Former Israeli ambassador to Egypt: Sisi ‘disappointed’ by US

Former Israeli Ambassador of Egypt, Zvi Mazel

Former Israeli Ambassador of Egypt, Zvi Mazel

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi is “disappointment with White House policies”, former Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Zvi Mazel wrote in an article yesterday.

In an article published in the Jerusalem Post, Mazel said that the eyes of the world were on Syria, and the US was looking at Iran’s nuclear deal, which makes Iran a real dominant power in the Middle East.

He noted that the great world powers are busy in their “narrow interests” and they are not looking at the “elephant inside the room”. He also noted that the US left the whole region under Iran’s mercy.

Mazel added that France has recently agreed to attack Daesh only in Syria, not in its strongholds in Iraq, while Iran is fastening its control over the region, Hezbollah’s power is increasing and Russia is sending weapons and planes to Syria thus undermining the stability in the region.

The former Israeli ambassador to Egypt and other European countries said that Al-Sisi could make his voice heard by world powers for a while and stressed on the importance of the comprehensive cooperation between the Arab states and the West in order to face terrorism in the region.

However, Mazel said that a strong Egypt is vital to the Western interests and that was the “covert” message of Al-Sisi.

Al-Sisi described his country’s relationship with the US as “improving, strategic and stable.” Mazel said that this is a diplomatic move to reflect his disappointment in the American policies regarding his country, noting to the delay in the US military aid to Egypt, which is badly needed to fight “Islamic terrorists” in Sinai.

Mazel also said that the military drills between Egypt and other Arab countries have not resumed as Egypt is still waiting for equipment and for its forces to be trained in guerrilla warfare.

Furthermore, Mazel claimed, the While House has strong connections with the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Sisi’s main enemy.


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Iran is Offering to Resolve Yemen’s War; The Agenda?

Iranian officials’ rhetoric and tone on the Yemen crisis has slightly changed some recently for tactical reasons, not strategic ones. This change was initiated because of the shift in Iran’s foreign policy regarding how to use “diplomacy” and the appropriate wording in order to achieve Tehran’s ideological, geopolitical and economic objectives.

Surprisingly, according to BBC Persian, this week Hossein Amir Abdollahian, the Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs in Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has offered his country’s assistance to other Arab states for “getting out of the crisis in Yemen.”

Since the Yemen crisis began and through last week, Iranian officials, including the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, and Iranian state-controlled media outlets launched their rhetoric war against other nations, several Arab countries- particularly anti-Saudi rhetoric. They are being criticized for their involvement in Yemen.

What is intriguing about Tehran’s attitude is that the Islamic Republic views other countries’ engagement in Yemen- even those that share borders with Yemen and have justifiable security reasons to be concerned about the Yemen conflict- as interventions, irrelevant, and intrusive. Simultaneously, Iran sees its role in Yemen as justifiable even though it does not share a border with Yemen and Yemen’s conflict does not pose any security threat whatsoever to Tehran.

Iran sees the Yemen conflict as Tehran’s struggle to tip the regional balance of power in its favor, promoting its ideological and sectarian values, and demonstrating its regional supremacy over other Arab states in the gulf.

Nevertheless, why is there a sudden diplomatic offer coming from Tehran?

Iranian Leaders Are Biting Off More Than They Can Chew

Iran goes to great lengths to present an image of economic power, however in reality Iranian leaders are hemorrhaging billions of dollars, with the approval of Mr. Khamenei, to maintain their proxies fighting and to keep two other governments in power; in Syria and Iraq.

For many years, the geopolitical, strategic, ideological and economic benefits of creating Shiite proxies across the region exceeded the financial, military and weaponry expenses that Tehran spent on its allies.

The trend has changed for the Islamic Republic. Iran’s foreign policies of supporting Shiite proxies and governments led to excesses and unintended consequences. Iran found itself and its proxies and allies fighting in several full-fledged wars and Tehran found itself spending billions of dollars more in its efforts to support its proxies and allies who fought against its strategic rivals.

Iranian leaders are bleeding economically and militarily due to Iran’s underlying ideological values, its unintended consequences, and Tehran’s foreign policy standards: search for regional preeminence and supremacy, support for proxies, and Tehran’s ideological and hegemonic ambitions . What is worse for Tehran is that, this economic and military bleeding (in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, Lebanon, etc.) does not appear to be stopping anytime soon.

As a result, Iran is desperately pleading and manipulating, using words and rhetoric in an attempt to save its budget and military manpower. We should remember that Iran’s rhetoric and words worked to solidify the nuclear deal.

But do all of these words mean that Iran is going to actually alter its foreign policy toward Yemen and the Houthis?

Iran’s Proxies: Iran Wants to Have their Cake and Eat it Too

Iran’s Supreme Leader and the senior cardre of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are so shackled into the underlying ideological and deep-rooted institutional values of the Islamic Republic that they will not, and can not, alter their position of supporting the Houthis.

They also can not retract their support from other Shiite proxies and governments in the region.

Ironically, halting financial, advisory, intelligence, and political support to these proxies and governments could save Iranian leaders billions of dollars. If Tehran lessens its support to those proxies and states, they will be forced to make concessions and consequently the conflict will cease because as long as the Houthis and other proxies believe that the Islamic Republic is behind them, they have no incentive to stop the war.

Hence, Iran will benefit economically if it changes its foreign policies. But the underlying issue is that Tehran is so deeply entrenched in the well-established and instituted ideological, sectarian (Sunni vs Shia), and ethnic (Persians vs Arabs) norms that it is impossible for the government and Iranian leaders to change the character of the state.

Iran’s ideological norms which are pervasive throughout the country includes the struggle to tip the regional balance of power against Arab states in the Gulf, which is an indispensable element and pillar of the Islamic Republic, primarily the Supreme Leader and IRGC.

The other reason behind Iran’s change of rhetoric is related to Tehran’s tactical shift in using verbal manipulation and “diplomacy” in order to achieve its ideological, geopolitical and economic objectives.

After experiencing the success of the nuclear deal, Iranian leaders have learned that smiley faces and wielding a diplomatic tone assisted them in paving the way to receive billions of dollars and have some of the crippling economic sanctions on their country lifted.

In closing, from the Iranian leaders’ perspective, a new rhetoric, tactical shift and different choice of words on Yemen might assist them in their attempt to save billions of dollars while simultaneously maintaining Tehran’s proxy. As a result Iran could become more empowered in Yemen, and give Tehran a victory in Yemen, all while leaving Iran’s underlying foreign policy objectives, ideological principles and regional hegemonic ambitions intact.


Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, an American scholar and political scientist, is the president of the International American Council on the Middle East. Harvard-educated, Rafizadeh serves on the advisory board of Harvard International Review. He is originally from Iran and Syria. You can contact him at or follow him at @majidrafizadeh

This post first appeared on Al Arabiya.

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Next stop, Iran: Osborne to lead UK’s ‘biggest-ever’ trade delegation to Tehran

Osborne, speaking on the last day of a controversial visit to China, said he was prepared to take risks to boost the British economy.

The chancellor has faced criticism during his five-day tour of China for refusing to talk publicly about human rights issues, instead focusing on commercial ventures.

His stance was welcomed by media in Beijing however, with the China Daily and state-owned Global Times newspapers heaping praise on the “pragmatism” of Osborne’s China policy.

Osborne wanted to engage with Tehran providing it fulfils its obligations under the nuclear deal, he told the Financial Times.

We can either sit on the sidelines, watch the world move ahead and gradually decline — plenty of other countries are taking that path — or we can get out there and plant our flag in the ground,” he said.

Assuming that Iran honors the nuclear deal, and it’s properly verified, I think there will be growing potential to do business with Iran.

Next year I would love to lead a proper, big economic and trade delegation to Iran,” he added.

Britain was one of the first western countries to formally engage with Iran after the nuclear settlement was signed in July.

Last month Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond led a diplomatic and trade delegation to re-open the British Embassy in Tehran after nearly four years without diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Representatives from Royal Dutch Shell were part of the trade delegation and met with Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh and Central Bank Governor Valiollah Seif during the trip.

Oil giants Total and Eni have also met with Iranian officials to discuss working in Iran, which holds 9.3 percent of the world’s oil reserves and 18.2 percent of the world’s natural gas reserves.

Osborne’s love-bombing of China has attracted fierce criticism from human rights groups and Britain’s allies.

The chancellor refused to publicly raise human rights issues in China, but maintains he discussed the subject in private meetings.

A visit to the western region of Xinjiang was condemned because of China’s repressive policies against the local Uyghur population.

A spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress, a group for exiled Uyghurs, said Britain’s silence is “disappointing.”

Britain can’t give the silent nod to China’s particular suppression of the Uighurs due to economic benefits, sending the wrong signal to China and leading to China increasing monitoring and suppression in the region. China is using economic interest to divide the West.

The Financial Times quotes an unnamed Western diplomat in Beijing as saying Britain’s approach to China has been reduced to purely mercantile matters.

The UK’s China policy seems to have been reduced to pursuing commercial interests. There’s nothing wrong with looking after your business interests, but how far do you go?

Chinese media took a more positive view however, with the Beijing-based China Daily praising the chancellor for his “pragmatic policy.

In an editorial (in Chinese), the state-owned Global Times praised Osborne and said “it should be diplomatic etiquette for foreign leaders not to confront China by raising the human rights issue.

Keeping a modest manner is the correct attitude for a foreign minister visiting China to seek business opportunities. Some Westerners believe their officials should behave like a master of human rights to show their superiority over China and the East,” it added.

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NSA spied on entire Iranian UN delegation in 2007 – report

READ MORE: Data sharing deal with US must end due to ‘mass surveillance’ – EU court advisor

Citing a top secret government report and former intelligence officials, NBC stated that the NSA conducted surveillance on Iran’s then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and all 143 members of his UN delegation. This expansive effort reportedly included tapping phones and bugging the hotel rooms of each individual, as well as intercepting Skype discussions and video conferences.

Additionally, intelligence officials created detailed, constantly-updated spreadsheets on all members of the Iranian delegation, including their names, titles, and passport numbers, according to the document, titled “Tips for a Successful Quick Reaction Capability.” This purportedly helped US officials delve into the connections of various Iranian officials.

When Iran’s UN delegation arrived in New York for the UN assembly, three teams composed of five or six people worked nearly 20 hours a day in order to record and transcribe the conversations they were snooping in on. Some 2,000 conversations were analyzed each day, according to NBC.

The effort was initiated after the NSA went to then-President George W. Bush and asked for what NBC described as “blanket surveillance” of Ahmadinejad’s visit. This request was ultimately approved by the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which grants surveillance permissions.

According to former intelligence officials who spoke to NBC, the US will likely conduct similar surveillance operations on foreign delegations this year.

Notably, the Iranians apparently believed that the US would try to spy on them and “cleared” conference rooms before speaking, according to Banafsheh Keynoush, who worked as Ahmadinejad’s translator at the time.

“At a general level, [the Iranians] have always felt such bugging would take place, but have probably been unaware of the scale of it,” Keynoush told NBC. “I don’t believe personally that much intelligence that would make the Iranians uneasy could be gathered from these events, because the Iranians would likely mindfully not engage in secretive conversations while in the U.S.”

The news comes in the wake of the successful completion of a major nuclear accord between the US, Iran and five other world powers. The agreement will see economic sanctions against Tehran lifted in exchange for a drastic reduction in the country’s nuclear capabilities. Iran will also allow international inspectors access to nuclear sites.

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‘I’ve had enough of Manchester!’ Iranian immigrant begs police to deport him

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) tweeted details of the event on an official account on Tuesday evening: “Male arrested earlier at our front desk when he demanded to be returned home to Iran as he has had enough of Manchester after 10 years.

The man is said to have turned up at the police office in the town hall in the center of Manchester.

They said the individual was “very angry” and “demanding to be returned home.” He had been here “illegally last 10 years,” the police said, adding it had been a “strange incident.”

The Twitter response on Wednesday varied from the comic to the indignant.

User @RyanPitcher said: “I can see it now, some Iranian dude coming in, swinging his arms with a Manc-walk insisting he wants to ‘slide away.’”

Other Twitter users commended the unnamed individual for his staying power, with user ‏@FPL_simon432 tweeting: “10 years in Manchester? Never mind deportation – give the man a medal!

Highlighting a longstanding regional rivalry, @glovemonkey weighed in to say: “I went shopping in Mcr [Manchester] last week. 30 minutes in I wanted to go back to [Liverpool]. Not sure if it’s the city or the shopping.

The case was handed over to immigration officials. Manchester Evening News reported that man was later released.

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Why Evangelicals Will Pray for the Iran Deal

Last week, the Senate voted not to consider a Congressional override of the Iran nuclear deal, all but assuring that the agreement will survive congressional review and move forward toward implementation. Political sideshows will likely continue in Congress and on the campaign trail, but we can now return our focus to ensuring that the agreement accomplishes what it set out to do: prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon.

Indeed, this deal will grant inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency unprecedented access to Iran’s nuclear facilities and potential suspected sites. It will significantly reduce Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and capacity to build a bomb. And it will extend the time it would take Iran to build a bomb if it ever did try to cheat — from weeks before the deal, to over a year after the deal goes in effect. Perhaps most importantly, it provides a way, short of war, to stop Iran’s nuclear program.

That’s why we’re praying for this deal — literally. More than 160,000 American evangelical Christians have signed a pledge to pray for the deal and our leaders last Friday, September 18, the day after the final day for congressional review. And while the number of individuals who have pledged to pray is enormous, they will surely be dwarfed by the actual prayers of the majority of evangelicals in America that polling has shown support the deal.

We will be praying for peace in the Middle East, that our leaders continue to work toward the goal of preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon, and that their decisions will protect the security of our citizens and strengthen America’s moral leadership in the world.

In so doing, American evangelicals will join our voice to other Christian leaders in the U.S. who have spoken out in support of the Iran deal, as well as Christians and people of many faiths around the world who recognize that this deal is the surest and best way to keep Iran from getting a nuke.

The strength of the evangelical community’s support of the Iran agreement has been an under-appreciated and underreported data point on this issue. But for a people who worship the Prince of Peace, supporting strong diplomacy and a deal that will keep Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is the natural position for Christians to take.

While we’re under no illusion about the nature of the regime in Tehran, we also know that another war in the Middle East will not make America or our world more secure. And especially when there is a chance for strength and security through diplomacy, we should be guided by Christ’s teaching that “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

That is why a chorus of the faithful will be lifting up its voice in prayer on Friday for a deal that makes America and the world more secure.

Cizik is the president of the New Evangelical Partnership.

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Head of the line: Microsoft opens first store in Teheran

Special to

Microsoft has opened its first retail store in Iran and may soon be joined by Apple and McDonald’s, according to Iranian media reports.

Microsoft has launched a new retail store in Teheran.

Microsoft has launched a new retail store in Teheran.

Press TV, citing the Tasnim News Agency, said on Sept. 17 that the American technology giant had set up shop in Teheran, making it the first U.S. company to establish a presence in Iran since the signing of the nuclear agreement with world powers.

Press TV also reported that Apple and McDonald’s had been putting out feelers to enter the Iranian market, though the latter company was said to be backpedaling after an outpouring of anti-American sentiment in Iran.

The reports said the shop in Teheran will be selling mobile phones produced by Microsoft.

“This five-unit store has been opened by Pars Samtel, the exclusive agent of Microsoft mobile phones, at Iran Mobile Marketplace on Hafez Avenue in Teheran, with the company’s banner ad clarifying that the store is the first in Iran,� the report said, claiming that Microsoft had long been wanting to enter into the Iranian market, which consists of 80 million people, most of whose computers have Windows operating systems.



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South Front Foreign Policy Diary: Violence in the Middle East (plus Syria & Novorossia Military Reports)


The Iranian nuclear deal doesn’t mean a calm of the conflicts in the Middle East. Tehran’s opponents in the region will curb the expansion of Iranian influence enforced by the chance of lifting the sanctions from the Islamic Republic. This will not immediately result in all-out warfare in the region, but it most likely will entail a growth of violence in Middle Eastern battle-grounds of Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other opponents of Iran are well experienced in the use of proxy forces including a diverse range of terrorist organizations and paramilitary groups. Thus, the situation in the region will likely worsen on multiple fault lines: Sunni versus Shiite, a war on terrorist groups as ISIL and ethnic conflicts among Turks, Iranians, Arabs, Kurds, and other groups.

The rise of the violence will come amid the bureaucratic chaos. Despite the fact that the Iran Nuclear deal has passed the U.N. Security Council, it will be extremely difficult for both houses of the U.S. Congress to find the two-thirds votes necessary to prevent the lifting of certain U.S. sanctions levied against the Islamic Republic. Normalization with the US isn’t on the horizon for the near future while US allies in the region have already started to act as Iran has already come to its full economic power and is threatening them with an invasion. Saudi Arabia’s ground operation in Yemen and Turkey’s attempts to establish a zone of military occupation in northern Syria clearly mark this approach. Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are the heavyweights in the balance of power the United States seeks to create in the Middle East. The most vociferous critic of the Iran nuclear deal has been Israel. The Iran deal is obviously not in Israel’s interests and marks an evolution in the relationship between Israel and the United States. Israel represents the United States’ insurance policy for the game it is playing. If the US decides, Israel may be forced to back US-provoked conflicts in the coming years. Also, it is important not to shrug off Qatar, which was the one of primary powers that helped the US create ISIL.

Turkey is the largest economy in the Middle East and is strategically situated at the confluence of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, on the Sea of Marmara. Like the United States, Turkey has some conflicting interests with Iran. For one, Turkey depends on Iranian oil, which in 2014, constituted up 26 percent of Turkey’s oil imports. Moreover, Turkey is one of the biggest markets for Iranian natural gas. However, Turkey is a Sunni power rival to the Shiite Iran, and of the three Sunni heavyweights. It is also the most capable and equipped to oppose Iran’s objectives. Turkey claims the Middle East as its sphere of influence and will not look kindly on any country encroaching on its ambitions. Besides the economic links between the two powers, Tehran and Ankara have some strategic disagreements. For example, Turkey roughly opposes the rise of an independent Kurdish state as result of the Syrian and the Iraqi conflict. Almost 15 percent of Turkey’s population is Kurdish, and Ankara has had to contend with a Kurdish insurgency since 1984. Moreover, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said his country will never allow the establishment of a Kurdish independent state. Meanwhile, Tehran has at times offered military support to Kurds fending off the Islamic State in Iraq. Iran also has a Kurdish population of its own, estimated at a minimum of 5.5 million Kurds. Kurdistan is the natural battleground between Turkey and Iran, both sides will actively move on this ground. Turkey’s relationship with the Islamic State is an another problem. Turkey has supported a militant group providing logistical support and buying ISIL’s oil for a long time. However, the Islamic State could become a domestic threat for Turkey even in the case of changing Turkey’s public rhetoric to Islamic State criticism. Turkey has been adamant about seeing the downfall of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, actively supplying and training militants to fight Damascus. At the moment, Turkey is considering moving its military into northern Syria to create a buffer zone that would prevent Syrian Kurdish expansion, enabling Ankara-backed militants, including ISIL to focus their resources on continuing the assault on the al Assad government.

Saudi Arabia hopes to lead a broad Sunni Arab coalition against Iran and doesn’t have any shared interests with Iran. The kingdom is an Arab, Sunni power, and the Wahhabism sect of Islam to which most Saudis subscribe views Shiites with deep disdain. With an oppressed Shiite minority making up at least 10 percent of it’s population and aggressive ambitions traced back to the so-called Arab Spring’ exercised in league with the US, Saudi Arabia feels itself on the front line of the conflict with Iran. Moreover, most of Saudi Arabia’s Shiite population lives in close proximity to the country’s massive oil fields, which are the source of Saudi wealth and power. In 2011, Saudi Arabia sent troops into Bahrain to repress unrest in the Sunni-ruled, Shiite-majority country. Riyadh’s discrimination policy against Shiites is a challenge for Iran, which is attempting to become a defender of the Shia population. Saudi Arabia fears that Iran might use the arisen Shia belt and Shia minorities in Sunni-governed countries to extend its reach in the Gulf. As a Wahhabi state, Saudi Arabia naturally provides the ground for terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and has a long history of using them as proxy forces in the Middle East. Like Turkey, Saudi Arabia wants to see the downfall of the al Assad government, which would deal a crippling blow to anti-terrorist opposition in the region. Saudi Arabia has been supporting Sunni militants in Syria fighting against loyalist forces. Separately, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has been roughly cooperating with the Saudi-led coalition in clashes against the Al Houthi government of Yemen. In 2014, Saudi Arabia did attempt to start a diplomatic dialogue with Iran, but this effort quickly deteriorated with the beginning of the conflict in Yemen. Riyadh focused on battling the Shiites in the rest of the region hardly could become an ally of Iran. In turn, the capacity of Iran to provoke Shia minority groups is a current problem of Saudi Arabia. However, Saudi Arabia has very little interest in seeing Turkey dominate the Middle East also.

Egypt, like Saudi Arabia, is an Arab, Sunni power, but it’s ability to act is much more constrained than Turkey or Saudi Arabia. Despite this, Egyptian forces are active in Yemen, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was in Russia this past week to discuss economic ties and the situation in Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Nonetheless, Egypt faces serious internal issues of it’s own as social unrest and jihadist threats in the country, including disturbingly attacks in Cairo and the Sinai Peninsula. For instance, Wilayat Sinai pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and has launched a full-scale offensive on government-controlled territories in July. Egypt and Saudi Arabia have increased their cooperation in recent months and may try to pool their resources to protect their influence in the region. A joint Arab defense force under development could easily become part of this plan and is one of Cairo’s ways of attempting to maintain an important role. However, we mustn’t forget that both Saudi Arabia and Egypt have a big problem with military forces indicated by a high corruption, a low motivation and the level of training, and a lack of a real experience on the battle ground. Evidence of these statements is the lack of success in the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen against the al Houthi forces despite the serious advantage in air forces, military equipment and man power.

Qatar, a tiny but wealthy Arab state with the largest naval American base in the region, has provided an initial financing for the Islamic State. Qatar also provided another important “service” – propaganda – in the form of a recruitment campaign to convince Muslims that fighting in Syria is a “Jihad” against the infidels, meaning all Syrians. Egyptian-born Qatari Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, issued the necessary fatwa on Qatari TV channel Al-Jazeera, where he not only publicly blessed the terrorist campaign against Syria, but also urged Muslims everywhere to join the Islamic State. IS militants started beheading Westerners and using the universal reach of social media with the help of foreign experts. At the moment, ISIL has risen to the level when Qatar hasn’t had a direct influence on the group. However, it will be questionable if Qatar doesn’t have enough contacts to exercise soft control of the group.

Washington signed a deal with Iran to achieve a mid term goal to release US military and economic resources in the region and attempt to hurt to Russia. The idea of the establishing relationship with the White House should encourage Iran to break the alliance with Russia and China, and to take the US side in the ongoing energy wars. Iran has a chance to provide oil and gas on the European energy market. This will affect energy prices and, obviously, Russia negatively. Moreover, as soon as the sanctions will be lifted, Iran will get additional economic revenue and it’s budget will rise and allow Tehran to increase defense spending. It’s commonplace that Iran and Hezbollah are the rival enemies of Israel. So, the rise of Iran’s defense budget will mean a rise in danger for Israel from the directions of Lebanon and the Golan Heights. As Iran probably has nuclear weapons and Israel definitely does, Israel will strongly disapprove of Washington’s line. At a minimum, it will mean the rise of Israeli operations in the region and a real chance of the carrying out of preventative strikes on Iran and its allies’ military objects by Israeli Defense Forces.

Overall, the Middle East after the Iran nuclear deal will not face less violence or war. It will face more destabilization and violence because of the competition between rival players encouraged by the possibility of Iranian dominance in the region. These actions will proceed amid the power vacuums and a rise of the terrorist threats conducted by the US and its allies. A diverse range of militant groups supported today by the US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, as well as local militias and groups, will find new space in which to operate. Also, the situation will be marked by the growth of direct military involvement of regional states in conflicts. On the tactical level the main competition in the region will become increasingly about Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar using various groups to compete against one other, rather than groups taking advantage of failed states to carve out small fiefdoms of power and responsibility for themselves. On the strategic level, the US will play its own game using the situation in the Middle East expand the area of the permanent war in the region which opens additional ways for the US to destabilize geopolitical opponents in the region and throughout the world. Here are two possible reasons for the Obama administration’s actions in the Middle East: The first is the Washington strategists understand that the sanctions won’t be lifted from Iran because the U.S. Congress is in hard opposition to the President. Thus, it’s a US game to raise the pressure on Russia, by dropping the oil prices and reminding Saudi Arabia who is the real power in the Persian Gulf. The second is the US has been trying to provoke a full-scale military conflict and has betrayed its main ally in the region, Israel, to gain questionable benefits. The war becomes closer and closer to the Russian and China borders amid the US’s destructive actions and the EU’s inability to appropriately react on threats of regional security. The Russian Federation has to take steps to ensure peace in Europe and Northern Asia. On August 17, Russia delivered 6 MiG-31 fighter jets to the Syrian government. Russian flight trainers will most likely train their Middle Eastern counterparts. Currently, Russian bases in Armenia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are also set in a high-alert posture and a defensive line has likely been established in Tajikistan.

Syria Military Review – September 10

Recent Novorossia Military Reports

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Psychopathic strategies: Constructing a tactical refugee crisis

Starting in 2007, the US was already in the process of engineering the overthrow and destruction of all prevailing political orders across the Middle East and North African (MENA) region.


It would be in Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s 2007 New Yorker article, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” that it was explicitly stated (emphasis added):

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

Hersh would also reveal that at the time, the US – then under the administration of President George Bush and through intermediaries including US-ally Saudi Arabia – had already begun channeling funding and support to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood who would in 2011 play a crucial role in the opening phases of the destructive war now raging across the Levant.

In 2008, from Libya to Syria and beyond, activists were drawn by the US State Department from across MENA to learn the finer points of Washington and Wall Street’s “color revolution” industry. They were being prepared for an unprecedented, coordinated US-engineered MENA-wide campaign of political destabilization that would in 2011 be called the “Arab Spring.”


Through the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and US State Department’s, agitators were literally flown on several occasions to both New York and Washington D.C. as well as other locations around the globe to receive training, equipment and funding before returning to their home countries and attempting to overthrow their respective governments.

In an April 2011 article published by the New York Times titled, “U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings,” it was admitted:

A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts and reforms sweeping the region, including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and grass-roots activists like Entsar Qadhi, a youth leader in Yemen, received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, a nonprofit human rights organization based in Washington.

The article would also add, regarding the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED):

The Republican and Democratic institutes are loosely affiliated with the Republican and Democratic Parties. They were created by Congress and are financed through the National Endowment for Democracy, which was set up in 1983 to channel grants for promoting democracy in developing nations. The National Endowment receives about $100 million annually from Congress. Freedom House also gets the bulk of its money from the American government, mainly from the State Department.

It is clear that the political cover – the Arab Spring – and the premeditated support of terrorist groups including Al Qaeda brought in afterward, were planned years before the Arab Spring actually unfolded in 2011. The goal was admittedly the overthrow of governments obstructing Washington and Wall Street’s hegemonic ambitions and part of a much wider agenda of isolating, encircling, and containing Russia and China.

The destruction of the MENA region was intentional, premeditated, and continues on to this very day.

As the Wave of Regime Change Crashes

Since 2011, each and every one of the West’s “color revolutions” has predictably devolved into armies of US-backed terrorists attempting to divide and destroy each nation. In Libya, this goal has already long-since been accomplished. In Egypt and Syria, with varying degrees of failure, this agenda has been stalled.

Egypt through sheer virtue of its size and the capabilities of its military, has prevented nationwide warfare. In Syria, facing invasion primarily from both Turkey and Jordan, violence has been far more dramatic and enduring.

But despite initial euphoria across the West that their insidious conspiracy had indeed upended the MENA region entirely, Syria’s ability to resist the West’s proxy forces, and now, more direct intervention, has entirely disrupted this wave of regime change.


US Senator John McCain (Republican – Arizona) who literally posed for pictures with terrorist leaders in both Libya and Syria, including the now head of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in Libya, Abdul Hakim Belhaj, at the height of the Arab Spring prematurely taunted Moscow and Beijing with threats to bring similarly US-orchestrated chaos in their direction. Suffice to say, Moscow and Beijing were not only ready for this destabilization, they were prepared to foil it before it so much as reached their borders.

And as momentum stalled, the US and its regional collaborators attempted to justify direct military intervention in Syria first as they did in Libya – by claiming they would be averting a humanitarian disaster and assisting “freedom fighters.” However with the crimes the US and NATO perpetrated in Libya still fresh in the global public’s minds, this narrative was entirely untenable.

Staged chemical weapon attacks were perpetrated on the outskirts of Damascus, under the nose of UN inspectors in a bid to frame the government of Damascus and again justify direct US military intervention against Syria. Again, the global public, recalling similar fabrications peddled by the West ahead of its ten year invasion and occupation of Iraq along with expert diplomacy by Moscow, averted war.

And while it is increasingly obvious that Al Qaeda and ISIS’ presence in Syria and Iraq is the direct, premeditated result of US-NATO and their regional allies’ sponsorship of both groups, the West has attempted to use them as a pretext for direct military intervention not only in Syria, but again, against the government of Damascus itself.

Cue the Refugees

As this last attempt to justify a final push toward regime change in Syria falters, and as European powers begin deciding whether or not to intervene further in Syria alongside the US, a sudden and convenient deluge of refugees has flooded Europe, almost as if on cue. Scenes like that out of a movie showed hordes of tattered refugees herded along various borders as they apparently appeared out of what the Western media has portrayed as a puff of smoke at Europe’s gates.


In reality, they did not appear out of a puff of smoke. They appeared in Turkey, a NATO member since the 1950’s and one of America’s closest regional allies. Turkey is currently hosting the US military, including special forces and the CIA who have, together with Turkish military and intelligence agencies, been conducting a proxy war on neighboring Syria since 2011.

Turkey has suspiciously maintained a very enthusiastic “open door” policy for refugees, spending inexplicable sums of money and political capital in accommodating them. The Brookings Institution – one of the chief policy think tanks helping engineer the proxy war with Syria – reported in its July 2015 “Order out of Chaos” article, “What Turkey’s open-door policy means for Syrian refugees,” that:

Turkey is now the world’s largest recipient of refugees. Since October 2013, the number of Syrian refugees has increased more than threefold and now numbers almost two million registered refugees.

Brookings also reports that:

The cost has been high to Turkey. Government officials are quick to point out that they have spent over $6 billion on the refugees and complain about the lack of international support.

Brooking details the vast efforts Turkey is undertaking in coordination with Western NGOs to manage the refugees. There is little way that these refugees could suddenly “disappear” and end up in Europe without the Turkish government and more importantly, European governments either knowing about it or being directly involved.

Pawns of War

Clearly Turkey lacks any altruistic motivation behind its refugee policy. Turkey is one of the chief facilitators of terrorists operating in Syria, and a primary collaborator in NATO’s proxy war against its neighbor. Turkey has allowed literally hundreds of supply trucks a day to cross its borders uninhibited and destined for ISIS territory. Turkey has also been tasked throughout various US policy papers with establishing a “buffer zone” or “safe haven” to move these refugees into, as well as for establishing a Syrian-based stronghold for NATO’s terrorist proxies to launch military operations from. Likely, the refugees were to serve as the initial population of whatever proxy state NATO planned to create with territory it seized and established no-fly-zones over in northern Syria.

Now it appears many of these refugees are instead being rerouted to Europe.

However, not all of the refugees flooding into Europe from Turkey are even from the Syrian conflict. Many are being trafficked first to Turkey from other theaters of NATO operations, including Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as Iraq. It appears that Turkey is serving as a central transit point, not just for terrorists it is feeding into the Syrian conflict, but also for collecting refugees from across MENA and Central Asia, before allowing them to proceed in vast numbers to Europe.

Some reports even indicate that the refugees are receiving direct assistance from the Turkish government itself. The International New York Times’ Greek Kathimerini paper, in an article titled, “Refugee flow linked to Turkish policy shift,” claims (emphasis added):

A sharp increase in the influx of migrants and refugees, mostly from Syria, into Greece is due in part to a shift in Turkey’s geopolitical tactics, according to diplomatic sources.

These officials link the wave of migrants into the eastern Aegean to political pressures in neighboring Turkey, which is bracing for snap elections in November, and to a recent decision by Ankara to join the US in bombing Islamic State targets in Syria. The analyses of several officials indicate that the influx from neighboring Turkey is taking place as Turkish officials look the other way or actively promote the exodus.

Catastrophes that are meant to look “sudden” and “unexpected” as well as “unstoppable” but are in fact, allowed to unfold within an operational theater completely controlled by the US and NATO constitutes instead a conspiracy – pitting desperate and/or exploited refugees intentionally sent out of Turkey and into Europe, against a manipulated, fearful, and ill-informed Western public.

Also brought into sharp focus, are the string of staged attacks allowed to unfold across Europe – allegedly the work of “ISIS.” In every case without exception, the perpetrators had been well-known to Western intelligence agencies, including the shooters involved in the Paris “Charlie Hebdo massacre.” In that incident, all members involved were tracked by French security agencies for nearly 10 years. At least one member was even imprisoned, had traveled afterward to collude with Al Qaeda abroad, and returned to Europe, all while under surveillance. “Coincidentally,” for the 6 months needed to plan and carry out their final act, French security agencies stopped monitoring the group, claiming a lack of resources to do so.

Those familiar with NATO’s Cold War Gladio program can see clearly that the attacks were staged to play into a strategy of tension used to produce fear domestically and build up support for wars abroad.

The recent refugee crisis is being used for precisely this same purpose. In fact, while a false debate is being managed by the Western media and Western political figures to either unconditionally accept the refugees or unconditionally reject them, the only singular narrative both sides are being made to agree on is that instability across MENA is to blame and more bombing is the answer.

Debates over increased, direct military intervention in Syria are now almost entirely predicated not on supporting “freedom fighters,” stopping “WMDs,” or fighting “ISIS,” but instead on how military intervention can help solve the “refugee crisis.”

The main narratives undulating media headlines dismiss both the West’s role in devastating the MENA region, as well as acknowledging the fact that the “refugee crisis” is emanating primarily from within NATO’s borders, not from beyond them. The refugees are pawns, intentionally moved across the game board to illicit a predictable reaction from their hopelessly unskilled opponents – the public. While the social engineers are engaged in a game of three-dimensional chess, the Western public appears to be infantilely eating their checkers.

Considering this unfortunate reality, whatever justifications the West is able to predicate upon the refugee crisis will have to be confronted again by Syria and its allies alone – with the Western public hopelessly defenseless against a conspiracy they have been made accomplices of.

Social Engineering vs. the Inevitable Rot of Empire

A refugee crisis was inevitable, regardless of the timing and magnitude of any given deluge that may have been created or manipulated by the West. Destroying the planet in pursuit of empire, pillaging nations and hauling away the wealth of the world, inevitably leads to endless streams of victims following their stolen wealth back to the thieves’ den. As an empire expands and the list of its victims expands with it, the number of those an empire is able to fully assimilate versus those who will inevitable overwhelm it eventually tips the balance against the empire’s favor.

Such was the fate of the Roman Empire, which over the course of its decline, had its institutions overwhelmed by peoples it had conquered faster than it could assimilate them.

For the West, it has chosen confrontation rather than cooperation. It has closed economic ties with Russia, alienated China, and wages ceaseless war across the MENA region and Central Asia. It pursues a now exposed campaign of divide and conquer across Southeast Asia augmented with terrorism and political subversion all while neglecting every virtue that ever made it a respected global power to begin with.

How much of the most recent refugee crisis is social engineering versus simply the inevitable rot of empire is difficult to tell – though the fact that social engineers would be tempted to use a vast number of refugees created by their own foreign policy indicates that their ploy in and of itself is indicative of immense, irreversible geopolitical rot.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”

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