Tag Archives: Iran

Why Trump Cancelled the Iran Deal, by Eric Zuesse

Trump is aligning with Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, and Israel to maintain US economic and financial preeminence, which means opposing Iran at every juncture. From Eric Zuesse at strategic-culture.org:

The following is entirely from open online sources that I have been finding to be trustworthy on these matters in the past. These sources will be linked-to here; none of this information is secret, even though some details in my resulting analysis of it will be entirely new.

It explains how and why the bottom-line difference between Donald Trump and Barack Obama, regarding US national security policies, turns out to be their different respective estimations of the biggest danger threatening the maintenance of the US dollar as the world’s leading or reserve currency. This has been the overriding foreign-policy concern for both Presidents.

Obama placed as being the top threat to the dollar, a breakaway of the EU (America’s largest market both for exports and for imports) from alliance with the United States. He was internationally a Europhile. Trump, however, places as being the top threat to the dollar, a breakaway of Saudi Arabia and of the other Gulf Arab oil monarchies from the U.S. Trump is internationally a Sunni-phile: specifically a protector of fundamentalist Sunni monarchs — but especially of the Sauds themselves — and they hate Shia and especially the main Shia nation, Iran.

Here’s how that change, to Saudi Arabia as being America’s main ally, has happened — actually it’s a culmination of decades. Trump is merely the latest part of that process of change. Here is from the US State Department’s official historian, regarding this history:

By the 1960s, a surplus of US dollars caused by foreign aid, military spending, and foreign investment threatened this system [the FDR-established 1944 Bretton Woods gold-based US dollar as the world’s reserve currency], as the United States did not have enough gold to cover the volume of dollars in worldwide circulation at the rate of $35 per ounce; as a result, the dollar was overvalued. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson adopted a series of measures to support the dollar and sustain Bretton Woods: foreign investment disincentives; restrictions on foreign lending; efforts to stem the official outflow of dollars; international monetary reform; and cooperation with other countries. Nothing worked. Meanwhile, traders in foreign exchange markets, believing that the dollar’s overvaluation would one day compel the US government to devalue it, proved increasingly inclined to sell dollars. This resulted in periodic runs on the dollar.

To continue reading: Why Trump Cancelled the Iran Deal

 

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Iran Sanctions Fallout: China Takes Over French Share In Giant Iran Gas Project, by Tyler Durden

It’s a close call as to whether Trump’s sanctions will force Iran to the negotiating table, or if Iran will give Trump the middle finger and ride it out with help from its friends. Stay tuned. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

When it comes to the Middle East, China has not been shy about its recent ambitions to expand its geopolitical influence in the Gulf region: Just last week we reported that the Chinese Ambassador to Syria, Qi Qianjin, shocked Middle East pundits and observers by indicating the Chinese military may fill the void left in the wake of the collapse of ISIS – and most regional armies – and directly assist the Syrian Army in an upcoming major offensive on jihadist-held Idlib province.

The “[Chinese] military is willing to participate in some way alongside the Syrian army that is fighting the terrorists in Idlib and in any other part of Syria,” the ambassador said in an interview with the pro-government daily newspaper Al-Watan, subsequently translated by The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

And having staked a military claim in Syria, China was next set to expand its national interest in that other key regional nation which has been the source of so much consternation to its neighbors and world powers in recent months and which has emerged as a key source of crude oil exports to Beijing: Iran.

It did so today when China’s state-owned energy giant, CNPC – the world’s third largest oil and gas company by revenue behind Saudi Aramco and the National Iranian Oil Company – finally took over the share in Iran’s multi-billion dollar South Pars gas project held by France’s Total, Iran’s official news agency Shana reported on Saturday.

To many the move had been expected, with only the details set to be ironed out. Recall that back in May we wrote that CNPC – the world’s third largest oil and gas company by revenue behind Saudi Aramco and the National Iranian Oil Company – was set to take over a leading role held by Total in a huge gas project in Iran should the French energy giant decide to quit amid US sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

That finally happened when the Chinese energy giant took advantage of Trump’s sanctions to step in the void left by the French major. As a reminder, Total signed a contract in 2017 to develop Phase II of South Pars field with an initial investment of $1 billion, marking the first major Western energy investment in the country after sanctions were lifted in 2016. South Pars has the world’s biggest natural gas reserves ever found in one place.

To continue reading: Iran Sanctions Fallout: China Takes Over French Share In Giant Iran Gas Project

The Deep State’s Long Enmity Towards Iranians, by Jacob Hornsberger

After three-quarters of a century, the Deep State can still not either forget or forgive the Iranians their wretched ingratitude when the US and Britain got rid of the Iranians freely elected ruler with their own puppet, the Shah. From Jacob Hornsberger at fff.com:

The U.S. deep state’s hatred of the Iranian people goes back a long way, at least as far back as 1953. That was the year that the CIA, which was called into existence in 1947 when the U.S. government was being converted to a national-security state, targeted Iran with its first regime-change operation. And guess who paid the price for that operation. Yes, the people of Iran.

The Iranian Parliament had elected a man named Mohammad Mossadegh to be their prime minister. Mosaddegh would later be named Time magazine’s “Man of the Year.” As many government officials around the world have done, Mosaddegh nationalized the country’s oil industry, arguing that natural resources belonged to the nation.

The oil companies that bore the brunt of the nationalization were British-owned. Not surprisingly, they, along with British public officials, were livid over having the oil wells nationalized. British officials turned to the CIA for help.

The CIA asked President Truman for permission to initiate a coup to help the British oil companies, which the CIA knew would destroy the Iranian people’s experiment with democracy. To his everlasting credit, Truman said no. That didn’t stop the CIA however. As soon as President Eisenhower became president in 1952, the CIA renewed its request for a coup, arguing that Mossadegh was a “communist.”

Why did that make a difference? Because by this time, the U.S. deep state had launched its Cold War against America’s World War II partner and ally, the Soviet Union, which was run by a communist regime. Americans were inculcated with the fear that the communists were coming to get us, take over the federal government, and turn America Red. Thus, anyone labeled a “communist” automatically became a threat to U.S. “national security.”

Ike gave the go-ahead to the Iranian coup. In a brilliantly cunning plan, the CIA successfully toppled Mosaddegh but, surprisingly, left him alive. The CIA then vested the unelected Shah of Iran with total dictatorial power over the Iranian people. The Shah restored oil rights to the British petroleum countries.

To continue reading: The Deep State’s Long Enmity Towards Iranians

Would War With Iran Doom Trump? by Patrick J. Buchanan

War with Iran would be a disaster, not just for Iran and the US, but for Donald Trump. From Patrick Buchanan at buchanan.org:

A war with Iran would define, consume and potentially destroy the Trump presidency, but exhilarate the neocon never-Trumpers who most despise the man.

Why, then, is President Donald Trump toying with such an idea?

Looking back at Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, wars we began or plunged into, what was gained to justify the cost in American blood and treasure, and the death and destruction we visited upon that region? How has our great rival China suffered by not getting involved?

Oil is the vital strategic Western interest in the Persian Gulf. Yet a war with Iran would imperil, not secure, that interest.

Mass migration from the Islamic world, seeded with terrorist cells, is the greatest threat to Europe from the Middle East. But would not a U.S. war with Iran increase rather than diminish that threat?

Would the millions of Iranians who oppose the mullahs’ rule welcome U.S. air and naval attacks on their country? Or would they rally behind the regime and the armed forces dying to defend their country?

“Mr Trump, don’t play with the lion’s tail,” warned President Hassan Rouhani in July: “War with Iran is the mother of all wars.”

But he added, “Peace with Iran is the mother of all peace.”

Rouhani left wide open the possibility of peaceful settlement.

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Trump’s all-caps retort virtually invoked Hiroshima: “Never, ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the like of which few throughout history have suffered before.”

When Trump shifted and blurted out that he was open to talks — “No preconditions. They want to meet? I’ll meet.” — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo contradicted him: Before any meeting, Iran must change the way they treat their people and “reduce their malign behavior.”

To continue reading: Would War With Iran Doom Trump?

VIPS to Trump: Intel on Iran Could be CATASTROPHIC

The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), the group that warned George W. Bush that the Iraq intelligence was cooked, is issuing a similar warning to Trump concerning the Iran intelligence. From VIPS at consortium news.com:

As drums beat again for war — this time on Iran—-the VIPS’ warning is again being disregarded as it was before the Iraq debacle and this time VIPS fear the consequences will be all-caps CATASTROPHIC.

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: 
Intelligence on Iran Fails the Smell Test

Mr. President:

As the George W. Bush administration revved up to attack Iraq 15 years ago, we could see no compelling reason for war.  We decided, though, to give President Bush the benefit of the doubt on the chance he had been sandbagged by Vice President Dick Cheney and others.  We chose to allow for the possibility that he actually believed the “intelligence” that Colin Powell presented to the UN as providing “irrefutable and undeniable” proof of WMD in Iraq and a “sinister nexus” between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.

To us in VIPS it was clear, however, that the “intelligence” Powell adduced was bogus.  Thus, that same afternoon (Feb. 5, 2003) we prepared and sent to President Bush a Memorandum like this one, urging him to seek counsel beyond the “circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

We take no satisfaction at having been correct — though disregarded — in predicting the political and humanitarian disaster in Iraq. Most Americans have been told the intelligence was “mistaken.” It was not; it was out-and-out fraud, in which, sadly, some of our former colleagues took part.

Five years after Powell’s speech, the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee minced few words in announcing the main bipartisan finding of a five-year investigation. He said:  “In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.  As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed.”

Iran Now in Gunsight

As drums beat again for a military attack — this time on Iran, we Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and other experienced, objective analysts are, by all appearances, being disregarded again.  And, this time, we fear the consequences will be all-caps CATASTROPHIC — in comparison with the catastrophe of Iraq.

To continue reading: VIPS to Trump: Intel on Iran Could be CATASTROPHIC

How BRICS Plus clashes with the US economic war on Iran, by Pepe Escobar

The BRICS plus nations aren’t going to be the US’s most helpful allies imposing sanctions on Iran, and most of them will help Iran evade those sanctions. From Pepe Escobar at atimes.com:

Rhetorical war has far-reaching consequences, including a potential economic slump via the disruption of global oil supplies

China's President Xi Jinping, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa and Russia's President Vladimir Putin arrive for a group picture during the 10th BRICS summit on July 26, 2018 in Johannesburg. Photo: AFP/Gianluigi Guercia

China’s President Xi Jinping, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin arrive for a group picture during the 10th BRICS summit on July 26, 2018 in Johannesburg. Photo: AFP/Gianluigi Guercia

Will Next Steps on Iran Point towards a New ‘Big Three’ or World War III? by James George Jatras

Is the Trump administration and Iran going to be a replay of Trump and North Korea, or is it going to be a replay of Bush and Iraq in 2003? Stay tuned. From James George Jatras at strategic-culture.org:

On July 22 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a bizarre speech on Iran. Delivered from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, and ostensibly addressed to the Iranian-American community, the speech’s staging clearly sought to evoke the fall of communism, casting the Ayatollahs in the role of Leonid Brezhnev and company.

Iranian “regime change” is not the publicly stated goal of the Trump Administration’s policy. But it is hard to see how US demands on Tehran don’t amount to exactly that, with Pompeo comparing the Iranian “regime” (a term used dozens of times to imply illegitimacy) to a “mafia.” He asserted that Iran’s behavior is “at root in the revolutionary nature of the regime itself.” What can change its “root” or “nature” without ceasing to be itself?

Pompeo demanded not just a total change in policy from Tehran but a different mode of governance amounting to Iran’s ceasing to be an independent regional power. The Reagan venue’s analogy to the collapse of communism in the USSR and Eastern Europe echoed in the Secretary’s heavy emphasis on “a new 24/7 Farsi-language TV channel” spanning “not only television, but radio, digital, and social media format, so that the ordinary Iranians inside of Iran and around the globe can know that America stands with them.”

The US position on Iran is that it is solely a question of removing a layer of malign governance, after which democracy, tolerance, peace, and general niceness will spontaneously break forth, and justice will roll down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream. Just like happened in Iraq after 2003. Just like in Libya.

Never mind that Iran isn’t North America or Europe. Never mind that American and European ideas of social and personal liberty would be anathema to an unknown but significant percentage of Iran’s population. Never mind that the replacement for the Ayatollahs envisioned by many Administration big shots, the cultish People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (Mojahedin-e Khalq, MEK), may not be particularly democratic or popular with Iranians. Don’t bother us with details – the neo-Bolshevik myth of a spontaneous uprising by the oppressed masses (with a little help from outside, like the Kaiser’s generals were kind enough to provide Lenin) is alive and well in Washington.

To continue reading: Will Next Steps on Iran Point towards a New ‘Big Three’ or World War III?