Who Do These Dicks Think They Are?

A new president and a new chance to find a way to keep Iran from achieving nuke weapons.

Trump decided to bow out of the nuke deal that the Obama admin had reached with the government of Iran….and the whole region got just a little more dangerous.

Of course after 30 years of lying and threatening Israel has made it even more dangerous since Trump left power.

As the US prepares for a meeting with Israeli officials news has come out that demands will be made…..

Cohen will present the Biden administration with a list of components that Israel believes must be included in any renegotiated deal.

Those would include: Iran halting the enrichment of uranium and production of advanced centrifuges; an end to its support of armed groups, especially Lebanon’s Hezbollah; an end to its military interventions in around the region; and an end to its targeting of Israelis overseas.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-mossad-biden-us-iran-nuclear-deal

Demands?

Since when does the nation of Israel dictate our foreign policy?

If they do not get their demands and the US returns to a deal with Iran then Israel is willing to expand the conflict and the do something stupid.

Israeli officials have made their opposition to the Biden administration returning to the Iran nuclear deal known. Some have even threatened a military strike on Iran if President Biden revives the deal, known as the JCPOA.

An Israeli source affirmed this to Breaking Defense in an article published on Monday. “Israel needs to know — and fast — whether Washington plans to stop Iran’s race to the bomb or take some action to do this,” the source said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The source said that Israeli intelligence is monitoring Iran’s nuclear facilities closely. Israeli airstrikes on Syria were also mentioned, which have ramped up in recent months. “This pressure will continue and grow, as a preparation for a direct attack on targets in Iran,” the source said of airstrikes in Syria.

Tzachi Hanegbi, an Israeli minister from the Likud party, made the most direct public threat against Iran. Hanegbi said that if the US returns to the JCPOA that “Israel will again be alone against Iran” and will attack Iran’s nuclear program.

Breaking Defense, its source, and Haneegbi all push the narrative that Iran is racing towards a bomb when that is not the case. One example they use is the fact that Iran recently increased uranium enrichment to 20 percent, which is still vastly lower than the 90 percent needed for weapons-grade uranium.

Despite the hype, the 20 percent enrichment has a civilian purpose. It allows Iran to make fuel rods for its Tehran Research Reactor, a facility that was built by the US in the 1960s that can produce medical isotopes.

Another crucial piece of context left out of the Breaking Defense article is the reason why Iran started enriching uranium at 20 percent. Iran’s parliament passed a bill to increase enrichment after the November assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the prominent Iranian scientist who was killed in an apparent Israeli plot. So it was Israeli aggression that led to the increased enrichment.

Iran has maintained that it is willing to return to compliance with the JCPOA if the Biden administration lifts sanctions. Any more attacks from Israel could prevent Iran from decreasing enrichment levels.

(antiwar.com)

Seriously?

These asswads would start a war because they did not get their way?

At what point does the US say “F you”?

When did Israel become our State Department?

I believe that it is beyond time for the US to cease its protection of an apartheid state let them come up from behind the skirt of the US.

Sadly I think that the Biden admin will bow to the Israeli lobby money and not do anything to anger Israel.

Why do I say that?

Look at what Biden’s SecState had to say (even praised Trump)…..

A new administration has taken over Washington with talk of justice, respect and diversity. However, when it comes to Israel-Palestine the news isn’t so encouraging.

Joe Biden’s foreign policy team says it wants to return to the Iran deal, but reassures the Israel lobby that that won’t happen any time soon, and when it comes to actual Palestinian rights or freedom (the “peace process”), it clearly wants as little friction with the Israeli government and Israel’s friends in Washington as possible.

Blinken repeatedly praised Trump policy on normalizing relations between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan as opening a pathway to Palestinian peace.

Biden’s secretary of state praises Trump’s achievements on Israel

What part of those deals would lead to peace?

The land grab, the destruction of crops and theft of water rights say that Israel has NO intention of treating the Palestinians with respect and peace.

I will be watching to see how much Israeli money will influence and control our foreign policy.

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Please Pull The Plug On Israel

NOTE: I am not anti Jewish this post is about actions of the Israeli government and some of the right radical citizens.

Since 1967 I have had an extreme dislike for the state of Israel….it began with the murderous attack on the naval vessel USS Liberty that killed many of its crew and it continued with the barbarous treatment of the Palestinian people……they treat minorities like shit.

I do not understand the moronic loyalty of the US and some of its people to a state that has one of the worse civil rights records in the world. and our government that seems to kiss ass whenever Israel is around.

Then there all the lies that Israel has spread about Iran seemingly to lather up the US into some sort of military action directed at the country.

Now Israel is threatening (as it seemingly does every year) to attack Iran….

According to a report from the Israel Hayom, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is drawing up plans for an attack on Iran’s nuclear program.

The report said IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi asked the military for three proposals to hit the nuclear program. The Hayom did not elaborate on the proposals but did say one of them included a military strike.

The Hayom said the military option would require Israel to invest more money into its military and quoted Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz. “It is clear that Israel needs to have a military option on the table. It requires resources and investment, and I am working to make that happen,” he said.

The Israelis say they are responding to increased uranium enrichment recently announced by Iran.

Iran said they are increasing uranium enrichment to 20 percent to make fuel rods for the Tehran Research Reactor, a facility that was built by the US in the 1960s. Despite sensationalist headlines in Western media, the increased enrichment has a civilian purpose and does not indicate the Iranians are racing towards a bomb.

Iran’s parliament passed a law calling for increased enrichment after the November assassination of scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who killed in an apparent Israeli plot. So it was Israeli aggression that ultimately led to the increased enrichment that Israel is now making threats over.

The Hayom report came a day after a minister from Israel’s Likud party threatened to attack Iran if the Biden administration returns to the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

(antiwar.com)

Seriously?

Now they want to dictate our foreign policy?

Who do they think they are?

Any debt the world felt they owed to Israel has been paid in full by ten-fold….it is time to stop treating them with kid gloves and time for then start behaving like a civilized nation.

Time has come for the US to cut the apron strings and take control of that situation.

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Iran And The Smell Of War

Only days left in office……would Trump start a war just for the hell of it?

US President Donald Trump could take “reckless” military action against Iran in his final days in office, experts have warned, as tensions between Tehran and Washington mount on the eve of the first anniversary of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani’s assassination.

Trump has sent B-52s and aircraft group to the Gulf as a preparatory exercise just in case….

It looks like a threat to most…..

No one thought President Donald Trump would leave quietly. But would he go so far as to start a military confrontation with Iran on his way out? 

Recent military movements by the Pentagon in the Middle East (ostensibly to deter Iran from attacking American troops on the anniversary of the assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani), combined with Israeli media reports that Saudi Arabi and Israel are pressing Trump to bomb Iran before he leaves office, has fueled speculation that Trump may be planning his biggest — and likely most disastrous — stunt yet.

Trump has made more threats of war against Iran than any other country during his four years as President. As late as last month, he ordered the military to prepare options against Iranian nuclear facilities. Though the New York Times reported that Trump’s aides derailed those plans, U.S. troop movements in the past few weeks may suggest otherwise. 

Since October, the Pentagon has deployed 2,000 additional troops as well as an extra squadron of fighter planes to Saudi Arabia. It has also sent B-52 bombers on missions in the Persian Gulf three times, kept the USS Nimitz close to Iran, and announced that it is sending a Tomahawk-firing submarine just outside of Iranian waters. Moreover, Israel — whose officials have confirmed to several U.S. newspapers that it was behind the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh last month — has sent a nuclear-equipped submarine to the Persian Gulf.

Officially, all of these military maneuvers are aimed at “deterring” Iran, even though Israel assassinated an Iranian official in Iran and not the other way around. “The United States continues to deploy combat-ready capabilities into the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility to deter any potential adversary, and make clear that we are ready and able to respond to any aggression directed at Americans or our interests,” said Marine Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie, chief of U.S. Central Command, according to the Washington Post.

Iran attack may be next in Trump’s farewell bag of tricks

In response to the US threats Iran has announced the enriching of uranium…..

In the biggest violation yet of an international nuclear agreement, Iran is going ahead with enriching its uranium to 20% purity. A nuclear bomb requires 90% purity, but the Iran nuclear deal of 2015 had limited enrichment levels to less than 4%, the BBC reports. Iran has violated provisions of the deal since President Trump restored sanctions and pulled the US out of the agreement in 2018, such as increasing enrichment of uranium to 4.5%. But 20% enrichment would be the high point since the deal took effect, per NPR. Iran signaled that it would take this step last month. The International Atomic Energy Agency said the enrichment will take place at Iran’s Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant, which is built under a mountain near the city of Qom.

The agency said its inspectors “have regular access to Fordow,” but Iran has said it will prevent inspections if oil and banking sanctions aren’t lifted by February. The UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China want the nuclear deal fully restored. President-elect Joe Biden has said he’d favor that if Iran is in “strict compliance” with the agreement. And Iranian Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that if Biden “returns to the situation as it was in 2017, then so will we.” But the agency’s director general said last month that that might not be possible. “I cannot imagine that they are going simply to say, ‘We are back to square one’ because square one is no longer there,” Rafael Mariano Grossi said.

Is this a ply by Iran to stop the US from acting irresponsibly?

Will this announcement be the excuse be used to actually attack Iran?

One finally question what happened?  They will enrich their uranium to 20% and it takes 90% for a bomb….but after all the bullshit spread by warmongers both here and Israel I thought they were already producing nuke weapons…….so does that mean we have been lied to all these years?

If they spy on their best friend could they also incite an attack?

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused Israel of plotting attacks in Iraq against the US to provoke a military confrontation between Iran and the US.

“New intelligence from Iraq indicate that Israeli agent-provocateurs are plotting attacks against Americans—putting an outgoing Trump in a bind with a fake casus belli,” Zarif wrote on Twitter. “Be careful of a trap, @realDonaldTrump. Any fireworks will backfire badly, particularly against your same BFFs,” he added.

Zarif’s tweet came on the eve of the anniversary of the US assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, which was marked on Sunday. In the weeks leading up to the anniversary, US officials have been warning of imminent Iranian attacks in Iraq. For their part, Iran has urged caution and warned its Iraqi allies not to provoke the US, hoping to avoid a war with the US before Trump leaves office.

An Israeli official dismissed Zarif’s comments. Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz called the claim “nonsense” in an interview on Sunday. While Israel may not be plotting to attack the US, the Israelis did choose to escalate tensions in the region, being the likely perpetrator of the assassination of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

(antiwar.com)

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Iran And Nukes And Sanctions

The news is that the new president, Joe Biden, will return to the nuke deal with the Iranians……but what will all that mean after the gutting of a deal from the Trump clowns?

Iran has stated that they will return to the table as soon as the US does….

Reiterating his desire to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that Tehran could come into compliance with the agreement within an hour of the US doing so.

Rouhani also said that Iran would not accept any preconditions for returning to the deal, known as the JCPOA, including limitations on Iran’s ballistic missile program.

(antiwar.com)

The IAEA has said to return to the Nuke deal would require a new agreement…..

The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog told Reuters in an interview published on Thursday that a new agreement would be needed to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

Over the past year, Iran began gradually violating its commitments to the JCPOA, a response to the US unilaterally withdrawing from the deal in 2018 by reimposing sanctions. Iran’s president and other officials insist these violations are easily reversible and that Iran can quickly come back into compliance in exchange for sanctions relief. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) seems to disagree.

“I cannot imagine that they are going simply to say, ‘We are back to square one’ because square one is no longer there,” Rafael Grossi told Reuters. “There is more (nuclear) material, … there is more activity, there are more centrifuges, and more are being announced. So what happens with all this?”

Iran’s public stance on the deal is that they will not negotiate any new arrangements with Washington until the US lifts sanctions and returns to its commitments under the JCPOA. For his part, Joe Biden has said he plans to work with Iran to return to the JCPOA and then negotiate a follow-on deal on top of it. Biden’s plan seems like it could be acceptable with Tehran, but Grossi’s comments are a sign of the complications ahead.

(antiwar.com)

Will the sanctions against Iran be rolled back by the Biden Admin.?

According to a report from Reuters, the incoming Biden administration will continue to use sanctions as a foreign policy weapon, a favorite tool of President Trump.

Sources told Reuters that when Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20th, he will immediately begin to reshape US foreign policy but will take time to deliberate over sanctions on top targets like China and Iran.

The report raises questions about Biden’s Iran policy. The former vice president has said he plans to work with the Islamic Republic to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, which would require the US to lift sanctions.

The report said Biden will sort through the Trump administration’s sanctions to decide what will be kept in place and what could be lifted. The sources said that while his strategy might be slightly different, Biden will make it clear that sanctions are still on the table.

“It won’t be a pullback or a push forward,” one source close to Biden’s transition team told Reuters. “It will be a readjustment in the use of the sanctions tool.”

Some changes Biden could make, according to the sources, are lifting sanctions on the International Criminal Court that the Trump administration slapped on over the court’s investigation of US war crimes in Afghanistan. Biden could also increase sanctions on Russia for its alleged role in the poisoning of Alexei Navalny.
(antiwar.com)

This will be an interesting test for the Biden policies…..I think he will try hard to make his own way….but will it succeed?

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US MUST Ask Permission?

We have a new president and he has said that he would return to the deal made with Iran and their pursuit of nukes…..Joe Biden still says he will work with Iran to return to the JCPOA. In an interview last week, Biden said he would return to the deal and work on follow-on negotiations for a stricter agreement that covers Iran’s ballistic missile program.

This is a good thing IMO…..but Saudi Arabia has said that the US must ask the Saudis before they return to the table…..

Saudi FM Prince Faisal bin Farhan is warning that any move to rejoin the Iran deal could only be sustainable if Biden consults with the Gulf Arab states first. He added he is “ready to engage” when Biden takes office.

The incoming administration hasn’t commented, but there are reasons to doubt this happening. The talks would be high risk for little reward, as the Saudis are almost certain to remain opposed to the deal, and the US oughtn’t give the impression they need a Saudi imprimatur to make the move.

The new administration may feel it is only courteous to keep the Saudis in the loop, but would want to make clear they aren’t asking permission. This is particularly true in the case of an early deal, as Biden will want to stake out a more independent foreign policy than his predecessor.

(antiwar.com)

Seriously?

Ask permission?

Who do this pack of barbarians think they are?

I sat f*ck the Saudis ans well as I say f*ck Israel…..none of these d/bags should have any say on what our policies will be.

The arrogance of these two POS countries need to get a grip…..

Will US bow and scrap to these murdering bastards….or will we show them the door?

And now I can add Morocco to the list of barbaric nations we should avoid.

Israel and Morocco have agreed to normalize relations, President Trump said Thursday, marking the fourth Arab-Israeli agreement in four months. As part of the deal announced near the end of Trump’s term, the United States will recognize Morocco’s claim over the disputed Western Sahara region, per the AP. Trump said Israel and Morocco would restore diplomatic and other relations, including the immediate reopening of liaison offices in Tel Aviv and Rabat and the eventual opening of embassies. US officials said there would be joint overflight rights for airlines. The White House said Trump and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI had agreed that Morocco would “resume diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel and expand economic and cultural cooperation to advance regional stability.”

 
 

 

 

 

“Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations—a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!” Trump tweeted. The US will recognize Morocco’s claim over Western Sahara, the former Spanish territory in North Africa where a long-running dispute has confounded international negotiators for decades. Morocco is the fourth Arab nation to recognize Israel as the Trump administration seeks to expand a diplomatic framework that began over the summer with an agreement between the Jewish state and the United Arab Emirates. Bahrain and Sudan followed suit, and administration officials have also been trying to bring Saudi Arabia into the grouping. (New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman is no fan of Trump, but he likes this Mideast progress.)

Friedman?  He is a staunch advocate or Israel and a war hawk….so I take everything he say s as pure bullshit.

More on this situation later….

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Warmongers Press

After the assassination of the Iranian scientist I have been saying and writing that it was all an attempt to get Trump to start a war with Iran.

For at least 20 years Israel has been lying about Iran’s search for nukes….some times they are months away and others they are a few years away….in other words there is NO consistency t the accusations.

Israel has wanted the US to solve their Iranian problem for decades….so they take small steps to try and push a reaction by Iran that would justify an all out attack.

As time has elapsed since the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on 27 November, the chances for quick retaliation are fading away.

After the assassination, in an operation east of Tehran attributed to Israel’s Mossad, senior Iranian leaders have used harsh language to promise revenge, not only against Israel but also the United States and Israel’s new allies in the region, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Among those vowing retribution were President Hassan Rouhani and military confidants of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, including former Defence Minister Ahmad Wahidi.

But the inflammatory rhetoric subdsided. Gut feelings made room for cool-headed decisions. The first question to be asked is, why? Why did Israel decide to kill him?

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/iran-scientist-killing-israel-lure-war-failed

Warmongers who have the president’s ear like Cotton and other diehard war enthusiast they keep pushing as well…..

Since Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in an apparent Israeli plot, the US and Israel have been warning about threats in the region. Despite Iran’s clear desire to make it to January 20th without a military confrontation with the US, anonymous officials are hyping the threat of Iranian retaliation for Fakhrizadeh’s death.

On Monday, an anonymous US official told The Associated Press that Washington fears Iran may take advantage of US troop drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan. For this reason, the official said the US might have to hold off on the planned departure of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz from the Persian Gulf.

In September, the Nimitz was deployed to the Persian Gulf to send a message to Iran. The US official said the ship must remain in the region “for some time to come.” The official added that an additional fighter squadron might be sent to the Middle East. The US recently deployed B-52 bombers to the region and moved a fleet of F-16 fighter jets from Germany to the UAE.

US and Its Allies Stoking Fears of Possible Iranian Attacks

So the question is….will Trump take the bait and help Israel and start a new endless war?

What are the chances?

Following his election loss Donald Trump reportedly sought options to strike Iran. The president’s senior advisors dissuaded him from doing so, though it’s unclear if he settled on a different option. Then, on 17 November, both Israel and Saudi Arabia reinforced their agreed message that that Iran can never possess nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities. Netanyahu spoke to Biden by phone about Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s repeated offer that Iran was willing to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, which was negotiating during the Obama-Biden administration. At that point, nothing appeared out of the ordinary when it came to Iran. There also appeared to be a coalescence of interests between Trump (for his remaining days in office), Israel and Saudi Arabia against Iran.

Opinion – Is the Next Middle East War on the Horizon?

Will there be a 2021 surprise?

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Could There Be An Iran Surprise?

All the rhetoric around Iran has come to a head…..and the possibility of a war with Iran before Donald the Orange leaves office (or is forced out)…..

A source told The Washington Post if an American is killed and it can be ‘tied back to instructions from Iran’ it would spark immediate US response

A report from The New York Times that said President Trump considered attacking an Iranian nuclear facility raised fears of a possible US strike on Iran before January 20th. An official familiar with the meeting told The Washington Post that while a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear program was off the table, President Trump is ready to respond to attacks in the region that can be tied to Iran.

According to the official, Trump emphasized that any killing of an American that can be “tied back to instructions from Iran” will spark an immediate US response. The official said the president was “very forceful” and that if Iranians kill Americans, the US response will be swift and painful.

The Post story came after rockets fell inside Baghdad’s Green Zone, where the US embassy is located. No casualties were reported near the US embassy, but the Iraqi Army said rockets landed outside of the Green Zone, killing a child and injuring five civilians. The Post said the rockets were “apparently fired by an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia,” although it is not yet clear who is responsible.

President Trump Sets Tripwire For Attack on Iran

After years of threatening could this be the tripwire that plunges the US into yet another war…..just to make Israel happy?

If this occurs it will be disastrous and probably very bloody….are we prepared for more death and destruction?

Could the surprise be waiting for a new president?

Iran’s current parliament, judicial system and the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are controlled by the conservatives, the main political faction that opposed the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

However, conservatives, who are gearing up for Iran’s own presidential elections in 2021, have signalled for the first time their readiness to sit at the negotiation table with Washington.

Iranian hardline politician Hamidreza Taraghi recently told local media that conservatives were the only political faction who could lead fruitful negotiations with the US.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/iran-press-review-tehran-hardliners-biden-negotiations

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Iran Did It!

Just a mere year ago the term was “Russia Did It”….and now to reinforce the lame attacks on Iran they are in the same boat as Russia with their meddling in our elections.

Sorry but the timing of this accusation smells like bovine fecal matter….and coming from the DNI, Ratcliffe makes it smell that much louder.

But this is what I am going on about…..

Iran and Russia have obtained voter registration information that can be used to undermine confidence in the U.S. election system, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced at a press conference Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: The revelation comes roughly two weeks before Election Day. Ratcliffe said Iran has sent threatening emails to Democratic voters this week in states across the U.S. and spread videos claiming that people can vote more than once.

https://www.axios.com/fbi-russia-iran-voter-registration-information-f9ba3ba8-bf0b-4694-bcab-35493aba27a5.html

As usual the media does its part to prop up a lie or the disinformation…….

Why do I say this?

“This really left me shaking my head,” a former senior official with the National Security Agency said of the press conference. The intelligence community “has a ton of information” on foreign interference in elections. “The example they gave was pretty silly … ridiculous.” The Iranian operation, besides being clumsy, wasn’t even a big deal: Voter registration records are public documents, readily available; it takes no master hacker to obtain them.

Why then did Ratcliffe hold this hastily called and absurdly overdramatized press conference? His purpose seems to have been blatantly partisan: to help Trump win the election by saying that Iran, which is commonly viewed as a hostile actor, wants him to lose.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/10/iran-election-interference-russia-proud-boys.html

Why indeed?

Could it be to instill some fear in the voter and in doing so collect some more votes?

Ratcliffe has been carrying water for this president a long time…..he is a prime example of the term “sycophant”.

To be fair I would like to give Iran’s response to Ratcliffe’s accusation…..

The Iranian government is rejecting as “absurd” and “dangerous” U.S. intelligence officials’ allegations Wednesday evening that Tehran was behind a torrent of threatening emails recently sent to registered Democratic voters and designed to appear as if they were sent by the Proud Boys, a violent pro-Trump group.

Alireza Miryousefi, a spokesperson for Iran’s mission to the United Nations, said in a statement that the accusations—leveled by U.S. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and FBI Director Christopher Wray during an unusual Wednesday night press conference—are “nothing more than another scenario to undermine voter confidence in the security of the U.S. election.”

“Unlike the U.S., Iran does not interfere in other countries’ elections. The world has been witnessing the U.S.’s own desperate public attempts to question the outcome of its own elections at the highest level,” Miryousefi added, apparently referring to U.S. President Donald Trump’s repeated attempts to preemptively sow doubt about the election’s legitimacy. “Iran has no interest in interfering in the U.S. election and no preference for the outcome. The U.S. must end its malign and dangerous accusations against Iran.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/10/22/iran-denies-malign-and-dangerous-us-allegations-election-interference-critics-note

The Iranian spokesman does have a point….the US has been known to interfere with other country’s election processes….

What do I think?

It is a bit too suspicious that this revelation has been made just days before the vote….and this administration has proven to be anything but reliable and honest.

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Embargo–Going–Going–Gone

After thirteen years the UN’s arms embargo placed on Iran has now run its course and is gone….

As you would expect the warmonger-in-chief Pompeo is thumping his chest like some crazed primate….even to the point of issuing threats…..

After months of US opposition, the Iran arms embargo at the UN has expired, and despite the US opposition, UN officials are uniform in agreement that it actually has expired. Don’t tell that to the Trump Administration though, as they insist it’s still in place.

Reflecting US promises to enforce the non-existent embargo themselves, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened to impose US sanctions on any nations that sell arms to Iran, or offer them training or services.

That’s been the US position since they failed to extend the embargo, but it’s not clear it will actually do anything, as the nations most likely to provide Iran with arms and services, Russia and China, will almost certainly ignore US threats the same way they do on everything else Iran-related.

Iranian officials don’t expect a huge rush to buy arms anyhow, as a decade of embargos has made them self-sufficient in a lot of things. Still, Russia and China can offer some better versions of equipment, or at a better price than Iran can make them themselves, and there is no real legal obstacle to that anymore.

The fact that the US opposes, or indeed “forbids” such sales is likely to ensure that some happen just to spite them, with Russia in particular very clear that they intended to make sales to Iran once the legal restriction was lifted.

(antiwar.com)

Parties should weigh what this cessation would mean….

European governments should carefully weigh the risks that come with the expiration of the UN arms embargo. Given the ongoing Western military support to regional partners, and the growing alignment between Israel and the Arab world, the expiration of the embargo is unlikely to alter the balance of power in the Middle East in the short term. The pragmatic way to address these concerns is by reaching side agreements with Russia and China over the timing and scope of such arms sales to Iran, in ways that prevent a rise in tension in the Middle East.

No doubt, Moscow and Beijing will sign arms deals with Tehran – and perhaps even major ones, such as those involving the Russian S-400 missile defence system, which Iran is eager to acquire. Tehran may also seek to sign deals for battle tanks, fighter jets, surface-to-air missiles, and anti-radar missile systems – which can target surface-to-air defence systems, thereby putting the forces of the US and its allies at greater risk in the Middle East. However, given precedent and a series of political and economic restraints, it is unclear whether these deals would result in delivery in the near future.

Do not expect a rush of arms sales to Iran

Now that the embargo has expired….Iran is looking at incoming cash from arms sales…..

Iran on Monday said it is more inclined to sell weapons rather than buy them, after it announced the end of a longstanding UN conventional arms embargo.

Tehran said the ban imposed more than a decade ago was lifted “automatically” as of Sunday, based on the terms of a 2015 landmark nuclear deal with world powers, from which the Islamic republic’s arch-enemy the United States has withdrawn.

“Before being a buyer in the arms market, Iran has the ability to supply” other countries, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters.

Iran Says Will Sell More Arms Than Buy After Embargo Lifted

Will this make a difference in the Middle East say?

Will this put the brakes on troop withdrawals?

Any thought?

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Sanctions, What Are They Good For?

I see that Donald the Orange has once again used his favorite tool for international situations….sanctions.

This time it is sanctions used against Iran….again.

The US slapped new sanctions on Iran’s financial sector on Thursday in an attempt to further isolate the Islamic Republic’s economy. The new measures target 18 Iranian banks and subjects foreign, non-Iranian institutions to penalties for doing business with them.

“Today’s action to identify the financial sector and sanction 18 major Iranian banks reflects our commitment to stop illicit access to US dollars,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

The move comes after Washington’s European allies have been warning of the humanitarian consequences sanctions can have on Iran. The country is already facing an economic crisis due to previous US sanctions, which has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

European countries have been at odds with the Trump administration over its Iran policy. The US has been trying to enforce measures agreed to under the 2015 nuclear deal, an agreement the US withdrew from when it reimposed sanctions on Iran in 2018.

The US says the new sanctions do not apply to transactions that involve food or medical supplies. But the sanctions will discourage foreign banks from doing any business with Iran, including humanitarian deals. Sanctions imposed on Iran since 2018 also technically have exemptions for humanitarian goods, but have caused things like medicine shortages.

The new sanctions came just a day after Iran reported its highest number of daily deaths due to coronavirus. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif responded to the new sanctions on Twitter. “Amid Covid19 pandemic, US regime wants to blow up our remaining channels to pay for food & medicine,” Zarif wrote.

(antiwar.com)

I am not a big fan of sanctions…I believe they should be used only as a deterrent…..I dislike them for they usually hurt innocent people more than the intended recipients.

I have written my feelings about sanctions…..https://lobotero.com/2019/02/05/sanctions/

Sanctions are a cheap way to try and get the targeted nations to play ball with what the US wants…..but just how effective are they?

The imposition of sanctions is a relatively inexpensive political instrument compared to armed conflict, and is more popular with the public. However, when a sanctions regime is promulgated, it is impossible to determine the exact level of measures that must be taken in order for sanctions to have an impact on the policy of the sanctioned state.

In order to determine the effectiveness of a sanctions regime, we will examine nine factors that we believe to be decisive: the economic cost to the sanctioned state; the nature of its political regime; its political and economic stability; the relationship between the sanctioning state and the sanctioned state; the type of objective; international cohesion; the phenomenon of rallying around the flag; the reputation and image of the sanctioned state; and time.

https://theconversation.com/under-what-conditions-are-international-sanctions-effective-147309

I still do not think that sanctions accomplished their intended conclusion……and do more harm than good.

So are these sanctions really all that good?

The genesis of the maximum pressure campaign as articulated by former national security adviser John Bolton and hawkish think tanks like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, was founded upon a simplistic but appealing narrative: the Iranian Islamic regime has grand designs on the Middle East, including a kind of 21st century colonization that would swallow the region whole. Because this narrative was already fully entrenched in Washington’s security and intelligence establishment, it was a relatively easy one to sell to an administration staffed to the gills with Iran hawks. 

The main theoretical assumption underlying the maximum pressure campaign was as shallow as it was tempting: pummel the Iranian economy with so many restrictions that the ayatollahs would have no choice but to crawl back to the table on their hands and knees and negotiate a new agreement on Washington’s terms. 

However, knowing that caving to U.S. demands would leave it highly vulnerable to similar tactics in the future, the Iranian government has held firm to its original position: if the U.S. wants to talk about a bigger and better deal, it must first re-enter the original Joint Plan of Comprehensive Action (JCPOA) and compensate Tehran for its losses. The Trump administration, as can be expected, finds Iran’s demands absurd, if not insulting. Indeed, as of this writing, the White House, State Department, and Treasury are actively debating blacklisting what is left of the entire Iranian financial sector and thereby severing it from the international community. 

Punishing Iran wasn’t all it was cracked up to be

Really?  We have been punishing Iran for over 40 years and what has that lead to?

Thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”