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September 07 2013

Syria intervention plans fuelled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concerns | Nafeez Ahmed |…

Syria intervention plans fuelled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concerns | Nafeez Ahmed | Environment | theguardian.com
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/aug/30/syria-chemical-attack-war-intervention-oil-gas-energy-pipelines

In 2009 - the same year former French foreign minister Dumas alleges the British began planning operations in Syria - Assad refused to sign a proposed agreement with Qatar that would run a pipeline from the latter’s North field, contiguous with Iran’s South Pars field, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey, with a view to supply European markets - albeit crucially bypassing Russia. Assad’s rationale was “to protect the interests of [his] Russian ally, which is Europe’s top supplier of natural gas.”

Instead, the following year, Assad pursued negotiations for an alternative $10 billion pipeline plan with Iran, across Iraq to Syria, that would also potentially allow Iran to supply gas to Europe from its South Pars field shared with Qatar. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project was signed in July 2012 - just as Syria’s civil war was spreading to Damascus and Aleppo - and earlier this year Iraq signed a framework agreement for construction of the gas pipelines.

The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline plan was a “direct slap in the face” to Qatar’s plans. No wonder Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, in a failed attempt to bribe Russia to switch sides, told President Vladmir Putin that “whatever regime comes after” Assad, it will be “completely” in Saudi Arabia’s hands and will “not sign any agreement allowing any Gulf country to transport its gas across Syria to Europe and compete with Russian gas exports”, according to diplomatic sources. When Putin refused, the Prince vowed military action.

It would seem that contradictory self-serving Saudi and Qatari oil interests are pulling the strings of an equally self-serving oil-focused US policy in Syria, if not the wider region. It is this - the problem of establishing a pliable opposition which the US and its oil allies feel confident will play ball, pipeline-style, in a post-Assad Syria - that will determine the nature of any prospective intervention: not concern for Syrian life.

#Syrie #Russie #Arabie_saoudite #Iran #Europe #Bandar #gazoducs #pipelines

Reposted byiranelection iranelection

August 26 2013

Veteran Saudi Power Player Prince Bandar Works To Build Support to Topple Assad - WSJ.com

Veteran Saudi Power Player Prince #Bandar Works To Build Support to Topple Assad - WSJ.com
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323423804579024452583045962.html

Curieux quand même que l’article évoque l’effet boomerang du « contra-gate » sans évoquer celui du financement des Ben Laden contre l’URSS en Afghanistan.

(Lire aussi la terreur des #Jordaniens)

Not everyone in the Obama administration is comfortable with the new U.S. partnership with the Saudis on Syria. Some officials said they fear it carries the same risk of spinning out of control as an earlier project in which Prince Bandar was involved—the 1980s #CIA program of secretly financing the Contras in Nicaragua against a leftist government. The covert program led to criminal convictions for U.S. operatives and international rebukes.

“This has the potential to go badly,” one former official said, citing the risk weapons will end up in the hands of violent anti-Western Islamists.

(...)

A generation ago, Prince Bandar, in a role foreshadowing his current one on behalf of Syrian opposition, helped the CIA arm the Afghan rebels who were resisting occupation by Soviet troops.

Arab diplomats said that in meeting with Russian officials this summer, the prince delivered the same message he gave the Soviets 25 years ago: that the kingdom had plenty of money and was committed to using it to prevail.

Incidemment,

Earlier this year it [the CIA] also began making salary payments to members of the Western-backed Free Syrian Army.

September 12 2007

TERRA 340: A Life with Skulls PART TWO

Ray Bandar is not your average museum curator. How could he be with nicknames like Dr. Bones and Reptile Ray? He spends his days dressed in tattered clothes, walking San Francisco's beaches in search of the ultimate specimens for his collection - and what is he collecting? Skulls! Not just any old skulls though - these skulls are for one of the most diverse and exotic museum collections in the world. Seals, sharks, lions, hyenas - Ray has collected them all! So put on your swim suit and grab a towel as we head to the beach with filmmaker Beth Cataldo for "A Life With Skulls".
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