Eurasia Is Torn Between War & Peace

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times,

Iran's top trading partner is China, while Tehran and Moscow have been improving ties as the three countries move closer to cementing a solid alliance...

Two summits the cross-border handshake that shook the world between Kim and Moon in Panmunjom and Xi and Modi’s cordial walk by the lake in Wuhanmay have provided the impression Eurasia integration is entering a smoother path.

Not really. It’s all back to confrontation: predictably the actual, working Iran nuclear deal, known by the ungainly acronym JCPOA, is at the heart of it.

And faithful to the slowly evolving Eurasia integration roadmap, Russia and China are at the forefront of supporting Iran.

China is Iran’s top trading partner – especially because of its energy imports. Iran for its part is a major food importer. Russia aims to cover this front.

Chinese companies are developing massive oil fields in Yadavaran and North Azadegan. China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) took a significant 30% stake in a project to develop South Pars – the largest natural gas field in the world. A $3 billion deal is upgrading Iran’s oil refineries, including a contract between Sinopec and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) to expand the decades-old Abadan oil refinery.

In a notorious trip to Iran right after the signing of the JCPOA in 2015, President Xi Jinping backed up an ambitious plan to increase bilateral trade by over tenfold to US$600 billion in the next decade.

For Beijing, Iran is an absolutely key hub of the New Silk Roads, or the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). A key BRI project is the $2.5 billion, 926 kilometer high-speed railway from Tehran to Mashhad; for that China came up with a $1.6 billion loan – the first foreign-backed project in Iran after the signing of the JCPOA.

There’s wild chatter in Brussels concerning the impossibility of European banks financing deals in Iran – due to the ferocious, wildly oscillating Washington sanctions obsession. That opened the way for China’s CITIC to come up with up to $15 billion in credit lines.

The Export-Import Bank of China so far has financed 26 projects in Iran – everything from highway building and mining to steel producing – totaling roughly $8.5 billion in loans. China Export and Credit Insurance Corp – Sinosure – signed a memorandum of understanding to help Chinese companies invest in Iranian projects.

China’s National Machinery Industry Corp signed an $845 million contract to build a 410km railway in western Iran connecting Tehran, Hamedan and Sanandaj. And insistent rumors persist that China in the long run may even replace cash-strapped India in developing the strategic port of Chabahar on the Arabian Sea – the proposed starting point of India’s mini-Silk Road to Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan.

So amid the business blitz, Beijing is not exactly thrilled with the US Department of Justice setting its sights on Huawei, essentially because of hefty sales of value-for-money smart phones in the Iranian market.

Have Sukhoi will travel

Russia mirrors, and more than matches, the Chinese business offensive in Iran.

With snail pace progress when it comes to buying American or European passenger jets, Aseman Airlines decided to buy 20 Sukhoi SuperJet 100s while Iran Air Tours – a subsidiary of Iran Air –  has also ordered another 20. The deals, worth more than $2 billion, were clinched at the 2018 Eurasia Airshow at Antalya International Airport in Turkey last week, supervised by Russia’s deputy minister of industry and trade Oleg Bocharov.

Both Iran and Russia are fighting US sanctions. Despite historical frictions, Iran and Russia are getting closer and closer. Tehran provides crucial strategic depth to Moscow’s Southwest Asia presence. And Moscow unequivocally supports the JCPOA. Moscow-Tehran is heading the same way of the strategic partnership in all but name between Moscow and Beijing.

According to Russian energy minister Alexander Novak, the 2014  Moscow-Tehran oil-for-goods deal, bypassing the US dollar, is finally in effect, with Russia initially buying 100,000 barrels of Iranian crude a day.

Russia and Iran are closely coordinating their energy policy. They have signed six agreements to collaborate on strategic energy deals worth up to $30 billion. According to President Putin’s aide Yuri Ushakov, Russian investment in developing Iran’s oil and gas fields could reach more than $50 billion.

Iran will become a formal member of the Russia-led Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) before the end of the year. And with solid Russian backing, Iran will be accepted as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) by 2019.

Iran is guilty because we say so

Now compare it with the Trump administration’s Iran policy.

Barely certified as the new US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo’s first foreign trip  to Saudi Arabia and Israel  amounts in practice to briefing both allies on the imminent Trump withdrawal of the JCPOA on May 12. Subsequently, this will imply a heavy new batch of US sanctions.

Riyadh – via Beltway darling Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, (MBS) – will be all in on the anti-Iran front. In parallel, the Trump administration may demand it, but MBS won’t relinquish the failed blockade of Qatar or the humanitarian disaster that is the war on Yemen.

What’s certain is there won’t be a concerted Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) front against Iran. Qatar, Oman and Kuwait see it as counterproductive. That leaves only Saudi Arabia and the Emirates plus irrelevant, barely disguised Saudi vassal Bahrain.

On the European front, French president Emmanuel Macron has stepped up as a sort of unofficial King of Europe, leveraging himself to Trump as the likely enforcer of restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile program, as well as dictating Iran to stay out of Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Macron has made a direct – and patently absurd  connection between Tehran abandoning its nuclear enrichment program, including the destruction of uranium stockpiles enriched to less that 20%, and being the guilty party helping Baghdad and Damascus to defeat Daesh and other Salafi-jihadi outfits.

No wonder Tehran – as well as Moscow and Beijing – is connecting recent, massive US weapons deals with Riyadh as well as MBS’s hefty investments in the West to the Washington-Paris attempt to renegotiate the JCPOA.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has been adamant; the JCPOA  was the product of a strenuous seven-country negotiation over many years: “The question is, will it be possible to repeat such successful work in the current situation?”

Certainly not

Thus the suspicion widely floated in Moscow, Beijing and even Brussels that the JCPOA irks Trump because it’s essentially a multilateral, no “America First” deal directly involving the Obama administration.

The Obama administration’s pivot to Asia – which depended on settling the Iranian nuclear dossier – ended up setting off a formidable, unintended chain of geopolitical events.

Neocon factions in Washington would never admit to normalized Iranian relations with the West; and yet Iran not only is doing business with Europe but got closer to its Eurasian partners.

Artificially inflating the North Korea crisis to try to trap Beijing has led to the Kim-Moon summit defusing the “bomb the DPRK” crowd.

Not to mention that the DPRK, ahead of the Kim-Trump summit, is carefully monitoring what happens to the JCPOA.

The bottom line is that the Russia-China partnership won’t allow for a JCPOA renegotiation, for a number of serious reasons.

On the ballistic missile front, Moscow’s priority will be to sell S-300 and S-400 missile systems to Tehran, sanctions-free.

Russia-China might eventually agree with the JCPOA 10-year sunset provisions to be extended, although they won’t force Tehran to accept it.

On the Syrian front, Damascus is regarded as an indispensable ally of both Moscow and Beijing. China will invest in the reconstruction of Syria and its revamping as a key Southwest Asia node of the BRI. “Assad must go” is a non-starter; Russia-China see Damascus as essential in the fight against Salafi-jihadis of all stripes who may be tempted to return and wreak havoc in Chechnya and Xinjiang.

A week ago, at an SCO ministerial meeting, Russia-China issued a joint communiqué supporting the JCPOA. The Trump administration is picking yet another fight against the very pillars of Eurasia integration.

Comments

In Stasis Thu, 05/03/2018 - 02:03 Permalink

It's apparent that Iran's position is integral to Russia and China, so I wonder how Russia and China would react if Israel actually attacked Iran directly.

Voluntary Exchange Four Star Thu, 05/03/2018 - 02:41 Permalink

Our 4 dimensional "reality" is a virtual "game" of our Soul. Each incarnation of the soul is a neuron of its mind.

The soul experiences each 4 dimensional moment of physical reality as a distinct point in its own 4 dimensional space of  3 spatial soul dimensions and one soul-time dimension.

Soul-reality is a virtual "game" of  the "Creator". Each soul is a neuron in the mind of the Creator.

The Creator experiences each 4 dimensions of the Soul as a point in the Creator's 4-dimensional space of 3 Creator-space dimensions and one Creator-time dimension.

Each person is a dream within a dream of the Creator.

We may be happy or sorrowful depending on the choices we make.

I urge my fellow dreamers to choose voluntary exchange as a way of life and keep our promises, so that we may be happy. We dreamers can awaken to our Soul if we "obey" the game-rules of our Soul. Once we are awake to our Soul, we can learn more about the "Creator's game" and learn to follow the rules of the Creator's bigger "game". Then we can awaken to the "Creator". Then we can return home from whence we came, back to the "Father" of Creation.

In reply to by Four Star

WernerHeisenberg Voluntary Exchange Thu, 05/03/2018 - 03:21 Permalink

Yes!  Our human souls are actually 3 spatial dimensional projections of our higher selves which exist in 4 spatial dimensions.  Our higher selves are in turn 4 spatial dimensional projections of a 5 spatial dimension God, great spirit, soul of the universes or however you wish to think of it.  All branches of a tree with a single root, individuality is an illusion, a game we play.  When one has eternity to spend, what else can one do?  Having said all of that, some branches of the tree of life are diseased and are periodically pruned to be recycled.

In reply to by Voluntary Exchange

Voluntary Exchange WernerHeisenberg Thu, 05/03/2018 - 04:46 Permalink

Rather than an "illusion", I would say an allegorical allusion. There is a difference. For a more thorough discussion of this subject you might check out the following group:

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/The_Way_of_the_disciple_of_the_Nazi…

Or check out this post:

Jesus The Deist:

https://americancrisiscommonsense.blogspot.com/2018/04/jesus-deist.html

In the words of Deist and Priest Giordano Bruno: "Within every man there is a soul-flame, kindled at the sun of thought, which lends us wings whereby we may approach the sun of knowledge."

In reply to by WernerHeisenberg

To Hell In A H… Thu, 05/03/2018 - 02:55 Permalink

The Asia pivot is going to become the Africa Pivot, if Uncle Scam loses the Iran gambit.

The Asians in the long-term are just a bit too smart for our divide and rule and destroy methods, to work.

Just look how easily we can divide the Arab states up? Yemen is being destroyed and no Arab/,Muslim country apart from Iran has spoken out.

The majority of the MENA are vassal states. When Saudi oil is finished, 95% of western workers will leave within 2 decades.

Saudi hubris is tied directly to oil reserves and will dwindle commensurate to how many barrels it has left.

The Ram To Hell In A H… Thu, 05/03/2018 - 09:55 Permalink

I am not sure that 'all' the Asians are a bit too smart.  In my view, the Japanese have never really sought independence from the west, particularly the US.  The same can be said for the S. Koreans.  How do we know this?  Simple.  Look for the presence of US military bases.  If a country supports a US or NATO base, it's part of the deep state and by definition a western slave.

In reply to by To Hell In A H…

africoman Thu, 05/03/2018 - 03:16 Permalink

The escalation cycles the west vassal of Israhell took and failed bigly to bring the hot war with Iran/Russia/Syria in the last month only:

  • Skripal case a violation of Britain's sovereignty by Russia blah blah then expelling 100 diplomats and closure of an embassy, consulate before OPCW investigation result release or without any evidence
  •  
  • UK/US/France Syria false accusations of Syria about "Syrian regime chemical attack on its people in Douma" blah blah  and they went on sham airstrikes on Apr 14 before OPCW investigation body arrival on the alleged scene or without any evidence
  •  
  • Macron having a historic visit to America then Macron allegedly was traveling to convince Orange to keep the JCPOA deal then suddenly they were discussing to have a new JCPOA deal<<<something of a Macron vision funny that dumb have a vision>>>
  •  
  • Amidst the continuation of airstrikes by coalition force or Israhells to Syrian/Iranian troops hence killing dozens and dozens 
  •  
  • Then Merkel went to America to have discussed it, obviously due to Orang embarrassing her that he got no reason why he should exempt Germany from the new import tax reform blah blah and JCPOA not dealt
  •  
  • Massive airstrikes and disinfo about Iran having built big military bases and weapon warehouses which doesn't exist except they use Syrians blah blah while killing them by the number
  •  
  • May 12 approaching fast without them getting the excuse for Orange to scrap the deal despite an enormous almost to an unseen level of provocations
  •  
  • Not surprisingly OPCW verification/report came there was no chemical attack even there to begin and interviewed those children who were allegedly attacked by the chemicals in the video they concocted up,
  • The FF they used was exposed to unseen level everywhere then MSM buried it
  •  
  • Then Rabid bibi SeitanYahoo's Iran secret nuclear blah blah presentation Obviously, a backup plan connected to May 12 on w/c it helps Orange Jesus/America would scrap the JCPOA deal or at least undermine it grossly then get it scrapped by next seasons.
  •  
  • Shall I continue?
  •  

 

The selection of Orange is for this very reasons.

His jewel gift yet to come is nuclear winter.

 

Shortly after Netanyahu's speech, President TRUMP SAYS HE HAS BEEN `100% RIGHT' ON IRAN SO FAR

during the Nigerian President and Orange WH press conference.

Coincidence? Noooooooooo, I think that meeting was a sideshow.

 

The saddening thing that I saw was the Nigerian president was begging the lift of banning to purchasing an aircraft from America, Trump answer soon you will buy to fight Boko Haram, how disrespectful?

Why do big nation like Nigeria embarrass herself like this is beyond me,

second Boko Haram created by west/Israhell to check'em. 

So Nigerian could have said f*u to America and seek help from Russia.But that was not the plan by this corrupt leaders.

IAEA strictly adhered the certification of JCPOA deal, 100% to their satisfaction and EU.

But hey, Americans are going to war for no reason than that evil terror state.

WAR with Iran has been decided and they seemed kind of late, get it.

What about other nations and Asia will they go down with it?

BritBob Thu, 05/03/2018 - 05:42 Permalink

Iran is guilty because they believe in fairy-tales.

Iran is a member of the UN C24 decolonisation committee and supports Argentina's mythical Malvinas' claim. So much for the human and democratic rights of the Falkland Islanders and so much for that so-called sovereignty claim.

How would a map of the world look today if all of the territory lost and gained over the past 180 years reverted to its 19th century status? Quite a ridiculous proposal.

Falklands – Acquisitive Prescription(1 pg): https://www.academia.edu/35552595/Falklands_-Acquisitive_Prescription