Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Salisbury CW Attack / Syrian CW Attack Ad Hoc Update (63) + Inauguration


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Russia maintaining propaganda firehose aimed at UK, even if distracted domestically by the “Enthronement” of the Vozhd. Much written on the latter with interesting observations by Meduza, Novaya Gazeta, and Kizim.

An update on Salisbury, and the Czech PM rejects Tovarishch Zeman’s assertions.

Israeli cabinet minister Steinitz warns Iran and Syria, if the latter permits the former to use Syria for the staging on Iranian attacks, Israel might just terminate Assad and topple the regime.

A media and political freefall over the Iran deal, awaiting the POTUS announcement. Iran’s currency “tanks”. Hezbollah and Turkey updates.


Kremlin upholds version that Skripals are kidnapped

According to the Russian Ambassador, “British government is deliberately destroying the evidence, classifying all remaining materials and making independent investigation impossible.”

Theresa May is mocked by Russian Embassy with ‘Three Billboards’ | Daily Mail Online

Mr Putin’s team has posted its own version of the famous scene from the Academy Award-winning film, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Russia analyst interviewed by ABC a ‘blatantly pro-Kremlin apologist’ | Media | The Guardian

RN breakfast program under fire for introducing Mark Sleboda as a ‘Moscow-based political analyst’ but not disclosing his work for the state-owned RT

Russian forces in Syria wreck Pantsir-S1 aerial defense system worth more than $ 10 million – To Inform is to Influence

05/06/2018 Russian Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile and gun system (SAMG) worth more than $ 10 million tipped over and received significant damage in Syria. On May 3, near the oil refinery in the Syrian city Baniyas  a Russian military convoy had a traffic accident. Its reason is so far unknown to us. According to Syrian sources, a…

Two Russian Pilots Killed In Helicopter Crash In Syria

A Russian military helicopter crashed on May 7 over eastern Syria, killing both pilots, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Russian Army Rehearses For Victory Day Parade

Some 13,000 Russian soldiers took part in a May 6 rehearsal for the upcoming Victory Day parade on Moscow’s Red Square. Marching troops were followed by military vehicles. Russia marks the end of World War II on May 9. (Reuters)

Russia to showcase robot tank in WW2 victory parade – BBC News

Russia is showing off more and more remote-controlled weapons.

Russia’s New Robot Tank With Canon and Missiles Will Be Unveiled at Moscow Rally

The annual Victory Day parade showcases Russia’s future military acquisitions.

Russia’s Victory Day parade: Weapons to watch – CNN

Russia will showcase some of its newest and most advanced military hardware on Wednesday when it stages its annual Victory Day Parade in Moscow’s Red Square.

“Strength” of Russia’s defense industry – news about economy

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has recently released a report where, among other things, it says Russia’s military spending has fallen for the first time since 1998 and stood at $66.3 billion in 2017, which is 20% less than in 2016. However, it is important that the SIPRI stats do not always reflect the reality clearly, since this institution has been using its own methodology. For example, SIPRI regularly publishes rankings of arms exporters and importers, using a methodology that levels out the actual value of weapons and displays its own index. As a result, they have a T-72 tank costing the same as the latest version of Leopard. The same applies to SIPRI’s data on Russian defense budget cuts. If the organization did its calculations taking into account the exchange rate (it used to be RUB 30 to the dollar while now it’s RUB 62 to the dollar), then the expenditures did fall, while Russia’s aggressive policy did not change a bit. Also, for example, if an average Russian army officer was paid RUB 60,000, they still get the same amount today. For Swedish researchers, this means that it has shrunk 50 percent, while it hasn’t really changed from the perspective of a military unit’s book-keepers. Things are about the same as regards other military expenditures in Russia. They haven’t really changed, even slightly increased in some areas. Once again, it should be stressed that Russia pursues its aggressive stance, which is even escalating further. In particular, we see this happening in Syria where Russia has been actively employing private military companies (PMCs) in its campaign. They are no PMCs, in fact. In fact, they are all projects of Russian intelligence, simply using these structures as a cover. Maintaining these “PMCs” is a costly endeavor, because these contractors, or mercenaries serving under such cover, are paid a lot. We are now seeing a Russian PMC starting to operate in the Central African Republic… That is, their activities are expanding, which means that funding for these structures is not being cut.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Western Sanctions Slowing Russian Shipbuilding and Undermining Russian Navy, Experts Say

Paul Goble Staunton, May 7 – Western sanctions are hitting one segment of the Russian military-industrial complex particularly hard – the refitting of old and the construction of new naval vessels – something that meant the Russian fleet was dangerously overextended during its Syrian operation, according to Sergey Ishchenko. The Russian military commentator says that Russian yards have not been able to find substitutes for German-produced diesel engines – the Chinese ones are not easily adapted to Russian needs – and thus there have been significant delays in the refitting and construction of naval vessels (svpressa.ru/war21/article/199557/). This sanctions-created bottleneck is being exacerbated by longstanding problems in the Russian yards, he and other experts say, and by Moscow’s current commitment to developing small rather than large firms. Only the latter, these experts say, are capable of producing what is needed for major projects. Ishchenko points out that these conclusions are on the basis of indirect evidence given that most of these ship-building and naval issues are classified, but he points out that commanders have complained about many of these problems and in this article documents delays in many of the most important refitting and construction programs. “Do our admirals understand the existing situation?” the analyst asks rhetorically. “Naturally, they do and much better than you or I. But the existing situation with the fleet doesn’t leave them with a choice” but to obey orders even if that requires that they push ships beyond their capacity and have to do with fewer ships than they need. This is not the only indication of bottlenecks in the Russian military. Minister Sergey Shoygu issued an order that the only city where the Russian air force would overfly May 9th parades is Moscow. All others will have to do without. Analysts say that this reflects both a shortage of planes and a shortage of pilots (vn.ru/news-vozdushnogo-parada-ne-budet-9-maya-2018-v-novosibirske-/ and el-murid.livejournal.com/3794727.html).

Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘They Expected Nicholas II but Putin Showed Up Instead’ – and Other Online Comments about the Enthronement

Paul Goble Staunton, May 7 – In Soviet times, Russians made remarks and told jokes about the regime in their kitchens. Now, they increasingly turn to the Internet where they post their observations about the powers that be. That is what has happened again today as Russians react to Vladimir Putin’s inauguration/enthronement. The Meduza news agency provides a selection which says rather more about how Russians really feel about the Kremlin leader than do all the regime’s commentators and paid-for polls (meduza.io/shapito/2018/05/07/ona-zhdala-nikolaya-ii-a-on-ne-vyshel). Among the best of these comments are the following: · In the Kremlin Palace, those in attendance “expected Nicholas II but he didn’t come” – only Putin. · No one should complain about crowds or traffic in Moscow – at least today – as the officials have emptied the streets in the name of security. · As soon as the guests passed through the entrance, Kremlin maids arrived and vacuumed the rug Putin was to walk on. · Putin on taking the oath was given “the symbols of state power” in Russia: “the club and the nagaika.” · When everything was ready, Putin told the chief justice of the Russian Supreme Court he could begin. Zorkin then said: “crime in office.” · Among those who attended were Steven Seagal, Russian bikers, but no senior foreign leaders. · Putin declares that too much security “limits the aspirations for the future of our country.” · One viewer said he listened to Putin speak but wanted to know “when the cartoons with rockets will be shown?” · Putin declares that “people will live better.” He then laughs. · A picture shows a Russian woman trying to keep the door through which Putin entered closed. She has a look of horror on her face and carries a knife. · The honored guests in the front of the crowd at the inaugural have “the classic Moscow cashier grimace” — “’No, I certainly can’t change that 1000 ruble note.’” · And one blogger put up a time clock showing that Russians and everyone else has only 52,607 hours until the end of this Putin term.

Ten Things That Caught Our Eye In Putin’s Inauguration Speech – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Carl Schreck take a look at the substance of Putin’s inauguration speech.

Russia inauguration: What did Vladimir Putin say | News | Al Jazeera

President Putin took the oath of office on Monday. Here is a full transcript of what he said at his inauguration.

Did philosopher Alexander Dugin, aka “Putin’s brain,” shape the 2016 election? – To Inform is to Influence

Alexander Dugin wants a left-right alliance against liberalism — and urged Russia to meddle in Western politics CONOR LYNCH MAY 5, 2018 10:00AM (UTC) Alexander Dugin can often sound like a postmodern thinker straight out of late 20th-century Paris. The Russian philosopher, political theorist and far-right ideologue, who has been called everything from “Putin’s brain” to “Putin’s…

“Crimean Cossacks” who whipped Moscow protesters fought against Ukraine in Donbas | UNIAN

The infamous “Cossacks” who were seen whipping and beating up peaceful protesters at a #notourtsar rally in Moscow had previously taken part in Donbas hostilities as part of Moscow’s proxy forces in Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine. According to Novaya Gazeta, the so-called Crimean Cossack Regiment of Ataman Yakov Baklanov is a unit that has been regularly employed by the Kremlin in a range of its proxy efforts from Crimea to Donbas. These uniformed men have a wealth of experience in conflict situations: from raiding contemporary art exhibits to taking part in hostilities in eastern Ukraine, the publication stresses. The report says the commander of the “Crimean Cossack regiment,” Nikolai Dyakonov, is a board member of the “Union of Donbass Volunteers” [one of the most prominent organizations recruiting Russians across the country to fight against Ukraine in eastern Ukraine]. At the same time, the “Crimean Cossack Regiment” is part of the Union of Cossack Warriors of Russia and Foreign Lands. Dyakonov could not be reached for comment, according to the newspaper. It is noted that Diakonov with a hundred of his subordinates arrived in Crimea on March 1, 2014, right after the notorious “little green men” [read “Russian regular troops] were deployed. Dyakonov has managed to unite a number of local “Cossacks,” who started off from holding “preventive conversations” with pro-Ukrainian activists of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people. They also set up roadblocks around Sevastopol and started patrolling the coastline.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: When a State Gives Power to Bandits as the Putin Regime has, It is Doomed, Yakovenko Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 7 – All too many Russian and foreign media outlets are describing the people who attacked demonstrators in Russian cities this weekend as Cossacks because that is how those dressed as Cossacks want to be described and how the Kremlin finds it useful to distance itself from those doing its dirty work. But Vladimir Melikhov, a prominent Russian historian of the Cossacks, points out that these have nothing to do with Cossacks and that what has occurred is “a primitive provocation which shames the Cossacks” even as it helps the Kremlin to repress any criticism of the regime (afterempire.info/2018/05/07/kazaki5may/). This use of pseudo-Cossacks by the Russian powers that be, however, has even larger implications than that. As Russian commentator Igor Yakovenko argues, the use of such people is part of an effort by the Kremlin to restore an officially stratified society and thus accelerates the collapse of the state and the country (afterempire.info/2018/05/07/kazaki-razval/). What happened on Saturday was an attack by “armed bandits” whose actions were backed by the state on “peaceful citizens,” a move the regime made to defend itself but that in fact will undermine its authority and even power still further, Yakovenko says. “The bandits” involved in this case styled themselves as the Central Cossack Host, a “laughable” NGO supported by the Moscow government to combat demonstrations. Before 1917, there was no Central Cossack Host, he notes, and its nominal “ataman,” retired FSB lieutenant general Ivan Kuzmich, shows what this detachment really is about. It is an indication, Yakovenko says, “about the seriousness of plans of the leadership of Moscow and Russia regarding the bandits dressed in Cossack uniforms.” The Cossacks are first and foremost a social stratum, although many real Cossacks describe themselves as a separate ethno-social group ore even nation. But for the Russian government, they are a stratum. Such social arrangements are “a sign of a medieval society,” Yakovenko says; and that is why in one of its first actions, the Soviet government in November 1917 abolished such “strata.” As a result of that decree and the murderous de-Cossackization effort of the communists, Cossackry was reduced “for almost eight decades” to a matter of history and folklore. But in the 1990s, Boris Yeltsin began the process of restoring the Cossacks to “quasi-stratum status” by registering almost anyone as a Cossack who made such a claim and using them as adjuncts to the police. Many signed up; few in fact had any knowledge of or background as Cossacks. Giving these “Cossacks” a quasi-stratum status, however, had far-reaching consequences because it opened the door to creating a society in which everyone would have to be a member of a social stratum with distinct laws and social and political opportunities, Yakovenko says. And it led some to talk about the FSB officers as “’a new nobility’” for the Putin system. What happened on Saturday thus should be viewed as a crossing of the Rubicon “in relations between the powers and part of society,” the Russian commentator continues, for that reason and because “the police having handed over to bandits the right to use force have reduced themselves to the status of bandits not only morally but formally legally as well.” By including the bandits in the process of dispersing protesters as it has, the Putin regime has thus “launched the breakup of the Russian Federation,” Yakovenko says, because “when a state gives bandits the right to force, it disappears. Not immediately and most likely via blood but inevitably.”

‘He’s Not Our Tsar’: Russians Protest Putin Ahead of Inauguration

More than a thousand protesters were detained across the country.

Russia arrested 1,600 people for protesting against Putin – Business Insider

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and around 1,600 anti-Kremlin activists were detained by police on Saturday for protesting Putin’s upcoming inauguration. Putin won re-election overwhelmingly in March. Putin’s fourth term as president means he will have been in power for 24 years, making him Moscow’s longest-serving leader since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

Pro-Kremlin Cossack troops to ‘ensure public safety’ at World Cup | World news | The Guardian

Organisation whose members attacked protesters at recent anti-Putin rally enlisted to help National Guard in Moscow

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Three Myths about Putin Regime, Russian Opposition, and Power of Kremlin Propaganda

Paul Goble Staunton, May 6 – Many widely accepted notions are not true, Oleg Kizim says; but three myths first about the Putin regime, second about the Russian opposition, and the third about the supposed all-powerful nature of Kremlin propaganda are not only wrong but get in the way of understanding what is happening in Russia today. The first myth is that “the opposition dreams about a revolution” while the Putin regime wants quiet and stability above all else, the Russian commentator says. “In reality, everything is exactly the opposite: the powers dream about a revolution” begun by the opposition that they can then crush (publizist.ru/blogs/107559/24870/-). “Best of all” for those in power would be “a revolution with barricades, burned out cars, broken windows, Molotov cocktails, hanged policemen and young people in masks. That would be ideal,” Kizim says. Such an event could be used on television to show that “the opposition is chaos and anarchy which only the Kremlin power can save the country from.” According to the commentator, “a revolution is the dream of all today’s chekists: how many promotions, orders and money they will get from its suppression! How many careers they will be able to make!” Consequently, all these people in power were disappointed with what happened on Saturday. “Dozens of meetings across the country – and not a single broken window. Not one burned out car. Not one storming of a barracks and the handing out of guns. All exceptionally peaceful and within the law.” Consequently, the authorities tried provocations with so-called “Cossacks,” but that too backfired: to the outrageousness of the powers, demonstrators acted with restraint. The second myth, Kizim says, is that “the opposition is made up of Russophobes while the authorities are patriots.” Nonsense. “Nowhere are there so many committed Russophobes as in power. They consider that the people are stupid and dark,” that they can’t be trusted with anything even the election of a mayor, and that any criticism by them must be stomped out. “In fact, criticism is a feedback loop. It is a cry for help,” Kizim continues. To blame those who are responding to what is going on them is utterly stupid. Criticism should direct attention to what needs to be corrected. “An individual who honestly tells you about our [problems] is your friend and not an enemy.” And the third myth is about “the unbelievable successes of domestic propaganda.” One would think from what some say that “Russian propagandists are so smart and inventive that they control the minds of all Russians. Again, this is not true. There is no more witless propaganda than in Russia,” and consequently people are driven to use the Internet. Those who watch official television are “mostly pensioners and homemakers, that is, those who do not make politics in the country.” And official attempts to control the Internet as with Telegram are “a sign of [their] weakness and not their strength. “Controlling the press is already insufficient; censorship already doesn’t help.” Any successes Russian propaganda has had, Kizim says, are the product of the amount of money the regime spends on it and not its cleverness or inventiveness. “In honest and open competition, the present ‘sharks of the pro-power pen’ would be beaten to a pulp just as happened with the false Soviet singers about ‘the party and personally.’” Recognizing these three myths as the falsehoods they are, the Russian commentator suggests, will not only dispel them but also have the effect of dispelling the larger myth of the enormous support the regime supposedly has and thus call attention to the real situation which is in that case as well just the reverse.

Russia’s Putin sworn in for another six years in office | Reuters

Vladimir Putin was sworn in for another six years as Russian president on Monday, buoyed by popular support but weighed down too by a costly confrontation with the West, a fragile economy and uncertainty about what happens when his term ends.

Putin Sworn In For Fourth Term As President

Vladimir Putin made an emotional appeal to Russian patriotism, saying his country had a long history of overcoming challenges and making mighty leaps forward, as he was sworn in for a fourth term as Russian president at a glittering ceremony in the Kremlin.

Putin Starts New Term After Protests, Amid Tension With West

Vladimir Putin has been sworn in to a new six-year term as Russian president, vowing to “serve the people” and improve their lives while protecting what he called a country of “great victories and feats.”

How a Russian meme sheds light on what to expect from Putin’s fourth term | Trudy Rubin – Philly

The Russian leader’s foreign ventures hurt his own people, but he manages to distract them with anti-Western propaganda and adventures. – Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. MOSCOW — A joke I heard repeatedly during two weeks in Russia hints at what we should expect from Vladimir Putin’s fourth term as president, which begins Monday. One Russian academic admitted, “This joke isn’t really funny.” But it does reveal the difficulties America will face in dealing with Putin in the coming six years (compounded by Donald Trump’s strange affection for the Russian strongman). Angry at new Western sanctions, the joke goes, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov tells the minister of defense, “Bomb London.” “But my daughter is studying there,” the minister complains. “OK, bomb New York.” “But my son is working there,” another cabinet minister interjects. “Then bomb Voronezh,” Lavrov finally snaps, referring to a Russian provincial city. Among the Russian intelligentsia, the meme “Bomb Voronezh” means that Putin’s reactions to sanctions hurt ordinary Russians more than they do the West. On the surface, Moscow doesn’t look as though it is hurting. Throughout the city, glitzy malls feature high-end Western brands of clothing and furniture. A wall plaque of Lenin not far from the Kremlin sits next to a huge glass window splashed with the Valentino label. Fancy restaurants and coffee houses are full. But the Russian ruble has slid as sanctions have taken hold, badly hurting ordinary Russians. A professor may make only around a thousand dollars a month, with salaries in the provinces far lower.

As Putin Begins 4th Term, Inauguration Highlights His Vast Power – The New York Times

In a theatrical touch, a televised ceremony began with President Vladimir V. Putin sitting at his desk in the Kremlin, suit jacket over his chair, as if hard at work until moments before.

Russians tell pollsters that they want reforms, but they still love Putin

According to a new national survey by the Levada Center, Russians say Vladimir Putin’s greatest successes in his third presidential term were “returning the country to the status of a great power” (47 percent of respondents) and “stabilizing the situation in the North Caucasus” (38 percent). Russians were less thrilled about Putin’s ability to ensure income equality (45 percent of respondents say he failed here), and nearly a third of the poll’s respondents said Putin failed to raise wages, pensions, stipends, and social benefits. Three years earlier, only 15 percent of Russians said the president didn’t keep his word on this issue. According to a new survey by the state-run pollster VTsIOM, almost 90 percent of Russians say the country needs at least some degree of transformation. More than half of respondents (59 percent) told VTsIOM that Russia needs big changes, while another 30 percent said the country needs changes in some spheres. Just two percent of those polled said Russia doesn’t need any reforms. Meanwhile, 82 percent of respondents said they approve of Vladimir Putin’s job performance as president.

Russia’s Putin taps Medvedev for prime minister

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday put forward Dmitry Medvedev for the post of prime minister, the Kremlin said in a statement on its website. Medvedev, who had been prime minister since 2012, resigned earlier on Monday along with the rest of the government in line with procedure. Putin was

Putin Starts New Term With Same Premier as Foreign Tensions Grow – Bloomberg

Vladimir Putin was sworn in for the fourth time as president, promising Russians an “economic and technological breakthrough” and reappointing his long-serving prime minister amid the deepest standoff with the West in decades.

Putin’s image: An inextricable part of Russian life | Fox News

As Vladimir Putin begins his fourth term as Russia’s president, his image is ubiquitous at home and effectively Russia’s brand worldwide.

Putin promises to seek ‘a new quality of life’ for Russians as he takes oath of office for 4th term

Vladimir Putin took the oath of office for his fourth term as Russian president on Monday and promised to pursue an economic agenda that would boost living standards across the country.

Vladimir Putin is right: Russia can only advance if it becomes a free society | The Independent

There was no scrimping on the pomp or the ceremony, as Vladimir Putin was sworn in for a fourth term as president of Russia in one of the Kremlin’s many ornate halls. A peculiar cast of guests included not only top Russian politicians and officials, but also the head of the Orthodox Church and Putin’s friend from Hollywood, Steven Seagal – as well as around 5,000 others. To some, it seemed more coronation than inauguration.

As Putin Starts Fourth Term, Higher Oil Prices Give Him Some Security – WSJ

Russian President Vladimir Putin began his fourth term with an unexpected weapon in his arsenal against Western sanctions: higher oil prices.

Russians Divided On Putin As He Enters Fourth Term

A straw poll on the streets of Moscow found mixed views of Vladimir Putin, as he began his fourth term as Russian president.

Medvedev confirmed as Russian prime minister in parliament vote

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s lower house of parliament confirmed Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister on Tuesday, voting 374 against 56 in favor of him remaining in the job he has held since 2012. President Vladimir Putin, who was sworn in for a new six-year term in the Kremlin on Monday, had put forward

Russian Duma Expected To Confirm Medvedev For New Term As PM

Russia’s State Duma is expected to approve PrIme Minister Dmitry Medvedev for another term at the post on May 8, a day after President Vladimir Putin nominated Medvedev to continue as prime minis…

Putin Arrives At Fourth Inauguration In New Russian-Made Armored Limousine – The Drive

The heavily customized design represents the first time in decades that Russia’s president has traveled in a domestically-produced vehicle.

Putin Jokes – To Inform is to Influence

Thank you to Boycott Russia Today for the following: “Vladimir Putin celebrated his 63rd birthday today. He had a nice party, but it got awkward when two of his friends got him the same country.” –Jimmy Fallon “Things have gotten very tense between the U.S. and Russia. In fact, during a speech today Vladimir Putin…

The probe into the Salisbury spy poisoning is now one of the biggest counter-terrorism investigations ever launched in Britain – Mirror Online

The probe into the Salisbury spy poisoning is now one of the biggest counter-terrorism investigations ever launched in Britain.

Police lift cordon at every Salisbury site linked to the Skripal poisoning apart from spy’s house

Police have lifted their cordons at every site linked to the Skripal poisoning case in Salisbury apart from the former spy’s house, Cabinet ministers have been told.

Salisbury attack: police continue to examine home of Sergei Skripal | UK news | The Guardian

All other related sites released for cleanup but no suspects yet identified, ministers told

Czech PM: Country never produced or developed “novichok” | UNIAN

The Czech Republic never produced, developed or stored a nerve agent of the Novichok family, though its chemical experts briefly tested a substance labeled novichok A230, Prime Minister Andrej Babis announced after meeting with the heads of the country’s intelligence services on Monday. The statement refutes earlier claims by Czech President Milos Zeman.

‘Israel Could Kill Assad,’ Minister Warns Against Iranian Attacks From Syria

An Israeli security cabinet minister said on Monday May 7 that Israel could kill Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and topple his government if Iran used Syrian territory to carry out attacks on Isr…

An Israeli minister threatened to kill Syria’s Assad, a Putin ally, as war looms with Iran over missile threat | Business Insider

Israel could kill Syrian President Bashar Assad if the creep of Iranian military forces and missiles through the Levant towards Israel’s borders don’t stop, a security cabinet minister said on Monday. The statement follows reports that Iran is preparing a massive missile attack against Israel on Sunday. Iran has an estimated 70,000 fighters in Syria and likely more than 100,000 missiles and rockets in the region, and the US says it’s preparing to attack Israel at some point. But Israel is allied with the US, and Syria is allied with Russia. If the two sides went to war, it could spiral into a massive conflict.

Israel minister threatens Assad over Iranian attacks from Syria – BBC News

Yuval Steinitz warns Syria’s president not to allow Iranian forces in his country to threaten Israel.

Israeli minister’s sharp warning to Assad

Assad will be a target ‘if he allows Iran to turn Syria into a vanguard state to destroy Israel’

Iran’s rial tanks as Trump weighs pulling out of the nuclear deal – Business Insider

Iran’s economists said the rial was being driven down by heavy demand for dollars among Iranians who feared a U.S. pullout from the nuclear agreement would…

Trump to reveal Iran deal decision, Tehran defiant as rial falls | Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump will announce on Tuesday whether he will pull out of the Iran nuclear deal or stay in and work with European allies who have struggled to persuade him that it has successfully halted Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Iran, Angry and Divided, Fears Deeper Crisis if Nuclear Deal Ends – The New York Times

The economy was already in free fall. Now the lifeline offered by a deal that was supposed to lift barriers to the West is threatened, too.

Trump expected to remove US from Iran nuke deal | TheHill

President Trump is expected to announce Tuesday he will not continue sanctions relief for Iran, a major step toward ending the 2015 nuclear pact

Trump expected to strike blow at Iran nuclear deal – POLITICO

Trump has hinted for months that he wants to quit the agreement.

Trump’s top priority in the Middle East should be avoiding a catastrophic war between Israel and Iran | Fox News

And yes, that means staying in the Iran deal.

Trump To Announce Whether U.S. Will Break The Iran Nuclear Deal : The Two-Way : NPR

Ahead of the announcement Tuesday, a look at what the sanctions do, what a U.S. pullout would mean and how Iran could react. European allies warn that Iran could renew nuclear weapons development.

World to Learn Fate of Iran Nuclear Pact in Trump Address – NBC10 Boston

President Donald Trump is preparing to tell the world whether he plans to follow through on his threat to pull out of the landmark nuclear accord with Iran and almost surely ensure its collapse.

Iran nuclear deal: Trump to reveal US decision ahead of deadline – BBC News

The president is set to announce whether the US will walk away from the international nuclear deal.

Unswayed by Allies, Trump Is Expected to Leave Iran Deal, Diplomats Say – The New York Times

If the European diplomats are correct, the announcement will be the most consequential national security decision of President Trump’s 15 months in office.

The Iran Deal Is Better Than Counting on Regime Change – The Atlantic

It’s certainly possible the Islamic Republic could fall sometime soon. But the nuclear deal prevents weapons development now.

Don’t ‘Junk’ The Iran Nuclear Deal, Boris Johnson Says On ‘Fox & Friends’ : The Two-Way : NPR

Britain’s Foreign Minister Boris Johnson says the Iran deal can help avoid a nuclear arms race — one that would also include Saudi Arabia.

The Nuclear Deal Keeps America From Confronting Iranian Aggression – The Atlantic

Once Trump is out, Washington can get serious about the regime’s misbehavior.

Iran nuclear deal: Johnson to court Trump on Fox & Friends – BBC News

The UK foreign secretary will appear on Fox & Friends to try to sway the president over Iran.

Making The Case For The Iran Nuclear Deal | Morning Joe | MSNBC – YouTube

MSNBC Published on May 7, 2018 UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson argues in a new column for the NYT that regarding the Iran nuclear deal the best option is to improve it rather than abandon it. Secy. Johnson is in the US for meetings on the Iran deal, and he joins Morning Joe to discuss. »

German, French FMs Join Britain To Press Trump On Iran Nuclear Deal

The foreign ministers of Germany and France have joined Britain’s foreign minister in a public push to convince U.S. President Donald Trump not to pull out of the nuclear deal reached in 2015 bet…

Fixing The Iranian Missile Problem – Defense One

It won’t be easy, but Europe and Washington should pressure Iran into suspending missile flight-testing.

A letter to Donald Trump: Fix the Iran Deal, don’t nix it | TheHill

There is no conflict between believing that the JCPOA is inherently flawed, but that it remains in America’s – and our allies’ – best interest to keep it in place and build upon its shortcomings.

Nixing it won’t fix it: Why scrapping the Iran deal is delusional and dangerous – The Boston Globe

Trump thinks he can nix it as a way to fix it, but that belief is either naive or arrogant.

Israeli PM Netanyahu to meet Russia’s Putin on Wednesday – statement | Reuters

Benjamin Netanyahu will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday in Moscow to discuss regional issues, the Israeli prime minister said in a statement on Saturday.

Netanyahu on Iranian Nuclear Deal: ‘Fix It or Nix It’ | CBN News

After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exposed Iran’s atomic secrets, critics charged he revealed nothing new. But Netanyahu maintains the evidence will prove them wrong.

As Deadline on Nuclear Deal Nears, Israel and Iran Issue Warnings – The New York Times

Days before President Trump’s decision on the Iran nuclear deal, Israel’s prime minister called the pact “fatally flawed,” while Iran’s president warned of “historic regret” if the United States rips it up.

Use the Iran Deal to Pursue Netanyahu’s Bombshell | The National Interest

Amazingly, the intrepid Mossad and Prime Minister Netanyahu may have breathed new life into the JCPOA.

Iran president’s influence wanes as nuclear deal threatened | Miami Herald

Iran’s president sees his influence wane as nuclear deal, his legacy achievement, now threatened by President Trump.

Russian, Tehran Concerned Ahead Of Trump Decision On Iran Deal

Oil prices surged to their highest levels since November 2014 as investors braced for U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision on whether to withdraw from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

Iran Resists U.S. Demands Before Trump’s Decision on Nuclear Pact – WSJ

Iran’s president said his country would fiercely resist efforts to contain its regional influence as President Donald Trump weighs withdrawing from the nuclear deal, a scenario that threatens to escalate the country’s destabilizing rivalry with Saudi Arabia.

Israel’s Ex-Prime Minister Ehud Barak Says Keep the Iran Nuclear Deal

Barak hated the Iran nuclear accord while it was being negotiated, but since it was signed, thinks it makes no sense to tear it up. And his big worry remains the Palestinians.

Senator Marco Rubio: President Trump should nix the Iran nuclear deal | Fox News

President Trump should nix the flawed Iran deal and impose crippling economic and financial sanctions against the Iranian regime.

Iran says could remain in nuclear deal if its interests guaranteed: TV | Reuters

President Hassan Rouhani hinted on Monday that Iran could remain in its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers even if the United States dropped out but Tehran would fiercely resist U.S. pressure to limit its influence in the Middle East.

Buck Sexton: John Kerry’s freelance Iran nuke diplomacy is wrong in every way | TheHill

“If John Kerry wants to play the secretary of State, he should either wait for the next Democrat administration, or develop a movie career.”

John Kerry flops in attempt to save Iran nuke deal | Boston Herald

Who could have guessed that a John Kerry puff piece could go so terribly wrong?Kerry’s camp probably thought it was a swell idea to get a story in the Globe about how he’s come back from the political scrap heap to rescue the Iran nuclear deal.It was seemingly a great way to elevate the former secretary of state back into public …

The Latest: John Kerry cautions ‘new arms race’ is underway – ABC News

Get breaking national and world news, broadcast video coverage, and exclusive interviews. Find the top news online at ABC news.

Donald Trump Tells John Kerry to Stay Away From Iran Deal | Time

President Donald Trump reacted to reports that John Kerry quietly has been promoting the Iran nuclear deal

Trump slams Kerry over ‘shadow diplomacy’ to save Iran deal – CNNPolitics

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday to condemn former Secretary of State John Kerry for engaging in “shadow diplomacy” to try to preserve the Iran nuclear deal by holding meetings and speaking with major players, who, like Kerry, do not want Trump to withdraw the US from the agreement.

EU Plans to Shield Its Companies If Trump Ditches Iran Deal – Bloomberg

The European Union said it has plans to protect the region’s companies if President Donald Trump announces later on Tuesday that he’s pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, a move that could further strain trans-Atlantic ties over foreign policy.

Fate of Iran deal now in Europe’s hands: Obama adviser

Rob Malley, the conflict resolution specialist and former adviser to Barack Obama who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear accord, has no doubt that Donald Trump will now try to kill it.

Iran: Secondary Sanctions Are Essential

Iran Focus is dedicated to providing comprehensive, up-to-date information and news on the Persian Gulf and Middle East region in a fair and balanced manner.

Time is running out for the Iran deal – Chicago Tribune

The deadline for President Trump to decide whether to recertify the Iran deal is Saturday, May 12. The U.S. cannot allow two rogue nations, North Korea and Iran, using the threat of nuclear weapons and missile technology to hold the world hostage and threaten international safety.

Apply critical thinking to Iran nuclear deal to avoid another Iraq (Commentary) | syracuse.com

Writer offers some history and context to the debate over President Trump’s desire to cancel U.S. participation in the deal.

Iran-Backed Hizballah And Allies Make Big Gains In Lebanese Election

Hizballah and its political allies made significant gains in Lebanon’s parliamentary elections, official results showed, boosting the Iranian-backed movement and illustrating Tehran’s growing regio…

Young Arabs now prefer Russia over the US as a ‘partner’

A majority of young Arabs now consider the United States to be an adversary.

Turkey Faces an Intensifying Storm – WSJ

A terrible week for the Turkey’s markets and economy may be made worse by rising U.S. interest rates and a stronger dollar.

 

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