IRAN | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


IRAN

May 20 11:46

Scott Adams: Predicting, Deutsche Bank, Brennan, China, Iran

Comments at: https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1130473779119869955

Representative Amash…we have a Representative Amash?
Biden…the less media coverage he gets, the more we’ll like him?
President Trump tweet warns Iran to never threaten us again
Public warning, and US public seems to support if needed
Does Iran want to give the US…an excuse to act?
Does Iran want the US to say “all options are open”?
AOC on climate change solutions…”especially the new technologies”
AOC is open to nuclear…especially the new technologies?
AOC is acknowledging risk/reward balance favors nuclear?
Social media sent a message to government…it was received
Simultaneous, well deserved “pat on the back”
Comey’s email to staff…Brennan INSISTS dossier be included?
Wouldn’t Brennan have known intel was from Russian Intel?
Wouldn’t Brennan have known it would affect our election?

May 20 11:13

UK advises British-Iranian nationals not to travel to Iran

Britain advised all citizens holding dual British and Iranian nationality on Friday to avoid travelling to Iran, saying they faced an unacceptably higher risk of arbitrary detention and mistreatment compared to other nationals.

The advice came after Iran said on Monday it had sentenced an Iranian woman, who worked for the British Council cultural agency, to 10 years prison for spying for Britain.

May 20 11:11

Analysis: There Is Little Hope that Europe Will Stand in the Way of a US War with Iran

The United States will go to war with Iran if nothing is done to prevent it. This is the assumption that the world’s geopolitical actors have worked off for the better part of two decades, and there has been precious little evidence to the contrary.

In the early 2000s, once it became clear that the War on Terror was, for all intents and purposes, a war without end, Iran loomed in the background of the nightmares that engulfed Afghanistan and Iraq and persist to this day. The fact that this original member of the ‘Axis of Evil’ escaped the heyday of post-9/11 imperial adventurism has stuck in the craw of the United States’ sulking, unrepentant neoconservatives ever since.

May 20 10:58

US Is Heading Toward a Looming Maritime Showdown… but Not With Iran

There are many indications that the United States and China are creeping towards a potential conflict in the South China Sea. When the motivations behind this war become clear the stakes become that much more serious.

While the world is drumming up a potential maritime showdown between the US and Iran (yet again), Western media is conveniently ignoring a potential looming conflict in the South China Sea, one that has been building up for years.

May 20 10:51

Saudis say they will defend themselves, as Trump warns Iran

Saudi Arabia does not want war but will not hesitate to defend itself against Iran, a top Saudi diplomat said Sunday after the kingdom’s energy sector was targeted this past week amid heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf.

U.S. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, warned Iran that it will face destruction if it seeks a fight, while Iranian officials said their country isn’t looking for war. Trump spoke after a rocket hit near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs, spoke a week after four oil tankers— two of them Saudi — were targeted in an alleged act of sabotage off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and days after Iran-allied Yemeni rebels claimed a drone attack on a Saudi oil pipeline.

May 20 10:35

Iran War "rollout" a "disaster" says top Israeli Rabbi

According to sources, a top Israeli Rabbi close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the Iran War "rollout" by the Trump Administration was a "total disaster." The Rabbi reportedly named Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton as the "culprits" in their "ineptitude in getting America involved in the war."

New plans are now underway to "shift the narrative" and "rebuilt trust" in the American media by positioning them as "seemingly antiwar." A new false flag scenario is being put together so that "next time this happens Americans will get on board."

May 20 09:48

Mossad Psychic Friends Network Strikes Again

The Trump administration’s war hawks couldn’t have asked for a more docile casus belli than the Katyusha rocket that landed a mile outside the US embassy in Baghdad’s American-occupied Green Zone on Sunday night, sparing persons, property, and the pride of a president who must have begun to doubt whether the mounting tensions between the US and Iran had any basis in reality at all – or whether the deliberately vague “credible intelligence” on the Iranian “threat” supplied by the Mossad was not a trick to convince the US to take out Israel’s last regional rival.

May 20 09:42

Trump-Bolton Aggression Against Iran Contained by Russia, Japan, China, and EU

The likelihood of a U.S. war with Iran is increasing, despite alternately isolationist and provocative messages coming from Trump administration officials.

The U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln is now sitting off the coast of Iran, and the U.S. has asked its non-emergency personnel to leave nearby Iraq. Meanwhile, there is a debate about images of what the New York Times described as “missiles on small boats in the Persian Gulf that were put on board by Iranian paramilitary forces.” Whether those missiles photographed were offensive or defensive is important in determining whether the U.S. is misrepresenting Iran’s actions as threatening.

May 19 17:28

Potential Iran False Flag As Rocket Falls Near US Embassy In Iraq & Explosion Hits Israeli Base

By TLAV

A rocket lands in Green Zone in Iraq. Trump appears to blame Iran Twitter “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!” John Bolton heads to war room. Explosion hits military facility in Israel. Is this a false flag to foment war with Iran?...

May 18 10:07

Tehran urges US to declassify its 'intelligence' on Iran threat in Iraq

Iran’s ambassador to the UN has called on the US government to declassify its alleged intelligence on "Iranian threat" in Iraq, saying Tehran is confident the claim is "fake".

“If they have credible evidence and information, why don’t they declassify them and make it known to the American people and to the people of the world?” Iranian Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht-Ravanchi said.

He made the remarks in a Thursday interview with CBS News channel in reaction to the US claim that “Iranian proxies” in the region are posing threat to US interests.

“As long as they cannot share this so-called intelligence, which we call fake intelligence, there is no utility in saying that these information are credible,” he added.

May 18 08:52

Iranian Special Forces Have Not Attacked Americans Since the 1990s

Source: deepstateblog.org

In the growing confrontation between the United States and Iran, the Iranian special forces, known as the Qods Force, will play a leading role in defending Iran.

[For more on the Qods Force and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security, click here.]

While the U.S. officials have claimed knowledge of specific and credible threats against American interests, the Iranians do not have a record of attack Americans, at least not recently.

A 2017 Congressional Research Service report lists all known Iranian attacks or planned attacks on Western targets. Only three of them took place in the 21st century. Only one took place in America and none resulted in the death or injury to any American.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Iran has not attacked Americans recently, because they understand, with a sure and certain knowledge, that such an act will result in Israel's the US's turning their country into a sea of molten glass, before things are over.

There have been stories around the end of last week, where President Trump has informed his aides that he does not want a military conflict with Iran. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-iran-trump/trump-tells-aides-he-d....

But his big worry is, will the state of Israel listen?!?

My thought is, hell no.

They have gotten him close to a commitment, from which he appears to be edging away right now, and time... is not on Israel's side.

Do not be surprised to see an Israeli-generated false flag attack to happen in the week and days to come, with which to smear Iran, and "get the party started." Israel has full knowledge of where US troops are in the region, and it appears to me, that some of them will, unfortunately, become the "sacrificial lambs" to ensure Israel's game plan.

May 18 08:30

Iraqi Parliament to Vote on Bill That Would Ban US Military Troops From Iraq

Source: Anti Media

(ANTIWAR.COM) — Iraq has spent the better share of the last 16 years under US military occupation. Despite this, time and again US-Iraqi relations have come to be defined by US hostility toward neighboring Iran, and Iraq’s desire to not get mixed up in that.

So while Iraq’s parliament was already bristling under Pentagon talk of staying in Iraq, and Trump saying that the US was staying in Iraq to “keep an eye on Iran,” the recent escalation of US rhetoric about a war against Iran has sparked action within parliament.

On Saturday, Iraq will be voting on a bill that would aim to expel all foreign troops from Iraqi soil, and singles out US troops in particular as needing to leave. The bill is endorsed by Iraq’s top two Shi’ite blocs, and is expected to pass fairly easily.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

All well and good; but how is the Iraqi Parliament going to be able to make this work, particularly if escalation against Iran creates a shooting war?!?

May 17 10:58

Trump must avoid ‘very stupid and costly war’ with Iran – Tulsi Gabbard

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard came out swinging against a possible conflict with Iran, slamming President Donald Trump for allowing war hawks to run his administration.

The president is “on the brink of launching a very stupid and costly war with Iran” and must be stopped, she said in a campaign video tweeted out Thursday, adding that Trump is going back on promises to stay out of such conflicts.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Go get'm, Tulsi!

May 17 10:55

Iran not seeking escalation in region, but will defend itself: Tehran's UN envoy

Tehran's ambassador to the United Nations says Iran will not take steps towards the escalation of tensions in the Middle East, but will stand ready to defend itself against any act of aggression, as the US builds up its military presence in the region amid tensions with Tehran.

In an interview with America's National Public Radio (NPR) released on Thursday, Majid Takht-e Ravanchi said a military conflict in the Middle East will be in the interest of no one, neither the United States nor Iran and other regional states.

"We are not interested in the escalation of tensions in our region, because if something goes wrong, everybody will lose, including Iran, including the US, including all the countries in the region," said the senior diplomat.

May 17 10:54

'Trump needs Iran war to avert crisis at home'

US President Donald Trump likes to keep people guessing whether there would be a war between Iran and the United States because that is the only way he can divert the constitutional crisis that is building up in Washington.

In a column for the Tennessean newspaper, Jon DiCicco, an associate professor of political science and international relations at Middle Tennessee State University, wrote Thursday that nothing like a military confrontation would help Trump dodge constant pressure by Democrats to expose his wrongdoings.

May 17 10:54

Iran FM rules out possibility of talks with US

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rules out any prospect of negotiation with the United States, calling the Washington regime a “bully” trying to force all others into acting illegally.

Zarif made the remarks to the Japanese media on Thursday during a visit to the country, reported the Kyodo News agency, which was represented at the presser.

"No, there is no possibility for negotiations," Zarif said, when asked about whether he would be open to holding bilateral talks aimed at easing tensions between Tehran and Washington.

May 17 10:53

BEX ALERT - Iranian missiles 'loaded on to boats in the Persian Gulf and brought within range of US bases' sparked warning of a 'credible' imminent attack in Middle East

Fears that Iran was about to attack American targets in the Middle East were sparked by pictures of fully-assembled missiles loaded on to the back of boats in the Persian Gulf, it has been claimed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Of course, we can't show you the pictures. They're classified! You'll just have to take our word for it that those eeeeeeevil Iranians are up to no good!" -- Official White Horse Souse

May 17 10:28

BEX ALERT - Report: Pompeo Confirms Iran-Backed Shiite Forces Moving Missiles near U.S. Bases in Iraq

Reuters on Wednesday quoted two Iraqi security sources who revealed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued warnings about Iran-backed Shiite militia threatening U.S. bases in Iraq with missiles when he paid a surprise visit to Baghdad on May 7.

Pompeo reportedly warned the Iraqi government to keep those Shiite forces at bay, or else the U.S. military would deal with them:

May 17 10:26

UN Mission: No Threat Posed by Iran to Anybody in Iraq

Iran's permanent UN mission in New York in a statement strongly dismissed the US media and psychological warfare inducing Tehran's intention to attack Washington's interests in Iraq.

The statement was issued after the US State Department ordered a partial evacuation of the embassy in Baghdad and consulate in Erbil on Wednesday.

Iran's statement denounced the move as “the latest escalation in the propaganda war”, suggesting that Washington is trying to use them as a pretext to initiate a conflict.

"Iran is no threat to anybody in Iraq or elsewhere, and Iran is not preparing for any attacks anywhere,” it said.

May 17 10:22

Iran and the West: Can Europe restrain the US?

The schism between the United States and Europe over Iran bears the hallmarks of their friction over Iraq prior to the 2003 US-led invasion. Their current dispute is mainly over means not ends, but could have major implications for transatlantic relations and the Middle East.

May 17 10:12

Who Wants This War with Iran?

Speaking on state TV of the prospect of a war in the Gulf, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei seemed to dismiss the idea.

“There won’t be any war. … We don’t seek a war, and (the Americans) don’t either. They know it’s not in their interests.”

The ayatollah’s analysis — a war is in neither nation’s interest — is correct.

May 17 09:56

Iran tells Middle East militias: prepare for proxy war

Iran’s most prominent military leader has recently met Iraqi militias in Baghdad and told them to “prepare for proxy war”, the Guardian has learned.

Two senior intelligence sources said that Qassem Suleimani, leader of Iran’s powerful Quds force, summoned the militias under Tehran’s influence three weeks ago, amid a heightened state of tension in the region. The move to mobilise Iran’s regional allies is understood to have triggered fears in the US that Washington’s interests in the Middle East are facing a pressing threat. The UK raised its threat levels for British troops in Iraq on Thursday.

While Suleimani has met regularly with leaders of Iraq’s myriad Shia groups over the past five years, the nature and tone of this gathering was different. “It wasn’t quite a call to arms, but it wasn’t far off,” one source said.

May 17 09:40

CONGRESS WANTS TO STEAL $1.68 BILLION FROM IRAN

It’s not enough to want untold thousands to die and the country destroyed, now neocons in Congress want to steal more than a billion and a half dollars from Iran as compensation for something somebody else did or didn’t do.

From the Daily Caller:

A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation Thursday to make $1.68 billion worth of Iranian funds available to the families of 241 American servicemen killed in the 1983 suicide bombing on a Marine base in Beirut, Lebanon.

In Trump Bizarro World, as in the Obama and Bush versions of the same, reality and facts are only applicable when they serve the agenda.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This... is desperation on the cusp of madness; and pray tell, how was Iran responsible for this horrible event?!>? Where, please, are those oft-neglected words, logic and proof, please?!?

Would they do something like this, understanding that the response from the US, and Israel be destroying their country with multiple nuclear strikes?

The short answer, of course, is HELL no.

But I DO know another country that would have had utterly zero problem in creating such an event; that country, of course, would be Israel, because they have done it before.

In fact, were I a betting person, I would almost be willing to bet that the alleged "bombs" Iran was supposed to have left in Syria, will soon be triggered by Israel's Mossad.

And if you think for one moment that this kind of despicable behaviour would be "off the books" for Mossad, you had better think again.

The Israeli attack on the USN's Liberty

May 17 09:02

2 US destroyers enter Persian Gulf amid tensions with Iran

Two US Navy warships armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles have entered the Persian Gulf with a carrier strike group on stand-by off the coast of Oman, as Washington keeps accusing Tehran of planning to attack “American interests.”

Guided missile destroyers USS Gonzalez (DDG-66) and USS McFaul (DDG-74) transited the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday afternoon, the US Naval Institute (USNI) reported. Their sailing proceeded “without challenge” or “harassment” from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, despite boiling hot tensions between Tehran and Washington, the publication's defense sources noted.

May 17 08:37

UK Raises Threat Level for Troops in Iraq Over Alleged Risk From Iran

London has raised the threat level for UK troops and diplomats in Iraq over alleged increased security risks from Iran, Sky News reported Wednesday, citing sources.

Great Britain also issued security alert for its personnel in Iraq. The threat leveal was raised for UK troops and diplomats in Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia as well.

Earlier this week the US State Department ordered the departure of "non-emergency government employees" from Baghdad and Erbil after US Central Command spokesman Bill Urban that the US-led coalition was on high alert because it saw credible threats to American forces in Iraq.

May 17 08:05

JOHN BOLTON RE-AFFIRMS THAT LIES ARE AN ASSET TO THE NEOCONSERVATIVE AGENDA

One of my favorite Neocons and a member of the PNAC, Bolton was installed as embassador to the United Nations by George Duhbya Bu$h on a recess appointment. Here's an evil doer who wears the title of "Liar" as a badge of honor.

May 16 15:21

NEOCONS SAY IRAN POSITIONING MISSILES AGAINST US IN IRAQ

This article was originally published by Kurt Nimmo on Activist Post.

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Webmaster's Commentary: 

And the proof Pompeo can offer on this charge?!?

Absoflippinglutely non-existent.

May 16 15:03

Mystery Tanker Violates US Sanctions, Unload Iranian Fuel In China As Zarif Heads To Beijing

With Trump shutting down Huawei and China's entire telecom industry, it was only logical that China would at least try to retaliate, which it has done by formally breaching the US embargo on Iran oil exports. According to ship tracking data on Refinitiv Eikon (i.e. the old Reuters terminal), a tanker carrying Iranian fuel oil in violation of U.S. sanctions has unloaded the cargo into storage tanks near the Chinese city of Zhoushan.

A representative of the oil storage terminal confirmed that the tanker, Marshal Z, discharged nearly 130,000 tonnes of Iranian fuel oil; that marked the end of an odyssey for the cargo that began four months ago.

As Reuters reported on March 20, some Iranian fuel oil had managed to evade the United States’ sanctions on petroleum exports "by using ship-to-ship transfers involving four different ships, including the Marshal Z, and by using forged documents that masked the cargoes as originating from Iraq."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And what can President Trump do now?!?

Declare war on Iran, because it was desperate to get some of its oil sold, circumventing US sanctions before they would actually take effect?!?

I think not; in fact, President Trump has rather shown himself to be bereft of any reasoning capabilities whatsoever; if he had had them, he wouldn't have withdrawn the US from the P5+1, which, to which, according to the IAEA reports, Iran is still, largely, complying.

May 16 13:18

Abortion ban is a smokescreen for IRAN

May 16 11:51

Simple precautions or plan to attack? What’s behind US & Germany’s recent moves in Mideast

Germany and the Netherlands halted training of Iraqi troops hours after the US said it will partially evacuate its Baghdad embassy. Amid growing tensions with Iran, analysts offered differing views on the reasons behind the moves.

Washington announced the partial evacuation of its embassy in Baghdad as well as a consulate in Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan on Wednesday, citing heightened tension in the region. Hours later, Germany and the Netherlands suspended their missions to train Iraqi troops. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had earlier warned that “Iranian activities” endanger American sites and soldiers stationed in the country.

Are the latest moves a sign that the US is preparing for military action against Iran, are they just a precaution, or do they signal something about a shift in the security situation on the ground in Iraq?

May 16 11:50

Iran at peak of defense preparedness to counter threats: Defense minister

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami says the Islamic Republic has currently the highest level of defense preparedness to counter any threat against the country.

“Today the Islamic Republic of Iran stands at the peak of defense-military preparedness to counter any threat or act of aggression,” Hatami said on Wednesday.

He added that Iran has attained such a high level of preparedness despite being under sanctions, stressing that restrictive measures against the country have failed to hinder Iran’s boosting of its defense power.

Even the US and its regional stooges acknowledge the Islamic Republic’s prowess, he noted.

May 16 11:49

World reacts to US warmongering against Iran

With the United States having deployed an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle, leaders around the globe have warned against a military escalation.

May 16 11:39

Riyadh submits letter to UN Security Council denouncing Iran and Houthis

Saudi Arabia submitted on Wednesday a letter to the United Nations Security Council, in which it held Iran and the Yemeni Houthi group responsible for targeting their oil facilities on Tuesday.

The letter was handed over by the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, according to Saudi TV channel Al Arabiya.

The letter included “Saudi Arabia’s holding of Iran and the Houthi militias it supports fully responsible for Tuesday’s attack on the kingdom’s oil facilities.”

May 16 11:37

A widening gulf: US provides scant evidence to back up Iran threat claims

As tensions between the US and Iran have ratcheted up in recent weeks, Trump administration officials have levied a growing list of accusations at Tehran.

That includes the allegation that Iran is preparing to attack US troops stationed in the region; that Iran has connections to al-Qaeda, and that Iran committed acts of sabotage on oil tankers in the Gulf.

The evidence to back up these allegations is scant, however, and some experts have expressed scepticism at how valid some of Washington's claims really are.

Others have raised concerns about whether the Trump administration is trying to go to war with Iran based on unproven allegations, a scenario that harkens back to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

May 16 11:30

Scott Adams: AOC’s Abortion Tweet, Immigration Framing, Trump Financials

Comments at: https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1129024238675906560

Annual Presidential Financial Disclosure coming soon:
CNN notes his finances might be good, because he’s a criminal
CNN notes his finances might be bad, because he’s a loser
New books being published about President Trump
They’ve run out of all the “good” complaints about Trump
Authors are resorting to allegedly non-fiction books
Lots of anonymous sources…or fiction
FOX FAKE NEWS story: AOC thinks Alabama women get punished
AOC Alabama abortion law tweet is being misinterpreted
She knows law applies to the provider…not the woman
Iran unspecified danger, major military assets being moved to area
Why are we preparing for war? Shouldn’t we know?
Semi-Effective Immigration Framing…
Immigration is bringing in crime
Increasing crime only influences conservatives
Powerful Immigration Framing…

May 16 11:27

Rick Steves' Iran

May 16 11:23

Trump rejects reports of 'infighting' as allies push back against anti-Iran rhetoric

Donald Trump disputes recent reports that his policies regarding Iran have led to "infighting" amid an uptick in tensions and heated rhetoric between Washington and Tehran.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, the US president said "there is no infighting whatsoever".

"Different opinions are expressed and I make a decisive and final decision - it is a very simple process. All sides, views, and policies are covered," he said.

"I'm sure that Iran will want to talk soon," Trump added.

May 16 11:22

The Lunacy Of Waging A War On Iran From Which China And Russia Will Win

The scare mongering about an attack on Iran continues. Bolton must be laughing his ass off how easy he can play the issue based on nothing. He simply counters any debunking of the alleged 'thread from Iran' by upping the ante. Yesterday a British general in Iraq denied that any such threat exists in the area of his responsibility:

“No – there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria,” Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, deputy commander of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), the coalition responsible for counter-terrorist operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, said in a video briefing, according to the Guardian.

Today Bolton countered that by again raising the noise level around the imaginary threat:

The U.S. Embassy in Iraq says the State Department has ordered all non-essential, non-emergency government staff to leave the country right away amid escalating tensions with Iran.

May 16 11:21

PRESIDENT BOLTON PLANS TO SEND 120,000 TROOPS TO MIDDLE EAST

President John Bolton has put his signature on a plan to send 120,000 troops to the Middle East in a move all too reminiscent of the invasion of Iraq. The number is close to that during the invasion and destruction of Iraq.

Meanwhile, the cigar store Indian president sits behind the big desk attacking a large array ofenemies with daily salvos of noisome tweets pounded into an overheated smartphone. He’s not in the loop on this one. Harry Truman’s buck no longer stops at the “Resolute Desk.”

May 16 10:58

The Lunacy Of Waging A War On Iran Which China And Russia Will Win

The scare mongering about an attack on Iran continues. Bolton must be laughing his ass off how easy he can play the issue based on nothing. He simply counters any debunking of the alleged 'thread from Iran' by upping the ante. Yesterday a British general denied that any such threat exists in the area of his responsibility:

“No – there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria,” Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, deputy commander of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), the coalition responsible for counter-terrorist operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, said in a video briefing, according to the Guardian.

Today Bolton countered that by again raising the noise level around the imaginary threat:

The U.S. Embassy in Iraq says the State Department has ordered all non-essential, non-emergency government staff to leave the country right away amid escalating tensions with Iran.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The most intelligent thing President Trump could do right now, would be handing Bolton his hat; unfortunately, the Israeli government wants this war in the worst possible way, and seeing that they have turned Bolton so brilliantly to their casus belli (of course, filled with unsubstantiated rumors, which no one in any government can yet define), I am concerned that Trump may well take action against Iran, because he doesn't really understand the costs and consequences of moving forward with it.

May 16 10:58

Senate Seeks Explanation From Trump on Iran

The Trump Administration is rapidly escalating tensions with Iran, and public statements all give the impression that America may be on the brink of starting a major war. The Senate is hoping to get somebody from the administration in within the next week to hear what on earth is actually going on.

Senate Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee chair Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is a hawk, but added that he doesn’t think it’s fair for the administration to just leave the Senate wondering.

Some are just wanting a briefing, while Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) expressed concern about the possibility of a new war, noting that the administration has never gotten permission from Congress for a war.

May 16 10:57

Pretexts for an Attack on Iran

An Iraq-War redux is now in full play, with leading roles played by some of the same protagonists – President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, for example, who says he still thinks attacking Iraq was a good idea. Co-starring is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The New York Times on Tuesday played its accustomed role in stoking the fires, front-paging a report that, at Bolton’s request, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has come up with an updated plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East, should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons. The Times headline writer, at least, thought it appropriate to point to echoes from the past: “White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War.”

By midday, Trump had denied the Times report, branding it “fake news.” Keep them guessing, seems to be the name of the game.

May 16 10:49

The Media’s Handling of Bolton’s Iran Threats, Recalls the Run-Up to the Iraq War

Media-savvy U.S. government officials, political operatives, and lawmakers and their staffs from all political parties and ideological persuasions have no doubt, throughout the history of our great country, duped a fair-minded but unwitting reporter into writing a juicy story in order to get a piece of information into the public bloodstream without their fingerprints on it.

This is, in large part, how the Bush administration sold the U.S. invasion of Iraq to the American people: Feeding knowingly bogus or unsubstantiated intelligence on Iraq’s (nonexistent) WMD programs to reporters, who then published it as fact, without much in the way of critical scrutiny.

Despite the lessons we’ve learned from that debacle, it’s happening again with regard to the Trump administration’s march toward war with Iran.

May 16 10:48

Warnings of ‘Gulf of Tonkin 2.0’ as Trump Officials Blame Iran for Oil Tanker Attacks

Is the Trump administration attempting to concoct a false pretext to justify launching a war against Iran?

That question has become increasingly common and urgent among anti-war commentators and activists in recent days as U.S. intelligence officials—without citing any concrete evidence—blamed Iran for reported attacks on Saudi and UAE oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz over the weekend.

Commentators quickly likened the accusations to the Gulf of Tonkin incident, referring to the “fabricated” event that President Lyndon Johnson used to massively escalate America’s war in Vietnam.

May 16 10:47

Washington Pushes to Brink of War against Iran

Late Monday, the New York Times posted an article under the headline “White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War.” The article cited as sources “more than half a dozen national security officials” and reported that a meeting of President Trump’s top national security aides last week discussed a plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East.

The spark for an all-out conflict can come from any one of a number of staged provocations, including the alleged sabotage of two Saudi oil tankers and two other vessels off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported on Sunday.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih stressed that one of the Saudi tankers that was allegedly damaged was en route to pick up Saudi oil to take to the United States, a detail apparently highlighted to make the case that “US interests” were at stake in the incident.

May 16 10:41

US pulls staff from Iraq, says Iran gave ‘blessing’ for tanker attack

Helicopters ferried US staff from the American embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday out of apparent concern about perceived threats from Iran, which US sources believe encouraged Sunday’s attacks on four oil tankers in the Gulf, Reuters reports.

The sabotage of the tankers, for which no one has claimed responsibility, and Saudi Arabia’s announcement on Tuesday that armed drones hit two of its oil pumping stations have raised concerns Washington and Tehran may be inching toward conflict.

A US government source said American security experts believe Iran gave its “blessing” to tanker attacks, which hit two Saudi crude oil tankers, a UAE-flagged fuel bunker barge and a Norwegian-registered oil products tanker off Fujeirah near the Strait of Hormuz.

The source said the United States believes Iran’s role was one of actively encouraging militants but indicated the United States does not now have evidence that Iranian personnel played any direct operational role.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

OK, let me get my head wrapped around this.

What does the word "blessing" mean, here, please?!? That Iran gave the Houthis or other groups the technological know-how to carry off the attack, or was it a simply a "wish well" for the operation, couched in spiritual language?!? Considering the decades-old animosity between Iran, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, and the cloud of propaganda Saudi-Arabia, the US and Israel have been spewing, like squid ink, against Iran, I wouldn't necessarily bet against it.

And if the Iranians did this, why would they be asking for an investigation of the incident?!? The short answer is, they wouldn't, and would attempt to do everything within their power to prevent such an investigation from moving forward.

And Middle East Monitor, your editorial board needs a refresher course in Journalism 101; if you have a source, but chose not to name them, you really shouldn't run with a story like this, because it is worse than no story at all.

I sincerely hope and pray that you all understand the gravity of making such a claim with nothing more behind it than what appears to be a concocted rumor, with zero attribution.

Please, things are volatile enough in the region, that one badly misrepresented issue, or bit of incendiary language, could very well result in the start of a shooting war between Iran, the US and Israel.

And as a Christian pacifist activist, I am going to do my level best to see that this doesn't happen, because it is the worst possible outcome for a country I care about greatly; my home, the unhinged, surveilled state of Amerika.

Yes, I still care.

And to those in the various alphabet soup agencies tasked with reading my posts, you will have to collectively forgive me, that I never advocate violence, but always prefer deliberate, moral, hard-one negotiations, with which this country should be handling its geopolitical issues.

May 16 10:18

Riyadh submits letter to UN Security Council denouncing Iran and Houthis

Saudi Arabia submitted on Wednesday a letter to the United Nations Security Council, in which it held Iran and the Yemeni Houthi group responsible for targeting their oil facilities on Tuesday.

The letter was handed over by the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, according to Saudi TV channel Al Arabiya.

The letter included “Saudi Arabia’s holding of Iran and the Houthi militias it supports fully responsible for Tuesday’s attack on the kingdom’s oil facilities.”

According to the same source, a joint message was sent from Saudi Arabia and the UAE to the UN Security Council and UN Secretary-General António Guterres, on the attack and sabotage operation that occurred last Sunday against four ships in the international sea off the UAE’s territorial sea and coasts.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF in fact the Houthis actually did this damage to these ships (and of course, there is zero corroboration from surveillance camera footage), it means that they have become a lot more tough, and media-saavy than Saudi Arabia ever thought they could.

But my question is, why in the name of heaven would the Iranians do this, when they knew that there well could be one "mother of all repercussions", militarily, from Saudi Arabia; Israel; and the US?!?

The short answer is, they wouldn't. And if Iranians actually bombed these ships, they would be pieces of floating rubble by now.

May 16 10:13

War with Iran would be ‘like Christmas’ for John Bolton – Tucker Carlson

Fox News host Tucker Carlson blasted National Security Advisor John Bolton for his apparent love of violent global conflict, saying that for him war with Iran would be like “Christmas, Thanksgiving and his birthday” in one.

“Mercifully John Bolton doesn’t command the military,” Carlson said bitingly – however, the question of how strong his influence on President Donald Trump’s foreign policy remains.

May 16 10:02

Tucker Carlson: ‘It’s chilling’ how MSNBC and CNN are agitating for war with Iran

Fox News host Tucker Carlson is alarmed by the escalation of tensions with Iran and slammed the media as well as National Security Advisor John Bolton for their “chilling” actions in response.

Carlson called out Bolton and news outlets like CNN and MSNBC for fanning the flames and inching the U.S. closer to a war with Iran during “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Tuesday.

May 15 13:15

Bomb Iran Halfway Back to the Stone Age

Maybe it’s more bluffing? The current US military deployment was scheduled before the latest flare-up with Iran, but the bellicose threats of White House neocon crusaders like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo certainly create the impression that the US wants war.

Adding to the warlike excitement, President Trump just ordered seizure of a large North Korean bulk cargo ship. This was clearly a brazen act of war and violation of international law. More dangerous brinkmanship by administration war-mongers who increasingly appear besotted by power and hubris.

So much for the president who vowed to avoid foreign wars – and so much for the millions of anti-war voters who believed him.

Why does Trump let his two horsemen of the apocalypse get away with this?

May 15 13:15

‘No one in Europe’ wants second Iraq: Austrian president slams ‘provocative’ US Iran policy

The US’ reckless maximum pressure campaign against Tehran and nations dealing with it is deeply provocative and hurts international relations, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen said, warning against a major “crisis.”
Speaking at a joint press conference with the Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Wednesday, Van der Bellen slammed the US sanctions against Iran by saying that such policies “do not help international relations” and only erode the system of global treaties.

May 15 11:46

Iran Vows to Defeat US-Israeli Alliance Amid Rising Tensions

The statement comes following reports of an increasing US military presence in the Middle East and the deployment of an American aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf. Another report has suggested that the US has a plan to deploy an additional 120,000 troops to the region, but this was denied by President Donald Trump.

Iranian Defence Minister Amir Hatami stated that Iran is capable of confronting any serious military adversary, such as the US or Israel, even if they combine their forces.

"We will defeat the American-Zionist front. Iran has the highest level of defence-military preparedness to confront any type of threat and excessive demands", he said.

May 15 11:37

Is The Market Too Complacent About Soaring Iran Tensions

Are equity markets too complacent about fast-rising Middle East tensions? Perhaps – oil shocks have killed more US economic expansions over the last 40 years than any other single cause. US Energy stocks are a reasonable hedge, given that they handily win the prize for “most neglected group” in the S&P 500 at just a 5.2% weighting versus a 10-year average of 9.3%.

This morning we had a client write in to ask if markets were too complacent about rising Middle East tensions and what that might do to oil prices. It is a fair point:

Investors are glued to one channel – US-China trade talks – and therefore less engaged on other topics.

Iran has recently dialed up tensions in the Middle East as US led sanctions have taken a toll on its economy.

For example, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have launched drone attacks against Saudi Arabian oil industry infrastructure. Also, Tehran has visibly amped up its missile defenses against possible US airstrikes.

May 15 11:28

White House reviews military plans against Iran: New York Times

The top U.S. defense official has presented an updated military plan to President Donald Trump's administration that envisions sending up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons, the New York Times reported on Monday.

Citing unnamed administration officials, the Times said Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented the plan at a meeting of Trump's top security aides on Thursday.

Reuters could not immediately confirm the report.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Pentagon declined to comment.

Tensions between Iran and the United States have intensified since Trump pulled out of a 2015 international deal to curb Iran's nuclear activities and imposed increasingly strict sanctions on Tehran.

May 15 11:27

Allies split with US over Iranian threat as war worries mount

International worries that the Trump administration is sliding toward war with Iran flared into the open Tuesday amid skepticism about its claims that the Islamic Republic poses a growing threat to the US and its allies in the Persian Gulf and beyond .

The US military rebutted doubts expressed by a British general about such a threat. US President Donald Trump denied a report that the administration has updated plans to send more than 100,000 troops to counter Iran if necessary. But Trump then stirred the controversy further by saying: “Would I do that? Absolutely.”

May 15 11:26

'That's what happens when you listen to the mustache!' Iranian adviser mocks Trump for taking advice from hardliner John Bolton as president threatens to deploy 'a hell of a lot' of troops if U.S. interests are attacked

An adviser to Iran's president mocked Donald Trump as being the poodle of his hardline national security adviser John Bolton Tuesday, as tensions with the U.S. in the Persian Gulf increased.

Hessamoddin Ashena, an adviser to Iranian president Hassan Rouhani tweeted: 'You wanted a better deal with Iran. Looks like you are going to get a war instead. That's what happens when you listen to the mustache. Good luck in 2020!'

The mustache was a reference to Bolton, Trump's 70-year-old neo-conservative aide who was once a vocal advocate of war on Iraq and is now seen as a hardline voice on Iran.

The mockery aimed at Trump came as the U.S. president knocked down a report that the Pentagon has presented the White House with a plan to deploy 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks U.S. forces – then said he would send 'a hell of a lot more' if it came to that.

May 15 11:25

Iran warns US is playing a 'dangerous game' and insists its military is 'fully ready' for any conflict in the Middle East as it accuses America of falsely blaming Tehran over sabotaged tankers in the Gulf

Iran has warned Donald Trump that its military is 'fully ready for any eventuality' in the Middle East amid spiralling tensions between the two nations.

Tehran's ambassador in London told America not to 'test the determination of Iran' as he fired back at warlike threats from the White House.

The U.S. suspects that Iran or its proxies were behind attacks on four oil tankers in the Gulf of Yemen on Sunday but Tehran has denied the claims.

Tensions heightened further today as Iran-backed rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for an explosive attack on Saudi oil pipelines.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei today tried to calm the situation, saying: 'This face-off is not military because there is not going to be any war'.

May 15 11:23

US claims of Iran threat to coalition forces in Middle East rejected by British general

A British general serving in Iraq has rejected claims from the White House that coalition forces in the Middle East are facing an increased threat from Iran or its allies.

In recent days, Washington has responded to what it has claimed as a raised threat from Iran-backed militias to US and coalition forces fighting the remnants of Isis in Iraq and Syria, by dispatching an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and Patriot missiles. National security advisor John Bolton, a longtime advocate of regime change in Iran, has ordered up a proposal to immediately dispatch 120,000 US troops should Iran attack American forces.

But the British general who is second in command of strategy and information for the coalition operation named Inherent Resolve, Maj Gen Chris Ghika, told reporters at the Pentagon, there was no evidence of an increased threat.

May 15 11:18

Don't Tell My Mother I'm in Iran

May 15 10:54

Look harder: US rebukes British general for doubting heightened threat from Iran

A UK military commander was rebuked by the US Central Command for questioning Washington’s claims that Iran poses an increased threat. Gen. Ghika, a senior figure in the anti-ISIS coalition, said none was evident in Iraq or Syria.

The awkward exchange on Tuesday came as the US is trying to rally its allies to confront Tehran over an unspecified threat to American interests in the Middle East.

Despite the beat of the war drum, even the US’ closest allies remain skeptical about the narrative furthered by Iran hawks in Washington like US National Security Advisor John Bolton and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. One of the doubters is British Army Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, a deputy head of the US-led coalition created to fight the terrorist group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

May 15 10:47

Tehran calls for Palestine ‘referendum’

Iran on Tuesday called for a “referendum” in the occupied Palestinian territories – to include Muslims, Christians and Jews – to decide on a viable system of governance, reports Anadolu Agency.

The appeal came in a statement released by Iran’s Foreign Ministry to mark the passage of 71 years since the Palestinian Nakba.

Meaning “The Catastrophe” in Arabic, the “Nakba” refers to the 1948 expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their villages in historical Palestine to make way for the new state of Israel.

May 15 10:45

Applying Iran’s nuclear lesson to the Palestinian case

Iran’s experience with the international community provides a rare opportunity to understand the network of international relations and identify determinants and balances of the global system. Washington unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement, amid condemnation by all major signatories to the agreement who viewed US behaviour as a threat to international security and stability. However, a year after that withdrawal, major powers stand idle watching the Iranian-American confrontation, unable to do anything.

And once Tehran shows that it is going to reduce its commitment to the agreement, without abandoning it; as soon as it threatens countermeasures, these countries stand together against the Iranian step, and Great Western capitals begin to reproduce the American narrative. Iran became an easy target of threat and intimidation, and not the country that breached the agreement in broad daylight and under the eyes and noses of everyone, with a great deal of arrogance.

May 15 10:32

History’s Dire Warning: Beware False-Flag Trigger for Long-Sought War with Iran

With the beat of Washington’s war drums continuing to grow, particularly following the Monday revelation of a government plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to counter Iran, the threat of an “accidental” provocation or a “false flag” is also becoming increasingly likely. As MintPress recently reported, the possibility of an “accident” leading to open conflict between the U.S. and Iran is now being openly stated by top European officials — such as U.K. Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt — following meetings with noted Iran hawk and current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

May 15 10:31

With the US-Iran War Ball Now Rolling, Could an “Accident” or “False Flag” Serve as Pretext?

As tensions between the U.S. and Iran threaten to boil over, the probability of a provocation or “accident” that would provoke hostilities between the two countries is higher than ever. U.K. Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, after meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, openly stated as much on Monday, telling reporters in Brussels that the U.K. was worried of a conflict breaking out between the U.S. and Iran by “accident with an escalation that is unintended really on either side but ends with some kind of conflict.”

Yet, current and past events make it clear that such an “accidental” provocation is unlikely to be purely accidental in nature, as forces in the U.S. and Israel have been actively pushing for a U.S.-led war with Iran for years and have a track record that demonstrates little inhibition about using an “accident” or “false flag” to drag the country into a war with the Islamic Republic.

May 15 10:31

Scott Adams: Beto, Biden, Cuban, Healthcare, Comey, Brennan, The Border

Comments at: https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1128661804505108481

Beto’s cringeworthy, white privilege apologies on The View
Mark Cuban doesn’t think ANY Democrat candidate has a chance
The Democrat candidates would look a LOT more appealing IF…
…we weren’t comparing all of them to President Trump
Border news, almost none anymore, why?
Did coverage stop because President was correct all along?
Does border news now support the President? Confirm him?
Political left has GOALS
The problem is…how do you achieve those goals?
The left’s failure: lack of practical SYSTEMS to achieve goals
Political right uses SYSTEMS to achieve GOALS
SYSTEMS of the right are processes to achieve desired goals
Brennan says him and Clapper didn’t want to use Steele Dossier
Brennan says Comey pushed to use it for FISA
14 year old ran a poll on whether she should kill herself
69% said yes

May 15 10:30

The mysterious ‘sabotage’ of Saudi oil tankers is a dangerous moment in Trump’s pumped up feud with Iran

Saudi Arabia’s claim that two of its oil tankers have been sabotaged off the coast of the UAE is vague in detail – but could create a crisis that spins out of control and into military action.

Any attack on shipping in or close to the Strait of Hormuz, the 30-mile wide channel at the entrance to the Gulf, is always serious because it is the most important choke point for the international oil trade.

A significant armed action by the US or its allies against Iran would likely provoke Iranian retaliation in the Gulf and elsewhere in the region. Although the US is militarily superior to Iran by a wide margin, the Iranians as a last resort could fire rockets or otherwise attack Saudi and UAE oil facilities. Such apocalyptic events are unlikely – but powerful figures in Washington, such as the national security adviser John Bolton and secretary of state Mike Pompeo, appear prepared to take the risk of a war breaking out.

May 15 10:27

A Persian Gulf of Tonkin?

Two Saudi Arabian oil tankers and a Norwegian ship were damaged over the weekend near the Persian Gulf in what Saudi Arabia claimed Monday was an “act of sabotage,” further heightening regional tensions with Iran.

There was no immediate indication as to who may have been responsible or why the damage was inflicted, but the incidents occurred at the same time and place off the coast of the United Arab Emirates only days after the United States has dispatched warships and bombers to the area to deter alleged threats from Iran.

The location is near a sea lane critical to the world’s supply of oil, and the incidents followed a warning by U.S. maritime authorities that Iran might seek to disrupt commercial shipping in the area.

May 15 10:22

The United States of Aggression: War With Iran Would Spell the End of the Republic

Who do we think we are? Truly. The latest reports that the Trump administration is considering plans for deploying 120,000 troops to the Middle East – presumably to strike Iran – demonstrates how Washington’s foreign policy has finally gone off the rails. Crazier still, the impending war with Iran isn’t even the today’s biggest news story – what with all the nonsense, soap opera hullabaloo about the Mueller Report – on mainstream media outlets. What the proposed plan constitutes is nothing less than the most important, and disturbing, global issue of the day. This is how it should be reported by a truly adversarial media: The United States is preparing for an aggressive, illegal, and unwarranted war against another sovereign power thousands of miles from its shores. Again! All true citizens should be beyond appalled and screaming dissent from the rooftops.

May 15 10:20

Bernie Sanders Delivers Online Address: 'We Must Not Go to War With Iran'

Source: Common Dreams

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday came out forcefully against the Trump administration angling the United States into another costly and unnecessary war of choice in the Middle East—this time against Iran—delivering an online address in which he warned that any military action without approval from Congress would be an "unconstitutional and illegal" breach of office.

"Let me be as clear as I can be: a war with Iran would be an absolute disaster," said Sanders in the roughly six-minute speech. "Sixteen years ago, the United States committed one of the worst foreign policy blunders in the history of our country by attacking Iraq. That war was sold to the American people based on a series of lies about weapons of mass destruction. We should remember that one of the leading advocates for that war was John Bolton."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Bernie, Mike and I are with you one thousand percent on this issue, although there are other issues where we may not agree.

May 15 10:14

Noam Chomsky: "What exactly is the threat of Iran?" When Rest of World Agrees It's the U.S.?

May 15 10:09

Trump boxed in on Iran, as Putin holds key to prevent war in Persian Gulf

May 15 10:08

US issues security alert ordering non-emergency staff to depart Iraq

The US State Department has issued a security alert and ordered staff to evacuate Iraq amid escalating tensions with neighbouring Iran. The alert posted on the US embassy in Iraq today read: “The U.S. State Department has ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. Government employees from Iraq, both at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. Consulate in Erbil. Normal visa services at both posts will be temporarily suspended. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Iraq.”

A US embassy spokesperson is reported by the Financial Times saying that US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, had taken the decision to withdraw because of “the increased threat stream we are seeing in Iraq”. The spokesperson declined to say how, when, or how many staff were leaving, citing security reasons.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Let's take a look at a map, shall we?!?

Map: Iran/Iraq borders

(The Iran–Iraq boundary runs for 1,458 kilometers (over 900 miles, (plus or minus), from the Shatt al-Arab (known as Arvand Rud in Iran) waterway to the tripoint boundary with Turkey at the Kuh e-Dalanper. Although the boundary was first determined in 1639, certain disputes fester, particularly surrounding navigation on the Shatt al-Arab waterway."

IF the false flag is going to happen on land, rather than in the Persian Gulf, somewhere around this border area, would probably be the flash-point.

Even though Baghdad has explicitly stated that it will not allow Iraq to be used against Iran, how, militarily, can they actually prevent this?!?

We most probably have both American and Israel mercs, close to the border, waiting for word about causing the initial damage, to then be be blamed on Iran, and off we go.

Mr. President; I think I speak for my brother and sister Americans, when I say that this government's attempts to "lie us into war", as did your predecessor, President Bush, will demonstrate, that you have thoroughly outsourced US foreign policy in the Middle East to Tel Aviv; and to say "this is not a good thing", is tantamount to saying, "The Titanic hit a little bit of ice."

And yes, there are times when policy issues between the US and Israel do align; this, however, is not one of those times.

In the most peaceful, respectful way I can, I must caution you on starting a war with Iran; this will be another gigantic, quagmire, much as Afghanistan and Iraq, have been. And if Russia and China come in on Iran's side, as well they might, we are dealing with a war which could well go nuclear in a heartbeat.

May 15 09:41

Baghdad won’t let Washington use its territory in war against Iran – Iraq’s envoy

Iraq does not want a “devastating” new war in the Middle East and will not allow the US to use its territory for military action against neighboring Iran, Baghdad’s ambassador to Moscow has said.

“Iraq is a sovereign nation. We will not let [the US] to use our territory,” Haidar Mansour Hadi, the Iraqi envoy to Russia, told journalists at a press conference in Moscow when asked about Iraq’s stance on the rising tensions in the region, fueled by the feud between Washington and Tehran.

May 15 09:36

Iran Reminds of US Lies Before Iraq War, Hints US Official Behind Scaremongering

Relations between Iran and the US have been patchy ever since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, but they took a turn for worse after the United States withdrew from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal and re-instated crippling economic sanctions against Iran last year.

Tehran has laughed off Washington's claims that it posed a threat to the US forces deployed in the Middle East, saying that the Trump administration is using 'fake intelligence'.

"These are all allegations which are being produced by the same people who, in the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq, did the same," Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran's Ambassador to the UN, said in an interview with NBC News on Saturday.

May 14 17:54

Video: Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran

May 14 15:48

UAE oil tanker attacks 'false flag' operations

Repeat after me the mantra, "By way of deception we make war" ~ Mossad

May 14 15:42

US war with Iran would be a disaster with ripple effects that ‘could last decades’

While the consequences of war with Iran in terms of death and destruction would be “literally incalculable,” starting such a conflict could also be a colossal mistake for Trump politically, James Jatras, a former US diplomat and Republican Senate policy adviser told RT.

Jatras said that while the White House strategists and war hawks like Bolton and Pompeo may “think” they know how events would play it, these things “very rarely actually go according to plan.”

Trump will have “betrayed everything he promised” to the electorate if he dives into another potentially endless conflict, having promised no more pointless regime change wars during his 2016 campaign. At that point, Jatras said, his presidency would look more like a “third term for George W. Bush.”

May 14 14:31

Trump denies troops to Middle East reportBy AAP

President Donald Trump has denied a New York Times report that US officials are discussing a military plan to send up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East to counter any attack or nuclear weapons acceleration by Iran.

"I think it's fake news, OK? Now, would I do that? Absolutely. But we have not planned for that. Hopefully we're not going to have to plan for that. And if we did that, we'd send a hell of a lot more troops than that," Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday.

May 14 14:29

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION PREPARES MULTIPLE MILITARY OPTIONS FOR IRAN, INCLUDING AIRSTRIKES AND SETTING UP GROUND INVASION

When President Trump’s top national security advisers met for a classified meeting at the Pentagon last Thursday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan laid out several U.S. military options for Iran, separated into two distinct categories: retaliatory and offensive.

The revised Iran options ordered by John Bolton, President Trump’s national security adviser, have different degrees and redlines for escalation, ranging from airstrikes to targeted incursions, Pentagon officials told Newsweek.

May 14 12:21

The Media’s Shameful Handling of Bolton’s Iran Threat Claims Recalls the Run-up to the Iraq War

Media-savvy U.S. government officials, political operatives, and lawmakers and their staffs from all political parties and ideological persuasions have no doubt, throughout the history of our great country, duped a fair-minded but unwitting reporter into writing a juicy story in order to get a piece of information into the public bloodstream without their fingerprints on it.

This is, in large part, how the Bush administration sold the U.S. invasion of Iraq to the American people: Feeding knowingly bogus or unsubstantiated intelligence on Iraq’s (nonexistent) WMD programs to reporters, who then published it as fact, without much in the way of critical scrutiny.

Despite the lessons we’ve learned from that debacle, it’s happening again with regard to the Trump administration’s march toward war with Iran.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. President, I would strongly caution you, regarding the expansion of any threat against Iran.

There are moments when I would particularly like to see John Bolton and Mike Pompeo move to Israel, and run for the Knesset; this moment ... is one of them.

I am quite certain that Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu is whispering in the ears of both men, convincing them that such a war will be easy, and quick, and won't be another quagmire for the US.

And President Trump, in your appointments of these men, you have demonstrated, painfully clearly, that you have outsourced US policy in the Middle East to Israel,and I would like to suggest,politely, that might not have been the most "America First!" people you should have chosen, as representatives of US foreign policy.

Not all of the fights into which Netanyahu would like the US military carry out for it, are frequently not fights which will do the country any measurable good.

An attack against Iran (where Russia and China, may well come to its aid), is not a smart move, sir. Iran has done absolutely nothing to harm us, except for taking payment for their oil in other than US dollars.

Please think about this, Mr. President: at this time, our military doesn't have the money; the weaponry; the troop strength or the manufacturing to enable it to successfully engage in a world war,where you have Russia and China working against us in combat, as well as Iran.

May 14 11:56

First assessment blames Iran for Middle East ship explosions, official says

An American military team assessing blasts that damaged four commercial ships off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sunday has blamed Iran or Iranian-backed proxies using explosive charges, a source told Fox News on Monday evening.

Each ship had a 5-to-10-foot hole in it, near or just below the water line, a U.S. official told The Associated Press. A Norwegian-flagged vessel, two Saudi oil tankers and a bunkering tanker flagged in Shariah, one of the UAE's seven emirates, all suffered similar damage Sunday.

The UAE asked the U.S. to help investigate the damage, which Gulf officials have characterized as sabotage. UAE's state media said Sunday there had been "no injuries or fatalities on board the vessels" and "no spillage of harmful chemicals or fuel."

The U.S. has warned ships that "Iran or its proxies" could be targeting maritime traffic in the region, and America has moved additional ships and aircraft into the region.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, there is zero surveillance footage in any of these cases, but the US military has already accused Iran of this?!?

Anyone out there remember the firm accusation of President Bush, when he claimed that Iraq had "weapons of mass destruction"?!?

This accusation is on par with that; if the Iranians had really bombed these ships, with the intention of never having them seaworthy again, they would have left NONE of these ships as mildly damaged as they actually are, and would have zotted the heck out of them.

May 14 11:47

Trump says he will meet with Xi and Putin at G20

President Donald Trump has said he will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin at next month’s G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

Trump announced the pair of meetings to reporters in the Oval office on Monday afternoon.

“I’ll be meeting with him directly, President Xi. Yes, I will be meeting with President Putin also,” he said.

Earlier that morning, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that Washington had requested a meeting with Putin, and was awaiting the Kremlin’s response.

A Kremlin spokesman responded to Trump’s statement on Monday by saying no preparations were underway for such a meeting.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I frankly do not think that an attack on Iran will happen before this meeting, if Trump actually gets these meetings in late June.

May 14 10:31

US Accuses Iran Of Attack On Saudi Tankers

Update: Just as everyone with half a frontal lobe had expected, the WSJ reported late on Monday that according to an initial U.S. assessment, "Iran was likely behind the attack" on the two Saudi Arabian oil tankers and two other vessels damaged over the weekend near the Strait of Hormuz, a U.S. official said, a finding that, whether confirmed or not, will certainly inflame military tensions in the Gulf and likely result in a global proxy war that drags in the US, China and Russia. Oh, and that would be the Persian Gulf for those wondering, not the Gulf of Tonkin, which is where another famous False Flag naval incident occurred.

Furthermore, as we predicted would happen on Sunday, this "official assessment", was the first suggestion by any nation that Iran was responsible for the attack and follows a series of U.S. warnings against "aggression" by Iran or its allies and proxies against military or commercial vessels in the region. Some more details from the WSJ:

May 14 10:30

Don't 'Iraq' Iran

ow many people advocating for war against Iran actually know what it looks like from an on the ground perspective? How many neocon advocates for bombing Tehran have actually seen the ultra-modern downtown skyline of the capital city? How many know flesh and blood Iranians who whose world and families and whole existence will be shattered when the missiles are unleashed?

Once again, the armchair hawks are clamoring to bomb far-away places which for them contain abstract "villains" which in reality pose little to no direct threat to the United States — all based on anonymously sourced and vague "intelligence". Like the disastrous Iraq war, Washington is now saying, just "trust us". And like Iraq, the results of yet another war to "take out the regime" will no doubt be a worse nightmare than the current status quo and stability, however undesirable Iran's current leaders might be.

May 14 10:09

NATO ally Spain pulls warship from US strike group ‘to avoid being dragged into conflict with Iran’

Spain has withdrawn a frigate which was part of a US combat group traveling to the Persian Gulf to ‘send a message’ to Iran. Madrid has signaled that the operation falls outside of its military commitments as a NATO member.

Acting Defense Minister Margarita Robles ordered the Spanish warship Mendez Nunez to break off from the armada, led by the USS Abraham Lincoln, El Pais reported Tuesday. According to the Spanish newspaper, the decision was made in order to “avoid being involuntarily dragged into any kind of conflict with Iran.”

May 14 10:02

BEX ALERT - US Officials Claim Iran or Iranian Proxies Damaged Ships in UAE Waters - Report

US officials said Monday that initial assessments of an incident over the weekend in which four oil tankers were damaged by explosions in Emirati waters point to Iranian involvement.

Four oil tankers — two Saudi, one Emirati and one Norwegian — off the coast of the Fujairah, in the United Arab Emirates, suffered on Sunday what the UAE Foreign Ministry called "sabotage operations." The explosion blew a five-to-10 foot hole in each ship near or just below the water line, a US military team told AP Monday.

"Iranian or Iranian-backed proxies" are believed to be behind the attack, according to US officials.

May 14 10:01

Saudi Oil Tanker 'Sabotage' Is a Dangerous Moment in US-Iran Tensions

Saudi Arabia’s claim that two of its oil tankers have been sabotaged off the coast of the UAE is vague in detail – but could create a crisis that spins out of control and into military action.

Any attack on shipping in or close to the Strait of Hormuz, the 30-mile wide channel at the entrance to the Gulf, is always serious because it is the most important choke point for the international oil trade.

A significant armed action by the US or its allies against Iran would likely provoke Iranian retaliation in the Gulf and elsewhere in the region. Although the US is militarily superior to Iran by a wide margin, the Iranians as a last resort could fire rockets or otherwise attack Saudi and UAE oil facilities. Such apocalyptic events are unlikely – but powerful figures in Washington, such as the national security adviser John Bolton and secretary of state Mike Pompeo, appear prepared to take the risk of a war breaking out.

May 14 09:44

US military probes oil tanker 'sabotage attacks' off UAE coast

The incident comes amid fears in the Middle East that hawks in Washington are trying to provoke a military confrontation between the US and Iran.

Speaking during a visit to India, Zarif said he discussed the oil tanker incident with Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, adding that Iran had anticipated "activities to escalate tension" by "hardliners" in the US and the Middle East.

"We ... talked about the policies that hardliners in the US administration as well as in the region are attempting to impose," Zarif told Iranian state TV in India after a bilateral meeting with Swaraj.

"We raised concerns over the suspicious activities and sabotage that are happening in our region," Zarif added.

May 14 09:40

Trump Provokes Iran With Intensified Economic War

Trump and Bolton’s strategy is to bait Iran into a war Bolton’s wanted for twenty years - says Trita Parsi, President of the NIAC

May 14 09:31

Iran Accuses U.S. of Framing it for Tanker Sabotage to Provoke Conflict

Iran accused officials in the Trump administration and its Middle East allies of attempting to frame it for an attack on oil tankers near a strategic Persian Gulf waterway.

May 14 09:16

The Media’s Shameful Handling Of Bolton’s Iran Threat Claims Recalls The Run-Up To The Iraq War

Media-savvy U.S. government officials, political operatives, and lawmakers and their staffs from all political parties and ideological persuasions have no doubt, throughout the history of our great country, duped a fair-minded but unwitting reporter into writing a juicy story in order to get a piece of information into the public bloodstream without their fingerprints on it.

This is, in large part, how the Bush administration sold the U.S. invasion of Iraq to the American people: Feeding knowingly bogus or unsubstantiated intelligence on Iraq’s (nonexistent) WMD programs to reporters, who then published it as fact, without much in the way of critical scrutiny.

Despite the lessons we’ve learned from that debacle, it’s happening again with regard to the Trump administration’s march toward war with Iran.

May 14 09:15

White House Reviews US Military Plan for 120,000 Troops for Iran War

John Bolton ordered the Pentagon to come up with an “updated” plan for getting more American troops into the Middle East to fight a war against Iran. The plans are in now, according to officials, who say that the options envision 120,000 US ground troops in the Middle East.

Incredibly, this option appears to just be the start of the war, as officials say that the 120,000 plan does not include a US ground invasion of Iran. Officials concede that the ground invasion would require far more troops.

Instead, the 120,000 is just the next step in the ongoing US escalations toward war, and is envisioned as a response to any Iranian threat on US forces or interests, or any hint of acceleration of its nuclear program.

May 14 09:14

Trump: Iran Will Suffer Greatly If It Tries Anything

Meeting with Hungarian Premier Viktor Orban on Monday, President Trump reported that he’s “hearing little stories about Iran,” and that “if they do anything they will suffer greatly.”

While this is the most directly Trump himself has addressed the possibility of US moves against Iran, it echoes weeks of narrative from other administration officials claiming Iran might be about to do something threatening US interests.

The idea of Iran being poised to do something came in the wake of the US military buildup in the Middle East, trying to present the US as being prepared to retaliate against some non-specific Iranian threat.

May 14 09:10

PEPE ESCOBAR: Iran Squeezed Between Imperial Psychos and European Cowards

The Trump administration unilaterally cheated on the 2015 multinational, UN-endorsed JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal. It has imposed an illegal, worldwide financial and energy blockade on all forms of trade with Iran — from oil and gas to exports of iron, steel, aluminum and copper. For all practical purposes, and in any geopolitical scenario, this is a declaration of war.

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