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Iran Escalation (1)

Iranian proctologist

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

Iranian hardliners should be relabeled as hardheaded, they are mindlessly marching onward to war, seemingly clueless as to how ineffectual they really are – or, actually, refusing to confront reality. 

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The language emanating from Tehran is not encouraging, and is clearly an escalation play. This should not come as a surprise as the regime desperately needs a large scale distraction to divert the public from its self-inflicted domestic policy woes. This regime does not have a good track record of objectively assessing the reactions of its opponents, and has an ideological obsession with martyrdom. Russia will encourage Iran to pursue a full scale conflict as it desperately needs to drive up the price per BBL of crude oil.

There is thus a real prospect the regime may attempt to fight a full scale conflict with the US and its allies in the Gulf. With a major investment in TBMs, ASCMs, armed speedboats and recently delivered Russian S-300PMU2 / SA-20 SAMs it may believe it can win, especially if it focuses its firepower on soft civilian targets, i.e. oil terminals, tanker traffic etc.

Hunter makes an important point – if Iran does precipitate a full scale conflict, the US and its Gulf allies will very likely eviscerate Iran’s key military and economic capabilities to make it impossible for the regime to continue its expeditionary wars or its nuclear program.

Included some reading on the Tanker War and OPM. Iran’s fundamental force structure weaknesses have persisted, despite quantitative and qualitative improvements in TBM and anti-shipping weapons capabilities.

Shireen T. Hunter | The Looming War And Tehran’s Ostrich Politics

Last week, tensions between Iran and the United States reached even more alarming levels. First, Iran’s Supreme Leader admonished Iranians that since the enemy-read America-is in war mode, Iran, too, should prepare for war (Arayesh Jangi Begirad). Then there was the news of the U.S. aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln going to the Middle East, ostensibly because of threats posed by Iran. According to some reports, this move was triggered by intelligence that Iran was moving missiles to the Persian Gulf. In response, in a calculated step-by-step escalation, Iran declared that it will not abide by some of its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), although during a visit to Moscow Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said that Iran will not leave the nuclear deal. Other officials in Tehran however, indicated that Iran is mulling over what its next step should be and that exiting the agreement is one possibility. Tehran gave Europe 60 days to live up to at least part of its commitments under the JCPOA by facilitating trade and banking operations. Whether in response to Iran’s move or separate from it, Washington imposed new sanctions on a range of Iran’s steel, copper, and Iron industries, which directly or indirectly employ a large number of Iranians. In addition to eating into Iran’s foreign exchange earnings by exacerbating Iran’s employment problems, these sanctions could potentially lead to social turmoil. Already, Iran is not able to access a significant part of its non-oil export earnings because of banking and other restrictions. A few week ago, Iran’s minister of industries said that, out of $30 billion of non-oil exports, Iran has been able only to access $10 billion. Dangerous Illusions Despite increasing pressures and threats, there is no indication from various Iranian media sources and statements by Iranian officials that Tehran is fully aware of the risks involved in its brinkmanship and tit-for-tat policy with Washington. Iranian authorities still apparently believe that President Trump does not want to become engaged in a war with Iran, and that only National Security Advisor John Bolton and perhaps also Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are pushing him in that direction. This assumption may turn out to be true. But there is also at least equal and perhaps even more chance that it might not be. Let’s not forget that many Iranians rooted for Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. Parroting what they read in Western news sites, they believed that, being a businessman, Trump wanted a deal with Iran. They did not realize that even someone as powerful as the American president cannot do everything that he or she wants. There are the demands of America’s strategic interests, domestic politics, and the wishes and demands of its regional allies. Iran’s problems with America have structural and ideological sources: without addressing these issues and reaching some compromise, change in the in U.S. presidency would not resolve U.S.-Iran differences, although ad hoc agreements under certain conditions are possible. Had Hillary Clinton being elected in 2016, she most likely would have hardened U.S. policy towards Iran, even if she would not have withdrawn from the JCPOA. Let’s not forget that it was Clinton who worked to impose “crippling sanctions” on Iran and prevented an early agreement on its nuclear dossier by opposing the deal mediated by Turkey and Brazil in 2010. It was also she who threatened Iran with obliteration if it attacked Israel. American reaction to Iran’s nuclear ambitions have always been a symptom of their other differences, especially regarding Israel and America’s Arab allies. Even under Barack Obama, the signing of the JCPOA did not result in a marked improvement in bilateral relations. These facts are unlikely to change regardless of whoever is elected president in 2020. Despite this history, Tehran is still hanging its hopes on Trump’s aversion to war and, failing that, his defeat in 2020. Yet, the United States would not advertise in advance any attack on Iran. Washington is adopting a strategy of unpredictability towards its enemies and rivals. This strategy will apply most of all to Iran. Thus, war could occur as a result of either Tehran’s nerves giving way and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) doing something stupid, triggering an American response, a false flag operation by Iran’s regional rivals, or by a U.S. surprise attack. Iranians are also calculating that they could cause enough harm to Americans, which will force them an end to the war. They base this assumption on America’s desire to reduce its military engagements in the Middle East, plus popular opposition in America to another Middle East war. But Iranian leaders do not realize that sharply reducing or eliminating Iran’s military and economic power is deemed necessary for an eventual reduction of U.S. military presence in the Middle East. America is unlikely to leave the Middle East and allow Iran to fill the vacuum left by its departure. Potential Losses for Iran and America Another dangerous misconception in Tehran is that America, having spent trillions of dollars on war over the last 15 years and suffered significant human loss, would find the cost of war with Iran prohibitive. But this ignores the fact that a war with Iran will not resemble those in Afghanistan or Iraq. Today, Washington does not want to do the nation-building or democracy promotion it proclaimed for Afghanistan and Iraq. It wants is to eliminate any regional rivals and enemies, which it can do with a massive air war that destroys Iran’s military, economic, and infrastructural capabilities. It would limit its occupation of Iran to some of its Persian Gulf ports. No doubt, America, too, would have to pay a price, even a heavy price, but nothing compared to what Iran would pay. Fighting an asymmetric and attritional war as the Viet Cong did also would not be easy. During the Vietnam war, the USSR and China helped the North Vietnamese. It is highly unlikely that any outsider would similarly help Iran. Local states, including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, would also be adversely affected. But Iran would still be the biggest loser. According to some estimates, it could take Iran 40 years to recover from damage done by a potential American attack. This is assuming that the country will survive and will not be torn apart by a civil war, encouraged by its regional rivals and enemies. Thirty years after the end of the Iran-Iraq war, Khuzestan province, which bore the brunt of the war. has not recovered from the damage it suffered. Unfortunately, many Western commentators tend to encourage Tehran’s ostrich-like attitude. Sitting comfortably away from the scene of potential battle, they keep saying how damaging a war with Iran would be for America or that Iran is not Iraq. But let’s see what happened to Iraq. It lost several hundred thousand people, suffered a devastating civil war, its ethnic and religious fissures grew deeper, and it remains de facto divided. Or look at Afghanistan. It is still mired in a seemingly endless war, and the dreaded Taliban have made a serious comeback, which threatens to undo all Afghan gains. Meanwhile, the U.S. economy is humming and its human losses, although lamentable, have not been anything like what those two countries have suffered. At the moment, U.S.-Iran relations resemble a classic Greek tragedy. Both sides seem to be moved by uncontrollable passions and excessive pride toward a precipice while the rest of the world hopes for the best but fears the worst. Yet, this is real life, not a myth, and the fate of millions of Iranians is at stake. Therefore, silence and inaction are inexcusable. All who have a sway in Tehran and Washington must do what they can to stop this march towards war. One first step would be to stop feeding Iran’s illusions of its own abilities and American vulnerabilities in an eventual war. About the Author: Shireen T. Hunter is a Research Professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She is the author of God On Our Side: Religion, Foreign Policy and International Affairs (Rowman & Littlefield, December 2016). Her latest book is Arab-iranian Relations: Dynamics of Conflict and Accommodation (Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming May 2019).

James Holmes | The U.S.-Iran Naval War of 2019: What It Could Look Like | The National Interest

Would Iran close the Strait of Hormuz, could it, and would the United States reply by force of arms if Tehran made the attempt? ould Iran close the Strait of Hormuz, could it, and would the United States reply by force of arms if Tehran made the attempt? Maybe, maybe, and yes. There is precedent: it assailed merchant and naval shipping during the “Tanker War” of the 1980s. Then, it was attacking the export earnings of its archfoe Iraq. The United States, the mullahs’ Great Satan, isn’t nearly so dependent as was Saddam Hussein’s Iraq on merchantmen plying the Persian Gulf. Washington nonetheless sees important interests at stake in this contested waterway—and that gives Tehran an opportunity to inflict pain should it choose. America may not depend on Persian Gulf oil and natural gas, but its allies and trading partners do. It maintains close alliances in the region through the Gulf Cooperation Council, and would shirk these commitments at its peril. Nor could Washington allow a substantial fraction of U.S. maritime might, namely the Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet, to be stranded because Iranian forces had interposed themselves between Gulf waters and the broader Indian Ocean. Economic, diplomatic, and martial imperatives add up to a rationale that neither the Trump White House nor any other could ignore. Short of quitting the Gulf region outright, the United States must fight to uphold its standing there. Prediction is a fool’s errand in the mercurial world of international politics and warfare, but it is possible to glimpse certain broad contours of a naval war between the Islamic Republic and the United States. Iran can turn maritime geography to advantage, for one thing, waging irregular maritime warfare in and around the Strait of Hormuz. This is a setting with which Iranian mariners are intimately acquainted and where they bestride the home ground. Never discount the homefield advantage.

Anthony H. Cordesman | The Iran-Iraq War – Chapter XIV 05/01/90 Page XIV – 1 Copyright Anthony H. Cordesman, all rights reserved. XIV. THE TANKER WAR AND THE LESSONS OF NAVAL CONFLICT

14.0 The Tanker and Naval Wars The Iran-Iraq War involved two complex forms of naval conflict: Iraq’s attempts to weaken Iran by destroying its ability to use tankers to export oil, and a U.S.-led Western naval presence in the Gulf that was intended to ensure the freedom of passage for tankers to Kuwait and the overall security of shipping to and from neutral Gulf countries. Both forms of conflict led to substantial escalation. Iran reacted to Iraq’s tanker war by putting increasing military and political pressure on the Southern Gulf states to halt their support of Iraq. The U.S. and Western European presence in the Gulf led to growing clashes with Iran that escalated steadily to the point where they were a major factor in Iran’s decision to agree to a ceasefire. The history of these two naval conflicts, and their overall impact on the war, has already been described in some detail. The naval fighting involved the use of a wide range of naval, air, missile, and mine warfare systems, however, and presents a number of interesting lessons regarding the use of these systems in naval warfare. It also provides important insights into the effect of strategic air attacks on naval shipping, and the problems of conflict management and controlling escalation.

Ronald O’Rourke | The Tanker War | Proceedings – May 1988 Vol. 114/5/1,023

The Iran-Iraq War, which began in September 1980, now ranks as one of the longer interstate conflicts of the 20th century. In a strict military sense, it has been primarily a land conflict. Compared with the often bloody fighting on land, where an uneasy stalemate has developed, the “tanker war” in the waters of the Gulf has been a mere sideshow . The tanker war, however, has attracted considerable international interest because it has involved the shipping of many countries.

Operation Praying Mantis – Wikipedia

Operation Praying Mantis was an attack on 18 April 1988, by U.S. forces within Iranian territorial waters in retaliation for the Iranian mining of the Persian Gulf during the Iran–Iraq War and the subsequent damage to an American warship.

Operation Praying Mantis | Bradley Peniston

As the USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) limped away from the minefield on April 14, 1988, Navy divers recovered other mines whose serial numbers matched the ones found aboard the Iranian minelayer Iran Ajr several months earlier. Planning for the retaliation, which was dubbed Operation Praying Mantis, began immediately, and three groups of U.S. warships were assembled in the Gulf. On the morning of 18 April, four days after the mining, they were ready to strike.

The Iranian frigate IS SAHAND (74) burns after being attacked by aircraft of Carrier Air Wing II from the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65) in retaliation for the mining of the guided missile frigate USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (FFG-58). The ship was hit by three Harpoon missiles plus cluster bombs.
An A-6E Intruder aircraft drops CBU-59 cluster bombs over Iranian targets.
A CBU-59 cluster bomb splits open to release its bomblets after being dropped from an A-6E Intruder aircraft during an attack on an Iranian target.

Operation Praying Mantis news clip – YouTube

navybook Published on Apr 17, 2006 On 14 April 1988, the USS Samuel B. Roberts hit an Iranian mine in the Persian Gulf. Four days later, the U.S. Navy struck back in a daylong campaign called Operation Praying Mantis. It is described in this USN public affairs news show.

Iran ‘Facing All Out War’ As U.S. ‘Aims To Fix Its Destabilizing Influence’

“Iran is the major destabilizing influence in the Middle East, and we aim to fix that,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNBC on Saturday. “What we’ve seen from the Iranians is increased threats… it’s real… and it appears to be current.” Earlier on Saturday, Iran’s state Press TV headlined President Hassan Rouhani’s claims that the country is “facing all-out-war,” with its leadership rallying the population as tensions escalate. “Rouhani,” reported Press TV, “said the current wave of pressure on Iran is even more difficult than the one experienced during the Iran-Iraq war period,” and the country “needs unity and cohesiveness at the time of increased political and economic pressure, which he described as unprecedented in the history of the country since the Islamic revolution of 1979.” A day earlier, on Friday, Ayatollah Yousef Tabatabai Nejad was reported by Iran’s ISNA news agency as taunting the dispatch of the U.S. carrier group. “Their billion-dollar fleet can be destroyed with one missile,” he said during Friday prayers. “If they attempt any move, they will [see] dozens of missiles because at that time officials won’t be in charge to act cautiously, but instead things will be in the hands of our beloved leader.” The same day, the IRGC’s deputy head for political affairs Yadollah Javani was equally provocative, quoted by the Tasnim news agency as saying that “no talks will be held with the Americans and the Americans will not dare take military action against us,” in response to President Trump’s public call for talks and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s assurance of a swift and decisive response to any attack by Iran. On Sunday, a senior figure in the IRGC’s leadership echoed the missile threat even more provocatively. Amirali Hajiadeh told the ISNA agency that “an aircraft carrier that has at least 40 to 50 planes on it and 6,000 forces gathered within it was a serious threat for us in the past. But now, the threats have switched to opportunities.”

Iranian President Says US Waging ‘All-Out War’ as Pompeo Issues New Threats – Sputnik International

Washington’s efforts to exert pressure on Iran have so far resulted in the country partially curbing its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal and vowing not to back down before US sabre-rattling.

Iran’s Guards commander says U.S. military presence in Gulf is ‘an opportunity’: ISNA – Reuters

The United States’ military presence in the Gulf used to be a serious threat but now it is an opportunity, a senior commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said on Sunday, according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA).

Iranian cleric claims US fleet ‘can be destroyed with one missile’ | TheHill

A high-ranking cleric in the Iranian government claimed Friday that a U.S.

Iran warns it will destroy US Navy fleet with ONE missile as Patriot missiles join warships and B-52 bombers deployed amid fevered tensions

THE US has beefed up its military presence in the region in recent days after intelligence suggested Iran was actively preparing to ‘conduct offensive operations’ against US interests. In response, hardline cleric Ayatollah Tabatabai-Nejad said: ‘Their billion(-dollar) fleet can be destroyed with one missile.’

Iranian cleric threatens U.S. Navy fleet amid warning regime could target commercial ships | Fox News

Tensions escalated in the Persian Gulf on Friday as Iran warned it could easily destroy a naval fleet sent by the United States in order to ward off a potential threat to the nation’s commercial interests.

US Warns Merchant Ships of Possible Iranian Attacks; Cleric Threatens US Fleet | Jewish & Israel News

Iran could target US commercial ships including oil tankers, the US Maritime Administration said on Friday, as a senior Iranian cleric said a US Navy fleet could be “destroyed with one missile.” In the latest tense exchange between Tehran and Washington, Iran’s hardline Revolutionary Guards separately said Iran would not negotiate with the United States, a stance that seemed partly aimed at discouraging Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his allies from taking up a US offer of talks. US President Donald Trump on Thursday urged Iran’s leaders talk with him about giving up their nuclear program and said he could not rule out a military confrontation. Trump made the offer as he increased economic and military pressure on Iran, moving to cut off all Iranian oil exports this month while beefing up the US Navy and Air Force presence in the Gulf. Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan approved a new deployment of Patriot missiles to the Middle East, a US official told Reuters on Friday.

US news: Iran warns US Navy chiefs it ‘will face dozens of missiles’ in stark threat – Daily Star

IRAN has issued explosive threats to the US, warning president Donald Trump his fleet will face “dozens of missiles” if it “attempts any move” in the Gulf region. After Tehran made the stunning warning, top US officials said there was an “increasing possibility” that Iran or one of the groups it sponsors could launch attacks against its navy. US navy chiefs were first alerted when Ayatollah Tabatabai-Nejad, of the city of Isfahan, issued the chilling threat. He said: “Their billion-dollar fleet can be destroyed with one missile. “If they attempt any move, they will face dozens of missiles because at the time government officials won’t be in charge to act cautiously.

Iran Says ‘Americans Will Not Dare Take Military Action’ as U.S. Accused of Iraq War Tactics

The Revolutionary Guard’s deputy political chief and the head of the Iranian army warned that the United States would not make good on its threats to attack their country, as President Donald Trump’s administration was accused of using similar tactics in the lead-up to the Iraq War to pave the way toward conflict with the Islamic Republic. In yet another week of escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran, Trump said Thursday that Iran was “risking military confrontation” and that its leadership should “call” him as U.S. warships and aircraft headed to the region. The following day, Revolutionary Guard’s Brigadier General Yadollah Javani dismissed the threat and defended Iran’s decision to withdraw from some commitments to a 2015 nuclear deal already abandoned by the U.S., saying “Negotiations with Americans will not take place, and Americans will not dare to take military action against us.” “Trump had thought that with the new sanctions and pressures imposed on the Islamic Republic by the U.S. after its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran would face a kind of internal turmoil and would eventually negotiate with the U.S., but in practice, it did not happen,” he told the semi-official Tasnim News Agency. “The Americans are in a state of turmoil and anger, and because of their desperation, they have done whatever they can to break the Iranian nation’s 40-year-old resistance.” That same day, Iranian Army commander Brigadier General Kioumars Heydari issued a statement of his own, arguing that “the armed forces are ready, awake and vigilant and are monitoring the developments, none of our enemies dares to attack the dear Islamic homeland.”

Rouhani: Iran may face conditions harder than 1980s war with Iraq | News | Al Jazeera

With tightening US sanctions, Rouhani says Iran can overcome unprecedented pressure by its enemies if it stays united.

Iran’s Rouhani warns of greater hardship than war years of 1980s | World news | The Guardian

President calls for united front in face of ‘unprecedented’ US pressure

Rouhani compares current ‘difficult conditions’ to Iran-Iraq War – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

The Iran-Iraq War, which began in 1980 and continued for eight years, left millions dead and wounded on both sides of the fight. Food and essential goods were rationed for years afterwards.

Iran’s Rouhani calls for unity to face ‘unprecedented’ U.S. pressure – Reuters

President Hassan Rouhani called on Saturday for unity among Iran’s political factions to overcome conditions which he said may be harder than those during the 1980s war with Iraq, state media reported, as the country faces tightening U.S. sanctions.

Top Iranian official approved attacks on US military: report | TheHill

The Trump administration’s decision to increase its military presence in the Middle East was partly prompted by intelligence that Tehran gave its blessing to some of its proxy forces to attack U.S.

Iran Gave Proxies Green Light To Attack U.S. Forces, Officials Tell NBC News | NBC Nightly News – YouTube

NBC News Published on May 9, 2019 Iran’s UN Ambassador denied the allegation, which comes after the U.S. pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and ramped up sanctions last week. » Subscribe to NBC News:

Iran facing ‘unprecedented’ pressure from international sanctions, Rouhani says – BBC News

President Hassan Rouhani calls for political unity at home in the face of international sanctions “war”.

Russia is the real winner in any US-Iran conflict | TheHill

We can expect Russia to use the threat of a US-Iran conflict to insert itself as the responsible mediator.

Iran’s Stepped-Up Nuclear Production: A Calm Appraisal of a Dangerous Escalation

Iran’s announcement that it will stockpile more nuclear materials than allowed by the international agreement Trump has tried to destroy is nuanced, but perilous nonetheless.

Iran Nuclear Deal: Tehran threatens to resume Uranium enrichment – YouTube

FRANCE 24 English Published on May 9, 2019 Subscribe to France 24 now:

Cotton Warns Europe, Businesses Against Caving Into Iran’s ‘Nuclear Blackmail’

Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) warned European allies and international business community members against giving into Iran’s “nuclear blackmail” on Wednesday as he marked the one-year anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

Trump is right – the Iran deal is dead, and it’s time to contemplate the unthinkable

The West needs to stop deluding itself

Iran WAR alert: UK must ‘consider the UNTHINKABLE’ warns military expert – ‘Trump’s RIGHT’ | World | News |

Colonel Richard Kemp, a former head of International Terrorism Intelligence in the Cabinet Office, said difficult decisions had to be made to avoid “a nuclear-armed Iran” with ambitions to attack not only the Middle East but Europe and the US. On Wednesday, exactly a year after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear accord, Tehran gave world powers a 60-day ultimatum – break US sanctions or we will resume high-level enrichment of uranium. The European Union has rejected Iranian president Hassan Rouhani’s threat over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed in 2015. Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Colonel Kemp said the deal is “certain to fail” and echoed Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s verdict that it would pave the way for Tehran to build a nuclear bomb. He said former US president Barrack Obama had been naive to think Iran would turn away from its nuclear ambitions under the deal and led Western nations He said Mr Obama “lacked the strength” to find another way of restraining Tehran and ultimately “decided a bad deal was better than no deal”, leading other world powers with him into the deal with trade benefits in mind.

European Powers Reject Iran 60-Day Ultimatum

A day after Iran announced a 60-day deadline for three European powers, Russia and China, the Europeans said that they still backed the nuclear deal with Iran but rejected any “ultimatums” from Teh…

Europe Should Challenge the U.S. Sanctions on Iran – Bloomberg

The EU should challenge U.S. sanctions overreach in U.S. courts.

Iran is active threat but we are willing to talk, says Pompeo

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the U.S. is readying its military and diplomatic tools so that President Donald Trump has “an option set in the event that the Iranians make a bad decision.”

EU refuses to concede to Iran’s threat to resume higher uranium enrichment in 60 days unless new terms are met | Fox News

An increasingly hamstrung European Union announced Thursday that it would not accept the 60-day “ultimatum” issued by Tehran this week, in which the pariah government announced it would stop adhering to parts of the controversial 2015 Iran Deal unless new terms were negotiated with the remaining partners.

Europe feels powerless as US faces off against Iran – CNA

European powers find themselves powerless to head off a looming clash between the United States and Iran, with no influence over Donald Trump’s …

Europe doesn’t have the power to be much more than a spectator in the escalating US-Iran conflict | The Independent

Brexiteers in Britain are denouncing the EU as an all-powerful behemoth from whose clutches Britain must escape, just as the organisation is demonstrating its failure to become more than a second-rate world power.

It may become impossible to tell if Iran starts making a nuclear bomb | New Scientist

US hostility to arms control treaties has put Iran back on a path to building nuclear weapons, and inspectors could be left blind if the deal collapses

US ready to shift military assets in Middle East in response to Iran, officials say – Middle East – Stripes

American officials say the U.S. is poised to move more military assets to the Middle East in response to perceived threats from Iran.

The US is sending another warship and more missiles to the Middle East

The USS Arlington and a Patriot battery will join the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a U.S. Air Force bomber task force.

Pentagon says it’ll send ship, missile battery to Middle East to deter Iran | Fox News

The Pentagon announced plans Friday to send a U.S. ship and a Patriot missile battery to the Middle East in an effort to deter actions from Iran.

U.S. Bolsters Its Gulf Defenses to Counter Iran – WSJ

The U.S. military plans to deploy a Patriot antimissile system to the Persian Gulf area and will beef up its naval presence in response to growing threats from Iran, the Pentagon said.

US deployments across Mideast factor in Iran tensions – ABC News

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

U.S. Digs in Deeper in Middle East With New Hardware – Foreign Policy

As a warning to Iran, United States deployed additional military forces to the region on Friday, including the USS Arlington and a Patriot missile battery.

US sanctions to hit Iran’s metals industry, a major employer

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — U.S. sanctions have targeted Iran’s government, its paramilitary forces and the oil exports that fund them. Now they are hitting its vital steel, aluminum, copper and iron…

Pompeo: U.S. not aiming for war with Iran – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

The Secretary of State’s comments come after the recent US military build-up in the Middle East.

We want a better deal, not war with Iran, says envoy turning the screw for Donald Trump | World | The Sunday Times

As the world views mounting tensions between America and Iran with increasing concern, one man is still sleeping well at night. Brian Hook, the Trump administration’s special representative on Iran, says he is not worried about potential conflict and that US actions are merely a response to Irani

White House passes phone number to Swiss, in case Iran wants to call – CNNPolitics

After President Donald Trump publicly appealed to Iran to call him amid heightened tensions with Tehran, the White House contacted the Swiss on Thursday to share a phone number the Iranians could call the President on, according to a diplomatic source familiar with the move.

After Trump invite, Iran commander says: No talks with US –

The semiofficial Tasnim news agency quotes Gen. Yadollah Javani as saying that “there will be no negotiations with America.” The verbal exchange comes as tensions escalate between Washington and Tehran.

Iran Tells Trump: Don’t Wait for Us to Pick Up the Phone – Bloomberg

Iranian officials rebuffed President Donald Trump’s suggestion that they call him to try to defuse frictions as the U.S. ratcheted up its actions against Tehran.

Iran may attack Israel if U.S. standoff escalates: Israeli minister – Reuters

An Israeli cabinet minister warned on Sunday of possible direct or proxy Iranian attacks on Israel should the stand-off between Tehran and Washington escalate.

Israeli minister warns of Iran attack amid U.S. standoff – AOL News

An Israeli cabinet minister warned on Sunday of possible Iranian attacks on Israel should the stand-off between Tehran and Washington escalate.

Iran and U.S. mobilizations could lead to conflict, if there’s a miscalculation – The Washington Post

The U.S. sent an aircraft carrier task force and other assets into the region after officials concluded that Iran was making preparations for a possible military strike on U.S. forces.

Rosatom committed to Iranian plant project – World Nuclear News

Rosatom’s project to build nuclear power units at Bushehr is unaffected by current tensions surrounding US sanctions against Iran, its director general said yesterday.

No one in the sun- and gas-soaked Middle East needs nuclear power

Wednesday’s decision by the Islamic Republic of Iran to break the restrictions of the Iran nuclear deal is a further reminder that neither Iran, nor for that matter Saudi Arabia, needs nuclear power. Nor, for that matter, does any other state in the gas-soaked, sun-drenched Middle East, where civil nuclear programs are simply nuclear bomb starter kits.

Why is pressure mounting between the U.S. and Iran?- analysis – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

The Trump administration sees Iran’s behavior as another instance of why it pulled the U.S. out of the deal in the first place: the Iranian regime is not trustworthy.

On collision course | The Express Tribune

One year after Trump unilat­erally pulled out of the multin­ationa­l Iran nuclea­r deal

America must not back down against Iran – Middle East News –

The U.S. is not initiating hostilities. It is not bullying Iran. It is responding to Tehran’s recent threats – and to years of lying and cheating about its nuclear capabilities. The aim of Trump’s maximum pressure on Iran is negotiations, not war

Caroline Glick: Trump’s Policy on Nuclear Iran Is Working

Iran’s departure from the nuclear deal is not a sign Trump’s policy is failing. Rather, it is a desperate move because the policy is working.

Joseph Lieberman, Mark Wallace: Trump should toughen sanctions on Iran | Fox News

Tougher economic sanctions are needed on Iran, particularly its petrochemical industry.

Gen. Keane: ‘Pretty Outrageous Behavior’ by John Kerry in Meeting With Iranians | Fox News Insider

President Trump accused former Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday of violating the Logan Act by meeting with Iranian officials last year.

Kerry fires back after Trump accuses him of violating the Logan Act: ‘He’s wrong’ | TheHill

Former Secretary of State John Kerry fired back at President Trump on Thursday after the president said he should be prosecuted under the Logan Act for speaking to Iranian officials.

Trump’s antics over Iran have endangered us all. The stakes are now lethally high | Jonathan Freedland | Opinion | The Guardian

In withdrawing from the nuclear deal, the US – not the abhorrent Iranian regime – is the rogue state risking global security, says Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland

Mideast expert says US is now in worse negotiating position with Iran amid sanction threats | TheHill

Middle East expert Dalia Kaye said in an interview that aired Thursday on “Rising” that the U.S. is in a bad negotiating position with Iran amid recent developments in the multination Iranian nuclear deal.

World War 3: Iran has ‘means and will’ to cause worldwide CATASTROPHE if Trump attacks | World | News |

IRAN has both the “means and the will” to wreak “catastrophe” if President Donald Trump decides to attack it, according to former MP George Galloway. In a potent radio message directed at President Trump himself, Mr Galloway warned that the potential conflict would be “much, much, much worse” than the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He told TalkRADIO: “Iran is a powerful, strong country with a powerful military. It has the means and, above all, it has the will to fight you if you attack it.

Bolton’s Time – Israel National News

Iran has yet to realize that Trump administration won’t let Tehran regime achieve its dream of nuclear weapons.

The Art of a New Iran Deal

The announcement that Iran will limit compliance with parts of the nuclear agreement is proof positive that the Trump approach is not working.

Iran Hard-Liners’ New Headache: Dancing Schoolchildren

Iranian authorities have called for dismissals over videos that show schoolchildren dancing to banned music.

3 thoughts on “Iran Escalation (1)

  1. This has also to do with China. China trades with all the countries in the Persian Gulf, significantly more than do the US. China trades with both Shia-muslim Iran and Sunni-muslim Saudi-Arabia and also with the Shia dominated Iraq and with every small country in the region. What does this mean? Would I be far off if I assumed that China is conspiring in the region as the major buyer of oil and seller of goods in the Persian Gulf? It would surprise me if they didn’t.

    The Strait of Hormuz is 21 nautical miles (24 miles or 39 km) in width at its narrowest place. In 2011 an average of 14 tankers per day passed out of the Persian Gulf through the strait, carrying 17 million barrels of crude oil. That is 35 percent of the worlds seaborn oil shipments and 20 percent of the oil traded worldwide. Some say 40 percent of all oil traded worldwide. More than 85 percent of this oil goes to Asian countries, with Japan, India, South Korea and China the biggest buyers. Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz throughout the years.

    And speaking about Saudi-Arabia. The United States is starting to export more goods than they receive oil in the other direction. The amount of oil the US received from Saudi-Arabia in 2018 was down 1/3 since 2015 while the exports to the country stays the same. The US has no interest in sustaining the state of Saudi-Arabia if they don’t get to import their oil. The numbers 1/3 comes from the CIA WORLD FACTBOOK 2015 compared with the numbers in the CIA WORLD FACTBOOK 2018-2019.

    This doesn’t mean that Saudi-Arabia will become a target militarily. It is much more likely that Iran will become a target. But I think we can expect that the US will strive to put pressure on especially the Saudis to not cut back any more on the oil sales to the US and preferrably increase the oil sales quota to the US. They hope to accomplish this by projecting more power against the Iranians and by dwarfing the Chinese influence in the nearby region and, hopefully, in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.

    This dwarfing of the chinese Navy in the Gulf of Oman can be done by confining the Chinese Navy within the South China Sea. As long as America has the ability to project power at sea more than China has, the US can decide the rules of the game. But the difference between the streangth of the American Navy and the Chinese Navy on the other hand, is more than anything revolving around America’s Aircraft carrier groups superiority in number and capacity that dwarf the Chinese number and capacity.

    China has an airbase at Gwadar in western Pakistan near by the Gulf of Oman. If China can continue on with a construction of new airbases in foreign countries in and around the region, then America’s superiority with their aircraft carrier groups will be leveled out in actual capacity compared to the Chinese. But the USAF currently has airbases in several Arab countries on the west coast of the Persian Gulf opposite Iran.

    Out of respect for the US I won’t go into details about what lies behind the current situation, but it is an escalation, I think I can say that much.

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