Information operations · Information Warfare · Iran

Iran Escalation (8)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

Crazy, insane, non compos mentis.  These, and quite a few more describe Iran’s flailing about, trying to look like they are in charge of the theater that is the world.  Iran’s leadership is barely in charge of Iran and somehow they believe they can project their power and authority over the United States and other countries?  

Take a look at ALL the articles in our anonymous expert’s compilation, below.  He’s wrong, he’s right, no, the other guy’s right, the other guy is wrong. Suffice it to say there are more articles from different perspectives than most people can wrap their mind around.

What you, gentle readers, need to do, is to peruse through all of them and decide for yourself – on almost every issue.  Not just Iran… There is no right or wrong perspective, we all must form our own, based on facts and the truth. Read at least three different perspective and try to figure out how they differ. Then ask why.  Also, look for what is not mentioned, then ask why that fact or factoid is not mentioned.  Who stands to gain or lose? Then ask why. Keep asking why.  Keep asking until you understand why there are so many different perspectives and which facts support which perspective. Forget emotions, examine the facts.  Then look at the emotional arguments and ask why they are used and by whom.  The answers will surprise you – guaranteed.

Most important, read our anonymous expert’s analysis below.  Then read the articles.  Please don’t forget that politics is at play both domestically (inside the US and Iran) and internationally, between many, many different actors. Every different actor and alliance has both their own perspective and agenda. Last, religion, not just Islam, is most definitely an issue. 

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SECDEF and SECSTATE brief Congress, as does former DCI Brennan. Pandemonium in the media follows. Language from Tehran continues to be toxic – their economy is crashing. Decisive will be what the IRGC does next, whether they opt to continue escalating, or accept that they are out of their league and roll – optimism is not warranted here.

Hunter’s analysis is very good and shows how the IRGC is driving much of Iran’s policy and actions, it is a “state within a state”modelled on the Third Reich’s SS internal empire. Western media, analysts and many politicians fail to understand the nature of this regime, and continue to be surprised. The regime’s heritage can ultimately be traced back to the Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers-SS effort to destabilize North Africa during WW2.

Body Language & Emotional Intelligence: Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1933: Iran’s Aggression and their Military’s Salute – A Visual Metaphor of WWII & Nazi Fear

Iran: ‘Situation’ Not Suitable for Talks With US, Resistance Only Choice – Al-Manar TV Lebanon

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said late on Monday that all officials in Iran have reached a consensus to withstand the US and its policy of sanctions, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported. “If we walked away from the JCPOA with the US provocative acts, then, in addition to the US, the UN and world would also impose sanctions on us […] I favor talks and diplomacy but under current conditions, I do not accept it, as today [the] situation is not suitable for talks and our choice is resistance only”, Rouhani said, cited by the IRNA. US-Iran tensions flared last year when Washington unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and reinstated sanctions against Tehran. On 8 May, Iran announced that it would partially discontinue certain of its obligations under the nuclear agreement. In recent weeks, the US has increased its military forces in the Middle East, in what US National Security Advisor John Bolton has suggested is a clear and unmistakable message to Tehran. A US aircraft carrier strike group, Patriot missiles, B-52 bombers and F-15 fighters, have recently been deployed to the region, according to the Pentagon. On Monday, US President Donald Trump told reporters that there are no signs that Tehran is preparing to take actions against US interests in the Middle East, adding that any provocation by Iran will be met with “great force”. Trump also said that he would be ready to conduct negotiations with Tehran, but only on the condition that Iranian officials make the initial offer. Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei said earlier that Iran does not intend to wage war with the US but will continue to resist Washington.

Iranian president: ‘Today’s situation is not suitable for talks’ with U.S. – POLITICO

Even as tensions between the two nations have escalated in recent weeks, Trump has hinted that negotiations with Tehran could be possible.

“Crazy POTUS”: Iranian Official Savages Trump’s ‘Self-Contradictory’ Messages – Sputnik International

The US president has repeatedly come up with tirades targeting Iran in recent days. He has warned it against taking action against the US, vowing it would be the end of Iran and calling on the Islamic Republic to engage in talks with Washington.

Iran’s foreign minister warns of ‘painful consequences’ if U.S. tensions escalate – POLITICO

The remarks came as Pat Shanahan appeared to downplay the imminence of an Iranian threat

Pompeo: Iran Tumult ‘Has the Real Risk of Escalating the Situation Such That the Crude Oil Prices Rise’ | Breitbart

During an appearance on Tuesday’s broadcast of Hugh Hewitt’s nationally syndicated radio show, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed the rising | Clips

Trump team briefs Congress about Iranian threat: ‘This is about deterrence, not about war’ | Fox News

Top officials in the Trump administration were dispatched to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to brief lawmakers about escalating tensions with Iran, saying afterward they are focused on trying to deter attacks and avoid war.

Iran threat: Military deployments were not intended to provoke war

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Tuesday briefed members of the House and Senate behind closed doors.

Sec Def Patrick Shanahan: Threat of Attack by Iran ‘Remains High’

Recently nominated Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan took questions from the press Tuesday morning outside the Pentagon and provided insight on increasingly

Iran Threat Has Been Put ‘On Hold,’ Acting Defense Chief Says – WSJ

Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan said that the prospect of an Iranian attack on Americans has been put “on hold,” outlining a reduction of the potential threat.

Shanahan: Iranian threats ‘on hold’ thanks to U.S. actions – POLITICO

“We’re in the region to address many things but it is not to go to a war with Iran,” Shanahan said.

US says Iran threats are ‘on hold’ after deploying bombers

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Iranian threats against US forces in the Middle East have been “put on hold” after the Trump administration deployed a aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers to the region.

Pompeo: We will not allow Iran to hide behind its proxy forces

Pompeo said the United States will not allow Iran “to hide behind its proxy forces” in its offenses against American interests in the Middle East.

Shanahan defends sending more ships and bombers to Middle East in response to Iranian threats – Stripes

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Tuesday defended the Pentagon’s decision to deploy more ships and bombers to the Middle East in response to threats from Iran, saying those actions might have convinced the Iranians to ‘put on hold’ potential attacks on Americans.

Trump officials seek to placate Congress on Iran – POLITICO

But the administration’s classified briefings left some lawmakers still skeptical about Trump’s approach.

U.S. Officials Work to Convince Divided Congress of Iran Threat – The New York Times

American officials said Iran had threatened to target missiles at Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure to drive up oil prices and disrupt international trade.

Lawmakers emerge from Iran threat briefing split along partisan lines – CNNPolitics

Debate over the threat posed by Iran took on a partisan hue after Trump administration officials briefed lawmakers Tuesday, with Democrats charging that the White House is blowing normal threat levels out of proportion and Republicans insisting that deterrence, not war, is the goal.

Iran Briefings Leave Congress Divided Over Trump’s Intentions, War Powers – Defense One

“Everybody is deeply concerned about Congress getting cut out,” said one Democrat after hearing from Pompeo, Dunford, and Shanahan.

U.S. Intel to Congress: No Evidence al Qaeda Is Helping Iran

The admission could complicate any potential effort to make the legal case for war with Iran.

Pompeo’s Iran Intelligence Briefing Fails to Reassure Democrats – Bloomberg

Democrats were still clamoring for answers about U.S. intentions in Iran, even after a closed-door briefing from Trump administration officials about heightened tensions in the region.

Lawmakers criticize senior Trump officials after Iran intelligence briefing – ABC News

Democratic lawmakers are expressing alarm over the administration’s posture in the Middle East and the possibility of a conflict with Iran.

Former CIA Director John Brennan on Capitol Hill at Democrats’ invitation for Iran briefing | Fox News

Former CIA Director John Brennan visited Capitol Hill Tuesday after congressional Democrats invited him to give a briefing on the situation in Iran.

Sen. Kennedy: Brennan needs to take off his tin hat and get a job – YouTube

Fox News Published on May 21, 2019 Democrats invite John Brennan to Capitol Hill for Iran briefing; Senate Judiciary Committee member John Kennedy weighs in. #TheStory #MarthaMacCallum #FoxNews

US Democrats raise alarm over Trump’s increasing threats to Iran | USA News | Al Jazeera

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan give close-door briefings to Congress on Iran.

Adam Schiff Blames America for Iran’s Aggression, Flip Flopping From 2015

.05/21/2019 22:23:04PM EST.

Trump’s mixed signals could lead to a clash with Iran – Los Angeles Times

Trump’s Iran policy courts confusion and confrontation.

Marc Thiessen: Trump does not want war with Iran — Here are the three things he does want | Fox News

Certainly, the world will be better if Iran is focused on survival rather than expansion and terror. But it will take more than sanctions to leave the Iranian regime on the ash heap of history.

Iraq sending teams to Tehran, Washington to try to calm tensions: PM – Reuters

Iraq will send delegations to Washington and Tehran to help “halt tension” amid fears of a confrontation between the United States and Iran in the Middle East, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Tuesday.

🇮🇶 US ally and Iran’s neighbour, Iraq is caught in the middle | Al Jazeera English – YouTube

Al Jazeera English Published on May 21, 2019 Iraq’s prime minister says he’s sending a delegation to the United States and Iran. There are concerns a military confrontation could lead to renewed conflict in Iraq, which is a US ally and Iran’s neighbour.

The Real Reason Iran’s Hardliners Don’t Want to Talk to America – LobeLog

Shireen T. Hunter Recently, President Donald Trump gave Iran’s leaders a telephone number, saying that he is waiting to talk to them. Observers and analysts in both Tehran and Washington dismissed this gesture as meaningless. Given the background of U.S.-Iran relations under Trump, especially American withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the imposition of harsher sanctions on Iran, Tehran’s reactions and observers’ skepticism are not surprising. Even before this latest offer of talks, Iranian authorities, including Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, had said that Tehran will not negotiate under pressure and with bullies. Clearly, the Trump administration’s actions are responsible for the increased tensions between Washington and Tehran. However, Tehran’s reluctance to engage in direct talks with America at a normal state-to-state level within a bilateral framework long predates the Trump administration. Let’s not forget that even in 1986, when Iran was desperate for weapons for its war with Iraq and its moderates wanted to explore ways of reconciling with the United States, contacts with Washington were conducted in secrecy. Iran’s hardliners revealed these contacts, which culminated with Reagan’s National Security Advisor Robert McFarland’s ill-fated trip to Tehran and what came to be known as the Iran-Contra affair. The hardliners supposedly had gotten the information through Syria; the information was first published in the Syrian daily Al Shar’a. Syria, in turn, had received it from the Soviet Union. These revelations undermined then speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who wanted some form of normalization of relations with America. For many years, this episode prevented further efforts at reconciliation. It was arguably the second worst event after the hostage crisis, whose legacy has adversely affected the course of Iranian-American relations. It alerted those opposed to U.S.-Iran reconciliation in Washington, including in the Department of State, as well as in the Middle East, and led them to double their efforts to prevent any more clandestine contacts with Tehran. In view of the embarrassing episode of the Mac Farland visit to Tehran, the United States decided that it would only talk openly and with responsible officials of Iran. In the following decades under both the Rafsanjani and Khatami presidencies, hardliners sabotaged every effort at U.S.-Iran reconciliation and vetoed high-level official meetings between officials of the two countries. During the last three decades, the identity of hardliners in Iran has changed. During the 1980s and the 1990s, leftists prevented such contacts. After Khatami assumed power in 1997 and the leftists suddenly became born- again liberals, a new breed of right-wing elements sabotaged and resisted Khatami’s outreach to the world. Part of this dynamic can be explained even today in terms of factional fighting over power and privilege. However, the real problem lies elsewhere: the inextricable link between the legitimacy of both the Islamic revolution and the regime and its anti-imperialist struggle, or to be exact, anti-Americanism. The traditional moderates or conservatives, best represented by Rafsanjani, were never as anti-American as the Left. Once the Left became liberal, it shed its excessive anti-Americanism, and thus the mantle of safeguarding the revolution passed on to the new conservatives. This group now consists of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), a number of key hardline clerics, including Ibrahim Raeisi, the head of the judiciary, and his father-in-law, the fire-breathing Friday prayer leader of the holy city of Mashhad, plus the economic groups connected to them. These groups, in effect, form a state within the state, sometimes referred to as the “deep state.” The revolutionary guards best reflect this duality of power in Iran. In fact, the main function of the IRGC is not to defend the country but, as they openly say, to safeguard the revolution, even against the people’s will. This group holds the real power in Iran. Even President Hassan Rouhani has hinted at this by saying that he has no authority in certain matters. For this statement, opponents criticized Rouhani in the Iranian media.

🇮🇷 Iran’s basic goods prices double as fall of rial continues | Al Jazeera English – YouTube

Al Jazeera English Published on May 21, 2019 US sanctions are making life in Iran increasingly difficult for its people. Iranians say their devalued currency is a more pressing problem. Al Jazeera’s Zein Basravi reports from Tehran. – Subscribe to our channel:– Follow us on Twitter:– Find us on Facebook:– Check our website: #Iran #USIranTension

Iran is too smart to go to war – Opinion – Jerusalem Post

The subsequent difficulties of staying in Iraq to rebuild the Iraqi state have overshadowed one of the greatest military successes in the history of warfare.

Iran’s President Rouhani digs in for long ‘economic war’ with US | World | The Times

President Rouhani told Iran’s clerics that he would seek expanded powers to tackle threats posed by the US as his foreign minister said that America was “playing a very, very dangerous game”.Describing President Trump’s sanctions as an “economic war”, Mr Rouhani said he needed unspecified new powers

Iran & U.S. Relations — America’s Aggressive Iran Policy Succeeds | National Review

By firmly opposing Iran’s expansionist policies, the U.S. may be succeeding in reining in the Islamic Republic.

Iran Briefings Leave Congress Divided Over Trump’s Intentions, War Powers – Defense One

“Everybody is deeply concerned about Congress getting cut out,” said one Democrat after hearing from Pompeo, Dunford, and Shanahan.

Jason Nichols: I am a progressive who is opposed to Trump. But here’s why he’s right to resist war with Iran | Fox News

A war with Iran should not be taken lightly.

Half of American Adults Expect war with Iran ‘within Next Few Years’ -Reuters/Ipsos Poll |

Half of all Americans believe that the United States will go to war with Iran “within the next few years,” according to a Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll released on Tuesday amid increased tensions between the two countries. While Americans are more concerned about Iran as a security threat to the United States now than they were last year, few would be in favor of a pre-emptive attack on the Iranian military. But if Iran attacked U.S. military forces first, four out of five believed the United States should respond militarily in a full or limited way, the May 17-20 poll showed. Historically tense relations between Washington and Tehran worsened in May after U.S. President Donald Trump hardened his anti-Iran stance and restored all sanctions on Iranian oil exports following his decision a year ago to pull the United States out of a 2015 international nuclear accord with Tehran.

Results: Trump’s Pressure Campaign is Suffocating Hezbollah

Now, a new report in the Washington Post shows the pressure campaign is working and is suffocating Iran’s largest terror organization Hezbollah. Before 9/11, Hezbollah was responsible for more American murders than any other terrorist organization.    The powerful Lebanese Hezbollah militia has thrived for decades on generous cash handouts from Iran, spending lavishly on benefits for its fighters, funding social services for its constituents and accumulating a formidable arsenal that has helped make the group a significant regional force, with troops in Syria and Iraq.    But since President Trump introduced sweeping new restrictions on trade with Iran last year, raising tensions with Tehran that reached a crescendo in recent days, Iran’s ability to finance allies like Hezbollah has been curtailed. Hezbollah, the best funded and most senior of Tehran’s proxies, has seen a sharp fall in its revenue and is being forced to make draconian cuts to its spending, according to Hezbollah officials, members and supporters.    Fighters are being furloughed or assigned to the reserves, where they receive lower salaries or no pay at all, said a Hezbollah employee with one of the group’s administrative units. Many of them are being withdrawn from Syria, where the militia has played an instrumental role in fighting on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad and ensuring his survival.    Programs on Hezbollah’s television station Al-Manar have been canceled and their staff laid off, according to another Hezbollah insider. The once ample spending programs that underpinned the group’s support among Lebanon’s historically impoverished Shiite community have been slashed, including the supply of free medicines and even groceries to fighters, employees and their families.   The sanctions imposed late last year by Trump after he withdrew from the landmark nuclear deal aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions are far more draconian than those that helped bring Iran to the negotiating table under the Obama administration, and they are having a profound effect on the Iranian economy, analysts say.

Trump’s Reckless Foreign Policy Has Finally Run Out of Road – Bloomberg

Iran, Venezuela and North Korea all show the problem with making threats you can’t back up.

Moscow follows wait and see policy on US-Iran tensions – Burhanettin Duran – Daily Sabah

The growing tension between the U.S. and Iran is in the spotlight in our region. Washington is approaching Iran with a policy of maximum pressure. They…

President John Bolton Tries to Start a War. Can Little Donald Trump Stop Him?

Without a real chief of staff in Trump’s White House, his national security adviser is trying to do double duty as commander in chief.

‘Fire and Fury’ in Farsi: Is Trump treating Iran like N. Korea? – analysi – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

Critics note an area where Pyongyang and the Islamic republic are similar.

Iran & Senator Talent — Does the President Know or Understand His Administration’s Iran Strategy? | National Review

Senator Talent’s piece is excellent and right in many respects, but it’s a piece for a different administration and a different president.

Noam Chomsky: We Must Stop War with Iran Before It’s Too Late – In These Times

Led by John Bolton, the Trump administration is pursuing catastrophe to protect U.S. dominance.