Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday that Israel’s authorization of the United States‘ sale of F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates was not part of the peace deal signed between the nations in Washington, and that this came about through discussions held by Defense Minister Benny Gantz with the Pentagon.
Meanwhile, in a statement of his own, Gantz claimed that negotiations on the sale of arms were known to some Israeli officials, but were kept hidden from him and Israel’s security establishment.
Turkey has violated the US legislation by using the American-made F-16 fighter jets in the territory of Azerbaijan during the war against Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh), Expert on American studies Suren Sargsyan told Armenpress, adding that the F-16s could be deployed in Azerbaijan’s territory only by the permission of the US President, which, however, didn’t take place.
CONFIRMED – A Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 UAV/drone by the Azerbaijan armed forces captured the moments when the Armenian S-300 Air Defense System was destroyed.
A video shared from the clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces in the Nagorno-Karabakh region show Azerbaijani forces using an Israeli „LORA“ missile to shell a bridge in Armenia, according to Channel 12 News.
Azerbaijan is currently fighting ethnic Armenian forces in the mountainous enclave after fighting broke out on Sunday between the two sides.
The Orbiter 1K is what is known as a “loitering munition,” or kamikaze drone. The drone behaves like a drone, hovering around, until it finds a target and then slams into it like a cruise missile. In February 2019, Aeronautics reportedly completed new sales to Azerbaijan. The country has a hunger for Israeli kamikaze-style drones. The Washington Post reported in 2016 that it used an IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries) Harop against Armenians as well. Armenia has complained about the 2016 incident.
Israeli Defense Ministry probes allegation that Azerbaijan asked Aeronautics Defense Systems to demonstrate drone on military target. When the drone operators refused, managers attempted to carry out the test. The company denies the allegation.
Russia accounted for almost all of Armenia’s arms imports over the past five years. A total of 60 per cent of Azerbaijan’s arms imports came from Israel and 31 per cent from Russia.
Russia will continue its arms sales to both Azerbaijan and Armenia despite the latest flare-up of the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview broadcast on Saturday.
Russia has long been Azerbaijan’s main arms supplier. Between 2013 and 2017, its share was 65 percent of Azerbaijan’s total foreign weapons imports (Sipri.org, March 2018). Although Russia is the main arms seller to Azerbaijan, it also provides military equipment to Armenia.
A 2018 report by the Moscow-based Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies shows that annual defense spending rose from $700 million in 2007 to $3.7 billion in 2013. Included in this was roughly $5 billion in Russian arms purchases: Baku bought T-90C battle tanks, BTR-82A armored personnel carriers, Mi-35M helicopter gunships, and other equipment.
Baku’s Israeli purchases, however, have been most visible on the battlefield, in particular its drones. All eight drone types reportedly in Azerbaijan’s inventory hail from Israel, with which Azerbaijan has a long-running military relationship.
For the European Central Bank, which is meeting Thursday to discuss monetary policy, the stronger euro is yet another headache. The bank’s Governing Council is not expected to make any changes to its stimulus program, which is already enormous.
NSO’s specialty is hacking smartphones. Up till now, little was known about Candiru. TheMarker has revealed that the firm offers hacking tools used to break into computers and servers, and now, for the first time, has confirmed it also has technology for breaking into mobile devices.
According to a document signed by an unnamed vice president for Candiru, they also offer a “high-end cyber intelligence platform dedicated to infiltrate PC computers, networks, mobile handsets, by using explosions and disseminations operations.“
The move could allow EU governments to secure vaccines from companies that are not negotiating with Brussels, such as U.S. firms Merck, Inovio and Novavax. They are all in talks with the WHO scheme, dubbed COVAX, but have so far not been reported to be involved in negotiations with the EU Commission.
The UAE and Israel wish to express their gratitude for the overwhelmingly positive response to this historic accord from governments around the world. They are especially grateful to President Donald J. Trump for his leadership and to his administration for the critical role it has played in achieving this diplomatic breakthrough. They are also greatly encouraged by the broad bipartisan support for this breakthrough from the United States Congress.
The first official flight from Israel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) landed Monday in Abu Dhabi, carrying an Israeli-American delegation to advance the landmark peace agreement between the two Middle Eastern states.
Leading the historic occasion, special White House advisor Jared Kushner addressed reporters at the airport promptly after landing, as Arab media televised the event under the title “Message of Peace.”
However, the UAE decided to cancel the public vent in a bid to protest the statements on the prospect of the US selling advanced F-35 stealth fighter jets to the Gulf Kingdom coming from the Israeli security establishment.
Earlier reports in the Israeli media suggested that the sales of F-35s and other advanced military hardware to the UAE came as a secret clasue in the accord to normalize the ties.
“The whole system is being upended by this. It’s security recklessness. Netanyahu knew where Trump was going with the arms deal and didn’t tell us a thing,” an Israeli defense source told Haaretz on Thursday.
“Both the Ben Shabbat-Norkin conversation and the Netanyahu-Gantz meeting were part of the prime minister’s feelers without him showing his cards. We suspect that Netanyahu gave Trump a wink. The result will be that if the United States wishes, it will sell those planes, and with them offensive drones and other advanced weapons. It will happen without any prior professional discussion in Israel.
Much of this was by design. Onstage and off, the convention organizers delicately and carefully walked a tightrope in order to create as unified a front as possible. They needed to show respect to Sanders, who came in second in the primary contest, and to win the trust of high-profile acolytes like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, so that the party’s activist progressive wing will remain engaged in the election.
In light of all this and more, one may certainly imagine a scenario in which, very quietly, at night before he goes to sleep, Netanyahu is secretly waiting for Joe Biden. The Democratic presidential nominee and his vice-presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, are much easier for AIPAC to maneuver and have a proven record of support for Israel.
True, they won’t pull a gesture out of their sleeve like a new embassy, and it’s also true that there is a wing of the Democratic Party that is very critical of Israel, partially because Netanyahu’s backing of Trump spurred opposition. But they are much more conventional, predictable and easier to work with.
But Netanyahu said Israel would oppose such a deal, as the Israeli military must maintain superiority in the region.
The peace agreement “did not include Israel’s consent to any arms deal whatsoever between the United States and the UAE,” according to a statement from Netanyahu’s office.
“The U.S. made clear to Israel that it will always ensure to protect Israel’s qualitative edge.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Tuesday warned that the proliferation of the F-35 fighter jet was “not good for Israel,” following reports that the United States would sell the advanced aircraft to the United Arab Emirates.
“It’s not good for Israel that the plane is going around in other places. We need to talk to the Emiratis, to the Americans, and make sure that our security interests are being upheld,” Gantz told reporters in a press conference.
On Wednesday, Channel 13 reported that Meir Ben-Shabbat, chief of Israel’s National Securit Council, approached Israeli Air Force head Amikam Norkin in June for a review of Israel’s position on such a sale.
According to the report, the move came in a breach of the command chain, as Ben-Shabbat was supposed to first speak with Defense Minister and Alternative Prime Minister Benny Gantz, whom Netanyahu kept in the dark in regards to the upcoming deal with the UAE.
The UAE official added that Israel, the United States and the Emiratis agreed to bolster the military capabilities of the Gulf kingdom as an integral part of the peace deal.
Israel procured its first two F-35 jets in 2016 and has reportedly been using the aircraft in some of the strikes in Syria, becoming the first nation to deploy the jets in combat.
As of today, the Jewish state is also the only Middle East nation to have the jet in its air force, with Turkey booted out of the F-35 program in 2019.
In an interview with Sky News Arabia, the leading television channel in the UAE, Netanyahu was asked how the normalization deal between the UAE and Israel will serve regional peace. He answered: „Vastly. The deal connects the UAE with Israel; both of them are advanced democracies and their societies are advanced.“ Netanyahu uploaded a video of the interview to his Twitter account, and deleted it shortly after.
Why it matters: U.S. law requires the administration to consult with Israel before selling arms to any Arab country to ensure Israel can maintain its qualitative military edge. It must also report to Congress on the matter.
This morning, Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported that the normalization deal included a secret clause, approved by Netanyahu, about F-35 sales to the UAE.
A U.S. Department of Defense announcement on Thursday said Pentagon’s No.1 weapons supplier Lockheed Martin Corp has been awarded a $62 billion, 10-year contract for the production of F-16s for Foreign Military Sale (FMS), and the initial delivery order is for 90 aircraft.
Relations are in free fall. Lines are being drawn. As the two superpowers clash over technology, territory and clout, a new geopolitical era is dawning.
A Tel Aviv court has rejected a legal case filed by Amnesty International that attempted to block the Israeli spyware firm NSO Group from selling its cyberweapons internationally.
The rights groups sought to force the Israeli defence ministry to revoke NSO Group’s export licence for its leading phone-hacking software, Pegasus. Amnesty’s lawyers alleged the product had been used by repressive governments to target activists, including one the rights group’s own researchers, as well as journalists.
“Today’s disgraceful ruling is a cruel blow to people put at risk around the world by NSO Group selling its products to notorious human rights abusers. At a moment when NSO and the Israeli MOD should be held accountable for their practices, it is appalling that the court has failed to do so.
“NSO Group continues to profit from human rights abuses with impunity. The ruling of the court flies in the face of the mountains of evidence of NSO Group’s spyware being used to target human rights defenders from Saudi Arabia to Mexico, including the basis of this case – the targeting of one of our own Amnesty employees. We will continue to do all we can to stop NSO Group’s spyware being used to commit human rights abuses.
Israel’s drone deals with Germany began in 2009, when it first leased drones to the German army for use in Afghanistan. Seven years later there was a similar transaction, this time to operate the drones in Mali.
A group of 20 men evacuated from Benghazi, Libya and suspected of having been contracted to lend support to General Khalifa Haftar’s forces, were held under arrest in Malta for two days before being released without charge.
Multiple law enforcement sources speaking to this newspaper say the police are still investigating the incident, almost a year on since the arrival of the men on two RHIBs (rigid-hull inflatable boats) at the Valletta seaport in June 2019.
The abortive mercenary expedition last summer was organized and financed by a network of secretive companies in the United Arab Emirates, according to a confidential report submitted to the United Nations Security Council in February. The companies are controlled or part-owned by Christiaan Durrant, an Australian businessman and former fighter pilot who is a close associate of Erik Prince, America’s most famous mercenary entrepreneur.
Opus and Lancaster 6 financed and directed an operation to provide Haftar’s forces with helicopters, drones and cyber capabilities through a complex web of shell companies, according to two diplomats who briefed Bloomberg on the contents of the UN Panel of Experts report shared with the Security Council’s sanctions committee in February. The diplomats also shared excerpts of the report with Bloomberg.
The State Department inspector general fired by President Trump on Friday was investigating whether the administration had unlawfully declared an “emergency” last year to allow the resumption of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for their war in Yemen, according to a Democratic member of Congress who asked for the inquiry.
The Fortune, Petonia and Forest had crossed the Straits of Gibraltar over the last 24 hours; the Fortune is estimated to be around a week away from Caracas.
Imagine that you are not carrying the virus, but you go in for testing and leave carrying the virus.
The Telegraph report stated that it is “not clear” how the tests were contaminated.
One of the suppliers – the Luxembourg-based firm Eurofins – sent an email on Monday morning to government laboratories in the UK warning that a delivery of key components called “probes and primers” had been contaminated with coronavirus and would be delayed.
The firm admitted there had been “an issue” and insisted other private providers had suffered the same problem.
“About 80% to 90% of laptops are manufactured in China right now. But not all components are manufactured in China. For instance, some components are coming from Vietnam.”
Shipping components for laptop assembly from countries like Vietnam into China is a challenge, but getting laptops out of China to other countries like the U.S. is a bigger hurdle because of commercial flight restrictions, Ms. Kitagawa said.
Conte said anybody who thinks they can force Italy to accept disciplinary terms as a condition for loans – a sort of „Troika“ regime – have gravely misjudged the mood of his nation. Italy will not take the money. “We will do it alone,” he said.
The message is that if there is no EU solidarity when it matters, then it no longer makes sense for Italy to accept EU surveillance and constraints, or for Italy to forgo use of its own sovereign policy instruments in self-defence.
COSPAR has a planetary protection policy (PDF) ensuring that the world’s space agencies protect the safety of our planet as well as any that we explore.
„The Planetary Protection Requirements are an international NATO treaty, ratified by COSPAR,“ said Moogega Cooper, Planetary Protection Lead Engineer for NASA’s Perseverance rover mission. „It’s an international policy that we have to abide by. Agencies around the world have to make sure their hardware and their spacecraft is clean enough.“
The Department of Health and Human Services said Sunday hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine products can be distributed and prescribed by doctors through the Strategic National Stockpile “to hospitalized teen and adult patients with COVID-19, as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible.”
HHS said Germany’s Sandoz has already given 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to the Strategic National Stockpile, the federal government’s inventory of medical supplies for public health emergencies, while Bayer has donated a million doses of chloroquine.
„We finally got some good news today,“ Cuomo said during the briefing. „The Chinese government helped facilitate a donation of 1,000 ventilators that will arrive in JFK today.“
The delivery from mask manufacturer 3M was shipped from China and reloaded in Bangkok before it was to be transported to Germany by air freight. However, in Bangkok, the shipment was suddenly „redirected“ to the US, Berlin police confirmed.
The White House said the order is intended to prevent “war profiteers” from hoarding supplies to generate foreign demand and then exporting the goods, and that it will not interfere with the ability of manufacturers to export personal protection equipment (PPE) “when doing so is consistent with United States policy.”
At the moment, the researchers are waiting for the actual drug to arrive from Japan.
Researchers at the University of Aarhus are assessing an already established drug that could prevent the coronavirus from spreading into the human lungs and perhaps slow down the pandemic. Camostat mesylate was developed several years ago for the treatment of heartburn and pancreatitis in Japan, where it was approved by the Japanese Medicines Agency. A trial is planned to test it on 180 coronavirus patients across Denmark as early as next week.
Germany, for example, caused outrage in Austria and Switzerland by stopping shipments of face masks to its neighbors. Several states have export restrictions, usually hidden in impenetrable legalese, on medical equipment from goggles to gloves and ventilators. Italy, in particular, feels let down. When it first tried to invoke an EU mechanism to share medical supplies, no member state helped. Ironically, only China sent equipment.
Venezuela has swapped millions of barrels of crude for supplies of corn and water trucks under an oil-for-food deal struck with a Mexican firm, in an effort to secure imports amid tightening U.S. sanctions, according to the company and export schedules.
Prosecutors said in December they intended to file an indictment in the case against the key suspects in the affair: former naval chief Eliezer Merom; Netanyahu’s attorney and confidant David Shimron; and Ganor.
The suspicions published in December said Ganor and Bar-Yosef, who got to know each other during their military service, met in 2009 when Bar-Yosef proposed they cooperate to advance Ganor’s being named as ThyssenKrupp’s agent in Israel, because he “wanted to get some monetary value out of it.”
The prime minister will use a speech on Monday to toughen his stance ahead of trade talks following the UK’s formal withdrawal from the bloc.
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier will also set out his approach to the talks, which are due to start next month.
Boris Johnson is preparing to impose full customs and border checks on all European goods entering the UK after Brexit, in a ramping up of pressure on the coming EU-UK trade talks, the Telegraph has learned.
Gwadar port in southern Pakistan recently began handling cargo bound for Afghanistan. While undoubtedly a positive development for the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, experts say the economic sustainability of the Chinese-managed port remains far from certain.
In a statement to Reuters on Saturday, Salame said that if the matter is not resolved today, it will be discussed on Sunday in the Berlin summit.
Libya’s national oil company has declared a “state of emergency” after exports of its oil from the ports in the eastern part of the country were blocked by forces loyal to the Libyan National Army’s General Khalifa Haftar.
The Petroleum Facilities Guard – a militia that controls major export terminals in eastern Libya – has ordered local subsidiaries of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), who run them, to cease all operations, the firm said in a statement.
The United States is working closely with China to have it cut off altogether imports of Iranian crude oil, as the U.S. steps up sanctions pressure on the Iranian regime, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, told Fox News’ ‘Sunday Morning Futures’.
This year’s turbulent events in the Middle East—a major source of oil supply for the world’s largest oil importer, China—have had Beijing scrambling to salvage the Iran nuclear deal after the U.S. assassinated Tehran’s top military commander.
At the same time, China has significantly reduced its crude oil imports from Iran in recent months because of the U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil exports.
On Tuesday, the three European signatories to the Iran deal — France, Britain and Germany — formally triggered the dispute mechanism, which accuses Iran of violating the agreement and could lead to the restoration of the anti-Iran UN sanctions that had been lifted by the JCPOA.
Tehran has particularly been disappointed with the European trio’s failure to protect its business interests under the deal after the United States‘ withdrawal.
After patiently watching for more than a year and seeing no clear action from the other signatories of the nuclear deal, Iran invoked Articles 26 and 36 of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to let go of some of the limitations put on its nuclear work.
The State Department warned that the U.S. could shut down Iraq’s access to the country’s central bank account held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a move that could jolt Iraq’s already shaky economy, the officials said.
Israel’s security apparatus and its over-collaborative judiciary would do well to look up, then commit to memory, the words of U.S. Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis: „Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.“
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the United States knows it cannot bring the Islamic Republic to its knees through its maximum pressure policy.
Lavrov made the comments on December 30 after meeting in Moscow with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who said that the European signatories to the deal were „not taking any practical steps“ to support it.
„The ship’s 16 crew who are of Malaysian nationality were arrested,“ the Guards‘ naval commander for the region, Brigadier-General Ali Ozmayi, was quoted as saying.
Abu Musa is one of three islands in the southern Gulf that are under Iranian control but claimed by the United Arab Emirates.
Hong Kong (CNN) At the start of this year, as Zimbabwe cut off internet access across the country following anti-government protests, the internet pressure group Keep It On warned that such „shutdowns must never be allowed to become the new normal.“
Twelve months later, however, that’s exactly where we are.
But the court ruled that authorities had failed to follow proper procedures in revoking a previously issued license allowing the sale of 110 vehicles to Saudi Arabia, 10 of which had already been sent by the end of last October.
The Pentagon’s deployment of new radar, air defense and other military assets to the Gulf nation was discussed during talks Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, held with Saudi officials this week.
Milley, in his first visit to this key U.S. ally since becoming President Trump’s chief military adviser this fall, met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other leaders during his visit.
Despite harsh language criticizing what Beijing calls U.S. interference in China’s domestic affairs, and a second summoning of the U.S. ambassador in a week, China’s leadership still wants a deal to help alleviate pressure on its fast-weakening economy.
China’s thirst for Saudi Arabian oil continues to grow on the back of massive refinery joint ventures, and the nation is also drawing more crude from Russia, as imports from the U.S., Iran and Venezuela dwindle, fresh Chinese customs data for the year to November show.
Increasing wages increases consumption. Because 22% of consumption is imported in Germany – and because increasing wages doesn’t increase exports: if anything, the opposite – Germans having more money in their pockets will lead to them buying more foreign goods, reducing the current account surplus.
This won’t be easy to execute. There is a deep bipartisan consensus in Germany to maintain the status quo.
Egypt has become the second biggest customer of the German weapons industry with €800 million ($880 million) in purchases, according to the government’s arms exports report for the first half of this year.
The UAE, another actor involved in the Yemen conflict, ranked sixth among the biggest customers, with Berlin approving the sale of more than €206 million (over $226 million) worth of arms exports to this country.
Instead of growing the economy by state backing and export-led growth as competitors have done, we’re left behind clinging to a protectionist bloc designed to protect French agriculture and German manufacturing at our expense.
We want to stay in the Single Market but ignore the fact that we’re running a £100 billion trade deficit in goods with it. That means the export of jobs, money and economic demand primarily to Germany.
It also urged EU Member States to halt exports to Egypt “of arms, surveillance technology and other security equipment that can facilitate attacks on human rights defenders and civil society activists,” and for “the EU to implement in full its export controls vis-à-vis Egypt with regard to goods that could be used for repression, torture or capital punishment.”
“If anyone thinks that seizing tankers and attacking oil infrastructure can in any way affect cooperation between Russia and our Arab friends, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, that they can undermine or break down our cooperation with OPEC+, then they are profoundly wrong,” said Putin, addressing a question on regional security.
“On the contrary, we will forge ever closer ties because our main goal is to stabilize global energy markets,” he added, saying that Russia remained committed to the initiatives of the OPEC+ group of oil producers driven by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
During the talks with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the current state of and prospects for multifaceted Russia-Saudi Arabia cooperation, including in trade, the economy and investment, are expected to be reviewed.
There will be an exchange of views on pressing issues on the international agenda, primarily the situation in the Middle East and North Africa.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will begin his visit to Saudi Arabia, which has suffered from an attack on its oil facilities a month ago. He has one thing in his mind – touting Russia’s missile defense system.
At the request of U.S. Central Command, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper authorized the deployment of additional U.S. forces and the following equipment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:
Officials in Beijing didn’t immediately acknowledge their decision. Phone calls to the CNPC rang unanswered on Sunday and its website bore no mention of the withdrawal.
However, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif separately complained Sunday about the U.S. campaign against Tehran and its impact on foreign investments.
No10 sources said Mrs Merkel told the premier during the 30-minute showdown that the province must remain within the EU’s customs union indefinitely.
BEIRUT — Syria and Iraq announced the reopening of a border crossing between the two countries Monday, a step toward the normalization of Iraq’s relationship with its western neighbor and a boost to Iran, which will now have an open corridor into Syria.
The crossing, which Iraqi officials declared open for travellers and trade, is crucial for Iran’s bid to cement its growing sway over a corridor of territory from Tehran to Beirut.
The opening of the crossing signified „the victory of the Iraqi and Syrian people over all terrorist groups, especially Daesh,“ said Syrian Interior Minister Mohammad Khaled al-Rahmoun, using a term for Islamic State.
(25. Dezember 1992)
Mr. Weinberger was scheduled to stand trial on Jan. 5 on charges that he lied to Congress about his knowledge of the arms sales to Iran and efforts by other countries to help underwrite the Nicaraguan rebels, a case that was expected to focus on Mr. Weinberger’s private notes that contain references to Mr. Bush’s endorsement of the secret shipments to Iran.
Barr, who is scheduled to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday for his confirmation hearings, ran the Justice Department once before, under President George H.W. Bush.
Back then, the all-consuming, years-long scandal was called Iran-Contra. On Dec. 24, 1992, it ended when Bush pardoned six people who had been caught up in it.
„The Constitution is quite clear on the powers of the president and sometimes the president has to make a very difficult call,“ Bush said then. „That’s what I’ve done.“
According to Global Affairs Canada statistics, Saudi Arabia was the largest non-US export destination for Canada’s defence industry in 2018, receiving approximately $1.2 billion in Canadian military exports.
He elaborated that no „fancy“ systems are needed for this and that the quite simple and battle-proven Russian Pantsir S1 (NATO reporting name SA-22 Greyhound) systems with dual 2A38M 30 millimetre automatic cannons equipped with infrared direction finders would do the trick. Russia has been successfully using Pantsirs to repel frequent massive drone attacks on its Hmeymim base in Syria carried out by local militant groups.
Next month, President Vladimir Putin is set to visit Saudi and the Gulf, a chance to deepen cooperation on energy and oil, drum up investment and promote Russia’s Pantsir group of anti-UAV weaponry, the arms systems the state export company will put on display at the Dubai Airshow in November.
This entire narrative stinks. Seems to me that Trump’s continued refusal to start a unilateral military attack against Iran (despite implied Saudi urging) has stumped MBS (Saudi Defense Minister), and the whole war scenario now seems to be de-escalating.
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia has restored capacity to 11.3 million barrels per day after an attack on its processing facilities this month, sources told Reuters last week, although Saudi Aramco has yet to confirm it is fully back online.
„Oil supplies will be disrupted and oil prices will jump to unimaginably high numbers that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes,“ in the event of greater conflict with Iran, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS 60 Minutes.
The warning comes two weeks after a drone and missile attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities that Riyadh and Washington blame on Iran.
Russia is set to be a major winner after an attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities slashed production and ramped up tensions in the Middle East, analysts predict.
In a frantic day for the world’s markets, oil prices climbed by almost 15% Monday following the drone attacks on Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia’s largest oil refinery, which pumps around 5% of the world’s oil supply.
Blue and White party candidates have in recent days sent many messages to Mandelblit demanding that the case be reopened and that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s role in the affair be re-examined.
Mandelblit wrapped up his investigation in Case 3000 months ago, concluding that Netanyahu was not involved in influence peddling in the sale of submarines by the German company ThyssenKrupp to Israel.
Oil prices tumbled more than 2 per cent on Wednesday after a report that U.S. President Donald Trump was considering easing sanctions on Iran, which could boost global crude supply at a time of lingering worries about energy demand.
U.S. oil prices dropped more than 2% on Wednesday after Bloomberg News reported that President Donald Trump discussed easing sanctions on Iran in order to reopen negotiations.
WTI crude oil futures fell 2.9% to $55.75 a barrel, while Brent crude fell 2.28% to $60.96 a barrel.
First, we learnt that the economy overall expanded by 0.3 per cent in July, significantly faster than the 0.1 per cent expected, and better than most of our main rivals. Next, we found out that the trade deficit narrowed slightly as imports fell. Finally, we learned that employment was at record highs and that wages were still growing at record rates.
– Jeremy Corbyn delivered hard-Left attack on Boris Johnson in speech at TUC
– He said that the PM wanted a Brexit settlement to benefit his ‚wealthy friends‘
– Union baron Len McCluskey sent class war message ‚workers are coming for you‘
Let us be quite clear. The rearguard campaign to prevent a “no-deal” Brexit is merely a smokescreen for the real objective, which is to frustrate any Brexit at all and, in effect, overturn the referendum outcome.
How many times does this need to be restated? Germany desperately needs to change its economic model, now more so than ever as its own economy, that of the European Union, and the world as a whole, again teeter on the brink of recession.
Most of all, it needs to make itself more reliant on internal, domestic demand, and less on exports.
The announcement by government spokesman Ali Rabiei represent just the latest twist in the saga of the Adrian Darya 1, which had been known as the Grace 1 when authorities seized the vessel off Gibraltar on July 4, on suspicion of breaking European Union sanctions targeting Syria.
Russia’s far east may just be the beginning. ROSATOM has said that it’s in talks with potential customers for the floating power unit, and sees “significant market potential” in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Oil plunged on Friday after China announced new tariffs on U.S. goods, including crude oil.
Helping to support the market are simmering tensions between the United States and Iran, with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani cautioning Washington against tightening pressure on Tehran.
President Trump on Friday pledged to respond to China’s latest round of tariffs “this afternoon,” further ratcheting up the trade war between Washington and Beijing.
China will impose additional tariffs on U.S. imports worth about 75 billion U.S. dollars in response to the newly announced U.S. tariff hikes on Chinese goods, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council announced Friday.
Government figures show that export licences worth £6.2bn have been granted to members of the Saudi-led coalition in the four years since the conflict began in March 2015.
The figure includes £5.3bn to Saudi Arabia, £657m to United Arab Emirates, £85m to Egypt, £72m to Bahrain, £40m to Kuwait and £142m to Qatar before it withdrew from the coalition in 2017.
Remainers pointing to soft economic numbers in the UK should note that trade between euro-zone member states fell by 6.6% in June compared to the same period last year. That was the fastest such contraction since 2013. Exports from the eurozone to the rest of the world also dropped by 4.7%, the fastest rate since 2016. The EU can’t blame the fall in intra-bloc trade on China…
The fact that there are no diplomatic ties between Israel and the UAE and other Persian Gulf countries has not prevented the shared interests of the countries in the region to forge an extensive unofficial relationship, including in business, military and political spheres. In the case of Israel and the Gulf states, one main shared interest is their mutual enemy: Iran.
However, as Haaretz points out, “it is interesting to discover that Israel’s name is totally absent from the hundreds of thousands of words describing the transaction in detail. The only mention of the country is in one document originating in Switzerland that describes the structure of AGT. It mentions in German that Kochavi is an Israeli citizen.”
The Israeli daily also notes that this deal is not Kochavi’s first project on behalf of the UAE, pointing to the installation of thousands of cameras, sensors and license-plate readers in Abu Dhabi in a bid to turn the capital into a “smart city”.
EUROPE’S largest economy Germany could crash into recession as car manufacturing growth plummets and Brexit cripples exports, its central bank has warned.
Bundesbank said that lower consumer spending and softer overseas demand has caused the economic downturn.
Some Britons may feel a touch of schadenfreude from seeing that the German industrial juggernaut is spluttering but its woes are a troubling symptom of a slowing world economy.
Authorities in Gibraltar were given permission by Gibraltar’s Supreme Court to detain the vessel until mid-August, with another hearing on the matter set for Thursday morning. The current detention order on the vessel expires on Saturday night.
After intense negotiations with Iranian authorities, CBS News was given rare access to Iranian-controlled waters in the Strait — one of the most volatile transit routes for the world’s oil supply.
About 14 tankers carry crude through the Strait every single day; a combined cargo value of $1.3 billion. It’s a lot of money, and there’s a lot of vested interest in ensuring the flow of tankers continues unimpeded.
“Any and every country that has an interest in freedom of navigation and freedom of commerce needs to really consider (being) involved in this type of monitoring of the strait,” he told reporters Tuesday, while en route to Tokyo for talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya.
“If there happens to be a very unsafe situation we will consider having our navy escort our commercial vessels,” Ni told Reuters, while the Chinese Embassy in the United Arab Emirates said later in a text message to Reuters that China was studying the U.S. proposal on escorting commercial ships in the Gulf.
Saudi Arabia overtook Russia to become the country’s top supplier in June with 7.72 million tonnes, or 1.88 million bpd, up 84.1% from a year earlier and compared with 1.11 million bpd in May.
Arrivals from Russia reached 7.15 million tonnes, or 1.74 million bpd, up 45.5% from a year earlier and compared with 6.36 million bpd in May.
The move was suggested after a summit on Thursday between military chiefs from the US, UK, Europe and the UAE in Florida, where US admirals failed to persuade Britain to join its Sentinel operation.
On July 23, the Russian Foreign Ministry introduced the concept of collective security in the Persian Gulf. It stipulates creating an initiative group to organize an international conference on security and cooperation in the Persian Gulf, which will later lead to creating a security and cooperation organization in the region.
Chinese Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Ni Jian informed Reuters of his country’s positions on regional maritime security in Abu Dhabi on Aug. 6, 2019. China’s embassy in the country subsequently provided additional details to the wire service via text message.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch warns the oil price could slip sharply if China buys Iranian oil.
Beijing could undermine Washington’s foreign policy stance by ignoring U.S. sanctions placed on Iran.
BofA is keeping its $60 per barrel price estimate in place for 2020.
Russian media said Moscow secured its first, and so far only, Iranian oil delivery in November 2017,
(This item is being updated.)
State TV quoted by Reuters said the Revolutionary Guard Corps‘ naval forces had „seized a foreign tanker in the Persian Gulf that was smuggling fuel for some Arab countries“.
It said the tanker was carrying 700,000l of fuel, adding that seven sailors had been detained.
The reported incident comes amid high tension after the US tightened sanctions on Iran’s oil sector.
Though Russia has been instrumental in protecting the Assad government, which appeared to be on the brink of collapse four years ago, it has also carefully cultivated a military relationship with Israel over the past decade.
After more than seven years of war, the skies over Syria are saturated with aircraft from multiple militaries and armed groups, each pursuing their own goals, including using the country as a weapons-testing ground.
Global stocks fell sharply on Friday after Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on $300bn (£247.6bn) of Chinese goods in a rapid escalation of the trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.
German carmaker’s CEO offers to travel to London to deliver message to PM saying ‘listen to business’
Chairman Cummings issued the following statement:
“Today’s report reveals new and extensive evidence that corroborates Committee whistleblowers and exposes how corporate and foreign interests are using their unique access to advocate for the transfer of U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. The American people deserve to know the facts about whether the White House is willing to place the potential profits of the President’s personal friends above the national security of the American people and the universal objective of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.”
The Committee’s second interim report is based on more than 60,000 pages of new documents produced to the Committee in response to requests that Chairman Cummings made to a host of outside companies about their involvement with plans to transfer U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. The report states:
New documents and communications show that IP3, the private company lobbying the White House to transfer U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, repeatedly sought a $120 million investment from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It is unclear if the company ultimately received the investment.
The paradox of the current GOP administration in power is that while Donald Trump gets up at the podium and brays “America First” he and his son-in-law and other minions can’t sell out our interests to foreign powers fast enough.
Thomas Barrack Jr., a top fundraiser and confidant of President Donald Trump, urged the administration to sell Saudi Arabia nuclear technology without restrictions designed to prevent the kingdom from developing nuclear weapons, according to a report released by House Democrats Monday.
The Senate on Monday failed to override President Trump’s vetoes of resolutions blocking his arms deal with Saudi Arabia, marking the latest setback for critics of Riyadh.
Senators voted 45-40, 45-39 and 46-41 on the override attempts, falling well short of the two-thirds majority needed to nix Trump’s veto.
„Freedom of navigation is crucial for the global trading system and world economy, and we will do all we can to defend it.
„The Department for Transport has therefore updated its advice to confirm that the Royal Navy has been tasked to accompany British-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz, either individually or in groups, should sufficient notice be given of their passage.”
Experts confirm that the attack was a well-planned operation. Pipes are at a depth of dozens meters underwater. Such a difficult mining mission can be completed only by trained and well-equipped specs. This fact excludes the operating of the irregular militants.
(24.06.2019) The network carries crude oil from the coast to tankers at the port of Banias. The port city houses one of Syria’s two refineries. The other is located in Homs, in central Syria.
Last month U.S.-led forces blew up three oil tankers in Syria in the latest push against the Syrian government which is fighting rebel groups in their last remaining stronghold in Syria, in Idlib.
Syria is heavily dependent on crude oil imports through the Mediterranean, with a lot of the oil coming from Iran.
The Syrian government has two big oil-producing friends, Iran and Russia. With the routes from the first apparently closed, it may have to turn to the second. This presents a new host of potential risks. Impounding an Iranian ship in the Strait of Gibraltar is one thing. Stopping a Russian ship in the Aegean Sea is quite another.
Analysis of oil tanker numbers at North Korea’s Nampho oil terminal compiled from over two and half years of satellite imagery shows continued and sustained activity at the site, despite strict UN sanctions restricting oil flows passed at the end of 2017.
The collection of over 300 images, taken at regular intervals between January 2017 and July 2019 by Planet Labs satellites, overall show an expanding oil loading facility growing to meet continual activity.
The U.S. and China are already embroiled in a tense trade war as Taiwan and other Pacific allies grow concerned about China’s growing military threat.
Earlier this month, the U.S. tentatively approved the sale of $2.2 billion in arms to Taiwan – a proposal that had prompted China to threaten sanctions against the U.S.
Now, thanks to new photographic evidence, the secret’s out.
Photos sent to the ABC from an anonymous source show the weapons systems awaiting export at Sydney airport.
Over the last two years, war-torn Somalia has emerged as a central battleground, with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar each providing weapons or military training to favored factions, exchanging allegations about bribing local officials, and competing for contracts to manage ports or exploit natural resources.
In an audio recording obtained by The New York Times of a cellphone call with the Qatari ambassador to Somalia, a businessman close to the emir of Qatar said that the militants had carried out the bombing in Bosaso to advance Qatar’s interests by driving out its rival, the United Arab Emirates.
After the dramatic hijacking of the Stena Impero oil tanker carrying 23 crew by Iranian Special Forces, top brass were last night devising a list of options for a rapid military response.
It is understood they will seek the green light to deploy Royal Marines on British vessels travelling through the Strait of Hormuz to act as a deterrent to further aggression.
Gibraltar said the Iranian vessel, seized by marines in a daring landing in darkness off the coast of the British territory on July 4, was suspected of smuggling oil to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is expected to announce a range of measures targeting the Iranian regime following the seizure of the Stena Impero on Friday Afternoon.
Mr Hunt is expected to urge the European Union to support British calls for a host of diplomatic and economic sanctions to target Iran- including reimposing restrictions which were lifted after Tehran signed the 2016 nuclear deal.
As activists prepare to hold another mass demonstration against the government’s handling of a now-suspended extradition bill, the government’s official logs reveal that in the first quarter of this year the UK approved an export licence for £1.9m of “telecommunications interception equipment” to Hong Kong. This was just weeks before protests against the controversial proposed treaty with mainland China began in March.
Zarif told Russia’s TASS: „We expect them to implement their obligations to normalize economic relations between Iran and other countries.“ He added: „The Europeans – both E3 and the entire EU – are part of it [the deal] and they have to implement their commitments.“
China imported 1.08 million mt, or 255,065 b/d, of crude oil from Iran in May, down 66.7% from the five-year high of 3.24 million mt in April as the US‘ sanction waivers for Iranian oil expired on May 2.
Russian media said Moscow secured its first, and so far only, Iranian oil delivery in November 2017,
Putin, speaking after talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, told a news conference the deal – which is due to expire on Sunday – would be extended in its current form and with the same volumes.
The IRGC’s Public Relations Department said in a statement on Friday that the vessel named “Stena Impero” had been confiscated “at the request of Hormozgan Ports and Maritime Organization when passing through the Strait of Hormuz, for failing to respect international maritime rules.”
A British-flagged oil tanker has been seized in the Gulf by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Iran media say.
In a statement, Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor on the F-35 program, said, “This is a government-to-government matter, and as always, we are following official U.S. Government guidance as it relates to delivery of the F-35 to Turkey and the export of goods from the Turkish supply chain.”
The missiles were intended for the “protection of a French military unit deployed to carry out counter-terrorism operations”, the ministry added.
In its statement, the French ministry of defence also denied the Javelins had been given to Haftar’s forces, and it further reiterated that the arms were not subject to import restrictions because they were intended for the protection of French troops.
Jeremy Hunt has said the Royal Navy has been “run down too much” as he cited a skirmish between Britain and Iran in the Persian Gulf as proof that more warships are needed.
The Foreign Secretary said the “deeply troubling” events in the Middle East showed that the Navy must be “expanded to meet the threats we face”.
Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. China’s firm opposition to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan is clear and consistent, Wu said.
The erroneous actions of the U.S. side seriously violate the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-U.S. joint communiques, interfere in China’s internal affairs, harm China’s sovereignty and security interests, seriously endanger the development of bilateral and military-to-military relations, and seriously harm peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, he said.
Japan said last week it would end expedited shipments of chemical compounds used by South Korean companies in the manufacture of microchips and smartphones.
Tokyo is angry at South Korean court rulings that Japanese firms must compensate forced laborers from Japan’s 1910-1945 rule of the peninsula.
Early on Thursday, two American officials, who were speaking to Reuters on the condition of anonymity, claimed that five boats believed to belong to the IRGC had approached the tanker British Heritage at the northern entrance of the Strait of Hormuz and ordered it to stop.
Three Iranian ships unsuccessfully tried to seize a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf Wednesday, the UK government has confirmed.
Five Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps gunboats tried to seize a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf Wednesday but backed off after a British warship approached, a senior U.S. defense official told Fox News.
„The Grace 1 was detained last week in Gibraltar when it freely navigated into British Gibraltar territorial waters to a point two miles off the Eastside of Gibraltar, having previously exited the international waters of the Straits of Gibraltar, on a pre-arranged call for provisions and spare parts,“ the Gibraltar Government spokesman said.
The ship was „well inside BGTW“ when it was boarded and remains detained in that area, the spokesman added.
To illustrate that point, the Gibraltar Government issued a screen grab from the Port of Gibraltar’s vessel traffic monitoring system taken on the night of detention.
Spain, which challenges the British ownership of Gibraltar, has said the seizure was prompted by a US request to Britain and appeared to have taken place in Spanish waters.
„We’re engaging now with a number of countries to see if we can put together a coalition that would ensure freedom of navigation both in the Straits of Hormuz and the Bab al-Mandab,“ said Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Washington has a new tactic in its ongoing campaign against Tehran: outsource the naval blockade of Iran and have allies seize oil tankers in international waterways – all in the name of “freedom of navigation,” of course.
India was one of only eight countries granted a waiver that allowed it to keep buying oil from Tehran, but that reprieve expired on May 2.
While India had said it would only recognize sanctions imposed by the United Nations, the country’s petroleum minister said in April that it would source „additional supplies from other major oil producing countries.“
Speaking to Mehr correspondent on Saturday, Mojtaba Zonnour, chairman of the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said “we have done nothing in violation of the JCPOA. It was the US which caused the increase in our enriched uranium stockpile by banning its exports.”
“The US has also banned the export of Iran’s heavy water, which has also caused an increase in our heavy water reserves,” he added.
Analysis: UK officials say the aim is to calm the situation and not make it more incendiary – as some in Washington appear to be intent on doing
Mr. Rouhani has said that Iran would gradually stop complying with the restrictions if the European nations failed to provide some relief from the economic pain within two months of the latest constriction of the American sanctions — a deadline that falls on Sunday.
Iran was to sell off any enriched uranium above the limit on international markets in return for natural uranium.
Now, however, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States would start to impose sanctions on anyone involved in the trade of natural for enriched uranium — as well as in the storage of Iranian heavy water that was in excess of limits.
Noting that the tanker was moving in the international waterways, he said that the UK has no right to exert its or EU’s unilateral sanctions against other countries extraterritorially.
„This is the same US bullying policy that European states have always protested to it,“ he
According to Spanish officials, the Grace 1, Panamanian-flagged tanker carrying Iranian oil, was seized by British patrol ships off Gibralter and was detained on the US orders.
Authorities said there was reason to believe the ship, called the Grace 1, was carrying crude oil to the Baniyas Refinery in Syria.
The refinery is subject to European Union sanctions against Syria, the chief minister of the government said.
The beheadings came a day before Egypt signed a $5.9 billion arms deal to purchase 24 Dassault Rafale warplanes from France, making it the first foreign sale for the French jet. Egypt also bought a FREMM multipurpose frigate as well as missiles. The deal is believed by analysts to be an attempt by Sisi to both upgrade Egypt’s military hardware and to diversify its suppliers. Patricia Adam, president of the French parliament’s defense committee, said that Egypt needed planes quickly. „You just need to take a look at what’s happening at its border. They are especially worried by what’s happening in Libya,“ she said. French defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said that the Copts‘ execution was one of the reasons why the Egyptian government wanted to boost its security.
Turkey has sold weaponry and equipment to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya to balance the civil war there, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan acknowledged on Thursday.
The statement was the first confirmation by any Turkish official that Ankara provided security assistance to the Tripoli-based administration.
Pictures emerged last month showing that dozens of Turkish „Kirpi“ armoured vehicles were delivered to the GN
In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, demanded an investigation and asked for explanations by July 15 on arms agreements with the United Arab Emirates.
„You are surely aware that if these allegations prove true you may be obligated by law to terminate all arms sales to the UAE,“ Menendez said.
He warned that the transfer would be a „serious violation“ of US law and „almost certainly“ break the UN arms embargo on Libya.
Syrian Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources stated on June, 23 the explosion of 5 pipelines nearby Baniyas city of Tartus province. (…)
Experts confirm that the attack was a well-planned operation. Pipes are at a depth of dozens meters underwater. Such a difficult mining mission can be completed only by trained and well-equipped specs. This fact excludes the operating of the irregular militants.
The European Union and Mercosur reached on Friday a political agreement for an ambitious, balanced and comprehensive trade agreement. The EU is the first major partner to strike a trade pact with Mercosur, a bloc comprising Argentina, Brazil Paraguay and Uruguay.
France, Germany and the United Kingdom informed participants that INSTEX had been made operational and available to all EU Member States and that the first transactions are being processed. Ongoing complementary cooperation with the Iranian corresponding entity (STFI), which has already been established, will speed up. They confirmed that some EU Member States were in the process of joining INSTEX as shareholders, the special purpose vehicle aimed at facilitating legitimate business with Iran. They are also working to open INSTEX to economic operators from third countries.
On Friday, a joint commission meeting of the Iranian nuclear deal or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), headed by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi and EU Deputy Foreign Policy Chief Helga Schmid, will gather representatives from the deal’s remaining signatories in Vienna to discuss implementing the accord.
China always stands on the side of peace and opposes war, Xi said when meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres ahead of a summit of the Group of 20 major economies in the Japanese city of Osaka.
Japan’s Foreign Minister has warned that Britain leaving the EU without a trade deal could threaten the UK’s automotive industry.
Tarō Kōno today said that a No Deal exit would have ‚very negative‘ consequences for more than 1,000 Japanese firms operating in the UK.
„It’s a very high priority that it enter force before the end of March 2019,“ he said at a conference at the CEPS think tank in Brussels, referring to the date when Britain is set to leave the EU.
If a deal entered into force before Brexit, it could apply automatically to Britain during a post-March 2019 transition period of around two years. Otherwise, it might not.
He also doubted the UK could sign a new trade deal with Japan – or other nations – before leaving the EU.
„I don’t think so,“ said Mr Kono when asked if he thought it was possible, adding there would be „some kind of gap“ before a deal could be agreed.
The ministry expects the establishment of the Joint Research Centre to lay the foundation for long-term research cooperation with Saudi Arabia and the development of domestic nuclear energy technology.
During the meeting, the two countries agreed on technical cooperation to support the creation and licensing of a small smart nuclear reactor and the development of the next generation of SMART.
Precisly for that reason, the enrichment provision in the 2011 Saudi-South Korean agreement is of vital: “Uranium transferred pursuant to this Agreement or used in any equipment so transferred shall not be enriched to twenty (20) percent or more in the isotope U-235 unless the Parties otherwise agree.” In other words, the agreement permits KSA to build enrichment facilities generally, and in particular the enrichment to 20% of uranium supplied. The reason this is worrying and eerily reminiscent of the Iran deal, is its counter intuitive nature. To go past 20% enrichment to a bomb explosive level, it takes one-tenth of the work it took to get to 20%. It is especially worrying when the Saudi prince states that if Iran got a bomb, the Kingdom would too, “as soon as possible.”
„There is a concern in the administration that if the Saudis don’t choose the United States as their supplier, they will turn to South Korea, Russia, or China, who tend to have weaker nonproliferation controls in their agreements,“ said Miller, the author of, Stopping the Bomb: The Sources and Effectiveness of US Nonproliferation Policy.
How grimly galling, as Donald Trump ostentatiously marks today’s 75th anniversary of one of the world’s biggest battles, that he is so ready to risk starting another one of potentially greater magnitude. What could possibly be that dangerous, you might ask. Answer: selling American nuclear knowhow to Saudi Arabia without radiation-proof guarantees that it will not be used to make atomic bombs.
The Trump administration twice approved the transfer of nuclear technical expertise to Saudi Arabia after last year’s murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to new revelations this week. The disclosures have fueled frustrations in Congress over the administration’s apparent eagerness to aid Riyadh and its nuclear ambitions, including repeatedly ignoring and blindsiding lawmakers.
Saudi Arabia’s plans appear, on paper, to be entirely peaceful. But some arms control experts are concerned that its nuclear energy ambitions may also be part of its ongoing rivalry with Iran, which already possesses dual-use technology that could aid in the production of a nuclear bomb.
The U.S. and others such as South Korea and China are pushing ahead with plans to help Saudi Arabia’s civilian nuclear program.
Beyond traditional fields like construction and energy, the two nations are seeking to increase the scope of cooperation into other sectors, including ICT, nuclear power and health care.