IRAN | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


IRAN

Jun 15 09:13

Jeremy Hunt brands Labour leader 'pathetic' over Iran comments

The foreign secretary has branded Jeremy Corbyn "pathetic", after he questioned whether the UK had "credible evidence" Iran was behind attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Jeremy Hunt said responsibility for Thursday's attacks "almost certainly" lies with the Iranian regime.

The Labour leader said the UK should "ease tensions" in the region rather than "fuel a military escalation".

Mr Hunt criticised Mr Corbyn for not backing British intelligence.

Jun 15 06:58

Beyond Blaming Iran, Trump and Aides Divided on Next Step: Trump continues to say he wants diplomacy, not war

Given nothing more than a grainy video that doesn’t show much of anything, and a couple of tankers burning at sea, the Trump Administration has proven themselves united in a way rarely seen, declaring Iran wholly and directly to blame.

That’s where the unity appears to end, however. Officials are always keen to blame Iran for anything that might stick, and as for what to do after that, they all seem deeply divided, and their talking points vary wildly.

President Trump was quick to blame Iran, citing the dubious Centcom video as proof, and declaring that they are “in deep, deep trouble.” Beyond that, however, he reiterated that he wants to negotiate with Iran, and that he’s “in no rush” to actually have the talks. He also continues to say he’s not interested in a war.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There are two companion pieces, also appearing at antiwar.com today, and they are:

US SecDef wants to focus on building global consensus against Iran after tanker attacks

and MIKE POMPEO SAID CONGRESS DOESN’T NEED TO APPROVE WAR WITH IRAN. 2020

It would seem, to an impartial observer, that both men are working just as hard as they can for Israel, to insure that the Israeli-desired US/Iranian war happens right on cue, to give Netanyahu the best possible "lift", in advance of the snap Israeli elections in September.

So, I have a question: why have both men not registered as "foreign agents", in service to Israel?!?

Because right now, I would politely suggest that their goals and objectives, have absolutely nothing to do with the welfare of the American people, but everything to do with the sustaining of the current geopolitical power structure in Tel Aviv. That is just the reality.

And please remember, unlike the image of "Poor Little Israel" in which many American and Israeli politicians, like to frame Israel's current military capabilities,as though this country was completely and utterly incapable of taking care of themselves, this country is bristling with nuclear arms, and other weapons, courtesy of, you guessed it, the American Taxpayer!!!

And because Israel refuses to sign the NNPT (which Iran has, BTW), and allow their nuclear weapons to be inspected, they are, theoretically forbidden to get any weapons or money from the US under the Symington Amendment; but, of course, with Israel, is always that "special arrangement", which allows our politicians to break the law with impunity, and give it an embarrassment of riches, in terms of money, and new weapons.

So to sum up, Secretary of State Pompeo, and Presidential Advisor Bolton, if Israel believes Iran to be an "existential threat", let Israel take care of it militarily, because they can.

This is absolutely not our fight.

And should the US decide to fight Iran, what is to prevent Russia from stepping into the fray on Iran's side, seeing how well they have done in Syria, getting rid of the US trained/funded jihadis?!?

Gentlemen, right now, the US military doesn't have the weaponry; the funding; the troop strength; or the manufacturing to insure a positive outcome to any war against either Russia or Iran.

Oh, and BTW: when have you decided to bring back the draft?!? Just checking, gentlemen, just checking.

Jun 15 05:55

US GOV NARRATIVE BLAMING IRAN FOR OIL TANKER ATTACKS FALLS APART IN HOURS

OURCE: THE GRAYZONE
The Trump administration’s claims Iran attacked oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman were quickly debunked, with the ship’s crew saying it “was hit by a flying object.” But the US disrupted important Iranian diplomatic efforts at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
BY BEN NORTON
The Donald Trump administration’s evidence-less accusations against Iran have fallen apart within a matter hours.

But these US allegations did manage to disrupt an important meeting of Asian leaders at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, where Tehran was hoping to make diplomatic breakthroughs to ease a crippling American economic blockade.

On Thursday, June 13, two oil tankers traveling through the Gulf of Oman on their way to Japan suffered from mysterious explosions. The cause of the incident was not clear.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Violent acts like this, do not happen for only one reason, like stunting Iran's chances for anything to come out the the conference at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; the US and Israel thought such charges would be a slam-dunk, and off the American people could be lied into yet another war, with absolute stupidity, as to how the US got there.

But the Vampire-like "Kill Iran" monster, created courtesy of the US and Israel, is not dead, but only sleeping for awhile.

As hard as FAUX News was pushing this yesterday, when you would get segments about this both at the top and bottom of the hour, it was painfully obvious, that the US government was going to see if this "trial balloon", would actually work with those polled, or was going to die an untimely death. It looks as though the overnights, may have put the issue of a potential war with Iran, on a back burner, at least for this second.

But we all have to stay awake, and alert; Netanyahu is in deep kim chee at home, for not being able to form a coalition, which led to the dissolution of the Knesset, to followed by a snap election in September.

We're half-way through June right now, and give or take, 90 days from that election.

If Netanyahu really wants to look "butch" for his constituents, he is going to have to find a way to create a false flag the US government doesn't see coming, to get the US to respond militarily before the elections, to give him "gravitas", at being able to lie the leader of the free world into yet another senseless, thoroughly avoidable, stupid war.

Jun 15 05:32

US OFFICIALS SAY TANKER CREW "DETAINED" - WHILE RUSSIA THANKS IRAN FOR "RESCUING" ITS NATIONALS

SOURCE: ZEROHEDGE

Just after his trip to Tehran where he met with Iran's president Rouhani as well as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, during which a Japanese owned tanker was attacked in the nearby Gulf of Oman on Thursday along with another international vessel, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the suspected attack in official statements.

Speaking to reporters Friday he said: “Japan adamantly condemns the act that threatened a Japanese ship, no matter who attacked,” and further urged “all related countries” to avoid any "accidental confrontation" or an escalation of tensions.

The Trump ally also spoke to the US president by phone on Friday, reportedly briefing him on his visit to Iran, Abe confirmed in his remarks, though without detailing what he conveyed to the White House. Trump had previously said during a Fox & Friends telephone interview that "it’s probably got essentially Iran written all over it."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. President, a word for the day, please; and today, that word... is logic.

What in the name of heaven, would Iran want to do something which would give the US and Israeli, the motive, and "justification" for any kind of carnage in the Gulf?!?

The short answer, sir,is that they would not.

Jun 14 11:00

OIL TANKER ATTACKS ECHO PERSIAN GULF'S 1980S 'TANKER WAR'

Mysterious attacks on oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz this week show how one of the world's crucial chokepoints for global energy supplies can be easily targeted, 30 years after the U.S. Navy and Iran were entangled in a similarly shadowy conflict called the "Tanker War."

Jun 14 10:09

Twitter deletes thousands of accounts tied to Iran, seeks to end false info campaigns

Twitter Inc on Thursday said it removed thousands of accounts linked to coordinated, state-backed activities it believes were from the Iranian government and archived them to its public database launched last year.

In the latest purge of information, the company said it believes 4,779 accounts were associated or backed by Iran.

Jun 14 09:33

11 REASONS Why You Should TRAVEL TO IRAN

Jun 14 09:27

Strait of Hormuz and the risk of uncontrolled escalation

The Strait of Hormuz, the narrow shipping lane between Iran and Oman named after the fabulously wealthy ancient kingdom of Ormus, has fascinated oil traders since the Iranian revolution in 1979.

Iran has periodically threatened to close the strait to enemy shipping, while the United States and its allies have pledged to keep it open and maintain freedom of navigation, by force if necessary.

The strait has become a symbolic flashpoint in the region-wide confrontation and indirect conflict between Iran on one side and the United States and Saudi Arabia on the other.

Two oil tankers were attacked and left adrift on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, just south of the entrance to the strait, stoking fears of a new confrontation between Iran and the United States.

Jun 14 09:19

SERIES OF MYSTERIOUS ATTACKS ON OIL TANKERS AROUND PERSIAN GULF

After the incident, Iranian state media reported that Iranian sailors had rescued all 44 crew members of the tankers. This statement contradicts to CENTCOM claims that said that 21 mariners from the M/V Kokuka Courageous, were rescued by USS Bainbridge.

There are no confirmed details regarding what actually happened. Mainstream media outlets reported different scenarios that caused the incident: from a torpedo attack to naval mines. Nonetheless, the common point of all these speculations was that Iran was somehow responsible for the incident.

Jun 14 09:08

Gulf of Oman attacks: Only those who want escalation will benefit

A key protagonist in this context of heightened tensions between Iran and its Gulf neighbours has been the Trump administration, whose policy of “maximum pressure” on Tehran aims to extract further concessions from the Islamic Republic with regards to its nuclear enrichment programme.

After a year of weaponised narratives directed by neo-conservative hawks in Washington, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Tel Aviv against Iran, Trump had hoped that the time was ripe to ask Tehran to return to the negotiating table. But as the revolutionary regime in Tehran had to show resolve after being humiliated by the US unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal and reimposition of painful sanctions, Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy never had any hope of success.

Jun 14 09:04

Today's Attacks On Ships In The Gulf Of Oman Are Not In Iran's Interest - Or Are They?

Even while Iran rejects negotiations with the U.S. as long as the U.S. keeps up its sanctions, it has no interest in disturbing the current phase of diplomacy. Iran seems to have nothing to win from these attacks.

Is someone else out to nearly literately torpedo the current mediation attempts?

Jun 14 09:02

Mike Pompeo Blames Iran for Tanker Attack Without Single Shred of Evidence

In a press conference that immediately evoked memories of the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday claimed Iran was behind alleged attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman without presenting one single shred of evidence.

"This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high-degree of sophistication," said Pompeo, who did not provide any details on the intelligence he cited.

After asserting Iran was also behind a litany of attacks prior to Thursday's tanker incident—once again without presenting any evidence—Pompeo said that,"Taken as a whole, these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security."

Jun 14 08:39

Trump shock: USA told it will LOSE WAR WITH IRAN, and here’s why

DONALD TRUMP’S USA boasts the most powerful armies the world has ever seen – but today military experts warned they would NEVER beat Iran in a military conflict even as the possibility of a hot war between Iran and the USA increased as British and US servicemen raced to the aid of two oil-tankers attacked off the Iranian coast in the Gulf of Oman.

Jun 14 08:35

Oil tanker attacks: Russia warns against blaming Iran

Russia on Thursday called for normalization with Iran and warned against accusing Tehran of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

In a news conference in the capital Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the situation should not be used to escalate tensions with Iran.

"We need measures to normalize the situation around Iran, we need to calmly and impartially deal with what happened, not to make hasty conclusions. [...] We have recently seen a growing campaign of political, psychological and military pressure on Iran," he said.

"I would take the opportunity to warn against hasty conclusions, against attempts to lay the blame at the door of those we don't like," Ryabkov added.

Jun 14 08:18

Seven Reasons To Be Highly Skeptical Of The Gulf Of Oman Incident

In a move that surprised exactly zero people, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has wasted no time scrambling to blame Iran for damage done to two sea vessels in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, citing exactly zero evidence.

“This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high-degree of sophistication,” Pompeo told the press in a statement.

“The United States will defend its forces, interests, and stand with our partners and allies to safeguard global commerce and regional stability. And we call upon all nations threatened by Iran’s provocative acts to join us in that endeavor,” Pompeo concluded before hastily shambling off, taking exactly zero questions.

Here are seven reasons to be extremely skeptical of everything Pompeo said:

Jun 14 07:50

Dire Straits Of Hormuz

Iran is suffocating under US sanctions, a known instigator of such actions via proxies, and threatening the EU with walking away from the nuclear deal if they won’t help it out. An attack like this would be incredibly reckless…unless they are desperate enough to up the ante to see if a war-averse White House will press ahead with another ruinous Middle East conflict ahead of the 2020 elections and in the face of a Cold War with China. If that is the case then expect more provocations and more Risk Off even as Iran calls this all “beyond suspicious”, “economic terrorism”, and “sabotage diplomacy”.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Israel's Netanyahu had to disband the Knesset after the last election, because he couldn't create a coalition of parties which worked, and next snap elections will come in September of this year.

With the corruption trials looming ahead of him, coupled with his failure to hold the Knesset together, Netanyahu is now a geopolitically wounded candidate; and and political candidates are at their most reckless when they are wounded by a series of events, as he has been.

My hunch, is that Israel is looking at creating some huge false flag, to be blamed on Iran, and will absolutely dwarf the harm caused by the other bombings we have seen so far in the Gulf of Hormuz.

Netanyahu is feeling the pressure of time, so in working backward from the next Israeli election, he is going to attempt to time this false flag when it will do the most good for his candidacy; but that is still very hard to determine.

With the US showing a grainy video of an alleged Iranian attempting to get non-working mine off the bottom of a ship, regurgitated by the talking heads at very close to the top of the hour, I am thinking that Netanyahu will want to do this sooner rather than later; he may well believe that with the pressure of the snap election in September, he doesn't have time to wait.

I would suspect that the Foggy Bottomites will be doing some poling, during this weekend, to see what the optics may look like, with a huge, allegedly Iranian false flag, followed by an American war against the country. I hope and pray, that the optics will be horrific.

And as I have seen in recent years, just becomes something is so ham-fistedly, pig headedly stupid for the US government to do, is no guarantee that they won't do it.

Jun 14 07:21

Lira Slides After Turkey Vows It Will Retaliate To US Sanctions Over S-400

Two weeks ago, when Trump started rolling out tariffs left and right as a political punishment weapon for any sovereigns who presented hurdles to
Next on Trump’s train of terrifying tariffs: Turkey.

The reason is simple: Turkey's now official stance that it would proceed with concluding the Russian S-400 missile deal despite vocal opposition from both the US president and Congress. And now, Turkey, too, is bracing for what now appears inevitable as it refuses to budge on its commitment to the Kremlin.

Overnight, Turkey said it would hold firm in its commitment to honor its purchase of Russian air defense systems, warning the US that it is prepared to take "reciprocal steps" in reply to any sanctions imposed by Washington, effectively admitting that sanctions by the White House are only a matter of time.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. President, a word, please; the more you inflame a country, in terms of attempting to punish it for its choices of weapons defenses, the more that country will turn toward other countries whose policies it feels are more in line with its own.

What you have done here, is make Turkey ripe for acquisition by a Iranian/Russian sphere of influence. So sir, I must ask: was this your design objective?!?

Or is this yet another of the "unintended consequences" of your foreign policy failures with the tariffs so far?!?

Jun 14 07:10

Japanese Tanker Owner Denies Ship Hit By Mine, Says Crew Saw "Flying Objects" Before Attack

For a moment on Thursday, it appeared that the US Navy had produced the 'smoking gun' to which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had alluded during his statement from earlier in the day: CENTCOM footage which the Navy said purported to show Iran's IRGC 'caught in the act' of trying to remove an unexploded mine from the Kokuka Courageous, one of the two tankers damaged in Thursday's attacks.

CENTCOM said the video it released showed the IRGC removing an unexploded limpet mine from the side of one of the tankers, suggesting Tehran had sought to remove evidence from the scene.

After the video's release, Iran continued to deny any involvement in the attacks. And perhaps now we know why.

Because in comments that cast the entire narrative promulgated by the US in doubt, Yutaka Katada, the president of Kokuka Sangyo, the owner and operator of the Kokuka Courageous, said Friday that he doesn't completely believe Washington's version of events.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US narrative on this, has more holes than does a pasta colander; the US should walk away, with as much grace as humanly possible; however, they are doubling down on their claims this morning,continually having looped the very grainy video that a clever 10 year old could have crash-edited together, as evidence that Iran moved a mine from one tanker.

I would far more believe President Katada, president of and owner of the vessel of the ship, in terms of what he believed he saw, and his naval background tells me that he is a credible witness; this means, of course, you will never hear another word out of him, except in the Independent media, like WRH.

Jun 14 06:59

Sabotage diplomacy: Zarif says no need to be ‘clairvoyant’ to see US ‘plan B’ for Iran

Washington’s claim that Tehran carried out the attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman is unsurprising, Iran’s FM has said, warning that the US has resorted to “Plan B” to sabotage the Islamic Republic’s diplomatic efforts.

Mohammad Javad Zarif claimed that the US had “jumped to make allegations against Iran [without] a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence,” describing the move as an attempt to demonize Tehran on the world stage and legitimize Washington’s unilateral sanctions against his country.

“I warned of exactly this scenario a few months ago, not because I’m clairvoyant, but because I recognize where the #B_Team is coming from,” Zarif tweeted, using the derogatory term he coined to described the Trump administration.

Jun 14 05:51

Convenient “Tanker Attacks” as US Seeks War with Iran

“…it would be far more preferable if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation as justification for the airstrikes before launching them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off the United States would be. Of course, it would be very difficult for the United States to goad Iran into such a provocation without the rest of the world recognizing this game, which would then undermine it.” (emphasis added)

– Brookings Institution, “Which Path to Persia?” 2009

All Too Convenient

This news of “attacked” oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz blamed by the US on Iran – comes all too conveniently on the heels of additional steps taken by Washington to pressure Iran’s economy and further undermine the Iranian government.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder why the US and Israel continue to trot out the same old "game plans" which had worked so well as the justifications for former wars, like the war in Viet Nam, Iraq, or Afghanistan, but cannot possibly work now?!?

Well, let's say that President Bush's regime changed all of that.

And the reality is that, ever since President Bush went on his savage media campaign against Saddam Hussein and Iraq, lying to Americans and the world, that Hussein had "weapons of mass destruction", which Bush absolutely knew were not there, thinking Americans could no longer believe or trust anything this government says.

Thinking Americans understand that what drives the trajectory of US foreign policy, is its ability to expropriate foreign resources, to which it has absolutely no moral right; insure that the government of that country is "US/Western centric", and that those resources are only sold in US dollars.

So, there you have it, very neatly and simply packaged.

And until, and unless, the US loses another major war, this will simply keep continuing,no matter the utterly ruinous costs to our country.

The American people have absolutely zero choice, because no matter how many times we vote in national elections, our two Presidential candidates have been thoroughly vetted by the military industrial complex, the large corporations which have "specific expectations" about what they will get, by going along along with one of the two candidates.

So we vote, yet absolutely nothing changes, except the locales of the wars; the catastrophic slip in most of our standards of living; the infrastructure is left to crumble; our Vets wind up sleeping rough in our sleep; our "education system" is complete rubbish, and families living in their cars, have become the "new normal".

Welcome to the 21st Century's Unhinged, Surveilled, State of Amerika.

Jun 14 05:29

Saudi Arabia says it has stepped up readiness level, committed to supply oil markets

Khalid al-Falih condemned the strikes against the tankers — one of which carried methanol from Saudi Arabia — in the Gulf of Oman, which followed an attack last month on four vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, off the United Arab Emirates.

He said the energy ministry of the world’s top oil exporter and state oil giant Aramco had raised the level of readiness to deal with “such aggressive terrorist acts” and reaffirmed the kingdom’s commitment to the reliable supply of oil to international markets, the state news agency SPA said.

American and Saudi officials have blamed Iran for the May 12 sabotage of tankers off the UAE’s Fujairah bunkering hub that lies outside the Strait of Hormuz, a charge Tehran denies.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States has assessed, based on intelligence, type of weapons used and level of expertise needed, that Iran is responsible for Thursday’s attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Khalid al-Falih,and Secretary of State Pompeo,until you have some tangible proof, other than a grainy video a 10 year old child could have shot, you have utterly nothing with which to accuse Iran on this.

Jun 14 05:06

Why would Iran attack two tankers near the Strait of Hormuz?

In a brief press conference Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed no doubt about who attacked two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, saying Iran was “responsible for the attacks.”

He did not, however, immediately offer any proof of the intelligence behind that assessment.

The attack certainly bears the hallmark and capabilities of previous aggressive actions undertaken by Iran and its paramilitary cohorts in the Persian Gulf.

But questions abound over who actually stands to benefit most from an attack in a region beset by violence and convoluted proxy conflicts raged between and Iran and Saudi Arabia and its allies.

Was the attack carried out by Iran, or other Gulf States seeking to sow conflict ? or did the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps operate outside of Tehran’s directives to further its own agenda?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

the short answer is, they wouldn't

Jun 14 05:02

Iran's Air Defence Chief: 'We Are Warning the Enemy…Move as Far Away As You Can From Our Border

Strained relations between Washington and Tehran got worse last month after the US parked a carrier strike group in the Arabian Sea and built up its presence in the Middle East while accusing Iran of involvement in the sabotage of four tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

Iranian Air Defence Force commander Brig. Gen. Alireza Sabahifard has urged Tehran's adversaries to keep their distance from the country's frontiers.

"We are warning the enemy: there is no safe zone for extraterritorial military aircraft in Iranian skies... Even approaching Iran's borders would be met with a strong response. Thus, I advise you to move as much away [from Iran's borders] as you can," the commander said, as quoted by PressTV.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unfortunately for General Sabahifard, the reason the US and aligned forces have kept a respectful distance, is that optics demand a far greater "false flag" to be blamed on Iran, than what has happened recently.

Jun 14 04:58

Iranian Mission to UN 'Categorically Rejects' US Claims Regarding Gulf of Oman Attacks

In a Thursday statement, Iran's mission to the United Nations announced the country rejects the US claim that Tehran was responsible for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman earlier in the day.

"Iran categorically rejects the US unfounded claim with regard to 13 June oil tanker incidents and condemns it in the strongest possible terms," reads the mission statement.

Tehran's remarks follow US Central Command's deployment of the US Navy destroyer USS Mason to the Gulf of Oman after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo labeled Iran responsible for torpedo attacks on the oil tankers Kokuka Courageous and Front Altair.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So now, we have the USS Bainbridge, and the USS Mason heading over to the Gulf of Oman?!?

Jun 14 04:53

Oil Prices Spike After Gulf of Oman Tanker Incident

Oil prices spiked on Thursday after two vessels were seemingly attacked in the Gulf of Oman, one of the world’s most important shipping lanes.

Fears of military conflict between Washington and Tehran in the aftermath of the incident involving The Front Altair and the Kokuka Courageous tankers sent the oil price up over 4.5%, with Brent crude hitting $62.64 per barrel and US crude touching $53.45, dragging oil away from the five-month lows struck last night.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This was perfectly predictable, given the tensions in the region.

Jun 14 04:50

US sends destroyer to Gulf of Oman tanker incident site as Pentagon says ‘no interest’ in new war

The US has dispatched another warship to the Gulf of Oman, but says it has “no interest” in engaging in a new Middle East conflict. The State Department accused Iran of attacking two tankers there, which Tehran denies.
Guided missile destroyer USS Mason will join the destroyer USS Bainbridge on station near the Kokuka Courageous, a damaged tanker just outside the Persian Gulf, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said on Thursday, adding that “Iranian small boats” were spotted in the area.

No interference with USS Bainbridge, or its mission, will be tolerated.

The Florida-based combat command called the attacks on tankers “a clear threat to international freedom of navigation and freedom of commerce.”

"We have no interest in engaging in a new conflict in the Middle East,” CENTCOM added. “We will defend our interests, but a war with Iran is not in our strategic interest, nor in the best interest of the international community.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And we have a sister article, also from rt.com on the incident, and the dispatching of the USS Bainbridge. And notice regarding the Bainbridge, the following statement is made: " No interference with USS Bainbridge, or its mission, will be tolerated."

Folks, I don't know about you, but to me, this telegraphs that something wicked this way comes, courtesy of those whose responsibility it is for creating false flags in both the US and Israel. I don't know how long it will take the USS Bainbridge to reach its destination,but I would expect that shortly before this happens, we will be looking at another incident, to blame again on Iran.

And the title of this companion article is Backing Pompeo's ‘Gulf of Tonkin’ incident is a massive anti-Iran online propaganda campaign

And it goes on to state: "Twitter has announced that it is removing 4,779 accounts associated or backed by Tehran, the latest strike in the ongoing anti-Iran campaign perfectly timed to coincide with the attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was already blaming Iran hours after the incident, offering not a shred of proof aside from a few other dubious incidents in the Middle East that the US has previously pinned on Iran, without evidence.

Even the mainstream media has initially been reluctant to take his word for it, mostly because the narrative is so improbable. Japan's PM Shinzo Abe was in Tehran, promising to use his "utmost effort" to de-escalate tensions, when as if on cue, a Japanese ship was hit along with a Norwegian vessel."

I am almost certain, that something horrific is going to happen on, or right before, the USS Bainbridge reaches the Persian Gulf; the next couple of days should tell the tale.

Jun 14 04:34

SAUDIS RELEASE DRAMATIC VIDEO OF "IRAN-ORDERED" HOUTHI MISSILE ATTACK ON AIRPORT TERMINAL

SOURCE: ZEROHEDGE
Amid fast escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf surrounding Thursday morning's mysterious "attacks" on two tankers which US officials are already blaming on Iran, Saudi Arabia has released CCTV footage of this week's previously reported Yemeni Houthi missile attack on a civilian airport terminal in the southern part of the kingdom.

"The Iran-backed Houthi terrorist militia, through its media, claimed full responsibility for this terrorist act using a cruise missile – as they claim- which constitutes a clear recognition and full responsibility for the targeting of civilians and civilian places that are subject to special protection under international humanitarian law, this may amount to a war crime,” a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, Col. Turki al-Malki, said in an official statement.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Let's do something amazing, and actually think, for a moment, can we please?!?

What is the logic of an Iranian move like this, when its leadership is desperately attempting to stave off potential attacks from Israel; Saudi Arabia; and the US?!?

The short answer is, there is zero logic in this move; and although Iranian leadership may be many things, stupid... is not one of them.

Jun 13 15:07

Tankers Hit in Sea of Oman: Iran Helps Rescue 23 Crew Members, U.S. Blames Iran For The Attack

Two tanker ships reportedly carrying Japanese goods were attacked in Sea of Oman on Thursday while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was meeting with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei to try and deescalate tensions between Iran and the US.

Jun 13 14:43

Japan premier warns US, Iran 'accidental conflict' possible

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe traveled to Tehran on Wednesday to warn that an "accidental conflict" could be sparked amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S., a message that came hours after Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi rebels attacked a Saudi airport, wounding 26 people.

Abe's trip is the highest-level effort yet to de-escalate the crisis as Tehran appears poised to break the 2015 nuclear deal it struck with world powers, an accord that the Trump administration pulled out of last year. It's also the first visit of a sitting Japanese premier in the 40 years since the Islamic Revolution.

Jun 13 13:43

Netanyahu Vows More Preemptive Attacks Against SyriaSays Israel will attack in a 'systematic and consistent manner'

Following Syrian reports that they’d foiled an Israeli attack near the Golan Heights, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to launch even more preemptive attacks against Syria into the future.

Netanyahu said Israel was facing “unending” tests, and that they would continue to attack in a “systematic and consistent manner” to ensure that Syria never establishes any capability to threaten Israel.

In practice Israel has been attacking targets in Syria on a regular basis for months now, and indeed has spent much of the Syrian War feigning neutrality while backing rebel groups, and attacking pro-government forces on every pretext, and often with no pretext at all.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just how long Russia is going to put up with this nonsense, before it hits back, or threatens Israel in such a way, that it cannot refuse Russia's desire for Israel to stop these attacks?

Jun 13 12:45

2 TANKERS DAMAGED AFTER SUSPECTED TORPEDO ATTACK NEAR STRAIT OF HORMUZ; OIL SOARS

UPDATE: It appears earlier reports that the Front Altair had sunk were, in fact, incorrect. The ship’s captain has said that it is still afloat. VHF radio traffic confirmed that it is damaged but still afloat.

Hours have passed since the suspected attacks, and still, nobody has claimed responsibility. Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has noted how suspicious it is that a Japanese owned vessel would be attacked while Iranian leaders were meeting with the Japanese prime minister in Tehran.

And as one BBG analyst pointed out: “Fingers will certainly be pointed at Iran as the mastermind behind these events. But the potential benefits to the Persian Gulf nation are outweighed by the risks. And even if Tehran isn’t responsible, it will still suffer the consequences.”

Update: The Front Altair, the Marshall Islands flag tanker damaged in Thursday’s attacks, has now sunk, according to Iranian television. Later, others denied these reports.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The logical question which must be asked, and quickly, is, why in the name of Heaven, would Iran do something so pig-headedly, ham-fistedly stupid, when they are absolutely desperately trying to hold the US and Israel at bay, in terms of not starting a shooting war?!?

We the American people have to have the courage, to ask our alleged representatives, this question, and ask they if they are for a US-led shooting war against Iran?!?

The short answer is, they wouldn't.

So however this was done, I have a very nasty feeling in the pit of my gut, that this could well have happened, courtesy of an American, or Israeli, "false flag team", to make it appear that the Iranians would actually do something so idiotic, as to try to force a shooting war in the region.

The Iranian government members, may be many things; stupid, however, is not one of them.

Jun 13 12:25

False Flag? Iran Has Little To Gain From Oman Tanker Attacks

Gulf of Tonkin 2.0? Regardless of whether Iran is responsible for damage to vessels in the Sea of Oman, Bloomberg's Julian Lee explains, it will still get the blame - and suffer the fallout.

Jun 13 12:21

Iran FM: "Suspicious Doesn't Begin To Describe" Attack On Japanese Tanker During Abe's State Visit

With the words "Gulf of Tonkin" trending on Twitter this morning at a moment that a senior American defense official told CBS News that "it's highly likely Iran caused these attacks," it appears the general public is not even close to buying the claim that Iran attacked two tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz this morning.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javid Zarif pointed out a crucial obvious factor not likely to make it across the US mainstream airwaves or headlines:

"Suspicious doesn't begin to describe what likely transpired this morning," he said.

Jun 13 12:17

Japan getting too close to Iran, suddenly ships go boom

No Japan was not acting as a lap dog for the US nor were they sent to negotiate with Iran. It was Japan who invited Iran to meet with them BEFORE Trump came to Japan. Trump’s visit had also been established well in advance to coincide with the crowning of the new Japanese Emperor.

Jun 13 09:05

Oil tanker attacks to tank negotiations with Japan and Iran?

Oil tanker attacks to tank negotiations with Japan and Iran?
June 12 Prime Minister Abe left for Iran. He stated a warning, quote "an “accidental conflict” amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S. must be avoided at all costs."

Jun 12 14:39

A Russian-American-Israeli Meeting of National Security Advisors in Jerusalem: Syria and Iran on the Table

This month of June, the National Security Advisors of Russia, the US, and Israel, Nikolay Patrushev, John Bolton and Meir Ben-Shabbat, respectively, are expected to meet in Jerusalem to talk about Iran and Syria and what Israel considers the “threat to its security” in the Levant.

High-ranking sources among decision-makers say this:

“Netanyahu runs to his allies to cry on their shoulders when he is the aggressor, as in every single problem in the Levant, particularly when the Israeli military exceeds the limits and crosses red lines. Last year, Russia agreed with Iran to create a kind of safety perimeter for the Russian military to take control along the Quneitra-Golan Heights front. That would have made it possible to ease the situation on the borders and allow President Assad and his allies to concentrate on other fronts. Iran responded positively to the Russian request, following the approval of President Assad”.

Jun 12 11:32

Cuomo presses Netanyahu on Israel's nuclear capability

Jun 12 10:59

Iranian Envoy: US Economic Terrorism Biggest Threat to N. Deal

Iranian Ambassador to Britain Hamid Ba'eidinejad said that the US economic terrorism against Tehran is putting the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers in a big danger.

Ba'eidinejad expressed the hope that every one would be aware of the fact that the US economic terrorism against Iran posed the biggest threat to the Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and regional security.

He wrote on his twitter page that the US will paralyze the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) by adopting counter-measures in a bid to thwart the EU diplomacy.

US media 'Bloomberg' reported on Monday that the US is reviewing sanctions on the parallel mechanism of INSTEX in Iran.

Jun 12 10:51

US TREASURY DEPT IMPOSES NEW IRAN-RELATED SANCTIONS ON 2 INDIVIDUALS AND A COMPANY IN IRAQ

SOURCE: RT

The US Treasury Department announced sanctions on Wednesday against two Iraq-based persons and one company, for their alleged links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
Makki Kazim and Mohammed Hussein, along with the South Wealth Resources Company have all been hit with secondary sanctions, according to the Treasury Department website.

Secondary sanctions form a major part of US international statecraft, cutting off businesses and individuals from the US financial system and tarnishing their reputations with international businesses and banks. A number of measures can be enforced against targeted individuals, ranging from limiting their ability to do business in the US to prohibiting all US parties from conducting business with them.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sanctions, with which the Trump administration is replacing, and substituting for any kind of rational negotiations, will not bring about the desired result with Iran.

The only thing which will make that happen, is for the US to return to the P5+1 agreement; but President Trump; Pompeo; and Bolton adamantly allow any reasonable discussions here regarding this happening.

Meanwhile in Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, is sweating bullets, because his failure to put together a coalition, so there will be another election this September.
Israeli Snap Elections to be held in September, 2019

If he is unable to prod Trump, and the US government, into a seething war footing, and do something to get a war going against Iran, it may well cost him the next election.

So if we see any kind of a false flag happening between now and September, to be blamed on Iran, this will most likely be an Israeli intervention, just as was the attack on the USS Liberty all those years ago, which Israel tried to blame on Egypt.

Jun 10 12:51

Report: Media Ran Dozens Of Articles From Iranian Dissident Who 'Does Not Exist'

Tons of media outlets from Forbes to The Daily Caller ran articles pushing for regime change in Iran which were written by an "Iranian activist" named Heshmat Alavi who "appears not to exist," according to a new report from The Intercept.

Jun 10 12:04

Iran at High Level of Readiness as US General Continues to Claim Imminent Threat

US Admiral says all interactions with Iranians remain 'safe and professional'

Growing US military buildups throughout April and May in the Middle East were a reaction, according to officials, to Iran’s military being at a high level of readiness. Now, with all those extra US forces in the area, Iran remains at a high level of readiness.

This is something of a challenge for the US to parse, now, as it makes sense for Iran to be at a high level of readiness after months of escalation and US threats, and officials are trying to figure out if this is just the new normal.

Gen. Frank McKenzie, the top US commander in the region, is continuing to hype up Iran as an “imminent threat.” Gen. McKenzie played up this threat on Thursday, and used virtually identical comments on Saturday, claiming Iran’s threat has “evolved in certain ways.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

OK, US military, , you cannot have it both ways; in one breath, an admiral observes that activites with the Iranian military have been "safe and professional", but Gen. Frank McKenzie, still insists that there is an "imminent threat."

Jun 10 09:53

YouTube’s anti-extremism crackdown targets journalist who documents extremism

YouTube on Wednesday announced an expanded crackdown on hate speech, but the company said it would make sure not to ban or demonetize videos that "aim to condemn or expose hate, or provide analysis of current events."

However, YouTube's crackdown has already targeted a journalist who documents extremism, presumably by mistake.

"Within minutes of @YouTube's announcement of a new purge it appears they caught my outlet, which documents activism and extremism, in the crossfire," journalist Ford Fischer wrote on Twitter yesterday. "I was just notified my entire channel has been demonetized. I am a journalist whose work there is used in dozens of documentaries."

Fischer is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of News2Share. PBS's "Documenting Hate" series is one of the documentaries that relied on his footage. His IMDB page lists numerous documentaries that he contributed to.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

YouTube does whatever its governmental masters order it to do, and has become part and parcel of the 4th Governmental Arm, that of State Surveillance.

Find another place to go, if you are doing this kind of work, and vote... by changing venues.

Jun 10 09:04

SYRIA - WESTERN MEDIA GLORIFICATION OF SYRIAN JIHADIST IS A SIGN THAT THE WAR IS FAR FROM ITS END

SOURCE: MOONOFALABAMA.ORG
Western media currently publish glorifying obituaries for a Syrian 'rebel' who is know for extreme sectarianism and for being a member of a Jihadi group that is aligned with al-Qaeda.

The Associated Press, the BBC, the Guardian and analysts all write of Abdul Baset al-Sarout who yesterday died of wounds he received two days earlier when his group attacked Syrian government forces.

AP:

Abdul Baset al-Sarout, 27, rose to fame as a goalkeeper for his home city of Homs and won international titles representing his country. When peaceful protests broke out against Mr. al-Assad in 2011, Mr. al-Sarout led rallies and became known as the “singer of the revolution” for his ballads.
When Syria slid into civil war, Mr. al-Sarout took up arms. He led a unit of fighters against government forces and survived the government siege of Homs.

The Guardian:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These stories, concerning "celebrated jihadists" in Syria, make me come to the conclusion of the war in Syria, may well not be over, courtesy of the US and Israel.

I believe that both countries will poke and prod until they find a perceived "weakness", then blast against it with all those remaining US funded equipped, and trained jihadis as they possibly can.

The big question, at that point, is what will Russia, and the Syrian government, do to combat this?!?

Jun 10 08:44

THE MOST CRUCIAL PIPELINE OF THE MIDDLE EAST?

SOURCE: OIL PRICE

Contemporary Middle Eastern history is strongly influenced by energy politics. Besides providing revenue for the state’s coffers, oil is also a potent geopolitical tool in the hands of resource-rich countries. Recently, officials from Lebanon, Syria and Iraq have engaged in talks to restart the dysfunctional pipeline that once connected oilfields near Kirkuk in Iraq with the coastal city of Tripoli in Lebanon. Restarting the pipeline could have long-term political, economic, and strategic consequences for the involved states and the wider region.

THE ART OF THE DEAL

Jun 09 13:17

WE ARE ALL ASSANGE: A PHOTOMOSAIC OF INTERNET PRESENCES

So I made a photo mosaic of faces of people on the Internet, the censored, the demonized, the curious: podcasters and YouTube niche celebs and profiles from everywhere, from Twitter and Instagram and Myspace and Reddit and Pinterest and Snapchat and Tumblr and LiveJournal and even Facebook; faces of activists from BDS and BLM and OWS; faces of journalists of all kinds, anonymous and pseudonymous and eponymous, citizens all; whistleblowers and more whistleblowers and more whistleblowers; magazine publishers and rock stars and politicians and webmasters and authors and artists and poets and revolutionaries.

All of you who think for ourselves. Thousands and thousands of faces.

I made a mosaic. You should see it. I made it for you.

It is seven and three quarter feet tall, but fully zoomable on your device’s screen. Check it out. I call it “We Are All Assange.”

Jun 09 09:34

Iran: No plans to leave OPEC despite tensions

Iran has no plans to leave the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries despite being treated like an enemy by some fellow members, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said in an interview published on Saturday, reported Reuters.

“Iran has no plans to leave OPEC…and regrets that some members of OPEC have turned this organisation into a political forum for confronting two founding members of OPEC, meaning Iran and Venezuela,” Zanganeh told the Iranian parliament news site ICANA, adding:

And two regional countries are showing enmity towards us in this organization. We are not their enemy but they are showing enmity towards us…and (they) use oil as a weapon against us in the global market and world.

Jun 09 07:32

IRAN UNVEILS HOMEBUILT AIR DEFENSE MISSILE SYSTEM TO DESTROY ‘STEALTH TARGETS’ (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

SOURCE: RT
Tehran’s military displayed a brand-new indigenous air defense missile system, capable of tracking and shooting down six targets at the same time. The weapon was rolled out amid growing tensions around the Persian Gulf.
Iran unveiled its new domestically-designed air defense missile system Khordad 15 on Sunday. Equipped with long-range Sayyad 3 missiles, it can shoot down enemy jets and combat drones at a range of 120 kilometers, Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said.

Full video of 15 khordad air defence system ( ?? ?????)pic.twitter.com/izgZKfBIBl

— ???s??? ????? (@persianintel) June 9, 2019
The complex can also track “stealth targets,” intercepting them 45 km away. Overall, the weapon can destroy six targets simultaneously, according to military officials.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Iranian civilian government and its military leadership, may be many things; that being said, foolish, and unprepared are not among those categories whatsoever.

They full well know, what may be in their future (a war with the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel), and want to guard against this, by creating the best military equipment which can be created by their weaponry engineers.

So I would like to, politely and strongly caution the White House, Pentagon, and State Department, that should the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, mount some kind of attack against Iran, that Russia and China may well decide to join Iran in the fight.

And President Trump, no matter what verbal poison against Iran with which Bolton, Netanyahu, and Pompeo are filling your ears, there as to be another way, other than war, to achieve your geopolitical and financial goals here.

But your unilaterally pulling the US out of the P5+1, was an horrendous mistake, sir; and right now, to your utter embarrassment, the IAEA team, on the ground in Iran, are still saying, that the Iranians are complying with their side of the bargain.

Jun 08 09:24

TRUMP OKS ADVANCED BOMB PARTS TO BE BUILT IN SAUDI: NYT

SOURCE: ALJAZEERA

When US President Donald Trump bypassed Congress last month to approve a multibillion-dollar arms deal to Saudi Arabia, he also allowed the kingdom to develop complex precision-bomb parts, according to the New York Times.

Trump's emergency declaration allows American arms firm Raytheon to share technology with Riyadh that could allow Saudi Arabia to develop its own laser-guided bombs, the newspaper reported on Friday.

Among the components which the Saudis are now allowed to work on with the firm are the control systems and vital electronics for Raytheon's Paveway series of smart bombs. That technology was previously closely guarded by Washington.

The technology sharing is just one part of a sweeping arms package Trump bypassed Congress to push through by declaring a national emergency, citing tensions with Iran.

Outrage on Capitol Hill

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. President, please tell me that this is a belated April Fool's joke; because if it isn't, you may just have created the elements which can potentially turn into World War III; the current detente between Saudi Arabia and Israel could turn nasty at any second, and any attack against Iran by Saudi Arabia, could well be met with China and Russia taking sides with Iran.

Giving dictatorial kingdoms, which are self-proclaimed theocracies, is probably not ever a great idea; and I am referring, sir, to both Israel and Saudi Arabia.

This move does not augur well for peace, either in the region, or in the world.

Jun 07 08:48

Tehran rejects Macron’s call for wider intl talks beyond nuclear deal

Iran rejected French calls for wider international talks over its nuclear and military ambitions, according to a state TV report.

President Emmanuel Macron had said the previous day that Paris and Washington both wanted to stop Tehran getting nuclear arms and new talks should focus on curbing its ballistic missiles program.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday it would not hold any discussions beyond the 2015 pact which US President Donald Trump abandoned last year. “Talking about issues beyond the deal… will lead to further mistrust among the remaining signatories of the deal,” Reuters quoted Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi as saying.

Jun 07 07:56

US Imposes New Sanctions on Iran Amid Escalation

Since pulling out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, last May, the US has reinstated all sanctions against Tehran and introduced more.

DETAILS TO FOLLOW

Jun 06 12:33

The Trade War Is About To Become An Economic World War III

The public enthusiasm for the trade war by elites within the Trump Administration cabinet, including Rothschild banking agent Wilber Ross, Council On Foreign Relations member Robert E. Lighthizer, Goldman Sachs member Steve Mnuchin, and Bilderberg attendee Mike Pompeo showcases a desire based on globalization to perpetuate an escalation in tensions.

Whether or not you agree with the rationalizations behind the trade war, the point is, the only people who will ultimately benefit from it are those striving for globalization.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is of grave concern to me, that this trade war could well devolve into a shooting war.

There's an archetypal dream, which Mike and I have, frequently; it's that one where you can see two trains, getting closer and closer together,ever more quickly, one on the wrong track, but you cannot communicate with either train's engineer to warn them, and there is a spectacular, horrific crash.

The US is headed for just such a confrontation, and very quickly; the possible "opponents" in this war, will most likely be China; Russia; Iran; North Korea, and Syria.

Look for rationing of food and materials at that point; and the possible suspension of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, followed by a declaration of Martial Law.

After that happens, look for a reinstitution of a draft, both for our young men, and our young women.

Some may laugh at my predictions; but in looking at the state of geopolitics around the world, I am seeing all the pieces starting to come into place, which is utterly terrifying, particularly if you are a pacifist, who knows that this country is absolutely going down the wrong path, with these horrific wars.

Jun 06 11:22

The Navy vs. John Bolton: The Pentagon is spoiling for a fight — but with China, not Iran 

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

Jun 06 11:12

Amassing War Powers, Bolton Rips a Page Out of Cheney’s Playbook

Shanahan is expected to be nominated for the top Pentagon slot, subject to Senate confirmation. And according to Stephen Wertheim, assistant professor of history at Columbia University, during the confirmation hearings, “when senators think Shanahan, they should think Bolton. Because a vacuum at the top of DoD means that the department becomes a rubber stamp for Bolton.”

Bolton is an unapologetic Bush-era war hawk with four decades of experience inside the Beltway. Throughout his long career, he’s advocated for regime change in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, and Iran. As national security adviser, he appears determined to consolidate his power in the Cabinet, usurping powers that traditionally reside with the military.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Looking at the trajectory of US Foreign policies,I am deeply concerned that John Bolton will attempt, when he has Trump's ear, getting wars going on in Syria; Venezuela; Cuba; and Iran.

One has to wonder; what kind of stock investments in the military/industrial complex industries, and related industries, does the guy actually hold?!? Is that what makes him so war-centric, for more personal wealth?!?

Because remember; people who do what he does, as Advisor to the President, do not have to sign over their personal revenues, and put them in a blind trust.

Or is it some kind of dark, demented blood lust, pushing him to create environments, where people are going to wind up dead?!?

Either way, that a person who can be simultaneously so consistently wrong, and yet so consistently have the ear of a sitting President so frequently, is utterly terrifying.

Jun 06 10:53

Former IAEA Deputy Falsely Claims Iran Could Make Nukes in 6-8 Months: Accuses IAEA of letting Iran 'weaponize' uranium

Former IAEA deputy director Olli Heinonen, long a critic of his former employer, accused the IAEA in an interview of letting Iran “weaponize” uranium. He further claimed that Iran, with “maximum effort,” could produce a nuclear weapon in “six to eight months.”

Neither of these allegations were accurate by any stretch of the imagination. Heinonen was focusing on Iran improving its centrifuges. Despite this, Iran is still only enriching uranium to 3.6%, the level needed for its power plant, and far below the 90%+ needed for weapons-grade uranium.

Though the centrifuges conceivably could further enrich uranium beyond the levels presently being done, Iran has never attempted to enrich to anywhere near the 90% level, and has never suggested that they would even try.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Why would he lie like this, when he absolutely knows better?!?

One has to wonder; what kind of compensation, and from whom is he getting it to say something he knows, scientifically, not to be true?!?

Oh, I can think of a couple of countries here; perhaps the US, or Israeli?!?

Jun 06 10:52

Trump Calls Iran "Terrorist Nation Number One", Doesn't Rule Out Military Option

The statement comes amid ongoing tensions between Washington and Tehran, which escalated on 8 May, when the Islamic Republic suspended its participation in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The move was followed by the US sending an aircraft strike group, Patriot interceptors and B-52 bombers to the Middle East to tackle the alleged Iranian threat.

US President Donald Trump has underscored that even though he is ready to sit down with Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, he hasn't ruled out military action against Tehran.

“So Iran is a place that was extremely hostile when I first came into office. They were a terrorist nation number one in the world at that time and probably maybe are today,” Trump told the British news network ITV.

Jun 06 10:35

Trump: Iran ‘Probably’ Remains a Terrorist Nation: Says there is still 'always a chance' of war with Iran

In an interview Wednesday on Britain’s ITV, President Trump reiterated that he does not want a war with Iran, and would much rather talk, saying that there is “always a chance” of a war.

He gave the impression that’s getting less likely, however, calling them “extremely hostile when I first came into office,” adding “they were a terrorist nation, number one in the world at that time and probably maybe are today.”

That is a highly unusual thing for any US politician to say, as the broad official position is that no matter what Iran is doing at any given time, they are always the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. Trump suggested that there some question to that.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mister President, from whom did you get the designation "terrorist", when it comes to Iran?!?

Were I a betting person, I would bet that it must have come from one of your two BFFs in the Middle East: Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu, the Butcher of Gaza.

Remember that tiny little enclave called Gaza?!? Did you know what goes on their with their kids?!? They are routinely arrested and tortured by the IDF, and forced to sign "confessions" in Hebrew, a language they do not speak, and barely can comprehend?!?

History, Past to Present: Palestinian Children in Israeli jails.

Israel Military DetentionThis article goes on to state: "Israel is the only country in the world that automatically prosecutes children in military courts that lack basic and fundamental fair trial guarantees. Since 2000, at least 8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested and prosecuted in an Israeli military detention system notorious for the systematic ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children."

Around 500-700 Palestinian children are arrested, detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system each year."

Israeli torture of Palestinian children 'institutional'

Israel jails hundreds of Palestinian boys every year.

Did you also know that Israel has "indefinite confinement in prison, no trial, no law; no nothing, where they can keep people in jail permanently?!?

Israeli jails: facts and resources

Israel is holding a Palestinian lawmaker as political prisoner...indefinitely

Israel order solitary confinement for jailed Palestinian Leader

So, Mr. President, before you use that "T" word again, to describe Iran as a "terrorist country", you need to look again, and ask some unbiased NGO members, who have heard these testimonies of Palestinians routinely locked up, and kids tortured; I sincerely believe that you... would have an ear for the truth, when you hear it.

And sir, finally, something you really need to see (preferably, with the whole family), and it is the documentary, done by a very charming Jewish videographer, and it's name is: "Don't tell Mother I'm In Iran." The link can be found here: Don't tell my Mother I'm in Iran

This is a very different image of the country from that which Netanyahu wants you to believe, and it focuses on Iran's young people, and the fact that in it's 1979 Constitution (and sir, why to the Iranians HAVE a constitution, but Israel does not?), religious minorities are protected, and these groups are Christians, Bahais, and Jews.

Not only are they a protected minority, but each faith has a Representative in their Parliament, and the videographer goes into one of the very lovely synagogues, and his visit there is nothing short of amazing.

Here is a list of Christian churches in Iran:

Christian churches in Tehran

You are welcome, Mr. President!!

Jun 06 07:25

WHY TRUMP NOW WANTS TALKS WITH IRAN

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Saker blog.

The great Bilderberg secret of 2019 had to do with why, suddenly, the Trump administration has decided that it wants to talk to Iran “with no preconditions”.

It all has to do with the Strait of Hormuz. Blocking the Strait could cut off oil and gas from Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Iran – 20% of the world’s oil. There has been some debate on whether this could occur – whether the US Fifth Fleet, which is stationed nearby, could stop Tehran doing this and if Iran, which has anti-ship missiles on its territory along the northern border of the Persian Gulf, would go that far.

An American source said a series of studies hit President Trump’s desk and caused panic in Washington. These showed that in the case of the Strait of Hormuz being shut down, whatever the reason, Iran has the power to hammer the world financial system, by causing global trade in derivatives to be blown apart.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. President, a word, please; pulling the US from the P5+1 deal, telegraphed, painfully clearly, to the Iranian government, that the US government is pathologically incapable of keeping its promise, when an election cycle moves the person in power, as the President, to someone else.

The possibilities that you could negotiate a new agreement with Iran, have pretty much been torn asunder, by this ham-fistedly, bone-headedly , incredibly stupid decision on your part, made under immense pressure, of course, from two of your two BFFs, one in the Middle East, Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the other, Sheldon Adelson, the American Zionist who has poured out contributions upon you, with just as much support as he was able, legally, to do.

So, President Trump, what you have, in terms of perception by the Iranian government, is an "optics problem".

And BTW, sir: the IAEA continues to report that Iran is abiding by this deal, and has not done anything to disturb Iranian cooperation with the P5+1.

Now, i don't know anything about the CVs of the people working with this organization; but I do understand that they have to be phenomenally smart people, and if something was amiss, they would honestly report it.

So, President Trump, is it humanly possible that you, and your brother and sister Foggy Bottomites who condemn Iran, can do something that might, please, possibly appear, as a sane and logical move here?!?

Sir, it is way past time, for the US government, with regard to Iran, to "cage the rage, and engage" ; please show the Iranian government that we can actually do this, with some "trust-building mechanisms".

You have a both war-weary, and war-skeptical nation to take care of; and if the advisors around you even MENTION the possibility of restarting the draft, with which to beef up US troop strength, before another endless war starts, with which to engulf the world, there are two words for which you are famous on television, and those two words are: "YOU'RE FIRED"!!!''

You need to use those words immediately, sir, to anyone in your inner circle, who is still pushing the agenda, that the attack against/invasion of Iran, is a "great idea."

Jun 05 11:24

A Nuclear War Has No Victor! U.S. Military Preparation is Underway

On the international level, the U.S. government plays an even more dreadful role. According to the current U.S. foreign policy; China, Russia, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran and the major European countries are considered as adversary regimes that needs to be dealt with in one way or another. Both Democrats and Republicans believe that a major war gives them a chance to rally their national and international forces. Both parties see a major military conflict as a catalyzing factor to tilt the power for a fundamental change in their benefit. President Trump plays a unique role in flaming the trade and military wars. Since 2016, Mr. Trump’s contradictory positions on many issues have discredited his Administration and the role of the U.S. in the world.

Jun 05 11:12

US-Iran: Inverted Reality, Real War. America’s Al Qaeda Mercenaries. Iran is Fighting the Largest State Sponsor of Terror

For one, the Middle East already has a regional hegemon – the United States. Even the wildest accusations against Iran regarding state sponsored terrorism pale in comparison to Al Qaeda and the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) whose terrorism spans the globe, including standing armies operating in Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan – several of which Iran itself is specifically fighting.

The US also supports terrorist organizations within Iran including the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK). MEK enjoys the support of National Security Adviser John Bolton – who lobbied for them for years while they were listed as a foreign terrorist organization by the US State Department itself.

Thus, Iran finds itself involved in Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon precisely to stave off openly declared intentions by the US to include Iran next under its already expansive hegemony over the Middle East.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unfortunately, just because something is the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly idiotic thing the US government might do, is no guarantee that it will not do it.

The war against Iran, being advocated by by Israel, and their "Foreign Minister" in the US, John Bolton, (yes, you read that correctly) whose sympathies and interest, lie much closer with those of the Israel government, than they with those of the American people.

Should the US embark on such a war, which will most probably include proxy military presence by Saudi Arabia, and intel from Israel, what would be stopping China and Russia from stepping in on Iran's side, and exploding this conflict from a festooning regional war to a world war?!?

The short answer is, Russia and China would have much to gain, by showing the world that their weaponry, troop strength, and tactics, could possibly knock out the US military in such a conflict.

But the question is, once US civilian and military leadership are convinced that we cannot overpower Russia and China, when will such a war go nuclear?!?

I hope that someone in the Bowels of Power in DC, is losing sleep, over this scenario; because the potential for it happening, has never been more real.

Jun 05 09:50

Trump’s Bellicosity Sells Weapons but Also Boosts Iran and the Palestinian Cause

Trump’s gifts to the Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu of the Syrian Golan occupied by Israel and of the whole of Israeli-occupied Jerusalem gave an enormous boost of adrenaline to all non-state actors and resistance movements in the Middle East. These groups, who enjoy financial and military support from Iran, are united not only against US hegemony but have also effectively linked themselves and their struggle to form a united front against the US and Israel. This new unity is evident from Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Lebanon to Palestine.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

While I abhor all violence, what we saw against the Saudi oil ships, done by houthi rebels, may well be what the West may start to experience, intensely, courtesy of its general duplicity on the issue of Palestinian statehood, and its "manufactured" arguments with Iran, where its only "crime" has been refusing to sell its oil only in US dollars.

And I think that President Kennedy said it first, and said it best: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

Something upon which the Foggy Bottomites; Tel Aviv; and Saudi Arabia, really need to be reflecting right now.

Jun 05 08:45

Iran's Khamenei: Tehran will not abandon its missile programme

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that Tehran would not be “deceived” by U.S. President Donald Trump’s offer of negotiations and would not give up its missile programme.

Iran and the United States have been drawn into starker confrontation in the past month, a year after Washington pulled out of a deal between Iran and global powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear programme in return for lifting international sanctions.

Trump has condemned the nuclear deal, signed by his predecessor Barack Obama, as flawed for not being permanent and for not covering Iran’s ballistic missile programme and its role in conflicts around the Middle East. He has called on Iran to come to negotiating table to reach a new deal.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. President, a word please; by withdrawing the US from the P5+1 deal (the terms of which, according to the IAEA, Iran is in compliance), you have demonstrated one thing, both to Iran and to the world; The US government is pathologically incapable of keeping its promises.

There were many criticism I had for President Obama's regime; but the P5+1 deal, was absolutely not one of those criticisms.

And I will predict that the Iranians, with a proud and lengthy history, as a people, will not come back to re-negotiate what you pulled of in the first place.

The power of the presidency... should not be wielded in a "Sword of Damocles" manner; and too many times, since you have taken office, your attitude appears to have been one of "My way... or the highway!!" This has burnt a lot of bridges, geopolitically.

And if you catch my drift, bridges, upon which can be can be traveled, to reach and suggest room for negotiation, are generally bad things to burn, because there is no going back.

I am thinking, sir, of our current adversarial relationship with China; North Korea; Russia; Iran; and the Philippines.

So, Mr. President, just what is the US government's "plan" for Iran?!?

Are you going for a decap strike against Iran, which, fearful for its own survival, just may just invite China and Russia, militarily, "to the dance"?!?

We have seen Russia's weaponry on display in Syria, where it has made short work of American trained/funded jihadis.

Mr. President, I would strongly caution you to pick the US government's fights, which will involve our troops, and their very lives, extremely carefully.

The future existence of this country, depends upon it.

Jun 05 07:35

Unprecedented: US, Russians, Israelis to Meet in Jerusalem Later This Month. Is Iran Screwed?

The rocky partnership between Russia and Iran in the Syrian conflict is entering a turbulent period. The unprecedented US-Russia-Israel security summit due to take place in Jerusalem next month has no other explanation.

A tersely worded White House statement on May 29 said that the summit, which will be attended by the national security advisors of the US and Russia — John Bolton and Nikolai Patrushev — will discuss regional security issues. The Israeli media expect that the focus will be on Syria — Iran and “other destabilising actors”.

Jun 05 07:18

US approved transfer of nuclear expertise to Riyadh after Khashoggi murder - Approvals allow US companies to discuss and work on nuclear-related projects in the Gulf kingdom

The Donald Trump administration issued two authorisations for the transfer of technical "nuclear expertise" to Saudi Arabia after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi late last year, US Senator Tim Kaine has revealed.

Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, where Khashoggi resided, called the decision "shocking" - as it came amid global outrage over the Saudi journalist's gruesome murder on 2 October.

The two approvals were issued on 18 October - only 16 days after Khashoggi was killed - and on 18 February, respectively.

Known as "Part 810 authorisations", they allow US companies to discuss and work on nuclear-related projects in the Gulf kingdom.

"I have serious questions about whether any decisions on nuclear transfers were made based on the Trump family's financial ties rather than the interests of the American people," Kaine said in a statement on Tuesday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder; since this permission came down just two weeks after the Kashoggi assassination, did President Trump know this was going down before it happened?!?

I am sorry to suggest, but have to state, that this... is the "opening of Pandora's Box", by the US government; and I suspect that it will rue the day when it happened, and Saudi Arabia has an impressive nuclear arsenal.

Against what country in the region Saudi Arabia will first attempt to use these weapons?!? Color Iran as the most likely recipient of the brutal damage from a nuclear bombing.

So what will Iran ultimately do, faced with this predicament?!? Develop nuclear bombs of their own, and I would likely suggest, this could happen very quickly, if they approached Pakistan for their nuclear technology.

Jun 05 07:10

Along With Economic and Humanitarian Wars, the US Wages a Scientific War Against Iran

Science diplomacy has long been recognized as one of the most powerful reconciliation tools and has a proven track record in building bridges and helping pave the way for cooperation on broader issues, especially between politically opposed countries. Over the past few decades, successive American administrations, along with experts and scientists, including those at the National Academies, have traditionally encouraged greater scientific exchange and collaboration.

In 1961 John F. Kennedy established a science cooperation agreement with Japan, following appeals to repair the broken dialogue between the two countries’ intellectual communities after World War II. That agreement helped round out a tenuous relationship at the time, rooted only in security concerns. In the 1970s, US diplomats took several science initiatives during their talks with China, and when official diplomatic ties were established in 1979, science played a big role in the shaping of renewed efforts.

Jun 05 07:07

US strategic bomber & aircraft carrier drill ‘strike operations’ on Iran’s doorstep (PHOTOS)

Multiple US Air Force aircraft, including a B-52 strategic bomber, have joined the USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea for a ‘simulated strike operations’ exercise to prepare to take on Iran “when called upon.”
The drills witnessed F/A-18 Super Hornets, MH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters, and E-2D Growlers from the USS Abraham Lincoln mastering joint maneuvers to improve their “operational tactics in several warfare areas,” US Naval Forces Central Command said on Sunday. Among other “joint training evolutions,” the US Air Force participated in “strike coordination and reconnaissance exercises.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just what forces in the White House, or Pentagon, have ordered this "picador" maneuver, to get the Iranian military to engage?!?

One has to wonder if those planning such actions are DC's "Gruesome
Two-some", Bolton and Pompeo, who have never seen a military conflict, potentially causing thousands of Americans to die, or be maimed for life, that they didn't love.

Since President Trump's outsourcing his Middle Eastern foreign policy to Israel, things in the region have gone from bad to worse.

And we have a companion piece, which bears both notice, and scrutiny:

Trump says there is ‘always a chance’ of war with Iran

Mr. President, this intellectual whiplash is not playing out well, in the heartland.

And if you don't believe that the policy makers in Iran have this behaviour well and truly pegged, you are getting truly lousy advice from those around you.

So, Mr. President, a word, please: you cannot revoke your responsibility here as Commander in Chief; because if you let Pompeo, Bolton, and Netanyahu drive American foreign policy in this region, I would almost predict that the US will be embroiled in either a regional war, or a world war by the end of this year.

Jun 04 10:19

‘Americans are war-weary, while Iran was never a threat to us’ – Virginia State senator to RT

US citizens are weary of endless wars, Virginia State Senator Richard Black believes. He warned President Donald Trump against dragging the country into another one with Iran, and blamed John Bolton for being the top warmonger.

As tensions between Tehran and Washington continue to soar, Senator Black has addressed the US president in a letter, warning against going into an all-out war with Iran. He squarely put the blame for the ongoing standoff on National Security Advisor John Bolton, and urged Trump to prevent the official from “usurping” his own role.

Jun 04 10:18

War and talks don't go together: Iran's foreign minister

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has lashed out at US “economic terrorism” against the "innocent" Iranian people, saying war and talks will never go together.

On his official Twitter page on Monday, Zarif posted a video showing a "little boy whose heartbroken mother can't get him prosthetic legs as he grows" and emphasized that innocent civilians are being targeted by sanctions and economic terrorism applied to Iran by the United States.

Jun 04 09:32

Israel’s Mossad Behind Allegations Iran Sabotaged Oil Tankers

Claims of sabotage against a handful of oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, and subsequent claims from US hawks that Iran was behind it, originated with the Israeli Mossad, and the US is planning to take Israeli allegations to the UN Security Council.

Mossad said that Israel had managed the attacks without injuring anyone on board any of the ships, calling it a “pretty impressive commando operation.” This does stand in contrast to some US officials claiming it was Iranian sea mines behind the attacks, claims for which no good evidence exists.

This isn’t the first Israeli involvement in the ever-escalating narrative that threatens to march the US into war with Iran. Indeed, the original claims Iran was going to attack US forces in the region, potentially in Iraq, were themselves originally created by Mossad.

Jun 04 09:31

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

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

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

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

Jun 04 09:29

The Iran Hawks’ Creepy Smear Campaign

There has been a nasty ongoing smear campaign directed against Iranian and Iranian-American journalists, academics, and activists because they have criticized administration policy and because they don’t echo hawkish talking points on Iran. It recently came to light that part of this campaign was receiving U.S. government funding that was supposed to be used to combat propaganda from foreign governments. Thanks to public exposure and pressure on the State Department, that funding has been suspended:

Jun 04 09:29

The View From Tehran: America’s Sordid History of Meddling in Iran

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

Jun 04 09:17

Alleged strike shows Israel is chasing Iranians deep into Syrian desert

The attack on the T-4 airbase in northern Syria at around dawn on Monday, attributable to Israel, is the third on Syrian soil within a week. In the two previous cases, Israel was reacting to fire against it. This time, according to foreign media, the target was Iranian interests, reports Haaretz.

As Haaretz reported in February, this year Iran changed some of the characteristics of its activity in Syria.

On the backdrop of the persisting Israeli attacks, and the dissatisfaction with Russia and Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps moved its main activity from the Damascus international airport to a base more distant from Syria’s centre – T4, which is next to Homs. The Iranians have operated from that base before, and Israel bombed it on a number of occasions in 2018.

Jun 04 09:15

For the US and Israel, Iran Works Best as a Perpetual Threat

According to a story in Haaretz, U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said recently that “the United States will respond with military force if its interests are attacked by Iran.” However, there are several reasons why Israel and the U.S. will not attack Iran, at least not directly.

Al Jazeera reports that Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah, said that the idea of war is “far-fetched” because Washington and its allies know they would pay a heavy price. Nasrallah is most likely right.

Jun 04 09:11

US aircraft carrier deployed over Iran remains outside Gulf

A U.S. aircraft carrier the White House ordered to the Mideast over a perceived threat from Iran remains outside of the Persian Gulf amid efforts to de-escalate tensions between Tehran and Washington.

The Abraham Lincoln on Monday was in the Arabian Sea some 200 miles (320 kilometers) off the coast of Oman.

While U.S. Navy officials repeatedly declined to discuss why they hadn’t gone through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf, they insisted they remain ready to launch any mission in the region.

Jun 04 08:57

What war with Iran could look like

So far, a full-scale conflict between the U.S. and its allies and Iran and its proxies remains in the realm of wargaming at the moment. But with tensions rising between the U.S. and Iran, and as the U.S. moves more troops and military assets into the region, Pentagon planners and top U.S. intelligence officials have begun taking a closer look at what such a conflict might entail.

Jun 03 10:36

US Carrier, Strategic Bomber Do 'Simulated Strike' Near Iran's Maritime Borders

The drills took place amid simmering tensions between Washington and Tehran, with the US sending a carrier battle group into the Middle East last month and threatening to sail it into the Persian Gulf, claiming the deployment was a response to intelligence about an alleged Iranian threat to US interests in the region.

The USS Abraham Lincoln, multiple fighter jets and helicopters and a B-52 strategic bomber have carried out joint exercises in the Arabian Sea, the US Air Force has said in a statement.

According to the USAF, the drills, which took place Saturday, "simulated strike operations," and involved carrier-based F/A-18 Super Hornets, MH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters and E-2D Growlers, with the aircraft simulating missions with the B-52, which is a nuclear-capable long-range bomber.

Jun 03 08:41

Iran stays within nuclear deal’s key limits – IAEA report

Tehran has stayed within the central limits on its atomic activities set by its deal with major powers, a quarterly report by the UN nuclear watchdog indicated on Friday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency report, which was sent to the IAEA member states, said Iran had stayed within caps on items including the level to which it enriches uranium and its stock of enriched uranium, Reuters reports.

Jun 03 08:38

Former Obama officials helping Iran to outmanuver U.S.

A small cadre of former Obama administration officials have been counseling Iranian Government officials since 2016 on how to deal with the Trump administration, according to the Daily Beast, which notes that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zerif has been involved in the ongoing discussions.

Conversations between former Obama officials and Iranian government officials have been ongoing since November 2016. Zarif, who visits the U.S. every year for the U.N. General Assembly in New York, usually meets with lawmakers, think tanks, journalists, and former officials when he is in town.

But the recent round of conversations, which took place over the phone and in person over the last two months, came as lines of communication between the U.S. and Iran, through intermediaries in Europe and elsewhere, deteriorated. –Daily Beast

Jun 02 09:11

Iran stays within nuclear deal’s key limits – IAEA report

Tehran has stayed within the central limits on its atomic activities set by its deal with major powers, a quarterly report by the UN nuclear watchdog indicated on Friday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency report, which was sent to the IAEA member states, said Iran had stayed within caps on items including the level to which it enriches uranium and its stock of enriched uranium, Reuters reports.

Tehran says it is abiding by the agreement despite the US withdrawal. However, Iran threatened three weeks ago to increase its uranium enrichment program if countries do not find a way to shield it from the impact of US sanctions.

Jun 02 08:44

MAJOR ISRAELI AIRSTRIKES KILL UP TO 10 PRO-ASSAD FORCES IN PRE-DAWN RAID

SOURCE: ZEROHEDGE

Israel has admitted responsibility in a significant overnight attack on Syria which reportedly killed up to ten pro-Assad forces, including possibly seven of what the Israeli media is claiming were Iranian and Hezbollah "foreign fighters".

The predawn raid took place south of Damascus in Quneitra province and unlike prior Israeli attacks appeared to included a multi-pronged sustained offensive of warplanes and helicopters on artillery and intelligence facilities. Syrian state media confirmed the attack, saying its anti-air defenses were active and successful over Quneitra and over the capital of Damascus, but put its early casualties as three killed and seven among the wounded.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There is a point past which Russia cannot continue to tolerate these strikes in Syria; there will have to be a point where either they, or the Syrian military, will have to be much more aggressive to keep Israel from bombing more of Syria; and this country cannot tolerate much more of this bombing happening.

I would like to hope that Putin will phone Netanyahu, at some ungodly hour in the Middle East, and demand that this bombing stop.

May 31 13:16

Top US General Claims Intel Showed Iran Mounting a Campaign Against US

Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford has revealed that it was he who was driving recent US military deployments into the Middle East, saying he recommended them based on intelligence with respect to Iran.

Dunford claimed that “malign activity and threats to our forces by the Iranians were not new,” but that what he saw was a synchronized series of efforts that looked more like a formal campaign against the US.

Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan confirmed that Dunford told him of an “anomaly” in Iranian behavior. At the same time, Shanahan says that President Trump has made clear he does not seek a war over the matter.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

General Dunford, a respectful word sir, here; if you have utterly no evidence through which you can prove your allegations to a war-weary and war-skeptical country, how do you think that you, and your compatriots, like Bolton and Pompeo, are going to convince the people of this country that yes, another war is necessary, when the American people understand that they were lied into wars against Afghanistan and Iraq?!?

Forgive me, General; but the optics on such a move, are nearly impossible, if you continue to make allegations for which you have utterly no proof. OF course, the Israelis are pushing you in this direction; but perhaps, it should be the IDF fighting these battles, as they are always complaining and criticizing Iran as an "existential threat."

May 31 11:19

US says countries buying Iranian oil will be subject to sanctions

The United States will sanction any country which buys oil from Iran after the expiration of waivers on May 2, US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said on Thursday, Reuters reports.

Sanctions would be imposed “even if a country had not met its previously-negotiated purchase caps,” Hook said in a statement. “Our firm policy is to completely zero out purchases of Iranian oil. Period.”

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Thursday that countries like China and India which were issued waivers in November to buy Iranian could continue the purchases after May 2 until they reached a negotiated cap.

May 31 11:13

Trump reportedly seeks Adelson’s advice amid differences with Bolton

US President Donald Trump and his national security adviser, John Bolton, don’t exactly see eye to eye. That was on full display on Monday when Trump said that he was not “looking for regime change” in Iran.

The president’s comments were in sharp contrast to Bolton, who said in July 2017, before entering the administration, that “the declared policy of the United States should be the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime in Tehran.”

May 31 10:32

PUTIN HAS REJECTED IRAN'S S-400 MISSILE REQUEST OVER SOARING GULF TENSIONS

Bloomberg reports that Russia's President Putin has rejected a controversial Iranian request to buy S-400 missile defense systems on the basis of current soaring tensions between Tehran and Washington following accusations of "sabotage" attacks on oil tankers and a pipeline in the gulf region.

The breaking report cites a senior Russian official and other unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter:

The request was rebuffed by President Vladimir Putin, the people said on condition of anonymity because they’re not authorized to discuss the matter. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Moscow May 7.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Again, Putin has proven himself one of the few "adults in the room" in geopolitics.

This guy has the "horse sense" to know when to push (as he did with Syria's government, in terms of assisting it get rid of most of the US trained, funded, and armed jihadis), and when to back off (not giving Iran the requested S-400 missile defense system.)

I think world history, will treat this man very kindly, in years to come...

May 31 09:45

Washington’s Mighty Warriors: Draft Dodgers and Scoundrels

Remember Shakespeare’s line “he jests at scars that never felt a wound?” That epithet could have been written with National Security Advisor John Bolton in mind. Bolton was notoriously a draft dodger during the Vietnam War, like his current boss, not due to any scruples regarding what was occurring, but out of concern for his own sorry ass. He is now credibly believed to be the driving force behind the punishment being meted out to Venezuela and, far more dangerously, of the creeping escalation that is taking place in the Middle East that is seeking to draw Iran into a misstep that would lead to war. Bolton, who has received the “Defender of Israel” award, has long been an outspoken advocate for attacking Iran and now he has the power to do just that.

May 31 09:42

Evidence Iran was behind Gulf attacks to be presented to UN, John Bolton says

Evidence that Iran has been behind recent attacks on oil tankers and pipelines in the Gulf is likely to be presented to the UN Security Council as early as next week, John Bolton, the US national security adviser, has revealed.

Bolton has previously said Iran was almost certainly responsible for the attacks, but without presenting evidence. In what is likely to be a showdown over the US’s aggressive Iran strategy, in which Bolton has taken a leading role, much will depend on how credibly the US intelligence agencies can show the Iranian government is directing attacks by proxies.

“I don’t think anybody who is familiar with the situation in the region, whether they have examined the evidence or not, thinks anything other than that these attacks were carried out by Iran or their surrogates,” Bolton told reporters at a briefing ahead of Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK next week.

May 31 09:14

How Yesterday Resembles Today: Iran Confronted the US in the Straits of Hormuz in the 1980s

“We are going to intercept and stop all oil exports from the (Middle East) region if we are prevented from exporting our oil. We shall take every measure possible to close the Straits of Hormuz. If the US aims – by sending jets, carriers – to reinforce its positions and status among the international community, it doesn’t concern us. But if the US is seriously aiming to threaten us, it should know that not one drop of oil will leave the region and we shall destroy all US interests in the Middle East”. This is what the President Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei said in 1983, in response to the US President Ronald Regan’s decision to send jet carriers to the Middle East during the Iran-Iraq war. It seems like only yesterday.

May 30 10:59

Negotiation with US ‘total loss’: Ayatollah Khamenei

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has ruled out the possibility of talks between Tehran and Washington, saying such negotiations will be “fruitless”, “harmful”, and “a total loss”.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will absolutely not sit for talks with America … because first, it bears no fruit and second, it is harmful,” the Leader said in a meeting with a number of university professors, elites and researchers in Tehran on Wednesday.

The Leader referred to negotiation as a tactic used by Americans to complement their strategy of pressure. “This is actually not negotiation; it’s rather a means for picking the fruits of pressure.”

The only way to counter this trick, he said, is to utilize the means of pressure available for use against Americans. “If they are used properly, the Americans will either stop or decrease pressures.”

May 30 09:35

Clueless US Leadership Faces Iranian Government Led by Veterans of 1980s Gulf Conflicts

“We are going to intercept and stop all oil exports from the (Middle East) region if we are prevented from exporting our oil. We shall take every measure possible to close the Straits of Hormuz. If the US aims – by sending jets, carriers – to reinforce its positions and status among the international community, it doesn’t concern us. But if the US is seriously aiming to threaten us, it should know that not one drop of oil will leave the region and we shall destroy all US interests in the Middle East”. This is what the President Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei said in 1983, in response to the US President Ronald Regan’s decision to send jet carriers to the Middle East during the Iran-Iraq war. It seems like only yesterday.

May 29 14:35

Negotiation with US ‘total loss’: Ayatollah Khamenei

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has ruled out the possibility of talks between Tehran and Washington, saying such negotiations will be “fruitless”, “harmful”, and “a total loss”.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will absolutely not sit for talks with America … because first, it bears no fruit and second, it is harmful,” the Leader said in a meeting with a number of university professors, elites and researchers in Tehran on Wednesday.

The Leader referred to negotiation as a tactic used by Americans to complement their strategy of pressure. “This is actually not negotiation; it’s rather a means for picking the fruits of pressure.”

The only way to counter this trick, he said, is to use the existing means of pressure against Americans. “If they are used properly, the Americans will either stop or decrease pressures.”

May 29 11:41

Scott Adams: How to Win on Social Media for 2020

Comments at: https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1133735101156564992

Start your day feeling good…your whole day just seems to go great
Middle East is better situated for peace possibilities then ever before
President Trump and Chairman Kim having fun at Joe Biden’s expense
The Netflix of online education, a free market system for classes
Online education CAN become good enough to replace regular classes
Anti-Abortion states and the financial impact
Candace Owens is making something obvious to African-Americans
What to do about social media determining who wins in 2020
WaPo has conflated crime and black people…that’s just wrong

May 29 11:28

AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP ON U.S. TENSIONS WITH IRAN

Editor’s Note: This letter was coordinated by the American College of National Security Leaders, a consortium consisting of retired admirals, generals, ambassadors, and senior government executives committed to strengthening America’s national security by informing the debate, influencing decision-makers, and educating the public.

May 29 10:49

Trump has soured on his national security adviser John Bolton and is trashing him in private as ultra-hawk travels to Middle East and says U.S. does NOT want war with Iran

President Donald Trump has soured on National Security Adviser John Bolton and is trashing him in private as the hawkish adviser reassures Middle Eastern allies the U.S. does not want war with Iran.

Trump has grumbled about Bolton in private at his Florida golf club, to advisers and even to mega-donor Sheldon Adelson - the conservative casino owner who backs Bolton, The New York Times revealed.

The reports of the strained relationship come as Bolton attends an emergency summits of Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia, where the adviser - who has previously advocated for harsh treatment of Iran - reassured allies the U.S. is being 'responsible' when it comes to Tehran.

May 28 11:40

Is the US media beating the drums of war on Iran?

Hyped-up headlines, "anonymous" sources and unspecified threats - Iran is back in the news in the United States.

It wouldn't be the first time the US media, wittingly or unwittingly, have made the case for war on the basis of vague, anonymously sourced intelligence. In 2003, it was Iraq. In 2019, it's Iran. Much of American news reporting on US-Iran relations glosses over President Donald Trump's role, how his policies have led to this standoff.

There's even less space given to reflect on the history of the US aggression against Iran. Which is not to say the Islamic Republic, ruled by authoritarians and involved in wars in Syria and Yemen, is an innocent player. However, inflammatory headlines, unnamed sources and decades of misinformation in the US media over Iran - don't help.

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