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Attack on Iran would be an attack on Russia

By Pepe Escobar – posted with permission

Russia is meticulously advancing Eurasian chessboard moves that should be observed in conjunction, as Moscow proposes to the Global South an approach diametrically opposed to Western sanctions, threats and economic war. Here are three recent examples.

Ten days ago, via a document officially approved by the United Nations, the Russian Foreign Ministry advanced a new concept of collective security for the Persian Gulf.

Moscow stresses that “practical work on launching the process of creating a security system in the Persian Gulf” should start with “bilateral and multilateral consultations between interested parties, including countries both within the region and outside of it,” as well as organizations such as the UN Security Council, League of Arab States, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Gulf Cooperation Council.

The next step should be an international conference on security and cooperation in the Persian Gulf, followed by the establishment of a dedicated organization – certainly not something resembling the incompetent Arab League.

The Russian initiative should be interpreted as a sort of counterpart of, and mostly a complement to, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is finally blossoming as a security, economic and political body. The inevitable conclusion is that major SCO stakeholders – Russia, China, India, Pakistan and, in the near future, Iran and Turkey – will be major influencers on regional stability.

The Pentagon will not be amused.

Drill, baby, drill

When the commander of the Iranian Navy, Hossein Khanzadi, recently visited St Petersburg for the celebration of Russia’s Navy Day, the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces and the Russian Defense Ministry signed an unprecedented memorandum of understanding.

Khanzadi was keen to stress the memorandum “may be considered a turning point in relations of Tehran and Moscow along the defense trajectory.”

Iranian soldiers take part in National Persian Gulf Day in the Strait of Hormuz on April 30, 2019. Photo: AFP / Atta Kenare

A direct upshot is that Moscow and Tehran, before March 2020, will enact a joint naval exercise in – of all places – the Strait of Hormuz. As Khanzadi told the IRNA news agency: “The exercise may be held in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, which flows into the Gulf of Oman, the Strait of Hormuz and also the Persian Gulf.”

The US Navy, which plans an “international coalition” to ensure “freedom of navigation” in the Strait of Hormuz – something Iran has always historically guaranteed – won’t be amused. Neither will Britain, which is pushing for a European-led coalition even as Brexit looms.

Khanzadi also noted that Tehran and Moscow are deeply involved in how to strengthen defense cooperation in the Caspian Sea. Joint drills already took place in the Caspian in the past, but never in the Persian Gulf.

Exercise together

Russia’s Eastern Military District will be part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) anti-terrorist exercise in Thailand and China early next month. According to the Eastern Military District, the training is part of “preparations for a practical phase of an ASEAN anti-terrorist exercise in China.” This means, among other things, that Russian troops will be using Chinese military hardware.

Exercises include joint tactical groups attempting to free hostages from inside official buildings; search for and disposal of explosives; and indoor and outdoor radiation, chemical and biological reconnaissance.

This should be interpreted as a direct interaction between SCO practices and ASEAN, complementing the deepening trade interaction between the Eurasia Economic Union and ASEAN.

These three developments illustrate how Russia is involved in a large spectrum from the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf to Southeast Asia.

But the key element remains the Russia-Iran alliance, which must be interpreted as a key node of the massive, 21st century Eurasia integration project.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2nd R), Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev (R), Israel’s National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat (L) and US National Security Adviser John Bolton (2nd L), attend the US-Russia-Israel summit in Jerusalem, June 25, 2019. Photo: AFP / Kobi Gideon / GPO / Anadolu

What Russian National Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said at the recent, historic trilateral alongside White House national security adviser John Bolton and Israeli National Security Council Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat in Jerusalem should be unmistakable:

“Iran has always been and remains our ally and partner, with which we are consistently developing relations both on a bilateral basis and within multilateral formats.”

This lays to rest endless, baseless speculation that Moscow is “betraying” Tehran on multiple fronts, from the all-out economic war unleashed by the Donald Trump administration to the resolution of the Syrian tragedy.

To Nur-Sultan

And that leads to the continuation of the Astana process on Syria. Moscow, Tehran and Ankara will hold a new trilateral in Nur-Sultan, the Kazakh capital, possibly on the hugely significant date of September 11, according to diplomatic sources.

What’s really important about this new phase of the Astana process, though, is the establishment of the Syrian Constitutional Committee. This had been agreed way back in January 2018 in Sochi: a committee – including representatives of the government, opposition and civil society – capable of working out Syria’s new constitution, with each group holding one-third of the seats.

The only possible viable solution to the tragedy that is Syria’s nasty, rolling proxy war will be found by Russia, Iran and Turkey. That includes the Russia-Iran alliance. And it includes and expands Russia’s vision of Persian Gulf security, while hinting at an expanded SCO in Southwest Asia, acting as a pan-Asian peacemaking mechanism and serious counterpart to NATO.

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  1. Great article as always Pepe!

    An article published on OilPrice yesterday seems to confirm your analysis, can you confirm any of the details in this article?

    The report is based seemingly on one unnamed source “close to the Iranian regime” but the revelations are quite significant indeed and I remember that you have alluded to some of them (Major oil/gas/military/development deal) in previous articles but was curious if you could confirm that these are a done deal.

    • While no doubt there a lot in the OilPrice article good for Iran and Russia.Much of the article is a disinformation hit piece on Russia.And reads like Western hasbara. In the comments section it is trashed by an Iranian commentator. His comment rebuts the article as a neo-con attempt to increase the movement towards war. Basically a few true points mixed in with mostly false ones,standard hasbara routine.It’s best to remember that that site is a Western friendly site,when judging whether to believe things they write.

    • I read the linked article at oilprice website.

      I have no special information on that subject.
      But to me it sounds like unworthy news and unsubstantiated propaganda BS.

      Surely the Iran regime have high level of corruption just like most developping countries.
      That being said it is quite clear that Iran would in no way breach her sovereignty to Russia whatsoever.

      Just like Turkey regime might have high level of corruption but they are not traitors to Turkey national interest.

      • ‘regimes’ with a ‘high level of corruption’…

        Eric Zuesse explains how the ‘Corruption Index’.

        The standard ranking for a nations’ corruption is the extremely opaque (non-transparent) Transparency International rankings. They say “The index draws on 13 surveys from independent institutions specialising in governance and business climate analysis covering expert assessments and views of businesspeople.”

        How ‘independent’ are they? Who are they? TI doesn’t volunteer such crucial information. TI certainly isn’t eager to become “Transparent” itself, and to answer such questions — at least not in any easily accessible and clear way, online, to the global public.

        Transparency International is actually funded by the US and its European allies (in other words, it’s a US Cold War, CIA-affiliated, operation, against Russia and any nation that’s friendly toward Russia), as a PR gimmick, in order to use against governments (ones they score lower) which the US aristocracy (America’s billionaires) simply want to regime-change — overthrow, control, take over, add to the list of countries that are obedient to US billionaires’ demands.

      • Still, while the referenced piece is virulently anti-Russia and mostly distortion-filled, Mike R. is correct: the piece does confirm what Pepe writes – and Hossein Khanzadi sees as “a turning point in relations of Tehran and Moscow along the defense trajectory”:
        The piece laments “a gradual roll-out of Russian capability in [Iran]”, which it describes as being “the Kremlin’s tried and tested operating procedure” when moving to support a country, and explains that Russia applied a similar method in regard to Syria. Ignore the nonsense about Russia “strangling” Syria and preparing a similar “stranglehold” on Iran – and, raves the author, Simon Watkins, “a potential stranglehold over the entire Persian Gulf area and into the Indian Ocean…”
        Thanks to Mike R. for pointing this article out.
        I for one frequently enjoy reading such articles: I frequently find Russia derangement syndrome inspired pieces entertaining.

        • RMM, if you haven’t seen it, watch the latest On Contact with Chris Hedges where he interviews Mohanned El-Maazi regarding the Integrity Initiative and the moves by military fascist elements in the UK and USA (I am certain that similar elements here in Austfailia are deeply involved, too, so it appears a Five Eyes project to maintain global rule by the White, Right, elite) and their ideological allies, to maintain the Russophobe hysteria through an Operation Mockingbird reminiscent campaign to purge the media of all pro-Russian and ‘Leftist’ opinion, and re-orient Western societies away from social welfare spending and transfer the money saved to military and ‘national security’ expenditure instead. Oddly enough, the only UK public figure robustly investigating these freaks was Labour MP Chris Williamson, just before his expulsion from Labour over TOTALLY fraudulent, mendacious and invent accusations of that ‘Supreme Crime’, ‘antisemitism’.

    • If the Americans are throwing their usual hissy fit about this or that country, which is on the USA’s enemies list, that is a positive sign.

      It demonstrates that Americans are enraged that they have met more geopolitical opposition to their lust to subjugate …. sorry… “democratize” the world.

      American Full Spectrum Dominance must be met with Full Spectrum Resistance against America without limit.

      That is the *only* language the Americans understand.

      Appeasing America and wishful delusions about appealing to American “goodness” or “peaceful intentions” are suicidal and indeed traitorous behavior.

  2. Interestingly, the nations which accurately describe the US as “non-agreement capable” are banding together to forge bonds based on mutual trust to insure long term stability. The intransigent US can only look on in frustrated consternation, while doing everything possible to prevent peace from breaking out anywhere in the world.

  3. This is just edging on the verge of sensationalism. There is no military agreement between Russia and Iran. Both are sanctioned to the hilt and their economies in serious trouble. Same is being done to China now, with Trump having a ball on cutting off significant Chinese earnings with his tariffs. None of the three countries have a solution on the petrodollar conundrum either. A lot of hoo haa on the SCO and BRI issues and the BRICS is unofficially dead in the water. The wealthy Russian, Iranian and Chinese immigrants continue to siphon out trillions annually from their respective economies and shifting that wealth out to the West when they buy up expensive properties in Vancouver, LA, Frisco, London and Sydney. We have to be careful on what we read.

      • could you comment on the recent arrest of Navalny? I just saw a discussion about it on a generally Left leaning Youtube network The Real News Network, which was slanted in an anti Putin way, saying that the economy is not doing well and Navalny has a lot of popular support, not a word about his ties to US Deep State.”

        Sometimes it is favorable to Russia and sometimes not.

        Might be why Navalny was arrested in what appears to be a provocative demonstration is because he wants a color revolution. However, I have met a few Navalny supporters and Moscow seems to have a relatively large contingent. Your observation?

        • There’s no question that Navalvy is a paid stooge. There are rules here about having unsanctioned rallies designed to halt traffic flow. Many times they register for the approved location and then gather somewhere else. Can you imagine how many cars pass through the center of Moscow? Would you want to sit in your car for 4 or 5 hours because paid protesters want media attention? The rules are for obvious reasons yet Navalny keeps looking for a bigger impact. Let’s say he by magic became the head of state (lol). Would he approve of these rallies? NFL, not figgin’ likely. I’m not Russian yet I hate that pr**k.

          • He is a traitorous Quisling in the pay of the West. If he ever gained power he would break Russia up, and open whatever is left to Western hyper-exploitation as Yeltsin did in the 90s, and no doubt give free rein to his known fascist and racist tendencies. He and his enablers would grow rich, and Russians be thrown back into despair and poverty. Why he has not been arrested and arraigned for his plain treason is beyond me.

        • “The Real News”, as it styles itself, is a controlled opposition front. It is funded by Soros and an alphabet soup of CIA and Neocon front groups. That’s about all you need to know about it.

          Navalny is not a serious figure. His level of support probably falls well short of 1%. A sort of Russian equivalent of Screaming Lord Sutch in the UK. He is a useful US stooge and provocateur, forever trooping in and out of the US embassy to pick up his money and get his instructions. He spends a lot of time bloviating about “corruption” and staging unauthorised demonstrations of about 3,000 people, of whom several hundred are western journalists.

          His illegal demonstrations are staged to close down key transit routes, and for that reason they are prevented. It’s as if the BNP or Tommy Robinson tried to stage a demonstration closing down the M25 in the UK or a freeway in the US. He is very unpopular amongst ordinary Muscovites for causing a nuisance of himself.

          Navalny was not allowed to stand in Moscow elections. Candidates need to collect a number of signatures from voters sponsoring them before they are allowed to stand. The signatures on Navalny’s application were clearly fraudulent.

          Navalny has made some extremely racist statements which would cause an orgy of pearl clutching if they emanated from Trump. He is not a serious politician, though the fake MSM would have you believe he strikes terror into the heart of the evil Putin. All Russian politicians rail against corruption (generally other people’s corruption) like US politicians profess their support for motherhood and apple pie. It doesn’t mean anything of substance.

          Zhirinovsky is a far more credible political figure. His level of support is about 15%.

        • The Navalny claque is about the fourth or fifth most popular political party in Russia. He is only the ‘Leader of the Opposition’ in the eyes of Western Russophobe propaganda. Any ‘Real News’ group that implies otherwise is crewed by imbeciles, or is on the Integrity Initiative or some other Western Russophobe operation.

    • A lot of propaganda swallowing, along with a bit of wishful thinking. The US would love to have Russia’s economy and balance sheet instead of being $230 trillion in debt, a crumbling infrastructure and a necessity to loot and plunder other countries resources…because you can’t afford to pay for them !

      • They could easily pay for them (without the plunder you refer to) but decide not to have a taxation policy that will provide what you refer to. The Russian economy is smaller than Italy’s (never mind that of the US).

  4. Was Secretary Acosta given the cabinet post for services rendered re epstein? If so Trump has been compromised all along. An Iran war must be on the cards before Nov 2020, Trump will have lost his voter base after being constrained by El Paso so his owners cannot take that chance he fails re-election.

      • Whether Acosta is no damned good or far better than you and I, Anon what is known is what he stated about Epstein……….which is that he was told: “Don’t touch him. This is an a National Security/Intelligence matter.”

        Which WAS true at the time. And A Deep State priority to keep intact……for the express purpose of maintaining blackmail and human compromise CONTROL over the victim’s of Illuminati New World Order…”Elites”…….(of a moral garbage can) i.e. the ENTIRE remainder of humanity considered “useless eaters” by those elites.

        If you or I were in Acosta’s shoes at the time…….even if we were straight arrow Eagle Scouts…….what do YOU think your (or my) chances would be (after a sober moment of reflection) of saying, “To Hell With THAT Sh*T! I will go after him…..all alone!” ..not ONE ally in sight?????

        With that reality in mind, now reflect on the fact that Epstein ……..IS IN JAIL…meaning that the correlation of forces has shifted…..maybe 40% and gaining…….before entertaining the highly unlikely notion …….that Jeffie Boy has pissophilia tapes on Trump……and favoring the 60% (DS) in staving off the challenge……

        If you entertain that notion, you might as well join forces with Nadler and Schiff…….and go “All-In” on the Russia!, Russia! Russia!…liberal hysteria…and Mi-6 and Christopher Steele et al

        To entertain that fantasy (and ignore what is different today………. from the day when Acosta was told to leave Jeffie alone…….with ZERO support for doing otherwise in sight …is just plain ridiculous, IMHO.