Real Risk, Few Precautions (Revelation 6:12)

         

 By WILLIAM K. STEVENS

Published: October 24, 1989
AN EARTHQUAKE as powerful as the one that struck northern California last week could occur almost anywhere along the East Coast, experts say. And if it did, it would probably cause far more destruction than the West Coast quake.
The chances of such an occurrence are much less in the East than on the West Coast. Geologic stresses in the East build up only a hundredth to a thousandth as fast as in California, and this means that big Eastern quakes are far less frequent. Scientists do not really know what the interval between them might be, nor are the deeper-lying geologic faults that cause them as accessible to study. So seismologists are at a loss to predict when or where they will strike.
But they do know that a temblor with a magnitude estimated at 7 on the Richter scale – about the same magnitude as last week’s California quake – devastated Charleston, S.C., in 1886. And after more than a decade of study, they also know that geologic structures similar to those that caused the Charleston quake exist all along the Eastern Seaboard.
For this reason, ”we can’t preclude that a Charleston-sized earthquake might occur anywhere along the East Coast,” said David Russ, the assistant chief geologist of the United States Geological Survey in Reston, Va. ”It could occur in Washington. It could occur in New York.”
If that happens, many experts agree, the impact will probably be much greater than in California.Easterners, unlike Californians, have paid very little attention to making buildings and other structures earthquake-proof or earthquake-resistant. ”We don’t have that mentality here on the East Coast,” said Robert Silman, a New York structural engineer whose firm has worked on 3,800 buildings in the metropolitan area.
Moreover, buildings, highways, bridges, water and sewer systems and communications networks in the East are all older than in the West and consequently more vulnerable to damage. Even under normal conditions, for instance, water mains routinely rupture in New York City.
The result, said Dr. John Ebel, a geophysicist who is the assistant director of Boston College’s Weston Observatory, is that damage in the East would probably be more widespread, more people could be hurt and killed, depending on circumstances like time of day, and ”it would probably take a lot longer to get these cities back to useful operating levels.”
On top of this, scientists say, an earthquake in the East can shake an area 100 times larger than a quake of the same magnitude in California. This is because the earth’s crust is older, colder and more brittle in the East and tends to transmit seismic energy more efficiently. ”If you had a magnitude 7 earthquake and you put it halfway between New York City and Boston,” Dr. Ebel said, ”you would have the potential of doing damage in both places,” not to mention cities like Hartford and Providence.
Few studies have been done of Eastern cities’ vulnerability to earthquakes. But one, published last June in The Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, calculated the effects on New York City of a magnitude 6 earthquake. That is one-tenth the magnitude of last week’s California quake, but about the same as the Whittier, Calif., quake two years ago.
The study found that such an earthquake centered 17 miles southeast of City Hall, off Rockaway Beach, would cause $11 billion in damage to buildings and start 130 fires. By comparison, preliminary estimates place the damage in last week’s California disaster at $4 billion to $10 billion. If the quake’s epicenter were 11 miles southeast of City Hall, the study found, there would be about $18 billion in damage; if 5 miles, about $25 billion.
No estimates on injuries or loss of life were made. But a magnitude 6 earthquake ”would probably be a disaster unparalleled in New York history,” wrote the authors of the study, Charles Scawthorn and Stephen K. Harris of EQE Engineering in San Francisco.
The study was financed by the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research at the State University of New York at Buffalo. The research and education center, supported by the National Science Foundation and New York State, was established in 1986 to help reduce damage and loss of life from earthquakes.
The study’s postulated epicenter of 17 miles southeast of City Hall was the location of the strongest quake to strike New York since it has been settled, a magnitude 5 temblor on Aug. 10, 1884. That 1884 quake rattled bottles and crockery in Manhattan and frightened New Yorkers, but caused little damage. Seismologists say a quake of that order is likely to occur within 50 miles of New York City every 300 years. Quakes of magnitude 5 are not rare in the East. The major earthquake zone in the eastern half of the country is the central Mississippi Valley, where a huge underground rift causes frequent geologic dislocations and small temblors. The most powerful quake ever known to strike the United States occurred at New Madrid, Mo., in 1812. It was later estimated at magnitude 8.7 and was one of three quakes to strike that area in 1811-12, all of them stronger than magnitude 8. They were felt as far away as Washington, where they rattled chandeliers, Boston and Quebec.
Because the New Madrid rift is so active, it has been well studied, and scientists have been able to come up with predictions for the central Mississippi valley, which includes St. Louis and Memphis. According to Dr. Russ, there is a 40 to 63 percent chance that a quake of magnitude 6 will strike that area between now and the year 2000, and an 86 to 97 percent chance that it will do so by 2035. The Federal geologists say there is a 1 percent chance or less of a quake greater than magnitude 7 by 2000, and a 4 percent chance or less by 2035.
Elsewhere in the East, scientists are limited in their knowledge of probabilities partly because faults that could cause big earthquakes are buried deeper in the earth’s crust. In contrast to California, where the boundary between two major tectonic plates creates the San Andreas and related faults, the eastern United States lies in the middle of a major tectonic plate. Its faults are far less obvious, their activity far more subtle, and their slippage far slower. 
Any large earthquake would be ”vastly more serious” in the older cities of the East than in California,  said Dr. Tsu T. Soong, a professor of civil engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo who is a researcher in earthquake-mitigation technology at the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research. First, he said, many buildings are simply older, and therefore weaker and more  vulnerable to collapse. Second, there is no seismic construction code in most of the East as there is in California, where such codes have been in place for decades.
The vulnerability is evident in many ways. ”I’m sitting here looking out my window,” said Mr. Silman, the structural engineer in New York, ”and I see a bunch of water tanks all over the place” on rooftops. ”They are not anchored down at all, and it’s very possible they would fall in an earthquake.”
 Many brownstones, he said, constructed as they are of unreinforced masonry walls with wood joists between, ”would just go like a house of cards.” Unreinforced masonry, in fact, is the single most vulnerable structure, engineers say. Such buildings are abundant, even predominant, in many older cities. The Scawthorn-Harris study reviewed inventories of all buildings in Manhattan as of 1972 and found that 28,884, or more than half, were built of unreinforced masonry. Of those, 23,064 were three to five stories high.
Buildings of reinforced masonry, reinforced concrete and steel would hold up much better, engineers say, and wooden structures are considered intrinsically tough in ordinary circumstances. The best performers, they say, would probably be skyscrapers built in the last 20 years. As Mr. Silman explained, they have been built to withstand high winds, and the same structural features that enable them to do so also help them resist an earthquake’s force. But even these new towers have not been provided with the seismic protections required in California and so are more vulnerable than similar structures on the West Coast.
Buildings in New York are not generally constructed with such seismic protections as base-isolated structures, in which the building is allowed to shift with the ground movement; or with flexible frames that absorb and distribute energy through columns and beams so that floors can flex from side to side, or with reinforced frames that help resist distortion.
”If you’re trying to make a building ductile – able to absorb energy – we’re not geared to think that way,” said Mr. Silman.
New York buildings also contain a lot of decorative stonework, which can be dislodged and turned into lethal missiles by an earthquake. In California, building codes strictly regulate such architectural details.
Manhattan does, however, have at least one mitigating factor: ”We are blessed with this bedrock island,” said Mr. Silman. ”That should work to our benefit; we don’t have shifting soils. But there are plenty of places that are problem areas, particularly the shoreline areas,” where landfills make the ground soft and unstable.
As scientists have learned more about geologic faults in the Northeast, the nation’s uniform building code – the basic, minimum code followed throughout the country – has been revised accordingly. Until recently, the code required newly constructed buildings in New York City to withstand at least 19 percent of the side-to-side seismic force that a comparable building in the seismically active areas of California must handle. Now the threshold has been raised to 25 percent.
New York City, for the first time, is moving to adopt seismic standards as part of its own building code. Local and state building codes can and do go beyond the national code. Charles M. Smith Jr., the city Building Commissioner, last spring formed a committee of scientists, engineers, architects and government officials to recommend the changes.
”They all agree that New York City should anticipate an earthquake,” Mr. Smith said. As to how big an earthquake, ”I don’t think anybody would bet on a magnitude greater than 6.5,” he said. ”I don’t know,” he added, ”that our committee will go so far as to acknowledge” the damage levels in the Scawthorn-Harris study, characterizing it as ”not without controversy.”
For the most part, neither New York nor any other Eastern city has done a detailed survey of just how individual buildings and other structures would be affected, and how or whether to modify them.
”The thing I think is needed in the East is a program to investigate all the bridges” to see how they would stand up to various magnitudes of earthquake,” said Bill Geyer, the executive vice president of the New York engineering firm of Steinman, Boynton, Gronquist and Birdsall, which is rehabilitating the cable on the Williamsburg Bridge. ”No one has gone through and done any analysis of the existing bridges.”
In general, he said, the large suspension bridges, by their nature, ”are not susceptible to the magnitude of earthquake you’d expect in the East.” But the approaches and side spans of some of them might be, he said, and only a bridge-by-bridge analysis would tell. Nor, experts say, are some elevated highways in New York designed with the flexibility and ability to accommodate motion that would enable them to withstand a big temblor.
Tunnels Vulnerable
The underground tunnels that carry travelers under the rivers into Manhattan, those that contain the subways and those that carry water, sewers and natural gas would all be vulnerable to rupture, engineers say. The Lincoln, Holland, PATH and Amtrak tunnels, for instance, go from bedrock in Manhattan to soft soil under the Hudson River to bedrock again in New Jersey, said Mark Carter, a partner in Raamot Associates, geotechnical engineers specializing in soils and foundations.
Likewise, he said, subway tunnels between Manhattan and Queens go from hard rock to soft soil to hard rock on Roosevelt Island, to soft soil again and back to rock. The boundaries between soft soil and rock are points of weakness, he said.
”These structures are old,” he said, ”and as far as I know they have not been designed for earthquake loadings.”
Even if it is possible to survey all major buildings and facilities to determine what corrections can be made, cities like New York would then face a major decision: Is it worth spending the money to modify buildings and other structures to cope with a quake that might or might not come in 100, or 200 300 years or more?
”That is a classical problem” in risk-benefit analysis, said Dr. George Lee, the acting director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Center in Buffalo. As more is learned about Eastern earthquakes, he said, it should become ”possible to talk about decision-making.” But for now, he said, ”I think it’s premature for us to consider that question.”

3.1 Earthquake in New Jersey before the Sixth Seal: Revelation 6

USGS Reports Magnitude 3.1 Earthquake in New Jersey

Thousands of people reported feeling the overnight temblor

By Tracie Strahan and Kiki Intarasuwan • Published September 9, 2020 • Updated on September 10, 2020 at 12:02 am

The United States Geological Survey says a small earthquake was detected in New Jersey early Wednesday morning.

A magnitude 3.1 earthquake’s epicenter was near southeast of East Freehold, New Jersey, according to USGS. Public reports suggested the quake was felt as far away as Philadelphia and Long Island.

“I live in Freehold and I thought something hit the house,” Theresa McAllister said. Most in the area who felt the tremor were not aware what it actually was until later.

“It woke me up like a freight train coming down the tracks, it sounded like a sonic boom,” said Mike Page.

USGS geophysicist Robert Sanders told NBC News that an earthquake in the region is “relatively uncommon.” There are two previous recorded quakes with a magnitude 3.0 and larger within a 10-mile radius of the one in Freehold: A 3.1 earthquake in 1992 and a 3.5 earthquake in 1979.

“It will take a few days or weeks before analysts can see if there’s a specific fault line at cause here,” Sanders said. He added that structural damage is possible but unlikely. Damages are more likely to be things falling off shelves.

In the general New York area, it’s slightly more common. Seismologists said that an earthquake similar in size can be expected about once a year in the region.

“There is a consistent pattern in the eastern United States that the earthquakes are responding to a squeezing force in the northeast to southwest direction,” said John Armbruster of the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory. “There isn’t one big fault line, the rocks around the New York City area are hundreds of millions of years old, they’ve had a rough life.”

A spokesperson for the Monmouth County Sherrif’s Office tells News 4 that there were at least 125 calls in a half-hour span into the 911 call center; no damage was reported. The office also released video from an outside camera that shook for less than a second.

The USGS says more than 5,500 people have submitted “Felt It” reports online. 

The Freehold Police Department said dispatch fielded dozens of calls and that the epicenter of the earthquake was 500 feet away from the police station. A spokesperson for the department said the quake felt more like “the floor dropped out” rather than a wavy motion.

Unlike earthquakes on the West Coast, the ones that occur on the West Coast are more widely felt, according to USGS. Scientists are researching the reasons but some of the factors have to do with the nature of tectonic plates and the size and age of buildings here.

New Jersey’s own Department of Environmental Protection says the state is probably overdue for a more significant earthquake, like the magnitude 5.5 temblor that struck in 1884 that caused damage on Staten Island. Such a quake, were it to strike today, would result in “severe damage” and would “likely” cause fatalities, the state says.

“Earthquakes are very infrequent, but if a large one happens it would be much more devastating in the East than something out West,” said Thomas Pratt, of the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program. “The reason is everything out West is built to withstand earthquakes. Most buildings in the East are not.”

Antichrist Says Iraq should report Turkey’s Zakho attack to UN

Iraqi Shia opposition leader Sadr: Iraq should report Turkey’s Zakho attack to UN

Iraqi Shia opposition leader Sadr: Iraq should report Turkey’s Zakho attack to UN

Iraq should close all its international borders with Turkey, including flights and file a complaint in the UN as soon as possible, Shia Sadrist Movement leader Muqtada al-Sadr said in response to Turkey’s recent attack on Duhok’s Zakho district.

12:19 pm 21/07/2022

Iraq should close all its international borders with Turkey, including flights and file a complaint in the UN as soon as possible, Shia Sadrist Movement leader Muqtada al-Sadr said in response to Turkey’s recent attack on Duhok’s Zakho (Zaxo) district.

Sadr also said Iraq should cancel all its security agreements with Turkey.

Turkey conducted yet again another attack on Iraq with the idea that Iraq will only respond with condemnation of the attacks, he said.

The attacks on Iraqi Kurdistan and Iraq are no longer bearable, he added.

Turkey’s strikes targeted a popular tourist spot on Wednesday that killed at least nine people including three children and wounded over 20.

Many activists in Iraq, especially in Shia majority cities, have also organised widespread protests against the attack.

The Iraqi Ministerial Council for National Security condemned Turkey’s attack saying it will submit an urgent complaint to the UN Security Council and the United Nations.

UN and the United States also condemned the attack and called for security and stability in Iraq.

British Nuclear Horn Sends a Warning to China: Daniel 7

Submarine

Britain sends warning to China with fleet of nuclear submarines to be based in Australia

BRITAIN is on the brink of sending a warning to China with a fleet of nuclear submarines to be based in the Pacific.

By EMMA CRABTREE

04:02, Fri, Jul 22, 2022 | UPDATED: 04:03, Fri, Jul 22, 2022

The world is ‘becoming dangerous’ amid China threat says Bolt

 

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The move which is expected to be agreed to next week aims to deter Chinese aggression in the area. Under the agreement British submarines could be based in Australia until 2040 which would place them close enough to China to react to any hostility.

The head of the Armed Forces, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, is expected to sign the arrangement in Sydney next week at a navy conference.

Such a brazen move from the UK to allocate a number of submarines to the South China Sea on patrol will be the biggest move Britain has made against Beijing.

The move is part of the Australia, United Kingdom and United States security alliance (AUKUS) which has the key role of confronting the growing Chinese military presence in the Indo-Pacific.

The UK is seeking to deepen engagement in the area due to economic and security concerns presented by Beijing.

Britain is to send a fleet of nuclear submarines to Australia (Image: Getty)

Submarine

The move is part of the AUKUS security alliance (Image: Getty)

Royal Navy submarines are expected to be based in Perth with Australian submariners working with British crews.

The creation of the alliance has enraged the Communist regime as China and Australia are engaged in a trade war and a diplomatic deadlock.

The further actions of the alliance which is strengthening its ties has further angered the regime in China.

Babylon the Great Expects More Iranian Attacks: Daniel

This image provided by the U.S. Air Force shows U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Alexus G. Grynkewich, incoming Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central) commander, delivering a commemorative speech during a change of command ceremony at al-Udeid Air Base, Qatar,
This image provided by the U.S. Air Force shows U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Alexus G. Grynkewich, incoming Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central) commander, delivering a commemorative speech during a change of command ceremony at al…Show moreThe Associated Press

Air Force official expects Iran to resume attacks on US

The top U.S. Air Force general in the Middle East has warned that Iran-backed militias could resume attacks in the region against the United States and its allies

ByISABEL DEBRE Associated Press

July 21, 2022, 2:19 PM

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The top U.S. Air Force general in the Middle East warned on Thursday that Iran-backed militias could resume attacks in the region against the United States and its allies as tensions rise — assaults that could lead to a new Mideast escalation.

Speaking to journalists before stepping into his new role at al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar, with responsibility for military operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and across the region, Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich also expressed fears over Russian and Chinese influence taking hold as superpowers vie for economic and military influence in the Middle East.

For instance, he said, recent U.S. intelligence that Iran is preparing to send Russia armed and unarmed drones to use in its war on Ukraine “is not a surprise … but it’s concerning.”

Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Grynkewich, who had served as director of operations at Central Command in Tampa, Florida, thousands of miles from the baking desert outside of Doha, Qatar’s capital, spoke as regional tensions remain high over Iran’s rapidly expanding nuclear program and talks to revive Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers at a deadlock.

“We’re in this position where we’re not under attack constantly, but we do see planning for attacks ongoing,” Grynkewich said. “Something will occur that unleashes that planning and that preparation against us.”

Iran tested a satellite-carrying rocket last month, prompting the White House to threaten more sanctions on Tehran to prevent it from accelerating its advanced ballistic missile program. And last week, as President Joe Biden toured the region, Iran unveiled armed drones on its warships in the Persian Gulf.

Tehran has rapidly grown its stockpile of near-weapons-grade nuclear fuel in recent months, spreading fears about an escalation. It also has spun more advanced centrifuges prohibited under the landmark atomic accord, which former President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018.

“Everyone in the region is very concerned,” Grynkewich said.

Still in recent weeks, he said, U.S. forces have seen a reduction in targeted attacks across the region, as a tenuous cease-fire between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led military coalition continues in Yemen and as an ongoing government formation process in Baghdad keeps Iran-backed militias in limbo, waiting for the political chaos to settle before they strike.

“We’re in a bit of a period of stasis,” Grynkewich said.

As other threats subside, the U.S. has sharpened its focus on containing and countering Russian and Chinese influence in the region, Grynkewich said, noting that Russia is seeking to maintain the leverage it gained from years of military intervention in the region, such as in Syria where it helped save President Bashar Assad’s government and turned the tide of the war in his favor.

Grynkewich said an apparent reversal of the military relationship between Russia and Iran — with Moscow potentially interested in procuring drones from a traditional buyer of its own military equipment — “shows a bit more of a relationship than we’d like them to have, given the context of everything going on in Ukraine.”

Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Tehran on a rare trip abroad and won staunch support from Iran for the war that has plunged the Kremlin deeper into confrontation with the West.

Meanwhile, China’s significant economic inroads in the region have raised concerns about the country’s plans “to secure those interests either through arms sales or other means,” Grynkewich said. In China, many Gulf Arab states have found an investor that won’t lecture them about human rights concerns.

Following tape leak, Antichrist demands Maliki quit Iraqi politics

Maliki

Following tape leak, Sadr demands Maliki quit Iraqi politics

The escalating conflict between Muqtada Sadr and Nouri Maliki has raised further barriers to the formation of a new government.

Secretary-general of the Islamic Dawa Party Nouri al-Maliki (C) arrivesat a political meeting at the presidential palace in Baghdad on Feb. 27, 2019. – AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images

Al-Monitor Staff

July 19, 2022

Muqtada Sadr has demanded that Nouri al-Maliki quit politics, following the release of an audiotape in which Maliki threatened violence against Sadr and other parties. Sadr also asked the former prime minister’s political allies within the Coordination Framework, and  Maliki’s tribe, Bani Malik, to denounce his statements.

“The threat (of killing me) comes from the Dawa Party, which is affiliated with the al-Sadr family, and from their leader al-Maliki,” Sadr tweeted, referring to the tape in which Maliki attacked Sadr and threatened to take arms against him.

“The next stage is fighting, and that al-Sadr wants blood as he speaks of it, and I told Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi that I do not trust the army and the police, and everyone will defend himself, and I will defend myself while I work for them and we have tanks, armored vehicles and drones,” Maliki said on the tape.

Although Maliki said it was a fake, it was shared widely, and many specialists confirmed it is authentic.

The leak includes the statement “Iraq is going toward a fierce war, if Muqtada’s project … does not fail,” and that if a war happens, Maliki’s tribe, the Bani Malik, will fight against his enemies. The tape also includes strong attacks against the Sunnis and the Kurds and even the religious seminary of Najaf for their differences with Maliki in the past.

https://flo.uri.sh/visualisation/10418944/embed?auto=1

A Flourish election chart

In his tweet, Sadr asked Maliki to quit politics and hand himself over to the judiciary in hope to be forgiven.

Following Sadr’s tweet, Maliki’s party and tribe both issued statements, creating distance between themselves and the statements mentioned in the tape.

“We will not enter into a conflict with any party,” Dawa party announced in a statement on July 19. “We will not be taken into a blind strife among Iraqi people.”

The highest sheikh of Bani Malik also announced that his tribe will not enter any conflict among political groups and they will distance themselves from the current conflict.

This all comes while the Coordination Framework attempt to form the new government in Iraq. Maliki was one of the main candidates, but it  seems very difficult now for him to be nominated, especially since some parts of the statements in the tape can be prosecuted based on Iraqi law.

The parliament had scheduled a session for selecting the president on July 18 but it was cancelled due to the controversy over the tape leak.

Although Muqtada Sadr had withdrawn from Iraqi parliament last month to break the political deadlock, his social and political influence still means that no any government with tendency against him can be formed.

Last Friday, Muqtada Sadr set conditions for forming the new governments, including ending the militia presence and distancing the Popular Mobilization Units from politics. This clearly shows that Sadr is still willing to play a central role in Iraqi politics, using his widespread social base.

In such circumstances, it seems unlikely for now that the Coordination Framework be able to form a government. The only solution seems to be an early election, which requires at least a year of preparation in Iraq.

The caretaker government will face great challenges during this time to manage the country without budget and to work on amending the electoral law demanded by the political parties and also by a ruling of the federal court.  

Babylon the Great continues to weaken: Daniel 7

US, West Have Become Weaker than Before, Ayatollah Khamenei Tells Putin

US, West Have Become Weaker than Before, Ayatollah Khamenei Tells Putin – Politics news – Tasnim News Agency

Speaking in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, the Leader also described the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as “dangerous”.

Putin arrived in Tehran earlier on Tuesday to take part in a three-way summit with Iranian and Turkish presidents Ebrahim Raisi and Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the Syria peace process.

Ayatollah Khamenei stressed at the meeting, “War is a harsh and difficult reality, and the Islamic Republic will in no way be happy if it entangles ordinary people.

“In the case of Ukraine, however, if you had not taken the initiative, the opposite side would have caused (the outbreak) of war with its own initiative,” the Leader added, addressing the Russian president.

Ayatollah Khamenei stated that Western countries resolutely oppose a strong and independent Russia, adding that if NATO had not been stopped in Ukraine, it would have started the same war using Crimea as a pretext.

The Leader said Iran and Russia must maintain their vigilance in the face of the West’s deceptive policies.

Ayatollah Khamenei also emphasized that economic cooperation between Tehran and Moscow is a necessity and will serve the two sides’ interests, particularly in the wake of the West’s sanctions against them. “Long-term cooperation between Iran and Russia will be deeply beneficial to both countries.”

The Leader said it was paramount that the oil and gas agreements currently in the works between the two energy-rich countries are “followed through to the end and become operational.”

The Leader also stressed the importance of launching Rasht-Astara railway in an effort to complete the North-South Transport Corridor and benefit both countries.

Ayatollah Khamenei voiced support for the policy of replacing the US dollar with national currencies in bilateral trade ties, saying, “The dollar should be gradually removed from global transactions.”

For his part, the Russian president addressed the situation in Ukraine, saying, “No one is in favor of war,” adding, “The loss of ordinary people’s lives is a great tragedy.”

“However, the West’s behavior has left us with no other option than to react,” the Russian head of state said.

Putin considered his country’s rifts with Ukraine to be rooted especially in the provocative measures that have been taken by the West, including the United States, over the past recent years, including the coup in Ukraine, which brought a Western-backed government to power there.

He also cited NATO’s expansion toward Russia’s borders in spite of its earlier promises to avoid such a move to be another source of difference between Moscow and Kiev.

“Some European countries said they were opposed to Ukraine’s membership in NATO, but (eventually) acceded to it under America’s pressure,” Putin said, adding that this indicated the countries’ “lack of sovereignty and independence.”

The Russian statesman considered the US’ assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in early 2020 to be another instance of Washington’s “iniquity.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Putin said the West’s sanctions against Russia were to its own detriment, causing such problems as rising oil prices and food crises.

He pointed to the United States’ use of dollar towards deployment of sanctions against and plundering of other countries.

The approach would eventually backfire against Washington itself since it undermines the global trust in the currency, and prompt countries to use alternative currencies. “Russia and Iran (for instance) are devising new methods of using their respective national currencies in their relations,” he added.

Putin considered his country and Iran’s position concerning Syria, including their opposition to a military attack against the northern parts, to be completely concordant. “The Eastern Euphrates region should come under the control of Syrian military forces,” he added.

Iran and Russia are fighting a joint fight against terrorism in Syria, the Russian president also noted, adding that in the military sphere too the countries would try to increase their cooperation and also try to increase their cooperation and trilateral military drills with China.