Economic war on Iran is war on Eurasia integration | Asia Times

August 15, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Hysteria reigned supreme after the first round of US sanctions were reinstated against Iran over the past week. War scenarios abound, and yet the key aspect of the economic war unleashed by the Trump administration has been overlooked: Iran is a major piece in a much larger chessboard.

The US sanctions offensive, launched after Washington’s unilateral pullout from the Iran nuclear deal, should be interpreted as an advance gambit in the New Great Game at whose center lies China’s New Silk Road – arguably the most important infrastructure project of the 21st century — and overall Eurasia integration.

The Trump administration’s maneuvers are a testament to how China’s New Silk Road, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), threaten the US establishment.

Source: Economic war on Iran is war on Eurasia integration | Asia Times

How the Iran sanctions drama intersects with OPEC-plus | Asia Times

June 30, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

 

History may have registered stranger geoeconomic bedfellows. But in the current OPEC-plus world, the rules of the game are now de facto controlled by OPEC powerhouse Saudi Arabia in concert with non-OPEC Russia.

Russia may even join OPEC as an associate member. There’s a key clause in the bilateral Riyadh-Moscow agreement stipulating that joint interventions to raise or lower oil production now are the new norm.

Some major OPEC members are not exactly pleased. At the recent meeting in Vienna, three member states – Iran, Iraq and Venezuela – tried, but did not manage to veto the drive for increased production. Venezuela’s production is actually declining. Iran, facing a tacit US declaration of economic war, is hard-pressed to increase production. And Iraq’s will need time to boost output.

Source: How the Iran sanctions drama intersects with OPEC-plus | Asia Times

Sexy metal: the missing element in the Korean puzzle | Asia Times

June 22, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

his may not be about condos on North Korean beaches after all. Arguably, the heart of the matter in the Trump administration’s embrace of Kim Jong-un has everything to do with one of the largest deposits of rare earth elements (REEs) in the world, located only 150 km northwest of Pyongyang and potentially worth billions of US dollars.

All the implements of 21st century technology-driven everyday life rely on the chemical and physical properties of 17 precious elements on the periodic chart also known as REEs.

Source: Sexy metal: the missing element in the Korean puzzle | Asia Times

The key word in the Trump-Kim show | Asia Times

June 16, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The Singapore joint statement is not a deal; it’s a statement. The absolutely key item is number 3: “Reaffirming the April 27, 2018, Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

This means that the US and North Korea will work towards denuclearization not only in what concerns the DPRK but the whole Korean Peninsula.

Source: The key word in the Trump-Kim show | Asia Times

Why India is ignoring US sanctions and sticking with Iran | Asia Times

June 3, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Pay very close attention to what India’s External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, said after meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier this week in New Delhi:

“Our foreign policy is not made under pressure from other countries … We recognize UN sanctions and not country-specific sanctions. We didn’t follow US sanctions on previous occasions either.”

After fellow BRICS members China and Russia, India left no margin for doubt. And there’s more; India will continue to buy oil from Iran – its third top supplier – and is willing to pay in rupees via state bank UCO, which is not exposed to the US. India bought 114% more oil from Iran during the financial year up to March 2018 than in the previous term.

Source: Why India is ignoring US sanctions and sticking with Iran | Asia Times

The other art of the deal, Tehran-style | Asia Times

May 18, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The art of the deal, when practiced for 2,500 years, does lead to the palace of wisdom. I had hardly set foot in Tehran when a diplomat broke the news: “Trump? We’re not worried. He’s a bazaari (merchant trader)” – implying a political compromise will eventually be reached.

The Iranian government’s response to the Trump administration boils down to a Sun Tzu variant; silence – especially after the Fall of Flynn, who had “put Iran on notice” after a ballistic missile test that did not infringe the provisions of the Iranian nuclear deal, and the idea of an anti-Iran, Saudi Arabia-UAE-Egypt-Jordan mini-NATO. The Iranian naval drills – from the Strait of Hormuz to the Indian Ocean – had been planned way in advance.

Source: The other art of the deal, Tehran-style | Asia Times

The art of breaking a deal | Asia Times – Pepe Escobar

May 11, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

 

All suspended United States sanctions against Iran will be reinstated, and harsh additional ones will be imposed.

It does not matter that the International Atomic Energy Agency, orIAEA, repeatedly confirmed Iran was complying with the JCPOA as verified by 11 detailed reports since January 2016. Even US Secretary of Defense James Mattis vouched for the stringent verification mechanisms.

Source: The art of breaking a deal | Asia Times

Popular Putin prepares for Cold War 2.0 | Asia Times

May 4, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Immediately after his official inauguration on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to announce a new government. And a bombshell is in the making. The new cabinet is bound to be a Stavka: that is, a war cabinet.In the context of the interminable Russiagate saga, increasingly harsh US sanctions, the Skripal charade (which, incidentally, has totally disappeared from the Western news cycle), and the serious escalation in Syria – in contrast to the Russia-Iran-Turkey attempt at a peace process in Astana – that’s an all but inevitable option chosen by the Kremlin.

Source: Popular Putin prepares for Cold War 2.0 | Asia Times

Eurasia torn between war and peace | Asia Times

May 2, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

 

Two summits – the cross-border handshake that shook the world between Kim and Moon in Panmunjom and Xi and Modi’s cordial walk by the lake in Wuhan – may have provided the impression Eurasia integration is entering a smoother path.

Not really. It’s all back to confrontation: predictably the actual, working Iran nuclear deal, known by the ungainly acronym JCPOA, is at the heart of it.

Source: Eurasia torn between war and peace | Asia Times

Syria, Iran and ‘chaos in international relations’ | Asia Times

April 18, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

 

Even in the context of a post-truth geopolitical environment run amok, Russian President Vladimir Putin telling his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani over the phone that any further Western strikes against Syria may “lead to chaos in international relations” should at least be seen for what it is; a massive understatement.

According to the Kremlin, Putin and Rouhani agreed that what cynics are calling the F.U.K.U.S. – or France, UK, US – strikes have damaged the chances of achieving any meaningful political resolution in Syria.

Source: Syria, Iran and ‘chaos in international relations’ | Asia Times

From Ankara to Moscow, Eurasia integration is on the move | Asia Times

April 5, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

 

As presidents Vladimir Putin, Hassan Rouhani and Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Ankara for a second Russia-Iran-Turkey summit on the future of Syria, Moscow hosted its 7th International Security Conference attended by defense ministers from dozens of nations.

A more graphic illustration of the synchronicity drive towards Eurasia integration would be hard to find.

Crucially, China sent not only a high-ranking delegation to Moscow, but most of all a loud and clear message. General Wei Fenghe, the new Chinese Defense Minister, side by side with Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu, said: “The Chinese side came to let the Americans know about the close ties between the Russian and Chinese armed forces.” Shoigu, for his part, underlined the “special character” of the Russia-China partnership.

Source: From Ankara to Moscow, Eurasia integration is on the move | Asia Times

Will the Putin-Xi era supersede the Western liberal (dis)order? | Asia Times

March 25, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The Chinese constitutional amendment allowing Xi Jinping the possibility of further presidential terms — staying in power long enough to bring “national rejuvenation” combined with the Russian election re-confirming Vladimir Putin in the presidency have assured consistency and continuity for the Russia-China strategic partnership way into the next decade.

This will facilitate the interaction between the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Eurasia Economic Union (EEAU); policy coordination inside the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BRICS and the G-20; and the overall drive towards Eurasia integration.

Source: Will the Putin-Xi era supersede the Western liberal (dis)order? | Asia Times

It’s all Putin’s fault… but still he wins | Asia Times

March 17, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

 

As a counterpoint to the 24/7 Russophobia oozing out of the US and the UK, Vladimir Putin is all but guaranteed to be re-elected for a fourth presidential term this Sunday.

Beyond the foregone conclusion, what’s really hanging in the balance is the 70:70 equation: whether Putin can be assured of a 70% voter turnout and win roughly 70% of the vote. That would represent a firm endorsement of his domestic and foreign policy plans up to 2024.

Source: It’s all Putin’s fault… but still he wins | Asia Times

China’s ‘New Silk Roads’ reach Latin America | Asia Times

February 15, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

A sharp, geoeconomic shift took place last month in Santiago, Chile at the second ministerial meeting of a forum grouping China and the 33-member Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. The Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, told his audience that the world’s second-largest economy and Latin America should join efforts to support free trade. This was about “opposing protectionism” and “working for an open world economy,” he said.

Source: China’s ‘New Silk Roads’ reach Latin America | Asia Times

Turkey plays its latest card in the New Great Game – Pepe Escobar | Veterans News Now

January 30, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

President Tayyip Erdogan’s ‘Olive Branch’ operation appears to have support at home and in Moscow, but failure would spell problems.

Olive Branch” is the Orwellian-named Turkish invasion of a chunk of Syria. The operation comes as no surprise. President Tayyip Erdogan had hinted for nearly a year that a move was likely in the Syrian Kurdish canton of Afrin.

Source: Turkey plays its latest card in the New Great Game – Pepe Escobar | Veterans News Now


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