von der Leyen and Biden, 11 Mar
Biden and von der Leyen opened negotiations between Washington and Brussels on a deal that could boost the use of European minerals critical in the production of electric vehicle batteries that are eligible for US TAX CREDITS through Biden's roughly €352 billion clean energy law Inflation Reduction Act that passed last year.
Speaking to reporters outside the White House following the meeting, von der Leyen said, "Today, we agreed that we will work on critical raw materials that have been sourced or processed in the European Union and give export them access to the American market
< wipes tears > as if they were  sourced manufactured in the American market."
archived critical minerals [raw goods] and battery components [intermediate and finished goods]
"I think for us it's very important that...we join forces because it is crucial for our future for fighting climate change and limiting global warming," von der Leyen said. "So for us, it was and is important that we join forces, that we are complementary, that we boost the respective cleantech [sic] industry on both sides" she added.
archived friendshoring pilot market

m'k. EU27 did not send their best. From whom will Europe import "minerals critical," how much will Europe export to battery and vehicle manufacturers in the USA, and at what price for each year on teh "value chain" escalator—40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%—up to 2026?
archived "He's tough, he's nasty, the kind of guy I want negotiating for me"

by Cat on Sat Mar 11th, 2023 at 10:25:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two Russia-bound ships carry massive ammo cargos from Iran - report | I24 News |

The source said that the two ships involved in the transportation of ammunitions were called the Musa Jalil and the Begey.

MarineTraffic, a website tracking shipping routes, placed the two ships at Iran's Caspian Sea port of Amirabad on January 9; at least one of them departed shortly thereafter. 

The U.S. administration of President Joe Biden administration repeatedly charged that Russia and Iran are developing a "full-fledged defense partnership" and Moscow was training Iranian pilots to fly Russian jet fighters.

"Iran has now become Russia's top military backer," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last month. "Iran must cease its support for Russia's unprovoked war of aggression in Ukraine, and we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to disrupt and delay these transfers and impose costs on actors engaged in this activity."

Last month, The Guardian reported that Iran used boats and a state-owned airline to smuggle new types of sophisticated long-range armed drones to Russia for use in its war against Ukraine, a report said on Sunday. 

The Guardian revealed, citing Iranian sources, that most of the drones sent to Russia were secretly picked up by an Iranian ship from a base on the Caspian Sea coast and then transferred out to the sea on a Russian Navy ship. Others were flown on planes from an Iranian state airline, they added.

Reverse engineering of modern American weapons captured in the Ukraine War theater, by Iran in a deepening defense pact with Russia. Most likely the Türkiye Baykar Bayraktar TB2 drone has undergone this proces. In the squabble between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Iran and Türkiye are in opposite camps. Russia is faintly trying to keep warring parties separated by presence of a military peace mission.

Iran captured the US RQ-170 Sentinel while it was in its airspace, apparently on a mission to spy on the country's nuclear sites, US media reported.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 11th, 2023 at 08:51:24 AM EST
Patents pending??

Svenska Bio-Jet har öppen dörr till USA

Angelica Hull and her company Swedish Biofuels AB have already gained attention in the US through a research contract with the US Department of Defense's research organization DARPA.

That contract is worth SEK 30 million over four years and gives Angelica Hull the means to develop a completely bio-based and carbon dioxide-free jet fuel.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 11th, 2023 at 10:11:18 AM EST
Sounds like German car manufacturers had their market share eaten by Tesla. So let's make this article about Chinese owned Volvo which is manufactured in the US.. well done Bloomberg.

Northvolt AB joined European companies putting policy makers on notice about the allure of US green tech incentives, calling tax credits tucked in President Joe Biden's Inflation Reduction Act impossible to ignore.

The supplier of batteries to Volkswagen AG and BMW AG highlighted the tax credits included in the law that cover about 30% of cell manufacturers' operating costs. If the Swedish startup producing batteries in its home country were to start work now on building a similar-size factory in North-America?

Northvolt's First Battery Cell Leaves Assembly Line on Schedule | Bloomberg - Dec. 29, 2022 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 11th, 2023 at 10:53:08 AM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 11th, 2023 at 10:54:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat Mar 11th, 2023 at 05:29:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 11th, 2023 at 10:55:51 AM EST
Joint Trilateral Statement by the People's Republic of China, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Islamic Republic of Iran, 10 Mar

The leaders of the SCO, the backbone of regional economic development, have been preparing for this event since its establishment.

by Cat on Sat Mar 11th, 2023 at 11:43:03 PM EST
Why Saudi snub of Biden on China-Iran deal may help US relations, 14 Mar cyclops translation
• MBS is "largely seen as spiteful"
• MBS oil production cuts "a kind of tactic to hurt Democrats' election chances and help the GOP"
• KSA dependence on US arms supplies, "strong military-to-military partnerships "
• "U.S. and Iran have no direct diplomatic contact" anyway: "'This is something that we think is positive insofar as it promotes what the United States has been promoting in the region, which is de[-]escalation, a reduction in tensions," national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Monday."
• "Ironically, were the Chinese now to succeed in helping to bring an end to that [Yemen] war and some kind of negotiated solution, that also helps US-Saudi relations"
• joint implementation unlikely, because 3 Pariahs®
OPEC (1960 FTA): IR, IQ, KW, NG, SA, VZ, LY, AE, DZ, AO, GQ, CG, GA; PLUS OM*, s-SS*, SS*, BN*, RU*, MX*, AZ*, KZ*, MY*, BH*, EC*, ID*, QA*
OIC (1969 NGO): AZ, AE, IR, IQ, BD, TR, TN, SN, SL, GA, GW, QA, KW, ML, MR, YE, JO, ID, PK, AF, UZ, BH, AL, UG, BN, BJ, TM, BF, TJ, TG, TD, DZ, SA, SS, SY, SR, SO, OM, GM, GY, GN, PS, KM, KG, KZ, CM, CI, LB, LY, MV, MY, EG, MA, MZ, NE, NG, CN*
INSTC (2000 TNC): AM, AZ, BY, BG, IN, IR, KZ, KG, OM, RU, TJ, TR, UA, SY—Trans-Iran leg
SCO (2001 NGO): CN, RU, IN, PK, KZ, KG, TJ, UZ, IR, AM*, AF*, AZ*, BY*, TR*, LK*, KH*, SA*,EG*
BRICS (2009 FTA): CN, RU, BR, IN, ZA; AR*, DZ*, EG*, ID*, IR*, CM*, ML*, SN*, TH*, UZ*, FJ*, ET*, KZ*
EaEU (2012 FTA): AM, BY, KZ, KG, TJ, RU, VN*, CN*, RS*
JCPOA (2015): CN, RU, IR, FR, DE, UK, EU, US
by Cat on Tue Mar 14th, 2023 at 08:20:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
APsplainin | China, Russia, Iran hold joint naval drills in Gulf of Oman, 15 Mar "Security Bond-2023"
Other countries are also taking part in the "Security Bond-2023" exercises [15-19 Mar], the ministry said without giving details. Iran, Pakistan, Oman[,] and the United Arab Emirates [UAE] all have coastline along the waterbody l[a]ying at the mouth of the strategic Persian Gulf.
U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Wednesday that the White House was not concerned by the joint training exercise. Kirby said the U.S. and other nations conduct training exercises all the time and this won't be the first time that the Russians and Chinese have trained together.

"We're going to watch it, we'll monitor it, obviously, to make sure that there's no threat resulting from this training exercise to our national security interests or those of our allies and partners in the region," Kirby said on CNN. "But nations train. We do it all the time. We'll watch it as best we can."
While the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have long-standing military and political ties [!], relations have frayed over the 2018 killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the kingdom's leadership, and cuts in production by the OPEC+ oil cartel [!] that the administration said was helping Russia.

saudigazette | Prince Abdulaziz warns from imposing price cap on Saudi oil exports (14.03.23)
"He said: 'if a price cap were to be imposed on Saudi oil exports, we will not sell oil to any country that imposes a price cap on our supply.'"
China's hosting of the Iran-Saudi talks placed it in the unusual role of mediator in regional conflicts, one that Beijing appears to be keen to capitalize on under the rubric [sic] of President Xi Jinping's "Global Security Initiative." [23.02.23]
reuters | Syrian president Assad arrives in Moscow [again], will meet Putin, 14 Mar
...A Kremlin statement said the two leaders would discuss cooperation in the political, trade and humanitarian spheres "as well as prospects for an overall settlement of the situation in and around Syria"....
by Cat on Wed Mar 15th, 2023 at 06:06:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on March 15, 2023
The Paper: Saudi Arabia and Iran held talks sponsored by China in Beijing and agreed to resume diplomatic relations. At the same time, Special Envoy Zhai Jun of the Chinese Government on the Middle East Issue have been shuttling between Palestine and Israel to facilitate a solution for issues between the two sides. What will China do regarding the settlement of the hotspot issues in the Middle East? 
Wang Wenbin: The Middle East has the most hotpost issues in the world. As a good friend of Middle East countries, China does not have selfish interests and does not seek to put up exclusive blocs in the region. China is dedicated to the political settlement of hotspot issues and has always been a reliable mediator with goodwill. In recent years, China has proposed a five-point initiative on achieving security and stability in the Middle East [27.03.21], a four-point proposal for the political settlement of the Syrian issue [20.01.14], and a three-point vision for the implementation of the two-state solution to the Palestinian question [15.05.21]. Recently, China sponsored the Saudi Arabia-Iran talks in Beijing which produced major outcomes. Special Envoy Zhai Jun's shuttling and good offices have been highly appreciated and widely welcomed by countries and people in the region....
also setting aside fmprc annual invitation to OIC, China-Arab States, and China-GCC summits

Special Envoy Zhai Jun of the Chinese Government on the Middle East Issue Meets with EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Sven Koopmans, 13 Mar 2023 Brussels

...Both sides agreed that China and the EU share similar positions on the Palestinian question, and are ready to continue to strengthen communication and cooperation, jointly remain committed to advancing the end of violence and conflicts between Palestine and Israel, and restart dialogue and negotiations on the basis of the two-state solution and relevant resolutions of the United Nations as soon as possible, to promote peace and stability in the Middle East.
indicia: relevant special envoy "shuttling" 2021-2023
by Cat on Wed Mar 15th, 2023 at 11:02:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thecradle | The hidden security clauses of the Iran-Saudi deal - Sources™, 12 Mar
At first glance, the first four clauses suggest that the Chinese-brokered deal is essentially a mending of diplomatic relations between the two longtime adversaries. But in fact, the fifth clause is far from the standard text inserted into joint statements between states.
boilerplate violation
Sources familiar with the negotiations have revealed to The Cradle that Chinese President Xi Jinping did not merely coat-tail a deal already underway between Tehran and Riyadh. Xi has, in fact, personally paved the way for this agreement to materialize. The Chinese head of state delved deep into its details since his visit to Saudi Arabia in December 2022, and then later, during Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's visit to Beijing in mid-February 2023.
In short, regional and domestic security and stability are vital for Riyadh to be able to implement its strategic goals. As such, confidential clauses were inserted into the Beijing Agreement to assure Iran and Saudi Arabia that their security imperatives would be met. Some of these details were provided to The Cradle, courtesy of a source involved in the negotiations
On a slightly separate note related to regional security -- but not part of the Beijing Agreement -- sources involved in negotiations confirmed to The Cradle that, during talks, the Saudi delegation stressed Riyadh's commitment to the 2002 Arab peace initiative; refusing normalization with Tel Aviv before the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital.
What is perhaps most remarkable, and illustrates the determination by the parties to strike a deal without the influence of spoilers, is that Iranian and Saudi intelligence delegations met in the Chinese capital for five days without Israeli intel being aware of the fact. It is perhaps yet another testament that China -- unlike the US -- understands how to get a deal done in these shifting times.
by Cat on Wed Mar 15th, 2023 at 10:30:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Always had much resect for his blog with some excellent analysts like Aaron Lund ... but repeating BS written by WaPo creates some doubts about his insight in power brokers and machinations. Don't peddle lies from the intelligence community or the Pentagon.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Mar 17th, 2023 at 09:31:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Fri Mar 17th, 2023 at 12:12:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

In my reading the NYT "revelation" is hogwash, a fantasy dreamed up by Netanyahu.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Mar 12th, 2023 at 11:13:41 AM EST
Boy prince Salman, the future king of Saudi Arabia has been humiliated by Joe Biden. Any Arab leader won't forget, nor forgive. The Saudi Kingdom will take the best from East and West in line with its own national interest. Salman has turned his back on Israel and America. There is the Arab Peace Initiative from 2002 collecting dust.

The UAE has closer ties to Israeli intelligence and cooperation and differs with KSA on the Yemen War. For over a decade the UAE has a civilian nuclear program, a contract with a South Korean consortium. Three units are operating. Outside the USA and Europe, there are many options for modern nuclear plants with Russia, India and China. The latter leading with a massive 228 nuclear reactors in development.

Since Vision 2030 was unveiled in 2016, Saudi policy elites have expressed a strong and seemingly non-negotiable interest in developing the capacity to produce low-enriched uranium as nuclear fuel utilizing domestic resources: In other words, nuclear fuel-cycle independence.

It is lonely in the NATO for the Middle East with new member Israel.

On 15 January 2020, to bind the Biden administration, Mike Pompeo and the Pentagon pulls Israel out of EUCOM into a new development in CENTCOM. The prospect of an Israel-Arab states alliance to confront the new China-Iran partnership.

Why the Middle East Does Not Need a Nato-Like Alliance? | Future UAE - 07 August 2022 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Mar 12th, 2023 at 11:15:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]

European president Michael Shu said the UK did not even make the top 10 possible locations for its first European plant, with a shortlist of sites in Germany, France, Spain, Poland and Hungary.

"As an investor we want a country to be stable. To open a factory . . . is a decision for decades," he told the Financial Times.

Ouch! With VDL meeting JB in the White House, the EU-27 too may lack stability in China relations, but the consumer market is huge for Asian EV carmakers.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Mar 12th, 2023 at 09:48:21 PM EST
Via PressTV.ir

Biden gets confused when asked what he thinks about Iran and Saudi Arabia restoring diplomatic relations, saying "better the relations between Israel and Arab neighbors, the better for everyone."

Dream on Joe. Free Palestine 🇵🇸

Some years ago ...

US Will Be Ousted by Saudi King Abdullah in Middle-East | Feb 27, 2013 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Mar 13th, 2023 at 09:02:43 PM EST

Where was the US when Iran, Saudi Arabia restored ties? | JPost - editorial |

The deal between Saudi and Iran is a significant development in the Middle East. Israel needs to speak with its allies in Washington and urge the Biden administration to become more active.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Mar 13th, 2023 at 11:30:01 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Mar 13th, 2023 at 11:30:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Analysis: Saudi-Iran Rapprochement: In China's Middle East, Israel Has Little Influence | Haaretz - by Zvi Bar'el |

Israel's dream of forming an Arab alliance against Iran was shattered on Friday with the news that Iran and Saudi Arabia have

The dramatic announcement is likely to redraw the regional map of friends and foes and will have global reverberations. The agreement provides Iran with much-needed legitimacy in the Arab world and could lead to further deals with Arab states like Egypt, pave the way to end the war in Yemen, offer a workable solution to the crisis in Lebanon, and even lead to a resumption of negotiations to save the nuclear deal.

The Saudi-Iranian rapprochement will force the United States to re-evaluate its standing in the region. After all, it was China - not Washington or Moscow - that was able to reassemble a complex political constellation traditionally under American purview.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Mar 13th, 2023 at 11:38:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Mar 13th, 2023 at 11:40:21 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 14th, 2023 at 11:38:32 AM EST
Former Mossad Chief: Ask China to Mediate for Iran-Israel Relations | Tikun Olam |

In yesterday's Haaretz, Efraim Halevy wrote an especially provocative column related to the Saudi-Iran diplomatic breakthrough.  While other commentators (including me) were toting up winners and losers, Halevy had something totally different in mind.  He had an idea. One that would benefit Israel immensely if translated into action.  The problem, of course, is that there are no thoughtful, pragmatic figures in Israeli politics who could implement it.

Nevertheless, it deserves a hearing.

The sentiment is clear: despite decades of Israeli-Iranian hatred and venom dating back to the 1979 Iranian Revolution, enemies may become, if not friends, then at least not-enemies.  Many have stated (including me) that Israel and Iran share much in the realms of technology, innovation and even history.  Among other things, Iran has the largest Jewish community in the Middle East.  A normalization would permit not only commerce, but a cross-fertilization in many areas.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 14th, 2023 at 11:39:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I recall the horrific assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai ... the UAE and the Jewish State of Israel have become the best of friends sharing intelligence and Pegasus.

With the right incentives, nothing is impossible. However, the strength in the new ties between KSA and Iran lies in pressuring the US and West towards a fair solution for Palestine ... Free Palestine 🇵🇸

The motivation of the present Saudi-Iran rapprochement lies in the common hatred for American policy and broken promises. The retreat (defeat) from Afghanistan ways heavy. A blowback of decades of foreign policy full of incomprehension of cultures and history. America will never do well as a colonizer.

Nearly a decade ago I wrote an article "US Will Be Ousted by Saudi King Abdullah in Middle-East" ... oil independence loosened the remaining ties so long as security in the Persian 😊 Gulf is guaranteed by China (and perhaps Russia). The dependence of China's economy on ME fossil fuel is quite a marker for the near future.

Missing is King Abdullah of Jordan, saved from a coup by Joe Biden in March of 2021, is a staunch ally of America and backs a Middle East NATO for the region. Jordan and Yasser Arafat picked the wrong side in 1990-91 Gulf War

President Barack Obama and John Kerry were close to a grand slam in ME politics ... however their efforts were thwarted by Netanyahu and hardliners in his cabinet ... it has only gotten much worse.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 14th, 2023 at 11:56:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Saudi Arabia's King Salman has said opening ties with Israel is contingent on progress toward a Palestinian state, but Saudi officials have laid out additional conditions for Washington, such as a steady supply of weapons shielded from partisan politics or policy differences, a commitment to Saudi Arabia's defense and help building a civil nuclear program.

And Saudi Arabia has continued to show its preference for Republican negotiating partners in D.C., with Hung pointing to speculation that the Saudis sought to undercut Biden and Democrats ahead of the 2022 midterm elections by cutting oil production despite U.S. opposition. 

"Many people interpreted his [the crown prince's] actions of trying to lower oil production to push up the oil price as a kind of tactic to hurt Democrats' election chances and help the GOP," Hung said. 

"The very positive news, I can report, is that the perturbations of the relationships at the political level almost never cascade down to the military-to-military level," Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, commander of U.S. Air Forces Central, which covers the Middle East, said in a February briefing with reporters at the Center for a New American Security

Still, the U.S. should keep an eye on countries in the Gulf region purchasing weapons from China or Russia, or diversifying their defense relationships, Grynkewich said, but with a recognition that the U.S. largely has an advantage with quality of material, training and support. 

What's missing in this piece the prior disagreements between the US and Saudi Arabia also stretches out over decades. Ahead of the decision to invade Iraq, George Bush and King Abdullah had a major row and warned of opening Pandora's Box ... can you imagine the leverage of the Saudi King post 9/11. Most likely placated by a few multiple billion $$ contracts for fighter planes, etc. Most crucial was the signing by Obama of the JCPOA agreement in 2015, this forced the coalition Arab States with Netanyahu's Israel to coordinate the subversion of Democrats in the 2016 election. HRC lost although she had full support of Ukraine leaders and the diaspora living in the States.

International Coalition to Defeat Democrats and Hillary in 2016

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Mar 15th, 2023 at 09:15:25 AM EST

Intervention US Election 2016 ... Not Russia

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Mar 15th, 2023 at 09:16:26 AM EST
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Bahrain and U.S. Base Manama

US Naval Support Activity Bahrain  In-depth Overview

Civilian Attire/Dress Code

Related reading ...

Saudi King Excoriates Prince Salman on Israel Comment | Apr 3, 2018 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Mar 15th, 2023 at 11:21:09 PM EST
From my diary @BooMan ...

Saudi King Excoriates Prince Salman on Israel Comment | Apr 3, 2018 |

Saudi King Salman reaffirmed support for Palestinians to US President Donald Trump, state media said, after his son and heir apparent said Israel has a "right" to a homeland.

The king "reaffirmed the kingdom's steadfast position towards the Palestinian issue and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital," the official Saudi Press Agency said.

The king also emphasised the need to advance the Middle East peace process in a phone call with Trump, which came after Israeli forces killed 17 Palestinians last week during a demonstration on its border with Gaza.

Saudi Arabia and Israel have no formal diplomatic relations, but behind the scenes their ties appear to have improved in recent years against what they see as a common Iranian threat.

Saudi crown prince: 'Israel has right to exist in peace' | Ynet News |

"Our country doesn't have a problem with Jews. Our Prophet Muhammad married a Jewish woman. Not just a friend--he married her," he insisted. [Muhammad "took" her after Battle of Khaybar - Oui]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Mar 15th, 2023 at 11:25:11 PM EST
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Saudi Crown Prince: Iran's Supreme Leader 'Makes Hitler Look Good' | The Atlantic - April 2, 2018 |

In a wide-ranging conversation, Prince Mohammed bin Salman also recognized the Jewish people's right to "their own land."

This much, at least, can be said for Mohammed bin Salman, the putatively reformist crown prince of Saudi Arabia: He has made all the right enemies. Among those who would celebrate his end are the leaders of ISIS, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas, as well as Yemen's Houthi rebels, and the entire clerical and military leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The prince, in my conversation with him, divided the Middle East into two warring camps: what he called the "triangle of evil," consisting of Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Sunni terror groups; and an alliance of self-described moderate states that includes Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Oman. About his bête noir, the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Prince Mohammed said, "I believe the Iranian supreme leader makes Hitler look good. Hitler didn't do what the supreme leader is trying to do. Hitler tried to conquer Europe. ... The supreme leader is trying to conquer the world."

Another key--though sub rosa--member of Prince Mohammed's alliance is Israel, a country about which Prince Mohammed did not have a bad word to say. In fact, when I asked him whether he believed the Jewish people have a right to a nation-state in at least part of their ancestral homeland, he said: "I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation. I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land."

According to the former U.S. peace negotiator Dennis Ross, moderate Arab leaders have spoken of the reality of Israel's existence, but acknowledgement of any sort of "right" to Jewish ancestral land has been a red line no leader has crossed until now. (My meeting with Prince Mohammed took place before the recent fatal violence on the Gaza-Israel border, but I do not believe that the crown prince would have moderated his views in light of these events. The Saudis, like many Arab leaders, have tired of the Palestinians.)

Our conversation took place in Prince Khalid's living room, beneath a painting depicting the 1945 meeting between President Franklin Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia (and grandfather of Mohammed and Khalid). Prince Khalid joined us, as did a wide array of aides and advisers, who sat on two couches and frowned with concern when it seemed as if the prince was veering toward bluntness.

Pat Lang on Israel and the Iranian Conference ¶ A Rebuttal | by Oui on Jan. 18, 2005 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Mar 15th, 2023 at 11:26:31 PM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Mar 17th, 2023 at 09:21:32 AM EST

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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Mar 19th, 2023 at 10:57:19 PM EST

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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Mar 19th, 2023 at 10:58:03 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 21st, 2023 at 03:22:10 PM EST

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by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 21st, 2023 at 09:30:05 PM EST

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by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 21st, 2023 at 09:30:51 PM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 21st, 2023 at 09:47:23 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 21st, 2023 at 09:48:31 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 21st, 2023 at 10:11:27 PM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 21st, 2023 at 09:49:44 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Mar 27th, 2023 at 07:30:40 AM EST
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No dissent possible ... UN Charter and sovereignty of a state ... Kyiv is autonomous, peace ☮️ and war is for them to decide ... no meddling from foreign entities ... EU and NATO are one

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 21st, 2023 at 09:59:32 PM EST

NATO Chief Sees 'Some Signs' China Could Back Russia's War | VOA News |

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by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 21st, 2023 at 10:12:23 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 25th, 2023 at 06:29:30 PM EST

China calls on Europe to play its part for ceasefire in Ukraine

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 25th, 2023 at 06:32:00 PM EST

Putin says Moscow has deal with Belarus to station nuclear weapons there | NBC News |

Russia has already stationed 10 aircraft in Belarus capable of carrying tactical nuclear weapons, Putin said.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 25th, 2023 at 07:17:17 PM EST

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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Mar 26th, 2023 at 04:42:20 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Mar 26th, 2023 at 04:43:39 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Mar 26th, 2023 at 06:45:04 PM EST

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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Mar 26th, 2023 at 06:47:40 PM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Mar 26th, 2023 at 07:00:57 PM EST
Joe sticking it out with Bibi as US power unravels before his eyes ... no word on the progress to build a NATO with Israel, UAE, KSA to enslave Iran in Pax Americana.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Mar 29th, 2023 at 10:06:34 AM EST

Establishing an 'Arab NATO': Vision versus Reality | INSS |

Pentagon Shifts Israel to CENTCOM Responsibility | January 2021 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Mar 29th, 2023 at 10:07:44 AM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 3rd, 2023 at 12:14:54 PM EST
For years Macron sitting on his hands ...

France's Macron: EU shouldn't follow US or China on Taiwan

The French president called for the EU to implement its stated policy of "strategic autonomy" and argued the bloc could become a "third pole" alongside China and the US.

French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated his calls for the EU to maintain an independent foreign policy in a Sunday interview for French business daily Les Echo.
"We don't want to get into a bloc versus bloc logic," he said, arguing that Europe "should not be caught up in a disordering of the world and crises that aren't ours."

The remarks follow a visit to China by Macron and other EU officials which included a meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping. Among other issues, the leaders discussed tensions around Taiwan and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Macron stressed that an escalation on Taiwan was not in the EU's interest.

"The question asked of us Europeans is the following: is it in our interest for there to be acceleration on the topic of Taiwan? No. The worst thing we Europeans could do would be to be followers on this topic and to adapt to the American rhythm and a Chinese overreaction. Why should we go at a rhythm chosen by someone else?

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 9th, 2023 at 07:56:27 PM EST
'Do we want to be vassals'? France says Europe should push back against U.S. | CTV News - May 11, 2018 |

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Europe-1 radio that Europe should not accept that the U.S. is the "world's economic policeman."

"Do we want to be vassals who obey decisions taken by the United States while clinging to the hem of their trousers?" Le Maire asked. "Or do we want to say we have our economic interests, we consider we will continue to do trade with Iran?"
Merkel took a more measured tone.

"This is a serious event, we have to say that, but it is not a reason to call into question the entire trans-Atlantic partnership," she said during an appearance Friday in the western German city of Muenster.

She acknowledged that it is uncertain "to what extent we can keep this (nuclear) agreement alive if a giant economic power doesn't join in."

The top diplomats of Iran, France, Britain and Germany are expected to meet early next week to discuss their next steps.

Le Maire proposed creating a European body that would have the same kind of powers that the U.S. Justice Department has to punish foreign companies for their trade practices.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 9th, 2023 at 07:57:23 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 10th, 2023 at 07:13:37 PM EST
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Marco Rubio on a war path vs. Macron and France ...

Republican American Senator Marco Rubio, after the words of French President Emmanuel Macron that he is against drawing the EU into the conflict over Taiwan, threatened to leave Europe to deal with Ukraine on its own and focus on the Taiwan issue.

According to the senator, it is also necessary to understand whether Macron spoke only for France or for the entire EU.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 10th, 2023 at 07:19:15 PM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 10th, 2023 at 07:21:14 PM EST

Should the U.S. be the world's policeman?

Biden ousted France from Indo-Pacific Defense pact in 2021 ...

France says Biden acted like Trump to sink Australia defence deal | Reuters - Sept. 17, 2021 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 10th, 2023 at 07:25:06 PM EST

From my diary ...

AUKUS: Choice for a Chaotic Boris Is Striking

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 10th, 2023 at 07:26:35 PM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 10th, 2023 at 07:45:01 PM EST

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