Tag Archive | "IRAN"

The West’s trumped-up hatred of Iran


Netanyahu and Trump shaking hands

And how it serves the Zionist dream of a Greater Israel dominating the Middle East

By Stuart Littlewood

There’s no doubt about it. We’re at the height of the Silly Season.

First we have Boris ‘I-am-a-passionate-Zionist’ Johnson, the hot favourite to become the UK’s prime minister. His biographer Sonia Purnell, who worked alongside Johnson as a journalist, writes in the Sunday Times that he’s “temperamentally unsuitable to be trusted with any position of power, let alone the highest office of all, in charge of the UK and its nuclear codes”. She talks of his terrible mood swings “triggered by the slightest challenge to his entitlement or self-worth” and says he has “the fiercest and most uncontrollable anger” she has ever seen. This confirms what many of us feared. And we wonder how those who mix with him in the parliamentary party could possibly back him for top leadership.

Ian Birrell in the ‘i’ discusses his lack of discipline – turning up to Cabinet dishevelled, unprepared and cluching the wrong papers, and his notoriously poor grasp of detail. “It is strange that anyone might see this bumbling and toxic buffoon as the person to lead a divided Britain amid delicate negotiations.”

Then we have the unhinged “cocked and loaded” Trump, bristling with aggression. Nobody is taken in by his claim that, having ordered military strikes against Iran’s radar and missile batteries in retaliation for their shootdown of a US spy drone, he changed his mind with only minutes to spare on account of a reminder that this lunacy might actually cost human lives.

It makes no difference if the US drone was 20 miles outside Iran or 4 miles inside. Iran presented GPS coordinates showing it was eight miles from the coast, which is inside the 12 nautical miles considered to be Iran’s territorial waters under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The drone obviously represented a military threat and a provocation, and the US has no lawful claim of self-defence that would justify a military attack. Iran has the right to ask identification from any aircraft flying this near its territory and Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations is reported to have written to the Security Council that the drone failed to respond to several radio warnings before it was downed.

Any US attack on Iran in these circumstances could be a violation of the United Nations Charter, which only allows the use of military force in self-defence after an armed attack or with Security Council approval.

Let’s remind ourselves of earlier US aggression and dishonesty during the Iran-Iraq war, as recorded in Wikipedia:

In the course of escorts by the US Navy, the cruiser USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air Flight 655 on 3 July 1988, killing all 290 passengers and crew on board. The American government claimed that Vincennes was in international waters at the time (which was later proven to be untrue), that the Airbus A300 had been mistaken for an Iranian F-14 Tomcat, and that Vincennes feared that she was under attack. The Iranians maintain that Vincennes was in their own waters, and that the passenger jet was turning away and increasing altitude after take-off. US Admiral William J. Crowe later admitted on Nightline that Vincennes was in Iranian territorial waters when it launched the missiles. At the time of the attack, Admiral Crowe claimed that the Iranian plane did not identify itself and sent no response to warning signals he had sent. In 1996, the United States expressed their regret for the event and the civilian deaths it caused.

Trump now wants to impose further crippling sanctions on Iran and her people while the UK’s Foreign Office minister Andrew Murrison has just been to Tehran calling for “urgent de-escalation” and cheekily criticising Iran’s “regional conduct” and its threat to stop complying with the nuclear deal, which the US recklessly abandoned but the UK remains committed to.

Good news about Murrison, though. A medical man, he voted against the Iraq war but as a Navy reservist was called up to do a 6 month tour of duty there. Perhaps Murrison should go see Trump and ask:

  • Why is he not more concerned about Israel’s nuclear arsenal and the mental state of the Israeli regime, which are the real threat to the region and beyond?
  • Why isn’t he slapping sanctions on Israel for its refusal to sign up to the NPT or engage constructively on the issue of its nuclear and other WMD programmes, not to mention its repeated defiance of international and humanitarian laws in the Holy Land?

Trump meanwhile has signed an executive order targeting Iran’s leadership with hard-hitting new sanctions supposedly needed to deny their development of nuclear weapons. “Never can Iran have a nuclear weapon,” Trump has decreed. He added: “We will continue to increased pressure on Tehran until the regime abandons its dangerous activities and its asperations, including the pursuit of nuclear weapons, increased enrichment of uranium, development of ballistic missiles, engagement and support for terrorism, fuelling of foreign conflicts and belligerent acts….” Achingly funny. Who else could all that apply to, I wonder? Exactly. The Bully-Boy-in-Chief himself and his best buddies in Tel Aviv.

Sowing the seeds of hatred

We have conveniently short memories when it comes to our abominable conduct towards the Iranians in 1951-53 when a previous Conservative government, in cahoots with the USA, snuffed out Iran’s fledgling democracy and reinstated a cruel dictator, the Shah. This eventually brought about the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and created the deep distrust between Iran and the West. Is it not shameful that the present Conservative government is spoiling for another fight? Shouldn’t the Foreign Office now focus on exerting influence through trade and co-operation?

The Iranian regime, like many others, may not be entirely to our liking but nor was Dr Mossadeq’s democracy 65 years ago. Besides, what threat is Iran to Britain? And why are we allowing ourselves to be driven by America’s mindless hatred?

When new recruits join British Petroleum (BP) they are fed romantic tales about how the company came into being. William Knox D’Arcy, a Devon man, studied law and made a fortune from the Mount Morgan gold-mining operations in 1880s Australia. Returning to England he agreed to fund a search for oil and minerals in Persia and began negotiations with the Mozaffar al-Din Shah Qajar in 1901. A sixty year concession gave D’Arcy the oil rights to the entire country except for five provinces in the north. The Persian government would receive 16 per cent of the oil company’s annual profits.

Mozzafar al-Din was naive in business matters and unprepared for kingship when the time came. He borrowed heavily from the Russians and in order to pay off the debt he signed away control of many Persian industries and markets to foreigners. The deal D’Arcy cut was too sharp by far and would eventually lead to trouble.

He sent an exploration team headed by geologist George B Reynolds. In 1903 a company was formed and D’Arcy had to spend much of his fortune to cover the costs. Further financial support came from Glasgow-based Burmah Oil in return for a large share of the stock.

Drilling in southern Persia at Shardin continued until 1907 when the search was switched to Masjid-i-Souleiman. By 1908 D’Arcy was almost bankrupt. Reynolds received a last-chance instruction: “Drill to 1,600 feet and give up”. On 26 May at 1,180 feet he struck oil.

It was indeed a triumph of guts and determination. The Anglo-Persian Oil Company was soon up and running and in 1911 completed a pipeline from the oilfield to its new refinery at Abadan. But the company was in trouble again by 1914. The golden age of motoring hadn’t yet arrived and the industrial oil markets were sewn up by American and European interests. The sulphurous stench of the Persian oil, even after refining, ruled it out for domestic use, so D’Arcy had a marketing problem.

Luckily Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, was an enthusiast for oil and wanted to convert the British fleet from coal especially now that a reliable oil source was secured. He famously told Parliament: “Look out upon the wide expanse of the oil regions of the world!” Only the British-owned Anglo-Persian Oil Company, he said, could protect British interests. His resolution passed and the British Government took a major shareholding in the company just in time, for World War One began a few weeks later.

During the war the British government seized the assets of a German company calling itself British Petroleum for the purpose of marketing its products in Britain. Anglo-Persian acquired the assets from the Public Trustee complete with a ready-made distribution network and an abundance of depots, railway tank wagons, road vehicles, barges and so forth. This enabled Anglo-Persian to rapidly expand sales in petroleum-hungry Britain and Europe after the war.

In the inter-war years Anglo-Persian profited handsomely from paying the Iranians a miserly 16 per cent, and an increasingly angry Persia tried to renegotiate terms. Getting nowhere, they cancelled the D’Arcy agreement and the matter ended up at the Court of International Justice at The Hague. A new agreement in 1933 provided Anglo-Persian with a fresh 60-year concession but on a smaller area. The terms were an improvement for the Persians but still didn’t amount to a square deal.

In 1935 Iran formally replaced Persia as the country’s official name internationally and Anglo-Persian changed to Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. By 1950 Abadan was the biggest oil refinery in the world and Britain, with its 51 per cent holding, had affectively colonised part of southern Iran.

Iran’s small share of the profits became a big issue and so did the treatment of its oil workers. 6,000 withdrew their labour in 1946 and the strike was violently put down with 200 dead or injured. In 1951 Anglo-Iranian declared £40 million profit after tax but handed Iran only £7 million. Meanwhile Arabian American Oil was sharing profits with the Saudis on a 50/50 basis. Calls for nationalisation were mounting.

As a result of the Persian Constitutional Revolution the first Majlis (parliament) was established in 1906 and the country became a constitutional monarchy with high hopes. By mid-century Iran not unreasonably wanted economic and political independence and an end to poverty. In March 1951 its Majlis and Senate voted to nationalise Anglo-Iranian, which had controlled Iran’s oil industry since 1913 under terms disadvantageous to Iran. Respected social reformer Dr Mohammad Mossadeq was named prime minister the following month by a 79 to 12 majority. On 1 May Mossadeq carried out his government’s wishes, cancelling Anglo-Iranian’s oil concession due to expire in 1993 and expropriating its assets.

His explanation, given in a speech in June 1951 (M. Fateh, Panjah Sal-e Naft-e Iran, p. 525), ran as follows…

Our long years of negotiations with foreign countries… have yielded no results this far. With the oil revenues we could meet our entire budget and combat poverty, disease, and backwardness among our people. Another important consideration is that by the elimination of the power of the British company, we would also eliminate corruption and intrigue, by means of which the internal affairs of our country have been influenced. Once this tutelage has ceased, Iran will have achieved its economic and political independence.

The Iranian state prefers to take over the production of petroleum itself. The company should do nothing else but return its property to the rightful owners. The nationalization law provides that 25 per cent of the net profits on oil be set aside to meet all the legitimate claims of the company for compensation…It has been asserted abroad that Iran intends to expel the foreign oil experts from the country and then shut down oil installations. Not only is this allegation absurd; it is utter invention…

For this he would eventually be removed in a coup by MI5 and the CIA, imprisoned for 3 years then put under house arrest until his death.

Britain, with regime change in mind, orchestrated a world-wide boycott of Iranian oil, froze Iran’s sterling assets and threatened legal action against anyone purchasing oil produced in the formerly British-controlled refineries. It even considered invading. The Iranian economy was soon in ruins…. sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Attempts by the Shah to replace Mossadeq failed and he returned with more power, but his coalition was slowly crumbling under the hardships imposed by the British blockade.

At first America was reluctant to join Britain’s destructive game but Churchill let it be known that Mossadeq was turning communist and pushing Iran into Russia’s arms at a time when Cold War anxiety was high. It was enough to bring America’s new president, Eisenhower, on board and plotting with Britain to bring Mossadeq down.

Chief of the CIA’s Near East and Africa division, Kermit Roosevelt Jr, arrived to play the leading role in an ugly game of provocation, mayhem and deception. An elaborate campaign of disinformation began, and the Shah signed two decrees, one dismissing Mossadeq and the other nominating the CIA’s choice, General Fazlollah Zahedi, as prime minister. These decrees were written as dictated by Donald Wilbur the CIA architect of the plan

The Shah fled to Rome. When it was judged safe to do so he returned on 22 August 1953. Mossadeq was arrested, tried, and convicted of treason by the Shah’s military court. He remarked

My greatest sin is that I nationalised Iran’s oil industry and discarded the system of political and economic exploitation by the world’s greatest empire… With God’s blessing and the will of the people, I fought this savage and dreadful system of international espionage and colonialism.

I am well aware that my fate must serve as an example in the future throughout the Middle East in breaking the chains of slavery and servitude to colonial interests.

His supporters were rounded up, imprisoned, tortured or executed. Zahedi’s new government soon reached an agreement with foreign oil companies to form a consortium to restore the flow of Iranian oil, awarding the US and Great Britain the lion’s share – 40 per cent going to Anglo-Iranian. The consortium agreed to split profits on a 50-50 basis with Iran but, tricky as ever, refused to open its books to Iranian auditors or allow Iranians to sit on the board.

A grateful US massively funded the Shah’s government, including his army and secret police force, SAVAK. Anglo-Iranian changed its name to British Petroleum in 1954. Mossadeq died on 5 March 1967.

Apologise? Hell no… Let’s demonise Iran!

But the West’s fun came to an abrupt halt with the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and a great British enterprise that started heroically and turned nasty ended in tears.

The US is still hated today for reimposing the Shah and his thugs and demolishing the Iranians’ democratic system of government, which the Revolution unfortunately didn’t restore. The US is widely known by Iranians as Big Satan and its regional handmaiden Israel rejoices in the name Little Satan. Britain, as the instigator and junior partner in the sordid affair, is similarly despised.

Moreover, Iran harbours great resentment at the way the West, especially the US, helped Iraq develop its armed forces and chemical weapons arsenal, and how the international community failed to punish Iraq for its use of those weapons against Iran in the Iran-Iraq war. The US, and eventually Britain, leaned strongly towards Saddam in that conflict and the alliance enabled Saddam to more easily acquire or develop forbidden chemical and biological weapons. At least 100,000 Iranians fell victim to them.

This is how John King writing in 2003 summed it up…

The United States used methods both legal and illegal to help build Saddam’s army into the most powerful army in the Mideast outside of Israel. The US supplied chemical and biological agents and technology to Iraq when it knew Iraq was using chemical weapons against the Iranians. The US supplied the materials and technology for these weapons of mass destruction to Iraq at a time when it was know that Saddam was using this technology to kill his Kurdish citizens. The United States supplied intelligence and battle planning information to Iraq when those battle plans included the use of cyanide, mustard gas and nerve agents. The United States blocked UN censure of Iraq’s use of chemical weapons. The United States did not act alone in this effort. The Soviet Union was the largest weapons supplier, but England, France and Germany were also involved in the shipment of arms and technology.

While Iranian casualties were at their highest as a result of US chemical and biological war crimes Trump was busy acquiring the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Trump Castle, his Taj-Mahal casino, the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan and was refitting his super-yacht Trump Princess. What does he know, understand or care about Iran?

On the British side Foreign Secretary Jaremy Hunt was messing about at Oxford University; and the front-runner to fill our Prime Minister vacancy, Boris Johnson, former Foreign Secretary, was similarly at Oxford carousing with fellow Old Etonians at the Bullingdon Club. What do they know or care?

Which brings us to today… Why are we hearing nonstop sabre-rattling against Iran when we should be extending the hand of reconciliation and friendship? And why are these clueless leaders demonising Iran instead of righting the wrongs? Because the political establishment is still smarting. And they are the new-generation imperialists, the political spawn of those Dr Mossadeq and many others struggled against. They haven’t learned from the past, and they won’t lift their eyes to a better future.

It’s so depressing.

Economic sanctions: are they moral, or even legal?

The US and UK have led the charge on oil sanctions and other measures to make life hell for Iranians. But are they on safe legal ground?

The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) in a statement on 26 November 2011, said they were deeply concerned about the threats against Iran by Israel, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Referring to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, IADL stated that those threats were unacceptable and dangerous not only for all the region but for the whole of humanity, and that Article 2.4 of the UN Charter forbids not only use of force but also the threat of force in international relations. The right of defence does not include pre-emptive strikes.

The IADL also pointed out that while Israel was quick to denounce the possible possession of nuclear weapons by others, it had illegally possessed nuclear weapons for many years. The danger to world peace was so great as to require the global eradication of all nuclear weapons, and to immediately declare the Middle East a nuclear free zone and a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction, as required by UN Security Council resolution 687.

Furthermore, Article 33 states that “the parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means…” Economic ‘terror’ tactics such as the vicious sanctions deployed by the US, UK and their allies – and the similar measures used by Britain and America in the 1950s to bring down the government of Dr Mossadeq and reinstate the Shah – are simply not part of the approved toolkit.

Remember the context

UN Security Council resolution 487 of 1981 called on Israel “urgently to place its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards”. Israel has been allowed to ignore it for nearly 40 years. In 2009, the IAEA called on Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty, open its nuclear facilities to inspection and place them under comprehensive IAEA safeguards. Israel still refuses to join or allow inspections.

The Zionist regime is reckoned by some to have up to 400 nuclear warheads at its disposal. It is the only state in the region that is not a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (Iran is). It has signed but not ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. As regards biological and chemical weapons, Israel has not signed the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. It has signed but not ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention.

In early 2012 the US intelligence community was saying that Iran hadn’t got an active nuclear weapons programme, and Israeli intelligence agreed. The Director of the National Intelligence Agency, James Clapper, reported: “We assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons… We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons…”

So the continual focus on Iran has been a deliberate distraction. We repaid Iranian cooperation in D’Arcy’s oil venture with corporate greed and diplomatic double-cross. America and Britain are still smarting from the time when Iran democratically elected Dr Mossadeq, who sensibly nationalized her vast oil resources. Up till then the grasping British were raking in far more profit from Iranian oil than the Iranians themselves.

Back in the 1920s the US State Department had described the oil deposits in the Middle East as “a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history”. Ever since, its designs on Iraq and Iran have been plain to see and it is still ready to pounce on every opportunity.

When the CIA-engineered coup toppled Dr Mossadeq, reinstated the Shah and his secret police, and let the American oil companies in, it was the final straw for the Iranians. The British-American conspiracy backfired spectacularly 25 years later with the Islamic Revolution of 1978-9, the humiliating 444-day hostage crisis in the American embassy and a tragically botched rescue mission. What should have been a sharp lesson for Western meddlers became a festering sore.

The quest for the energy prize is not over. But it is no longer just about oil. Zionist stooges in controlling positions in the West’s corridors of power are pledged to ensure Israel remains the only nuclear power in the Middle East and continues to dominate the region militarily. And they are willing to spill Christian blood and spend Christian treasure in that cause.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton, recipient of the Defender of Israel Award last year and the Guardian of Zion Award the year before, is one such super-stooge. His stupefying remark: “No-one has granted Iran a hunting licence in the Middle East” typifies the arrogance of his ilk.

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Iran Barred from Closed UN Security Council Session Pertaining the US Threats against Iran


NOVANEWS
  

On Monday at the Trump regime’s request, Security Council members met in closed session on the mid-June Gulf of Oman and earlier hostile incidents last month.

Iran was barred from attending to stress it had nothing to do with what happened. No credible evidence suggests it. More on this below.

The US is again up to its dirty tricks in the Middle East and elsewhere — manufacturing consent for war based on Big Lies and deception.

We’ve seen it all before numerous times against one nonbelligerent country after another threatening no one.

This time Iran is in the eye of the storm because of its sovereign independence, opposition to US imperial wars, support for Palestinian rights, and other geopolitical policies conflicting with Washington’s aim to rule the world unchallenged.

And by the way, it’s the oil stupid. Iran has the world’s fourth largest proved reserves after Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and Canada. It has the second largest known natural gas reserves after Russia.

It also has valued coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc and sulphur reserves. Its resources are worth hundreds of billions, maybe trillions of dollars — a prize the US covets for Big Oil and other corporate American interests to plunder.

Iranian UN envoy Majid Takht Ravanchi reacted sharply to being excluded from Monday’s closed Security Council session, saying:

“As a country whose airspace has been violated by two US spy drones, Iran was entitled to participate in the council’s meeting today. This is our right under the UN Charter,” adding:

“We expressed our readiness and request to participate in that meeting. However, unfortunately, we were denied of exercising this right.”

“Today the council is being briefed unilaterally by one party: the US, who is abusing its position as the council’s permanent member to misguide this body in order to advance its anti-Iran policy.”

“We have irrefutable information on the incident to provide to the council,” referring to downing of the US spy drone.

“According to our credible, detailed and precise technical information on the path, location, and point of intrusion, and impact of the US spy drone, there is no doubt that when targeted, the drone was flying over the Iranian territorial sea.”

Following Monday’s session, acting US UN envoy Jonathan Cohen falsely accused Iran of what he called an “unprovoked attack against a US intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft in international airspace (sic).”

He blamed what he called “a sophisticated state actor” for the regional May and June tanker incidents, adding:

“The only state actor with the capabilities and the motive to carry out these attacks is Iran (sic).”

Clearly the Islamic Republic had everything to lose and nothing to gain from the incidents no credible evidence suggests it had anything to do with.

The US, Israel, and their imperial partners benefitted greatly by falsely blaming Iran for what happened.

False flags are a longstanding US tradition, dating from the mid-19th century, 9/11 the mother of them all. The latest regional incidents have US fingerprints all over them, maybe Israeli ones as well.

So-called evidence the Trump regime claims it has about Iranian involvement doesn’t exist. It’s no more credible than fake news about nonexistent Iraqi WMDs, a phony pretext for Bush/Cheney’s aggression against the country.

A Monday statement by Kuwait’s UN envoy Mansour al-Otaibi, presiding over the session, said:

SC “members condemn the attack on oil tankers which represent a serious threat to maritime navigation and energy supply, contravening international rules on freedom of navigation and maritime transport, as well as a threat to international peace and security” — short of laying blame where it belongs, clearly not on Iran.

No mention was made of the US spy drone’s downing. Britain, France, and Germany issued a separate joint statement, saying increased regional tensions “risk miscalculation and conflict,” calling for “deescalation and dialogue,” affirming their JCPOA support short of fulfilling their obligations required by its provisions.

Russian UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia slammed hardline US tactics, saying “Iranian officials recently said that you cannot have a dialogue with a knife against your throat,” adding:

“What kind of dialogue (is possible) if you are introducing the worst kind of sanctions ever?”

Separately in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov slammed hostile US actions against Iran, saying attempts to isolate the country won’t work.

On Friday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stressed his country’s readiness to help Iran’s energy and banking sectors.

On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif slammed the Trump regime’s B-Team “thirst for war” while “despis(ing) diplomacy” the way it should be.

His infamous B-Team members include John Bolton, Saudi and UAE crown princes, and Israel’s Netanyahu.

“You (Pompeo) continue to do the same thing at State,” Zarif added, responding to his remark when CIA director, saying: “We lied. We cheated. We stole.”

On Monday, the Trump regime imposed (symbolic) sanctions on Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and “those closely affiliated with him,” including FM Zarif coming later this week.

In response, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi tweeted:

“Imposing useless sanctions on Iran’s Supreme Leader and the commander of Iran’s diplomacy (Zarif) is the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy” with the Trump regime, adding:

He annihilat(ed) all the established international mechanisms for keeping peace and security in the world” it disdains.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said US sanctions against Iran show the regime’s “despair,” adding Trump’s White House is “mentally retarded.”

Khamenei, Zarif, and other Iranian officials are highly unlikely to have assets abroad to sanction.

On Monday and Tuesday, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, John Bolton, and his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat discussed Syria, Iran, and other geopolitical issues in Jerusalem.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Bolton and Ben-Shabbat aim to shift Russia away from supporting Iranian interests — a futile effort, adding:

They’re pushing Russia to “convince Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to curtail Iran’s presence in Syria” — what Netanyahu failed to get Putin to agree to, despite several attempts trying.

Invited by Damascus to help combat US-supported terrorists, Iranian military advisors are in Syria, not combat troops as Israel and the US falsely claim.

Putin and Trump are expected to meet on the sidelines of the Osaka, Japan G20 summit later this week.

Russia seeks Middle East peace and stability, an objective the US opposes. Talks between their officials won’t change a thing.

Permanent war is official US policy — all sovereign independent countries on its target list for regime change, including Russia, China, and Iran.

Sergey Lavrov stressed that

“(j)ust like us, Iran is legitimately present on Syrian territory to help fight terrorists, invited by the legitimate Syrian government.”

Separately according to Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, reports of significant declines in Iranian oil exports are greatly exaggerated, saying “(t)he news is absolutely wrong,” without further elaboration, adding:

“Giving a figure is not in our interests.” In late May, Deputy Director of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) Hadi Haqshenas said crude oil loadings and exports from the country’s ports have not been halted, adding:

“Perhaps the destinations of oil cargoes from our ports have changed but the legal exports are ongoing.”

“Of course, it cannot be denied that the loading of oil and products has fallen compared to the past, but the shipping of oil cargoes from our ports has definitely not stopped.”

Russia, China, Turkey, and other countries oppose US efforts to isolate Iran and crush its economy.

The Islamic Republic withstood 40 years of US toughness. Sacrificing its sovereign rights to its imperial interests is not in its vocabulary.

*

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

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Iran: Operation Eagle Claw, US military catastrophe


NOVANEWS

Image result for operation eagle claw photos

Iran – The operation Eagle Claw , also known as the  Evening Light , is the secret military mission that was organized to save the 52 hostages held captive in the American embassy in Tehran. The operation, which began on April 24, 1980, was such a glaring failure that it prompted US leaders to create the United States Special Operations Command. Due to the failure of the mission the hostages were released after 444 days of imprisonment only after lengthy diplomatic negotiations.

 

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Sanctions Bite, and Iran Hasn’t Forgotten


NOVANEWS
 

Take off the “feel good” Alt-Media glasses and face the facts, sanctions are very successful in inflicting Hybrid War harm against victimized states, which is an “inconvenient reality” that Iran’s being reminded of right now.

Contrary to the “politically correct” Alt-Media dogma that sanctions “only make states stronger”, some of them are inevitably destabilized by this asymmetrical weapon whenever it takes on Hybrid War dimensions, as it currently is in Iran.

The Islamic Republic is being besieged from within due to the external encouragement of the time-tested tool of speculation as a means for influencing the country’s financial and currency markets, with the result being that economically driven protests are spreading throughout the country’s capital and into other cities as well. These aren’t the first such mass demonstrations this year because Iran earlier had to deal with large-scale protests over similar issues roughly six months ago, which were also sparked by civil society’s discontent and ended up being guided  by largely unseen foreign hands in the direction of destabilization, too.

The Spurious Kurdish Connection

The same phenomenon is repeating itself once again, albeit possibly with the intent of transforming the previous “test run” into the “real thing”, or in other words, seeing foreign state actors (mostly the US & Saudi Arabia) providing clandestine military support to urban and rural terrorist/”insurgent” forces in order to provoke a self-sustaining cycle of escalation that could be manipulated for geopolitical ends. Last winter’s unrest could in hindsight be seen as a probe for gauging the government’s response and testing the limits of what could “acceptably” be done before eliciting a reaction from the security forces. Armed with this contextual Color Revolution knowledge, they then proceeded to experiment with their modified techniques in Iranian Kurdistan, which has a militant history of preexisting identity discord and is therefore the most susceptible part of the country to Hybrid War.

The authorities cracked down on smuggling in this region in early spring, but this had the effect of prompting protests by the impoverished locals who complained that they couldn’t receive much-needed supplies at the prices that they had previously depended on. Moreover, the Kurdish population was already predisposed to more political assertiveness following the nationalist demonstration effect that they observed in neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan last fall after the region’s unsuccessful independence attempt. The cocktail of nationalist and economic concerns created fertile ground for demagogues to argue that the entire population should take to the street in order to resist the government’s anti-smuggling crackdown. Although disconnected from the current events in Tehran, the Mainstream Media narrative will predictably be that this new round of protests originated in Iranian Kurdistan and have since spread nationwide.

The “Zero Tolerance” Chain Reaction

The present events are driven more by speculation (whether unfounded or not) than anything else because many people are worried that Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, the reimposition of sanctions, and subsequent November deadline for the world to stop purchasing Iranian oil will totally wreck their economy and lead to a sharp decrease in living standards. After all, the US’ “zero tolerance” policy of refusing to issue any “secondary sanctions” waivers to China and India – Iran’s two largest energy partners – might lead to them curtailing their oil imports in order to avert a more pronounced trade war with America. Should this happen, then the US would succeed in Asia against Iran where it failed in Europe against Russia by significantly dipping into its opponent’s market share and therefore depriving it of much-needed cash revenue.

Making matters even more pronounced is that many Iranians, and particularly those in the urban areas such as Tehran, genuinely believed in the false hopes that the “reformist”-led Rouhani government encouraged in their hearts after the 2015 deal that convinced them that their personal futures would be brighter than ever before. Whether this was a deception all along or just a terrible and mismanaged policy to begin with, the fact of the matter is that many people feel deeply disappointed by what happened and might be less willing to passively accept a worsening of their living conditions no matter how much the government says that Trump is solely responsible for this. The knock-off effect of this speculation is that the value of the Iranian rial has plunged and everything is now naturally more expensive for everybody.

Screenshot from Reuters, June 25, 218

In response, the authorities banned the import of 1300 products in a bid to boost Iran’s “resistance economy” of “Make in Iran” import-substitution, though it may take an undetermined length of time for this policy to reap actual results in placating the anxious and protesting masses. In the meantime, a “window of opportunity” has opened up for external forces to exacerbate the economically driven internal unrest in an attempt to steer it towards a geopolitical direction. The government is well aware of this scheme and that’s why the Ayatollah decreed that “economic security” must be safeguarded at all costs in order to prevent this manufactured crisis’ exacerbation and the US’ resultant artificial recreation of the same series of events that led to the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Recreating The Revolution

The Shah’s primary weakness wasn’t so much that he was an authoritarian ruler, but that he failed to improve the economy to the point where the majority of the population wouldn’t care about political issues because everything was comfortably taken care of for them. Economic protests eventually spiraled out of control after the state resorted to using its monopoly on violence against peaceful demonstrators, therefore triggering a self-sustaining escalation cycle that never abated no matter how hard the government tried. This quickly led to the Shah’s overthrow, which was soon thereafter taken advantage of by the Ayatollah in order to usher in an Islamic Republic on the backs of the many leftist protesters who made the revolution happen in the first place.

Adapting this model to the present day, the US is hoping that the state security forces either overreact to the economic protests (some degree of which are being directly and indirectly influenced from abroad) or are pressed into do so by the most unruly rioters’ provocations, which could then set into motion the “revolutionary” Hybrid War cycle that could see the Islamo-Marxist MEK terrorists becoming the vanguard force for destabilizing the Iranian state at the behest of its US and Saudi patrons. Accordingly, this could spark the series of cascading scenarios elaborated on by the author in his July 2016 analytical forecast about “The US-Saudi Plan To Prompt An Iranian Pullback From Syria” that include the foreign empowerment of ethno-regional terrorist/”insurgent” groups all around the Persians’ periphery.

The end goal of the ongoing Hybrid War on Iran is the same as it always has been, and that’s to advance the interconnected objectives of Regime Tweaking, Regime Change, and Regime Reboot (R-TCR). This phased progression of asymmetrical pressure first seeks to compel the targeted state, which in this case is Iran, into unilateral political concessions such as downscaling its physical and ideological presence in its Mideast “sphere of influence” in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen before ultimately withdrawing just like the 1980s USSR did its Eastern European “sphere of influence” in the late 1980s. Should that be unsuccessful, then the next step is to try and overthrow the government prior to “rebooting” its entire state structure through “constitutional reform” that “Balkanizes” it into “Identity Federalized” components that can be more “easily managed” through classic divide-and-rule means.

The Way Forward 

Bearing this grand strategy in mind and the invaluable experiences that the US & its allies acquired over the past half a year through “test runs”, it should be anticipated that Iran’s adversaries are going to “twist the knife” through concerted economic (sanctions) and asymmetrical (terrorist) warfare measures in order to throw the Islamic Republic into Hybrid War chaos through the triggering of the self-sustaining cycle of escalation that was discussed earlier. Iran runs the very real risk of becoming embroiled in a serious conflict if it doesn’t regain control of the strategic dynamics at play, to which end it must take care not to overreact to provocations but should nevertheless demonstrate resolve when responding to them. Furthermore, the state must clearly explain to the people how it plans to implement its “resistance economy” and what “collective sacrifices” this entails.

Concurrent with this, an information campaign must be initiated whereby the state informs the people about the geopolitical motivations and practical mechanisms for externally exploiting their domestic economic situation, taking partial responsibility for some policy failings and prevailing naiveté in making the country more vulnerable to these asymmetrical attacks. It’s impractical at this point to blame everything solely on Trump – whether wholly justified in doing so or not – because it doesn’t change anything in tangible terms for the people who are suffering or stand to suffer the most, especially after their unrealistically high hopes from 2015 were dramatically dashed by the cold slap of unipolarity. It’s possible that the state might quietly make Russian-facilitated “compromises” in Syria in an effort to alleviate the heavy pressure being put on it, but even this wouldn’t likely be enough to earn much relief.

Therefore, the only sustainable solution is for Iran to unapologetically embrace the Golden Ring of Multipolar Great Powers by redirecting its strategic focus eastward in response to the multifaceted challenges facing it on the western front in the aforementioned domains of its Mideast “sphere of influence”. It’s not to say that Iran should “surrender” its hard-fought influence in these countries, but just that it needs to reconceptualize its role in Eurasia and urgently begin exploring real-sector economic opportunities in the supercontinent in order to “balance” its hitherto ideologically-driven foreign policy that has yet to yield the profits that its people need in order to withstand this latest Hybrid War siege. The context of this latest coordinated effort at regime change is vastly different than what Iran experienced in the 1980s given the changed international (New Cold War) and domestic (economic and demographic) conditions, which is why a radical policy readjustment might be necessary.

Concluding Thoughts

It’s no longer possible to downplay the economic unrest in Iran and completely attribute it to foreign forces because the highly publicized shutdown of the Tehran bazaar attests to the very real nature of what’s happening. There’s undoubtedly an external hand involved in manipulating the structural circumstances in which regular Iranians have found themselves, but observers can’t overlook the fact that well-intentioned people are nevertheless still participating in these events in spite of that as they protest their deteriorating living standards and desperately attempt to stave off what they’ve been speculatively led to believe will be their continued worsening in the future. Having learned from the two “test runs” that took place at the beginning of the year in urban locales across the country and then later on in rural Iranian Kurdistan, the US and its allies have acquired a keen sense of understanding over how they could guide developments in the direction of their grand strategic interests.

The danger is that massive apolitical protests by a majority of peaceful people will be hijacked by a few terrorist/”insurgent” provocateurs who try their utmost to trick the state into a militant overreaction that could inevitably lead to the loss of civilian life, after which the “Rules For Radicals” decontextualization and subsequent reframing of the situation as “unprovoked killings by the dictatorship’s security services” could fuel a self-sustaining cycle of violence. Building off of the intermittent disturbances in Iranian Kurdistan, the country’s enemies could then exploit this region as the epicenter of Hybrid War destabilization by encouraging the return of Kurdish jihadis and the MEK-facilitated arming of the “Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran” (whose leader just visited Washington). From there, it may be possible to spark other peripheral “insurgencies” that divert the attention of the security services and open the state up to an unexpected blow at either a predetermined moment or the “right opportunity”.

The end goal is to overthrow the mullah-managed republic and replace it with an “Identity Federation” that makes the “New Iran” incomparably easier to control through divide-and-rule means, though this won’t happen so long as the country continues to resist the Hybrid War against it. The security services have repeatedly proven their capability in handling all manner of threats, but the government must spearhead an economic solution for sustaining its military gains and ensuring the continued “compliance” of the population. The last thing that the state needs is countless well-intentioned citizens refusing to leave the streets and inadvertently being taken advantage of as “human shields” by provocateurs, which is why something must urgently be done to placate the restless people. Seeing as how Iran’s western-directed ideologically-driven foreign policy of the past decades hasn’t yielded any real economic results, it’s sensible to at least consider whether a pragmatic geostrategic redirection eastward towards the Golden Ring is long overdue.

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Posted in IranComments Off on Sanctions Bite, and Iran Hasn’t Forgotten

Iran’s Chabahar Port Is Where Asian and Middle Eastern Rivalries Collide


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Iran’s Indian-back port of Chabahar, inaugurated months before the United States re-imposed sanctions on the Islamic republic, is where Asia and the Middle East’s multiple political conflicts and commercial rivalries collide.

Chabahar was destined to become a player in geopolitical and economic manoeuvring between China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Central Asian states even without the re-imposition of sanctions.

The sanctions have, however, significantly enhanced its importance as Iran struggles to offset the likely punishing impact of US efforts to force the Islamic republic to alter its foreign and defense policy and/or achieve a change of regime.

Iran sees the port together with the Indian-backed Chabahar Free Trade Zone, that hopes to host a steel mill and a petrochemical complex, as the motor of development of the Iranian section of the Makran coast. Iran’s province of Sistan and Balochistan shares the coast line with the Pakistani province of Balochistan, home to the Chinese-backed rival port of Gwadar.

Saudi Arabia sees the Pakistani region as a launching pad of a potential effort by the kingdom and/or the United States to destabilizing the Islamic republic by stirring unrest among its ethnic minorities, including the Baluch. Saudi Arabia has put the building blocks in place for possible covert action but has to date given no indication that it intends to act on proposals to support irredentist action.

A study written by Mohammed Hassan Husseinbor, an Iranian of Baloch origin, and published by the International Institute for Iranian Studies, formerly known as the Arabian Gulf Centre for Iranian Studies, a Saudi government-backed think tank, argued that Chabahar posed “a direct threat to the Arab Gulf states” that called for “immediate counter measures.”

Mr. Husseinbor said Chabahar would enable Iran to increase market share in India for its oil exports at the expense of Saudi Arabia, raise foreign investment in the Islamic republic, increase Iranian government revenues, and allow Iran to project power in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean.

Saudi Arabia, months before the US re-imposition of sanctions, already sought to thwart development of Chabahar by stopping South Korea’s POSCO Engineering & Construction from moving ahead with a $1.6 billion agreement with Iranian steelmaker Pars Kohan Diar Parsian Steel (PKP) to build a steel mill in Chabahar. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has a 38 percent stake in POSCO.

“This project mandatorily requires the decision of the board of directors. However, as relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia rapidly grew worse after a severance of diplomatic ties last year, outside directors in the board meeting are having negative stances on Iran projects, especially those requiring investment and JVC (joint venture company) establishment,” POSCO said in a letter to PKP.

POSCO said it had difficulty “convincing and reaching consent on the unfavourable opinion from the outside directors.”

The POSCO letter signalled that Chabahar’s success would depend on the political will of governments with India and Iran in the lead rather than on any hope to attract private sector investment.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the signing of the trilateral transit agreement between the three countries in May 2016. (Source: CC BY-SA 2.0)

India was earlier this month forced to drop a demand that the winner of a bid to manage the Chabahar port pay an upfront US$8.52 million premium.

“We were charging a premium from the successful bidder to meet our preliminary expenses. But the shortlisted bidders said that the project is of strategic importance and is not commercially viable,” said an Indian official.

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj insisted last month that her country would not bow to US pressure to adhere to the Trump administration’s sanctions.

“India follows only UN sanctions, and not unilateral sanctions by any country,” Ms. Swaraj said.

Beyond the port’s economic importance for Iran, it will also likely allow the Islamic republic to increase its influence in Afghanistan at a time that the United States and Saudi Arabia are stepping up economic cooperation with Kabul in a bid to isolate both Iran and the Taliban.

For its part, Afghanistan sees the port as a way to reduce its transport dependence on Pakistan with which it has strained relations.

Despite the US cloud hanging over it, Chabahar’s potential significance goes beyond whether it will contribute to the Iranian effort.

India hopes that its US$500 million investment in the port will offer it a gateway to Afghanistan and land-locked Central Asia that constitutes an alternative to infrastructure related to China’s Belt and Road initiative, including the $50 billion plus China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and an anti-dote to Chinese investment in Indian Ocean ports.

If geopolitics did not already amount to a full plate, Chabahar is likely, together with a host of ports in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Oman and Qatar, to challenge the longstanding dominance in the Indian Ocean of Dubai’s Jebel Ali port.

Commercial competition between ports has been reinforced by the Saudi-Iranian battle for regional hegemony as well as the Gulf spat between Qatar and a Saudi-United Arab Emirates-led alliance that a year ago imposed an economic and diplomatic boycott on the Gulf state and the war in Yemen.

As a result, commercial, military and geopolitical drivers for port investment in the region have blurred and expanded the multiples rivalries into the Horn of Africa with the UAE and others, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar jockeying for position in Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Yemen and Djibouti.

Said NATO Defence College analyst Eleonora Ardemagni:

“The political rift in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) weakens economic integration prospects and as a consequence cooperation among commercial ports. The Qatari crisis opened a new chapter in intra-GCC relations marking the emergence of latent nationalism in the Arab Gulf region: the rising geopolitics of ports is going to further unveil this trend.”

*

This article was also published on The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer.

Dr. James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, co-director of the University of Würzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, and co-host of the New Books in Middle Eastern Studies podcast. James is the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog, a book with the same title as well as Comparative Political Transitions between Southeast Asia and the Middle East and North Africa, co-authored with Dr. Teresita Cruz-Del Rosario,  Shifting Sands, Essays on Sports and Politics in the Middle East and North Africaand the forthcoming China and the Middle East: Venturing into the Maelstrom

Featured image is by Alireza numberone/CC BY-SA 4.0.


Can you help us keep up the work we do? Namely, bring you the important news overlooked or censored by the mainstream media and fight the corporate and government propaganda, the purpose of which is, more than ever, to “fabricate consent” and advocate war for profit.

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If you have the means to make a small or substantial donation to contribute to our fight for truth, peace and justice around the world, your gesture would be much appreciated.

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Media Debate Best Way to Dominate Iran


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The debate in the New York Times and Washington Post over President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran deal, revolves around which tactics America should use to dominate Iran.

At one end of the spectrum of acceptable opinion is the view that President Trump was correct to withdraw from the deal because it supposedly failed to handcuff Iran to a sufficient degree. At the other is the far more common perspective, which is that Trump should have remained in the deal because it is an effective tool for controlling Iran.

In the New York Times, Bret Stephens (5/8/18) argued that the agreement did not achieve what he thinks should be the goal of US policy towards Iran, namely:

to put Iran’s rulers to a fundamental choice. They can opt to have a functioning economy, free of sanctions and open to investment, at the price of permanently, verifiably and irreversibly forgoing a nuclear option and abandoning their support for terrorists. Or they can pursue their nuclear ambitions at the cost of economic ruin and possible war.

The New York Times‘ Bret Stephens (5/8/18) is glad Trump canceled the Iran deal because that allows the US to threaten Iran with “economic ruin and possible war.”

Ending American participation in the deal makes sense, according to Stephens, because doing so puts Washington in a better position to threaten to violently destroy Iran in order to make it do want the US government wants. What he means by “support for terrorists” is unclear and evidence-free.

The Washington Post (5/9/18) ran an incoherent piece by US national security advisor John Bolton saying that Trump needed to take the US out of the Iran deal because, since its implementation, Iran has not “focus[ed] on behaving responsibly.” In other words, he opposes the nuclear accord because Iran has proven itself too immature for the freedom from US control that Bolton wrongly suggests it is offered under the JCPOA.

Commentators who differed on Trump’s decision nevertheless shared the premise of those in favor of taking the US out of the deal, which is that Iran belongs under imperial stewardship.

WaPo: The Iran Deal Was Betrayed by Its Own Abysmal Record

John Bolton (Washington Post5/9/18), one of the foremost advocates of the Iraq invasion and for regime change in Libya and Syria, accused Iran of “spreading an arc of death and destruction across the Middle East.”

Susan Rice, President Obama’s national security advisor, defended the Iran nuclear deal in the Times  (5/8/18) on the grounds that it “has served American interests.”

“By withdrawing from the deal,” she writes, “we have weakened our ability to address [America’s] concerns” with Iranian policy.

Roger Cohen of the Times (5/8/18) took the same position, saying,

“The question has always been: Do you change Iran by isolating it or by engaging it step by step? The nuclear deal was a possible starting point in engagement.”

Trump, Cohen continues, “has done a grave disservice to American interests.”

In the Post (5/10/18), furthermore, David Ignatius criticized Trump for transforming Iran from “a manageable problem into a freewheeling, uncontrolled one.”

Iran and Global Empire

While analysts at the Times and the Post sit at different points within the parameters of permissible thinking, they have in common the view that Iran should be a ward of empire because otherwise it will interfere with the US’s global ambitions. Proponents and opponents of the Iran deal therefore debate it on the basis of whether it helps US ruling class efforts to secure global hegemony.

Stephens backed Trump’s move because he says that the agreement eased sanctions on Iran, thereby enabling the country to have more money with which to support its allies in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon. He says that “any [US] effort to counter Iran on the ground in these places would mean fighting the very forces we are effectively feeding. Why not just stop the feeding?” His position is that Trump is right to pull out of the deal because it enabled Iran to hinder US goals in the Middle East.

Bolton complained that “Tehran has poured billions of dollars into military adventures abroad, spreading an arc of death and destruction across the Middle East from Yemen to Syria,” ludicrously absolving the US/Saudi/UK coalition of its aggression against Yemen, and incorrectly assigning Iran sole responsibility for the bloodshed in Syria. That he was complaining about Iran’s support for forces that function as barriers to US domination in Syria and Yemen—support that is rather overblown in the Yemeni case—can hardly be seen as a coincidence.

At the other boundary of tolerable debate, Rice criticized Trump’s withdrawal because, she claimed, it meant that “Russia and China’s position in [the Middle East] will be bolstered at our expense.” In her view, Iran should be under US management for the purposes of imperial grand strategy.

The Nonexistent Iranian Nuclear Threat

Advocates of the agreement with Iran also debate detractors in terms of whether the arrangement is effective protection against the Iranian nuclear weapons program, a curious exercise given that no such program exists.

Yet Stephens implied that one does, or that there is reason to suspect that one might, writing that under the JCPOA,

Iran is under looser nuclear strictures than South Korea, and would have been allowed to enrich as much material as it liked once the deal expired. That’s nuts.

Bolton obscurely suggested that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons by saying that the JCPOA is based on the theory that Iran would “trade its nuclear ambitions for economic incentives,” while also writing that the deal has an “abysmal record” and “undermines the security of the American people.” Later he refers to Israeli revelations of a “trove of documentation of Iran’s past nuclear weapons program,” which he then says demonstrates that the US and Israel “are safer together than we are individually.”

NYT: Where's That Better Deal, Mr. Trump?

New York Times illustration (5/8/18) depicts Trump erasing the restraints around an imaginary Iranian warhead.

Yet other writers argue that the US should have remained in the deal because it kept in check the nuclear weapons program that Iran does not have. A New York Times editorial (5/8/18) said:

When it comes to the danger of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, there is no sign Iran or any of the other major powers in the existing and so far successful pact will simply fall in line with Mr. Trump’s notional new plan. More likely, his decision, announced on Tuesday, will allow Iran to resume a robust nuclear program.

The first sentence in this passage implied that Iran is involved in “a nuclear arms race,” or that there is reason to believe it likely will be part of one, even though there isn’t. Saying that Trump pulling out of the deal “will allow Iran to resume a robust nuclear program,” since it follows the phrase “nuclear arms race,” can easily be understood to refer to Iran’s  “robust” nuclear weapons program, which it does not have.

In the Post, likewise, Jennifer Rubin (5/8/18) argued that Iran “now can do what it pleases with its nuclear program—either choose to remain in the deal with the Europeans or proceed again with its nuclear weapons program.”

Inadmissible Thinking

Rarely allowed into the debate is the notion that Iranians have the right to chart their own course free of US interference, or any accounting of the harm US sanctions inflict on the people of Iran–views that exist on the far fringes of respectable analysis, appearing in limited ways just once in each paper amid the deluge of opinion pieces written about the nuclear deal in recent days, and drowned out by the chorus calling for Iran to be held beneath the American boot.

That the US and its Israeli partner should cease their efforts to dominate the Middle East, or that America and Israel’s nonfictional nuclear weapons need to be abolished, are evidently inadmissible into public discourse.

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CIA Whistleblower: Reports of Iran, al-Qaeda Ties ‘Simply a Lie’


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Image result for CIA MOSSAD CARTOON

A new Pentagon report claiming that Iran supports terrorist groups such as the Taliban and al-Qaeda has been disseminated through American media outlets – but has come under fire for wishy-washy claims about said connections.

For instance, one supposed link came when Saad bin Laden, one of Osama bin Laden’s sons, fled to Iran after the September 11, 2001, attacks in the US. But what isn’t mentioned is that Saad and his family were detained upon arrival and placed under house arrest. Khalid bin Laden, another of Osama’s sons who was killed alongside him during the 2011 US Navy SEALs raid, accused the Iranians in 2010 of subjecting his family members to beatings and severe mistreatment.

Garland Nixon and Lee Stranahan of Radio Sputnik’s Fault Lines spoke to John Kiriakou, a CIA agent-turned-whistleblower who helped reveal the CIA’s torture program to the American public in 2007.

​”The whole thing rests on your definition of harbor,” said Kiriakou. “Osama bin Laden’s son [Saad] in the immediate aftermath of the [battle of Tora Bora in December 2001] fled to Iran with his wives and his children and a handful of hangers-on. They were promptly arrested at the border. They were not put under house arrest in some beautiful palace with servants and a view of the valley; they were put under arrest and put in a jail. If that’s harbored, man, I don’t want to be harbored.”

“Let me say something unequivocally: there was no cooperation between al-Qaeda and Iran, just like there was no cooperation between al-Qaeda and Iraq.” Kiriakou referenced a little-mentioned Taliban execution of Iranian diplomats a few years before 9/11: in 1998, in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, the Taliban rounded up and killed a number of Iranian diplomats in retribution for Tehran’s support of the Northern Alliance in their war against the Taliban in the 90s — the same Northern Alliance that the US supported when they invaded Afghanistan in October 2001.

“There’s no love lost between between the Taliban/al-Qaeda and the Iranians,” said Kiriakou. “I’m going to say it again unequivocally: there is no connection between Iran and al-Qaeda, this is being made up. There are other countries that would benefit from the proliferation of this lie — but that’s what it is, simply a lie.”

Nixon mentioned that the connection between al-Qaeda and Iran was drawn from a CIA document dump from early November, with all the articles appearing in a three-day period — almost as though the outlets had coordinated to make the story.

“This is what the CIA does to confuse people,” said Kiriakou. “There’s no analysis, there’s no vetting of the documents, they just dump it. This is exactly what the CIA complained was happening during the first four years of the Bush administration, where the president is coming out or his aides are coming out and saying, ‘there’s cooperation between the Iraqi government and al-Qaeda.’ There wasn’t.”

“But what was happening was that people in the [National Security Council] who had their own political agenda were passing the president raw intelligence that had not been vetted, not been analyzed by the directorate of intelligence. Well, the CIA is doing exactly the same thing now, but they’re using the press as their dupe. They’re just releasing this raw data taken off of Osama bin Laden’s computers and saying, ‘here it is!’ No analysis, no nothing.”

On Wednesday, former New York Times journalist James Risen published a story on The Intercept in which he claimed his skepticism that Iraq under Saddam Hussein was linked to terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda were on multiple occasions buried by the Times’editorial staff.

“My stories raising questions about the intelligence, particularly the administration’s claims of a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda, were being cut, buried or held out of the paper altogether,” Risen wrote. “What angered me most was that while they were burying my skeptical stories, the editors were not only giving banner headlines to stories asserting that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, they were also demanding that I help match stories from other publications about Iraq’s purported WMD programs.”

Risen, and the others who were skeptical about the US intelligence community’s claims that Saddam had partnered with al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups in order to garner support for the 2003 invasion, were vindicated by history when the alleged links were revealed to be false.

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Iran confirms upholding death sentence for academic over spying


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Image result for IRAN FLAG

Iran’s Supreme Court has upheld a death sentence against a Sweden-based Iranian academic convicted of spying for the Nazi regime of ‘Israel’, the Tehran prosecutor was quoted as saying on Monday, confirming reports by Amnesty International and his family.

Ahmadreza Djalali, a medical doctor and lecturer at the Karolinska Institute, a Stockholm medical university, was accused of providing information to the Nazi regime to help it assassinate several senior nuclear scientists.

Djalali was arrested in Iran in April 2016 and later convicted of espionage. He has denied the charges, Amnesty said.

At least four scientists were killed between 2010 and 2012 in what Tehran said were assassinations meant to sabotage its efforts to develop nuclear energy. Western powers and the Nazi regime said Iran aimed to build a nuclear bomb. Tehran denied this.

The Islamic Republic hanged a man in 2012 over the killings, saying he was an agent for Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.

On Monday, Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said the Supreme Court recently upheld the death sentence against Djalali, the news site of Iran’s judiciary, Mizan, reported.

Dolatabadi said Djalali had confessed to meeting Mossad agents repeatedly to deliver information on Iran’s nuclear and defence plans and personnel, and helping to infect Defence Ministry computer systems with viruses, Mizan reported.

London-based Amnesty International and Djalali’s wife said earlier this month that his lawyers were told that the Supreme Court had considered his case and upheld his death sentence.

Iranian state television broadcast last week what it described as Djalali’s confessions. His wife said he had been forced by his interrogators to read the confession.

Djalali was on a business trip to Iran when he was arrested and sent to Evin prison. He was held in solitary confinement for three months of his detention and tortured, Amnesty said.

It said Djalali wrote a letter inside prison in August stating he was being held for refusing to spy for Iran.

Sweden condemned the sentence in October and said it had raised the matter with Iranian envoys.

Seventy-five Nobel prize laureates petitioned Iranian authorities last month to release Djalali so he could “continue his scholarly work for the benefit of mankind”.

Posted in IraqComments Off on Iran confirms upholding death sentence for academic over spying

Iran’s home grown air defense system to be operational soon


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__________
ABNA
Iran’s home grown air defense system to be operational soon

Iran has tested its home-grown air defence system, designed to match the Russian S-300, the head of the Revolutionary Guards’ air defence has said.

“In parallel with the deployment of the S-300, work on Bavar-373 system is underway,” Farzad Esmaili told state broadcaster IRIB late Saturday.

“The system is made completely in Iran and some of its parts are different from the S-300. All of its sub-systems have been completed and its missile tests have been conducted.”

Bavar (which means “belief”) is Tehran’s first long-range missile defence system, and is set to be operational by March 2018, he added.

In 2010, Iran began manufacturing Bavar-373 after the purchase of the S-300 from Russia was suspended due to international sanctions.

Russia resumed the sale following the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers which lifted sanctions, and Iran’s S-300 defence system became operational in March.

On Saturday, the new defence minister Amir Hatami said Iran has “a specific plan to boost missile power”.

He said he hoped “the combat capabilities of Iran’s ballistic and cruise missiles” would increase in the next four years.

The comments came amid increasing tensions with Washington, which has passed new sanctions against Iran’s ballistic missile programme.

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Iran, Again. Will I$raHell Start a New War?


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Iran, Again. Will Israel Start a New War?

When politicians are feeling the heat, they start a war and their popularity goes up even if the war is unnecessary or completely ridiculous. Donald Trump, the presidential candidate who promised that he would not take the nation into another Middle Eastern war, did so when he launched a fifty-nine cruise missile barrage against a Syrian Air Base even before he knew for sure what had happened on the ground. It was totally stupid but proved to be popular, even among talking heads and Congressmen, some of whom described his action as “presidential” in the best sense of the word.

It’s the same in Israel. For those who have not been following developments there, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been under pressure due to an ongoing investigation for corruption. One of the truly great things about Israel is that while they have a lot of corrupt politicians, just like everywhere else, they actually investigate, indict, prosecute, convict and send them to jail. The betting is that Netanyahu will soon be in prison, so he has been responding in the time-honored fashion by threatening his neighbors and hinting at the possibility of increased military action and even war. If there is a war going on, he believes, probably correctly, that no one will want to remove him.

In an amicable recent meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Netanyahu stressed that there are some red lines that Israel will not allow to be crossed, while also suggesting that some of them have already been violated, most notably through the alleged construction of an Iranian military base inside Syria. Netanyahu provided Putin with “top secret intelligence” to make his point and told the Russian premier that  “Iran is making an accelerated effort to entrench itself militarily in Syria. This poses a danger to Israel, the Middle East and in my opinion the world itself.”

Netanyahu characteristically depicted himself as restrained in his responses, telling Putin that Israel had taken only limited action in Syria against Hezbollah supply lines, but that was a lie as Israel has also hit Syrian army positions. Netanyahu described an Iran that is largely a fantasy creation of his own Foreign Ministry,

“We don’t for a second forget that Iran continues to threaten Israel’s destruction on a daily basis. It arms terrorist organizations and initiates terror itself. It is developing intercontinental ballistic missiles with the intention to equip them with nuclear warheads.”

He went on to claim that his strategic objective was to prevent the development of an Iranian controlled land bridge, described as “territorial continuity,” that would extend through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean Sea.

The reality is, however, somewhat different, that Israel has long preferred chaos in Syria since it eliminates any threat from a unified and powerful government in Damascus. But just as nature abhors a vacuum that policy had a considerable downside with Iranian supported militias and Revolutionary Guard units increasingly become part of the conflict, picking up the slack where the Syrian Army has been too overstretched to operate. Iranian influence over Syria, both overtly and covertly, will continue after Damascus eliminates the last vestiges of al-Qaeda affiliates and ISIS, not to mention the rag-tag “moderate rebels.” And Iran will have standing behind it the Syrian Army, Iraqi Shi’a militias, and Russian firepower. This has meant that the Israeli plan to have a chronically weak state across its border has backfired, bringing into the fighting and post-war reconfiguration Iran, which Tel Aviv fears most as a regional adversary.

So Israel has two strong motives to begin a war with Iran, one political and the other ostensibly linked to national security. Ironically, however, it also knows, and has even admitted, that Iran does not actually pose any threat against a nuclear armed Israel that has complete air superiority over any or even all of its neighbors. The often-cited land bridge threat is also a bit of a chimera, as whether it could potentially exist or not depends on effective interaction with Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, all of which have their own political dynamics and are somewhat wary of Iranian involvement. If there is any actual threat against Israel it comes from Hezbollah in Lebanon, which is an independent player even though it has strong ties to Tehran, but even in that case the threat is not as serious as fearmongering government leaders have claimed.

All of which is not to suggest that Iran is toothless if Israel were to get really aggressive. Hezbollah would undoubtedly unleash its missile arsenal against Israeli cities, some of which would get through, and any attack on Iran using aircraft would be confronted by formidable air defenses. Iran could also strike back against Israel using its ballistic missiles, all of which means that attacking Iran would be far from cost-free.

From Netanyahu’s point of view, it is far better to stage an incident that brings in Washington and then allows Uncle Sam to do the heavy lifting. The U.S. has strategic military capabilities that Israel lacks, including heavy bombers and armaments that could penetrate Iranian defenses, but it also has vulnerabilities in terms of military bases within striking range and ships at sea that could be attacked by swarms of small boats and land launched missiles.

Israel believes that bringing Washington into the conflict is doable given that the U.S. media has heavily propagandized against Tehran and that inside-the-beltway groupthink largely perceives Iran as an enemy. Recently Henry Kissinger spelled out the new line of strategic thinking which Israel is already exploiting to make its case. Per Kissinger, the impending defeat of ISIS in Syria and Iraq will create a power vacuum which will open the door to the creation of an “Iranian radical empire,” a more evocative version of the “land bridge” warning, which he refers to as a “territorial belt reaching from Tehran to Beirut.” As Iran is also fighting ISIS, Kissinger warns against complacency, that “in the contemporary Middle East…the enemy of your enemy is also your enemy.”

Israel has been pushing hard on Washington, recently having sent a high-level combined intelligence and military delegation to confer with National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster and Special Mideast Envoy Jason Greenblatt to explain the alleged Iranian threat. And the neocon chorus is also signaling that it expects the Trump Administration to do something. Frederick Hof of the hardline Atlantic Council recently wrote that the fundamental mistake made by Washington consisted of not invading Syria and installing an acceptable government years ago, which would have kept Iran out.

Saudi Arabia, which is demonstrating some signs of political instability, would also welcome conflict with Iran, which means that there is an existing coming-together of parties who for various reasons would welcome the escape from other problems that war offers. Donald Trump himself was angry at the State Department in July because it had certified that Tehran was in compliance with the nuclear pact signed last year and Congress also vented its anger by initiating new sanctions against Iran. The next certification is due in October and the president would clearly like to have a good reason, contrived or actual, to break the agreement.

Speculation in Israel is that some kind of preemptive strike is being planned, possibly directed against an Iranian target inside Syria. The danger is that such a move could quickly escalate, with the U.S. Congress and White House quickly aligning themselves with Netanyahu. The United States has no real compelling interest to attack the Iranians and would again find itself in a conflict generated by feckless regional allies that are not allies at all. The results could prove catastrophic in practical terms as Iran is capable of striking back, and it could be devastating to actual American longer terms interests both regionally and worldwide. It is time to say “no” when Israel comes knocking.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, IranComments Off on Iran, Again. Will I$raHell Start a New War?

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