Hungary Becomes First European Country To Ban Rothschild Banks

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Hungary have become the first European country to officially ban all Rothschild banks from operating in the country. 

In 2013, Hungary began the process of kicking out the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and agreed to repay the IMF bailout in full in order to rid the country of the New World Order banking cartel.

Neonnettle.com reports:

A kindly worded letter from Gyorgy Matolcsy, the head of Hungary’s CentralBank , asked Managing Director, Christine Lagarde of the International Misery Fund, as some have fondly nicknamed it, to close the office as it was not necessary to maintain it any longer.

The Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, seemed keen to ease off austerity measures and prove that the country could go it alone. It in fact issued its first bond in 2011, borrowing off the global markets.

Hungary borrowed €20 billion loan to avoid becoming insolvent during the economic crisis in 2008. But the debtee debtor relationship has not been smooth sailing.

Many criticised the Prime Minister as making an ill-advised decision in order to win an election, which was due in 2014. He also wanted to refrain from having too many foreign eyes on their economic policies, as many reforms were criticised as being undemocratic.

Paying the loan back early has meant Hungary have saved €11.7 million worth of interest expenses, but Gordan Bajnai, leader of the electoral alliance E14-PM, claimed that they had actually lost €44.86 million by March 2014 because of the early repayment as all they did was replace the loan from the International Mafia Federation (another nickname, we’re still talking about the IMF here) with a more expensive one, labelling the stunt as Propaganda .

And what made further nonsense; another loan at high interest rates was signed to finance a nuclear upgrade, which will mean not only higher repayments but also high electricity costs. But they do have economic sovereignty now.

Many have claimed that the IMF AKA ‘Imposing Misery and Famine’, are owned by the Rothschild group, the biggest banking group in the world, having their fingers in almost every central bank in the world. This means that not only do they make money off usurious interest rates at the misfortune of crumbling economies, they also literally own Governments and people of power – I mean they have considerable influence.

Escaping the banking clutches is therefore, iconic. Iceland joined Hungary in 2014 when it paid back its $400 million loan ahead of schedule after the collapse of the banking sector in 2008 and Russia, of course bowing down to no Western puppeteer, freed itself in 2005, one wonders what other strings are attached though — and how long it will be before the international bankers wheedle their way back in.

The return of these three countries to financial independence has been said to be the first time a European country has stood up to the international fund, since Germany did so in the 1930s. Greece is anxiously trying to make payments but missing them as we all stand on the sidelines routing for them to stick two fingers up to the ‘International M***** F******’.

China Can Succeed With Petro-Yuan Where Gaddafi Failed

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Muammar Gaddafi wanted to shatter the dominance of the greenback in the Middle East by introducing gold-backed dinar, but failed. China has a chance to finish what she started, one industry expert has told RT.

“Ideas related to oil trade in currencies other than the dollar arose more than once. Some of them were severely suppressed by the United States, one example is Muammar Gaddafi, who proposed the introduction of a regional currency gold dinar and trading oil in the Middle East in this currency,” Aleksandr Egorov, foreign exchange strategist at TeleTrade said.

However, this time, an attempt to oust the dollar could be successful. China has launched oil futures backed by yuan, and Beijing has what Gaddafi didn’t, according to the expert.

“Along with the Chinese role in the global economy and the growing interest in the renminbi, China is also protected by a nuclear shield. It can afford to try to shatter the monopoly in oil trade. This will give even more weight to the Chinese yuan. In addition, China’s economy is the world’s largest consumer of oil, and consequently, all world producers of raw materials will have to reckon with the strategy of the Chinese authorities,” Egorov said.

According to the analyst, the timing for the launch of the petro-yuan is perfect. Key oil producers Russia, Iran and Venezuela are under pressure from US sanctions, and it is a good moment for them to ditch the dollar in oil trade and substitute it with the yuan.

Mikhail Mashchenko, an analyst at social network for investors eToro, agrees.

“From the point of view of Russia’s geopolitics, it is certainly beneficial to reduce the role of the dollar in foreign trade. And it has been done, let’s recall the record growth of the country’s gold reserves. The other states that are constantly under the threat of new sanctions, like Iran and Venezuela, can profit, too. The contracts in RMB will allow to trade oil without US approval.”

Both analysts agree that it will take time before the petro-yuan can become a real threat to the dollar. China needs to win the support of the world’s largest oil producers Russia and Saudi Arabia, or the initiative is doomed, says Mashchenko. He added that the yuan is fully controlled by Beijing, which could also spook potential investors.

Why petro-yuan may become biggest game-changer of all time in capital markets

The historic launch of the long-awaited trading of Chinese crude futures this week has stirred up a heated debate among analysts as to whether the new commodity product will prosper or flop.

Some market analysts expressed doubts over the success of the petro-yuan, citing Beijing’s yearning for total control over trading as one of the key reasons for a potential bust. “The government has been eager to encourage liquidity and paper trading, but of course the issue with paper trading is speculative trading that the government wants to keep at bay,” Michal Meidan, an analyst at energy market consultancy Energy Aspects, told Bloomberg prior to the launch.

Meanwhile, the high costs of oil storage for delivery into the Shanghai Futures Exchange may scare potential investors away from the new contracts, according to industry analysts. “Storage plays a crucial role in linking cash and futures markets. Many speculators, such as proprietary traders and hedge funds, may be scared away,” said Jian Yang, a research director at the JP Morgan Center for Commodities in the University of Colorado Denver, as quoted by the agency.

However, China’s yuan-backed oil futures managed to make a strong debut on Monday with overnight trade volumes initially outstripping transactions of internationally recognized benchmark Brent. Some 62,500 contracts reportedly changed hands during the first session, as domestic and international oil investors joined the trading.

The impressive start gives deeper cause for optimism about the newcomer with some analysts qualifying oil futures denominated in China’s currency as a game-changer in the world of financial trading.

“This is the single biggest change in capital markets, maybe of all time,”

… said Hayden Briscoe, APAC head of fixed income at UBS Asset Management, as quoted by Reuters.

According to the analyst, the move to trade oil in yuan will diminish the role of the greenback in global financial markets. If market participants, including US corporations, opt to trade yuan-backed contracts, this could easily strengthen the Chinese currency and, at the same time, weaken the dollar.

“This helps cement the exchange’s viability and challenges the petro-dollar system, in which oil deals are executed in dollars. This would decrease demand for the greenback and boost US inflation,” Briscoe said.

With crude oil becoming a great chunk of modern international commerce, the potential impact of the new product on oil market dynamics and on global monetary and financial systems could be correspondingly great.

The Chinese government has been offering a win-win cooperation with the West. Now, it is tired of dealing with the constantly shifting positions of the British Empire. The critics, of course, will never ran out of issues including China being part of the Old Paradigm. But how can we exactly transition to a resource-based society if not by first laying down the groundwork which should make the current system irrelevant?

If we transition to the resource-based economy overnight, do we still have people working in the farm lands and power plants tomorrow? Or, do we need to establish the autonomous systems first which will make these tedious jobs obsolete?

Don’t we need to build the nuclear power plants first, so we can make available the free energy that the households and automated systems need to power on with?

Or, do we prefer the one-time dole out of the so-called prosperity programs like NESARA, which even Trump is not heard to even mention about?

Social designs like the Venus Project needs a peaceful transition from our existing hierarchical setup, and it is in fact the unavoidable consequence when the RIC Alliance has fully implemented its relevant technologies, e.g. transmutation of elements, hybrid nuclear fusion-fission power, and plasma technologies, without the constant interference of the West.

We judge best when we try to condemn just for the sake of condemning that which we don’t fully understand. It is absolutely wrong to analyze the actions of the leaderships in the East with the same mindset prevalent in the Western culture.

The East talk a lot less than their Western counterparts, but they do the necessary work diligently.

The desire for total dominance is never acceptable for the Orientals, and that is very visible in the attitude of the Chinese engineers facilitating the transfer of construction technology to the Africans, as shared in the last article.

Negative appreciation about what China is presently doing can only come from false pride.


From Covert Geopolitics.

China & Russia In “Comprehensive Collaborative Strategic Partnership”

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As the West escalates anti-Russian and anti-Chinese policies, China and Russia are coming together to strengthen their solidarity.

Messages of support for Russia and its “comprehensive collaborative strategic partnership” pour in from China.


President Putin’s massive election victory and the fallout from the Skripal case have provided Global Times – an English language newspaper published under the auspices of the People’s Daily, the official organ of China’s Communist Party, and therefore reflecting the views of China’s leadership – with the opportunity to give Russia strong backing as it comes under renewed Western pressure.

The first editorial, published on 16th March 2018 under the title “West hopes to hurt, intimidate Russia”, makes clear that China sides with Russia over the handling of the Skripal case

This new round of “bullying” of Russia by the US and its European allies is quite abrupt and acute. London ignored usual diplomatic procedures to issue an ultimatum to Moscow and began sanctions. It feels like racing against time.

The second editorial, published on 19th March 2018 under the title “Western sanctions boost support for Putin”, makes the same point, though rather more trenchantly

Before the just-concluded election, the UK issued an ultimatum to the Kremlin to account for the poisoning of a former Russian agent on British soil, without solid proof. It was a humiliation for Moscow.

Both editorials see the Skripal case as a continuation of the Western campaign to undermine President Putin in order to disrupt Russia’s independent course.

Both editorials link the Skripal case to Russia’s Presidential election which took place on 18th March 2018.

The first editorial – published before Russia’s Presidential election – puts it this way

It makes people think of the upcoming Russian presidential election on March 18. The West wrestling with Russia at this particular moment has become a major factor for Russia’s elections. It is hard to distinguish how much of the antagonism reflect its true severity and how much is designed to target Russia’s elections.

The past couple of years has witnessed the most strenuous period of Russia’s relations with the West. The improvement in their relations since the end of the Cold War has almost run out. However, today’s Russia, without satellite states, is incomparable with the strength of the former Soviet Union when dealing with the strategic pressure from the West……

Analysts believe Putin will win the election without a doubt, and that the West’s sanctions will likely provide new momentum for Putin’s supporters. But maybe some Western elite think the other way and wish to drain Putin’s votes or undermine his authority via a new round of sanctions that may pressure the Russian public.

The second editorial – published after President Putin’s overwhelming victory in the Presidential election – makes the same point, whilst noting that the plan to undermine public support for President Putin in Russia has failed, with the West’s ongoing anti-Russian and anti-Putin campaign instead consolidating Russian society behind him

The past six years have seen the most intense conflicts between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War and Western countries have imposed severe sanctions against Moscow. During the same period, the price of oil stayed low. The Russian economy was hence facing a double blow. With the increasing cost of its national defense, the Russian government found available funds diminished to invest in improving people’s living standards. The Western political logic was like this: Even if Putin remains in his post, his support will decline. 

But the election showed the opposite. It seems that Russian people generally attributed the nation’s current difficulties to pressure and sanctions piled on them by the West. Meanwhile, they believe that Putin is the one defending their interests and without him, their situation would be even worse.

Both editorials note that Russia’s economy has proved highly resistant to the West’s sanctions, and both explain why.

The first editorial says “Russia’s rich natural resources make it highly self-sufficient to counter sanctions”.

The second editorial goes into more detail

Sanctions against Russia……economically….will…have little effect. The Russian economy returned to modest growth in 2017. Russia enjoys rich resources, high-level intellectuals and in the Soviet era, abundant technological breakthroughs. It is not a nation that can be besieged to death.

Global Times then proceeds to draw lessons from this for China, which is itself now starting to come under economic pressure from the US.

Firstly, as the first editorial points out, the West is as capable of applying sanctions pressure on China as it is against Russia

Western countries have been quite freewheeling in imposing sanctions on Russia, as they don’t see much cost in doing so.

The harsh attitude of Western countries toward Russia resembles their unity in the face of major geopolitical and value challenges despite problems in their own camp. Any non-Western competitor could become their shared target, which is part of the current world order.

Independent forces, including China, all face such risks.

Secondly, Russia has managed to resist the West’s pressure in part because of its “rich natural resources” – ie. its economic self-sufficiency – but also because of the strong national spirit of its people

The Western powers should reflect on the fact that they are not setting themselves against Putin alone, but against the entire Russian nation which defeated Napoleon and Hitler and is not afraid of anyone. Patriotism and self-esteem as citizens of a major power are pervasive in the Russian people. When the West fights these sentiments, its efforts amount to nothing….

Sanctions against Russia have failed politically because they have only promoted the unity of Russian society….

Discussions about how Russia will transition toward a post-Putin era have already started in Western nations, but they do not understand Russia in believing that Putin’s emergence was an accident. The truth is Putin represents the country’s national interest. The support he won reflects the support Russian people have for their national interest.

The implication is clear enough: in order for China to be able to resist Western pressure – the application of which I suspect the Chinese leadership believes is only a matter of time – China needs the same two things that have enabled Russia to resist Western pressure so successfully: a spirit of national unity and economic self-sufficiency.

Following my visit to China last August I have no doubt about the Chinese people’s spirit of national unity.  However these words in the second editorial are no doubt in part intended to remind China’s people of the cost they will pay if they ever lose it and succumb to the allure of the West

Moscow once tried to integrate with the West. Losing the Soviet Union was the price it paid for that. But in the end, its enthusiasm encountered the cold shoulder of the West. NATO’s expansion into Eastern Europe was widely considered by Russian people as Western treachery following the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Today Russian society is filled with desire to see their country rise again.

As to economic self-sufficiency, China though possessing an economy many orders of magnitude larger than Russia’s, unlike Russia is not economically fully self-sufficient.

However Global Times points to the solution, which it turns out is an ever-closer relationship with Russia

The China-Russia comprehensive strategic collaborative partnership also made sure that the West would fail to contain either Beijing or Moscow or drive a wedge between them.

In other words the Russian-Chinese alliance guarantees each country’s security from pressure by the West.

Russia can to look to China to supplement its financial resources.  China can look to Russia for the food, energy and raw materials it needs.

Though the two editorials don’t say so, and the point is never publicly spoken about, the main purpose of President Xi Jinping’s One Belt, One Road Initiative is to tie the economic resources of the China and Russia together, with Russian President Vladimir Putin being President Xi Jinping’s essential partner in the whole enterprise.

President Putin alluded to this fact in his message of congratulation to President Xi Jinping following the latter’s recent re-election as President of China

This decision by the National People’s Congress of China has become another proof of your great authority, a recognition of your efforts in ensuring dynamic socioeconomic development of the country and protecting its interests on the global stage,” the Russian President stressed.

Vladimir Putin noted the unprecedented high level of relations between Russia and China achieved recently to a large extent due to the personal efforts of Xi Jinping. These relations have become a true example of equal and mutually beneficial cooperation between leading powers.

The President of Russia conveyed to his Chinese counterpart that he would be happy to have new meetings with him, and expressed confidence in further strengthening, through reciprocal efforts, the Russia-China comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation, in filling it with new content which will contribute to the prosperity of the two friendly peoples and to greater security and stability on the Eurasian continent and in the whole world.

President Xi Jinping then reciprocated in his message of congratulation to President Putin following the latter’s re-election as President of Russia a day after

In the message, Xi said that over recent years, the Russian people have united as one in firmly advancing on the path of strengthening the nation, realizing rejuvenation and development, achieving remarkable success in economic and social development, and playing an important constructive role in international affairs.

Xi expressed the belief that Russia will definitely be able to keep creating new glories in national development.

Currently, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership is at the best level in history, which sets an example for building a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness and justice, cooperation and all-win results, and a community with a shared future for mankind, Xi said.

China is willing to work with Russia to keep promoting China-Russia relations to a higher level, provide driving force for respective national development in both countries, and promote regional and global peace and tranquility, Xi said.

I would finish by referring to the remarkably fulsome language Global Times uses to describe the current relationship between China and Russia.

What was once referred to as a ‘strategic partnership’ became a few years ago a ‘grand strategic partnership’.

Now Global Times calls it “the China-Russia comprehensive strategic collaborative partnership”.  Note that both President Putin and President Xi Jinping referred to it as a “comprehensive strategic cooperation partnership” in their respective telegrams to each other.  It appears that this is now the agreed formula used to describe the relationship.

I wonder for how much longer the Chinese and the Russians will go on pretending that their relationship is anything other than what it obviously is, something which can be summed up altogether more simply, with one word: alliance.


From Zerohedge.

 

 

China Plans to Break Petrodollar Stranglehold

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As of March 2018, Beijing is to set up oil-futures trading in the yuan which will be fully convertible into gold on the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges, Russia set to join China in this economic pivot.


Petrodollars have dominated the global energy markets for more than 40 years. But now, China is looking to change that by replacing the word dollars for yuan.

Nations, of course, have tried this before since the system was set up by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in tandem with the House of Saud back in 1974

Vast populations across the Middle East and Northern Africa quickly felt the consequences when Iraq’s Saddam Hussein decided to sell oil in euros. Then there was Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi’s pan-African gold dinar blueprint, which failed to create a splash in an oil barrel.

Fast forward 25 years and China is making a decisive move to break the United States petrodollar stranglehold in cooperation with Russia. The plan is to set up oil-futures trading in the yuan, which will be fully convertible into gold on the Shanghai and Hong Kong foreign exchange markets.

The Shanghai Futures Exchange and its subsidiary, the Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE), have already run four simulations for crude futures.

It was expected to be rolled out by the end of this year, but that looks unlikely to happen. But when it does get off the ground in 2018, the fundamentals will be clear – this triple oil-yuan-gold route will bypass the mighty green back.

The era of the petroyuan will be at hand.

Still, there are questions on how Beijing will technically set up a rival futures market in crude oil to Brent and WTI, and how China’s capital controls will influence it.

Bejing has been quite discreet on this. The petroyuan was not even mentioned in the National Development and Reform Commission documents following the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party last October. 

What is certain is that the BRICS, the acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, did support the petroyuan move at their summit in Xiamen earlier this year. Diplomats confirmed that to Asia Times.

Venezuela is also on board. It is crucial to remember that Russia is number two and Venezuela is number seven among the world’s Top 10 oil producers. Beijing already has close economic ties with Moscow, while it is distinctly possible that other producers will join the club. 

“This contract has the potential to greatly help China’s push for yuan internationalization,”Yao Wei, chief China economist at Societe Generale in Paris, said when he hit the nail firmly on the head.

An extensive report by DBS in Singapore also hits most of the right notes, linking the internationalization of the yuan with the expansion of the grandiose Belt and Road Initiative.

Next year, six major BRI projects will be on the table. 

Mega infrastructure developments will include the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, the China-Laos railway and the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway. The other key projects will be the Hungary-Serbia railway, the Melaka Gateway project in Malaysia and the upgrading of Gwadar port in Pakistan.

HSBC has estimated that the expansive Belt and Road program will generate no less than an additional, game-changing US$2.5 trillion worth of new trade a year.

It is important to remember that the “belt” in BRI is a series of corridors connecting Eastern China with oil-gas rich regions in Central Asia and the Middle East. The high-speed rail networks, or new “Silk Roads”, will simply traverse regions filled with, what else, un-mined gold.   

But a key to the future of the petroyuan will revolve around the House of Saud, and what it will do. Should the Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, also known as MBS, follow Russia’s lead? If it did, this would be one of the paradigm shifts of the century. 

Yet there are signs of what could happen. Yuan-denominated gold contracts will be traded not only in Shanghai and Hong Kong but also in Dubai. Saudi Arabia is also considering issuing so-called Panda bonds, with close ally, the United Arab Emirates, taking the lead in the Middle East for Chinese interbank bonds. 

Of course, the prelude to D-Day will be when the House of Saud officially announces it accepts the yuan for at least part of its exports to China. But what is clear is that Saudi Arabia simply cannot afford to alienate Beijing as one of its top customers.

In the end, it will be China which will dictate future terms. That may include extra pressure for Beijing’s participation in Aramco’s IPO. In parallel, Washington would see Riyadh embracing the petroyuan as the ultimate red line.

An independent European report pointed to what might be Beijing’s trump card – “an authorization to issue treasury bills in yuan by Saudi Arabia” as well as the creation of a Saudi investment fund and a 5% share of Aramco.

Nations hit hard by US sanctions, such as Russia, Iran and Venezuela, will be among the first to embrace the petroyuan. Smaller producers, such as Angola and Nigeria, are already selling oil and gas to the world’s second largest economy in Chinese currency.

As for nations involved in the new “Silk Roads” program that are not oil exporters such as Pakistan, the least they can do is replace the dollar in bilateral trade. This is what Pakistan’s Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal is currently mulling over.

Of course, there will be a “push back” from the US. The dollar is still the global currency, even though it might have lost some of luster in the past decade.

But the BRICS, as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, or SCO, which includes prospective members Iran and Turkey, are increasingly settling bilateral and multilateral trade by bypassing the green back.

In the end, it will not be over until the fat (golden) lady sings.  When the beginning of the end of the petrodollar system becomes a fact, watch out for a US counterpunch.

Washington Delivers New Ultimatum on Iran

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The US State Department has issued a fresh ultimatum on the Iran nuclear deal to Washington’s ostensible major allies in Europe, demanding that Germany, Britain and France commit themselves to altering the agreement along the lines demanded by President Donald Trump or face its unilateral abrogation by the US.

A secret State Department cable obtained by Reuters presents what are essentially the same demands made by Trump last January. At that time, he announced that he was prepared to relaunch all-out US economic warfare against Iran unless the European powers joined Washington in imposing a rewritten nuclear accord on Tehran, including provisions that the Iranian government cannot and will not accept.

The occasion for Trump’s threat was his reluctant announcement on January 12 that he had decided to waive the re-imposition of US sanctions that were lifted as part of the nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). He vowed that this would be the last time he issued such a waiver, unless his conditions were met. The next deadline for waiving the sanctions is May 12.

The message from the State Department to the European powers asks for their “commitment that we should work together to seek a supplemental or follow-on agreement that addresses Iran’s development or testing long-range missiles, ensures strong IAEA inspections, and fixes the flaws of the ‘sunset clause.’”

Washington has demanded that Iran grant International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors immediate and unlimited access to any site in the country, including military bases; the elimination of “sunset clauses” in the JCPOA, making time-limited restrictions on aspects of Iran’s civil nuclear program permanent; and drastically limiting, if not outlawing, Iran’s ballistic missile program.

While presented by Reuters and other media as a softening of the position outlined by Trump in January, the cable makes it clear that the US is continuing to present its nominal allies in Europe with an ultimatum.

“In the absence of a clear commitment from your side to address these issues, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal. If at any time the President judges that such commitment is not within reach, the President indicated he would end US participation in the deal.”

The cable’s “talking points” for US diplomats to advance Washington’s agenda in Europe stress “the Trump administration’s strategy to counter the Iranian regime’s reckless aggression,” which “addresses the full range of Iranian threats, of which Iran’s nuclear program is only one element.”

The clear implication is that Washington is embarked on a trajectory of war with Iran, either with or without the collaboration of its NATO allies in Berlin, London and Paris. Should they join with the US in ripping up the nuclear accord, it will set them on a collision course not only with Iran, but also with Russia and China, the two other signatories to the JCPOA.

The US has spelled out its own intentions in the Trump administration’s recent National Security Strategy, lumping Iran together with North Korea under the category of “rogue states” that represent a threat to US “national interests” and are to be confronted and defeated.

None of the European powers responded directly to the US cable, which the State Department itself refused to discuss. Asked about the US demands in an online media briefing, the French Foreign Ministry declared:

“The French position on the Iran nuclear deal is known. As the President of the Republic [Emmanuel Macron] has said, we reaffirm our full attachment to the global action plan and its strict implementation.” It added that Paris would “continue to talk about the Iran nuclear program with our European and American partners.”

The European powers are pursuing their own imperialist interests in the Middle East and are increasingly at odds with US interests and strategies. The lifting of sanctions against Iran was greeted by European corporations as an opportunity to generate a fresh stream of profits through billions of dollars in new investments and trade deals. Many of these plans remain unfulfilled because of concerns that the US will target companies with unilateral sanctions, and that their investments could go up in smoke in the event of a new and catastrophic US war in the Middle East.

While hostile to Iran’s growing influence in the region, the European powers are increasingly alarmed at the prospect that Washington’s strategy of forging a regional anti-Iranian alliance with Israel and Saudi Arabia, together with the other Sunni Gulf oil sheikdoms, will produce a military confrontation that could cut off oil supplies upon which Europe depends and unleash a political and refugee crisis that will spill onto the continent.

Washington has issued its latest ultimatum in the midst of an explosive escalation of regional tensions, driven in the main by US and Israeli aggression. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spelled out Tel Aviv’s aggressive stance against Iran in a bellicose speech to the Munich Security Conference on Sunday. Holding up what he claimed was a piece of an Iranian drone shot down over Israeli-occupied Syrian territory in the Golan Heights, he denounced Iran as “the greatest threat to the world,” equating it with Nazi Germany.

“We will act without hesitation to defend ourselves, and we will act if necessary not just against Iran’s proxies that are attacking us, but against Iran itself,” said Netanyahu, in a clear threat to attack Iran, an action that his government would undertake only with US backing.

Israel responded to the alleged overflight of the drone, which Tehran insists was launched by independent Syrian militia elements in Syria, by targeting Iranian personnel in Syria with air strikes. Syrian air defense units succeeded in shooting down an Israeli F-16 fighter jet, the first such loss for the Israeli Air Force since the early 1980s.

Speaking in response to Netanyahu at the Munich conference, Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, attributed the frenzied tone of Netanyahu’s speech to the downing of the warplane.

“The so-called invincibility of [Israel] has crumbled,” he said.

The US military and intelligence apparatus and its loyal stenographers in the US corporate media are churning out continuous war propaganda against Iran.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, US national security advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster declared it was necessary to “act against Iran,” which he accused of arming a “network of proxies” that is “becoming more and more capable as Iran seeds more and more…destructive weapons into these networks.”

The New York Times published a lengthy piece Monday based on interviews with Israeli military officers and government officials along with representatives of US, Israeli and Saudi-funded think tanks alleging that Iran is “creating an infrastructure [in Syria] to threaten Israel.” Needless to say, the article made no mention of Israel’s own funding and aid for Sunni Islamist militias attacking the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.

The same issue of the Times carried an opinion piece by US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley claiming, falsely, that a report issued by the United Nations proved that Iran has shipped missiles to the Houthi rebels in Yemen to fire at Saudi Arabia. The actual report found that “remnants” of the missiles were of Iranian origin, while providing no evidence as to how they got there.

Haley insists that the world must “act before a missile hits a school or a hospital and leads to a dangerous military escalation that provokes a Saudi military response.”

The column echoes the “big lie” methods pioneered by Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels. That Saudi Arabia has been bombing Yemeni schools, hospitals, neighborhoods and infrastructure for nearly three years, killing some 13,000 Yemeni civilians and plunging the country’s population into the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet, goes unmentioned.

Haley is also silent on the fact that the US has provided the vast majority of the bombs and missiles dropped on the Yemeni people, while mounting logistical and refueling operations that make the mass slaughter possible.


Article from Bill Van Auken.
Global Research, February 21st, 2018.
World Socialist Web Site 20th February, 2018.