by Simon Henderson  – Policy Alert – November 14, 2017 – Simon Henderson is the Baker Fellow and director of the Gulf and Energy Policy Program at The Washington Institute.

The incident, a few miles from the headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, could portend escalating regional tensions.  Saudi crude oil is reported to be flowing again through the Bahrain pipeline damaged by an explosion late on November 10. No one was injured in the blast, which sent a plume of flames high into the sky, damaging cars and nearby buildings. As yet, there has been no claim of responsibility, although the Bahraini government has described the incident as an “intentional act of sabotage,” blaming terrorists acting under instruction from Iran.


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The November 10, 2017 Trump-Putin Joint Statement Allows Iran To Deploy Forces Close To Israel’s Border – Posing An Existential Threat To Israel’s Security

MESOP NEWS :  NOW ALL AGAINST ISRAEL –  November 13, 2017  – No. 1358 – MEMRI

By: Yigal Carmon and A. Savyon* – Following the November 12, 2017 meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam, President Trump agreed to, and legitimized Iran’s expansion in Syria, including the deployment of Iranian and pro-Iran militia forces close to the Syria-Israel border.

The joint statement, dated November 10, was released by both the Russian Foreign Ministry and the U.S. State Department (see Appendix I). A map showing the areas where Iranian forces will be deployed was reportedly appended to the statement, but has not yet been released.

The statement does not mention any withdrawal of Iranian forces and pro-Iran militias from Syria at any time in the future.

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MESOP FULL DOCUMENT/CHRONOLOGY : Spotlight on Iran – The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center – Israel

October 29 – November 12, 2017 Editor: Dr. Raz Zimmt  –  Overview – Iranian reactions to the resignation of the Lebanese prime minister: Tehran rebuked the resignation statement of the Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, in which he lambasted Iran’s meddling in the internal affairs of his country. Senior Iranian officials and Iranian media outlets argued that Hariri’s resignation stemmed from a Saudi dictate and presented it as another manifestation of the “Saudi-American conspiracy” that aims to increase pressure on Iran and stymie its influence in the region and in Lebanon in particular.

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MESOP NEWS : KURDISH OIL STOLEN BY TEHRAN – Iraq to export Kirkuk oil to Iran – Oil fields in Kirkuk were seized and controlled by Iraqi forces from Kurdish Peshmerga forces last month

By Haydar Hadi –  BAGHDAD – MIDDEL EAST EYE – 11 Nov 2017 – Iraq and Iran Friday agreed in principle to export Kirkuk oil to Iran, according to Iraqi oil ministry.Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said in a statement that 30,000-60,000 barrels of oil per day would be exported to Iran’s Kermanshah province.The deal was signed in Baghdad between Iraq’s State Organization for Marketing of Oil (SOMO) and Iran, al-Luaibi said.The amount of the export would be increased after pipelines were installed, he added.Al-Luaibi said the oil would be trucked over Iraq’s border to Kermanshah.

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MESOP NEWS : MACRON’S CHANGE?” France Points to Negotiation of Missiles Alongside IRAN Nuclear Deal

10 Nov 2017 – In a shift of its public position, France is indicating that negotiations must be conducted over Iran’s ballistic missile program.Responding to Donald Trump’s statements over the past two months, Paris had backed the Islamic Republic’s line that the July 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the 5+1 Powers (US, France, UK, China, Russia, and Germany) could not be reopened for revision.However, on Thursday, President Emmanuel Macron said added that the missile program should be restricted either through talks, linked to the 2015 accord, or sanctions.

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The other Iranians fighting in Iraq


MESOP NEWS YAZDANPANAH’S WORDS  : “I don’t believe in federalism as a solution for the Kurdish issue,” said Yazdanpanah, who does not hide the fact that, for him, the enemy is Iran. “For us, the real battlefield is Rojhalat,” referring to the Kurdish-inhabited region of Iran by its Sorani name.

Fazel Hawramy November 7, 2017 – AL MONITOR –  Article Summary – While much focus was on Iranian fighters among the Iraqi forces that retook disputed areas in October, other Iranian fighters played a key role in the other side of the fight.

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Aron Lund – 8 Nov 2017 – Now we just need the pipelines for Iranian oil and gas to reach the Mediterranean and Europe.

Syria, Iraq, and Iran agreed to connect their electrical grids.


Der Iran ist die eigentliche Gefahr in Nahost

(Arye S. Shalicar, WELT) »Mit seiner aggressiv-expansionistischen Weltanschauung arbeitet das iranische Regime, insbesondere mithilfe der Revolutionsgarden (Pasdaran) und der ihnen unterstellten Al-Kuds-Auslandseinheit ununterbrochen daran, eine neue Realität in Nahost herzustellen. In ihr soll die schiitische Ausrichtung des Islams unter der Führung der Islamischen Republik Iran den Ton in der muslimischen Welt angeben.

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by Farzin Nadimi  – PolicyWatch 2888 – November 7, 2017

Tehran could back up its defiant rhetoric by deploying air defense assets to Syria, establishing an asymmetric naval presence in the Mediterranean, smuggling more arms to the Houthis, and stepping up its ballistic missile program.

As supporters of the Assad regime contemplate their next moves in Syria, Iran is weighing its options for establishing a permanent foothold in the war-ravaged country. Tehran no doubt hopes to secure a reliable logistical route to southern Lebanon and put more pressure on Israel in the Golan Heights, thereby returning to the preferred mode of “Islamic world vs the Zionist entity,” as Gen. Hossein Nejat, acting head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) intelligence branch, described in an October 20 interview.

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MESOP NEWS : INGLORIOUS BASTARDS ! – Putin, Khamenei agree they need each other

Week in Review November 5, 2017 – AL MONITOR – Iran and Russia deepen energy cooperation; Iran has Hezbollah’s back; does the CIA have a back channel to Assad?

Putin signs $30 billion energy deal in Tehran

We wrote here in July that absent relief from US sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin would forge his own path in the Middle East by carefully working with and through regional powers, especially Iran. So perhaps it is no surprise that when Putin met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Nov. 1, there seemed to be a meeting of the minds on regional developments, especially regarding Syria and Iraq, as well as agreement to deepening economic cooperation in many fields, including energy.

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