Tuesday, September 25, 2018

By Philip A Farruggio Global Research, September 25, 2018

FILE PHOTO. An illustrated picture shows euro notes stuck into a tank opening of a car © Patrick Pleul / Global Look Press

European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini says the EU signatories remain committed to the nuclear deal with Iran that the US has quit. The group is working to create special payment channels to do business with Iran.

Mogherini read from a statement following a ministerial meeting of the remaining signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. The statement by the five nations –Russia, the UK, Germany, China and France– confirms that Iran has been complying with its end of the agreement.
With that in mind, the EU is working to create the means to continue doing business with Iran legally, at a time when the US is looking to stifle Tehran's oil exports with sanctions, aiming ultimately to bring them down to zero.
"Mindful of the urgency and the need for tangible results, the participants welcomed practical proposals to maintain and develop payment channels, notably the initiative to establish a special purpose vehicle to facilitate payments related to Iran's exports, including oil," Mogherini said.
The US exit from the Iran nuclear deal in May drove a wedge between the Trump administration and US allies over in Europe, who reaffirmed their commitment to the landmark agreement. After unilaterally breaking off from the multi-party deal, the US has been gradually reimposing sanctions that had been lifted under the agreement, in return for Tehran capping its nuclear program. The first round of sanctions kicked in in August, to be followed by a second and final round in November. Ahead of the November 4 deadline, the US has been pushing its allies to cut all business with Iran, threatening European companies with secondary sanctions. The heavy-handed approach has drawn sharp criticism from Brussels as well as France, Germany and the UK. In August, the European guarantors of the deal said they were working on “the preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran, and the continuation of Iran’s export of oil and gas” despite potential repercussions.
Both Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and US President Donald Trump are set to address the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. Last year saw a heated exchange of insults between the two, with Trump branding the Iranian government “a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of democracy,” and Rouhani referring to the Trump administration as “rogue newcomers.”


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North and South Korea Sign Agreement for ‘Era of No War,’ Will Cease All Hostile Acts

Global Research, September 25, 2018
Nextshark 20 September 2018

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made a historic announcement, committing to an “era of no war” during the two leaders’ joint press conference held on Wednesday in Pyongyang, North Korea. 
The announcement was made at the Paekhwawon State Guesthouse on the second day of a three-day summit between the two leaders who both expressed hopes in containing the threat of war on the Korean Peninsula.
Among the pledges made by North Korea include the closure of a key missile test facility in the presence of “international experts” and the possibility of the destruction of its primary nuclear complex, which is reportedly dependent on whether the United States will agree on some corresponding measures.
Kim and Moon reiterated their vow to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula, a promise they first delivered at their earlier summit in April.
“The world is going to see how this divided nation is going to bring about a new future on its own,” said Kim.
The two leaders also indicated a potential historic fourth meeting in the South Korean capital of Seoul in the near future.
Should Kim follow through with their signed agreement which stated he would travel to Seoul “as soon as possible,” he will be the first ever North Korean leader to do so.
A 17-page accord was also signed by both administrations’ defense ministers in which they vowed to “cease all hostile acts against each other.”
“The era of no war has started,” said Moon. “Today the North and South decided to remove all threats that can cause war from the entire Korean peninsula.”
According to CNN, here are the other pledges that the two countries have agreed to pursue:
  • Submission of a joint bid to host the 2032 Summer Olympics.
  • Creation of rail and road links between North and South within the next year.
  • Stopping any military drill aimed at each other along the Military Demarcation Line, which divides the two countries, by November 1.
  • Removal of 11 guard posts in the demilitarized zone by the end of the year.
  • Normalization of the Kaesong Industrial complex and Kumgang tourism project as soon as the conditions allow.
Meanwhile, United States President Donald Trump took to Twitter to express his excitement over the historic announcement.
Kim Jong Un has agreed to allow Nuclear inspections, subject to final negotiations, and to permanently dismantle a test site and launch pad in the presence of international experts. In the meantime there will be no Rocket or Nuclear testing. Hero remains to continue being........
....returned home to the United States. Also, North and South Korea will file a joint bid to host the 2032 Olympics. Very exciting!
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Rabbis for Human Rights in Solidarity with Bedouin Community, Celebrate Sukkot at Khan al-Ahmar

Global Research, September 25, 2018

Ma'an News Agency 24 September 2018

Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) announced on that they have set up sukkah’s, which are temporary tents constructed for use during the week-long Jewish holiday of Sukkot, in the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem.
RHR decided to set up sukkah’s at the Bedouin village to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles, to show solidarity with the residents and as a protest against Israel’s planned demolition of the village.
RHR said, in a statement,
“We will express solidarity with our Bedouin brothers and we will live as they do for a little bit. We will remember that our forefathers lived as free human beings for 40 years in the Sinai Desert.”
“We will sit during Sukkot in the Judean Desert during the seven days of the holiday. We will live a life of confidence in our temporary quarters, together with members of the Jahalin tribe, who have been living in this vulnerable situation for years.”
RHR joins local and international activists along with residents of Khan al-Ahmar, who have started an open sit-in at the village, protesting the Israeli High Court’s approval of the demolition at the beginning of the month.
Since July, Khan al-Ahmar has been under threat of demolition by Israeli forces; the demolition would leave more than 35 Palestinian families displaced, as part of an Israeli plan to expand the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adummim.
Although international humanitarian law prohibits the demolition of the village and illegal confiscation of private property, Israeli forces continue their planned expansion by forcing evictions and violating basic human rights of the people.
Israel has been constantly trying to uproot Bedouin communities from the east of Jerusalem area to allow settlement expansion in the area, which would later turn the entire eastern part of the West Bank into a settlement zone.
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Breaking: Russia Establishes No-fly Zone Over Latakia Province – Diplomat

Global Research, September 25, 2018
Al Masdar News 24 September 2018

The Russian military has established a no-fly zone over the Latakia province of western Syria, Russian Senator and former Air Force commander Viktor Bondarev stated on Monday.
“The establishment of a no-fly zone over the Russian military base in Latakia will prevent a repeat of the IL-20 aircraft tragedy,” Bondarev told the Russian Federation’s Council this evening.
“After creating a no-fly zone in Latakia, it is necessary to announce that any unauthorized objects in the sky over Hmeimim Airport will definitely be eliminated,” he added.
The Russian senator would add that the S-300 will not only be deployed at the Hmeimim Airbase, but also, in several parts of the country.
Earlier this evening, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone to discuss the current situation in Syria.
Reports from Moscow indicated that Putin informed Netanyahu that Russia does not accept Israel’s version of the events that took place on the night of the September 17th.
Russia expects its relations with Israel to remain the same, despite the upcoming delivery of the S-300 air defense system to Syria.
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China Blasts US Trade Protectionism. US Policies could lead to “Confrontation”

Global Research, September 25, 2018

According to Russian academic Alexander Lukin, hardline US policies toward Russia and China could “lead to confrontation.”
It already has politically and economically. The threat of possible military confrontation remains. Lukin believes the US is “very clearly a declining power,” its influence waning despite its strength, adding:
China accomplished what Soviet Russia failed to achieve. It “created an economically effective model without political dependence on the West. There are already countries which are interested in more cooperation with China than with the US and its allies.”
The Trump regime aims to limit China’s growth, trade disputes a pretext. Washington’s real aim is wanting China co-opted, submissive to its will, an objective it won’t achieve. The country is proudly independent and intends staying this way.
The same goes for Russia. Both nations want cooperative relations with all other countries, including the US, short of subservience.
On Monday, China’s Information Office of the State Council (CIOST) released a white paper, titled “The Facts and China’s Position on China-US Trade Friction,” saying:
“Thanks to economic globalization, economies, particularly the larger ones, are highly interdependent.”
“Ultimately, trade wars unilaterally initiated by the US administration will not only hurt other economies but also undermine US interests.”
The white paper highlights what it calls “six key facts about China-US trade and economic relations,” including:
— “the gap in trade in goods alone is not a good indicator of China-US trade and economic relations;
— the discussion of fair trade should not be detached from the principle of mutual benefit of the World Trade Organization (WTO);
— the accusation that China forces technology transfer is against the spirit of contract;
— China’s huge efforts and achievements with regard to (intellectual property) protection should not be dismissed;
— the Chinese government’s encouragement to Chinese business to go global should not be distorted as a government attempt to acquire advanced technologies through commercial mergers and acquisitions;
— China’s subsidy policy complies with WTO rules and should not be attacked.”
Trade protectionism is mutually harmful. Trump regime tariffs on Chinese products increase their cost for US businesses and consumers, resulting in thousands of lost jobs – a hugely counterproductive policy.
Whoever is advising Trump on economic and trade with China is a fifth column threat to bilateral interests.
In early May, the US National Taxpayers Union warned the executive and Congress that tariffs on imports from China and other countries would drive up costs and harm the economy.
They’ll automatically trigger countermeasures, assuring losers, not winners, the way all trade wars turn out – foolhardy to initiate. Yet they foolishly erupt at times like now.
Offshoring of US jobs and operations to China and other low-wage countries are to blame for America’s huge trade deficit
Blame US industries for their policies, not recipient countries like China and others.
Trump regime economic trade policies toward Beijing are undermining decades of bilateral efforts to resolve differences equitably, according to the CIOST.
The white paper blamed Trump’s America First agenda for “unilateralism, protectionism and economic hegemony, making false accusations against many countries and regions, particularly China, intimidating other countries through economic measures such as imposing tariffs, and attempting to impose its own interests on China through extreme pressure.”
The Trump regime imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese products, vowing another $267 billion more if Beijing retaliates.
Imposing sanctions on China for buying Russian aircraft and S-400 missile defense systems resulted in Vice Premier Liu He cancelling his scheduled September 24 visit to Washington, hoping to resolve trade differences after four failed attempts.
Like all countries, China wants and deserves respect in bilateral relations with America and other nations.
Its new white paper stressed it, saying
“(t)he door for trade talks is always open, but negotiations must be held in an environment of mutual respect. (They) be carried out under the threat of tariffs” – or unacceptable sanctions.
US tactics most often rely on pressure, threats, and bullying to get its way – even with allies.
It usually works with nations easy to push around – not powerful ones like China and Russia, able to retaliate strongly against unacceptable toughness.
According to the Wall Street Journal on Monday, Trump is expected to instruct his trade representative Robert Lighthizer to begin preparing tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports.
If implemented and responded to by Beijing as expected, a full-blown trade war will follow with no foreseeable resolution any time soon.
World markets are sure to react negatively to what Western ones have largely ignored so far – because of “a material impact on global growth,” economist Brian Coulton explained.
How seriously depends on how far Trump regime trade hawks intend pushing things for how long.
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Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Featured image is from Stansberry Churchouse.


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