Voices from Russia

Sunday, 13 May 2018

“Goodbye Europe!” Der Spiegel Depicts Trump as Middle Finger Flipping Off EU Amidst Iran Deal Tensions

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German magazine Der Spiegel released its latest issue, with a cover featuring Donald Trump on a middle finger, flipping the bird. It comes just days after the USA angered Europe by walking away from the Iran nuclear deal. Reaction from EU officials is still pouring in since Trump announced his decision earlier this week, so it didn’t take long before the cover was retweeted by French Ambassador to the US Gerard Araud. On Friday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also had a few words to say to Der Spiegel about Washington pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, saying:

The USA has shown very little willingness to take the arguments of its allies seriously. The decision has already taken hold of transatlantic ties.

Der Spiegel’s tone on the cover was matched inside the magazine, with an editorial titled “Time for Europe to Join the Resistance”. The article said that US President Donald Trump is “only proficient in destruction”, referencing his pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal and Paris climate agreement. The self-explanatory cover came just one day after German Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel said that Europe can no longer count on the USA, and must take matters into its own hands. French President Emmanuel Macron, who agreed with Merkel, echoed that sentiment, “Something should be done”.

Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal despite America’s three biggest allies (the UK, Germany, and France) putting forth their best efforts to convince him to stick with the landmark agreement signed in 2015. However, the US President walked away from what he deems the “worst deal ever negotiated” on Tuesday. Much like Merkel and Macron, the decision also left EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to say that the USA must be replaced as a leader on the international stage because it has “lost vigour”. As for Merkel, it seems that Trump’s Iran decision didn’t entirely fuel her statement. Last year, she made a similar statement following a G7 summit, when attendees of the meeting were unable to convince the US President to stay with the Paris Climate Agreement. She said at the time:

The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out. I’ve experienced that in the last few days.

12 March 2018

RT

https://www.rt.com/news/426550-spiegel-trump-cover-iran/

Iran Deal Crisis Leaves Transatlantic Alliance in Tatters

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The prospect of German, French, and British companies being hit with US sanctions in the wake of Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran Deal carries with it an element of poetic justice. Over the past few years, each of the aforementioned governments were slavish in their support for sanctions against Russia; therefore, now that they face being on the receiving end of sanctions themselves, well, let’s just say the opportunity to luxuriate in Schadenfreude is hard to resist. However, this being said, under the circumstances… what with the Middle East perched on the precipice of a full-blown regional war, what with an administration in Washington more redolent in its actions of a mafia crime family than a government, and what with instability and escalation the new normal… Schadenfreude at this juncture is an indulgence too far.

For if this enveloping crisis confirms anything, it’s that the time has come for Europe to wake up to the reality of its transatlantic alliance with Washington… an alliance in which they invested so much political capital and which is now exposed as a sham, a masquerade that allowed dandified popinjays, such as Emmanuel Macron, to indulge their imperial pretensions… much like that snivelling boy you met in the playground when you were at school, who by dint of sucking up to the school bully was able to prance around as if his you-know-what didn’t stink. In truth, the relationship between the USA and Europe was never a relationship of equals. In truth, it always was a relationship between an imperial hegemon and its various satellites; one that tethered Europe to the deadweight of unipolarity since the USSR’s demise. The only difference now is that the Trump Administration removed the mask of propriety, civility, and democracy to reveal the snarling beast of hegemony that really drives US foreign policy, and always has. A tweet posted by the new US Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, laid bare Washington’s disdain for Europe. Ambassador Grenell tweeted:

As @realDonaldTrump said, US sanctions will target critical sectors of Iran’s economy. German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately.

This diktat, issued by a latter-day Roman proconsul to a European satellite, marks the nadir of an alliance that impeded European unity and development and not enabled it. Indeed, the destabilising factor in Europe isn’t and has never been Moscow; the destabilising factor is and has always been Washington. Thus, Europe now has a very clear decision to make. Does it continue to tether itself to the mast of US hegemony, at the mercy of the caprice of a US president in Washington? Alternatively, does it join Russia and China in seeking an anti-hegemonic alternative, one rooted in the principles set out in the UN Charter… i.e. respect for national sovereignty, self-determination, and the universal application of international law.

In fact, it’s arguable that this decision was just made for Europe, with the only thing left to find out is whether those in power have the requisite integrity to act accordingly and start the process of decoupling from Washington’s coattails. If they don’t… if France, Germany, and the UK continue to champion this failed husk of a transatlantic alliance… then, there can no longer be any equivocation… they govern contrary to the interests of their own people. Therefore, yes, that Europe arrived at a key juncture in its history isn’t in doubt. It’s why resisting the temptation to ascribe this crisis to the machinations of one bad or vulgar president in the shape of Trump in the Oval Office is non-negotiable. Despite the claims of his liberal detractors in Washington and across Europe, Trump isn’t a departure from the status quo in Washington. Instead, Trump is merely its most crude and brazen exemplar. Moreover, too, in talking about US hegemony, we’re dealing with its economic manifestation in the shape of neoliberalism, its cultural manifestation, and (of course) its military component, most emphatically reflected in NATO… a military alliance that now exists to deal with the crises that very existence creates.

The monstrous injustice involved in the Trump Administration’s démarche over the Iran Deal, driven by a transparently geostrategic agenda in conjunction with Riyadh and Tel Aviv, moves the region, as mentioned, to the brink of a devastating conflict. In response, it must also produce a sea change in European thinking when it comes to its relations with the USA… and by definition, with Russia. Although you can describe operating as a de facto colony of Washington as many things, honourable and strong are not among them. France’s most famous leader of modern times, Charles De Gaulle, said it best:

You may be sure that the Americans will commit all the stupidities they can think of, plus some that are beyond imagination.

Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran Deal is the very epitome of “stupidity beyond imagination”, leaving no hiding place for those who continue to believe in the verities that posit America as that shining city on the hill. Since the end of World War II, US involvement in Europe had a corrosive effect on the continent’s political, economic, and cultural life. Thus, it’s high time that Europe declared its independence and forged its own path as part of a multipolar world.

11 May 2018

John Wight

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201805111064373593-iran-deal-transatlantic-alliance-crisis/

Thursday, 2 April 2015

BREAKING NEWS! Tehran and World Powers Reach Solutions on Iranian Nuclear Programme

00 Iran nuclear programme. political cartoon. 02.12.13

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On Thursday, according to a joint statement issued by negotiators, Iran and other international powers reached “solutions on key parameters” of Tehran’s nuclear programme following eight-day talks in Switzerland. The agreement envisages converting the Fordow facility into a nuclear physics centre with no fissile material. The parties agreed that the Natantz facility would remain as the only nuclear power plant in the country. Under the deal, Tehran agreed not to create nuclear weapons. Earlier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Twitter that drafting an agreement should start immediately, with a June 30 deadline to finish the process. In a Tweet, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said ahead of the press conference on the results of the talks in Switzerland on Thursday, “Found solutions. Ready to start drafting immediately”. EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini tweeted that the final ministerial meeting of the talks was over, adding, that there was “good news”. Iranian media reports suggest that the parties reached a deal on centrifuges; Tehran agreed to slash centrifuges to 6,000 from the current 19,000. Reportedly, the agreement will be in force for ten years. Press-TV reported the joint statement would announce the lifting of multilateral European and unilateral US financial sanctions against Iran.

2 April 2015

RT

http://rt.com/news/246297-iran-nuclear-talks-lausanne/

Editor:

Now, it’s obvious why Boehner invited Satanyahu to address the Congress. He wanted to knacker the agreement between Iran and the West. Let’s face it, he has moles and ratfinks in Foggy Bottom; he didn’t like what he heard from them. Therefore, in an attempt to knacker the pact before it even got off the ground, he invited his pal Bibi. Unfortunately for Boehner, Bibi was in the midst of an election (and subsequent coalition building), which meant that Bibi would be out of the loop for at least three weeks whilst he cobbled together a governing coalition. The EU, Russians, and Chinese took their chance… Israel can do nothing, as the Shin Bet, Aman, and Mossad are all against a strike on Iran, and Bibi’s tied up in horse-trading with political rivals. This leaves the US Republican Party holding the bag. Watch Cruz, Rubio, Cotton, et al make jackasses of themselves (just watch them try to take the praise for this and try to placate their Israeli pals at the same time… of course, they can’t do it… their attempt will be pathetic, funny, and fitting).

It’s going to piss off Satanyahu… but as the most junior partner in the concern, well, his voice isn’t much heeded outside of the US Congress (who, like all their predecessors, are bought n’ paid-for whores of the first water). Iran gets sanctions lifted… Russia and China cement their relationship with Iran… France and Germany get exports to Iran… Barack Obama gets another feather in his cap… John Boehner et al get the cardboard box. Payback is a motherfucker, ain’t it?

BMD

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Iran and Russia Ink Military Cooperation Agreement… Ends Threat of Anglo Aggression Against the Islamic Republic

00 S K Shoigu. Russian Minister of Defence. 21.01.15

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Defence Minister S K Shoigu and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Dehghan signed an agreement on military coöperation between the two countries. Afterwards, Shoigu said that relations between the Russian and Iranian Defence Ministries have been on a steady rise for the past few years, saying, “Today’s signing of an intergovernmental agreement on military coöperation is a major step along these lines. We created a theoretical basis for interaction in the military sphere”. Russia and Iran agreed that bilateral coöperation should have a greater practical aspect and contribute to enhancing the combat readiness of the Russian and Iranian forces. Shoigu said that the negotiations concerned issues of mutual interest, such as delegation exchanges, inter-staff talks, exchange of experience in peacekeeping operations, and the struggle against terrorism. At Russia’s request, both parties discussed the topic of humanitarian mine-clearing operations. Shoigu said, “We agreed to expand frequency of naval ship visits to Russian and Iranian ports”.

In addition, Shoigu invited his Iranian counterpart to a Moscow conference on international security, due in April, saying after the negotiations and signing a Russo-Iranian of military coöperation agreement, “I invited General Dehghan to visit Russia and to speak at the 4th Moscow Conference on International Security in April 2015”. Besides this, he voiced hope for a further dialogue with Iran in the course of activities Russia would arrange for during its presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (ShOS). Dehghan thanked Shoigu for the invitation to the conference, where, according to Dehghan, “We’ll be able to speak our mind and express our views on crucial issues of maintaining international security and regional stability”. Last year, Dehghan visited the Moscow conference. At a meeting with Shoigu, he declared that Iran had interest in taking coöperation with Russia to a new level.

Shoigu noted, “During the talks, we exchanged views on several key issues of international and regional security. Primarily, this related to the Middle East and Afghanistan. To a large extent, our assessments on the situation are similar or identical”. He said that both parties emphasised a need to coördinate efforts aimed at countering terrorism and drug trafficking, saying, “We consider de-escalation of tensions one of the priority tasks in our responsibility area. We’ll intensify contacts on this problem. I hope for further close cooperation”.

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On Tuesday, Defence Minister S K Shoigu said at talks with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Dehghan that the development of constructive relations between Russia and Tehran is an “important factor of ensuring international security and global stability. We want long-term and multi-faceted coöperation with Tehran. We welcome the Iranian leadership’s drive for the comprehensive extension of ties with Russia, amongst other things, in the defence sphere”. Shoigu, who arrived in Tehran for a two-day official visit on Monday, said that Russia and Iran have common challenges and they can only counter regional threats with joint efforts. Shoigu said that his meeting last year with his Iranian counterpart in Moscow helped to lay the foundation for boosting bilateral military and technical coöperation. He called to focus on strengthening its legal basis, saying, “The signing of a Russian-Iranian agreement on military coöperation will become an important step in this direction”. He also proposed discussing prospects of bilateral coöperation, to prioritise practical steps that the sides are due to take in the near future. Shoigu also praised Iran’s efforts in the fight against global terrorism, observing, “We welcome Tehran’s wish for fair coöperation on Afghanistan including in the framework of the ShOS”, adding that Tehran took taken serious steps towards counteracting drug trafficking from Afghanistan. In this context, he said, “The cooperation of Russian and Iranian military agencies is becoming of special importance”. Shoigu thanked Dehghan for the invitation to visit Tehran, saying this is the first visit to Iran paid by a Russian Defence Minister in 15 years.

20 January 2015

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The Obama Administration is still “studying” information about Defence Minister S K Shoigu’s visit to Tehran. In advance, the US side warned Russia that supplying S-300 SAM systems to Iran would be unacceptable. The USA saw the news about the meetings in Iran between Russian and Iranian officials to discuss military coöperation and possible agreements. Now, a US State Department official told TASS on condition of anonymity that it’s studying reports about these meetings. Previously, the official added that the US side made it clear that it objects to any sale of the S-300 system to Iran, and that these objections are still in force. According to previous reports, in particular, during Shoigu’s visit to Tehran, the sides signed an agreement on Russo-Iranian military coöperation. Connected with the start of UN sanctions against Iran in September 2010, Russia suspended implementing a contract to supply Iran S-300 SAM systems. Later, Tehran challenged this decision through the courts. Last summer, Iran announced that it successfully tested its own analogue of the S-300 system, the Bavar-373 (Belief-373).

21 January 2015

ITAR-TASS

http://itar-tass.com/en/russia/772087

http://itar-tass.com/en/russia/772066

http://itar-tass.com/en/world/772294

Editor:

The Americans are scared shitless of the S-300… that means that it’s superior to American gear and immune to American airborne missile countermeasures. That is, with S-300s, Iran could fend off any American or Israeli aggression via airstrikes. In other words, this agreement renders all loudmouth US Republican trash talk bootless bullshit. It couldn’t happen to better people. Eat shit and die, Ted Cruz… go to hell, go directly to hell, don’t pass “Go”, don’t pocket 200 million bucks, Marco Rubio. Isn’t it drop-dead funny to see them throw tantrums? It means that the “sole superpower” doesn’t have the power to impose its juvenile and narcissistic will.

God willing, this will preserve the peace…

BMD

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