|Southwest Asia News Digest
LaRouche on Russia's Asymmetric Warfare vs. British Empire
April 28 (EIRNS)A stunning series of diplomatic actions, in particular by Russia and Turkey, are taking place against the British Empire's war plans in Southwest Asia. On April 28, Lyndon LaRouche described this pattern, which extends from Southwest Asia to the Pacific, as the Russians engaging in asymmetrical strategic warfare against the Europeans, especially the British. LaRouche said that most people would take the simplistic view that the Russian moves are directed against war-monger Dick Cheney, but, "it is not against the Bush Administration, as such; it is not against [Defense Secretary Robert] Gates; it against the European Union. Asymmetric warfare does not follow what is 'obvious.'"
On the Russia front, Valentin Sobolev, the Secretary General of the Russian National Security Council, arrived in Tehran on April 27, with a large delegation to carry out talks on Iran's nuclear program, and other major areas of cooperation. Sobolev met Golyam Reza Agazadeh, who is both Vice President of the country and head of the Iranian Nuclear Energy Organization, for talks on bilateral nuclear energy cooperation.
At a press conference afterwards, Agazadeh called the talks "very constructive and positive," and touched on the "completion of the Bushehr power plant," which "will be commissioned within the agreed-upon time framework." The latest question mark over the Bushehr project came last month, when Azerbaijan suddenly detained insulation materials for the plant's turbines, during transshipment from Russia to Iran. Tehran and Moscow have undertaken vigorous diplomatic efforts to smooth out this wrinkle, which Russian sources call "political."
Sobolev also met his Iranian counterpart, Said Jalili, and the two discussed the North-South Transport Corridor, energy cooperation, and military-technical cooperation, according to Russian media sources. Sobolev said, "Our talks are peaceful in nature and not directed against any countries whatsoever." After their initial meeting, Jalili told reporters that there would be a second round of talks, and possibly a third. He said that Russia and Iran are two important nations, and that their cooperation in the region "can become an important step in ensuring peace, stability, and security, both in the region and worldwide."
During this visit, Jalili also indicated that Iran was preparing for presentation "in the near future," a proposal which will concern "the solution of global peace problems. These will be multi-vectored initiatives, concerning, in particular, questions of policy and security." The package will also include initiatives related to nuclear non-proliferation. This "grand bargain" would be presented by Russia to the other 5+1 nations (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany), to counter the recently escalated, London-ordered Cheney preparations for a war against Iran and Syria, before the Bush administration leaves office in January 2009.
On the Syria-Israel peace front, Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan was in Damascus, over the weekend, negotiating for a potential peace treaty between Syria and Israel, that would include the return of the Golan Heights to Syria, and Syrian guarantees of security along Israel's northern borders.
Erdogan will be sending his foreign policy advisor, who holds the dossier for Turkish mediation between Israel and Syria, to Israel to brief Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on his talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Unnamed sources close Olmert's office told the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz that Israel is prepared to act on the fact that the U.S. has said it would not oppose talks, and explore the possibility to hold talks even while Bush is still in the White House.
"Talks are being conducted to sort out the issue," the source said. "The goal of Turkey's activity is to allow talks to start. That's how we view it. So far no real negotiations are taking place." While Olmert has called for direct and discreet talks to begin immediately, without arbiters or preconditions, Assad wants open talks arbitrated by the U.S. and a statement from Israel that it is prepared to give up the Golan Heights. Erdogan is seeking a compromise to bridge these two positions. The source told Ha'aretz, "Erdogan has decided to go all the way on the issue of Israel and Syria."
Israeli Prime Minister Olmert Questioned by Police
May 2 (EIRNS)Investigators from Israel's National Fraud Office questioned Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this morning for 90 minutes. According to Yideot Ahronot, the case is separate from the previous three known cases of alleged corruption that are under investigation. This one, Yediot claims, involves an unnamed "American businessman living in Israel," who is cooperating with the police. No other details were given. This has led to calls for him to step aside while investigations are taking place.
As of May 5, the Likud war party was polling the Knesset to see if there are enough votes to bring down the Olmert government. Unfortunately, several Labor Party junior members are supporting this effort.
The moves against Olmert come as "collaboration" between British MI6 and the Israeli Mossad heat up over a plan to overturn the U.S. intelligence community's National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran. Israeli sources told the Sunday Times of London that Israel has new information that will show Iran does have a nuclear weapons program, and that Israel expects the NIE to be overturned in the near future.
Syria-Israel Press Dialogue Continues
April 30 (EIRNS)Syrian foreign policy expert, Dr. Samir Taqi, told al-Manar Television of Lebanon that Israel should drop its demands that Syria cut ties to Iran and Hezbollah as a condition for a peace agreement. This has been part of the Israeli rhetoric every time it mentions peace talks with Syria.
"It would be naive to think Syria will neglect or abandon its strategic alliances that do not stem from the Arab-Israeli conflict, Taqi told al-Manar TV. On April 26, Taqi told al-Jazeera that Syria was interested in moving ahead with peace talks, even while the Bush administration remains in power. He said now was the time to prepare for the pre-negotiation phase, to declare intentions and points of view, until the countries can reach a point at which the U.S. could participate.
Taqi is considered a very important insider in Damascus, having been an advisor to Hafez Assad, and currently holds the title of advisor to the Syrian prime minister. He is head of the Center of Oriental Studies in Damascus, and has been playing a key role in the Turkish mediation between Israel and Syria; he has the trust of the Turks and collaborates with Ahmet Davutoglu, a close advisor to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan.
Aoun Responds Warmly To Assad's Invitation To Visit Syria
May 2 (EIRNS)A visit to Syria is "important," and "is dear to us," stated Gen. Michel Aoun (ret.), president of the Free Patriotic Tendency (CPL), one of the two main opposition forces to the pro-Cheney government of Fouad Siniora in Lebanon and the March 14 coalition forces of Saad Hariri. This was General Aoun's response to the warm invitation extended to him by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his interview with the Qatari paper Al-Watan April 27. Aoun added that he hoped the "circumstances would permit such a visit with the shortest possible delay."
Aoun underlined once again that the oppositionhis own CPL movement and the Hezbollah of Hassan Nasrallahis not responsible for blocking the Presidential election. "There is a plot against Lebanon whose aim is to dismember the country," he declared, adding, "It is those in power and those who support them from abroad who are responsible for the political vacuum" and not the opposition.
On May 2, Lebanon's main French-language paper, L'Orient le Jour, reported Aoun's comments vis-à-vis Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir, the Maronite Patriarch, who asked the parliamentary deputies, especially Christians, to attend the parliamentary session for the election of a President before obtaining the conditions which the opposition is demanding. Said Aoun, "my conscience is clear, because I didn't contribute to the fall of the democratic system in Lebanon.... I will not participate in elections which do not ensure us active participation in the future government or ... guarantee an electoral law ensuring a good representation of the Lebanese."
Syrian Ambassador: U.S. Allegations Are 'Madness'
May 3 (EIRNS)The Bush Administration presented its hoked-up allegations of nuclear cooperation between Syria and North Korea at a conference on nuclear non-proliferation held in Geneva.
Syrian Ambassador Faysal Al Hamoui utterly dismissed this, telling the conference that, "U.S. allegations about the reactor were manufactured in order to create further crises in the Middle East.... We call upon member states to exercise caution and not to follow ... the vein of an administration which can only be described as madness."
In response to France, which supported the U.S., Al Hamoui said that France lacks credibility: "France played a major and pivotal role in building the Israeli nuclear program and continues to supply Israel with nuclear technology, which is a clear infringement of the NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty]."