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In Iran and North Korea, Trump Is Playing with Nuclear Fire

NOVANEWS

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which spearheaded a landmark nuclear disarmament treaty, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The significance of this award cannot be underestimated.

Donald Trump‘s bombastic and frightening threats against North Korea and Iran may portend a catastrophic attack that could impact the entire world.

The US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, killing 210,000 people. During the week following the bombings, thousands of survivors experienced a unique combination of symptoms, Susan Southard wrote in the Los Angeles Times:

Their hair fell out in large clumps, their wounds secreted extreme amounts of pus, and their gums swelled and bled. Purple spots appeared on their bodies, signs of hemorrhaging beneath the skin. Infections ravaged their internal organs. Within a few days of the onset of symptoms, many people lost consciousness, mumbled deliriously and died in extreme pain; others languished for weeks before either dying or slowly recovering.

In the face of Trump’s nuclear threats, the danger the world faces is immeasurable.

Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons

On July 7, more than 120 countries approved the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which requires ratifying countries “never under any circumstances to develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.” The treaty also prohibits the transfer of, use of, or threat to use nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices.

Fifty-three countries officially signed the treaty, and three have already ratified it, which makes them parties to the accord. Ninety days after 50 countries ratify it, the treaty will enter into force.

However, the five original nuclear-armed countries — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China — boycotted the treaty negotiations and the voting. North Korea, Israel, Pakistan and India, which also have nuclear weapons, refrained from participating in the final vote as well. In October 2016, during negotiations, North Korea had voted for the treaty.

The State Department issued a statement saying,

“The United States does not support and will not sign the [treaty].”

Trump Threatens to Blow Up the Iran Deal

Meanwhile, Trump is moving the world closer to nuclear war, threatening North Korea with destruction and attempting to blow up the nuclear deal with Iran. The day before the new treaty was concluded, Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if it attacked; that amounted to a threat to commit genocide.

Peace prize historian Oeivind Stenersen said the Nobel committee intended “to send a signal to North Korea and the US that they need to go into negotiations. The prize is also coded to support the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.”

The Iran deal is embodied in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It rescinded the punishing US and international sanctions on Iran, amounting to billions of dollars of relief. In return, Iran agreed to curtail its nuclear program.

Under the US Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, the president must determine every 90 days whether Iran remains in compliance with the JCPOA and whether it still serves US interests. The next 90-day period ends on October 15. Trump will reportedly refuse to certify that Iran is compliant with the agreement on October 12, in spite of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency’s finding that Iran is in compliance.

If Trump refuses to certify that Iran is compliant with the JCPOA or determines the agreement is not in the national interest, Congress will then have 60 days to act. If Congress reimposes sanctions, it would likely cause the JCPOA to unravel. Iran would then proceed with a program to develop nuclear weapons.

The White House has signaled that Trump will urge Congress not to reimpose sanctions, but rather hopes Congress will pass new legislation beyond the scope of the original deal.

“If Congress complies, such unilateral action to change a multilateral agreement will effective kill it,” Wendy Sherman, former under secretary of state for political affairs and US lead negotiator for the JCPOA, wrote in The New York Times.

Moreover, if Trump’s actions scuttle the Iran deal, it will send a dangerous message to North Korea that the United States cannot be trusted to abide by its multilateral agreements.

Both Trump’s threats against North Korea and his undermining of the JCPOA could lead to nuclear war.

US Violates Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

The 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) requires nuclear states to eliminate their nuclear weapons and non-nuclear states to refrain from acquiring them. In 2005, former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara told the Institute for Public Accuracy,

“The US government is not adhering to Article VI of the NPT and we show no signs of planning to adhere to its requirements to move forward with the elimination — not reduction, but elimination — of nuclear weapons.”

In 1996, the International Court of Justice stated in an advisory opinion,

“There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.”

But the nuclear powers have ignored that decision.

And in spite of UN Security Council Resolution 687, which established a weapons-of mass-destruction-free zone in the Middle East, Israel maintains a formidable nuclear arsenal.

“The nuclear weapons states, governed by political realists, basically have no trust in law or morality when it comes to national security,” international law expert Richard Falkwrote, “but base their faith in the hyper-rationality of destructive military power, which in the nuclear age is expressed in the arcane idiom of deterrence, an idea more transparently known in the Cold War Era as Mutually Assured Destruction (or MAD!!).”

Indeed, Trump is planning a $1 trillion rebuilding of the US nuclear weapons program.

Only the US Has Used Nuclear Weapons

The United States is the only country ever to use nuclear weapons. On the day of the Hiroshima bombing, 19-year-old Shinji Mikamo was on the roof of his house helping his father prepare it for demolition when he saw a huge fireball coming at him. He heard a deafening explosion and felt a searing pain throughout his body. It felt as if boiling water had been poured over him. His chest and right arm were totally burned. Pieces of his flesh fell from his body like ragged clothing. The pain was unbearable. Shinji was three-quarters of a mile from the epicenter of the bomb. He survived, but most of his family perished.

Shinji’s daughter, Dr. Akiko Mikamo, author of Rising From the Ashes: A True Story of Survival and Forgiveness, told a Veterans for Peace Convention that 99 percent of those who were outdoors at the time of the blast died immediately or within 48 hours.

This should serve as a cautionary note to Trump — and Congress — that there is no trifling with nuclear weapons.

“The Calm Before the Storm”

Yet during a photo opportunity he staged with military leaders after meeting with them to discuss North Korea and Iran, Trump issued an ominous warning:

“You guys know what this represents? … Maybe it’s the calm before the storm.”

What storm?

“You’ll find out.”

Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council, told The Hill that Trump’s decertification of the Iran deal “will trigger a process that very likely will lead to the collapse of the deal.”

Parsi said on Democracy Now!,

“The buzz here is that there’s going to be a very significant ramping up, an escalation, in the region against Iran, potentially including shooting down Iranian airplanes, sinking Iranian ships in the Persian Gulf, targeting Iranian troops or Iranian-allied troops in Iraq and in Syria.”

Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are reportedly counseling Trump to certify that Iran is complying with the JCPOA.

But Trump has consistently criticized the Iran deal, probably because it was concluded on Barack Obama‘s watch and Israel is dead set against it.

In any event, Trump is playing with fire — nuclear fire — in both North Korea and Iran. We must pressure the White House and Congress members alike, and hope that cooler heads prevail. The stakes are unbearably high.

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Former Nazi Intel Chief Calls on Trump Not to Quit Nuclear Deal with Iran

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Image result for IRAN Nuclear Deal CARTOON

The US President is facing an October 15 deadline to certify that Iran is complying with its terms under “the P5+1” nuclear deal. A senior US administration official said that the US leader is expected to quit the pact. Former Israeli intel chief Amos Yadlin, however, called on Trump to wait for better timing, which would create more pressure.

On Monday, former Israeli Defense Forces military chief Amos Yadlin, who is also the head of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), co-authored an essay with his INSS fellow and former National Security Council official Avner Golov, urging the US President against leaving the agreement.

Among the arguments provided by the authors was that any US steps at the moment “would lack European backing, let alone backing from Russia and China,” who are also parties to the deal.

The former military intelligence chief explained that first the US “must get its allies lined up for new UN resolutions against Iranian ballistic missile testing,” the Jerusalem Post quotes him as saying. “However, as the expiration date on the deal’s restrictions get closer, these countries will naturally become more worried about Iran trying to break out with a nuclear weapon and will be more ready to confront it,” the authors suggested.

“Instead of trying to end the Iran nuclear deal now, the US should pressure Iran with the threat of leaving the deal at a more strategic moment,” the authors concluded.

They also referred to a range of top US defense officials who oppose quitting the deal now, although they would support tougher inspections of Iran’s military nuclear sites and restrictions on Iran’s testing of advanced uranium centrifuges.

Ultimately, they say, “any decision by Trump to decertify the deal should be used by the US Congress and the West to raise pressure on Iran for a later battle, but not to leave the deal now and free Iran to go nuclear while blaming the US.”

Last week, a senior US administration official said that President Trump is expected to announce that he will decertify the landmark deal, more properly called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was signed in 2015 between Tehran, the five Security Council powers and Germany. The US leader had previously called the deal “an embarrassment” and “the worst deal ever negotiated.”

SEE ALSO:

Lavrov Calls Reports of Trump’s Plans to Withdraw From Iran Nuclear Deal Rumors

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Iran and Turkey Warn Against Iraqi Kurd Secession

 NOVANEWS
  • Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is seen with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a welcoming ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Oct. 4, 2017.
    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is seen with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a welcoming ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Oct. 4, 2017. | Photo: Reuters
“The only beneficiaries are the Zionist regime and the U.S.,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

Warning against alleged foreign plots, the leaders of Turkey and Iran said harsh measures would be taken against Iraqi Kurdistan to maintain Iraq’s territorial integrity from attempts to secede from Baghdad following an independence referendum.

RELATED: Last Flight Departs as Iraq Imposes Ban for Kurdish Independence Vote

The Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, speaking in a televised press conference with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called on Kurdish leaders to reverse their decisions or else Iran and Turkey would have no choice but to impose harsh and necessary measures.

“Some foreigners plan to split the area to increase ethnic and sectarian discrimination. Both countries do not accept such acts of discrimination,” Rouhani said. “As far as we are concerned, Iraq is one single country. We do not accept any geographical changes. ”

“But the people of Iraqi Kurdistan are our good neighbors, are our dear brothers. We do not want them to experience any pressure, we do not wish to exert this pressure,” Rouhani added, noting that Kurdish officials’ decision to proceed with the referendum lies at the root of the regional dispute.

Erdogan, for his part, said that measures have already been taken against Iraqi Kurdistan, but even stronger ones would be imposed.

“What is the referendum organized by northern Iraq’s regional administration for? No country in the world apart from Israel recognizes it. A decision made at the table with Mossad (the Israeli spy agency) is not legitimate, it is illegitimate,” the Turkish president said.

RELATED: Why Does Israel Support an Independent Iraqi Kurdistan?

Speaking at a joint presser following the meeting between the two presidents, Rouhani asserted that “Iran and Turkey as the two Muslim, friendly, and powerful countries of the region are the anchors of stability in the Middle East.”

Both Tehran and Ankara have rejected the referendum held in Iraqi Kurdistan on September 25 and have taken several economic and security measures to back the federal government in Baghdad, including large-scale military exercises.

During a subsequent meeting with Erdogan, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that the United States and Israel were behind the referendum.

“The United States and foreign powers are unreliable and seek to create a ‘new Israel’ in the region,” Khamenei said. “This is a threat to the future of the region.”

“The US and the European administrations’ attitude toward the issue is different from Iran and Turkey’s,” he added. “The US intends to have a tricky agent against Iran and Turkey, so the stance of the Americans and the Europeans should not be trusted at all … As you mentioned the only beneficiaries of the recent developments are the Zionist regime and the U.S., respectively.”

On Wednesday, Erdogan arrived in Tehran on a visit aimed at bolstering bilateral relations with Iran, as well as the common stance on Iraqi Kurdistan.

The visit’s main agenda item is economic cooperation, but the Kurdistan referendum was also included in the discussion.

The Turkish president supported the goal of raising Turkish-Iranian trade volume to $US30 billion.

Erdogan and Rouhani agreed to expand bilateral cooperation and protect the unity of Iraq.

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Trump Expected to Decertify Iran Nuclear Deal

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A previous article suggested decertification is coming before the October 15 recertification deadline.

If he acts as expected, it’ll automatically trigger a 60-day window for Congress to decide whether to reimpose harsh sanctions on Iran – an effort by Republicans to try undermining the deal altogether if this action is taken.

Last month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said “no one will trust America” again if Trump rescinds or otherwise sabotages the agreement.

In Rome for the International Cooperation for Enhancing Nuclear Safety, Security, Safeguards and Non-Proliferation conference next week, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization head Ali Akbar Salehisaid

“(w)e have emphasized repeatedly that the JCPOA (nuclear deal) is not renegotiable.”

“If the US leaves the JCPOA, and other countries follow suit, the JCPOA will definitely fall apart, but if only the US walks away, our monitoring committee on the JCPOA should make a decision in this regard.”

Reports by US media indicate Trump intends decertifying the deal against the advice of his top foreign policy and national security advisors.

On October 12, he’s tentatively scheduled to deliver a national address on the issue, announcing his decision.

With the IAEA repeatedly affirming Iran’s full compliance with its obligations, he’s got a tough sell. Undemocratic Dems oppose decertification, perhaps enough Republicans not wanting tough new sanctions reimposed on Iran, what other P5+1 countries oppose, along with not wanting the deal undermined.

Israel supports decertification. So does AIPAC, calling the JCPOA “fatally flawed…leaving Iran with no legal bar to constructing an industrial-scale nuclear program (post-2021) and becoming a nuclear weapons threshold state – able to break out rapidly to a bomb at a time of its choosing.”

The argument is phony. Iran deplores nuclear weapons, wants the region free from them, Israel the only Middle East state with a WMD arsenal, posing an enormous global threat.

Iran poses none. It doesn’t support terrorism as falsely claimed. It combats it effectively. It’s not a human rights abuser like America and Israel, the world’s leading rogue states.

It hasn’t attacked another country in centuries. America does it repeatedly. Israel is at war with Palestinians, holding them hostage under occupation harshness, besieged Gazans harmed most of all.

Israel threatens neighboring countries, attacked Syrian scores of times during the ongoing war and earlier.

On Thursday, Trump lied claiming Iran “supports terrorism and exports violence, bloodshed and chaos across the Middle East.”

“That is why we must put an end to Iran’s continued aggression and nuclear ambitions. They have not lived up to the spirit of their agreement.”

His disturbing hostility toward Iran makes it vulnerable to attack. Longstanding US plans call for regime change, wars and color revolutions its favored strategies.

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Erdogan and Rouhani meet in Tehran – offer a united front against Kurdish secessionists

NOVANEWS

This comes as US Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis defies statements by Donald Trump and tells Congress that Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has just concluded a press conference with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

Both leaders stated that they are firmly committed to the territorial unity of Iraq and also Syria, in the wake of the unilateral secessionist referendum in northern Iraq. While Rouhani called regional Kurds “brothers”, each said that dialogue with legitimate central governments is the only way forward, thus echoing calls of the wider international community, with the exception of Israel whose leaders support Kurdish secession.

Both Presidents also affirmed their commitment to expand growing economic ties, while speaking positively about the Astana peace process for Syria in which Russia, Iran and Turkey have worked jointly to create de-escalation zones in Syria, each of which has also been approved by the Syrian government.

Today’s successful meeting is a further sign of Turkey’s pivot towards fellow Eurasian powers and away from NATO, in spite of Ankara’s continued, however uneasy membership of the US led alliance. It also represents a commitment from the two largest non-Arab powers in the Middle East towards preserving the unity and integrity of Arab states whose borders are under threat from Kurdish secessionist movements.

Over the last several months, America’s traditional ally Turkey and its post-1979 adversary Iran have been taking meaningful steps to enhance bilateral cooperation. In August of this year, Iran’s most senior military General, Mohammad Baqeri visited President Erdogan in Ankara.

Since then, Turkey and Iran have cooperated on a border wall between the two countries aimed at cutting off Kurdish militant groups from supplying arms across states. In the last weeks, both Iran and Turkey have been conducting joint military exercises with the Iraqi army in areas which border Iraq’s Kurdish region.

While the US and Israel continue to use proxy wars and hybrid conflicts to foment ideological discord in the Middle East, Turkey and Iran’s relationship is increasingly one of pragmatic mutual  self-interest.

As I wrote recently in The Duran,

“Turkey’s relationship with Iran is built on mutual economic benefits, geo-political realism, petro-politics and the need to intensify regional cooperation in preparation for the arrival of One Belt–One Road in the Middle East. Turkey is no more ideologically in-line with Iran than Russia is. Each country has a completely different state ideology and if anything, were Erdogan to fully bring Sunni Islamism to the front and centre of formerly secular Turkey, this will actually mean that Turkey will be even more ideologically different from Iran vis-a-vis a more religiously neutral Kemalist state.

Erdogan is ultimately not an ideologue, even though his language might often obscure such a fact. Erdogan is actually a pragmatist with a very loud and sometimes loose tongue. Erdogan is a man whose co-opting of Turkish civil society ought to read as a master text for leaders looking to consolidate their rule, gradually remove or placate opponents and remake civil institutions to work in one’s personal favour. Few could pull such a thing off and no Turkish leader since Ataturk has made such a profound mark on the Turkish state.

Likewise, Erdogan’s geo-politics is equally pragmatic. Erdogan has not distanced himself from NATO, the US and EU because of some desire to join ‘club Eurasia’. He has become part of ‘club Eurasia’ because he realised that this will be to Turkey’s economic benefit and that Russia and Iran are more easy to work with than the EU. The contest between an increasingly closed and economically retarded EU and China’s One Belt–One Road, which in any case will still give Turkey access to the EU through the backdoor, was not a matter of ideology, it was a matter of obvious self-interest.

Furthermore, even Erdogan’s decision to quietly shift from a position of ‘Assad must go’ to working in the Astana group and tacitly conceding that the Ba’ath party will remain in power in Damascus is a totally  pragmatic move.

Erdogan switched teams in order to join the winning side in respect of Syria. He thought he’d be able to get a piece of the Syrian pie by calling for regime change and now that he’s sensed that no regime change will occur, he’s increasingly linking himself with Russia and Iran as a ‘master peacemaker’ even though in this respect, Russia is doing most of the heavy lifting.

Here too Erodgan in exiting from the US camp over Syria , he has likewise exited the Israeli camp, though not for ideological reasons”.

While the US rings its hands over how to handle its balancing act between Baghdad the Iraqi Kurds, Turkey and Iran are bolstering Baghdad’s position and by extrapolation that of Damascus, in taking matters into their own hands.

It is also noteworthy that shortly before Erdogan’s meeting with Rouhani, US Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis offered a statement which seemingly defies Donald Trump’s view that the JCPOA (aka the Iran nuclear deal) is an “embarrassment” to the United States.

Mattis took a contrary view, stating,

“I believe that they [Iran] fundamentally are [in compliance]. There have been certainly some areas where they were not temporarily in that regard, but overall our intelligence community believes that they have been compliant and the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] also says so.

The point I would make is that if we can confirm that Iran is living by the agreement, if we can determine that this is in our best interest, then clearly we should stay with it. I believe at this point in time, absent indications to the contrary, it is something that the president should consider staying with”.

The statement from Mattis was echoed by the Chairman of  the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John  Dunford. This demonstrates that the Pentagon has taken a far more moderate view on Iran than that of the US President. This moderate view is one that is officially shared by the United Nations, the US State Department and to all other parties who signed the JCPOA, including the European Union, Russia and China.

This apparent discrepancy between the Pentagon and White House in respect of Iran, mirrors a recent Twitter row Donald Trump had with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. After Tillerson told journalists that the US maintains basic contacts with North Korea, Donald Trump Tweeted that such attempts at diplomacy were useless. It is still not clear if this is a ‘good cop–bad cop’ strategy or if the Trump administration is simply a rudderless ship.

I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man…

…Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!

Being nice to Rocket Man hasn’t worked in 25 years, why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won’t fail.

In this sense, President Rouhani’s approach which is centred around not actively countering US rhetoric, but instead allowing pragmatic realities to move at a faster pace than US rhetoric, appears to have paid off.

Now, even the arguably most important member of the Trump administration, General Mattis is conceding that Iran is in full compliance with the JCPOA. Furthermore, in Turkey’s turn towards Iran and Russia, the US has effectively lost control over its largest Middle Eastern ally. Turkey is now pursuing an independent foreign policy and business strategy in which Iran, Russia and China will ultimately be of far more use to Ankara than the EU or Washington.

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Iran checkmates US, I$raHell

NOVANEWS

Iran checkmates US, Israel
By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline 

The announcement in Tehran on Saturday regarding the successful test of a ballistic missile with a range of 2000 kilometers and capable of carrying multiple warheads to hit different targets phenomenally shifts the military balance in the Middle East.

Israel and the roughly 45,000 US troops deployed to the Middle East – Jordan (1500 troops), Iraq (5200), Kuwait (15000), Bahrain (7000), Qatar (10000), UAE (5000), Oman (200) – fall within the range of the latest Iranian missile. Iran has demonstrated a deterrent capability that deprives the US and Israel of a military option.

The missile test signals Tehran’s strategic defiance of the US, after President Donald Trump’s outrageous remarks against Iran in his address to the UN GA. From this point, Trump has to be very careful about tearing up the Iran nuclear deal. Any such rash act by Trump or the lawmakers in the Congress (imposing new sanctions) can be seized by Tehran to resume its previous nuclear program, which would have far-reaching implications, given its missile capabilities.

President Hassan Rouhani took a tough line after returning to Tehran from New York. He warned that if Trump violated the nuclear deal, “we will be firm and all options will be before us.” Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif told New York Times tauntingly that if the US wanted to re-negotiate the nuclear deal, Tehran too will insist on re-negotiating every single concession it made – “Are you prepared to return to us 10 tons of enriched uranium?”

Rouhani made a strident speech at a military parade on Friday in Tehran underscoring that Iran did not need any country’s permission to bolster its missile capability. He added, “The Iranian nation has always been after peace and security in the region and the world and we will defend the oppressed Yemeni, Syrian and Palestinian people whether you like it or not.”

“As long as some speak in the language of threats, the strengthening of the country’s defense capabilities will continue and Iran will not seek permission from any country for producing various kinds of missile,” Defence Minister Amir Hatami said in a statement Saturday.

What emerges is Iran’s determination to consolidate its influence in Syria. The US will have to carefully weigh the repercussions before making any intervention (which Israel is pressing for.) Again, Iran may establish a long-term presence in Syria. The Iran-supported battle-hardened Shiite militia fighting in Iraq and Syria is a veritable 100,000-strong army and Iran is in a position to force the eviction of US forces from Iraq and Syria.

The Trump administration must take with the utmost seriousness the thinly veiled threat by the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari on Wednesday (while reacting to Trump’s UN speech) – “The time has come for correcting the US’ miscalculations. Now that the US has fully displayed its nature, the government should use all its options to defend the Iranian nation’s interests. Taking a decisive position against Trump is just the start and what is strategically important is that the US should witness more painful responses in the actions, behavior and decisions that Iran will take in the next few months.”

The ballistic missile test followed within 3 days of Gen. Jafari’s threat. Equally, the timing of the missile test can be seen against the backdrop of the referendum being planned for September 25 by the Kurds of northern Iraq, seeking an independent Kurdistan. Tehran is in no doubt that the Kurdistan project is a US-Israeli enterprise to create a permanent base in the highly strategic region with the objective of destabilizing Iran and undermining its regional surge in Syria and Iraq.

Unsurprisingly, Israel is furious about Iran’s missile test. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman called it a “a provocation and a slap in the face for the United States and its allies — and an attempt to test them.” Clearly, Israel is in panic that Iran is steadily, inexorably outstripping it as the number one regional power in the Middle East. However, beyond rhetoric, Israel cannot do much about Iran’s surge.

Israel foolishly instigated Trump to provoke Tehran just at this juncture when he is barely coping with the crisis in Northeast Asia. A containment strategy against Iran is no longer feasible. Wisdom lies in the Trump administration engaging Iran in a constructive spirit to influence its regional policies. Threats never worked against Iran. Time and again they’ve proved to be counterproductive.

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Unmasked: Trump Doctrine Vows Carnage for New Axis of Evil

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North Korea, Iran, Venezuela are targets in “compassionate” America’s war on the “wicked few.” It’s almost as though Washington felt its hegemony threatened

 

Featured image: Paul Delaroche, Napoléon à Fontainebleau, 1840. With other global powers increasingly at odds with US foreign policy under Donald Trump, the nation’s hegemony on the world stage may soon face its own crisis point. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

This was no “deeply philosophical address”. And hardly a show of  “principled realism” – as spun by the White House. President Trump at the UN was “American carnage,” to borrow a phrase previously deployed by his nativist speechwriter Stephen Miller.

One should allow the enormity of what just happened to sink in, slowly. The president of the United States, facing the bloated bureaucracy that passes for the “international community,” threatened to “wipe off the map” the whole of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (25 million people). And may however many millions of South Koreans who perish as collateral damage be damned.

Multiple attempts have been made to connect Trump’s threats to the madman theory cooked up by “Tricky Dicky” Nixon in cahoots with Henry Kissinger, according to which the USSR must always be under the impression the then-US president was crazy enough to, literally, go nuclear. But the DPRK will not be much impressed with this madman remix.

That leaves, on the table, a way more terrifying upgrade of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Trump repeatedly invoked Truman in his speech). Frantic gaming will now be in effect in both Moscow and Beijing: Russia and China have their own stability / connectivity strategy under development to contain Pyongyang.

The Trump Doctrine has finally been enounced and a new axis of evil delineated. The winners are North Korea, Iran and Venezuela. Syria under Assad is a sort of mini-evil, and so is Cuba. Crucially, Ukraine and the South China Sea only got a fleeting mention from Trump, with no blunt accusations against Russia and China. That may reflect at least some degree of realpolitik; without “RC” – the Russia-China strategic partnership at the heart of the BRICS bloc and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – there’s no possible solution to the Korean Peninsula stand-off.

In this epic battle of the “righteous many” against the “wicked few,” with the US described as a “compassionate nation” that wants “harmony and friendship, not conflict and strife,” it’s a bit of a stretch to have Islamic State – portrayed as being not remotely as “evil” as North Korea or Iran – get only a few paragraphs.

The art of unraveling a deal

According to the Trump Doctrine, Iran is “an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos,” a “murderous regime” profiting from a nuclear deal that is “an embarrassment to the United States.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted:

 “Trump’s ignorant hate speech belongs in medieval times – not the 21st century UN – unworthy of a reply.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov once again stressed full support for the nuclear deal ahead of a P5+1 ministers’ meeting scheduled for Wednesday, when Zarif was due to be seated at the same table as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Under review: compliance with the deal. Tillerson is the only one who wants a renegotiation.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has, in fact, developed an unassailable argument on the nuclear negotiations. He says the deal – which the P5+1 and the IAEA all agree is working – could be used as a model elsewhere. German chancellor Angela Merkel concurs. But, Rouhani says, if the US suddenly decides to unilaterally pull out, how could the North Koreans possibly be convinced it’s worth their while to sit down to negotiate anything with the Americans ?

What the Trump Doctrine is aiming at is, in fact, a favourite old neo-con play, reverting back to the dynamics of the Dick Cheney-driven Washington-Tehran Cold War years.

This script runs as follows: Iran must be isolated (by the West, only now that won’t fly with the Europeans); Iran is “destabilizing” the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, the ideological foundry of all strands of Salafi-jihadism, gets a free pass); and Iran, because it’s developing ballistic that could – allegedly – carry nuclear warheads, is the new North Korea.

That lays the groundwork for Trump to decertify the deal on October 15. Such a dangerous geopolitical outcome would then pit Washington, Tel Aviv, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi against Tehran, Moscow and Beijing, with European capitals non-aligned. That’s hardly compatible with a “compassionate nation” which wants “harmony and friendship, not conflict and strife.”

Afghanistan comes to South America

The Trump Doctrine, as enounced, privileges the absolute sovereignty of the nation-state. But then there are those pesky “rogue regimes” which must be, well, regime-changed. Enter Venezuela, now on “the brink of total collapse,” and run by a “dictator”; thus, America “cannot stand by and watch.”

No standing by, indeed. On Monday, Trump had dinner in New York with the presidents of Colombia, Peru and Brazil (the last indicted by the country’s Attorney General as the leader of a criminal organization and enjoying an inverted Kim dynasty rating of 95% unpopularity). On the menu: regime change in Venezuela.

Venezuelan “dictator” Maduro happens to be supported by Moscow and, most crucially, Beijing, which buys oil and has invested widely in infrastructure in the country with Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht crippled by the Car Wash investigation.

The stakes in Venezuela are extremely high. In early November, Brazilian and American forces will be deployed in a joint military exercise in the Amazon rainforest, at the Tri-Border between Peru, Brazil and Colombia. Call it a rehearsal for regime change in Venezuela. South America could well turn into the new Afghanistan, a consequence that flows from Trump’s assertion that “major portions of the world are in conflict and some, in fact, are going to hell.”

For all the lofty spin about “sovereignty”, the new axis of evil is all about, once again, regime change.

Russia-China aim to defuse the nuclear stand-off, then seduce North Korea into sharing in the interpenetration of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), via a new Trans-Korea Railway and investments in DPRK ports. The name of the game is Eurasian integration.

Iran is a key node of BRI. It’s also a future full member of the SCO, it’s connected – via the North-South Transport Corridor – with India and Russia, and is a possible future supplier of natural gas to Europe. The name of the game, once again, is Eurasian integration.

Venezuela, meanwhile, holds the largest unexplored oil reserves on the planet, and is targeted by Beijing as a sort of advanced BRI node in South America.

The Trump Doctrine introduces a new set of problems for Russia-China. Putin and Xi do dream of reenacting a balance of power similar to that of the Concert of Europe, which lasted from 1815 (after Napoleon’s defeat) until the brink of World War I in 1914. That’s when Britain, Austria, Russia and Prussia decided that no European nation should be able to emulate the hegemony of France under Napoleon. In sitting as judge and executioner, Trump’s “compassionate” America certainly seems intent on echoing such hegemony.

Posted in USA, Iran, North Korea, VenezuelaComments Off on Unmasked: Trump Doctrine Vows Carnage for New Axis of Evil

Covert Rivalry Between Damascus and Washington-led SDF

NOVANEWS

Recently, the Syrian Arab Army has achieved quite a lot in fighting against ISIS in Deir Ezzor – vast territories near the city are liberated, the Euphrates crossed, a lot of terrorists and vehicles eliminated and destroyed.

Meanwhile, an offensive towards Deir Ezzor is carried out by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces aided by the International Coalition. The Kurds have captured a number of villages to the northeast of the city and are approaching the Euphrates.

In fact, for this purpose the SDF de facto stalled the siege of Raqqa and moved the troops to the south.

On September 15, in its article Bloomberg compared the current situation in Syria to the one at the end of WWII when the Soviet army and Allied forces were pushing to Berlin to control as many territories as possible for the post-war division of Germany.

Indeed, despite the difference of the scales, Syria witnesses similar processes, despite the official statements that the US-led coalition only aims at fighting terrorism. The Raqqa offensive, however, proves another thing: Washington seeks clearing as much areas as possible from ISIS before it’s done by the government troops.

After the Islamic State is defeated and the war ends, the areas of influence shall become one of the main factors at the negotiations on post-war Syria. Besides, a key part belongs to the media, as the first one to clear the country of ISIS will have a possibility to increase their popularity. Thus, making use of propaganda in the U.S. media, Donald Trump may declare himself “a modern crusader” and improve his extremely low rating.

The Syria war long ago transformed from an ordinary local conflict to a crisis influencing the political agenda all over the world. Europe is overcrowded with Syrian refugees, Israel fears Syria’s ally Iran and shells the SAR territory, and Turkey is up to deter the formation of an autonomous Kurdish region by the Syrian-Turkish border and is building up its presence there. All these parties are attempting to affect the Syrian conflict.

But now, the main rivalry is between Syria’s legal government and Washington, which invaded the country seeking its own interests. Damascus is in the lead and the only thing the White House can do is to chase it redeploying the Kurds from one location to another.

This article was originally published by Inside Syria Media Center.


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Posted in USA, IranComments Off on Covert Rivalry Between Damascus and Washington-led SDF

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani delivers clear and calm rebuttal of Trump’s hostile remarks at UN

NOVANEWS
Image result for ISRAELI NUCLEAR CARTOON
By Adam Garrie | The Duran 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has addressed the General Assembly in a short speech that primarily covered Iran’s foreign policy outlook, its specific goals for peace and an unambiguous warning against anyone who seeks to undermine the 2013 JCPOA (aka the Iran nuclear deal).

President Rouhani used the word ‘moderation’ throughout the speech. He characterised Iran’s history, contemporary outlook and policy positions as quintessentially moderate.

After paying tribute to Iranian voters who recently re-elected him as President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, he then set out to define Iran’s definition of moderation in the following way.

“Moderation is the inclination as well as the chosen path of the great Iranian people. Moderation seeks neither isolation nor hegemony. It implies neither indifference nor intransigence. The path of moderation is the path of peace, but a just a inclusive peace; not peace for one nation and war and turmoil for others. Moderation is freedom and democracy, but in an inclusive and comprehensive manner, not purporting to promote freedom in one place while supporting dictators elsewhere. Moderation is the synergy of ideas and not the dance of swords. Finally, the path of moderation nurtures beauty. Deadly weapons exports are not  beautiful, rather peace is beautiful.

We in Iran strive to promote peace…. we never condone tyranny and always defend the voiceless. We never threaten anyone  but we do not tolerate threats from anyone. Our discourse is one of dignity and respect. We are unmoved by threats and intimidation. We believe in dialogue and negotiation based on equal footing and mutual respect”.

Rouhani then briefly turned to the issue of Palestine. He stated that a “rogue and racist state” (Israel) cannot trample on the rights of Palestinians in the 21st century. He continued, citing Iran’s historic record of helping minorities and the oppressed.

Rouhani stated,

“Iran is a bastion of tolerance… we are the same people who rescued Jews from Babylonian servitude… open our arms to receive Armenian Christians in our midst”.

He explained further, that just as Iran fought for Jews in the past, today Iran fights for the rights of oppressed Palestinians. He stated, “We support justice and seek tranquillity”.

Rouhani then described Iran’s fight against Takriri/Salafist terrorism as a fight based on ethics and humanity rather than one of conquest. The Iranian President said that Iran does not seek to restore its empire nor export revolution through the force of arms. He contrasted this with the ‘boots on the ground’ approach of “neo-colonialists”.

Turning once again to the theme of moderation, Rouhani said that Iran does not merely preach moderation but practices it. He said that the JCPOA is a primary example of moderate geo-political behaviour.

Rouhani then said that the JCPOA which has been applauded by the wider international community, both in the east and west, can become a new model of interaction between nations. The clear inference here was to North Korea. Even German leader Angela Merkel who supports the JCPOA along with her EU colleagues are suggesting using it as a model for bringing about de-escalation on the Korean peninsula.

Hassan Rouhani then stated that Iran never sought nuclear weapons and does not now. He remarked that it is “ridiculous” for a country, Israel,  which has nuclear weapons and has signed not a single international protocol for nuclear safety has the “audacity” to preach to peaceful nations.

He then stated,

“Iran will not be the first country to violate the JCPOA but will respond resolutely to its violation by any party”.

While he did not name Donald Trump or the United States, Rouhani said that yesterday, words were spoken in the General Assembly that were “hateful” and “unfit to be heard in the UN which was established to promote peace…”.

He went on to say that Iran’s missiles are for defensive purposes and to prevent against the “adventurous tendencies” of others, before stating

“The US should explain why after spending the assets of its own people, why instead of contribution to peace, it has only brought war, misery poverty and the rise of terrorism and extremism to the region”.

Rouhani concluded by praising Iran’s economic reforms and subtly alluded to Iran’s increased participation in joint economic ventures, the clear reference being to China’s One Belt–One Road initiative.

The Iranian President concluded by inviting all those who seek peace to visit Iran which has been historically hospitable to such individuals.

Rouhani’s speech did exactly what it should have done given the circumstances. It was a calm and clear articulation of Iran’s position in the region and the wider world. By citing the wide international support for the JCPOA, including among NATO members and other US allies, Rouhani has made it clear that the US and Israel are isolated in their anger towards the deal.

Rouhani also highlighted US hypocrisy in supporting Israel’s technically non-disclosed nuclear arsenal while accusing Iran of wanting nuclear weapons without evidence and contrary to the clear statements from Iran.

Rather than reacting aggressively to Donald Trump’s provocative speech, Rouhani’s calm and at times poetic approach to the issues, put the ball squarely in the US court. As it stands, the US is currently sending mixed signals in respect of whether Trump seeks to formally pull out of the JCPOA.

Posted in Iran, UNComments Off on Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani delivers clear and calm rebuttal of Trump’s hostile remarks at UN

Dangerous Words of Escalation: Trump Threatens to Abandon Iran’s Nuclear Deal

NOVANEWS

Dangerous Words of Escalation: Trump Threatens to Abandon Iran’s Nuclear Deal as Israeli Officials Call for Action Against Iran

 

Once again, the annual United Nations General Assembly is taking place in New York City with U.S. President Donald Trump set to take center stage as he is expected to focus on the North Korean Crisis and the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

As the Western media’s attention has been focused on the North Korea crisis (which is also another very serious matter), another development has been taking place in Tel Aviv, as calls for action by Israeli officials against Iran’s Nuclear Program although it’s not a new development (it’s been going on for many years). Channel 2 on Israeli TV reported that Mossad chief Yossi Cohen is calling on the Israeli government to take action against the Iranian government. The Times of Israel reported that

 “Channel 2 on Sunday paraphrased Cohen as asserting that “Today’s Iran is the North Korea of yesterday, and so we need to act now so that we don’t wake up to [an Iranian] bomb.”

The report also mentioned that other security officials

“are warning that Israel should not be pushing the US into another Middle Eastern adventure, given what happened when the US tackled Iraq and Saddam’s ostensible weapons of mass destruction over a decade ago.”

However, Netanyahu wants the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to be amended or canceled.

“Our position is straightforward. This is a bad deal. Either fix it — or cancel it. This is Israel’s position,” said Netanyahu in Buenos Aires” the report said.

Netanyahu will meet with Trump and will hold a brief press conference before they go behind closed doors to talk about the Iran Nuclear Deal, Syria and Israel’s future conflict with Hezbollah. The Associated Press (AP) mentioned that the Trump administration has threatened to walk away from the nuclear deal:

U.S. President Donald Trump warned Monday that Washington will walk away from a nuclear deal it agreed to with Iran and five other nations if it deems that the International Atomic Energy Agency is not tough enough in monitoring it

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry quoted Trump at the U.N. agency’s annual meeting in Vienna according to the AP report and said that the deal could either “stand or fail on IAEA access to Iranian military sites, declaring “we will not accept a weakly enforced or inadequately monitored deal.” Arutz Sheva 7 (www.israelnationalnews.com) also reported on what Amos Yadlin, the Executive Director at the Tel Aviv University Institute for National Security Studies had said about Barack Obama who he claims was not an appropriate partner and that the Trump White House was supportive to Israel’s cause:

According to Amos, Netanyahu did not act before now because former US President Barack Obama was not an appropriate partner.

“In 2015, I suggested the Prime Minister sit with the US government and make a strategy for dealing with this problematic agreement,” he explained. “Back then, Netanyahu said we didn’t have a partner in the White House.”

“Thankfully, today we have a supportive government which understands the threat very well, especially in light of what is happening with North Korea. We can’t let this opportunity deteriorate into simple rhetoric, we need to make a general strategy. We need to fight Iran determinedly in every way, including those not included in the Iran deal, such as ballistic missiles, Iran’s support of terror, and their involvement in Syria. We also need to strengthen our supervision of them and collect better intelligence.

“There needs to be an Israeli-American agreement which supports our understanding that Iran cannot acquire a nuclear weapon, and detailing when and how we will work together to ensure our success”

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano confirmed that Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitment’s. Amano said that the

“the nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under (the 2015 nuclear deal) are being implemented.” Amano continued “the verification regime in Iran is the most robust regime which currently exists. We have increased the inspection days in Iran, we have increased inspector numbers … and the number of images has increased,” he said, “From a verification point of view, it is a clear and significant gain.”

Will the Trump administration ignore the IAEA’s statement that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal? Haaretz also reported what Yisrael Katz, Israel’s Intelligence Affairs Minister had said about Iran’s Nuclear Deal:

Intelligence Affairs Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) said:

“The first mission of the Israeli prime minister during his upcoming visit to the United States is to demand that the U.S. president suspend, amend or annul the nuclear agreement with Iran,” said Katz. “Iran is the new North Korea. Action should be taken against it now, lest we regret tomorrow what we did not do yesterday”

Israel wants Iran destabilized just like its neighbor, Iraq to weaken its political and economic standing in the Middle East. Iran’s allies are Hezbollah and Syria, enemies to both Israel and Saudi Arabia.  Iran is an economic and military power which can challenge the U.S. and Israel’s hegemonic power in the region. Netanyahu is trying to influence Trump’s decision to terminate the nuclear deal, which would put the U.S. on the fast track to war with Iran. Netanyahu would welcome an attack on Iran by U.S. forces which would free Israel’s military and allow it to focus on Hezbollah and possibly Syria in the next conflict with help from Saudi Arabia. It’s been a long-term goal of Washington’s political establishment and Netanyahu to realign the Middle East in Israel’s favor. With Trump in the White House, the Israeli’s see an opportunity while the rest of the world sees pure madness.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, IranComments Off on Dangerous Words of Escalation: Trump Threatens to Abandon Iran’s Nuclear Deal

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