Information operations · Information Warfare · Iran

Iran Escalation (20) – Counter-Strike Abort Fallout

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

I have noticed that the vast majority of people speaking out against President Trump’s decision to stop the attack(s) on Iran are politically opposed to him, so I take the criticism with many grains of salt.

Civilians just cannot understand proportionality and many in the press choose to take advantage. It’s a sad state in the media, once again.

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More threats, bluster and bluff from Tehran, as expected. POTUS backgrounds his decision in media interview, and warns Tehran of “obliteration” if they do escalate to a full scale war – this will probably not be understood in Tehran as they have never had to live through an air campaign with a large number of PGMs delivered, supported by very short targeting cycles due to modern ISR.

Media inflating a cyber engagement as a major retaliation despite reports indicating a very small scope.

A small number of commentators praise POTUS for his restraint and for seeking a proportionate response – only Kirk notes that POTUS refused to play Tehran’s escalation game. Conversely, there has been a free-for-all of often highly toxic criticism, as much for not clobbering the IRGC, or for acting like Obama in Syria (very different scenarios and scale y nof operations), or for trying to start a full scale war. For a great many of these critics the narrative of POTUS bashing is what matters, not how to deal with the hostile and duplicitous regime in Tehran – Tehran is merely a prop in a political game.

The US has a wide range of options for punishing Tehran other than lethal force, and some may be far more painful to the regime than turning three IRGC SAM batteries into scrap metal and their crews into little fragments.

Javad Zarif on Twitter: “The US wages #EconomicTerrorism on Iran, has conducted covert action against us & now encroaches on our territory. We don’t seek war, but will zealously defend our skies, land & waters. We’ll take this new aggression to #UN & show that the US is lying about international waters”

Iran says it will respond firmly to any U.S. threat as tension spikes – Reuters

Iran said on Saturday it would respond firmly to any U.S. threat against it, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, amid escalating tension between Tehran and Washington over the shooting down of an unmanned U.S. drone by the Islamic Republic.

Iran is ready for any threat to territory says foreign ministry – CNN

Iran showed no sign of backing down Saturday in the standoff with the United States over the downing of a drone, insisting that it was ready to counter any threats or aggression against its territory.

IRGC Commander Says US Bases and Aircraft Carrier Within Range of Iranian Missiles – Reports – Sputnik International

Tensions between Iran and the US skyrocketed after an Iranian missile shot down a US drone. President Trump confirmed Friday that he planned to “respond” to the shoot-down on Thursday night with a large-scale attack against targets in Iran, but backtracked at the last moment, saying such strikes would not be “proportionate.”

Iran Chose To Take Out Drone Instead of Manned Navy Jet, lranian General Says |

Iran claimed that it could have killed Americans by shooting down a P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft.

Meet the Press on Twitter: “EXCLUSIVE: In an exclusive interview with Chuck Todd, President Donald Trump says he hadn’t given final approval to Iran strikes, no planes were in the air.…”


Trump warns Iran of ‘obliteration’ in event of war – BBC News

But the US president says he is open to talks with Tehran after pulling out of military strikes.

Trump says he doesn’t want war with Iran, but there will be ‘obliteration’ if it comes

Trump had not given final approval to strike Iranian targets and no planes were in the air during an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd for “Meet the Press.”

Trump Warns Iran for Drone Attack: Oil Stocks in Spotlight

As the fate of crude exploration and production companies is positively correlated with the commodity price, the recent oil rally therefore perks up the crude weighted-stocks.

US requests UN Security Council meeting after Tehran downs drone | The Times of Israel

Diplomats say closed-door session to be held Monday after Trump cancels strike on Iran at last moment because it was not a ‘proportionate’ response

US Cyber Command reportedly launched a cyberattack against Iran as Trump nixed his military strikes | Business Insider

United States Cyber Command on Thursday reportedly launched an operation against an Iranian spy group with ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, despite President Donald Trump’s last-minute scrapping of a direct military strike, former intelligence officials said in a Yahoo News report.

Report: U.S. Launched Retaliatory Cyber Attack Against Iran

The attack reportedly targeted a spy group with a history of tracking vessels passing through the Strait of Hormuz.

Pentagon launched secret digital strike on Iranian spy group: report | TheHill


Iran steps up cyberattacks on US amid tensions: analysts | TheHill

Iran has stepped up its cyberattacks against the U.S. government and critical infrastructure amid escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran, according to two cybersecurity firms.

Trump lifts curtain on call to nix Iran strikes: ‘Didn’t think it was proportionate’ | Fox News

President Trump revealed a remarkable level of detail Friday about the tense moments leading up to his split-second decision to call off a retaliatory strike on Iran for the downing of a U.S. drone — saying he was worried about the casualties and “didn’t think it was proportionate.”

Cocked and loaded: Trump cancels Iran strike at last minute

At last minute, President Donald Trump avoided another conflict in the Middle East. He is not the leader equipped to handle our looming conflicts.

Iran summons UAE envoy to complain about U.S. drone launch: Fars – Reuters

Iran’s foreign ministry summoned a United Arab Emirates envoy to complain about the UAE allowing a U.S. drone shot down on Thursday to be launched from a U.S. military base on its territory, the Fars news agency reported.

Three Attacks in the World’s Oil Choke Point – The New York Times

The attacks have escalated the crisis between the United States and Iran.

White House, Iran Ease Tensions – WSJ

Rising tension between the U.S. and Iran eased at least temporarily on Friday after President Trump said he called off a planned military strike in order to spare Iranian lives, a development that opened the way for offers of diplomacy from other world leaders.

Iran Calls Trump’s Bluff – WSJ

The President is caught between hawkish goals and dovish means.

Trump Maneuvers Near a War He Doesn’t Want – WSJ

President Trump finds himself in an awkward position—at the edge of a war with Iran he doesn’t want and for which there is a limited domestic constituency, in part because he has stoked antiwar sentiment in his own party.

Germany’s Merkel urges political solution in Iran crisis – Reuters

The international community must seek a political solution on Iran, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, after U.S. President Donald Trump said he had aborted a military strike to retaliate against Tehran’s downing of a U.S. drone.

Peter Bergen | Trump’s smart call on Iran (opinion) – CNN

The President said an attack on Iran would not have been a “proportionate” response to Iran bringing down an unarmed US drone. Other good reasons, writes Peter Bergen, include the lack of buy-in from Congress and allies. Trump’s decision to pull back is one of the better moments of his presidency.

Charlie Kirk | Donald Trump has confounded the Iranians by refusing to launch the military strike they so desired

As I write this from London on the British Friday afternoon that is the American morning, people on both sides of the pond are talking about nothing except the US military strike against Iran that was aborted by President Trump before its completion.

Benjamin Wittes | In Praise of the President’s Iran Tweets – Lawfare

The president’s statements on Iran represent a dramatic improvement in the quality of his argument.

Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman and Thomas Gibbons-Neff | Urged to Launch an Attack, Trump Listened to the Skeptics Who Said It Would Be a Costly Mistake – The New York Times

Meetings and memos aside, the president trusted his instincts more than institutions and was willing to defy a roomful of advisers.

Trump’s half-cocked and loaded tweet draws barrage of reaction – Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump, whose Twitter malaprops often set off a deluge of social media criticism, was targeted on Friday for a linguistic misfire involving the phrase “locked and loaded.”

Republicans to Trump: Don’t get carried away with retaliation for Iran drone attack

Congressional allies warned President Trump Thursday evening the U.S. shouldn’t retaliate against Iran’s downing of a drone in a way that could trigger a broader conflict.

Michael Vickers: Iran must be deterred with limited U.S. military strikes to avoid wider war – The Washington Post

Failure to hit back will only embolden Iran further.

Kinzinger: Trump’s Iran call will ‘pale in comparison’ to next response | Fox News

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., said Friday on “The Story with Martha MacCallum” that Iran can expect the president to act differently if another incident occurs.

‘Fox & Friends’ Calls Donald Trump ‘Weak,’ Tries to Goad Him Into War With Iran

The president’s favorite morning team ditched their white couch for a fire-red set to argue for war, while Twitter panicked that he’s watching with his finger on the button.

Chris Wallace: Does Trump Have the Stomach to Confront Iran?

The president this morning claimed to have decided against striking Iran 10 minutes before the planned attacks because it wasn’t worth it. This raises a lot of questions for Chris Wallace.

Fox’s Chris Wallace: Republicans hammered Obama for doing what Trump just did – Raw Story

Fox News Host: If Obama Had Called Off Iran Strike Like Trump, ‘Every Republican Would Be Losing Their Mind’

“So I think there’s people that have to be consistent here and be concerned about America’s image and our strength,” Kilmeade said.

Obama, others warned Trump that pulling out of Iran nuke deal could lead to war

Obama, Macron and others told Trump that pulling out of the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal, would open a “Pandora’s box” and risk war in the Mideast.

Trump’s Iran stand down shows the total incoherence of his policy | Trudy Rubin

Maximum pressure on Iran with no clear goals or diplomacy will drag US into a war.

Shepard Smith: How is Trump’s Iran Strategy Different From Obama’s on Syria?

Fox News’ Chris Wallace today questioned President Donald Trump’s story on the tick-tock behind his decision to call off the Iran strikes, while Shepard Smith

Trump smothers his own military threats – POLITICO

Faced with evidence of nefarious activities by such countries, and pushed by hawkish advisers to mount a military response, Trump keeps stepping back from the ledge.

On Iran, Trump talks loudly and carries a big stick — but doesn’t use it

Donald Trump's public life and presidency have been characterized by a pattern of ambivalence toward U.S. military action.

Donald Trump talks tough to adversaries – but often backs down

Critics scorn Trump’s “tough guy” approach as chaotic; allies say it’s part of a negotiating style

With Iran, Trump Wants to Be Arsonist and Firefighter – POLITICO Magazine

The president loves to intensify a crisis and then declare victory by ending it.

Trump’s Iran air strike reversal shouldn’t make America less nervous

Trump’s Iran air strike reversal shouldn’t make America less nervous

Why Iran fights back against Trump’s maximum pressure campaign – Vox

Iran has defied Trump’s pressure for months, including allegedly attacking oil tankers and shooting down a drone.

Trump’s story on why he stopped a military strike against Iran at the last minute doesn’t add up, experts say | Business Insider

President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted that he made a game-time decision to halt a military strike against Iran over last-minute information about civilian casualties, leading to questions over whether Trump was properly briefed on the operation based on standard White House and military protocol.

Tucker Takes Aim At ‘Bureaucratic Tapeworm’ John Bolton For Fomenting War With Iran | The Daily Caller

‘There’s nothing normal about John Bolton’

Iran news: Trump’s war policy driven by hawks like John Bolton – Vox

Trump’s Iran policy, explained by the views of his top two foreign policy advisers.

The Trump administration is trying to make war with Iran inevitable | Opinion | The Guardian

We should view Iran’s recent posturing for what it is: retaliation to the Trump administration’s unnecessary and deliberate provocation

Serious diplomatic engagement can still reduce US-Iran tension – Business Insider

US-Iran tensions are flaring, but serious diplomacy can still have a positive effect, argues Brookings Institution expert Suzanne Maloney.

Democrats can help Trump avoid war with Iran | TheHill

Trump clearly senses the risk, and that is why a resolute, united stand by the Democrats can help him make the choice for diplomacy.

Where the 2020 Democrats Stand on War With Iran

.06/22/2019 5:04:56AM EST.

Iranian views from the street: Trump playing ‘childish dare game’ | News | Al Jazeera

For many Iranians, the threat of war just became real as they heard the reports of Trump’s cancelled attack on Iran.

Northrop Grumman used fake Iran War to sell Global Hawks to US — Quartz

More than a decade before Iran shot down a Global Hawk drone, Northrop Grumman sold the US on buying it using a hypothetical conflict with Iran.

Inside Iran’s deadly armory and its capabilities to fight the US | Fox News

In the hours after Iran is said to have downed a $125 million U.S. surveillance drone over international waters with a surface-to-air missile, despite Tehran’s vehement denials, President Trump gave the green light to retaliatory military strikes before later ordering a halt amid the alarming spike in tensions. But just how capable is Iran when it comes to fighting back and what lurks inside their shadowy arms arsenal and how it’s military structured?

Iranian-Americans March in D.C., Call for Regime Change in Iran

Iranian-Americans took to the streets of Washington, DC, Friday to march and voice their support for those seeking regime change in Iran.

Trump speaks with Saudi crown prince after calling off Iran strike | TheHill

President Trump spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss Iranian behavior just hours after