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Re: Iran

Post by blindpig » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:45 pm

Things they don't tell ya #37:



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Re: Iran

Post by blindpig » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:07 pm

Egypt detains Iran oil tanker, arrests 6 for espionage

July 9, 2019 at 12:19 pm

A general view of the port of Kharg Island Oil Terminal in Iran on 12 March 2017 [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency

Egyptian authorities detained a Ukrainian tanker carrying Iranian oil as it passed through the Suez Canal ten days ago, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed has reported.

News of the seizure came a day after Egypt’s Supreme State Security Criminal Court sentenced six people to jail on charges of spying for Iran.

The court has sentenced the defendants to between 15 and 25 years in jail, a $30,000 fine and the confiscation of their computers and phones. Egyptian Al-Azhar Professor Alaa Moawad, who was present at the trial on Sunday, was accused of harming Egypt’s national interests and receiving money to spread Iranian Shiism in Sunni Egypt by launching a website, issuing publications and attracting recruits.

The remaining five defendants, who were Iranian, were tried in absentia.

The sentences have been issued amid rising tensions between Iran and the US, Egypt’s major ally, which is trying to force Tehran to renegotiate a 2015 nuclear deal by tightening sanctions on the country.

In response Iran said over the weekend that it is prepared to enrich uranium at any level and at any amount, according to Reuters.

Tension between the two countries is ongoing. In June Iran was accused of attacking oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and later shot down a US drone reportedly launched from UAE territory. Tehran has denied targeting the tankers.

At the time UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, also a major ally of the US and Egypt, stated that Britain would consider joining the US in potential military action against Iran.

Then last week Iran summoned the UK ambassador after the Royal Marines seized an Iranian supertanker off the coast of Gibraltar it suspected of carrying oil to Syria in contravention of sanctions against Bashar Al-Assad.

Iran-Egypt relations are also tense due to Egypt’s support for the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthis in Yemen, who Riyadh accuse Iran of arming.

Last month Egypt said it was standing by Saudi Arabia following an attack by the Houthis that wounded over 20 people at an airport in the kingdom.

Cairo has joined Washington in calling on the Houthis to cease attacks and said it will “defy any attempt to target the kingdom. ... espionage/

Lackeys & dogs, Nasser would grind them under his shoe.
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Re: Iran

Post by blindpig » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:07 am

A US Led Naval Coalition In The Persian Gulf Will Raise The Threat Of War
by Seyed Mohammad Marandi

While Bolton and Pompeo push the region towards maximum tension and Trump makes despicable threats to obliterate Iran, the US military has announced its intention to create and lead an anti-Iranian naval coalition in the Persian Gulf. Meanwhile, by Trump's own admission, the United States is engaged in economic war against Iranians, as its armed forces have aggressively violated Iranian airspace and territorial waters, resulting in the humiliating downing of its most sophisticated drone by an Iranian surface to air missile.

A few naval ships from far off nations will not change the balance of power, but they will increase confusion and the chances for major regional conflict. Iranians will also view such an entity as an extension of a belligerent American naval presence.

Since the illegal and tragic US occupation of Iraq, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been constructing a vast network of underground missile defense facilities alongside the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, and the Gulf of Oman in anticipation of possible US attacks. Iran and its powerful allies have also developed formidable asymmetrical capabilities across the region. It has both the will and means to decisively engage with a belligerent power.

In order to prevent any appetite for all-out war, Iran will respond to a limited military strike with a massive and disproportionate counterstrike targeting both the aggressor and its enablers. Regional regimes such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia that facilitate aggression in any way or form should expect the swift destruction of their oil assets and critical infrastructure. On the other hand, all-out war would mean the obliteration of all oil and gas installations as well as ships on both sides of the Strait of Hormuz. Under such circumstances, the closure of the Strait would be the least of Bolton's problems.

The Emirati and Saudi regimes would most probably swiftly collapse. Millions of indentured servants would overrun Abu Dhabi and Dubai while Yemeni forces and their regional allies would overwhelm Saudi Arabia as western occupation forces would be expelled from the region. Millions of people would stream towards Europe, even as the EU and the rest of the world would be facing an economic catastrophe.

Iran does not welcome confrontation nor does it desire war and its massive and extensive military deterrence is designed to prevent such circumstances. Instead of pushing the world closer to tragedy, potential US partners should push the US back to the nuclear deal and the negotiating table.

Seyed Mohammad Marandi is professor of English Literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran.

Posted by b on July 17, 2019 at 9:49 UTC | Permalink ... f-war.html
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Re: Iran

Post by blindpig » Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:34 pm

No, Israel Did Not Attack Iranian Targets In Iraq
Israeli newspaper repeat a report which claims that Israeli planes hit Iranian targets in Iraq.

Haaretz: In Major Shift, Israel Twice Struck Iranian Targets in Iraq 'Using F-35'
Ynetnews: Report: Israeli warplanes hit Iranian targets in Iraq
Jerusalem Post: Report: Israel launched two attacks on Iranian targets in Iraq in July
From the last one:

The IAF used its F-35i stealth fighter jets to hit two Iraqi bases that were used by Iranian forces and proxies and for storing ballistic missiles, the London-based Saudi daily Asharq Al-Awsat reported on Tuesday.
Asharq Al-Awsat is owned by Faisal bin Salman, a member of the Saudi ruling clan. It is - like other Arab papers - often used to launder Israeli disinformation and propaganda that is then repeated in the Israeli press.

The original Asharq Al-Aswat report reads:

Israel has expanded the scope of its Iranian targets in Iraq and Syria, western diplomatic sources told Asharq Al-Awsat amid reports that Tel Aviv carried out an airstrike earlier this month against an Iranian rockets depot northeast of Baghdad.
The July 19 attack was carried out by an Israeli F-35 fighter jet, they added.

On Sunday, the Ashraf base in Iraq, a former base used by the Iranian opposition People's Mujahedin of Iran, was targeted by an air raid, said sources.

The base lies 80 kilometers from the border with Iran and 40 kilometers northeast of Baghdad.

The sources revealed that the strikes targeted Iranian “advisors” and a ballistic missile shipment that had recently arrived from Iran to Iraq.

Last week, Syria’s Tal al-Hara was struck by Israeli jets.

The diplomatic sources said the attack targeted Iran’s attempt to seize control of the strategic hill, located in Daraa countryside in southern Syria.

The above F-35 promotion then goes on to laud the Israeli Arrows-3 air defense missile the U.S. paid for.

Of the three incidents Asharq Al-Awsat mentions only one, in Syria, really happened.

On July 19 a fire broke out at a camp of the 16th Brigade of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). It set off some ammunition. The 16th is a light infantry brigade. It does not have ballistic missiles. While the incident was first reported as a missile attack, an investigation later said (Arabic) that the fire was caused by a defect of some equipment (machine translation)

The Central Commission of Inquiry sent by the People's Assembly on Sunday announced the results of the investigation into the bombing of the Martyrs' Camp of the Commission, which is located near the city of Ameri.
The report of the specialized committee confirmed that the investigations conducted have proved that the explosion was not a military target as a result of a plane or a guided missile, but was a fire of solid fuel due to an internal defect.

No one was killed in the incident.

The alleged attack on Sunday never happened:

TØM CΛT @TomtheBasedCat - 17:29 UTC · Jul 30, 2019
The Camp Ashraf incident was nothing more than a rumor that started on Facebook. It's not even called Ashraf anymore, the base is named after the Brigade 27 commander who was Martyred in Diyala battles.

Saudis hard at work creating Fake News.

It is not the Saudis that created this fake news but the "western diplomatic sources", aka the Israeli ambassador in London, who briefed the Asharq Al-Awsat writer.

The third incident, in Syria, did happen:

Syria's state media said on Wednesday an Israeli missile attack had targeted the country's southern province of Daraa, but did not report any casualties.
State news agency SANA and state TV added that the "Israeli aggression" struck Tal al-Hara hill that is home to Syrian army posts adding that it only caused material damage.
The Tal al-Hara hill, a strategic area overlooking the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, was for many years a major Russian military radar outpost until rebels took it over in 2014 before it was again recaptured by the Syrian army last year.

Israel did not hit any Iranian targets or anything else in Iraq. The Asharq Al-Awsat story is pure propaganda.

If the Israeli air force were stupid enough to bomb targets in Iraq, it would likely see consequences that it would not like:

TØM CΛT @TomtheBasedCat - 18:08 UTC · Jul 30, 2019
And besides

If Israel really wants to waste their time and resources striking sites in Iraq, by all means.

They'll only accelerate the decision as to whether or not to purchase the S-400 system.

There are plenty of Air Defense Officers who are already fluent in Russian.

Posted by b on July 30, 2019 at 17:16 UTC | Permalink ... -iraq.html
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Re: Iran

Post by blindpig » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:37 pm

Rouhani: No talks with US unless bans lifted, Iran rights respected
Tue Aug 27, 2019 08:17AM [Updated: Tue Aug 27, 2019 09:16AM ]

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks in Tehran on August 27, 2019. (Photo by

President Hassan Rouhani says the United States should lift all its “cruel” and “unlawful” sanctions against Iran and begin respecting the nation’s rights as a “first step” towards dialog, emphasizing that the Islamic Republic will not engage in any negotiations for the mere sake of photo opportunities.

The Iranian president made the remarks on Tuesday, one day after French President Emmanuel Macron expressed hopes for a meeting between Rouhani and his American counterpart, Donald Trump, “in the next few weeks.”

“We seek to resolve issues and problems in a rational way but we are not after photos. For anyone wanting to take a picture with Hassan Rouhani, this is not possible” unless that party chooses to set aside all the oppressive sanctions and respect the Iranian nation’s rights, the Iranian president said in a speech aired live on state television.

Iran, he added, sits at the negotiating table with others only in order to secure its people’s rights and interest.

Tehran will make a change in its approach towards “those waging economic terrorism” against the county only if they “repent” of their past mistakes and turn back from the wrong path they have taken.

PressTV-Macron hopes Rouhani-Trump will meet in few weeks

French President Macron hopes a long-anticipated meeting between the Iranian and US presidents will take place in the next few weeks.
“We will witness no positive development” unless the Americans lift the bans and undo their hostile economic policies against Iran, said Rouhani.

He further touched on the 2015 nuclear deal — officially named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — whose fate remains in doubt in the aftermath of the US’s exit and Europe’s failure to fulfill their legal obligation to stand up to the American sanctions.

Rouhani noted that if the remaining parties honor their commitments under the JCPOA, Tehran would also live up to its end of the bargain.

He also emphasized that Iran’s military doctrine is “based on conventional arms,” adding that it has never sought weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, chemical and microbial ones.

Tehran, he added, is not seeking tensions with the world, but rather “constructive interaction” as well as regional and global security. ... 36c149.jpg
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Re: Iran

Post by blindpig » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:16 pm

The U.S. Campaign To Weaken Iran's 'Axis Of Resistance' Is Failing
When Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahoo was indicted for several crimes we predicted that he would become more dangerous:

Netanyahoo will fight tooth and nail to gain and keep immunity. He will try to delegitimize the judicative and he will use any available trick to stay in office.
That makes him even more dangerous than he usually is.

He might even decide to do something, like starting a big war, to prevent his removal from power.

Lebanon, Syria and Iran must watch out.

Now the former MI6 agent and diplomat Alastair Crooke detects a new Israeli attempt to instigate a war on Iran:

“This is a historic opportunity”, whispered one of Netanyahu’s insiders into Ben Caspit (a leading Israeli journalist)’s ear this week: ..
What sort of history might that be? Why six months? Well, Caspit points up: “Netanyahu’s people, headed by minister Yuval Steinitz clearly state that a widespread war is likely to erupt in the next six months between Iran and its adversaries in the region, including Israel”. And the new Defence Minister, Bennett, threatens Iran on an almost daily basis.
“Perhaps Netanyahu simply needs a war with Iran in order to survive politically,” one of the Blue and White leaders told Caspit: “That is scary and dangerous …” .

There nothing new with that one might say. Netanyahoo has for years plotted to instigate a U.S. war on Iran. But there was so far no reason for the U.S. to wage one. War needs a narrative, a story than can be sold to the people who will have to pay for it. Crooke sees a possible one in the recent riots in Iran and elsewhere:

Well, here it is: “For a long time it looked like the spread of Iranian influence across the Middle East was unstoppable. Now, the entire Iran-hegemony enterprise is at risk. Protests have been going on in Iraq and Lebanon for weeks, bringing their economies to a near standstill, and forcing their Iran-approved prime ministers to step down. There’s no end in sight to the protests …”.
And hence, the Israeli push – led by the newly-appointed Defence Minister, Bennet, that now – precisely – is the moment for the US to act against Iran. This is the narrative for war.

So the idea is that the current turmoils in the 'axis of resistance' countries - Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran - has weakened Iran so much that it can be attacked.


But a look at each of those countries shows that it is doubtful that the narrative is true.

Lebanon is in a currency crisis because the U.S. has sanctioned remittances from expatriates (around $8 billion per year) to the country. That has triggered the collapse of a fraudulent scheme used by the rich in Lebanon to increase public debt while channeling the states' money through the central Banque du Liban into their own pockets:

The BdL has issued Treasury bonds at very high interest rates; most of that debt has been bought by other Lebanese banks. Jad Chaaban, a professor at the American University in Beirut, has found “individuals closely linked to political elites control 43 percent of assets in Lebanon’s commercial banking sector.” He also calculated that, to take one example, the Hariri family had earned $108 million between 2006 and 2015 from interest on the public debt.
The idea behind the U.S. sanctions was to economically hurt Hizbullah, to instigate a civil war against it and to remove it from the Lebanese government. But the scheme failed. While the Lebanese pound lost some 40% of its value Hizbullah raised the pay for its people:

Today, no Lebanese citizen is able to dispose of his own saving or company assets in banks due to restrictions on withdrawals, effective “capital controls”. Only small amounts are allowed to be delivered to account holders–around $150-300 per week in a country where cash payments prevail. No one is allowed to transfer any amount abroad unless for university fees or special demands of goods import of first necessities.
However, Hezbollah, the US-Israel main target, was not affected directly by the US sanctions and by the new financial restrictions. Militants were paid, as is the case monthly, in US dollars with an increase of 40% (due to the local currency devaluation) with the compliments of “Uncle Sam”.

(As many Syrian banks and industries have used the Lebanese banking system, the currency crunch in Lebanon also led to a sharp drop of the Syrian pound. This is a problem for Syria but its allies will help to dampen the effects.)

The U.S. sanctions against Lebanon failed to have the desired effects. There will be no civil war against Hizbullah. The group and its missiles arsenal, which acts as deterrence against Israel, are as ready as ever.

The protests in Iraq are genuine and they have brought the government down. But the U.S. attempt to use them against the Popular Mobilization Forces (al-Ḥashd ash-Shaʿbi), created in 2014 by Iran to defeat the Islamic state, is also failing. The U.S. position in Iraq is weak. It can not out-compete Iran's influence:

President Barham Salih launched talks immediately after Abdul-Mahdi’s resignation by making rounds with different political blocs. Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force and the architect of its regional security apparatus, also came to Baghdad to meet with key officials.
U.S. military bases in Iraq are increasingly coming under fire.

Genuine protests against fuel price increases in Iran were followed a day later by prematurely triggered attacks from underground groups against the country's infrastructure and banks. Iran reacted immediately to eliminate them. As Crooke describes it:

The security forces reacted militarily – arresting and killing many insurgents. And yes – the internet was shut down. But, not the internal Iranian internet – only the global internet. So, the Iranian equivalent of WhatsApp and Telegraph, and Iranian news channels were still accessible – though the global internet was not. The overseas anger at the external internet shut-down possibly reflected surprise and irritation that Iran had this capability. Likely, it was not a capacity that Iran was thought to possess.
So what was going on? The Iranian government, it seems, had prior knowledge of plans to stage attacks by ‘activists’, as a part of an (externally formulated and resourced) disruption plan. But that original plan indicated that the start of these actions would take place early next year.

What seems to have happened is that when the fuel hike protests began, these ‘activists’ were given the go-ahead to ‘seize the moment’. In other words, they activated all their pre-prepared plans prematurely. This was exactly what the Iranian security forces wanted, and had sought. It enabled them to ‘smoke out’ the plot, and to arrest, or kill the ring-leaders.

To build the underground network of insurgents in Iran must have taken years. It was likely done by the CIA in collaboration with the MEK cult. The militants were supposed to be directed, like the rioters in Hong Kong, via Internet messaging services. When those command and control lines were cut Iranian security services had, as we predicted, no problems to eliminate the militant groups.

The U.S. has tried everything against Iran except waging an outright war. But its schemes against Iran and its friends are failing everywhere.

The U.S. pressure campaign against Iran was an item of a State Department press conference on Friday where Matt Lee of the Associated Press challenged Assistant Secretary Schenker's assertion that the campaign shows 'success':

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SCHENKER: The Iranians oftentimes, or have certainly in the past taken aggressive action when they feel under pressure. We see that in the response to, for example, the maximum pressure campaign working over the months. The past five, six months, Iran has become increasingly more aggressive. There is a trajectory, right, where they have first increased the operational tempo of the Houthis against the Saudis, then raised the rhetoric and the temperature in Iraq against U.S. personnel, moving on from there scuttling boats in Fujairah, then kidnapping boats, then shooting down U.S. drones in international airspace, and most recently Abqaiq, targeting directly with their own missiles Saudi oil facilities.
QUESTION: And then you seem to suggest right now that the maximum pressure campaign is a success because it has resulted in greater Iranian aggression and shooting down U.S. drones.
QUESTION: Well, that’s —
ASSISTANT SECRETARY SCHENKER: Maybe that’s what you inferred.
QUESTION: No, no, no, that’s – that’s – well, no, that’s I think the way —
ASSISTANT SECRETARY SCHENKER: The pressure campaign is working. They are clearly under fear and pressure, and they are lashing out. They are also —
QUESTION: Yeah, but if that’s a success, I mean —
ASSISTANT SECRETARY SCHENKER: They’re also having double-digit negative growth.
QUESTION: Fair enough.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY SCHENKER: The people in the streets are protesting against the regime for its corruption and for its economic mismanagement —
QUESTION: Yeah, but surely there’s —
ASSISTANT SECRETARY SCHENKER: — for spending all the money of the Iranian people on militias abroad, like in —
QUESTION: Surely the metric – surely the metric for the success of U.S. policy, foreign policy anywhere, not just with Iran, is that the country – the other country is less aggressive and less likely to shoot down U.S. drones or attack U.S. bases or threaten —
ASSISTANT SECRETARY SCHENKER: There is – no, Matt, there’s – to be fair, there – things sometimes get worse before they get better in those terms.
The U.S. consistently overestimates its capabilities to bring Iran to its knees. While Iran's GDP is falling for lack of oil sales the internal economy is thriving and employment is on the rise as imports get substituted by local production:

The rise of the dollar brings a large change to the price structure in Iran, opening substantial opportunities for profitable production in the non-oil sectors that employ the 99% of the workforce. These are the sectors which are overwhelmed by cheap imports when oil income lowers their prices.
So, in reverse order, and as economic textbooks read, when oil income drop and prices of imports increase, demand shifts from foreign to home goods, encouraging firms to hire workers and expand production. For example, in the past visits to Iran I might have bought a box of Kellogg’s cereal because it tasted better than the Iranian brand and was only twice as expensive. But this past summer, with devaluation having increased the price ratio to four or five, I decided to buy the Iranian brand. Surprisingly, it tasted better, either because the quality had improved or because prices determine taste for Isfahanis!

Inflation in Iran, caused by the U.S. sanctions, is coming down to sustainable levels. The government's new budget is designed to depend to less than 10% on oil sales:

Rouhani told parliament that the budget of 4,845 trillion rials, or $36 billion at the current street rate, was devised to help Iran's people overcome difficulty.
Rouhani said that despite the US sanctions, his government expected to earn almost 455 trillion rials ($3.4 billion) from oil exports.
But he also said Iran's non-oil economy would "be positive" in the next year.

So while Iran and its allies are under stress they are certainly not in danger of collapsing. The Israeli war narrative is fraudulent.

Netanyahoo may want a war, if only to stay out of jail. But war is not popular in the U.S. and Trump will not start one during an election year.

What Trump needs is an off-ramp from his failing aggression against Iran. He needs talks with Iran but the country insists that he must first lift the sanctions.

I expect him to do that only after his reelection. ... iling.html
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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