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Discussion in 'The Courtyard Café' started by scroobal, Nov 6, 2017.
A long-read but the source of the undercurrents (pre-current situation):
It shows that Iran both surreptitiously and overtly has developed a cogent strategy of influence across a wide region. Looks like everyone including the cautious Obama and the Europeans have been caught off the hop. The issue of going Nuclear is increasingly looking like a bait.
It is also apparent that Trump because of his amount of hubris that he spews that things that make sense has been ignored.
I suppose the World that any negotiation must be aimed at containment and conduct indicating peace and not on resolving tactical issues.
It started with a false claim of AQ and weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and now the whole paradigm has shifted or worse changed completely.
Add this new twist: in Yemen yesterday Salleh's loyalist have resumed fighting against the Houthis in Sanaa (they were apparently negotiating) - this was the joint aliiance that have held the KSA efforts at bay - street battles commencing after Friday prayers have been reported...Arms being used are automatic guns, anti aircraft, and RPG.
On Tuesday apparently they had agreed to a truce...well that did not work so well. The battle of Sanaa started when Houthis raided home of Saleh's nephew in a dense neighborhood on southside (ironically) known as Al-Amn al-Siyasi "political security." It spread from intersection of Algiers St and Baghdad St., toward 60 Meter Road. There are reports that Russian diplomats and staff headed to Sanaa airport for private jet exit to Oman.
Just as the role of the Saudi clerics was raised in this thread previously re: the somehwat muted response to the pace of tremendous fast changes in KSA, on the other side there are also the hardliners of Iran - one must not assume there is a unified view of the powerbrokers in Iran either....always delicate..
Meanwhile Yanni (remember him) had a great night in Jeddahperforming before a mixed (men and women) crowd - sold out!
Expect Metallica by next year (more maybe just Tom Jones? Abayas flying through the air!)
This might be trivia but I thought that it reminded of events that is now going on. Couple of years ago attended Omid Djalili's show at the Palladium and he did bring the roof down. At one stage he caricatured his Iranian people as always interfering in everything as it is part of their DNA and cited couple of examples.
The Arabs have always been circumscribed by religion and this dawn might just be the trigger for flying Abayas. I say lets not hold our breath.
I am not sure I agree with the view of Dagres in particular Trump and people rallying around the flag of Nationalism. In this respect Trump has unveiled the problem as it stands now. Most people assumed they were toeing the line post the treaty but this is clearly not the case. Even a mad man occasionally gets this right.
Saudi Arabia committing suicide http://www.tehrantimes.com/news/418919/Saudi-Arabia-committing-suicide
By M.A. Saki
December 1, 2017
The new ruling family in Riyadh will likely push Saudi Arabia to the verge of collapse through impulsive and rash decisions.
The crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman (MBS), as the chief decision-maker, has been pursuing dangerously erroneous policies in his short political life: he has ordered invasion of Yemen, blockaded the tiny state of Qatar, started open hostility with Iran, and recently pressing Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to resign with the aim of unsettling Lebanon.
That the Saudi kingdom has been caught in a quagmire in Yemen is open to all. It has been pounding Yemen incessantly since March 2015, yet it has failed to make the least advances against the Houthi rebels who are aligned with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and the army. Probably, the crown prince’s only gains are that he has starved millions of people in Yemen and committed war crimes there. And how Saudi Arabia would manage to bring the tragedy and chaos to an end in Yemen remains an open question.
Also through the blockade of Qatar, MBS proved that he is another Saddam Hussein in the region. Like Saddam whose army invaded Kuwait in 1990 and then annexed it, MBS would have also ordered invasion of Qatar if it had not been for Doha’s military alliance with Turkey.
In this adventurous move Riyadh suffered another blow. It automatically pushed Qatar to the arms of Turkey and Iran.
His open animosity with Iran, despite restraints by Tehran, is another self-humiliating move. MBS and his close family friends are well aware that Saudi Arabia is not a match for Iran. However, he is trying to entice Donald Trump, through extremely lucrative arms deals, to attack Iran.
Saudi Arabia’s strong hatred of Iran has reached a degree that it is even approaching Israel which has deprived the Arab Palestinian nation of their basic rights in violation of all humanitarian principles and international law.
In his newest remarks, even the crown prince surprisingly blamed the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran for the Saudi-inspired violent ideology in the form of Wahhabism and Takfirism.
That how the revolution in Iran, which by itself was a great step toward democratization and republicanism, pushed Saudi Arabia toward religious extremism is a question that only bin Salman can invent an answer to.
MBS does not want to admit that Saudi Arabians are being ruled by a family which its examples can only be found in the dustbin of history and its regime’s intolerance of religious diversity in the Middle Ages.
Also by putting pressure on the Lebanese prime minister to announce his resignation while in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia not only humiliated the Lebanese, it also proved that the new ruling family has no reservation to push Lebanon, which is still suffering from the wounds of the 1975-1990 civil war, toward a new crisis.
The next reckless behavior by bin Salman may come in the future days. The person who is trying to portray himself as a great reformer and anti-corruption leader is pushing Saudi Arabia to the verge of suicide because reforms and impulsive behaviors cannot go together.
Slightly out of date comments as thing are moving in so many different directions but a few key highlights this week to watch out for:
- Salleh vs Houthi (ongoing) - Salleh has turned against his Houthi allies and Sanaa is a battlefield with conflicting narratives on who has the upper hand - there is mention that Salleh has reached out to KSA and they have pounded the Houthis via air assaults - however, Salleh also reached out to the Iranians = so he is happily playing both sides and openly
- GCC summit in Kuwait: Qatari Emir has indicated he will be attending; interesting how the dynamics will play out with all members seated around the table
- Nethanyahu in his Saban address over the weekend used the same language as MBS - referred to the Iranian regime as no different from the Nazis and asserted that they have "a ruthless commitment to murdering Jews" (Iran actually has a Persian Jew MP, Dr. Siamak MoreSedegh who represents the community of Iran which numbers about between 10-20k)
- Lebanon has gone quiet (for now)
- Israel claimed to have hit an Iranian depot in Damascus - Syria claimed it shot down the rockets
- declaration by Trump of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel: Israeli pundits are guessing with the proximity of KSA and Israel, the "outrage" from the governments of KSA, Jordan and Egypt will be "measured" - they are also backchannelling with Abbas to prepare him - what they do not have clarity over is what kind of spillover there will be in the streets. Abbas has already requested for an urgent meeting of the Arab League to discuss ahead of the expected announcement.
We update as matters unfold.
Yes a little out of date but I thought I'll post it anyway as it gives a sense of the mood in Iran. But in spite of this, my friends there tell me that it's very much life as per normal in Iran. They are pissed off and irritated but are just just shrugging this off as sabre rattling by the Saudis and do not see MBS representing any a real threat for now. Tehran Times is much like our ST anyway, probably ranked just a few notches away.
It is being reported by Iranian press that former President Saleh of Yemen has been killed in fighting. However this is the 5th time that Saleh's death has been reported.
Thomas Erdbrink is the Tehran Bureau chief for the New York Times and one of the few who report from Tehran as he has been based there for a decade. A decent source of info on the ground.
I find it hard to accept that the peace proposal has absolutely nothing for the Palestinians and everything for Israel. Much of the World would not accept it with the Europeans crying foul let alone the Islamic World. Even the Israels's would not have gone this far knowing how absurd it is. I then checked the background of the authors in the byline and I have my doubts.
I am not surprised that Saleh has been killed. They bombed his house and that of his relatives. Its likely that the $Ms reward offered by the Saudis made the Houthi uncomfortable and they took out Saleh before his men caved in for the reward.
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