8:19 [Tass] (E)
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought contact with the Russian side on the sidelines of the conference on Libya in Berlin, and in his brief conversation with President Vladimir Putin he sounded quite conciliatory, a high-ranking source in Moscow told TASS on Monday. "We were surprised by commentaries from Downing Street about a meeting of Johnson and Putin. To begin with, it was Johnson himself who was seeking contact with the Russian side. Secondly, his tone was closer to conciliatory, there were no harsh statements whatsoever. Thirdly, the main message of the British prime minister was a bid to improve relations with Russia," the source said.
1:01 [The Unz Review] (E)
The US targeted assassination, via drone strike, of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, apart from a torrent of crucial geopolitical ramifications, once again propels to center stage a quite inconvenient truth: the congenital incapacity of so-called US elites to even attempt to understand Shi’ism – thus 24/7 demonization, demeaning not only Shi’as by also Shi’a-led governments.
19:42 [Asia Times] (E)
The Raging Twenties started with a bang with the targeted assassination of Iran’s General Qasem Soleimani. Yet a bigger bang awaits us throughout the decade: the myriad declinations of the New Great Game in Eurasia, which pits the US against Russia, China and Iran, the three major nodes of Eurasia integration. Every game-changing act in geopolitics and geoeconomics in the coming decade will have to be analyzed in connection to this epic clash.
0:07 [Moon of Alabama] (E)
The European poodles who co-signed the nuclear deal with Iran - Britain, France and Germany (the EU3) - have been told by the Trump administration to kill the agreement. Today they started the process to do so. The other co-signers, Russia, China and Iran, continue to support the deal.
20:55 [Zero Hedge] (E)
“The concern is they are going to learn something that it is not possible for them to unlearn,” one senior official said.
21:35 [Medium] (E)
Tehran’s admission of responsibility over the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752, just after it took of from the capital’s Imam Khomeini Airport not long after Iran had launched a missile strike against two US military bases in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, marks an extraordinary denouement to one of the most telling and tragic episodes of recent times in this already tortured region.
19:46 [Zero Hedge] (E)
"Germany is convinced that Iran should not acquire or have nuclear weapons," said Chancellor Merkel.
11:35 [Tehran Times] (E)
According to Tasnim, French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said on Thursday that France will adhere to the nuclear agreement within the framework of the Vienna Agreement.
Russia said this week that it remains fully in compliance with the nuclear deal and is ready to continue working towards their achievement.
11:24 [Stalker Zone] (E)
Ukraine has ceased to be a member of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. This was reported on the official Twitter page of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs on January 6. The CEIRPP Committee deals with Palestinian issues and their repatriation, as well as the rights of the Palestinian people.
10:09 [Strategic Culture Foundation] (E)
Days after the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, new and important information is coming to light from a speech given by the Iraqi prime minister. The story behind Soleimani’s assassination seems to go much deeper than what has thus far been reported, involving Saudi Arabia and China as well the U.S. dollar’s role as the global reserve currency.
21:54 [CGTN] (E)
The Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War occurred during the onset of the Cold War, which is why so many in the West were afraid of it. Their fears were misplaced, however, since China has proven itself to be a very responsible global leader, one with whom those same Western nations ultimately partnered after belatedly realizing they were wrong.
21:47 [Gilad Atzmon] (E)
As a superb military strategist Soleimani grasped that the distance between A to B isn’t necessarily identical to the distance from B to A. Iran and Israel do not share a physical border, Tehran and Tel Aviv are about 1000 miles apart. Despite Israel’s relentless threats to attack Iran, it has never been clear whether Israel has the military capacity to cause significant damage to Iran. It isn’t clear how Israeli pilots are supposed to cover the distance and fly undetected over Jordan, Syria or Iraq. Where, or how would the Israeli plane refuel and so on. Israel has not managed to solve this logistical military riddle. But it has been clever enough to grasp that pushing America into an all out conflict with the Islamic Republic may provide a solution to the riddle. Despite the competition (with Britain, France and Germany), the USA is Israel’s most subservient colony. It has been happily sacrificing its sons and daughters on the Zionist altar for years.
7:32 [Tass] (E)
US proposal for cooperation with Iran will make no sense as long as US sanctions against Tehran stay in effect, Iran`s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi said on Thursday.
0:10 [RT] (E)
Little has changed since May that would alter the military balance of power between the US and Iran. If Iran were to strike a US facility such as the Al Udeid Air Base, and Trump were to order a response, then Iran would most likely unleash the totality of its military capability, and those of its regional proxies, to devastate the military and economic capabilities of those targeted. These strikes would most likely include oil production facilities in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, in addition to US military facilities and diplomatic missions.
23:15 [One World] (E)
The New Year is a perfect occasion for drawing attention to three of the most important geopolitical trends to watch by region which could greatly shape the course of events there across the next 12 months.
21:32 [UNESCO] (E)
Paris, 06 January—The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, on Monday received Ahmad Jalali, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and discussed tensions in the Middle East with particular regard to heritage and culture.
21:26 [Zero Hedge] (E)
Summary: President Trump has tweeted that "All is well!" "Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning." Iranian foreign minister Javid Zarif has tweeted: "Iran took and concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens and senior officials were launched."
1:15 [The Saker] (E)
First, a quick recap of the situation. We need to begin by quickly summarizing what just happened: General Soleimani was in Baghdad on an official visit to attend the funeral of the Iraqis murdered by the USA on the 29th. The US has now officially claimed responsibility for this murder. The Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has officially declared that “However, a severe retaliation awaits the criminals who painted their corrupt hands with his and his martyred companions’ blood last night“
1:09 [Paul Craig Roberts] (E)
Vladimir Putin is the most impressive leader on the world stage. He survived and arose from a Russia corrupted by Washington and Israel during the Yeltsin years and reestablished Russia as a world power. He dealt successfully with American/Israeli aggression against South Ossetia and against Ukraine, incorporating at Crimea’s request the Russian province back into Mother Russia. He has tolerated endless insults and provocations from Washington and its empire without responding in kind. He is conciliatory and a peacemaker from a position of strength.
22:51 [Asia Times] (E)
The bombshell facts were delivered by caretaker Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, during an extraordinary, historic parliamentary session in Baghdad on Sunday. Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani had flown into Baghdad on a normal carrier flight, carrying a diplomatic passport. He had been sent by Tehran to deliver, in person, a reply to a message from Riyadh on de-escalation across the Middle East. Those negotiations had been requested by the Trump administration.
17:10 [Press TV] (E)
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has denounced Washington`s refusal to issue him a visa for attending an upcoming United Nations Security Council meeting, saying US statesmen are vastly terrified of someone going to their country and conveying the truth to the American people.
19:25 [Tass] (E)
Merkel, Macron and Johnson also urged the Iraqi authorities to ensure support for the US-led anti-terrorist coalition.
13:57 [Counterpunch] (E)
’Tis the season for giving. Accordingly, the US has given the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a gift in the form of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which President Donald Trump signed into law on December 21. The NDAA is not only a gift to the Saudis. The $738 billion in new defense spending the NDAA authorizes means a very Merry Christmas for the Pentagon and for Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and the like. The NDAA’s creation of a sixth branch of the armed forces, the Space Force, also guarantees a huge market for military contractors’ high-tech toys.
19:10 [One World] (E)
He was initially praised as a Western darling because of the false presumption that he`d follow in his predecessor`s footsteps by allowing foreign-allied oligarchs to continue ruling the country in parallel with accepting the diktats of Russia`s former Old Cold War-era rivals. Putin certainly surprised them by breaking with their expectations and speedily proceeding to transform Russia and the rest of the world in the two decades since. As such, the most remarkable achievements of his career deserve to be highlighted on the twentieth anniversary of his leadership. Here`s a brief list of his main domestic and foreign policy successes during his time in office in one capacity or another
19:31 [Elijah J. Magnier] (E)
The “maritime security belt” trilateral four-day drill between Iran, China and Russia in the sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean will mark the Middle East for decades to come. It signals the end of US absolute hegemony and control of the Middle East- and of the world. The joint drills are being carried out at the heart of the zone of US maritime influence. The drills are tactical exercises simulating the rescue of frigates under attack by a mutual enemy over a 17,000 km area. They are not strategic, because China and Russia will not have access to Iranian harbours on an ongoing basis. No common adversary is expected to face Russia, China or Iran together in these waters. The aim of these exercises is for all three countries to send a common message to the US.
17:51 [One World] (E)
Russia, China, and the US are each promoting three separate integration models emphasizing conservatism, connectivity, and competitiveness, respectively, but each of their defining characteristics don`t make them mutually exclusive of one another, and it would be to the benefit of every country that they incorporate parts of all three as they navigate the ongoing global systemic transition.
23:10 [Zero Hedge] (E)
Even though Kim Jong Un`s threatened "Christmas gift" to the US never materialized, it does appear that President Trump did give Russia a sincere Christmas gift which may have saved many lives.
The two leaders spoke in a holiday phone call on Sunday in which Putin thanked Trump for providing information which the Russian president said helped security services foil terror attacks over the holidays.
13:29 [Consortium News] (E)
Once in a blue moon an indispensable book comes out making a clear case for sanity in what is now a post-MAD world. That’s the responsibility carried by “The (Real) Revolution in Military Affairs,” by Andrei Martyanov (Clarity Press), arguably the most important book of 2019. Martyanov is the total package — and he comes with extra special attributes as a top-flight Russian military analyst, born in Baku in those Back in the U.S.S.R. days, living and working in the U.S., and writing and blogging in English.
13:20 [Moon of Alabama] (E)
The Turkish intervention in Libya might develop into a major international crisis as each side in the `civil` war in Libya has several international supporters. Turkey is now taking serious steps to move troops and equipment to Libya
3:08 [The Gateway pundit] (E)
Wikileaks has published shocking leaked documents from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in which they covered up a dissenting report that concluded chemical weapons were not used in the Syrian city of Duoma last year.
22:59 [The Saker] (E)
The recent Paris summit and the few days following the summit have brought a lot of clarity about the future of the Minsk Agreements. Short version: Kiev has officially rejected them (by rejecting both the sequence of steps and several crucial steps). For those interested, let’s look a little further.
16:11 [Press TV] (E)
Wikileaks has leaked new documents regarding the probe by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) into an alleged chemical attack in Syria, showing that a senior OPCW official ordered the removal of a "dissenting" report.
19:21 [Workers World] (E)
The most insidious and pervasive form of modern warfare by Wall Street and the Pentagon, acting in coordination, is passing largely unnoticed and unchallenged. This calculated attack is rolling back decades of progress in health care, sanitation, housing, essential infrastructure and industrial development all around the world.
0:50 [Russia Insider] (E)
But two administration officials tell Bloomberg it`s too little too late, despite Trump`s heightened rhetoric of calling Germany “a captive to Russia” and charging Berlin with essentially giving “billions” of dollars to Russia: Senior U.S. administration officials, who asked not to be identified discussing the administration’s take on the project, said sanctions that passed Congress on Tuesday as part of a defense bill are too late to have any effect. The U.S. instead will try to impose costs on other Russian energy projects, one of the officials added.
22:21 [Asia Times] (E)
At the start of the Tang dynasty, in the early 7th century, a young wandering monk embarked on a 16-year long voyage from the imperial capital Chang’an (today’s Xian) to India to collect Buddhist manuscripts. At the time Chang’an was six times bigger than Rome at its height, with a population of over one million – the epicenter of Asian civilization. History ended up converting Xuanzang into a legend and a national hero in China – although in the West he would never reach Marco Polo levels of popularity.
0:13 [Sana] (E)
Acting Charge de-Affairs of Syria’s permanent mission to the UN, Louay Fallouh, said that the top political and moral hypocrisy is that when some sides at UN Security Council talk about a humanitarian crisis in Syria while they launch aggression and impose siege on its people.
1:29 [Fort Russ] (E)
The legislation calls for mandatory sanctions on Nord Stream 2 and Turkstream and bars military-to-military cooperation with Russia. The bill also sanctions Turkey over its acquisition of Russian S-400 air defense systems and prohibits the transfer of F-35 jets to the country. The bill also creates a sixth branch of the US military, the Space Force, and includes $71.5 billion for ongoing foreign wars or “overseas contingency operations”. The bill further requires that reports be provided on the threat posed by China and its military relations with Russia, also proclaiming that Congress unequivocally supports Hong Kong.
1:09 [New Eastern Outlook] (E)
I feel here like I did in Russia, during the end of the reign of Boris Yeltsin. Many people then, used to welcome everything European and North American with open arms. All that the Soviet Communists used to say was suddenly considered wrong; all that the West bombarded people of Eastern Europe with, was taken as a pure gold. Individuals questioning the Western narrative were considered purely ignorant. We all know what followed: workers and miners had to block railways tracks, because their wages were not paid for months, even years. Grandmothers were tortured, literally ironed, so they would reveal passwords to their bank accounts. People were dying behind closed doors, many freezing to death in sub-zero temperatures.
22:40 [Asia Times] (E)
Traveling the Pamir Highway, we’re not only facing a geological marvel and a magic trip into ancient history and customs. It’s also a privileged window on a trade revival that will be at the heart of the expansion of the New Silk Roads. Khorog is the only town in the Pamirs – its cultural, economic and educational center, the site of the multi-campus University of Central Asia, financed by the Agha Khan foundation. Ismailis place tremendous importance on education.
12:59 [Zero Hedge] (E)
Recognizing that the European Union is facing a number of vexing challenges on the world stage, Ursula von der Leyen, the new European Commission president, has promised to lead a “geopolitical Commission.” Echoing this sentiment, Josep Borrell, the new High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has challenged the EU to decide whether it wants to be a global “player,” or just a “playground” for other powers. So, which way will Europe go?
0:42 [Moon of Alabama] (E)
When Hillary Clinton was defeated in the U.S. presidential election the relevant powers launched a campaign to delegitimize the President elect Donald Trump. The ultimate aim of the cabal is to kick him out of office and have a reliable replacement, like the Vice-President elect Pence, take over. Should that not be possible it is hoped that the delegitimization will make it impossible for Trump to change major policy trajectories especially in foreign policy. A main issue here is the reorientation of the U.S. military complex and its NATO proxies from the war of terror towards a direct confrontation with main powers like Russia and China.
4:37 [The Saker] (E)
I think that the outcome is rather obvious:
Zelenskii achieved nothing
Merkel achieved nothing
Macron achieved a little
Really, it’s that simple.
4:32 [RT] (E)
... the top Russian diplomat mentioned that Moscow was perfectly willing to publish the correspondence conducted with the Obama administration between October 2016 and January 2017, using the since-shuttered cybersecurity cooperation channel.
Lavrov noted that he did not understand why the current administration is refusing to release the documents, which he said would show that Russia had offered to help and clarify any allegations of “meddling” in the 2016 vote, only to have the Obama administration “categorically refuse.”
8:24 [TASS] (E)
French President Emmanuel Macron said that "we are confident that this work on restoring peace and trust is very important".
The new summit in the Normandy format should be held in four months, French President Emmanuel Macron told a press conference in Paris. "We have discussed all the work that our diplomatic advisors, our foreign ministers need to complete in the next four months in order to ensure the settlement of the local conflict, so that we can hold a new summit in the Normandy format in four months," Macron said.
8:24 [TASS] (E)
There are different interpretations of the Minsk Agreements but there is no alternative to this package of measures, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a press conference after the Normandy Four summit in Paris. "Any agreement is flexible to a certain extent, and some things written in texts may be interpreted differently by the sides," Putin said. "However, I agree that there is no alternative to the Minsk Agreements, and everything should be done to implement them in full," he added.
7:23 [youtube/The Last American Vagabond] (E)
This is an excerpt of The Daily Wrap Up 12/4.
22:36 [New Eastern Outlook] (E)
On December 6, 2019, Sudanese Prime Minister Hamdok announced that Sudan will be pulling all remaining troops out of Yemen. Under the Bashir regime, in a secret agreement between Israel, Saudi Arabia and Trump, Sudan moved up to 40,000 troops into Yemen with 4000 being killed there, fighting alongside al Qaeda and Columbian mercenaries tied to drug cartels in that nation. You see, Yemen has become not just a war of survival for those under continual bombardment from a US led coalition that has killed and starved tens of thousands but, in reality, an effort to bolster Saudi Arabia now drowning after years of failed “war of adventure.” This is Saudi Arabia’s “Vietnam.”
0:30 [RT] (E)
As the world is abuzz with speculation over Israel’s shadowy “rocket propulsion system” test, Tehran bluntly claimed that the projectile it fired from a base south of Tel Aviv was actually a nuclear-capable missile aimed at Iran. “Israel today tested a nuke-missile, aimed at Iran,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif suggested in a tweet posted on Friday evening. He lamented that the West never complains “about the only nuclear arsenal in West Asia,” but “has fits of apoplexy over our conventional defensive [rockets].”
17:52 [Press TV] (E)
The newly-appointed head of European Union foreign policy Josep Borrell says preserving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, is a “collective responsibility.”
22:20 [RT] (E)
Princeton scholar Xiyue Wang left Iran for the US on Saturday morning, while Iranian Scientist Massoud Soleimani returned to Tehran from America. Wang had been in Iranian custody since 2016 and was serving a ten-year term on espionage charges, while Soleimani was arrested in Chicago last year for sanctions violations and was awaiting trial.
20:55 [Indian Punchline] (E)
The decision to “downgrade” the NATO’s historic summit meeting in London on the 70th anniversary of the alliance to a mere “Leaders’ Meeting” implied that no joint declaration or communique would need to be issued after the event. That was smart thinking. The apprehension was that the sharp differences amongst the alliance partners on many crucial issues on the agenda all but precluded the scope for consensus decisions.
22:48 [Middle East Monitor] (E)
The UN General Assembly yesterday officially asked Israel to leave the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
15:23 [One World] (E)
Russia and China launched the Power of Siberia (PS) pipeline earlier this week following five years of construction, proving that both countries` interests coincide with one another when it comes to diversifying their energy partners. Moscow has been seeking reliable customers in the East following the West`s anti-Russian sanctions, while Beijing wants to expand its pipeline portfolio from its near-total dependence on the Central Asian Republics of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.
23:53 [Middle East Monitor] (E)
Last week US President Donald Trump’s administration made a notable move. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US is reversing previous policy which basically accepted that Israel’s colonial settlements in the occupied West Bank are a violation of international law. This is a moment of some significance and importance, but not for the reasons generally stated. In reality, all US administrations have in practice treated Israel’s settlements in the West Bank as if they were legal. While it’s true that – much like the EU still does – the Americans have voiced toothless objections to Israeli policy in the West Bank, in practice they have done nothing to stop its colonial expansion.
23:44 [One World] (E)
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is both brain dead and divided as it holds latest annual meeting in London, with nothing but uncertainty surrounding its future and many questioning whether it can even remain functional in its present form.
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