Tag Archives: Russia

Russia to build 2 nuclear power plants in Iran

Russian experts will help the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) construct two new nuclear power plants in the country’s southern city of Bushehr, according to Iran’s Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian.

“The contract has been signed between the AEOI and Russia, and includes building two 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plants, the construction of which is about to start,” said Chitchian.

can use Iranian military bases ‘on case by case basis,’ confirms https://www.rt.com/news/382523-russia-iran-bases-use/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=aplication_chrome&utm_campaign=chrome#.WNoi8dXwm_U.twitter 

Photo published for Russia can use Iranian military bases ‘on case by case basis,’ Tehran confirms — RT News

Russia can use Iranian military bases ‘on case by case basis,’ Tehran confirms — RT News

Russia can use Iranian military bases for airstrikes targeting terrorists in Syria on a “case by case basis,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Reuters.

rt.com

Russian energy major Gazprom has sealed a cooperation agreement with its Iranian counterpart for the development of local gas deposits.

During his visit to Moscow last month, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani highlighted the importance of the energy sector in bilateral relations and the possible creation of a free trade zone between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union that includes Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.

From RT

Posted by The NON-Conformist

US, Syrian, and Russian Airstrikes Kill Dozens of Civilians

The civilian toll of the Syrian war continues to rise, with airstrikes driving the toll today, as US, Russian, and Syrian warplanes all took to the skies, pounding targets in rebel-held parts of the country, killing at least 44 civilians across the country.

The biggest single incident was in Abu Kamal, along the Iraqi border, where US airstrikes killed at least 30 civilians, mostly women and children. The Pentagon downplayed the incident, saying they couldn’t confirm the civilian casualties, and that they’d “tried to avoid” killing any civilians.

Abu Kamal is a main border crossing between Iraq and Syria, and the Syrian side is mostly controlled by ISIS. The other strikes saw Russia killing 10 civilians in Maaret Harmeh, in Idlib Province, and four civilians were killed by Syrian government strikes in Aleppo Province.

This marks the latest in a growing number of US strikes with large civiliian tolls across Iraq and Syria, most of which never make it into official Pentagon figures, despite substantial third party evidence that they took place. The result of this is that the “official” figure is less than 10% the number killed according to NGOs.

by Jason Ditz/AntiWar

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Rachel Maddow talks about Russia more than all other topics combined

Image: american news x

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow spends most of her nightly show talking about one topic: Russia, Russia, Russia.

In fact, according to a new analysis from The Intercept, which reviewed six weeks of the liberal anchor’s show, Maddow talks about Russia — and President Donald Trump’s potential ties to the Kremlin — more than every other topic combined.

The study found that Maddow’s Russia reporting (53 percent of coverage) “dwarfed” the time devoted to other headline news, such as Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration (1.3 percent), Obamacare repeal and replace (3.8 percent), the legal battle over Trump’s travel freeze (5.6 percent), progressive protests at GOP town halls (5.8 percent), and other White House news (11 percent).

“The Republican attempt to repeal Obamacare, which was in full swing during the six-week period, got less coverage (nearly 46 minutes) than six other individual Russia issues,” The Intercept’s Aaron Maté wrote…

More from The Blaze

Posted by Libergirl

Russia to continue Syria military op in support of Assad after ‘chemical attack’ claims – Kremlin

Moscow will continue to support Syrian Army troops in their anti-terrorism effort, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, after being asked whether Russian policy had changed following a reported chemical attack in the Idlib province.

Peskov cited the opinion of the Russian military, which said the contamination may have been caused by damage to a rebel chemical weapons storage site.

“You have heard the statement from the Russian Defense Ministry and I have nothing to add to the facts they stated. The Russian Federation and its military are continuing the operation to support the anti-terrorism operation and liberation of the country, which is being conducted by the Syrian armed forces,” Peskov said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova suggested later on Wednesday that the Security Council should urge the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to launch a fact-finding mission, provided that full access to the incident site is allowed.

“It is crucial to call upon an OPCW fact-finding mission in charge of investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria to collect evidence of the incident under the following condition – the composition of the fact-finding mission will be submitted to the UN Security Council for approval, and it will be balanced in terms of geographical [representation],” Zakharova said, according to Interfax.

The acting Russian envoy to the UN will voice this position during an emergency meeting of the Security Council on Wednesday, which was called following the chemical incident, Peskov added.

At least 70 people, including 11 children, have been reported killed in the town of Khan Sheikhoun after a suspected chemical weapons attack on Tuesday morning. Rebels accused the Syrian government of bombing the town with chemical munitions.

The accusations have been backed by a number of Western governments.

Staffan de Mistura, UN special envoy for Syria, said reliable evidence would be needed to confirm the alleged use of chemical weapons, let alone establish who was responsible for it.

“We have no yet any official or reliable confirmation,” he said on Wednesday. “We will be stimulating all those who have the capacity of finding out technically what had happened.”

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also said there was no evidence yet to draw any conclusion on what had happened in the Idlib governorate, but stated that the Syrian government held “primary responsibility” for the situation.

READ MORE: Rebels ‘only people who benefited’ from Idlib chemical weapons attack – analyst

Amid the public condemnation of Damascus for the attack and Moscow and Tehran for their support of the Syrian government, some experts pointed out that the Syrian Army had no rational reason for using chemical weapons against rebels in Idlib.

Iran, an ally of Damascus, condemned on Wednesday any use of chemical weapons and offered help to the victims.

“We are ready to bring the victims to Iran and help them,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said, as quoted by Tasnim news agency.

Earlier Turkey, an opponent and frequent critic of Damascus, reported treating dozens of victims of the alleged attack in hospitals located in the border province of Hatay, AP said.

READ MORE: ’Assad must go’ no more: US gov’t shifts priorities in Syria

The incident in Khan Sheikhoun happened days after Washington stated that ousting Syrian President Bashar Assad was no longer a priority for the US. The “Assad must go” premise was one of the cornerstones of Washington’s Syrian policy under Barack Obama. The Trump administration has been dismantling many of Obama’s policies.

From RussiaToday

Posted by The NON-Conformist

President Trump Angry about Flynn Leaks

Image: Time Magazine

After the messy and high-profile resignation of Michael Flynn, the president and at least one key congressional Republican have directed their ire at the leaks that exposed the now-former National Security Advisor’s clandestine conversations with Russian officials. “The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington?”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) echoed the president’s concerns.

“I am going to be asking the FBI to do an assessment of this to tell us what’s going on here because we cannot continue to have these leaks as a government,” he told Fox News.

More from Time Magazine

Posted by Libergirl

When It Comes to U.S. Foreign Policy, the Truth Hurts

A bill before Congress could be used to target “any website, or blog, that does not share the mainstream media’s proclivity to serve as the Public Relations arm of a given administration.“ All they have to do is claim it is being “manipulated” by the Russians. But, Moscow doesn’t have to lie to counter a lawless U.S. foreign policy. “The Russians only need to stick to the facts (omitting the pipeline) to ultimately win the propaganda war.”

“The USA governing elite is sowing ever deepening dissent in the psyche of those Americans actually inclined to think, understand and know for themselves what is actually going on.”

Why is the USA media, intelligence agencies and Congress in hysteria over “Russian propaganda”? Because the Russians have, for quite some time, had the absolute upper hand in the growing field of alternative media. How is that?

What the Russians appear to have clearly recognized is how to take advantage of the corrupt nature of the western “mainstream” press, an institution which has been co-opted by western intelligence agencies for a very long time.

The Russian method? It could not be more simple; report the actual facts in the geopolitical contest and when this is inconvenient, practice lies by omission. Here is an example: Both NATO (an extension of the USA) and Russia are contesting Syria over competing energy pipelines, primarily. One from Iran transiting Syria, favored by Russia; the other from Qatar transiting Syria, favored by NATO.

The disadvantage NATO has faced in this competition is Syria controlled by a Russian ally, that is, the government of Basher al-Assad.

Because NATO sponsored Salafist militants to effect “regime change” (the preferred NATO model since 1980s Afghanistan), a large number had, not surprisingly, gone out of control (e.g. Islamic State is a direct result.) Paradoxically, NATO-aligned states have pitched the anti-Assad endeavor in terms of a “war on terror,” and there are so many NATO lies (and lies to cover lies) in the co-opted western media, the Russians only need to stick to the facts (omitting the pipeline) to ultimately win the propaganda war. What’s more is, Russia further only need stand back and allow western dissident journalists to dig up the real facts on the ground:

1. NATO’s “moderate” rebels are aligned with al-Qaida…………….. ✓

2. NATO policy created the conditions for the rise of IS…………… ✓

3. Western ally Saudi Arabia bankrolls the Salafist extremists……. ✓

4. NATO member Turkey has protected & supplied IS…………….. ✓

Depending on the geopolitical reality of the day, for instance whether the paranoid ego-maniac Sultan Erdogan of Turkey is behaving well or not, the stories by western dissident journalists that will withstand close scrutiny are run in Russian or Russia friendly media outlets. The result? Odds are 100:1 you’ll get more reliable information from Russian state TV or Russian sponsored websites than from ABC, CBS, CNN or NBC.

Shoot the messenger

At the end of the day, the only solution NATO’s main sponsor, the USA, can come up with to protect it’s colossal efforts to deceive and manipulate the western public is to silence dissident journalists by cutting off access to alternative media. Zerohedge on the present proposal:

“On November 30, one week after the Washington Post launched its witch hunt against “Russian propaganda fake news”, with 390 votes for, the House quietly passed “H.R. 6393, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017“, sponsored by California Republican Devin Nunes (whose third largest donor in 2016 is Google parent Alphabet, Inc), a bill which deals with a number of intelligence-related issues, including Russian propaganda, or what the government calls propaganda, and hints at a potential crackdown on “offenders.”

“A quick skim of the bill reveals “Title V—Matters relating to foreign countries,” whose Section 501 calls for the government to “counter active measures by Russia to exert covert influence … carried out in coordination with, or at the behest of, political leaders or the security services of the Russian Federation and the role of the Russian Federation has been hidden or not acknowledged publicly.”

“The section lists the following definitions of media manipulation:

* Establishment or funding of a front group.

* Covert broadcasting.

* Media manipulation.

* Disinformation and forgeries.

* Funding agents of influence.

* Incitement and offensive counterintelligence.

* Assassinations.

* Terrorist acts.

“As ActivistPost correctly notes, it is easy to see how this law, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, could be used to target, threaten, or eliminate so-called “fake news” websites, a list which has been used to arbitrarily define any website, or blog, that does not share the mainstream media’s proclivity to serve as the Public Relations arm of a given administration“

Russian victory enhanced

The reactionary moves by the NATO/USA propagandists to having been bested in the game by Russia only sweetens the Russian victory. Similar to Erdogan’s over-reaction in cracking down on anyone who doesn’t follow the ruling party line in Turkey, the USA governing elite is sowing ever deepening dissent in the psyche of those Americans actually inclined to think, understand and know for themselves what is actually going on. The sort of reactionary behavior embodied in the color of law [anti-constitutional order represented in the “national security state”] governing the United States and its allies destabilizes any society.

Propaganda budget

The USA media mouthpieces are not going to broadcast the American propaganda budget, so let’s turn to Russia’s Sputnik to get the facts:

“Last year, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the US federal agency responsible for Voice of America and Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, among others, requested a substantial budget increase. Seeking a boost of $30 million, the BBG’s budget soared to $751.5 million.

“That was, evidently, not enough money. President Obama’s newly proposed budget for fiscal year 2017 proposes another massive increase in spending for the BBG. If granted, the agency will receive nearly $778 million, a roughly $27 million increase” [over the $30 million boost]

The Russians are willing to broadcast the factual news the USA’s intelligence agency co-opted media mouth-pieces will not. Point made?

Western press propagandizing Americans

How much of the USA’s propaganda budget is actually aimed at Americans?

The newest version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes an amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on the American public, reports Michael Hastings of BuzzFeed.

The amendment — proposed by Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and passed in the House last Friday afternoon — would effectively nullify the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which explicitly forbids information and psychological operations aimed at influencing U.S. public opinion

Huh. And yeah, that was made into law.

Odd bedfellows

Written by Ronald Thomas West/BAR

Posted by The NON-Conformist

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham wants Congress to investigate Russian cyberattack on DNC, election

Donald Trump may seek improved relations with Russia, but top Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham wants Vladimir Putin held responsible if the Russian government was involved in cyber-hacks to disrupt the U.S. elections.

Graham, who has sparred openly with Trump, his former rival in the presidential primary, is proposing that Congress hold a series of hearings on “Russia’s misadventures throughout the world” – including whether they were involved in “hacking into the DNC.”

“Were they involved in cyberattacks that had a political component to it in our elections?” Graham said.

If so, Graham said, “Putin should be punished.”

U.S. officials allege that Russia was involved in the hack on the Democratic National Committee that resulted in the release of sensitive emails ahead of the election.

Graham is one of the Senate’s leading foreign policy experts and his scrutiny of Putin comes as Trump’s desire for closer ties with Russia has drawn deep concern from the national security establishment.

“Here’s what I would tell Republicans: We cannot sit on the sidelines as a party and let allegations against a foreign government interfering in our election process go unanswered because it may have been beneficial to our cause,” Graham added.

The South Carolina senator acknowledged differences with Trump – “clearly, me and the Donald have issues,” he said – but he offered an olive branch to “do everything to help him, because he’ll be commander in chief in dangerous times.”

“He wants to reset with Russia. Maybe he can do it. But here’s my view about Russia: They’re a bad actor in the world and they need to be reined in,” Graham said.

“He is the president of the United States, and he is the leading diplomat for the country, but Congress has a role.”

By Lisa Mascaro/LA Times

Posted by The NON-Conformist