How the Iran sanctions drama intersects with OPEC-plus | Asia Times

June 30, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

 

History may have registered stranger geoeconomic bedfellows. But in the current OPEC-plus world, the rules of the game are now de facto controlled by OPEC powerhouse Saudi Arabia in concert with non-OPEC Russia.

Russia may even join OPEC as an associate member. There’s a key clause in the bilateral Riyadh-Moscow agreement stipulating that joint interventions to raise or lower oil production now are the new norm.

Some major OPEC members are not exactly pleased. At the recent meeting in Vienna, three member states – Iran, Iraq and Venezuela – tried, but did not manage to veto the drive for increased production. Venezuela’s production is actually declining. Iran, facing a tacit US declaration of economic war, is hard-pressed to increase production. And Iraq’s will need time to boost output.

Source: How the Iran sanctions drama intersects with OPEC-plus | Asia Times

Trump Will Never Get a Better Deal With Iran | The American Conservative

June 12, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

In a span of a little more than five months, North Korea and the United States have gone from trading verbal insults and mobilizing for war to engaging in vibrant diplomacy. Pyongyang now appears willing to consider eliminating its nuclear weapons and bringing an end to the state of war that has existed on the Korean peninsula since 1950.

Concurrent with this seemingly stunning progress, President Donald Trump has sought to change the rules of the game vis-à-vis Iran, pulling out of a multilateral nuclear accord that everyone (including the United States) agreed Tehran was abiding by. In doing so, Trump appears to be trying to recreate the formula that’s worked so well with North Korea—impose stringent economic sanctions while threatening military action should Iran be foolish enough to reopen its nuclear program.

Source: Trump Will Never Get a Better Deal With Iran | The American Conservative

Supporters of Iranian Nuclear Deal Targeted by Trump – American Free Press

June 9, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Representatives of President Donald Trump contracted private Israeli intelligence firm Black Cube to help orchestrate a “black-ops” campaign against key individuals who were involved in negotiating the Iran nuclear deal, it has been revealed. The president has long lambasted the agreement, calling it “defective at its core.”

In May of last year, reports The Guardian, advisers connected to President Trump hired private investigators from Israel, some of whom were former Mossad agents, to dig into the private lives of at least two former Obama administration officials who were instrumental in securing the Iran nuclear deal: Ben Rhodes, a national security adviser to Obama, and Colin Kahl, a deputy assistant to Obama. Rhodes and Kahl were both closely involved in the negotiations leading up to the agreement with the Iranian government, which has long been demonized by Israel and Zionist war hawks in America. The private Israeli intelligence operatives were contracted by people close to Trump in an elaborate effort to undermine the Iran deal and discredit those involved in negotiating it, namely Rhodes and Kahl.

Source: Supporters of Iranian Nuclear Deal Targeted by Trump – American Free Press

Mike Pompeo’s 12-Step Plan for Disaster With Iran

June 8, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

In what The Washington Post—no friend of Iran—has labeled “a silly speech,” Donald Trump’s new Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, provided an American answer to the charge made by French President Emmanuel Macron during his State visit last month that, when it came to the Iranian nuclear agreement (officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action, or JCPOA), there was “no Plan B.” Macron’s observations were made in the context of President Trump’s threat to withdraw from that agreement, even though Iran had been determined by all parties (including the United States) to be in full compliance.

Trump made his decision to withdraw official on May 8, and since then the United States has been struggling to articulate a strategy to deal with the consequences of that action. Pompeo’s speech—titled “After the Deal: A New Iran Strategy”—was intended to provide America’s “Plan B.” Upon reflection, however, Pompeo’s speech failed to accomplish this. Worse, the unrealistic demands made upon Iran in Pompeo’s address, coupled by the absolute detachment from reality and historical fact and/or context these demands were made, made Pompeo’s speech far more dangerous than silly.

Source: Mike Pompeo’s 12-Step Plan for Disaster With Iran

Why India is ignoring US sanctions and sticking with Iran | Asia Times

June 3, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Pay very close attention to what India’s External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, said after meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier this week in New Delhi:

“Our foreign policy is not made under pressure from other countries … We recognize UN sanctions and not country-specific sanctions. We didn’t follow US sanctions on previous occasions either.”

After fellow BRICS members China and Russia, India left no margin for doubt. And there’s more; India will continue to buy oil from Iran – its third top supplier – and is willing to pay in rupees via state bank UCO, which is not exposed to the US. India bought 114% more oil from Iran during the financial year up to March 2018 than in the previous term.

Source: Why India is ignoring US sanctions and sticking with Iran | Asia Times

Is US Bellicosity Backfiring? | Patrick J. Buchanan – Official Website

May 25, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

U.S. threats to crush Iran and North Korea may yet work, but as of now neither Tehran nor Pyongyang appears to be intimidated.

Repeated references by NSC adviser John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence to the “Libya model” for denuclearization of North Korea just helped sink the Singapore summit of President Trump and Kim Jong Un. To North Korea, the Libya model means the overthrow and murder of Libya strongman Col. Gadhafi, after he surrendered his WMD.

Wednesday, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui exploded at Pence’s invocation of Libya: “Vice-President Pence has made unbridled and impudent remarks that North Korea might end like Libya … I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks.

Source: Is US Bellicosity Backfiring? | Patrick J. Buchanan – Official Website

Iran Nuclear Deal and U.S. Pullout Reflect Epic Bipartisan Failures

May 20, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

With everything the U.S. and its allies threw at Iran, including having Iranian citizens pay a huge economic cost in terms of a devastated economy and reduced quality of life, the pressure campaign still failed. The U.S.-led economic sanctions, rather than forcing Iran to abandon its nuclear program, empowered it to expand it efforts dramatically. The consequence was a dangerous situation. The U.S., after falsely building a narrative of Iran aggressively pursuing a nuclear weapon, now needed to either militarily confront Iran (and its expanding enrichment capacity) or find a diplomatic way out of a self-inflicted wound without losing political face at home and abroad.

Source: Iran Nuclear Deal and U.S. Pullout Reflect Epic Bipartisan Failures

The other art of the deal, Tehran-style | Asia Times

May 18, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The art of the deal, when practiced for 2,500 years, does lead to the palace of wisdom. I had hardly set foot in Tehran when a diplomat broke the news: “Trump? We’re not worried. He’s a bazaari (merchant trader)” – implying a political compromise will eventually be reached.

The Iranian government’s response to the Trump administration boils down to a Sun Tzu variant; silence – especially after the Fall of Flynn, who had “put Iran on notice” after a ballistic missile test that did not infringe the provisions of the Iranian nuclear deal, and the idea of an anti-Iran, Saudi Arabia-UAE-Egypt-Jordan mini-NATO. The Iranian naval drills – from the Strait of Hormuz to the Indian Ocean – had been planned way in advance.

Source: The other art of the deal, Tehran-style | Asia Times

OPUS 56 Dialectic

May 16, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Examining Israel’s Pretext for War on Iran

May 13, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Nothing unites Americans and Israelis like a good enemy to hate and wail about, and, to go to war against. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pulled out all the stops with his sophomoric slide show, “Iran Lied,” designed to demonize Iran further by claiming Iran was pursuing nuclear weapon development, inspite of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that limited Iran from developing nuclear weapons, since it was signed in 2015. Only problem is, it was all old news gong as far back as 2003. Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, challenged Netanyahu with an article, “After Netanyahu Speech, UN Reiterates Found No Traces of Iran Nukes.” In this 25 minute podcast, Chuck Carlson and members of We Hold These Truths look into how Netanyahu’s “discovery” could lead to war?  War has become the excuse most commonly used to cover up deficits and out-of-control spending. Simply stated, our politicians believe that if they can find a war to fight, no one will bother to look at how much money it costs, or where that money is coming from.  War is like a general anesthetic! As mentioned in the podcast, America even planned its wars on Iraw, Libya, Syria and Iran as was revealed by retired General Wesley Clark on a 2007 Democracy Now interview, “General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned – Seven Countries In Five Years.” We say, “No More Wars For Israel.”

Source: Examining Israel’s Pretext for War on Iran

Trump Accidentally Described U.S. Foreign Policy While Trying to Slam Iran | The Daily Bell

May 13, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The United States has certainly demonstrated its schizophrenic approach to global affairs and effectively shown its true colors to the world. According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, sanctions will be re-imposed on Iran to punish Iran for the following:

  1.       Iran’s status as the world’s largest state sponsor of terror;
  2.       Its use of ballistic missiles against American allies;
  3.       Its support for the brutal Assad regime in Syria;
  4.       Its human rights violations against its own people;
  5.       Its abuses of the international financial system.

Source: Trump Accidentally Described U.S. Foreign Policy While Trying to Slam Iran | The Daily Bell

No, Iran and Hezbollah Haven’t Taken Over Lebanon

May 12, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Lebanon held the first parliamentary elections since 2009 (they are supposed to be every four years, but the Syrian civil war and political gridlock made it difficult to meet that schedule until now).

Given all the talk of Trump pulling out of the Iran deal in part because of Tehran’s supposed regional dominance, the results of the Lebanese elections will likely be entangled with this policy.

Source: No, Iran and Hezbollah Haven’t Taken Over Lebanon

The art of breaking a deal | Asia Times – Pepe Escobar

May 11, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

 

All suspended United States sanctions against Iran will be reinstated, and harsh additional ones will be imposed.

It does not matter that the International Atomic Energy Agency, orIAEA, repeatedly confirmed Iran was complying with the JCPOA as verified by 11 detailed reports since January 2016. Even US Secretary of Defense James Mattis vouched for the stringent verification mechanisms.

Source: The art of breaking a deal | Asia Times

Iran Deal Exit: America First, or Israel First? – Antiwar.com Original

May 10, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

As the US walks away from the Iran deal is Washington headed down the road to war? That’s the assumption of the deal’s supporters, the main talking point – but is it necessarily true?

President Trump’s decision, made despite pleas from our European allies and even some of his own base, supposedly unmasks him as a dangerous warmonger whose anti-interventionist rhetoric was all a con job. #TheResistance is deeply invested in the idea of Trump as an orange-tinted version of Attila the Hun, whose bombastic personal style reflects a tendency to bomb first and talk later – and now, at last, Trump is showing his true colors. That’s the party line.

Source: Iran Deal Exit: America First, or Israel First? – Antiwar.com Original

Land Destroyer: America Planned to Break “Iran Nuclear Deal” Years Before Signing It

May 10, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

 

 

The so-called “Iran Nuclear Deal,” officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed on 2015 now under threat by a backtracking US – was billed at the time of its signing as a historic agreement that provided a path forward towards peace between the US and Iran.

Source: Land Destroyer: America Planned to Break “Iran Nuclear Deal” Years Before Signing It

Don’t Trash the Nuclear Deal! | Patrick J. Buchanan – Official Website

May 8, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

T

This next week may determine whether President Trump extricates us from that cauldron of conflict that is the Middle East, as he promised, or plunges us even deeper into these forever wars.

Friday will see the sixth in a row of weekly protests at the Gaza border fence in clashes that have left 40 Palestinians dead and 1,500 wounded by live fire from Israeli troops.

Monday, the U.S. moves its embassy to Jerusalem. Tuesday will see the triumphal celebration of the 70th birthday of the state of Israel.

Source: Don’t Trash the Nuclear Deal! | Patrick J. Buchanan – Official Website

Netanyahu: Don’t Look Here, Where We’re Shooting Children—Look at Iran

May 4, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Since the U.S. right wing and the government of Israel would very much like to see Iran invaded, its government overthrown and its legs broken, this nuclear latency or the Japan option is an annoyance they would like to remove. It is easier to execute someone if you disarm him first.

But Iran, of course, is already substantially disarmed, voluntarily. What is going on now is an attempt to pull the wool over people’s eyes about that and to con them into spending $6 trillion on another ruinous Middle East conflict.

That will keep everybody busy while Netanyahu finally succeeds in ethnically cleansing what is left of the Palestinians, his ulterior ultimate goal.

Source: Netanyahu: Don’t Look Here, Where We’re Shooting Children—Look at Iran

Trump and the Iran Deal: Expect the Unexpected? – Antiwar.com Original

May 3, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The Israeli propaganda machine is working overtime in the run-up to the May deadline for Trump’s decision on recertifying the Iran deal. So what did all that buildup to Netanyahu’s big announcement amount to? Less than nothing, i.e., documents that prove what we already knew – that Iran did have a nuclear program prior to 2003. As our own intelligence agencies long ago concluded, they discontinued it and haven’t restarted it since then. Oh, but then why did the Iranians keep all these thousands of documents, the Israelis ask. Doesn’t this in itself portend a future weaponization program?

Source: Trump and the Iran Deal: Expect the Unexpected? – Antiwar.com Original

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