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A Decade On: West’s War on Syria Continues

June 3, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – As Syrian elections approached, the US, France, and Germany  worked together to undermine them.  This was not because they truly believed the elections weren’t “free and fair,” but simply because there is no possibility for their client regime of choice to come to power. 

This is despite these same Western nations – hand-in-hand – lecturing the world about “democracy,” and using its alleged “lacking” as a pretext to interfere in the affairs of nations worldwide. 

The true irony is – even as the UN condemns pressure placed on Syrian voters by factions in Lebanon – the UN appears reluctant to condemn similar pressure or outright restrictions the West is placing on Syrians to likewise inhibit their ability to vote. 

AP in an article titled, “Lebanese attack Syrian voters in sign of growing resentment,” 

UNHCR said it received reports of intimidation and pressure, according to Lisa Abou Khaled, a spokesperson for the agency, adding that the agency was looking into it “to ensure that refugees are free to decide whether or not to vote.”

The same AP article would claim: 

France and Germany banned any voting at Syrian missions in their country, with a French Foreign Ministry official saying the elections are “null and void” and there is no point in holding them.

No mention is made by AP about what the UNHCR has said – if anything – about outright restrictions on voting placed on Syrians residing in France and Germany – restrictions that surely infringe on Syrian refugees and their right to decide “whether or not to vote.” 

Despite these Western nations posing as self-appointed global arbiters of what is and isn’t a legitimate election – democracy is a process of self-determination and for Syrians that means a process determined by and for Syrians – not the foreign ministries of France and Germany and certainly not the US State Department. 

Ten Years On: The West’s War on Syria Continues

Ten years on since the US launched its proxy regime change war against Syria – the Western media continues claiming the ongoing conflict is a “civil war.” 

It is this fundamental lie that is used to not only justify the latest round of suppressing Syrian voters, but Western intervention in Syria altogether. 

AP would claim: 

Syria has been engulfed in civil war since 2011, when Arab Spring-inspired protests against the Assad family rule turned into an armed insurgency in response to a brutal military crackdown.

Yet since as early as 2011 the Western media has piecemeal admitted to the US-engineered nature of both the so-called “Arab Spring” and the fact that the war in Syria was driven by US-armed militants flooding into the country, not “rising up” from within. 

The New York Times in a 2011 article titled, “U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings,” would admit: 

A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts and reforms sweeping the region, including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and grass-roots activists like Entsar Qadhi, a youth leader in Yemen, received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, a nonprofit human rights organization based in Washington, according to interviews in recent weeks and American diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks.

The same article would also admit that many of the “youth leaders” involved in the initial protests had been trained and backed by US tech firms like Google and Facebook as well as the US State Department itself since as early as 2008. 

As early as 2012, not even a year into the conflict, the Western media was regularly admitting to the scale of US support for armed militants fighting the Syrian government and the fact that militant leadership, training programs, and the shipment of arms was being done beyond Syria’s borders – not within them. 

Reuters in its 2012 article, “Obama authorizes secret support for Syrian rebels,” would admit:

President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, sources familiar with the matter said.

The article also admitted, regarding Turkey: 

Last week, Reuters reported that, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Turkey had established a secret base near the Syrian border to help direct vital military and communications support to Assad’s opponents.

This “nerve center” is in Adana, a city in southern Turkey about 60 miles from the Syrian border, which is also home to Incirlik, a U.S. air base where U.S. military and intelligence agencies maintain a substantial presence.

Thus it is abundantly clear that Syria’s conflict was never an actual civil war. It was a war on Damascus, waged by the US through armed proxies including both foreign fighters and extremists based in Syria. 

A decade on, the West makes it clear that “regime change” is still on the agenda, refusing to allow peace and stability to return to the country. To this day, the US is still militarily occupying Syria’s eastern territory, territory essential for wheat and oil production. The US also maintains crippling economic sanctions specifically tailored to prevent reconstruction. 

The West is still also insisting on a so-called “political solution,” which means sidestepping the will of the Syrian people through elections – and simply forcing President Bashar Al-Assad from power.

For the Syrian people – and no matter how serious the situation still is in Syria itself – it is clear that President Bashar Al-Assad’s leadership, his relationship with allies like Iran and Russia, and the institutions surrounding his government – the Syrian Arab Army in particular – are responsible for preventing Syria from suffering the much worse fate of other nations targeted by the US-engineered “Arab Spring” in 2011 – including Libya and Yemen.  

It is most likely this reason more than anything else that ensures President Assad’s continuation in power – and this reason being precisely why the West, who seeks to divide and destroy Syria, wants President Assad removed from power. 

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

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Intelwars ISRAEL MIDDLE EAST MiddleEast

Israel: Empire’s Apex Provocateur

May 26, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – In the wake of Israel’s latest campaign of aggression – it is important to keep an eye on the much larger picture this decades-long conflict fits into.

For a more in-depth discussion, see this long-format talk between Brian Berletic and Angelo Giuliano – which goes into the history of Israel and the wider geopolitical context its decades of regional belligerence fits into. 

Brian Berletic, formally known under the pen name “Tony Cartalucci” is a geopolitical researcher, writer, and video producer (YouTube here, Odysee here, and BitChute here) based in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a regular contributor to New Eastern Outlook and more recently, 21st Century Wire. You can support his work via Patreon here.

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Ron DeSantis attacks ‘terrorist group’ Hamas, says ‘they are at fault’ for current conflict with Israel

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis weighed in on the current Middle East conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The Republican governor blasted Hamas, placing blame on the group for the recent bloodshed in the tumultuous region, and emphasized that Israelis have the “right to defend themselves.”

“I also wanted to just make a comment about what’s happening in the Middle East,” DeSantis said during a Wednesday press conference. “I have friends over there who have been having to hide out in bomb shelters overnight, because of Hamas, which is a terrorist group, raining down rockets on civilians.”

“And make no mistake, Hamas is a terrorist group,” DeSantis proclaimed. “They are at fault on this. Israel has every right to defend itself against Hamas. And I think if you look at what’s going on here, it really isn’t so much about Israel, it’s about Hamas trying to stake a claim to be the leader of the entire Palestinian Authority.”

“They kind of have their little place down in Gaza where they foment a lot of terrorism,” DeSantis explained. “They’ve had a lot of problems going on with the Palestinian Authority. I think this is Hamas’ attempt to capitalize on that. But our ally Israel has a right to defend themselves and what’s going on by Hamas is an absolute disgrace.”

Ron DeSantis’ commentary on world conflicts could hint at presidential run

The Florida governor delivered his remarks about the violent situation on the other side of the world as speculation grows that DeSantis could be eyeing up a run for president in 2024. A new poll from the Trafalgar Group found that DeSantis is far and away the most popular Republican presidential candidate if Donald Trump decides not to run in 2024. The nationwide survey, conducted between April 30 and May 6, discovered that DeSantis currently gets almost 35% support from likely GOP voters in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, which is nearly the same amount as the next three potential candidates combined – Ted Cruz, Mitt Romney, and Mike Pence.

An Echelon Insights poll from April declared DeSantis to be the early leader with 20% of the vote if Trump doesn’t run for president. A Just the News survey from late February stated that DeSantis was the leading Republican 2024 candidate if former President Donald Trump sits out 2024, with 21% of the vote. During the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, Republicans overwhelmingly supported DeSantis in the 2024 election, with 43% supporting his presidential run if Trump bows out.

Latest update on the Israel-Gaza conflict

More than 1,500 rockets have been launched from Gaza toward Israel since Monday, according to the Israel Defense Forces. There are a reported 83 deaths in Gaza and seven in Israel, according to the BBC. Four senior Hamas commanders and a dozen more Hamas operatives were killed by Israeli airstrikes, the Guardian reported.

Violence erupted in the streets of Israel late Wednesday as Arab and Jewish mobs attacked each other. Following the night of “anarchy,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “nothing justifies” the street violence and vowed to restore order “with an iron fist if necessary.”

“It doesn’t matter to me that your blood is boiling,” Netanyahu said. “You can’t take the law in your hands.”

Israel has prepared combat troops along the Gaza border and is in “various stages of preparing ground operations,” a military spokesman said on Thursday.

“The chief of staff is inspecting those preparations and providing guidance,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, international spokesperson of the IDF.

Hamas armed wing spokesman Abu Ubaida responded to Israel’s troop buildup with a threat.

“Mass up as you wish, from the sea, land and sky. We have prepared for your kinds of deaths that would make you curse yourselves,” Ubaida proclaimed.

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Chances Of War Increase: Israel And Palestine Violence Has Reached A Boiling Point

Rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, Monday, May. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

The violence raging in Israel and Palestine has reached a boiling point. Violence and attacks between Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli military have escalated significantly, with the United Nations now fearing a “full-scale war.”

More than 1,000 rockets have now been fired by Palestinian militants over 38 hours, Israel said, most at Tel Aviv. Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes, destroying two tower blocks in Gaza on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to a report by the BBC. 

The ongoing violence is a huge concern for a global populace on the precipice of a major conflict. Israeli Arabs have staged violent protests in a number of Israeli towns. Lod near Tel Aviv has been put under a state of emergency.

Fady Hanona, a journalist in Gaza City, tweeted a video he said showed explosion after explosion in Gaza on Wednesday morning.

“What is happening is unbelievable,” he said. “What we experienced this morning was more war than what we lived during the last three wars.”

The international community has urged both sides to end the escalation, amid concerns it could spiral out of control. The UN’s Middle East peace envoy, Tor Wennesland, said the sides were “escalating towards a full-scale war.” -BBC

And the rulers in the United States have to chime in with their push toward keeping people locked in the idea of mob rule (democracy.)

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said the Israeli strikes were “just the beginning.” “Terror organizations have been hit hard and will continue to be hit because of their decision to hit Israel,” he said. “We’ll return peace and quiet, for the long term.”

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said in a televised address: “If [Israel] wants to escalate, we are ready for it, and if it wants to stop, we’re also ready.”

Hopefully, full-scale war does not break out.  But unfortunately, it looks like all sides are ready and almost desiring a war. At the moment, the consensus is that both Israel and Hamas are ramping up their rhetoric as well as continuing missile and rocket strikes.

The post Chances Of War Increase: Israel And Palestine Violence Has Reached A Boiling Point first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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FACT CHECK: No, Biden is NOT Ending the War in Afghanistan, He’s Just Rebranding It

This article was originally published by Matt Agorist at The Free Thought Project. 

Americans on both the right and the left celebrated the words of Joe Biden’s April 14th speech in which he said, “ it’s time to end the forever war….It is time for American troops to come home.” After all, the idea of ending the brutal occupation of Afghanistan is appealing, but Biden was lying through his teeth.

“War in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multigenerational undertaking,” Biden said. “We were attacked. We went to war with clear goals. We achieved those objectives. Bin Laden is dead and al Qaeda is degraded in Afghanistan.”

Exactly what “objectives” the president was talking about remain unclear, however. Did he mean the epidemic of veteran and active duty suicides skyrocketing as a result of PTSD? Was one of the objectives to kill thousands of US troops and maim, mangle, and mentally destroy tens of thousands of others?

What about Afghanistan, was one of the objectives to destabilize the entire country and turn it into a pit of rubble? Because that certainly happened.

Was another objective to create a breeding ground for Islamist extremism by constantly blowing up innocent civilians ensuring an assembly line of pissed-off Afghans who justly call for the blood of those who dropped bombs on them for decades?

Was the objective to spend trillions of dollars in taxpayer money and future debt and get absolutely nothing in return?

If these were the objectives, by all means, the Biden administration deserves a pat on the back, because, for eight years, they helped to accomplish these objectives. Just like Bush and Cheney before them and Trump and Pence after them, the establishment’s objective of perpetual war did nothing to bolster the freedom and quality of life for Americans and everything to turn the Middle East into a hellscape of death, destruction, and suffering.

To be clear, no one here at the Free Thought Project disputes that it is time to end this war and bring the troops home. The American military never should have been there to begin with and America’s presence there has only served to further destabilize, destroy, and create a breeding ground for terrorism.

The Biden administration knows this. They also know that anyone who declares an end to the Afghan war is lying through their teeth, including Joe Biden. But don’t take our word for it, let’s see what the pro-Biden media has to say about it.

Not 24 hours after Biden declared the war in Afghanistan to be over, the New York Times reported “the Pentagon, American spy agencies and Western allies are refining plans to deploy a less visible but still potent force in the region.”

Wait what? I thought our lord and savior Biden said the war was over? How are all these facets going to remain and the war be over?

In the Times article, former CIA officer and counterterrorism expert Marc Polymeropoulos explained in essence that the war will certainly continue, it’s merely changing shape.

“What we are really talking about are how to collect intelligence and then act against terrorist targets without any infrastructure or personnel in the country other than essentially the embassy in Kabul,” he said.

With no “troops” on the ground, CIA and “black” special operations will continue, some of it based in neighboring countries, while a combination of “trainers,” contractors, and non-military assets (e.g., DEA, FBI, State Department) will continue. And of course, given that air and drone strikes are the epitome of counter-terrorism, high-value targeting will continue against al-Qaida and ISIS, and even the Taliban, just from remote bases.

How can Biden declare war to be over if he is still raining down hellfire missiles inside the borders of the country? He can’t. That’s why he’s lying. What he really meant to say is that America’s war machine is simply changing shape and death and destruction will continue to take place — in the name of “spreading democracy” — but it will happen remotely from Georgia, Maryland, South Carolina, and other states instead.

If you want a glimpse into the future of a “remote” war in Afghanistan, you need only look at the hellish scenarios produced by similar tactics in US proxy wars in Yemen, Syria, and Somalia.

What’s more, also absent from Biden’s speech is the fact that the US taxpayers are currently footing the bill, according to the Times, for “[m]ore than 16,000 civilian contractors, including over 6,000 Americans, [who] now provide security, logistics and other support in Afghanistan.”

Is it not considered war when taxpayer dollars flow to private mercenaries to carry out death and destruction in America’s name? If it is not war, then is it a conspiracy to commit murder on a massive scale by hiring thousands of hitmen?

According to a recent analysis from Brown University called the Cost of War Project, the size and scope of the suffering and debt caused by the Afghan war alone, is unfathomable and nearly limitless.

On top of more than 2 trillion in taxpayer dollars paying for decades of senseless violence in Afghanistan, the human toll is soul-crushing. The analysis estimates that 241,000 people have lost their lives in the Afghanistan War, including 2,442 US military service members, nearly 4,000 US contractors, and more than 71,000 civilians.

However, these numbers are likely five to ten times higher or more because they do not take into account indirect deaths due to hunger, disease, water shortages, and more that stem from the horrors of the US conducting war in the region.

After two decades of fighting, neither al-Qaida nor the Taliban have been eliminated, ISIS has emerged, and radical Islam has expanded. Countless veterans suffer daily and so do the families of those who never came home — and it was all for nothing. When will this horror actually end?

Anything short of a complete withdraw of all US funding, assets, contractors, troops, equipment, and yes, remote operations, would be a complete insult to the lives lost in America’s longest quagmire. Anyone who claims the war has ended without explicitly naming everything in this list is lying through their teeth. And that includes the Commander-in-Chief.

The post FACT CHECK: No, Biden is NOT Ending the War in Afghanistan, He’s Just Rebranding It first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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As America Focuses On Internal Strife, A War Between Israel And Iran Could Literally Start At Any Moment

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog. 

You won’t hear the corporate media say very much about the “shadow war” that Israel and Iran are currently engaged in, because the corporate media is absolutely obsessed with covering the internal strife that is tearing the U.S. apart right now.  But if they were doing their jobs correctly, corporate media outlets would be focusing on the Middle East, because the conflict between Israel and Iran could literally spark a major global war at any moment.

As Israeli military aircraft pounded Iranian-backed forces in southern Syria on Thursday morning, there were reports coming in from central Israel of massive explosions that were so large they “shook the houses”

Alarms sounded in Abu Qrenat near Dimona in southern Israel early Thursday morning, the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit reported.

Residents from across the country, including central Israel and Jerusalem, reported hearing “loud explosions” that “shook the houses.”

According to the Jerusalem Post, an Israeli military official insists that there was just one explosion and that it was caused by a Syrian surface to air missile that just happened to land in the southern Negev…

Brig.Gen. Hidai Zilberman later told reporters that the explosion was due to the firing of an SA-5 surface to air missile that was fired towards Israel and that it exploded in the southern Negev.

The firing of the missile came during Israeli air strikes in the south of Syria. The missile was not directed towards any target, Zilberman said.

But that wouldn’t seem to explain the multiple “explosions” that residents of central Israel reported on Thursday morning.

In any event, we are seeing fighting on an almost daily basis now.  After hitting pro-Iranian targets inside Syria about 50 times in 2020, Israeli airstrikes have become even more frequent in 2021.

In addition, Israel has conducted a series of extremely bold attacks inside Iran itself over the last nine months.  The following comes from the New York Times

In less than nine months, an assassin on a motorbike fatally shot an Al Qaeda commander given refuge in Tehran, Iran’s chief nuclear scientist was machine-gunned on a country road, and two separate, mysterious explosions rocked a key Iranian nuclear facility in the desert, striking the heart of the country’s efforts to enrich uranium.

The steady drumbeat of attacks, which intelligence officials said were carried out by Israel, highlighted the seeming ease with which Israeli intelligence was able to reach deep inside Iran’s borders and repeatedly strike its most heavily guarded targets, often with the help of turncoat Iranians.

The most dramatic incident was the attack on the Natanz nuclear facility.  It turns out that the attack caused far more damage than we were originally told

The latest sabotage incident on April 11 caused a blackout at the Natanz facility and major damage. The attack, widely believed to be orchestrated by Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, took out a number of Iran’s older and “least efficient” IR-1 centrifuge machines, according to Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh. Meanwhile, Alireza Zakani, head of the Parliament Research Center, has noted that “several thousands” of centrifuges were damaged or destroyed.

The Iranians vowed “revenge” after that incident, and they have attacked Israeli ships multiple times since then.  Here is one example

An Israeli-owned ship was attacked near Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, the Lebanese Al Mayadeen news channel reported on Tuesday.

Israeli defense sources confirmed that a ship partially was attacked on Tuesday, and said they were certain that Iran is behind the attack. The attack took place in international waters, likely by an unmanned drone or a missile strike, they said, noting that only minor damage was caused.

That was the third such attack on an Israeli-owned ship, and more attacks are expected in the future.

The good news is that a full-blown war between Israel and Iran has not erupted yet.

But such a war is coming.  It is just a matter of time at this point.

Inevitably, someone will escalate things a little bit too much, and then thousands of missiles will start flying.

Iranian-backed Hezbollah has 150,000 missiles pointed at Israel right now, and the Iranians are fully capable of doing immense damage to major Israeli cities.

Of course, the Israeli military is even more powerful.  In the event of a full-blown war, Israel could literally level every single major city in Iran, Syria, and Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Russia and Ukraine remain on the brink of war.  It is being reported that Russia now has more than 100,000 troops in the conflict zone, and Vladimir Putin just warned that western countries that choose to provoke a conflict “will regret their deeds in a way they have not regretted anything else for a long time”

Speaking as part of his annual address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow on Wednesday, Putin said that his government “wants to have positive relationships with everyone on the international stage, including those with whom relations have broken down recently. We really don’t want to burn bridges.”

At the same time, however, he cautioned that “those who mistake this stance for weakness need to know that Russia’s response [to any aggression] will be asymmetrical, swift and harsh.” Those planning provocations, he said, “will regret their deeds in a way they have not regretted anything else for a long time.”

I don’t know why the warmongers in the Biden administration have decided that it is a good idea to provoke Russia and China simultaneously.  They are not intimidated by us, and they are not going to back down as a result of our threats.

Foreign policy takes a great deal of finesse, but unfortunately the guy in the White House is a hothead in an advanced state of cognitive decline, and he is surrounded by an all-star team of warmongers.

I know that a lot of people are puzzled when I talk about Biden and his team in this manner, because not even Fox News uses the term “warmonger” to describe anyone in the Biden administration.

If you don’t understand what I am talking about yet, just be patient, because time will reveal the truth.

Our world is steamrolling toward war, and it won’t be anything like the relatively minor conflicts that we started in Afghanistan and Iraq.

At this moment, the seeds of World War 3 are being planted, and eventually those seeds will blossom into a conflict that will be far more horrific than most people would dare to imagine.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial, or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Parler, and anyway that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

The post As America Focuses On Internal Strife, A War Between Israel And Iran Could Literally Start At Any Moment first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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As America Focuses On Internal Strife, A War Between Israel And Iran Could Literally Start At Any Moment

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog. 

You won’t hear the corporate media say very much about the “shadow war” that Israel and Iran are currently engaged in, because the corporate media is absolutely obsessed with covering the internal strife that is tearing the U.S. apart right now.  But if they were doing their jobs correctly, corporate media outlets would be focusing on the Middle East, because the conflict between Israel and Iran could literally spark a major global war at any moment.

As Israeli military aircraft pounded Iranian-backed forces in southern Syria on Thursday morning, there were reports coming in from central Israel of massive explosions that were so large they “shook the houses”

Alarms sounded in Abu Qrenat near Dimona in southern Israel early Thursday morning, the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit reported.

Residents from across the country, including central Israel and Jerusalem, reported hearing “loud explosions” that “shook the houses.”

According to the Jerusalem Post, an Israeli military official insists that there was just one explosion and that it was caused by a Syrian surface to air missile that just happened to land in the southern Negev…

Brig.Gen. Hidai Zilberman later told reporters that the explosion was due to the firing of an SA-5 surface to air missile that was fired towards Israel and that it exploded in the southern Negev.

The firing of the missile came during Israeli air strikes in the south of Syria. The missile was not directed towards any target, Zilberman said.

But that wouldn’t seem to explain the multiple “explosions” that residents of central Israel reported on Thursday morning.

In any event, we are seeing fighting on an almost daily basis now.  After hitting pro-Iranian targets inside Syria about 50 times in 2020, Israeli airstrikes have become even more frequent in 2021.

In addition, Israel has conducted a series of extremely bold attacks inside Iran itself over the last nine months.  The following comes from the New York Times

In less than nine months, an assassin on a motorbike fatally shot an Al Qaeda commander given refuge in Tehran, Iran’s chief nuclear scientist was machine-gunned on a country road, and two separate, mysterious explosions rocked a key Iranian nuclear facility in the desert, striking the heart of the country’s efforts to enrich uranium.

The steady drumbeat of attacks, which intelligence officials said were carried out by Israel, highlighted the seeming ease with which Israeli intelligence was able to reach deep inside Iran’s borders and repeatedly strike its most heavily guarded targets, often with the help of turncoat Iranians.

The most dramatic incident was the attack on the Natanz nuclear facility.  It turns out that the attack caused far more damage than we were originally told

The latest sabotage incident on April 11 caused a blackout at the Natanz facility and major damage. The attack, widely believed to be orchestrated by Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, took out a number of Iran’s older and “least efficient” IR-1 centrifuge machines, according to Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh. Meanwhile, Alireza Zakani, head of the Parliament Research Center, has noted that “several thousands” of centrifuges were damaged or destroyed.

The Iranians vowed “revenge” after that incident, and they have attacked Israeli ships multiple times since then.  Here is one example

An Israeli-owned ship was attacked near Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, the Lebanese Al Mayadeen news channel reported on Tuesday.

Israeli defense sources confirmed that a ship partially was attacked on Tuesday, and said they were certain that Iran is behind the attack. The attack took place in international waters, likely by an unmanned drone or a missile strike, they said, noting that only minor damage was caused.

That was the third such attack on an Israeli-owned ship, and more attacks are expected in the future.

The good news is that a full-blown war between Israel and Iran has not erupted yet.

But such a war is coming.  It is just a matter of time at this point.

Inevitably, someone will escalate things a little bit too much, and then thousands of missiles will start flying.

Iranian-backed Hezbollah has 150,000 missiles pointed at Israel right now, and the Iranians are fully capable of doing immense damage to major Israeli cities.

Of course, the Israeli military is even more powerful.  In the event of a full-blown war, Israel could literally level every single major city in Iran, Syria, and Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Russia and Ukraine remain on the brink of war.  It is being reported that Russia now has more than 100,000 troops in the conflict zone, and Vladimir Putin just warned that western countries that choose to provoke a conflict “will regret their deeds in a way they have not regretted anything else for a long time”

Speaking as part of his annual address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow on Wednesday, Putin said that his government “wants to have positive relationships with everyone on the international stage, including those with whom relations have broken down recently. We really don’t want to burn bridges.”

At the same time, however, he cautioned that “those who mistake this stance for weakness need to know that Russia’s response [to any aggression] will be asymmetrical, swift and harsh.” Those planning provocations, he said, “will regret their deeds in a way they have not regretted anything else for a long time.”

I don’t know why the warmongers in the Biden administration have decided that it is a good idea to provoke Russia and China simultaneously.  They are not intimidated by us, and they are not going to back down as a result of our threats.

Foreign policy takes a great deal of finesse, but unfortunately the guy in the White House is a hothead in an advanced state of cognitive decline, and he is surrounded by an all-star team of warmongers.

I know that a lot of people are puzzled when I talk about Biden and his team in this manner, because not even Fox News uses the term “warmonger” to describe anyone in the Biden administration.

If you don’t understand what I am talking about yet, just be patient, because time will reveal the truth.

Our world is steamrolling toward war, and it won’t be anything like the relatively minor conflicts that we started in Afghanistan and Iraq.

At this moment, the seeds of World War 3 are being planted, and eventually those seeds will blossom into a conflict that will be far more horrific than most people would dare to imagine.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial, or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Parler, and anyway that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

The post As America Focuses On Internal Strife, A War Between Israel And Iran Could Literally Start At Any Moment first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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America’s Predictable Betrayal of the ‘Iran Nuclear Deal’

April 10, 2021 (Brian Berletic – NEO) – Despite campaign promises made by now US President Joe Biden to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) better known as the Iran Nuclear Deal – Washington’s return to the deal has predictably stalled. 

In February 2021, AP would report in its article, “Biden repudiates Trump on Iran, ready for talks on nuke deal,” that: 

The Biden administration says it’s ready to join talks with Iran and world powers to discuss a return to the 2015 nuclear deal, in a sharp repudiation of former President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure campaign” that sought to isolate the Islamic Republic.

The US had unilaterally withdrawn from the 2015-2016 deal brokered under the Obama-Biden administration in 2018 under US President Donald Trump. The deal was deemed “defective” and much more stringent conditions were demanded by the US with crushing economic sanctions under a policy of “maximum pressure” imposed until Iran capitulated. 

Despite Biden’s attempts to distinguish his administration from Trump’s, his promise to return to the deal was conditional, requiring Iran to recommit to the deal’s conditions before the US lifts sanctions – and only after additional conditions are discussed – and until then, sanctions and other mechanisms of political pressure will be applied to Tehran. 

In other words – Biden’s policy is exactly the same policy pursued by the Trump administration. 

Desire to Overturn “Trump’s Policy” an Admission it was the Wrong Policy 

Biden’s apparent desire to return to the table with Iran is in itself an admission that the Trump administration’s decision to leave the deal was a mistake. 

The US – as self-proclaimed leader of the international community – would be expected to demonstrate good leadership by not only admitting to its mistakes, but assuming responsibility for them – returning to the Iran Nuclear Deal unconditionally and approaching additional concerns only after the original terms of the deal were back in place – with Iran in full compliance, and US sanctions lifted as promised under the original agreement. 

Iran has every motivation to come in full compliance with the original agreement should sanctions be lifted – as it had in good faith complied before the US withdrawal in 2018. And while Iran has rolled back several of its commitments – it has not taken any steps yet which are not easily reversible. It is a signal from Tehran that it still desires to engage – but not without leverage. 

It was the US – not Iran – who unilaterally withdrew from the deal, breaking its conditions and endangering the deal’s future. Iran would be remiss if it returned to the negotiation table in full compliance to the deal, with no leverage, and sitting across from the US who has so far acted in bad faith at every critical juncture throughout previous negotiations. 

A Deal Meant to Be Broken… 

The disparity between Washington’s words and its actions should come as no surprise however – especially considering that US foreign policy is not the product of the White House or even the Capitol – but rather corporate-funded policy think tanks chaired by special interests who transcend US elections. 

It is worth repeating that a 2009 policy paper produced by the corporate-financier funded Brookings Institution titled, “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran,” detailed plans to lure Iran in with a deal related to its nuclear technology, accuse Iran of rejecting it, and thus serving as a pretext for further US aggression up to and including the invasion of Iran by military force. 

The paper explicitly stated that (emphasis added): 

...any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. 

The paper then laid out how the US could appear to the world as a peacemaker and depict Iran’s betrayal of a “very good deal” as the pretext for an otherwise reluctant US military response (emphasis added): 

The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offerone so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal.

In 2009 when these words were originally published it might have been difficult to imagine just how literally and overtly the US would attempt to execute this ploy against Tehran. 

Yet in hindsight it is clear that the administration of US President Barack Obama (with Biden as Vice President) disingenuously offered this deal to Iran with full knowledge it would be betrayed in the near future – and was under Trump – with attempts to sabotage the deal further clearly underway by the Biden administration. 

While the Biden administration repeatedly claims it wants to return to the deal, it has created conditions it knows Iran will never accept while simultaneously carrying out a series of provocative military strikes across the Middle East against militias backed by Iran combating dangerous extremism within the borders of Iran’s closest regional allies. 

The 2009 Brookings paper also noted Israel’s role as provocateur – nominating Israel to carry out strikes on Iranian targets in the hopes of provoking an Iranian retaliation the US could use as a pretext for wider war. 

We can see the US and Israel both engaged in attempts to escalate towards just such a scenario. 

While occupants in the White House have changed three times now – a singular, belligerent US policy towards Iran – as laid out by the Brookings Institution’s 2009 paper – has remained unchanged and faithfully pursued for over a decade now. 

The world now teeters upon a dangerous inflection point where the US finds itself out of excuses to delay returning to the deal and the window closing to “credibly” blame Iran for the deal’s failure. The political momentum of Washington’s accusations will fade fast and require expedient provocations to see this policy through to its end – or risk missing an opportune pretext for war and the required international “sympathy” needed to successfully execute it. 

Iran has been and will need to continue avoiding these provocations, demonstrating its commitment to peace and stability in the region and distinguishing itself from the tactics, strategies, and agendas of the US and its regional allies. It must do all of this while also sustaining its economy under the extreme pressure of US sanctions and with the absolute necessity to ultimately address Iran’s national security against obvious threats within and along its borders. 

Another important point to make when describing the negotiation table and the context it sits within – is the fact that US forces illegally occupy nations to the east and west of Iran’s borders as well as one of Iran’s closest regional allies – Syria. 

US expectations that Iran obediently return to the table in full compliance to the original Nuclear Deal – across from the very nation responsible for its near total collapse – and a nation whose military – thousands of miles from its own shores occupies nations on either side of Iran’s borders – are not reasonable. That the Western media – a reflection of Washington’s actual agenda – attempts to portray this otherwise, gives a full sense to just how broad and deep the ill-faith is the US comes to these negotiations with.

Finally – Europe – also involved in the Nuclear Deal – needs to decide between peace, stability, and the economic benefits of working with Iran into the future – or continued capitulation to its Transatlantic partner, a continuously destabilized Middle East, and the prospect of a catastrophic war between the US and its allies against Iran. 

Russia and China will play key roles in stacking the deck in favor of Europe’s siding with the former over the latter – and this stacking has been ongoing. But whether it will be enough to back the US off the warpath once and for all and begin its irreversible withdrawal from hitherto perpetual war and occupation across North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia – only time will tell. 

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

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Biden’s Syria Attack: An Actual Impeachable Offense

This article was originally published by Ron Paul at The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. 

Last Thursday President Biden continued what has sadly become a Washington tradition: bombing Syria. The President ordered a military strike near the Iraqi-Syrian border that killed at least 22 people. The Administration claims it struck an “Iranian-backed” militia in retaliation for recent rocket attacks on US installations in Iraq.

As with Presidents Obama and Trump before him, however, Biden’s justification for the US strike and its targets is not credible. And his claim that the US attack would result in a “de-escalation” in the region is laughable. You cannot bomb your way toward de-escalation.

Biden thus joins a shameful club of US leaders whose interventions in the Middle East, and Syria specifically, have achieved nothing in the US interest but have contributed to the deaths of many thousands of civilians.

President Trump attacked Syria in 2018 in what he claimed was retaliation for the Assad government’s use of chemical weapons against its own citizens. The Trump Administration never proved its claim. Logic itself suggests how ridiculous it would have been for the Syrian president to have used chemical weapons in that situation, where they achieved no military purpose and would almost certainly guarantee further outside attacks against his government.

Trump’s 2018 attack only added to the misery of the Syrian people, who suffered under US sanctions and then suffered President Obama’s “Assad must go” intervention that trained and armed al-Qaeda affiliated groups to overthrow the government.

Trump’s airstrike on Syria did nothing to further real American interests in the region. But sending in 100 Tomahawk missiles to blow up a few empty buildings did a great deal to further the bottom line of missile-maker Raytheon.

Interestingly, Biden’s Secretary of Defense came to the Administration straight from his previous position on the board of, you guessed it, Raytheon. Libertarian educator Tom Woods once quipped that no matter who you vote for you get John McCain. Perhaps it’s also fair to say that no matter who you vote for you get to enrich Raytheon.

The Democrats wasted four years trying to remove Trump from office under the bogus “Russiagate” lie and then the equally ridiculous and discredited claim that Trump led an insurrection against the government on January 6th. Yet when Trump started raining bombs down on Syria with no Congressional declaration of war or even authorization, most Democrats stood up and cheered. Left-wing CNN talking head Fareed Zakaria swooned, “I think Donald Trump became president of the United States last night.”

In fact, initiating a war against a country that did not attack and does not threaten the United States without Congressional authority is an impeachable offense. But both parties – with a few exceptions – are war parties.

President Biden should be impeached for his attack on Syria, as should have Trump and Obama before him. But no one in Washington is going to pursue impeachment charges against a president who recklessly takes the United States to war. War greases Washington’s wheels.

Isn’t it strange how we’ve heard nothing about ISIS for the past couple of years, but suddenly the mainstream media tells us the ISIS is back and on the march? When President Biden says “America is back,” what he really means is “the war party is back.” As if they ever left.

The post Biden’s Syria Attack: An Actual Impeachable Offense first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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The Greater Danger of Israeli Provocations in Syria

February 19, 2021 (Brian Berletic – NEO) – Continued airstrikes carried out by Israeli warplanes in Syria presents – at face value – an obvious and persistent threat to Syria. In a wider context, the threat runs much deeper and extends to Syria’s allies in Tehran. 

Israel has been an eager participant in the US-led proxy war on Syria beginning in 2011. It has provided safe-haven and support for Western-backed militants along and within its borders. It has also at various junctures carried out airstrikes in Syria in a bid to impede Damascus’ ability to reestablish peace and stability within Syria’s borders. 

And according to US policy papers written before and after the beginning of the 2011 proxy war against Syria – Washington had long ago slated Israel a role in undermining and aiding in the overthrow of the Syrian government – and admittedly as part of a wider strategy to isolate and eventually target Iran. 

The most likely current goal is to continue ratcheting up tensions with Iran – a nation that has committed significant resources and manpower toward the goal of stabilizing Syria and ending the highly destructive conflict. 

As tensions continue to rise across the region, Israel and its backers in Washington will likely seek a pretext for Israel to strike Iran directly – a plan US policymakers had devised as early as 2009 – in the hopes Iran would retaliate and provide a wider pretext still for the US itself to intervene. 

US policymakers had noted that an Israeli-led first strike on Iran would be complicated by its problematic relationship with all the nations its warplanes would need to fly over in order to carry out the attack. 

But recently – efforts have been underway to “repair” those relations, paving the way – or in this case – opening the skies for – the long-planned Israeli strikes. 

Articles like the New York Times’, “Morocco Joins List of Arab Nations to Begin Normalizing Relations With Israel,” would take note of this process and how nations like Morocco, Bahrain, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates have all begun this process – and how these first few nations would help make it easier for others – like Saudi Arabia – to follow suit. 

In reality – these nations have all been cooperative in abetting US foreign policy in the region – with animosity created merely for the purpose of managing public perception in each respective nation. 

Folding Israel into Washington’s united front against Iran alongside Arab nations whose public rhetoric depicted Israel as a sworn enemy illustrates just how desperate Washington and its allies have become in their efforts to reassert themselves in the region. 

The Long History of Israel’s Slated Role 

A 1983 document – part of a deluge of recently declassified papers released to the public – signed by former CIA officer Graham Fuller titled, “Bringing Real Muscle to Bear Against Syria” (PDF), states (their emphasis):

Syria at present has a hammerlock on US interests both in Lebanon and in the Gulf — through closure of Iraq’s pipeline thereby threatening Iraqi internationalization of the [Iran-Iraq] war. The US should consider sharply escalating the pressures against Assad [Sr.] through covertly orchestrating simultaneous military threats against Syria from three border states hostile to Syria: Iraq, Israel and Turkey. 

The report also states:

If Israel were to increase tensions against Syria simultaneously with an Iraqi initiative, the pressures on Assad would escalate rapidly. A Turkish move would psychologically press him further. 

In 2009, US corporate-financier funded policy think tank, the Brookings Institution, would publish a lengthy paper titled, “Which Path to Persia?: Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran” (PDF), in which, once again, the use of Israel as an apparently “unilateral aggressor” was discussed in detail.

A US policy paper describing planned Israeli aggression as part of a larger US-driven conspiracy to attack, undermine, and ultimately overthrow the Iranian state reveals there is nothing unilateral at all about Israel’s regional policy or its military operations.

In 2012, the Brookings Institution would publish another paper titled, “”Saving Syria: Assessing Options for Regime Change” (PDF), which stated:

Some voices in Washington and Jerusalem are exploring whether Israel could contribute to coercing Syrian elites to remove Asad. 

The report continues by explaining:

Israel could posture forces on or near the Golan Heights and, in so doing, might divert regime forces from suppressing the opposition. This posture may conjure fears in the Asad regime of a multi-front war, particularly if Turkey is willing to do the same on its border and if the Syrian opposition is being fed a steady diet of arms and training. Such a mobilization could perhaps persuade Syria’s military leadership to oust Asad in order to preserve itself. 

Once again, the use of Israel as one of several regional provocateurs executing policy as part of a larger US-orchestrated conspiracy is openly discussed.

And it was a 2009 Brookings Institution paper titled, “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran,” that would spell out the strategy of having Israel carry out attacks first, provoking a war the US could wade in later with a broader and more “acceptable” pretext to do so. 

The paper would state specifically: 

…the [Israeli] airstrikes themselves are really just the start of this policy. Again, the Iranians would doubtless rebuild their nuclear sites. They would probably retaliate against Israel, and they might retaliate against the United States, too (which might create a pretext for American airstrikes or even an invasion). 

Thus – in addition to the US itself trying to provoke Iran into a war – or stage a provocation themselves to do so – they have slated Israel a role in attempting to provoke Iran as well. 

The strategy has added complexity to it – providing the US additional “plausible deniability” and making its “retaliation” against Iran appear both more “reluctant” and more “justified.” 

It is clear that a strategy described in the 1980’s, clearly carried out over the decades (and regardless of who occupies the White House) is still very much in play. 

The US is helping open up the skies for this long-anticipated Israeli first strike through this current “normalization” of relations between Israel and nations it may potentially overfly to strike Iran or require assistance from in any resulting war.

Meanwhile, the US continues attempting to appear interested in returning to the “Iran Nuclear Deal” but is making no tangible efforts to actually do so. In fact, the US itself appears to be continuing a build-up for the above mentioned “retaliation” it hopes it or its allies can provoke in the region – and failing that – perhaps convincingly stage. 

It is very much still a dangerous time for Iran as well as for peace and stability in the region. 

Despite the superficial political change in Washington this year, this long-planned policy of aggressive regime change against Iran continues. The clearer the game the US and its allies are playing becomes to international audiences – the more difficult it will be for the US and its allies to continue playing it. 

It is incumbent upon alternative media – both independent and state-run – to raise awareness of this continued aggression and planned aggression against Iran – while nations interested in peace and stability in the region continue working to raise the costs of potential US-Israeli aggression against Iran far above any potential benefit Washington and its allies believe they will receive by continuing to pursue it. 

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”. 

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Iran’s Warning to US-funded Agitators

January 19, 2021 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – CNN would report in its article, “Iran executes dissident journalist Rouhollah Zam,” Iran’s swift and severe punishment for what the American media company suggested was “alleged attempts to overthrow” the Iranian government. 

CNN glosses over Iran’s claims that Zam and his media operation helped incite deadly violence during protests targeting the Iranian government in 2017 and 2018 and instead cites Western government and corporate foundation-funded “rights” groups who condemned the execution. 

Near the end of the article, CNN briefly mentions Fars News Agency which detailed the security operation Iran carried out to capture Zam in France and bring him back to face justice in its article, “Riot Provocateur Rouhollah Zam Executed.” 

Fars News Agency also provided details omitted in the CNN article including mention of Zam’s Telegram group for “Amad News” with which he and those working with him promoted unrest including violence. Fars News Agency also noted Zam’s ties to Western governments who were backing his work. 

And while the Western media portrays Iran’s claims and charges against Zam as somehow embellished or disproportionate in the wake of his execution – the Western media had previously admitted as much about Zam and his activities in Iran themselves. 

In a 2018 Daily Beast article titled, “The App Powering the Uprising in Iran, Where Some Channels Pushed for Violence,” it would admit that Zam ran “Amad News” and that (emphasis added): 

Two channels on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, Amad News and Restart, have become major players in Iranian political discourse in recent weeks. The best-known figure associated with Amad News is Ruhollah Zam, while Restart is run by Mohammad Hosseini. Both channels have been accused of inciting violence.

Then managers of Amad News announced that the person responsible for encouraging violence had been fired.

The Daily Beast even admits that Zam – as well as fellow agitator Hosseini – had both been involved in the US State Department’s Voice of America media platform, admitting (emphasis added): 

In recent months, the Restart group has gained support from the Bayan Media Network, the director of which is Bijan Farhoodi who used to work with the Voice of America (VOA). Also, the program Last Page on VOA TV network, which is hosted by Mehdi Falahati, has frequently invited Ruhollah Zam on its broadcasts. There is no evidence that this proves a systematic connection between them, but what is clear is that Restart and Amad have succeeded in securing powerful platforms for their agendas.  

While the Daily Beast – even in 2018 – tried to downplay the significance of Zam’s media operation inciting violence, undermining the Iranian government, and promoting unrest all while appearing on US government-funded media networks – US policymakers themselves have admitted in detailed policy papers that this would be precisely the plan used by the US government to overthrow the government of Iran. 

US Plans for Iranian Regime Change 

The 2009 Brookings Institution paper, “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran,” would extensively lay out this plan under chapter 6 titled, “Supporting a Popular Uprising.” 

Under this chapter, Brookings policymakers would explain (emphasis added): 

The United States could play multiple roles in facilitating a revolution. By funding and helping organize domestic rivals of the regime, the United States could create an alternative leadership to seize power. As Raymond Tanter of the Iran Policy Committee argues, students and other groups “need covert backing for their demonstrations. They need fax machines. They need Internet access, funds to duplicate materials, and funds to keep vigilantes from beating them up.” Beyond this, U.S.-backed media outlets could highlight regime shortcomings and make otherwise obscure critics more prominent. The United States already supports Persian language satellite television (Voice of America Persian) and radio (Radio Farda) that bring unfiltered news to Iranians (in recent years, these have taken the lion’s share of overt U.S. funding for promoting democracy in Iran). U.S. economic pressure (and perhaps military pressure as well) can discredit the regime, making the population hungry for a rival leadership.

US plans to engineer an uprising are clearly meant to be combined with military and economic pressure – two components at odds with international law and which represent a constant existential threat to Iran’s leadership and population. The deaths of Iranian generals and scientists in recent months highlights how real US regime change efforts are and the life and death struggle Iran finds itself in.

Zam’s Execution in Context: Iran’s Existential Threat

Iran is surrounded by nations – Iraq and Afghanistan – currently occupied by US military forces who have killed tens of thousands in both nations, displaced millions, and have created enduring sociopolitical and economic hardship all along Iran’s borders. The US openly aspires to do likewise within Iran’s borders. 

Zam’s involvement in this plan would clearly implicate him in acts of treason – treason defined by Merriam-Webster as: (noun) the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance – and treason unforgivable considering the outcomes of similar US-backed regime change operations in neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Without this context – the Western media deliberately attempts not only to cover up what Zam did to Iran, its government, and its people, but is at the same time attempting to further advance US regime change efforts against Iran by portraying the nation as a brutal regime rather than a government determined to prevent its own people from suffering the same fate as Iraq, Afghanistan, and more recently, Libya and Syria. 

For Iran, the message sent by Zam’s execution is clear – those involved in US-backed regime change in Iran – efforts aimed at destroying Iran in the same manner the US has destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria in – will pay the ultimate price and the West’s promises of protection, profits, and fame are not guarantees. 

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”. 

References: 

CNN – Iran executes dissident journalist Rouhollah Zam:
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/12/12/middleeast/iran-execution-journalist-rouhollah-zam-intl/index.html

Fars News Agency – Riot Provocateur Rouhollah Zam Executed: 

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/13990922000130/Ri-Prvcaer-Rhllah-Zam-Execed

Daily Beast – The App Powering the Uprising in Iran, Where Some Channels Pushed for Violence: 

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-app-powering-the-uprising-in-iran

Brookings Institution – Which Path to Persia?, Chapter 6: Supporting a Popular Uprising (page 103, PDF): https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/06_iran_strategy.pdf

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Iran Prepares Next Satellite Launch

January 12, 2021 (Gunnar Ulson – NEO) – The Iranian Space Agency (ISA) is preparing the launch of another satellite into orbit, the Zafar 2, which is described by Tehran Times as being capable of “taking color photos and [surveying] oil reserves, mines, forests, and natural lands.” 

This capability can be used for monitoring seasonal environmental changes as well as for creating detailed maps.

Zafar 2 has been developed entirely within Iran by the Iranian University of Science and Industry.  

Zafar 2’s predecessor failed to reach orbit, but Iran has previously, successfully launched satellites to orbit including Omid in 2009, Rasad in 2011 and Navid in 2012.

Iran’s current satellite launch vehicles consist of the Safir and Safir-2 rockets, the latter of which is also referred to as Simorgh. 

These are considered as small-lift orbital launch vehicles or small launch vehicles (SLVs) comparable to Rocket Lab’s Electron, Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology’s Start-1, Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Minotaur I, China’s Long March 6 and Long March 11 as well as Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Epsilon and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Vega. 

Why this is Important

Iran now belongs to an exclusive club of nations capable of building and launching vehicles and payloads into orbit.  This small club includes Russia, the US, France, Japan, the UK, India, Israel, Ukraine, and North Korea. Many of these nations have previously developed the ability to send payloads into space but are not currently continuing to do so, meaning Iran belongs to a much more exclusive club still. 

Iran has achieved this despite immense economic, political and military pressure from the US and its allies. This pressure manifests itself in the form of intense and enduring economic sanctions, political subversion and even covert and semi-covert military operations. 

Iran’s scientific community and military leadership are regularly targeted with assassinations and Iran’s industrial infrastructure often suffers from “mysterious” accidents including fires and explosions. 

And still Iran is capable of operating a functioning and active space program able to build both launch vehicles and practical satellites for further enhancing Iran’s economic, military and scientific capabilities. 

It is a reflection of a wider Iranian economy that has, because of US sanctions, become increasingly self-sufficient and resilient. 

And while Iran’s space program is sometimes dismissed as merely political posturing or accused of being cover for a clandestine weapons program capable of delivering nuclear warheads at wider ranges, there is an obvious economic benefit for cultivating a space program with capable small-lift orbital launch vehicles. 

It is true that several other rockets in this category were developed from intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), but it is also true that these missiles were developed into commercial launch vehicles to exploit a growing market need for putting small satellites into orbit. 

The orbital launch market is expanding in all dimensions, including small-lift orbital launch demand. 

Market Watch in a report titled, “Small-lift Launch Vehicle Market : Global Industry brief Analysis by Top Countries Data, Market Size, Future Prospects And Outlook 2021-2024 with Remarkable Growth Rate,” would note: 

The small-lift launch vehicle market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12% from 53.1 million USD in 2016 to reach 105.3 million USD by 2022 in Asia-Pacific market. The small-lift launch vehicle market is very concerted market; there are only top six players in Asia-Pacific.

With or without continued sanctions, a reliable small-lift orbital launch vehicle developed by Iran could not only allow Iran to build up its own orbital infrastructure aiding the Iranian economy in communications, navigation and imagery, but could also offer other nations without space programs launch services just as ESA, JAXA, Roscosmos and private operators like Rocket Lab do.

It is unlikely that this will happen any time soon, but developing such capabilities takes time and resources, and Iran is investing both toward what will be an eventual reality. 

It is reasonable to assume that Iran’s space program, as it gains experience and develops domestic rocket and satellite technology, will move into heavier payloads both within the small-lift orbital launch category and beyond. Again, this will further enhance Iran’s economy, but also offer potential partners and customers a wider variety of launch services. 

An Iran free of US sanctions, or at least an Iran in a multipolar world where US sanctions increasingly have little impact, is a nation that can convert its nascent space program into both a powerful means of enhancing its existing economic activity, as well as become a potential launch service to create new economic activity.  

As we witness the US fade globally and its ability to impose itself on nations worldwide diminishes, the day where nations can freely deal with Iran may come sooner than later. Not only will this alleviate economic pressure on Iran and make available more resources to develop its domestic space program’s capabilities, but it will allow the Iranian space program to benefit from technology from other nations  as well. 

Iran currently has several unfinished space-related projects and dormant partnerships with other nations both in Europe and across Eurasia, all put in stasis because of US pressure. Were Iran and its potential partners able to move around this pressure, these projects and partnerships, and much more, could move forward once again. 

Iran is a nascent space-faring nation with the potential to join others in the near future, where the Iranian Space Agency is no longer merely demonstrating technology and launching basic payloads into orbit, but able to compete in and benefit commercially from emerging markets amid this new space race. 

Gunnar Ulson, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”. 

References: 

AMN News – Iran’s 2nd satellite is ready for launch despite US criticism: 
https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/irans-2nd-satellite-is-ready-for-launch-despite-us-criticism/
Tehran Times – All-Iranian environmental satellite unveiled:
https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/444317/All-Iranian-environmental-satellite-unveiled
Market Watch – Small-lift Launch Vehicle Market : Global Industry brief Analysis by Top Countries Data, Market Size, Future Prospects And Outlook 2021-2024 with Remarkable Growth Rate: 
https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/small-lift-launch-vehicle-market-global-industry-brief-analysis-by-top-countries-data-market-size-future-prospects-and-outlook-2021-2024-with-remarkable-growth-rate-2020-12-25

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Dangerous Provocations Ahead for Iran

December 9, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – The recent assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has been framed by an almost gleeful Western media as an attempt to ensure incoming US President Joe Biden does not return to the so-called “Iran Nuclear Deal” signed while he was Vice President in 2015. 

The story goes that Biden had hoped to return the US back to a prominent leadership role upon the global stage and that making peace with Iran was among his priorities. 

There was a rush by the Western media to blame the Israeli government – who in turn appears to be in no rush to discount or disprove these accusations. The purpose of this is to make the US appear uninvolved in the recent escalation. The race to shape public opinion and depict the US as helpless amid growing tensions between Israel and Iran is meant to make any possible US involvement in the near future look uninvited, unplanned, and reluctant on Washington’s part.  

However, the goal of undermining and overthrowing the Iranian government has been an obsession for US foreign policy for decades – spanning multiple presidencies including that of Barack Obama’s. 

US policymakers have – since as early as 2009 – specifically laid out plans to use these sort of tactics to move the US and its allies further toward conflict with Iran – and to do so in a way to minimize to make Iran – not the US – look like the aggressor.  

Those holding their breath, waiting for President-elect Joe Biden to reverse the dangerous course US foreign policy is on forget who – for 8 years as Vice President – helped steer it in this direction in the first place. 

While the Obama-Biden administration did indeed sign the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – or the Iran Nuclear Deal – at the same time the US instigated the still-ongoing proxy war against Syria – Iran’s closest regional ally – and a proxy war designed specifically to remove one of Iran’s key allies from the equation before more directly confronting Iran itself. In many ways the US presence in Iraq and its role in the ongoing Saudi war with Yemen also serve this purpose. 

The “Iran Nuclear Deal” Was Doomed Years Before it was Signed

Despite the Obama-Biden administration’s seemingly enthusiastic desire for peace with Iran, the JCPOA was doomed before it was ever signed.

The peace overtures made by the US government at that time were purely for show – part of a plan devised years before the deal was even publicly discussed and long before it was ever signed. 

The Brookings Institution – funded by the largest Western corporate interests on Earth – in a 2009 paper (PDF) titled, “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran,” had not only called for the US to disingenuously offer Iran an opportunity to escape from under US sanctions, but admitted that the offer would be deliberately sabotaged by the US and used as a pretext toward further escalation.

The document included statements like this (emphasis added): 

…it would be far more preferable if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation as justification for the airstrikes before launching them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off the United States would be. Of course, it would be very difficult for the United States to goad Iran into such a provocation without the rest of the world recognizing this game, which would then undermine it. (One method that would have some possibility of success would be to ratchet up covert regime change efforts in the hope that Tehran would retaliate overtly, or even semi-overtly, which could then be portrayed as an unprovoked act of Iranian aggression.) 

The Brookings document also proposed: 

In a similar vein, any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer—one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal.

Creating the deal, sabotaging it, and using it as a pretext to pursue military aggression against Iran was always the plan – long before the JCPOA was ever signed. 

The 2009 Brookings document – at over 200 pages long – also laid out the framework one can clearly see the US and its allies followed ever since it was published – including attempts to remove Iran’s allies – Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon from the equation – before more direct action could be taken on Iran itself as well as the use of Israel to carry out aspects of the plan the US could not afford to do politically.  

In one way or another – virtually everything laid out in  the Brookings document has been implemented or at least attempted. 

This most recent escalation was predictable. Recently, articles like ““Biden’s America” Will Continue Pressure on Iran,” noted that peace with Iran was never part of America’s foreign policy – whether it was “Trump’s” America or “Biden’s” America. 

All that was required was a provocation and escalation that would appear to “drag” the US “reluctantly” away from allegedly desired “peace” the Western media had claimed Biden prioritized upon coming to office. 

With the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the dominoes have already begun to fall to that end. Dangerous times lay ahead for Iran and for the Western public who face the possibility of being dragged into another disastrous war – proxy or otherwise – in the Middle East. All that’s left to move this policy forward is a provocation from Iran – a provocation real or staged – the US can cite to involve itself more directly with a compliant Western media eagerly waiting to once again play its role in supporting that involvement.   

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”. 

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Intelwars Iran MIDDLE EAST MiddleEast

Assassination of Iranian Scientist brings US-Israel Closer to War with Iran

November 29, 2020 (Brian Berletic – LD) – Reports on the death of senior Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh signals another dangerous turn in Washington’s systematic attempts to undermine and overthrow the current government of Iran.  

The Western media is framing the assassination as a unilateral operation carried out by Israel with the New York Times in an article titled, “Assassination in Iran Could Limit Biden’s Options. Was That the Goal?,” claiming: 

Intelligence officials say there is little doubt that Israel was behind the killing — it had all the hallmarks of a precisely timed operation by Mossad, the country’s spy agency. And the Israelis have done nothing to dispel that view. 

The article also claimed: 

But Mr. Netanyahu also has a second agenda.

“There must be no return to the previous nuclear agreement,” he declared shortly after it became clear that Mr. Biden — who has proposed exactly that — would be the next president.

The New York Times assumes that Biden genuinely wanted to return to the 2015 nuclear agreement – officially known as the The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – and insists that it is up to Iran whether or not that possibility still remains. 

The article claims: 

If Iran holds off on significant retaliation, then the bold move to take out the chief of the nuclear program will have paid off, even if the assassination drives the program further underground.

And if the Iranians retaliate, giving Mr. Trump a pretext to launch a return strike before he leaves office in January, Mr. Biden will be inheriting bigger problems than just the wreckage of a five-year-old diplomatic document.

But there is a third option – if the US or Israel – or both – stage an event meant to look like an Iranian retaliation to help ensure the nuclear deal is permanently buried and only a path toward escalation lies ahead for Washington. 

And this third option is the most likely. More than mere speculation – this conclusion is drawn from US policy papers produced by corporate-funded policy think tank – the Brookings Institution. 

Their 2009 paper (PDF) titled, “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran,” had not only called for the US to disingenuously offer Iran an opportunity to escape from under US sanctions, but admitted that the offer would be deliberately sabotaged by the US and used as a pretext toward further escalation. 

Thus the JCPOA was doomed before it was even signed in 2015 – with US policymakers fully determined to scrap it at the most opportune time and then incrementally ratchet up pressure on Iran.

And while the US posed as “peacemaker” with Iran in 2015 – at the same time it waged proxy war on Iran’s closest ally in the region – Syria – aiming to overthrow the Syrian government and thus further isolating and encircling Iran itself. 

Two quotes in particular from the 2009 Brookings document are revealing in regards to the ill-fated JCPOA and what is most likely to follow this most recent assassination as well as the prospects for Biden’s “desire” to restart the deal after taking office next year. 

First the document claims (emphasis added): 

…it would be far more preferable if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation as justification for the airstrikes before launching them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off the United States would be. Of course, it would be very difficult for the United States to goad Iran into such a provocation without the rest of the world recognizing this game, which would then undermine it. (One method that would have some possibility of success would be to ratchet up covert regime change efforts in the hope that Tehran would retaliate overtly, or even semi-overtly, which could then be portrayed as an unprovoked act of Iranian aggression.) 

Next, the document claims: 

In a similar vein, any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer—one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal.

Creating the deal, sabotaging it, and using it as a pretext to pursue military aggression against Iran was always the plan – long before the JCPOA was ever signed.  

With prospects of the plan being revived already unlikely – and more so with this recent escalation – the only path left and just as Brookings in their 2009 paper planned years ago, is toward wider conflict between the US and Iran. 

Whether this conflict unfolds as American policymakers envisioned over a decade ago or US power in the Middle East evaporates before this plan is fully realized – only time will tell – and depends widely on not only Iran’s patience and skill – but also on that of its allies in Moscow and even Beijing.  

For the US who still clings to the illusion of leading a “rules based international order” – assassinating scientists half-way across the planet either directly or through its Israeli proxies – is only further evidence of just how desperately the world needs to move on with such an order left far behind. 

Brian Berletic is an independent geopolitical analyst based in Bangkok, Thailand and a regular contributor to New Eastern Outlook. You can support him and his work at Land Destroyer via Patreon here

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ASSASSINATION Intelwars Iran Iran nuclear program ISRAEL MIDDLE EAST Mohsen fakhrizadeh

Iran claims top nuclear scientist was assassinated with Israeli involvement

A top Iranian nuclear scientist, believed by the Israeli government to be the mastermind directing Iran’s nuclear weapons program in the early 2000s, was killed in a targeted attack Friday outside of Tehran,
according to multiple reports, citing Iranian state media.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday said the killing of scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was “an act of state terror” that there were “serious indications” of Israeli involvement in his death, though Zarif did not level an outright accusation. According to the Associated Press, Israel did not immediately comment on Fakhrizadeh’s death, but Israel has long been suspected of carrying out targeted assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists decades ago.

Fakhrizadeh was a senior officer with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and a professor of physics at Imam Hussein University in Tehran. He was the former leader of Iran’s Physics Research Center, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Iranian state TV said Fakhrizadeh was ambushed by “armed terrorist elements” and suffered injuries that proved to be fatal. Reports said doctors and paramedics could not save him after he was taken to a hospital.

A
statement released by Iran’s defense ministry said, “Armed terrorists targeted a vehicle carrying Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, head of the ministry’s research and innovation organization.

“After a clash between the terrorists and his bodyguards, Mr. Fakhrizadeh was severely injured and rushed to hospital. Unfortunately, the medical team’s efforts to save him were unsuccessful and minutes ago he passed away.”

The Fars news agency, which has ties to the IRGC, said the attack occurred in Absard, a small city east of the Iranian capital of Tehran. It said witnesses heard an explosion followed by machine gun fire. A car carrying Fakhrizadeh was the target of the attack, according to the agency.

The Associated Press says no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Zarif issued a statement on Twitter, calling on the international community and the European Union to condemn the attack and suggesting Israel was responsible.

The commander of the IRGC has also sworn vengeance for the killing.

“Assassination of nuclear scientists is the most obvious violation of the global hegemony to prevent our access to modern sciences,” said Major General Hossein Salami.

Another Iranian official, 2021 Iranian presidential candidate Hossein Dehghan, accused “Zionists” of waging war on Iran.

“In the last days of their gambling ally’s political life, the Zionists seek to intensify and increase pressure on Iran to wage a full-blown war,” Dehghan tweeted, seemingly referring to U.S. President Donald Trump. “We will descend like lightning on the killers of this oppressed martyr and we will make them regret their actions!”

According to BBC Persian reporter Jiyar Gol, Fakharizadeh’s death “is a blow to Iran’s security and intelligence services who were tasked with protecting him.” The BBC reports that “some in Iran even believe the assassination could have been carried out by Iranian security forces working for Israeli and Western intelligence agencies.”

Fakhrizadeh was in charge of Iran’s “Amad” nuclear program, translated “Hope.” Israel and other Western countries have accused the program of developing nuclear weapons while Iran has maintained the program was for peaceful purposes.

More from the Associated Press:

The International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran “carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device” in a “structured program” through the end of 2003. That was the Amad program, which included work on the carefully timed high explosives needed to detonate a nuclear bomb.

Iran also “conducted computer modeling of a nuclear explosive device” before 2005 and between 2005 and 2009, the IAEA has said. The agency said, however, that those calculations were “incomplete and fragmented.”

IAEA inspectors now monitor Iranian nuclear sites as part of Iran’s now-unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.

In 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said “remember that name” after mentioning Fakhrizadeh in a news conference alleging that Iran had lied about its nuclear weapons program. Netanyahu presented tens of thousands of files of Iranian files acquired by Israeli intelligence from an Iranian nuclear archive.

“A key part of the plan was to form new organizations to continue the work,” Netanyahu alleged. “This is how Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, head of Project Amad, put it. Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh.”

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Intelwars Iran MIDDLE EAST MiddleEast

"Biden’s America" Will Continue Pressure on Iran

November 19, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – US President Donald Trump famously took a hardline approach against Iran – withdrawing the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – or the “Nuclear Deal” – and opting instead for a policy of “maximum pressure” against Iran diplomatically and economically. 

But there is a major misconception that the previous administration of former US President Barack Obama and then Vice President Joe Biden – had somehow sought to resolve US-Iranian tensions and offer Iran an opportunity to escape out from under decades of economic sanctions imposed by one US administration after another. 

In fact – the US strategy regarding Iran required by necessity a feigned rapprochement – via the “Nuclear Deal” – followed by a sharp and hostile pivot aimed to make Iran appear unreasonable in the face of attempted peace offered by Washington. 

This two-part strategy was planned during the administration of US President George Bush and executed by the Obama and Trump administrations respectively. 

Far from mere speculation – this strategy was laid out in an extensive 2009 policy paper published by the Brookings Institution – a prominent US-based think tank funded by the largest, most powerful corporate-financier interests in the West. 

The paper titled, “Which Path to Persia?: Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran” (PDF),” stated explicitly (emphasis added): 

..any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offerone so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal.

For the policy to be executed within the current political environment in the United States – it required one administration operating under liberal left cover – and another under a more hardline right-leaning cover.  

The paper having been published in 2009 and the policy laid out in it executed over the course of the following decade illustrates the continuity of agenda in Washington regardless of who is elected into office – and how corporate interests – not the American people or even the rhetoric of their elected representatives – drive US foreign policy.  

And even when the Obama administration extended its feigned “Nuclear Deal” to Iran – it had deliberately engineered proxy war in Syria aimed directly at one of Iran’s closest regional allies. 

Thus – at the same time the US posed officially as seeking peace with Iran – its proxy war funded, armed, and provided military support for militant groups killing both Syrian forces allied to Iran and Iranian forces attempting to aid in the protection and restoration of order in Syria. 

In essence – US war in Syria was defacto war by proxy against Iran. The same could be said of US support for Saudi Arabia and its unrelenting destruction of neighboring Yemen – a war the US provides Saudi Arabia weapons, training, logistics, intelligence, and even its own special forces to aid and abet Saudi forces inside Yemen. 

These conflicts aimed at Iran – and Russia and China in a much wider scope – were engineered beginning under the administration of US President George Bush, executed under the Obama administration and continued under the Trump administration. 

Unless the weapon manufacturers, banks, oil companies, and other interests driving US foreign policy particularly in regards to Iran have for some reason changed their motivations and objectives regarding the Middle East – this agenda will continue uninterrupted under a Biden administration. And it’s quite clear the prevailing foreign policy circles in Washington still desire containment and even regime change in Iran. 

For Iran – who surely has “noticed” this pattern of enduring American belligerence from one administration to the next – it will most likely continue operating under the assumption that genuine peace will not be offered to it by Washington and is instead a condition Iran and its own policies must impose upon Washington and its presence in the Middle East and Central Asia regions by leaving the United States no other viable option. 

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook.”   

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Ambassador jim jeffrey Foreign Policy Intelwars MIDDLE EAST SYRIA Trump administration Us troops in syria

Retiring Never-Trump diplomat: We’ve been lying to the Trump administration about how many US troops are still in Syria

An outgoing U.S. diplomat admitted in a recent interview with Defense One to lying to President Donald Trump and other senior administration officials about the true number of U.S. troops deployed in Syria in an effort to dissuade the president from withdrawing U.S. forces from the region.

Retiring Ambassador Jim Jeffrey, the U.S. special envoy for Syria, said that for years his team outright misled the Trump administration about troop levels deployed in the region.

“We were always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had there,” Jeffrey told Defense One. He admitted that the actual number of U.S. military forces in northeast Syria is “a lot more than” the roughly 200 troops Trump agreed to station there in 2019.

In 2018, President Trump announced that the United States had defeated ISIS in Syria and subsequently declared that U.S. forces would be withdrawn from the region. At the time, more than 2,000 troops were stationed in the region. His declaration was met with opposition from several national security officials, the media, and even some Republican lawmakers, such as Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Marco Rubio (Fla.). Trump’s decision prompted Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to resign.

Jeffrey described the announcement as “the most controversial thing in my fifty years in government.”

Trump’s policy change was ultimately reversed after Jeffrey and his team convinced the president to keep a residual force in Syria to prevent ISIS from regrouping and keep Russia and Syria from expanding their territory.

“What Syria withdrawal? There was never a Syria withdrawal,” Jeffrey said. “When the situation in northeast Syria had been fairly stable after we defeated ISIS, [Trump] was inclined to pull out. In each case, we then decided to come up with five better arguments for why we needed to stay. And we succeeded both times. That’s the story.”

Trump reportedly agreed to keep somewhere between 200 and 400 troops in Syria, but anonymous sources who spoke to Defense One say there are closer to 900 U.S. troops serving in Syria today. The exact figure is classified and it would seem not even the president of the United States, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, knows how many troops are stationed there.

CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto’s reporting corroborated Jeffrey’s claims, tweeting that senior Department of Defense officials who spoke with him for his book, “The Madman Theory” explained how they “fooled” Trump into leaving troops deployed in Syria.

Jeffrey, a career bureaucrat, began his service in the Trump administration as an opponent of the president. He was one of several U.S. national security officials who signed a letter in 2016 declaring their opposition to Trump’s candidacy for president.

“I know what I did in 2016, I do not disagree with that,” said Jeffrey. “I was following closely the situation with Iran, Iraq and Syria, and I was appalled that we didn’t have a more coherent policy. This wasn’t a political decision.”

He now believes that Trump’s Middle-East policy has actually improved the region and he hopes that former Vice President Joe Biden will continue Trump’s policies should he ultimately prevail in the 2020 election.

“Nobody really wants to see President Trump go, among all our allies [in the Middle East],” he said. “The truth is President Trump and his policies are quite popular among all of our popular states in the region. Name me one that’s not happy.”

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Election 2020 Intelwars Joe Biden MIDDLE EAST Palestinian Authority Palestinian Liberation Organization Pay for slay

Report: Biden campaign is in direct contact with Palestinian Authority, which financially supports terrorists

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s Democratic presidential campaign is directly communicating with the Palestinian Authority, reports say.

Two anonymous sources who spoke with The Media Line claimed that a Palestinian-American businessman helped the Biden campaign establish contact with Palestinian leadership, which supports terrorists and their families with government funds.

“Having dialogue with the Democratic candidate is important to the leadership,” one of the officials said, The Media Line reported. “We want to let Mr. Biden know that we are willing and ready to talk.”

The Palestinian government has vigorously opposed President Donald Trump’s pro-Israel policies, halting all contact with the administration since 2017 after the president recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the U.S. Embassy there. Trump has ended millions of dollars of American aid to the Palestinians, shut down Palestinian diplomatic offices in Washington D.C., and pursued deals with Arab states to normalize their relations with Israel over Palestinian objections.

According to The Media Line’s sources, the Palestinians believe a Biden administration will be far more favorable to their interests.

“We are sure that if he wins, he will reassert the US position on the two-state solution and order the PLO office in Washington reopened,” the other PA official said.

Jihad Harb, a political analyst for several Palestinian media outlets, said the Palestinians are watching the U.S. election closely.

“The Palestinians have reestablished relations with an important segment of the congressional leadership in the past few years,” he told The Media line. “The Democratic Party has a majority in the House of Representatives, and there are certainly channels of communication.”

“They [Palestinian leaders] definitely want Trump to leave,” he explained. “He imposed a set of cruel, unfair and anti-Palestinian measures, and therefore they prefer Biden, at least because of their experience with him during his years as vice president in the Obama administration.”

“The Palestinians usually prefer the Democrats, and the Palestinian leadership prefers that the president be from the Democratic Party,” he added.

Recently, the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh publicly opposed Trump’s re-election in a Facebook post decrying the current U.S. administration.

“If we are going to live another four years with President Trump, God help us… and the whole world,” Shtayyeh said, according to the Times of Israel.

“Four years have been really wasted,” Shtayyeh continued. “We were waiting for the ultimate deal and everyone was hoping that the ultimate deal would really be a deal and be ultimate. Unfortunately it has not been.”

Shtayyeh expressed hope that Biden would oust Trump from office.

“If things are going to change in the United States I think this will reflect itself directly on the Palestinian-Israeli relationship,” he said. “And it will reflect itself also on the bilateral Palestinian-American relationship.”

The Palestinian government financially supports terrorism through the Palestinian Liberation Organization and has continued to do so despite fiscal constraints, the Washington Free Beacon reported Friday.

From the Free Beacon:

Known as a policy of “pay to slay,” the Palestinian government uses money from international donors and other aid groups to financially support imprisoned terrorists and their families. The practice has long attracted international scorn and played a significant role in the Trump administration’s 2018 decision to cut nearly $200 million in U.S. funding to the Palestinian government. While the move was meant to pressure Palestinian leaders into ending the payments, the PLO has continued the practice under the radar, according to a recent report submitted by the State Department to Congress.

“Despite fiscal constraints … the [Palestinian Authority] continued to make payments through the PLO to Palestinians connected to terrorism,” according to the report. “This is despite Israel’s decision to suspend extension of sovereignty into the West Bank. The recipients of the payments included Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prison, released Palestinian terrorists, and the families of Palestinians who were wounded or died while committing terrorist acts or in connection with terrorism.”

The continuation of these payments is likely to frustrate lawmakers and U.S. diplomats who have been working to make the Palestinian government solvent and more likely to engage in peace talks with Israel. While the State Department did not say how much the Palestinian government spends on terrorists, outside groups put the number at upwards of $300 million a year. The pay-to-slay program has been a major roadblock with Israel, which moved in February to fine any banks that facilitate these payments. Palestinian leaders, however, have vowed to continue supporting terrorists.

The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Blaze.

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Intelwars MIDDLE EAST MiddleEast SYRIA

US Seeks to Prolong Terrorism in Syria, Not Defeat It

October 17, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – Recent attacks on Syrian positions from terrorists of the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS) and the release of thousands of prisoners in US-occupied eastern Syria illustrate how Washington is demonstratably prolonging instability in Syria as part of its promise to transform the nation into a “quagmire” for Russia and Iran. 

Newsweek itself, in an article titled, “U.S. Syria Representative Says His Job Is to Make the War a ‘Quagmire’ for Russia,” had admitted earlier this year that: 

The U.S. special representative for Syria has urged continued American deployment to the war torn country in order to keep pressure on U.S. enemies and make the conflict a “quagmire” for Russia.

The article further elaborated: 

Assad—who now controls the majority of the country—is backed by Russia and Iran, both of which the U.S. is trying to undermine. Jeffrey said Tuesday that the U.S. strategy will both weaken America’s enemies while avoiding costly mission creep.

“This isn’t Afghanistan, this isn’t Vietnam,” he explained. “This isn’t a quagmire. My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians.”

Toward that end – efforts in US-occupied eastern Syria to properly deal with ISIS prisoners and their family members has been neglected – creating conditions aimed at breeding extremism rather than defusing it. Even the Washington Post – in a recent article titled, “Kurdish-led zone vows to release Syrians from detention camp for ISIS families,” would admit: 

Conditions inside al-Hol displacement camp, a sprawl of tents perched in the desert west of Hasakah city, have alarmed humanitarian groups and in some cases aided the radicalization of women and children who spent years under Islamic State rule.

The “release” is depicted by the Western media as lacking planning – however – if the goal of the US is to compound Syria’s crisis rather than help resolve it – releasing thousands of prisoners – many of whom are likely only further radicalized – is the plan. 

US media also reported on a major and recent clash between Syrian forces and ISIS militants requiring the use of Russian airpower to repel. 

Western headlines like Defense Post’s article, “90 Dead as Syria Govt Forces Clash With IS: Monitor,” claimed: 

Clashes in the Syrian Desert between pro-government forces and holdouts of the Islamic State group have killed at least 90 combatants this month, a war monitor said on Wednesday.

Russian aircraft carried out strikes in support of their Syrian regime ally, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The militants are alleged to be based in Syria’s desert regions just west of the Euphrates River. However, in order to sustain ISIS’ fighting capacity in an otherwise desolate region, weapons and supplies need to be continuously brought in. 

Since it is unlikely the Syrian government is supplying ISIS fighters determined to kill Syrian troops and move westward toward government-held territory – it is the US and its regional allies supplying them instead. 

The combination of the deliberately destructive administration of US-occupied territory in eastern Syria and the continued supply and arming of militants – including those affiliated with ISIS – are clear components of Washington’s strategy of creating a “quagmire” for Syria and its allies in addition to the continued US military occupation itself and ongoing efforts to maintain crippling sanctions aimed at Syria’s economy. 

The US has made “quagmires” for Russia in the past. This included its support of militants in Afghanistan through the supply of weapons and training via Pakistan. 

The Syrian conflict – since 2011 – has been the result of similar efforts by the US to create, arm, supply, and otherwise back militants attempting to overthrow the government in Damascus. Having failed this primary objective and after having spent whatever credibility the US had upon the international stage – Washington has now moved toward openly obstructing peace and hampering Syria’s recovery from the ongoing conflict – admittedly to spite its international competitors including Russia, Iran, and even China.

When comparing America’s “rules-based international order” with the emerging multipolar world presented by nations like Russia and China as an alternative – it is difficult to believe Washington sees its continued destabilization of nations and even entire regions of the world as a selling point for its world view rather than the primary reason nations around the globe should both oppose it and back desperately needed alternatives to it.

Attempts by Washington to continue depicting itself as a partner for combating global terrorism rather than a source of global terrorism seems to have fully run its course with the US all but admitting its presence in Syria is aimed at prolonging conflict rather than contributing to efforts to end it. This has been repeatedly illustrated by America’s confrontation with Russia in Syria – including a recent incident in which US military vehicles unsuccessfully attempted to block a Russian military patrol. 

It was Russia’s 2015 entry into the conflict on Syria’s behalf that decisively turned the tide of the conflict – using its superior airpower to target ISIS and Al Qaeda supply lines leading out of NATO-member Turkey’s territory into Syria, collapsing their respective fighting capacities and allowing Syrian forces to restore order to nearly all major population centers of the country. 

Today, remaining hostilities are centered on both Turkish and US-occupied territory inside Syria – the resolution of which will mark the conclusion of the conflict – a conclusion and resulting peace Ankara and Washington appear opposed to. 

While Western pundits have argued that a US withdrawal would lead to a resurgence of ISIS – it is clear that ISIS thrives everywhere Syrian forces have been prevented from retaking because of America’s illegal presence inside the country. A US withdrawal would be the first true step toward eliminating ISIS from both Syria and the region. 

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”. 

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Intelwars MIDDLE EAST MiddleEast SYRIA

America’s Broken Syria Project

September 22, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – A recent altercation between Russian forces and US occupiers in northeastern Syria helped highlight the increasingly tenuous position Washington holds not only in Syria but across the entire Middle East. 

After attempting to block Russian military vehicles, US forces found themselves being literally plowed out of the way with overwhelming Russian airpower hovering overhead. 

After complaining that American troops were “injured” in the incident and condemning Russia for “unsafe and unprofessional actions,” the United States announced that it was deploying more troops and military equipment to bolster its illegal occupation of Syrian territory. 

The US also claimed its continued presence in Syria officially seeks to confront and eliminate the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS), but official accounts maintained by the US government and the US Department of Defense on an almost daily basis provide a wide and every-shifting number of excuses. 

On September 20th “Inherent Resolve’s” Twitter account would announce

Bradley Fighting Vehicles provide the rapid flexibility needed to protect critical petroleum resources.

The region the US occupies is also where the majority of Syria’s petroleum is extracted and America’s “protection” of these resources is part of a wider strategy – not to fight ISIS – but to deny the Syrian state which has eliminated ISIS from all territory it controls – both energy and revenue from its own natural resources.  

In essence, the US is in Syria weakening the Syrian government who has led the fight against ISIS and provoking confrontations with Russia who has been key in aiding Damascus against ISIS, Al Nusra, and other affiliates of Al Qaeda. 

The US had been in Syria a full year before Russia’s invitation by Damascus to aid in security operations against ISIS and Al Qaeda affiliates in 2015. The Russian military promptly began bombing supply lines feeding ISIS and other terrorist groups from across the Syrian border in Turkey. ISIS’ fighting capacity rapidly collapsed and remains isolated in pockets made inaccessible by America’s continued occupation of Syrian territory. 

A Microcosm of America’s Wider MENA Failure

The confrontation with Russia and the decision to boost America’s military presence in Syria is but a microcosm of America’s wider struggle to maintain its invasive primacy over the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). 

Despite beginning the 21st century with an overwhelming military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq and expanding its involvement in the region in 2011 through the US-engineered “Arab Spring” – US power and influence has visibly waned. Its attempts to control virtually every aspect of Iraq’s internal politics has faltered in the face of Iraqis seeking alternative ties with neighboring Iran. 

While Washington successfully toppled the government of Libya in 2011, it has failed to do likewise in Syria. Not only has it failed to oust the Syrian government, it has transformed the nation into a vector for alternative emerging global powers to contest and roll back US influence in the region. This most notably includes Russia but also Iran and China. 

If at the turn of the century hundreds of thousands of US troops could not transform the region favorably for Washington, its provocative but small actions in eastern Syrian will unlikely make any difference now. 

Against this backdrop is also Washington’s ongoing confrontation with Iran. It’s creation then predictable withdrawal from its “Iran Nuclear Deal” has exposed the US as a malign global player acting in bad faith. Its attempts to pressure and isolate Iran have increasingly transformed into a wider campaign to pressure and coerce a growing number of nations around the globle interested in trade and normal relations with Tehran. 

The US has fewer and fewer cards to play in the region and more specifically in Syria. If Syria and its allies can find ways around crippling economic sanctions the US is using to ravage the Syrian public and undermine Damascus’ ability to ensure ISIS’ defeat endures – the US will be left with empty hands, overextended, and exposed in Syria’s eastern deserts. 

The more confrontational Washington gets with Syria, Russia, and China the easier it will be for each of these nations to justify actions taken to preserve and protect their collective interests – as well as win over a larger percent of the global community to support them in these efforts. Stability is a central key to prosperity. America’s foreign policy has fully revealed itself to be a global engine of instability that is costing even its own supposed allies socioeconomic opportunities and stability. 

US foreign policy is unsustainable. Those still aiding it including Turkey are preparing for direct confrontations Syria and its allies will actively avoid – and if successful – will simply surround, cut off, and let whither the presence of these uninvited foreign forces occupying Syrian territory. While it is too late for America’s “Syria project” to ever succeed in its original goal of regime change, it is not still too late for it to divest from its spiteful campaign to sink the region, its people, and their allies into a quagmire that will only further leave Washington and its allies isolated and impotent upon the global stage.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”. 

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Abraham accords Bahrain Foreign Policy Intelwars ISRAEL MIDDLE EAST Peace agreement President Trump Terrorism United Arab Emirates WHITE HOUSE

Palestinian militants fire rockets at Israel as historic peace agreement is signed at White House

A rocket attack launched by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip wounded two people in Israel Tuesday as the Middle East’s lone Jewish state signed an agreement to normalize relations with two of its Arab neighbors at the White House. The attack was apparently coordinated to coincide with the signing of the agreement.

According to an Associated Press report, the Israeli military said two rockets were fired from Gaza and one was intercepted by air defenses. Israeli emergency services treated two people for minor injuries from broken glass.

Earlier, Israeli Defense Forces issued an alert for rocket sirens sounding in Ashdod and Ashkelon, cities in the southern region of Israel near the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians, ruled by the Islamic terrorist group Hamas, are opposed to the Israeli agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to normalize relations without forcing Israel to cede its sovereignty over territory the Palestinians claim as their own. Historically, most Arab nations have sided with the Palestinians in this conflict, but the Trump administration managed to broker agreements that put aside the issue for now. The Palestinians consider this a betrayal.

The agreement signed at the White House, known as the “Abraham Accords” to honor the patriarch of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, declares peace and formally normalizes diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain.

While the text of the agreement has not been made public, Israeli officials reportedly told The Jerusalem Post it will not go into effect until the Israeli cabinet ratifies the agreement and UAE officials reportedly said there will be references to a two-state solution.

President Trump declared the agreement “the dawn of a new Middle East” in a speech delivered at the signing ceremony.

“We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history. After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East,” Trump said.

“Thanks to the great courage of the leaders of these three countries, we take a major stride toward a future in which people of all faiths and backgrounds live together in peace and prosperity,” he said.

The president said the accord “will serve as the foundation for a comprehensive peace across the entire region.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this moment marked a “pivot of history” and a “new dawn of peace,” praising President Trump for his work on the agreement.

“To all of Israel’s friends in the Middle East, those who are with us today and those who will join us tomorrow, I say, ‘As-salamu alaykum.’ Peace unto thee. Shalom,” Netanyahu said.

“The blessings of peace that we make today will be enormous,” he continued, “first because this peace will eventually expand to include other Arab states, and ultimately, it can end the Arab-Israel conflict once and for all.”

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan added more optimistic remarks, saying “We are witnessing today a new trend that will create a new path for the Middle East.”

But he also spoke to the Palestinian people, noting the Abraham Accords “will enable us to stand with the Palestinians and enable their hopes of establishing a Palestinian state” and thanking Netanyahu for “halting annexation of Palestinian territories.”

Those overtures to the Palestinians may fall on deaf ears. According to the AP, in addition to the rocket attacks Palestinians expressed their outrage in the West Bank and in Gaza by trampling on and setting fires to pictures of Trump, Netanyahu, and the leaders of the UAE and Bahrain.

The peace accords were not well-received in Bahrain either, where the AP reports the Shiite opposition group Al-Wefaq released a statement condemning normalized relations with the “Zionist entity.”

Nevertheless, President Trump has promoted the deal as the first step in reaching a broad agreement to secure peace in the Middle East. In an interview with “Fox & Friends” Tuesday morning, Trump said his administration is negotiating with several other Arab states and predicted that Palestine “will come to the table” when everyone else is on board.

“They’re actually getting to a point where they’re going to want to make a deal. They won’t say that outwardly. They want to make a deal,” Trump said. “Otherwise, they will be left out in the cold.”

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Bahrain Intelwars ISRAEL Israel peace MIDDLE EAST Peace deal

President Trump announces another Middle East peace deal — this time between Israel and Bahrain

President Donald Trump announced another peace deal Friday, as Israel and Bahrain established diplomatic relations just weeks after a similar agreement was struck between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Fox News reported.

Bahrain becomes just the fourth country in the region to establish formal peaceful ties with Israel, joining Egypt, Jordan, and UAE. President Trump was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the deal between Israel and UAE.

“This is a historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East,” a joint statement from the U.S., Bahrain, and Israel said. “Opening direct dialogue and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region.”

The announcement of the deal comes on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and President Trump pointed out the significance of pushing for peace in the region.

“There’s no more powerful response to the hatred that spawned 9/11 than this agreement,” Trump said.

CNN reported that officials believe this deal could be significant toward a potential agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia, since Bahrain is viewed in some ways as an extension of Saudi Arabia:

Bahrain, a tiny island nation that is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, is regarded in some ways as an extension of Saudi Arabia, partly because they are physically linked by a causeway but also because the Bahraini monarchy is heavily reliant on Riyadh.

Officials said the agreement with Israel announced on Friday could likely not have happened without Saudi Arabia’s blessing, signaling that Bahrain may serve as a test case for a future Saudi-Israel deal.

A signing ceremony that will include Bahrain, UAE, and Israel is scheduled on Tuesday.

The White House emphasized the impact of the agreements as Trump runs for reelection, pointing out the historic nature of the peace deals and using them as examples of the president’s desire to end long-term conflicts in the region.

“This is an extraordinary achievement,” White House deputy press secretary Brian Morgenstern told Fox News. “The president made the first major breakthrough like this in 26 years. In less than a month, he’s made yet another one.”

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DICTATORSHIP Intelwars Iran ISRAEL MIDDLE EAST WAR/DRAFT/VETERAN AFFAIRS

What the UAE-Israel Deal Really Means for the Middle East

A key part of this joint intelligence initiative between the UAE and Israel (and, by extension, the U.S.) has been the dramatic increase in the past two years of the purchase of commercial and adjunct residential properties in Iran’s southern Khuzestan province – a key sector for its oil and gas reserves – by UAE-registered businesses, particularly those based in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, said the source.

“Around 500,000 Iranians left Iran around the time of the [1979 Islamic] Revolution and settled in Dubai, in the first instance, and then Abu Dhabi, and they have never been in favour of the IRGC having the key role in Iran, so some of them have been used to front businesses or commercial property developments in Khuzestan that are being funded from business registered in those two states of the UAE,” he added.

“However, these apparently Abu Dhabi and Dubai businesses are actually being funded from a major Israeli property company that in turn is funded from a Israel-U.S. operation specifically set up for this project, with a budget of US$2.19 billion,” he told OilPrice.com. “These businesses, and the additional property acquisitions for the individuals working for these business in Khuzestan, mean that not only is the native Iranian population being diluted by non-Iranian Arabs [although broadly Persian in demographic terms, indigenous Arabs make up around two per cent of Iran’s population] but also the opportunity for on-the-ground intelligence gathering has been dramatically enhanced,” he underlined. “Basically, Israel is doing through the UAE presence in southern Iran exactly what Iran has been doing to Israel through its presence in Lebanon and Syria.”

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DICTATORSHIP Intelwars Iran ISRAEL MIDDLE EAST WAR/DRAFT/VETERAN AFFAIRS

What the UAE-Israel Deal Really Means for the Middle East

A key part of this joint intelligence initiative between the UAE and Israel (and, by extension, the U.S.) has been the dramatic increase in the past two years of the purchase of commercial and adjunct residential properties in Iran’s southern Khuzestan province – a key sector for its oil and gas reserves – by UAE-registered businesses, particularly those based in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, said the source.

“Around 500,000 Iranians left Iran around the time of the [1979 Islamic] Revolution and settled in Dubai, in the first instance, and then Abu Dhabi, and they have never been in favour of the IRGC having the key role in Iran, so some of them have been used to front businesses or commercial property developments in Khuzestan that are being funded from business registered in those two states of the UAE,” he added.

“However, these apparently Abu Dhabi and Dubai businesses are actually being funded from a major Israeli property company that in turn is funded from a Israel-U.S. operation specifically set up for this project, with a budget of US$2.19 billion,” he told OilPrice.com. “These businesses, and the additional property acquisitions for the individuals working for these business in Khuzestan, mean that not only is the native Iranian population being diluted by non-Iranian Arabs [although broadly Persian in demographic terms, indigenous Arabs make up around two per cent of Iran’s population] but also the opportunity for on-the-ground intelligence gathering has been dramatically enhanced,” he underlined. “Basically, Israel is doing through the UAE presence in southern Iran exactly what Iran has been doing to Israel through its presence in Lebanon and Syria.”

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