The End of the Saudi Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

Image result for sunni vs shiaSaudi rulers will perish: Khamenei
ANI | Tehran [Iran] May 28, 2017 03:10 PM IST
On the occasion of the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said that “Saudi rulers are going to perish”.
He further added that the Saudi rulers “are too harsh on Muslims, yet kind to the disbelievers. They are giving special handouts to the US. To whom does all this wealth belong? This is the Saudi people’s wealth, which they give away to disbelievers and their people’s enemies.”
“Among the Muslim world, a group of worthless, inept and villainous people are ruling over a community of the Muslim nation, namely the Saudi government. The fools actually think they can gain the friendship of Islam’s enemies by providing them with money and assistance. There is no friendship there; as they say themselves, they are ‘milking them’ like cattle. They oppress their own people in this manner, and oppress the people of Yemen and Bahrain in other ways. But they are going to perish.”IRNA news agency quoted Iran’s supreme leader as saying.
After re-elected for a second term, Iran’s reformist president, Hassan Rouhani asserted that unity and consensus is the solution against the terrorism.
The era of interfering in other countries’ affairs, waging wars and funding terrorism is over and fighting terrorism is the only way ahead, he added.
Iran’s leader also reminded his audience on the experience of the Iranian nation’s victory over the eight-year imposed war; adding that the Iranian nation triumphed during the eight-year war as the ‘underdog.’
Referring to the afflictions of the Islamic world and disputes imposed on the Muslim states, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on leaders of the Islamic world to undertake further responsibility regarding unity of the Islamic nations.

The Rising Saudi Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7:7)

 
By Webmaster – October 27, 201604
Astana—An agreement of cooperation in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy was signed by President of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy Dr. Hashim Yamani and Kazakhstan’s Minister of Energy Kanat Bozumbayev.
The signing comes following Kazakhstan’s official visit to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday where King Salman and President Nursultan Nazarbayev reviewed bilateral relations and ways of enhancing them in all fields.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) and three agreements between the two governments.
The MoU, in the fields of agriculture and livestock, was signed by Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdurrahman Al-Fadhli and Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Askar Myrzakhmetov. An agreement in the fields of extradition of wanted persons and another one in the transfer of prisoners were signed by Deputy Interior Minister Abdulrahman Al-Rubaian and Kazakhstan’s Prosecutor Zhaqip Asanov.
Nazarbayev held separate talks with Iyad Madani, secretary general of Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and Bandar Hajjar, president of Islamic Development Bank. Their talks mainly figured issues of common interest.—Agencies

Saudis And Iran Will not go to War … Yet

Why Iran and Saudi Arabia will jaw-jaw but not war-war
TEHRAN, Iran – “You must understand that they [Iranians] are not Muslims, they are sons of Magi [Zoroastrians], and their hostility toward Muslims, especially the Sunnis, is an old one.” These are the words of the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdul-Aziz Al Sheikh, delivered Sept. 6. The unprecedented remarks are said to have been a response to the hajj message the Iranian supreme leader released the preceding day. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had stated, “Saudi officials are trying to cover up their enmity and hatred of the faithful and revolutionary people of Iran by talking about politicization of the hajj. They are small and pitiful devils who are very afraid of jeopardizing the interests of the big Satan, the United States.”
Although Iranian President Hassan Rouhani came to power in 2013 with the promise of easing tensions between Iran and other countries in the region, what is currently taking place between Tehran and Riyadh cannot in any way be considered a de-escalation. In his first press conference after being elected, Rouhani emphasized that Iran and Saudi Arabia are neighbors and brothers and therefore should forge closer relations. This ideal scenario remains an ideal. Exchanges between Iran and Saudi Arabia show that far from brotherly relations, the two sides openly consider the other the enemy.
The regional rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia is at a point where the two countries no longer even enjoy diplomatic relations. The immediate incident leading to this point was the January execution of the Saudi Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and the subsequent attacks on Saudi diplomatic facilities by Iranian protesters. Other contributing factors include last year’s hajj stampede, which left hundreds of Iranians dead, the sexual molestation of two Iranian youths while on the same pilgrimage and the Saudis’ military intervention in Yemen.
Al-Monitor spoke with Javid Ghorban-Oghli, former director general of Middle East affairs at the Iranian Foreign Ministry, about these tensions. “The root of this conflict is the regional rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia,” Ghorban-Oghli said. “This process began after the [2003] downfall of Saddam Hussein and the regional imbalance that it created. The rivalry started between Iran and Riyadh in their neighboring regions, and after the Arab Spring, the rivalry transferred to Syria, and it intensified.”
Ghorban-Oghli believes it is not helpful to try to determine which side is perhaps more responsible for escalating tensions. “We will not achieve anything by trying to look for the guilty party,” he said. “We should look for a win-win pattern of engagement similar to what was used during the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1. When a house is burning, we should first try to put out the fire and then look for the responsible person.”
Saudi arms purchases have recently dramatically increased. According to an estimate by the firm IHS, Riyadh planned last year to buy defense equipment worth close to $10 billion, a whopping 42% increase compared to 2014 purchases. One of the reasons for the increase is the kingdom’s military intervention in Yemen, but given the staggering size of the increase, is it conceivable that Saudi officials have another possible military conflict on their minds, that is, one with Iran?
No Iranian officials, including military commanders, have publicly broached the idea or possibility of armed conflict with Saudi Arabia. The closest to such a statement was a rare warning, on June 20, by Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of external operations for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), to the Saudi-allied rulers of Bahrain. Soleimani said, “The supporters of Al Khalifa should know that insulting Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim and the continuation of pressure on the people of Bahrain is the beginning of a bloody uprising, the consequences of which will be the responsibility of those who legitimize the arrogance of the rulers of Bahrain.” This message, Soleimani’s harshest to a neighbor to date, implicitly targeted Saudi Arabia in light of Riyadh having dispatched troops to crush Arab Spring protests in Bahrain.
Earlier, on April 5, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the IRGC, had asserted, “The IRGC’s answer regarding Saudi audacity in Bahrain is awaiting an order.” The most recent comments regarding this issue were made by Ali Fadavi, commander of the IRGC’s naval operations. On July 16, Fadavi rejected the idea of enmity between Iran and Saudi Arabia, saying that it was “the enemy’s” plan to pretend as if Iran now considered Saudi Arabia, rather than the United States, as its main adversary. Fadavi also emphasized, however, that if necessary, Iran could deliver irreparable blows to the Saudis.
Nosratollah Tajik, Iran’s former ambassador to Jordan, told Al-Monitor, “As far as domestic affairs are concerned, especially given the generational gaps and new demands, the Saudi government is walking on a minefield. Iran should plan for an active and influential foreign policy by avoiding policies driven by slogans and adopting a coherent, comprehensive and intelligent strategy.”
There is, of course, the question of whether war between Iran and Saudi Arabia is a credible possibility. In this regard, Ghorban-Oghli said, “I hope that this is not the case, and I hope that wise people on both sides will step forward and prevent a war from taking place.” He added, “It is probably better if a mediator manages the [dialogue] process. We should remember that these tensions neither benefit Iran nor Saudi Arabia, only arms dealers, and more so, Israel.”
At a meeting at the Center for International Research and Education of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sept. 13, Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, former commander of the IRGC (1997-2007) and now special adviser to Khamenei, said, “Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United States are aware of Iran’s geopolitical importance. They want to create tension in order to diminish our successes in Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. We should avoid tension as best we can. I also suggest that Iran expand its relations with Oman, Kuwait and even Qatar. We should additionally exercise patience regarding the Saudis. We should not, under any circumstances, look for more tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia.”

Saudis Add Fuel To Shia Fire

Brotherly Hatred of Shia and Sunni


Saudi Arabia’s Top Cleric Says Iranians ‘Not Muslims’

Author: Leroy Wright
Sep 18, 2016, 8:27
A year after the worst hajj disaster in a generation, Saudi Arabia is issuing pilgrims with electronic bracelets and using more surveillance cameras to avoid a repeat of a crush that killed hundreds and damaged already strained ties with Iran.
Grand Mufti Abdulaziz Al Sheikh described the angry remarks from Iran’s leader as “not surprising”. “They murdered them.” Mostly Sunni Saudi Arabia and majority Shiite Iran back opposite sides of the wars in Syria and Yemen, and support opposing political groups in Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon.
In remarks published on Wednesday, Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Al ash-Sheikh said: “We must understand these are not Muslims“. “Their enmity toward Muslims, especially the Sunnis, is very old“.
At least 2,426 people, including 464 Iranians, were killed in the stampede.
On the topic of Iran, bin Nayef was quoted by the Saudi press agency as saying: “The Iranian authorities are the ones who are not interested in sending Iranian pilgrims for reasons made by Iranians themselves in their quest to politicize the Hajj and turn it into slogans that violate the teachings of Islam and damages the security of the Hajj and pilgrims”.
“Instead of providing medical treatment and helping them or at least quenching their thirst”.
In a statement addressed to all Muslims, Khamenei said that instead of apologizing for the stampede or allowing a Muslim worldwide body to investigate what happened, Saudi authorities accused others of wrongdoing. Khamenei said those who accuse Iran of preventing its citizens from going to hajj are “media minions” of Saudi Arabia and are reporting lies.
Khamenei wrote on his website that “Saudi rulers” had shown “oppressive behavior” toward hajj pilgrims and because of that should reconsider who manages Mecca and Medina.
AFTER Iranians were unable to make it to Saudi Arabia for annual pilgrimage due to disagreement on several issues between the two countries, Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei has issued a harsh statement against the Kingdom and its leadership. He said Saudi authorities had “murdered” some of them, describing Saudi rulers as godless and irreligious. Saeed Ohadi, head of Iran’s hajj and pilgrimage organization, accused Saudi Arabia of being “domineering” during those negotiations and creating obstacles.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, meanwhile met with families of victims and survivors of the Mina stampede and reiterated his demand that Saudi Arabia’s ruling Al Saud family properly investigate the disaster, IRNA reported.

Saudi Arabia Separates From The Islam Horn (Daniel 8:8)

sunni shia
Anti-Wahhabism spreading in Muslim world

Al Monitor
The religious authority in Saudi Arabia responded aggressively to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s annual message Sept. 5 in which Khamenei attacked the Saudi government against the backdrop of the disputes between both states that culminated in forbidding Iranian pilgrims from the hajj this year. Iran also accused Saudi Arabia of negligence in managing the hajj, which led to the deaths of more than 760 people and injuries to around 1,000 in 2015.
Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, the Saudi grand mufti and head of the Council of Senior Scholars, spoke to Makkah newspaper Sept. 6, saying, “We must understand that those are not Muslims. They are Majus [Zoroastrians], and their enmity to Muslims — specifically to the Sunni community — goes way back.”
Although Sheikh was addressing the Iranian political regime, his choice of words and the context of his response gave the impression that he was targeting Iranian Shiites in general. He used the pronoun “they” in his reply to the message of Khamenei, who is only one of many Iranians. He also focused on Zoroastrianism, the historical religion of Iranians before Islam, and his reference to historical enmity with Sunnis is further proof that the international media got the story right — this was an attack on Iranian Shiites in general.
Such a tone is not new in the Salafi-Wahhabi discourse. It dates back to the old history of Wahhabism in the kingdom continuing to the present time. When Abdul-Aziz bin Baz was grand mufti from 1962-1999, he deemed Shiites apostates on several occasions, including in official fatwas and speeches. Ibn Jibreen, the oldest member of the Council of Senior Scholars when he died around age 76 in 2009, issued several fatwas stating that Shiites are polytheists who have deviated from Islam, saying they “deserve to be killed” if they reveal their beliefs. The council is the highest religious authority in the kingdom. Other fatwas from influential and living clerics in the kingdom such as Sheikh Abdul Rahman al-Barrak called for considering Shiites apostates, secluding them, treating them with hatred and banning humanitarian aid from reaching them.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif replied to Sheikh on his official Twitter page, writing, “Indeed; no resemblance between Islam of Iranians & most Muslims & bigoted extremism that Wahhabi top cleric & Saudi terror masters preach.”
In a speech before the families of the victims of the hajj stampede on Sept. 7, 2015, Khamenei described the ruling Saudi family as “a cursed malicious tree.” He said that it has deviated from the Muslim world and Islam and has allied with Islam’s enemies who must be deterred and whose aggression on Muslims and Islam must be halted.
The religious divisions were not limited to the political Shiite-Wahhabi conflicts. Internal skirmishes between the different Muslim currents broke out, given the fateful setbacks resulting from the ongoing regional political disputes.
For instance, there are clear sensitivities against Wahhabis from Muslims outside Shiite Islam due to Wahhabis’ bad reputation following the rise of radical jihadi currents such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) that have adopted Wahhabism as their principal influence.
An Islamic conference was held Aug. 25-27 in Chechnya’s capital, Grozny, and senior Sunni scholars from various Sunni schools attended. The meeting was sponsored by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. The conference aimed at introducing “Sunni identity” and determining its adherents.
The closing statement limited the Sunni community to “Ash’aris, Maturidis by belief, followers of the four jurisprudential schools of Sunnism (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali) and followers of pure Sufism in terms of ethics and chastity. Any other sects are not included in the Sunni community.” This clearly indicates that, in the participants’ view, Wahhabism is not considered part of Sunni Islam, but rather an emerging innovation (Bid’ah) in Islam.
The closing statement also restricted the big Islamic schools to deep-rooted religious institutions in “Al-Azhar University (Cairo, Egypt), University of Al-Quaraouiyine (Fez, Morocco), Al-Zaytoonah University (Tunisia) and Hadhramaut University (Yemen).” The statement did not mention Islamic centers and religious institutions in Saudi Arabia.
The conference provoked Wahhabi scholars and Saudi officials who considered it a conspiracy from kuffār (nonbelievers) against Saudi Arabia, and an attempt to make a coalition between Saudi Arabia’s enemies — Shiites and Sufis in particular. The attendance of Ahmed el-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar in Cairo, at the conference sparked the anger of many Saudis. Prominent writer Muhammad al-Shaikh tweeted, “Tayeb’s participation at the Grozny conference that dismissed Saudi Arabia from Sunnism will force us to change our behavior with Egypt. Our country is more important, and [President Abdel Fattah al-]Sisi’s Egypt shall go to hell.”
The Shiites’ increasing effort to undermine Wahhabism’s influence in managing Islamic affairs is now expanding to other Islamic denominations, including sects within Sunnism. This is especially true given the fact that hatred of Wahhabism is not confined to Shiites, but also includes Sufis, most of whom are Sunni. Wahhabis and their political advocates in Saudi Arabia often express equal hatred for Sufism and Shiism.
Western states recently tightened the noose on Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi activities after they noticed the role of the associations sponsoring these activities in producing religious radicalism. The French authorities decided Aug. 20 to close down 20 out of 120 mosques affiliated with Salafi groups in France. In Berlin, King Fahd Academy is shutting down because the academy is thought to have played a role in provoking extremism.
The above developments indicate that the region is undergoing extensive religious changes that might largely reduce the presence of Salafi and Wahhabi movements due to internal protests against them in the Muslim world and abroad. In addition, Saudi Arabia’s role has declined, given the drop in its oil influence on the global economy and dwindling US support for the kingdom.

The Saudis And Nuclear Terrorism

Saudis Buy 16 Nuclear Plants From The Russians, Terrorists Rejoice

ANDREW FOLLETT
Energy and Science Reporter
2:20 PM 09/06/2016

Saudi Arabia will buy 16 nuclear power plants from Russia for $100 billion despite terrorism concerns, according to a Monday announcement from a government-controlled nuclear power company.

Saudi Arabia has a long history of terrorist attacks within its borders, and the country itself has been accused of directly funding Islamic terrorism. The planned reactors would be incredibly vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Saudi Arabia’s new reactors would not produce the weapons-grade plutonium necessary to make a nuclear weapon, but materials from them could be used to create dirty bombs. A dirty bomb combines radioactive material with conventional explosives that could contaminate the local area with high radiation levels for long periods of time and cause mass panic, though it would be millions of times weaker than an actual nuclear device. The Islamic State wants to steal this kind of radioactive material for a dirty bomb.

“There are prospects for cooperation in the field of nuclear energy,” Yury Ushakov, aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, told journalists. “Our company, which has the most advanced technologies, is ready to join the project on construction of 16 nuclear power reactors in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The project is provided until 2030, its cost is $100 billion,”

Russia and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement last year to work together on “peaceful” nuclear energy projects. The stated purpose of these reactors is to generate electricity, power desalination plants and reduce domestic oil consumption so Saudi Arabia can sell the oil abroad. The reactors will be built by the Russian government controlled Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Cooperation.

Russia has supported the development of nuclear power in other countries with terrorism problems, such as Algeria, Iran and Egypt.
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Babylon The Great And The Saudi Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)


US persuades barbaric Saudi regime into relations with criminal Israel: analyst
Robert Fantina

By Robert Fantina

In his recent address to the Iranian people, Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, focused on several areas important to him, all Iranians, and peaceful people around the world. His topics, though separate, were related, and encompassed three main areas: 1) the need for people to be more diligent in their spiritual worship: 2) the requirement for Iranian society to strengthen itself from within, and 3) the dishonesty and barbaric cruelty of the United States regime. Although these issues will be reviewed independently, it will be clearly shown how they are related.
1. Ayatollah Khamenei opened his remarks with a reminder that the people need to pay more attention to God, or Allah the Exalted, as Iranian and/or Muslim tradition refers to the supreme being. He noted the blessings that come from doing so. The act of worshipping and following God will benefit everyone; life will not be without obstacles, but people will be able to better progress, when guided by divine direction.

2. Iranians must, Ayatollah Khamenei said, increase not only the production of goods, but also the consumption of those items manufactured in Iran. This will increase the need for production, thus reducing unemployment.

Further, he mentioned the problem of smuggling, which brings exports into the country illegally, making them available at low prices, and thus disrupting the sales of Iranian-produced goods. Any exports, even those legally entering the country, reduce sales of products produced domestically, and are to be discouraged.

Additionally, as he has done in the past, Ayatollah Khamenei praised the youth of Iran, noting their creativity, education and various other skills. These young people, who comprise over 30%
of the population, are Iran’s future, and they must be provided with opportunities and examples, both spiritual and temporal, to achieve their goals, and build a stronger Iran.

3. With sharp clarity, and sparing no words, Ayatollah Khamenei identified the various, insidious evils that are so inherent in the U.S. government. For example, many countries receive millions of dollars in aid from the U.S., yet there is no tangible benefit to the citizens of the countries receiving that aid. Any assistance is given as a means to steal the natural resources of the country to which that aid is given.

The suffering that the U.S. causes is boundless, as is its dishonesty. Ayatollah Khamenei mentioned the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the agreement reached last year to regulate Iran’s nuclear program. This is an excellent example of U.S. duplicity; Iran has maintained its part of the agreement, while the U.S. has reneged on the promises it made. Said he: “Today, the officials in charge of our own diplomacy and those who were present in the nuclear negotiations from the first day to the last are saying that America has broken its promises. With its calm appearance and with the soft and glib tongue of its officials, America is damaging us from behind the scene. It is preventing our country from establishing economic relations with other countries.”

What do the violations of these internationally-recognized agreements mean? Again, Ayatollah Khamenei expressed it succinctly: “It means bullying, considering oneself as superior, refusing to be committed to one’s promises and regarding oneself as free of any commitment.” That is the U.S.
The agreement was made after extensive negotiations, which, as Ayatollah Khamenei pointed out, are worthless with the U.S. It is possible to negotiate with an enemy, he said, “…who is committed to his statements so much so that you can be sure that he will not violate his promises and his commitments with any excuse. You can speak to this enemy.” The U.S., however, doesn’t fulfill that requirement. Ayatollah Khamenei continued: “However, when it is proved that the enemy is malicious, one that has no scruples about breaking his promises, that smiles and speaks with a soft and glib tongue, and that justifies his actions when you ask him why he has broken his promises, then you should know that it is not possible to negotiate with this enemy. The reason why I have been repeating for many years that we will not negotiate with America is this.” There can be no real negotiations with the United States. Further: “The officials of our political and diplomatic affairs are explicitly saying that the Americans want to take everything, but give nothing in return!”

And while the U.S. received the brunt of Ayatollah Khamenei’s criticism, as it should, he also singled out other Arab countries who oppose their Arab neighbors, always with U.S. support and weaponry.
Saudi Arabia, a barbaric regime, has followed the U.S.’s direction, and established relations with Israel, one of the most brutal colonizing regimes on the planet today. This, Ayatollah Khamenei describes as “…stabbing the Islamic Ummah in the back. There is no doubt that what the Saudis have done – overt relations with the Zionist regime – is really a dagger that has been pushed into the body of the Islamic Ummah from behind”. One does wonder how an Arab nation can actually enter into diplomatic relations with a country that violates international law constantly, and oppresses and kills Arabs within its own, dubious borders, as well as in Palestine. But as Ayatollah Khamenei pointed it, Saudi Arabia is only following the example of the United States.

And Saudi Arabia is also involved in the U.S. bombing of Yemen, where both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, as Ayatollah said, “…do not differentiate between children and adults’” as they commit mass murder there.

And Ayatollah Khamenei also mentioned the U.S. support for DAESH, often referred to as ISIS, stating that U.S. officials have admitted that DAESH was created by the U.S., in order to make Islam feared and hated. This enables the U.S. to maintain the support of its citizens as it bombs Muslim countries.

Although the U.S. hypocritically proclaims its desire to resolve problems in the Middle East, the opposite is true. As Ayatollah Khamenei expressed it: “The Americans claim that they want to solve regional problems, but in reality, it is the opposite of this. They themselves have created or intensified these problems. They are a barrier to solving the problems.” The Middle East does not need an imperial nation to resolve its troubles and conflicts. Ayatollah Khamenei further said: “If things are in the hands of regional peoples, they will resolve the problems on their own.” This, clearly, is true. And Ayatollah Khamenei issued a warning to the Arab world: “Once more, we would like to invite the Islamic and Arab governments which are around us to avoid trusting America. They should know that America is not trustworthy. America looks at them as a tool: a tool for preserving the Zionist regime and their own arrogant outlook and interests in the region. In reality, America is not interested in them in any way. It uses their money and their resources for its own interests. It uses them in order to create a rampart for itself, to preserve the Zionist regime and uphold its own arrogant goals in the region.
Lastly, Ayatollah Khamenei points out the weakening role of the U.S. on the world stage. As its influence diminishes, the possibility for peace everywhere grows. The decline of the U.S. will benefit the world over.

This address by Ayatollah Khamenei clearly described Iran’s bright, successful future, one that will be achieved despite the United States’ efforts to thwart it. The U.S. has never learned, even with clear evidence from Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, among many other countries against which it has unjustly waged war, that a nation’s citizens cannot be bombed, starved or sanctioned into acquiescence. The opposition of the U.S. only strengthens the will of the people. Ayatollah Khamenei’s recent, eloquent address, further underscores this fact.

* Robert Fantina is an author and peace activist. His writing has appeared on Mondoweiss, Counterpunch, Trutout and other sites. His latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy

The Saudi Arabian Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)


But for Nuclear Option Saudi Arms Purchases Increasing

Analysis by Emad Mekay

CAIRO (IDN) – Though nuclear blustering has remained hollow, Saudi Arabia has again increased its weapons imports and stood as the main catalyst for a climb of 10 percent (or $6.6 billion) in global weapons sales in 2015, according to a recent defence report. The rise is the latest sign betraying the level of anxiety in the conservative kingdom over what Saudi officials say is a threat from Iran.
The Saudis have recently been particularly rattled by the advances of Iranian foreign policy in the Middle East. Especially worrisome were the successes of Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria.
That coupled with the sentiment that the Saudis are being let down by the United States, their traditional protectors, explain a spate of moves the Saudis are making to protect their backyard in some Arab countries.

Many experts in the Middle East say the measures include Riyadh preparing for the worst case scenario of a war with the more powerful Iran through such massive arms purchases.

According to the annual Global Defence Trade Report by IHS Inc., based in Englewood, Colorado in the U.S., Saudi Arabia and UAE bought $11.4 billion (17.5% of the global total) worth of war systems in 2015, up from $8.6 billion the year before.

The combined value of Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s defence imports is more than all of Western Europe’s defence imports combined,” said Ben Moores, senior analyst at IHS.

Saudi Arabia’s arms imports grew from $6 billion to $9.3 billion; an increase that is three times that of the entire sub-Saharan Africa market, according to the report. Riyadh’s arms purchases are forecast to rise to $10 billion by the end of 2016.

Global arms markets overall rose $6.6 billion, bringing the value of the global defence market in 2015 to $65 billion. Of those, the Middle East, now the scene for several wars and military operations where Saudi Arabia plays a crucial role, was the largest importing region, with a total of $21.6 billion in deliveries of weapons.

“The global defence trade market has never seen an increase as large as the one we saw between 2014 and 2015,” said Moores. “2015 was a record-breaking year.”

Among the top five importing countries in 2014, Taiwan, China and Indonesia left their positions for Australia, Egypt and South Korea in 2015. Egypt, another Middle Eastern nation, came in as the world’s fourth largest weapons importer mostly due to the largesse of its deep-pocketed backers – Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Stemming Iranian influence

Riyadh is giving Egypt’s military rulers unprecedented aid. Sunni Egypt is seen by the Saudi leadership as another layer, albeit untested, of protection of the Gulf Arabs against the possible re-emergence of a Shiite Persian empire in Iran.

Riyadh has recently taken a proactive foreign policy elsewhere in the region as well and has not hesitated to engage in military action or fund armed operations.

To stem Iranian influence, Saudi Arabia is widely believed to be channelling weapons to Syrian Sunni rebels who are fighting Shiite government in Syria, a close ally of Tehran. Riyadh is engaged in the proxy war to dislodge Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, who belongs to the small Alawite Shiite minority subsect.

Saudi Arabia was quick to use military power to bolster a Sunni ruling Al-Khalifa family in Bahrain against a popular uprising that was part of the initial phase of the Arab Spring.

While Bahrain has largely quieted, the oil-rich kingdom is still active in a costly air war in Yemen against Iran-backed Shiite Houthi forces. The Saudi military adventure has only produced mixed results and failed to roll back Houthis who could control the southern Red Sea entry point. Iranian influence is increasing among Houthis leading to further strain on Saudi military and further enflaming Saudi apprehension.

Saudi nervousness continued to be in full display in the second half of July as it was seen seeking anti-Iran allies, even in previously unbelievable relations.

News broke July 22 that a Saudi delegation, headed by a former army general, made an unprecedented visit to Israel. This was a major development for risk-averse Saudis. While no Saudi official was included, it is widely believed that the visit would never have happened without official approval.

The message Riyadh was sending is that it is willing to change how it holds contacts with Israel, which is technically at war with Arab nations for its occupation of Arab and Palestinian land. Riyadh had previously used multilateral forms as a vehicle for contacts with the Jewish State.
Israel and Saudi Arabia are the two countries who favour a U.S. military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities and both fear Iran building nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapons a security option?

As early as the beginning of 2016, Riyadh was still floating ideas it may seek nuclear weapons if it is left alone to face Iranian military might as one of its many security options.

A further sign of Saudi regional activism is that Riyadh and the UAE are pushing other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council – Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman – to take a more unified security position against Iran.

Saudi Arabia is also working to diversify security relationships as hedges against perceived U.S. decline and weakening commitment. The country is moving towards France, for example, as a major weapons supplier.

The country whose leaders have long bragged about a strategic alliance with Washington has been more vocal in terms of foreign policy and often now speaks against the U.S. when they do not agree on the Iran policy as they did in the past.

This new-found activism accelerated under the leadership of Saudi King Salman, who came to office in 2015. The proactive measures taken by his ambitious son and heir-apparent, 30-year old Prince Mohammed bin Salman, mean that these are unlikely to ebb any time soon.

The changes were not lost on Santa Monica-based Rand Corporation. The influential U.S. organization however said in a recent report that the Saudi moves were not designed for a real and fundamental shift in policy away from its strategic alliance with the U.S. but were more to press Washington to play a greater role in the security of the Gulf Arab countries versus Iran.

Saudi doubt of U.S. commitment turned acute after U.S.–Iranian cooperation following the nuclear agreement. Saudi Arabia feels threatened by the increasing restlessness among Shiite populations throughout the Gulf and see that a sanctions-free Iran will have enough cash and resources to comfortably stir those minorities as it did in neighbouring Iraq.

Riyadh now routinely points to Tehran for inciting sectarian tension. Saudi TV stations host pundits non-stop who say that Iran wants to see a repeat of Shiite ethnic cleansing against Sunnis in Iraq. Riyadh has bankrolled several media outlets that criticize Shiites and Tehran on similar grounds.
Yet, the most concrete sign of worry remains the billions of dollars the country invests in weapons systems. [IDN-InDepthNews – 02 August 2016]

The Saudi Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

saudi-arabia-nuclear-weapons-489469 
Saudis, Gulf states could all become nuclear threshold states, former PMO official says — The JPost

By ARIEL BEN SOLOMON
Tue, 21 Jun 2016, 10:47 AM

Syria jihadi expert: The project of Islamic State building a state structure is a failure, which could lead to members going back to al-Qaida

“Gulf states are gradually going nuclear” and Saudi Arabia is likely to develop its nuclear program to Iran’s level, said on Tuesday Yoel Guzansky, a former Israeli official at the National Security Council in the Prime Minister’s Office and research fellow at the INSS.

Guzansky was one of many international top experts on Saudi Arabia and the Gulf who spoke during the first day of a two-day conference on at Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (the BESA Center).

He argued that the Iranian nuclear deal sets a precedent where the US would deal with each country on a case by case basis. Guzansky also said that, mainly because of the Iranian threat, Saudi Arabia is probably going to accelerate its program as part of a hedging strategy.

The nuclear deal between Iran and world powers “buys the Saudis a decade to rearm without breaking non-proliferation commitments,” he said, noting that there are plans in the works for 16 plants as part of a civilian program. However, the drop in oil prices probably affects the pace of these plans, he added.

Nuclear energy is attractive for the Saudis since it would provide cheaper energy in the long term, but in reality it is being used “as an excuse for a nuclear program,” said Guzansky.

There has been an erosion of trust with some regional players as the “Gulf fears a US pivot to Asia,” but “the greatest fear is a pivot towards Iran,” he said.

There are Saudi ideological and strategic motives to go nuclear, continued Guzansky.

“The nuclear deal may set a worrisome standard in the region and a cascade of threshold nuclear states,” he warned, adding that it is difficult to discourage countries to pursue what Iran received in its nuclear deal.

“The Saudis are panicking” and as Iran strengthens itself, it is “preparing contingency plans,” he asserted, calling it a “slow motion nuclear arms race.”

Asked if the Saudis have the technical ability for a nuclear program, he responded that the Saudis have a small group of scientists, some of whom study in the US, but they also have agreements with Egypt, which has a number of good scientists. The Pakistanis are another option for acquiring know-how. He noted that the UAE also do not have scientists but the South Koreans are building a nuclear plant there.

Prof. Joshua Teitelbaum, an expert on Saudi Arabia and the modern Middle East at the BESA Center, described how the minority Shi’ite community in Saudi Arabia “went all out” in persistent protests following the breakout of the “Arab Spring” uprisings.

These protests were largely in solidarity with their Shi’ite brethren in neighboring Bahrain, where Saudi Arabia and UAE sent forces in 2011 to help deal with protests.

“The Saudis look at Bahrain like the US Puerto Rico,” Teitelbaum noted, saying that Bahrain’s annexation by the Saudis could be fathomed in the future if a security crisis developed.

“The Saudis feel threatened by Iran and the local Shi’ites are feeling the brunt of that,” he said, noting that the country’s execution of Shi’ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr in January “is a signal to Iran.”

As long as the Saudis feel threatened internally and externally, continued Teitelbaum, “Shi’ites continue to pay the price of being the ultimate other.”

Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi, a fellow at the Middle East Forum who closely follows Islamist opposition groups in Syria and Iraq, told The Jerusalem Post that the project of Islamic State building a state structure is a failure, which could lead to members going back to al-Qaida.

Tamimi showed a document of an Islamic State dissenter who argued that the group should not publicize pledges of allegiance from far flung “provinces” in places like Yemen or Saudi Arabia because of the difficult local circumstances that impede its growth.

“The problem is projecting the credibility of developing governance,” which doesn’t exist in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Guido Steinberg, from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, said that al-Qaida may be having recruiting difficulties as more than 80 percent of foreigners join Islamic State. For the youth, “al-Qaida is a spent force,” he argued.

Pushing The Nuclear Race (Daniel 7)

 
U.S., Russia, India driving China’s nuclear modernisation: Pentagon

Updated: May 14, 2016 09:15 IST | PTI

In this photo taken on Sept. 3, 2013 and released by the Chinese Navy on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, sailors line up on a Chinese nuclear submarine at the Qingdao submarine base in east China’s Shandong province. In a sign of growing confidence, China’s navy gave Chinese media on Sunday unprecedented publicity on its first nuclear submarine fleet, one of its most secretive military programs. China is devoting increasing resources to its naval forces to safeguard its maritime interests and assert its territorial claims. Orange blur in foreground is of flowers.
“Similarly, India’s nuclear force is additional driver behind China’s nuclear force modernisation,” the Pentagon said in its report

The defence capabilities possessed by the U.S., Russia and India are among the main factors driving China to modernise its nuclear force and bolster its strategic strike capabilities, the Pentagon has said.
In a report to Congress detailing China’s nuclear power, Pentagon on Friday said the country was deploying new command, control and communications capabilities to its nuclear forces to improve control of multiple units in the field.

China, it said, insists that the new generation of mobile missiles, with warheads consisting of multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) and penetration aids, are intended to ensure the viability of its strategic deterrent in the face of continued advances in the U.S. and, to a lesser extent, Russian strategic ISR (Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance), precision strike, and missile defence capabilities.

“Similarly, India’s nuclear force is additional driver behind China’s nuclear force modernisation,” the Pentagon said in its report.

Through the use of improved communication links, ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) units now have better access to battlefield information and uninterrupted communications connecting all command echelons, the report said.

According to the Pentagon, China is working on a range of technologies to attempt to counter the U.S. and other countries’ ballistic missile defence systems, including manoeuvrable re-entry vehicles (MaRVs), MIRVs, decoys, chaff, jamming, and thermal shielding.

China has acknowledged that it tested a hypersonic glide vehicle in 2014. The country’s official media also cited numerous PLASAF (Peoples Liberation Army Second Artillery Force) training exercises featuring manoeuvre, camouflage, and launch operations under simulated combat conditions, which are intended to increase survivability, it said.
Together with the increased mobility and survivability of the new generation of missiles, these technologies and training enhancements strengthen China’s nuclear force and bolster its strategic strike capabilities.

China’s nuclear arsenal currently consists of approximately 75—100 ICBMs, including the silo—based CSS—4 Mod 2 (DF—5A) and Mod 3(DF—5B), the solid—fueled, road—mobile CSS—10 Mod 1 and Mod 2 (DF—31 and DF—31A), and the more—limited—range CSS—3 (DF—4).

This force is complemented by road—mobile, solid—fueled CSS—5 Mod 6 (DF—21) MRBM for regional deterrence missions.

Pentagon said China’s nuclear weapons policy prioritises maintaining a nuclear force able to survive an attack and to respond with sufficient strength to inflict unacceptable damage on an enemy.
“Further increases in the number of mobile ICBMs and the beginning of SSBN deterrence patrols will force the PLA to implement more sophisticated C2 systems and processes that safeguard the integrity of nuclear release authority for a larger, more dispersed force,” it said.

The Pentagon said China continues to produce the JIN—class nuclear—powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), with four commissioned and another under construction.

The JIN will eventually carry the CSS—NX—14 (JL—2) SLBM (submarine—launched ballistic missile) with an estimated range of 7,200 km. Together these will give the PLAN its first credible long—range sea—based nuclear capability. JIN SSBNs based at Hainan Island in the South China Sea would then be able to conduct nuclear deterrence patrols, it said.