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Re: Iran

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:57 pm
by blindpig
Press TV anchor Marzieh Hashemi jailed in US on unspecified charges
Wed Jan 16, 2019 03:15AM [Updated: Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:45AM ]


Marzieh Hashemi, a journalist and anchor working for Iran’s English-language Press TV television news network, has been detained and imprisoned in the United States for unspecified reasons.

American-born Hashemi, most famous for anchoring news programs and presenting shows for Press TV, was detained upon arrival at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri, on Sunday, her family and friends said.

Press TV has learned that she was transferred by the FBI to a detention facility in Washington, D.C. The US officials have so far refused to provide any reasons for her apprehension either to her or her family.

The Associated Press (AP) said a call to the FBI rang unanswered early on Wednesday morning. The bureau did not immediately respond to a written request for comment, it added.



Hashemi, born Melanie Franklin, had arrived in the US to visit her ill brother and other family members.

Her relatives were unable to contact her, and she was allowed to contact her daughter only two days after her arrest.

The Iranian television news network releases a statement about the situation of its anchorwoman Marzieh Hashemi who is being held in a US detention center.
Mistreatment in US jail

Hashemi, who has been living in Iran for years and is a Muslim convert, has told her daughter that she was handcuffed and shackled and was being treated like a criminal.

The journalist also said that she had her hijab forcibly removed, and was photographed without her headscarf upon arrival at the prison.

Image

Hashemi has only been allowed to wear a T-shirt, and is currently using another one to cover her head.

Furthermore, she has been offered only pork as meal - which is forbidden under Islamic law - and even denied bread and any other halal food after refusing to consume the meat.

Hashemi told her daughter that the only food she has had over the past two days has been a packet of crackers.

Hashemi’s family members and media activists have launched a social media campaign with the hashtags #FreeMarziehHashemi and #Pray4MarziehHashemi in support of the detained journalist.

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/01/ ... fic-reason

The anti-Muslim actions against this woman bring to mind the capitalist accusations against China and another of the innumerable cases of the capitalists accusing our side of what they themselves are doing.

Re: Iran

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:24 pm
by blindpig
Why Is Trump Designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps As Foreign Terrorist Organization?
After their failed coup plot in Venezuela, the Trump administration launched another crazy plan:

The United States is expected to designate Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Corps a foreign terrorist organisation, three U.S. officials told Reuters, marking the first time Washington has formally labelled another country’s military a terrorist group.
The White House just issued the designation (no link yet).

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is a part of the general Iranian military. It was founded after the 1979 revolution in Iran to protect the state from a coup by the regular Iranian army that served under the Shah.

With some 125,000 men during peacetime the IRGC is only about a third the size of Iran's regular military. It has a similar structure with a groundforce, a navy and an aerospace branch. The IRCG has two additional small branches that are of foreign policy interest. One is the missile force which controls Iran's medium range missiles. The other is the Quds Force, a brigade size unit with some 4,000 men trained for special operations abroad.

The IRGC size during wartime is about triple its peacetime size. Like Iran's regular army its personnal is made up of professionals, conscripts and reservists. Attached to the IRGC is the voluntary Basji force, local paramilitaries that can be called up for internal security issues. There are several endowments and charitable trusts (bonyads) with strong relations to the IRGC. They own commerical enterprises but their profits are distributed to IRGC veterans and to widows and orphans of deceased soldiers.

In 2007 the U.S. Treasury already designated the Quds Force for its "support of terrorism". It also sanctioned several enterprises that are connected to the IRGC. It is totally unclear what the designation of the IRCG as a whole is supposed to achieve. It could be a symbolic move or, as some assume, a step towards a war on Iran:

Former Under-Secretary of State and lead Iran negotiator, Wendy Sherman, said she worried about implications for U.S. forces.
“One might even suggest, since it’s hard to see why this is in our interest, if the president isn’t looking for a basis for a conflict,” said Sherman, who is director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. “The IRGC is already fully sanctioned and this escalation absolutely endangers our troops in the region.”

Mohammad al Shabani lists additional reasons:

Mohammad Ali Shabani @mashabani - 14:36 utc - 8 Apr 2019
THREAD. Usual suspects pushed Trump to designate #IRGC as FTO. Why?
- Constrain Trump’s deal-making instincts
- Box in next US president on Iran (Dems say will rejoin JCPOA)
- Force Lebanon/Iraq into picking between Iran/US
- Force Europe to further cut whatever meager outreach
- provoke Iran to scrap JCPOA
- and, ideally, initiate military confrontation

Colonel Pat Lang likewise presumes that the move is an attempt to provoke a war:

The AUMF on terrorism has been used far and wide as a hunting license to attack any armed group that could even distantly be thought a terrorist enemy. The anti-terrorism AUMF makes such attacks legal under US law.
The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) is a law passed after the 9/11 attack that allows the president:

to use all "necessary and appropriate force" against those whom he determined "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the September 11th attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups.
In an October 2017 speech President Trump accused Iran of having supported and harbored al-Qaeda:

Iranian proxies provided training to operatives who were later involved in al Qaeda’s bombing of the American embassies in Kenya, Tanzania, and two years later, killing 224 people, and wounding more than 4,000 others.
The regime harbored high-level terrorists in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, including Osama bin Laden’s son. In Iraq and Afghanistan, groups supported by Iran have killed hundreds of American military personnel.

Trump's accusations agaimst Iran are false. Iran had nothing to do with the bombing in Kenya. After the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan some family members of al-Qaeda leaders fled to Iran. They were put under house arrests and were held as hostages to prevent al-Qaeda operations against Iran.

But the facts will not matter. The designation of the IRGC as "foreign terrorist" will likely make the AUMF relevant, at least under U.S. law.

Pat Lang continues:

The official designation as "terrorist" of the IRGC which is a 125000 man army with its own navy and air force makes it legal for the US Armed Forces to attack the IRGC and its people wherever they are found and under any circumstances that may occur. It is a declaration of war.
The neocon nitwits (Pompeo, Bolton, Hannah, etc.) may think that Iran's reaction to this declaration of war will be submission to their will but IMO that is very unlikely. IMO it is more likely that the IRGC will absorb the new reality and will prepare for war with the US.

Iran and its military have long prepared for war with the United States. There will be no change in anything that its military will do.

The first and probably only retaliatory step Iran will take is to designate the U.S. military as a terrorist entity:

"If the Revolutionary Guards are placed on America's list of terrorist groups, we will put that country's military on the terror blacklist next to Daesh (Islamic State)," Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, head of parliament's national security committee, said on Twitter.
Iran has so far shown restraint whenever the U.S. tried to goad it into a fight. It has left U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq untouched even while the U.S. and Israel attacked Iranian elements. It will not react militarily to Trump's latest provocation.

The designation of the IRGC and the counterdesignation of the U.S. military might have some tricky legal consequences. Will sailors of a U.S. Navy ship that unintentionally enters Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf and gets caught be held as terrorists? Will former conscripts of the IRGC who want to travel to the States receive a visa?

Should the U.S. attack IRGC forces abroad, Iran will likely respond by asking its foreign proxy forces, like the Hashd al-Shahbi militias in Iraq, to attack U.S. forces abroad.

Should the U.S. attack IRGC forces within Iran's borders then all bets are off. There are plenty of U.S. bases and installations in the Middle East that can be reached by Iranian missiles.

Posted by b on April 8, 2019 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/04/t ... ists-.html

Re: Iran

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 2:19 pm
by blindpig
War drums for Iran, again and again and again...but it seems to me that the US military, regardless of what the politicians say, is very reluctant to mix it up with forces that can strike back. Bombing & droning tribal people is their forte, true colonial cops. The pols call for 'action' and the Pentagon sez, "how many body bags you want?" Cause for all their belligerence what they fear most is to lose, the lineal descendants of George McClellan. And it ain't just face they fear losing, a bunch of fighters knocked out by S400s or their great nightmare, an aircraft carrier sunk by Iranian surface to surface missile. Which is not to say they will never act, but it will take a sweet opportunity or desperation to make them do so.

I suspect Bolton's days are numbered. We all know Trump is dumb, can be easily influenced, but Bolton's continued and varied calls for direct belligerence which are subsequently walked back cause the military cannot promise a clean bloodless(for US!) victory is getting on the boss's nerves according to reports. Like Bannon he seems to think he can impose his agenda on Trump but Trump's ego and agenda(really the same thing) revolt. Trump is a swine and not adverse to the worst of human behavior but not when he thinks it will affect his poll numbers, his only grasp on political & perhaps legal survival.

Re: Iran

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 1:29 pm
by blindpig
Tudeh Party of Iran, The slide to a US war on Iran must be averted through mobilisation of the global forces for peace!
5/22/19 3:28 PM

Iran, Tudeh Party of Iran En Asia Communist and workers' parties

On Sunday 19 May,a panel discussion was organised by the Left Party of Iran (Fadaian-eKhalq) to which Comrade Mohammad Omidvar, Politburo member and spokesperson of the Central Committee of the Tudeh Party of Iran, was invited to participate in. On behalf of the Left Party of Iran, Comrade Behrouz Khaliq, a member of its Political-Executive Bureau, participated. The theme of the panel discussion was the current critical situation and the dangerous tensions in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East region, the high risk of a military conflict, and the position of the Iranian opposition forces on the subject matter.

Comrade Omidvaremphasised that all efforts should be made, and all fronts utilised, to prevent the US from starting a new devastating war in the Middle East. In his speech and comments the leading Tudeh representativeemphasised that a coordinated political leadership and steer provided by left forces which offers concrete popular and progressive policies and correct, appropriate and motivating slogans in relation to peace and opposition to war, could attract the masses to the arena of struggle for human and democratic rights, progressive change and a better future.

Comrade Omidvarstructured his contribution to the discussion to present an account of the nature and plans of the entire Trump administration on the one hand and that of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the other, and to explain the situation in the Middle East region in order to lay the ground to determine the tasks of the left and progressive forces.

He opened his contribution by remarking: “Today it is clear that the US withdrawal from the JCPoA after Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia and his visit to [Israeli premier] Netanyahu early on in his term, was an adventurous move in line with the demands of these two reactionary states who the military option against Iran and turning Iran into another Syria.”

On the matter of Iran’s signing the JCPoA, he stated that: “Maintaining our Party’s position that the peaceful use of nuclear energy is the right of our nation, we welcomed the Islamic regime’s retreat and its signing of the JCPoA as it lessened the tensions in the region and the risk of military conflicts. That was why we assessed Trump’s withdrawal from this agreement as a very dangerous decision. We have always believed that preserving the JCPoA against the aggressive policies of the Trump administration and its regional allies is of the utmost importance.”

Comrade Omidvar then pointed out the Party’s recent statement about the critical situation in the region and reiterated that: “The warmongers on both sides of the world want a military conflict.” Referring to the plans of Mike Pompeo and John Bolton to instigate a military conflict with Iran, he emphasised upon the important task of the progressive forces to promote peace and to mobilise world public opinion against war and warmongers. We must never forget what happened in Iraq during the George W Bush Presidency [the two Bush presidencies]. He added: “The reality of today is that the warmongers on both sides of the world believe that war and military conflict,under any pretext, could reap significant political and financial benefits and profits for them.”

He then turned to the issue of the ruling theocratic regime in Iran and argued that “For the leaders of this regime the most important goal is to secure the survival of the current political regime at all costs.” He added: “It is a dangerous illusion to think that the positions and policies of the anti-people reactionary regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran is in line with the national interests… For example, the ongoing adventurous meddling of Iran in the region and its intervention in countries like Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Yemen is not only not in the interests of the nation (nor even in defenceof the rights of the peoples of these nations) but also offers a ready-made pretext in the hands of the US imperialism and its allies to interfere in the domestic affairs of our country.”

The spokesperson of the Tudeh Party of Iran reiterated the position of the Party that the US imperialism and its allies do not want a democratic and people-oriented regime in Iran and their desired regime is something more akin to the anti-people and medieval ruling regime of Saudi Arabia which brutally suppresses the rights of the people in a manner not dissimilar to the modus operandi of the Islamist regime in Iran.

On the matter of looking to foreign regimes like those of Saudi Arabia or the state of Israel, or their patron in the US administration to promote change in Iran, Comrade Omidvar emphasised that “No patriotic, national or progressive force can advocate for nor go along with such anti-national policies in cooperating with the adversaries of our nation.”

The Tudeh Party of Iran has consistently emphasised that it is solely the people of Iran who have the right to determine their destiny and the future of political developments in Iran.

On the issue of the struggle of the people of Iran for fundamental democratic changes, Comrade Omidvar stated: “We have to strive to turn the substantial potential power of the dissatisfied people of Iran to an actual power in the arena of struggle against the tyrannical ruling regime. This would be impossible to achieve without a harmonised political leadership which could bring the masses to the forefront of the struggle and raise their hope for a better future by presenting concrete people-oriented programs and policies and by choosing proper slogans, including slogans in support of peace and against war.”

Comrade Omidvar concluded his remarks by expressing his optimism that in the current critical situation, “We see common positions from our comrades in the progressive left forces in dealing with the ongoing events and all progressive forces are intensifying their efforts in defence of peace and to avoid another war under any pretext from either side.” Comrade Omidvar deemed this common position a positive step in the right direction that, if continued in a more organised and harmonised manner, will undoubtedly have an impact domestically and globally.

He then closed his remarks by stating: “Our proposal, including to our comrades in the Left Party of Iran, is that considering the current critical situation and the dangers that are threatening our nation from all sides, let us together organise a joint and broad campaign to mobilise the public opinion in Iran and globally against the risk of war.”

http://solidnet.org/article/Tudeh-Party ... for-peace/

Re: Iran

Posted: Mon May 27, 2019 8:35 pm
by blindpig
New York Times Supports False Trump Claims About An "Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program" That Does Not Exist
During a press conference in Japan U.S. President Donald Trump today said (video):

And I’m not looking to hurt Iran at all. I’m looking to have Iran say, “No nuclear weapons.” We have enough problems in this world right now with nuclear weapons. No nuclear weapons for Iran.
And I think we’ll make a deal.

Iran said: "No nuclear weapons." It said that several times. It continues to say that.

Iran does not have the intent to make nuclear weapons. It has no nuclear weapons program.

But Trump may be confused because the U.S. 'paper of the record', the New York Times, recently again began to falsely assert that Iran has such a program.

A May 4 editorial in the Times claimed that Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps was running such a nuclear weapons program. After a loud public outrage the Times corrected the editorial. Iran's UN office wrote a letter to the Times which was published on May 6:

In an early version of “Trump Dials Up the Pressure on Iran” (editorial, nytimes.com, May 4), now corrected, you referred to a nuclear weapons program in describing the reach of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
...
The editorial is correct in criticizing the punishing aspects of the Trump administration policy toward Iran — one that has brought only suffering to the Iranian people and one that will not result in any change in Iran’s policies. But it was wrong to refer to a weapons program — a dangerous assertion that could lead to a great misunderstanding among the public.
Unfortunately that did not help. The NYT continues with the "dangerous assertion".

On May 13 the NYT reporters Eric Schmitt and Julian E. Barnes wrote in White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War:

At a meeting of President Trump’s top national security aides last Thursday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons, administration officials said.
One can not accelerate one's car, if one does not have one. The phrase "accelerate work on nuclear weapons" implies that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. It may that the White House falsely claimed that but the authors use the phrase and never debunk it.

A May 14 NYT piece by Helene Cooper and Edward Wong repeats the false claim without pointing out that it is wrong:

The Trump administration is looking at plans to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons, The New York Times reported.
Also on May 14 the NYT's editorial cartoon was published under the caption Will Iran Revive Its Nuclear Program? The caption of the orientalist cartoon falsely asserted that Iran had enriched Uranium to weapons grade. And no, Iran does not have a nuclear weapon or a nuclear weapons program in its freezer.

Image

On May 16, after another public outcry, a correction was added to the cartoon:

An earlier version of a caption with this cartoon erroneously attributed a distinction to Iran's nuclear program. Iran has not produced highly enriched uranium.
After this onslaught of false New York Times claims about Iran NYT critic Belen Fernandez asked: Has the New York Times declared war on Iran? She lists other claims made by the Times about Iran that are far from the truth.

Three days later, on May 25, Palko Karasz reported in the New York Times on Iran's reaction to Trump's tiny troop buildup in the Persian Gulf region. Again the obviously false "accelerate" phrase was used:

Under White House plans revised after pressure from hard-liners led by John R. Bolton, the president’s national security adviser, if Iran were to accelerate work on nuclear weapons, defense officials envision sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East.
Iran does not have a nuclear program. It can not "accelerate" one. The U.S. claims that Iran once had such a program but also says that it was ended in 2003. The standard formulation that Reuters uses in its Iran reporting is thereby appropriate:

The United States and the U.N. nuclear watchdog believe Iran had a nuclear weapons program that it abandoned. Tehran denies ever having had one.

On July 1 1968 Iran signed and later ratified the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as a non-nuclear-weapon party. Article II of the treaty says:

Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transfer or whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; and not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
With that Iran said "No nuclear weapons". Iran also accepted the nuclear safeguards demand in Article III of the treaty in form of routine inspections by the treaty's nuclear watchdog organization IAEA.

Article IV of the NPT gives all non-nuclear-weapon state parties like Iran the "inalienable right" to "develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination." After signing the NPT Iran launched several civil nuclear projects. These started under the Shah in 1970s and continued after the 1979 revolution in Iran.

Image

Ever since the Iranian revolution the U.S. expressed explicit hostility to the Islamic Republic of Iran. It instigated the President Saddam Hussein of Iraq to launch a war against the Islamic Republic and actively supported him throughout. It attempted and continues to attempt to hobble Iran's development, nuclear and non-nuclear, by all possible means.

Under U.S. President George W. Bush the U.S. government claimed that Iran had a nuclear weapons program. The Islamic Republic Iran rejected that claim and in 2004 signed the Additional Protocol to the NPT which allows the IAEA to do more rigorous, short-notice inspections at declared and undeclared nuclear facilities to look for secret nuclear activities.

With that the Islamic Republic of Iran said: "No nuclear weapons".

In a 2006 New York Times op-ed Javid Zarif, then the Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations, wrote:

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the leader of the Islamic Republic, has issued a decree against the development, production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons.
With that Iran's highest political and religious leader said: "No nuclear weapons".

Not only did Iran sign the NPT and its Additional Protocol but its political leadership outright rejects the development and ownership of nuclear weapons.

Zarif also pointed out that the IAEA found that Iran had missed to declare some nuclear activities but also confirmed that it never had the nuclear weapons program the Bush administration claimed it had:

In November 2003, for example, the agency confirmed that "to date, there is no evidence that the previously undeclared nuclear material and activities were related to a nuclear weapons program."
During the "previously undeclared nuclear material and activities" which the IAEA investigated, some Iranian scientists worked on a 'plan for a plan' towards nuclear weapons. They seem to have discussed what steps Iran would have to take, what materials, and what kind of organization it would need to launch a nuclear weapons program. The work was not officially sanctioned and no actual nuclear weapons program was ever launched. It is believed that the Iranian scientists worked on a 'plan for a plan' because they were concerned that Iran's then arch enemy Saddam Hussein, who had bombarded Iranian cities with chemical weapons, was working towards nuclear weapons. In 2003, after the U.S. invaded Iraq, that concern proved to be unfounded and the 'plan for a plan' project was shut down.

In December 2007 all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed the shut down:

A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains frozen, contradicting judgment two years ago that Tehran was working relentlessly toward building a nuclear bomb.
...
[T]he new [National Intelligence Estimate] declares with “high confidence” that a military-run Iranian program intended to transform that raw material into a nuclear weapon has been shut down since 2003, and also says with high confidence that the halt “was directed primarily in response to increasing international scrutiny and pressure.”
The National Intelligence Estimate ended efforts by the Bush administration to threaten Iran with war. But the U.S. government, under Bush and then under President Obama, continued its effort to deny Iran its "inalienable right" to civil nuclear programs.

Obama waged a campaign of ever increasing sanctions on Iran. But the country did not give in. It countered by accelerating its civil nuclear programs. It enriched more Uranium to civil use levels and developed more efficiant enrichment centrifuges. It was the Obama administration that finally gave up on its escalatory course. It conceded that Iran has the "inalienable right" to run its civil nuclear programs including Uranium enrichment. It was this concession, not the sanctions, that brought Iran to the table for talks about its nuclear programs.

The result of those talks was the The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, adopted on July 20, 2015.

The JCPOA gives the IAEA additional tools to inspect facilities in Iran. It restricts Iran's civil nuclear program to certain limits which will terminate in October 2025. The JCPOA also reaffirms that Iran has full rights under the NPT. The IAEA since regularly inspects facilities in Iran and consistently reaffirms in its reports that Iran has no nuclear weapons program.


The Trump administrations hostility to Iran has nothing to do with anything nuclear. The U.S. wants hegemony over the Persian Gulf region. Iran rejects such imperial desires. The U.S. wants to control the flow of hydrocarbon resources to its competitors, primarily China. Iran does not allow such controls over its exports. The U.S. wants that all hydrocarbon sales are made in U.S. dollars. Iran demands payments in other currencies. Israel, which has significant influence within the Trump administration, uses claims of a non existing Iranian nuclear weapons program to manipulate the U.S. public and to divert from its racist apartheid policies in Palestine.

Trump's talk - "I’m looking to have Iran say, “No nuclear weapons.”" - is simply bullshit. Iran said so several times and continues to say so. But Trump obviously believes that he can get away with making such idiotic claims.

The New York Times proves him right. It is again slipping into the role that it played during the propaganda run-up to the war on Iraq in 2002/2003. False claims made by members of the Bush administration about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were reported by the Times as true, even while diligent reporters at other outlets debunked those claims again and again. The Times later apologized and fired Judith Miller, one of its reporters who wrote several of the pieces that supported the false claims.

But it was never a problem of one reporter who channeled false claims by anonymous administration officials into her reports. It was the editorial decision by the Times, taken long before the war on Iraq began, to use its power to support such a war. That editorial decision made it possible that those false claims appeared in the paper.

This month alone one NYT editorial, one editorial cartoon and at least five reporters in three pieces published in the New York Times made false claims about an Iranian nuclear weapons program that, as all the relevant official institutions confirm, does not exist. This does not happen by chance.

It it is now obvious that the Times again decided to support false claims by an administration that is pushing the U.S. towards another war in the Middle East.

Posted by b on May 27, 2019 at 03:46 PM | Permalink

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/05/n ... ot-ex.html

Re: Iran

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:58 pm
by blindpig
Today's Attacks On Ships In The Gulf Of Oman Are Not In Iran's Interest
Early this morning, around 6:00 UTC, two tankers in the Gulf of Oman were attacked by surface weapons. Both ships were some 50 kilometers south-east of Bandar-e Jask and some 100+ kilometers east of Fujairah.


Image
The Front Altair, a 250 meter long crude oil tanker under the flag of the Marshal Islands, came from the United Arab Emirates and was on was on its way to Taiwan. Its load of 75,000 tons of Naphta caught fire and the crew had to abandon the ship.


Image
The second attacked ship is the Kokuka Courageous, a 170 meter long tanker flagged by Panama. It was coming from Saudi Arabia and on its way to Singapore. The ship has its hull breached above the water line, but its load of Methanol seems to be intact.

The Iranian Search and Rescue ship Naji picked up the 44 crews members of both ships and brought them to Bandar-E Jash. Oil prices increased by some 4%.

These attacks come a month after four ships anchoring near the UAE port Fujairah were damaged by explosives attached to their hulls. The investigation of that incident by the UAE did not blame anyone for the attack but suggested that a country must have been behind it. U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton blamed Iran.

It is likely that Iranian proxy forces were involved in the May attacks. It is unlikely that Iran had anything to do with today's attacks.

The May attack was accompanied by two drone strikes launched by Houthi forces in Yemen on the Saudi east-west pipeline that allows some Saudi exports to avoid a passage through the Street of Hormuz. A third strike was a medium range missile launch by the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza strip against the city of Ashkelon in Israel.

All three strikes together were a warning that those countries who instigate for a U.S. war on Iran would get seriously hurt should Iran be attacked.

The attack today comes at an inconvenient time for Iran. The loud anti-Iran campaign John Bolton initiated in April and May recently calmed down.

U.S. President Trump tries to move Iran towards negotiations with him. He recently received the President of Switzerland in the White House. Switzerland is the 'protecting power' that represent U.S. diplomatic interests in Iran. The German Foreign Minister Maas was send to Iran to press for Iranian concessions. Currently the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe is visiting Tehran. He today met Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei but had no success in moving Iran towards negotiations with the Trump.

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?

Posted by b on June 13, 2019 at 05:37 AM | Permalink

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/06/t ... erest.html

As usual b portrays the Current Regime as having interests in 'negotiating' with Iran. B really got to get it outta his head that the prez thinks about anything other than hisself.

Update (11:30 utc, 7:30 AM blog time):


A few tweets Iran's Supreme Leader issued after his meeting with Prime Minister Abe today hint at a motive Iran might have to conduct something like the attack that happened today:

Khamenei.ir @khamenei_ir - 9:36 UTC - 13 Jun 2019
We do not believe at all that the U.S. is seeking genuine negotiations with Iran; because genuine negotiations would never come from a person like Trump. Genuineness is very rare among U.S. officials.

.@AbeShinzo U.S. president met & talked with you a few days ago, including about Iran. But after returning from Japan, he immediately imposed sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical industry. Is this a message of honesty? Does that show he is willing to hold genuine negotiations?

After the nuclear deal, the first one to immediately breach the JCPOA was Obama; the same person who had requested negotiations with Iran & had sent a mediator. This is our experience, & Mr. Abe, know that we won’t repeat the same experience.

The keyword here is "petrochemical". The tankers hit today were loaded with naphta from the UAE and methanol from Saudi Arabia. Both are petrochemical products and not simply crude oil. Last Friday, June 7, the U.S. sanctioned all trade with Iran's biggest petrochemical producer. These sanction will seriously hurt Iran.

When the Trump administration began to sanction Iran's oil export last year, Iran announced new rules of the game. It said that it would retaliate against other Persian Gulf producers should Iran be unable to export its goods:

Iran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a vital artery for oil shipments from the Middle East. The warning comes in response to the US, which is trying to cut off Iranian crude exports.
...
Iran's supreme leader's senior adviser for international affairs, Ali Akbar Velayati said his country will retaliate.
“The most transparent, complete and prompt response was given by Mr [Hassan] Rouhani, the Iranian president, in his last trip to Europe. The response was clear: if Iran cannot export oil through the Persian Gulf, no-one will do this,” Velayati said, speaking at the Valdai discussion club in Russia. “Either everyone will export, or no-one,” he added.

Now we can apply the keyword Khamenei used today to these sentences: "if Iran cannot export petrochemical products through the Persian Gulf, no-one will do this". "Either everyone will export, or no-one."

That Iran might have this motive does not mean or prove that it is responsible for today's attack. Risking to sink two foreign tankers in international water is not what an otherwise cautious Iran would typically do. Someone else might have initiated it to blame it.

Still - no matter if Iran was involved - what Khamenei said is a very serious message that Abe, who Trump sent to Iran, will understand and communicate back to the White House.

Posted by b on June 13, 2019 at 05:37 AM | Permalink

Re: Iran

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:12 pm
by blindpig
Trump administration providing ‘false’ information about Gulf of Oman attack, says Japanese tanker owner
Chief executive of Japanese company operating Kokuka Courageous says 'flying objects' were cause of damage to vessel

Chris Riotta New York @chrisriotta
Friday 14 June 2019 17:53

The owner of the Japanese tanker attacked on Thursday said US reports have provided “false” information about what happened in the Gulf of Oman.

The ship operator said “flying objects” that may have been bullets were the cause of damage to the vessel, rather than mines used by Iranian forces, as the US has suggested.

Yutaka Katada, chief executive of the Japanese company operating the ship called Kokuka Courageous, one of two vessels attacked near the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, said the damage could not have been caused by mines or torpedos that are shot underwater, since the damage was reportedly above the ship’s waterline.

“It seems that something flew towards them. That created the hole, is the report I’ve received,” Mr Katada said at a press conference in Tokyo on Friday, the Financial Times reported. Mr Katada also described reports of a mine attack as "false" according to several outlets in attendance at the press conference.

Donald Trump’s administration has meanwhile insisted the attacks were carried out by Iran, which has denied having any involvement in either of the two incidents.

The US released video shortly after that it said showed Iranian Revolutionary Guard officials removing what was likely an unexploded limpet mine from the Kokuka Courageous. The US also said the ship was abandoned after an “initial explosion.”

The White House has singled out the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in recent months under Mr Trump, taking the rare step of classifying a foreign government entity as a terror group.

US-Iran tensions rise as Pentagon releases video of oil tanker attack

The Kokuka Courageous and another Norwegian-operated vessel were ablaze for hours in the Gulf on Thursday. The owner's of the other vessel, the Front Altair, have not yet provided an explanation of what they believe to be the cause of the damage.

The entire 21-person crew evacuated the Kokuka Courageous. Sailors reported seeing the “flying objects” from the vessel before the incident occurred, according to Mr Katada.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl ... 58916.html

Re: Iran

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:29 pm
by blindpig
On the site of the attack on oil tankers, they found fragments of American Hellfire missiles. In Greece, the US military bases may be closed after threats to Iran.

Mikhail Dmitriev Novorossia is not a myth, but the truth
Yesterday 04:15 32 11592

At the site of the attack on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, found wreckage of American missiles AGM-114 "Hellfire".

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The United States was involved in the attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. It is reported that at the site of the attack on two oil tankers fragments of fragments of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles were discovered, which could well have caused serious damage to one of the tankers, causing the latter to sink.

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It is reported that at least three AGM-114 “Hellfire” missiles were launched for two oil tankers, which, by the way, are in service with the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle, which was seen in the area of ​​the tragedy. According to preliminary data, debris of one of the rockets was found on the surface of the water.

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However, the photographs presented by social networks turned out to be inconclusive, since it was very problematic to initiate debris and correlate them with the components of the American rocket.


The United States, in turn, continues to argue that Iran should bear responsibility for the attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, since the same attack drone recorded the approach of an Iranian boat to the board of one of the blown-up tankers from which Islamic Revolutionary Guard corps allegedly dismantled from magnetic mines, which, by the way, could not inflict such critical damage on a seagoing ship.

http://avia.pro/news/na-meste-napadeniy ... t-hellfire
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Greece stands up for Iran and threatens to close US military bases
In Greece, the US military bases may be closed after threats to Iran.

The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) has demanded the closure of the NATO military base in the country. The reason is the aggressive rhetoric of the United States of America against Iran.

RIA Novosti reports that the KKE’s statement says:

“The latest attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman again lay dynamite on the situation around Iran. The United States, as if ready-made in advance, has identified Iran as its target and is concentrating new military forces in the region. ”

The communists of Greece are convinced that the aggressiveness of the United States towards Iran, which has intensified over the past months, is connected with Israel’s plans to bomb Iran’s nuclear installations. This provides a risk both for Greece and for the whole world.

The Communist Party of Greece calls for “to close now all the bases of the US and NATO in Greece. Revoke all Greek military forces participating in NATO and EU missions. ”

On Thursday, June 13, Iranian and Arab media reported attacks on two oil tankers Front Altair and Kokuka Courageous in the Gulf of Oman. There is evidence of a torpedo attack that led to explosions and fires on ships. There are no official confirmations that it is about a torpedo attack.

Both crews of damaged tankers were evacuated to Iran. According to the owner of the vessel Front Altair, there were 11 Russian citizens on board. There are no victims among them.


http://avia.pro/news/greciya-vstupilas- ... ennye-bazy

https://cont.ws/@user3885/1359717

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Re: Iran

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:28 pm
by blindpig
IRGC Downs US Drone in Iran’s Airspace + IRGC Statement About the Incident

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The IRGC said in a statement that the US-made Global Hawk surveillance drone was brought down by its Air Force in Strait of Hormuz near the Kouh-e Mobarak region, which sits in the central district of Jask County, after the aircraft violated Iranian airspace.

Also a US official said a US Navy MQ-4C Triton high-altitude drone was shot down by Iranian surface-to-air missile.

Statement by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps:

“The American UAV took off from an US base in the south of the Persian Gulf at 00:14 am today morning and contrary to aviation laws, it shut off all of its introduction equipment and proceeded from the Strait of Hormuz to Chabahar with complete secrecy.

The unmanned aircraft while returning to the west of the region towards the Strait of Hormuz, violated the territorial integrity of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and start collecting information and spying.

At 4:55 am, when the aggressive UAV entered our country’s territory, it was targeted by the IRGC air force and was shot down.”

http://www.english.iswnews.com/6091/irg ... -incident/

Re: Iran

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:29 pm
by blindpig
TRUMP ORDERED A MILITARY ATTACK AGAINST IRAN BUT THEN REGRETTED
June 21, 2019 , 9:15 a.m. .

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After the American RQ-4A drone was shot down by the Islamic Republic of Iran, the escalation has been on the rise among the countries in conflict.

The United States alleges that the drone was shot down in international waters; Iran defends that the spy flying object crossed the borders of its country.
Video insertado

Amirhosein
@Amirh_91
#Breaking Iran releases video of shooting down US RQ-4 drone, also flight path of the drone.

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13:30 - 20 jun. 2019
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President Trump tweeted, as usual, that "Iran made a grave mistake."
Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
Iran made a very big mistake!

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10:15 - 20 jun. 2019
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However, he qualified his expression in a television interview, saying that he really meant that an Iranian subordinate had made the mistake of passing the chain of hand at the time of the demolition of the drone. In any case, he said that the case is wrapped in a certain mystery. What a coincidence.

Later, on Thursday, the 21st, The New York Times reported that Trump ordered to attack Iran but then regretted the decision.

Who among your top officials bid for a military offensive on the Persian country? Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo; John R. Bolton, National Security Advisor; and Gina Haspel, director of the CIA.

Who is against? The New York newspaper assures that high ranking officers in the Pentagon warned him of such an action because a spiral escalation could arise that would risk the North American forces in the Middle East region, according to the doctrine that the army now handles in its " I'm going to China. "

Some congressmen went to the Situation Room of the White House to demand that the president ask the Congress to take some military decision.

Later, Reuters reported that the United States warned Iran, via Oman, that they were prepared to attack imminently.

To make matters worse, Bolton took a plane to Israel to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu's government on security issues on June 23. The Zionist entity has declared on several occasions that it wants to exterminate the Iranian nation.

In any case, the Iranian government made it very clear that "Iran does not want war, but is prepared for it."

Reports that Trump ordered the attack and then repented can be judged as an information operation to intimidate the Iranians. But these will not let your arm twist or be intimidated.

http://misionverdad.com/TENDENCIAS/trum ... arrepintio

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Sometimes, occasionally, what you see is what you get. This rare convergence of reporting in the MSM and reality can only manifest when there is a dominant agenda to be served. I think this another clusterfuck. After we've seen so many, why make an exception now?