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Iran Escalation (11)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

In a very subtle slam to Iran (and the media), despite press reports of 120,000 troops being deployed to the Middle East for an Iranian operation, only 1,500 troops are being deployed. This indicates Iran is not considered a credible or dangerous threat to the US forces in the region.  There are sufficient troops available in the region, 

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Tehran seems determined to pour as much kerosene on this conflagration as they can – the language is more incendiary, and adds to the pandemonium in the US media. US to deploy additional BMD / ADA assets. Administration bypasses Congress on $8B arms package to Gulf nations.

The language coming out of Tehran is clearly not aimed at de-escalation. We should not be surprised if the IRGC does something very foolish in coming days – the imperative is clearly whipping up domestic hysteria to distract from the ongoing economic and social meltdown.

FM: Iran will see ‘end of Trump’ – Middle East Monitor

Iran will “see the end” of US President Donald Trump, but Trump will “never see the end of Iran”, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Friday amid an ongoing war of words between Tehran and the Trump administration, Anadolu Agency reports. Speaking from Pakistani capital Islamabad, Zarif slammed the US president for a recent tweet in which the latter accused Iran of supporting terrorist groups. “Donald Trump is the real terrorist,” Zarif said. “He is responsible for waging economic terrorism against Iran.” In a Sunday tweet, the US president also said that if Iran wanted to fight, it would be the “end of Iran”. Zarif responded to the threat by saying: “We will see the end of Trump, but he will never see the end of Iran.” Tensions between the two countries have mounted steadily since Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from a landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany). The Trump administration has also re-imposed sanctions on Iran’s banking and energy sectors, while Iran has threatened to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz to U.S. oil shipments.

Iran Tells Donald Trump the Only Thing That Will ‘End’ Is Him

President Donald Trump threatened “the official end of Iran” in a tweet days earlier.

Iran to See End of Trump: Zarif – Politics news – Tasnim News Agency

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif condemned US President Donald Trump as “a terrorist” over his recent move to call Iranians “a nation of terror” and said the Islamic Republic will see the end of Trump’s era.

Iran’s foreign minister has harsh words for Trump during a visit to Pakistan – The Globe and Mail

Tensions have ratcheted up recently in the Mideast as the White House earlier this month sent an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the region over a still-unexplained threat it perceived from Iran

Khamenei further distances himself from Iran nuclear deal

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei further distanced himself from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

US Troop Boost to Middle East ‘Threat to International Peace’ – Zarif – Sputnik International

Earlier, acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan denied reports that between 5,000 to 10,000 US troops would be sent to the Middle East, saying that these figures were “not accurate”.

US blames Iran for Gulf tanker bombings, Iraq rocket attack | The Times of Israel

Top Pentagon official says US believes with ‘very high confidence’ that Revolutionary Guard actively planning additional anti-American attacks

U.S. Military Says Iran Responsible For Tanker Attacks, Troops Being Deployed | Daily Wire

The U.S. military said on Friday that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) — which was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) last month — was directly responsible for attacks on tankers earlier this month.

Trump to Invoke Emergency Authority and Sidestep Congress to Secure Arms Deals With Saudi Arabia

The decision effectively allows the president to finish the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia without congressional oversight.

U.S. deploys 1,500 troops to Middle East, blames Iran for tanker attacks – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

“Right now, I don’t think Iran wants to fight. And I certainly don’t think they want to fight with us,” Trump said.

US to send 1,500 extra troops to Middle East amid tensions – BBC News

The deployment is a response to the “ongoing threat” posed by Iran, the acting defence secretary says.

US To Send 900 Troops To Middle East To Counter Iran – Defense One

The Trump administration insists that the deployment is purely defensive.

Trump approves additional deployment to Mideast to counter Iran – CNNPolitics

President Donald Trump is sending an additional 1,500 US troops to the Middle East as part of a “mostly protective” effort to deter Iranian threats, he said.

Iran threat: Pentagon to increase military deployments in Middle East

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said additional deployments might be required to protect U.S. interests in the Middle East, amid ‘credible’ threat from Iran.

U.S. to Send 1,500 Troops to Middle East Amid Tensions With Iran

Trump said the troops will have a “mostly protective” role.

To respond to Iran, U.S. will deploy more troops and sell more weapons to Middle East | PBS NewsHour

The Trump administration took two significant steps Friday to counter what it calls an escalated threat level from Iran. The U.S. will deploy 1,500 additional troops and military equipment to the Middle East, as well as sell additional arms to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. The latter action entails a rarely used executive power to bypass Congress. Judy Woodruff talks to Nick Schifrin.

Trump agrees to send extra patriot missile batteries, spy planes and troops to the Middle East to confront Iran threat

DONALD Trump is sending 1,500 troops, extra missiles and spy planes to the Middle East as tensions with Iran threaten to reach boiling point.

US to send 1,500 troops to Middle East, say officials

U.S. officials say the Trump administration has notified Congress about a planned deployment to the Middle East amid heightened tensions with Iran.

About 1,000 US troops will head to Mideast as tensions with Iran grow

Roughly 1,500 U.S. troops consisting of a Patriot missile battalion, intelligence aircraft, engineers and fighter pilots are heading to the Middle East as a “prudent defensive measure” against Iran.

Trump to Send Additional Troops to Middle East

The move is said to be mostly a protective measure, amid heightened tensions with Iran

Iran tensions: 1,500 US troops head to Middle East as Trump seals $7bn Saudi arms sale | US news | The Guardian

White House downplays prospect of conflict but blames Iran for tanker bombings and Iraq attack

Ohio National Guard soldiers heading to Middle East as Trump approves additional deployment to counter Iran |

President Donald Trump has given his approval to Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan to deploy additional military resources to the Persian Gulf region to deter Iranian threats, according a senior US official.

Donald Trump Says ‘I Don’t Think Iran Wants to Fight’ but He’s Sending More U.S. Troops to the Middle East Anyway

Previous reports suggested the main responsibilities of about 1,500 additional U.S. troops would be “defensive in nature.”

Iran threat forces White House to push through arms sales to Middle East says Mike Pompeo – The National

Six hundred of the personnel will extend existing deployments in the region

Despite Congress, Trump pushes through weapon sales to Saudi Arabia, UAE and Jordan

The move could have major repercussions for the American arms trade.

Trump approves $8bn Saudi weapons sale over Iran tensions – BBC News

The president evokes a legal loophole to push through the arms deal without Congressional approval.

Trump sets massive arms sales to Saudis, UAE

The Defense Department is considering a military request to send about 5,000 additional troops to the Middle East amid increasing tensions with Iran, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

U.S. State Department clears $80 million sale of Blackjack surveillance system to UAE – Defence Blog

The U.S. Department of State has approved a possible $80 million Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to the United Arab Emirates of a further batch of RQ-21A Blackjack unmanned aerial surveillance system, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a 24 May statement. The prospective FMS package includes twenty RQ-21A Blackjack Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs). Also included are forty Global Positioning Systems (GPS) with Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) Type II (MPE-S); air vehicle support equipment including eight Ground Control Stations (GCS), four launchers, and four retrievers; spare and repair parts; publications; training; and technical support services. The Secretary of State has determined and provided detailed justification that an emergency exists that requires the immediate sale to the United Arab Emirates of the above defense articles (and defense services) in the national security interests of the United States, thereby waiving the Congressional review requirements under Section 36(b) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended. The proposed sale, which still needs to be approved by the U.S. Congress, is aimed to provide UAE with “developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability and enhancing interoperability with U.S. forces”, said the DSCA, adding that “The UAE will have no difficulty absorbing these UAVs into its armed forces”. The prime contractor will be Insitu, Bingen, WA, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Boeing Company. The Blackjack surveillance system provides the warfighter with dedicated day and night intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance coverage, target acquisition, and communication relay via a dedicated and cost effective airborne sensor system capable of delivering actionable intelligence to the tactical commander in real time. The RQ-21A Blackjack can safeguard military bases and activities through a pattern of life identification and explosive device detection. It is equipped with an electro-optic/infrared payload that supports the real-time monitoring to provide indications and threat warnings, and its plug-and-play payloads enable multi-intelligence capability to support a broad range of operations.

Saab: First GlobalEye plane for UAE will be ready next spring

The aircraft is currently being tested in Granada, Spain, where weather conditions more closely resemble those of the client than in Sweden.

Diplomats Swap Messages to Help Defuse U.S.-Iran Tensions – WSJ

European and Arab officials are carrying messages between Washington and Tehran, Western diplomats say, in bid to head off outright conflict in the Persian Gulf.

Iran news: Terror group Hamas NOT funded by Tehran says US intel – Middle East latest | World | News |

IRAN’s cash-strapped cyber agency does not have enough money to fund “terror” groups, newly declassified intelligence purports to show.

Elizabeth Warren: ‘I’ll Fight to Stop This Administration from Dragging Us Into Another Forever War’

(Getty Images/Ethan Miller) ( – Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D.-Mass.) sent out at Tweet last night vowing to stop the Trump administration from dragging the United States into another “forever war” in the Middle East.

The U.S. policy of maximum pressure against Iran has failed – The Washington Post

America’s approach toward Iran has no clarity or cohesiveness. Iranians can see right through it.

Over 70 retired military leaders sign letter urging Trump against war with Iran | TheHill

More than 70 retired military leaders wrote an open letter to President Trump urging him to avoid war with Iran.

An Open Letter to President Donald Trump on U.S. Tensions with Iran

Editor’s Note: This letter was coordinated by the American College of National Security Leaders, a consortium consisting of retired admirals, generals,

Ted Galen Carpenter | Ally Angst: Why America’s Iran Policy Doesn’t Have International Support | The National Interest

European allies are grappling with mounting disagreements over foreign policy and growing irritated with Washington’s arrogant leadership style.

Pakistan Offers to Mediate Between US and Iran Amid Mounting Regional Tensions – Sputnik International

On Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif arrived in Pakistan for bilateral talks amid an escalating crisis between the United States and Iran in the Middle East and ahead of Arab League emergency meetings scheduled for next week following fears of a military conflict in the Persian Gulf.

Iran ‘ready to connect Gwadar to Chabahar port’ | The Express Tribune

Irania­n FM Javad Zarif meets Pakist­an’s civil-milita­ry leader­ship in Islama­bad

Iran ready to connect Gwadar port with Chabahar | Pakistan Today

–Pakistani officials tells Iranian FM to avoid conflict with US –Javad Zarif says Tehran shares Islamabad’s vision for regional peace –Gen Bajwa tells Iranian official war is not in anyone’s interest

Syrian doctor describes latest alleged chemical attack as US mulls response | Fox News

Just after 9 a.m  Sunday, witnesses on the ground in the remote Syrian countryside near the border of Idlib province claimed they saw more than 40 rockets slash through the sky, along with three different-looking shells that landed in a thud of yellowish smoke.