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Peter Presland
06-12-2010, 06:12 AM
I'm mystified by the latest UN shenanigans over Iran.

One view has it that the US is peed off that China and/or Russia did not veto the increased sanctions resolution. The argument being that it still allows Russia to supply a viable air defence system and pull the rug from under what the US/Israel REALLY want, which is a military attack.

The other - best expounded by Michael Chussudovsky in yesterday's Global Research piece (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CHO20100611&articleId=19670) - is that Russia and China have been effectively neutered, if not fully co-opted memners of the push for a NWO based on the vast globalised military capability of the US.

So which is it?

Not only did China and Russia NOT use their voto. They both voted in favour:

Russia:

VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said his vote in favour had been guided by his country’s consistent position on the need for to resolve through dialogue all questions involving Iran’s nuclear programme. Hopefully Iran would see the resolution as an appeal to launch substantial negotiations to clarify all issues and to fulfil its responsibilities towards IAEA and the Security Council. The Russian Federation would continue to make significant efforts to promote dialogue and the resolution of all such problems.China:

LI BAODONG (China) said that, like previous texts, the current one reflected international concerns as well as the desire of all parties to resolve the matter through dialogue and negotiations. China therefore called on all States to implement the resolution fully and effectively. However, any actions undertaken must be conducive to stability in the Middle East, must not affect the daily lives of the Iranian people, must be commensurate with Iran’s actual practice in the nuclear field, and must respect all international norms on nuclear matters.Iran:

MOHAMMAD KHAZAEE (Iran) said that his nation had endured unfair pressures for many years due to the aggression of some of the same countries that supported today’s resolution. He pointed specifically to a suit by the United Kingdom which had claimed that the nationalization of Iran’s oil endangered international peace, and the subsequent United States-supported coup, mounted under a similar pretext of maintaining international peace, which had reinstated the dictatorship of the Shah. The clear message was that no one should be allowed to endanger the vital interests of the capitalist world, he asserted.

The similarity of those efforts was that the United States and United Kingdom were, then as now, trying to deprive Iran of its absolute right to achieve energy self-sufficiency, he said. However, the difference was that today Iran was more powerful and enjoyed greater support among its people, who had enjoyed three decades of political experience, a scientific, cultural and industrial renaissance, and the support of the overwhelming majority of nations.

Recalling also the support that the United States had offered Iraq in its war with his country, he said that the Security Council Powers that had refused to take action against Iraq’s use of chemical weapons in that conflict were the same ones that had imposed today’s resolution. Weapons of mass destruction were religiously proscribed in Iran, which was committed to strengthening the Non-Proliferation Treaty, while remaining determined to exercise its right to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

He said there was robust cooperation with IAEA, with more than 4,500 person-day inspections permitted since 2003. But even so, a few Western countries continued their provocative behaviour, exemplified by the politically motivated reactions to the deal for the supply of fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor. However, Iran still responded positively to the efforts of Turkey and Brazil, which had pursued that deal in good faith, leading to a declaration on the exchange of fuel. But instead of welcoming that agreement, the hostile Powers had immediately introduced the current resolution.

The Council had been turned into the tool of a few countries which did not hesitate to abuse it, he said. Those countries should provide answers about their behaviour, including their threats of force against Iran. Their prevention of Council action against the criminal Israeli regime, which daily issued such threats, indicated double standards, he said, maintaining that his own country was merely trying to exercise its legal and inalienable rights, while Israel violated the most basic principles of international law, as demonstrated by the Goldstone Report and the recent “flotilla massacre”. Iran would never bow to hostile actions and pressures on the part of a few Powers, and would continue to defend its rights, he vowed.
And get this from the UK:

Mr. LYALL GRANT (United Kingdom) said in response that Iran’s “distorted account of history and personal attacks against my country” only demeaned that representative. In fact, his statement seemed to be an attempt not to respond to the concerns of the international community and the specific concerns set out in Council resolutions about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The Iranian delegate’s attacks were an insult to the Council and all those who had sought a negotiated settlement over the past four years. “I hope that on more sober reflection, Iran will respond honestly to the questions asked by the Council over the past four years about its nuclear programme [and] will engage more positively with the Council.”Pretend you are a disinterested Martian (or Vesuvian - or whatever) observer with objective knowledge of planet Earth's history. Which of those contributions has the ring of accuracy and truth about it? And which the stench of 'do as I say, not as I do hypocricy? - apart from the UK that is, which frankly is in a class of its own

Mark Stapleton
06-12-2010, 08:44 AM
Seems like China and Russia have been coerced into this by the US, Britain and you know who and they voted for the resolution in order to buy more time.

Maybe something like "vote our way or Iran will be attacked by next week".

The evil empire still needs a plausible pretext to attack Iran though. I'm sure they'll invent one.

Helen Reyes
06-12-2010, 08:54 AM
Russia and China screwed up, they misread the strategic situation and US intentions, and were suckered into thinking the sanctions were cosmetic rather than substantive. In exhcange they surely received "assurances" from the CIA regime led by Barry Soetoro of "non-aggression" and "mutual assistance." It feels like the calm before the solar storm, to this Martian.

Peter Presland
06-12-2010, 09:06 AM
Frankly I can't help suspecting that there are much deeper things than alluded to by Mark and Helen in all this.

Russia especially has been behaving very strangely these past couple of years. Ostensible indignant posturing over 'anti'-missile missile systems in Eastern Europe - and a host of other things - but no significant action.

There is deep collusion going on here I fear.

As for China - I just don't know. They seem to take action over the US/Taiwan arms thing - Korea too to a degree - but then it all just fizzles and they roll over.

That Chussudovsky article linked in my opening post is a 'Must Read' on the subject IMHO

Paul Rigby
06-12-2010, 09:25 AM
Frankly I can't help suspecting that there are much deeper things than alluded to by Mark and Helen in all this.

Russia especially has been behaving very strangely these past couple of years. Ostensible indignant posturing over 'anti'-missile missile systems in Eastern Europe - and a host of other things - but no significant action.

There is deep collusion going on here I fear.

Serious courtship by the US: help us isolate China and there will be benefits, up to and including NATO membership, presumably.

The inevitable note of caution: we don't know the full range of US incentives and inducements. My guess would be that the US has traded quite a bit to get this resolution through.


As for China - I just don't know. They seem to take action over the US/Taiwan arms thing - Korea too to a degree - but then it all just fizzles and they roll over.

The most remarkable feature is the degree of political control exercised over the Chinese military: will this hold?

Magda Hassan
06-12-2010, 10:55 AM
There is a bill about to go through the US to apply sanctions against China if they don't reduce the value of their currency. US rent-a-politician say it is too over valued and bad for US trade.

Besides that there could be some other serious pressure or black mail on them.
Alternatively they are pissed of with Iran for some reason.
Certainly, something fishy in the state of.....Denmark?

Paul Rigby
06-12-2010, 05:58 PM
Iran and the Balkans: Russia Risks Making the Same Mistakes
UN Security Council Resolution Slapping Sanctions on Iran: Defeat for Russian Diplomacy

by Pyotr Iskenderov

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19693


The recent UN Security Council resolution slapping new sanctions on Iran is likely to become the worst defeat suffered by the Russian diplomacy over the past years. Its negative impact may be persistent and more serious than that of the proclamation of Kosovo's independence to which Russia continues objecting. What we are witnessing seems to be an unexpected recurrence of the syndrome of unilateral concessions to the West which eroded Russia's international politics, especially its Balkan part, in the 1990ies. Following the Western lead in dealing with Iran, Russia is risking to lose both its positions in a region much more extensive than the Balkans and its hard-earned key role in the raising multipolar world.

Commenting on the vote in the UN Security Council (where Russia's BRIC peer Brazil and NATO member Turkey voted against the sanctions), the influential Tehran Times wrote: “The fact that Turkey and Brazil, two U.S. allies, voted against the resolution provides further proof that the actions against Iran and the latest decision of the Security Council are based on secret deals struck by the major powers. Thus, those who say the U.S. abandoned its Eastern European missile shield plan in order to win the support of Russia were probably correct”.

In 2009, the Russian foreign ministry was on a number of occasions forced to deny that — as Western media kept suggesting — there existed a «missile defense for Iran» swap deal. Indeed, it probably did not exist as a formalized agreement, but the truth is that at a certain moment Russia adopted a much tougher stance on Iran and froze its arms transactions with the country (suspending the supply of the S-300 air defense systems), as well as that currently Moscow risks loosing its strategic partner in the Middle East without any visible reasons for such sacrifice. Can the invisible reason be an obscure deal with US President B. Obama?

Recent developments signal a complicated array of shifts in the region and outside of it. The mediation successfully undertaken by Turkey and Brazil in the talks over the enrichment of Iran's uranium stockpile outside of the country, the escalation in the Middle East, the tensions between Turkey and Israel, new geopolitical maneuvers around the Karabakh settlement and related energy projects (in which Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan, the country with a special position, are to play the key roles) altogether confront the US with the threat of isolation and loss of leadership. As for Iran, it is no secret that the three rounds of sanctions imposed on the country in 2006-2008 failed to undermine its capability to implement a nuclear program, which has become an element of the Iranian national identity. There are no indications that the situation is going to change from Iran's perspective this time.

The situation is going to change from Russia's perspective, though, and certainly for the worse. Loosing Iran, demonstratively distancing itself from the Turkish-Brazilian mediation (for which President Medvedev expressed support previously), and siding with the US Moscow put in jeopardy the political gains of the recent years such as independence and assertiveness in international politics and the clarity of geopolitical priorities. Voting for new sanctions and constructing the nuclear power plant in Bushehr at the same time is an example of the very double standards that Moscow justly rebelled against whenever it encountered them in Western policies.

Russia evidently tried to recoup some of its geopolitical losses immediately after the vote in the UN Security Council. Russia's foreign ministry promptly posted an extensive comment saying: “However, we can’t ignore the signals indicating that some partners intend, almost immediately after the decision in New York, to move to considering additional sanctions against Iran, more stringent than those provided by the UNSC resolution. We regard this as the manifestation of a policy that runs counter to the principles of joint work within the Six and the UNSC format. Unacceptable to us are attempts in such a way to place oneself “above” the Security Council. We also categorically reject any national decisions on the imposition of “extraterritorial sanctions,” i.e., restrictive measures under one’s own legislation with regard to individuals and legal entities in third countries. Such decisions, should they affect Russian legal entities or individuals, would entail retaliatory response by us.

The new resolution leaves extensive room for further cooperation with Iran in the trade and economic field and on energy, transport and peaceful space exploration. As applied to Russian-Iranian bilateral ties, all of these areas have significant potential and growth opportunities. Of fundamental importance for us is the further development of cooperation with Iran in the construction of light water reactors”.

The arguments seem OK but still reek of an attempt to save face. It is unlikely that the US and the EU, overwhelmed with gratitude to Russia, will in the future show greater respect for its interests or adapt to the Russian foreign ministry's position on Iran. The Russian diplomacy's pledges to go on cooperating with Iran would have been more credible if Russia at least abstained during the UN Security Council vote, as, for example, did Lebanon.

Washington pursued its own interests without exceptions throughout the Russian-US debates over Iran. Obama's decision against deploying missile defense infrastructures in Poland and the Czech Republic was predictable due to purely economic regards and did not take Russia's consent to sanctions against Iran. In fact, the missile defense program is still on but will employ more advanced technologies ensuring radar surveillance over a greater area. In the foreseeable future Russia will be confronted with an evasive network of mobile systems instead of two undisguised stationary installations. The Persian Gulf zone and the Black Sea region will be given key roles in the framework of the initiative. It did not go unnoticed that the US Administration carefully avoided linking any of the provisions of the New Start treaty with the state of the US missile defense program.

The most alarming aspect of the current situation is the analogy it invokes with the 1990-ies — early 2000i-es Balkan developments. In that epoch Russia also demanded on the formal level that all sides in the Balkan conflicts equally abide by the international law, called for compromises, and voted for sanctions in the UN Security Council, holding that this was the only way to stop escalations. The overall result was progressing imbalance in the Balkan and broader European security architecture. The norms declared were supposed to be mandatory for all nations, but the Serbs invariably ended up disadvantaged. The format of the international contact group which handled Balkan crises is frighteningly similar to that currently employed in dealing with Iran (the six-party talks). Russia was defeated in the five-party talks on Kosovo when it consented to the so-called three principles, one of them being that the situation should not revert to the 1999 condition. The provision was eventually used by the proponents of Kosovo independence to justify its unilateral declaration.

Now Russian envoys quite reasonably blame the UN and its Secretary General for being either reluctant or unable to address the Kosovo problem and charge the EU and the US with bias and unilateralism. But isn't the West demonstrating bias and acting unilaterally when it consents to the nuclear statuses of India and Pakistan, shields Israel from criticism over its nuclear program, but keeps pushing for ever tighter sanctions to be imposed on Iran?

The Balkan settlement has shown the inadequacy of international negotiating formats like five-party or six-party talks and the pointless character of UN discussions. In practice, the West relies entirely on its own mechanisms to promote its own geopolitical interests. Russia chose to be on the side of the US and the EU instead of strengthening its commercial ties with Iran (including the Caspian Sea delimitation and the energy projects), involving countries with unbiased positions in the talks over the Iranian nuclear dossier, and supporting the independent and successful mediation contributed by Turkey and Brazil. Will the US and the EU return the favor — for example, in the form of concessions in Kosovo, Caucasus, or energy politics? Based on the Balkan experience, it is clear that they will not.

Petr Iskenderov is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Science and an international commentator at Vremya Novstey and the Voice of Russia.

Paul Rigby
06-12-2010, 06:36 PM
http://rt.com/Top_News/2010-06-11/nato-route-connected-afghanistan.html

“NATO route is connected with Russia’s decision on Iran” – journalist


NATO has opened a new military supply route to Afghanistan which passes through Russia. At a meeting of the alliance's defence ministers, the bloc also signaled its eagerness to work with Moscow on missile defence.

Investigative journalist Giulietto Chiesa sees a connection between the opening new supply route and Russia’s decision to approve sanctions against Iran.

“This is a big gift that Russia is giving to President Obama, taking into account the very difficult situation that NATO is facing in south Afghanistan. This new road would be very important and comes at a very delicate moment,” Chiesa told RT.

Helen Reyes
06-12-2010, 06:48 PM
Iran and the Balkans: Russia Risks Making the Same Mistakes
UN Security Council Resolution Slapping Sanctions on Iran: Defeat for Russian Diplomacy

by Pyotr Iskenderov

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19693


The recent UN Security Council resolution slapping new sanctions on Iran is likely to become the worst defeat suffered by the Russian diplomacy over the past years. ...

That's what I said, sort of! Consider a thought experiment: Russian and Chinese intelligence estimates have the US collapsing by 2011.

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20070327/62697703.html



Russian intelligence sees U.S. military buildup on Iran border
Topic: Possible U.S. strike on Iran
17:31 27/03/2007
MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russian military intelligence services are reporting a flurry of activity by U.S. Armed Forces near Iran's borders, a high-ranking security source said Tuesday.

"The latest military intelligence data point to heightened U.S. military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran," the official said, adding that the Pentagon has probably not yet made a final decision as to when an attack will be launched.

He said the Pentagon is looking for a way to deliver a strike against Iran "that would enable the Americans to bring the country to its knees at minimal cost."

He also said the U.S. Naval presence in the Persian Gulf has for the first time in the past four years reached the level that existed shortly before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Col.-Gen. Leonid Ivashov, vice president of the Academy of Geopolitical Sciences, said last week that the Pentagon is planning to deliver a massive air strike on Iran's military infrastructure in the near future.

A new U.S. carrier battle group has been dispatched to the Gulf.

The USS John C. Stennis, with a crew of 3,200 and around 80 fixed-wing aircraft, including F/A-18 Hornet and Superhornet fighter-bombers, eight support ships and four nuclear submarines are heading for the Gulf, where a similar group led by the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has been deployed since December 2006.

The U.S. is also sending Patriot anti-missile systems to the region.

If it's a life-or-death struggle between USA and Iran... What would the most beneficial pre-placement of cards be?

It is almost a given that some large-scale deals are going on, Hillary in Beijing, Kaczynksi etc. How would Russia and China play poker here if they had "inside info" about the state of the US economy?

Paul Rigby
06-13-2010, 05:59 PM
Arabic original here:

http://islammemo.cc/akhbar/arab/2010/06/13/101841.html

Googlese translation to follow:

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&langpair=ar%7Cen&u=http://islammemo.cc/akhbar/arab/2010/06/13/101841.html&rurl=translate.google.com


LONDON: newspaper, Yediot Aharanot, for massive arms deals between Moscow and Tel Aviv, noting that Russia will sign with the aerospace industries, "Israel" on the 3 arms deals in two years by 300 million euros for the production of unmanned aerial vehicles.

The paper quoted a spokesman for "Doron Sacelik" "Israeli" as saying: The company is involved in business deals of this kind with Russia, while refusing to discuss the details which such deals.

The paper disclosed that it is likely that Russia will buy weapons from companies, "Israel" and several other companies worth 12 billion dollars over the next five years.

Iranian freeze on the deal:

She added: As Russia's second military power in the world want to get different types of weapons and more sophisticated to keep pace with development in the field of armaments.

The Yedioth in another report it to the fact that the deal comes at a time in which it declared Russia's recent freeze on the sale of surface to air missiles and air defense systems of advanced type S 300 to Iran in implementation of Security Council resolution calling for tougher sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear program.

The Russian President has announced officially yesterday to freeze the deal after meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Elysee Palace, and after long discussions took place between them.

Add comment: It's certainly cynical enough to be plausible. And the US would have to give its permission...

Peter Presland
06-13-2010, 06:12 PM
It's certainly cynical enough to be plausible. And the US would have to give its permission...
I'd say it has a pretty solid ring to it. It's like that hard to find piece of jig saw that slots in perfectly - perfectly with that extended lead up, puntuated by long silences and flurries of posturing, to the UN resolution.

I find myself making major adjustments to where I thought we were at geo-politically. Looks to me like Russia is easing itself/being eased and placated and bribed/threatened - whatever, into a sort of acquiescence with the US/UK/NATO world view - like an offer has been made that cannot be realistically refused.

Oh dear.

Paul Rigby
06-13-2010, 06:35 PM
It's certainly cynical enough to be plausible. And the US would have to give its permission...
I'd say it has a pretty solid ring to it. It's like that hard to find piece of jig saw that slots in perfectly - perfectly with that extended lead up, puntuated by long silences and flurries of posturing, to the UN resolution.

I find myself making major adjustments to where I thought we were at geo-politically. Looks to me like Russia is easing itself/being eased and placated and bribed/threatened - whatever, into a sort of acquiescence with the US/UK/NATO world view - like an offer has been made that cannot be realistically refused.

Oh dear.

And then there was one: China

The amazing thing is, Russia has been here (or hereabouts) before, most notably in the late 1980s, when Gorbachev received all sorts of promises from Bush I, none of which the US foreign policy establishment had any intention of keeping.

Can Boris really be that stupid? Or is it the case that Moscow feels it has no option but to acquiesce in its own destruction?

Paul Rigby
06-13-2010, 07:42 PM
Can Boris really be that stupid? Or is it the case that Moscow feels it has no option but to acquiesce in its own destruction?

Alternatively, I've missed the point completely: Perhaps Moscow is trading an ally of convenience, an ally it cannot ultimately sustain, for access to a technology it believes it essential to acquire in order to fight the kind of imminent internal insurgencies it is sure the US is intent upon unleashing, in, say, Siberia. It is surely only a matter of time before US (and UK) think-tanks and historians discover Siberian nationalisms in urgent need of arms, Berezovsky, and narco-cash.

Jan Klimkowski
06-13-2010, 09:01 PM
Back to the practicalities, some spooks have leaked the following to Murdoch's (London) Times:


Saudi Arabia gives Israel clear skies to attack Iranian nuclear sites

Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defences to enable Israeli jets to make a bombing raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities, The Times can reveal.

In the week that the UN Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions on Tehran, defence sources in the Gulf say that Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran. To ensure the Israeli bombers pass unmolested, Riyadh has carried out tests to make certain its own jets are not scrambled and missile defence systems not activated. Once the Israelis are through, the kingdom’s air defences will return to full alert.

“The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way,” said a US defence source in the area. “They have already done tests to make sure their own jets aren’t scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [US] State Department.”

Sources in Saudi Arabia say it is common knowledge within defence circles in the kingdom that an arrangement is in place if Israel decides to launch the raid. Despite the tension between the two governments, they share a mutual loathing of the regime in Tehran and a common fear of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “We all know this. We will let them [the Israelis] through and see nothing,” said one.

The four main targets for any raid on Iran would be the uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz and Qom, the gas storage development at Isfahan and the heavy-water reactor at Arak. Secondary targets include the lightwater reactor at Bushehr, which could produce weapons-grade plutonium when complete.

The targets lie as far as 1,400 miles (2,250km) from Israel; the outer limits of their bombers’ range, even with aerial refuelling. An open corridor across northern Saudi Arabia would significantly shorten the distance. An airstrike would involve multiple waves of bombers, possibly crossing Jordan, northern Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Aircraft attacking Bushehr, on the Gulf coast, could swing beneath Kuwait to strike from the southwest.

Passing over Iraq would require at least tacit agreement to the raid from Washington. So far, the Obama Administration has refused to give its approval as it pursues a diplomatic solution to curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Military analysts say Israel has held back only because of this failure to secure consensus from America and Arab states. Military analysts doubt that an airstrike alone would be sufficient to knock out the key nuclear facilities, which are heavily fortified and deep underground or within mountains. However, if the latest sanctions prove ineffective the pressure from the Israelis on Washington to approve military action will intensify. Iran vowed to continue enriching uranium after the UN Security Council imposed its toughest sanctions yet in an effort to halt the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme, which Tehran claims is intended for civil energy purposes only. President Ahmadinejad has described the UN resolution as “a used handkerchief, which should be thrown in the dustbin”.

Israeli officials refused to comment yesterday on details for a raid on Iran, which the Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has refused to rule out. Questioned on the option of a Saudi flight path for Israeli bombers, Aharaon Zeevi Farkash, who headed military intelligence until 2006 and has been involved in war games simulating a strike on Iran, said: “I know that Saudi Arabia is even more afraid than Israel of an Iranian nuclear capacity.”

In 2007 Israel was reported to have used Turkish air space to attack a suspected nuclear reactor being built by Iran’s main regional ally, Syria. Although Turkey publicly protested against the “violation” of its air space, it is thought to have turned a blind eye in what many saw as a dry run for a strike on Iran’s far more substantial — and better-defended — nuclear sites.

Israeli intelligence experts say that Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan are at least as worried as themselves and the West about an Iranian nuclear arsenal.Israel has sent missile-class warships and at least one submarine capable of launching a nuclear warhead through the Suez Canal for deployment in the Red Sea within the past year, as both a warning to Iran and in anticipation of a possible strike. Israeli newspapers reported last year that high-ranking officials, including the former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, have met their Saudi Arabian counterparts to discuss the Iranian issue. It was also reported that Meir Dagan, the head of Mossad, met Saudi intelligence officials last year to gain assurances that Riyadh would turn a blind eye to Israeli jets violating Saudi airspace during the bombing run. Both governments have denied the reports.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7148555.ece

Jan Klimkowski
06-13-2010, 09:10 PM
There's been a direct Saudi attempt to refute the Times story above.

It's hardly surprizing that bin Nawaf would claim it was untrue.

On balance, I suspect the original leak - that the Saudis have granted a time limited corridor of airspace to an Israeli bombing run - is correct.


Saudi Arabia: We will not give Israel air corridor for Iran strike

vPrince Mohammed bin Nawaf refutes Times of London report saying Saudi Arabia practiced standing down its anti-aircraft systems to allow an Israeli bomb run.
By Haaretz Service Tags: Israel news Iran nuclear Saudi Arabia



Saudi Arabia would not allow Israeli bombers to pass through its airspace en route to a possible strike of Iran's nuclear facilities, a member of the Saudi royal family said Saturday, denying an earlier Times of London report.

Earlier Saturday, the Times reported that Saudi Arabia has practiced standing down its anti-aircraft systems to allow Israeli warplanes passage on their way to attack Iran's nuclear installations, adding that the Saudis have allocated a narrow corridor of airspace in the north of the country.

Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, the Saudi envoy to the U.K. speaking to the London-based Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, denied that report, saying such a move "would be against the policy adopted and followed by the Kingdom."

According to Asharq al-Awsat report, bin Nawaf reiterated the Saudi Arabia's rejection of any violation of its territories or airspace, adding that it would be "illogical to allow the Israeli occupying force, with whom Saudi Arabia has no relations whatsoever, to use its land and airspace."

Earlier, the Times quoted an unnamed U.S. defense source as saying that "the Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way.

"They have already done tests to make sure their own jets aren’t scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [U.S.] State Department."

Once the Israelis had passed, the kingdom’s air defenses would return to full alert, the Times said.

Despite tensions between them, Israel and Saudi Arabia share a mutual hostility to Iran.

"We all know this. We will let them [the Israelis] through and see nothing,” the Times quoted a Saudi government source as saying.

According to the report, the four main targets for an Israeli raid on Iran would be uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz and Qom, a gas storage development at Isfahan and a heavy-water reactor at Arak.

Secondary targets may include a Russian-built light water reactor at Bushehr, which could produce weapons-grade plutonium when complete.

Even with midair refueling, the targets would be as the far edge of Israeli bombers' range at a distance of some 2,250km. An attack would likely involve several waves of aircraft, possibly crossing Jordan, northern Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Aircraft attacking Bushehr, on the Gulf coast, could swing beneath Kuwait to strike from the southwest, the Times said.

Passing over Iraq would require at least tacit consent to the raid from the United States, whose troops are occupying the country. So far, the Obama Administration has refused this.

On Wednesday the United Nations passed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran in an attempt to force it to stop enriching uranium. But immediately after the UN vote, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed the nuclear program would continue.

Israel hailed the vote – but said sanctions were not enough and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to rule out a raid.

Netanyahu's predecessor, Ehud Olmert, is believed to have held secret meetings with high-ranking Saudi officials over Iran.

Magda Hassan
06-13-2010, 10:45 PM
Israel and Saudi Arabia have had a very cozy relationship for at lest the last 10 years. I agree that SA has given Israel an air corridor. Apart from any spacial relationship with Israel they are no friend of Iran.

Paul Rigby
06-15-2010, 09:42 PM
Alternatively, I've missed the point completely: Perhaps Moscow is trading an ally of convenience, an ally it cannot ultimately sustain, for access to a technology it believes it essential to acquire in order to fight the kind of imminent internal insurgencies it is sure the US is intent upon unleashing, in, say, Siberia. It is surely only a matter of time before US (and UK) think-tanks and historians discover Siberian nationalisms in urgent need of arms, Berezovsky, and narco-cash.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19726

France Sells Weapons to Russia: Russia Presses Demands for High-Tech French Warships

Negotiations on most ambitious bid to reach out to Russia have stumbled

by Marina Lapenkov


PARIS: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday as Moscow pressed demands that French warships it wants to buy should come with high-tech equipment.

The sale of the Mistral-class assault ships is widely seen as France’s most ambitious bid yet to reach out to Russia, but negotiations have stumbled, notably over Moscow’s demands for a transfer of technology.

The deal would be the first sale of advanced military hardware to Russia by a NATO member country.

Speaking in central Paris at the opening of a big exhibition showcasing Franco-Russian cooperation, Putin said France and Russia must work together to keep their competitive edge in science and technology.

“The world is going through a difficult time and we have to stand together to remain competitive,” Putin said at the event, standing alongside Prime Minister Francois Fillon.

“In scientific and technological areas, we must unite our efforts,” he said before heading to the Elysee palace for talks and lunch with Sarkozy.

Putin told AFP in an interview on the eve of his visit that a deal on the Mistral, now under negotiation for more than five months, is possible only if the vessel comes equipped with cutting-edge technology.

France has said it will not lump sophisticated navigation systems and other sensitive technology into the deal for the ships, that cost about 500 million euros ($600 million) each.

“For us the most important thing is to buy technology. That is the future,” reiterated Russian Industry Minister Viktor Khristenko on Friday.

The sale of the Mistral warships, which can carry 16 helicopters and a 750-strong landing force, has also run into complications over Moscow’s insistence that three of the four vessels be built in Russia.

“For us, this deal is interesting only if it is accomplished with a parallel transfer of technology,” Putin told AFP.

Russia’s neighbours in the Baltics and Georgia, along with the United States, have raised objections over the sale but France has countered that Russia must be treated like a partner and not a threat in Europe.

There have been concerns that the warships could be deployed in the Black Sea, where tensions are high following the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia and among ethnic Russians living in Ukraine’s Crimea region.

Russia’s military chief of staff, General Nikolai Makarov, said in Moscow this week that the vessel could be used to patrol waters near Pacific islands that are the subject of a long-running dispute with Japan.

The Russian leader met with his former French counterpart, Sarkozy’s predecessor Jacques Chirac, first thing on Friday and was to have talks later with the head of French oil giant Total, Christophe de Margerie.

Two other major French energy companies are involved in Russian-led projects to bring gas to Europe: EDF in the South Stream gas pipeline and GDF in another known as North Stream.

The prime minister is leading a delegation of top businessmen from Russian aerospace, energy and transport who will be looking at prospects for new partnerships during a series of round-table discussions.

Putin last held talks in France in November and President Dmitry Medvedev was warmly received during a state visit in March that yielded a string of deals in energy, transport, aeronautics and aerospace.

The countries also cooperated in pushing through fresh sanctions this week against Iran over its suspect nuclear programme.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Friday said Russia will comply strictly with the sanctions, but did not make clear whether a controversial planned sale of S-300 air defence missiles to Iran would go ahead.

Magda Hassan
06-16-2010, 12:04 PM
Perhaps a stronger opposition from Russia ill come sooner than later.
Israel, Russia fail over drone deal
Tue, 15 Jun 2010 20:27:35 GMT



http://www.presstv.ir/photo/20100615/gholami20100615165548497.jpg
Israeli-built Heron, an unmanned drone aircraft used for surveillance missions


Israel and Russia have failed to reach an agreement worth about $400 million over selling drones to Russia and setting up a factory in Moscow to produce them, a new report says.

According to a report by Russian sources, the joint production deal is facing opposition from the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli media reported on Tuesday that Tel Aviv was reluctant to provide Moscow with such valuable technology due to the United States' opposition to the deal.

The report came shortly after spokesman for Israel Aerospace Industries Doron Suslik said the firm was interested in doing business with Russia.

During the Georgia-Russia conflict in South Ossetia in the summer of 2008, Georgian forces used unmanned drones to identify Russia's force buildup. After the war Russia had felt the inadequacy of its capabilities in this regard and started negotiations with Israel to purchase and build drones.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=130594&sectionid=351020202

Helen Reyes
06-17-2010, 04:00 PM
It's as if the Kaczynski plane crash incident were tried in the court of world opinion, and the judge declared a mistral. :)

Peter Presland
06-22-2010, 06:10 AM
This was on Press TV a couple of days ago here it is from CSIS. (http://csis.org/blog/confirmed-cancellation-russian-s-300-sale-iran) Confirmation (for me anyway) that Russia really is moving significantly towards accommodation with the US/UK/NATO.

Don't have the references to hand but I clearly recall Russian Spokesmen stating that the S300 - being a defensive system - would NOT be embargoed by the passing of UNR 1929, during the manoeuvring leading up to the vote. Now we have them saying 'oops sorry, the system IS covered'. Are we seriously expected to believe that, post vote, they have finally gotten around to analysing the content of what they were voting on and discovered it was something other than they believed beforehand? Christ! - they're worse than the West when it comes to absurd, convoluted self-justifiction. The plain fact is they've rolled over and had their tummies tickled.

Putin standing up to the US eh? - fact is he's a pussy cat and, if a couple of old blogspot sites I have archived are anything to go by, he is also in the pocket of MI6.


After a period of confusion and apparent contradiction (http://csis.org/blog/russias-sale-s-300-air-defense-systems-iran) over whether the Russian government would continue in its planned sale of S-300 missiles to Iran following the latest round of U.N. Security Council sanctions, the Russian government has confirmed (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/11/AR2010061105248.html) that the sale has indeed been cancelled. The Russian Federal Service on Military-Technical Cooperation released a statement (http://www.fsvts.gov.ru/materials/DFA49F13687776D8C325773F003E8E27.html) that announced (http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100611/159390025.html)

An analysis of the provisions of the UN Security Council Resolution 1929 adopted on June 9, 2010, conducted by the FSMTC experts, shows that the restrictive measures contained in the document apply to the delivery of S-300 air defense systems to Iran as well.

The announcement came on the heels of a report from a presidential aide in France France during a meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin who said that (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/11/AR2010061101610.html)

Russia had decided to "freeze the delivery of the S-300 missiles."

Putin also said supporting the Iran sanctions was a decision that "wasn't exactly easy," according to the presidential aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The cancellation of the sale marks the apparent end of a contentious arms deal (http://www4.janes.com/subscribe/jdw/doc_view.jsp?K2DocKey=/content1/janesdata/mags/jdw/history/jdw2010/jdw43382.htm@current&Prod_Name=JDW&QueryText=) that has irked both American and Israeli officials because of its ability to strengthen Iranian air defense capabilities. As we noted in our earlier blog (http://csis.org/blog/russias-sale-s-300-air-defense-systems-iran) post about the sale, while the specific language of the Security Council sanctions do not prohibit the sale, the sanctions do call (http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2010/sc9948.doc.htm)

upon all States to exercise vigilance and restraint over the supply, sale, transfer, provision, manufacture and use of all other arms and related materiel [outside the battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems as defined for the purpose of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms specifically prohibited]

The Russian government apparently has decided that the S-300 deal falls within the spirit, if not the precise wording, of the text. As State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/11/AR2010061105248.html)

For the first time, the resolution calls for states to exercise vigilance and restraint in the sale or transfer of all other arms and related materiel. We appreciate Russia's restraint in the transfer of the S-300 missile system to Iran.

The Russian cancellation is a diplomatic victory for the United States, which has consistently opposed the sale but was unable to pass a series of Security Council sanctions that expressly prohibited such a sale. The Russian decision could be the start of further cooperation between the United States and Russia on Iran and may signal success in the Obama Administration’s attempts to reset relations (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/08/world/europe/08prexy.html?_r=1&scp=9&sq=reset%20russia&st=cse) with Russia.

All is not positive news, however. One cancelled arms deal is unlikely to prompt Iran to seriously reconsider its nuclear program. What’s more, the Russian government has in fact expressed its determination (http://presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=130958) to maintain defense ties and cooperation with Iran. The cancellation of the missile deal may also remove one of the checks on an Israeli unilateral military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, an operation that would have tremendously destabilizing effects in the Middle East and around the world. The United States will be happy that Russia cancelled the S-300 deal, but must only renew its commitment to resolving the situation peacefully and not see the cancellation as opening up the possibility for a military strike.

Peter Presland
07-12-2010, 01:25 PM
This Eric Walberg article is a fitting piece with which to revive this thread. Some interesting parallels with that ancient Kruschev visit to the USA when olive branch was met with a slap in the face.

Medvedev does seem to have gone out on a limb to curry favour with US/NATO - only to be met with similar treatment. What with the 10 spies thing (It's timing a transparent custard pie for Obama too) and the continued missile 'defence' deployments, he does not seem to have gotten much in return for alienating Iran, forfeiting lucrative arms and commercial airline deals and confirming his enmity with the Taliban - not to mention being insulted along the way.

If Walberg is right he also has a powerful constituency at home that is seething about his 'kow-Towing' to the West in return for - for bugger all it seems. Could get interesting.

Russian-US relations: Wooing the West Written by Eric Walberg. Tuesday, 06 July 2010 04:10


The Russian leader has re-enacted the famous American goodwill tour of his predecessor a half century ago, but faces the same Cold War scheming. Will his attempts to befriend Europe have more success, wonders Eric Walberg


The past two years have witnessed a much more pliable Russia, retreating from the fiery rhetoric of Putin concerning NATO, the war in Afghanistan and America ’s targetting of Iran. Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has turned Russian foreign policy around, playing to US. He signed the new START treaty, agreed to transit war materiel to Afghanistan, and supports US-sponsored sanctions against Iran. To crown his charm offensive, he made a photo-op visit to the US last month to meet not only his “reset” friend in the White House, but business leaders such as Apple CEO Steve Jobs in Silicon Valley, much like his predecessor Nikita Khrushchev rubbed shoulders
http://ericwalberg.com/images/stories/1005a.jpgKhrushchev enjoying a hot dog in Iowa

with American farmers a half century ago.
At the same time, Russia is pursuing a less spectacular tack, one which is perhaps more important in the long term, to win over Europe. This process began under ex-president Vladimir Putin and is now gathering momentum. Integration into Europe is the name of the game. The proposed new European security treaty unveiled last year was a serious offer. The new EU-Russia Political and Security Committee, chaired jointly by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, announced that Trans-Dniestr may soon see the withdrawal of Russian troops, there since 1991, to be replaced by a joint European-Russian peacekeeping contingent. The European Parliament last month approved a resolution for visa-free travel with Russia. As the US flounders in Afghanistan, the accommodation with Europe becomes a reality.

So it is important to see the current Russian wooing of America as part of a two-track policy: to get Europe to continue to improve relations, it is necessary to keep the prickly Americans onside. Top on the agenda is ratification of START, now being debated in both US and Russian legislatures. Both Medvedev and United States Barack Obama have staked their careers on getting the treaty ratified. Medvedev’s recent trip was intended to show his unthreatening boyish demeanour, to lavish praise on US high tech, and disarm Cold Warriors in the Senate who threaten to derail the treaty. His allies even include Henry Kissinger who praised the treaty. Medvedev warned if it is not ratified simultaneously, the two countries would revert to some kind of Soviet past, when Russia was “cheated” by US non-ratification.

Russia’s accession to Washington’s demand for new UN sanctions against Iran could be dismissed as a meaningless gesture if it wasn’t for the subsequent cancellation of the S-300 missile contract. Russia signed the contract in 2005, when its relations with the US were at an all-time low after US-supported colour revolutions in Kyrgyzstan, Georgia and Ukraine. Russia finished assembling the missile systems in 2009 but has now admitted openly that it was cancelling the agreement due to pressure from Washington. The cancellation of the contract was a coup for Washington, and a blow to those who have come to expect Russia to take an independent role in world crises. It is also an expensive move, costing Russia up to $400m in a forfeit penalty, in addition to the $800m value of the sale, and could come back to haunt Medvedev.

It came as a surprise to many. As late as April, Mikhail Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, said that Russia was planning to deliver the missiles. Even after the 9 June UN Security Council vote approving the new sanctions, Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said “Russia is in no way bound by the UN Security Council resolution in relation to supplies of the S-300 air-defense systems to Iran, and work on that contract is underway.” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov supported the deal to the end, saying on 11 June the decision to cancel would require a decree from the president.

Commentators in the Russian media have been highly critical. Defence Ministry adviser Ruslan Pukhov said that Iran, which has been buying $500 million worth of arms from Russia annually, could now turn to China for its future weapons and military equipment needs. Iran has already cancelled plans to purchase Russian civilian aircraft. “ Russia is losing the whole Middle East arms market because it wants to kowtow before America,” commentator Alexei Pushkov said. Viktor Ilyukhin, a communist State Duma deputy and former prosecutor, defended the sale, saying, “Over centuries of its co-existence with other nations, Iran has never initiated a war against any of its neighbours.”

So it was crucial that Medvedev’s trip to Silicon Valley show that his pro-American reset would bear fruit. He chummed around with Obama and met business leaders,
http://ericwalberg.com/images/stories/1005c.jpgSteve Jobs gives Medvedev an iPhone 4

calling for US investment in Russia, much like Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev did a half century ago. Little did he know that the FBI had already informed Obama that it was about to bust a supposed Russian spy ring. What should have been a chance for Obama to rejoice at how thoroughly reset the reset button was, with Russian-American smiles on all fronts, became instead an embarrassing fiasco. Ten alleged Russian agents, mall-loving suburbanites one and all, were charged with “deep cover” intelligence gathering two days after Medvedev completed his tour. That it was intended to scuttle Russian-US rapprochement is shown by the fact that, having tracked the “spy ring” for a decade and touting the operation as the biggest in US history, the FBI couldn’t point to one piece of high security information changing hands.
The operation can only be interpreted as a “deep cover” prank, intended to keep the Russians off-balance (http://ericwalberg.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=91&Itemid=90), despite their compliance with US demands on all fronts. The whole affair, from photo-ops in Silicon Valley to faux intrigue eerily recalls Khrushchev’s two-week US tour in September 1959 and the spy scandal that came in its wake. The Cold War was very much on. The voluble Khrushchev, eager for peace and the chance to emulate the American Dream, visited farmers, night clubs, chatted with Marilyn Monroe on a Hollywood set, charming and disarming his foes.

But when he called for disarmament the stock market lost $1.7 billion in a flash. Detente was not in the interests of either Wall Street or the Pentagon, so it came as no surprise that -- unbeknownst to president Eisenhower -- U2 spy flights over Russia resumed a few months later and one Gary Powers was shot down in May 1960, cancelling any residual goodwill. Eisenhower had been tricked, and furious, he used his farewell speech to try to warn the American people of “the disastrous rise of misplaced power in the military-industrial complex”. But too late.

History is replaying itself in spades. Medvedev wrestles his doubters in Moscow, sacrifices good relations with Iran, lets the Taliban know Russia is still very much its enemy,
http://ericwalberg.com/images/stories/1005b.jpgRussian spy Anna Chapman

gives the US its Starwars, much as Khrushchev abandoned China, put Third World revolution on the backburner, and agreed to ban nuclear weapons tests. All in the interests of world peace and improving the lot of the Motherland. Only to be made a laughing stock by a US establishment not willing to give an inch.
When asked in Riga last month about the purpose of stationing 100 US Patriot missiles 80 kms from the Russian border in Poland, NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen said, “I would urge Russia to forget old Cold War rhetoric.” What he really meant, of course, was: “Stop asking questions, accept whatever NATO does and unconditionally support the alliance on key issues such as Iran and Afghanistan,” says Alexei Pushkov, director of the Institute of Contemporary International Problems in Moscow. Putin pointed this out (http://ericwalberg.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=93&Itemid=90) and was condemned as a crypto-Cold Warrior.

Now Medvedev is trying to say it more politely. But his softer approach falls on deaf ears. Or is taken as a sign of weakness. Current Russian foreign policy shows it is eminently possible to find accommodation on all issues. There is no need to dismember or otherwise threaten Russia. However, American hawks need it as an enemy, preferably a weak, isolated one, not a strong member of an independent Europe. This is what scares them and they will continue to scheme to prevent it.

It appears that Obama, like his legendary predecessor, genuinely wants to do good -- while maintaining US hegemony in the world, of course. But he has been tripped up at every step. Will we soon have a replay of Ike’s farewell speech? And will Medvedev too suffer the sad fate of the hapless Nikita in the Kremlin?