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Tag Archives: Iran

USA, Saudia Arabia, Iran: A New Conflict in the Middle East?

In normal times, the Officers Club on Riyadh’s King Abdul Aziz Road is a rather secretive place. But last Wednesday evening, there was a line of visitors snaking away from its door. Arabic could be heard, along with English and a few fragments of French.

After the security inspection, visitors enter a darkened hallway, reminiscent of a movie theater, that lead to a lecture hall: blue plush seats in ascending rows facing a brightly lit wood-paneled stage. It is generally a place where senior military officers gather to discuss their secret plans, but last week, it played host to around 80 diplomats and several international journalists, there at the invitation of the world’s most important oil exporting nation. Among them were high-ranking officials in flowing robes. It was a rather unique event: The Saudi military was putting its wounds on display to the world.

A half-dozen pedestals had been erected onstage to present evidence: large steel fragments that had been twisted and bent by the force of the explosion. The objects were the remnants of cruise missiles and drones, some of the weapons Saudis claim set the country’s two biggest oil facilities on fire earlier this month.

https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/usa-saudia-arabia-iran-a-new-conflict-in-the-middle-east-a-1287811.html

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Posted by on September 25, 2019 in Middle East

 

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As Netanyahu’s power in the Middle East wanes, Trump has to find his own way to deal with Iran

There is an extraordinary irony in the fate of both Benjamin Netanyahu and Iran. The first has been captaining the Titanic, in the words of one Israeli academic, through the past couple of days. The second – a rather better captain, it might be said – has been captaining a couple of tankers in and out of the Mediterranean and the Gulf.

The second was also the target of Netanyahu’s Likud rhetoric at the United Nations. Remember the famous comic-cuts test tube cartoon which Netanyahu held before the UN, a symbol of the time it would take for the Islamic Republic to create a nuclear weapon? Iran must be “defanged”, I believe the words were; nuclear Islamist tyrant must be disarmed.

And there we were this week, with the Iranian beast actually firing at Saudi Arabia’s oil plants – although I noted the Saudi claim that the attack was “unquestionably sponsored” (a big “sic” there) by Iran. In other words, it was the Houthis what done it but the Iranians who were behind it.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/netanyahu-israel-elections-trump-likud-benny-gantz-iran-saudi-arabia-a9112061.html

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2019 in Middle East

 

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As Trump flip-flops on Iran talks, the reality is that the ‘crazed’ rogue leader now sits in Washington not Tehran

History in the Middle East is unkind to us westerners. Just when we thought we were the good guys and the Iranians were the bad guys, here comes the ghostly, hopeless possibility of a Trump-Rouhani summit to remind us that the apparent lunatic is the US president and the rational, sane leader who is supposed to talk to him is the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. All these shenanigans are fantasy, of course – like the “imminent” war between America and Iran – of which more later.

As for the Israelis, they don’t want the man who thinks he might be “King of Israel” talking to the Hitlerite Persians. They suddenly sprayed Iran’s local Middle East proxies with drone-fired rockets – in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon – just in case the wretched, financially broken and inflation-doomed Iranians were tempted to chat to the crackpot in the White House. But the Israelis wasted their ammunition. Rouhani is not mad. America has to drop its sanctions against Iran if Trump wants to talk, he said.

It still amazes me that we have to take all this stuff at face value. No sooner had Trump waffled on about Rouhani being “the great negotiator” than we saw all the White House correspondents dutifully taking this nonsense down in their notebooks – as if the American president was presidential, as if the old dream-bag was real, as if what he was saying had the slightest bearing on reality.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/trump-iran-nuclear-deal-talks-rouhani-pompeo-israel-a9083341.html

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2019 in Middle East, North America

 

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Here Are Five Lies About Iran That We Need to Refute to Stop Another Illegal War

Forget uranium enrichment: Has Iran mastered time travel?

 

Last month, the Trump White House put out a typically Orwellian statement, chock-filled with lies, distortions, and half-truths about Iran and the 2015 nuclear deal. One line in particular stood out from the rest: “There is little doubt that even before the deal’s existence, Iran was violating its terms.”

https://theintercept.com/2019/08/14/trump-iran-worst-lies/

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2019 in Middle East

 

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How Tehran Fits into Russia-China Strategy

A few days after our Asia Times report, an article based on “senior sources close to the Iranian regime” and crammed with fear-mongering, baseless accusations of corruption and outright ignorance about key military issues claimed that Russia would turn the Iranian ports of Bandar Abbas and Chabahar into forward military bases complete with submarines, Spetsnaz special forces and Su-57 fighter jets, thus applying a “stranglehold” to the Persian Gulf.

For starters, “senior sources close to the Iranian regime” would never reveal such sensitive national-security details, much less to Anglo-American foreign media. In my own case, even though I have made several visits to Iran while consistently reporting on Iran for Asia Times, and even though authorities at myriad levels know where I’m coming from, I have not managed to get answers from Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps generals to 16 detailed questions I sent nearly a month ago. According to my interlocutors, these are deemed “too sensitive” and, yes, a matter of national security.

https://www.opednews.com/articles/1/How-Tehran-Fits-into-Russi-by-Pepe-Escobar-Iran_Oil_Russia-china_Sanctions-190815-153.html

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2019 in Asia, Europe

 

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The scorched corpses of Nagasaki should be a grim restraint to the chest beating in India, America and Iran

We like our anniversaries in blocks of 50 or 100 – at a push we’ll tolerate a 25. The 100th anniversary of the Somme (2016), the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain (2015). Next year, we’ll remember the end of the Second World War, the first – and so far the only – nuclear war in history.

This week marks only the 74th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It doesn’t fit in to our journalistic scorecards and “timelines”. Over the past few days, I’ve had to look hard to find a headline about the two Japanese cities.

But, especially in the Middle East and what we like to call southeast Asia, we should be remembering these gruesome anniversaries every month. Hiroshima was atomic-bombed 74 years ago on Tuesday, Nagasaki 74 years ago on Friday. Given the extent of the casualty figures, you’d think they’d be unforgettable. But we don’t quite know (nor ever will) what they were.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/india-pakistan-israel-nuclear-war-donald-trump-iran-saudi-arabia-a9046566.html

 
 

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Attack on Iran would be an attack on Russia

Russia is meticulously advancing Eurasian chessboard moves that should be observed in conjunction, as Moscow proposes to the Global South an approach diametrically opposed to Western sanctions, threats and economic war. Here are three recent examples.

Ten days ago, via a document officially approved by the United Nations, the Russian Foreign Ministry advanced a new concept of collective security for the Persian Gulf.

Moscow stresses that “practical work on launching the process of creating a security system in the Persian Gulf” should start with “bilateral and multilateral consultations between interested parties, including countries both within the region and outside of it,” as well as organizations such as the UN Security Council, League of Arab States, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Gulf Cooperation Council.

https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/08/article/attack-on-iran-would-be-an-attack-on-russia/

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2019 in Europe, Middle East

 

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US and Iran Stuck on Negotiation Ground Zero

All bets are off in the geopolitical insanity stakes when we have the President of the United States (POTUS) glibly announcing he could launch a nuclear first strike to end the war in Afghanistan and wipe it “off the face of the earth” in one week. But he’d rather not, so he doesn’t have to kill 10 million people.

Apart from the fact that not even a nuclear strike would subdue the legendary fighting spirit of Afghan Pashtuns, the same warped logic ordering a nuclear first strike as one orders a cheeseburger could apply to Iran instead of Afghanistan.

Trump once again flip-flopped by declaring that the prospect of a potential war in the Persian Gulf “could go either way, and I’m OK either way it goes,” much to the delight of Beltway-related psychopaths who peddle the notion that Iran is begging to be bombed.

https://www.opednews.com/articles/1/US-and-Iran-Stuck-on-Negot-by-Pepe-Escobar-Food_Iran_Iran-Embargo_Iran-War-190726-337.html

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2019 in Middle East, North America

 

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Trump is powering the UK’s preparations for war – it is he who needs to be deterred, not Iran

It’s about time we wised up to what is going on in this utterly farcical “crisis” in the Gulf, this charade of lies and pomposity which Trump and his doggies in London are presenting to us.

An American president who is a racist, misogynist, dishonest and psychologically disturbed man – assisted by two vicious and equally dishonourable and delusional advisers – is threatening to go to war with Iran while a kipper-waving and equally serial-lying buffoon, who is probably the future British prime minister, prefers to concentrate on the self-destruction of his country rather than the hijacking of his ships.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/iran-tanker-crisis-trump-boris-johnson-hunt-strait-of-hormuz-war-a9015396.html

 

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Trump the isolationist may hope to avoid a war with Iran – but he could already be in too deep

President Trump’s last-minute change of mind over launching US airstrikes against Iran shows that a military conflict of some description in the Gulf is becoming highly probable. His hesitation was most likely less connected with an Iranian surface-to-air missile shooting down a US surveillance drone than with his instinct that militarising the crisis is not in America’s best interests.

If Trump had not pulled back and the strikes against Iranian radars and missile batteries had gone ahead, where exactly would that have got him? This sort of limited military operation is usually more effective as a threat than in actuality. The US is not going to launch an all-out war against Iran in pursuit of a decisive victory and anything less creates more problems than it resolves.

Iran would certainly retain post-strike the ability to launch pin-prick attacks up and down the Gulf and, especially, in and around the 35-mile wide Strait of Hormuz through which passes 30 per cent of the world’s oil trade. Anything affecting this choke point reverberates around the word: news of the shooting down of the drone immediately sent the price of benchmark Brent crude oil rocketing upwards by 4.75 per cent.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/donald-trump-iran-drone-war-saudi-arabia-gulf-oil-a8969216.html

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2019 in Middle East, North America

 

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