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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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Some Russian monarchists want Tsar Vladimir Putin

Latest news from Russian monarchists highlight the debate over bringing the Russian Empire back to life in modern times.

Seraphim Hanisch

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A December 13 report in The Wall Street Journal shone light on a notion that has been afoot in the Russian Federation since the fall of Communism in 1991 – the restoration of the Monarchy as the form of government, complete with a new Tsar of all the Russias.

Of course, some of these monarchists have a top contender in mind for that post, none other than President Vladimir Putin himself.

This idea has long been used in a pejorative light in the West, as various shadowy and not-so-shadowy elements in the American media speculated over the years that Mr. Putin was actually aspiring to become Tsar. This was thrown around until probably the time that the Russian president spoke, lamenting the fall of Communism, and since then the prime accusation has been that President Putin wants to bring back the Soviet Union.

This is not true. It also does not appear to be the case that the Russian president wants to be Tsar. But the monarchists are not fazed in the slightest. Here is excerpted material from the WSJ piece, with emphases added:

The last time term limits forced Russian leader Vladimir Putin to step down from the presidency, he became prime minister for a few years.

This time around, a group of pro-Kremlin activists have a different idea: Proclaim him Czar Vladimir.

“We will do everything possible to make sure Putin stays in power as long as possible,” Konstantin Malofeyev, a politically active businessman, said recently to thunderous applause from hundreds of Russian Orthodox priests and members of the country’s top political parties gathered at a conference outside Moscow. They were united by one cause—to return the monarchy to Russia…

Even among those who want a monarchy, however, there are splits over what kind it should be. Is an absolute monarchy better than a constitutional monarchy? Should a blood line be established or should the czar be elected? For those who favor male succession, would it be a problem that Mr. Putin reportedly only has two daughters? Some have even suggested others besides Mr. Putin should accede to the throne.

There is a very keen interest indeed among some in Russia that propose various options as to who might best become Tsar in the event that the Monarchy is restored.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov and his mother, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia, together with Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, head of the Russian Orthodox Church Department of External Relations

One candidate that has received significant attention is a man by the name of George Mikhailovich Romanov. He is an actual member of the Royal family, the heir apparent to Maria Vladimirovna Romanova, Grand Duchess of Russia. There are other heir apparents as well, and the issue as to who it should be has not been settled among the surviving members of the Romanov family.

The restoration of the Russian monarchy is unique because to carries strong religious significance. As far back as the 8th and 9th centuries, A.D., a host of saints and prophets appear to have foreseen the advent of the Soviet times and the restoration of the Tsar after their conclusion.

Some such prophecies are attributed to anonymous sources, but some are named. Here are two with rather extensive editing, so please go to the site linked for the fullest description of the prophecies.

Monk Abel the Prophet (+1831).

In a conversation with Tsar Paul I (+1801), after prophesying the destinies of all the Tsars from Paul I to Nicholas II:

“What is impossible for man is possible for God. God delays with His help, but it is said that He will give it soon and will raise the horn of Russian salvation. And there will arise a great prince from your race in exile, who stands for the sons of his people. He will be a chosen one of God, and on his head will be blessing. He will be the only one comprehensible to all, the very heart of Russia will sense him. His appearance will be sovereign and radiant, and nobody will say: ‘The Tsar is here or there’, but all will say: ‘That is him’. The will of the people will submit to the mercy of God, and he himself will confirm his calling. His name has occurred three times in Russian history. Two of the same name have already been on the throne, but not on the Tsar’s throne. But he will sit on the Tsar’s throne as the third. In him will be the salvation and happiness of the Russian realm.”

“Russian hopes will be realized upon [the cathedral of Hagia] Sophia in Tsargrad [Constantinople]; the Orthodox Cross will gleam again; Holy Rus will be filled with the smoke of incense and prayer, and will blossom like a heavenly lily.”

And from one of the most famous saints in Russian history:

St. John of Kronstadt (+1908):

“I foresee the restoration of a powerful Russia, still stronger and mightier than before. On the bones of these martyrs, remember, as on a strong foundation, will the new Russia we built – according to the old model; strong in her faith in Christ God and in the Holy Trinity! And there will be, in accordance with the covenant of the holy Prince Vladimir, a single Church! Russian people have ceased to understand what Rus is: it is the footstool of the Lord’s Throne! The Russian person must understand this and thank God that he is Russian.”

“The Church will remain unshaken to the end of the age, and a Monarch of Russia, if he remains faithful to the Orthodox Church, will be established on the Throne of Russia until the end of the age.”

What may surprise those in the West is that there are a great many people in Russia and in Orthodox Christian countries in general who take these prophecies quite seriously.

Interestingly enough, when the idea of restoring the monarchy was brought to President Putin’s attention, he regarded the idea as “beautiful” according to Lt. General Leonid Reshetnikov, but also expressed concern that it would lead to stagnation within the country.

A second statement, this one by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, noted that President Putin does not like the idea of bringing back the monarchy, but offered no comment on the conversation with Mr. Reshetnikov.

The idea of restoring the monarchy is not completely absurd. Britain overthrew its own monarchy in 1649 during that country’s Civil War, but it was restored shortly afterwards under King Charles II. Spain cast aside its monarchy in 1931, with its king, Alfonso XIII going into exile, but after sixteen years this monarchy, too, was restored.

Both of these monarchies have become largely ceremonial, with most governing functions carried out through some kind of Parliament and Prime Minister. It is therefore not clear what a ruling monarchy in Russia would look like.

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US confirms pullout from INF treaty, Moscow will respond if missiles placed in Europe – deputy FM

Moscow will respond to possible attempts to place short and intermediate range nuclear-capable missiles in Europe if the US decides to go on with this plan.

RT

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Via RT…


Washington has confirmed its decision to withdraw from the INF treaty is final, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said, adding that Moscow will ‘take measures’ if American missiles that threaten its security are placed in Europe.

“Washington publicly announced its plans to withdraw from the treaty (the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) already in October. Through the high-level bilateral channels it was confirmed to us that this decision was final and wasn’t an attempt to initiate dialogue,” Sergey Ryabkov told the Kommersant newspaper.

The Deputy FM said that Moscow will respond to possible attempts to place short and intermediate range nuclear-capable missiles in Europe if the US decides to go on with this plan.

“We’ll be forced to come up with effective compensating measures. I’d like to warn against pushing the situation towards the eruption of new ‘missile crises.’ I am convinced that no sane country could be interested in something like this,” he said.

Russia isn’t threatening anybody, but have the necessary strength and means to counter any aggressor.
Back in October, President Donald Trump warned that Washington was planning unilateral withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty because “Russia has not adhered to the agreement.” The US leader also promised that the country would keep boosting its nuclear arsenal until Russia and China “come to their senses.”

Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington will suspend its obligations under the treaty within 60 days if Russia does not “return to compliance.”

Signed in late 1988, the INF agreement was considered a milestone in ending the arms race between the US and the USSR.

In recent years, Moscow and Washington have repeatedly accused each other of violating the INF deal. While the US has alleged that Russia has developed missiles prohibited by the treaty, Russia insists that the American anti-missile systems deployed in Eastern Europe can actually be used to launch intermediate-range cruise missiles.

The deputy FM said that Washington “never made a secret” of the fact that its INF treaty pullout “wasn’t so much about problems between the US and Russia, but about the desire of the Americans to get rid of all restrictions that were inconvenient for them.”

The US side expressed belief that the INF deal “significantly limits the US military’s capabilities to counter states with arsenals of medium-range and shorter-range ground-based missiles,” which threaten American interests, he said. “China, Iran and North Korea” were specifically mentioned by Washington, Ryabkov added.

“I don’t think that we’re talking about a new missile crisis, but the US plans are so far absolutely unclear,” Mikhail Khodarenok, retired colonel and military expert, told RT, reminding that the Americans have avoided any type of “meaningful discussion” with Moscow in regards to its INF deal pullout.

While “there’ll be no deployment of [US missiles] in Europe any time soon,” Moscow should expect that Washington would try to void other agreements with Russia as well, Khodarenok warned.

The INF deal “just stopped being beneficial for the US. Next up are all the other arms control treaties. There’ll be no resistance from the NATO allies [to US actions],” he said.

“The neocons who run Trump’s foreign policy never have liked arms reduction treaties,” former Pentagon official Michael Maloof told RT. “The new START treaty which comes up for renewal also could be in jeopardy.”

“The risk of a new nuclear buildup is really quite obvious” if the US withdrawals from the INF treaty, Dan Smith, the director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, told RT.

“I think the relations between the great powers – the US and Russia as well as the US and China – are more difficult than they’ve been for a long time,” he added.

However, with Washington having indicated that it wants China to be part of the new deal, “there are still possibilities for negotiations and agreement,” according to Smith. Nonetheless, he warned that following this path will demand strong political will and tactical thinking from the leadership of all three countries.

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US Pressures Germany To Ditch Huawei Over ‘Security Concerns’

This news will likely not go over well in Beijing, which is still struggling with the US and Canada over the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.

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Via Zerohedge


First it was Australia, New Zealand and Japan, now the US is pressing the German government to refuse to use equipment manufactured by Chinese telecom giant Huawei as Europe’s largest economy seeks to build out its 5G infrastructure.

According to Bloomberg, a US delegation met on Friday with German Foreign Ministry officials in Berlin to talk about the security risks presented by Huawei’s equipment, which the US says is vulnerable to spying. The meeting in Germany follows a report from late last month claiming the US had launched an “extraordinary outreach campaign” to warn its allies against using Huawei equipment (while its vulnerability to Chinese spying has been cited as the reason to avoid Huawei, it’s also worth noting that the US and China are locked in a battle for who will dominate the global 5G space…a battle that Huawei is currently winning).

Germany is set to hold an auction early next year to find a supplier to help expand its 5G network. The Berlin meeting took place one day after Deutsche Telekom said it would reexamine its decision to use Huawei equipment.

US officials are optimistic that their warnings are getting a hearing, though any detailed talks are in early stages and no concrete commitments have been made, according to one of the people.

The US pressure on Germany underscores increased scrutiny of Huawei as governments grapple with fears that the telecom-equipment maker’s gear is an enabler for Chinese espionage. The Berlin meeting took place a day after German carrier Deutsche Telekom AG said it will re-evaluate its purchasing strategy on Huawei, an indication that it may drop the Chinese company from its list of network suppliers.

France is also reportedly considering further restrictions after adding Huawei products to its “high alert” list. The US has already passed a ban preventing government agencies from using anything made by Huawei. But the telecoms equipment provider isn’t taking these threats to its business lying down.

U.S. warnings over espionage are a delicate matter in Germany. Revelations over the scale of the National Security Agency’s signals intelligence, including reports of tapping Merkel’s mobile phone, are still fresh in Berlin five years after they came to light.

Huawei is pushing back against the accusations. The company’s rotating chairman warned this week that blacklisting the Chinese company without proof will hurt the industry and disrupt the emergence of new wireless technology globally. Ken Hu, speaking at a Huawei manufacturing base in Dongguan, cited “groundless speculation,” in some of the first public comments since the shock arrest of the company’s chief financial officer.

This news will likely not go over well in Beijing, which is still struggling with the US and Canada over the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver. In an editorial published Sunday, the Global Times, an English-language mouthpiece for the Communist Party, warned that China should retaliate against any country that – like Australia – takes a hard line against Huawei. So, if you’re a German citizen in Beijing, you might want to consider getting the hell out of Dodge.

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