Arab Affairs

Editorial: The Rise of the Iranian Power and the New Balances
The ongoing Iranian maneuvers in the Gulf region and what surrounded them on the front of the dispute between Tehran and Washington, carried a series of important signs pointing to the nature of the changes occurring at the level of the international balance of powers and the mutating equations throughout the Arab Islamic East, especially following the defeats which affected the adventure of the American empire during the last ten years and particularity following the American escape from Iraq.
Firstly, during these maneuvers, Iran showed its advanced military capabilities, confirmed the solidity of the strategic Iranian military formation and its superiority at the level of the land, sea and air forces. What the Iranians showcased constituted a model for the work of a military superpower on the global level, as it was concluded by military experts in the United States, Europe and Israel. Under the cover of the propaganda that downplayed the importance of the Iranian military equipment seen in the maneuvers, Western and Israeli circles expressed serious fears over the nature of the strategic and qualitative message carried by these maneuvers in all their details, in terms of the long range missiles, the quality of the war vessels and the competence of the Iranian air force.
Secondly, the most prominent and important success which was registered by these maneuvers and that consecrated Iran as a superpower around the world and the region, was seen in the high technical competence of the Iranian command, despite the superior capabilities enjoyed by Pentagon and NATO. Moreover, despite the presence of the American 5th Fleet and the mobilization of the spy satellites in the Gulf States, the West could not obstruct the launching of one among the Iranian missiles which were featured in the maneuver or hinder one step in the maneuvers that succeeded by 100%. At this level, the hijacking of the American reconnaissance aircraft proved the Iranians’ ability to infiltrate the Pentagon and intercept its codes, while the Americans were unable to do the same at the level of the Iranian codes and communications system used by all its forces and arms.
Thirdly, the political results carried by the Iranian show of power in the region have started to emerge and consecutively materialize, as the Americans assigned their man in Turkey, i.e. Ahmet Davutoglu, to mediate with the Islamic Republic of Iran to resume the negotiations. But what was not announced was the content of the talks during which the Iranians issued strong statements reflecting the new balances, whether in their response to the negotiations requests and conditions or in regard to the stringent position toward the Turkish involvement in the conspiracy against Syria.
Despite the signs heralding wide-scale war in the region and the American decision to carry out joint maneuvers with Israel in response to the Iranian ones, the reality imposing itself with the recognition of analysts and experts is that the rise of the Iranian superpower has started to govern America’s higher policies, especially in the Middle East.

News analysis: Iran leading the forefront of the events instead of Syria
Iran has decided to launch its counterattack in the Gulf and the Hormuz Strait over several fronts at the same time, in a highly intelligent and accurate maneuver. It also opened the file of the uranium enrichment activities by announcing it was able to reach an enrichment level of 20%, which consequently meant it did not need the deal that was previously offered by Turkey and Brazil. Iran was also able to lure Washington and Europe’s capitals into a financial and oil war. Indeed, with Washington, it opened the banks’ front by reaching out to China, which prompted the latter to issue a soft piece of advice to Washington to recant the unilateral sanctions. With Europe, it opened the file of the oil market by threatening to obstruct the oil trade in the Gulf region through its control over the Hormuz Strait, which prompted Washington to threaten to use force and Iran to respond with its powerful maneuvers. This caused Washington to retreat under the slogan that it was not seeking problems with anyone.
This American politeness was accompanied by a European escalation and Turkish messages. On one hand, Turkey reiterated its offer to resume its mediation at the level of the nuclear file following the double Iranian announcement about the enrichment activities and the willingness to negotiate, while on the other hand, Europe decided to stop importing Iranian oil, without setting any specific dates.
This means:
That Iran has arranged an alternative for the European oil market - and especially Greece - through China, but has also arranged its banking alternatives via Chinese banks.
That Iran succeeded in twisting Washington’s arm and is facing the European stubbornness with a mixture of diplomacy and shows of power.
That Iran agreed to grant Turkey a role in the negotiations provided that it changes its position towards the Syrian crisis, as it was stated by the head of the security committee in the Iranian parliament.
That Iran managed to steal the international spotlight and to lead it away from the Syrian crisis, which constituted a counterattack whose signs started emerging in parallel to the American withdrawal from Iraq.

News analysis: A bankrupt front and terrorist gangs in Al-Midan
The Syrian incidents offered a more realistic picture of the infighting Syrian opposition movements, whose deteriorating status and the decadence of the talk between its various sides and groups has become tackled by all the circles with disdain. Indeed, the failure to reach an agreement over a joint paper between the Istanbul council and the coordination committee revealed the size of the political decay affecting the structure of the Syrian opposition movements and the extent of their ties with the colonial alliance, especially in the case of the Istanbul council whose program has become limited to calls for a global war against Syria in order to impose Colin Powell’s famous agenda and guarantee Israel’s hegemony over the region.
Moreover, it exposed the failure of the Western-regional alliance harboring these components to reach what the American planners and the Qatari and Turkish implementers thought would constitute a political structure representing a cohesive local front in the plan to destroy the Syrian strength, or even an alternative authority.
After the insistence on the Arab initiative constituted the main feature of the oppositions’ political rhetoric, these opposition movements were shocked to see the submission to the conditions of the Syrian command and the signing of the cooperation protocol between the Syrian state and the Arab League. And instead of welcoming this step and completing the initiative by launching national dialogue, the Istanbul council launched a slander campaign targeting the initiative, the Arab League and the observers’ team, thus accusing them of conspiring with the Syrian authority. This was the practical outcome of the American determination to thwart the Arab initiative and open the doors of internationalization, whose main points were revealed by the recommendations of the American planners from Washington.
The Syrian state managed to earn recognition for its cooperation with the League’s mission and was able to confirm the reality on the Syrian street and the official tale regarding the presence of limited protests - including opposition partisans - in the countryside of the center provinces, in parallel to the presence of armed gangs affiliated with the opposition and the Istanbul council, but especially with the Muslim Brotherhood group and the takfiri groups led by Adnan al-Arour from Saudi Arabia.
The terrorist operations and suicide bombings aim at compensating for the inability of the opposition movements - with all their political, organizational and popular formations - to expand the geographic scope of the protests, due to the wide popular abstinence from participating in these activities whose slogans are focusing on foreign intervention while completely disregarding the reforms.
The last few months of the Syrian events removed many masks and exposed the media fabrications. Consequently, the Syrian citizens are now living one reality, i.e. that of support in favor of the Syrian national state and army to impose stability, and liquidate the pits of terrorism and takfir, at a time when reform that has disappeared from the rhetoric of the conflicting opposition movements, is only present on the agenda of President Bashar al-Assad who is determined to modernize the Syrian state based on the resistance, independence and pan-Arabism option.

News analysis: Petraeus’ small wars and the use of the factions of takfir
It is known based on the ongoing developments in the troubled region which was dubbed by the American planners the Great Middle East decades ago, that the small wars whose management was assigned to the CIA before being handled by General David Petraeus, will be the main content of the American depletion plan on which Pentagon is relying as an alternative for the major and defeated wars which led to catastrophes on the strategic and economic levels after what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan during the past years. These small wars are based on the reactivation of the Islamic groups of takfir, alongside the alliance with a new ruling elite emerging from the international organization of the Muslim brotherhood.
In this context, it is clear based on the elements of Petraeus’ plan to manage his mobile wars, that he is relying on the activation of all the armed networks of takfir in the Arab region and the Islamic world, in order to build a sectarian wall in the face of the rising Iranian power and prevent the spread of the resistance and liberation culture which constitutes the main content of the Iranian Islamic rhetoric and the national position advocated by Hezbollah and Syria. It also aims at suffocating Hamas through the expansion of the role of the fundamentalists and the takfiris on the Palestinian arena.
The American planners assigned extremists in the Saudi Wahhabi institution to sponsor the movements of takfir and their role. They thus showered the Salafi Al-Nour Party in Egypt with money, as they are currently doing vis-à-vis takfiri groups in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon after they have established organizations on the Lebanese territories a long time ago to carry out known terrorist roles during the last two decades, namely the Osbat al-Ansar, Jund al-Sham and Fatah al-Islam groups. The job of these takfiri groups, with all their ethnicities and extremist sects throughout the Great Middle East, will also feature the hosting of armed terrorist groups which the Americans will use to target Iranian domestic security, after the signs of exhaustion and weakness have started to show on the gangs of the Mujahedeen e-Khalq organization.
Consequently, the media bloc that is dedicated to interfering in Iranian affairs will allocate part of its activities to instigate and mobilize ethnic groups within the country and turn them against the Iranian authorities. As for the takfiri factions that are affiliated with Al-Qaeda and are being led by Bandar Bin Sultan and the Wahhabi groups inside Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, their strategic task will be to prevent stability in Syria, to keep the country from rising from the crisis through killing and terrorism, and to threaten Lebanon’s stability and political equations that are embracing the resistance, by turning some Lebanese regions into bases for the launching of sabotage acts against Syria. In Iraq, these factions’ mission will be to prevent the emergence of the political and security climate that would allow the formation of an authority to ensure the return of the recovered Iraq to its Arab and Islamic surrounding. Indeed, the American and Israeli planners are afraid that Syrian-Iraqi-Iranian rapprochement and the evolution of the ties towards a new model, will constitute a threat facing Israel’s existence and role.
Petraeus’ small wars are being managed from Washington, Riyadh and Doha though the groups of takfir and their armed factions, while the decisive test for this plan is unfolding on Syrian soil where the victory of the national state over the terrorism plan will mark a turn in the opposite direction and register the American failure once again.

The Arab File: Syria
The Arab League observers’ mission continued its tours in the provinces and its meetings with the citizens, at a time when the armed terrorist groups proceeded with their acts of violence and sabotage, the last of which being the terrorist explosion carried out by a suicide bomber in Al-Midan neighborhood in Damascus on Friday morning, leading to the martyrdom of 26 people and the injuring of 63 among civilians and security elements.
The Interior Ministry indicated in a statement that investigations were underway to expose the implications of this terrorist act and arrest the terrorists who are threatening the citizens. The Ministry assured that it will strike with an iron fist all those who dare tamper with the security of the country and the citizens, calling on the citizens to exercise their role and cooperate with the security bodies by reporting any suspicious activities and providing any information available to them in regard to the movements of the terrorists.
Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi indicated that Damascus released thousands of detainees and pulled out its military vehicles from the streets. He added nonetheless that killing was ongoing and that shootings and snipers were still present in the cities. He thus continued: “It is hard to say who is shooting against whom.” For his part, Ambassador Adnan al-Khodeir, the head of the Arab observers operation room, stated that no one could determine the extent of the mission’s success for the time being, adding that this could only be determined by the Arab League council.
Arab League Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Ahmad Bin Helli stated: “It was decided to hold the ministerial committee’s meeting on Sunday to look into the preliminary report of General Mohammad Ahmad al-Dabi, the head of the Arab observers’ mission to Syria, to see what this team detected on the ground after more than one week of observation.” On the other hand, the spokeswoman for the American Department of State, Victoria Nuland, said that Washington was concerned about the fact that the Syrian regime did not meet all the commitments it made to the Arab League about nine weeks ago, namely the fact that violence had not stopped. But Damascus responded to Nuland’s statements, as spokesman for the Syrian Foreign Ministry Jihad Makdessi described these accusations as being null and assured they harmed the Arab League whose work Nuland claimed to support. He thus stressed that these statements constituted a blunt interference in the League’s work and the sovereignty of its member states.

On Tuesday, Iran threatened to adopt measures in case the American Navy were to dispatch an aircraft carrier to the Gulf, at a time when the American Department of Defense, i.e. Pentagon, announced that the United States will sustain its presence in the Gulf waters as it had done for decades.
On the other hand, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi announced in a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu in Tehran on Thursday, Iran’s willingness to resume the nuclear talks with the 5+1 group in Turkey. For his part, Davutoglu said he conveyed a message from Ashton to the Iranian officials, saying she was awaiting the Iranian response to the message she sent in October and in which she assured that the superpowers were ready to resume the negotiations. He added: “What is important is for these negotiations to continue and Turkey supports every positive step in that direction.”

The Yemeni transitional government agreed in principle to grant President Ali Abdullah Saleh and those who worked with him throughout his years in power full immunity against legal and judicial pursuits inside and outside of Yemen.
In the meantime, disputes erupted between President Saleh and his Deputy Abed Rabo Mansour Hadi, following accusations made by the first to the second of betraying him. This caused Hadi to threaten to leave the country if the pressures exerted on him by Saleh and his men are not stopped.

The Egyptian Prosecution called on Thursday before the Cairo criminal court for the sentencing to death by hanging of deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and seven others accused of being implicated in the killing of the protesters. It also called for the issuance of a sentence of 15 years in prison against his sons Gamal and Alaa, and fugitive businessman Hussein Salem who are accused of illicit profiting and the wasting of public funds.
On the other hand, the preliminary results of the People’s Assembly elections revealed a lead by the Islamic movements, in parallel to a noticeable progress registered by Al-Wafd Party in some constituencies and a clear retreat by the Egyptian bloc which came third.

Israeli File
The case of the Saudi hackers who were able to steal the data related to the credit cards of around 400,000 Israelis and the publication of some details about the owners of these cards, including their cards’ numbers, their addresses, names and phone numbers, occupied the main headlines of the Israeli papers issued this week. The papers also tackled the maneuvers that were and will be conducted by Israel after the Israeli navy carried out a massive maritime maneuver in a surprising way in an Israeli naval base. There is also talk about a maneuver which will soon be carried out by Israel and the United States to emulate a defense scenario against a missile attack. Yedio Aharonot said in this context that the Israeli army staged training on the border with Egypt and Gaza emulating the scenario of the kidnapping of soldiers, adding that all these activities were prompted by the extreme fears prevailing over the Israeli army in regard to the possible kidnapping of another solider as it had happened in the case of soldier Gilad Shalit.
In the meantime, the papers addressed several prominent issues, namely the decision of the Israeli nuclear energy committee - in coordination with the so called Home Front Command - to halt nuclear activities in the Israeli nuclear reactors in case the internal front were to be subjected to a missile attack. The papers also talked about the meeting that was held between senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and Israeli Attorney Yitzhak Molcho, one which was perceived by Israel as falling in the context of direct negotiations with the Palestinians.
Yediot Aharonot also mentioned there were great fears prevailing over the Israeli army in regard to the possible pursuit of Israeli army elements by Hezbollah and the other organizations via social networking websites, at the head of which is Facebook.

Lebanese File
Minister of Defense Fayez Ghosn assured once again in statements to OTV: “We have clear information and the army raided Erssal in search of Hamza Karakoz. I have warned the Lebanese against the presence of Al-Qaeda because I am at the head of an institution which is responsible for the security of the citizens. It is our duty as politicians and officials to say that the border is being infiltrated by some extremists, including Al-Qaeda elements, and it is our obligation not to conceal any information so that things do not blow up in our face.”
For his part, head of the Al-Marada movement Deputy Suleiman Franjieh assured during a press conference: “The statements of Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn regarding the presence of elements from Al-Qaeda organization in Lebanon are based on security, military and intelligence reports held by the Lebanese army.” He compared the media campaign again Ghosn to the campaigns of the Future Movement following the martyrdom of Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, saying: “Those who traded with the blood of the martyred prime minister will not hesitate to trade with the blood of the people of Erssal and Majdel Anjar among others, because a trader remains a trader.”
Former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri responded on twitter by saying: “It is not useful to turn this issue into a problem between the people and the army. The problem resides in false statements which were denied by ministers in the Cabinet.”

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