Analysis: Israel has spent five years warning that Iran seeks Shiite domination of the Muslim world, and the Gulf States know by now not to rely on the Obama administration.
Operation Storm of Resolve, designed to rescue Yemen President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's regime from the clutches of the Houthi rebels, began with an exercise in misdirection. At midnight between Wednesday and Thursday, the first squadron of Saudi Arabian fighter planes launched attacks on targets in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a – air force bases, arms depots belonging to the rebels, the palace of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and a reserve forces base in the south of the city that was taken by the rebels last month.
The strike caught the rebels by surprise. At a meeting earlier on Wednesday night between Houthi rebel leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi and ousted president Salah, the two had coordinated an assault on Aden, Yemen's second-largest city.
"If Aden falls," the ousted president promised, "Yemen will fall, and the forces will be able to turn their attention to the greater task at hand – taking control of the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait for the purpose of overseeing marine traffic into the Red Sea."
It's been revealed, meanwhile, that in behind-the-scenes discussions, four Arab states agreed to join the air strikes under the command of the Saudi defense minister, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
The situation in Yemen took a turn for the worse some two months ago, when the Houthis, a Shiite opposition group founded in 1992 by Iran, managed to seize control of the capital, Sana'a. President Hadi and his prime minister, Khaled Bahah, were forced to announce their resignations. The Yemeni parliament rejected the resignations in an effort to preserve the government institutions, but Hadi insisted, and the government and parliament were dissolved.
From the perspective of the West, Yemen has always been a remote and uninteresting country. It is the poorest country in the Arab world, with a primitive economy, massive unemployment and a very high level (60 percent) of illiteracy. Of the 27 million citizens, two-thirds are Sunni Muslims and one-third are Shiite.
"The ayatollahs of Iran seek to take control of the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb so they can determine who can cross the Red Sea to the Suez Canal," says Dr. Yasser bin Hilal, a political science lecturer at the University of Sana'a, who traveled to Washington in an attempt to shake up the administration and the intelligence agencies.
"If they are successful, it will also affect the movement of ships sailing with goods from the Far East to the port of Ashdod in Israel. Try to picture the nightmare scenario – fighters in the uniforms of the Revolutionary Guards directing maritime traffic, boarding cargo ships, checking the cargoes and crew, and blocking passage to anything that doesn't serve their interests."
For its part, Saudi Arabia is issuing statements that could have been written in Jerusalem. "Iran is an aggressive state that is intervening and operating forces in the Arab world," Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said this week at a joint press conference with his British counterpart, Philip Hammond. "Its nuclear weapons are a threat to the Gulf and the entire world."
He then went on to convey a message to the Obama administration, saying: "Striking a deal that Iran doesn't deserve is not right. Think, too, about the dangerous ramifications of the Iranians' 'second plan.'"
This "second plan", about which Israeli intelligence officials have been warning for the past five years, involves Iran's desire for Shiite control over the Arab world, with the ultimate objective being control over the Muslim holy sites...
"We're dealing with two parallel courses of action," says influential Saudi media pundit Jamal Khashoggi. "If they halt the nuclear program by means of military force or a diplomatic move, as the Americans a currently trying to do, the Iranians will still be left with the threatening alternative of 'creeping progress' on the ground, throughout the Arab world.
World powers are closer than ever to reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran, the top European diplomat said Saturday, as negotiators on both sides scrambled to overcome remaining impasses ahead of a Tuesday deadline.
Negotiators “have never been so close to a deal,” said EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who arrived in a rainy Lausanne late Saturday, to join the ongoing crunch talks. However, she added there remained “critical points” to resolve.
Officials close to the talks accused the Iranian side of refusing to budge on key issues and even hardening their stances, bringing the talks to loggerheads Saturday, as marathon talks stretched into the night.
“The Iranians are being very tough on the most difficult issues,” a senior US official told CNN. “We are headed toward the deadline, so in some ways we expect this, but we really don’t know if we will get there.”
Another Western diplomat told the cable channel that Tehran’s refusal to compromise was threatening to sink the talks.
“They are not moving. It’s very difficult. It is not going well. We are really at a point where the Iranians need to decide whether they want this or not,” the official was quoted telling CNN, surmising that the hardened position may be the result of domestic pressures.
France’s top diplomat Laurent Fabius, the most hawkish in the P5+1 group of countries negotiating with Iran, said he wanted a “robust deal” with close oversight to ensure no violations.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the talks had entered their “endgame” but also warned this would also be the hardest stage.
Russia’s chief negotiator, Sergei Ryabkov was quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency as saying the chances of a deal were “more than 50/50.”
“The Russian threat to the west”? You only have to look at a map of Europe and see how NATO has expanded eastwards since the demise of the Soviet Union to realize who is threatening whom.
“Russia is a dangerous aggressor which needs to be stopped.” This is truly risible. By any objective assessment it’s the US and its allies who are the dangerous aggressors. Was it Russia which invaded Iraq in 2003, falsely claiming it had WMDs? Or Russia which bombed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for 78 days and nights in 1999? Or Russia which attacked Libya in 2011, helping to destroy a country which had the highest living standards in Africa? Or is it Russia which has killed up to 200 children in Pakistan in drone strikes since 2004?
“Russia is to blame for the Ukraine crisis.” Again, one only has to spend a few minutes on this topic to realize that this claim is nonsense too – it was the EU and US who caused the crisis, by sponsoring and supporting a “regime change” against a legitimate, democratically-elected government.
Just imagine if Russia had interfered in the same way in Canada! But the EU and US do it in Ukraine, and somehow Russia is to blame.
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine”, again, a load of hogwash. If Russian had invaded Ukraine, we would certainly know about it by now. It’s hard to keep up with the number of false reports of “Russian tanks in Ukraine” we’ve had: here’s two more for the collection from February.
“Russia‘s annexation of Crimea”, well, Crimea would still be part of Ukraine today had it not been for the Western-sponsored coup which toppled the legal government of the country. Crimea was only handed to the then Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954 and the majority Russian population of Crimea unsurprisingly voted to return to their motherland after the coup in which far-right anti-Russian extremists played a leading role.
What we’ve been fed in the West about the Ukraine conflict is lies, lies and more lies, and we‘ve witnessed, as Hitchens notes, elite hypocrisy on a massive scale. A crisis caused by the EU and the US’s regime-change activities in a country bordering Russia is blamed on Russia. Russia, threatened by NATO’s eastward expansion, is portrayed as a “threat.” Countries that have committed serial aggression against other sovereign states in recent years, leading to massive loss of life, label a country that hasn’t taken part in these crimes a “dangerous aggressor.” Lies are told and the truth is suppressed on a daily basis.
“The suppression of the truth about Ukraine is one of the most complete news blackouts I can remember,” writes veteran, award-winning anti-war journalist John Pilger.
“The biggest Western military build-up in the Caucasus and eastern Europe since World War Two is blacked out. Washington’s secret aid to Kiev and its neo-Nazi brigades responsible for war crimes against the population of eastern Ukraine is blacked out. Evidence that contradicts propaganda that Russia was responsible for the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner is blacked out.”
Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute, hit the nail on the head when he told RT: ”I think the problem the US has is they have an unlimited advertising budget, but the product they’re selling is not very attractive overseas. People are tired of US interventionism; they’re tired of US exceptionalism; they’re tired of the US bombing their country… if you’re a Somalian, you don’t care about listening to a radio broadcast from the US, you just wish the US would stop bombing you.”
The EU will be making a big mistake if they can solve the problem of having “unconvincing” counter-arguments on Russia and Ukraine by throwing euro at it. An old Persian proverb tells us that “the man who speaks the truth is always at ease.” When it comes to the current propaganda war against Russia the Western elites are clearly not at ease and it’s not hard to work out why.
In a post on Facebook before Shabbat, Hotovely said that Netanyahu will keep his promises from before the elections to form a coalition with the Likud’s “natural partners”.
“A government that is good for the people of Israel will be established within the next month,” she wrote. “[Naftali] Bennett will be a senior minister, [Moshe] Kahlon will be finance minister.”
Hotovely added that the new government’s policy will be “political right with social sensitivity and addressing the cost of living.” She further said that the next justice minister will be from the Likud and will “promote nationalist legislation.”
"Whatever happens along the way is just spins, I would recommend that everyone not believe each headline that is published and wait patiently for the government that the people of Israel chose a week and a half ago, a right-wing government of the nationalist camp,” said Hotovely.
Hotovely’s post comes amid tensions in coalition talks between the Likud and the Jewish Home.
Sources indicated to Arutz Sheva on Thursday that negotiations between Jewish Home and Likud are stuck at an impasse, and that Jewish Homeis "furious" that Netanyahu has not offered three key positions - Foreign Minister, Defense Minister, or Education Minister - to the party, despite the fact that Jewish Home garnered just 8 seats in the 20th Knesset elections.
On Wednesday, a source told Arutz Sheva that Netanyahu is planning to form a unity government with the Labor party and leave the Jewish Homein the opposition.
And, on Friday, Jewish Home MK-elect Yinon Magal said that Netanyahuprefers to form a government with Labor-Hatnua, despite multiple promises both before and after elections.
Seems one of the Iranian journalist traveling to the nuclear negotiations defected in Switzerland. If I'm reading the words and implications right, what he's saying is that the deal was already done. The US job was to advance and proclaim Iran's position as our own and convince the other P5+1 nations to go along with it. Suspicion is Iran would play hard to get. That appears to be what we're seeing.
Not good! Wonder how Germany and France and Russia is going to react to this little tid-bit or if its going to hit the USA airwaves. It might be too hot to allow back on our shores.
Hope this answers a lot of questions in Bibi's mind and ties a lot of loose ends together. For sure, Israel must know where they stand now.....Alone.
Yes - its a done deal...More importantly, the question becomes 'What next'? This may lead to Israel's efforts to take out these facilities by force, which would be the ultimate development and probably igniting the powder keg.....we shall see, but IMO this is an important development for prophetic developments to come.
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