Greeces Fadeaway: Iran and Israel Battle over Cyprus: The Last Withdrawal of Alexander the Great
by Roy Tov
Today, February 26, 2012, an odd media battle took place in Iran. Different agencies reported and denied that Iran was blocking the shipment of 500,000 barrels of crude oil to Greece, in retaliation for European Union sanctions. After the initial report by the Fars news agency, the news item was denied by the Iranian Students News Agency, and then also by Greek officials. Was this an innocent error? This happened while Irans Defense Minister is visiting Lebanon. Iranian defense ministrys website reported that Iranian Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said to his Lebanese counterpart, Fayez Ghosn, that Tehrans strategic policy is to strengthen the Lebanese army. These two events and the recent visit of Benjamin Netanyahu to Cyprus (see Buying Cyprus) indicate that the battle over the gas fields below the Eastern Mediterranean Sea is intensifying, with new alliances being made and old ones being strengthened. Complementing the economic failure of Greece within the European Union, this country is bound to become the largest loser of the new contest.
The Iran-Europe oil affair is a minor battle in a larger war. The European Union decided in January to stop importing Iranian crude oil as of July 1, as part of international sanctions aimed at forcing Tehran to halt its sensitive nuclear work, which was demanded by the UN Security Council. Yet, this turned out being sanctions against the European Union itself. Irans anticipatory answer was to stop selling crude to British and French companies last week. Oil prices raised immediately over fears of tightening supplies, including a threat from Tehran to close the Straits of Hormuz, a vital oil shipping route, if attacked. Saudi Arabia said it would compensate for any oil shortage in the market. Yet, if the UN sanctions remain, oil prices are bound to stay high. The sanctions are on the western energy pirates.
Dramatic as it seems, the fact Irans Defense Minister is in Lebanon during the developing crisis, shows clearly whats the real fight about. On September 5, 2011, Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansor, sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, rejecting Israeli claims on the maritime border between the two countries. The border has become important since the discovery of huge amounts of gas (see Gas, Oil Uranium) in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Worldwide, these fields form one of the largest gas reserves found in the last decade. Israeli maps incorporate the gas fields to Israels maritime territory, and the IDF protects the drill operations. However, international law usually recognizes a perpendicular line to the shore as a maritime border between two countries. The line drawn by Israel is askew. Lebanon has warned it will go to war to defend its claim on the gas fields.
Lebanon has been the victim of several Israeli attacks, mainly the wars of 1982 and 2006. Traditionally, Syria was Lebanons closest ally, but with Assad regime wobbling badly, it seems Iran is trying to replace Syria as Lebanons closest ally. Iran is already a key supporter of the Lebanese group Hezbollah; Lebanons Defense Minister mentioned above, Fayez Ghosn, is member of Marada, a Christian party allied with Hezbollah. Now Iran has announced it would strengthen the Lebanese army. Iran being in a struggle with Europe over oil and UN sanctions, it means it is trying to get a say also in the issue of the new gas fields, since Lebanon already has announced they being a casus belli in its relations with Israel. In such a way, Iran will strengthen its already significant leverage on oil issues. This attitude is not new; Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Lebanon in October 2010, signaling the strengthening of the bilateral relations. Given the delicacy of the actual situation, it also means war is in the Eastern Mediterranean salty air. This evaluation is further reinforced since also TurkeyIsraels closest ally until the Freedom Flotilla eventshas declared it will militarily support Lebanon in its maritime claims.
In November 2011, Cyprus announced it would explore its undersea natural gas wells in cooperation with Israel; this was the trigger for Netanyahus visit to the island in February. The agreements announced between the countriesincluding military onesindicate that Israel has shifted its main ally in the area to be Cyprus.
However, Turkey had announced that it wouldnt allow underwater drills in Cypriot waters, clearly citing military preventative actions. The Turkish intervention is the result of Cyprus being divided between the Republic of Cyprus in the south and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Thus, two clear bands had been created around the gas field issue: Turkey-Lebanon-Northern Cyprus-Iran, and Israel-Cyprus. This is enough to ensure record audiences to any military event in the area.
It would be very easy to dismiss all these events as minor regional struggles around a profitable gas business. Yet, these new alliances seem capable of redrawing political borders in the area. Given the violent history of such events, we may be watching the beginning of the triggering incident. This time it would have direct implications towards Europe.
Cyprus is more than a state-island. It is the last frontline between Turkey and Greece; a major divide line between the Christian and Muslim worlds, and is also closely related to Greece. The Greek state dates back just to 1822. Created with the support of three Great PowersRussia, the United Kingdom and Franceit was formally recognized under the London Protocol in 1830. Yet, despite the historical connection to Ancient Greece, Cyprus was left out of it, as part of the Ottoman Empire. In the aftermath of the Russo-Turkish War (18771878) and the Congress of Berlin, Cyprus was leased to the British Empire. On August 16, 1960, Cyprus attained independence under the Zürich and London Agreement between the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey. The UK retained the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, while government posts and public offices were allocated by ethnic quotas, giving the minority Turkish Cypriots a permanent veto, 30% in parliament and administration, and granting the three mother-states guarantor rights. On July 15, 1974, the Greek military junta carried out a coup d'état in Cyprus, to unite the island with Greece. Five days later, the Turkish army invaded the island on the pretext of restoring the constitutional order of the Republic of Cyprus by claiming a right to intervene as one of the guarantors of the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee. Since then, the island is divided.
This difference in the independence dates of Greece and Cyprus was crucial in the creation of the actual reality. After WWI, Greece fought against Turkish nationalists led by Mustafa Kemal, a war which resulted in a massive population exchange between the two countries under the Treaty of Lausanne. Thus, Greece and mainland Turkey became populated mainly by Greeks and Turks respectively. It was probably the largest ethnic transfer in history; Israeli politicians advocating for transfer of the Palestinian population often quote this event. However, Cyprus was not part of this arrangement and was left with a highly polarized population. By the beginning of 2012, this has become an extension of the maritime frontline between the Turkey-Lebanon-Northern Cyprus-Iran, and the Israel-Cyprus axes.
Can this new reality help explain the fluke in the Iranian media described at the beginning the article? Another odd characteristic of the incident is that Greek authorities were very fast to react and ensure that everything was in accord to signed deals between Greece and Iran. If the incident had been an accidental error, Greece would have probably ignored the Iranian internal press. The fast reaction shows Greece is under pressure. It needs the Iranian oil. Considering this, a more intriguing option must be considered. Maybe Iran sent a subtle message to Greece to stay out of the new Israel-Cyprus alliance. Step back, Alexander the Greek, even if Israel is Buying Cyprus! was the message. Battered by the European Union finances, Greece has little choice but to surrender to the new Pax Iraniana. In Eastern Mediterranean
http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/23/irans ... d-is-near/
Iran's Grand ayatollahs: Earth belongs to Muslims, end is near
Feb 23, 2012
By Reza Kahlili
Author, A Time to Betray
..no amount of sanctions will keep the mullahs from their headlong pursuit of nuclear weapons, which they hope will help usher in Islamic dominance of the world. The religious leaders believe it is their responsibility, as foreshadowed by the Quran, to bring about nuclear war to facilitate the coming of the last Islamic Messiah.
Two Iranian grand ayatollahs are now saying that the Earth will soon be under the feet of Muslims, as promised by the Quran.
The clerical establishment in Iran has long believed that the Islamic Revolution of 1979 was a sign by Allah that the end of times is near and that the duty and responsibility of the believers is to become ready for such an event.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, indicated to his close associates that he saw a mandate for the final glorification of Allah to overthrow the Shah, establish an Islamic state and then pass the flag of Islam to the last Islamic Messiah. When asked if he would be the one to pass the flag, he responded that the one after me will be the one who will create the circumstances for the reappearance of Imam Mahdi, the Shiites 12th Imam.
Many in the Islamic regime believe that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who became the Iranian supreme leader after Khomeinis death, is the chosen one to pass the flag of Islam to Imam Mahdi. In fact, statements made by close associates of Khamenei indicate that the supreme leader himself is convinced that he is the one who will trigger the coming.
Mahdi, in Shiite belief, will reappear at the time of Armageddon.
In a recent statement, Grand Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani, a top Iranian Twelver Shia and a Marja (source to follow), addressed the future of the world as per the Quran.
The Quran is very clear that the inheritors of the Earth will be those of the righteous who represent the force of the truth against the force of the false, Sobhani says. The Quran is the proof that the world will be controlled and managed by the forces of truth and that there will be one government ruling everyone throughout the world.
The Quran twice promises worldwide rule of Islam and its victory over all other religions, Sobhani says. According to hadiths, which have the tacit approval of the Prophet Muhammad, that will only happen when the last descendant of Muhammad, Imam Mahdi, returns and takes the rule of Islam from the East to the West.
The grand ayatollah then quotes the Quran (Altobeh, 33): It is He Who hath sent His prophet with guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religions, even though the infidels may detest it.
Sobhani calls the Internet another sign of the end of times and the coming of Imam Mahdi as hadiths indicate that at the age of the coming, people in the East will be able to see people in the West while in a stationary position.
The ayatollah reiterates the promised victory by the Muslims in referring to the Quran (Al Anbiya, 18): We hurl the truth against falsehood, and destroy it, and behold falsehood doth perish.
Grand Ayatollah Nouri Hamedani, also a Twelver and a Marja with followers around the world, says the recent progress of Irans nuclear program is hailed as significant and one that has shocked the infidels.
Hamedani states that it is said that in the end of times, the city of Qom will be the center of science and an elevated center for learnings of Allah. He says the current Arab Spring in the region is due to the Islamic regime in Iran and that this awakening must expand to the world stage for the coming of the last Islamic Messiah.
The clerics in Iran have set up a center in the city of Qom specifically to track signs for the coming as they rely on centuries of hadiths from Muhammad and his descendants that have predicted signs in which the end of times will come and the last Islamic Messiah will reappear, killing all infidels and those who wont convert to Islam and raising the flag of Islam across the globe.
The coming of Mahdi only awaits these last signs, as all of the signs that the hadiths herald have already taken place: Chaos, famine and havoc will engulf the Earth; major wars with dark clouds (atomic wars) will burn the Earth; one-third of the Earths population will be killed, and the rest will suffer hunger and lawlessness.
As revealed last year, an Iranian secret documentary, The Coming Is Upon Us, clearly indicates that the radicals ruling Iran believe that worldwide war and the destruction of Israel will trigger the coming of the last Islamic Messiah.