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PostSubject: Gulf States Launch Naval Blockade Of Qatar   Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:36 am

Gulf States Launch Naval Blockade Of Qatar


In what has emerged as the most significant escalation to result from the Qatar diplomatic crisis - which pits two of OPEC’s largest oil producers, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, against the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas and further disrupts stability in the region -  the biggest Middle East oil and container ports banned all vessels sailing to and from Qatar from using their facilities.


=======================
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-06/saudi-arabia-gives-qatar-24-hour-ultimatum-analysts-warn-military-confrontation
Saudi Arabia Gives Qatar 24 Hour Ultimatum As Analysts Warn Of "Military Confrontation"


by Tyler Durden
Jun 7, 2017 5:03 AM

Shortly after imposing a naval blockade in the immediate  aftermath of the Qatar diplomatic crisis, one which left the small Gulf nation not only politically isolated and with severed ties to its neighbors but potentially locked out of maritime trade and crippling its oil and LNG exports, on Tuesday SkyNews Arabia reported that Saudi Arabia has given Qatar a 24 hours ultimatum, starting tonight, to fulfill 10 conditions that have been conveyed to Kuwait, which is currently involved in the role of a mediator between Saudi and Qatar.

=============

http://www.blacklistednews.com/%22Forget_Terrorism%22%3A_The_Real_Reason_Behind_The_Qatar_Crisis_Is_Natural_Gas/58973/0/38/38/Y/M.html

"Forget Terrorism": The Real Reason Behind The Qatar Crisis Is Natural Gas


According to the official narrative, the reason for the latest Gulf crisis in which a coalition of Saudi-led states cut off diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, is because - to everyone's "stunned amazement" - Qatar was funding terrorists, and after Trump's recent visit to Saudi Arabia in which he urged a crackdown on financial support of terrorism, and also following the FT's report that Qatar has directly provided $1 billion in funding to Iran and al-Qaeda spinoffs, Saudi Arabia finally had had enough of its "rogue" neighbor, which in recent years had made ideologically unacceptable overtures toward both Shia Iran and Russia.


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PostSubject: FIFA being used to pressure Qatar, as World Cup 2022 is now under scrutiny   Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:39 am

FIFA being used to pressure Qatar, as World Cup 2022 is now under scrutiny


US President Trump is tweeting that the reason for Qatar’s isolation is “to end the horror of terrorism”, but we all remember that just a few weeks ago, the United States signed a $100+ billion weapons deal with Saudi Arabia, the single biggest supporter of terrorism on the planet.
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PostSubject: Hacked Emails Expose US Working With UAE Against Iran and Qatar   Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:01 am

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Hacked_Emails_Expose_US_Working_With_UAE_Against_Iran_and_Qatar/58970/0/38/38/Y/M.html



Hacked Emails Expose US Working With UAE Against Iran and Qatar


Source: ANTI MEDIA

The email account of one of Washington’s most influential foreign operatives, Yousef Al-Otaiba, has been hacked. A number of those emails were sent to the Intercept, as well as the Huffington Post and the Daily Beast, the Intercept reports. The hacker has allegedly promised to release a trove of these emails publicly.
Otaiba is the United Arab Emirate’s ambassador to the United States, and the Intercept confirms that the Hotmail account in question is the one he used for his business in Washington. The Huffington Post further confirmed that at least one of the emails is authentic, and a UAE spokesperson confirmed Otaiba account had been hacked. None of the eight individuals whose names were involved in the email exchanges – and who were contacted by the Huffington Post for comment – denied that the exchanges took place.
Otaiba is well-connected inside Washington. According to Politico, he is “in almost constant phone and email contact” with Jared Kushner, whom he met in June last year through a mutual friend (a billionaire real estate investor). The hacked emails also include communications with former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
The Intercept reports:
“Otaiba’s influence derives largely from his pocketbook, as the ambassador is well known for throwing lavish dinner parties, galas, and hosting powerful figures on extravagant trips. Several Christmases ago, he sent out iPads as gifts to journalists and other Washington power players… There’s no telling what kind of messages might reside in that inbox.”
According to the Intercept, the hackers used a .ru email address, immediately associating them with Russia. They referred to themselves as GlobalLeaks (which ties them to DCLeaks, a website that previously released Democratic emails). It has been speculated that DCLeaks was a front used by Russian intelligence.
Either the hackers are connected to Russia or someone wants to give the appearance that they are. However, according to the Huffington Post, the hackers said they sought to expose “the UAE’s efforts to manipulate the U.S. government, and denied any allegiance to Qatar or any other government.”
The emails provided to the Intercept showed a growing relationship between the UAE and a pro-Israel neoconservative think tank known as the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). Technically, the UAE does not even formally recognize Israel as a country, yet the country has bonded with Israel over their mutual hatred for Iran.
On March 10th, 2017, FDD’s CEO Mark Dubowitz wrote an email to both Otaiba and FDD Senior Counselor John Hannah – a former deputy national security advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney – with the subject line “Target list of companies investing in Iran, UAE and Saudi Arabia.” Dubowitz’s attached memorandum also included a lengthy list of “non-U.S. businesses with operations in Saudi Arabia or UAE that are looking to invest in Iran.” The inference here was that those companies were identified so they could be forced “to [make] a choice” between investing in Iran or its rival counterparts.
Israel and the Gulf States have appeared to bond more and more over their distaste for Iran. The FDD is funded by pro-Israel billionaire Sheldon Adelson, an ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Adelson outright endorsed Donald Trump for president in an opinion piece for the Washington Post; this should tell you something about the types of circles Otaiba and the FDD are operating within.
As the Intercept notes:
“FDD has been involved in shaping Mideast policy debate during the Trump administration, so it is likely that the UAE views it as an important conduit to pressure Trump to adopt its more hawkish line on Iran. David Weinberg, a senior fellow at the organization, was quoted last month as saying that the UAE is ‘ecstatic’ about the Trump administration’s approach to the region.” [emphasis added]
In an email exchange on August 16 of last year, an email from Hannah to Otaiba seemed to implicate their involvement in the momentary coup attempt in Turkey.
However, one of the more important aspects of the email exchange is the mounting distrust and opposition to Qatar, particularly because of their decision to host Hamas at an Emirati-owned hotel. In their eyes, Qatari-based news outlet Al-Jazeera is “an instrument of regional instability.”
In order to understand the true depth of this anti-Qatari sentiment, one has to analyze the regional conflicts and the power struggle taking place since the Arab Spring. While Qatar shared common ground with the U.S. and the other Arab states in removing Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and efforts to oust Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Qatar actually supports different groups on the ground that are opposed to the U.S. backed forces, particularly in Libya. Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood is seen as controversial, as many of these Arab states view the organization as a dangerous political enemy (though no one has seemed remotely concerned with the fact that Qatar also directly sponsors ISIS).
Most notable, however, was a recent report in the Qatari media that appeared to show Qatari ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani give a speech that described his respect for Iran and his support for Hamas. Qatar claimed the report was actually the result of a hack, but the UAE and Saudi Arabia still believe the report to be genuine. As Reuters reported, this disagreement actually forced the respective countries to take their feud public.
The assault on Qatar can be seen throughout the email exchanges, including the ones involving Robert Gates. The night before Gates was scheduled to speak at a high-profile Washington Conference on Qatar (hosted by the FDD at the end of May this year), Otaiba wrote to him to say “the subject of the conference has been a neglected issue in U.S. foreign policy despite all the trouble it’s causing…Coming from you, folks will listen carefully.” Otaiba also wrote that “MBZ [UAE Crown Prince Muhammed bin Zayed] sends his best from Abu Dhabi…He says ‘give them hell tomorrow.’”
The next day, Gates’s speech was an all-out assault on Qatar, which told the country to choose sides, warning that if they didn’t, they would “…change the nature of the relationship.”
The email exchanges demonstrate a very significant stranglehold over current and former officials held by someone most Americans have probably never heard of. The fact that Robert Gates, a former CIA Director under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and secretary of defense under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama — a man who publicly admitted the depth of America’s role in Afghanistan in the 1980s — can be swayed by Otaiba’s emails is telling in and of itself.
In an almost scripted move, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt just cut ties with Qatar on Sunday and urged “all brotherly countries and companies to do the same.” Clearly, Qatar is not following the U.S.-Saudi-dominated playbook and there are many powerful players behind the scenes who have orchestrated the denigration of Qatari relations with the U.S. and other major Arab states.
What is also telling is that two rivals, Israel and the UAE, are putting aside their obvious differences and working together through these influential alliances to oppose Iran. Trump’s recent speech in Saudi Arabia was focused intensely on the alleged Iranian threat, something that has clearly excited the FDD and the people within Otaiba’s circles.
For all we know, Trump’s ramped up anti-Iranian rhetoric was done at the behest of these parties, who clearly maintain a strong degree of influence inside Washington.

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PostSubject: FULL ARTICLE OF ZERO HEDGE   Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:07 am

Trump tweets at link, is he misled?

 Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
...extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!
6:44 AM - 6 Jun 2017
http://www.blacklistednews.com/%22Forget_Terrorism%22%3A_The_Real_Reason_Behind_The_Qatar_Crisis_Is_Natural_Gas/58973/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Source: Zero Hedge


According to the official narrative, the reason for the latest Gulf crisis in which a coalition of Saudi-led states cut off diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, is because - to everyone's "stunned amazement" - Qatar was funding terrorists, and after Trump's recent visit to Saudi Arabia in which he urged a crackdown on financial support of terrorism, and also following the FT's report that Qatar has directly provided $1 billion in funding to Iran and al-Qaeda spinoffs, Saudi Arabia finally had had enough of its "rogue" neighbor, which in recent years had made ideologically unacceptable overtures toward both Shia Iran and Russia.
However, as often happens, the official narrative is traditionally a convenient smokescreen from the real underlying tensions.
The real reason behind the diplomatic fallout may be far simpler, and once again has to do with a long-running and controversial topic, namely Qatar's regional natural gas dominance.
Recall that many with evidence going back as far back as 2012) that one of the reasons for the long-running Syria proxy war was nothing more complex than competing gas pipelines, with Qatar eager to pass its own pipeline, connecting Europe to its vast natural gas deposits, however as that would put Gazprom's monopoly of European LNG supply in jeopardy, Russia had been firmly, and violently, against this strategy from the beginning and explains Putin's firm support of the Assad regime and the Kremlin's desire to prevent the replacement of the Syrian government with a puppet regime.

Now, in a separate analysis, Bloomberg also debunks the "official narrative" behind the Gulf crisis and suggests that Saudi Arabia’s isolation of Qatar, "and the dispute’s long past and likely lingering future are best explained by natural gas."
The reasons for nat gas as the source of discord are numerous and start in 1995 "when the tiny desert peninsula was about to make its first shipment of liquid natural gas from the world’s largest reservoir. The offshore North Field, which provides virtually all of Qatar’s gas, is shared with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s hated rival."

The result to Qatar's finances was similar to the windfall that Saudi Arabia reaped from its vast crude oil wealth.
Quote :
 
 
The wealth that followed turned Qatar into not just the world’s richest nation, with an annual per-capita income of $130,000, but also the world’s largest LNG exporter. The focus on gas set it apart from its oil producing neighbors in the Gulf Cooperation Council and allowed it to break from domination by Saudi Arabia, which in Monday’s statement of complaint described Qataris as an “extension of their brethren in the Kingdom” as it cut off diplomatic relations and closed the border.
In short, over the past two decades, Qatar become the single biggest natural gas powerhouse in the region, with only Russia's Gazprom able to challenge Qatar's influence in LNG exports.
praise GOD.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/06/04/qatar exports LNG.jpg][/url]
To be sure, Qatar has shown a remarkable ability to shift its ideological allegiance, with the FT reporting as recently as 2013, that initially Qatar was a staunch supporter, backer and financier of the Syrian rebels, tasked to topple the Assad regime, a process which could culminate with the creation of the much maligned trans-Syrian pipeline.
Quote :
 
 
The tiny gas-rich state of Qatar has spent as much as $3bn over the past two years supporting the rebellion in Syria, far exceeding any other government, but is now being nudged aside by Saudi Arabia as the prime source of arms to rebels.
 
The cost of Qatar’s intervention, its latest push to back an Arab revolt, amounts to a fraction of its international investment portfolio. But its financial support for the revolution that has turned into a vicious civil war dramatically overshadows western backing for the opposition.
As the years passed, Qatar grew to comprehend that Russia would not allow its pipeline to traverse Syria, and as a result it strategically pivoted in a pro-Russia direction, and as we showed yesterday, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund agreed last year to invest $2.7 billion in Russia’s state-run Rosneft Oil, even as Qatar is host of the largest US military base in the region, US Central Command. This particular pivot may have also added to fears that Qatar was becoming a far more active supporter of a Russia-Iran-Syria axis in the region, its recent financial and ideological support of Iran notwithstanding.
As a result of the tiny nation's growing financial and political "independence", its neighbors grew increasingly frustrated and concerned: “Qatar used to be a kind of Saudi vassal state, but it used the autonomy that its gas wealth created to carve out an independent role for itself,” said Jim Krane, energy research fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, quoted by Bloomberg.
Furthermore, Qatar’s natural gas output has been "free from entanglement" - and political pressure - in the OPEC, the oil cartel that Saudi Arabia dominates.
“The rest of the region has been looking for an opportunity to clip Qatar’s wings.”
And, as Bloomberg adds, "that opportunity came with U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, when he called on “all nations of conscience” to isolate Iran. When Qatar disagreed publicly, in a statement the government later said was a product of hacking, the Saudi-led retribution followed."
To be sure, in a series of tweets, Trump himself doubled down on the "official narraitve", taking credit for Qatar's isolation (perhaps forgetting that a US base is housed in the small nation).
The cynics may be forgiven to assume that if Trump is tweeting that the reason for Qatar's isolation is "to end the horror of terrorism", even as the US just signed a $100+ billion arms deal with the single biggest supporter of terrorism in the world, Saudi Arabia, then indeed the Trump-endorsed "narrative" is to be dismissed outright.
Which again brings us back to nat gas, where Qatar rapidly emerged as the dominant, and lowest cost producer at a time when its neighbors started demanding the commodity on their own, giving the tiny state all the leverage. As Bloomberg adds "demand for natural gas to produce electricity and power industry has been growing in the Gulf states. They’re having to resort to higher-cost LNG imports and exploring difficult domestic gas formations that are expensive to get out of the ground, according to the research. Qatar’s gas has the lowest extraction costs in the world."
Of course, with financial wealth came the need to spread political infludence: "
Quote :
 
 
Qatar gas wealth enabled it to develop foreign policies that came to irritate its neighbors. It backed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hamas in the Gaza Strip and armed factions opposed by the UAE or Saudi Arabia in Libya and Syria. Gas also paid for a global television network, Al Jazeera, which at various times has embarrassed or angered most Middle Eastern governments.
And, above all, "gas prompted Qatar to promote a regional policy of engagement with Shiite Iran to secure the source of its wealth."
And here the source of tension emerged: because as Steven Wright, Ph.D. Associate Professor at Qatar University told Bloomberg, “you can question why Qatar has been unwilling to supply its neighboring countries, making them gas poor,” said Wright, the academic, speaking by telephone from the Qatari capital Doha. “There probably was an expectation that Qatar would sell gas to them at a discount price.”
It did not, and instead it took a step backward in 2005, when Qatar declared a moratorium on the further development of the North Field that could have provided more gas for local export, adding to the frustrations of its neighbors.
Quote :
 
 
Qatar said it needed to test how the field was responding to its exploitation, denying that it was bending to sensitivities in Iran, which had been much slower to draw gas from its side of the shared field. That two-year moratorium was lifted in April, a decade late, after Iran for the first time caught up with Qatar’s extraction rates.
As Qatar refused to yield, the resentment grew.
“People here are scratching their heads as to exactly what the Saudis expect Qatar to do,” said Gerd Nonneman, professor of international relations and Gulf studies at Georgetown University’s Doha campus. “They seem to want Qatar to cave in completely, but it won’t call the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, because it isn’t. And it isn’t going to excommunicate Iran, because that would jeopardize a relationship that is just too fundamental to Qatar’s economic development.
* * *
Whether nat gas is the source of the Qatari isolation will depend on the next steps by both Saudi Arabia and Iran. Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates and Egypt - are all highly reliant on Qatari gas via pipeline and LNG.
According to Reuters, traders startled by the development, have begun to plan for all eventualities, especially any upsets to piped gas supplies from Qatar to the UAE. The UAE consumes 1.8 billion cubic feet/day of Qatari gas via the Dolphin pipeline, and has LNG purchase agreements with its neighbor, leaving it doubly exposed to tit-for-tat measures, industry sources and traders said.

So far flows through Dolphin are unaffected but traders say even a partial shutdown would ripple through global gas markets by forcing the UAE to seek replacement LNG supply just as its domestic demand peaks.
Quote :
 
 
With LNG markets in bearish mood and demand weak, the UAE could cope with Qatar suspending its two to three monthly LNG deliveries by calling on international markets, but Dolphin piped flows are too large to fully replace.
 
"A drop off in Dolphin deliveries would have a huge impact on LNG markets," one trader monitoring developments said.
And since it all boils down to who has the most leverage as this latest regional "balance of power" crisis unfolds, Qatar could simply take the Mutual Assured Destruction route, and halt all pipeline shipments to its neighbors crippling both theirs, and its own, economy in the process, to find just where the point of "max pain" is located.

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Last edited by researcher on Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:05 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fix text over run)
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PostSubject: Re: Gulf States Launch Naval Blockade Of Qatar   Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:59 pm

When I posted a few days ago about Qatar funding terror groups my brain was screaming at me from the back of my mind,

PIPELINES - OIL - GAS (and less noisy: Syria - ISIS - Russia - Europe)

however at that earlier time a few days ago I had nothing to back that up with. Thanks Spring. Your postings on this combined with mine (linked below) help to paint a more complete picture.

http://watchermeet-up.forumotion.com/t16974-for-years-many-have-thought-it-was-saudi-arabia-secretly-funding-terror-groups-but-developments-make-clear-it-was-qatar-all-along


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