The Middle East conflict is involving more and more countries. The conflict is acquiring more mediators, but little progress comes out of it. Some of the so-called cosponsors of the Middle East peace process have already defined their preferences. The USA says that it has been trying to control both Israel and Palestine until now. However, the USA has failed to maintain a nuetral position. PRAVDA.Ru has already reported on Russia’s role in the Middle East conflict. We should now touch upon a different problem: the problem of terrorism in the Middle East, or to be more precise, who sponsors the terrorism. The well-known case of arms smuggling involving Arafat may serve an example for us. On January 3, the Israeli Navy detained a ship with 50 tons of armament from Iran on board. The armament was meant for Palestine. A great scandal broke out, which has not been settled until now.
Special services of the USA (CIA), Israel (Mossad), and Palestine have initiated independent investigations. All of them have been silent on the case until now. According to the special services, Saudi businessmen paid $10 million to Iran for the arnament to be transported to Palestine. The shipping cost $400 000, and wages to the ship’s company, fuel, maintenance service, and port charges amounted to $1 million, Die Welt reports.
This is not the first case when Saudi Arabia has been accused of financing terrorism. The participation of Saudi businessmen, including members of the Royal family and Saudi special services, in the shady deal clarifies the relations between the USA and its partner in the Gulf, which have been marred long ago. This also explains the political discrepancies in the kingdom, which has become more critical of the USA recently. Saudi Arabia is the US’s largest oil supplier. Many years ago the USA and Saudi Arabia concluded a contract, according to which the USA purchases oil from Saudi Arabia at a price higher than the market one, and the latter, in its turn, is to invest the earnings in the US economy. It is a really interesting symbiosis.
The system has been operating well all these years before September 11, 2001.
A new countdown has started for the USA as well as for Saudi Arabia itself. The USA is gaining more and more interest in Central Asia and is has less interest in Arab oil. First of all, the region is rather problematic; second, America's friendship with Israel has completely spoiled the US image in the Middle East.
The radical forces seem to be triumphant in Saudi Arabia now, and the scandal about the arms smuggling confirms it. The events demonstrate for the first time the readiness of the Royal family and special services to support the new relations between Arafat and the Lebanese movement Hezbollah and its sponsors in Iran. Until now, Saudi Arabia did not finance Arafat’s liberation war, but rather sponsored the bases of Hamas organization in the Palestinian autonomy, Jordan, and Syria.
The money for the arms smuggling on the Karina A ship has been transferred through a Muslim charitable organization in Jidda. The Mideast special services know perfectly well that large sums of money are never transferred without coordination with the local special services and top governmental officials in Saudi Arabia. Especially in the case when money is secretly transferred through Abu-Dhabi and Beirut.
Die Welt thinks that the transfer of Al Qaeda terrorists to Palestine, which has been published about by all world news agencies, has been carried out by Iran’s special services, and that it was Saudi Arabia that financed the action. What is especially interesting in the situation is that this information is an open secret, but still, Saudi Arabia is not on the US “black list." The system of double standards continues to work.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/01/30/36331.html