The Iranian Nuclear Horn Prepares for War: Daniel 8:4

Leader Urges Iranian Army to Boost Preparedness – Politics news – Tasnim News Agency

Tasnim News Agency

Ayatollah Khamenei, commander-in-chief of the Iranian Armed Forces, sent a message to Army Commander Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi on Saturday in commemoration of the Army and the Ground Force Day.

In the message, the Leader sent regards to all “dear staff members of the Army and their honorable families”.

Today, the Army is at the scene and prepared to carry out operations. Keep enhancing this preparedness to the required level and play a role,” Ayatollah Khamenei told the Army chief.

In remarks in April 2018, Ayatollah Khamenei commended Major General Mousavi for his emphasis on unity among all Iranian Armed Forces, describing such a stance as a sign of the commander’s executive intelligence.

Iran marks the Army Day on Farvardin 29 (April 18).

This year, the Army has decided to hold parades with vehicles and display its latest achievements on trucks in celebration of the Army Day to prevent any gathering of people in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Iran Just Weeks From Being Nuclear: Revelation 16

Iran starts enriching uranium to 60%, its highest level ever

This satellite photo from Planet Labs Inc. shows Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.(Planet Labs Inc. via AP)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran began enriching uranium Friday to its highest-ever purity, edging close to weapons-grade levels, as it attempts to pressure negotiators in Vienna amid talks on restoring its nuclear deal with world powers after an attack on its main enrichment site.

The move drew a rebuke from U.S. President Joe Biden, who noted that negotiations were continuing anyway.

A top official said only a few grams an hour of uranium gas would be enriched up to 60% purity — triple its previous level but at a quantity far lower than what the Islamic Republic had been able to produce. Iran also is enriching at an above-ground facility at its Natanz nuclear site already visited by international inspectors, not deep within underground halls hardened to withstand airstrikes.

The narrow scope of the new enrichment provides Iran with a way to quickly de-escalate if it choses, experts say, but time is narrowing. An Iranian presidential election looms on the horizon as Tehran already is threatening to limit international inspections. Israel, suspected of carrying out Sunday’s sabotage at Natanz, also could act again amid a long-running shadow war between the two Middle East rivals.

Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, Iran’s parliament speaker, announced the higher enrichment on Twitter.

“The young and God-believing Iranian scientists managed to achieve a 60% enriched uranium product,” Qalibaf said. “I congratulate the brave nation of Islamic Iran on this success. The Iranian nation’s willpower is miraculous and can defuse any conspiracy.”

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, the country’s civilian nuclear arm, later acknowledged the move to 60%. Ali Akbar Salehi told Iranian state television the centrifuges now produce 9 grams an hour, but that would drop to 5 grams an hour in the coming days.

“Any enrichment level that we desire is in our reach at the moment and we can do it at any time we want,” Salehi said.

It wasn’t clear why the first announcement came from Qalibaf, a hard-line former leader in the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard already named as a potential presidential candidate in Iran’s upcoming June election.

While 60% is higher than any level Iran previously enriched uranium, it is still lower than weapons-grade levels of 90%. Iran had been enriching up to 20% — and even that was a short technical step to weapons-grade. The deal limited Iran’s enrichment to 3.67%.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, which monitors Iran’s nuclear program, did not respond to a request for comment. Earlier this week, it sent its inspectors to Natanz and confirmed Iran was preparing to begin 60% enrichment at an above-ground facility at the site.

Israel, which has twice bombed Mideast countries to stop their nuclear programs, plans to hold a meeting of its top security officials Sunday over the Iranian announcement. Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi called Iran a threat while on a trip Friday to Cyprus.

“Israel is determined to defend itself against any attempt to harm its sovereignty or citizens, and will do whatever it takes to prevent this radical and anti-Semitic regime from acquiring nuclear weapons,” Ashkenazi said.

Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful, though the West and the IAEA say Tehran had an organized military nuclear program up until the end of 2003. An annual U.S. intelligence report released Tuesday maintained the American assessment that “Iran is not currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activities that we judge would be necessary to produce a nuclear device.”

Iran previously had said it could use uranium enriched up to 60% for nuclear-powered ships. However, the Islamic Republic currently has no such ships in its navy.

The threat of higher enrichment by Iran already had drawn criticism from the U.S. and three European nations in the deal — France, Germany and the United Kingdom. On Friday, European Union spokesman Peter Stano called Iran’s decision “a very worrisome development.”

“There is no credible explanation or civilian justification for such an action on the side of Iran,” Stano said. The Vienna talks aim to “make sure that we go back from such steps that bring Iran further away from delivering on its commitments and obligations.”

Diplomats reconvened Friday in Vienna. After talks Thursday, Chinese negotiator Wang Qun called for doing “away with all disruptive factors by moving forward as swiftly as we can on the work of negotiations, especially by zeroing in on sanction lifting.”

The 2015 nuclear deal, which former President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from in 2018, prevented Iran from stockpiling enough high-enriched uranium to be able to pursue a nuclear weapon if it chose in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

In Washington, Biden said Tehran’s latest step was contrary to the deal. “We do not support and do not think it’s at all helpful,” he said. But he added that the Vienna talks had not been sidetracked.

“We are nonetheless pleased that Iran has agreed to continue to engage in indirect discussions with us on how we move forward and what is needed to get back” into the nuclear deal, he said. “It’s premature to make a judgment as to what the outcome will be, but we’re still talking.”

The weekend attack at Natanz was initially described only as a blackout in the electrical grid feeding both its above-ground workshops and underground enrichment halls — but later Iranian officials began calling it an attack.

Alireza Zakani, the hard-line head of the Iranian parliament’s research center, referred to “several thousand centrifuges damaged and destroyed” in a state TV interview. However, no other official has offered that figure and no images of the aftermath have been released.

In the coming weeks, Iran has threatened to further impede IAEA inspections and potentially destroy video recordings it now holds of its facilities. Meanwhile, it continues to use advanced centrifuges and gain know-how in high enrichment, something that worries nonproliferation experts.

“Because the deal has started to unravel, Iran has begun to acquire more knowledge about how to operate more advanced machines,” said Daryl G. Kimball, the executive director of the Washington-based Arms Control Association. “This particular operation, enriching to 60%, is going to give it even more information.”

Borrowing a term used to describe diluting high-enriched uranium, Kimball added: “That knowledge cannot be down-blended. It cannot be reversed.”

___

Associated Press writers Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran; Fares Akram in Gaza City, Gaza Strip; Samuel Petrequin in Brussels; and David Rising and Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Iran Nukes Up: Daniel 8

Iran’s uranium level hits 60%

April 15, 2021

TEHRAN: Iran has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency of its plan to enrich uranium at 60-percent purity, the minimum fatal level, following the attack on its Natanz nuclear facility, Iranian news network Press TV reported, citing Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi.

Iran will soon replace the centrifuges damaged in a recent act of sabotage at Natanz, Araqchi was quoted as saying.

The photo taken on April 9, 2007 shows a view of Natanz nuclear plant, about 300 km south of Tehran, Iran. XINHUA PHOTO

Also, Iran will install an additional 1,000 centrifuges with 50 percent higher enrichment capacity at the nuclear facility, said Araqchi, who leads the Iranian negotiating team in the Vienna talks with the representatives from Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany.

Besides, Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said the preparations for producing 60-percent uranium enrichment will begin on Tuesday night at the Natanz enrichment site, semi-official FARS news agency reported.

The uranium at the purity of 60 percent is used in the production of radiopharmaceutical, Kamalvandi told FARS.

European Nuclear Horns Fruitlessly Warn the Iranian Nuclear Horn

U.S., European powers warn Iran over ‘dangerous’ uranium enrichment move

PARIS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and the European countries party to the Iran nuclear deal pushed back on Wednesday against Tehran’s decision to enrich uranium at 60% purity, with the top U.S. diplomat calling the move “provocative” and questioning Iran’s seriousness about talks.

FILE PHOTO: The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters, before the beginning of a board of governors meeting, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Vienna, Austria, March 1, 2021. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo

Iran has said it will enrich uranium to 60% – a big step closer to the 90% that is weapons-grade material – in response to what it says was an act of sabotage by Israel against its key nuclear facility last week.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tehran’s intent raised questions about its seriousness over the talks in Vienna between Iran and the world powers to revive the 2015 nuclear accord.

“We take very seriously its provocative announcement of an intent to begin enriching uranium at 60 percent,” Blinken told a news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels. “I have to tell you the step calls into question Iran’s seriousness with regard the nuclear talks,” he said.

The nuclear deal has unravelled as Iran has breached its limits on uranium enrichment in a graduated response to the U.S. withdrawal from the pact in 2018 and Washington’s reinstatement of harsh economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Last week, Iran and fellow signatories held what they described as “constructive” talks to restore the deal ditched by the Trump administration – which saw the terms as too lenient on Tehran.

The explosion at Iran’s uranium enrichment site came on Sunday ahead of a second week of talks. Israel, which supported former U.S. President Donald Trump’s hard line against Iran, has not formally commented on the incident at Iran’s Natanz site, which appeared to be the latest twist in a long-running covert war.

Britain, France and Germany also said Tehran’s new decision to enrich at 60 %, from the 20% it has reached so far, and activate 1,000 advanced centrifuge machines at its Natanz plant was at odds with the talks. They said they rejected “all escalatory measures by any actor”, in an apparent signal to Israel.

“Iran’s announcements are particularly regrettable given they come at a time when all JCPoA participants and the United States have started substantive discussions, with the objective of finding a rapid diplomatic solution to revitalise and restore the JCPoA,” the three countries said in a statement, referring to the 2015 deal.

“Iran’s dangerous recent communication is contrary to the constructive spirit and good faith of these discussions,” it said of the talks, which resume between Iran and global powers in Vienna on Thursday, aimed at salvaging the accord.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the events of the past week had not necessarily made things easier. “But I am not going to speculate as to whether it means that we can’t reach a deal … We wouldn’t be going if we thought that it was over, but I am not going to say that we expect a breakthrough.”

STAND OFF

In an apparent rebuff later on Wednesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the United States was trying to impose its terms for rescuing the deal and European powers were doing Washington’s bidding.

“The nuclear talks in Vienna must not become talks of attrition…This is harmful for our country,” Khamenei, who has the last word on Iranian matters of state, was quoted as saying by state television.

Biden took office in January with a commitment to rejoin the deal if Tehran returns to full compliance with its restrictions on enrichment. Tehran has repeatedly said that all sanctions must be rescinded first.

“We have already declared Iran’s policy. Sanctions must be removed first. Once we are certain that has been done, we will carry out our commitments,” Khamenei said, according to semi-official Tasnim news agency.

“The offers they provide are usually arrogant and humiliating and are not worth looking at.”

Iran has “almost completed preparations” to launch 60% enrichment and has notified the International Atomic Energy Agency that it will activate 1,024 more IR-1 centrifuges, its older first generation of the machines at Natanz, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said later on Wednesday.

Iran’s leading Gulf foe Saudi Arabia also weighed in on Wednesday, saying it believed any revival of the nuclear deal should be a starting point for further talks that include regional states to expand the accord.

Rayd Krimly, head of policy planning at the Saudi foreign ministry, told Reuters any deal that fails to effectively address the security concerns of countries in the region would not work, and Riyadh was consulting with the global powers.

“We want to make sure at a minimum that any financial resources made available to Iran via the nuclear deal are not used…to destabilise the region,” he said.

Iran’s deal with the six powers caps the fissile purity to which it can refine uranium at 3.67%. That is well under the 20% achieved before the agreement, and far below the 90% suitable for a nuclear weapon.

Additional reporting by Arshad Mohammed in Washington, Parisa Hafezi and Ghaida Ghantous in Dubai, Francois Murphy in Vienna, Steve Holland and Jarrett Renshaw in Washington; Writing by William Maclean; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Alistair Bell

US, 3 others, preparing for war in the Arabian Sea

US, 3 others, conducting naval drills in the Arabian Sea

The US Navy said Sunday it will hold a major naval exercise alongside Belgium, France and Japan in the Middle East.

The US Navy said Sunday it will hold a major naval exercise alongside Belgium, France and Japan in the Middle East.

The US Navy said Sunday it will hold a major naval exercise alongside Belgium, France and Japan in the Middle East. The drill comes amid continuing high tensions over Iran’s nuclear programme in the region.

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The Group Arabian Sea Warfare Exercise will see ships from the four countries conduct drills in the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. The warships involved include the French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle, as well as the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island. The Belgian frigate HNLMS Leopold I and the Japanese destroyer JS Ariake also will take part, as well as aircraft from the four nations.

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The drill comes as Iran has abandoned all limits of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers in the wake of then-President Donald Trump’s 2018 decision to unilaterally withdraw from the accord.

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Current US President Joe Biden has expressed a desire to return to the deal if Iran honours the deal’s limits on its nuclear programme, but tensions remain high after militias in Iraq — likely backed by Iran — continue to target American interests.

Biden last month launched an airstrike just over the border into Syria in retaliation, joining every American president from Ronald Reagan onward who has ordered a bombardment of countries in the Middle East.

There was no immediate reaction from Iran to the naval drill.

(Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by http://www.republicworld.com and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

The alliance of the European nuclear horns

NATO To Remain Nuclear Alliance As Long As Nuclear Weapons Exist – Stoltenberg

Faizan Hashmi 48 minutes ago Tue 23rd March 2021 | 10:17 PM

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 23rd March, 2021) NATO wants to see a world without nuclear weapons but will remain a nuclear alliance as long as they exist, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday.

“NATO’s goal is a world without nuclear weapons but as long as nuclear weapons exist NATO will remain a nuclear alliance,” Stoltenberg said during a press conference following a meeting of NATO foreign ministers.

The secretary general added that working on arms control is necessary for strategic stability and NATO welcomes the recent extension of the new START treaty between the United States and Russia.

“We strongly believe that the extension of the New START agreement should not be the end, it should be the beginning of renewed efforts to strengthen arms control, covering more weapons’ systems and also, at some stage, get China into global arms control,” Stoltenberg added.

Muslims Protesting Against Free Speech

Tens of thousands of Muslims across the world protest Macron’s stance on French cartoons

By Associated Press

4:27am Oct 31, 2020

Tens of thousands of Muslims, from Pakistan to Lebanon to the Palestinian territories, poured out of prayer services to join anti-France protests on Friday, as the French president’s vow to protect the right to caricature the Prophet Muhammad continues to roil the Muslim world.

Hardline Islamic groups across the region have seized on the the French government’s staunch secularist stance as an affront to Islam, rallying their supporters and stirring up rage.

Demonstrations in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad turned violent as some 2,000 people who tried to march toward the French Embassy were pushed back by police firing tear gas and beating protesters with batons. Crowds of Islamist activists hanged an effigy of French President Emmanuel Macron from a highway overpass after pounding it furiously with their shoes. Several demonstrators were wounded in clashes with police as authorities pushed to evict activists from the area surrounding the embassy.

Supporters of religious group burn a representation of a French flag during a rally against French President Emmanuel Macron and republishing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem blasphemous, in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020 (AP)

Protesters try to climb on a shipping container at a rally against French President Emmanuel Macron and republishing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem blasphemous, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020 (AP)

More protests against Macron outside the temple walls

Israel Embassy in France decries ‘anti-French acts’ of Palestinians in Gaza

The Israeli Embassy in France condemned Monday the “anti-French acts” and protesters who burned photos of French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday night in Gaza.

“We wholeheartedly condemn the anti-French acts and the burning of photos of President Emmanuel Macron by Palestinian activists in the Gaza Strip. Especially when this occurs with the tacit encouragement of Hamas,” the embassy tweeted.

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In the city Khan Younes in the Gaza Strip, a handful of demonstrators burned photos of Emmanuel Macron and called for the defense of the prophet and of Islam, according to witnesses.

Iran Slams Macron for the Truth

Tehran slams France’s Macron over Islamophobic remarks

TEHRAN – Iran has strongly criticized French President Emanuel Macron over his anti-Islam stance after Macron described Islam as a religion “in crisis” worldwide.

“#Macron’s irrational behavior in public #AntiIslamism shows his crudeness in politics, otherwise he would not have dared to embrace Islam in his quest for leadership in #Europe,” Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), wrote in a tweet on Monday.

“I suggest that he read more history and not rejoice in the support of a declining America & #Zionism,” Shamkhani added.

Earlier this month, Macron pledged to fight “Islamist separatism”, which he said was threatening to take control in some Muslim communities around France.

“In extremism the bodies of people are targeted and in insult their souls,” Velayati says.

His comments, along with his backing of satirical outlets publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), has led to a social media campaign calling for the boycott of French products from supermarkets in Arab countries and Turkey.

Hashtags such as the #BoycottFrenchProducts in English and the Arabic #NeverTheProphet trended across countries including Kuwait, Qatar, Palestine, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

“Muslims and monotheists of the world condemn in the strongest form the blatant enmity of the foolish and stubborn leaders of France toward the prophet of mercy (PBUH) unanimously,” Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf tweeted on Monday.

Ghalibaf added that such wickedness shows the French leaders’ enmity toward all the heavenly religions.

On Friday, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned what it said was France’s continued attack against Muslims by insulting religious symbols.

The secretariat of the Jeddah-based organization said in a statement it is surprised at the official political rhetoric issued by some French officials that offend French-Islamic relations and fuels feelings of hatred for political party gains.

Velayati calls extremism and offending the prophet two sides of the same coin

Ali Akbar Velayati, a top foreign policy adviser to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, said extremism and offending the prophet are two sides of the same coin which the international Zionism and the global arrogance have adopted against Islam.

“In extremism the bodies of people are targeted and in insult their souls,” Velayati said, criticizing the French government’s pretext of freedom of expression to foment hatred between people.

The veteran politician also called on all Muslims across the world to be vigilant in the face of such conspiracies against Islam.

France has for long tried to impose its own secular culture on its Muslim population, but this has disastrously backfired.

With this regard, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said that the West’s imposition of its culture on others is a form of “silent violence”, saying that terrorist groups such as Daesh are the result of such cultural invasion.

“I do not deny the importance and value of cultural interaction,” Ayatollah Khamenei wrote in an open letter to the youth in Western countries after the November 2015 attacks in France.

“Whenever these interactions are conducted in natural circumstances and with respect for the receiving culture, they result in growth, development and richness. On the contrary, inharmonious interactions have been unsuccessful and harmful impositions,” Ayatollah Khamenei stated.

“Vile groups such as Daesh are the spawn of such ill-fated pairings with imported cultures,” he added.

Ayatollah Khamenei maintained that if the issue of terrorism was simply theological, “we would have had to witness such phenomena before the colonialist era, yet history shows the contrary.”

“Historical records clearly show how colonialist confluence of extremist and rejected thoughts in the heart of a Bedouin tribe, planted the seed of extremism in this region,” he said.

“How then is it possible that such garbage as Daesh comes out of one of the most ethical and humane religious schools which as part of its inner core, includes the notion that taking the life of one human being is equivalent to killing the whole of humanity?” Ayatollah Khamenei noted.

The French Nuclear Horn Moves Into the Middle East (Daniel 7)

Power Balance In The East Mediterranean Is Changing As France Sends Nuclear-powered Aircraft Carrier

The delicate power balance in the East Mediterranean is changing dramatically and quickly as states begin to cooperate to contain and contract Turkish ambitions in the region. Turkey’s drive to secure and control gas and oil supplies has seen its military involve in Iraq, Syria and Libya, while also threatening war with Greece and Cyprus to annex their rights to energy exploration in the East Mediterranean. Among all this, Ankara also continues its threats against Israel and denounces the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

On the face of such aggression, Mossad considers Turkey to be a bigger threat to Israel than Iran. This also comes as Israel signed a peace treaty with the UAE, one of the biggest critics of Turkey who is not only financing elements of the Syrian Army, but is also militarily and financially supporting the Libyan National Army against jihadists loyal to the Turkish-backed Government of National Accords in Tripoli. Greece, Cyprus and Egypt have strong military relations and jointly oppose Turkish actions in Libya and the wider East Mediterranean region, while Greece, Cyprus and Israel also enjoy such relations.

However, as war rhetoric emanates from Ankara against so-called NATO-ally Greece, France has stepped up its support for the latter. This has been unexpected support as NATO, the EU and their major countries traditionally appease Turkish aggression against Greece and Cyprus. France has firmly committed its military to defend Greece in case of a Turkish attack. Effectively, we are at the cusp of an inter-NATO war in the East Mediterranean.

With Turkey creating problems on NATO’s southern flank, it would be easy for Moscow to take a step back and watch the Alliance continue its internal conflicts. However, Russia heavily depends on access to the Mediterranean via the Turkish-controlled Bosporus and Dardanelle Straits from the Black Sea which has always been an important economic and military geostrategic point for Russia. Any potential war between Greece and Turkey will inevitably see the Greek Navy blockade the Dardanelles, and therefore obstruct Russia’s quick access to the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal.

Although Russia has vocally said that international law must be implemented in the East Mediterranean, which favors Greece and Cyprus, Moscow has been careful not to antagonize the Turks either. However, to secure Russia’s interests in the region, the Kremlin might find itself forced to be actively involved in this inter-NATO hostility to ensure war does not breakout and hinder their access to the Mediterranean via the Black Sea.

Yesterday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was in Cyprus, where he emphasized the strong historic ties between Cyprus and Russia. It also comes as the Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece said that Athens wants to strengthen its ties with Moscow that were weakened by the previous government who were ousted in last year’s elections. These developments in Nicosia and Athens with Moscow appear as the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Greece is Russia’s “traditional partner” in Europe only days ago.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and French President Emmanuel Macron will meet in Corsica tomorrow to create a “joint security doctrine” between their two countries. Macron is serious about creating such a doctrine as the Charles de Gaulle nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the only one of its kind built in Europe, is sailing to the Greek continental shelf that Turkey considers its own. The de Gaulle not only carries up to 30 aircraft, but it can also transport 800 soldiers and 500 tonnes of ammunition. This is a serious challenge against the Turkish fleet that has been illegally escorting the Oruç Reis research vessel for over a month in search of gas and oil deposits in Greece’s continental shelf. An aircraft carrier is sailing against a fellow NATO member that has been threatening war with another NATO member.

Macron has already twice described NATO as “brain dead,” and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg still displays disinterest in diffusing the Greek-Turkish hostilities.

At the same time, Moscow sold Turkey the S-400 missile defense system, which not only strengthened their relations, but also created discord in NATO, Russia still has deep differences with Ankara. This is not only over Syria and Libya, but also in Crimea as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan increases his denunciations of Russia’s alleged persecution of Crimean Tartars. There is little actual substance between a Russian-Turkish geostrategic partnership that is more often than not in contradiction with each other’s ambitions.

Access through the Turkish-controlled straits is guaranteed by the 1936 Montreux Convention, giving Moscow some leverage in its relations with Turkey. If war broke out though, these straits would trap Russian shipping in the Black Sea. Russia has emphasized that the East Mediterranean issue must be resolved diplomatically and with international law. Turkey is one of 15 countries in the whole world who has not signed and ratified the United Nations Charter Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as it would favor Greece’s claims in the oil and gas rich deposits in the Each Mediterranean. In this context, if Moscow was true to its word that it supports international law, this would automatically put it on side with Greece as Russia has no interest in escalating current hostilities into a war and temporarily lose access to a major trade route.

As Macron pushes for a Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok, Russia could very well establish strong ties with France by cooperating in the East Mediterranean. This would put Russia in a security nexus that includes Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel and the UAE, which is beginning to form a powerful bloc in the East Mediterranean. Depending on how Russia chooses to navigate through the current Greco-Turkish crisis could depend on how much Russian influence can be enhanced or weakened in light of the rapidly changing power balance in the region.