October 9, 2013

The Middle East Rift

For the first time in 34 years after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in February 1979, at the 68th session of the UN General Assembly there were meetings between the top leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States. Thus, on the 27th of September in New York, the Foreign Minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The Foreign Minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
The Foreign Minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif has met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Iranaktifhaber.com

Mohammad Zarif assessed the meeting as positive. According to Kerry, he made it clear to the Iranians that it is still a long way to the full normalization of relations between Tehran and Washington, but “the USA will not lift the sanctions until a reliable and transparent mechanism is created by which the United States will know exactly what Iran is doing with its nuclear program”.

Later in the day, Iranian President Hassan Rohani, who was in New York to attend the UN General Assembly, received a telephone call from U.S. President Barack Obama. During a brief telephone conversation, the sides discussed issues concerning the future of bilateral relations between the states and, of course, the problem of Iran's nuclear program.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry newsas.ru

Earlier in his speech at the UN, Obama stressed that the U.S. would not let Iran develop nuclear weapons, but was quick to assure that they were “not seeking regime change in the Islamic Republic” and tended to resolve their differences with Tehran only by diplomatic means. “Both sides have concerns that need to be dispelled,” - he said, urging to use a “unique opportunity to make progress with the new leadership of Iran”. Having acknowledged that the success was not guaranteed, the White House promised to make every effort to reach a comprehensive solution. Obama also said that he welcomes the more moderate political course of the new President H. Rouhani.

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in his turn, announced Iran's readiness to immediately start negotiations on its nuclear program and its readiness to engage in dialogue with the United States.

On the 25th of September President of France F. Hollande was the first Western leader to meet with H. Rouhani, saying that although he was encouraged by the statements of the new Iranian government, he would like to see concrete actions behind the words.

Not far behind from its allies is the United Kingdom. London and Tehran have begun talks on normalizing their relations.

Iran's Concessions on the nuclear issue must be accompanied by lifting of sanctions— considers the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov.

Not everybody likes this rapid development of relations between Iran and the USA and, especially, the very probable achievement of positive results in the nearest future.

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to shed light on the true policy of Iran

Thus, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has arrived in the USA, intends to shed light on the true policy of Iran and  to “reduce the level of euphoria” about it.

He intends to prove that under the guise of talks about peaceful nuclear, Iran is trying to gain time for the completion of its nuclear weapon. In the Israeli media there appeared excerpts from the Prime Minister's speech. Citing an unnamed representative of the government, the newspaper “The Jerusalem Post” reports: Benjamin Netanyahu intends to compare the nuclear policy of Iran to North Korea, which “also had been hiding behind the talks of commitment to non-proliferation, in order to ease sanctions and buy time for the development of nuclear programs”.

Israeli publication was close to the truth. During his speech, the Prime Minister put forward obviously unacceptable requirements to Tehran:

firstly, Iran must stop all uranium enrichment activities, and secondly, it is necessary to remove from Iranian territory all stocks of enriched uranium, and thirdly, it is necessary to eliminate Iran's infrastructure for the production of nuclear weapons, and fourthly, Tehran must stop work on the reactor for the production of heavy water and to abandon its creation of the reactor for production of plutonium.

Here is what published the most influential Israeli newspaper “Maariv” October 1 this year: “Paradoxically, the current detente and the telephone conversation between the Presidents of the USA and Iran increase the chances that Israel will be forced to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities in the near future. From the point of view of the Israeli defense system, the current events are part of a previously budgeted scenario called “Iranian bluff”. Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon has always been a skeptic, but he is not alone in questioning the sudden change in Iran's rhetoric. The Israeli Army widely believe that Ayatollahs decided to appoint the President Hassan Rouhani — a person with moderate, by Iranian standards, opinions only to get rid of economic sanctions. In Israel, they do not believe that the results of the Iranian elections are genuine and that Tehran has abandoned its nuclear ambitions. In other words, Iran allegedly can suspend its nuclear program, without abandoning it, and resume it at its own discretion, or secretly continue to develop the project — away from the prying eyes of UN inspectors. “This is exactly, — said Maariv, —what will happen after Iran has already created all the infrastructure needed to produce nuclear weapons, and is at arm's length from its first atomic bomb”.

In the past, the United States could "not notice” the Israeli attack on Tehran's nuclear facilities, but now the situation has changed in some way. The international community will not accept Israeli military action unless all diplomatic possibilities will have been exhausted. Apparently, Tel Aviv has only two possibilities — either to attack Iranian facilities on its own and incur the wrath of the international community, or to reconcile with the transformation of Iran into a nuclear state.

The conservative part of the Iran threw eggs and shoes at Rouhani when he arrived to Iran from U.S
The conservative part of the Iran threw eggs and shoes at Rouhani when he arrived to Iran from U.S http://www.inform.kz/

Hassan Rouhani himself has been criticized. The conservative part of the Iranian elite, unhappy with his communication with President Obama, accuses the President of his surrendering national interests, and the most aggressive-minded threw eggs at Rouhani when he arrived at Tehran airport.

Trying to calm the passions, Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran, Abbas Araghchi stated, “Taking into consideration the extreme tensions between Tehran and Washington, to normal relations we cannot turn just through a phone call, meeting or negotiation. We will never 100 % believe America. And in the future we will stay on the same path. “

Anti-American statements and attacks on the president of Iran would have continued, if Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, had not stood up for him. He said on September 6 that he approved of the President's actions, but “I do not fully believe in a positive result” of negotiations with Washington.

Having started a dialogue with Iran, President Obama risks to break the reset of relations with Israel which has cost him a lot of efforts. More so, as personal relationship of Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu are not easy to maintain. During the last year's presidential campaign in the USA, head of the Israeli government made ​​no secret of his sympathy for Republican Mitt Romney. Only in March this year, during his first visit to Israel, the U.S. President was able to relieve the tension, but, as it turned out, not for long.

The discontent with the American-Iranian warming up has been also expressed in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries - traditional rivals of Iran in the region.

Let's ask ourselves the question - who loses from normalization of relations between the USA and Iran and who has been inciting Israel since 2009, to deliver strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities? The answer, as they say, is on the surface — it is Saudi Arabia.

The director general of the Saudi Intelligence Agency Prince Bandar bin Sultan
The director general of the Saudi Intelligence AgencyPrince Bandar bin Sultan top.rbc.ru

Fearing Iran's potential growth in the Gulf, as well as “being worried” by Tehran's statements about Iran's readiness to close the Strait of Hormuz to foreign tankers that transport oil from KSA, Kuwait, UAE, and liquefied natural gas from Qatar in case of a threat to its nuclear program, Riyadh decides it's time to destroy Iran with someone  else's hands.

Back in 2010 in the USA and UK were sent members of the royal family, demanding to “punish” Iran for its ambitions in the Persian Gulf, at this they were skillfully playing the card of “nuclear danger”. TV channels “Al-Jazeera” and “Al – Arabiya” are actively involved. Moreover, special services of Wahhabi kingdom, led by Prince Bandar bin Sultan, transfer to Israeli intelligence the data obtained from the alleged intelligence sources in Iran that Iran has come close to a nuclear device, and at least in a year, will get no fewer than 4 warheads.

Similar misinformation was passed on to Tel Aviv about intermediate-and long-range missiles, allegedly capable to easily reach the territory not only of the Jewish state, but also a number of countries on NATO’s southern flank. While the Iranian Navy allegedly have at least 200 special torpedoes manufactured according to North Korean technology, which can be launched from ships and from shore, and which are able to sink the ships of the 5th Fleet of the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf, together with  all the fleets of CCASG countries.

Sounds like fantasy, but no such luck. From the air base “Al Udeid” in Qatar, since February 2010, daily have been taking off combat aircrafts of the U.S. Air Force, as well as “AEW&Cs” for conducting radio-electronic surveillance. In a number of GCC countries are deployed batteries of American “Patriot” AD systems to protect these countries from strikes of   “ retaliation” from Iran in case of Israel's attacks on its nuclear facilities.

In Israel there are talks about getting prepared for possible strikes on Iran. There are rumors that the air strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities could escalate into a large-scale operation with the land component in order to overthrow the ruling Iranian regime. And finally, the most important thing is that from time to time, up to July 2010, the Saudis through the Arab media “had been throwing in” information that the airspace in the North of the Kingdom would be open for a day, or two, or for a week, allegedly for trainings of the Saudi Air Defense forces. Why in the North, and not on the coast of the Persian Gulf? It is very simple — open signals are being sent to Israel that its warplanes and drones can safely cross the airspace of the KSA and to attack Iran.

But someone was smarter than the Saudis, having understood the dangers of such an escalation in the Persian Gulf. Tehran does not need to strike the U.S. fleets and air bases in the region to carry out acts of retribution. It would be enough to block the Strait of Hormuz and strike with Air Force and short-range missiles on the oil fields and infrastructure of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the North gas field with its terminals of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Qatar, to bring down the entire global energy market, and at the same time to economically destroy Arab monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula.

Former Prime Minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim, has rushed to Riyadh to persuade to give up on an attack on Iran
Former Prime Minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim, has rushed to Riyadh to persuade to give up on an attack on Iran http://anna-news.info/

And that someone is none other than former Prime Minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim, who rushed to Riyadh to persuade him to give up an attack on Iran. I must say that he succeeded, and the threat of military action at the time was eliminated.

Israel has also calmed down a bit. But the KSA continued such “throwing in “of nuclear misinformation for Israel in 2011 and in 2012. Only the Islamist “Arab Spring” pushed aside the Iranian theme for the KSA.

It should be noted that, paradoxically as it seems, those KSA's plans most actively were supported by another Wahhabi state — Qatar (KSA’s main rival in the Sunni Islamic world). The answer is clear — Sallafi - Wahhabi states would benefit from weakening Iran through the USA and Israel's military actions. So the anti-Zionist rhetoric of Riyadh and Doha are empty words and pure propaganda, designed for broad masses of Arab and Islamic nations. Saudi Arabia just needs to dominate at the oil market, like Qatar needs an exceptional situation for its LNG at the world gas market.

Meanwhile, the Qatari airline “Qatar Airways“ which is 40% owned by the above-mentioned Hamad bin Jassem, every day takes  Israeli tourists from Amman and carries them about Asia and Africa, in transit through the airport of Doha. And the Hebrew language can often be heard in the most luxurious hotels in the Qatari capital. So Hamas and Palestine should not build illusions about some pan-Arab solidarity and CCASG's readiness to create an independent Palestinian state.

To be continued.