| Nov 18, 2015 – This article was first published on Foreign Affairs.
Barely a week goes by without Iran and Russia announcing some joint adventure in the sea, on land, or in space. Just last week, as Iran’s minister of communications and information technology, Mahmoud Vaezi, made his way to Moscow, he promised “a new phase in all aspects” of relations between the two countries. And on Monday, Russia announced that the deal to supply Iran with advanced surface-to-air S-300 missiles had “come into force.” These are all part of an unprecedented partnership between Iran and Russia, forged in the aftermath of the nuclear deal and cemented with cooperation on Syria. This new partnership is driven largely by internal political competition between Iran’s moderate pragmatists and its hard-line conservatives.
Echoing the line of the Assad regime in Syria, Iran’s officials have blamed the French Government for the Islamic State’s attacks in Paris that killed 129 people on Friday night.The deputy head of Iran’s armed forces, General Massoud Jazayeri said on Saturday, “The French people paid the price for their government’s support for the ISIL [Islamic State] and the Takfiri terrorism.”
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EAST KURDISTAN (IRAN) MESOP : STOP ! – AND NEVER GO ! – Iran Stops Removing Centrifuges under Political Pressure
Iran has reportedly stopped dismantling centrifuges at two nuclear enrichment facilities, according to Iranian state media. The hold on the removal of decommissioned centrifuges at Natanz and Fordow sites may have resulted from Iranian hardliners complaining to President Hassan Rouhani that the process was being rushed. The centrifuges must be removed for Iran to enter compliance with the nuclear deal reached with the P5+1 in July, but hardline politicians have pointed to statements from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that Iran should not dismantle its centrifuges until the International Atomic Energy Agency completes its investigation of the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program. The IAEA is expected to release its final report by mid-December, or possibly as soon as later this month. The nuclear agreement’s provision on lifting sanctions does not take effect until Iran has verifiably dismantled centrifuges in accordance with the deal.
MESOP TODAYS COMMENTARY By Saheb Sadeghi – Al Monitor Why Iran and Russia aren’t as closely aligned on Syria as you might think
11 Nov 2015 – TEHRAN, Iran — Common and immediate objectives have united Iran and Russia on Syria in the short run, and this unity will probably be flexed against the West’s influence in the long term. However, when it comes to some key aspects of Syria’s future — including the nature of the government and the rebuilding of the Syrian military — differences between Tehran and Moscow are bound to come to the surface. In broad terms, Iran and Russia have embarked on the same path and entered a new phase of the geopolitical game in Syria. A major power, Russia is trying to redefine its role in the world, as evidenced by its actions in Ukraine and Syria. After 40 years, Moscow has returned to the Middle East to prove that today’s world is different — and multipolar. Iran’s strategy also revolves around redefining its geopolitical role. Iran’s game in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and even Yemen shouldn’t be considered only from an ideological point of view, but rather as the Islamic Republic seeking what can be defined as living space.
While Iran leads the best organised and most aggressive alliance in the Middle East, the built-in limitations of its methods and the sectarian nature of the conflicts in question will likely stymie Iranian domination of the region.
The Middle East is currently in the midst of widespread instability, civil strife and the collapse or contraction of state authority. Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Turkey, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Tunisia and Egypt have all experienced major instability over the last half decade. The first four of these areas have effectively ceased to exist as unitary states, and are now partitioned de facto between warring entities, organised according to ethnic, sectarian or tribal loyalty. The Palestinian territories too are divided into areas controlled by the Islamist Hamas movement in Gaza and the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank. In this fractious landscape, powerful regional states are seeking to gain advantage, extend their own power, and diminish that of their rivals.The collapse of states has in turn brought with it the decline of the national identities that supposedly underlay them, and the growth of sectarian identification as a political factor. The result is the emergence of Sunni-Shia conflict as a major overt presence in the Middle East. In Yemen, in Iraq, in Lebanon, and in a more complex way in Syria, Sunni-Shia rivalries form a central dynamic, which are also important in terms of the geo-strategic rivalries among major states competing in the Middle East.
MESOP : ANOTHER TERRIBLE THREAT TO THE WORLD : ‘Russia, Iran have signed contract for S-300 missile system delivery’ – Iran taking key step toward implementation of nuclear accord – Jerusalem Post 10 Nov 2015
CEO of Russian state-owned defense firm says deal has been sealed for supply of one of world’s most capable air defense systems. Russia and Iran have signed a contract for Moscow to supply Tehran with S-300 surface-to-air missile systems, Sergei Chemezov, the chief executive of Russian state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec, was quoted by the RIA news agency as saying on Monday.
“S-300, the air defense system, the contract has already been signed,” Chemezov was quoted as saying at the Dubai Airshow. A nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers earlier this deal has put Israel and Sunni-ruled Gulf monarchies on edge: They fear Tehran’s rapprochement with the West will allow it to pursue an expansionist agenda in the region. Chemezov said Gulf countries had no reason to feel threatened by the deal.
“This is defence equipment. And we are ready to offer this defense equipment to any country,” Chemezov later told Reuters in Dubai, speaking through interpreters. “So if the Gulf countries are not going to attack Iran … why should they be threatened? Because this is defense equipment.”
He said that Saudi Arabia, arch-rival of Iran, had approached his firm “several times” requesting that it not deliver the equipment. “Five years ago … even now, up to now … And we said that the S-300 is not capable to attack … to reach the neighboring countries.”
Earlier this month it was reported that Russian state-owned arms company Rosoboronexport said it was preparing a contract to supply Iran with the missile systems. The technology will significantly upgrade Iran’s anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic missile capabilities. Russia and its state media have made numerous statements regarding the sale or delay of the delivery of the S-300 system over the years. The often contradicting reports appear to be a propaganda operation that changes according to the country’s political interests.Russian state arms producer Almaz-Antey in June said it would supply Iran with a modernized version of the S-300, among the world’s most capable air defense systems, once a commercial agreement was reached. In 2010, under Western pressure, Russia suspended a 2007 agreement to sell five S-300 batteries to Iran under a contract then reported to be worth some $800 million. www.mesop.de
Alles, was sie schon immer über den Menschenrechtsdialog wissen wollten – VON THOMAS VON DER OSTEN-SACKEN
MESOP: EIN HERR SCHULZ AUS DEUTSCHLAND IN FREMDEN LÄNDERN
Zwei und zwei ist manchmal fünf, aber es bedarf heute anscheinend gar keines Drucks, um das einzusehen. Der SPIEGEL schreibt über die Reise von EU-Präsidenten Martin Schulz in den Iran: “Sogar das Thema Menschenrechte kam zur Sprache – die Gastgeber schnitten es selbst an. Er würde sich wünschen, sagte ein Professor beim Termin an der Teheraner Universität, dass das Europäische Parlament sich bei seinen Resolutionen zu den Menschenrechten etwas mehr zurückhalte”.
Die Passage ist nicht etwa sarkastisch gemeint: dass Martin Schulz seine eigenen EU-Resolutionen verletzt, indem er sich wohl nicht einmal zum Schein mit Oppositionellen getroffen hat, aber sich stattdessen belehren ließ, die EU solle beim Thema Menschenrechte noch mehr schweigen, als gewohnt, wird am Ende des Textes so zusammengefasst:
“Diesmal konnte sogar über Menschenrechte geredet werden.”
Logisch, dass auch Syrien ein prima Grund ist, den Dialog nicht abreißen zu lassen, auch wenn Teheran “vorerst” seine schützende Hand über Syriens Diktator hält – bis die EU Assad schließlich wegdiskutiert haben wird.
„Nach dem erfolgreichen Atom-Deal setzen Europas Spitzenpolitiker auf den Einfluss Irans, um den Bürgerkrieg in Syrien zu beenden. Doch der Besuch von EU-Parlamentspräsident Martin Schulz in Teheran zeigt, wie weit der Weg noch ist.“ – Fraglich nur, ob die Syrer den weiten Weg zum (vorerst) ewigen Frieden mit Assad, Khamenei, Putin und Nasrallah mitgehen werden, anstatt den Weg nach Europa zu nehmen, der etwas kürzer ist, wie Bund und Länder dieser Tage wieder einmal vermeintlich überrascht feststellen.
8 November 2015 – al-Arabiya – Getting fired and prohibited from practicing all governmental jobs in the case of rejecting to participate in missions in Syria did not prevent a number of Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ leaders from refusing to go Syria, Ash-Sharq al-Awsat daily quoted a well-informed Iranian source as saying. The source added that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards referred a number of officers to military courts after they refused to join the war in Syria.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards has been forcing its officers to choose between fighting in Syria and court-martial
BEIRUT – Now Media – 3 Nov 2015 -Officers in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have started to refuse deployments in Syria amid their country’s mounting casualties in the war-torn country, according to Asharq Alawsat. The Saudi-owned daily reported Tuesday that the IRGC has transferred a number of commanders and officers to military courts after they refused to serve in Syria.