Iran and Russia plan to establish a joint bank as an effort to multiply bilateral trade and bypass sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s banking sector.
Head of the Iran-Russia Joint Chamber of Commerce Asadollah Asgaroladi said that Tehran and Moscow are studying the possibilities of opening a new chapter in trade relations that could break the domination of Western currencies over bilateral exchanges.
“Since Russian banks fear the implications of working with Iran due to sanctions, we want to establish the joint Iran-Russia bank with the help of our central banks and private sectors,” Asgaroladi said.
“Such a bank would be able to exchange money between the two sides using rials and rubles and put aside dollars, euros and pounds,” he added. Continue reading Iran, Russia Planning To Establish Joint Bank
by Hassan Chakrani, Al-Akhbar English
International politics and direct economic and security interests are not the only thing that brings Russia and Iran closer together. Geographically, both nations are Caspian riparian states. Hidden under the waters of the Caspian is immense natural wealth, which is one of the pillars of potential cooperation between Moscow and Tehran in the context of international conflict. Today, a new round of talks will be held focusing on the Caspian in the framework of broader cooperation.
Strategic interests in the Caspian Sea and Central Asia are at the heart of all analyses involving the Asian nations concerned and the energy tension between East and West. The main two countries concerned are Russia and Iran, even though there are three other Caspian littoral countries – Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan. The problem here is that even today, there is no legal or technical regime to manage interests in the region with the exception of the understandings between Moscow and Tehran, though these are ambiguous and have been sitting in the drawers gathering dust. Continue reading Russian-Iranian Ties: The Caspian Basin Is Where Cooperation Begins
by Amer Mohsen, Al-Akhbar English
Iran announced its first live test of the air defense system, Bavar 373, which is said to be similar to, or an alternative to the S 300 Russian system. This piece of news appeared two weeks ago but did not get adequate media coverage. Specialists and other concerned parties, however, read it with great interest.
Iranian media outlets broadcast the first picture of one of the Bavar missiles, which greatly resembles the missile used in the S 300 system. This test represents the beginning of completing the last phase in the Iranian air defense system, which consists of several systems with multiple ranges. Some of them are revamped old US weapons while others are clones of foreign radars and missiles and some are a combination of the two.
Estimating Iran’s military power is a very difficult task. Many of its projects are shrouded in secrecy and are revealed only after their completion, while the defense ministry’s propaganda adds to the mystery. Some research and experimental models are showcased as though they are in the production phase, and mixing actual achievements with propaganda is designed to mislead. The Iranian press often misinterprets military statements and the media, in general, is known for its ignorance of military issues and its inadequate coverage of these matters, thus adding to the confusion. Continue reading What Is It About Iran That Scares The US?: On Tehran’s Military Capabilities
by Jonathan Azaziah (Mouqawamah Music EXCLUSIVE)
It has been an undeniable fact for quite some time now that Hizbullah, the Lebanese Islamic Resistance, has transcended the position of a mere guerilla movement – albeit the most successful, fearsome and disciplined one in recent memory – and transformed itself, through its victories, sacrifices, dauntlessness, grassroots support, battlefield innovations and readiness, ideological impenetrability and steadfast commitment to its doctrine and principles, into a regional powerhouse which is capable of redrawing the map of the region in the favor of the Resistance Axis – of which it is the heart and soul – and its supporters throughout the Arab-Islamic world (1). Hizbullah’s intervention in Syria solidified this newfound status and set a precedent that if there is a regional struggle that the Mouqawamah deems vital to its strategic interests, it can and will intervene in whatever way it sees fit (2), for the struggle against the US-“Israeli” Empire in one place throughout the Maghreb and Mashriq, tends to be inextricably linked to others.
It is within this context that a seemingly bizarre and largely unreported event took place just a few weeks ago in Yemen. Upon a closer look however, the strangeness actually becomes rather elucidated and the reasons behind the terribly obvious lapse in media reportage on the aforesaid event are exposed. On September 26th, 2014, two alleged members of Hizbullah, along with three alleged members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), were released from prison in the Yemeni seaport city of Aden (3). The release came just days after the Houthis – also known as Ansarullah, a powerful political-military movement which has clashed with the Western-Zionist-Saudi-backed Yemeni regime for decades – stormed Sanaa, and, on behalf of the oppressed Yemeni people, imposed righteous conditions on the corrupt, US-installed puppets masquerading as a functioning government. Continue reading The Long Arm Of The Resistance: From Yemen to Saudi and Back Again