IRAN | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


IRAN

May 08 11:51

BEX? Iran moving ballistic missiles by boat, US officials say

Intelligence showing that Iran is likely moving short-range ballistic missiles aboard boats in the Persian Gulf was one of the critical reasons the US decided to move an aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers into the region, according to several US officials with direct knowledge of the situation.

The concerns over the movement of the missiles was one of multiple threads of intelligence from various sources that led the US to believe Iran had a capability and intention to launch strikes against US targets.
On Tuesday US Central Command spokesperson Capt. Bill Urban said they had seen "indications that Iranian and Iranian proxy forces were making preparations to possibly attack US forces in the region."

May 08 11:45

Trump Issues Executive Order Regarding Imposing Sanctions on Iran

Earlier in the day, Tehran said that it was suspending some of its obligations under the nuclear deal in light of the US decision to intensify sanctions.

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order imposing sanctions on Iran, relating to iron, steel, aluminium, and copper.

The US policy is aimed at denying Iran revenue from metal exports that could fund its alleged nuclear weapons programme, according to the executive order.

May 08 11:39

European banks, businesses warned by US official not to work with Iran

A US official is warning investors, banks and businesses in Europe not to work with Iran in the wake of the United States’ unilateral pressure on Tehran.

“If you’re a bank, an investor, an insurer or other business in Europe, you should know that getting involved in the INSTEX special purpose vehicle is a very poor business decision,” Tim Morrison, the National Security Council’s senior director for weapons of mass destruction and biodefense, said at a Foundation for Defense of Democracies on Wednesday.

The European Union has been trying to launch the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to allow its companies to continue business with Iran despite US sanctions, yet to no avail so far.

May 08 11:38

Iran, Russia FMs urge Europeans to fulfill obligations for JCPOA survival

Tehran and Moscow have called on the European sides to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to comply with their commitments to guarantee the survival of the agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

After holding talks with his Russian counterpart in Moscow on Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attended a joint press conference with Sergei Lavrov, during which he said the nuclear deal's survival could be guaranteed if the agreement's European signatories fulfilled their obligations, which he said they had yet to fully honor.

Russia and China have fulfilled their obligations “but other countries, particularly the European sides to the JCPOA, have failed to honor their commitments," said Zarif.

May 08 11:37

China ramps up crude oil imports despite Washington’s clampdown on Iran

Oil imports by China unexpectedly surged in April to a record despite refinery maintenance outages and tepid domestic fuel demand, according to data from the Chinese General Administration of Customs.

Imports amounted to 43.73 million tons of crude or 10.64 million barrels per day (bpd), customs data showed. That compared with 9.26 million bpd in March and was up 11 percent from the April 2018 level, according to Reuters calculations.

“The crude imports exceeded our expectations as both domestic refinery production and margins do not appear to support such high volumes of purchases,” said Wang Zhao, head of crude oil research at Sublime China Information.

May 08 11:37

Iran stops selling excess uranium, will enrich to higher level in 60 days unless Europe acts

Iran’s President Rouhani announced a gradual scale-down of the country’s nuclear commitments. Tehran refused to dispose of excessive heavy water and uranium, and said additional measures will be taken over periods of 60 days.

The deal signed with Iran by leading world powers and the EU, offered Tehran a relief of sanctions in exchange for voluntarily restrictions of its nuclear industry. Last year the US broke its commitments under the deal and has been seeking to cripple Iran’s economy with economic sanction. Iran nevertheless remained faithful to its commitments as other signatories pledged to keep the deal alive by withstanding to US pressure.

On Wednesday, President Hassan Rouhani announced on national television that Iran will be suspending some of its commitments under the deal, which is also called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), due to continued US violation and a failure of European signatories to compensate for the damage done by Washington.

May 08 11:33

Moscow: Tehran's Roll-Back on Nuke Deal Provoked by External Pressure on Iran

Earlier in the day, the Islamic Republic announced that it would be suspending several commitments within the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iranian nuclear deal, for a 60-day period, adding that the country has no intention to withdraw from the agreement completely.

According to Russian Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Tehran's backtracking on the agreement was due to external pressure.

"We see the consequences [of rash US moves towards Iran]. Of course, Russian diplomats will continue to discuss this topic with our European partners in order to work on preserving the viability of this accord", he told journalists.

May 08 10:56

USA's Pompeo warns of 'imminent' Iran threat on surprise trip to Iraq

Iraq has promised to guarantee the safety of US interests from Iran, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday as he paid a surprise trip to Baghdad where he accused Tehran of planning "imminent" attacks.

The top US diplomat's unannounced visit marked an effort to stand up Washington's ties with Baghdad as it pushes ahead with its "maximum pressure" against Tehran -- a US arch-rival, but an ally of Iraq.

Pompeo abruptly cancelled talks in Germany and made a lengthy detour from a European tour to spend four hours in Iraq, where he met both President Barham Saleh and Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi.

"We talked to them about the importance of Iraq ensuring that it's able to adequately protect Americans in their country," Pompeo told reporters after the meetings.

"They both provided assurances that they understood that was their responsibility," he said.

May 08 10:37

Iran rolls back nuclear pledges but stops short of violating pact

Iran announced on Wednesday it was relaxing some curbs to its nuclear program, announcing steps that stop short of violating its 2015 deal with world powers for now, but threatening more action if countries do not shield it from U.S. sanctions.

May 08 10:19

US intends to provoke Iran for Israel’s sake – fmr Pentagon official

May 08 10:10

John Bolton Has Wanted War With Iran for 20 Years. Now Could Be His Best Chance

May 08 10:08

Does Trump Have Control of His Government, or Is It His Government?

I smell a rat. John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser or, more correctly, Israel’s agent, has assembled a team consisting of himself, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Emirati crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed, and Saudi ruler Mohammed bin Salman. These men are Iran’s four worst enemies.

The purpose of the team is to produce a false flag event that will provide an excuse for Washington to attack Iran. As the Israelis are the most competent member of this team, the speculation is that Israel will shoot down an American aircraft or attack a US Navy vessel, and Washington will have the presstitute media blame it on Iran. In other words, a revival of the Northwoods Project that the US Joint Chiefs presented to President Kennedy in hopes of setting up a US invasion of Cuba.

May 08 09:54

Trump Inches Toward Attacking Iran

The Trump administration is scrambling to deploy troops, warships, and bombers into the Middle East this week, with top officials talking up the possibility of attacking Iran, and analysts saying the US appears closer to such a war than any time since Trump took office.

As ever, the US is inching towards a war by taking hostile actions against Iran, and then convincing themselves that Iranian retaliation could be imminent. Israeli intelligence has only added to that perception, unsurprising since the Netanyahu government has sought a US-Iran war for years.

May 08 09:39

B-52 BOMBERS DEPLOYED TO IRAN!! WAR IMMINENT!!

May 07 11:41

Iran Dubs Announcement of US Naval Deployment ‘Gauche' Psy-War Attempt - Report

US Acting Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan earlier confirmed US National Security Adviser John Bolton's statement regarding US deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln and a bomber task force to the US Central Command region, intended to send a message to Tehran.

Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC)'s spokesman Keivan Khosravi, reacting to the US announcement of carrier strike group deployment, noted that the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier had entered the Mediterranean 21 days ago, according to Press TV.

"Bolton's statement is a clumsy use of an out-of-date event for psychological warfare," Khosravi said as cited by Tasnim.

May 07 11:39

US Aircraft Carrier Strike Group Deployment Near Iran is a Bluff – Analysts

The United States’ recent decision to deploy its aircraft carrier strike group near Iran is a form of military bluff that is unlikely to result in a direct military confrontation between the two countries, experts told Sputnik on Monday.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Sunday that the United States was deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force near Iran, to the US Central Command (CENTCOM) region, as "a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force".

The US national security adviser also stressed that Washington was not "seeking war" with Iran, but it was fully prepared "to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces".

May 07 11:37

Bolton’s battle cry shows US is preparing for ‘military scenario’ in Iran - top Russian MP

A top Russian MP has warned of an escalation in the US conflict with Iran after Washington announced that it is sending a carrier strike group and bomber task force to the Middle East ‘to send a clear message’ to Tehran.

“We can’t be idle, we must beat the alarm and take a stand against such behavior from Washington in all international organizations, especially in BRICS,” Leonid Slutsky said, after the deployment of the naval force was announced by US National Security Advisor John Bolton.

May 07 11:37

Iran to unveil countermeasures to US withdrawal from JCPOA

Iran is to unveil its countermeasures in response to a move made by the United States last year to withdraw from a landmark 2015 nuclear agreement signed between Tehran and six major world powers.

The plans will be announced on Wednesday, which marks the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported on Monday.

US President Donald Trump withdrew Washington in May 2018 from the landmark Iran nuclear agreement, reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries -- the US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany -- in July 2015. He also decided to re-impose unilateral sanctions against Tehran.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.

May 07 11:32

Iran Expected To "Go Nuclear" By Breaching Parts Of JCPOA, Europe Warns

Iran is expected to go nuclear, by backing out of some of the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA), at a sensitive time when Washington appears to be ramping up military readiness in response to what the White House says are credible threats against US assets in the Middle East by the Iranian regime.

Simply put, the European Union is not capable of facing US sanctions, and despite some meager past efforts, such as the attempt to establish a 'SWIFT alternative,' EU initiatives to salvage the deal have been too little too late, as Iran has already hinted to some European officials.

May 07 11:18

US acted on vague Mossad tip-off when it sent strike group to Middle East – report

A US aircraft carrier group and bomber task force were deployed to the Middle East after a tip-off on a “credible threat” from Iran, which came, conveniently vague and timely, from Israeli spy agency Mossad, it has been reported.
At an April 15 meeting in Washington, Israeli National Security Council chief Meir Ben-Shabbat passed along a warning to US National Security Advisor John Bolton, senior Israeli officials told Axios. The information Bolton received was left vague: the attack could hit a US target in the Persian Gulf, or maybe Saudi Arabia, or maybe the UAE.

May 07 11:12

Israel wants the Trump administration to attack Iran, but U.S. mainstream media ignores Netanyahu’s instigating

Why is the Trump administration escalating its economic war against Iran, a dangerous policy that could eventually lead to a shooting war and trigger a world recession? Iran in 2019 is no danger to U.S. interests anywhere. Tehran is not threatening American shipping, or military bases; its allies, like Hizbollah in Lebanon, have not targeted U.S. civilians or soldiers for years.

The U.S. is squeezing Iran mainly because Israel wants it to. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in a de facto alliance with Saudi Arabia, and has warm relations with the other Gulf states and with the Abdel Fattah el-Sisi dictatorship in Egypt. Iran is the only regional power that is deterring him from completely annexing the West Bank. Iran is also a major supporter of Hamas, the resistance movement in Gaza.

May 07 10:53

Is Bolton Steering Trump Into War with Iran?

After Venezuela’s army decided not to rise up and overthrow Nicholas Maduro, by Sunday night, it was Iran that was in our gun sights.

Bolton ordered the USS Abraham Lincoln, its carrier battle group and a bomber force to the Mideast “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.”

What “attack” was Bolton talking about?

May 07 10:47

Russia not to succumb to US anti-Iran sanctions threats: deputy FM

Russia has vowed to expand cooperation with Iran, including in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy, despite US threats of sanctions.

"No threat of new sanctions will stop our legitimate and mutually beneficial cooperation with Iran," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Sputnik on Sunday.

Referring to US sanctions that have been in place against Russia since 2012, Ryabkov said, “It is clear that over this period there has been a serious adaptation to this illegal trick by the United States.”

He said Tehran has an even bigger experience on how to live under the US sanctions.

May 07 08:01

Media Blackout: U.S. and Iran Tensions Rise -- Iran Claims Arrest of 290 CIA Agents; U.S. Sends 2 Aircraft Carriers To Mediterranean; Bolton & Pompeo Issue Threats

By Aaron Kesel

U.S. and Iranian tensions are rising at a rapid rate. National Security Adviser John Bolton has publicly acknowledged deploying the U.S.S Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) region as a “clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.”

However, this follows reports on April 22nd that the U.S.S. John C. Stennis and Abraham Lincoln carrier strike groups have joined the US Mediterranean 6th Fleet for the first time in more than two years, as DEBKAfile reported. For those unaware, DEBKA is used by Mossad intelligence very frequently to get their news/intelligence within the Middle East...

May 06 12:30

Scoop: Israel passed White House intelligence on possible Iran plot

Israel passed information on an alleged Iranian plot to attack U.S. interests in the Gulf to the U.S. before national security adviser John Bolton threatened Iran with "unrelenting force" last night, senior Israeli officials told me.

Why it matters: Bolton's unusual and aggressive statement included news that the U.S. would move an aircraft carrier to the region. The officials said intelligence gathered by Israel, primarily by the Mossad intelligence agency, is understood to be part of the reason for Bolton's announcement.

Behind the scenes: Information about possible Iranian plots against the U.S. or its allies in the Gulf were raised two weeks ago in talks held at the White House between an Israeli delegation headed by national security adviser Meir Ben Shabbat and a U.S. team led by Bolton, the Israeli officials told me.

May 06 11:23

US dispatches aircraft carrier over unspecified Iran threats

The U.S. is dispatching an aircraft carrier and other military resources to the Middle East following “clear indications” that Iran and its proxy forces were preparing to possibly attack U.S. forces in the region, a defense official told The Associated Press.

At the White House, national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday night that the U.S. is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region, an area that includes the Middle East. In a statement, he said the move was in response to “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings,” but did not provide more details.

U.S. forces at sea and on land were thought to be the potential targets, and the Pentagon approved the deployments in response to those indications, according to the defense official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

May 06 11:22

RATIONING OF ESSENTIAL FOODS AND GOODS MAY BE ON WAY BACK TO IRAN

The rationing of food and essential goods might be coming back to Iran, for the first time since the Iran-Iraq war of (1980-1988), due to the sanctions being imposed on the Islamic republic - which may cause the government to have a larger role in the rationing of such products.

The war left nearly two-million people dead and wounded on both sides of the fight, and it took years afterwards for the government to end this type of rationing.

May 06 10:31

Europe Vows To Continue Buying Iranian Oil As US Revokes Export Waivers

As if to mark one year since President Trump formally withdrew from the JCPOA - better known as the "Iran Deal" - last May, the foreign ministers of the UK, France and Germany, as well as EU foreign policy head Federica Mogherini, on Saturday issued a statement condemning the White House's decision, and vowing once again to abide by the terms of the deal.

The statement is the latest sign that Trump's decision to reimpose sanctions on Iranian oil exports could set up the US for a showdown with its allies in Europe that could accelerate the de-dollarization of the global financial system, as Europe continues to work on an alternative payments system to the Treasury-dominated SWIFT network.

May 06 09:29

'Clear Indications' of Planned Iranian Attack Behind US Carrier Dispatch: Report

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton has announced that the United States is deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East in a “clear and unmistakable” message to Iran that any attack on Washington’s interests or its allies will be met with “unrelenting force”.

The US decision to dispatch an aircraft carrier to the Middle East was made amid “clear indications” that Iranian forces were allegedly preparing to attack American forces in the region, an unnamed defence official told the Associated Press.

May 06 09:09

Pompeo: ‘Absolutely’ the Case We’ve Seen Escalatory Action from Iran

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday evening that it is “absolutely” the case that the United States has seen “escalatory action” from Iran, prompting the deployment of a carrier strike group and a bomber task force.

“It is absolutely the case that we’ve seen escalatory action from the Iranians. That is equally the case that we will hold the Iranians accountable for attacks on American interests,” Pompeo told reporters from Breitbart News and other outlets traveling with him to Finland.

“And the fact that if those actions take place if they do by some third party proxy, whether that’s a Shia militia group, the Houthis or Hezbollah, we will hold the Iranians — the Iranian leadership directly accountable for that,” he said.

Asked if he could clarify what the escalatory actions are, he responded, “No I can’t.”

May 06 09:09

US Deploying Carrier Strike Group Near Iran to Send Message to Tehran - Bolton

The United States is deploying its aircraft carrier strike group near Iran to send message to Iran, US national security adviser John Bolton said.

US national security adviser John Bolton said on Sunday that the United States is deploying a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle Eastern region to send a clear message to Iran that any attack on Washington's interests or its allies will be met with an "unrelenting force".

John Bolton also stressed that Washington is not seeking war with Iran but ready to respond to any attack from Tehran.

May 06 04:08

US sends aircraft carrier to Middle East 'to warn Iran'

Bolton: US deploying bombers to Middle East in warning to Iran
US national security adviser says move is response to 'a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings'.

The United States is deploying a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East to send a clear message to Iran that any attack on US interests or its allies will be met with "unrelenting force".

>>>
Can Iran close the Strait of Hormuz?

May 05 04:37

Iran sentences president's brother to prison for corruption

Hossein Fereydoun, younger brother of Hassan Rouhani, vows to appeal 'politically motivated' ruling.

A court in Iran has sentenced President Hassan Rouhani's younger brother to an unspecified jail term in a corruption case that supporters of the Iranian leader allege is politically motivated.

Hossein Fereydoun, who is also a close confidante of the president, has vowed to appeal the sentence, local media reported on Saturday.

"This person [Hossein Fereydoun] was found not guilty on some charges, while he was sentenced to prison on other accusations," Hamidreza Hosseini, a judiciary official, was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA

The trial of Fereydoun, along with six co-defendants, began in February without the judiciary giving details of the charges.

>>>

May 04 09:06

Iran, Judeophilia And Dementia On The German Left

Just like silence, an action or an image, a simple sheet of paper can also say more than a thousand words. The brochure that invites to the conference “40 years of the Islamic Revolution of Iran” is a reflection of the intellectual shipwreck that prevails among a big part of the German left youth and also in most of Western Europe. Among the organizers are the Left Youth of Thuringia (“Linksjugend Thürinen”) close to the Left Party (“Die Linke”) and the Work Circle Sisyphos (“Arbeitskreis Sisyphos”). Both shamelessly state that there is a “dementia on the left” when it comes to the Iran topic. And indeed, there is but only their own.

May 04 08:32

How Close Did Iran Fly a Drone to an American Aircraft Carrier?

May 03 11:10

Iran condemns US 'coup attempt' in Venezuela, warns against any military action

Iran has condemned the recent attempts by the United States to stage a coup against the legitimate government of President Nicolas Maduro, who has been under pressure from US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido to step down.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi warned Washington against any type of meddling in Venezuela, after Caracas announced that it had foiled an attempt by a number of military defectors to overthrow Maduro.

"The Islamic Republic condemns US attempts to stage a coup or any other type of military action in Venezuela," Mousavi said on Thursday night.

The remarks came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and National Security Adviser John Bolton expressed full support for the opposition and announced that the US military was ready to join their anti-Maduro push.

May 03 11:10

US attempting to lobby UN against Iran's missile work: UN envoy

Iran's envoy to the UN has denounced US attempts to portray Tehran's conventional missile program as a breach of Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorsed a 2015 nuclear deal, saying Washington must first explain why it has, itself, violated that international document by abandoning the landmark agreement.

Majid Takht-e Ravanchi said Thursday that American officials are after creating a negative atmosphere against Iran's missile work at the world body, reaffirming that Iran's missile activities are not inconsistent with Resolution 2231 contrary to what the US claims.

He added that a US State Department official has met with members of the UN Security Council and the world body's Secretariat about Iran's missile activities with the intention of promoting Washington's false allegations against Tehran

"Our stance is clear; [the issue] of our missiles does not fall at all within the framework of Resolution 2231," Takht-e Ravanchi stressed.

May 03 11:07

Iran to raise gas exports to Iraq despite US opposition

Iran is about to raise gas exports to neighboring Iraq to 35 million cubic meters a day this year, head of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hassan Montazer Torbati said on Wednesday.

“Last year we exported gas to Turkey, Baghdad and Basra with an average of over 40 million cubic meters a day, and this year, gas exports to Iraq will reach more than 35 million cubic meters per day,” he told a news conference in Tehran.

Torbati also said Iran’s gas refinery and transmission capacity will reach more than a billion cubic meters a day by the end of the current Iranian year on February 20, 2020.

May 03 10:06

FLASHBACK - Pat Buchanan: 300 nukes in Israel yet Iran a threat?

May 03 05:05

TRUMP’S CRUSADERS MARCH TO WAR

This is the latest attempt by the United States to crush Iran's independent-minded government and return it to American tutelage. The Trump administration has demanded that the principal importers of 1.2 billion barrels of Iranian oil halt purchases almost immediately. This imperial diktat includes China, South Korea, Turkey, India and Japan. The comprehensive embargo is very close to an all-out act of war ... The oil embargo not only violates international law, it sets the US on a collision course with some of its most important allies and vassal states ... Iran, a proud, ancient nation of 80 million, has become, with Turkey, the most effective opposition to America's imperial domination of the Mideast and a key supporter of Palestinian rights and statehood. This has put Iran on a collision course with Israel and its influential American supporters

May 03 02:39

Einar Tangen on Trump's Ignorance

Einar Tangen: Trump Ignorant about Geo-Economics Principles, US to Experience Major Job Losses
TEHRAN (FNA)- Einar Tangen, Political and Economic Affairs Commentator, says US-China trade war is an evidence supporting that US President Donald Trump is unable to perceive the difference between the real estate branding business and geo-economics.

In an exclusive interview with FNA, Einar Tangen said he believes the US-China trade war will eventually hit the US more than China, saying, “US consumers, especially lower and middle class families, who have used cheaper international goods to offset their stagnant real disposable income will be faced with sharply higher costs of clothes, furniture, shoes and appliances… [resulting in] more expensive US exports and significant job losses.”

Einar Tangen is an American-Chinese Political and economic affairs commentator based in Beijing. He served as the President of the US State of Wisconsin International Trade Council, and the Vice-President for the American Association of Cost Engineers International (AACEI).

Below is the full text of the interview:>>>

"The Public Is the Enemy" - Donald J. Trump

May 02 10:22

How Trump’s hawkish advisors won debate on Iran oil sanctions

US President Donald Trump’s unexpected decision to ban all Iranian oil purchases after May 1 – ending exemptions for eight nations – came after hawkish economic and security advisors allayed the president’s fears of an oil price hike, according to three sources familiar with the internal debate, Reuters reports.

The unprecedented move to fully sever Tehran’s financial lifeline – finalized just days before the April 22 announcement – underscores the influence of hard-liners within Trump’s National Security Council, which two of the sources said were the biggest advocates for the decision. They had for months argued for tightening the sanctions over the objections of State Department officials who favored allowing some partners and allies to keep buying Iranian oil.

“No one’s actually tried to take this all the way to zero,” a senior administration official told Reuters, adding that forging a consensus among government agencies required “a lot of work.”

May 02 08:35

'Good Will'-Hunting By Iran & North Korea

When all else fails with Donald Trump try flattery. That’s exactly what Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif did on Sunday. Because for Iran and North Korea that is, honestly, all that is left.

First it was North Korea, saying talks could resume but only if President Trump’s staff were no longer around.

This weekend Iran took to the airwaves with an interview on Trump’s favorite network, Fox, likely the only thing he’s allowed to watch along with CNN. Good cop/bad cop as it were.

May 01 11:38

Iran Takes Steam Out of US Sanctions, Boosts Gas Sales to Neighbours

Earlier, Washington indicated that it would not renew the exemptions granted to eight major importers to its tough sanctions on Iranian crude oil exports once they expire later this week, with economists fearing the restrictions may impact the global energy market.

Iran is building up its gas refinery and transmission infrastructure to significantly expand its gas exports to countries such as Iraq and Turkey, National Iranian Gas Company CEO Hassan Montazer Torbati has said.

"Last year, we exported gas to Turkey, Baghdad and Basra with an average of over 40 million cubic meters a day, and this year, gas exports to Iraq will reach more than 35 million cubic meters per day," Torbati said, speaking to reporters at an energy conference in Tehran on Wednesday.

May 01 09:52

$1 Billion In Iranian Crude Is Stranded At A Chinese Port

It's no secret that Beijing has chafed at American audacity to try and dictate whom Chinese refineries can and can't buy oil from. And in the latest example of just how aggravating the decision to end waivers for Iranian crude imports has been for the world's second-largest economy, Reuters reported that some 20 million barrels of Iranian crude have been languishing at the northeastern port of Dalian for months, but because of the US's decision to re-impose sanctions on Iran back in November, nobody wants to touch the oil.

China filed a formal complaint with the US over its decision to end the waivers, but the US has refused to consider any exceptions to its plans to reimpose full sanctions.

As one analyst told Reuters, no Chinese company will touch the oil unless specifically instructed to do so by the Chinese government.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And one has to wonder; precisely when the Chinese government will give its order to move this oil,and what the ramifications are going to be.

Will the US government interdict the ship, and possibly start World War III with China?!?

Of almost every possible outcome here, this would be one of the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid decisions the Trump administration could make at this point.

Unfortunately, just because something would be the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly idiotic decision this administration could make, is no guarantee that it will not do so.

Apr 30 13:23

Trump’s Crusaders March to War

But behind the horror in Sri Lanka, a huge crisis was building up of which the world has so far taken insufficient notice: renewed tensions in the oil-producing Gulf. This is the latest attempt by the United States to crush Iran’s independent-minded government and return it to American tutelage.

The Trump administration has demanded that the principal importers of 1.2 billion barrels of Iranian oil halt purchases almost immediately. This imperial diktat includes China, South Korea, Turkey, India and Japan. The comprehensive embargo is very close to an all-out act of war. In 1941, America’s cut-off of oil to Japan provoked the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr President, a word, please: this was a completely lousy choice, potentially leading to more war in the Middle East and beyond.

And sir, this underscores a couple of points I have been making for a long time.

The first, those in the Bowels of Power in DC, seem to have lost all critical thinking capabilities, in terms of following various scenarios to their most logical end.

And second, and forgive me sir, but it must be blurted out here; just because something is the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid move that the US government and military could do, is no guarantee that the US government and military will not do it.

This set of imperial decrees by you and your "enforcers in Chief, Pompeo and Bolton, have set this country up for an incredible, horrific war, which will have horrendous consequences domestically and for the world as well.

And to be painfully candid, sir, although the US did "win" world wars 1 and 2 with the help of their allies, which got us out of a couple of economic holes, this country wasn't running a $22 trillion dollar deficit at the time.

The old financial problems, with wars as their solutions, will not work in 2019. and in the evolving multi-polar world.

Apr 30 13:12

The War on Syria Continues. Iran Is Next?

The war on Syria is not over. Western -supported terrorists still occupy Idlib, as well as al Tanif, and strategic resource-rich areas East of the Euphrates. The Al- Rukban concentration camp[1] still holds about 40,000 desperate and dying captives, and the Al-Hawl camp[2] holds 73,000 captives.

The West’s terrorists are expendable, but the West supports them all, including al Qaeda, ISIS, and the YPG/SDF terrorists.

Under the familiar pretense of “going after ISIS”, the Western coalition carpet bombed Raqqa, shipped ISIS out, and re-occupied the ruins with SDF proxies – occupiers posing as liberators.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am hoping and praying that the US, and Israeli governments , will not be so stupid as to believe, for one second, that they can conquer Iran, either militarily, or with some form of regime change.

If Russia thinks, for one second, that Iran is headed toward a crisis, my bet would be under threat from harm, they may immediately start propping up Iran with their own military and weaponry.

As we have seen from incredible performances by Russian military and their weaponry in Syria, the Russians have both the person-power,and weapons, to keep the Israelis and US forces at bay.

Apr 30 11:12

Iran to ignore EU demands, get even with US: Larijani

Parliament speaker Ali Larijani says Iran no longer holds value for Europe’s demands as European governments have let it down in fighting hostile US policies, pledging that the Islamic Republic will “get even" with the US on its own.

“We are trying to find out why European leaders and the European Union only support us in rhetoric or only [use words] to express regret at America’s actions,” Larijani said during a meeting with Wolfgang Gerstl, the head of Austria-Iran parliamentary friendship group in Tehran on early Monday.

“Sure you might say there are problems because of US pressure and it might sound logical but we look at this from our own point of view and the most important thing for us is that this behavior has raised questions about EU’s credibility and it means that the EU lacks the weight to solve problems,” he asserted.

Apr 30 11:11

Iran, Russia navies to stage joint drill in Persian Gulf

Iranian and Russian military forces will stage a rare naval drill in the Persian Gulf later this year, the commander of Iran’s Navy has announced.

Rear-Admiral Hossein Khanzadi made the announcement during a press conference on Monday upon return to Tehran from a high-profile visit to China, where he met with his counterparts from other countries.

“Our negotiations with Russia revolved mostly around technical and operational topics and we plan to hold a joint naval exercise” this year, he said.

While Iranian and Russian naval forces have in the past trained together in the Caspian Sea, the upcoming Persian Gulf drill is expected to take bilateral cooperation to a new level.

The announcement comes at a time when Iran has threatened to close the Hormuz Strait, a strategic chokepoint through which a large chunk of world’s oil transits every day, in response to threats by the United States to zero out Tehran’s crude exports.

Apr 30 11:10

US CENTCOM chief drumming up support for war on Iran: Analyst

An American political analyst says the US CENTCOM’s chief has, through his recent antagonistic comments targeting Iran, been trying to drum up support among American neoconservatives and Islamophobes for war against the Islamic Republic.

Rodney Martin, a former congressional staffer based in Los Angeles, made the comments to Press TV on Sunday, a day after General Kenneth McKenzie said during a tour of the Persian Gulf region that the US was “to continue to reach out to our partners and friends in the region to ensure that we make common cause against the threat of Iran."

"I believe we'll have the resources necessary to deter Iran from taking actions that will be dangerous," the military official, who commands one of Pentagon’s war-oriented arms, had added.

Apr 30 10:56

Iranian Forces in Syria Remain 50 Miles Away From Israeli Border - Putin's Envoy

Iranian forces in Syria remain around 80 kilometers (50 miles) away from the border with Israel despite Washington's statement that it recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev told Sputnik in an interview.

"We have reached agreement with our Iranian friends that certain units that have been there [at the Syrian border with Israel] in order to ensure security of the southern de-escalation zone will be transferred to a safe distance, from 75 to 80 kilometers. They fulfill their promises," Lavrentyev said, when asked if Trump's statement had triggered the approaching of Iranian forces to the border.

Apr 30 10:47

Trump's Crusaders March to War on Iran

The world is still reeling in horror from the deadly Sri Lanka bombings that may have been the work of Islamic State madmen. Poor Sri Lanka has suffered so much after three decades of civil war and communal strife. We weep for this beautiful and once gentle nation.

But behind the horror in Sri Lanka, a huge crisis was building up of which the world has so far taken insufficient notice: renewed tensions in the oil-producing Gulf. This is the latest attempt by the United States to crush Iran’s independent-minded government and return it to American tutelage.

The Trump administration has demanded that the principal importers of 1.2 billion barrels of Iranian oil halt purchases almost immediately. This imperial diktat includes China, South Korea, Turkey, India and Japan. The comprehensive embargo is very close to an all-out act of war. In 1941, America’s cut-off of oil to Japan provoked the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Apr 30 09:07

Trump's Crusaders March to War on Iran

The world is still reeling in horror from the deadly Sri Lanka bombings that may have been the work of Islamic State madmen. Poor Sri Lanka has suffered so much after three decades of civil war and communal strife. We weep for this beautiful and once gentle nation.

But behind the horror in Sri Lanka, a huge crisis was building up of which the world has so far taken insufficient notice: renewed tensions in the oil-producing Gulf. This is the latest attempt by the United States to crush Iran’s independent-minded government and return it to American tutelage.

Apr 29 11:24

Trump's Iran terrorist designation is designed to lock in endless enmity

Branding the Revolutionary Guard Corps as terrorists serves Israel and Saudi Arabia’s interests but makes an Obama-style rapprochement by a future president more difficult

Apr 29 11:23

Trump Officials: China Gets No ‘Wind-Down’ Period for Cutting Iran Oil Purchases

In comments that may set up a catastrophic amount of fallout in international trade, officials from the Trump Administration say that China will absolutely not be given any time to “wind-down” their purchases of Iranian oil, nor any extensions beyond May 1.

Apr 29 10:52

Watch: Iran Guards Claim Drone Overflight of U.S. Carrier in Gulf

A camera-equipped Iran Revolutionary Guards’ spy drone flew over an American aircraft carrier transiting the Strait of Hormuz, Tasnim news agency claimed in a Sunday report on its site.

The unverified report included footage apparently taken from a Guard drone that flew over the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and another U.S. warship in the Persian Gulf. The images show fighter planes parked on the carrier deck.

A video published by the agency shows a light blue coloured drone with the name “Ababil III” written on the wings in Farsi and Latin script.

Apr 29 10:44

New York Times apologizes again for 'offensive' Trump, Netanyahu cartoon that 'included anti-Semitic tropes'

View image on Twitter

New York Times Opinion

We apologize for the anti-Semitic cartoon we published. Here’s our statement.

"We are deeply sorry for the publication of an anti-Semitic political cartoon last Thursday in the print edition of The New York Times that circulates outside of the United States, and we are committed to making sure nothing like this happens again," the opinion section tweeted Sunday.

"Such imagery is always dangerous, and at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide, it's all the more unacceptable," continued the apology, which was widely shared on Twitter.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

To the editorial staff of the NYT:

Dear all; yes, I understand why you apologised.

But having said that, is there any place at your table, where one can objectively talk about what is really happening between the US and Israel, under President Trump's watch, where sheer logic could never be construed as being "anti-Semitic?!?

Fact: Israel is the largest recipient of US foreign aid.

US Foreign Aid to Israel

the article goes on to state:

This report provides an overview of U.S. foreign assistance to Israel. It includes a review of past
aid programs, data on annual assistance, and analysis of current issues. For general information
on Israel, see CRS Report RL33476, Israel: Background and U.S. Relations, by Jim Zanotti.
Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. To date,
the United States has provided Israel $134.7 billion (current, or noninflation-adjusted, dollars) in
bilateral assistance and missile defense funding. Almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the
form of military assistance, although in the past Israel also received significant economic
assistance.
At a signing ceremony at the State Department on September 14, 2016, representatives of the
U.S. and Israeli governments signed a new 10-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on
military aid covering FY2019 to FY2028. Under the terms of the MOU, the United States pledges
to provide $38 billion in military aid ($33 billion in Foreign Military Financing grants plus
$5 billion in missile defense appropriations) to Israel. This MOU replaces a previous $30 billion
10-year agreement, which runs through FY2018.
Israel is the first international operator of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Department of
Defense’s fifth-generation stealth aircraft, considered to be the most technologically advanced
fighter jet ever made. To date, Israel has purchased 50 F-35s in three separate contracts.

With all that money spent, one would think that Israel would be doing everything possible to keep relationships with its neighboring countries stable, and at least, show a little bit of gratitude in that manner to the US government.

Fact: Israel has a real difficulty with "getting along" with most of its neighbors, particularly if they have oil (like Iran), or water(as does Lebanon), and its politicians are consistently screaming at the US to "do something" about their allegedly impossible neighbors, before they "go it alone." (which will only happen when pigs discover they are aerodynamic).

Fact: when Sheldon Adelson gave President Trump all those millions to get elected Adelson reportedly watch the election with Trump, President Trump understood what the quid pro quo was; to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel (which he did), and second, create a "Middle East Deal" which offered no "right of return" for the Palestinians. The first demand, Netanyahu got; and our current understanding is that Jared Kushner, Trump's son in law, is working on that "deal" for mid-East Peace.

Fact: were I living in Iran right now, I would be very nervous, as President Trump has declared "no waivers" would continue past 2 May for countries which had been buying Iranian oil, in order to attempt to destroy Iran's economy. This includes China, and all the other countries which may not pay attention to Trump's demand. We now have two US carriers in the Mediterranean Sea, allegedly to insure Russia "gets the message" of "no interference" 2 US Navy aircraft carriers are making a statement in the Mediterranean Sea.Color me very nervous about what lengths the US is willing to go, to make that happen.

Fact: if I lived in Syria right now, I would be more than a little bit nervous, because the White House and Pentagon have decided to leave troops here, and there is no definitive pullout schedule which has been released. US keeping +/- 200 troops in Syria.Thinking people have to ask, "Why?!? IS there going to be an attempted "de-cap strike" against Damascus, understanding that Russia's Putin has given Al Assad all the military "muscle power" it needed to have substantially, and pretty successfully, beaten back the (US Trained & funded) jihadis?!?

Fact: were I a Gazan Palestinian right now, I would be very nervous about the lengths Israel is willing to go, to achieve a complete exodus of the Palestinian people (to where, I cannot tell you, because neighboring countries are overflowing with refugees, and cannot take any more), and claim Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, as solely Israeli.

As an American who cares about her country, I am very concerned about the dangerous territory to which the US/Israeli relationship is taking this country. Does it ever concern you, BTW, that the two Middle Eastern men by whom President Trump seems to be so thoroughly fascinated, are the two butchers in the Middle East, Prince bin Salman, the Butcher of Yemen, and Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Butcher of Gaza?!? And please don't tell me, that in this man's "heart of hearts", he hopes for a just and lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians; because with everything he has done, in his numerous terms as PM, he has done the polar opposite of attempting to create peace. He doesn't use the word "extermination" when talking about the Palestinians in Gaza, because he knows that the optics would be terrible; but some of his more rabid followers would have absolutely no problem with this.

I cannot foretell where these relationships is taking this country, but I can tell you this; something wicked this way comes.

And were I a betting woman, I would bet that Israel is pushing the US as hard as it thinks it can, to declare the devolution of the US's ongoing economic war in the region into a shooting war against all of its alleged existential enemies; we're talking about a war with Syria (which would, again, most likely include a war with Russia if not Russia and China); war against Iran (which will most likely, involve war with Russia and China)

To the Editors of the NYT, I have just expressed my fact-based opinion on what is going to happen here, and I am hoping that I am dead-wrong; but I have a very clear understanding of what Israel did to the USS Liberty, and then tried to "fake it" by wrongly accusing Egypt of the attack.

"False flag attacks" by both the Israeli and US military, are a common stock-in-trade they both use.

And if you have any members of your families serving the US militarily, please, as best you can, pray for them; because if what I see coming does come to pass, they -and their commanders, and the collective members of the US government - will need it. And I say this because, at this point in the the US's military history, they do not have the money, the troop strength, the manufacturing, or the weaponry to create a successful outcome to a war against either Russia and/or China.

Apr 29 10:29

US ships still responsive to IRGC in Strait of Hormuz: Top Iranian cmdr.

Iran’s top military commander says all American ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz have so far remained answerable to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as the force in charge of security in the strategic waterway despite Washington’s latest wave of hostile measures against the Iranian nation.

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri told reporters on Sunday that no change has so far been reported in the conduct of US warships, commercial vessels and oil tankers, and they have up until now been responding to the IRGC’s questions as usual while sailing through the Strait of Hormuz

He said Iran wants the strait — through which nearly one-third of all oil traded by sea passes — to remain open and secure, warning that the country will not allow anyone to destabilize the waters.

Apr 28 06:53

UNSC Highly Unlikely to Comply with Trump's IRGC Designation

Richard Nephew, who served as the lead sanctions expert for the US team negotiating with Iran, says the impacts of the Trump administration's move to blacklist Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps as a terrorist entity are constrained by the United States' geographical boundaries as the world community seems to be adamant to the move.

Nephew, who is now a fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, told FNA that the UN Security Council is "highly unlikely" to comply with President Trump's decision on IRGC.

What follows is the full text of FNA's interview with the architect of Iran sanctions:>>>

Apr 27 10:17

Putin's Envoy: Iranian Forces in Syria Remain 50 Miles Away From Israeli Border


***
Iranian forces in Syria remain around 80 kilometers (50 miles) away from the border with Israel despite Washington’s statement that it recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev told Sputnik in an interview.

“We have reached agreement with our Iranian friends that certain units that have been there [at the Syrian border with Israel] in order to ensure security of the southern de-escalation zone will be transferred to a safe distance, from 75 to 80 kilometers. They fulfill their promises,” Lavrentyev said, when asked if Trump’s statement had triggered the approaching of Iranian forces to the border.

In July 2018, Iran agreed, due to the Russian mediation, to move its units present in Syria away from the border with Israel by 85 kilometers, which significantly reduced Israeli concerns, according to the presidential envoy. The recent statement by US President Donald Trump on the US recognition of the Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, disputed between Israel and Syria, could have made Tehran change its decision>>>

Apr 27 10:07

Russia, Turkey & Iran condemn US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights

The guarantor states of the Astana process declared their intention to counter separatist plans against Syria this country, according to the joint statement of Russia, Iran and Turkey. It was released on Friday after a regular round of negotiations in Nur-Sultan, TASS reports. The three states confirmed their commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria.

Apr 27 08:29

US Oil Companies To Make Billions Out Of Tougher Sanctions On Iran

The market value of US drilling companies has increased by billions of dollars, after Washington announced that it will not renew sanctions waivers granted to eight countries allowing them to import oil from Iran. The companies, which are concentrated in states such as Texas, Oklahoma and California, look like being the main winners from tougher US sanctions on Iran, Bloomberg has reported .

The US decision has also increased the profits of US energy companies that are among the biggest beneficiaries of sanctions aimed at crippling Iran and pushing it to the negotiating table.

>>>

US crude plunges 2.9%, settling at $63.30, after Trump says he told OPEC to tame fuel costs

***

Average US price of gas spikes 13 cents per gallon, to $2.91

>>>

Apr 26 11:31

War on Iran & Calling America’s Bluff

Vast swathes of the West seem not to realize that if the Strait of Hormuz is shut down a global depression will follow, writes Pepe Escobar.

Apr 26 11:05

High-level Russian delegation in Iraq to discuss trade ties

A high-level Russian delegation is visiting Iraq to discuss trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

The delegation, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov, met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Alhakim on Thursday.

Borisov said the two sides discussed trade in agriculture and industry and said his country is seeking to increase food exports to Iraq.

Iraq is reliant on imports to feed its population, and imports a significant portion of food items from Iran.

Apr 26 11:05

Iran will not let any country replace its oil in the market - ministry

Iran will not allow any country replace its oil sales in the global market, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, after the United States told importers to halt Iranian purchases from May.

Washington has decided not to renew its exemptions from U.S. sanctions against Iran that it granted last year to buyers of Iranian oil.

A senior U.S. administration official said on Monday that President Donald Trump was confident Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would fill any gap left in the oil market.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will not allow any country to replace Iran in the oil market. The United States and those countries will be responsible for any consequences,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.

Apr 26 10:56

US grants exemptions to new sanctions on Iran’s elite military force

The United States has announced exemptions to new sanctions imposed on Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), easing foreign dealings with the elite military force, which Washington blacklisted earlier this month.

Under the waivers outlined by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in two notices on Wednesday, foreign governments and businesses that have dealings with the IRGC and its affiliates will not be subject to a ban on US travel.

Pompeo said in the notices published in the Federal Register that he decided to waive the travel bans in US foreign policy and national security interests.

The exceptions would allow those who work with the US in Iraq and Lebanon to maintain their relations with the IRGC without fear of repercussions.

Apr 26 09:45

Are the United States and Israel Entrapping Iran to Close the Strait of Hormuz?

Apr 26 04:43

Iran Attaches No Value to Trump's Illegal Behavior

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami condemned the US designation of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a "terrorist organization", stressing that President Donald Trump's behavior and decisions have no value to Iran.

"The Americans are trying to weaken and distort the Islamic Republic of Iran's positions in the region and in the fight against the Takfiri-Zionist grouplets through weakening the powerful and anti-arrogance IRGC," General Hatami said in a meeting with his Serbian counterpart on the sidelines of the eighth Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) on Thursday.

He said that Iran does not attach any importance to Trump's illegal behaviors which are against the international regulations.

"We believe that Americans are in the status of desperation
and intend to foment insecurity and instability in the region with double-standard and contradictory attitude on the international scene."

>>>

Apr 25 11:22

Iranian FM: Trump Doesn't Want War, But Could Be 'Lured Into One'

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif says that Iran is confident in its ability to evade US sanctions, noting that the country has a "Ph.D in that area."

In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Zarif went on to say that he believes US President Donald Trump doesn't want to go to war with Iran, but that he could be "lured into one." In such an event, he noted that Iran would be ready to defend itself.

As for who might goad Trump into a conflict, Zarif named US National Security Adviser John Bolton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, among others. He warned that certain individuals could try to "plot an accident" that would ultimately cause a broader crisis, Reuters reported.

Apr 25 11:16

US Faces ‘Test of Power’ in Trying to Enforce Iran Sanctions - Ex-EU Consultant

US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo face an uphill struggle to force other nations to abandon their oil trade with Iran, former European Union consultant Paolo von Schirach told Sputnik.

On Monday, the US government announced that it would not renew waivers for Iranian oil importers that are valid through 1 May, 2019. The waivers were granted to eight countries: China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey in November 2018.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters at the United Nations on Wednesday that Iran will continue to sell its oil despite US sanctions and survive Washington’s attempt to deal with Tehran through oppression.

Apr 25 11:13

President Rouhani: Iran will not talk with US as long as it keeps lying

President Hassan Rouhani says Washington’s claims of seeking negotiations with Iran are “mere lies” and that the United States, in fact, intends to force the Iranian nation to its knees.

Contrary to what some are trying to promote, “the US does not possess the willingness for negotiations at all,” the president told a cabinet session in Tehran on Wednesday.

“The actions that it is taking are aimed at defeating the Iranian nation” and “making a return” to Iran, he added, referring to Washington’s ample presence and influence in the country prior to the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Rouhani said the US subversive measures against Iran have all failed on international, regional, and political arenas, and that its propagandist attempts targeting the Islamic Republic have all been defeated.

Washington has been and will likewise be frustrated in its anti-Iran economic drive, he added.

Apr 25 10:14

The West's irrational fear of Iran is a disaster waiting to happen

While western regimes craft a fresh humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, their corporate and state-owned media and corrupted think-tanks embody what Shakespeare's Lorenzo describes as "this muddy vesture of decay" – and, true to form, frustrate attempts to provide voice to their latest subaltern victims.

Increasingly vitriolic voices, from Paris to Washington, reveal exasperation and express a need to intimidate and justify the eviction of the many increasingly difficult tenants of the Fifth Estate.

Just as advanced capitalism has successfully transformed the first four estates into an almost homogeneous, postmodern utopia for well-heeled Wall Street and Ivory Tower dwellers – amid a deluge of conspiratorial narratives of existential threats – western regime-affiliated intellectual elites vigorously promote a "benign" monopoly in this lucrative piece of real estate.

Apr 25 09:48

The Path To War With Iran Is Paved With Sanctions

The Trump administration is laying siege to Iran. Taking pages from the Iraq War playbook, senior officials paint a picture of a rogue, outlaw, terrorist regime bent on acquiring nuclear weapons and whose “malign activities” are the cause of all the chaos in the Middle East. They know what they are doing. They have done it before. They are building a case for war.

The “maximum pressure” campaign by the White House, Treasury Department, and State Department accelerated this week with the announcement that the United States would force China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Turkey to cease all imports of Iranian oil or face severe U.S. sanctions. The goal is to cut to zero all of Iran’s oil exports, which account for some 40 percent of its national income. This strategy is unlikely to force the capitulation or collapse of the regime, but it very likely could lead to war.

Apr 25 09:22

Neocons Keep Pushing Iran... What if Iran Blocked the Straight of Hormuz?

The Trump administration once again has graphically demonstrated that in the young, turbulent 21st century, “international law” and “national sovereignty” already belong to the Realm of the Walking Dead.

As if a deluge of sanctions against a great deal of the planet was not enough, the latest “offer you can’t refuse” conveyed by a gangster posing as diplomat, Consul Minimus Mike Pompeo, now essentially orders the whole planet to submit to the one and only arbiter of world trade: Washington.

First the Trump administration unilaterally smashed a multinational, UN-endorsed agreement, the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal. Now the waivers that magnanimously allowed eight nations to import oil from Iran without incurring imperial wrath in the form of sanctions will expire on May 2 and won’t be renewed.

Apr 25 08:55

John Bolton Rumored Israeli attack on Lebanon. Going After Hezbollah Donors?

Now that Iran has designated the US military as a terrorist organization in response to the US declaring Iran’s Revolutionary Guards a terrorist group, it would be only fitting for the mullahs to offer a bounty for info on donors to the war party political class in the United States, in particular those calling for attacking Iran.

The Iranians might want to start with casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. In addition to donating millions to politicos who have sworn loyalty to Israel, Adelson famously called for nuking Iran.

Apr 25 08:45

Saudi executions: A message to Iran or a blow to Saudi Shia?

The killings will not put an end to the peaceful protest and activism of the Saudi Shia community, which has been struggling for equality for over half a century

On Tuesday, Saudi official sources announced the mass execution of 37 prisoners, including one rather abhorrent crucifixion, carried out after execution.

The prisoners were lumped together and charged with several ambiguous charges such as terrorism, conspiracy to undermine security, spying, spreading Shia Islam and murder. The crucified man was accused of murdering a woman and conspiring to murder another one.

At least 34 of the executed prisoners are Shia activists, professionals, religious scholars and a number of young men who were detained when they were minors

But please don’t ask yourself whether the 15 murderers who plotted and killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October were amongst them.

None of those had been named or charged openly in a Saudi court>>>

Apr 25 07:28

PEPE ESCOBAR: War on Iran & Calling America’s Bluff

The Trump administration once again has graphically demonstrated that in the young, turbulent 21st century, “international law” and “national sovereignty” already belong to the Realm of the Walking Dead.

As if a deluge of sanctions against a great deal of the planet was not enough, the latest “offer you can’t refuse” conveyed by a gangster posing as diplomat, Consul Minimus Mike Pompeo, now essentially orders the whole planet to submit to the one and only arbiter of world trade: Washington.

First the Trump administration unilaterally smashed a multinational, UN-endorsed agreement, the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal. Now the waivers that magnanimously allowed eight nations to import oil from Iran without incurring imperial wrath in the form of sanctions will expire on May 2 and won’t be renewed.

Apr 25 05:18

11 April 2019: The West's irrational fear of Iran is a disaster waiting to happen

If the Trump regime miscalculates, the house can easily come crashing down on its head

While Western regimes craft a fresh humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, their corporate and state-owned media and corrupted think-tanks embody what Shakespeare's Lorenzo describes as "this muddy vesture of decay" – and, true to form, frustrate attempts to provide voice to their latest subaltern victims.

Increasingly vitriolic voices, from Paris to Washington, reveal exasperation and express a need to intimidate and justify the eviction of the many increasingly difficult tenants of the Fifth Estate.

Just as advanced capitalism has successfully transformed the first four estates into an almost homogeneous, postmodern utopia for well-heeled Wall Street and Ivory Tower dwellers – amid a deluge of conspiratorial narratives of existential threats – western regime-affiliated intellectual elites vigorously promote a "benign" monopoly in this lucrative piece of real estate.

Ethnocentric worldview

As in Palestine, excavation and construction can only begin with a purge of "inferior" races, religions and social classes, as well as other "malign" influences. After all, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminds his European and North American allies, there is no place for the weak, who are destined for slaughter, while the strong survive.
***

Apr 24 10:51

Iran Not Backing Down: IRGC Navy Vows to Block US Ships from Important Waterway

The spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Abbas Mousavi, issued a statement on Monday that warned of “adverse consequences” if the U.S. ended their sanctions waiver on the Persian Gulf nation’s oil imports.

“Given the illegal nature of the U.S. sanctions, Iran has not and will not consider any value for the waivers granted,” Mousavi said. “However, in view of the negative effects in politics of these sanctions … Iranian Foreign Ministry has been continuously in touch with relevant domestic institutions while holding comprehensive consultations with many foreign partners, including Europeans.”

The Trump administration announced on Monday that they would be cancelling waivers to eight countries buying oil from Iran as they tighten the economic blockade against the Persian Gulf nation.

Mousavi said Iran will take appropriate actions to counter the U.S. move, adding that his government will make it public.

Apr 24 05:48

Report: White Helmets Ready

Report: Tahrir Al-Sham, Report: Tahrir Al-Sham, White Helmets Readying to Launch False-Flag Chemical Attack in Idlib
Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) terrorists and pro-militant White Helmets terrorists have fully prepared to launch false-flag chemical attack in Idlib Province, media reports said.

Tahrir al-Sham and other terrorist groups have coordinated with the White Helmets in Jorjnaz town in Ma'arat al-Numan region in Southern Idlib, the Arabic-language al-Mayadeen TV network quoted local sources in Idlib as saying.

The sources pointed to the terrorists' attempt to launch false-flag chemical attacks in Idlib at the order of their foreign sponsors, and said that the terrorists intend to use chlorine gas against civilians, including children who have been kidnapped from different regions of Idlib in recent years.
Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) terrorists and pro-militant White Helmets terrorists have fully prepared to launch false-flag chemical attack in Idlib Province, media reports said.

The terrorists plan to provide a pretext for attacks on Syria by the US-led coalition by carrying out false chemical attacks.

>>>

Apr 24 05:11

US Pressure on Iran Not to Strengthen Washington's International Authority

Washington's crackdown on Iranian oil exports won’t enhance the international standing of the United States, the Russian foreign ministry said.

"The US has obviously made a mistake in choosing tools, if it has decided to make Tehran an easy negotiator ready for any deals on American terms through suppressing it economically, dealing a blow to the living conditions of ordinary Iranians," Moscow stated.

"This policy won’t add international weight to Americans — the rest of the world sees perfectly well that Washington's policy is getting increasingly aggressive and reckless">>>

(*They're just jealous because our stock market is through the roof

.

for now!)

Apr 24 04:47

A Dagger Planted In The War Of Words? Rhouani: "Knife-Stabbing" Trump

Rouhani Stresses Iran' Continued Oil Sales, Rejects Talks with "Knife-Stabbing"
Trump

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani downplayed the effects of Washington's decision to end sanctions waivers on Iran's oil sales, and dismissed talks with the US administration which uses the language of threat and force to demand negotiations.

"We have always been people who favor talks and diplomacy as we are people of war and defense. Negotiations will be possible when all pressures are taken off, they (the US) apologize for their illegal measures and when there is mutual respect. Undoubtedly, demands by a knife-stabbing person who lies and is using force to hold talks is not accepted and we do not negotiate with a knife-stabbing person and with the formula of knife-stabbing, as accepting such negotiations means humiliation and surrender," President Rouhani said, addressing a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday.

>>>

(*as someone who lives in one of America's Blue States , I envey you , Sir , for the freedom they told me you hate me for having , because you got to say all that . Still you better brace for a tweetstorm , including a coloring book nickname , right in the back !)

Apr 23 17:13

Iran RETALIATES against Washington as Tehran brands ALL US forces ‘terrorist’

The new bill comes after Donald Trump branded the the elite Revolutionary Guard a foreign terrorist organisation earlier this month.

Apr 23 11:37

The Trump Administration's Iran Policy Will Hasten Imperial Decline

There was a postwar order, but was it liberal? Like most political orders, it looked much better on paper than it did in practice and to the core members of the order than those on the margins…

Liberal values were only remotely attached to the postwar institutions. Sovereign equality did not translate into a liberal world order. The postwar institutions were run by the most powerful countries, with middle and lesser powers either shunted to the back of the room or locked out altogether…Third World now comprised most of the world’s states, but it was on the outside looking in. Western states enjoyed democracy and the rule of law, but the U.S. and the former colonial masters undermined rather than supported democracy and human rights elsewhere. Some Western states and analysts presumed that the global order must have some legitimacy because there were no great (or at least successful) revolts by the Third World, but they mistook coercion and the lack of alternative for consent…

Apr 23 10:47

Iraq 'will be deprived of power' if it cuts Iran gas imports

raq's electricity minister said on Monday that the country will be "deprived of power" if the US decides to end its sanction waivers that has allowed Baghdad to purchase Iranian energy such as gas and electricity.

The US has granted eight countries a six-month exemption allowing them buy Iranian hydrocarbon products despite Washington's embargo, which took effect in November, but Washington announced the end of the waiver on Monday.

Iraq has received separate extensions to continue importing Iranian gas since the imposition of the economic embargo.

Baghdad was granted an extra 90-day waiver in March and it remains unclear whether it will be extended once again.

“If this stops then we will be deprived of 4,000 megawatts of electricity,” Musab Al Mudaris, spokesman for the Iraqi ministry of electricity, said on Monday.

The waiver stipulates that the countries must take steps to reduce Iranian purchases and move towards ending imports.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, the US government wants to attempt to get Iraq to stop buying Iran's oil?!?

How, really, are they going to do this?!? Re-invade Iraq, with an Iraq2.0, "golden cut" invasion?!?

Apr 23 10:11

As French US envoy calls Israel ‘apartheid state,’ Trump’s Palestine deal looks all but doomed

US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century,” aimed at resolving the decades-long conflict between Israel and Palestine, looks dead in the water, as speculation continues that the plan will be far more favorable to Israel.
Gérard Araud, France’s outgoing envoy to the US, dubbed Israel an “apartheid state” in a farewell interview with the Atlantic magazine on Friday and suggested that the secret plan is “very close to what the Israelis want” and 99 percent “doomed to fail.”

Still, Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, are exerting “immense pressure” on the Palestinians to accept Trump’s deal, a senior Fatah official told Iran’s Press TV on Monday. Those countries are “using all means, including political and financial blackmail” to force Palestinians into agreeing with the deal “despite all the dangers it poses to the Palestinian cause.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unfortunately, Aurad has this nailed perfectly; and no amount of money can possibly get the Palestinians to voluntarily give up what is left... of their homeland.

Apr 23 09:35

No more waivers: The United States will try to force Iranian oil exports to zero

In tightening sanctions on Iran, the Trump administration moved on Monday to isolate Tehran economically and undercut its power across the Middle East. But the clampdown has complicated relations with China at a particularly sensitive moment.

The decision to stop five of Iran’s biggest customers from buying its oil was an audacious strike at Tehran’s lifeline — one million barrels of oil exports daily, fully half of which go to China. The order was also aimed at India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey, all countries that trade robustly with the United States.

All are also partners with the United States on major security and diplomatic issues that do not involve Iran.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, let me get this straight; Is President Trump is attempting to use some kind of "economic force against China", so that it yields on purchasing Iran's oil?!?

Good luck with that, Mr. President!! And BTW, I was just wondering; what do you up your sleeve, in order to be able to do this?!?

And BTW, could your timing of this threat come at a worse possible time during the US/China economic negotiations?!?

I think not.

And also against the countries of India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey, which have been buying from American vendors?!?

Sir, forgive me, but this bites, BIG-TIME!!

So, sir, what are you prepared to do, particularly if China doesn't want to budge against your embargo of Iranian oil?!?

Are you seriously looking at, having US sailors "board foreign ships", to see if they are carrying any Iranian oil?!?

Sir, in case no one among your "advisors" has happened to mention it, the interdiction of a foreign ship in international waters, is very close to creating to a declaration of war against that country.

Perhaps a "false flag" to be blamed on Russia or China may be more to your liking.

But when President Bush lied about Iraq having alleged "weapons of mass destruction", (which, of course, he didn't, but that was the lie upon which which he staked the invasion and occupation of Iraq.) was the moment where I lost all faith in what any American governing bodies were saying, including the Executive; Judicial; Pentagon; and its Surveillance.

So what are we looking at here, Mr. President, a nuclear war against China, and Russia?!? Don't laugh; Paul Craig Roberts warned us a couple of years ago, that plans actually exist to make this happen.

This guy is one of the most sober-sided writer/reporter on the US political scene, and is quite credible.

Paul Craig Roberts: US plans exist to nuke Russia and China

War, even when the biggest US weaponry makers believe, and experience has proven them right, that their "donations" to various covert and overt political causes, makes them "bullet-proof" in terms of any governmental prosecution against them, for shoddy, outdated merchandise which does not behave as advertised?!?

Sir, I give you... the Lockheed-Martin F-35s, which is still a hot mess
technically:

August 2018: The Pentagon is Down-Playing Serious Problems with the F-35, watchdog says

January 2019: Stealth F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Still has some serious Problems

March 2019: F-35 FAR FROM READY TO FACE CURRENT OR FUTURE THREATS

From January, 2019:F-35 Logistics System resulting in Lost Missions

February, 2019: F-35 Fighter Jets will only be able to fly one quarter of expected life, due to Structural Issues

None of this information is confidential, having been previously published, both in print, and on-line. And please look them up for yourself; I am not telling anything that people already don't know, if they have been following the "process" of the evolution of the F-35.

Mr. President, you really need to think about this, as critically as you are able; because right now, in Spring of 2019, the US military does not have the weaponry; the troop strength; the manufacturing, or the money to make such a war conclude with a good outcome for this country.

So, as someone who cares about this country deeply, I am asking you: please, President Trump, don't look at a war against both China and Russia; the US may not fare too well, if this is, in fact, the plan.

And here is another little "caveat" to the above:

China Won't Find Lost F-35 stealth Fighter,

The article, Mr. President, continues to state: "The U.S. and Japanese militaries are dismissing the possibility that China will find Japan’s missing F-35A Lightning II aircraft before their own search parties.

“The Japanese have the lead there, and we’re working very collaboratively with them," acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Friday. "And we’ve got a capability if what they have doesn’t prove to be sufficient.”

When asked whether he was concerned China could get to the crash site first, Shanahan said: “No, I’m not.”

Somehow, I have a really hard time believing that last bit.

Apr 23 08:27

Oil Price Hits Fresh 2019 High After US Ends Waivers for Importing Iran Oil

Brent crude oil price on Tuesday rose to its highest level this year, just hours after Washington decided not to renew waivers that allow eight countries to buy Iranian oil without facing the United States' punishment.
Brent, the international oil benchmark, rose 0.8 percent to $74.64 in early European trading on Tuesday, adding to gains on Monday to reach its highest level since early November.

On Monday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the US marker, crude futures hit their highest level since October 2018 at $65.95 per barrel before edging back to $65.89, which was still up 0.5 percent from their last settlement. On Tuesday, West Texas Intermediate increased 0.9 per cent to $66.13.

>>>

Apr 23 07:05

US Decision on Iran's Oil Exports May Destroy Nuclear Deal

The European Union regrets the United States' decision to halt waivers on sanctions against importers of Iranian oil, which may undermine the success of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Spokesperson for EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Maja Kocijancic said on Tuesday.

"We regret yesterday's announcement by the US not to renew all waivers. This further risks undermining the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action… . We, as the European Union, will continue to abide by the JCPOA as long as Iran continues the full and effective implementation of its nuclear-related commitments," Kocijancic told reporters.

Iran has warned Europeans, as the main beneficiaries of the agreement with the Islamic republic, that the nuclear deal between Tehran and the world powers will be in danger if European countries fail to fulfill their pledge to ease the US pressures and allow the Islamic Republic to reap the economic benefits of the deal.

>>>

(*we're giving EU residents the same treatment were giving Venezuela, and apparently , our own Blue States )

Apr 23 06:53

Politicizing Oil, Big US Mistake

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said the US had made a big mistake by politicizing the oil market, and vowed Tehran's maximum effort to break Washington's sanctions.

Addressing the Iranian parliament on Tuesday, Zangeneh elaborated on the US decision to end waivers on Iran oil sanctions and the latest status ruling the oil market, and said, “Today, in this aggressive economic war that the United States has launched against Iran, the Iranian nation, the oil industry is on the forefront of this outrageous offensive. We must all join hands to pass these grave conditions behind with the help of God.”

“The imagination to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, with the help of God, will never be come true,” he said.

“The state of supply and demand is fragile in the current oil market, and the statements issued by the United States and its regional supporters to ensure the market in order to prevent rising oil prices, more than anything, betrays their concern for instability and fragility of the market”>>>

Apr 23 06:44

US Sanctions on Iranian Oil to Worsen Situation in Mideast, Cause Chaos at Energy Markets

Beijing on Tuesday once again lashed out at a US decision to end sanctions waivers it granted to some importers of Iranian oil, warning that it will fuel the “turmoil” in the troubled Middle East and in the global energy markets.

Calling the Washington decision a violation of Beijing's interests, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said the US is operating outside its jurisdiction in unilaterally imposing the sanctions.

“China firmly opposes the US implementation of unilateral sanctions and its so-called long-armed jurisdiction”>>>

Apr 23 03:14

US will not reissue waivers for Iran oil imports

In an effort to increase economic pressure on Iran, US announces it is ending waivers for countries importing Iran oil.

The Trump administration on Monday told five countries - Japan, South Korea, Turkey, China and India - that they would no longer be exempt from US sanctions if they continued to import oil from Iran after their waivers ended on May 2.

"We're going to zero. We're going to zero across the board," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters after the White House made the announcement in a statement. "There are no (oil) waivers that extend beyond that period, full stop," he said, adding that there would be no grace period for those economies to comply.

The United States which has engaged in a maximum pressure campaign against Tehran since Donald Trump came to office, had been giving the countries time to wean themselves off Iranian oil, but has decided that waivers would no longer be issued.

>>>

(*doubling down on being the biggest d**k the world has to deal with , after Netanyahu)

Apr 22 14:55

PM Imran Khan arrives in Tehran as Iran, Pakistan seek to expand ties

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived at Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport on Sunday night, after a brief stop-over in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad, on his first-ever official visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

At the airport, the Pakistani premier and his entourage were welcomed by Iranian Minister of Health and Medical Education Saeid Namaki.

Khan will be officially welcomed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at Sa'adabad Palace, north of Tehran, on Monday.

Following the ceremony, the Iranian and Pakistani delegations are expected to start their bilateral talks on expansion of Tehran-Islamabad ties in various political, economic, security, and cultural fields.

The prime minister is also expected to meet with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei during his stay in Tehran.

Apr 22 14:21

China says consistently opposes unilateral U.S. sanctions on Iran

China consistently opposes unilateral U.S. sanctions against Iran, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday amid reports that Washington is expected to announce that buyers of Iranian oil must halt imports soon or face sanctions.

Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, speaking at a daily news briefing, said China’s bilateral cooperation with Iran was in accordance with the law.

China is a major importer of Iranian oil and was one of eight buyers who were granted a waiver by the United States to continue buying Iranian oil.

Apr 22 14:20

Exclusive: U.S. carves out exceptions for foreigners dealing with IRGC

The United States has largely carved out exceptions so that foreign governments, firms and NGOs do not automatically face U.S. sanctions for dealing with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards after the group’s designation by Washington as a foreign terrorist group, according to three current and three former U.S. officials.

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