Russia and Iran Condemn US Occupation and Plunder of Syrian Oil
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
US aggression in Syria is all about eliminating its sovereign independence, gaining another imperial trophy, installing puppet rule, plundering its resources, exploiting its people, removing an Israeli rival, and isolating Iran — ahead of stepped up hostile actions against its sovereign independence.
The above defines what the scourge of imperialism is all about, menacing everyone everywhere as long as its rage for dominance goes unchecked.
The US came to all its war theaters to stay — directly by endless occupation and/or by installing puppet rule it controls.
All of the above are flagrant breaches of the UN Charter, other international laws, the US Constitution, and its statute laws relating to war.
For both right wings of the US war party, it doesn’t matter. Operating by its own rules is longstanding US policy, inventing ways to serve its interests at the expense of other nations and their people.
On Tuesday, Kremlin’s special envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev slammed redeployment of Pentagon troops to control Syrian oil producing areas, adding:
“(T)hese oil fields must be under (exclusive) control of the Syrian government.” The same goes for all its sovereign territory.
After meeting with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts in Geneva, Sergey Lavrov affirmed the same thing, saying:
“When it comes to US actions in Syria, they of course run counter to international law. The US and members of the US-led coalition are stationed in Syria illegally, contrary to the position of the Syrian legitimate government,” adding:
Claiming US troops aim to protect Syrian oil producing areas from ISIS is a (phony) pretext for endless Pentagon occupation and plunder of Syrian resources.
“Experts in the United States have started a discussion on how to assess everything that is going on (in Syria) right now.”
“Experts stated their opinion, and we absolutely agree with it. They cite rulings of international courts on similar situations.”
“Those rulings say that any exploitation of natural resources of a sovereign state without the state’s permission is illegal…(a) view that we share.”
“We proceed from this assumption. (The Americans) know our position very well. We will continue to defend it.”
“The Sochi agreements — both on Idlib a year ago, and on the Syrian Turkish border on October 22 — were approved by the government in Damascus, personally by President Assad, as well as by Kurds.”
“That’s why we proceed from the fact that our activities are aimed at achieving peace, ensuring Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“I don’t remember similar assessments regarding the actions of the United States on” Syria because none exist.
“If we consider the statements about the necessity to ‘protect’ oil fields in Syria, it looks like they are ‘protecting’ them from the Syrian Arab Republic itself.”
Russia forces, Hezbollah fighters, and Iranian military advisors are in Syria legally at the request of Damascus to help government forces combat ISIS and other US-supported terrorists.
The presence of US and allied troops in Syria is flagrantly illegal — aiming for imperial conquest and control, supporting the scourge of terrorism Washington pretends to be combatting.
Trump’s call for ExxonMobil or another Big Oil giant to control and plunder Syrian oil flies in the face of fundamental rule of law principles.
Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif addressed the issue in Geneva, saying “it seems that the United States is staying to ‘protect’ the oil. (A)t least President Trump is honest to say what the United States intends to do.”
“Protect” means steal, plunder, and deny Damascus the right to its own resources.
Zarif added that “Iran and Russia are (in Syria) on the invitation of (its) government, and we intend to stay there as long as (its) government and Syrian people want us to be there.”
On Tuesday in Qatar, Zarif stressed that attempts by the US and its imperial allies to isolate Iran “failed.”
Separately, he denounced the Trump regime’s so-called “new humanitarian mechanism” announced by Treasury Secretary Mnuchin last week, tweeting:
“Contrary to its deceptive claims, new US regulations will aggravate #EconomicTerrorism on ordinary Iranians.”
“@SecPompeo voiced his delusion that Iranian people must bow to US ‘if they want to eat.’ Now, @USTreasury is targeting not merely food but also our imports of medicine.”
On BBC Persian, Pompeo earlier said Iranian officials have to “make a decision that they want their people to eat.”
During his September UN General Assembly address, Zarif denounced Trump regime “economic terrorism” on Iran and its people, wanting them denied essentials to life and welfare.
Separately, he said US hardliners should “abandon the illusion that Iran can be defeated by pressure. We are (successfully) resisting an unprovoked aggression by the United States.”
Last August, Iranian Professor of Toxicology and Pharmacology Abbas Kebriaee Zadeh said Trump regime sanctions aim to block medicines needed to treat cancer patients.
Current Iranian imports of pharmaceuticals are around one-third their level during pre-JCPOA Obama-era sanctions.
US pressure got EU countries to restrict or entirely cease exporting medicines and medical related products to Iran.
Trump regime hardliners want control over what enters and doesn’t enter Iran. They want Iranian oil, gas and other exports halted entirely — a failed agenda because Russia, China, Turkey and other nations reject it.
They want control of Syrian territory and its oil. Retired US General Barry McCaffrey tweeted the following:
“Trump comment(ed) (that) US intends to keep the oil in Syria. Guard(ed) with US armored forces. Bring in US oil companies to modernize the field(s).”
“WHAT ARE WE BECOMING…PIRATES?…The oil belongs to Syria.”
McCaffrey’s comment is polar opposite the prevailing view in Washington and by pro-war establishment media — ignoring fundamental international law.
No nation may legally interfere in the internal affairs of others, except in self-defense if attacked — even then, only if approved by Security Council members.
They alone have authority over this vital issue, not presidents, prime ministers, legislators or the courts.
Attacking another nation preemptively, occupying its territory, and/or seizing its resources are war crimes under international law.
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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”