Autor: João

How Daesh has changed Iran-Russia relations

Tehran, Dec 24, IRNA – The emergence of Daesh (the so-claimed Islamic State), subsequent of the Syrian crisis, has changed the nature of Iran-Russia relations from a historical passive context to an active situation based on the necessity of enhancing regional cooperation for preserving their geopolitical interests. This change can create a kind of political equality in the two sides’ relations, consequently adding to the significance of Iran in the regional and international equations. Beyond immediate security threats, the emergence of Daesh has triggered new geopolitical rivalries at regional/trans-regional levels namely between Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey on the one hand, and Russia and the West on the other. Although all these actors have currently made fighting against Daesh a top priority of their regional policies, one should accept that there exists in parallel a geopolitical rivalry among them to fill the possible power vacuum in the region especially in Syria. On the one hand, the American-led international coalition, comprised of Western powers and conservative Arab regimes of the Persian Gulf and recently Turkey, is bent on fighting Daesh and simultaneously toppling the Assad regime in Syria. On the other, the opposite Iranian/Russian-led coalition, comprised of Iraq and Syria, and supported by China, holds that the sole way to defeat Daesh is to bolster the state system in Syria and keep Assad in power, at least in the course...

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Sy Hersh Blockbuster: Top US General Ignored Obama, Led Secret Plot to Protect Assad and Bring Russia Into Syria War

Steven Rosenfeld  (Alternet)  Wed, Dec 23, 2015 Originally appeared at Alternet President Obama’s top military commander secretly orchestrated intelligence sharing with military leaders in Germany, Israel and Russia to thwart the president’s policy to remove Bashar Assad from power in Syria and lay the groundwork for Russia’s military entrance into the Syrian civil war, because he believed Obama’s anti-ISIS strategies were hopelessly misguided. That is just one of the astounding takeaways from a 6,800-word expose by venerated investigative reporter Seymour M. Hersh, that was just published in the London Review of Books. Hersh, whose sources include top senior aides to the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, which commands all U.S. military forces, also described in great detail how Turkey’s president Recep Erdoğan has deceived the White House by siding and arming ISIS and other extremist Islamic militias in Syria, in a gambit for Turkey to emerge as a regional power akin to the Ottoman Empire. The broad contours of this cloak-and-dagger tale were confirmed by Saturday’s Democratic Party presidential debate. One of the key foreign policy questions was whether the Syrian dictator had to be removed to defeat ISIS. Bernie Sanders said no, voicing the same argument Hersh reported was put forth by recently retired Joint Chiefs chairman Martin Dempsey: removing Assad would create a vacuum that Islamic extremists would fill. Ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Assad had to go, but intriguingly noted...

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NATO Survey from 2013 Reveals 70 Percent of Syrians Support Assad

‘Assad must go’ says the West – but do Syrians want him to? Dok in Allgemein  (Die Propagandaschau)  Wed, Dec 23, 2015 Originally Appeared at Die Propagandaschau. Translated from the German by Susan Neumann “Dictator”, “regime”, “ruler who kills his own people.” This is the kind of rabble-rousing sophistry that the German “Lügenpresse” (lying press) uses to demonize the government of the legitimate Syrian President, who refuses to cow tow to the global dictates of the United States. Therefore this leader must be eliminated through the use of violence and terror. German “journalists” have prepared, aided, and willingly participated in the cover up of a crime which has resulted in thousands of deaths and unimaginable misery. What the German lying press has deliberately withheld for years is the immense support that the Syrian president enjoys among the Syrian people today. There have been repeatedly large demonstrations in support of Assad. If these demonstrations were anything but supportive, he would not have been able to endure as Head of State for as long as he has. The latest survey by [a U.K.-based market research firm, ORB international, from June 10 to July 2] reveals that, out of those parts of the country surveyed, 47% of the people are behind the President. This was an inconvenient truth which was purposefully kept quiet by the warmongering [German] press. But that’s not all. As early as May 2013, NATO had gathered its own...

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Vladimir Putin

 Putin Blues   Israel Shamir Dec. 23, 2015   Heavy darkness befalls the North; the sun rarely emerges from between the clouds. This year, Russia has noticeably less street illumination, and the spirits are anything but festive. Only the whiteness of the snow and Christmas trees break the gloom and remind us of the forthcoming low point of the cosmic wheel, Yuletide, when days starts to wax and nights to wane. As this stellar event foretells the Nativity of our Savior, this is a period of hope after a very difficult year, all over the world. Putin supporters are unhappy The Russians keep guessing what President Putin will tell them in his traditional televised address to the nation at the break of the New Year. He should say, this year is over, and we shall all cheer, people propose. Even the most optimistic ones are disappointed by lacklustre economic performance, and they blame the government of Prime Minister Medvedev and his liberal monetarist team. Meanwhile Putin rises above the blame game, but the government is less and less popular. As the Rouble drops, even the rather pro-Kremlin mass-circulation newspaper KP (full disclosure: I write an occasional column for the KP) published a call for the economy and finance ministers to resign or to be fired. There is a very little chance that Mr Putin will take this advice and clean his government...

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The Politics of Oil

Record Russian Oil Production as Saudi Gambit Fails   Zero Hedge Tue, Dec 22, 2015 In late October, we noted that for the second time this year, Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the biggest exporter of crude to China. Russia also took the top spot in May, marking the first time in history that Moscow beat out Riyadh when it comes to crude exports to Beijing. “Moscow is wrestling with crippling Western economic sanctions and building closer ties with Beijing is key to mitigating the pain,” we said in October, on the way to explaining that closer ties between Russia and China as it relates to energy are part and parcel of a burgeoning relationship between the two countries who have voted together on the Security Council on matters of geopolitical significance. Here’s a look at the longer-term trend: You may also recall that Gazprom Neft (which is the number three oil producer in Russia) began settling all sales to China in yuan starting in January. This, we said, is yet another sign of the petrodollar’s imminent demise.On Monday, we learn that for the third time in 2015, Russia has once again bested the Saudis for the top spot on China’s crude suppliers list. “Russia overtook Saudi Arabia for the third time this year in November as China’s largest crude oil supplier,” Reuters writes, adding that “China brought in about 949,925 barrels per day (bpd) of Russian crude...

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