Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Newsweek: How Ukraine Followed the ISIS Playbook

    Wednesday, May 31, 2023   No comments

Newsweek reports that Ukraine is using commercial drones to score frontline victories, uploading videos with commercial GoPro cameras, accurately capturing enemy tank destruction, sniper kills and grenade blasts.

Inspired by the innovations made by ISIS during its rapid rise in Syria nearly 10 years ago, the terrorist group pushed out sophisticated, polished, and sometimes violent videos as part of a broader recruitment campaign, and distributed emotionally appealing footage to exploit vulnerable sentiment. I have the target.


In her speech, she referred to "Ukrainian brigades, such as the White Wolves, who film footage to publish on social media platforms, with the aim of bringing battles closer to real-life fighting games."


This unit publishes videos showing how its forces succeeded in destroying Russian targets. One such clip, posted on Twitter, published by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), shows an aerial view of military vehicles exploding after being hit from above, according to the magazine.

For Ukraine, “the drive to create great videos from battlefield scenes is more existential: footage from the front lines of the war must attract enough viewers globally to ensure that the country’s fight against Russia is not forgotten, and to prove that the West’s financial and military support Kiev was not in vain," according to "Newsweek."

Professor Sean Huston, who teaches courses on propaganda, social conflict, and media studies at The Citadel, a military college in South Carolina, told Newsweek that the clip is "a great example of the manipulation of combat video and the strange overlap between video games and snapshots of life." The realism associated with the video techniques used by ISIS.

"ISIS has been focusing on using this type of propaganda video, which is unfortunately more attractive to a younger audience," Houston added.

It is not clear, or the magazine did not explain, if this inspiration was due the effective tactics of ISIS or the tactics were developed by the handlers of ISIS who are now involved in the war in Ukraine.


The Minister of Defense of Mali is visiting Iran, on an official visit aimed at strengthening inter-military relations between the two countries

    Wednesday, May 31, 2023   No comments

On Monday, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani received his Malian counterpart, Sadio Camara, in Tehran, on an official visit aimed at strengthening military relations.

Ashtiani stressed that after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, his country continued to develop its relations with Islamic and independent countries in Africa, including Mali, which he described as "playing an important role in the African region."


He stressed that cooperation with Islamic countries in Africa is one of the priorities of Iranian foreign policy, and that, in accordance with this policy, the Iranian Ministry of Defense has made efforts to interact with the state of Mali.


The Iranian Minister of Defense also praised the position of the Mali government in support of Palestine and its people, describing Mali's insistence in supporting the Palestinian cause as "a shining example of defending the oppressed."


Referring to the convening of the first joint economic cooperation committee between the two countries, last year, Brigadier General Ashtiani shared the recent economic developments between Iran and Mali.


The Iranian Defense Minister pointed out that the presence of the financial delegation headed by the Minister of Defense to Tehran shows the intention of the financial authorities to develop bilateral relations with Iran.


Ashtiani pointed to the pursuit of some Western countries behind "colonial goals and creating tensions," to justify the reasons for their military presence in Africa.



He explained that although the clear policy of Western countries is to "establish security," they "feed the spread of terrorism under their control in independent African countries, such as Mali," and pointed out that this was to justify and legitimize their presence in the region, in internal affairs. for these countries.


The Iranian minister also stated that "the Islamic Republic of Iran respects the decision of the government and nation of Mali regarding the diversification of its international partners, and considers it a sign of a good understanding of international developments," stressing that Iran "will spare no effort in strengthening Mali's defense capabilities against the threats of terrorist groups."


For his part, Malian Defense Minister Sadio Camara expressed his satisfaction with Iran's visit, explaining that the aim of this visit is to strengthen and consolidate bilateral relations.


He also referred to the experiences achieved by Iran in the field of combating terrorism, as well as the popular role and the involvement of citizens in achieving their security, asking for benefit from Iranian experiences in this field.


Camara criticized Western colonialism, as well as the security trends of some West African countries, considering them destabilizing, stressing that "the people and government in the Republic of Mali have decided to preserve their sovereignty, security and self-determination," noting that Iran's experiences and support are very valuable to Mali.


Tuesday, May 30, 2023

The president of the Chechen Republic reacts the election results in Turkiye

    Tuesday, May 30, 2023   No comments

The president of the Chechen Republic reacts the election results in Turkiye, posting this statement online:


In the second round of the presidential elections in Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan won, with which our President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin congratulated him.

 

I would like to join in the congratulations and wish the President of Turkey success both in developing his own state and in strengthening long-standing mutually beneficial relations with Russia and other allied countries.

 

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is undoubtedly one of the brightest politicians of our time, a subtle diplomat who not only successfully leads a huge country with a large population and an impressive army, but also actively advocates for the protection of the rights of Muslims around the world.

 

I congratulate the politician and the entire Turkish people on their re-election as the President of Turkey, I wish prosperity, peace and stability! I am sure that Ankara will continue the course of bilateral cooperation with Russia. And may the Almighty help us in this!

 


After his inauguration as President of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu pledges to unite the country and ensure its security

    Tuesday, May 30, 2023   No comments

On Monday, Bola Ahmed Tinubu called for the unification of Nigeria, the day after his inauguration as the new president of the most populous country in Africa, and pledged that ensuring its security would be his “priority.”

The new 71-year-old head of state, in traditional dress, was sworn in during a ceremony held in Abuja in front of a crowd of officials and a number of African heads of state (Rwanda, Ghana, South Africa, Benin and Cameroon).

Tinubu, who was elected in February, pledged at the end of a ballot whose results were challenged by the opposition in court, denouncing widespread fraud, to serve Nigerians "without prejudice".


He stressed the need to unite the country of 215 million people, divided between the Muslim-majority north and the Christian-majority south, particularly by "promoting economic exchanges, social cohesion and intercultural dialogue."


He pledged that tackling insecurity would be his "absolute priority", as well as defending "the nation from terrorism and all forms of crime" by strengthening security forces.


The new president has promised to put Africa's largest economy back on track, while the oil-rich country sinks into recession, inflation, exploding debt and poverty.


Tinubu, who was called the “kingmaker” or “the spiritual father,” because of his enormous political influence, organized his election campaign, stressing that it was his “turn” to lead the largest economy on the continent.


However, the rise of the new president, who has huge wealth, was accompanied by many accusations of corruption, without being convicted at all, which he also always denied.


Tinubu will have to focus on the speedy recovery of the country's economy. One of the main challenges for Nigeria, which is rich in oil, is that it exchanges crude, which is estimated at billions of dollars, in exchange for imported fuel (due to poor operation of refineries) that it supplies to its market later.


What happens now that Erdogan is re-elected president of Turkiye?

    Tuesday, May 30, 2023   No comments

Two weeks ago, the American New York Times reported that European leaders would be happy to have an "easier Turkey," referring to the European desire for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to lose in the current presidential elections.

The newspaper pointed out that Westerners, especially the US administration, would like to see Erdogan lose, in favor of opposition figure Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

The New York Times said that Turkey, an important and strategic member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), has become, under Erdogan's rule, "an increasingly troublesome partner of the European Union."


However, "NATO", according to the newspaper, hopes that the change of Turkish leadership "will lead to an end to the confrontation over the approval of Sweden's membership in the alliance," before the summit scheduled to be held in Vilnius, Lithuania, next July.


Within Turkey, the opposition and its candidate, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, whom the Western media called "Turkey's Gandhi," sought to overthrow Erdogan.


And the opposition exploited anti-refugee sentiments to try to win the elections, according to the British "Guardian". Kilicdaroglu tried to win the support of voters, especially the youth, taking advantage of the difficult economic conditions, and promised to restore the parliamentary system, after its improvement, to the country.


Now, after Erdogan announced his victory in the presidential elections in its second round, what will the picture look like, at home and abroad?


Globally:

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace saw that the margin of creative thinking for the West will be limited with Erdogan's victory, as "21 years of experience with the current government has mostly exhausted the West's expectations of a qualitative improvement in relations."


And the Turkish president's victorious exit from this juncture means, according to the foundation, that Erdogan and his "indomitable sense" will reach new highs, which will increase what it called his "fiery behavior."


As for the relations between Ankara, Washington, and the rest of the Western capitals, the foundation said that they would be "devoid of flexibility and subject to circumstantial crises."


The reason behind this lies in the fact that Turkey will be in dire need of foreign financial flows due to the economic hardship the country is witnessing, as the Foundation said, which will prompt Erdogan to manage his country's foreign policy within the constraints of this reality, that is, with "less adventurism and more stability." .


But at the same time, the AKP leader will continue to "see Turkey as a regional power, and a member of a new club of countries," which includes China and Russia, which sees itself as an independent power bloc, according to the Institute for Turkish Studies at Stockholm University.


The European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) said that the approach of Turkish treatment in foreign policy will continue while Erdogan remains in power, and the strained relations with the European Union will continue, "without any progress towards constructive engagement."


In the eastern Mediterranean, the site saw that tensions with Cyprus and Greece will not recede, but rather may escalate, with Ankara pressing for a two-state solution on the island.


As for Syria, the site expected the Turkish government's attempts, under Erdogan's rule, to continue to normalize its relations with Syria and other countries. This would facilitate the return of some Syrian refugees to their homeland, as the website said, bearing in mind that the issue of asylum is a top concern for Turkish voters.


For its part, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) suggested that the United States and Europe would remain silent, and work to find new ways to work with Erdogan upon his victory.


And while relations are expected to be turbulent with the West, it is seen that they will be more stable with Russia, especially after the participation of Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in an official ceremony marking the start of supplying the Akkuyu nuclear power plant with nuclear fuel, days before the start of the elections. public in Turkey.


During the ceremony, which was held last April, Putin stressed that the station is the most important project for Russia and Turkey, and promised that it would allow the development of joint economic relations and the promotion of coexistence between the two countries.


Under Erdogan, Turkey maintained its relations with Russia, at a time when the West cut it off after Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine. Recently, Ankara played the most prominent role, along with the United Nations, in completing the "grain deal" between Ukraine and Russia, which Erdogan announced its extension two weeks ago.


This deal is an integral part of a set of specific agreements for a period of 3 years, which provide for the lifting of the ban on Russian exports of food and fertilizers, the reconnection of the Russian Agricultural Bank to the “SWIFT” system, and the resumption of the supply of agricultural machinery, spare parts and services.


Domestically:

On the domestic front, the head of the Justice and Development Party announced that his economic program for the next stage reveals a return to more traditional policies regarding the "free market" economy.


There is talk that Erdogan's economic program will be very similar to that laid out in the AKP's 2002 electoral platform. In other words, the AKP will return to its "origins" and abandon "heretical economics".


During the past months, the Turkish government has resorted to what is called the "election economy", which permeates it by increasing government spending and reducing collection, by raising the minimum wage, facilitating loans, scheduling debts, and supporting some segments.


The public coalition, led by Erdogan, seeks to increase Turkey's gross domestic product and increase annual growth by 5.5% from 2024 to 2028.


Likewise, the alliance is working to achieve a gross domestic product of $1.5 trillion by the end of 2028, to adopt a policy of developing the defense industries sector and combating terrorism, and to establish the "Istanbul Canal" project.


The Turkish president promised the voters to make Turkey "strong and multi-alliance," and also promised to create 6 million jobs, accusing the West of "trying to overthrow him, after more than two decades in power," in addition to giving tourism a big boost.


However, the opposition is suspicious of Erdogan's promises, especially on the economic issue, and its alliance has made many economic promises. However, the most prominent criticism that reached it is that it does not provide clear mechanisms and policies to achieve its promises.


Faced with this reality, the Turkish interior is vulnerable to a raging political ram between the elected president and his opponents, especially with Kilicdaroglu's statement that he is "sad for Turkey's future", without officially acknowledging the loss.


The issue of the political system that governs the country was raised as one of the main headlines over which electoral competition was intensified. While the opposition was threatening to restore the parliamentary system to rule Turkey in the event of the victory of its candidate, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the "Justice and Development" promised to preserve the presidential system.


According to the election results, Erdogan's assumption of power for another 5 years means the continuation of the presidential system, which provides the president with broad powers, most notably the direct appointment of senior state officials, including ministers, university presidents and judges.

_________

* Adapted from Fatima Karnib's reporting on the Turkish Elections

Monday, May 29, 2023

The first Chinese-made passenger plane takes off on its first commercial flight

    Monday, May 29, 2023   No comments

 The first Chinese-made "C919" passenger plane took off today, Sunday, on its first commercial flight, which represents a quantum leap for China seeking to compete with the West in this field.


Footage broadcast by the official CCTV channel showed the take-off of Chinese Eastern Airlines Flight MU9191 from Hongqiao Airport in Shanghai at approximately 10:30 am (02:30 GMT).


The channel said that the destination of the plane, which carries more than 130 passengers, is Beijing International Airport.


Footage broadcast by state media showed dozens of passengers gathering at Shanghai airport, preparing to board the white-colored plane.


China has invested heavily in producing this aircraft locally as part of its quest to achieve self-sufficiency in key technologies.


Beijing hopes the C919 will compete with popular Western models such as the Boeing 737 Max and Airbus A320.


Interest is large: orders log

The plane is manufactured by the state-owned Commercial Aviation Corporation of China (COMAC), but many of its components come from abroad.


Starting Monday, the C919 will fly between Shanghai and the southwestern city of Chengdu, according to CCTV.


The first C919, which seats 164 passengers, was officially delivered to Eastern Airlines in December.


In January, Zhang Yujin, deputy general manager of COMAC, told the semi-official Chinese newspaper, The Paper, that the company had received more than 1,200 orders for the C919.


Zhang said at the time that COMAC plans to increase its annual production capacity to 150 aircraft within 5 years.


The countries of the continent of Asia and China in particular are major targets for the European company "Airbus" and its American competitor "Boeing", which are looking to benefit from the growing demand for air travel from the Chinese middle class.

Foreign Policy asks: "What drives the Western media to filter out a lot of international news or to neglect it completely?"

    Monday, May 29, 2023   No comments

The American magazine "Foreign Policy" revealed the role of the media in concealing massacres around the world, especially those that are bloody and are more deadly than others.


As an example, the newspaper said that in the year 2013, in the Central African Republic, a massacre took place in which hundreds of civilians were killed, but the surprise is that even in the neighboring regions, the population did not know about it, because the media was purged of its news, and the survivors did not dare to speak about it.


And the newspaper added that so far the press is unable to cover many events in the world, and while the media is preoccupied with the Ukrainian war, the deaths in the conflict in the Central African Republic have not been counted, even the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the bloodiest in the world since World War II, It did not appear on news sites.


The newspaper attributed the reasons to a lack of interest in places that are considered remote, and violence against people who are seen as different from others, as it put it.


Another problem, she said, is that news from places like the Central African Republic and Congo often needs to travel to London or New York before it reaches countries like Nigeria and India.


This means that so much international news is filtered through a Western lens or left out altogether, that the lack of international news outlets in the Global South leaves huge gaps in coverage even when millions of people die in the world's deadliest wars.


Sunday, May 28, 2023

The "Taliban": "we destroyed 18 Iranian border facilities in total"

    Sunday, May 28, 2023   No comments

Taliban is stil driven by the same supremacist ideology that founded it; that appears to be the conclusion one can draw from the statements of its leaders about the recent clashes at the border with Iran.


A statement issued by the Taliban's Social Communications Department read: "The Iranian Revolutionary Guards carried out terrorist attacks from its huge border posts. Iran has not put up a strong resistance so far. It seems that its army is weak and feminine."

For his part, the leader of the "Taliban" movement, Abdul Hamid Khorasani, stated in a video speech: "Do not test our strength. You are behind the scenes with the Westerners. We are true Muslims. If the sheikhs allow us, we will seize Tehran."


Saturday, May 27, 2023

Personalities and ideologies that drive the conflict between NATO and Russia and their semi-proxy war in Ukraine

    Saturday, May 27, 2023   No comments

Yesterday, the New York Times revealed that the “Anti-Kremlin Group Involved in Border Raid Is Led by a Neo-Nazi”. The paper reported that the leader of the Russian Volunteer Corps, one of the two insurgent groups responsible for an armed incursion into Russia this week, is a far-right extremist, German officials and humanitarian groups say.


Russia has stated since the start of the conflict in Ukraine in 2014 that neo-Nazis are behind the campaign to kill and displace ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine; Russian leaders have stated that denazification is a goal of its military operation in Ukraine.

On the same day, the German DER SPIEGEL reported that the “evidence confirms Ukraine's involvement in the Nord Stream bombing.” The newspaper confirmed, Friday, that there is new evidence in the investigation indicating Ukraine's involvement in sabotage operations targeting the "Nord Stream" gas pipelines.

And the newspaper reported that the metadata of e-mail messages, which were sent during the charter of the boat, indicate the involvement of Ukraine, pointing to the finding in the yacht of traces of the explosive “HMX” substance, which is very widespread in the west as in the previous block in the east.

"Der Spiegel" stated that all the evidence "consistent with the assessments of several intelligence services, according to which the perpetrators will be searched for in Ukraine."

And the German newspaper continued: "We now wonder whether what happened could have been carried out by unsupervised commandos, or the Ukrainian intelligence services, and to what extent certain elements of the Ukrainian government apparatus were aware of this."

This comes at a time when police investigations are focusing, in particular, on the "Andromeda" yacht, which is likely to be used to transport explosives, which led to the detonation of the pipelines in September 2022, in the Baltic Sea, according to what was reported by "Agence France Presse".

It is likely that the yacht set off from the port of Rostock, in northern Germany, on September 6, with 6 people on board, including divers and a doctor.

It turned out that one of the passengers on the boat holds a Romanian passport, and he is also a "Ukrainian citizen who previously served in an infantry unit."

And at the beginning of this week, other German media traced the file of the boat rental by a Polish company owned, in fact, by Ukrainians.

Investigators are looking into the evidence of "Ukrainian military services," according to Sudeutsche, RND and VDR TV.

Meanwhile, a German analyst suggested that the transferring the Ukrainian war to Russia is a strategic mistake for which the world will pay.

During the past few days, the Russian-Ukrainian war witnessed a remarkable development when Russia revealed that armed elements had entered its territory through the Ukrainian borders, which means that Ukraine may have begun to transfer the war into Russia.

 

And whether you do or plan to do so, the question posed by German writer and analyst Andreas Kluth in an analysis published by Bloomberg News is: Will this development be a good thing?

 

Russia said that "Ukrainian terrorists" and "fascists" attacked Russian territory. Of course, according to the German analyst, such statements and everything issued by the Russian government can be ignored. It has been said that the armed groups that claimed responsibility for the attacks inside Russian territory consist of Russians who defected from President Vladimir Putin's army and are fighting against him for Ukraine now.

 

One of these groups calls itself the "Russian Freedom Corps", and the other is called the "Russian Volunteer Corps", and includes elements of ultra-nationalists.

 

According to Cloth, there is limited information available about these anti-Putin paramilitary forces, especially as to whether they take orders from Ukraine or operate independently.

 

In the context of the conflict with Russia, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said - in a statement - that the Ukrainian army needs about 48 F-16 combat aircraft to liberate the territories occupied by Russia, according to the ministry's statement.

 


On the other hand, the ministry announced that Canada will complete in the coming weeks the delivery of thousands of small arms and live ammunition that it donated to Ukraine.

 

The Ukrainian National News Agency quoted the Ministry of Defense as saying that the delivery of small arms and ammunition had already begun last April, including machine guns and assault rifles.

 


The ministry stated that in the coming weeks, one million bullets and about 5,000 assault rifles will be delivered.

 

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the German Defense Ministry said that the ministry had received a request from Ukraine in the past few days to hand over Taurus cruise missiles. The spokeswoman did not give any other details about the letter, such as the number of missiles that Kiev is requesting.

All these developments suggest that if Ukraine accumulates enough weapons, it will be able to use them anyway it sees fit without any consideration of the limits demanded by the Western nations that donated the weapons. This would take things out of control and can result in catastrophic events unless the conflict is recalibrated. Sensing the urgency to act now before it is late, and the to build on the Chines, Brazilian, and African initiatives to settle the conflict, German leaders decided to reopen a direct line of communication with Russia. Schultz intends to reconnect with Putin at the appropriate time

German Chancellor Olaf Schultz announced today, Friday, that he is ready to return to contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin "at the appropriate time," in light of the interruption of talks between them since last December.

 


Schultz said in an interview published by the newspaper "Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger" on Friday that his last phone call with Putin was a long time ago, but he intends to talk to him again at the appropriate time.

 

Regarding his vision for resolving the conflict, Schultz said that Russia "must understand that the war cannot end with some kind of cold peace that would turn the current front line into a new border between Russia and Ukraine, that would only serve to legitimize Putin's campaign."

 

On the contrary, he added, a just peace must be achieved through the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine.

 

But Schultz refused to say whether this withdrawal should also include Crimea, occupied since 2014, and the German chancellor believed that it was up to Ukraine to determine what it wanted.

Commenting on all these developments, and speaking on behalf of Putin, Dmitry Peskov said that “the degree of involvement of the West in the conflict in Ukraine is growing every day.”

 Peskov noted that the involvement of the West can stretch the conflict in time, but will not change the situation radically. "Russia will continue the special operation and one way or another will ensure its interests," the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation stated.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Instrumentalizing migrants for political purposes in Turkish elections

    Thursday, May 25, 2023   No comments

The pro-Kurdish parties in Turkey announced today, Thursday, the support of the opposition presidential candidate, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, in the run-off in the presidential elections next Sunday, without mentioning his name, a day after expressing their anger at his agreement with a far-right party.

Incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan finished with a comfortable lead in the first round of voting on May 14, despite the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) backing of Kilicdaroglu.

Erdogan was very close to getting the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff.

Officials from the HDP and their Green Left allies said they were seeking change in the runoff, and their position remained the same, but they did not mention Kilicdaroglu by name.

Pervin Buldan, co-chair of the HDP, said they will vote on Sunday to end Erdogan's "one-man regime".

She added, "The strange system that Erdogan and his partners established is the cause of the societal problems that we suffer from. What will be voted on on May 28 is the extent to which this strange system can continue or not."

Buldan also criticized the campaign's rhetoric in which immigrants are used for political purposes, and the practices of state-appointed trustees.

"The problem of refugees and migrants can only be solved by fighting for peace against the politics of war," Buldan said.


Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Egypt and Iran will exchange ambassadors this year as part of a process mediated by the Sultanate of Oman and an upcoming meeting between Sisi and Raisi

    Wednesday, May 24, 2023   No comments

Egyptian officials told an Emirati newspaper today, Wednesday, that Egypt and Iran are expected to exchange ambassadors within months, as part of a process brokered by the Sultanate of Oman to normalize relations between the two regional powers.

Two officials told the English-language The National that a meeting had been agreed in principle between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his Iranian counterpart, Ibrahim Raisi.

They said the meeting was likely to take place by the end of the year.

The news comes days after Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq paid a two-day visit to Egypt, where he discussed with Sisi including Cairo's relations with Tehran, according to the officials.


Oman enjoys close relations with Islamic and non-Arab Iran, and has often assumed mediating roles in regional disputes or in disputes pitting Tehran against other governments, in the Arab world and in the West.

For its part, Iran has said it wants better relations with Egypt, the most populous Arab country. However, the Egyptian government has been silent on relations with Iran, but regional media have been reporting on an imminent improvement in relations in recent weeks.

The two officials said normalizing relations with Iran guarantees Tehran's goodwill with regard to Cairo's efforts to forge closer economic and trade ties with countries such as Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, where it wields significant influence.

According to the newspaper, mid-level diplomats and intelligence officials from Iran and Egypt have held closed-door consultations on normalizing relations since last March. The latest round of these talks was held earlier this month in Baghdad, whose government has close ties with Tehran.

And she continued: “In addition to bilateral relations, the talks touched on reducing tension in places where Iran exercises great influence, such as Yemen, Lebanon and Syria, by supporting allied Shiite governments or armed groups.”

She believed that "the thaw in relations between Cairo and Tehran would add a new layer to the ongoing regional realignment that is changing the political landscape in the region."

Saudi Arabia, for example, has agreed to restore diplomatic relations with Iran that were severed in 2016, thus removing a major source of tension in the Middle East. Egypt and Turkey are also working to resolve a decade-long dispute, and in the actual direction of normalizing relations.

The eight-year war in Yemen, where Iran supported Ansar Allah against the internationally recognized government, which is backed by a Saudi-led military coalition, has subsided dramatically amid diplomatic moves to end the conflict.

Syria returned to the League of Arab States this month, amidst a great Iranian welcome. President Bashar al-Assad attended the Arab Summit in Jeddah last week for the first time in 12 years.

Tehran's relations with Cairo have been fraught since the overthrow of Iran's Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Pahlavi died in Egypt in 1980 and was buried with other members of his family, causing tension between Cairo and Tehran.

Relations deteriorated further when the Iranian government named a street in Tehran after Khaled Islambouli, the Egyptian army officer who led a team of assassins who assassinated former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat during a 1981 military parade in Cairo.

Relations also increased tension over what Cairo considers Iranian interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

Unlike Saudi Arabia, which closed its embassy in Tehran in 2016, Egypt has maintained diplomatic representation in Iran since the Islamic Revolution. However, it has only the chargé d'affaires who manages its mission in Tehran. Iran on the other hand has a functioning embassy in Cairo.


Related to this development, the Omani news agency announced today, Wednesday, that the Sultan of Oman, Haitham bin Tariq, will visit Iran, next Sunday, on a two-day official visit, accompanied by a high-ranking official delegation.


The agency stated, in a statement, that the visit comes within the framework of strengthening the friendship ties between the Sultanate of Oman and the Islamic Republic of Iran, consolidating fruitful relations and good neighborliness between them, and in response to the invitation extended to him by the Iranian President, Ibrahim Raisi, to Sultan Haitham bin Tariq.


The statement added that the visit contributes to consultation and coordination between the two leaderships to discuss various developments on the regional and international arenas.


At the beginning of this month, the Chief of the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Muhammad Bagheri, met the Sultan of Oman, and held a round of talks with him.


Iranian media reported that the Sultan of Oman told Bagheri, "The level of cooperation in various defense and military fields between the two countries' armed forces must be raised."


It is noteworthy that Tehran and Muscat have close relations, and they signed 8 memorandums of understanding and 4 cooperation programs last May, during Raisi's official visit to Oman.


During that visit, 12 cooperation documents were signed in the fields of energy, politics, transport, diplomatic cooperation, trade and economic relations, science, the environment and sports. A joint statement was issued by both sides at the end of the visit.


After his return to Tehran, Raisi confirmed that the positions of Iran and the Sultanate of Oman are "remarkably consistent on many issues," noting that "the good relations between Iran and Oman enhance regional cooperation."


US officials to the New York Times: Ukraine most likely carried out the attack on the Kremlin carracterized by Moscow as an assassination attempt

    Wednesday, May 24, 2023   No comments

That attack that was characterized by Moscow as an assassination attempt to kill Putin is  was likely carried out by Ukraine occirding to US officials who spoke to New York Times.

On Wednesday, The New York Times quoted US officials as saying that the Ukrainians were "most likely" to have carried out the attack that took place with rallies on the Russian presidential building (the Kremlin) on May 3.


The officials said that US intelligence reached its initial assessment through intercepted communications, and that the attack was likely orchestrated by one of Ukraine's special military or intelligence units.

They also indicated that it was not clear if Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky or his senior officials knew about the operation prior to its launch.


It is noteworthy that Russia had accused the United States of being behind the attack on the Kremlin, noting that it had several options for a measured and balanced response to the attack.


Russian officials also demanded the liquidation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in response to the attack.


Kiev has denied any involvement in the attack on the Kremlin, accusing Moscow of deliberately highlighting it in the media to justify any possible escalation of the conflict inside Ukraine.


Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that efforts by Kiev and Washington to deny any responsibility for the attack on the Kremlin are completely absurd, and that decisions regarding such attacks are not taken in Ukraine, but in Washington, and Kiev implements what is asked of it.


The Russian Foreign Ministry also confirmed that there is no doubt that the Kiev regime was behind the attack, noting that the actions of the Kiev regime - which it described as "criminal" - confirm its unwillingness to settle the ongoing conflict through political and diplomatic means, threatening those responsible for the attacks with strict and inevitable punishment.


ISR Weekly Review Bulletin for May 23, 2023

    Wednesday, May 24, 2023   No comments

To keep our readers informed about the most consequential events in this fast changing world, ISR researchers cull through current events news, so you don’t have to.

Manage your Subscription; invite a friend to subscribe to ISR’s Weekly Review Bulletin


Essays of the Month:

Riyadh to Washington delegates: You arrived late!

by Mohamad Kawas * Summary: During the past weeks, the United States has pushed its envoys to Saudi Arabia in a way that is almost shameful in the eyes of any American observer. It seemed that the United States was seeking to appease the Kingdom. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham visited the Kingdom in April. The Read more



Iran, Indonesia Agree on Mutual Settlements in National Currencies

    Wednesday, May 24, 2023   No comments

Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi said on Tuesday that Tehran and Jakarta have agreed to strengthen and expand economic relations and start trading in their national currencies in a bid to end the US dollar monopoly.

Rayeesi made the remarks in a joint press conference with his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Iran's president, who is on an official visit to Indonesia at the head of a high-ranking politico-economic delegation, stated that Tehran and Jakarta have set a goal to promote the value of their trade to $20 billion.

He stressed that the both sides are resolute on promoting exchanges using national currencies in order to set aside the US dollar.

Several countries have stressed that they no longer have trust in the US currency because it has become an unreliable financial instrument.

The Iranian chief executive added that the signing of different documents for bilateral cooperation in various sectors reaffirms both sides' will to develop relations in all fields.

In the presence of Raeisi and Widodo, senior officials of Iran and Indonesia signed 11 documents to boost cooperation in preferential trade, cancellation of visas, cultural exchanges, supervision over the pharmaceutical products, science and technology as well as oil and gas.


Tuesday, May 23, 2023

MP Geert Wilders: "The Netherlands is no longer the Netherlands"

    Tuesday, May 23, 2023   No comments

Dutch Member of Parliament and far-right politician Geert Wilders ridiculed what he said was the increase in Muslims in the Netherlands, and added that watching them perform prayers in the streets of the Netherlands expresses the stripping of the Netherlands of its identity.

Ukraine Official: Security of the entire Middle East region cannot be resolved without the complete de-occupation of Crimea

    Tuesday, May 23, 2023   No comments

A cryptic statement linking Ukraine to the security of the Middle East, was made by the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Danilov. Here it is:

“The issue of the security of the entire Middle East region... cannot be resolved without the complete de-occupation of Crimea."


 

UK’s Special Forces have been deployed operationally in at least 19 countries since 2011, including the Muslim-majority countries of Algeria, Iran, Oman, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen

    Tuesday, May 23, 2023   No comments

Mapping of national and international credible newspapers, undertaken by research charity Action on Armed Violence, shows that, since 2011,  UK Special Forces (UKSF) have been primed to contact or surveil hostile forces in Algeria, Estonia, France, Iran/Oman (Strait of Hormuz), Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Mediterranean (Cyprus), Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen.

There are a further six sites where UKSF have trained foreign forces or where they have based themselves before launching into another country. These are: Burkina Faso, Oman, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Djibouti. There are also another seven locations, not included in the above lists, known to be used by UKSF for their own exercises and engagements. These are: Albania, Falklands, Gibraltar, Belize, Brunei, Malaysia, and Canada, although there are likely to be far more.


In addition, the UKSF operate in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. These four countries are not included.


If all countries where the UK SF were reported operational (including training and in the UK itself) were added together, there would be 36 nations where such troops have been sent.


Reported UK Special Forces (UKSF) missions in Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, the Strait of Hormuz between Iran and Oman and Libya demonstrate that British soldiers are regularly sent to engage in international conflicts without any parliamentary approval around UK involvement beforehand.


In the case of Syria, parliament explicitly voted against sending in troops in 2013. Yet there have been dozens of UKSF missions reported in the press in the past decade.


A decade of operations around the globe has thrown up some controversies.

German investigators: Ukraine blew up Nord Stream pipelines

    Tuesday, May 23, 2023   No comments

German investigators are sceptical of claims that Russian naval ships sabotaged the Nord Stream gas pipelines and are instead pursuing leads that point to the Ukrainian authorities, according to a report.

Three of the four strands of the pipelines, built to transport Russian gas to Germany on the bed of the Baltic Sea, were knocked out by underwater explosions last September, effectively severing the main energy link between the two countries.

Previously, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh blamed the US administration for the bombing of the Russian Nord Stream gas pipeline, which took place last September.

Earlier this year, the UNSC, which literally stands for the United Nations Security Council, and whose mission “is to maintain international peace and security;” failed to adopt a resolution that “would have established an international independent investigative commission into the September 2022 “acts of sabotage” committed on the Nord Stream gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea.”

Thereafter, the US administration released its own report claiming that a pro-Ukraine group was behind the attack on the pipeline, a statement that was ridiculed by China, with Chinese official posting a reaction to the statement saying, "Is the [pro-Ukraine group] named Biden Administration?"







Monday, May 22, 2023

Ali Akbar Ahmadian, new Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran

    Monday, May 22, 2023   No comments

The man who signed the China-sponsored diplomatic breakthrough between Iran and Saudi Arabia, but who also was close to the Iranian spy who worked for the British security agency is now out of Iran's national security council. As his resignation indicates, it is not clear if Admiral Ali Shamkhani legacy will be determined by the outcome of Saudi-Iranian deal or by the security lapse that resulted in the assassination of Iranian scientists and nuclear secrets exposures.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Comparing economic indicators for countries associated with BRICS and the G7

    Saturday, May 20, 2023   No comments

Economic data showed that "the BRICS economy has surpassed that of the Group of Seven."


The data indicated that "the Group of Seven, 30 years ago, was 2.5 times larger than the BRICS group, in terms of gross domestic product," while now, "the BRICS have surpassed the former colonial powers that make up the Group of Seven."

Economic analysts pointed out that this data may "answer what these powers are trying to stop, namely China, because it constitutes the largest part of the BRICS economy," as China is equivalent in terms of gross domestic product in US dollars to 6 countries from the Group of Seven.


In other words, China's GDP is equal to that of Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Canada combined.


In other interesting data on the share of international powers in global GDP since 1980, the third chart below shows that the United States has been on its share since 1980: no loss, no gain.


The data also shows that developing countries are also unchanged, while Europe, the Organization for Co-operation and Development and developed countries, except for the United States, are the biggest losers. As for China, its share has grown tenfold, to become the biggest gainer.


Earlier, Joseph W. Sullivan, senior advisor to the "Lindsey Group" and economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said during the administration of former US President Donald Trump, that "the BRICS currency could shake the dominance of the dollar, and the moment of de-dollarization may have arrived." finally".



In his interview with the American newspaper "Foreign Policy", Sullivan added that in New Delhi, Alexander Babakov, deputy speaker of the Russian State Duma, said that "Russia is now leading the development of a new currency, which will be used for cross-border trade by the" BRICS "Brazil, Russia, India and China." and South Africa".


And based on the economy, at least, the prospects for the success of the currency issued by the “BRICS” group are contained, according to “Force Policy”, and although many practical questions remain unanswered, such a currency could expel the US dollar as a reserve currency for its members. "BRICS", and shook the position of the dollar from its throne.


Naldi Pandor, South African Foreign Minister, has said that the creation of a new BRICS currency will be a major item on the agenda of the upcoming "BRICS" summit, in Johannesburg on August 22.


Countries that have applied to join the BRICS:

At the moment, BRICS consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

Applications to join came from:

— Algiers,

— Argentina,

— Afghanistan,

— Bangladesh,

— Bahrain,

— Belarus,

— Venezuela,

— Egypt,

— Zimbabwe,

— Indonesia,

— Iran,

 Kazakhstan,

— Mexico,

— Nigeria,

— Nicaragua,

— UAE,

— Pakistan,

 Saudi Arabia,

— Senegal,

— Syria,

— Sudan,

— Thailand,

— Tunisia,

— Türkiye, and

— Uruguay.


*****


 Monetary Fund and the World Bank

Currently, the “BRICS” group occupies an important position in the global scene, as its member states enjoy increasing economic power and international influence. The group enhances cooperation and trade exchange between its member states, and seeks to increase its voice and influence in global affairs.

  The BRICS group is facing challenges in promoting economic and political cooperation among member states, but it is a strong alternative to the traditional global economic system.

According to the latest widespread data, the economic assessment indicates the superiority of the “BRICS” group over the Group of Seven, as the group includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and these member states are emerging economic powers that play a vital role in the global economy. The seven are from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the European Union.

It is known that the “BRICS” group is witnessing continuous expansion, as Bangladesh, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have joined the New Development Bank of the “BRICS” group, and there are several other countries preparing to join as well. This shift confirms the growth of the strength and influence of the “BRICS” group in the global arena, and may pose a challenge to the Group of Seven in the future.

And indications have emerged portending important developments about the future of the “BRICS”, which is the possibility of Mexico joining it, which constitutes a large part of the North American trade bloc (CUSMA). The United States to fair and equal trade competition with global economies on the American frontier.
Currently, the five BRICS countries contribute about 31.5% of global GDP, while the share of the Group of Seven countries drops to 30%. The BRICS countries are expected to exceed 50% of global GDP by 2030, and the proposed expansion will strongly advance this goal.
Previously, 30 years ago, the G7 was 2.5 times larger than the BRICS countries in terms of GDP. However, current data indicates that the BRICS countries have outperformed the former colonial powers of the Group of Seven.

Indeed, China's GDP surpassed that of the United States in 2015 when the economies were compared against a purchasing parity benchmark.

On the other hand, the interests of the BRICS countries are not only limited to trade, but are also rooted in the political belief that the world should be multipolar.
The BRICS group encourages the idea of a global system that includes several political and economic poles, in which its interests are better guaranteed through a balance of power and a multiplicity of partners, rather than a unipolar system in which the United States dominates.
And in 2021, the BRICS countries played an effective role in strengthening and reforming the global multilateral system, as they adopted a joint statement aimed at strengthening and reforming the global system.
  Among the aspects called for in this statement was the need to reform the current Security Council system in the United Nations to be more representative and in line with current global realities. The statement also dealt with many other issues of common concern to the BRICS countries.


According to economic data, China is particularly outperforming in its GDP. China's GDP is equal to a group of countries in the Group of Seven, including Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Canada.

These data reflect the remarkable economic success of the “BRICS” countries, and indicate that China has a major role in achieving this success thanks to the large size of its economy within the BRICS group. China's strong economy enhances the position of the BRICS" as a powerful group and its influence on the global economy is increasing significantly.

However, it should be noted that China's economic supremacy does not necessarily mean that it has completely surpassed the G7 in all economic and political aspects. The Group of Seven still maintains its influence and its important role in international relations and world trade.

China's trade value with three of the four potential BRICS countries exceeds 100 billion US dollars, and its sales reach 416 billion US dollars. Indeed, China's trade alone accounts for more than 90% of the BRICS countries' total trade value in dollar terms. This is attributed to China's economic dominance and its impressive rate of growth.

According to the Chinese government, foreign trade between China and BRICS countries registered a year-on-year growth of 12.1% in the first five months of this year, amounting to about 195.71 billion US dollars. This rate is 3.8 percentage points higher than China's overall growth rate in foreign trade over the same period.

Russia also plays an important and active role inside and outside the BRICS group, with a turnover of about $164 billion. This can be explained by the fact that the BRICS countries are a group that is highly dependent on energy, as their population constitutes more than 40% of the world's population. Thus, net power exporters have a strong position. Russia's strength is based in particular as an energy producer for the "BRICS" countries.

As for India, its trade has recorded a value of 142 billion US dollars among the “BRICS” countries. India enjoys a more balanced trade outcome among the member states, trading equally with all members except China and South Africa, and especially for members with a large Indian diaspora.

And Brazil, it is noticeable that its intra-trade is directed towards Asia, especially China and India, instead of trade with Africa or Russia. This shift may indicate the importance of Asia in Brazil's economic relations and reflects the important role played by China in particular. This means that Asia is an important market for Brazilian products, and may also reflect the shift in Brazil's economic and trade orientation towards emerging markets and the rising economic powers of Asia.

It is noted that there is active trade between South Africa and other "BRICS" countries. Although the South African economy is considered the smallest in size among the “BRICS” partners, trade between India, South Africa, China and South Africa exceeds the trade between India and Russia or Russia and Brazil, and this indicates the existence of important economic relations between South Africa and the rest of the “BRICS” partners . This strong direction of trade reflects South Africa's preference to strengthen relations with the "BRICS" countries and take advantage of the trade and investment opportunities available in these countries.

Ultimately, according to Joseph W. Sullivan, former economist in the administration of US President Donald Trump, the creation of a new BRICS currency is a threat to the dominance of the US dollar and may contribute to the transformation of the world order. He also referred to Russia's efforts to develop a new currency that will be used for trade between the BRICS countries, which include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

It is believed that the creation of a new BRICS currency may challenge the US dollar as a reserve currency and may shake its position as a strong global currency. This topic is expected to be part of the agenda of the upcoming BRICS summit in Johannesburg. This step may reflect the desire of some countries to achieve independence and abandon the heavy dependence on the US dollar in international trade and financial relations.

In conclusion, the BRICS countries are superior to the Group of Seven in many important economic indicators. This superiority raises questions about the transformation of economic and geopolitical power in the world? Are we about to see massive shifts in the global economic system? Will the hegemony of traditional Western countries recede and emerging countries will regain their global status?

These results may open the door to questions about the future of reserve currencies and the role of the US dollar as a strong global currency. Could a new BRICS currency emerge that would challenge and shake the US dollar? Will the system of global economic relations be radically modified?

These exciting developments call us to carefully follow the developments of the global economy and monitor the shifts in economic forces.

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