HNewsWire: To the detriment of the West, Eurasia is about to grow significantly as countries line up to join the Chinese and Russian-led BRICS and SCO...
Let us begin with a tale of Global South trade between two Shanghai Cooperation Organization members (SCO). At its core is the already infamous Shahed-136 drone - or Geranium-2, as it is known in Russia: the AK-47 of postmodern aerial warfare.
In yet another ironic fit of panic, the US accused Tehran of weaponizing the Russian Armed Forces. The superstar, value-for-money, and incredibly effective drone unleashed on the Ukrainian battlefield is a state secret for both Tehran and Moscow: its deployment sparked a flurry of denials from both sides. It makes no difference if these drones are manufactured in Iran or if the design was purchased and manufactured in Russia (the more likely scenario).
The record reveals that the US uses Ukraine as a weapon against Russia.
The Empire operates as a de facto warfighter through a network of "consultants," advisers, trainers, mercenaries, heavy weaponry, munitions, satellite intelligence, and electronic warfare. Despite this, imperial officials insist they are not involved in the fight. They're lying yet again.
Welcome to another vivid example of the "rules-based international order" in action. The Hegemon determines which regulations apply and when. Anyone who opposes it is an enemy of "freedom," "democracy," or whatever platitude is in vogue, and should be punished with arbitrary consequences.
For decades, the predictable conclusion in the case of sanctioned-to-oblivion Iran has been another round of sanctions. That is unimportant. What counts is that, according to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), no less than 22 nations - and counting - are joining the queue to get in on the Shahed action.
Even the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, jumped into the battle, remarking that the Shahed-136 is no Photoshop.
The race for BRICS+
What the fresh sanctions on Iran "achieved" was to inflict another blow to the increasingly challenging signature of the renewed nuclear deal in Vienna. More Iranian oil on the market would actually alleviate Washington's predicament following OPEC+'s recent catastrophic rebuff.
However, a categorical imperative persists. Iranophobia, like Russophobia, is a constant for the Straussians/neo-cons in command of US foreign policy and their European vassals.
So we have yet another aggressive escalation in both Iran-US and Iran-EU ties, as Brussels' unelected junta also sanctioned producer Shahed Aviation Industries and three Iranian generals.
Compare this to the fate of Turkey's Bayraktar TB2 drone, which, unlike the "flowers in the sky" (Russia's Geraniums), has failed terribly in combat.
Kiev attempted to persuade the Turks to use a Motor Sich weapons facility in Ukraine or form a new firm in Transcarpathia/Lviv to manufacture Bayraktars. Because of his ties to Russia, Motor Sich's oligarch President Vyacheslav Boguslayev, 84, has been charged with treason and may be traded for Ukrainian prisoners of war.
In the end, the deal fell through due to Ankara's unwavering commitment to establishing a new gas hub in Turkey, a personal request from Russian President Vladimir Putin to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
This brings us to the developing connectivity between the BRICS and the 9-member SCO, to which this Russia-Iran military commerce is intimately related.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), led by China and Russia, is a pan-Eurasian organisation that was founded to combat terrorism but is now increasingly focused on geoeconomic - and geopolitical - cooperation. The notion of BRICS+, studied in length in a recent Valdai Club paper, and fully endorsed by the Russia-China strategic alliance, overlaps with the SCO agenda geoeconomically and geopolitically, expanding it to Africa, Latin America, and beyond.
The paper evaluates the benefits and drawbacks of three scenarios involving potential BRICS+ candidates:
First, states invited by Beijing to participate in the 2017 BRICS summit (Egypt, Kenya, Mexico, Thailand, Tajikistan).
Second, nations that participated in this year's BRICS foreign ministers conference in May. (Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Thailand).
Third, important G20 economies (Argentina, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Turkiye).
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Then there's Iran, which has already expressed interest in joining the BRICS.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has stated that "many countries" are desperate to join BRICS. Among them is Saudi Arabia, a key power in West Asia.
What's more, only three years ago, under former US President Donald Trump's administration, the kingdom's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MbS), was dead intent on joining a type of Arab NATO as a favoured imperial partner.
Diplomatic sources corroborate that MbS's envoys began serious negotiations with both Moscow and Beijing the day after the US withdrew from Afghanistan.
If the BRICS support Riyadh's candidacy in 2023 with the necessary unanimity, the petrodollar will face seismic implications. At the same time, it is critical not to underestimate the power of US foreign policy controllers.
The petrodollar is the only reason Washington tolerates Riyadh's rule. The Saudis must be denied the right to pursue an independent, truly sovereign foreign policy. If this occurs, the geopolitical realignment will affect the entire Persian Gulf, not just Saudi Arabia.
Yet, when OPEC+ de facto picked the BRICS/SCO course lead by Russia-China - in what can be regarded as a "soft" prologue to the end of the petrodollar - this seems increasingly likely.
Even before Saudi Arabia, the Riyadh-Tehran-Ankara trio Iran expressed interest in joining BRICS. According to diplomatic sources in the Persian Gulf, they are already working through a rather hidden channel via Iraq to get their act together. Turkey will soon follow - at least on the BRICS and possibly on the SCO, where Ankara is currently a particularly keen observer.
Imagine this triangle - Riyadh, Tehran, and Ankara - tightly allied with Russia, India, and China (the actual core of the BRICS), and eventually in the SCO, where Iran is the only West Asian nation to have been admitted as a full member.
The strategic blow to the Empire will be out of this world. The debates building up to BRICS+ are centered on the difficult path toward a commodity-backed global currency capable of bypassing the US dollar's dominance.
Several interconnected steps lead to increased collaboration between BRICS+ and SCO. Members of the latter have already agreed on a timetable for gradually boosting trading in national currencies in mutual settlements.
The State Bank of India, the country's largest lender, is introducing special rupee accounts for Russian commerce.
Russian natural gas to Turkey will be paid in rubles and Turkish liras, with Erdogan personally requesting a 25% discount from Putin.
VTB, a Russian bank, has begun sending money to China in yuan, bypassing SWIFT, and Sberbank has begun lending in yuan. Russian energy powerhouse Gazprom agreed with China that gas delivery payments will be split evenly in rubles and yuan.
Iran and Russia are integrating their banking systems to facilitate trading in rubles/rials.
Egypt's Central Bank is attempting to create an index for the pound using a group of currencies and gold in order to wean the national currency away from the US dollar.
Then there's the TurkStream debacle.
That gas station present
Ankara has spent years attempting to establish itself as a privileged East-West gas center. Following the destruction of the Nord Streams, Putin has given Turkey the option of increasing Russian gas supplies to the EU via such a hub. According to the Turkish Energy Ministry, Ankara and Moscow have already achieved an agreement in principle.
In actuality, Turkey will control the flow of gas to Europe not only from Russia, but also from Azerbaijan and a large portion of West Asia, possibly including Iran, as well as Libya in northeast Africa. The network could be completed by LNG terminals in Egypt, Greece, and Turkiye.
The TurkStream and Blue Stream pipelines transport Russian gas. Russian pipelines have a total capacity of 39 billion cubic meters per year.
TurkStream was originally intended to be a four-strand pipeline with a nominal capacity of 63 million cubic meters per year. As of now, just two strands have been developed, with a total capacity of 31,5 billion cubic meters.
So, in theory, an extension is more than doable - with all of the equipment built in Russia. Once again, the issue is laying the pipes. The required vessels are owned by the Swiss Allseas Group, and Switzerland is involved in the sanctions hysteria. Russian warships were utilized to complete Nord Stream 2 construction in the Baltic Sea. However, a TurkStream extension would require them to operate far deeper in the ocean.
TurkStream cannot totally replace Nord Stream because it transports far lesser amounts. The benefit for Russia is that it will not be barred from the EU market. Evidently, Gazprom would only undertake the significant investment in an extension if there were absolute guarantees concerning its security. There's also the issue that the extension would bring gas from Russia's competitors.
Whatever happens, the truth is that the US-UK alliance still has considerable power in Turkey, and BP, Exxon Mobil, and Shell, for example, are involved in practically every oil extraction project in West Asia. As a result, they would undoubtedly interfere with the operation of the Turkish gas hub as well as the determination of gas prices. Before committing to such a project, Moscow must consider all of these factors.
NATO, predictably, will be furious. But never underestimate Sultan Erdogan, a hedging bet master. His love story with the BRICS and the SCO is just getting started.
HNewsWire: The BRICS coalition, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, focuses mostly on trade discussions, while it has also reached agreements on security issues such as counterterrorism. Despite increased tensions between members over the last decade, particularly between India and China, whose military fought in conflict over their shared border in 2020, the coalition has held.
The BRICS alliance also held despite the election of a self-proclaimed conservative president, Jair Bolsonaro, who radically shifted the focus of domestic politics from what it was when far-left socialist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva helped create the coalition in 2009. Despite campaigning on anti-communism in 2018, Bolsonaro has generally maintained close connections with China and has remained neutral in Russia's invasion of Ukraine, strongly opposing sanctions against Moscow. Read More