Tuesday, March 13, 2012

490 False Flag: Why would Iran attack an Israeli diplomat in India, when India is negotiating to buy Iranian oil?

False Flag: Why would Iran attack an Israeli diplomat in India, when
India is negotiating to buy Iranian oil?

(1) Russia, China oppose UN General Assembly resolution on Syria
(2) Russian envoy slams UN resolution on Syria as “unbalanced”
(3) China tells UN it opposes armed intervention or forcing "regime
change" in Syria
(4) Official Chinese newspaper praises no vote on UN's Syria resolution
as courageous
(5) UN vote seen as stepping stone toward military intervention in Syria
(6) Arabs open way for arming Syrians, civil war feared
(7) Syrian Opposition say Assad's referendum is designed to legitimate
Assad's rule
(8) Why would Iran attack an Israeli diplomat in India, when India is
negotiating to buy Iranian oil?
(9) Syria is Iran's Achilles' Heel. Getting Iran booted out of Syria is
essential for Israel's security - former Mossad head
(10) Putin signals that he will not countenance any foreign military
intervention in Syria

(1) Russia, China oppose UN General Assembly resolution on Syria


NEW YORK: The U.N. General Assembly has approved a resolution backing an
Arab League plan that calls for Syria's president to step down and
strongly condemns human rights violations by his regime. The vote in the
193-member world body was 137-12 with 17 abstentions.

According to the foreign media reports, Russia and China, who vetoed a
similar resolution in the Security Council, voted against the resolution.

"Today, the U.N. General Assembly sent a clear message of the people of
Syria: the world is with you," U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said in a
statement. Assad "has never been more isolated. A rapid transition to
democracy in Syria has garnered the resounding support of the
international community. Change must now come."

Earlier on Thursday, senior Russian diplomat Gennady Gatilov was quoted
by Russian news agencies as saying that the draft is very close to the
U.N. Security Council resolution that Russia and China vetoed on Feb. 4.

At the time, Russia had expressed concerns about the draft text, saying
it feared the resolution would lead to the kind of military intervention
and regime change seen in Libya after last year's council action
intended to protect civilians from attacks by forces loyal to long-time
leader Moammar Gadhafi.

(2) Russian envoy slams UN resolution on Syria as “unbalanced”


February 17, 2012 - 12:20 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - Russia believes the UN General Assembly's resolution
on Syria is an attempt to impose a form of political settlement on the
country, Russia's envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin said, RIA Novosti
reported. The UN General Assembly on Thursday, Feb 16, adopted a
non-binding resolution condemning Syria's authorities for human rights
violations and calling on President Bashar al-Assad to step down. In the
193-member Assembly, 137 countries voted for the resolution and 12
against with 17 abstentions. Russia and China voted against the
resolution, which was similar to one the two countries vetoed on
February 4 in the UN Security Council triggering angry reaction from the
West. Belarus, Zimbabwe, Cuba, North Korea, Iran and a few other states
also said “no” to the draft on Thursday. Churkin said after the vote the
draft resolution was “unbalanced” and reflected “the tendencies that
cause our concerns: attempts to isolate the Syrian leadership, reject
any contacts with it and impose a political settlement formula from
outside.” The Russian envoy also said Russia had voted against because
its amendments to the draft resolution had not been adopted. In
particular, he said, Russia proposed including in the resolution a call
on “all opposition forces in Syria to distance themselves from violent
armed groups” and on those groups to “stop attacking residential
neighborhoods and government institutions,” as well as a call on
government troops to leave cities and towns. When the amendments were
not considered, Churkin said, Russia had no other choice than to vote
against the draft.

(3) China tells UN it opposes armed intervention or forcing "regime
change" in Syria


Beijing Review

UPDATED: February 17, 2012

China Opposes Armed Intervention or Forcing 'Regime Change' in Syria

China believes the international community should fully respect Syria's

China opposes armed intervention or forcing a so-called "regime change"
in Syria, China's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations
(UN) Wang Min said Thursday.

The UN General Assembly on Thursday adopted a resolution supporting the
political transition in Syria, which has been plagued by an
11-month-long political crisis, and calls for the appointment of a UN
special envoy to the Middle East country.

The draft resolution, which was drawn up by Saudi Arabia and introduced
to the General Assembly by Egypt, was adopted with a vote of 137-12 with
17 abstentions.

It is similar to the draft vetoed at the UN Security Council on February
4 by Russia and China, two permanent members of the 15-nation Security
Council. The vetoed draft asked Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to hand
over power to his deputy.

"We condemn all acts of violence against innocent civilians and urge the
government and all political factions of Syria to immediately and fully
end all acts of violence, and quickly restore stability and the normal
social order," Wang said in explanatory remarks after casting a negative
vote on the draft resolution.

China calls on the Syrian government to seriously heed the people's
legitimate desire for reform and development, and calls on the various
political factions to express their political aspirations peacefully and
under the rule of law, Wang said.

"We urge all parties concerned in Syria to immediately launch inclusive
political dialogue with no preconditions and jointly discuss a
comprehensive political reform plan and mechanism," he said. ...

(Xinhua News Agency February 17, 2012)

(4) Official Chinese newspaper praises no vote on UN's Syria resolution
as courageous


By Associated Press, Updated: Saturday, February 18, 3:57 PM

BEIJING — China's opposition to a U.N. General Assembly resolution
condemning human rights violations in Syria was a courageous act of
defiance against the West, a newspaper published by the ruling Communist
Party said Saturday.

The vote, which followed China's recent veto of a similar resolution in
the U.N. Security Council, indicates China's rising influence in world
affairs, the Global Times said in an editorial.

“The country's courage to truly express itself and to calmly stand its
ground is worthy of merit,” the paper said.

“It is wrong to blindly come down on the side of the West in each vote,”
it said.

The U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly Thursday in favor of the
nonbinding resolution backing an Arab League plan calling for Syrian
President Bashar Assad to step down and strongly condemning human rights
violations by his regime. Russia and China, who both vetoed a similar
resolution in the Security Council, voted against the measure.

China, which carried out a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters
in 1989, has refused to condemn Syria over the violence. Beijing's
authoritarian leaders generally oppose any moves that could lead to
humanitarian interventions, such as last year's NATO air campaign in
Libya, and have themselves used overwhelming force in response to
anti-government protests in Tibet and the traditionally Muslim
northwestern region of Xinjiang.

Saturday's editorial gave no detailed justification for China's
opposition to the resolution. Beijing's diplomats have said sanctions
and condemnation would only complicate Syria's dilemma, although they
support a negotiated settlement to the violence and urge Assad to honor
reasonable demands for political reform.

Syria has seen one of the bloodiest crackdowns since the wave of Arab
uprisings began more than a year ago. The U.N. says more than 5,400
people were killed in Syria last year alone, and the number of dead and
injured continues to rise daily. In addition, 25,000 people are
estimated to have sought refuge in neighboring countries and more than
70,000 are internally displaced.

(5) UN vote seen as stepping stone toward military intervention in Syria


By Chris Marsden

18 February 2012

The support by the United Nations General Assembly for the Arab League
call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down on “humanitarian”
grounds brings military intervention one step closer. The 137-12 vote,
with 17 abstentions, is non-binding, but it gives a UN imprimatur to the
Arab League proposal for regime-change that was blocked on the Security
Council by Russia and China.

In the face of opposition from Moscow and Beijing, and given Syria's
strategic position in the Middle East as Iran's ally, Washington, Paris
and London must tread carefully. However, intervention now has the “Arab
face” so desired by the Obama administration, along with the fig leaf of
legitimacy imparted by the UN and the implicit authority of the
“responsibility to protect” doctrine under which war was waged against

Rather than direct involvement, numerous political figures, newspapers
and policy bodies are advocating arming the opposition Free Syrian Army
as a preparatory step towards declaring “buffer zones” and “humanitarian
corridors.” This would necessitate NATO bombing, fronted by one or more
local proxies led by Turkey and the Gulf states.

Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said Wednesday that France had already
started negotiating a new UN Security Council resolution on Syria with
Russia, with the aim of creating humanitarian corridors. “The idea of
humanitarian corridors that I previously proposed to allow NGOs to reach
the zones where there are scandalous massacres should be discussed at
the Security Council,” he told France Info radio.

In the US Senate, a bipartisan resolution was tabled Friday calling on
the Obama administration to provide “substantial material and technical
support” to the Syrian opposition.

Writing in the February 7 Guardian, Ian Black and Julian Borger noted
that Obama's National Security Council is said to be preparing a
“presidential finding” consisting of “an executive order authorising
covert action as a policy option.”

Turkey, which has an extended border with Syria and is the base of
operations for the opposition's political and military leaderships, the
Syrian National Council (SNC) and Free Syrian Army (FSA), would have to
play a leading role in any military assault. Sinan Ülgen, a former
Turkish diplomat working for the Carnegie Endowment for International
Peace, said Ankara had already positioned itself to head a regional
force supporting a NATO operation. Turkey had “burned its bridges” by
betting “heavily on regime-change,” he asserted.

Qatar, Saudi Arabia the United Arab Emirates and Jordan would all lend
support, including military training and weapons, as they did in Libya.

The Financial Times has swung behind this option, beginning with both
covert and overt efforts to strengthen the SNC and FSA. A February 13
editorial insisted that “every effort must be made to develop the unity
and the programmatic coherence of the until now fractious rebel camp.”
The editorial went on to say that arming the FSA would “soon require
further steps such as safe havens for refugees that would then have to
be defended, including by aerial bombardment.”

The Financial Times also opened its pages to Radwan Ziadeh, who
published a column on February 15 entitled “Kosovo shows how the west
can intervene in Syria.”

“The US was able to help create an independent Kosovo outside the UN
Security Council, without losing any American troops,” he wrote. “A
well-rounded intervention strategy would involve the following. First,
as in Kosovo, the international community—be it a joint UN-Arab League
mission or a coalition of ‘Friends of Syria'—must designate safe zones
to be protected by air power.”

“Air-based defence from such a coalition could also be used to protect
humanitarian corridors,” he added.

Ziadeh is among a number of SNC representatives being cited by the media
to portray military intervention as a popular demand in Syria. All
evidence, however, points to majority opposition, even among many of the
forces opposing Assad, while the still substantial support for the
Ba'athist regime is due to fear of Western intervention to install a
Sunni regime that would persecute religious minorities.

Zadeh is a senior fellow at the US Institute of Peace. He co-founded and
served as the executive director of the Syrian Center for Political and
Strategic Studies in Washington. Among his other positions is visiting
fellow at Chatham House, Britain's Royal Institute of International Affairs.

The “Kosovo model” involved building up the Kosovo Liberation Army as a
US military proxy that was used to destabilize the situation with a
terror campaign and then provide a vehicle for open intervention. The
SNC and FSA are collectively serving the same function, just as the
National Transitional Council did in Libya.

This requires strenuous efforts to make the FSA fit the purpose. Jeffrey
White, a defense fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East
Policy, told Foreign Policy magazine that the FSA's forces are somewhere
around 4,000 to 7,000, much smaller than the 40,000 it claims. Its
command in Turkey has only limited operational control and there is an
ongoing power struggle over who leads it—the Turkish-backed Col. Riad al
Assad or the more recent but higher-ranking regime defector, Gen.
Mustapha Sheikh.

In a joint press conference in Paris Friday, President Nicolas Sarkozy
and British Prime Minister David Cameron focused on a demand for the
Syrian opposition to unite. “We cannot bring about a Syrian revolution…
if the Syrian revolution does not make an effort to rally together and
organize,” said Sarkozy. “In Libya we couldn't have had the revolution
without the Libyans and we won't be able to have a Syrian revolution
without the Syrian opposition making enough effort to unite [so] that we
can support them more.”

A meeting has now been organized of the Friends of Syria Group, led by
Juppé and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, to address the
divisions within the FSA and place it firmly under Western leadership
through the SNC.

Despite its internal divisions, the FSA and operatives from various
regional powers functioning under its umbrella have been mounting a
KLA-style destabilisation operation for months. Journalist Nir Rosen,
who has recently spent time with opposition fighters, gave a revealing
interview in Al Jazeera, which is owned by the state of Qatar and is
fiercely supportive of the anti-Assad uprising. In the interview, he
makes clear that the opposition took up arms “from an early stage.” He
notes that, “by the summer there were regular ambushes of security
officers” as the movement “evolved into a classic insurgency.”

The opposition receives funds from “diaspora Syrians tied to Islamist
movements, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, or to conservative clerics in
the Gulf, [who] also send money to certain groups,” he states.

In a comment that cuts across much of the propaganda being employed to
justify intervention, he adds, “Every day the opposition gives a death
toll, usually without any explanation of the cause of the deaths. Many
of those reported killed are in fact dead opposition fighters, but the
cause of their death is hidden and they are described in reports as
innocent civilians killed by security forces, as if they were all merely
protesting or sitting in their homes.”

(6) Arabs open way for arming Syrians, civil war feared


By Edmund Blair and Ayman Samir

CAIRO | Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:53am EST

(Reuters) - After a bruising meeting in a five-star Cairo hotel, Arab
foreign ministers led by Gulf states hinted to Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad that unless he halts his violent crackdown, some Arab League
members might arm his opponents.

The message was folded into Article 9 of a League resolution passed on
Sunday that urges Arabs to "provide all kinds of political and material
support" to the opposition, a phrase that includes the possibility of
giving weapons to Assad's foes.

Diplomats at the meeting confirmed this interpretation.

Arabs are striving to unite the world around their drive to push Assad
to end the killing, but have gained little traction.

They had to scrap a floundering Arab monitoring mission to Syria. When
they sought U.N. Security Council support for a transition plan under
which Assad would step aside, Russia and China vetoed the Western-backed
U.N. draft resolution.

Moscow is an old ally of Syria and its top arms supplier.

Sunday's Arab League meeting raised the stakes. Its implicit shuffle
towards backing military resistance to Assad's forces was meant to add
pressure on the Syrian leader and his Russian and Chinese allies. Yet it
also risks leading to a Libya-style conflict or sectarian civil war that
everyone wants to avoid.

"It is unacceptable for Assad to practice all types of killing of
civilians while we stand silent," one Arab ambassador said, explaining
the rationale behind the resolution that returned the Syria issue to the
United Nations with a call for a joint U.N.-Arab peacekeeping force.

"We will back the opposition financially and diplomatically in the
beginning but if the killing by the regime continues, civilians must be
helped to protect themselves. The resolution gives Arab states all
options to protect the Syrian people," the envoy said.

"All options" is diplomatic language that leaves room for a military
response. Two other diplomats spelled it out more explicitly, saying the
resolution could allow arms transfers.

Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Center, said the bloodshed
was putting pressure on Arabs to act.

"The escalation is coming from the ground and it is coming from Assad
himself. This is the reason they feel they cannot stand idly by just
pursuing a diplomatic track," he said. "I suspect we will see a further
militarization of this conflict, with potentially quite widespread and
dangerous consequences."


Smuggled guns are filtering into Syria but it is not clear if Arab or
other governments are backing any such transfers.

Iraqi security officials say there are signs Sunni Muslim insurgents are
beginning to cross the border to join Syrian rebels. Smugglers are
cashing in as prices double for weapons reaching Syria concealed in
commercial traffic.

For now, however, such weaponry cannot match the firepower that Assad's
military can bring to bear, analysts say, but that could change if Assad
fails to heed Arab peace calls.

A non-Gulf Arab ambassador said Qatar and Saudi Arabia had insisted on
the "material support" wording to cover "all kinds of support including
weapons in future", adding: "But we see this as a dangerous escalation."

A senior Arab diplomat voiced fears that such a step could ignite a
conflagration in Syria, a nation of Sunnis, Alawites, Christians, Kurds
and Druze at the heart of the Arab world.

"It is a very sensitive situation in Syria. The door is open for a lot
of possibilities," he said. "I think now Syria is at the beginning of a
kind of civil war."

Syria's crisis has provoked a lop-sided rift among Arabs.

Sunni-ruled Gulf states, broadly driven by a desire to oust Assad, an
ally of their Shi'ite regional rival Iran, have the financial and
political muscle to push through calls to isolate the Syrian leader.
Wealthy Gulf countries, Bahrain apart, have also emerged with few scars
from the wave of Arab uprisings.

Egypt, Algeria and Iraq, traditionally regional heavyweights with big
populations and the largest armies, may have misgivings on Syria, but
have limited clout for now. Algeria registered reservations about a
joint U.N.-Arab force. Others kept quiet.

All three have challenges at home that blunt their ability to project
their views. Iraq has its own sectarian divisions; Algeria has escaped a
popular uprising, but remains wary; Egypt's generals may not like
intervention in an Arab state but are preoccupied by street protests
against military rule.

Lebanon, long dominated by its Syrian neighbor and its own Syrian- and
Iranian-backed Shi'ite armed movement, Hezbollah, was the only League
member formally to object to the resolution.

Highlighting the turmoil in the Arab world, Sunday's meeting in Cairo
was shifted to the Marriott hotel across the Nile from the League's
headquarters, located uncomfortably close to Tahrir Square, the focal
point for Egyptian protesters.

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, set the tone for
the gathering in the plush surrounds of the former royal palace, making
the case for backing the Syrian opposition.


In a speech before closed-door talks began, he told Arab ministers: "At
our meeting today I call for decisive measures, after the failure of the

 From then on, it was clear who was in charge, according to the non-Gulf
envoy, who, like others, asked not to be named.

"These meetings were not open to discussion. The Gulf foreign ministers
had positions and decisions they had reached earlier and they did not
want to hear anything else," he said. ...

(7) Syrian Opposition say Assad's referendum is designed to legitimate
Assad's rule


Assad's referendum designed to split Syrians

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Broadcast: 15/02/2012

Reporter: Tony Jones

Anas al-Abda from Syrian opposition group The Movement for Justice and
Development discusses the proposed referendum, saying it is simply a
diversion to allow Bashar al-Assad to remain in power.

Transcript TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Joining us now in our London studio is
Anas al-Abda. He's the chairman of the opposition group, the Movement
for Justice and Development in Syria. He's also a member of the Syrian
National Council.

Thanks for being there.


TONY JONES: Let's start, if can I, by getting your reaction to this
latest news.

President Assad has ordered a referendum on a new constitution on
February 26. That's just 11 days away. Does that change anything?

ANAS AL-ABDA: Well it looks like the Syrian regime and Bashar Al-Assad
is using every trick in the book to divert attention from what's
happening on the ground. Introducing a new constitution while targeting
civilians on a daily basis and killing tens and imprisoning hundreds and
injuring thousands of people is ludicrous, to say the least.

I think this is just something to divert attention from the war crimes,
from the crimes against humanity that the UN high commissioner mentioned
a few days ago and the fact that the UN is thinking seriously now to
take the Syrian regime and Bashar al-Assad and his thugs to the
International Criminal Court.

TONY JONES: What if the army stopped its offensives in places like Homs
and the other opposition strongholds, including in Damascus, in order to
- as a sign of good faith, if you like, from the regime?

I know there hasn't been much good faith at all up to this point, but
would that change things, if they were able to do that?

ANAS AL-ABDA: Well, I mean - you know, I think the Syrian regime has
proved since 15th March last year that it cannot keep to its promises
whatsoever. It promised many times to stop targeting civilians, but what
we saw on the ground is totally the opposite of that. What's been
happening in Homs is a war crime, is crimes against humanity, against
civilians. We do not see any positive sign from the regime whatsoever,
especially when after it's supported by the Russians and the Chinese,
the regime now thinks that it can carry on with the targeting civilians
without any kind of political implication on it. ...

(8) Why would Iran attack an Israeli diplomat in India, when India is
negotiating to buy Iranian oil?


Feb 15, 2012

India's dilemma: How to pay for Iranian oil

By Vijay Prashad

An explosion on Aurangzeb Road in New Delhi damaged an Israeli embassy
car, and injured its occupants.Tal Yehoshua Koren, the wife of the
defense attache at the Israeli embassy was seriously wounded. She is in
critical care. She was on her way to pick up her children from their
school. It is unusual for a diplomatic vehicle to be attacked on the
streets of New Delhi. The Delhi police went into action. The
international media wanted to know who had done the attack minutes after
it was reported.

The police was wary. Let us conduct our investigation, they said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went before his parliament and
accused Iran of a terrorist act. "The elements behind these attacks were
Iran and its protege, Hezbollah." Iran, he said, is "the largest terror
exporter in the world" and Israel "would act with a strong hand." This
was all the confirmation that BBC needed. It began to report the attack
as an Iranian act against an Israeli diplomat on Indian soil.

Why would Iran conduct an attack on an Israeli diplomat in India,
particularly as India is in the midst of trying to negotiate a delicate
arrangement with Tehran to pay for Iranian oil? The question mystifies.

Iran is responsible for 12% of India's imported oil (see my India
pivots, and pivots again, Asia Times, February 9, 2012). Over the past
two years India has struggled to find a mechanism to pay Iran for this
oil. Sanctions by the United States and the European Union as well as by
the United Nations Security Council against Iran have complicated the
market for Iranian oil. Until 2010, India used the facilities offered by
the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), founded in 1974 as an outgrowth of the
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

To help countries economize on their foreign exchange reserves, the ACU
allowed them to conduct bilateral barter and make payments using the
Asian Monetary Units (currency units indexed to the US dollar and the
euro that allowed countries to hold surpluses and deficits outside their
formal foreign exchange reserves). In December 2010, under pressure from
the US Treasury, the Indian government withdrew from the ACU facility (a
Reserve Bank of India circular from December 27 noted that "all eligible
current account transactions including trade transactions with Iran
should be settled in any permitted currency outside the ACU mechanism").

The Indian government then turned between February to April 2011 to a
complex mechanism using the Hamburg-based Europaisch-Iranische Handels
Bank (EIH) via the German Central Bank and the State Bank of India. The
procedure did not violate UN security council or European Union
sanctions. With the end use for payments certificate provided by the
State Bank of India, the US Treasury should have ben satisfied - the
money was going toward payments for crude and not to facilitate Iran's
nuclear program.

Nonetheless, pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel from the US
mounted. "Treasury is concerned about recent reports that the German
government authorized the use of EIH as a conduit for India's oil
payments to Iran," the US government noted. "Treasury will continue to
engage with both German and Indian authorities about this situation and
will continue to work with all the allies to isolate EIH." On April 4,
2011, the US Treasury got its way. Germany broke the India-Iran link.

India then conjured up an arrangement with Turkey's Halkbank. Turkey,
with deep economic ties with Iran, has abided by the 2010 security
council restrictions but has refused the deeper US and European Union
sanctions regime. The Turkish government owns a 75% stake in Halkbank,
and has allowed it to be the conduit for countries like India to pay for
Iranian oil. Mehmet Ozkan, who teaches international relations at the
International University of Sarajevo, told me that Turkey is trying to
develop an "independent line," following the UN sanctions but keeping
itself apart from the harsher US and European Union sanctions.

Over the past year, US Treasury officials have visited Turkey to try and
cut Turkey's links to Iran. Obama's December 31 tighter sanctions made
it illegal for American firms to do business with those firms that dealt
with Iran's Central Bank. Halkbank is relatively immune from the US
financial system, and it is the main financial intermediary for the
Turkish refiner Tupras. Nonetheless, as E Ahmet Tonak who teaches
political economy at Istanbul Bilgi University told me, Halkbank had to
accede to the strong US pressure, particularly after a US Treasury team
visited Turkey in the past few weeks.

Indian and Iranian officials have been in dialogue over the past two
weeks to circumvent the embargo of Iran's financial system. India does
not have the flexibility of China, whose economic power gives it genuine
independence. China pays for Iranian oil with the yuan, which it is
trying to put forward as an international trading currency. India does
not have that freedom.

In early February, the Indians and Iranians created a payments
mechanism: India would pay 45% of its oil bill with rupees which would
be held in the Kolkata-based UCO bank and paid out to two Iranian
private banks, Bank Parsian and Karafarin Bank. The rest of the oil bill
will be sorted out in time.

India hopes to use these rupees to boost exports from India to Iran.
Currently trade between India and Iran is uneven, with only US$ 2.74
billion as Indian exports in a total trade bill of $13.6 billion. To
boost the Indian exports, the government plans to send a delegation to
Iran in the next few months. "A huge delegation will be going," said
Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar. Anup Pujari, Director-General Foreign
Trade (DGFT), Union Ministry of Commerce, pledged to a gathering in
Mangalore that this delegation was going to strike a deal.

The exporters should continue booking business with their Iranian
counterparts. India wishes to export wheat and rice, tea,
pharmaceuticals, iron and steel. The US has said that it would not
sanction "food, medicine, medical devices. So from our perspective," US
State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said, "this kind of trade
would not be sanctioned." Or at least one should say, it will not be
sanctioned for now. There was also talk that India could barter wheat
for oil, but the country's Food Minister K V Thomas has not yet seen a
formal proposal.

The stumbling block this week was over the payment mechanism. By Indian
law, if Iran receives payment in rupees inside India it will have to pay
a 40% withholding tax. The Indian government is under pressure from the
refiners in India to forgive this tax. "Most likely the National Iranian
Oil Company would not want to pay this high tax," said B Mukherjee, a
director of the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation. "We clearly do not want
to pay the tax as it will make our imports costlier. I might as well buy
oil from somewhere else if this 40% stake is saddled on me."

In a major speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies
in Washington on February 6,India's Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai
noted, "Iran is our near neighbor, our only surface access to Central
Asia and Afghanistan, and constitutes a declining but still a
significant share of our oil imports. For us, there are also broader and
long-term geostrategic concerns that are no different from what we face
elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region. Our relationship with Iran is
neither inconsistent with our non-proliferation objectives, nor is it in
contradiction with the relationships that we have with our friends in
West Asia or with the United States and Europe."

The US sees these trade relations as deeply troubling. The US is eager
to make the Iranian sanctions a test of friendship with its allies. US
State Department spokesperson Nuland said last week, "We are working
with countries around the world, including India, that maintain strong
oil relationships with Iran, encouraging all of them to reduce their
dependence on Iranian crude."

The India-Iran deal is near completion. How the attack on the Israeli
embassy car in New Delhi will impact on this is anyone's guess.
Parochial political agendas once more threaten to interrupt a very
important quest, which is to create trust and interdependence across the
Asian continent and defuse any tensions that might lead to war. The
sanctions regime is a fool's paradise, undermining the fuel paradise
that Iran and India have sought to construct.

Vijay Prashad is Professor and Director of International Studies at
Trinity College, Hartford, United States. This spring he will publish
two books: Arab Spring, Libyan Winter (AK Press) and Uncle Swami: South
Asians in America Today (New Press). He is the author of Darker Nations:
A People's History of the Third World (New Press), which won the 2009
Muzaffar Ahmed Book Prize.

(9) Syria is Iran's Achilles' Heel. Getting Iran booted out of Syria is
essential for Israel's security - former Mossad head



Iran's Achilles' Heel


Published: February 7, 2012

THE public debate in America and Israel these days is focused
obsessively on whether to attack Iran in order to halt its nuclear
weapons ambitions; hardly any attention is being paid to how events in
Syria could result in a strategic debacle for the Iranian government.
Iran's foothold in Syria enables the mullahs in Tehran to pursue their
reckless and violent regional policies — and its presence there must be

Ensuring that Iran is evicted from its regional hub in Damascus would
cut off Iran's access to its proxies (Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in
Gaza) and visibly dent its domestic and international prestige, possibly
forcing a hemorrhaging regime in Tehran to suspend its nuclear policies.
This would be a safer and more rewarding option than the military one.

As President Bashar al-Assad's government falters, Syria is becoming
Iran's Achilles' heel. Iran has poured a vast array of resources into
the country. There are Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps encampments
and Iranian weapons and advisers throughout Syria. And
Iranian-controlled Hezbollah forces from Lebanon have joined in
butchering the Syrians who have risen up against Mr. Assad. Iran is
intent on assuring its hold over the country regardless of what happens
to Mr. Assad — and Israel and the West must prevent this at all costs.

Sadly, the opportunities presented by Syria's meltdown seem to be
eluding Israeli leaders. Last week, Israel's military intelligence chief
spoke of the 200,000 missiles and rockets in Gaza, Lebanon and Syria
that could reach all of Israel's population centers. And there is a
growing risk that advanced Syrian weapons might fall into the hands of
terrorist groups. Iran's presence in Damascus is vital to maintaining
these threats.

At this stage, there is no turning back; Mr. Assad must step down. For
Israel, the crucial question is not whether he falls but whether the
Iranian presence in Syria will outlive his government. Getting Iran
booted out of Syria is essential for Israel's security. And if Mr. Assad
goes, Iranian hegemony over Syria must go with him. Anything less would
rob Mr. Assad's departure of any significance.

But Israel should not be the lone or even the principal actor in
speeding his exit. Any workable outcome in Syria will have to involve
the United States, Russia and Arab countries. America must offer Russia
incentives to stop protecting the Assad regime, which will likely fall
the moment Moscow withdraws its support. A force with a mandate from the
Arab League should then ensure stability until a new Syrian government
can take over.

The current standoff in Syria presents a rare chance to rid the world of
the Iranian menace to international security and well-being. And ending
Iran's presence there poses less of a risk to international commerce and
security than harsher sanctions or war.

Russia and China, both of which vetoed a United Nations resolution last
week calling on Mr. Assad to step down, should realize that his downfall
could serve their interests, too. After all, Iranian interventionism
could wreak havoc in Muslim-majority areas to Russia's south and China's
west. And a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a serious potential threat on
Russia's southern border.

Russia's interests in Syria are not synonymous with Iran's, and Moscow
can now prove this by withdrawing its unwavering support for Mr. Assad.
Russia simply wishes to maintain its access to Syria's Mediterranean
ports in Tartus and Latakia and to remain a major arms supplier to
Damascus. If Washington is willing to allow that, and not to sideline
Russia as it did before intervening in Libya, the convergence of
American and Russian interests in Iran and Syria could pave the way for
Mr. Assad's downfall.

Once this is achieved, the entire balance of forces in the region would
undergo a sea change. Iranian-sponsored terrorism would be visibly
contained; Hezbollah would lose its vital Syrian conduit to Iran and
Lebanon could revert to long-forgotten normalcy; Hamas fighters in Gaza
would have to contemplate a future without Iranian weaponry and
training; and the Iranian people might once again rise up against the
regime that has brought them such pain and suffering.

Those who see this scenario as a daydream should consider the
alternative: a post-Assad government still wedded to Iran with its
fingers on the buttons controlling long-range Syrian missiles with
chemical warheads that can strike anywhere in Israel. This is a certain
prescription for war, and Israel would have no choice but to prevent it.

Fortunately, Mr. Assad and his allies have unwittingly created an
opportunity to defuse the Iranian threat. If the international community
does not seize it and Iranian influence in Syria emerges intact, the
world will face a choice between a military strike and even more
crippling sanctions, which could cause oil prices to skyrocket and throw
the world economy off balance. The United States and Russia should wish
for neither.

Syria has created a third option. We do not have the luxury of ignoring it.

Efraim Halevy, a former Israeli national security adviser and
ambassador, was director of the Mossad from 1998 to 2002.

(10) Putin signals that he will not countenance any foreign military
intervention in Syria

Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2012 22:43:23 -0800 (PST) From: Brother Nathaniel
Subject: Putin Trumps Zionist Plan For Syria (BroN On Video!)

Putin Trumps Zionist Plan For Syria


February 14, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

By Brother Nathanael Kapner

There is no man feared more by International Jewry than Russian Prime
Minister Vladimir Putin.

And while the Zionist West and its lackeys at the Saudi-led Gulf
Cooperation Council would have us believe that armed jihadists in Syria
who are murdering innocent native civilians are “lovers of democracy,”
Putin remains unshaken in his defense of International law.

Last November, Putin sent a signal to the Zionist lapdogs by dispatching
the Russian Patriarch on a religious mission to Syria where he met with
both the Syrian Antiochian Patriarch and Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad.

The message was clear:

Putin—who recently announced that in the tradition of the Tsars his
foreign policy will include protecting Orthodox Christians abroad—left
no doubt that any attempt to oust Assad, who is protecting ALL
minorities in Syria, will be opposed.

Putin outlined his anti-Zionist stand last week when he assembled both
Orthodox Christian and moderate Islamic clergy for a clear and certain
News Release that he will not countenance any foreign military
intervention in Syria.

[Clip: “At a meeting with religious leaders, Russian Prime Minister
Vladimir Putin spoke against any foreign interference with Syria. We
certainly condemn all violence wherever it comes from. We should let
people determine their destinies themselves.”]

Now, with three Russian warships recently docked in Syria's port of
Tartus, Putin's actions speak louder than his words.

And I am certain that Talmudic Jew, Senator Joseph Lieberman, who is the
first senator to call for a No Fly Zone over Syria and for arming the
Syrian opposition—which in reality is made up of Islamic fundamentalists
and foreign mercenaries—has gotten Putin's message.

[Clip: “We're not going to stand by and allow this Assad to slaughter
his people like his father did. He's going to run the risk of having the
world community come in and impose a No Fly Zone. And in doing so, we're
being consistent with our American values.”]

Oh, for sure Lieberman! Your “American values” have already underpinned
the massacre of scores of Libyan civilians and the decimation of a once
orderly and contented Libyan civilian infrastructure. And now you want
to do the same in Syria as well.

Now, why is International Jewry and its shill, the United States of
Israel, pursuing its habitual violent program of regime change this time
in Syria in order to install a pro-Zionist government—I mean
dictatorship—in Damascus?

Because Bashar al-Assad has intensified Syria's policy of resisting
Zionist imperialism ever since taking over the reins from his father,
Hafez al-Assad, in 2000, that's why.

Since then, Assad has grown the economy at a healthy rate of 5% a year.

Since then, Syria is debt free and will not allow any Rothschild Jewish
banks. And you'll be hard pressed to find any McDonald's or Pizza Huts
in Syria…it's forbidden territory for internationalist Zionist-funded

And since then, due to Assad's independent, self-directed, economic
development – a program shared by all US regime change targets – the
Jewish globalist bankers and their corporate pawns are being thwarted
from privatizing and politically Judaizing the industries and government
of the sovereign nation of Syria.

The Jewish-influenced US State Department put forward this very same
Jewish banker's agenda when it stated last month that “Syria refuses to
join an increasingly interconnected global economy.”

The Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, of course a
Jew, Jeffrey Feltman, highlighted Jewish Finance Capital's plan for
“democracy” in Syria — (READ: The “humanitarian” BOMBING of Syrian
civilians) — in his recent testimony before the Zionist-led Senate
Committee on Foreign Relations:

[Clip: “Bashar al-Assad is destroying Syria and destabilizing the
region. An orderly democratic transition that removes Assad from power
and restores stability is clearly in the United States' interests. It
will support our goals of promoting democracy and human rights.”]

It's the same old LIE: The Zionist West is framing the conflict in Syria
as one between the “lovers of democracy” led by the Free Syrian Army and
a murderous tyrant…so very, very far from the facts on the ground as
Russia and the Syrian government have been contesting all along.

This has been verified by the Observer Mission recently sent to Syria by
the Arab League which stated in paragraph 75 of its suppressed Report,
and I quote:

“There have been incidents that include the bombing of buildings, trains
carrying fuel, vehicles carrying diesel oil and explosions targeting the
police, members of the media and fuel pipelines. Some of those attacks
have been carried out by the Free Syrian Army and some by other armed
opposition groups,” unquote.

My friends, this is HARD EVIDENCE from investigators on the ground who
are witnessing against the allegations of their OWN Zionist puppet
masters of the Arab League.

Lieberman, you have been shown to be a liar. Your name should be
pronounced, LIEberman.

Bottom line: While the Zionist Master Plan for a Greater Israel
extending from Tel Aviv to Tehran – from the Nile to the Euphrates – by
fragmenting Israel's bordering nations into competing militias and
warlords, Vladimir Putin remains firm and uncompromising.

You can hear it all the way from Moscow to Tel Aviv:

A clear and resounding “Nyet” flaming forth from the righteous lips of
Vladimir Putin, the world's foremost and only defender against Zionism's
warmongering, world-destroying, ugly designs!

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