Tag Archives: Iran

Iran Decided To Put Maximum Pressure On Trump – Here Is How It Will Do It, by Moon of Alabama

This article is speculation, but the scenario it sketches is certainly plausible…and chilling. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:

Thirteen month ago the United States launched a total economic war against Iran. It demands its capitulation. Now Iran decided to respond in kind. It will wage a maximum pressure campaign on U.S. economic interests until the Trump administration concedes its defeat. Shipping in the Middle East will soon become very hazardous. Oil prices will go through the roof. Trump will be trapped between two choices neither of which he will like.

In early May 2018 U.S. President Trump broke the nuclear deal with Iran and sanctioned all trade with that country. Iran reacted cautiously. It hoped that the other signatories of the nuclear deal would stick to their promises and continue to trade with it. The year since proved that such expectations were wrong.

Under threat of U.S. sanctions the European partners stopped buying Iranian oil and also ended their exports to it. The new financial instrument that was supposed to allow payments between European countries and Iran has still not been implemented. It is also a weak construct and will have too little capacity to make significant trade possible. Russia and China each have their own problems with the United States. They do not support trade with Iran when it endangers their other interests.

Meanwhile the Trump administration increased the pressure on Iran. It removed waivers it had given to some countries to buy Iranian oil. It designated a part of the Iranian armed forces, the Revolutionary Guard Corp (ICRG), as a terrorist entity. On Friday it sanctioned Iran’s biggest producer of petrochemical products because that company is alleged to have relations with the ICRG.

The strategic patience Iran demonstrated throughout the year since Trump killed the deal brought no result. Trump will stay in power, probably for another five and a half years, while Iran’s economic situation continuous to get worse. The situation requires a strategic reorientation and the adoption of a new plan to counter U.S. pressure.

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The Navy’s War vs. Bolton’s War, by Michael T. Klare

Having lost a string of wars since World War II against Junior Varsities, the US military is spoiling for a war against the Chinese Varsity. That should go well. From Michael T. Klare at tomdispatch.com:

The Pentagon’s Spoiling for a Fight — But With China, Not Iran

The recent White House decision to speed the deployment of an aircraft carrier battle group and other military assets to the Persian Gulf has led many in Washington and elsewhere to assume that the U.S. is gearing up for war with Iran. As in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, U.S. officials have cited suspect intelligence data to justify elaborate war preparations. On May 13th, acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan even presented top White House officials with plans to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East for possible future combat with Iran and its proxies. Later reports indicated that the Pentagon might be making plans to send even more soldiers than that.

Hawks in the White House, led by National Security Advisor John Bolton, see a war aimed at eliminating Iran’s clerical leadership as a potentially big win for Washington. Many top officials in the U.S. military, however, see the matter quite differently — as potentially a giant step backward into exactly the kind of low-tech ground war they’ve been unsuccessfully enmeshed in across the Greater Middle East and northern Africa for years and would prefer to leave behind.

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Bipartisan Support for Trump’s Aggressive Iran Policy Reveals the Hollowness of Russiagate, by Whitney Webb

Russia, the US’s supposed mortal enemy, would be a big winner if the US went to war with Iran. That isn’t stopping any of the usual suspects from pushing for war with Iran. From Whitney Webb at mintpressnew.com:

While Russia often serves as a useful “boogeyman” for promoting militaristic policies, the odd moments when those same policies actually benefit Russia and avoid strong opposition from U.S. politicians and media provide a rare glimpse into the real motivations behind Cold War 2.0.

In early May, MSNBC news host Rachel Maddow — known as one of the top promoters of the new Cold War and Russiagate in American media — emphatically endorsed regime change in Venezuela after she claimed that President Donald Trump’s hawkishness towards the South American country had changed, all because of a single phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Though Maddow’s claims were arguably the most extreme in suggesting that Trump was “taking orders” from Putin on Venezuela, she wasn’t alone in making them. For instance, Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks also made the claim that the Trump-Putin phone call on Venezuela was “direct evidence that he is literally taking orders from Putin.” In addition, several corporate media outlets supported this narrative by suggesting that Trump “echoed” Putin’s Venezuela stance after the phone call and directly contradicted his top staffers and even himself in doing so.

Yet now, strangely, those same corporate media voices remain silent on the Trump administration’s other regime-change project — in Iran — despite the fact that the Putin-led Russian government is set to be the biggest winner as tensions between the U.S. and the Islamic Republic boil over and threaten to send the Middle East into a fresh bout of destruction and chaos.

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Why Trump now wants talks with Iran, by Pepe Escobar

Somebody in the Trump administration looked at a map of the Middle East and figured out that if Persia (Iran) blocked the Strait of Hormuz access to the Persian Gulf, it would send the price of oil sky high. That might gum up the global economy, financial markets, and Trump’s reelection bid. From Pepe Escobar at atimes.com:

Why Trump now wants talks with Iran

Iranian soldiers take part in National Persian Gulf Day in the Strait of Hormuz on April 30, 2019. There is concern about a blockade of the Strait and the disastrous impact that could have on the price of oil and world financial markets. Photo: AFP / Atta Kenare

If Tehran blocks the Strait of Hormuz it could send the price of oil soaring and cause a global recession
Unlike Deep Purple’s legendary ‘Smoke on the Water’ – “We all came out to Montreux, on the Lake Geneva shoreline”, the 67th Bilderberg group meetings produced no fire and no smoke at the luxurious Fairmont Le Montreux Palace Hotel.

The 130 elite guests had a jolly good – and theoretically quiet – time at the self-billed “informal discussion forum concerning major issues”. As usual, at least two-thirds were European decision-makers, with the rest coming from North America.

The fact that a few major players in this Atlanticist Valhalla are closely associated with or directly interfering with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel – the central bank of central banks – is of course just a minor detail.

The major issue discussed this year was “A Stable Strategic Order”, a lofty endeavor that can be interpreted either as the making of a New World Order or just a benign effort by selfless elites to guide mankind to enlightenment.

Other items of discussion were way more pragmatic – from “The Future of Capitalism”, to “Russia”, “China”, “Weaponizing Social Media”, “Brexit”, “What’s Next for Europe”, “Ethics of Artificial Intelligence” and last but not least, “Climate Change”.

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Doug Casey on What Happens After the Next War

The US government has a tough time keeping track of all the wars with which it’s involved. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

International Man: The US government is actively at war in about half a dozen countries. It’s eyeing new conflicts all the time.

On the topic of getting involved in another war… President Trump was reported to have said this about his National Security Advisor John Bolton: “If it was up to John, we’d be in four wars now.”

What do you make of all this?

Doug Casey: Where to start?

Well, first of all, things are out of control. The US Government has become so big, so dysfunctional, and with its fingers in so many pies that anything can happen, unpredictably. Secondly, it’s extremely dangerous. Prodding lots of hornet’s nests guarantees you’ll be stung—perhaps enough to put you in the hospital. Third, it’s extraordinarily expensive. And the US Government is already bankrupt.

As you pointed out, the US is actively at war in right now in who knows how many countries— including at least a half a dozen in Africa that nobody can find on a map. There are combat troops in probably 100 countries around the world. There are probably 800 bases around the world. These things are all just trip wires waiting for an accident or an incident to draw the country into a real war. So far—at least since the misadventure in Vietnam—the US has just engaged in trouble-making exercises and sport wars. But the big thing on the horizon right now is Iran. This is hunting big game.

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Pentagon’s Phony Iran ‘Evidence’: New Rationale for US Intervention? by Gareth Porter

Is what the government doing regarding Iran a replay of what it did in 2003 regarding Iraq? From Gareth Porter at antiwar.com:

Efforts to blame Iran for acts of sabotage went nowhere – but this feels way too much like 2003 all over again

ast week a senior Pentagon official accused Iran of having sabotaged four oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on May 12 and of firing a rocket into Baghdad’s Green Zone on May 19. Iran executed these events, he said, either directly or through regional “proxies.”

But instead of creating sensational headlines, the briefing by Vice Adm. Michael Gilday, the director of the Joint Staff, was a flop, because it was clear to reporters covering it that he could not cite a single fact to back it up.

The story got only the most cursory coverage in major news outlets, all of which buried Gilday’s accusation deep in stories about the announced deployment of 1,500 more U.S. troops to the Middle East. Relatively few readers would even have noticed Gilday’s inflammatory claims.

Nevertheless, the briefing raises a serious question whether National Security Adviser John Bolton intended to use the new accusation against Iran stoke a war crisis – much as Vice President Dick Cheney, in another era, used the argument that Iraq had purchased aluminum tubes for a covert nuclear weapons program to justify the invasion of Iraq. A careful examination of Gilday’s accusations make clear that they do not even claim to be based on any intelligence assessment.

Substituting syllogism for evidence

Gilday was apparently chosen to give a non-political patina and the authority of the US military to an accusation that clearly originated with Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In a prepared statement, Gilday declared, “In the recent past, Iranian leaders have publicly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz. They have backed up those threats with actions, posturing their forces in an effort to intimidate the movement of international trade and global energy sources.”

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The View From Tehran: America’s Sordid History of Meddling in Iran, by Danny Sjursen

The US government certainly does not have clean hands in Iran. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:

No war yet! That’s the good news…for now. A few weeks have passed since unhinged National Security Advisor John Bolton – who never saw a regime he didn’t want to change – reportedly ordered the Pentagon to update plans to send 120,000 additional troops into the Persian Gulf. All this preparation and the inherent threat to strike Iran was ostensibly based on vague and unsubstantiated intelligence that Tehran had planned attacks on U.S. troops in the region. Murky and secretive intelligence, preemptive war plans, and unrepentant neocons sowing fear within the American populace. We’ve all seen this movie before, in Iraq, just sixteen years ago, and it didn’t end well. US troops are still there and may be so indefinitely.

If the purported Iranian threats seem manufactured, its because they likely are. And all the wrongs Tehran allegedly perpetrated against the US are exaggerated and overblown. Sure, Iran is, like all countries, an imperfect actor. The Islamic Republic did hold America’s embassy staff hostage during the Carter years. Tehran has backed Hezbollah and Hamas, both of whom once specialized in suicide bombing attacks on civilians.

Still, its worthwhile – particularly in the serious business of war and peace – to step back, slow down, and walk a proverbial mile in others’ shoes. Let me offer, then, the view from Tehran; to see the world and the US through Iranian eyes. An honest historical appraisal of the complicated U.S.-Iranian relationship demonstrates that it was often Washington and its western allies that meddled in the region and acted as the aggressors.

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