Iran’s Role in the Arab Spring of Libya

The Arab Spring in Oman

A very good article from the center-left Huffington Post about the Arab Spring of Oman in 2011. See “How the Arab Spring Skirted Oman”, December 2011.

According to Huffington Post the Arab Spring in Oman was probably a warning send to Oman from the United Arab Emirates, in order for Oman to be careful about its friendship with Iran. I guess that the Saudis must have played a role too. I have said many times that Iran and Oman have agreed to construct the Iran-Oman-India natural gas pipeline, in order for India to obtain access to cheap natural gas while avoiding her rival Pakistan.

Map Iran-Oman-India Pipeline

Χάρτης Ινδίας VS Κίνα.JPG

Iran will also be able to send natural gas to Oman through the Iran-Oman pipeline, in order for this natural gas to be liquefied at Oman’s underutilized LNG facilities, before being exported to third countries in LNG form.

The cooperation between Oman and Iran brings Iran on the Arabian Peninsula, which is Saudi Arabia’s neighborhood. And that happens at a time the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates are already at war with the Iranians in Yemen, with the Iranians supporting the Shiite Houthi rebels.

The agreement between Iran and Oman also hurts Qatar, because Qatar exports huge quantities of natural gas (LNG) to India. Qatar and Iran are discussing the possibility of jointly exploiting the South Pars/North Fields gas field, which lies between the two countries in the Persian Gulf, and which is the largest gas field in the world, in order to jointly export gas to Turkey, India. This solution is more advantageous for Qatar than for Iran, because Iran has the geographical advantage.

The South Pars/North Fields is the main reason the relations between Qatar and Iran are better than the relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Qatar’s main ally is Turkey, and Turkey hopes that Qatar and Iran will stop killing each other and will cooperate, in order to send gas from the South Pars / North Fields to Turkey and Europe. For that to happen of course Turkey and Iran must first stop killing each other in Syria too. See “Pan-Arabism VS Pan-Islamism”.

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2016/05/21/pan-arabism-vs-pan-islamism/

Qatar, Turkey and Iran found themselves on the same side during some incidents of the Arab Spring (Tunisia, Libya, Egypt), even though they are killing each other in Syria, with Iran supporting Bashar al Assad, and Qatar and Turkey asking for his removal.

Iran was the aggressor in the Arab Spring of Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain, and Iran was the defender in the Arab Spring of Syria and Oman. Saudi Arabia was the aggressor in the Arab Spring of Syria and Oman, and Saudi Arabia was the defender in the Arab Spring of Tunisia, Egypt and Bahrain.

In Libya things were very complicated, and I discuss Libya in the next chapter.

The Arab Spring in Libya

Things were very complicated in the Libyan Arab Spring. Qaddafi, the Libyan socialist dictator, was a traditional enemy of the Arabs of the Persian Gulf, and even though an Arab he was a traditional Iranian ally i.e. like the Syrians. However in the last decade there were many problems in the Libyan-Iranian relations. The problems between Qaddafi and Iran made it very hard to understand whether it was Iran or Saudi Arabia who was more eager to support the Islamist rebels who were fighting Qaddafi.

At the following video you can see a confrontation between Qaddafi and the previous Saudi King, King Abdullah, during an Arab League meeting. See “Qaddafi VS King Abdullah”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoR9sxPVpjc

Qaddafi accuses the Saudis for inviting the Americans to defend themselves when Iraq (Saddam Hussein) invaded Kuwait, instead of finding another way to deal with the problem. Qaddafi also says that the Saudis are capable to ally with the devil in order to save themselves. The Saudi King calls Qaddafi a liar, and tells him that his grave is in front of him. That was in 2003, and in 2009 the two men exchanged insults again during an Arab League summit. See the Telegraph “Muammar Gaddafi accuses Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah of lying at Arab summit”, March 2009

Qaddafi had supported quite a few assassination attempts against the Saudi Kings, and the Saudis have done the same against Qaddafi.

On the other hand Qaddafi was a traditional Iranian ally. Since the rise of the Iranian Islamists to power in 1979, and the overthrow of the pro-American Iranian monarch, Qaddafi and the Iranian Islamists were jointly fighting the Saudis. The Saudis produced large quantities of oil, keeping oil prices low. Moreover the Saudi oilfields are easy fields, and oil can be produced at very low costs in Saudi Arabia. Qaddafi  was counting on oil exports to pay the civil servants who supported his dictatorship in Libya, and the Saudi oil policies hurt him. For the geopolitics of the alliance between Qaddafi and Iran see “Libya and Syria : The 2 Arab Friends of Iran”.

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/libya-syria-the-2-arab-allies-of-iran/

On the other hand in the last decade there were many great problems in the Libyan-ranian relations, and probably these problems became more important from the common hatred for the Saudi King.

This essay is mainly about the problems between Iran and Libya, and Iran’s role in the Libyan Arab Spring. I initially thought, but I was wrong, that the Iranians did not play a role in the toppling of Qaddafi, and they only hailed his assassination to strengthen their position in the post-Qaddafi Libya. See for example Daily Telegraph “Iran welcomes Muammar Gaddafi’s death”, October 2011.

One of the problems between Qaddafi and Iran was that in 2007 Qaddafi and Sarkozy agreed that France would construct in Libya a plant for the production of nuclear energy. See for example Spiegel “Sarkozy Meets Gadhafi: France to Build Nuclear Reactor in Libya”, July 2007.

As you know the French are strong allies of the Arabs of the Persian Gulf, and the French have very problematic relations with the Turks and the Iranians. I guess that after the agreement between Qaddafi and Sarkozy, Qaddafi must have promised that he would stop attacking the French in North Africa, and probably cooperate with the French against Islamists. The problem is that some of the Islamists attacking the French in North Africa have very good relations with Iran, Sudan and Turkey.

Remember that the French need the uranium of Niger, Mali and Chad, for their production of nuclear energy. The French cover most of their energy needs with electricity produced from nuclear energy. The Iranians, together with their Chinese allies, want the uranium of North Africa too, and Qaddafi also wanted it, at least until the agreement with the French in 2007 was made. I guess things changed when Qaddafi made the agreement with the French in 2007, because the Frech would use a part of the African uranium for the production of nuclear energy in Libya.

Moreover, Qaddafi had very problematic relations with the strongest ally of Iran in Africa i.e. Sudan. Qaddafi had supported the Christians and the non-Arab separatists of Sudan, against the Arab Islamists of North Sudan. The oil of Sudan is located in South Sudan, while the Arab population is mainly located in North Sudan. See for example BBC “Darfur rebel leader Khalil Ibrahim flees Libya”, September 2011.

Map Libya and Sudan

Map Libya Sudan.JPG

http://yalibnan.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/libya-sudan-map-e1410156072643.jpg

The separatists of Sudan managed to gain their independence in 2011, and Sudan was separated to Sudan and South Sudan, with the Arab population controlling the northern part, while the oil of the country came under the control of the non-Arab population of South Sudan. That was a great problem for China too, because China is the dominant player in the oil industry of Sudan and South Sudan.

The Arabs of Sudan lost their main source of revenue, and this probably played a role in their alliance with Saudi Arabia in 2015. As long as the Arabs of Sudan were exporting their oil from Port Sudan in the Red Sea, there was a lot of tension between them and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia exports oil from the red see too, through the East-West oil pipeline that ends at Yanbu Port. Saudi Arabia has very “easy” oil fields, and can produce oil with very low production costs i.e. around 10 dollars per barrel. The other oil exporting countries do not like that, because the huge Saudi production pushes oil prices downwards. On the other hand the non-oil exporting Muslim countries always want a share of the Saudi oil profits in order not to support the Saudi socialists and Al Qaeda against the Saudi King.

Map Oil Pipelines of Red Sea

Saudi Sudan Pipeline.JPG

http://www.businessinsider.com/war-in-yemen-could-threaten-one-of-the-worlds-most-important-oil-choke-points-2015-3

Therefore we could say that Qaddafi played a role in Iran losing its main ally in Africa i.e. Sudan. Once the Arabs of Sudan stopped exporting oil, it became easier to improve relations with the Saudis, and that’s what happened in 2015, when the Saudis gave large economic donations to Sudan.

The Saudi East-West pipeline makes the Saudi exports to Europe and Africa cheaper, due to lower transportation costs, and it also gives Saudi Arabia an alternative when exporting oil to Asia. That’s very important in case Iran closes for Saudi Arabia the Straits of Hormuz, as Iran many times in the past has threatened to do.

Map

Map Gulf of Aden.JPG

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5a/Hormuz_map.png

Things will become much worse for Saudi Arabia if Iran takes control of Yemen, because Iran will be able to also threaten Saudi Arabia at the Straits of Bab el Mandeb at the Gulf of Aden. For the time being the Saudis can feel secure at the Suez Canal, because they are allies with Egypt.

Another problem between Qaddafi and Iran was that Qaddafi was in very bad terms with the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah, which is mainly funded by Iran. Hezbollah had a strong presence in Sudan, and together with Sudan she supported the Islamists of Libya. Qaddafi was supporting leftist terrorists in Lebanon against the Islamists of Hezbollah. For the role of Hezbollah in the Libyan Arab Spring see “Hizbullah’s part in Gaddafi’s downfall”, October 2011.

The special forces of Sudan, Hezbollah and Qatar were among the first ones who set foot in Libya to support the Libyan rebels. In the meantime the communist and nazi propaganda says that the Arab Spring was simply a plot of the CIA, without even mentioning all this struggle in the corrupt Islamic countries.

Another problem could have been that when Qaddafi abandoned his nuclear program in 2003, he gave his equipment to United States and England, essentially betraying Pakistan, which was selling nuclear technology and nuclear equipment in the black market. See “The Black Market for Nuclear Weapons”.

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/the-black-market-for-nuclear-weapons/

Pakistan is the only Muslim country which possesses nuclear weapons. I guess that Pakistan and North Korea are also selling nuclear technology and nuclear equipment in the black market to Iran too. Therefore betraying Pakistan could have been another thorn in the Qaddafi-Iranian relations. I must say that Russia is the county which has helps Iran to construct factories for the production of nuclear energy in Iran. But Russia would not be willing to help Iran obtain nuclear weapons, because Iran is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of oil and gas reserves. Therefore one day Russia might face the Iranian Islamists as enemies. Many times in the previous centuries Iran and Russia faced each other. Russia might even have to face an alliance of Iranian and Turkish Islamists, because Turkey does not have oil and gas, and there is a lot of room for cooperation between the Iranians and the Turks.

Contrary to Iran, Pakistan does not have oil and gas, and it wants the oil and gas of Iran, and I do not thing that Pakistan would hesitate to sell nuclear technology to Iran in exchange for oil and gas. Obviously at the same time Pakistan would have to assure its traditional ally Saudi Arabia that it will sell her nuclear weapons if the Iranians ever threaten Saudi Arabia. I have to say that it is more likely to assume that the Iranians get their nuclear purchases in the black market from North Korea, which is a Chinese ally and does not have diplomatic relations with the United States. The Iranians also tried to boost their nuclear technology from Argentina. See “Iran Taking Over Latin America”.

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2015/12/26/iran-overtaking-latin-america/

Another problem between Qaddafi and Iran was that after the Al Qaeda attack at the Twin Towers in 2001, Qaddafi started cooperating with the American and English secret services against the Islamists who were attacking all three of them. See “The Cooperation Between George Bush and the Libyan Dictator Against Al Qaeda”.

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/the-cooperation-between-george-bush-and-the-libyan-dictator-against-al-qaeda/

I have said many times that Al Qaeda is a Saudi terrorist organization, but because she against the Saudi King and the Americans, in many cases Al Qaeda has been supported by Iran, Sadam Hussein, Sudan, and other enemies of United States and the Saudi King.

After the improvement in the US-Iranian relations the willingness of Iran to support Al Qaeda will be significantly reduced. On the other side the United States has improved its relations with India and has hurt its relations with Pakistan, a strong Chinese ally, and Pakistan has a lot of influence in some groups of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Therefore Pakistan can support terrorist attacks against the United States if their relations further deteriorate in the future. The Americans are already accusing the Pakistanis of supporting terrorist attacks against them. See “Pakistan – Osama bin Laden”.

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2016/05/08/pakistan-osama-bin-laden/

All the above were great problems between Qaddafi and I was wrong to believe that the Iranians hailed Qaddafi’s death only to be nice to the new Libyan status-quo. Iran played a great role in Qaddafi’s overthrow, even if it did so through its allies i.e. Sudan and Hezbollah. The only concern Iran had about the overturn of Qaddafi was to prevent actors supported by France and Saudi Arabia to take control of the post Qaddafi Libya, due to the dominant presence of the French air force, and the support France could provide to the rebels.

In the same way the Iranians and the Turks feared French influence in post-Qaddafi Libya, the French were fearing a post-Qaddafi Libya which would be controlled by the Turks or the Iranians. The main reason Nicola Sarkozy made the mistake to support the rebels was that the Iranians or the Turks would become the dominant force in the post Qaddafi Libya. If the Turks and the Iranians were to become the dominant force in the post Qaddafi Libya they could create a hell for France in North Africa.

Nicola Sarkozy had already lost in Tunisia and Egypt, where he supported the socialist dictators who were allies of France and Saudi Arabia i.e. Ben Ali (Tunisia) and Mubarak (Egypt). Unfortunately for Nicola Sarkozy and France, Ben Ali and Mubark were toppled by the Islamists, and they had to flee to Saudi Arabia to save their lives from the Islamists supported by Turkey, Iran, Sudan, Qatar and Hezbollah.

The Islamists and the Communists had launched a propaganda war against Sarkozy, and he had to officially apologize for France’s stance in Tunisia. See for example the Guardian “Sarkozy admits France made mistakes over Tunisia”, January 2011.

In the past I thought that the reason the French supported the rebels was because they wanted to gain influence in Libya at the expense of the Italians. It is true that Italy is the European country with the closest economic relations with Libya, and the same is true for France in Algeria, and there is definitely some kind of competition between the South European countries in North Africa. But the main reason Sarkozy decide to help the rebels in Libya was his previous defeats in Tunisia and Egypt, where he supported the socialist dictators who were traditional allies of France.

Unfortunately the Islamist and Communist propaganda is everywhere, and it is so heavily funded in Europe and the United States, and no matter how cautious you are it will get you at some point. And if you are a silly silly this propaganda will convince you that everything that goes wrong in the world is because of greedy Europe and because of greedy United States.

But I also have to say that Nicola Sarkozy made a great mistake by not supporting Qaddafi against the Islamists. He should have supported him, and then try to defend himself Against the propaganda war that would be launched against him by the Islamists in the Muslim World, and by the Communists in Europe and the United States. If Sarkozy had supported Qaddafi, the Islamist and Communist propaganda would attack him by saying that he supports an oppressor to get oil contracts in exchange.

Now the Communists and the Islamists are happy that Qaddafi is gone, but they pretend to be sad for his death, while it was the people who pay them that killed him. But they say that the greedy Europe and the greedy United States are responsible for his death, without mentioning anything about the rotten Islamic countries. But you did not see the Communists protesting in the streets of Europe and United States, asking Europe and United States to support Qaddafi, did you? No you didn’t. You only saw them after his death taking money from the Islamists and accusing Europe and the United States for Qaddafi’s death.

After Qaddafi was toppled a war for power broke out in Libya, with the Islamists supported by Turkey, Qatar and Iran, and the socialists supported by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the Western countries.

I must also say that in Egypt the decision of Obama not to support the socialist dictator Hosni Mubarack against the Islamists played a very important role. Mubarack was a loyal American and Saudi ally, and even though he promoted anti-Semitism in Egypt, he never broke the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. With his decision not to support Mubark, President Obama poisoned his relations with the Saudi King and the Israeli Prime Minister.

Mubarak was succeeded by Morsi from the Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi was funded by Turkey, Iran and Qatar, and when he was elected he received the Turkish President Tayip Erdogan in Egypt as an emperor. Maybe as a Sultan. Moreover the Iranian President visited Egypt after the Islamists rose to power, and this was the first time an Iranian President visited Egypt after the rise of the Iranian Islamists to power in 1979. See BBC “Iran President Ahmadinejad begins historic Egypt visit”, February 2013.

Morsi stayed in power for 1 year, and he was toppled by the Egyptian socialists who were supported by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and that deepened the crisis in the Turkish-Saudi relations, which was partly overcome after the death of King Abdullah, and the efforts of the new King i.e. King Salman.

The argument for the Egyptian Islamosocialists of the Muslim Brotherhood was that they rose to power by wining the elections. And that is true. The Egyptian Islamists won the election by promising everything to everyone, funding their propaganda with Turkish, Iranian and Qatari  money. But as soon as Morsi became President he started granting himself with the powers of a king. See for example the Telegraph “Mohammed Morsi grants himself sweeping new powers in wake of Gaza”, November 2012

From all the above we can also understand why the Saudis were reluctant to help the Libyan Islamists against Qaddafi, even though they hated Qaddafi so much. The Saudis were afraid that they would not be able to compete on the ground with Turkey, Iran, Sudan and Qatar. They would love to kill Qaddafi but they were afraid of what was coming in Libya after Qaddafi. Also note that Omar Al Bashir, the islamosocialist Arab dictator of Sudan had very good relations with Turkey. See for example “Why Does Turkey Love Omar al-Bashir?”, March 2009.

Qaddafi was trying to distance Erdogan from the Sudanese, and he even awarded Erdogan the prize for human rights. See for example Ynetnews “Turkey’s Erdogan wins Gaddafi prize for human rights”, November 2010.

If the Saudis were sure they could win on the ground in Libya, they would have torn Qaddafi to pieces. But they knew they could not compete on the ground with Iran, Turkey, Qatar, Sudan and Hezbollah.

As you can read at the following International Business Times, written at the time of the Libyan Arab Spring, there was a paradox in Libya. Iran seemed to support the rebels of Libya more than Saudi Arabia, even though Qaddafi had been an ally of Iran and a bitter enemy of Saudi Arabia. See International Business Times  “Are Libyan rebels backed by Saudi Arabia or Iran”?, June 2011.

I hope the present essay sheds some light on why Iran was happy to see Qaddafi dead, and why the toppling of Qaddafi worried the Saudis.

 

Articles

“How the Arab Spring Skirted Oman”, December 2011

3rd, 4th Paragraphs

Some analysts, however, quickly attributed the unrest in Sohar to the neighboring United Arab Emirates (UAE). By playing up economic differences between wealthier tribe members residing on the UAE side of the border, in stark contrast to their poorer Omani “cousins,” analysts argued that Abu Dhabi sought to send an unmistakable message to Muscat about its “friendly” relations with Tehran.

Since assuming power, the Sultan has played a delicate balancing game between his strategic alliance with Iran while aligning himself with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which comprises Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Oman is the only GCC country to carry out joint military exercises with Iran. Nonetheless, as a staunch American ally, former U.S. Vice President Dick Chaney visited the Sultanate three times during his years in office.

7th Paragraph

The historical mistrust between Qaboos and the UAE in particular stems from when the GCC failed to support the Sultan in his uprising against his father. While the Shah of Iran and King Hussain of Jordan were the only regional leaders to support the young British-educated prince in his quest for the throne, Qaboos apparently never forgot – and since formed a strategic alliance with Tehran. At the same time, as part of an effort to balance his relationship with Iran, the Sultan formed strong military ties with the United States and with Britain in particular. Oman also maintains diplomatic relations with Israel by chairing the Middle East Desalination Research Center (MEDRC), a Muscat-based research center dedicated to share expertise on desalination technologies and clean fresh water supply with the people from the MENA region. MEDRC also facilitates multilateral track diplomacy between Israel and the GCC, under the auspicious of the highest levels of the Omani government. 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sigurd-neubauer/oman-arab-spring_b_1144473.html

 

“Are Libyan rebels backed by Saudi Arabia or Iran”?, June 2011

The National Transitional Council in Libya is slowly trying to establish itself as the legitimate successor to Gaddafi. The West has helped the rebel movement by widely promoting it and calling for countries throughout the world to officially back the new regime. However while the U.S , the U.K, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Canada have officially recognised the political organisation as the new legitimate representative body of the Libyan people, countries in Africa and in the Middle East have been so far less inclined to do so.

While the Arab league officially supports the Nato-led operation in Libya, only Qatar and Kuwait have formally recognized the council, a move followed by only two African countries, which are Senegal and The Gambia. Given the fact that Gaddafi was highly criticised by numerous Arab states and has been increasingly ostracised in the last few years (thanks to his own actions), it seems surprising that countries such as Saudi Arabia have not taken a much stronger stand in support of the Libyan rebels. Looking at the reactions emanating from the Middle East it seems that the Libyan conflict has put more than one country in an awkward position.

Its no understantement to say that there never was any love lost between Gaddafi and King Abdullah of Saudi. For years the two have been locked in an incessant circle of accusations and public spats.

Indeed, over the years, Libya has been accused of subversion by several Arab countries, including Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. For example, Libyan agents reportedly planned on several occasions to disrupt the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. In addition, for many years Libya supported the mostly Christian rebels in southern Sudan, against the central government in Khartoum. Libya was considered to be so unfriendly and untrustworthy, as Gaddafi was known to change alliances rather quickly, that when the United States bombed its cities in April 1986, only a few countries condemned the action strongly.

Also, in 2003, Saudi Arabia claimed they had unveiled a Libyan plot aiming at the assassination of the then Crown Prince Abdullah. The men arrested included, according to Saudi investigative documents, eight Saudis and five Libyans, four of whom were Libyan intelligence agents

The Libyans were caught delivering more than $1 million in cash at a hotel in Mecca to Saudi dissidents hired to assassinate Crown Prince Abdullah. The Libyan agents had allegedly recruited the Saudis to launch grenades and other explosives into Abdullah’s apartment in Mecca, the documents show.

At the time, Saudi, U.S. and British officials maintained they had traced the origins of the plot to a public exchange of insults between Abdullah and Col. Moammar Gaddafi, Libya’s long time ruler, at an Arab League summit in March 2003.

During the summit, held shortly before the start of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Gaddafi accused the Saudi prince of “making a pact with the devil” by supporting U.S. military forces in the region. Abdullah, who has long had a testy relationship with the Libyan leader, responded: “Your lies precede you and your grave is in front of you.”

Of course the Libyan authorities denied any involvement in the plot, but the relationship between the two leaders did not ease as in 2009 Gaddafi famously told King Abdullah: “You are propelled by fibs towards the grave and you were made by Britain and protected by the US.”

When the uprising started in Libya many expected the Saudi King to seize the occasion and support the rebel movement to punish Gaddafi. Obama was quick to ask for the support of Saudi Arabia in arming the rebels. However so almost nothing has been heard on the subject from Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi regime has gone quiet and has stood clear of the rebels. Four weeks ago it even prevented the new Libyan leaders from reaching Qatar, where they had meetings planned, by forbidding them to cross their airspace. When asked about the reasons behind their decision, the authorities refused to comment.

Unfortunately it seems that the U.S. demand came at a time where the regime was itself trying to suppress a nascent protest movement in Saudi, as they banned all street protests to try and supress the uprising. The Saudi monarchy knows that its position is fragile as in the region people see its demise as just a question of time. Moreover, the U.S. involvement in getting European countries and Nato involved in the conflict bared an uncomfortable truth to Saudi King Abdullah and many of his counter-part in the region: Washington will help to push you out of power if it finds it politically advantageous.

As much as siding with the rebels to get to Gaddafi might sound attractive, Saudi it seems has for now decided to follow the lead of most Arab countries, that is not breaking with their tradition of doing absolutely nothing when controversial conflicts arise.

Saudi Arabia is not the only country that the Libyan conflict has put in an awkward position. Tehran has tried to balance support for the Libyan opposition, which it views as part of a region-wide “Islamic awakening,” with rejection of the Nato-led military strikes.

Keeping in with their anti-Western outlook, Iranian officials still insist that the U.N.-endorsed military intervention on humanitarian grounds is hypocritical and part of a secret Western agenda. Tehran has made no secret of the fact that it opposes any military intervention in the Middle East, even if in Iran’s interest, and had also opposed the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, despite the fact Saddam Hussein was Iran’s main adversary in the region.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad confirmed Iran’s anti-intervention attitude and said: “The intervention of some European countries and America in the regional nations increases concern and makes circumstances more complicated.”

“The double standard action of the Western countries in Bahrain and Libya and their silence towards the atrocities of the Zionist regime against the innocent Palestinians shows their contradictory performance in the world.”

However its seems that the person who illustrates the best Iran’s dichotomist position is the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who explained, “Iran utterly condemns the behaviour of the Libyan government against its people, the killings and pressure on people, and the bombing of its cities… but it (also) condemns the military action in Libya.”

Additionally to their similar awkward reaction to the Libyan conflict, it is important to point out that the two countries are also both oil exporters. Could they see the Libyan Transitional Council as a potential business competitor, and is the Council already warning them that a new player is in the game by attempting to seek diplomatic ties with Israel, who currently have to look very far afield for their oil, a move that is set to particularly upset Iran?

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/are-libyan-rebels-backed-by-saudi-arabia-or-iran-157943

 

“Iran Backs Libyan Rebels, Chastises West Over Oil, Bahrain”, April 2011

 Libya’s rebellion has put Iran in an awkward position. Tehran has tried to balance support for the Libyan opposition, which it views as part of a region-wide “Islamic awakening,” with rejection of the NATO-led military strikes.

        Iranian officials charged that the U.N.-endorsed military intervention on humanitarian grounds is hypocritical and part of a secret Western agenda. Tehran opposes any military intervention in the Middle East, even if in Iran’s interest, because of the precedent it sets. Iran also opposed the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, despite the fact Saddam Hussein was Iran’s main adversary in the region.

       In his Nowrouz (New Year) speech last month, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei charged that the United States and its allies were motivated by interest in Libyan oil. Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson said that coalition was pursuing a new form of colonialism.

       U.S. policy on Bahrain, where the ruling al Khalifa family has forcefully crushed the  predominantly Shiite protest movement, has fueled Iran’s anger. Unlike Libya, the United States has used quiet diplomacy to mediate with the Sunni monarchy. The U.S. Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain.

       Bahrain is a country of greater strategic importance to Iran than Libya, and the plight of its largely Shiite population has been a sensitive issue inside Iran. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad complained of a “double standard” during a telephone conversation with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

       Iran and Libya have maintained diplomatic relations since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Libya is one of the few Arab countries that supported Iran during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88), and both have denounced Israeli actions at the United Nations. Qaddafi congratulated Ahmadinejad on his victory after the disputed 2009 presidential elections.

       Libya has not been critical in Iran’s foreign policy, although the two countries did take steps in recent years to extend bilateral ties. Iran’s foreign minister visited Tripoli in 2010 to discuss economic ties, including joint oil and gas projects.

       The one constant tension between Iran and Libya has been the mysterious disappearance of Lebanese Shiite leader Musa al Sadr, who was born in Iran. In 1978, Sadr disappeared during an official visit to Libya, which created tensions in relations between Tehran and Tripoli. Sadr’s niece is married to former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami.

       In March 2011, Sadr’s family speculated that the religious leader might still be alive and imprisoned in Libya, a claim that played a central role in Tehran’s denunciation of Qaddafi’s recent crackdown on the opposition.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

       “The United States and its western (allies) claim they want to defend the people by carrying out military operations or by entering Libya… You did not come to defend the people, you’ve come after Libyan oil.”

       “Iran utterly condemns the behavior of the Libyan government against its people, the killings and pressure on people, and the bombing of its cities… but it (also) condemns the military action in Libya.” New Year (Nowrouz) speech on March 21, 2011

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

       “The intervention of some European countries and America in the regional nations increases concern and makes circumstances more complicated.”

       “The double standard action of the Western countries in Bahrain and Libya and their silence towards the atrocities of the Zionist regime against the innocent Palestinians shows their contradictory performance in the world.” Quoted during a phone conversation with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, April 3, 2011

Ramin Mehmanparast, foreign ministry spokesman

       “These countries enter usually with seductive slogans of supporting the people but they follow their own interests in ruling the countries and continuing colonialism in a new form.”

Quoted in the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), March 20, 2011

Ali Larijani, speaker of parliament

       “The West, and specifically the United States, has deceived people in the past with democracy and human rights slogans, but now it is evident that what is of importance to them is oil and the interests of corporations.”

       “The United Nations issues a resolution in support of the people of Libya and engages in widespread attacks against the Libyan regime, while in Bahrain they do the exact opposite. They tell the Saudi army and other Arab countries to enter the country in support of the Bahraini regime…The question is that if the United States and the West want to support the opposition, then why are Gaddafi’s bases targeted by aircraft and missiles under the pretext of supporting revolutionary people while the revolutionaries are being repressed in Bahrain?” Quoted in the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) March 26, 2011

Editorial in Sobh-e Sadeq (newspaper linked to the Revolutionary Guards)

       “The best choice for solving the Libyan crisis is the continuation and perseverance of the peoples movement, and pressure on the Qaddafi regime without military expeditions to this country. This way the Libyan people can determine their destiny without foreign intervention.”

April 3, 2011

Editorial in the semi-official Mehr News Agency

       “The recent upheavals have shown that the dictators of the Arab world do not want to learn from the past. All of them—from the Al-Khalifa’s in Bahrain, Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen, and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya—have chosen a destiny similar to the grim fate of Saddam [Hussein].”March 31, 2011

Iran‘s National Human Rights Committee

       “Iran’s National Human Rights Committee denounces brutal and inhumane acts of Libyan government against its oppressed and defenseless people and extends sympathy with victims and those harmed following violence.” March 18, 2011

http://iranprimer.usip.org/blog/2011/apr/05/iran-backs-libyan-rebels-chastises-west-over-oil-bahrain

 

“Why Does Turkey Love Omar al-Bashir?”, March 2009

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued a warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. The ICC accused al-Bashir of being directly responsible for the attacks by pro-government militia in Sudan’s Darfur province.

Turkey hosted al-Bashir twice last year and his deputy Ali Osman Taha recently visited Ankara to seek support for the president. The arrest warrant puts Turkey in an uncomfortable position, because as a nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council, Turkey has the power to suspend the ICC’s arrest warrant.

In case the Security Council decides to debate the al-Bashir case, Turkey’s vote will be critical. It seems that Turkey would want to support the view of the Arab League and African Union, which are calling on the Security Council to suspend the warrant (see EDM, February 24). Moreover, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Turkish secretary general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, stated at a press conference in Cairo that the ICC’s arrest warrant showed a double standard and asked why the ICC had not investigated the Israeli incursion into Gaza (Zaman, March 6).

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said, “We will see what consequences the warrant will have, but to be honest, we have concerns. …We believe the problems [in Sudan] cannot be resolved by excluding the Sudanese administration. On the contrary, the problems will grow” (Hurriyet Daily News, March 6). The Turkish press reported that Ankara would not only vote for al-Bashir if the case were brought before the Security Council but would take an active role in convincing the other members of the Security Council to suspend the arrest warrants (Aksam, March 6).

Ankara‘s support for al-Bashir has prompted a debate over whether Turkey should support the Sudanese president. Liberals who often support the Erdogan government are strongly opposed to the decision to back al-Bashir. The influential liberal columnist Hasan Cemal of Milliyet, for example, asked whether Erdogan would criticize al-Bashir the way he criticized Israeli President Shimon Peres about Gaza (Milliyet, March 6). The liberal daily Taraf ran the headline “Ankara Defends the Killer” (Taraf, March 6), and Yasemin Congar wrote an editorial accusing Ankara of supporting a “rapist” regime (Taraf, March 6).

On the other hand, Islamists disagree with the ICC’s decision, which has opened up a new discussion in the Muslim world about how “hypocritical” the western institutions are. The basic premisef is that the ICC has not done anything about the crimes committed in Iraq and Gaza, for example, but has targeted Sudan for political reasons (Zaman, March 6).

Yet, neither the liberal intellectuals nor the Islamists have asked why the AKP government, the Turkish Foreign Ministry, and perhaps also the military would want to support al-Bashir. Perhaps the AKP elites’ knowledge about Sudan is limited to the ideology of Hassan Al-Turabi, whose ideas were once widely circulated among Islamist groups in Turkey.

It seems that Turkey does not want al-Bashir to leave his post, because Ankara hopes to keep Sudan a unified country. More importantly, the al-Bashir government supports Turkey’s dispute with Cyprus. In addition, al-Bashir’s government wants to see the Turkish military deployed in Darfur to control the territory (Aksiyon, January 1, 2008).

Knowing that Ankara’s main foreign policy objective in the region is to support the integrity of existing countries, one could expect Ankara to support al-Bashir for the sake of Sudanese unity. Even more, Ankara may hope to benefit from Sudan’s recently discovered oil fields. These two possible motives have not been widely discussed in the media, perhaps because of a lack of knowledge about the region and perhaps even because Turkish diplomats are unsure about al-Bashir’s future. Ankara’s wholehearted support of al-Bashir would seem to indicate that Turkey considers Sudan to be an important country in its Africa strategy in the near future.

http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=34671#.V2eY_fmLRdg

 

“Turkey’s Erdogan wins Gaddafi prize for human rights”, November 2010

The Muammar Gaddafi Prize for Human Rights will be given to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his visit to Libya next week. Erdogan will visit the country to attend a conference of African countries and the European Union.

The prize, founded by the Libyan leader, was awarded in the past to former South African President Nelson Mandela, Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. (AFP)

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3990296,00.html

 

 

“Zimbabwe and Algeria sending troops to support Gaddafi in Libya war?”, June 2011

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/zimbabwe-and-algeria-sending-troops-to-support-gaddafi-in-libya-war-159320

 

“Libya, Chad and Sudan – An Ambiguous Triangle”?

http://www.zms.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/mittelmeerstudien/mam/downloads/zms_-_wps_-_5.pdf

 

Hizbullah’s part in Gaddafi’s downfall”, October 2011

http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2011/10/24/charles-glass/hizbullahs-part-in-gaddafis-downfall/

 

“Hezbollah slams crimes committed by Gaddafi regime”, February 2011

http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Hezbollah-slams-crimes-committed-by-Gaddafi-regime

 

“Sarkozy Meets Gadhafi: France to Build Nuclear Reactor in Libya”, July 2007

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Now that the Bulgarian nurses have been released, the rush to do business with Libya has begun. French President Nicolas Sarkozy was first off the mark, flying to Tripoli to meet with Moammar Gadhafi and sign a number of agreements — including a deal on building a French nuclear reactor in Libya.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/sarkozy-meets-gadhafi-france-to-build-nuclear-reactor-in-libya-a-496711.html

 

“Muammar Gaddafi accuses Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah of lying at Arab summit”, March 2009

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The Libyan leader turned on the king, saying: “It has been six years you have been avoiding a confrontation with me. You are propelled by fibs towards the grave and you were made by Britain and protected by the US.”

He appeared to be referring to a summit in 2003 when he accused King Abdullah of “bringing the Americans to occupy Iraq”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/qatar/5079290/Muammar-Gaddafi-accuses-Saudi-Arabias-King-Abdullah-of-lying-at-Arab-summit.html

 

“Darfur rebel leader Khalil Ibrahim flees Libya”, September 2011

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The leader of Darfur’s main Justice and Equality Movement (Jem) rebel group, Khalil Ibrahim, has returned from exile in Libya.

Mr Ibrahim fled Libya after Col Muammar Gaddafi’s government – which gave him refuge last year – was ousted.

Sudan had accused Mr Ibrahim’s forces of fighting for Col Gaddafi in his attempt to hold on to power.

Mr Ibrahim said he had evaded attempts by Sudanese intelligence to capture him in Libya, reports say.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-14881745

 

“Iran welcomes Muammar Gaddafi’s death”, October 2011

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/iran-welcomes-death-of-muammar-gaddafi/story-e6freuyi-1226173385639

 

“Iran President Ahmadinejad begins historic Egypt visit”, February 2013

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-21336367

 

“The Cooperation Between George Bush and Qaddafi”

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/the-cooperation-between-george-bush-and-the-libyan-dictator-against-al-qaeda/

 

“Libya & Syria : The 2 Arab Allies of Iran”

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/libya-syria-the-2-arab-allies-of-iran/

 

“Gaddafi’s Mercenaries in Libya”, March 2011

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/2000/gaddafi-mercenaries-in-libya

 

Hizbullah’s part in Gaddafi’s downfall”, October 2011

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Libyans celebrated their liberation with mass demonstrations in Benghazi yesterday, the 28th anniversary of another landmark event in Middle East history. On Sunday, 23 October 1983, at 6.22 a.m., a suicide bomber rammed a truck into the US Marine Corps barracks at Beirut Airport and detonated what FBI forensics specialists would later describe as the largest conventional explosion in history. Two hundred and forty-one American service personnel died. A similar assault in Beirut that morning killed 58 French troops. The perpetrators were undoubtedly members of the nascent Hizbullah movement.

The operatives who celebrated the attack on US and French forces that led to their departure from Lebanon a few months later are probably congratulating themselves on Muammar Gaddafi’s demise more than the gloating leaders in Paris and Washington. Gaddafi, who at one time or another alienated and befriended British, French, American and Arab leaders, never made headway with Hizbullah. The roots of their animosity were, as with most profound hatreds, personal. In August 1978, Gaddafi welcomed the leader of Lebanese Shiism, Imam Musa Sadr, and two colleagues on an official visit to Tripoli. Sadr was a force for reconciliation in Lebanon and had even gone on hunger strike to end the fighting. His allies were Christian and Muslim at a time when Gaddafi supported the Lebanese Muslim-Leftist-Palestinian alliance. Sadr disappeared shortly after seeing Gaddafi. Libyan officials insisted he had flown from Tripoli to Rome, but there was no record of his arrival in Italy. The question of what happened to him has since dominated relations between Lebanon’s Shia community and Libya. Hizbullah was one of the few movements resisting the Israeli occupation of south Lebanon that refused Gaddafi’s funding.

There have been countless rumours about Sadr’s fate. None has been confirmed. Last year, his son Sadreddine told the National News Agency in Beirut that his father and his two companions were alive in a Libyan prison. ‘We say it out loud,’ the Hizbullah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said soon afterwards. ‘Imam Sadr and his two companions are being held in Libya and they should be released.’ Sadreddine Sadr did not reveal his sources, but early in this year’s revolt a Libyan opposition figure said that Sadr remained in Libyan custody. The prisons opened by the Transitional National Council have so far not produced the missing imam, who would now be 83.

Hizbullah’s opposition to Gaddafi set it at odds with its backers in Damascus, whose Baathist regime fostered friendly relations with the Libyan leader. It also put Hizbullah, for the past few months, in alliance with Nato. A Hizbullah decision made Lebanon the sponsor of the ‘no fly zone’ resolution at the United Nations on 15 March. Without that resolution, the Libyan uprising would not have succeeded. Gaddafi fell because he had antagonised his own people by killing, torturing or detaining so many of them, but his decision to make a Lebanese cleric disappear also played a part.

Hizbullah maintained its opposition to Gaddafi while the US, France and Britain welcomed him into the community of nations, bought his oil and supplied his armoury. The one consistent thread to western policy in Libya has nothing to do with who is in power, nods to democracy or missing imams. The country’s oil, with its low sulphur content and proximity to Europe, is among the most desirable in OPEC. Gaddafi was a 28-year-old captain (his co-conspirators later promoted him to colonel) in Libya’s 8000-man army when he seized power in September 1969 in a bloodless coup. In a memo sent to Henry Kissinger on 20 November 1969, National Security Council staff wrote:

Our present strategy is to seek to establish satisfactory relations with the new regime. The return to our balance of payments and the security of US investments in oil are considered our primary interests. We seek to retain our military facilities, but not at the expense of threatening our economic return.

The US alerted Gaddafi to a coup attempt, which the new leader thwarted. His gratitude was short-lived, as he forced both the US and UK to abandon their bases in the country and raised Libya’s share of its oil income, which enabled both the building of the infrastructure that today’s rebels are inheriting and the corruption of the dynastic state that Gaddafi imposed. When Tony Blair brought Gaddafi in from the cold after Lockerbie, the US rendered suspects to Libya for special treatment by experienced torturers. No one, except perhaps Hizbullah, comes out of this sordid saga well.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2011/10/24/charles-glass/hizbullahs-part-in-gaddafis-downfall/

 

“The Black Market for Nuclear Weapons”

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/the-black-market-for-nuclear-weapons/

 

“Why Washington is Reluctant To Arm Libya’s Eastern Rebels”, March 2011

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NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe U.S. Adm. James Stavridis answered questions on the Libyan intervention before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, echoing the refrain voiced in Western capitals of knowing little about the exact nature of the eastern opposition. Though Stavridis labeled the rebel leadership as “responsible men and women” fighting Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, he added that there have been “flickers” of intelligence indicating that elements of al Qaeda and Hezbollah exist among the eastern opposition’s ranks. The question of arming the eastern rebels now, when U.S. military officials have gone on record before Congress with such suspicions of Hezbollah and al Qaeda links, seems politically unpalatable to say the least. Indeed, Stavridis’ testimony came on the same day that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. President Barack Obama demurred on the notion that Washington is on the verge of sending weapons to Benghazi.

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For the United States, this is a reflection of what Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was saying over the weekend as he made the rounds on the Sunday talk show circuit. Intervening in Libya is not part of the Americans’ “vital national interests.” It may be in their interests to remove Gadhafi and have the Europeans demonstrate that they are capable of taking a greater role in joint military operations, but it is not absolutely critical. Washington has a history of arming rebel groups first, and asking questions later. The fact that it has allowed a lack of familiarity with whom, exactly, the NTC represents indicates that Libya, while certainly a high priority, is not on par with other recent crises that have spurred Washington into immediate action. Indeed, the United States was not an early proponent of the no-fly zone, and only came around after repeated insistences by the France and the United Kingdom (who have motivations of their own) gave it an opportunity to put the Obama doctrine of multilateralism and limited U.S. involvement on display.

https://www.stratfor.com/geopolitical-diary/why-washington-reluctant-arm-libyas-eastern-rebels

 

“Chad’s relations with Libya, Sudan, France and the US”, April 2011

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President Idriss Déby seized power in Chad in December 1990 following a military coup for which he received extensive support from Libya, Sudan and France. Since then, his relations with those countries have changed dramatically. US relations with Chad have been significantly influenced by two events: the launching of the “war on terror” in 2001 and US oil imports from Chad which began in 2003. This report examines Chad’s relations with these four countries which are key to its economic and political development.

http://www.peacebuilding.no/layout/set/print/Regions/Africa/Publications/Chad-s-relations-with-Libya-Sudan-France-and-the-US

 

“US support for Chad may destabilize the Sahel”, March 2015

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/3/us-support-for-chad-may-destabilize-the-sahel.html

 

“Sarkozy admits France made mistakes over Tunisia”, January 2011.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/jan/24/nicolas-sarkozy-tunisia-protests

 

“Are Libyan rebels backed by Saudi Arabia or Iran”, June 2011

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The National Transitional Council in Libya is slowly trying to establish itself as the legitimate successor to Gaddafi. The West has helped the rebel movement by widely promoting it and calling for countries throughout the world to officially back the new regime. However while the U.S , the U.K, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Canada have officially recognised the political organisation as the new legitimate representative body of the Libyan people, countries in Africa and in the Middle East have been so far less inclined to do so.

While the Arab league officially supports the Nato-led operation in Libya, only Qatar and Kuwait have formally recognized the council, a move followed by only two African countries, which are Senegal and The Gambia. Given the fact that Gaddafi was highly criticised by numerous Arab states and has been increasingly ostracised in the last few years (thanks to his own actions), it seems surprising that countries such as Saudi Arabia have not taken a much stronger stand in support of the Libyan rebels. Looking at the reactions emanating from the Middle East it seems that the Libyan conflict has put more than one country in an awkward position.

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Indeed, over the years, Libya has been accused of subversion by several Arab countries, including Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. For example, Libyan agents reportedly planned on several occasions to disrupt the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. In addition, for many years Libya supported the mostly Christian rebels in southern Sudan, against the central government in Khartoum. Libya was considered to be so unfriendly and untrustworthy, as Gaddafi was known to change alliances rather quickly, that when the United States bombed its cities in April 1986, only a few countries condemned the action strongly.

Also, in 2003, Saudi Arabia claimed they had unveiled a Libyan plot aiming at the assassination of the then Crown Prince Abdullah. The men arrested included, according to Saudi investigative documents, eight Saudis and five Libyans, four of whom were Libyan intelligence agents.

The Libyans were caught delivering more than $1 million in cash at a hotel in Mecca to Saudi dissidents hired to assassinate Crown Prince Abdullah. The Libyan agents had allegedly recruited the Saudis to launch grenades and other explosives into Abdullah’s apartment in Mecca, the documents show.

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During the summit, held shortly before the start of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Gaddafi accused the Saudi prince of “making a pact with the devil” by supporting U.S. military forces in the region. Abdullah, who has long had a testy relationship with the Libyan leader, responded: “Your lies precede you and your grave is in front of you.”

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When the uprising started in Libya many expected the Saudi King to seize the occasion and support the rebel movement to punish Gaddafi. Obama was quick to ask for the support of Saudi Arabia in arming the rebels. However so almost nothing has been heard on the subject from Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi regime has gone quiet and has stood clear of the rebels. Four weeks ago it even prevented the new Libyan leaders from reaching Qatar, where they had meetings planned, by forbidding them to cross their airspace. When asked about the reasons behind their decision, the authorities refused to comment.

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As much as siding with the rebels to get to Gaddafi might sound attractive, Saudi it seems has for now decided to follow the lead of most Arab countries, that is not breaking with their tradition of doing absolutely nothing when controversial conflicts arise.

Saudi Arabia is not the only country that the Libyan conflict has put in an awkward position. Tehran has tried to balance support for the Libyan opposition, which it views as part of a region-wide “Islamic awakening,” with rejection of the Nato-led military strikes.

Keeping in with their anti-Western outlook, Iranian officials still insist that the U.N.-endorsed military intervention on humanitarian grounds is hypocritical and part of a secret Western agenda. Tehran has made no secret of the fact that it opposes any military intervention in the Middle East, even if in Iran’s interest, and had also opposed the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, despite the fact Saddam Hussein was Iran’s main adversary in the region.

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However its seems that the person who illustrates the best Iran’s dichotomist position is the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who explained, “Iran utterly condemns the behaviour of the Libyan government against its people, the killings and pressure on people, and the bombing of its cities… but it (also) condemns the military action in Libya.”

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/are-libyan-rebels-backed-by-saudi-arabia-or-iran-157943

 

“Libya regains Arab League seat”, August 2011

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The Arab League has readmitted Libya to the regional bloc, turning over the country’s seat to the National Transitional Council (NTC) and effectively recognising the rebel body as the legitimate authority in Libya.

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The 22-member organisation suspended Libya’s membership in February in a protest against Muammar Gaddafi’s crackdown on demonstrators.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2011/08/2011827223817990105.html

 

“France’s Military Is All Over Africa”, January 2015

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However, French troops never fully left Chad. Instead, the French established a base at N’Djamena, Chad’s capital. A contingent of approximately 800 French soldiers remained at the base and helped provide Chadian authorities with aerial surveillance on the advance of Sudanese government-supported rebels, acting as a crucial force multiplier for Chadian dictator Idris Deby during battles in the capital in 2006 and 2008. 

As part of a global mission to tackle militancy across Africa, France launched Operation Barkhane in 2014 as a continuation of Operation Epervier and Operation Servel. Operation Barkhane will be headquarted at N’Djamena and 1,200 troops will be stationed in Chad. 

http://www.businessinsider.com/frances-military-is-all-over-africa-2015-1

 

“Sudanese President Bashir’s visit to Turkey in limbo”, August 2011

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The statement came hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan defended al-Bashir’s visit by saying, “A Muslim can never commit genocide.”

 “Those world leaders who criticize us, have they ever visited Darfur? Their information is solely based on what the rapporteurs are reporting. These kinds of moves will not contribute to world peace,” Erdoğan said Sunday in an address to party members.

 “It’s not possible for a Muslim to commit genocide,” he said. “That’s why we are comfortable [with the visit of al-Bashir].”

The International Criminal Court, or ICC, has issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir, citing his alleged role in the atrocities perpetrated in the Darfur region of Sudan, which claimed the lives of more than 300,000 people. Turkey is among the few countries to have not yet ratified the Rome Statute, which requires compliance with ICC rulings.

The European Union asked Turkey on Friday to align its policy on the al-Bashir issue with that of Brussels and indirectly demanded the cancellation of the visit for the sake of the ongoing membership talks. In the meantime, international human rights organizations urged Turkey to arrest al-Bashir if he arrives in Istanbul.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/default.aspx?pageid=438&n=a-muslim-can-never-commit-genocide-erdogan-defends-bashir-2009-11-08

 

“Erdogan’s blind faith in Muslims”, November 2009

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Despite glaring evidence to the contrary, the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, believes “it is not possible for those who belong to the Muslim faith to carry out genocide”. Accordingly, he refuses to accept that Sudanese paramilitaries committed genocidal acts against the population of Darfur, or that Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, is guilty of the crimes for which he has been indicted by the International Criminal Court.

Furthermore, says Erdogan, Israeli “war crimes” in Gaza are worse than anything that has taken place in Sudan, a comment guaranteed to further strain the already fragile relationship between Jerusalem and Ankara – and rightly so, on Israel’s part. Whatever one’s take on Israel’s actions during Operation Cast Lead and the general siege on the Gaza Strip, to make such absurd comparisons is both futile and false, and has no place being uttered by a statesman who sees himself as a suitable mediator between Israel and the Palestinians.

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In isolation, Erdogan’s support of Bashir appears built on shaky foundations, and as such is a pretty heinous crime in itself, by virtue of attempting to gloss over some of the worst massacres committed in recent history. However, even more egregious are the racist undertones of his message: while it is entirely legitimate to upbraid Israel, as with any other state, for misdeeds carried out by the state’s rulers, such censure ought never be turned into an all-out attack on one religion’s values against another’s.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/nov/11/erdogan-muslims-turkish-sudan-gaza
“Erdogan says favors Bashir over Netanyahu”, August 2009

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3802150,00.html

 

“Sudanese army: Rebel leader Ibrahim killed”, December 2011

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A major Darfur rebel leader and some of his top commanders have been killed, a Sudanese army spokesman announced on state-run radio Sunday.

“Our armed forces were able to destroy the renegade Khalil Ibrahim, who died along with members of (his group’s) leadership that was with him,” said Alswarmi Khalid, the army’s spokesperson.

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Ibrahim was the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), considered the most powerful Darfur rebel group. The JEM had refused to join the Doha Darfur peace document, signed between the Sudanese government and another rebel group, the Liberation and Justice Movement, this year.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/12/25/world/africa/sudan-rebel-leader-killed/

 

“Libya’s Gaddafi says will rein in Sudanese rebel”, July 2010

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Libya has told a Sudanese rebel leader staying on its territory he must do nothing to jeopardise peace talks in Sudan, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi says in an interview to be broadcast later on Monday.

Gaddafi has come under pressure from Sudan’s government to expel Khalil Ibrahim, leader of the Darfur region’s rebel Justice and Equality Movement, given refuge in Libya in May.

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Sudan has called on Libya to expel Ibrahim, and it said last month it was closing its borders with Libya, citing a need to protect people from attacks by Darfur insurgents.

Ibrahim was given refuge in Libya after Chad, which had previously allowed the rebel movement to use its territory as a base, changed its policy and refused him entry as he returned from a trip to Libya.

The dispute between Sudan and Libya could cast a shadow over the meeting of African Union heads of state, which takes place in the Ugandan capital later this month. (Additional reporting by John Irish in Paris; Writing by Christian Lowe)

http://www.reuters.com/article/libya-gaddafi-sudan-idAFLDE66I21020100719

 

“Operation Barkhane”

Operation Barkhane is an ongoing anti-insurgent operation in Africa’s Sahel region, which commenced 1 August 2014.[7] It consists of a 3,000-strong French force, which will be permanent and headquartered in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad.[3] The operation has been designed with five countries, and former French colonies, that span the Sahel: Burkina Faso, Chad, MaliMauritania and Niger.[3] These countries are collectively referred to as the “G5 Sahel.”[8]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Barkhane

 

 

“Syria suspended from Arab League”, November 2011

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Syria has been suspended from the Arab League over its failure to end the bloodshed caused by brutal government crackdowns on pro-democracy protests in a move that will increase the international pressure on President Bashar al-Assad.

At an emergency session of its 22 member states in Cairo to discuss the crisis, the league decided to exclude Syria until it implements the terms of an earlier agreed peace deal to stop the violence.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/nov/12/syria-suspended-arab-league

 

“The Arab League suspends Libya until demands of the people are met”, February 2011

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/africa/2011/02/110223_libya_arableague_focus.shtml

 

“Qatar admits sending hundreds of troops to support Libya rebels”, Οκτώβριος 2011

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Qatar has admitted for the first time that it sent hundreds of troops to support the Libyan rebels who overthrew Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

The Gulf state had previously acknowledged only that its air force took part in Nato-led attacks.

The revelation came as Qatar hosted a conference on the post-Gaddafi era that was attended by the leader of Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, who described the Qataris as having planned the battles that paved the way for victory.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/oct/26/qatar-troops-libya-rebels-support

 

“Libya’s Gaddafi was top supporter of Darfur rebels”, March 2011

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West Darfur governor Al-Shertai Ga’far Abdel-Hakam who is also the TDRA head told a forum organized by the National Union of Sudanese youth that Gaddafi provided money and weaponry to rebels in the region as well as the East and the South.

He provided no details to back his claims. However, he is the first high ranking Sudanese official to go on the record with these allegations that his peers made privately for years

http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article38422

 

“Sudan armed Libyan rebels, says President Bashir”, October 2011

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Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir says his country gave military support to the Libyan rebels who overthrew Col Muammar Gaddafi.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-15471734

 

“Iran hails death of long-time ally Qaddafi as great victory, October 2011

https://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/10/21/172895.html

 

“Israeli officials head to France in last-minute bid to block nuclear deal”, March 2015

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Unable to find support from its US allies, Israel is turning to France to help head off what it sees as a bad and dangerous nuclear deal with Iran.

In an interview with the Associated Press in Paris, the Israeli intelligence minister, Yuval Steinitz, said on Monday that dialogue with France over Iran’s nuclear program “has proven in the past that it was productive” and makes this week’s last-minute diplomatic mission to Paris worthwhile.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/23/israel-france-stop-iran-nuclear-deal

 

“French Minister Laurent Fabius Wary on Iran Nuclear Deal”, June 2015

http://www.wsj.com/articles/french-minister-laurent-fabius-wary-on-iran-nuclear-deal-1433174816

 

“Mohammed Morsi grants himself sweeping new powers in wake of Gaza”, November 2012

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/9697347/Mohammed-Morsi-grants-himself-sweeping-new-powers-in-wake-of-Gaza.html

 

“Turkey opposes any NATO operation in Libya”, March 2011

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NATO member Turkey on Monday said it opposed growing international calls to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, saying such operation would be unhelpful and fraught with risk.

“Military intervention by NATO in Libya or any other country would be totally counter-productive,” Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, whose country is the only Muslim member of NATO, told an international forum in Istanbul.

Erdogan spoke as France stepped up efforts to persuade world powers to impose a no-fly zone and after the Arab League gave a regional seal of approval NATO has said is vital for any military action.

5th, 6th, 7th Paragraphs

Washington has said any decision to impose a no-fly zone is a matter for the United Nations and should not be a U.S.-led initiative.

But Erdogan said foreign interventions, especially military ones, had in the past only deepened the problems.

“We need to give the Libyan people permission to chart their own course,” he said.

10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th Paragraphs

Non-Arab Turkey, a rising diplomatic and economic power in the Middle East, had projects worth more than $15 billion in Libya.

Analysts said business interests, along with Erdogan’s apprehension over the implications of backing a Western-led intervention in the region three months before parliamentary elections in Turkey, could be behind Ankara’s opposition.

Libya was part of the Ottoman Empire from the 16th century until it was conquered by Italy in 1912.

“Erdogan is unsure about the ultimate victor of the revolt in Libya and he might be hedging his bets,” Fadi Hakura, an associate fellow at the London-based Chatham House said.

Erdogan, who last year received a human rights award from Muammar Gaddafi, told Al Arabiya television in an interview broadcast on Monday he had told Gaddafi he should name a president with popular support as a way to end Libya’s crisis.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-libya-turkey-idUSTRE72D49D20110314

 

“Turkish PM to receive Gadhafi human rights award”, November 2010

1st, 2nd Paragraphs

Turkey’s prime minister is flying to Tripoli to attend an EU-African summit and receive a human rights award, given in the name of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government is planning to open several diplomatic missions across Africa to boost relations with African nations while seeking to become a member of the European Union. Turkey already has friendly ties with Libya and Sudan.

http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Turkish-PM-to-receive-Gadhafi-human-rights-award

 

“Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba Still Support Gaddafi”, September 2011

1st Paragraph

Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba continue to be the staunchest supporters of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega have both declared that they will not abandon Gaddafi in this time of crisis. Chavez has actually stated that he will continue to recognize only his friend Gaddafi as the legitimate leader of Libya, whereas Ortega has already offered him asylum.

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/2392/venezuela-nicaragua-cuba-support-gaddafi

 

“Obama blasts Cameron, Sarkozy for Libya ‘mess”, March 2016

http://www.france24.com/en/20160311-obama-cameron-sarkozy-libya-mess-gaddafi-france-uk

 

“Sarkozy Meets Gadhafi: France to Build Nuclear Reactor in Libya”, July 2007

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/sarkozy-meets-gadhafi-france-to-build-nuclear-reactor-in-libya-a-496711.html

 

“Gaddafi’s Mercenaries in Libya”, March 2011

Whole Article

Libya’s Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, aware that he cannot fully trust either his country’s tribal leaders or his army — which has, in recent, days suffered from massive defections – has been turning increasingly to hiring countless mercenaries from almost all of Africa to offset the lack of loyalty of his own countrymen to help him repress the popular revolt against his regime.

As long as Gaddafi remains in power, he will destabilize all of Africa, as he has in the past, by supporting crimes against humanity, wars and terrorism.

Further, if Gaddafi stays, even only in the West part of Libya, he will continue to stop any democratization in the region by terrorism and military means, and do anything in his power to undermine Libya’s neighbors – especially Egypt and Tunisia—in their hopes for democracy. Even half a Gaddafi with half a Libya is dangerous. He enjoys the complicity of African dictatorships, as in Zimbabwe and in Chad, and of African rebel groups that, in the future, might well attack American interests.

The mercenaries reportedly come from different countries of North- and Sub-Saharan Africa: Chad, Mauritania, Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Liberia. And these mercenaries come in different categories: some are pure mercenaries, moved by money; others are soldiers sent directly by their central governments, and others are members of guerrilla movements supported by Gaddafi in the past. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) claims that Gaddafi is also using child soldiers to face the Libyan uprising.

The International Federation of Human Rights numbers the mercenaries to be 6,000 whereas Human Rights Solidarity gives an estimate of 30,000[1]. According to the Qatari satellite channel, Al-Jazeera, Gaddafi’s regime has brought approximately 50,000 mercenaries to Tripoli, and about 150,000 mercenaries throughout Libya[2].

Central Africa

Chad

Libyan revolutionaries claim that the government of Chad is playing a vital role in providing “mercenaries” to Gaddafi through the overland route to the Libyan town of Sabha, just across the Chad border. Ali Zeidan, spokesman of the exiled Libyan Human Rights League (LHRL), claims that two Chadian generals are commanding the mercenaries, under the orders of the Chad’s ambassador to Libya, Daoussa Deby, the brother of Chadian President Idriss Deby.

The Government of Chad denies providing mercenaries to Gaddafi. Chadian FM Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat said in a statement. “These are outrageous and malicious reports. […] Chad has never sent or authorized the recruitment of its nationals to fight in Libya. Chad cannot afford such a gesture, as we are concerned about the situation in our neighboring country.”

Gaddafi has a long and complicated relation with its neighbor, Chad. Gaddafi brought Chadian President Deby to power in 1990 by supporting him financially and militarily. Deby was a rival to former Chadian President Hissene Habré, Gaddafi’s enemy. In 1980, Libya invaded Chad in an attempt to remove Habré from power. Libya occupied and annexed the Aozou Strip, a region of 44.00 square miles in the North of Chad, bordering Libya’s entire 500 mile frontier[3].

At the time, the United States and France helped Chad in order to contain Libya’s regional ambitions. The state of warfare between Chad and Libya lasted from 1978 to 1988. Gaddafi was defeated and had to put aside his hegemonic dreams in Chad. In retaliation to US and France’s support to Chad, however, Gaddafi’s government sponsored the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988 and French Airline UTA Flight 772 in 1989.

Habré’s government, however, did not last long. He was opposed by the Zaghawa ethnic group. In November 1990, a rebel offensive against Habré was led by Idriss Deby, the Zaghawa former army commander, supported by Gaddafi.

Darfur Region

Darfur, a region in western Sudan, is where war erupted in 2003, when the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) emerged to fight the government in a battle over power, resources and land allocation. Gaddafi was deeply involved in the Darfur crisis. Libya openly supported the Darfur rebel group, JEM, led by Khalil Ibrahim. Ibrahim was born in Darfur and belongs to the African tribe of Zaghawa, spread between Darfur and Chad. Even though Khalil claimed he was leading a battle against the discrimination practiced by African tribes in Darfur, he declared in an interview with Saudi-owned Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper on May 3, 2005, that his goal was “one state that includes Egypt, Libya and Chad.” Khalil has been supported by the president of Chad, Idriss Deby. Deby, himself is a Zaghawa[4].

Gaddafi’s support to the JEM, which is fighting the central government in Khartoum, can be explained through his controversial relations with Sudan. In the 70s, the former Sudanese President Jaffar Nimeiry was getting closer to the US. Gaddafi, being a fighter against “Imperialism,” severed diplomatic relations with Khartoum and allegedly plotted three failed coups. Relations between the two countries did not completely normalize until now.

Gaddafi is paying a pivotal role in keeping alive the conflict in Darfur. Recently, Khalil Ibrahim has been residing in Tripoli since May 2010, after being barred entry to Chad, while the Chadian government was trying to pursue a rapprochement with Sudan.

Sudan‘s foreign ministry says it has evidence that JEM members are among the mercenaries supporting Gaddafi. The JEM has denied these allegations.

Burundi

Qatari satellite channel, Al-Jazeera, mentions the presence of mercenaries from Burundi among Gaddafi’s forces.[5] However, there is no further information on this topic.

Cameroon

There is no clear information on mercenaries from Cameroon.

Central Africa Republic (CRA)

News items report the presence of mercenaries from Central Africa Republic among Gaddafi’s forces. UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado told the Associated Press that there is “a serious concern” that child soldiers are among the mercenaries that Gaddafi is hiring to attack rebel forces. The spokeswoman for the UN children’s agency said the mercenaries come from the Central African Republic, Chad, Niger, and Sudan’s Darfur region, which are all places “with known child soldiers.”[6]

Gaddafi also intervened militarily in the CRA; he supported coups and violence there. Gaddafi was a supporter of former CRA President, Ange-Félix Patassé, accused of war crimes, and of Jean Pierre Bemba (former vice-president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo), who intervened with his militias in CRA following Patassé’s request, and with Gaddafi’s support. Bemba was arrested in Belgium in 2008 on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

French news items suggest that Bemba’s militia, the Movement for the Liberation of Congo, is among the mercenaries fighting with Gaddafi against the uprising[7].

Congo Brazzaville

The President of Congo Brazzaville, Sassou Nguesso, openly supports Gaddafi. The Libyan leader has supported him both financially and militarily during a civil war in Congo that brought Nguesso back to power in 1997. Nguesso, with other African leaders, wanted to visit Tripoli on March 20th supposedly in support of Gaddafi, but did not receive international permission.

There is no clear information on mercenaries from Congo Brazzaville.

DR Congo (Former Zaire)

According to news items, Congolese mercenaries in Libya are members of rebels’ groups[8]. Allegedly among them, as mentioned above, there is also former Congo VP Jean Pierre Bemba Bemba’s militia, the Movement for the Liberation of Congo.

Gabon

Gabon supported the council’s resolution on Libya authorizing the no-fly zone over Libya and “all necessary measures” to protect civilians. The vote comes as a surprise as Gabon President, Ali Bongo, is considered a good friend of Gaddafi, and Libya has invested hugely in Gabon. Ali Bongo succeeded his father, Omar Bongo, as President of Gabon. Omar Bongo, who stayed in power for 42 years, converted to Islam under Gaddafi’s influence. Gabon’s vote should therefore be understood in light of its internal political crisis. Bongo is accused of supporting dictators and of being one himself. Massive protests have been waged against Bongo, but were soon repressed by the use of force.

Gabon, however, after voting in favour of the UN Security Council resolution on Libya, had an afterthought and called for the immediate ceasefire by the western coalition forces.

There is no clear information on mercenaries from Gabon.

Equatorial Guinea

African Union (AU) Chairperson and Equatorial Guinea dictator Teodoro Obiang Nguema twice has called Colonel Gaddafi to secure AU support[9]. But some African countries are opposing the AU Chairperson’s call to help Gaddafi.

Afrol news agency reports that following a phone call between Gaddafi and President Obiang — who rose to power in Equatorial Guinea in 1979 — the AU expressed support for the Libyan regime, praising its “readiness” for “political reforms.” In a strong statement, the AU said it was firm in “its rejection of any form of foreign military intervention,” including a no-fly zone[10].

However, the UN Security Council with the support of African member countries, South Africa, Nigeria and Gabon, approved of military action against the Libya. President Obiang again spoke over the telephone with the Libyan leader to discuss means to demonstrate Libyan cooperation with the international community by preparing for an AU “panel of five heads of state” to “investigate” the peace and security situation in Libya and “help negotiate a peace agreement between the Libyan government and the rebels.”[11]

In a statement, the government of Equatorial Guinea said that the phone calls between the two leaders were misinterpreted, and that President Obiang would not show unilateral support to any of the parties in Libya.[12] According to news items, however, President Obiang sent troops to help Gaddafi[13]. The estimated number is of 650 Guinean soldiers[14]. Another news item reported that the government of Equatorial Guinea had prepared a group of 120 policemen and gendarmes to send to fight in Libya. The Guinean government told them that in Libya they would have received a 60-day training course as “border police.” However while the 120 men were waiting to fly to Libya, they were apparently told that there was no safe way or possibility of landing in any Libyan airport[15].

Rwanda

No reports of mercenaries heading to Libya.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame, in power since the year 2000, backed the international coalition action in Libya, saying lessons had been learned from the genocide in his country. The South African newspaper, Times Live, reports Kagame words: “No country knows better than my own the costs of the international community failing to intervene to prevent a state killing its own people. In the course of 100 days in 1994, a million Rwandans were killed by government-backed ‘genocidaires’ and the world did nothing to stop them”.[16]

Sao Tome

No reports of mercenaries heading to Libya.

North Africa

Morocco

No reports of mercenaries heading to Libya.

The Polisario

The Moroccan Press Agency reports members of the Polisario, Western Sahara Separatist Group, left Mali’s capital Bamako on board a Libyan aircraft heading to Algiers, intending to enter Libya by land to support Gaddafi’s forces against rebels[17].

The Polisario is a politico-military organization fighting Morocco in order to take control of the former Western Sahara, currently under Morocco’s sovereignty, and win independence for that region. The Polisario’s headquarters are now based in Algeria, in the town of Tindouf. According to news items, Gaddafi spoke directly to Muhammad Abdelaziz, leader of the Polisario Front, to ask for help. Gaddafi has supported the Polisario against Morocco financially and logistically, since the mid-1970s by providing equipment for an entire army.

According to sources, over two hundred well trained Polisario’s fighters trained in the techniques of guerrilla warfare have been selected and armed with Kalashnikovs, grenades and rocket launchers, and sent on their way on board 4X4 at the end of last week, and headed for Libya. The mercenaries took the path leading to the Libyan border town of Atchane Al, where they had to be escorted by the Libyan military to Tripoli, passing by the city of Sabha[18].

The Moroccan American Center for Policy, reported that Libya’s former Minister of State for Immigration & Expatriates, Ali Errishi, condemned members of the Polisario for their “hypocrisy” in claiming to fight for freedom and progressive ideals, but joining the Gaddafi’s mercenary army.[19] Errishi confirmed that well-armed members of the Polisario are among Gaddafi’s mercenaries.

Algeria

The African Press Agency claimed that the Algerian government is supporting Gaddafi in recruiting mercenaries, especially from the Polisario, as Algeria is supporting this separatist group against Morocco. “The Algerian government spares no effort to facilitate the arrival of new reinforcements for Gaddafi to shield his regime from falling and avoid the repercussions on Algeria’s stability that may arise from such a collapse”.[20]

The Algerian government denied being involved in fighting the uprising against Gaddafi. The foreign ministry said in a statement, that these “false lies” which were reported by internet websites and TV satellite channels are “baseless,” and Algeria was committed to non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, said the statement[21].

Tunisia

The Algerian paper Echorouk reports that after the Tunisian revolution, militias loyal to former Tunisian President Zine el Abedine Ben Ali escaped from Tunisia and found refuge in Libya[22]. According to news items, these militias are now fighting to protect Gaddafi’s regime.

Mauritania

Mauritanians mercenaries are reported to be fighting for Gaddafi in Libya. A Libyan political opponent living in Washington DC, Mahmoud Chemam, stated that popular committees linked to Gaddafi in Mauritania are trying to recruit mercenaries to send to Libya[23]. Pro-Gaddafi’s parties and movements in Mauritania are part of the fundamentalist Islamic Front Action. Mauritanian leader of the opposition, Messaoud Ould Boulkheir, called for investigation of Mauritanian mercenaries in Libya[24]. Since Gaddafi came to power, Libya has intervened in Mauritania’s internal affairs. Gaddafi is even accused of having plotted several coups in Mauritania.

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/2000/gaddafi-mercenaries-in-libya

 

“France and Libya sign arms deal”, August 2007

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Libya has signed contracts with France to buy anti-tank missiles and radio communications equipment worth $405m (£199m), Libyan officials have said.

The arms agreement is Libya’s first with a Western country since a European Union embargo was lifted in 2004.

10th Paragraph

France‘s opposition Socialist leader Francois Hollande has called for a parliamentary inquiry into the negotiations between France and Libya.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6928880.stm

 

 

“Libya Seals Peace Deal for Chad”, October 2007

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Four Chadian rebel groups have sealed a peace agreement with the government, three weeks after negotiating the preliminary deal.

Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi hosted the talks alongside the presidents of Chad and Sudan.

The insurgent groups have waged an on-off rebellion against Chadian President Idriss Deby for years.

The fighting was linked to the conflict plaguing the neighbouring Sudanese region of Darfur.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7063093.stm

 

“Chad: Gaddafi’s Best Ally”, July 2011

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Gaddafi has a long and complicated history with the neighboring Chad. The colonel brought the Chadian President Idriss Déby to power in 1990, by supporting him financially and militarily. In 1973, Libya’s hegemonic ambitions brought the invasion of Chad, occupying and annexing the Aozou Strip, a region considered to be rich in uranium, some 44,00 square miles in the north of Chad bordering the whole 500-mile frontier with Libya. In 1987, Chad, under the leadership of President Hissène Habré, tried to take back the Aozou Strip from Libya. In order to contain Libya’s regional aspirations, the United States and France gave military help to Habré. Chad, hence, managed to provide Libya with several setbacks, destroying also an airbase 100 kilometers inside Libya.

Ιn October 1988, Libya and Chad restored diplomatic relations, even though the climate of tension between the two countries continued to exist. In retaliation of the United States and France’s support to Habré, the Libyan leader sponsored the bombing of a U.S. Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988. In 1990, the dispute over the Aouzou Strip between Chad and Libya was submitted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). On February 3, 1994 the ICJ ruled that the Strip should remain under Chad’s sovereignty. On May 30,1994, Gaddafi accepted the ICJ’s decision and Libyan troops were pulled from the Aozou Strip.

Habré’s government did not last long, however. In November 1990, a rebel offensive against the Chadian ruler was led by Idriss Déby, former army commander under Habré’s regime belonging to the Zaghawa ethnic group, supported by Gaddafi. After three months of provisional government, Déby was declared president of Chad.

Déby owes Gaddafi his rise to power, but not only that. On February 2008, in the capital N’Djamena, Chadian rebels tried to topple Déby’s regime, but he managed to stop the revolt thanks to Gaddafi’s support. The Libyan opposition is now accusing the Chadian president of sending soldiers in order to pay back the debt he owes Gaddafi.

In February 2011, Libyan revolutionaries accused the Chadian government of having played a vital role in providing “mercenaries” to Gaddafi to prevent his fall, through the overland route to Libyan town of Sabha, just across Chad’s border. Ali Zeidan, spokesman for the exiled Libyan Human Rights League (LHRL), claimed that two Chadian generals were commanding the mercenaries, under the orders of the Chad’s ambassador to Libya, Daoussa Déby, brother of the Chadian president.

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/2237/chad-gaddafi-ally

 

“Why France Was So Keen to Attack Libya”, March 2011

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Even before allied forces unleashed a “shock and awe” barrage of cruise missile attacks against Libya on March 19, French President Nicolas Sarkozy was quick to take the credit, saying France had “decided to assume its role, its role before history” in stopping strongman Muammar Gaddafi’s “killing spree” against people whose only crime was to seek to “liberate themselves from servitude.”

Sarkozy’s newfound concern for Libyan democracy contrasts sharply from only three years ago, when Sarkozy welcomed Gaddafi with open arms during an extravagant five-day state visit to France. On that occasion in December 2007, Gaddafi breezed into Paris in his Bedouin robes, accompanied by an entourage of 400 servants, five airplanes, a camel and 30 female virgin bodyguards, and then proceeded to pitch his heated tent on the grounds of the palatial Hôtel de Marigny, just across the street from the Elysée Palace.

At the time, Sarkozy ridiculed critics of Gaddafi’s visit by saying: “It is rather beautiful the principle that consists in not getting yourself wet, not taking risks, being so certain of everything you think while you’re having your latte on the Boulevard Saint-Germain.” He also asked: “If we don’t welcome countries that are starting to take the path of respectability, what can we say to those that leave that path?” Meanwhile, Sarkozy’s chief diplomatic advisor, Jean-David Levitte, insisted that Libya had a “right to redemption.”

Nor did Sarkozy express much support for the recent uprisings in the Arab world, which deposed long-time friends of Paris, including Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

In the case of Tunisia, Sarkozy reluctantly fired his loyal foreign minister, Michèle Alliot-Marie, after it emerged that she borrowed a private jet from a Tunisian businessman linked to Ben Ali in order to work on her suntan in the Tunisian seaside town of Tabarka during the height of the political upheaval in Tunisia. According to the French newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné, Alliot-Marie also offered Ben Ali the “know how” of France’s security forces to help him quash the fighting in Tunisia just three days before he was removed from office.

In Egypt, it emerged that French Prime Minister François Fillon and his family had accepted a free holiday from Mubarak, complete with a private plane and Nile River boat, just weeks before the Egyptian president was removed from office. Facing accusations that France cozies up to dictators, Sarkozy said that in the future, his government ministers should take their holidays in France.

So what explains Sarkozy’s about-face vis-à-vis Libya? His sudden support for the anti-Gaddafi rebels can be attributed to two main factors: opinion polls and the closely related issue of Muslim immigration.

Sarkozy’s sudden zeal for the cause of democracy in Libya comes as his popularity is at record lows just thirteen months before the first round of the 2012 presidential election. With polls showing that Sarkozy is the least popular president since the founding of the Fifth Republic in 1958, he is betting that French voters will appreciate his efforts in Libya to place France at the center of the world stage and reinforce what Charles de Gaulle once famously called “a certain idea of France” as a nation of exceptional destiny.

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/1983/france-libya-attack

 

“Libya no-flyresolution reveals global split in UN”, March 2011

2nd , 3rd Paragraphs

Russia and China abstained rather than use their veto, due largely to the influence of the Arab League. It would have been hard to reject the official voice of the region. However, the Arab League’s role on this occasion arose from a particular set of circumstances, largely revolving around the unpopularity of Muammar Gaddafi and his regime.

In the long term, Washington, London and Paris might worry about the decision of Brazil, India and Germany to abstain. The German vote was a reminder that western solidarity cannot be taken for granted after Iraq. More importantly, Brazil and India – two rapidly growing powers widely backed for permanent seats in a reformed security council – showed that their geopolitical instincts lie with Russia and China. For them issues of sovereignty and non-interference trumped human rights concerns.

7th , 8th Paragraphs

United States A late but decisive member of the no-fly zone lobby, Barack Obama’s White House was torn for weeks between interventionists in the state department and its own ranks, and the pragmatism of the defence secretary, Robert Gates, and his generals. The sudden promotion of an aggressively worded resolution came after the rapid advances of Gaddafi’s troops brought home the possibility of a bloodbath in Benghazi, and Arab League support for a no-fly zone defused some fears of alienating the Arab and Islamic world.

The United Arab Emirates and Qatar Both Gulf states have their reasons for wanting to see the back of Gaddafi. They see him as a destabilising influence in the Arab world, and feel deceived by Libyan promises of reform. Gaddafi outraged the UAE by backing Iran over disputed islands in the Gulf. Qatar was furious over Tripoli’s treatment of al-Jazeera, including the shooting dead of one of its television journalists.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/mar/18/libya-no-fly-resolution-split

 

“Al Jazeera staffer killed in Libya”, March 2011

1st, 2nd Paragraphs

An Al Jazeera cameraman has been killed in what appears to have been an ambush near the rebel-held city of Benghazi in eastern Libya.

Ali Hassan Al Jaber was returning to Benghazi from a nearby town after filing a report from an opposition protest when unknown fighters opened fire on a car he and his colleagues were travelling in.

6th, 7th Paragraphs

Wadah Khanfar, the director-general of Al Jazeera, said the network “will not remain silent” and will pursue those behind the ambush through legal channels.

He said that the killing came after “an unprecedented campaign” against the network by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2011/03/2011312192359523376.html

 

“G8 summit: Gaddafi isolated as Russia joins demand forLibyan leader to go”, May 2011

1st Paragraph

Colonel Gaddafi has beenleft diplomatically deserted after Russia, his sole international interlocutor joined the rest of the G8 nations in declaring the Libyan leader had lost all legitimacy and had to go.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/may/27/g8-gaddafi-libya-russia

 

“ENIleads Libya oil race; Russia, China may lose out”, August 2011

1st, 2nd Paragraphs

“Italian oil company Eni led the charge back into Libya on Monday as rebels hailing the end of Muammar Gaddafi’s rule warned Russian and Chinese firms that they may lose out on lucrative oil contracts for failing to support the rebellion”.

Gaddafi’s fall will reopen the doors to Africa’s largest oil reserves and give new players such as Qatar’s national oil company and trading house Vitol the chance to compete with established European and U.S. oil majors.

“We don’t have a problem with Western countries like the Italians, French and UK companies. But we may have some political issues with Russia, China and Brazil,” Abdeljalil Mayouf, information manager at Libyan rebel oil firm AGOCO, told Reuters

16th, 17th, 18th Paragraphs

About 75 Chinese companies operated in Libya before the war, involving about 36,000 staff and 50 projects, according to Chinese media.

Russian companies, including oil firms Gazprom Neft (SIBN.MM) and Tatneft TATN3.MM, also had projects worth billions of dollars in Libya. Brazilian firms such as Petrobras (PETR3.SA) and construction company Odebrecht were also in business there.

“We have lost Libya completely,” Aram Shegunts, director general of the Russia-Libya Business Council, told Reuters. “Our companies will lose everything there because NATO will prevent them from doing their business inLibya.”

21st Paragraph

Wintershall said restarting production could be done within several weeks: “This of course depends on the state of the export infrastructure as well as a stable security situation in the country,” it said. Analysts and industry observers have said Eni and Total could emerge as the big winners in post-war Libya due to their countries’ heavy support for the rebels.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/22/us-libya-oil-idUSTRE77L1QU20110822

 

“Italy’s Berlusconi exposes NATO rifts over Libya”, July 2011

1st Paragraph

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Thursday he was against NATO intervention in Libya but had to go along with it, an admission that exposed the fragility of the alliance trying to unseat Muammar Gaddafi.

16th Paragraph

Potentially adding to the pressure on Italy to review its stance on Libya, a senior Libyan government spokesman said negotiations had begun with Russian and Chinese firms to take over the role of Italian energy firm ENI in oil and gas projects.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/07/us-libya-idUSTRE7270JP20110707

 

“France, U.K. Have Differing Motives For Intervening In Libya”, March 2011

2nd, 3rd, 4th Paragraphs

France and the United Kingdom have led the charge on the intervention in Libya. For a month, both pushed the international community toward an intervention, ultimately penning U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 authorizing the no-fly zone on March 17.

Paris’ and London’s interests in waging war on Libya are not the same, and Libya carries different weight with each. For the United Kingdom, Libya offers a promise of energy exploitation. It is not a country with whichLondon has a strong client-patron relationship at the moment, but one could develop if Moammar Gadhafi were removed from power. For France, Tripoli already is a significant energy exporter and arms customer. Paris’ interest in intervening is also about intra-European politics. Paris has been the most vociferous supporter of theLibya intervention. French President Nicolas Sarkozy made it his mission to gather an international coalition to wage war on Libya, and France has been at the vanguard of recognizing the legitimacy of the Benghazi-based rebels.

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The domestic political story is fairly straightforward. At the onset of the unrest in the Middle East, Paris stalled on recognizing the protesters as legitimate. In fact, then-French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie offered the Tunisian government official help in dealing with the protesters. Three days later, longtime Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced to flee the country

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The intervention in Libya therefore is a way to reassert to Europe, but particularly to Germany, that France still leads the Continent on foreign and military affairs. It is a message that says if Europe intends to be taken seriously as a global power, it will need French military power. France’s close coordination with the United Kingdom also is an attempt to further develop the military alliance between London and Paris formalized on Nov. 2, 2010, as a counter to Germany’s overwhelming economic and political power in the European Union.

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As for interests in Libya, France has plenty, but its situation could be improved. French energy major Total SA is involved in Libya but not to the same extent as Italian ENI or even German Wintershall. Considering Libya’s plentiful and largely unexplored energy reserves, French energy companies could stand to profit from helping rebels take power in Tripoli. But it is really military sales that Paris has benefited from thus far. Between 2004 — when the European Union lifted its arms embargo against Libya — and 2011, Tripoli has purchased approximately half a billion dollars worth of arms from France, more than from any other country in Europe. However, the Italian government was in negotiation for more than a billion dollars worth of more deals in 2010, and it seemed that the Rome-Tripoli relationship was overtaking Paris’ efforts in Libya prior to the intervention.

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London has another significant interest, namely, energy. British energy major BP has no production in Libya, although it agreed with Tripoli to drill onshore and offshore wells under a $1 billion deal signed in 2007. The negotiations on these concessions were drawn out but were finalized after the Scottish government decided to release convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi on humanitarian grounds in August 2009. He was expected to die of prostate cancer within months of his release but presumably is still alive in Tripoli. The Labour government in power at the time came under heavy criticism for al-Megrahi’s release. British media speculated, not entirely unfairly, that the decision represented an effort to kick-start BP’s production in Libya and smooth relations between London and Tripoli. BP announced in 2009 that it planned to invest $20 billion in Libyan oil production over the next 20 years.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/energysource/2011/03/29/france-u-k-have-differing-motives-for-intervening-in-libya/

 

“Why the Libyans Have Fallen Out of Love with Qatar”, January 2012

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When Libya’s cashed-strapped rebels needed financial support to bankroll their revolution last spring, they did not look to Western powers such as the U.S. and England for aid. Instead they turned to tiny Qatar. The Persian Gulf emirate provided the struggling rebels everything from weapons to heating oil. During the eight-month revolution, Libyans in rebel-held areas praised Qatar. But after the capital of Tripoli fell and the country’s leader, Muammar Gaddafi, was killed, Libyans turned on their benefactor, accusing Qatar of a hidden agenda: getting a small faction of Islamists to implement its agenda.

Qatar‘s role was crucial during the early days of the revolution. It spearheaded the Arab League’s effort to urge the U.N. to establish a no-fly zone in Libya. The resolution paved the way for the NATO air campaign that turned the tide of the war and sealed Gaddafi’s fate.

Qatar provided the rebels with weapons and supplies they needed to fight the Libyan leader’s troops. Early on, the Qataris delivered logistical provisions, ranging from walkie-talkies to Chevrolet SUVs. As it became clear that the rebels were underequipped and no match for Gaddafi’s better-outfitted troops, the Qataris sent heavy weaponry like French Milan antitank missiles. The Qataris also trained the rebels, taking hundreds to Doha while sending their officers to Libya to provide battlefield expertise. Today, they are preparing to fund a program to send Libyan troops to train in France.

Qatar did much more than finance weapons purchases and provide battlefield training. With no access to money and facing legal difficulties in selling oil, the rebels’ political body — known as the National Transitional Council (NTC) — could not pay Libyan salaries and fund the wide-ranging subsidies on everything from bread to gas, which grease the economy. Qatar stepped in by offering to market 1 million barrels of oil for the NTC, which brought in about $100 million. Later, the small but immensely rich country delivered four consignments of refined petroleum products, such as diesel and gasoline. When international oil firms refused to offload oil shipments in Benghazi’s port until the NTC paid for them, Qatar intervened and pledged to do so if the Libyan council could not.

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But with Gaddafi dead and his regime a distant memory, many Libyans are now complaining that Qatari aid has come at a price. They say Qatar provided a narrow clique of Islamists with arms and money, giving them great leverage over the political process. “I think what they have done is basically support the Muslim Brotherhood,” says former NTC Deputy Prime Minister Ali Tarhouni, referring to the Islamist organization that has won elections in Egypt and Tunisia. “They have brought armaments and they have given them to people that we don’t know.” Some Qatari officials have indeed exerted influence in Libyan politics. During deliberations to choose a new Cabinet in September, a senior Qatari official was seen huddled with the outgoing Defense Minister, allegedly trying to guide appointments to sensitive security positions.

http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2103409,00.html

 

 

“Gaddafi demands £4 billion from EU or Europe will turn ‘black’”, November 2010

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8170956/Gaddafi-demands-4-billion-from-EU-or-Europe-will-turn-black.html

 

“Libya, Chad and Sudan – An Ambiguous Triangle”

http://www.zms.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/mittelmeerstudien/mam/downloads/zms_-_wps_-_5.pdf

 

“The Dynamics of Conflict in the Tri-Borer Region of Sudan, Chad and the Central African Repubic”, March 2008

http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/iez/05423.pdf

 

“The Sudanese Role in Libya 2011”, December 2012

https://sites.tufts.edu/reinventingpeace/2012/12/17/the-sudanese-role-in-libya-2011/

 

“Iran invites Libyan NTC head to Tehran”, August 2011

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Iran-invites-Libyan-NTC-head-to-Tehran

 

“The Algerian Connection”, August 2011

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-charles-g-cogan/algeria-gaddafi_b_948026.html

 

“Iran Invites Libya Rebel Chief to Tehran”, August 2011

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4115704,00.html

 

“France and Italy share strong ties with Libya’s Gadhafi”, February 2011

http://www.dw.com/en/france-and-italy-share-strong-ties-with-libyas-gadhafi/a-14859155

 

“Darfur rebel leader Khalil Ibrahim flees Libya”, September 2011

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The leader of Darfur’s main Justice and Equality Movement (Jem) rebel group, Khalil Ibrahim, has returned from exile in Libya.

Mr Ibrahim fled Libya after Col Muammar Gaddafi’s government – which gave him refuge last year – was ousted.

Sudan had accused Mr Ibrahim’s forces of fighting for Col Gaddafi in his attempt to hold on to power.

Mr Ibrahim said he had evaded attempts by Sudanese intelligence to capture him in Libya, reports say.

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Jem – the biggest rebel group in Darfur – signed a ceasefire with the Sudanese government in February 2010 but abandoned peace talks soon after, accusing Khartoum’s forces of launching new raids in Darfur.

Col Gaddafi’s fall in Tripoli is a blow to the rebels as he gave them sanctuary and financial and military aid, analysts say.

Mr Ibrahim was exiled in Libya since May 2010 after Chad – said to be another major backers of the rebels – refused to give him refuge following a peace deal with the Sudanese government.

Sudan had repeatedly asked Col Gaddafi’s government to expel Mr Khalil, but it refused.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-14881745

 

“Sudan expels Iranian diplomats and closes cultural centers” September 2014

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/02/sudan-expels-iranian-diplomats-closes-cultural-centres

 

“South Sudan : Independence”

Between 9 and 15 January 2011, a referendum was held to determine whether South Sudan should become an independent country and separate from Sudan. 98.83% of the population voted for independence.[32] Those living in the north and expatriates living overseas also voted.[33] South Sudan formally became independent from Sudan on 9 July, although certain disputes still remained, including the division of oil revenues, as 75% of all the former Sudan’s oil reserves are in South Sudan.[34] The region ofAbyei still remains disputed and a separate referendum will be held in Abyei on whether they want to join Sudan or South Sudan.[35] The South Kordofan conflict broke out in June 2011 between the Army of Sudanand the SPLA over the Nuba Mountains.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Sudan#Independence_.282011.29

 

“Arab uprising: Country by country – Libya”

Libya‘s uprising began in February 2011 after security forces in the eastern city of Benghazi opened fire on a protest.

Anti-government demonstrations then erupted in other towns before eventually reaching Tripoli. They swiftly evolved into an armed revolt seeking to topple to Muammar Gaddafi

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-12482311

 

“Iran Invites Libya Rebel Chief”, August 2011

http://nation.com.pk/international/31-Aug-2011/Iran-invites-Libya-rebel-chief

 

“Iran’s Interests and Values and the ‘Arab Spring'”, April 2011

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As for Libya, Iran’s perspective is different. In the past, the two countries had established a cautious and realistic relationship. The Gaddafi regime had supported Iran in the 1980–1988 war with Iraq. But the issue of prominent Shii leader Imam Musa al-Sadr, who disappeared during a visit to Libya in 1978, has negatively affected Iran-Libya relations. Overall, Iran’s policy has been supportive of the popular uprising in Libya.

Yet an important challenge for Iran here is the intervention of North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other Western forces in the Libyan crisis. Iranian leaders feel that the West’s policy of connecting the security of the region to the security of the world and thereby justifying any preemptive attack aimed at preserving Western democratic values such as fostering democracy or fighting terrorism, etc., would continue to lead to a broad interpretation of using force in the region—with a subsequent increased foreign military presence which can be a source of extremism and instability as witnessed in the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq.

http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/20954/irans_interests_and_values_and_the_arab_spring.html

 

“BP returns to Libya after 30 years”, May 2007

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Oil giant BP is to confirm its return to Libya’s oil and gas fields for the first time in more than 30 years.

A spokesman for prime minister Tony Blair, who is on a five-day visit to Africa, spoke of BP’s return at a briefing today.

BP has not operated in Libya since 1974, when the oil industry was nationalised.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2007/may/29/bp

 

“Oil companies fear nationalisation in Libya”, March 2011

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Western oil companies operating in Libya have privately warned that their operations in the country may be nationalised if Colonel Muammer Gaddafi’s regime prevails.

Executives, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the rapidly moving situation, believe their companies could be targeted, especially if their home countries are taking part in air strikes against Mr Gaddafi. Allied forces from France, the UK and the US on Saturday unleashed a series of strikesagainst military targets in Libya.

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Most of the world’s large international oil companies have producing assets in Libya, including Spain’s Repsol, France’s Total, and Italy’s Eni, which is the largest single investor there. Germany’s Winstershall – a unit of BASF – and OMV of Austria are also present.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/67d1d02a-5314-11e0-86e6-00144feab49a.html#axzz47yuRRMgV

 

“Iran hails death of long-time ally Qaddafi as great victory”, October 2011

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Iran on Friday hailed the death of long-time ally and former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi as a “great victory” and called for an immediate exit of foreign troops from Libya, the official IRNA news agency reported.

“This has been the doomed fate of all oppressors and tyrants throughout history because they ignore peoples’ rights when they rule their countries in the manner that they do,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying.

https://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/10/21/172895.html

 

“Turkey’s PM Erdogan urges Col Muammar Gaddafi to quit”, May 2011

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Turkey‘s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi to step down “for the sake of the country’s future”.

Mr Erdogan said the Libyan leader had ignored the wishes of his people by using force against them.

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President Bashir said the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), a Darfuri rebel group, had attacked Khartoum three years ago using Libyan trucks, equipment, arms, ammunition and money.

He said God had given Sudan a chance to respond, by sending arms, ammunition and humanitarian support to the Libyan revolutionaries.

“Our God, high and exalted, from above the seven skies, gave us the opportunity to reciprocate the visit,” he said.

“The forces which entered Tripoli, part of their arms and capabilities, were 100% Sudanese,” he told the crowd.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-13265825

 

“Turkey’s Secret Proxy War in Libya?”, March 2015

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Libya’s internationally recognized Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni accusedTurkey last month of sending weapons to his Islamist rivals who seized the Libyan capital of Tripoli last year. “Turkey is a state that is not dealing honestly with us,” he told Egyptian television.  “It’s exporting weapons to us so the Libyan people kill each other.”

These accusations are not new. In January, the speaker of Libya’s Parliamentclaimed, “Turkey still supports the terrorist militias in Libya.”  In December, a prominent Benghazi-based activist claimed that Ansar al-Sharia in Libya, a faction loyal to al-Qaeda that has carried out acts of political violence against the recognized Libyan government, is partially funded by “businessmen linked by trade ties to Turkey.” Two weeks ago, the acting interior minister of the embattled government in Tobruk claimed that Turkish and Qatari aircraft are flying in and out of the Mitiga air base, which is controlled by the opposing Dawn coalition, amounting to “clear and explicit support” for terrorism in Libya.

The Libyan Civil War, which began after Qaddaffi’s fall, is often describedas a proxy war, with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates reportedly backing al-Thinni and the officially recognized government in Tobruk, and Qatar and Turkey reportedly backing the Islamists and other opposition factions. Turkey has made no secret about backing the country’s Islamists after Qaddaffi’s fall in 2011, and it openlyliaises with the self-declared Islamist government in Tripoli. Yet Turkey’s Libyan envoy complains that these latest allegations are a “dangerous smear campaign.”

While hard evidence is still elusive, specific reports of Turkey’s growing role in the conflict began in January 2013, when Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper reported that Greek authorities found Turkish weapons aboard a ship that was headed for Libya after the vessel stopped in Greece due to bad weather. In December of that year, the Egyptian press also reported that the Egyptian customs intercepted four containers of weapons from Turkey believed to be destined for Libyan militias.

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Another purported weapons route for Turkish weapons may lie to Libya’s southeast. In January, a Libyan military official claimed that both Turkey and Qatar were supplying Operation Dawn with weaponry through Sudan, which has long been a transit point for Iranian weaponry to extremist groups across the Middle East. Interestingly, when the government banned Turkish planes from Libyan airspace in January, it also announced that Sudanese planes were no longer permitted.

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/turkeys-secret-proxy-war-libya-12430

 

“Why Gaddafi’s Now a Good Guy”, May 2006

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At the time, it may have sounded like the typical ramblings of the Libyan leader. But now, a year later, Gaddafi and Bush do apparently see eye to eye. On Monday, Gaddafi accomplished one of history’s great diplomatic turnarounds when Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice announced that the U.S. was restoring full diplomatic relations with Libya and held up the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya as “a model” for others to follow. Rice attributed the ending of the U.S.’s long break in diplomatic relations to Gaddafi’s historic decision in 2003 to dismantle weapons of mass destruction and renounce terrorism as well as Libya’s “excellent cooperation in response to common global threats faced by the civilized world since September 11, 2001.”

http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1194766,00.html

 

“How Hugo Chavez botched the Arab Spring”, November 2012

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Indeed, before popular revolution broke out, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela had enjoyed a certain degree of popularity within the Arab world for championing the cause of Palestinian rights. In a serious miscalculation, however, Chavez came out against the Arab Spring once revolution spread from Egypt to Libya and then onward into Syria. In so doing, Chavez and others discredited themselves and probably discouraged any lasting alliance between Arab revolutionaries and sympathetic forces in South America.

The reasons for Chavez’s missteps aren’t too difficult to fathom. As I wrote in an earlier Al Jazeera column, the Venezuelan leader fashions his foreign policy in accordance with the notion of counteracting the “US Empire”. While such an approach is understandable, it has led Chavez into some very questionable alliances with the likes of Bashar al-Assad of Syria, for example.  

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/11/20121149556382124.html

 

“Libyan-Sudanese Relations”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libya%E2%80%93Sudan_relations#cite_note-Joffe-4

“The 38-year connection between Irish republicans and Gaddafi”, February 2011

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-12539372

 

“Libya’s lessons for Iran”, February 2010

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During the 1970s, he approached China, India, and Pakistan. Fortunately, despite the fact that India and Pakistan lay outside the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) – and thus were not subject to its prohibition on disseminating arsenals – they, along with China, rebuffed his requests. Undaunted, he sought to acquire technologies to produce the weapons. Here, the non-proliferation dikes failed.

Gaddafi exploited a network of opportunity. French-controlled mines in Niger provided uranium ore. An undisclosed country conveyed a pilot uranium conversion facility. And the Soviet Union followed with a research reactor from which Libyan scientists extracted small amounts of plutonium.

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Faced with the re-imposition of harsher measures, and with the pragmatists continuing their push to steer the country in a new direction, Gaddafi relented, trading the nuclear programme for political normalisation. On 31 May 2006, the US reopened its embassy in Tripoli, ending the quarter-century hiatus in diplomatic relations.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/feb/15/iran-united-nations-libya

 

“Sudan, Uganda: The End of a Rivalry”, September 2015

https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/sudan-uganda-end-rivalry

 

“Timeline : Al Qaeda”, September 2006

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May, 1996
Bin Laden leaves Sudan and returns to Afghanistan
In the mid1990s Sudan comes under growing international pressure to expel Osama Bin Laden. It is not clear whether he is actually forced to leave the African country but in May 1996 he returns to Afghanistan.
 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/3618762.stm

 

“Revealed: Colonel Gaddafi’s school for scoundrels”, March 2011

http://metro.co.uk/2011/03/15/revealed-colonel-gaddafis-world-revolutionary-center-644456/

 

“The Sudanese Role in Libya 2011”, December 2012

https://sites.tufts.edu/reinventingpeace/2012/12/17/the-sudanese-role-in-libya-2011/

 

“Sudan’s Bashir in Qatar defying arrest warrant”, March 2009

https://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2009/03/29/69514.html

 

“The Sudan-Chad Proxy War”, February 2012

http://www.smallarmssurveysudan.org/facts-figures/sudan/darfur/sudan-chad-proxy-war-historical.html

 

“Ahmadinejad Visits Egypt, Signaling Realignment”, February 2013

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/06/world/middleeast/irans-president-visits-egypt-in-sign-of-thaw.html?_r=0

 

“Revealed: Colonel Gaddafi’s school for scoundrels”, March 2011

http://metro.co.uk/2011/03/15/revealed-colonel-gaddafis-world-revolutionary-center-644456/

 

“Iran and the Arab Spring: Between Expectations and Disillusion”, November 2013

https://www.giga-hamburg.de/en/system/files/publications/wp241_fuertig.pdf

 

“Saudis Detail Alleged Libyan Murder Plot”, April  2016

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A28178-2005Mar11.html

 

“Saddam’s Terror Links”, March 2008

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB120631495290958169

 

“The Rebellion of the Tuareg Desert Warriors in 2012”

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/the-rebellion-of-the-tuareg-desert-warrior-in-2012/

 

“The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda: Debunking the Terrorism Narrative”, March 2012

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The material links and connections between local branches and Al-Qaeda Central are tenuous at best: far from being an institutionally coherent social movement, Al-Qaeda is a loose collection of small groups and factions that tend to be guided by charismatic individuals and are more local than transnational in outlook. Most victims are therefore Muslim civilians. Further, these branches tend to be as much a liability for the long term strategic interests of Al-Qaeda Central as they are assets. Abu Musab Zarqawi, the emir of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, proved to be Al-Qaeda Central’s worst enemy. He refused to take orders from bin Laden or Zawahiri and, in fact, acted against their wishes, according to his own desires. Like Zarqawi, local groups or franchises — like Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) or Al-Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb — which the terrorism narrative often paints as being closely aligned and commanded by Al-Qaeda Central in fact have proven repeatedly that they run by their own local and contextualized agendas, not those set among the inner sanctum of Al-Qaeda Central.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/fawaz-gerges/the-rise-and-fall-of-alqa_b_1182003.html

 

“Al-Qaeda returns to Afghanistan amid fears of new jihadist alliance with Isis and Taliban” May 2016

Al-Qaeda is back in Afghanistan, joining Isis and the Taliban in waging jihad. The three most prominent Islamist terrorist groups in the world are now in one violent arena and drawing the West back into a bloody conflict it had sought to leave behind.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/al-qaeda-returns-to-afghanistan-amid-fears-of-new-jihadist-alliance-with-isis-and-taliban-a7010651.html

 

“Quitting ISIS-Why Syrians are Abandoning the Group”, May 2016

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/syria/2016-05-01/quitting-isis?cid=nlc-fatoday-20160506

 

“Opération Épervier”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Op%C3%A9ration_%C3%89pervier

 

“The American General Wesley Clark and NATO Intervention in Libya”

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/the-american-general-wesley-clark-and-natos-intervention-in-libya/

 

“The War for the Oil of Libya”

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2015/08/20/the-war-for-the-oil-of-libya/

“France VS Gaddafi”

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/muammar-gaddafi-vs-france/

 

“Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”

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The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan[12] (Pashtoد افغانستان اسلامي امارات‎, Da Afghanistan Islami Amarat) was a state established in 1996 when the Taliban began their rule of Afghanistan and ended with their fall from power in 2001. The Taliban established control over approximately 90% of the country, the northeast was held by the Northern Alliance.[13]

It was established in 1996 after the Taliban conquered much of Afghanistan with “their extremist interpretation of Islam.”[14] Their leader was Mohammed Omar, who became Amir al-Mu’minin (Leader of the Faithful) at Kandaharin 1996.[6][7][8]

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Only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recognized the Taliban government.[31] The state was not recognised by the UN.

Relations between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and Iran deteriorated in 1998 after Taliban forces seized the Iranian consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif and executed Iranian diplomats. Following this incident, Iran threatened to invade Afghanistan by massing up military forces near the Afghan border but intervention by the United Nations Security Council and the United States prevented the war.

One reason for lack of international recognition was the Taliban’s disregard for human rights and the rule of law as demonstrated by their actions on taking power. One of the first acts of the Taliban upon seizing power was the execution of the former Communist President of AfghanistanMohammad Najibullah. Before the Taliban had even taken control of Afghanistan’s capital they sent out a squad to arrest Najibullah. As Najibullah was staying in the United Nations compound in Kabul, this was a violation of international law. As a further example, the Taliban regime was also heavily criticised for the murder of Iranian diplomats in Afghanistan[32] in 1998. The Taliban supported the Islamic militants operating in Chechnya and Xinjiang, thus antagonizing Russia and the People’s Republic of China simultaneously.

In 2013, the Taliban opened an office in Qatar[33] with the goal of beginning talks between themselves, the United States and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.[34]There was a conflict after the office raised the white flag of the former Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry saying that the office could be closed if there was not a “move forward” in peace negotiations.[35][36]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Emirate_of_Afghanistan#International_relations

 

“Saudi Arabia’s Yemen Dilemma”, June 2011

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Yet in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has gone from supporting the rule of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to essentially strong-arming him into coming to Riyadh for medical treatment after a bomb attack at his presidential palace earlier this month. In Saudi Arabia’s eyes, Saleh’s hold on power became increasingly weak and untenable after months of protests, and Riyadh realized he has become a threat to stability rather than a protector of it.

In Yemen, political actors are more numerous, autonomous, fractious, and militarized than they are in other countries on the Arabian Peninsula. Yemen cannot be stabilized by the sorts of tactics that Riyadh has used elsewhere: a small show of force, the backing of one faction over another, the raising of the specters of sectarianism and Iran’s nefarious hand, or simply throwing money at the problem. Bringing order to Yemen will require Saudi Arabia to find an acceptable alternative to Saleh — a proposition that is easier said than done.

Saudi Arabia has historically tried to keep Yemen’s central government weak and its political actors divided. The thought of a strong and united Yemen gives the Saudi royals pause: Yemen is the most populous country in the Arabian Peninsula, with 24 million people, a population that is heavily armed, tribal, and impoverished. To maintain its influence over the decades, Riyadh has cultivated discrete relationships with many of Yemen’s political leaders (who serve in government) and tribal sheikhs (who form a counterweight to the central government).

Riyadh has not hesitated to punish Sana’a whenever it has expressed an independent policy. For example, during the Gulf War, when Saleh sided with Iraq’s Saddam Hussein against Kuwait and the Saudi-led coalition, Saudi Arabia expelled nearly a million Yemeni migrant workers and cut off official aid to Yemen. (It did not, however, end its handouts to Yemen’s tribes.) This moment marked the beginning of the unraveling of Yemen’s economy, which today is in tatters. A few years later, in 1994, during Yemen’s civil war, Riyadh continued to punish Saleh by supporting the secessionist socialists in southern Yemen. The Saudi leadership was not bothered by the fact that, in Wahhabi eyes, the socialists were infidels, further underscoring the pragmatic and non-ideological nature of Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy. 

For decades, Saudi Arabia’s policy toward Yemen was set by Crown Prince Sultan, the head of the Saudi “special committee,” an administrative organization that managed the Kingdom’s relationship with Yemen’s political and tribal actors, including the disbursement of regular monetary payments to Yemen’s most prominent leaders. But over the last few years, Prince Sultan’s health has deteriorated (he suffers from dementia) and the special committee has effectively stopped functioning. Saudi Arabia’s policy toward Yemen is allegedly now being managed by Prince Nayef, the Saudi Minister of the Interior, whose son, Prince Muhammad, is responsible for fighting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Prince Nayef has his favorite Yemeni players, including a number of Salafis and Islamists, as well as General Ali Muhsin, a relative of Saleh’s and a contender to replace him in power.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/saudi-arabia/2011-06-14/saudi-arabias-yemen-dilemma

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Iran’s Role in the Arab Spring of Libya”

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