Turkey Drilling Off Cyprus Coast Risks EU Sanctions

Turkey has issued a new notification to captains of Mediterranean vessels, via the NAVTEX international automated notification system.  Sunday, as reported by NTV, NAVTEX is an international automated direct-printing service for promulgation of Maritime Safety Information (MSI), navigational and meteorological warnings, meteorological forecasts and other urgent safety-related messages to ships.

Is China Contemplating Military Action Against the US? Have They Lost Kremlin Support for Good?

On Monday May 4, Reuters published leaked information pertaining to a classified report compiled by the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, a think tank affiliated with the Ministry of State Security, China’s top intelligence body and key intelligence structure of the PRC. The report was told to Reuters by sources familiar with the contents of the document.

Does This Covert Post Mean Russia is Going to Dump Their Partnership With China Over Coronavirus?

China continues to suppress vital information and critical data pertaining to the origin of coronavirus in Wuhan. The Chinese scientists that published the genome sequence disappeared and their lab was immediately shut down. According to a French virologist and Nobel Prize winner the coronavirus is indeed a man made virus from a Chinese lab.  It is in line with the findings of an Indian Lab, but they were pressured to abandon their findings back in February of this year.

Russia is Using Warships to Secure Nord Stream 2 Completion

In order to complete Nord Stream 2, Russia decided to have the Gazprom vessels accompanied by Russian warships. The route is from the Indian ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. Nord stream 2 is a new export gas pipeline from Russia to Europe via the Baltic Sea. The combined capacity of each of the two Nord streams lines is expected to be 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Thus, the total design capacity of Nord stream and Nord stream-2 is 110 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

US Imposes Additional Sanctions – How Does It Affect Russia’s Weapons Industry?

The United States imposes sanctions on 13 foreign entities and individuals in Russia, China, Iraq, and Turkey under the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA).  The announcement was confirmed by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on @twitter.

The Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act authorizes the United States to impose sanctions against foreign individuals, private entities, and governments that engage in proliferation activities.

The Defending American Security From Kremlin Aggression Act – What’s the Impact?

The US Senate approved additional anti-Russian sanctions. The Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act was introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) back in February 2019.  US President Donald Trump is forced to put restrictions on Russian Sovereign debt but it is only applicable to newly issued bonds.  It is possible Trump will veto the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act.

EU to Create Their Own Magnitsky Act – Will Russia Be the First Violator?

The European Union (EU) announced the beginning of the development of a Human Rights sanctions regime that would be similar to the Magnitsky Act in the US. The announcement came after a meeting with 28 nation representatives in Brussels. The proposal originally came from the European Stability Initative, and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee at the end of 2018.

Iran’s Nuclear Program is Reaching Dangerous Levels – Will Resolution Be Brokered Before it’s Too Late?

Iran’s first Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri Kouhshahi attended an annual meeting organized by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). An 18th meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of Member States of the SCO was held Saturday in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. The SCO, or Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance, the creation of which was announced on June 15, 2001 in Shanghai. Iran is not an official member of the SCO but very interested in joining. He was observed having great interest in reciprocal agreements with Uzbekistan.

Trump Pushes Venezuela’s Maduro to the Wall, Slams the Country with Fresh Sanctions

It is now even more evident that the push by the US to have Venezuela’s President Nicholas Maduro vacate office is still actively on. In the most recent move to frustrate Maduro’s administration, US President Donald Trump has imposed a total blockade on the state assets of the Venezuela government in the US. The move by Trump is most likely aimed at imposing a future total embargo on Venezuela. Before Venezuela’s inclusion on the list, the blockade of state assets in the US was only effective on; Cuba, Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

Iran Seizes Third Foreign Tanker as Tensions Mount

After a relatively quiet couple of weeks, Iran upped the ante again this weekend.  State media reported that the Revolutionary Guard seized an Iraqi oil tanker, which it accused of smuggling fuel.  It is the third such vessel captured since July 13.  The move comes as tensions continue to escalate between the quarantined Islamic Republic and the western powers, particularly the United States.  A spokesman for the U.S. Navy, however, said they had no information to confirm the seizure.

Huawei Accused of Sanction-Busting in North Korea, Spying in Czech Republic in Explosive Reports

Monday was another bad day for Chinese tech giant Huawei.  The Washington Post dropped a major bombshell on the company regarding alleged (highly-illegal) dealings in North Korea, and Czech Radio added another involving activities in their own country.  The news adds fresh and serious doubts about the company’s potential western footprint, and bolster’s Washington’s case that the giant is a threat to American national security and users’ privacy.  President Trump met tech CEOs in the White House Monday, partially to discuss what to do about it.

Strait Trippin’: Iran Seizes Tanker, US Downs Drone

A month ago, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down an unmanned American drone in the Strait of Hormuz.  Later that week, President Trump called off a retaliatory military attack on Iran at the last minute.  He explained the next day that he did not believe the loss of Iranian lives to be proportionate to the loss of a machine.  On Thursday, the United States appeared to level the score.  US Marines jammed an unmanned Iranian drone in the Strait, downing the aircraft and destroying it.  The incident reignited tensions between the two countries, which seem to be stumbling toward war.

Iran Refuses to Negotiate Its Ballistic Missile Program

The Iranian mission to the United Nations, Ali Reza Mir Yusuf, said Tehran’s ballistic missile program is not negotiable. His remarks came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke of the Iranians’ readiness to discuss their missile program.

US President Donald Trump also said progress has been made in an effort to reduce tensions with Iran. Relations between the two countries deteriorated dramatically after Trump withdrew last year from the nuclear deal with Iran and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran. In response, Iran began to breach some of the terms of the agreement.

Britain Offers to Release Iranian Oil Tanker – Deescalating Tensions

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said an Iranian oil tanker being held by the British Royal Navy in the Straits of Gibraltar could be released if the United Kingdom will be guaranteed by Iran that the oil tanker would not go to Syria to deliver its cargo. The minister added that he had a “constructive” telephone conversation with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who informed him of Tehran’s desire to resolve the issue, and not to escalate the situation.

USA China Truce Starts With Bomb Shells