cover

2021.09.24 國際新聞導讀-沙烏地與約旦支持兩國方案解決以巴問題、哈瑪斯拒絕加入巴勒斯坦城鎮選舉、蘇丹沒收哈瑪斯在蘇丹的產業、伊朗加入上海合作組織對以色列造成的影響

外交官的國際新聞導覽及中東中亞的歷史故事 Diplomat's daily news review and history research on Middle East and Central Asia
2021-09-23
24:25
0 comments
No Rating

2021.09.24 國際新聞導讀-沙烏地與約旦支持兩國方案解決以巴問題、哈瑪斯拒絕加入巴勒斯坦城鎮選舉、蘇丹沒收哈瑪斯在蘇丹的產業、伊朗加入上海合作組織對以色列造成的影響 在聯合國,約旦,沙特國王支持以東耶路撒冷為首都的巴勒斯坦國 阿卜杜拉二世表示,只有兩國解決方案才能為雙方提供真正的安全;沙特君主薩勒曼也支持阻止伊朗獲得核武器 由AP和TOI 工作人員提供今天,上午 12:13 · 約旦國王阿卜杜拉二世在 2021 年 9 月 22 日在聯合國總部在聯合國大會第 76 屆會議上發表講話時的視頻截圖。(聯合國網絡電視,美聯社) 約旦國王和沙特阿拉伯國王周三在聯合國大會上發表講話,敦促通過建立一個以東耶路撒冷為首都的巴勒斯坦國來解決以巴衝突的兩國解決方案。 約旦君主在今年早些時候在聯合國發表的演講中回顧了以色列和加沙地帶之間長達 11 天的戰鬥,稱最新一輪衝突提醒人們,現狀是“不可持續的”。 5 月的戰爭是自哈馬斯伊斯蘭恐怖組織 2007 年奪取政權以來在加沙的第四次戰爭。以色列有 13 人死亡,其中包括一名士兵,因為哈馬斯向該國發射了數千枚火箭,對恐怖目標進行了密集空襲。加沙有 4,000 多所房屋被摧毀或嚴重損壞。據聯合國稱,加沙有 250 多人被殺,其中包括數十名兒童和婦女。以色列認為,大約一半的遇難者是戰鬥人員。 “但是還有多少房屋會失去?在世界甦醒之前,還會有多少孩子死去?” 阿卜杜拉國王說,儘管在 COVID-19 大流行期間約有 100 位國家元首和政府首腦親自出席,但他在聯合國大會上遠程發表了預先錄製的講話。“雙方的真正安全——事實上,整個世界——只能通過兩國解決方案來實現。” 他重申,這樣的解決方案必須導致一個獨立的巴勒斯坦國,以東耶路撒冷為首都,與以色列和平共處。 約旦國王是美國的親密盟友,他的國家對耶路撒冷的聖殿山大院有監護權,這是穆斯林和猶太人的聖地。在 5 月穆斯林齋月的最後幾天,該地區是以色列安全部隊與巴勒斯坦信徒之間發生暴力衝突的地方。 沙特阿拉伯君主在講話中強調了沙特長期以來在巴勒斯坦建國問題上的公開立場,稱持久和平必須保證一個以東耶路撒冷為首都的獨立巴勒斯坦國。 2021 年 9 月 22 日,沙特阿拉伯國王薩勒曼·本·阿卜杜勒-阿齊茲·阿勒沙特 (Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud) 在聯合國大會第 76 屆會議上以預先錄製的信息遠程講話的視頻截圖。 (UN Web電視通過 AP) 薩勒曼·本·阿卜杜勒阿齊茲國王還表示,希望該王國與伊朗的直接對話將建立信任,因為這兩個激烈的地區競爭對手在幾年的緊張局勢加劇後朝著對話邁出了小步。 廣告 薩勒曼在向參加聯合國大會的領導人發表的預先錄製的講話中發表了上述言論。他說,伊朗是沙特阿拉伯的鄰國,沙特希望兩國之間的會談能夠取得切實成果,為實現該地區人民的願望鋪平道路。 不過,他告誡說,關係必須建立在尊重國家主權和停止支持宗派民兵的基礎上。 當特朗普政府對伊朗施加最大壓力時,遜尼派統治的沙特阿拉伯和什葉派統治的伊朗之間的關係陷入低谷。在那幾年裡,伊朗被指控支持對波斯灣能源目標的多次襲擊——包括 2019 年對沙特阿美煉油廠的一次驚人襲擊——以及支持也門的胡塞武裝分子,該國已在那裡進行了六次以上的戰爭年。 今年 4 月,有消息稱,在喬·拜登總統當選後,競爭對手在伊拉克舉行了第一輪會談。特朗普在 2018 年讓美國退出了核協議;拜登表示,儘管談判陷入僵局,但美國希望重返該協議。 據伊朗半官方的梅爾通訊社報導,這兩個地區敵人在聯合國大會期間再次在紐約會面。 該網站週三報導稱,伊朗、沙特阿拉伯、土耳其、卡塔爾、埃及、科威特、約旦和法國的外交部長和官員舉行了會議。歐盟外交政策負責人也出席了會議。會議由伊拉克外長主持。 廣告 梅爾援引伊朗外交部長侯賽因·阿米拉波拉希安的話說,伊朗新政府的首要任務是“加強和發展與鄰國和該地區的關係”。據梅爾說,他週二還在紐約會見了芬蘭、德國、奧地利、瑞士和克羅地亞的外交部長。 在持續的大流行中,新宣誓就職的伊朗總統易卜拉欣·賴西一直留在伊朗。在拜登親自發表講話後不久,他在周二遠程向聯合國會議發表的演講中嚴厲批評了美國的政策。 薩勒曼國王重申了沙特對伊朗核計劃的擔憂,德黑蘭堅稱該計劃是為了和平能源目的。 他承認“經濟困難”,但表示儘管面臨這些挑戰,沙特仍然是人道主義援助和全球抗擊 COVID-19 努力的主要捐助者,作為 20 國集團。去年,冠狀病毒大流行導致油價暴跌,蠶食了該國的主要收入來源。沙特阿拉伯已帶領主要石油生產國達成一項減產協議,以幫助支撐油價。 At UN, Jordan, Saudi kings back Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as capital Abdullah II says only a two-state solution can provide genuine security for both sides; Saudi monarch Salman also backs preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons By AP and TOI STAFFToday, 12:13 am Screen capture from video of King Abdullah II of Jordan, as he address the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in a pre-recorded message, at UN headquarters, September 22, 2021. (UN Web TV via AP) The kings of Jordan and Saudi Arabia used their speeches to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday to urge a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by creating a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Jordan’s monarch recalled the 11-days of fighting between Israel and the Gaza Strip earlier this year in his speech before the United Nations, saying the latest round of conflict was a reminder that the status quo is “unsustainable.” The war in May was the fourth in Gaza since the Hamas Islamic terror group seized power in 2007. There were 13 deaths in Israel, including one soldier as Hamas fired thousands of rockets at the country which responded with intensive airstrikes on terror targets. More than 4,000 homes in Gaza were destroyed or severely damaged. More than 250 people were killed in Gaza, including dozens of children and women, according to the UN. Israel believes roughly half of those killed were combatants. “But how many more homes will be lost? How many more children will die before the world wakes up?” said King Abdullah, who delivered his pre-recorded remarks remotely to the UN General Assembly, though some 100 heads of state and government are attending in person amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “Genuine security for either side — indeed, for the whole world — can only be achieved through the two-state solution.” He reiterated that such a solution must result in an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side-by-side with Israel in peace. The Jordanian king is a close US ally and his nation has custodianship over the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem, a site holy to both Muslims and Jews. The area was the scene of violent confrontations between Israeli security forces and Palestinian worshippers during the last days of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in May. Saudi Arabia’s monarch used his speech to stress his country’s longstanding public position on Palestinian statehood, saying that lasting peace must guarantee an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Screen capture from a video of Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, as he remotely addresses the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in a pre-recorded message, at UN headquarters, September 22, 2021. (UN Web TV via AP) King Salman bin Abdulaziz also expressed hope that the kingdom’s direct talks with Iran will lead to confidence building as the two bitter regional rivals take small steps toward dialogue following several years of heightened tensions. ADVERTISEMENT Salman made the remarks in a pre-recorded speech delivered to leaders gathered for the UN General Assembly. He said Iran is a neighbor of Saudi Arabia, and that the kingdom hopes talks between the two nations can lead to tangible results that pave the way to achieving the aspirations of the region’s people. He cautioned, though, that relations must be based on respect of national sovereignty and the cessation of support for sectarian militias. Relations between Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia and Shiite-ruled Iran hit a low when the Trump administration was exerting maximum pressure on Iran. During those years, Iran was accused of being behind multiple attacks on energy targets in the Persian Gulf— including a stunning strike on an Aramco refinery in 2019— and of supporting Houthi fighters in Yemen, where the kingdom has been at war for more than six years. In April, news emerged that the rivals had held a first round of talks in Iraq after President Joe Biden’s election. Trump had pulled the US out of a nuclear deal in 2018; Biden said the US wants to return to the pact, though talks have stalled. The two regional foes met again in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, according to Iran’s semi-official Mehr news agency. The site reported Wednesday that a meeting of foreign ministers and officials from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan and France took place. The EU foreign policy chief was also in attendance. The meeting was chaired by Iraq’s foreign minister. ADVERTISEMENT Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amirabollahian, was quoted by Mehr as saying the priority of Iran’s new government “is to strengthen and develop relations with its neighbors and the region.” He also met with Finnish, German, Austrian, Swiss and Croatian foreign ministers on Tuesday in New York, according to Mehr. Newly sworn-in Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has remained in Iran amid the ongoing pandemic. He was severely critical of American policies in his speech delivered remotely to the UN gathering Tuesday, speaking shortly after Biden’s in-person remarks. King Salman reiterated Saudi concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, which Tehran insists is for peaceful energy purposes. He acknowledged “economic difficulties,” but said despite such challenges the kingdom remains a major donor of humanitarian aid and global efforts to combat COVID-19 as a Group of 20 nations. The coronavirus pandemic sent oil prices crashing last year, eating away at the kingdom’s key source of revenue. Saudi Arabia has led major oil producers in a pact to curb production to help support oil prices. 哈馬斯拒絕巴勒斯坦權力機構舉行市政選舉的呼籲 伊斯蘭恐怖組織計劃抵制巴勒斯坦地方選舉,除非總統、立法選舉也舉行;巴勒斯坦權力機構主席無限期推遲四月份的全國投票 由亞倫BOXERMAN2021 年 9 月 22 日,晚上 11:38 說明:巴勒斯坦中央選舉委員會的工作人員於 2021 年 2 月 10 日在加沙地帶南部的拉法為準備選舉的公民進行登記。(Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90) 哈馬斯恐怖組織週三下午宣布,除非同時確定巴勒斯坦總統和立法機構的選票,否則它將抵制巴勒斯坦權力機構召集的市政選舉。 “巴勒斯坦權力機構宣布零敲碎打的地方選舉是對我們國情的侮辱,也是對我們國家道路的偏離。哈馬斯不會參與其中,”哈馬斯發言人 Hazim Qasim 在加沙城的新聞發布會上告訴記者。 巴勒斯坦權力機構在國內批評日益增多的背景下召集地方投票,部分原因是無限期地推遲了 15 年來第一次計劃在 4 月舉行的全國選舉。 據巴勒斯坦選舉官員稱,市政投票將分兩個階段進行。第一次投票將於 12 月 11 日在西岸的 387 個村莊舉行,另外 90 個主要城鎮將在稍後進行投票。 卡西姆說,如果巴勒斯坦人看到從總體上的巴勒斯坦解放組織到鎮議會等各個層面的選舉,哈馬斯才會同意參加地方選舉。 “哈馬斯準備按照固定時間表參加全面、同步的選舉……這些選舉應包括 [巴解] 全國委員會、立法機關、總統府、工會和學生會,”卡西姆說。 哈馬斯是一個尋求摧毀以色列的伊斯蘭恐怖組織,自 2007 年以來一直控制著加沙地帶。巴勒斯坦權力機構在西岸部分地區的自治有限,主要由其法塔赫競爭對手控制。 2021 年 2 月 10 日,加沙中央選舉委員會實地小組的成員在加沙市的主要道路上將一名當地婦女登記在選民名冊上(美聯社照片/Adel Hana) 巴勒斯坦人原定於 5 月和 7 月分別舉行十多年以來的第一次全國立法和總統選舉。哈馬斯支持投票,以提高其在巴勒斯坦人中的地位並在西岸站穩腳跟。 廣告 但巴勒斯坦權力機構主席馬哈茂德·阿巴斯(Mahmoud Abbas)推遲了 4 月的選舉,將東耶路撒冷巴勒斯坦人是否能夠在有爭議的首都投票歸咎於以色列的沉默。以色列將整個耶路撒冷視為其不可分割的首都,而巴勒斯坦人則將東耶路撒冷視為他們未來國家的首都。 觀察人士說,阿巴斯放棄選舉是因為擔心被他自己的法塔赫運動內部的競爭對手和哈馬斯擊敗。民意調查顯示,阿巴斯在巴勒斯坦公眾中不受歡迎;儘管他的總統任期於 2009 年結束,但他繼續根據緊急行政令進行統治。 巴勒斯坦市議會經合法選舉產生,任期四年。但這些選票也成為法塔赫和哈馬斯之間長期分歧的犧牲品。自 2007 年兩個巴勒斯坦運動之間的裂痕以來,伊斯蘭組織一直抵制每一次地方選舉。 2016 年 9 月 8 日,一名巴勒斯坦男子走在加沙市中央選舉委員會辦公室外。 (AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED) 因此,近年來只有西岸市進行了選舉。哈馬斯不允許在加沙舉行地方選舉。如果哈馬斯繼續抵制這一輪選舉,加沙人也不太可能參加。 “在加沙地帶舉行選舉需要得到哈馬斯的政治批准,”巴勒斯坦選舉專員哈娜·納西爾上週在一份聲明中說。 法塔赫批評哈馬斯拒絕參與,將加沙缺乏選舉歸咎於恐怖組織。 廣告 法塔赫發言人穆尼爾·賈古布(Mounir al-Jaghoub)在一份聲明中說:“哈馬斯關於民主和選舉的任何言論都是政治虛偽,因為他們阻止加沙舉行任何選舉已有 15 年之久。” 伊斯蘭聖戰組織還表示,它可能會像往年一樣抵制計劃中的投票。 “在佔領下的任何選舉都是一個笑話,”伊朗支持的恐怖組織在一份聲明中說。 Hamas rejects Palestinian Authority’s call for municipal elections Islamist terror group plans to boycott local Palestinian vote unless presidential, legislative elections also held; PA president indefinitely delayed national vote in April By AARON BOXERMAN22 September 2021, 11:38 pm Illustrative: Palestinian Central Election Commission workers register citizens in preparation for elections, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on February 10, 2021. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90) The Hamas terror group announced on Wednesday afternoon that it would boycott municipal elections called by the Palestinian Authority unless Palestinian presidential and legislative votes were set as well. “The PA’s announcement of piecemeal local elections is an insult to our national situation, and a deviation from our nation’s path. Hamas will not be a part of it,” Hamas spokesperson Hazim Qasim told reporters during a press conference in Gaza City. The Palestinian Authority called the local vote against the backdrop of increasing domestic criticism, in part for indefinitely delaying the first planned national elections in 15 years in April. According to Palestinian election officials, the municipal vote will be held in two stages. The first ballots will be held in 387 villages across the West Bank on December 11 while another 90 major towns and cities will vote at a later date. Hamas would only agree to participate in the local elections should the Palestinians see a return to elections at every level, from the over-arching Palestine Liberation Organization to the town councils, Qasim said. “Hamas is ready to join comprehensive, simultaneous elections, according to a fixed timeline…These should include the [PLO] National Council, the legislature, the presidency, labor unions and student councils,” Qasim said. Hamas, an Islamist terror group that seeks Israel’s destruction, has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007. The Palestinian Authority, which has limited self-rule in parts of the West Bank, is largely controlled by its Fatah rivals. Members of Gaza’s Central Elections Commission’s field team register a local woman to the electoral roll, at the main road of Gaza City, February 10, 2021 (AP Photo/Adel Hana) Palestinians were scheduled to hold the first national legislative and presidential elections in over a decade and a half in May and July, respectively. Hamas supported the vote in a bid to increase its standing among Palestinians and gain a foothold in the West Bank. ADVERTISEMENT But PA President Mahmoud Abbas delayed the elections in April, blaming Israeli silence on whether or not East Jerusalem Palestinians would be able to vote in the contested capital. Israel sees all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital, while Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. Observers said Abbas abandoned the elections due to fears of defeat by rivals within his own Fatah movement and by Hamas. Abbas is unpopular among the Palestinian public, according to polling; although his term as president ended in 2009, he has continued to rule by emergency executive decree. Palestinian town councils are legally elected to four-year terms. But those votes have also fallen casualty to the long-running rift between Fatah and Hamas. The Islamist group has boycotted every local election since the 2007 rift between the two Palestinian movements. A Palestinian man walks outside the Central Elections Commission offices in Gaza City on September 8, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED) As a result, only West Bank municipalities have seen elections in recent years. Hamas has not allowed local elections to take place in Gaza. Should Hamas continue to boycott this round of elections, it would again be unlikely that Gazans would participate. “Holding elections in the Gaza Strip requires political approval from Hamas,” Palestinian elections commissioner Hana Nasir said in a statement last week. Fatah criticized Hamas’s refusal to participate, blaming the terror group for the lack of elections in Gaza. ADVERTISEMENT “Any talk by Hamas of democracy and elections is political hypocrisy, as they have prevented any elections in Gaza for 15 years,” Fatah spokesperson Mounir al-Jaghoub said in a statement. Islamic Jihad has also said it will likely boycott the planned vote, as in previous years. “Any elections under occupation are a joke,” the Iran-backed terror group said in a statement. 蘇丹在向西方移動的過程中沒收了與哈馬斯有關聯的公司的資產 此舉是喀土穆努力擺脫與長期領導人奧馬爾·巴希爾有關的元素的一部分,拒絕為加沙統治的恐怖組織提供避風港 由TOI 工作人員和機構提供今天,晚上 9:35 · 2008 年 8 月,時任哈馬斯領導人的哈立德·馬沙爾(右)在蘇丹喀土穆會見時任蘇丹總統奧馬爾·巴希爾。 (AP/Abd Raouf) 一名消息人士周四表示,在專制統治者奧馬爾·巴希爾下台後,蘇丹成立了一個委員會來收回公共資金,該委員會控制了與巴勒斯坦恐怖組織哈馬斯有關的公司。 位於委員會中心的消息來源將實體命名為房地產公司 Hassan & Al-Abed、Al-Bidaya 農業項目、高層天堂酒店和 Al-Fayha 匯款公司。 一名不願透露姓名的特別工作組成員告訴路透社:“他們在招標、稅收減免方面獲得優惠待遇,並被允許無限制地轉移到哈馬斯和加沙。” 蘇丹執政的主權委員會的一位不願透露姓名的消息人士向以色列的 Kan 公共廣播公司證實了扣押事件,並表示控制加沙的恐怖組織在該國的所有資產都被沒收。 路透社將這些緝獲描述為蘇丹在 2019 年推翻巴希爾後向西方移動的努力的一部分,實際上剝奪了哈馬斯特工籌集資金並將伊朗武器運往加沙的避風港。 蘇丹去年與以色列簽署了一項正常化協議,作為亞伯拉罕協議的一部分,該協議還看到了與阿拉伯聯合酋長國、巴林和摩洛哥的猶太國家墨水協議。 時任美國總統唐納德·特朗普與蘇丹和以色列領導人通電話,國務卿邁克·蓬佩奧(左)、白宮高級顧問賈里德·庫什納和國家安全顧問羅伯特·奧布萊恩在橢圓形辦公室鼓掌,10 月2020 年 2 月 23 日。(美聯社照片/亞歷克斯·布蘭登) 統治加沙地帶的哈馬斯向法新社否認它在蘇丹有任何投資。 “我們與任何蘇丹機構都沒有問題,”哈馬斯發言人 Hazem Qassem 說。 廣告 另一名哈馬斯官員也否認與緝獲有任何联系。“這里報道的一些內容已經過時了。其中大部分與哈馬斯無關,”穆薩·阿布·馬爾祖克 (Moussa Abu Marzouk) 說。 巴希爾在 1989 年伊斯蘭支持的政變中掌權,該政變開始了三年的鐵腕統治。 在全國范圍內的大規模抗議之後,軍隊於 2019 年 4 月將他撤職,導致當年晚些時候,文職和軍事派別之間達成了權力分享協議。巴希爾後來被判犯有腐敗罪併入獄。 儘管擁有石油財富,但在他統治下的蘇丹曾經是——而且仍然是——世界上最不發達國家之一。 長期以來,以色列官員一直指責巴希爾領導下的蘇丹是支持巴勒斯坦恐怖分子的基地。 2012 年,蘇丹指責以色列襲擊了喀土穆的一家軍事工廠,導致人們猜測伊朗的武器是在那裡儲存或製造的。蘇丹否認哈馬斯與該工廠有聯繫。 廣告 2021 年 1 月 17 日,蘇丹示威者在首都喀土穆的內閣辦公室外舉行集會反對他們的國家最近簽署了與猶太國家關係正常化的協議。(ASHRAF SHAZLY / 法新社) 2020 年 12 月,在美國承諾與以色列實現關係正常化後,將蘇丹從其支持恐怖主義的國家黑名單中刪除後,這個阿拉伯國家撤銷了哈馬斯最高領導人哈立德·馬沙爾 (Khaled Mashaal) 以及其他約 3,000 名被指控的外國公民的公民身份。的恐怖聯繫。 1996 年至 2017 年期間領導哈馬斯政治局的馬沙爾已被一些中東國家驅逐,目前居住在卡塔爾。 作為要從黑名單中刪除的協議的一部分,蘇丹同意支付 3.35 億美元,以補償 2000 年在也門海岸附近襲擊科爾號航空母艦以及 1998 年美國駐肯尼亞和坦桑尼亞大使館遭到襲擊的倖存者和受害者家屬。 這些襲擊是在巴希爾允許當時的基地組織領導人奧薩馬·本·拉登在蘇丹避難之後進行的。去年早些時候,大使館襲擊的主要策劃者之一阿卜杜拉·艾哈邁德·阿卜杜拉在德黑蘭被以色列特工殺害。 在巴希爾被推翻後於 2019 年接管的蘇丹過渡政府也同意承認以色列,這是前特朗普政府的一個主要目標,儘管喀土穆試圖淡化這種聯繫。 巴希爾倒台後,蘇丹關閉對哈馬斯的支持 哈馬斯失去了一個外國基地,成員和支持者可以在那裡生活、籌集資金,並將伊朗的武器和資金輸送到加沙地帶。 通過路透 2021 年 9 月 23 日 17:46 2020 年 9 月,哈馬斯領導人伊斯梅爾·哈尼耶 (Ismail Haniyeh) 在訪問黎巴嫩的 Ain el Hilweh 巴勒斯坦難民營期間被抬著。 (照片來源:AZIZ TAHER/REUTERS) 廣告 蘇丹當局控制了多年來為哈馬斯提供支持的利潤豐厚的資產,揭示了該國如何成為前領導人奧馬爾·巴希爾領導下的巴勒斯坦激進組織的避風港。 自 2019 年巴希爾被推翻以來,至少有十幾家與哈馬斯有關的公司被收購,這有助於加快蘇丹與西方的重新結盟。在過去的一年裡,喀土穆已從美國支持恐怖主義 (SST) 的國家名單中移除,並且正在減免超過 500 億美元的債務。 蘇丹和巴勒斯坦分析人士說,哈馬斯失去了一個外國基地,成員和支持者可以在那裡生活、籌集資金,並將伊朗的武器和資金輸送到加沙地帶。 蘇丹官方消息來源和西方情報來源詳述的扣押資產顯示了這些網絡的影響範圍。 據一個旨在瓦解巴希爾政權的工作隊的官員說,這些資產包括房地產、公司股份、喀土穆黃金地段的一家酒店、一個外匯局、一家電視台和超過一百萬英畝的農田。 工作組的主要成員瓦格迪·薩利赫說,蘇丹成為洗錢和恐怖主義融資的中心 - 廢除 1989 年 6 月 30 日政權和收回公共資金委員會。 他說,該系統是“一個大封面,一個大傘,內部和外部”。 一位西方情報人士稱,蘇丹使用的技術在有組織犯罪中很常見:公司由受託股東領導,以現金收取租金,並通過外匯局進行轉賬。 巴希爾公開支持哈馬斯,並與其領導人友好相處。 一位不願透露姓名的工作組成員說:“他們在招標、稅收減免方面得到了優惠待遇,他們被允許無限制地轉移到哈馬斯和加沙地帶。” 伊斯蘭中心 蘇丹從賤民國家到美國盟友的旅程是循序漸進的。在巴希爾於 1989 年掌權後的十年裡,該國成為激進伊斯蘭主義者的中心,庇護奧薩馬·本·拉登數年,並因與巴勒斯坦武裝分子有聯繫而受到美國的製裁。 2017 年,哈馬斯首席執行官伊斯梅爾·哈尼耶 (Ismail Haniyeh) 抵達加沙地帶南部的拉法邊境口岸時向媒體發表講話。 (圖片來源:ABED RAHIM KHATIB/FLASH90) 巴希爾後來試圖與強硬的伊斯蘭主義保持距離,加強與華盛頓的安全合作。2016 年,蘇丹與伊朗斷絕關係,次年,在華盛頓接受國家停止對哈馬斯的支持後,美國取消了對喀土穆的貿易制裁。 但直到巴希爾倒台,支持哈馬斯的網絡仍然存在。 據該工作組的一名官員稱,哈馬斯在蘇丹的投資始於快餐店等小型企業,然後再涉足房地產和建築業。 一個例子是 Hassan 和 Alabed,它們最初是一家水泥公司,後來擴展到大型房地產開發項目。 該工作組表示,它與大約 10 家其他大公司建立了一個網絡,這些公司擁有與巴希爾盟友 Abdelbasit Hamza 相關的相互關聯的股份所有權,這些公司通過外國銀行賬戶轉移了大筆資金。 最大的是 Alrowad 房地產開發公司,該公司成立於 2007 年,在喀土穆證券交易所上市,西方情報消息人士稱,其子公司洗錢並以貨幣交易為哈馬斯提供資金。 哈姆扎於 4 月因腐敗指控被判入獄 10 年,並被送往關押巴希爾的喀土穆監獄。工作組表示,他的名下資產價值高達 12 億美元。無法聯繫到同時代表巴希爾的哈姆扎的律師發表評論。 價值高達 2000 萬美元的第二個網絡圍繞廣播公司 Tayba 和一個名為 Almishkat 的相關慈善機構展開。據負責管理 Tayba 的看守人 Maher Abouljokh 稱,它由兩名獲得公民身份並積累了企業和房地產的哈馬斯成員經營。Abouljokh 說,該電視頻道正在從海灣地區籌集資金,洗錢數百萬美元,並與哈馬斯有明確的聯繫。 路透社聯繫,哈馬斯官員薩米·阿布·祖赫里否認該組織在蘇丹有投資,但承認蘇丹政治轉變的影響:“不幸的是,有幾項措施削弱了該運動(哈馬斯)在該國(蘇丹)和與它的政治聯繫有限,”他說。 正常化 到去年,蘇丹迫切希望擺脫 SST 名單,這是減輕債務和獲得國際貸方支持的先決條件。 在美國的壓力下,它加入了阿拉伯聯合酋長國、巴林和摩洛哥,同意與以色列的關係正常化——儘管它在執行該協議方面進展緩慢。 一位曾在特朗普政府期間負責蘇丹事務的前美國外交官表示,關閉哈馬斯網絡是與喀土穆談判的重點。“我們正在推開一扇敞開的門,”他說。 據一位蘇丹消息人士和西方情報人士透露,美國向蘇丹提供了一份要關閉的公司名單。國務院拒絕置評。 工作組官員說,許多哈馬斯附屬人物帶著一些流動資產去了土耳其,但留下了大約 80% 的投資。 蘇丹的分析家馬格迪·埃爾·加祖利說,蘇丹的過渡領導人“認為自己是地區意義上的巴希爾的對立面”。“他們希望將自己作為該地區新安全秩序的一部分出賣。” “針對巴希爾的政變給哈馬斯和伊朗帶來了真正的問題,”巴勒斯坦分析家阿德南·阿布·阿默 (Adnan Abu Amer) 說。“哈馬斯和伊朗不得不尋找替代方案——因為針對巴希爾的政變是突然的,所以還沒有到位的替代方案。” Sudan closes door on support for Hamas after fall of Bashir Hamas has lost a foreign base where members and supporters could live, raise money, and channel Iranian weapons and funds to the Gaza Strip. By REUTERS SEPTEMBER 23, 2021 17:46 Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh is carried during a visit to the Ain el Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon in September 2020. (photo credit: AZIZ TAHER/REUTERS) Advertisement Sudanese authorities have taken control of lucrative assets that for years provided backing for Hamas, shedding light on how the country served as a haven for the Palestinian militant group under former leader Omar al-Bashir. The takeover of at least a dozen companies that officials say were linked to Hamas has helped accelerate Sudan's realignment with the West since Bashir's overthrow in 2019. Over the past year, Khartoum has won removal from the US state sponsors of terrorism (SST) list and is on course for relief of more than $50 billion in debt. Hamas has lost a foreign base where members and supporters could live, raise money, and channel Iranian weapons and funds to the Gaza Strip, Sudanese and Palestinian analysts said. Seized assets detailed by Sudanese official sources and a Western intelligence source show the reach of those networks. According to officials from a task force set up to dismantle the Bashir regime, they include real estate, company shares, a hotel in a prime Khartoum location, an exchange bureau, a TV station, and more than a million acres of farmland. Sudan became a center for money laundering and terrorism financing, said Wagdi Salih, a leading member of the task force - the Committee to Dismantle the June 30, 1989 Regime and Retrieve Public Funds. The system was "a big cover, a big umbrella, internally and externally," he said. A Western intelligence source said techniques were used in Sudan that are common to organized crime: Companies were headed by trustee shareholders, rents collected in cash, and transfers made through exchange bureaux. Bashir openly supported Hamas, and was friendly with its leaders. "They got preferential treatment in tenders, tax forgiveness, and they were allowed to transfer to Hamas and Gaza with no limits," said a task force member, speaking on condition of anonymity. ISLAMIST HUB Sudan's journey from pariah state to US ally has been gradual. In the decade after Bashir took power in 1989 the country became a hub for radical Islamists, sheltered Osama bin Laden for several years, and was sanctioned by the United States over links to Palestinian militants. HAMAS CHIEF Ismail Haniyeh speaks to the press upon his arrival at the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip in 2017. (credit: ABED RAHIM KHATIB/FLASH90) Bashir later tried to distance himself from hardline Islamism, stepping up security cooperation with Washington. In 2016 Sudan cut ties with Iran and the following year US trade sanctions against Khartoum were dropped after Washington accepted that state support for Hamas had ceased. But until Bashir's fall, networks that had supported Hamas remained in place. Hamas investments in Sudan began with small-scale ventures such as fast food restaurants before venturing into real estate and construction, according to an official on the task force. An example was Hassan and Alabed, which started as a cement company and expanded into large real estate developments. The task force says it was in a network with about 10 other large companies with interlinking share ownership connected to Bashir ally Abdelbasit Hamza that moved large sums through foreign bank accounts. The biggest was Alrowad Real Estate Development, established in 2007 and listed on Khartoum's stock exchange, with subsidiaries that the Western intelligence source said laundered money and traded in currency to finance Hamas. Hamza was jailed in April for 10 years on corruption charges and sent to the Khartoum prison where Bashir is being held. The task force said he had assets worth up to $1.2 billion in his name. Hamza's lawyer, who also represents Bashir, could not be reached for comment. A second network, worth up to $20 million, revolved around the broadcaster Tayba and an associated charity named Almishkat. It was run by two Hamas members who got citizenship and amassed businesses and real estate, according to Maher Abouljokh, the caretaker brought in to manage Tayba. The TV channel was funneling money from the Gulf, laundered millions of dollars, and had clear links to Hamas, said Abouljokh. Contacted by Reuters, Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri denied the group had investments in Sudan, but acknowledged an impact from Sudan's political shift: "Unfortunately, there were several measures that weakened the presence of the movement (Hamas) in the country (Sudan) and limited political ties with it," he said. NORMALIZATION By last year, Sudan was desperate to escape the SST list, a prerequisite for debt relief and support from international lenders. Under pressure from the United States, it joined the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco in agreeing to normalize ties with Israel - though it has moved slowly to implement the deal. A former US diplomat who worked on Sudan under the Trump administration said shutting down the Hamas network was a focus in negotiations with Khartoum. "We were pushing on an open door," he said. The United States gave Sudan a list of companies to shut down, according to one Sudanese source and the Western intelligence source. The State Department declined to comment. Many Hamas-affiliated figures went to Turkey with some liquid assets but left behind about 80% of their investments, the task force official said. Sudan's transitional leaders "consider themselves the exact antithesis of Bashir in regional terms," said Sudanese analyst Magdi El Gazouli. "They want to sell themselves as a component of the new security order in the region." "The coup against al-Bashir caused real problems for Hamas and Iran," said Palestinian analyst Adnan Abu Amer. "Hamas and Iran had to look for alternatives - alternatives that had not been in place because the coup against al-Bashir was a sudden one." Sudan seizes assets of Hamas-linked firms, amid move toward West Move comes as part of Khartoum’s efforts to shed elements linked to longtime leader Omar al-Bashir, denying a safe haven to Gaza-ruling terror group By TOI STAFF and AGENCIESToday, 9:35 pm Then-Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, right, meets with then-Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir in Khartoum, Sudan, August 2008. (AP/Abd Raouf) A Sudanese committee set up to recover public funds after the ouster of autocratic ruler Omar al-Bashir has taken control of companies linked to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, a source said Thursday. The source, at the center of the committee, named the entities as property firm Hassan & Al-Abed, the Al-Bidaya agricultural project, the highrise Paradise Hotel and the Al-Fayha money transfer company. “They got preferential treatment in tenders, tax forgiveness, and they were allowed to transfer to Hamas and Gaza with no limits,” a task force member told Reuters, on the condition of anonymity. An unnamed source in Sudan’s ruling sovereignty council confirms the seizures to Israel’s Kan public broadcaster and said that all of the Gaza-ruling terror group’s assets in the country were confiscated. Reuters described the seizures as part of an effort by Sudan to move toward the West after the overthrow of Bashir in 2019, in effect denying a safe haven for Hamas operatives to raise funds and move Iranian arms to Gaza. Sudan signed a normalization deal with Israel last year as part of the Abraham Accords that also saw the Jewish state ink deals with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco. Then-US president Donald Trump talks on the phone with the leaders of Sudan and Israel, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, applaud in the Oval Office, October 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, denied to AFP that it has any investments in Sudan. “We have no problems with any Sudanese agency,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said. ADVERTISEMENT Another Hamas official also denied any link to the seizures. “Some of what’s reported here is old. Most of it has nothing to do with Hamas,” Moussa Abu Marzouk said. Bashir took power in a 1989 Islamist-backed coup that began three decades of iron-fisted rule. After mass nationwide protests the army removed him in April 2019, leading later that year to a power-sharing agreement between civilian and military factions. Bashir was later convicted of corruption and jailed. Despite oil wealth, Sudan under his rule was — and remains — one of the world’s least developed nations. Israeli officials had long accused Sudan under Bashir of serving as a base of support for Palestinian terrorists. In 2012 Sudan blamed Israel for striking a military factory in Khartoum, leading to speculation that Iranian weapons were stored or manufactured there. Sudan denied links between Hamas and the factory. ADVERTISEMENT Sudanese demonstrators burn Israeli flags during a rally against their country’s recent signing of a deal on normalizing relations with the Jewish state, outside the cabinet offices in the capital Khartoum, on January 17, 2021. (ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFP) In December 2020, after the US removed Sudan from its state sponsors of terrorism blacklist following its pledge to normalize ties with Israel, the Arab nation revoked the citizenship of top Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal, as well as that of some 3,000 other foreign nationals accused of terror links. Mashaal, who headed Hamas’s political bureau between 1996 and 2017, has been expelled from a number of Middle Eastern countries and currently resides in Qatar. As part of the deal to be removed from the blacklist, Sudan agreed to pay $335 million to compensate survivors and victims’ families from a 2000 attack on the USS Cole off Yemen’s coast and the twin 1998 attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Those attacks were carried out after al-Bashir had allowed then al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden sanctuary in Sudan. One of the chief planners of the embassy attacks, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, was killed in Tehran earlier last year, allegedly by Israeli agents. Sudan’s transitional government, which took over in 2019 following Bashir’s overthrow, also agreed to recognize Israel, a major goal for the former Trump administration, although Khartoum has sought to downplay the connection. 伊朗和中國有聯盟嗎? 幕後:德黑蘭成為上海合作組織的正式成員。反映深化關係。 作者:喬納森·斯派爾 2021 年 9 月 23 日 20:44 3月,伊朗外交部長穆罕默德·賈瓦德·扎里夫和中國外長王毅在德黑蘭舉行的25年合作協議簽署儀式上肘擊肘部。 (圖片來源:MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA/REUTERS) 廣告 9 月 17 日星期五,在中國杜尚別的一次聚會上,上海合作組織成員國投票批准伊朗加入該組織。 上合組織是中俄於2001年成立的經濟、政治和安全聯盟。它目前包括八個國家——中國、俄羅斯、巴基斯坦、印度、哈薩克斯坦、吉爾吉斯斯坦和塔吉克斯坦。這些國家加起來佔全球 GDP 的 20%,佔世界人口的 40%。 2008 年,伊朗首次申請成為上合組織正式成員,但未成功。 當時,德黑蘭的申請因一些成員國反對成為一個因核計劃而受到美國和聯合國製裁的國家的正式成員資格而失敗。. 正式成員資格的障礙已被取消。 2021 年 3 月 1 日,在奧地利維也納爆發冠狀病毒病 (COVID-19) 期間,在理事會會議開始之前,伊朗國旗在國際原子能機構 (IAEA) 總部前飄揚。(來源:路透社/LISI NIESNER/文件照片) 伊朗加入上合組織有多重要? 法新社在一篇文章中引用的伊朗媒體對這一事態發展感到歡欣鼓舞。與強硬立場相關的出版物 Kayhan 寫道,“從現在開始,伊朗可以實施其多邊主義政策,逐步放棄完全基於西方的願景並減輕西方的製裁。” 伊朗總統易卜拉欣·賴西(Ebrahim Raisi)在上合組織的講話中同樣直率地評價了這一發展的意義。 “世界進入了一個新時代。霸權主義和單邊主義已經失敗,”賴西告訴上海合作組織領導人。“今後的國際平衡傾向於多邊主義和向獨立國家重新分配權力。單邊制裁併非專門針對一個國家。很明顯,近年來,它們對獨立國家,特別是上合組織成員國的影響更大。” 與此同時,在波斯語社交媒體上,伊朗伊斯蘭革命衛隊相關“抵抗經濟”結構的官員穆罕默德·哈桑·德赫加尼在推特上說,上海合作組織“正式成員”將為伊朗帶來“重大的經濟、安全和政治利益”。 那麼伊朗的這些評估是否正確?因此,伊朗即將加入上合組織是否應該被視為朝著一個新興的反西方戰略集團的方向邁出的重要一步,伊朗將成為該集團的成員? 西方國家的首都越來越多地談論新的和正在出現的冷戰,美國及其盟友與中國對抗,並以印太地區為中心。 美國倉促退出阿富汗可能是在 9/11 戰爭下劃出堅定紅線的笨拙嘗試,目的是將注意力和資源集中在這一新的戰略競爭和時代的需求上。 美國、澳大利亞和英國之間的 AUKUS 協議的宣布代表了亞太地區的清晰界限,因為三個英語國家聯合起來明顯地努力遏制中國在該地區擴張的努力。 全球大國之間這種類型的歷史性戰略競爭往往不會局限於特定的地理空間。 1950-91 年的冷戰由美國和蘇聯領導的系統之間的二元競賽組成,這影響了所有當地的戰略環境。 早期的全球競爭,例如歐洲帝國列強在 1914 年之前為遏制德國崛起所做的努力,同樣也涵蓋了全球(並在這些努力最終產生的衝突中改變了全球)。 因此,我們現在是否正在目睹中東類似劃線的第一步,與美國結盟和中國結盟的集團的輪廓現在在地平線上可見? 首先,需要注意一些注意事項。上合組織還不是一個以中國為首的戰略聯盟,與西方結盟。其成員包括印度,中國的競爭對手和西方的盟友。上合組織也沒有與伊朗在其核計劃問題上蔑視國際體系結盟。相反,制裁是阻止德黑蘭提前成為上合組織正式成員的主要問題。 即使是現在,德黑蘭加入該組織的時間表也尚未公佈。俄羅斯、中國和印度在伊朗的重大投資無疑受到美國製裁威脅的阻礙。 還需要看到的是,中國在中東的投資格局並不符合對任何地區集團的嚴格效忠。北京是沙特石油的主要購買者,並與以色列和阿拉伯聯合酋長國保持著廣泛的貿易關係。 儘管如此,在適當警告不要過於簡單化的情況下,可以看出事件的總體方向。它表明北京和德黑蘭在長期共同利益的基礎上更緊密地結盟。加入上合組織並沒有鞏固這一進程。相反,它是沿途的路標。 2020 年 3 月 27 日,德黑蘭和北京宣布了一項為期 25 年的戰略協議,中國在伊朗投資 4000 億美元。該協議更像是未來的路線圖,而不是處理直接的操作後果。這並不意味著它應該打折。伊朗成為上合組織成員是該協議的第一個具體結果。 伊朗是中國雄心勃勃的“一帶一路”倡議的重要組成部分。“一帶一路”倡議旨在打造從中國跨越歐亞大陸的連續的、與中國結盟的陸上和海上貿易路線。 伊朗為上合組織成員國的中亞內陸國家開闢了通往阿拉伯海和國際水道的通道。因此,伊朗融入“一帶一路”倡議將有助於鞏固中國成為歐亞大陸霸權的雄心,能夠為與其結盟的國家提供其控制下的貿易路線。 在這方面,中國不太可能對德黑蘭控制著伊拉克-伊朗邊境和地中海之間的整個陸地並由三個名義國家組成的事實漠不關心,這一事實仍然被天真的西方觀察家不恰當地承認——伊拉克、敘利亞和黎巴嫩。 對中國來說,伊朗是一個強大、穩定、沒有威脅的國家。德黑蘭的反美立場對中國有用,因為它確保中國沒有機會在華盛頓和北京之間的緊急戰略較量中對沖其賭注。儘管事實上中國並不具備伊朗執政意識形態的組成部分。然而,就後者而言,這種意識形態的什葉派性質意味著伊朗並不構成對中國自己的、絕大多數是遜尼派、動盪不安的穆斯林人口的潛在破壞性吸引力來源。 德黑蘭與北京之間日益密切的關係已經產生了一個重大成果。伊朗在特朗普政府時期對美國“極限施壓”政策的挑釁和成功抵抗之所以成為可能,部分原因在於中國作為德黑蘭可以依賴的一種“保險政策”的存在。中國繼續購買伊朗非法出口的原油,特別是使德黑蘭能夠在所謂的“嚴重”制裁的情況下保持石油收入。壓力最大的時代已經結束。德黑蘭即將成為一個“門檻”核大國(或者已經是一個,據一些人說)。北京通過幫助防止伊朗的經濟崩潰,在這方面發揮了重要作用。 因此,美國和中國之間的緊急全球競爭不會讓中東成為一個不結盟的地區。隨著邊界的加強,出於地緣戰略和政治原因,德黑蘭可能會繼續向北京靠攏。伊朗加入上合組織是這條道路上的一個重要里程碑。 Is there an alliance between Iran and China? BEHIND THE LINES: Tehran’s accession to full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Org. reflects deepening ties. By JONATHAN SPYER SEPTEMBER 23, 2021 20:44 IRAN’S FOREIGN MINISTER Mohammad Javad Zarif and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi bump elbows during the signing ceremony of a 25-year cooperation agreement, in Tehran, in March. (photo credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA/REUTERS) Advertisement On Friday, September 17, at a gathering in Dushanbe, China, member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization voted to approve Iran’s membership in the organization. The SCO, established by China and Russia in 2001, is an economic, political and security alliance. It currently includes eight states – China, Russia, Pakistan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Together, these states account for 20% of global GDP, and include 40% of the world’s population. Iran’s first, unsuccessful bid for full membership in the SCO took place in 2008. At that time, Tehran’s application foundered because of the objection by a number of member states to full membership for a country subject to US and UN sanctions due to its nuclear program. The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters, before the beginning of a board of governors meeting, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Vienna, Austria, March 1, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/LISI NIESNER/FILE PHOTO) How significant is Iran’s admittance to the SCO? Iranian media, quoted in an article by Agence France-Presse, were jubilant concerning this development. Kayhan, a publication associated with hardline positions, wrote that ‘“from now on Iran can implement its policy of multilateralism, progressively abandon a vision based solely on the West and mitigate Western sanctions.” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, in his address to the SCO, was similarly blunt in his appraisal of the meaning of this development. “The world has entered a new era. Hegemony and unilateralism have failed,” Raisi told SCO leaders. “The international balance from now on leans towards multilateralism and the redistribution of powers towards independent countries. Unilateral sanctions don’t uniquely target one country. It has become evident that, in recent years, they affect more the independent countries, especially SCO members.” On Farsi social media, meanwhile, Mohammed Hassan Dehghani, an official in Iran’s IRGC-associated “Resistance Economy” structure, tweeted that SCO “full membership” would bring “significant economic, security and political benefits” for Iran. So are these Iranian assessments correct? Should the imminent Iranian accession to the SCO therefore be seen as a significant step in the direction of an emergent anti-Western strategic bloc, of which Iran will be a member? THERE IS increasing talk in Western capitals of a new and emergent cold war, pitting the United States and its allies against China, and centering on the Indo-Pacific region. The hasty US exit from Afghanistan was a perhaps clumsy attempt to draw a firm redline under the 9/11 Wars, in order to focus attention and resources on the demands of this new strategic contest, and era. The announcement of the AUKUS pact between the US, Australia and the UK represents a sharp drawing of lines in the Asia-Pacific region, as three English-speaking countries combine in a clear effort to contain Chinese efforts at expansion in this area. Historic strategic contests of this type between global powers do not tend to remain confined to particular geographic spaces. The Cold War of 1950-91 consisted of a binary contest between US and USSR-led systems, which impacted on all local strategic environments. Earlier global contests, such as the effort by European imperial powers to contain the rise of Germany in the pre-1914 era similarly came to encompass the globe (and transform it, in the conflict which these efforts eventually produced). Are we now therefore witnessing the first moves in a similar drawing of lines in the Middle East, with the outlines of US-aligned and China-aligned blocs now visible on the horizon? FIRSTLY, A number of caveats are in order. The SCO is not yet anything close to a China-led strategic alliance arrayed against the West. Its members include India, a rival of China and a Western ally. Nor is the SCO aligned with Iran in its defiance of the international system regarding its nuclear program. Rather, the sanctions were a principal concern preventing earlier accession to full membership in the SCO for Tehran. Even now, a timeline has yet to be announced for Tehran’s joining the organization. Major investments by Russia, China and India in Iran have doubtless been deterred by the threat of US sanctions. It should also be noted that the pattern of Chinese investment in the Middle East does not conform to strict allegiance with any regional bloc. Beijing is a major purchaser of Saudi oil, and maintains extensive trade ties with both Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Nevertheless, and with all the appropriate cautions against oversimplification, a general direction to events can be discerned. And it points toward closer alignment between Beijing and Tehran, on the basis of hard, shared long-term interests. The accession to the SCO does not cement this process. Rather, it is a signpost along the way. On March 27, 2020, Tehran and Beijing announced a 25-year strategic agreement for $400 billion of Chinese investment in Iran. This agreement is more of a road map for the future rather than a deal with immediate operative consequences. This does not mean it should be discounted. Iran’s ascendance to membership in the SCO is the first concrete consequence of this agreement. Iran forms a key component of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative. BRI is intended to produce contiguous, China-aligned land and maritime trade routes from China across Eurasia. Iran forms a route to the Arabian Sea and international waterways for the landlocked, central Asian countries that are SCO members. Iran’s integration into the BRI would thus help solidify China’s ambition to emerge as the hegemonic power in Eurasia, able to offer routes for trade under its control to countries aligning with it. In this regard, China is unlikely to be indifferent to the fact, still improperly acknowledged by naive Western observers, of Tehran’s domination of the entire land mass between the Iraq-Iran border and the Mediterranean Sea, and consisting of three nominal states – Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. For China, Iran is a powerful, stable, nonthreatening state. Tehran’s anti-US stance is of use to China in that it ensures that there is no chance of the country hedging its bets in the emergent strategic contest between Washington and Beijing. This is despite the fact that China does not, of course, share the components of Iran’s governing ideology. In the latter regard, however, the Shia nature of that ideology means that Iran does not constitute a potential disruptive source of appeal to China’s own, overwhelmingly Sunni, restive Muslim populations. The emergent closer relations between Tehran and Beijing have already produced one significant outcome. Iran’s defiant and successful resistance to the US policy of “maximum pressure” during the period of the Trump administration was made partially possible because of the presence of China as a kind of “insurance policy” on which Tehran could rely. China’s continued purchase of Iranian illegally exported crude oil, in particular, enabled Tehran to maintain oil revenues despite supposedly “crippling” sanctions. The era of maximum pressure is now over. Tehran is close to becoming a “threshold” nuclear power (or already is one, according to some). Beijing, by helping to prevent Iran’s economic ruin, played a significant role in this. So the emergent global contest between the US and China will not leave the Middle East as an area of nonalignment. And as the lines harden, Tehran, for both geostrategic and political reasons, is likely to continue to draw closer to Beijing. Iran’s admittance to the SCO is a significant milestone along that road.

0.00 stars, 0 ratings

Or Log In

00:00 / 00:00