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Iraq seeks to develop nuclear power – the US war against Iran just got more difficult

Iraq is today, little more than an aspiring Islamic Republic on the Iranian model. The only reason for this is the US war on Iraq in 2003.

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While much of Ibrahim al-Jaafari’s speech to the UN dealt with Iraq’s recent successes and long term political strategy to combat Salafist terrorism, the Iraqi Foreign Minister’s most important remark made during his address to the UN General Assembly was that Iraq seeks to exercise its legal option to create nuclear energy facilities.

This is not the first time Iraq has sought to being producing its own nuclear energy. Beginning in 1979, French nuclear scientists began building a nuclear reactors near Baghdad called Tammuz 1 and 2. The reactors are also referred to by their French name Osirak.

In spite of guarantees from the French scientists that the reactors were incapable of weapons grade enrichment, Israel resorted to numerous illegal measures to stop the project from being successfully competed. This included a state-sponsored assassination of a scientist in Paris. In 1980, agents of Israel’s secret intelligence service, Mossad, killed Yahya El Mashad, an Egyptian national in his hotel room due to his role in the Iraqi nuclear energy programme.

Things became even more  heated when in 1981, the Israeli air-force destroyed the still incomplete reactors in Iraq.

The Israeli attack murdered ten Iraqis and one French citizen was condemned by the UN Security Council.

What is less known is that the previous year, Iran attempted to destroy the reactors as part of the Iran-Iraq war. This attempt was not successful.

What has changed today is that whilst the Islamic Republic of Iran was at war with Ba’athist Iraq in the 1980s,  Shi’a dominated Iraq is now a strong ally of Iran. No matter how much money the US spends on its protracted and largely unwanted presence in Iraq, Iraq is now controlled by Shi’a leaders who have already moved the country miles away from secular Ba’athism and ever closer towards a model which aspires to Iran style Islamic Democracy.

Iraq never factored into the JCPOA, the 2013 so-called Iran nuclear deal, but with Iraq and Iran becoming closer, there is an almost inevitable tendency that in areas where Iran’s nuclear options are limited, Iraq’s will not be. In this sense, whatever Iran is not able to achieve under the JCPOA which according to the US State Department, the EU and the UN, Iran is in full compliance with, it could potentially achieve on Iraqi soil due to its fraternal alliance with the current leadership in Baghdad.

The US has very few options in this respect. Because of the money the US has spent (some, including myself and Ron Paul would say ‘wasted’) in Iraq, the US is now more committed to Iraq’s territorial integrity than ever before, so much so that it has disassociated itself form the Kurdish secessionist movement which during the rule of Saddam Hussein it was inclined to support.

Furthermore, if the Kurds in northern Iraq do unilaterally separate from Baghdad, the result may be less of an imagined US/Israeli puppet state, than a Turkish occupied state in Iraq, a bit like Northern Cyprus albeit with less clear legal implications.

Iraq’s Kurdish regions may end up under Turkish rule

If, or more likely, when this happens, given America’s increased distance from Ankara, the US will have to limit its attempts to influence Iraq on majority Arab regions of  Iraq. The problem is that Shi’a majority regions of Iraq’s south and central areas are anti-America and pro-Iran, and Sunni areas in non-Kurdish dominated parts of Iraq’s north and Iraq’s western Anbar region, feel totally betrayed by a US which executed a secular Sunni President, Saddam Hussein before ‘gifting them’ ISIS in the aftermath.

There is little or nothing the US can do to ebb Iranian influence in Iraq apart from re-installing a government which would pick up where Saddam Hussein left off.

Ironically, in his final decade in power, Saddam Hussein began decreasing Iraq’s secular nature as part of the Faith Campaign which even Saddam’s son Uday, felt strayed too far from orthodox Ba’athism.

The campaign was not only directed at re-modelling Saddam’s personal leadership as a Muslim saviour of the country, but it was also a means of continuing to oppose Iranian influence in the region. This was the Iraq which the US destroyed in 2003, a still secular country but with an increasing Sunni Islamic tendency.

Iraq like Iran has every right to develop nuclear power, but ironically, the fact that Iraq and Iran will likely inevitably cooperate on such matters is only the fault of the United States. If US  has gone from one Iran to two effective two Irans. Modern Iraq can be thought of as a kind of aspiring Revolutionary Iran in the heart of the Arab world.

Today and for the foreseeable future, if the United States wants to fight Iran, it will also have to fight Iraq and unlike in 2003, Iraq this time will fight back along with many Hezbollah volunteers. Such is the legacy of America’s twisted relations with Iraq dating back to the 1980s when the US encouraged its then partner Saddam to invade Iran, before executing him during the post-2003 illegal occupation of the country.

When Iran and Iraq successfully complete a  nuclear program, the US will wish Saddam had never left.

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seby
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seby

Boy I hate to use a term that tRumptards have been using since bush the III bombed that Syrian airbase in April, and began to show his real colours. They kidded themselves that he was playing “4D chess politics”!

What may be going on here is the rulers of the Middle East are finally hitting back and creating a situation where the only undeclared of current nuclear States, has to declare itself!

Anyone who has any iota of what has been going on in the Middle East since 1948, knows who I am talking about.

seby
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seby

xx

samo war
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samo war

?

stevek9
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stevek9

There is no reason for the US or anyone else to be ‘sorry’ about a nuclear energy program. That is not a weapons program, something you and anti-nukes don’t seem to understand.

GeorgeG
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GeorgeG

I can’t find anywhere where Mr. Garrie said or even indicated that he would be sorry abut a nuclear power program. Are you jumping the gun?

Tommy Jensen
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Tommy Jensen

You have to recognize some people are sorry and deal with stupidity.
The clown nation Israel and their wagging supporting lapdog US have been clumsing around for many decades murdering people in hotel rooms and bombing facilities inside foreign countries, just to realize they should have done everything opposite.

GeorgeG
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GeorgeG

Very informative article, Mr. Garrie. I was not aware of a lot of this history. But I am confused on one point: “in areas where Iran’s nuclear options are limited, Iraq’s will not be.” Does JCPOA constrain Iran’s civilian use of nuclear energy? I take it that Iran’s pledge not to aspire to nuclear weapons is real, for one thing on account of Islam, but also because in the shape of things to come and in the context of an SCO security architecture, such would be neither necessary nor desirable. We are leaving the era when nuclear weapons were the… Read more »

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Peace on Korean Peninsula within reach, if only Trump can remove Pompeo & Bolton (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 152.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss the results of the Putin-Kim summit in Vladivostok, Russia, aimed at boosting bilateral ties between the two neighboring countries, as well as working to contribute to a final peace settlement on the Korean peninsula.

Putin’s meeting with Kim may prove to be a pivotal diplomatic moment, as North Korea continues to work towards normalizing ties with the U.S. amidst ongoing denuclearization talks with the Trump White House.

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Via the BBC…

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un needs international security guarantees if he is to end his nuclear programme.

Such guarantees would need to be offered within a multinational framework, he added, following talks near Vladivostok in Russia’s far east.

Mr Kim praised the summit as a “very meaningful one-on-one exchange”.

Mr Putin said North Korea’s leader was “fairly open” and had “talked freely on all issues that were on the agenda”.

The meeting followed the breakdown of talks between the US and North Korea in February, when Mr Kim met US President Donald Trump in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

Those talks reportedly stalled over North Korea’s demand for full economic sanctions relief in return for some denuclearisation commitments – a deal the US was not willing to make.

Speaking after the talks on Thursday, Mr Putin said he wanted to see full denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula.

But he said this could only be achieved through respect for international law.

“We need to restore the power of international law, to return to a state where international law, not the law of the strongest, determines the situation in the world,” he said.

Mr Kim greeted Russian officials warmly when he arrived in Russia on Wednesday.

The North Korean leader was entertained by a brass band in Vladivostok before he got inside a car flanked by bodyguards, who – in now familiar scenes – jogged alongside the vehicle as it departed.

What do we know about the summit?

According to the Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin believes the six-party talks on North Korea, which are currently stalled, are the only efficient way of addressing the issue of nuclear weapons on the peninsula.

Those talks, which began in 2003, involve the two Koreas as well as China, Japan, Russia and the US.

“There are no other efficient international mechanisms at the moment,” Mr Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

“But, on the other hand, efforts are being made by other countries. Here all efforts merit support as long as they really aim at de-nuclearisation and resolving the problem of the two Koreas.”

What do both sides want?

This visit is being widely viewed as an opportunity for North Korea to show it has powerful allies following the breakdown of the talks with the US in February.

The country has blamed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the collapse of the Hanoi summit. Earlier this month North Korea demanded that Mr Pompeo be removed from nuclear talks, accusing him of “talking nonsense” and asking for someone “more careful” to replace him.

The summit is also an opportunity for Pyongyang to show that its economic future does not depend solely on the US. Mr Kim may try to put pressure on Moscow to ease sanctions.

Analysts say the summit is an opportunity for Russia to show that it is an important player on the Korean peninsula.

President Putin has been eager to meet the North Korean leader for quite some time. Yet amid the two Trump-Kim summits, the Kremlin has been somewhat sidelined.

Russia, like the US and China, is uncomfortable with North Korea being a nuclear state.

How close are Russia and North Korea?

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union (of which Russia is the main successor state) maintained close military and trade links with its communist ally, North Korea, for ideological and strategic reasons.

After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, trade links with post-communist Russia shrank and North Korea leaned towards China as its main ally.

Under President Putin, Russia recovered economically and in 2014 he wrote off most of North Korea’s Soviet-era debt in a major goodwill gesture.

While it is arguable how much leverage Russia has with the North today, the communist state still regards it as one of the least hostile foreign powers.

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Putin meets Kim for the first time (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 151.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at the historic meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the city of Vladivostok in the Russian Far East.

The meeting marks the first ever summit between the two leaders.

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Via RT…

Leaders of Russia and North Korea sat down for a historic summit in Vladivostok, expressing hope it will revive the peace process in the Korean Peninsula and talks on normalizing relations with the US.

The summit on Russky Island, just off Vladivostok, started a little late because President Vladimir Putin’s flight was delayed. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had made the trip by train, arriving on Wednesday.

In brief public remarks before the talks, the two leaders expressed hope the summit will help move forward the reconciliation process in the Korean Peninsula. Putin welcomed Kim’s contributions to “normalizing relations” with the US and opening a dialogue with South Korea.

Kim said he hoped the Vladivostok summit would be a “milestone” in the talks about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, but also build upon “traditionally friendly ties” between Russia and North Korea.

The North Korean leader also made a point of thanking Putin for flying all the way to Vladivostok for the meeting. The Far East Russian city is only 129 kilometers from the border with North Korea.

The historic summit takes place less than two months after Kim’s second summit with US President Donald Trump in Hanoi fell apart without a breakthrough on denuclearization. The US rejected North Korea’s request for partial sanctions relief in return for moves to dismantle nuclear and missile programs; Washington insists on full disarmament before any sanctions are removed.

Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the main subject of the Kim-Putin summit, but there will also be talks about bilateral relations, trade, and humanitarian aid. The first one-on-one meeting is scheduled to last about an hour, followed by further consultations involving other government officials.

Following the summit, Putin is scheduled to visit China.

 

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Kim And Putin: Changing The State Of The Board In Korea

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.

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Authored by Tom Luongo:


Today is a big day for Korea. The first face-to-face summit of Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un takes place.

At the same time the 2nd annual Belt and Road Forum kicks off in Beijing.

This meeting between Putin and Kim has been in the works for a while but rumors of it only surfaced last week. But don’t let the idea that this was put together at the last minute fool you.

It wasn’t.

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.

I know that sounds bold. But hear me out.

And while no one seems to think this meeting is important or that anything of substance will come from it I do. It is exactly the kind of surprise that Putin loves to spring on the world without notice and by doing so change the board state of geopolitics.

  • Russia’s entrance into Syria in 2015, two days after Putin’s historic speech at the U.N. General Assembly
  • 2018’s State of the Union address where he announced hypersonic missiles, embarrassing the U.S. Militiary-Industrial Complex which accelerated the Bolton Doctrine of subjugating the world
  • Flying 2 TU-160 nuclear-armed bombers to Venezuela, creating panic in D.C. leading to the ham-fisted regime change operations there.
  • Nationalization of Yukos.
  • The operation to secure Crimea from U.S. invasion by marines aboard the U.S.S Donald Cook during the Ukrainian uprising against Viktor Yanukovich.

Both Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping are angry at the breakdown of the talks in Hanoi back in February. It was clear that everyone expected that meeting to be a rubber stamp on a deal already agreed to by all parties involved.

In fact the two meetings between Kim and Trump were only possible because Trump convinced them of his sincerity to resolve the ‘denuclearization’ of North Korea which would clear a path to rapid reunification.

It’s why they went along with the U.S.’s increased sanctions on North Korea as administered through the U.N. in 2017.

That John Bolton and Mike Pompeo destroyed those talks and Trump was unwilling or unable (who cares at this point, frankly, useless piece of crap that he is) to stop them embarrassed and betrayed them.

They are now done with Trump.

He’ll get nothing from either of them or Kim until Trump can prove he’s in charge of his administration, which he, clearly, is not.

And they will be moving forward with their own agenda for security and Asian economic integration. So I don’t think the timing of this meeting with that of the Belt and Road Forum is an accident.

And that means moving forward on solving the Korea problem without Trump.

It is clear from the rhetoric of Putin’s top diplomat, the irreplaceable Sergei Lavrov, that Russia’s patience is over. They are no longer interested in what Trump wants and they will now treat the U.S. as a threat, having upped their military stance towards the U.S. to that of “Threat.”

If Bolton wants anything from Russia at this point he best be prepared to start a war or piss off.

This is also why Russia took the gloves off with Ukraine in the run up to the Presidential elections, cutting off energy and machinery exports with Ukraine.

To put paid Putin’s growing impatience with U.S. policies, he just issued the order to allow residents of Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics to apply for Russian passports.

This will send Bolton into apoplexy. Angela Merkel of Germany will be none too pleased either. Putin is now playing hardball after years of unfailing politeness.

It’s also why Lavrov finalized arms and port deals all over the Middle East in recent weeks, including those with Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and India.

Bolton, Pompeo and Pence are ideologues. Trump is a typical Baby Boomer, who lives in a bubble of his own design and believes in an America that never existed.

None of them truly understand the fires they are stoking and simply believe in the Manifest Destiny of the U.S. to rule the world over a dim and barbaric world.

Putin, Xi, Rouhani in Iran and Kim in North Korea are pragmatic men. They understand the realities they live in. This is why I see Putin willing tomorrow to sit down with Kim and flaunt the U.N. sanctions and begin the investment process into North Korea that should have begun last year.

Putin would not be making these moves if he didn’t feel that Bolton was all bark and no bite when it came to actual war with Russia. He also knows that Germany needs him more than he needs Germany so despite the feet-dragging and rhetoric Nordstream 2 will go forward.

Trade is expanding between them despite the continued sanctions.

Putin may be willing to cut a deal with President-elect Zelensky on gas transit later in the year but only if the shelling of the LPR and DPR stops and he guarantees no more incidents in the Sea of Azov. This would also mollify Merkel a bit and make it easier for her politically to get Nordstream 2 over the finish line.

There are moments in history when people go too far. Bolton and Pompeo went too far in Hanoi. He will pay the price now. Putin and Kim will likely agree to something in Vladivostok that no one is expecting and won’t look like much at first.

But the reality is this summit itself marks a turning point in this story that will end with the U.S. being, in Trump’s transactional parlance, a “price taker” since it has so thoroughly failed at being a “price maker.”

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