Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Salisbury CW Attack / Syria / Iran / Russia Ad Hoc Update (124)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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More mendacity, bluster and bluff from the Muscovy, Tehran and Erdoğan regimes as their respective economies unravel. No reports from Salisbury.

Russian Envoy to UK: Moscow Wants to Help in Salisbury Probe, Waits for Evidence – Sputnik International

Russia has nothing to do with the incident in Salisbury, where former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned, and wants to cooperate with the investigation to punish the perpetrators, but expects London to provide evidence on the case, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko said in an interview.

5 months of Skripal saga: Russia’s envoy to UK talks zero evidence, wild theories & sanctions — RT UK News

The Skripal saga has given fertile ground for media speculations and for a string of new anti-Russia sanctions, while the probe failed to yield any evidence in five months, Russian envoy to the UK Alexander Yakovenko told RT.

TASS: Russian Politics & Diplomacy – Diplomat: Salisbury and Amesbury incidents remind of Iraqi chemical weapons tale

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Washington and London failed to learn a lesson from the Iraqi events

As Sanctions Loom, Salisbury Residents Question Skripal Poisoning Narrative – Sputnik International

Last week ‒ just a month after a successful, friendly Helsinki summit meeting between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin ‒ the United States announced it would be enacting harsh new sanctions against Russia to take effect August 22 as a punishment for the alleged use of chemical weapons on UK soil.

Switching From Dollar to Gold: Iran Continues Its Struggle With US Oil Embargo – Sputnik International

Being subjected to pressure from Washington, Iran has once again turned to the yellow metal as an alternative means of payment. Speaking to Sputnik, Iranian experts have explained how Tehran will conduct oil-for-gold barter deals with African countries and other longstanding partners.

State Department: US Mulls New Sanctions Against States Importing Iranian Oil – Sputnik International

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States is determined to introduce secondary sanctions against countries that will continue to import oil from Iran after Washington reintroduces sanctions on Tehran on November 4, US Department of State Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook told reporters on Thursday.

Trump Destroying ‘Old World Monetary Order’ By Signing Off on Tariffs, Sanctions – Sputnik International

US President Donald Trump’s love of using tariffs and sanctions to get back at foreign governments is a game changer that is ultimately destroying “the old world monetary order,” economist Mark Frost told Sputnik.

A ‘Mothers’ March’ in Moscow for Teenage Girls Charged With Extremism

Hundreds protested the pretrial detentions of two teenagers held on extremism charges.

How a Teenage Girl’s Chat Group Became an FSB Snare

With six people still detained, the facts of the Novoye Velichiye case remain blurred.

Russian teenager accused of ‘extremism’ is placed under house arrest | Daily Mail Online

Anna Pavlikova, 18, and Maria Dubovik, 19, were accused of ‘extremist’ ideas in Russia.The pair have spent the last five months in jail where their health has declined severely.

Protesters in Russia Accuse Government of Entrapping Young Critics – The New York Times

As the number of Russian teenagers arrested on extremism charges rises significantly, parents and others accuse the government of silencing dissent.

Russia: Rights groups slam teenage trials | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 15.08.2018

A young woman is on trial in Moscow for allegedly founding an extremist group — one of a number of teenagers Russian authorities are prosecuting. Human rights groups are concerned, reports Miodrag Soric from Moscow.

Investigator Requests House Arrest For Two Russian Teens In Pretrial Detention

Russian investigators have asked a Moscow court to transfer to house arrest a pair of Russian teenagers detained on charges of “involvement in a terrorist community” that had been set up by an un…

Russian Authorities Transfer Teen Accused Of ‘Terrorist’ Charges To House Arrest

Russian authorities have moved from jail to house arrest one of two teenagers detained on charges of “involvement in a terrorist community” in a case set up by an undercover law enforcement offic…

Russia Mulls Retaliation For U.S. Sanctions Over North Korea

Russia says it is working on retaliatory measures against the United States after Washington imposed sanctions on a Russian company and its head for helping North Korea evade United Nations sanctions.

Pompeo’s Iran Strategy Gets New Team – Foreign Policy

The new Iran Action Group reassigns one of the most powerful behind-the-scenes officials at the State Department to work on Iran full time.

Pompeo announces new team for Iran strategy – POLITICO

The main objective of the new U.S. strategy is to change the behavior of the Iranian regime by applying economic pressure and diplomatic isolation to squeeze Tehran.

U.S. Secretary of State names special representative for Iran | Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday named senior policy adviser Brian Hook as special representative for Iran.

Iran Is Throwing a Tantrum but Wants a Deal – Foreign Policy

Despite its defiant warnings, Tehran will eventually negotiate with Donald Trump—as long as Vladimir Putin mediates.

Iranians vent anger at Trump as wheels come off Iran’s economy – CNN

Many people caught up in the onslaught of US sanctions and Iran’s economic slide are venting their anger at Donald Trump, not their own leaders — at least for now.

Khamenei admits mistake in nuclear negotiations – Israel National News

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday admitted he made a mistake in allowing the country’s foreign minister to speak to his U.S. counterpart during negotiations that led to a 2015 international nuclear agreement, Reuters reported. Khamenei, who rarely admits in public to making errors, said he had done just that over the nuclear talks. “With the issue of the nuclear negotiations, I made a mistake in permitting our foreign minister to speak with them. It was a loss for us,” he said, according to Reuters. The comments were tweeted by the Khat-e Hezbollah newspaper, a weekly affiliated with his official website. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif negotiated the deal with counterparts from six powers, including then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Under the deal, international sanctions on Iran were lifted in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

Blockchain Authoritarianism: The Regime In Iran Goes Crypto

Iran plans to create its own national cryptocurrency. It’s not the first authoritarian government to do so. Ironically, the technology initially touted as a way to promote freedom and liberty is getting exploited by brutal regimes. Free nations must take notice of this blockchain authoritarianism.

Trump sanctions may spell the end for Iranian Revolution: John Hannah – YouTube

Fox Business Published on Jun 27, 2018 Foundation for Defense of Democracies senior counselor John Hannah on how President Trump’s sanctions will impact Iran and whether other countries will follow America’s lead in refusing to purchase Iranian oil.

U.S. Signals It Could Sanction China Over Iran Oil Imports – WSJ

The new U.S. special representative for Iran said the Trump administration is prepared to impose sanctions on all countries that buy oil from Iran after a deadline in November, including China, the top importer of Iranian crude.

U.S. hints China could face sanctions over Iranian oil imports – MarketWatch

The new U.S. special representative for Iran said Thursday the Trump administration is prepared to impose sanctions on all countries that buy oil from Iran after a deadline in November, including China, the top importer of Iranian crude.

Iraq, Turkey, European Allies Scheme to Skirt New U.S. Sanctions on Iran

Iran’s regional allies and some European nations continue to form new plans to skirt a rash of upcoming sanctions on Tehran.

Iran crude oil: Iran’s oil market realities: How India, others are preparing for US sanctions – Times of India

India Business News: The US says it will persuade countries which currently buy Iranian oil to cut imports by as much as 1 million barrels a day when the sanctions take ef

Iran Oil Minister To Press OPEC On Production Quotas |

Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh will attend the September meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee of OPEC and Russia and will probably press his OPEC partners to preserve original member production quotas

OIL PRICE CRISIS: Oil prices skyrocket 68 PERCENT in TWO YEARS | World | News |

OIL prices have skyrocketed by more than two thirds since 2016 as fears around slowing economic growth continue to centre around several of the world’s biggest crisis-hit exporters.

Iran US: Oil sanctions drive barrel discounts before November – Business Insider

The US has ordered all countries to cut Iranian oil imports to zero by November. Iran is lowering prices in attempt to hold onto market share, especially…

The Brunson saga signals Turkey’s frightening exit from the West – The Washington Post

Erdogan’s “New Turkey” has features that make a long-term alliance with the West difficult, if not impossible.

Trump: We will pay Turkey nothing – Israel National News

Trump blasts Turkey as tensions continue over imprisonment of American pastor.

Trump says U.S. will not pay Turkey for release of detained American | Reuters

President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States “will pay nothing” to Turkey for the release of detained American pastor Andrew Brunson, who he called “a great patriot hostage.”

Mnuchin: U.S. could do more to punish Turkey if pastor not released ‘quickly’ – POLITICO

The United States is prepared to take more action against the Turkish government if it does not move to release a detained American pastor, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday.

Turkey’s lira weakens more than 6 percent on threat of more U.S. sanctions | Reuters

Turkey’s battered lira weakened more than 6 percent against the dollar on Friday, after a U.S. warning that Ankara should expect more economic sanctions unless it hands over detained American evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson.

Erdogan Moves to Shore Up Alliances as U.S. Standoff Deepens

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan moved to shore up alliances in Europe and the Middle East, easing pressure on the battered lira, as the standoff between Turkey and the U.S. deepened. Efforts to rally support and bolster domestic markets include a call Thursday between Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak

Erdoğan, Macron discuss economic relations amid US trade spat – Daily Sabah

French President Emmanuel Macron highlighted the importance of the Turkish economy’s stability as he discussed economic relations with President Recep…

The lira is tumbling after the US said it’s ready to kick its battle against Turkey up a notch | Business Insider

TIME Published on Aug 16, 2018 The U.S. and Turkey remained locked in a stalemate that has jolted global markets, as the White House said new tariffs on Turkish goods would remain and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received a financial lifeline from Qatar that should buy him time.

Turkey ‘ready to talk about everything’ with US to solve disputes | News | Al Jazeera

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu adopts conciliatory tone but warns Ankara will accept ‘no threatening, no dictating’.

🇹🇷 Turkey willing to talk with US as equals over tariffs and pastor | Al Jazeera English – YouTube

Al Jazeera English Published on Aug 15, 2018 Turkey says its ready to enter talks with the United States regarding the ongoing trade and diplomatic disputes. The US insists that the steel tariffs are not related to Turkey’s detention of Andrew Brunson, a US pastor that Ankara links to the 2016 failed coup attempt and are based on national security grounds. Turkey’s foreign minister has said that it is prepared to negotiate with the US as equals, but will not be dictated to. The White House, however, has not changed its threatening rhetoric thus far. Al Jazeera’s Mike Hanna reports from Washington, DC.

IMF: Turkey must commit to promoting stability amid volatility

Turkey needs to commit to sound economic policies in order to ensure stability and reduce imbalances at a time of market volatility, an IMF spokesperson said.

Lira rallies as Turkey pledges spending cuts to avoid IMF bailout | Business | The Guardian

Finance minister out to convince investors but threat of fresh US sanctions looms

U.S. Says New Tariffs On Turkey To Stay As Qatar Comes To President Erdogan’s Aid | TIME – YouTube

TIME Published on Aug 16, 2018 The U.S. and Turkey remained locked in a stalemate that has jolted global markets, as the White House said new tariffs on Turkish goods would remain and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received a financial lifeline from Qatar that should buy him time.

Berat Albayrak: Turkey to emerge ‘stronger’ from currency crisis | News | Al Jazeera

Turkish finance minister rules out IMF assistance and capital controls in address to international investors.

Turkish people are smashing iPhones and dumping Coca-Cola to protest Trump and boycott America | Daily Mail Online

People in Turkey are resorting to drastic measures in order to take a stand against President Donald Trump, destroying popular American products as a symbol for their opposition.

Where next for Turkey in Nato? | World | The Times

Calls to cancel Turkey’s Nato membership are growing amid deepening divisions with its allies.Its relations with the US have sunk to their lowest ebb for decades while those with Iran and Russia are rapidly warming. Chinese money could yet help get Ankara out of a financial hole, and President Erdog

Trump’s Turkey Pushback is a Welcome Start – Defense One

Unlike its predecessors, the Trump administration finally seems to be doing something about a long list of U.S. grievances.

Trump vs. Turkey: U.S. punishes strategic ally, but is Erdogan really willing to leave NATO? – U.S. News –

As the U.S.-Turkish relationship continues to deteriorate, the key question is how far can Trump push Erdogan before Turkey leaves NATO

Is it time to consider yanking Turkey’s NATO membership?

It’s more complicated than that

Trump Will Regret Changing His Mind About Qatar – Foreign Policy

The United States has the leverage needed to prevent Qatar from cozying up to Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood—if it’s willing to use it.

Qatar’s pledge of $15 billion puts Doha on the wrong side of Washington – The National

Qatar risks US wrath with Turkey bailout as Washington vows to tighten the screws on the Erdogan government

Idlib Could Be the Last Battlefield of the Syrian Civil War | Time

For years, Idlib has been the dumping ground for Syria’s defeated rebel. As the government retook areas like Aleppo…

A tour of Syria – with the Russian military – BBC News – YouTube

BBC News Published on Aug 16, 2018 The BBC’s Steve Rosenberg reports from a tour of Syria organised by the Russian military, who are keen to show that life is gradually returning to normal. Syria’s civil war isn’t over, but Russia has played an important role in putting President Bashar al-Assad on the road to victory.

UAWire – Russia complains Norway refuses to send Syrian refugees home

Norwegian authorities have been refusing to send Syrian refugees home, said Nikolai Burtsev, a representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, …