Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 19, 2022

In The Multipolar World Iran Will No Longer Fear U.S. Sanctions

When U.S. president Joe Biden recently held a number of talks in the Middle East Iran was one point on his agenda. The U.S. has made it clear that it does not want to reenter into the nuclear deal with Iran. It is instead again attempting a 'maximum pressure' strategy to pressure Iran into additional concessions.

Iran has made it clear that there will not be any more then those it had made in the original agreement. Biden then tried to form an anti-Iran coalition out of Israel and the Gulf regimes. The Gulf Cooperation Council states rejected that:

[T]he Saudi foreign minister poured cold water over any imminent normalization with Israel, saying this was not a precursor to further steps. He said Riyadh was not part of any discussions on a Gulf-Israeli defense alliance to counter Iran.

All GCC are talking with Iran to normalize their relations.

Iran will benefit from the new multi-polar world. It has been seeking to ally itself with the Russia and China block with added relations to a neutral India. Last year Iran became a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This year it applied for membership in BRICS.

Last month Iran's foreign minister visited India:

Amir-Abdollahian also called on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a privilege not accorded to all visiting foreign ministers. Tweeting on the meeting, Modi highlighted how “relations have mutually benefitted both the countries and have promoted regional security and prosperity.”

The official statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs highlighted the exchange of views on important issues like the Iran nuclear deal, the Ukraine conflict, and the situation in Afghanistan. India “appreciated the role of Iran in facilitating India’s medical assistance to Afghanistan, including supply of COVID-19 vaccines to Afghan nationals residing in Iran.” In addition, all bilateral issues including cooperation in the field of regional connectivity and the progress made at the Chabahar port were reviewed. Exuding confidence at the outcome of the visit, the Iranian foreign minister said that “preparing a roadmap for strategic cooperation between Iran and India can regulate long-term relations and protect it from the impact of destructive factors.”

A few moth ago Iran signed a new transport agreement with its northern neighbor Azerbaijan. It will be good for both sides:

On 11 March, Azerbaijan and Iran signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on establishing railway, highway, communication, and energy supply lines connecting Azerbaijan’s East Zangezur economic region and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic through the territory of Iran. According to the document, there is a plan to build four bridges over the Araz River and two railways and develop communication and energy supply infrastructure to establish a new corridor.

The better relations with Azerbaijan will also open a rail corridor towards Russia.

Another new trade route was finally opened to connect India via Iran with Russia.


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This project has been on and off for many years but this month it was finally activated:

An India-bound cargo sent from Russia using the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) reached the Sarkhas railway station in Iran on July 13. From the railway station, the cargo will go to Bandar Abbas port in southern India and then come to India via the Arabian Sea.

The cargo left Chekhov station in Russia on July 6 and it was received by a team of Iranian ministers

What is INSTC?

INSTC is a 7,200 km-long transportation network offering the shortest connectivity route to its member states. It was established on September 12, 2000, by Iran, Russia and India. The corridor encompasses sea, road and rail routes.

The main purpose of the corridor was to reduce carriage costs and transit time between India and Russia. The transit time is expected to reduce to almost half, once the corridor becomes fully functional.

In future the route will go from India to Chabahar, a port in south east Iran that India had helped to build. From there the goods will go by rail up north to the Caspian Sea and then by ship directly to Russia. This will shorten the route even more and will also end any dependency on other partners.

But the greatest news for Iran is a new deal with Russia's Gazprom that was signed today:

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and Russian gas producer Gazprom signed on Tuesday a memorandum of understanding worth around $40 billion, Iran's oil ministry's news agency SHANA reported.

The deal was signed during an online ceremony by the CEOs of both companies on the day Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Tehran for a summit with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts.

Gazprom will help NIOC in the development of the Kish and North Pars gas fields and also six oil fields, according to SHANA. Gazprom will also be involved in the completion of liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects and construction of gas export pipelines.

Iran sits on the world’s second-largest gas reserves after Russia, but US sanctions have hindered access to technology and slowed development of gas exports.

Gazprom is a strong partner and can not be hindered by U.S. sanctions. Iran will finally be able export more of its plentiful gas. Russia will also have a chance to work with Iran to keep the prices at a certain level. With such a large deal will also come protection. Iran will be able to call on Russia should someone start hostilities against it.

When Iran produces enough gas it can also revive the old project of a pipeline to India. This could either go through Pakistan or, as India would probably prefer, through an undersea pipeline:

A 1,300-km undersea pipeline from Iran, avoiding Pakistani waters, can bring natural gas from the Persian Gulf to India at rates less than the price of Liquefied Natural Gas available in the spot market, proponents of the pipeline said on Tuesday.

Releasing a study on the Iran-India gas pipeline, former oil secretary T.N.R. Rao said natural gas imported through the over $4 billion line would cost $5-5.50 per million British thermal unit at the Indian coast, cheaper than the rate at which some of the domestic fields supply gas.

Despite U.S. sanctions Iran is again becoming fully integrated into its region. It is a great success and the gas and transit deals will help its economy to make some gains even as the U.S. adds new sanctions. Russia, India and China are partners who can and will ignore those.

Iran now also has the capability to produce sufficient nuclear material for a number of bombs. It will not use this capability as its religious ideology prohibits the making and use of such weapons. But it is a latent threat that can be used to deter Israel and the U.S. from any attack.

That Trump left the nuclear deal was dumb. That Biden did not revive it immediately after taking office was even dumber. To now stay out of it, only to keep some stupid sanctions against Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corp, is the dumbest step I can think of.

Washington has yet to understand that it has lost its mono-polar position that made the international sanctions which led to the nuclear deal with Iran possible. In the multi-polar world that exists now Iran can develop as it likes. Others will now ignore U.S. or EU sanctions and the threat of them is no longer useful. More countries under U.S. isolation, Venezuela, North Korea, Cuba and Syria, will also find new ways and alliances to better their positions.

In his book The Great Chessboard the former National Security Advisor of the United States Zbigniew Brzeziński wrote:

Potentially, the most dangerous scenario [for America] would be a grand coalition of China, Russia, and perhaps Iran, an ‘anti-hegemonic’ coalition united not by ideology but by complementary grievances.

Joe Biden has finally managed to create that.

Posted by b on July 19, 2022 at 17:36 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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haha, Abraham Accords 2.0, this time not with Israel but with Iran

Posted by: Jonathan W | Jul 19 2022 17:46 utc | 1

"...'Potentially, the most dangerous scenario [for America] would be a grand coalition of China, Russia, and perhaps Iran, an ‘anti-hegemonic’ coalition united not by ideology but by complementary grievances.'
"Joe Biden has finally managed to create that..."
And now he is working on bringing the Gulf states and Turkey into the coalition.
Israel is beginning to look really isolated!

Posted by: bevin | Jul 19 2022 17:48 utc | 2

Zbigniew Brzezinski changed his tune about Russia, China, and Iran near the end of his life likely due to his intense dislike of the neocons who had gained the upper hand in US foreign policy over his influence, this is from 2016:

"Given all this, a long and painful road toward an initially limited regional accommodation is the only viable option for the United States, Russia, China, and the pertinent Middle Eastern entities. For the United States, that will require patient persistence in forging cooperative relationships with some new partners (particularly Russia and China) as well as joint efforts with more established and historically rooted Muslim states (Turkey, Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia if it can detach its foreign policy from Wahhabi extremism) in shaping a wider framework of regional stability. Our European allies, previously dominant in the region, can still be helpful in that regard." From War of the Worlds: The New Class

Posted by: Kana | Jul 19 2022 17:57 utc | 3

In a Multipolar World there will be accountability for war crimes.

Chinese FM spokesperson urges investigations into UK, U.S. war crimes, human rights violations

By Xinhua News Agency

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Monday said the international community should conduct a thorough investigation into the UK’s and U.S. war crimes and human rights violations, so that justice is done for the innocent victims and people all over the world are protected from bullying and cruelty.

Spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the remarks at a daily press briefing in response to media reports that members of the British Special Air Service (SAS) posted in Afghanistan “repeatedly killed” captives and unarmed civilians, and even “competed with each other to get the most kills.” The troops were also suspected of crime scene cover-ups and officials reportedly concealed the cases.

Wang said what these reports uncover is simply shocking and outrageous. “The United States and its allies’ atrocious abuses of human rights that challenge human conscience are not isolated cases. They are persistent, systemic and prevalent recurrences.”

Wang cited media reports as noting that between 2003 and 2008, thousands of Iraqi civilians were abused by British soldiers in ways such as detention, beating, humiliation, sexual assaults and even murder. Over the past nearly 20 years, the United States launched more than 90,000 air strikes on countries including Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, claiming as many as 48,000 civilian lives.

Instead of reflecting on their atrocities, Wang said the UK and the United States have tried every possible way to deflect the blame.

Wang cited media reports as noting that the Overseas Operations Act 2021 introduced by the British Parliament shields British soldiers who committed torture and other serious crimes overseas from prosecution and hampers efforts to hold the perpetrators fully accountable; the British Ministry of Defence claimed to have conducted extensive investigation into British soldiers’ acts in Afghanistan and Iraq, but 90 percent of the alleged war crimes were not looked into; earlier, the U.S. government sanctioned ICC officials who had been investigating war crimes allegedly committed by U.S. troops in the war in Afghanistan.

“Those who are most vocal about defending human rights have turned out to be the deadliest murderers of innocent civilians; and those most fervently attacking other countries’ human rights conditions are the ones who should be put in the dock on human rights,” Wang said.

“There should be a thorough international investigation into the UK’s and U.S. war crimes and human rights violations, let justice be done for the innocent victims and protect people all over the world from more bullying and cruelty,” he added.

https://www.macaubusiness.com/chinese-fm-spokesperson-urges-investigations-into-uk-u-s-war-crimes-human-rights-violations/

Posted by: too scents | Jul 19 2022 17:59 utc | 4

It seems like Biden has been convinced by his nest of neocons that either letting Iran go and relieving the US of having the Israelis and neocons (Read: American-born Jewish nationalists) place them at the edge of a war with Iran would show further weakness (Digging in deep to save face worked out so well in Vietnam, in Afghanistan and in Afghanistan for the Soviets. I won't count Iraq since that was mission accomplished, they wrecked the country and left it unable to oppose Israel's will.) and or that now the game of escalation in Ukraine against Russia has gone FUBAR, he needs to give the neocons something if they're going to allow him to try and back off, they won't let him get this for free.

There is something to the logic that if the US loses too much ground all at once it could lead to a catastrophic show of force in a desperate attempt to restore the previous balance of power and seen through that prism maybe you could justify the US acting touch towards Iran knowing it would never go to war with it anyway. But I really just think it's like salmon following their instinct to go upstream with the neocons. They don't really feel like they're playing with their own money or country.

Posted by: Altai | Jul 19 2022 18:02 utc | 5

I fail to see the logic of transporting by road/rail, then putting stuff on boats to traverse the Caspian Sea, then back onto road/rail. Would it not be better to make a deal with Azerbaijan or Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan?

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 19 2022 18:16 utc | 6

About pipeline partnerships with Russia:

Russia Aims to Control Oil Pricing by Creating Own Benchmark

Oil-trading on national platform to start in October: document

G-7 price cap plan reinforced need for Russian benchmark


Russia’s government has made a plan to create a national oil benchmark next year, as it seeks to protect itself from efforts by the West to restrict the flow of petrodollars to the country.

...

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-07-14/russia-aims-to-take-control-of-oil-pricing-by-creating-benchmark

The West's hegemony over energy pricing must also be broken.

Posted by: too scents | Jul 19 2022 18:20 utc | 7

Opport Knocks | Jul 19 2022 18:16 utc | 6
"Would it not be better...."

would it not be better for none of this to happen? for not one nano-particle of energy to be expended upon making any of this completely unnecessary and totally destructive waste from happening?

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jul 19 2022 18:28 utc | 8

FYI,

CHN_PLA and PRK_KPA Advisors have been in IRN for some Time.

I'm waiting to see CHN/PRK to sell and start placing "Carrier Killers" by the Dozen.

Posted by: IronForge | Jul 19 2022 18:33 utc | 9

Pelosi is sent to Taiwan next month, not sure she knows or wants. Let's place bets: Covid again, old age reasons or goes?

Posted by: rk | Jul 19 2022 18:41 utc | 10

The National Oil Company of Iran has signed a $40 billion (equivalent) strategic cooperation agreement with Gazprom.

Iran and Russia have agreed to trade in national currencies.

The sound of the USD circling the drain ...


Posted by: Arfur Mo | Jul 19 2022 18:45 utc | 11

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 19 2022 18:16 utc | 6

I fail to see the logic of transporting by road/rail, then putting stuff on boats to traverse the Caspian Sea, then back onto road/rail.

I suspect it depends on the terrain that the trains would go through. In any case, the trains may be loaded complete on ferries or ro-ros at one end and offloaded at the other with little loss of time. It might be quicker in fact.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jul 19 2022 18:50 utc | 12

the financial sanction gambit is falling apart.... europe might start to realize the jig is up here as well... wonder when they jump off the good ship lolli-pop?

@ Altai | Jul 19 2022 18:02 utc | 5

last paragraph.. yeah, i wonder about that too.. and then how does israel process all this, or is that already built into the usa foreign policy agenda here for all to see?

Posted by: james | Jul 19 2022 19:03 utc | 13

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 19 2022 18:16 utc | 6

On the one hand, water transportation is cheaper than rail and certainly cheaper than truck.

But I think the major reason is Pakistan's refusal to allow Iran to India connections of any form. The plans for a pipeline between them have been quashed without reservation. Surface transit would be even more forbidden.

Pakistan, while not a bound member of the American Empire, has a long history of cooperating with the CIA and defense department. Keeping on the Empire's good side while not joining up all the way. Something like Sweden, not a province yet but with a pliant government.

Posted by: jhill | Jul 19 2022 19:04 utc | 14

Iran, Russia and China combined produce huge numbers of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) graduates - significantly more than the combined West where the population lost its love for STEM as the neoliberals crushed the rewards. About 50% of all STEM graduates in the US are foreign, with a very large number of these being from China, Iran and Russia. As these return home and/or are not replaced with new foreign post-grads the US strength in STEM will diminish - and control of technology supply chains and intellectual property is one of the last bricks left in the Western wall of strength (control of the reserve currency plus the military being the other two major ones). Then if the Indian graduates start returning home, or take up positions in Chinese universities ....

With both China and Russia now heavily investing in Iran, and ASEAN, Central Asia and ASEAN playing the neutral card the size of the combined trade zone (including Belarus and a defeated Ukraine) is far bigger than that of the EU. The rest of the Middle East will be pulled into this, especially if Russia, Iran and Turkey can agree on a settlement in Syria that brings peace and excludes the Israelis and US. And we have Egypt and Saudi Arabia wanting to join the SCO. The West already lost Africa, they just have not accepted that reality yet.

The West is very successfully helping build a EurAsian-African integrated free trading bloc. The West should be focusing on not losing South America and the Balkans whilst they still can, rather than trying to keep what they have already lost. This would of course require them to act as partners rather than Neo-colonials.

Western sanctions will be kept outside this free trade zone, and thus be rendered useless.

Posted by: Roger | Jul 19 2022 19:12 utc | 15

Not sure how accurate it is but rail vrs boat

https://maritime-executive.com/editorials/comparing-maritime-versus-railway-transportation-costs

So much cheaper per mile per container by boat

Posted by: OhhCanada | Jul 19 2022 19:14 utc | 16


you will find the answer in this map.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_track_gauges#/media/File:World_RR_Gauge_Map.agr.png

3 different track gauges.
indias is different from irans from the ex-udssrs. Which means you need to reload all the goods anyways (or build a new railway in a single gauge.)

Posted by: orgel | Jul 19 2022 19:16 utc | 17

james and altai.
The point is made by Kees van der Pijl in his MH 17 book that the US government is now showing signs of the dominance of high risk financial operatives.
The guys running the Hedge Funds who own the government are attuned to betting for very high stakes. There is nothing conservative about their attitudes or behaviour. One imagines that a little bit of nuclear war gambling would be just another day at the office for Masters of the Universe for whom any human life (except their own) is cheap, disposable and readily replaced.
It doesn't matter much in Washington if a million Iraqis, Afghans or Syrians get wiped out. It would be silly to imagine that they care much more about the plain people of Peoria, Penetanguishene or Pennsylvania.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 19 2022 19:16 utc | 18

Iran backed Armenia in war against Azerbaijan backed by Turkey. ('Greater Azerbaijan' is located in Iran, many azeris consider themselves historical iranians, others turks by language.) Iran organised civil war in Tadjikistan. I guess politicaly it is more easy to organise trade routs by 2, 3 countries, which aren't at any sort of conflict and would not ask for money.

Russia would not want nuclear bomb in Iran but using uranium as chantage tool sounds reasonable. Putin did some incredible job at keeping Iran and Israel at the safe distance in Syria so that each side can reach their objectives but still are isolated. 1 million of israelis is russian speaking, Putin would not want to harm them, but alsou he wanted to keep Asad who was backed by shia militants.

This is just a trade rout, not mutch. Gazprom would not want to help it's competitors. I don't think russians would want to deal with Iran if they weren't forced to do. Buy anecdotal evidence they are some of the most uneasy to deal with.

India seems to be being very active at making a maximum profit from their status as neutral country making deals with both sides. It could be a new China which once alsou benefited from neutral status.

It seems like Biden has been convinced by his nest of neocons that either letting Iran go and relieving the US of having the Israelis and neocons (Read: American-born Jewish nationalists)
This sounds as nazi theories rooting in religion, christianity. I think in Putins administration there are far more jews say Sergey Kiriyenko or Vladimir Soloviev. And his long time friend Arkady Rotenberg.

Posted by: Alef | Jul 19 2022 19:18 utc | 19

I notice that during Putins visit to Tehran, he insisted on the total elimination of ISIS in Syria - with the help of both Iran and Turkey.

****
jhill | Jul 19 2022 19:04 utc | 14
My feeling is that this might change (for the better) if and when Khan gets back in power.

I also reckon that there is a general popular movement across the planet to get back to "normal relations". Which are outside of political manipulation. Still a long way to go, but once politicians are seen for what they are, leeches with breeches (or twisted knickers), the aura is dispersed for good.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jul 19 2022 19:19 utc | 20

"Joe Biden has finally managed to create that."
;-) Biden in fact is an undercover agent of Russia. He is subtly destroying America and laying the groundwork for a world without America's dominance. A Russian project.

Posted by: Peter | Jul 19 2022 19:33 utc | 21

OT: Russian SU-35 shot down over Kherson, very likely by friendly fire

https://t.me/azmilitary11/11185

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 19 2022 19:34 utc | 22

If you want more idiots talking about the American superior race look at one more, from our favourite orange man ass kissers

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/biden-failures-ukraine-embolden-russia

Posted by: rk | Jul 19 2022 19:35 utc | 23

Our troll is back under Norwegian name. No friendly fire except in Ukr army. MANY!
Reading the text and watching the video in the link helps too

Posted by: rk | Jul 19 2022 19:39 utc | 24

Presidents of Türkiye, Russia and Iran holding press conference after trilateral talks in Tehran
https://twitter.com/AZmilitary1/status/1549478533902307330

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 19 2022 19:41 utc | 25

iEarlGrey just spotted the news by Reuters that the EU is "amending" some of its sanctions against top Russian banks not to create "bottlenecks" in food supplies. Does that have something to do with Russia invoking "force majeure" in its gas deliveries to Germany? Not to mention that the shit is hitting the fan in Iran right now.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Jul 19 2022 19:52 utc | 26

Came across this today, obviously hacked by Russia. The Polish assessment of the Ukraine military, hint, it's not good:

Intel Slava Z, [19/07/2022 19:32]

🇵🇱🇺🇦 Assessment by the Polish intelligence services of the situation in Ukraine

The Intelligence Agency (AW) of the Republic of Poland has prepared a report analyzing the current situation in Ukraine. According to the document, a catastrophic situation has developed in the formations of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The number of irretrievable losses is more than 300 people per day, and this figure is underestimated by the office of the President to reduce the likelihood of a public outburst and create panic among civilians and the military. The Psheks emphasize that the systematic strikes of the Russian Armed Forces on command posts and training centers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have led to the death of about 4,600 of the most trained military personnel over the past three months, including senior officers, instructors and mercenaries.

The report notes that unprepared formations are sent to the Donbass, the professional level of officers from the battalion commander and below is weak, the functions of commanders in the troops are often performed by fighters of the national battalions. Since May of this year, almost all control functions in the planning and conduct of hostilities have been taken over by foreign advisers from the United States, Great Britain and Canada. At the same time, the fact of their presence at command posts is kept secret in order to prevent the entry of NATO military personnel into the captivity of the Russian Armed Forces.

It is emphasized that Zelensky's office has set the task of keeping the Slavyansk-Kramatorsk-Toretsk line at any cost until the end of August this year.
It is indicated that at present, accelerated training of Ukrainian military personnel is being carried out in the west of the republic and on the territory of Great Britain and Germany. By the end of August - beginning of September, it is planned to create an additional grouping of 30 thousand people, the basis of which will be four new brigades.

It is noteworthy that the Polish special services are skeptical about Kyiv's statements about the preparation of these four formations in Ukraine. Warsaw does not rule out that the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is misleading the allies in order to obtain new weapons.

According to AW, the leadership of Ukraine also counts on the introduction of two Polish brigades into the western regions of the country - 6 air brigade and 25 air brigade, which, according to the Ukrainian General Staff, will release additional combat-ready units and formations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in August to be sent to the eastern front.

At the same time, the report notes that the American 155-mm M-777 howitzers delivered to Kyiv are not always used for their intended purpose. Instead of conducting counter-battery combat, guns are often used to bombard cities. At the same time, military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, after accelerated training, are unable to independently maintain complex weapons and military equipment systems, therefore foreign instructors from among mercenaries are often in artillery positions.


https://t.me/intelslava/33491

Posted by: Barofsky | Jul 19 2022 19:52 utc | 27

@Jonathan W | Jul 19 2022 19:52 utc | 27

Yes it probably does but also the euronazis discovered food and fertilizers come from Russia and Belarus and they want some of it. US also suspended some sanctions last week, for things they want while others can't get because of their own sanctions. They are also sending a new batch of weapons this week to ukr. And biden might declare emergency for climate which will allow him to control import and export of energy without a vote. Fun time

Posted by: rk | Jul 19 2022 20:00 utc | 28

Biden gives hope to imbeciles everywhere

Potentially, the most dangerous scenario [for America] would be a grand coalition of China, Russia, and perhaps Iran, an ‘anti-hegemonic’ coalition united not by ideology but by complementary grievances.
Joe Biden has finally managed to create that.

Cheating on election finally matters.

https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/jul/11/biden-gives-hope-to-imbeciles-everywhere/

Posted by: La Bastille | Jul 19 2022 20:01 utc | 29

It could be a new China which once also benefited from neutral status.
Posted by: Alef | Jul 19 2022 19:18 utc | 19

Nationally India is thoroughly aligned with western capitalist neocon policy so not there is o% chance of India becoming the new China with or without neutral status.
India has huge class and caste differences as well as poverty, just like the US. And Modi et al have no plan except the usual transfer of wealth to Oligarchs. This is why the farmers in India were striking.

Posted by: K | Jul 19 2022 20:11 utc | 30

cheap trick


OhhCanada | Jul 19 2022 19:14 utc | 16
Not sure how accurate it is but rail vrs boat
https://maritime-executive.com/editorials/comparing-maritime-versus-railway-transportation-costs
So much cheaper per mile per container by boat

Cheaper and secure is not fast
Fast and cheaper is not secure.

Fast and secure is not cheaper.

But that's the price of efficiency for many products.

Posted by: La Bastille | Jul 19 2022 20:12 utc | 31

Positive developments!

The security and connectivity of Iran will in turn also help provide reassurance to neighboring Pakistan, which must delicately untangle the conflicted positions of power players. I.e., strong legacy of US institutional links, but economic alignment with China. There, Imran Khan's party demonstrated strong popular support in Punjab, in the face of US-supported opponents who ousted him and are trying to delay elections as long as they can. A showdown with the IMF looms for the country, and meanwhile US continues to provoke China on a weekly basis. How long before the Chinese do the obvious thing and displace the IMF? It may be sooner or it may be later, but when it happens, South Asia will be essentially out of the US trap.

Posted by: ptb | Jul 19 2022 20:13 utc | 32

Logic and logistics

I fail to see the logic of transporting by road/rail, then putting stuff on boats to traverse the Caspian Sea, then back onto road/rail.


There are several components to moving freight globally on container ships and independent firms compete for each portion of this traffic.

Transportation is a commodity so the only real factors for customers to consider are cost and time. Of course, you have to assume that in either case your goods will arrive safely, but any part of the logistics chain that can’t handle the freight without damage won’t stay in business for long.

https://supplychaingamechanger.com/is-there-a-faster-way-to-load-and-unload-container-ships/


Container are not moving straight from one place to another location. Mostly loaded and unloaded 5 to 8 times.
North South Corridor for its specific purpose is fast and secure.

And probably out of $zoneA too for insurance purposes.

Posted by: La Bastille | Jul 19 2022 20:25 utc | 33

Sorry for the blockquote
###Container are not moving straight from one place to another location. Mostly loaded and unloaded 5 to 8 times.
North South Corridor for its specific purpose is fast and secure.

And probably out of $zoneA too for insurance purposes.
###
Was my opinion
Posted by: La Bastille | Jul 19 2022 20:25 utc 33

Posted by: La Bastille | Jul 19 2022 20:27 utc | 34

Norwegian | Jul 19 2022 19:41 utc | 26

The multi-polar world. The sanctions against Russia and the special military operation in which Russia is pushing back the US have been a catalyst. Things like BRICS and Russia and China's alternative to swift were in place but seemed to stagnate, just sitting there. The speed of change from the US dominated world to the multi-polar world is now surprisingly fast.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 19 2022 20:29 utc | 35

@Peter AU1 | Jul 19 2022 20:29 utc | 35

Agreed. Many things happening now. Multi-polar world.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 19 2022 20:32 utc | 36

On the costs of the new Russia, Iran, India corridor. China sends goods by rail to Europe. It is faster than sea freight and cheaper than air freight.
Apart from other considerations, there seems to be a category of goods that fit into that time/cost section of transport.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 19 2022 20:37 utc | 37

@Posted by: K | Jul 19 2022 20:11 utc | 30

This is all good news for China as it means that India will never develop into a meaningful threat and will increasingly rely on Chinese tech as well as Russian weaponry. The Indian elite consensus is very much to stay neutral, as the US and the West are finding out to their alarm. As with ASEAN, Brazil, Argentina, Saudi Arabia ...

Posted by: Roger | Jul 19 2022 21:04 utc | 38

There might be an interruption in Russia-India-China plans. I’ve followed the Chinese foreign ministry briefings for quite a while, the more critical and stern the warning the calmer they get. I don’t think Zhao Lijian can get any calmer.

All too similar to Putin's and Lavrov's warnings in the months leading up to Feb 24.

China vows 'strong and resolute' measures if Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan region violating One-China

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NE0Qfdr1N-U

Posted by: LightYearsFromHome | Jul 19 2022 21:25 utc | 39

Video by Radio Liberty is funded in whole or in part by the American government. The interesting fact is the anchor asking questions in Ukrainian, but the Kharkov Mayor Igor Terekhov replies in Russian. While he is replying, the Radio Liberty is showing propaganda on the left. Anchor asks pointed questions, but the Kharkov Mayor Igor Terekhov replies that the city is working, shops are open and so on, which of course, anchor doesn't like.

(Ah, by the way, I've been checking lot of news, videos from Kharkov in Russian, in Ukrainian, from friends and foes, but none had heard about a Gonzalo Lira there...)

Posted by: ostro | Jul 19 2022 21:26 utc | 40

And a video by an ordinary citizen of Kharkov...open shops, streets full of cars, unhurried people etc..

Posted by: ostro | Jul 19 2022 21:29 utc | 41

Iranrud: canal from Caspian Sea

I'd love to see Iran to build a canal from the Caspian to Arabian sea.
image of canal route:
https://orientalreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/image936070.gif

MoA's first image:
https://www.moonofalabama.org/13i/iran3.jpg

The Canal is very close to the railroad link that MoA mentioned. It would be a really cool project. Maybe if the rail link is successful it will provide momentum for the Canal project.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 19 2022 21:36 utc | 42

Posted by: Kana | Jul 19 2022 17:57 utc | 3

Excellent post great reading.
Huge amount to take away and consider.
These events are a graduation of ambitions

Thanks again.

Posted by: Jpc | Jul 19 2022 21:44 utc | 43

https://lenta.ru/news/2022/07/07/infekciya/

Blood samples taken from Ukrainian POWs show abnormal traces of infections atypical for Ukraine, which should mean Ukrainian Army was ocnducting bio-experiments on conscripts for American biolabs.

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 19 2022 21:46 utc | 44

If Russia nukes the US, they're not going to nuke Peoria. They will nuke Manhattan or D.C.

Posted by: Lysias | Jul 19 2022 21:50 utc | 45

They don't really feel like they're playing with their own money or country.
Posted by: Altai | Jul 19 2022 18:02 utc | 5

There's a very strong feeling of bunker mentality coming from them.

Posted by: Jpc | Jul 19 2022 21:56 utc | 46

It appears that the Outlaw US Empire's illegal sanctions will finally be treated as the crimes they are at first by being ignored and next via legal prosecution, although how the latter will proceed is as yet unclear. To avoid having their freighters pirated by the Outlaw US Navy, China, Russia, Iran, and other targeted nations will patrol shipping lanes, form convoys or both. And with Russia's new nuclear icebreaker fleet coming into service, year-round use of the Northern Sea Route will begin. As Crooke and others have described, the Outlaw US Empire is at the end of a Box Canyon with the only exit being the entry--but to backpedal is anathema for the Neoliberalcons.

As for Pelosi visiting Taiwan, China's ready to do what it must if that happens. When I read that this morning, it was clear to me that such an act would be another doubling-down to reach the goal of confronting China. I'm curious as to the level of USN assets currently in the Pacific, although IMO the entire fleet won't be enough to defeat the liberation of Taiwan. Once Taiwan becomes 100% PRC the garrisons in RoK and Japan will be useless.

Soon, the utter bankruptcy of all Outlaw US Empire policy will be evident, IMO well before the 2024 election. So much is wrong that it's finally being revealed by polls. The great difference between now and 1860 is many more feel the Union's not worth preserving--the sentiment's not sectional; rather, it's a plurality nationwide that's growing. Attacking China via Taiwan might be the last straw.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 19 2022 21:56 utc | 47

I got up early this morning to catch the Oz Govt-approved International Fake News + Al Jazeera. AlJaz included a pleasing blast from the past in the form of Hillary Mann Leverett, of Race For Iran/ Going To Iran fame. Al Jaz used Hillary as their Iran expert to comment on the Iran summit. At the end of her Ru, Turkey, Iran commentary Al Jaz asked what she made of the rumor that Iran may supply Russia with drones?
She replied that it wouldn't surprise her if it turned out to be true because after Iran evicted the Yankees in 1979, they went to great lengths to develop their own exceptionally advanced Military-Industrial Complex.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 19 2022 22:03 utc | 48

Ever Given container ship got stuck in the Suez canal on 23rd March 2021 and blocked it for 6 days, virtually blocking the world trade for few weeks. Imagine the Suez canal gets stuck again, say, for a month. How would Saudi export its oil? Or Qatar export its natural gas?

Posted by: Ostro | Jul 19 2022 22:04 utc | 49

@b:

Last year Iran became a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

No, Iran has not become a full member of the SCO—yet.

In September 2021 the leaders of SCO member countries have agreed to let Iran become a member, and Iran has started its accession to the SCO. The procedure requires that Iran accedes to all existing SCO agreements that have been made between SCO member states over the past 20 years. This is a laborious process that requires some changes to national laws. It took India and Pakistan two years after their prospective membership was announced in 2017 to actually become SCO members (in 2019). It is expected that Iran will become a member during this year‘s summit in September. I suspect that a few corners are being cut to speed up Iran’s accession, namely, that it will become a SCO member in September 2022 under a promise that it will accede to all SCO agreements over the next year or two.

Iran’s current status in the SCO is an observer state.

This project has been on and off for many years but this month it was finally activated…

There have been a lot of these “final activation” announcements over the years, but the corridor is not truly “activated” yet, because the railroad connection—the main component of the INSTC—has not been completed.

Saint Petersburg had a direct railroad connection to Baku since 1900. The USSR has built a direct connection to Iran’s railroad network at Julfa, Nakhichevan ASSR (part of Azerbaijan SSR), connected to the Soviet railroad network via Armenian SSR. With the break up of the Soviet Union and the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the connection between Nakhichevan and Armenia has been cut off, thereby cutting the connection between Iran and Russia.

In 2007, it was decided to build a new railway connection via Azerbaijan’s Astara and Iran’s Astara, Rasht and Qazvin (the latter already connected to Iran’s railroad network). In March 2018, the 9.7-km Astara (Azerbaijan)–Astara (Iran) connection, where the railway changes from Russian gauge to standard gauge, was officially opened. In March 2019, Iran has opened the Qazvin–Rasht line, which took a long time to build because of the difficult local geogrpahy which required building lots of bridges and tunnels. In January 2022, Russia gave Iran a $5 billion loan for the completion of various projects, including the 164 km–long Rasht–Astara (Iran) line. Earlier financing for the line by Azerbaijan has been blocked by U.S. sanctions.

Once built, not only will the line create a railway connection between Russia, Belarus, DPR, LPR, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia and Iranian ports of Bandar Abbas and Chabahar—opening access to India, Pakistan, Arabian Peninsula and Eastern and Southern Africa—it will also create a railway connection between Iran and Georgian ports of Poti and Batumi, as well as Turkish ports. Although there already exists a railway connection between Iran and Turkey, it utilizes a train ferry over Lake Van in Turkey, killing the cargo throughput.

In short: the INSTC will only truly “activate”, i.e., realize its full potential in terms of volume, speed and costs, once the Rasht–Astara segment is complete.

Posted by: S | Jul 19 2022 22:07 utc | 50

Cont’d from #50

The agreement between Azerbaijan and Iran on the transport, energy and communications corridor between Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani exclave Nakhichevan through Iran’s territory serves a dual purpose: first, to avert or at least postpone further hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and second, to create some leverage over Azerbaijan so it doesn’t abuse its position as the hub of the INSTC.

Posted by: S | Jul 19 2022 22:14 utc | 51

> establishing railway, highway, communication, and energy supply lines connecting Azerbaijan’s East Zangezur economic region and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic

and this only was possible because in 2020 Putin did not took Soros' bait and did not start the war with Turkey and Azerbijan over lands, that even Armenia does not claim her own. Despite a crescendo of usual "weak Putin sold and betrayed" shills

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 19 2022 22:16 utc | 52

karlof1 | Jul 19 2022 21:56 utc | 47

The dreamers dream about the decolonization of Russia, but it looks far more likely US will decolonize itself.
The soviet Union had a very high level of education. After the collapse, Russia went through a decade of turbulence but then some very smart people that were very loyal to their country and people came to the fore. When the west collapses... I don't know that there are any pragmatic highly educated people loyal to their country to come to the fore.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 19 2022 22:17 utc | 53

Posted by: La Bastille | Jul 19 2022 20:12 utc | 31

ye olde marketing* trilemma: Pick Two!

the distribution of goods between 2 or more points of sale; the means and method of distribution, D = T · V, or "logistics"

Posted by: sln2002 | Jul 19 2022 22:21 utc | 54

The Kremlin has published the transcript of Putin's remarks after the Troika Summit. All emphasis mine:

The meeting of the heads of state guarantors of the Astana process to promote the Syrian settlement was really useful and very informative. In a businesslike and constructive atmosphere, together with Mr Raisi and Mr Erdogan, we discussed in detail key aspects of our cooperation on Syria.

The joint statement reaffirmed the commitment to strengthen trilateral cooperation between Russia, Iran and Turkey in the interests of achieving sustainable and viable normalization of the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic.

The Troika states share the view that the Syrian crisis can be fully resolved only through political and diplomatic means based on inter-Syrian dialogue, as stipulated in Security Council Resolution 2254, and, of course, with strict observance of the fundamental principles of respect for sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity.

It is up to the Syrians themselves to determine the future of Syria without imposing any ready-made recipes or models from the outside.

I would like to note that today we have agreed with our Iranian and Turkish colleagues to continue the practice of holding regular international expert consultations on Syria under the auspices of the Astana format. In such consultations, along with the delegations of our three countries, Syrian parties take part: the government and the opposition, observer states – Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon – as well as representatives of the UN. In particular, it was agreed that the next, 19th consultations will be held before the end of this year. There are also plans to organize consultations of the foreign ministers of the Astana Troika.

Of course, much attention at the talks was paid to the activities of the Constitutional Committee. Let me remind you that this structure was created thanks to the coordinated actions of the diplomats of our three countries. Thus, it was possible to bring together representatives of the Syrian government, the opposition and civil society, to give them the opportunity to agree in direct dialogue on the parameters of the future state structure of their own country.

Of course, together with our Iranian and Turkish partners, in coordination with the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Syria, we are ready to continue to help the stable and uninterrupted functioning of the committee in every possible way, while maintaining the leading role in the Syrian settlement for the Astana format.

At today's meeting, the problems of combating terrorism in Syria were considered in detail. Thanks to the effective joint work of our three countries, the terrorist threat and the level of violence in the Syrian Arab Republic has been steadily decreasing in recent years. The main forces of ISIS and other groups that ruled in this country were defeated. The legitimate authorities have regained control of most of the country's territory.

It is important that the participants of the meeting spoke in favor of continuing cooperation in the fight against any manifestations of terrorism and extremism until the complete elimination of this threat in Syria and neighboring countries. We will continue to closely monitor and clearly suppress the use by external forces of militants located on Syrian territory to solve their own selfish geopolitical tasks both in the Middle East region as a whole and beyond.

It was in this context that the difficult situation in the north-east of Syria, in the Euphrates, where, with the support of a number of countries, attempts are being made to consolidate the illegal foreign military presence and incite separatist sentiments in violation of the sovereignty of the Syrian state.

The Russian side confirmed the principled position that the Euphrates should return to the control of the legitimate government of Syria.

When considering the problems of humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people, we proceeded from the premise that such assistance should be carried out in strict accordance with international law and the UN Charter. It is important to help all, all Syrians without exception to return to normal life.

In this regard, we once again call on the international community, especially the UN humanitarian agency, to increase support for Syria through the implementation of projects for the restoration of basic infrastructure, water and electricity supply, schools, hospitals, as well as demining projects. The successful solution of these tasks will create conditions for the safe and voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their places of permanent residence.

Ladies and gentlemen,

During my stay in Iran, the Russian delegation and I personally also had very useful bilateral talks. At the meeting with the Supreme Leader of Iran, Mr. Ali Khamenei, strategic issues of Russian-Iranian relations were touched upon. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to their further full development in a truly good-neighbourly and mutually beneficial manner. Readiness for constructive partnership in resolving acute regional and international problems was expressed.

In a conversation with President of Iran, Raisi discussed in detail specific aspects of bilateral cooperation in the political and economic fields. Particular attention was paid to strengthening cooperation in energy, industry and transport. We agreed to implement major joint projects and step up the use of national currencies in direct settlements between our countries.

As for the situation around the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear programme, our representatives are in constant contact. We consider it important to continue our efforts to preserve the nuclear deal and create conditions for the resumption of its sustainable implementation on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 2231. In addition, we consider it necessary that, in the event of the restoration of the joint plan, all its participants should be guaranteed equal rights with regard to the unimpeded development of cooperation in any field and without any discrimination.

At a bilateral meeting with President of Turkey Mr Erdogan, it was stated that Russian-Turkish cooperation is developing dynamically in various areas. I would like to note that they also discussed food security and cooperation to facilitate the supply of both Russian and Ukrainian grain to world markets. At the same time, satisfaction was expressed with the meeting held on July 13 in this regard in Istanbul.

In conclusion, I would like to once again express my gratitude to our Iranian and Turkish partners for the substantive and productive talks, as well as to thank Mr Raisi for his hospitality and the wonderful organisation of our meetings.

I am confident that the decisions taken at the summit will contribute to the final establishment of peace and stability both in Syria and in the region as a whole. Taking into account the fact that the next summit of the Astana Troika is expected to be held in our country in turn, I invited Iranian and Turkish friends to come to Russia.

A Joint Statement was also released that mostly concerned the Syrian issue. Point 12 IMO was the most important, although some opinions will differ:

"12. Condemned Israel's ongoing military attacks in Syria, including on civilian targets. We considered these actions to violate international law, international humanitarian law, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, and also recognized them as destabilizing and increasing tensions in the region. We reaffirmed the need to respect universally recognized international legal decisions, including the provisions of the relevant UN resolutions rejecting the occupation of the Syrian Golan, primarily UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 497, according to which all Israeli decisions and steps in this regard are considered invalid and null and void."

I imagine at some point a presser will be held.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 19 2022 22:24 utc | 55

Prior to the commencement of talks, Putin gave a short speech. All emphasis mine:

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Raisi, Dear Mr. Erdogan, Dear colleagues!

First of all, I would like to thank President Raisi for the invitation to visit Tehran for our meeting today within the framework of the Astana process. Of course, it is better to hold negotiations in this format in person, and now such an opportunity has appeared.

We hope to discuss today topical issues of stabilising the situation in Syria in a substantive and businesslike manner, and there are indeed a lot of them.

In general, the joint work of Russia, Iran and Turkey to promote a comprehensive solution to the crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic is very effective. Thanks to the help and support of our countries, the level of violence in Syria has noticeably decreased, peaceful life is being revived, and the economy and the social sphere are gradually being restored.

And, no less important, a real political and diplomatic settlement process has been launched on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 2254. We believe that the Astana Troika should continue to play a key role in the work aimed at the full normalization of the situation in Syria and the establishment of lasting peace and civil harmony in the country.

At the same time, Russia proceeds from a firm commitment to the fundamental principles of unconditional respect for the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.

We support the draft joint statement prepared for approval following the summit, which identifies priority areas for cooperation in the trilateral format.

We see as a task for the near future to agree on concrete steps to promote intra-Syrian inclusive political dialogue, that is, to implement in practice our agreement on creating conditions under which the Syrians themselves, without outside interference, could determine the fate of their country.

Actually, it was for this purpose that our three states initiated the adoption of a decision on the establishment of the Constitutional Committee at the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi in 2018. With the support of Russia, Iran and Turkey, as well as with the participation of the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Syria, the Syrian parties have made significant progress within the framework of the committee. It is important that the Syrians showed their readiness to negotiate, seek and find consensus solutions on priority issues related to the future structure of their sovereign state.

I am confident that our countries will continue to strengthen cooperation in the interests of the final elimination of the remaining hotbeds of international terrorism on Syrian soil. It is necessary to put an end to the presence of ISIS and other extremist groups in Syria forever.

I would like to stress that the situation in the territories not controlled by the Syrian authorities is of particular concern. We see that real threats of crime, extremism and separatism emanate from these areas. In many ways, this is facilitated by the destructive line of Western states, headed by the United States, which use a wide arsenal of means of political and economic influence, in every possible way encourage separatist aspirations in certain regions of the country, as the President of Iran has just said, and plunder its natural resources in order to eventually bring the matter to the dismemberment of the Syrian state. Therefore, it is desirable that additional steps be taken in our trilateral format aimed at stabilising the situation in these areas and returning them to the control of the legitimate Government of Syria.

I consider it important that Russia, Iran and Turkey are making concerted efforts to support the Syrian people in post-conflict reconstruction. We believe that everything necessary should be done to restore the economy and the social sphere, return refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes, and create conditions for safe and unhindered access to humanitarian assistance for those who need it. And this work, of course, must be continued.

In addition, it is necessary to ensure that other members of the world community, relevant UN agencies, as well as international development institutions play a more significant role in providing assistance to Syrians without politicization and preconditions.

In conclusion, I would like to express confidence that our talks will be useful and productive, and their results will serve to strengthen stability and security not only in Syria, but also in the entire Middle East region.

I would also like to note that the next summit of the Astana Troika is expected to be held in our country in turn. And of course, we will be glad to see all of you, colleagues, in Russia.

Thank you for your attention.

How the goals of the bolded portion are to be attained now become a question for speculation. I now most barflies are all for Russia empowering the SAA to attack and liberate those areas as the Outlaw US Empire doesn't appear to be currently able to deter such action. I suspect Mr. Assad's patience and that of the Syrian people is wearing very thin.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 19 2022 22:35 utc | 56

RT is reporting that there was indeed a presser where Putin reiterated some of his earlier remarks:

The US needs to stop “stealing” the oil from the Syrian people and state, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, after meeting with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts in Tehran. The three guarantors of the “Astana process” also agreed that the US should leave the trans-Euphrates, and stop making the humanitarian crisis in Syria worse with their unilateral sanctions.

American troops must leave the territory east of the Euphrates river and “stop robbing the Syrian state, the Syrian people, exporting oil illegally,” Putin told reporters on Tuesday evening. He said this was a “common position” of Russia, Iran and Turkey.

So far that's the only media report on the presser. Kremlin transcript will likely be posted later tonight.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 19 2022 22:49 utc | 57

Meanwhile in Mariupol the ruins of the theatre were disassmebled, where Ukrainian Army took civilian hostages in basement. That was a story Western MSM paraded before they made yet better story of Russian Aviation killing pregnant babies.

https://t.me/dvesti22/11084

In total 14 dead bodies were found under ruins. Which still is a tregedy but nowhere close to what was feared from "Azov" headchoppers.

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 19 2022 22:54 utc | 58

Pelosi's visit might not be required as very provocative statements were made today by former US Defense Secretary Mark Esper:

Speaking on Tuesday in Taiwan, former US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Washington should end its longstanding policy of recognizing the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the legitimate government of all of China, including over Taiwan island, and make a firm commitment to defending Taiwanese independence.

“It is my personal view that the one-China policy has outlived its usefulness, that it is time to move away from strategic ambiguity,” Esper told Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in a meeting in her office on Tuesday....

“But the greatest challenge facing the democracies of the West today is not in Russia. It is here in Asia where China continues to challenge the rules-based international order [and] threatens freedom-loving people throughout the region,” Esper said, adding that Taiwan was on the front lines of that challenge and that the US and other “Western democracies” had to stand up and defend Taiwan from Beijing.

As you read, the usual ravings by a Liberal Totalitarian for whom expanding the Outlaw US Empire when it's close to collapse is par for the course. Yes, it's indeed time to end the "strategic ambiguity" and allow China to liberate Taiwan from its semi-colonial status.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 19 2022 22:59 utc | 59

It's really heartening to see Iran emerge from all the US sanctions and Israeli threats, strong and self-sufficient especially militarily. Iran plays a central role in the Middle East tying down the Israeli/US hegemony there.

Russia is countering the US/NATO threat in Europe. China is neutralizing the Americans in Asia and the Pacific.

What is needed is a powerhouse in Latin America to check the Americans there. Mexico is too close to the US physically.

Hopefully, this October Lula will reemerge as the president of Brazil, and hopefully this time he will get Brazil's house in order, starting with the military. Doubtful but one can always hope.

Posted by: Sam Smith | Jul 19 2022 22:59 utc | 60

somewhat funny video. Lost kids around a broken 777 toy :-)

https://t.me/dvesti22/11044

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 19 2022 23:07 utc | 61

Just one small addition: With the downfall of Germany and thus the EU, US sanction become even less of a threat, because US sanctions lack the EU component. In this multipolar world, the US is alone economically, the EU is losing its competitiveness due to high energy and natural gas prices & lack of access to cheap commodities.

Posted by: Arne Hartmann | Jul 19 2022 23:15 utc | 62

Want a strange ride on the insanicycle? Reported by Drudge and Yahoo

https://news.yahoo.com/russia-says-losing-because-ukraine-104546288.html

"Russia says it is losing because Ukraines Mutant Troops created in secret Biolab"

Now, I have finally seen it all. It ain't pretty but that kind of train wreck is hard to look away

Posted by: Tard | Jul 19 2022 23:34 utc | 63

Leader of the Revolution in the meeting with Putin: world events show the need for Iran and Russia’s mutual cooperation (Fars News Agency, July 19, 2022 — Google Translate translation from Persian)

Posted by: S | Jul 19 2022 23:46 utc | 64

The only part of the headline that I disagree with is the 'future tense' of the verb.

The American rulers are idiots. This is one example. They never understood that Sanctions are a single-use weapon. Maybe not one use only, but the effectiveness of Sanctions decrease each time the weapon is used. And not only with the target country, but also with an ever-expanding circle of people who wonder "could we be next?"

The reason the American rulers are idiots is that instead of saving such a weapon and using it only when needed and when it can have the most effect, the idiots who run American have made it their constant hammer to try to hit with. They sanction countries, people, companies, and not only key people but their spouses, uncles, grannies, nieces, nephews. I soon expect to hear solemn statements that Putin's Dawg (if he has one), is now 'sanctioned' from taking a dump in America.

Any sane and intelligent observer would swear that the policy of the USA for the last couple of decades has been to bring about a multi-polar world. And given the levels of corruption, that may not be as crazy as it sounds.

Posted by: Winston | Jul 19 2022 23:47 utc | 65

Some why's (maybe not exhaustive and with the heat I'm not well enough to have kept up with recent comments, take whatever you find useful).

Commercial sea access

Kola, St. Petersburg region coast, and the Black Sea are all limited by what amounts to different forms of choke points.

· Kola (and Northern fleet) is limited to the west and also down through the Norwegian Sea by a long stretch of some of the harshest parts of ocean in the world outside of the deep Antarctic. Okay for Atlantic and Arctic military access (the conditions can amount to a kind of defense) but not much else unless as a shortcut from China to north and western Europe. Currently limited in capacity with almost no unused infrastructural capacity for such thing as search and rescue, and environmental protection, and both should be considered absolute requirements in such a place. Infrastructure down through Kola isn't all that great either.

· St. Petersburg is at the easternmost point of a relatively narrow international waterway dominated by the Baltic trio and Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland, and Norway (all hostile puppet governments). Somewhat limited in capacity and in a precarious geographical position.

· Black Sea is entirely dependent on Turkey and the Bosporus and the treaties, and then in addition there's the natural limitation of capacity.

None of these can scaled up quickly or easily and the limits are outside of Russian control.

Commercial land border infrastructure

· Norwegian border: little in the way of infrastructure, not only in the border regions of both Russia and Norway but also for roughly half the way down into Norway. Much the same if detouring down through Sweden or Finland, however going this way from Russia makes it a detour backwards towards Russia and the Baltic sea and Skagerrak.

· Finnish border: in the south towards St. Petersburg it's much better than Norway but now increasingly limited.

· The Baltics: essentially nothing that doesn't lead into the Baltic sea. Much the same is true if detouring through Belarus and then Poland or Ukraine, especially now with the changes over the previous years.

So that leaves Georgia (non-starter and cumbersome anyway), the eastern coastal infrastructure in Azerbaijan, and Iran before there's a lot of Asian mountains. After that all roads lead to China before North Korea, Japan, and Alaska.

Concluding thoughts

This development is a great benefit to Russian interests and something even the USSR needed. Primarily for commercial reasons but those commercial reasons also have military value and implications since they lessen some risk of a war for access or to break blockades (at least according to old Cold War logic; the limitations above were part of at least some WWIII scenarios).

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jul 19 2022 23:53 utc | 66

Posted by: pppp | Jul 19 2022 16:19 utc | 219

Most of the 'evidence' that attributes the murders at Katyń to the USSR came from Nazi 'archives'. In 1990 Gorbachev 'released' USSR army 'records' admitting to the killings. In 1992 Yeltsin 'released' additional USSR 'records' asserting that Stalin personally ordered the killings.

As those two, working with others, engineered the collapse of the Soviet Union I see no reason to believe what they produced.

Posted by: Whome | Jul 19 2022 23:54 utc | 67

As one might imagine more confidently by economic asspciation of these non-aligned states alias developing countries, G7 has been working over time for ove a decade to sabotage capital formation. The UKRAIN caper appears all the more desperate and malicious attempt battle to delay the inevitable liberation of ROW from rent-seeking, race-baiting "modern democracy"

Posted by: sln2002 | Jul 20 2022 0:01 utc | 68

Matthew Ehret joins Pepe Escobar with an article at The Cradle, "India-Russia-Iran: Eurasia’s new transportation powerhouses: No longer just an 'alternative route' on a drawing board, the International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) is paying dividends in a time of global crisis. And Moscow, Tehran and New Delhi are now leading players in the Eurasian competition for transportation routes."

The article has many useful, informative links and complements Pepe Escobar's "In Eurasia, the War of Economic Corridors is in full swing" as an excellent compendium of information and overall status of the situation.

The great irony is that the West is losing out massively as these projects move forward. And as we're seeing from the confidence shown by the Troika, their smiling faces will be shared by all members of the Eurasian projects, some of whom are within the EU.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 20 2022 0:05 utc | 69

@Posted by: Sam Smith | Jul 19 2022 22:59 utc | 60

"Hopefully, this October Lula will reemerge as the president of Brazil, and hopefully this time he will get Brazil's house in order, starting with the military. Doubtful but one can always hope."

Lula was neoliberalism plus social welfare payments, the Brazilian elites couldn't even stand the latter so they dumped Lula's successor. Lula completely blocked any attempts for more radical policies on the left when he was in power, turning his coalition into a Brazilian Democratic Party. After spending some time in jail he will have been even more well trained by the elites, don't expect anything from him except a Brazilian Obama. Only if the Brazilian elites decide that it is more rewarding to bow down to the Chinese will things change, this may have been signalled by Bolosnaro's refusal to implement sanctions against Russia.

Argentina may hold some more promise for internal reform, but the new leaders there haven't even reneged on the odious US$50 billion of IMF debt taken by their predecessor to fund the elites capital flight.

Posted by: Roger | Jul 20 2022 0:11 utc | 70

Tard:
It's OT but in the background noise some US agency has been pushing their "cockroach remote control" (real) and "undead soldiers" stuff for years.

Who took over for MK-Ultra?

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jul 20 2022 0:15 utc | 71

@Roger 70

Argentina is too consumed by the financial speculators. The govt in power like the former won't rein in those who speculate against the Argentino peso. This is the #1 problem in Argentina today as it has been for a long time. They may join BRICS and are part of BRI but until they kill a few currency speculators to rein in the so-called blue dollar, Argentina doesn't have a chance.

My bet is on Brazil and Lula.

Posted by: Sam Smith | Jul 20 2022 0:19 utc | 72

Indian Punchline has a good take on Putin's visit to Ashgabat
https://www.indianpunchline.com/ukraines-great-game-surfaces-in-transcaucasia/

Posted by: digital dinosaur | Jul 20 2022 0:24 utc | 73

Posted by: S | Jul 19 2022 22:07 utc | 50

In September 2021 the leaders of SCO member countries have agreed to let Iran become a member, and Iran has started its accession to the SCO. The procedure requires that Iran accedes to all existing SCO agreements that have been made between SCO member states over the past 20 years. This is a laborious process that requires some changes to national laws.

Could you give an example of an SCO agreement that could "require [the applicant country to make] some changes to national laws." I'm curious as to whether there might be perceived conflict between such an SCO agreement and the principle of respecting each nation's sovereignty.

Posted by: David Levin | Jul 20 2022 0:27 utc | 74

Many inaccuracies in this rosy picture, unfortunately. But to cut a long story short, whenever the United States decides upon unilateral sanctions, that takes precedence and entities like the GCC, India, Azerbaijan cave in immediately. India’s discreet dealings doesn’t make it “neutral.” It is completely in the US/Israeli camp. Neither is Russia altogether unperturbed over those crippling sanctions imposed on itself nor in the best situation to be of much help to other sanctioned nations.

Posted by: Zeinab | Jul 20 2022 0:46 utc | 75

Opport Knocks @ 6:

"I fail to see the logic of transporting by road/rail, then putting stuff on boats to traverse the Caspian Sea, then back onto road/rail. Would it not be better to make a deal with Azerbaijan or Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan?"

As Blue Dotterel @ 12 has already noted, freight containers can be used on both rail transport and ships without the need for cargo inside to be unloaded on one form of transport and then reloaded on another form of transport. Of course the containers must conform to international standards regarding their size, minimum and maximum carrying capacities, and other issues regarding strength, durability and ease of handling, to help ensure the North-South Transport Route's viability.

There may be other issues that make an overland route through Azerbaijan, or through Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, more expensive: the terrain through Azerbaijan and into Iran is mountainous, and through Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan it may be also be desert with a huge seasonal variability in temperatures. Railway infrastructures (which may or may not already exist) through these areas must withstand desert summer and winter temperature extremes and expected volumes of goods transported along these networks may not justify the maintenance costs involved.

It makes more sense to use the infrastructures already available to start the route from Russia to Iran and at a later time consider an overland route as an alternative if the potential to transport high volumes on that second route is feasible.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 20 2022 0:50 utc | 76

"Joe Biden" = Blinken, Nudelman, and the other Talmudic Pharisees often branded as "neo-conservatives" who hold the real levers of power in the Empire of Terror and Fraud. The actual Joe Biden is only capable of elemental swindling, appearing confused, and filling his diapers as he awaits his final decline and death. The coming societal collapse in the Western nations is going to be one for the history books. Buckle up and brace; it's going to be a catastrophic 30 years.

Posted by: Thomas | Jul 20 2022 0:55 utc | 77

@50 @74 - and compare to NATO while you're at it

Posted by: ptb | Jul 20 2022 1:45 utc | 78

my favorite example of the idiocy of "sanctions" against iran is still this:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/meng-wanzhou-sanctions-extradition-iran-1.5377666

another example of canada being a good little bitch for the US but also a glaring example of the subjective and "let's just make shit up" approach the latter has toward international "law". the SMO has shown that the US can manufacture "crimes" against its unilateral "sanctions" but when push comes to shove other countries' self interest will always lead them to eventually call bullshit.

the only thing backing the sanctions are the only thing holding the US together: brute force and financial fraud.

"you pay for oil in our money and you have exposure to our ponzi scheme disguised as an 'economy' so look out. and if that doesn't work we'll just send the usual pack of braindead hicks with guns to kill you all."*

which makes all the pedantic MSM idiots and their "derp ackshully her charges were fraud related mkay" excuses for meng's house arrest so laughable. because, yeah...suddenly the twats in DC are so very concerned about monetary smoke and mirrors. when it's a "yellow devil" doing it, anyway.

* seems like a simplistic take on it until you read this. but take it with a grain of salt since the king of intellectual dipshits...oops! i meant "niall ferguson" and his ilk in the MSM think it's "tin foil" material.

Posted by: the pair | Jul 20 2022 1:58 utc | 79

USA knows it is game over. That's why false reports were created about Iran-Russia meeting saying that Russia was going to buy Iranian drones.

Posted by: Jason | Jul 20 2022 2:30 utc | 80

Such an irony: Israel reached its high-water mark of influence under Trump, and yet he also laid the seeds for the ebbing of that influence.

The JCPOA is the gift that keeps giving.

Israel: You need to go to war with Iran!!!
USA: F**k, no. No way, dude.

Israel: Let's all get together against Iran!!!
Gulfies: F**k, no. No way, dude.

Israel: You 'n' me need to have a long talk about Iran!!!
Saudis: F**k, no. I'm talking with the Saudis, not with you.

Israel: I'll get Sugar Daddy to pick on you!!
Saudis: F**k off. Tell it to someone who gives a s**t.

USA: Ummm. Errrr. I've been told to pick issue with you.
Saudis: F**k off. Tell it to someone who gives a s**t.

Too funny. I suspect that over-inflated heads are exploding all over Washington and Tel Aviv.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 20 2022 2:34 utc | 81

Posted by: Tard | Jul 19 2022 23:34 utc | 63

yeah I saw that earlier at the Daily Beast, which of course pretended to believe it wholeheartedly. demented bullshit. i expect yenwoda to weigh in soon.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 20 2022 3:08 utc | 82

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 19 2022 21:46 utc | 44

Could it be sending folks to their death on the front lines is actually the West's way of hiding more biolab evidence?

Posted by: ianMoone | Jul 20 2022 3:13 utc | 83

Another front is about to open. Lebanon cannot allow Israel to steal its newfound gas and oil riches.
According to Abdel Bari Atwan it is not going to.

"In his speech last Wednesday, which coincided with the arrival of US President Joe Biden to occupied-Palestine, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah may have set the “zero hour” for the next and imminent war with Israel.
“The Lebanese have only two months to take advantage of the golden opportunity available to extract gas and oil in the Mediterranean, otherwise the cost will be very high after that.”

"This was one of the few times Nasrallah has gone on the offensive, and he made clear the resistance was prepared to liberate Lebanon’s gas and oil wealth. His speech came two weeks after Hezbollah sent three drones over the Israeli-erected gas platform in the Karish gas field – opposite the Lebanese-Palestinian maritime border – and transmitted photos of the platform to an operations room somewhere in southern Lebanon.
"
Why now? Nasrallah is well aware that the US and its European allies are being defeated in Ukraine, in a war that can be prolonged painfully and can bog down western attentions for the indefinite future.
"This represents a truly golden opportunity to liberate the Lebanese wealth buried in the depths of the Mediterranean, and to employ the capabilities of the resistance to achieve this lofty goal. ‘Martyrdom in a war of dignity and honor is nobler than death by starvation.’ It’s a sentiment the Lebanese can understand better than most these days.
***

"Lebanon is not on the path to collapse; it has already collapsed as a state. The Lebanese can no longer find bread, and they have lost hope in securing their fuel, electricity, medicine and basic primary services needs, while their children are facing starvation, disease and siege...."
In his speech last Wednesday, which coincided with the arrival of US President Joe Biden to occupied-Palestine, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah may have set the “zero hour” for the next and imminent war with Israel.
https://thecradle.co/Article/Columns/13141

Posted by: bevin | Jul 20 2022 3:44 utc | 84

@ 6 Opport Knocks, Blue Dotterel @ 12 and Jen 76 - There is a large port at Aktau in Kazakhstan that connects to the freighters that cross the Caspian to Baku, Azerbaijan. Turkmenistan, Iran, Azerbaijan. Russia and Kazakhstan all share the Caspian Sea. The nautical borders were drawn out post Soviet Union. I think the Kazakhstan land route and then transport over the Caspian is a more secure and economic route. Jen mentioned that.

The New Silk Road is coming to life!

Am I being overly optimistic?

I guess I'm a Putinveherster and a Nazarbayev fanboy.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jul 20 2022 3:55 utc | 85

Q&A with the press, Putin in Teheran.

http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/69036

Posted by: Paco | Jul 20 2022 5:06 utc | 86

Machine translation, it is about energy...

But what's going on? I have already said this many times, I do not know whether it is worth going into details about the energy policy of European countries that have neglected the importance of traditional types of energy and have relied on non-traditional ones. They are great experts in the field of non-traditional relations, so in the field of energy they also decided to bet on non-traditional types of energy: solar, wind energy.

Posted by: Paco | Jul 20 2022 5:14 utc | 87

@karlof1 | Jul 19 2022 22:24 utc | 55
"I imagine at some point a presser will be held."

See 30 video in Norwegian | Jul 19 2022 19:41 utc | 26

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 20 2022 6:07 utc | 88

@Norwegian | Jul 20 2022 6:07 utc | 88

Sorry, my point is the link in my post, the presser is obviously not in Norwegian language, but translated from Russian, Farsi, Turkish into English.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 20 2022 6:09 utc | 89

Meanwhile, the little man in Washington...

The White House says Russia is preparing the annexation of Ukraine's new territories. US National Security Council strategic communications coordinator John Kirby said that such actions were illegal and would meet with a firm response from the US and allies.

Oh, my! 😋

Posted by: ostro | Jul 20 2022 6:29 utc | 90

Re: JCPOA, Trump and Biden are dumb and dumber. Well put, b.

Posted by: Doug Hillman | Jul 20 2022 6:31 utc | 91

In the afternoon, we will get to know who'd be the next chief of Tories, and thus the next PM of UK. The favorite seems to be Rishi Sunak, the game is about who will join him, Penny Mordaunt or Liz Truss.

Well, I'd wish UK Liz Truss as the PM...😋

Posted by: ostro | Jul 20 2022 6:37 utc | 92

@La Bastille | Jul 19 2022 20:27 utc | 34

For what ever it is worth, I am routinely transporting shower glass from Guangzhou, China to Germany. We stopped using sea freight in 2021, when the rail line costs dropped substantially. All this year we have been transporting by rail. It's faster, easier, and cheaper.

That is just my first-hand experience.

But keep in mind, I am not an "expert". I am just a fellow narrating his personal experiences.

Posted by: Rufus Arrr | Jul 20 2022 6:48 utc | 93

Posted by: ostro | Jul 20 2022 6:37 utc | 92

No all we will know is which two of the Tories will go to a vote. We will not know until September. An absurd, irresponsible system.

Posted by: watcher | Jul 20 2022 7:04 utc | 94

@ostro | Jul 20 2022 6:37 utc | 92

Well, I'd wish UK Liz Truss as the PM...😋
That would be something. Someone might send her a message that Yorkshire is not recognized as part of England.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 20 2022 7:11 utc | 95

Posted by: watcher | Jul 20 2022 7:04 utc | 94
------

Sure! But still, I am wishing UK Liz Truss as the next PM...😏
Would love to see the end of UK in my lifetime...

Posted by: ostro | Jul 20 2022 7:13 utc | 96

Posted by: ostro | Jul 20 2022 7:13 utc | 97

yes but there is a serious problem. Putin and Xi and even Erdogan will need to start using picture books to communicate at international meetings. I guess they can use the same ones they need for Biden.

I guess they can tell her that they are supporting Northern island independence all the way to the North sea (or may be the pacific Ocean)

And I am all for independence of Yorkshire!!!!!. Let the white rose flower again.

Posted by: watcher | Jul 20 2022 7:23 utc | 97

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 19 2022 22:59 utc | 59

"… It is here in Asia where China continues to challenge the rules-based international order [and] threatens freedom-loving people throughout the region, Esper said …”

Wow, how nice: "[OUR] rules based international [wink, wink] order" and "freedom loving people". I almost wept my eyes out.
Bastard MANIPULATORS!

Posted by: LongCovid | Jul 20 2022 7:29 utc | 98

#12
Russia's rail tracks have a different span, so trains need to be unloaded and reloaded at the border anyway.

Posted by: Giovanni Dall'Orto | Jul 20 2022 7:33 utc | 99

Russia's rail tracks have a different span, so trains need to be unloaded and reloaded at the border anyway.

Posted by: Giovanni Dall'Orto | Jul 20 2022 7:33 utc | 100
-------------
No, only the wheel blocks are changed at the border. Trains are not unloaded.

Posted by: ostro | Jul 20 2022 7:43 utc | 100

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