MIDEAST: A NEW MEGA-CRISIS IS OVER? | publicatii - Politica La Est
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MIDEAST: A NEW MEGA-CRISIS IS OVER?

Mihail E. Ionescu
 
          Daca faci o inregistrare referitoare la   ce dosare au preocupat in principal  expertii in relatiile internationale din UE intr-un anumit moment, atunci la sfarsit de an 2019 subiecte fierbinti , pentru Europa, erau China si importanta ei crescanda in arena internationala, Brexit si noua configuratie geopolitica a lumii  aflata in plamadire.

          China parea chiar  a fi principala preocupare. De pilda, intr-un sir de tweet-ere Ulrich Spech  arata ca “The most important development in international politics in the last decade, in the 2010s: the big autocratic powers, Russia and China, enter into competition with liberal democracies”/ Autocratic elites in Russia and China have survived the revolutions of 1989. They have survived the subsequent global pressure to democratize (end of history). They have ducked and covered, biding their time, hoping that the storm may pass. /2 And they were lucky — they found a new lifeline: as partners of a West convinced that with economic integration and modernization, the transformation towards liberal order (democracy, market economy, international cooperation) will be inevitable. /3 In the 2010s, these elites further stabilized their domestic rule and started to push back against liberal order, in an increasingly bold manner — operation Make the world safe for autocracy. /4 This operation includes, among other things: to limit access of their population to liberal ideas; to use disinformation and propaganda in the West to undermine and weaken liberal ideas and convictions; /5 to use military pressure and power to force neighboring countries into submission; to demonstrate the ability to keep dictators in power against pressure to democratize. /6 In the interest of this operation, Russia and China — natural geopolitical rivals in Eurasia — have agreed to a (fragile and temporary) alliance. /7 There are three areas they target: -> weaker states "in between", which they try to bring under their control; -> wealthy Europe, where both play "divide and rule", especially divide from the US; -> the US, robust center of liberal ideas (democracy and market economy) /8 The west is caught by surprise. Some refuse to see the challenge, some have been corrupted. The willingness to push back is often weak. There is a widespread tendency to fall for the narratives spread by China and Russia. Many fear retaliation. /9 Yet at the same time, the corrosion of autocracy continues. Smaller countries don't want to be vassals. The desire for a decent state remains strong. People want freedom and are ready to fight. They don't want to be exploited, live in permanent fear, ruled by few oligarchs. /10 That forces the autocratic elites to double down on their fight against the democratic contagion — which they fear more than anything else. Nervous, they increase domestic repression and act increasingly aggressive abroad. Which leads to more resistance, at home and abroad. /11To be continued in the 2020s. /12”[1]
 
          Atentia  fata de China , evidenta in interesul expertilor continentali in aceasta perioada- sfarsit 2019- inceput 2020- se reflecta si intr-un alt sir de tweet-uri , apartinand lui Fr. Godemont , expert sinolog de reputatie . El refera la ampla ofensiva geopolitica lansata acum sase ani de Beijing fata de statele membre ale UE din estul si Centrul Europei ( cunoscuta formula ’16 plus 1’) , posibil a deveni, dupa o propunere recenta a Angelei Merkel “17 plus 1’, adica adaugandu-se Germania, sau chiar ’27 plus 1’, fiind un format care sa includa in intregime UE:
 
François Godement @FGodement
I have always been struck by the very low level of political gains for the 11 EU members of the 16+1 - except to make a point with so-called EU ‘core’ ms/member states/. Not a single gain in getting China to criticise Russia over Crimea, Donbass. Nothing on maritime issues or human rights 1/
As you say no multilateral projects and financing but yes, gains for the 5 non EU ms/member states/ but on non-EU conditions making EU entry more difficult for them. You are right that the 11 EU ms have kept the Commission informed and engaged. 2/ But to leap from this to making the 17+1 the core for the future relationship as @J_Jakobowski suggests neglects the leverage (and arbitration among all ms) that our common institutions provide. Imagine if the 11, now 12, became 14? What leverage left with China? 3/In fact Merkel’s proposed 27+1 proposal is also a problem. I considered Macron’s own initiative with Juncker and Merkel facing Xi as just drawing a line in the sand in front of overwhelming Chinese pressure. We should all reinforce our collective institutions. 4/As to Fr and Ger “intensifying relations” with China it is an economic reality first. China doesn’t shop where it sweet talks most. As you know, for airplanes, autos etc subcontractors are all over Europe, if not global. 5/It remains that it is wise for us (“Western” Europe) to deal quietly and pragmatically with the 11 EU ms (now actually 12 with Greece). But let’s not pretend China is an innocent multilateral partner... end/[2]
 
          Desigur, azimutul China in paleta de atentie a expertilor europeni isi are propria explicatie. Beijingul se afla intr-un razboi comercial cu SUA, care da oarecum semne de atingere a unui armistitiu, iar aceasta eventualitate ar putea sa indrepte sanciuni americane asupra Europei asa cum presedintele Trump a aratat recent ( referiri la North Stream- 2, intai de toate, dar si in alte domenii ). In acelasi timp, UE constata cu surprindere ca China a devenit, aproape pe neobservate, un jucator continental  foarte puternic, un rival , cu deosebire in Estul Europei, unde dispune de un veritabil vehicul diplomatic de convergenta cu numerosi membri UE in domeniile economic si tehnologic. Or, aceasta constatare in contextul implementarii Brexit , nu are cum sa linisteasca elitele europene in privinta viitorului organizatiei de integrare continentala. In sfarsit, dar nu in cele din urma, UE are a decide propria atitudine fata de China , a carei forta economica si tehnolgica incepe sa fie apreciata ca stanjenitoare , avand a se evalua cat mai curand optiunea in binomul parteneriat/rivalitate.
 
          Or, in aceste preocupari europene  a… cazut  ca o lovitura de trasnet , echivalenta unui ‘ game changer’, eliminarea numarului 2 de la Teheran , generalul Suleimani la Bagdad , la 2 ianuarie 2020.  Initial, a parut o rafuiala simpla, dar apoi s-a realizat magnitudinea geopolitica a evenimentului, iar Europa a trebuit sa reactioneze. Mai ales ca modul de eliminare a sefului garzilor revolutionare islamice iraniene a demonstrat la Bruxelles- mai precis in capitalele europene importante fragilitatea relatiilor cu Washingtonul- nu au fost anuntati/preveniti de eveniment-, dar si lipsa inadmisibila de informatii adecvate fata de evolutiile din Orientul Mijlociu. Iar o alta circumstanta agravanta pentru aceste capitale europene - cele care sunt parte a acordului nuclear cu Iranul- a fost ca una din consecintele imediate ale evenimentului nu putea fi decat parasirea de Teheran a acestuia si avortarea incercarilor europene de a-l tine valid macar pana la alegerile din noiembrie din SUA.
         
          Mai mult decat atat, socotit de compatrioti ‘ a living martyr’, generalul ucis la Bagdad a furnizat Iranului un avantaj strategic in fata SUA, astfel incat el a dobandit , prin  moartea sa mai mult decat ar fi obtinut in viata fiind planificand operatii impotriva SUA.  Sub semnatura a doi dintre negociatorii americani ai acordului nuclear cu Iranul, la 6 ianuarie 2020, a aparut un articol care mentioneazaa ca: “No one really knows what comes next, not even the protagonists themselves. But as the dust settles, the collateral damage from the strike on Soleimani will likely be greater than the Trump administration bargained for. Indeed, the strike already appears to be feeding the gnarled ambitions of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, by producing a more unified regime with a tighter grip at home; an even more precarious American military position in Iraq and Syria, with the Iraqi Parliament now calling for U.S. withdrawal; and the death of the Iranian nuclear deal and the whole notion of diplomacy with the Great Satan. All this will cost the United States far more than Soleimani’s killing cost Iran. In his death, Soleimani may exact his own final act of revenge against the United States.” [3]

          Ce constatam , ca reactii imediate ale Europei?  A fost , mai intai, unanima reactie de solicitare a des-escalarii. Cu alte cuvinte, spectrul razboiului SUA-Iran , in proximitatea Europei si intr-un tablou in care, eventual,  aliatii SUA aveau a se supune regulii articolului 5 al NATO, a covarsit gandirea decidentilor europeni. Primul gand : evitarea razboiului. Liderul Frantei a evidentiat, pentru a nu mai fi nicio umbra de indoiala in aceasta privinta, care sunt prioritatile Frantei si Europei:
     „ @EmmanuelMacron Jan 4
L’escalade des tensions au Moyen-Orient n’est pas une fatalité. La France a deux priorités que je partage avec l’ensemble des dirigeants concernés que je contacte : (1/2)
 
la souveraineté et la sécurité de l’Irak, ainsi que la stabilité de la région ; la lutte contre le terrorisme de Daech. Rien ne doit nous détourner de ces objectifs. (2/2)
8:02 AM - 4 Jan 2020”[4]
 
          La Berlin, ministrul de Externe ,  a actionat similar:
     “@GermanyDiplo Jan 3
Foreign Minister @HeikoMaas: "The US military operation followed a series of dangerous provocations by Iran. However, this action has not made it easier to reduce tensions. I made this point clearly to @SecPompeo as well."
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"Further escalation, which could set the whole region on fire, must be prevented. I just discussed this with @SecPompeo and @JosepBorrellF. We have been in close consultations with Uk and France , on how to help calm the situation.
7:18 AM - 3 Jan 2020[5]
 
          In absenta premierului Boris Johnson, aflat in vacanta, D. Raab, seful diplomatiei britanice,  a subscris pozitiei europene:
         
Dominic Raab Retweeted
 @foreignoffice 24 hours ago
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 “ ‘There is now an urgent need for de-escalation. We call on all parties to exercise utmost restraint and responsibility. The current cycle of violence in Iraq must be stopped.’ Joint statement by France, Germany and the UK[6]
 
          Desigur, data fiind magnitudinea crizei, iminenta replicilor iraniene ca razbunare si proximitatea Europei fata de Mideast, nu au lipsit si evaluarile provocarilor pe care are a le depasi Europa in urmatoarea perioada. Iata cum vede un specialist american aceste provocari immediate. Cea dintai  este “to address Iran’s destabilising activities in the Middle East. If Europe wants to go beyond mere calls for restraint, it needs to show a greater sense of strategic clarity in changing Iran’s approach to supporting Hezbollah and militia groups in Iraq and elsewhere. This will require Europe to show a hard sense of realism about reducing malign Iranian influence in Iraq.”  Cu alte cuvinte, a depasi actuala stare de lucruri , caracterizata doar prin incercarea de a mentine valid acordul nuclear ( nici aceasta deosebit de energica ) si actiune  in a combate influenta iraniana in Orientul Mijlociu, mai ales referind la formarea unei „semiluni hegemonice”  prin ‚proxies’  destabilizanti  (in Irak- militiile shiite, Siria-  Hezbolah si militiile shiite , Liban- Hezbollah si Gaza- Hamas ), care extinde la Mediterana bratul Teheranului teocratic. Cea de a doua este „understanding the Trump administration, because what will happen in the coming months depends on whether the United States decides to pull out of Iraq. Until now, President Trump has told his base of supporters that he wants to bring America’s military home from the Middle East. However, he has also told his supporters that he wants to stop Iranian threats to the US, Israel and their allies. Thursday’s attack will likely lead to Iran forcing President Trump to choose which is more important to him .”  Potrivit analizei acestui expert, in stransa legatura cu cele doua provocari se situeaza o vizionara actiune a liderilor europeni in sprijinul de-escalarii situatiei primejdioase care se dezvolta acum in Mideast: „ European leaders should now consider whether to develop a serious, credible plan — but one European in character — to get Iran to end the campaign of building a parallel, Iranian-sponsored state within Iraq.This would see Europe replace the United States in a number of activities like building up non-sectarian, locally-based Iraqi security forces and helping to end corruption in Iraqi ministries, even when that benefits European businesses. A strong and coordinated European-American initiative to reduce Iranian influence in Iraq, while assuring Tehran that Iraq will not be used as a base for attacks against it, would demonstrate a concrete European understanding of what it takes to achieve security in the Middle East” . [7]
         
          Neindoilenic, analizele facute situatiei actuale din Mideast nu scapa orientarii politice a autorilor. Adanca falie din SUA se reflecta masiv in ce priveste interpretarea deciziei facute de presedintele Trump de a recurge la eliminarea generalului iranian pe teritoriul Irak-ului. Ca o mostra , dintre multe altele, citez  un lung sir de tweet-ere care are ca autor  pe Julliane Smith, fosta adjuncta a consilierului principal pe securitate nationala a vicepresedintelui John Biden in timpul prezidentiei lui  Barack Obama:
@Julie_C_Smith, Jan 5
Things the US wishes it had right now as it prepares for the aftermath of the killing of Suleimani: 
1. A functioning and healthy transatlantic relationship rooted in mutual trust and consultation. ‘No European government praised the killing of General Suleimani, emphasizing instead the increased risks to their citizens, troops and interests.’
2. A president that has a history of telling the truth. 
3. A Pentagon that understands the danger of putting forward  ‘extreme’  options that they assume Trump won't select.
4. A government that is adequately staffed. For example, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC) remains vacant.
5. Embassies that are adequately staffed.
6. A president that takes regular intelligence briefings and respects/trusts the intelligence community.
7. A successful strategy on North Korea that didn't just result in the North Koreans lifting their moratorium on nuclear testing.
8. GEN Jim Mattis as SecDef. 
9. A functioning, trustworthy relationship between the executive and legislative branches of government. 
10. A president that hadn't just betrayed Kurdish allies in Syria.[8] 
 
          Daca nu putine dintre cele enumerate de J. Smith merita consideratie, nu poate sa nu fie observata apartenenta sa la tabara anti-Trump , atat de virulenta in acest rastimp al  procesului impeachment-ului presedintelui care se dezvolta catre Senat dupa ce a castigat  in Camera Reprezentantilor. De altfel, nu sunt putini cei care leaga decizia  presedintelui american din 2 ianuarie 2020 tocmai de dosarul demiterii sale in legatura cu o discutie avuta in iulie 2019 cu omologul ucrainean . Solidarizarea opiniei publice in jurul steagului american in momente grele de catre comandantul suprem nu ar fi o premiera in istoria SUA, au subliniat multi analisti.  
          Funeraliile generalului decedat  s-au desfasurat, intr-o impresionanta ceremonie in orasul natal al acestuia , la 7 ianuarie ( cateva zeci de oameni au murit cu acest prilej datorita aglomeratiei uriase ), vadind justetea afirmatiei  ca astfel opinia publica iraniana s-a vadit mai unita in fata acestei tragedii , spiritul de unitate nationala prevaland aversiunii fata de regim. In urmatoarele ore au avut loc cele dintai represalii- asteptate si anuntate- ca riposta la actul SUA de eliminare  a numarului 2 al regimului. Doua baze americane din Irak au fost tinta tirului de rachete iraniene.
 

رسانه دستاوردهای نظامی ایران @imaMedia_org
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Exclusive: Images of #Iranian Zulfiqar #missiles in the night of "Operation Martyr #Soleimani" #Iranian missiles pulled down two #US bases in #Iraq. The missiles used in this operation were the #Zulfiqar and the upgraded model of #Qiam (Detachable Warhead).
 
 
11:31 AM - 8 Jan 2020[9]
 
          Teheranul a anuntat ca 80 de americani au fost lichidati in urma acestor raiduri, in timp ce Washingtonul a facut cunoscut ca nu a fost inregistrata nicio pierdere.  Presedintele american Donald Trump a scris pe contul sau de twitter, mentionand semnificativ ca ,  la sfarsitul zilei de 7 ianuarie,  privind evaluarea pagubelor si eventual pierderilor umane pricinuite de atacul cu rachete iranian  :“pana acum, este bine “ :
 
@realDonaldTrump
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All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.
6:45 PM - 7 Jan 2020” [10]

Satellite photos show damage to air base in Iraq hit by Iranian missiles- January 8, 2020 
          Un expert din Washington, managing director at the Washington Institute, fost senior director at the National Security Council, a sesizat in aceasta diferenta de anunt in cele doua capitale in privinta pierderilor posibilitatea deschierii unui culoar liber  diplomatiei si gestionarii prudente a crizei intervenite intre cele doua state:
 
 
@MichaelSinghDC
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Thread: Some thoughts on Iran's missile strike in Iraq and where we go from here. 1/The sighs of relief are understandable - US casualties were avoided, perhaps intentionally. Suggests that this particular episode may not result in further escalation. 2/However, three caveats...1) Very different scenario if even a single American died - a risky move by Iran; 2) This was an escalation from Iran's past pattern of action - a missile salvo against US forces is a watershed moment in US-Iran conflict, as was the Soleimani strike. 3/Third caveat - Iran's retaliation will likely continue, perhaps in more deniable, but more painful, ways. This initial retaliation was likely unavoidable; question is whether further responses can be deterred or otherwise headed off. 4/More fundamentally, the factors that sparked this round of conflict remain in place: the US is seeking to ramp up economic pressure, and Iran has been escalating on the regional and nuclear fronts in an effort to persuade the US to back down. 5/If previously Iran felt it was making gains (non- response to tankers and Abqaiq, Macron initiative), the Soleimani strike may change their calculus - it dispels any notion that the US will not respond to escalation with force, or is only willing to employ sanctions. 6/This is one of several factors that contribute to an opportunity for the US, the others being European frustration over Iran's nuclear steps, international condemnation of Iranian regional policies, et al. For all our disputes, the US and allies fundamentally agree re Iran. 7/The key question for the US now is how to transform this inchoate opportunity into a diplomatic initiative that rallies allies to our side and puts Iran in a corner. This requires laying out more explicitly a pathway to the negotiation the US says it wants. 8/The US has sought "maximum pressure" against Iran. We've used economic pressure and now military pressure; the only piece that is missing is diplomatic pressure. /End
8 Jan 2020”. [11]
 
          Este adevarat ca alti specialisti se tem ca in codificarea escaladarii si de-escalarii mega -crizei SUA-Iran exista si  primejdia ca ayatolahii de la Teheran sa intepreteze  gresit ‘miscarile’ americane, ceea ce mentine deschisa posibilitatea unei evolutii catre razboi Iran-SUA. In acest sens, Jean Marie Guehenno, presedintele International Crisis Group, organism de monitorizare a crizelor internationale, a scris intre 6- 8 ianuarie urmatorul sir de tweet-ere
 
 
“@JGuehenno
Jean-Marie Guéhenno Retweeted Gérard Araud
1/ The bold action against Saudi Arabia at #abqaiq for a moment paradoxically gave hope that the fear of escalation would open a space for negotiations,  but the absence of reaction of the US has led to Iran’s hubris and miscalculation («you can’t do anything » tweet of Khamenei)
 
Jean-Marie Guéhenno added,
@GerardAraud
Whatever we think of Trump, of the assassination of Soleimani, the basic reality which was predating the US denunciation of the JCPOA was the aggressive behavior of Iran. Not only in the Middle East but on our territory through terrorism.
2/ Trump, belatedly becoming aware that he had lost escalation dominance, all at once has jumped several steps of the escalation ladder, and we are now in an extremely dangerous situation, because US acted too late and too big.
3/#Iran is in the very difficult situation that it exposes its extreme weakness if it does not react sufficiently strongly. It can trigger catastrophic consequences for itself if it reacts too strongly. & it’s not obvious that the ayatollahs are the best judges of a US reaction 9:02 AM - 6 Jan 2020
By luck or design, the Iranian strike has not killed anybody & the escalation cycle may stop there for the moment. BUT 1/ other actions, less easily attributable may be launched 2/ the US/Western presence in Iraq may be terminated & ISiS may surge 3/ The JCPOA is almost dead! 5:12 PM - 8 Jan 2020”[12]

 
          Declaratia asteptata din 8 ianuarie 2020 a lui Donald Trump a intarit optiunea de-escalarii mega-crizei. El a mentionat, referindu-se la razbunarea generalului eliminat prin atacul cu rachete tintite de Teheran asupra bazelor SUA din Irak ca : “Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world“  si ca SUA  “is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.” NYT a comentat aceasta declaratie in urmatorii termeni: „ While Mr. Trump excoriated Iran’s ‚campaign of terror, murder, mayhem’ and defended his decision to order a drone strike killing the country’s top security commander, he dropped for now his bombastic threats of escalating force, vowing instead to increase economic sanctions while calling for new negotiations.[13]
          Este de sperat ca mega-criza SUA- Iran, prilejuita de eliminarea generalui Qassam Suleimani- numarul 2 la Teheran-, care a ridicat acut in opinia publica internationala amenintarea unui razboi generalizat in Mideast, cu sanse de contagiune globala , va intra in segmentul negocierii. Mingea este la Teheran.
          Neindoielnic ca aceasta mega-criza va cunoaste si alte rabufniri. In aceeasi zi, presedintele Iranului a scris pe twitter ca:
@HassanRouhani
General Soleimani fought heroically against ISIS, Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al. If it weren’t for his war on terror, European capitals would be in great danger now.Our final answer to his assassination will be to kick all US forces out of the region.
1:00 PM - Jan 8, 2020[14]
 
          Ceea ce este semnificativ pentru evolutiile vitoare sunt insa alte doua remarci facute de presedintele american relativ la situatia internationala , cu speciala referire la Mideast. Mai intai , ca acordul nuclear cu Iranul trebuie renegociat, indemnand in acest sens toti semnatarii, ceea ce inseamna ca UE  , dar si celelate parti   se vor gasi in fata unei veritabile presiuni a Washingtonului in acest sens. Iar in al doilea rand,  Donald Trump a referit la NATO chemand alianta sa se implice mai mult in Mideast. Aceasta ultima remarca va fi neindoielnic un dosar voluminous al relatiilor transatlantice  in viitor.
 
          Uitandu-ne in urma , anume cu  ce erau  preocupati  expertii europeni inainte de declansarea mega-crizei SUA-Iran, observam  ca relatia cu China a UE era prioritara . Vor reveni curand expertii europeni la aceeasi  presanta preocupare ?
 

 
 
Bucuresti
9 ianuarie 2020
 

[3] William J. Burns, Jake Sullivan, Soleimani’s Ultimate Revenge

In his death, the Iranian general may cost the United States far more than it gained by his killing, in ‚ The Atlantic”, January 6, 2020- https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/01/soleimanis-ultimate-revenge/604471/?utm_term=2020-01-06T15%3A23%3A22&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_content=edit-promo&utm_campaign=the-atlantic
 
[6] Publicata la 6 ianuarie : “We have condemned the recent attacks on coalitions forces in Iraq and are gravely concerned by the negative role Iran has played in the region, including through the IRGC and the Al-Qods force under the command of General Soleimani.There is now an urgent need for de-escalation. We call on all parties to exercise utmost restraint and responsibility. The current cycle of violence in Iraq must be stopped.We specifically call on Iran to refrain from further violent action or proliferation, and urge Iran to reverse all measures inconsistent with the JCPOA.We recall our attachment to the sovereignty and security of Iraq. Another crisis risks jeopardizing years of efforts to stabilize Iraq.We also reaffirm our commitment to continue the fight against Daesh, which remains a high priority. The preservation of the Coalition is key in this regard. We therefore urge the Iraqi authorities to continue providing the Coalition all the necessary support. We stand ready to continue our engagement with all sides in order to contribute to defuse tensions and restore stability to the region.”- https://www.gov.uk/government/news/joint-statement-from-president-macron-chancellor-merkel-and-prime-minister-johnson-on-the-situation-in-iraq
 
[7] Thomas S. Warrick What the killing of Iran's General Soleimani means for Europe, 04/01/2020 - 
https://www.euronews.com/2020/01/04/what-the-killing-of-iran-s-general-soleimani-means-for-europe-view
 

[12] https://twitter.com/JGuehenno/status/1214230858514731012; Guehheno refera la faptul ca  o stire Reuter din 8 ianuarie 2020 , evidentiaza ca nu rebelii Houttu sau Yemen sunt culpabili pentru atacul cu rachete de la Abqaiq, ci Iranul- vezi Michelle Nichols, Exclusive: U.N. investigators find Yemen's Houthis did not carry out Saudi oil attack- January, 8 , 2020-https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-aramco-attacks-un-exclusive/exclusive-u-n-investigators-find-yemens-houthis-did-not-carry-out-saudi-oil-attack-idUSKBN1Z72VX. Aici se arata ca “„The United States, European powers and Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for the Sept. 14 attack on the Saudi Aramco oil plants in Abqaiq and Khurais, dismissing a quick claim of responsibility by the Iran-allied Houthis. Tehran denied any involvement.The report by the independent U.N. experts to the Security Council Yemen sanctions committee said, “That despite their claims to the contrary, the Houthi forces did not launch the attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais on 14 September 2019.”

[13] Peter Baker, Trump Backs Away From Further Military Conflict With Iran, January 8 ,2020- https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/08/world/middleeast/trump-speech.html

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