Information operations · Information Warfare · Iran

Iran Escalation (24)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

I’ve read a number of negative articles, saying US President Trump lacks an exit strategy for Iran. My only thought is if there will be no “boots on the ground”, we’re not occupying Iran, we don’t need an exit strategy.

Most of the negative comments about this punitive strategy against Iran have been, of course, US domestically politics originated – often bereft of logic.

I’ve seen ‘strategies’ from bomb them back to the stone-age to Lord Chamberlain/Rodney King ‘can’t we all just get along’?  I believe a retaliatory strike by a US-led coalition (which Germany and France seem to dislike) should remove Iran as a military force – period. The key word, however, is “retaliatory” while still proportionate.  Totally destroying their military, however, is way over the top disproportionate. Perhaps we should ask Oman for a little land to establish a coalition airstrip near Jebel al Harim for peacekeeping and enforcement?

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POTUS responds to Tehran’s insults with a warning, that will likely not be understood or heeded. POTUS observations that “It wouldn’t last very long…” and “I’m not talking boots on the ground…” indicate that if Tehran starts a shooting war, they will be subjected to an air campaign. Once Tehran loses its IADS, that would be in a matter of hours, they would exposed to unhindered PGM strikes and in a matter of weeks, crippled beyond any possible rapid recovery – as a number of observers have pointed out already.

Debate in Congress over war powers. Israel’s UN Ambassador notes that Tehran is “panicking”. France weighs into the debate. Update on Iranian cyber attacks on US. Polling in the US suggests 24% want a military response to Tehran, and 65% support restraint.

Meeting in Israel between NATSECADV Bolton and Russia’s Patrushev produces interesting results. Patrushev backs Tehran’s lame excuse for shooting down the BAMS-D. Patrushev also declares Russia’s support for Tehran as an ally (playing both sides after Russia has fought with Iran over control of Syria). Patrushev also objected to comparisons of Tehran to ISIS, not surprising given others label Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. Given Russia’s need for higher POL prices per BBL in the global market, it has immense incentives to encourage Tehran to start as big a conflict as possible in the Persian Gulf, so should we expect Muscovy to do anything other that encourage Tehran to escalate?

Excellent analysis by LtGen Deptula in Forbes – pity the polarised media will not pay attention. Another nineteen OpEds and analyses, sadly too many politically polarised rather than focused on facts. Grandstanding by Rice who is in a large part responsible for the current mess is especially brazen.

Talks with US is ‘their way of deceiving’ Iran – Supreme Leader Khamenei — RT World News

Instead of seeking compromise, Washington merely uses negotiations to pressurise Iran to submit, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said a day before Tehran is set to boost uranium production beyond what was agreed in the 2015 deal.

Donald J. Trump on Twitter: “Iran leadership doesn’t understand the words “nice” or “compassion,” they never have. Sadly, the thing they do understand is Strength and Power, and the USA is by far the most powerful Military Force in the world, with 1.5 Trillion Dollars invested over the last two years alone..”

Donald J. Trump on Twitter: “….The wonderful Iranian people are suffering, and for no reason at all. Their leadership spends all of its money on Terror, and little on anything else. The U.S. has not forgotten Iran’s use of IED’s & EFP’s (bombs), which killed 2000 Americans, and wounded many more…”

Donald J. Trump on Twitter: “….Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality. Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry & Obama!”

Trump threatens Iran with “obliteration” after “ignorant and insulting statement” |

Trump shot back after Iran lashed out at the White House for imposing heavy sanctions on its supreme leader

Donald Trump threatens Iran with obliteration – YouTube

CNN Published on Jun 25, 2019 President Donald Trump threatened Iran with “obliteration,” saying that an attack on “anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force.” “In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry & Obama!” the President tweeted. Earlier Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the White House is “suffering from mental disability” and behaving as “no sane person” in the wake of new sanctions imposed by US this week — partly in retaliation over the downing of an American drone.

World War 3 threat: Trump to use ‘overwhelming force’ against Iran – What is going on? | World | News |

WORLD WAR 3 fears are rising after President Donald Trump threatened to use “overwhelming force” against Iran in escalating hostilities between the two nations – what is going on and how did we get here?

President Trump says war with Iran would not involve ground troops and not last long –

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that if the United States goes to war with Iran, the conflict “would not last very long” and would not involve ground troops. Trump reiterated his desire to avoid war during a wide-ranging interview on Fox Business. “Well, I hope we don’t,” he said when asked if the United States was going to war. “We’re in a very strong position if something should happen. We’re in a very strong position. It wouldn’t last very long, I can tell you that.” “I’m not talking boots on the ground,” Trump added. “I’m not talking, we’re going to send a million soldiers. I’m just saying if something would happen, it wouldn’t last very long.” Trump also pointed to his decision last week to call off a military strike that was to have been launched after Iran shot down a U.S. drone. “I’ve been very nice to them,” he said. “They shot down our drone. I decided not to kill a lot of Iranians. I know a lot of Iranians. I like Iranians so much, and that plays into your decision, too. They’re human beings. They’re people. I didn’t want to kill 150 people.” His comments come amid increasing tensions between the two countries and personal insults between Trump and Iranian leaders. In recent days, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has described the White House as “mentally crippled” and denounced new sanctions against Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as “outrageous and idiotic.” Trump on Tuesday called Rouhani’s comments “ignorant” and said that Iran does “not understand reality.” Any attack on “anything American,” tweeted the president, will bring “overwhelming” U.S. force and “obliteration” of some Iranian assets. During Wednesday’s interview, Trump said he doesn’t think that the Iranian leadership is smart. “I don’t think they have smart leadership at…

Trump vows Iran cannot have path to nukes, says he hopes sanctions sent ‘message’ | Fox News

President Trump said Tuesday that he hopes Iran got the “message” after his administration escalated sanctions against the regime following the downing of a U.S. drone, while firing back at the country’s leaders for declaring diplomacy between the two nations dead.

Trump: I Don’t Need An Exit Strategy for Iran – YouTube

TicToc by Bloomberg Published on Jun 25, 2019 President Donald Trump says Iran still takes his threats seriously even after he decided against approving strikes in retaliation for Tehran’s downing of a more than $100 million American surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz. Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that when the Iranians are ready to talk, they will contact him. Iran, however, warned earlier Tuesday that new U.S. sanctions targeting its supreme leader and other top officials meant “closing the doors of diplomacy” between Tehran and Washington amid the heightened tensions. Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted that an Iranian attack on any U.S. interest will be met with “great and overwhelming force … overwhelming will mean obliteration.” France’s President Emmanuel Macron has spoken by phone with his Iranian counterpart in what his office says is an effort to avoid a “dangerous escalation” of tensions in the Persian Gulf. The French leader spoke on Tuesday with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, but his office didn’t provide details of the conversation. Macron will be joining other world leaders at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, which starts Friday. High on the list will be discussing Iran’s unraveling nuclear deal and the buildup of U.S. forces in the region. Macron said on Monday that he’ll meet with President Donald Trump at the summit. France has said U.S. calls for building a coalition to counter Iran are “disturbing,” as European powers are trying to save the deal. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the U.S. is hopeful that a peace agreement to bring an end to 17 years of war in Afghanistan can be reached before Sept. 1. Pompeo was in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Tuesday to meet the country’s leaders. The war there is America’s longest running. “I hope we have a peace deal before Sept. 1 that’s certainly our mission set,” Pompeo told reporters in Kabul on Tuesday before leaving for Delhi. Pompeo is on a tour of the Middle East and Asia in an effort to build a broad, global coalition to pressure Iran that includes Asian and European countries. Pompeo’s visit to Afghanistan comes just days before the next round of U.S. talks with the Taliban in Doha, where they maintain a political office.

Trump says he does not need congressional approval to strike Iran

President Trump said he doesn’t believe he needs Congress’s approval to take military action against Iran, bucking Democratic leaders who insist he does.

Amash after Trump says he doesn’t need Congress’s approval to strike Iran: ‘Constitution: Wrong’ | TheHill

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) on Monday said President Trump was wrong to say that he could initiate a military strike against Iran without congressional approval.

Bipartisan House duo unveils amendment to block Iran strike without Congress’s approval | TheHill

A bipartisan pair of congressmen, including a vocal ally of President Trump, on Tuesday unveiled a measure to prevent the president from conducting a military strike against Iran without congressional approval.

McConnell open to Iran war authorization vote

A vote meant to require Congress to approve military action against Iran is a step closer to reality.

Donald Trump Tells CNN Reporter That Iran Takes His Threats Seriously and ‘I Think You Do Too’

Trump has referred to CNN and other media outlets as “the enemy of the people” when claiming that reports that paint his administration in an unfavorable light are “fake news.”

Trump wants to use Iraq to ‘watch’ Iran. Baghdad says not so fast. – CNN

Under no circumstances will Iraq allow the United States to use its bases in Iraq to launch an attack on neighboring Iran, Iraq’s President Barham Salih told CNN.

Israeli ambassador to UN: Iran is ‘panicking’ in the face of increased US sanctions | Fox News

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations said Tuesday that the Iranians are “panicking” in the face of increased sanctions, dismissing the newest rhetoric coming from the regime.

France warns Iran against violating nuclear commitments: foreign minister – Reuters

France warned Iran on Tuesday that a violation of its nuclear commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal would be a serious mistake and that France, Britain and Germany were making it clear to Tehran that it was not in its interest to do so.

US-Iran crisis: Washington isn’t interested in dialogue, France says – CNNPolitics

The United States is not interested in pursuing dialogue with Iran despite President Trump’s insistence he is willing to sit down for talks, according to one of the European nations attempting to mediate between the two sides.

Iran is doing to our networks what it did to our spy drone, claims Uncle Sam: Now they’re bombing our hard drives • The Register

The Cybersecurity 202: Here’s how Iran disrupted U.S. businesses the last time it launched major cyberattacks – The Washington Post

Including Sheldon Adelson’s casino.

After calling off airstrikes, U.S. launched cyberattacks against Iran | War Is Boring

The US on Thursday carried out cyberattacks on Iranian computer systems that controlled missile batteries and an intelligence unit linked to the oil tanker bombings even as American President Donald Trump called off a military strike shortly before it was underway in retaliation to the downing of a US drone. On Saturday, the US president struck a note of optimism, as he offered Iran a chance to “start all over”, thanked it for not shooting down a spy plane with 38 American personnel on board, and held out the prospect of working together to “Make Iran Great Again”.

U.S. launched cyber attack on Iranian rocket and missile systems

The U.S. Cyber Command reportedly launched a cyber attacks on Iranian military computer systems after drone shot down

How Khamenei made Abe’s Iran visit a mission impossible

Japan’s prime minister was in Tehran to deliver a message of rapprochement from the US president. But Shinzo Abe received a tough albeit respectful response of noncompromise from the Iranian leadership.

Majority supports Trump’s decision to halt retaliatory strike on Iran: poll | TheHill

A majority of voters — 65 percent — in a

Poll: 24 percent of voters want military action against Iran | TheHill

As President Trump and his administration mull their next moves on Iran, a new poll found that less than a quarter of registered U.S. voters say they want the U.S. to take military action against Tehran.

Iran-Allied Houthis Expose Holes in Saudi Arabia’s Missile Defense – WSJ

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have accelerated missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia in recent weeks, highlighting the kingdom’s vulnerabilities in defending itself against an Iranian ally.

ISIL leader in Yemen captured, says Saudi-led coalition | Yemen News | Al Jazeera

Saudi and Yemeni forces captured Abu Osama al-Muhajer and other members of ISIL during a raid on June 3, says official.

Russian Military Has Info Downed US Drone Violated Iranian Airspace – Security Council Secretary – Sputnik International

Tensions between Iran and the US have intensified since Tehran downed an American drone, which as Iran said, had violated the country’s borders. Washington, meanwhile, has accused Tehran of allegedly attacking oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, something that the Islamic Republic denies doing.

Russia says Iran downed US drone inside its airspace – Daily Sabah

Russia’s national security adviser Tuesday said Russian intelligence has determined that Iran shot down an American drone last week over Iranian…

Russia says downed US spy drone was in Iranian airspace

Evidence by US allegedly implicating Iran in ship attacks in Gulf of Oman ‘poor and unprofessional’, says Russian official

Contradicting Trump, top Putin adviser says U.S. drone downed in Iranian airspace – Middle East News –

At first-ever trilateral meeting in Jerusalem, National Security Adviser Bolton says U.S. ready for Iran to engage in ‘real negotiations’

Russia insists US drone WAS flying over Iran when it was shot down triggering Trump’s abandoned call for air strikes – The Sun

RUSSIA claims to have military intelligence proving that the US drone shot down by Iran was in the the country’s airspace when it was struck. Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of Russia’s Security Council, told journalists in Jerusalem that evidence presented by the Trump administration blaming the Islamic Republic for attacks on ships in the Gulf of Oman was poor quality and unprofessional.

‘Unacceptable’ to lump Iran together with ISIS as Middle East’s ‘chief security threat’ – Moscow — RT World News

It’s wrong to label Iran as the main threat to the Middle East, Russia’s senior security official warned, while stressing that data produced by Washington is not enough to blame the Iranians for recent tanker attacks.

Russian security chief slams attempts to put Iran on par with IS as inadmissible – Russian Politics & Diplomacy – TASS

Iran is a contributor to the fight against terrorism and the settlement of the conflict in Syria, according to the official

Russia Warns U.S. and Israel That Iran Is Its ‘Ally’ and Was Right About Drone Shoot Down

Russia’s national security secretary told his U.S. and Israeli counterparts that it was “inadmissible” to compare Iran to ISIS, which both Moscow and Tehran fought together in Syria.

Russia swears Iran is its ally, after trilateral meeting with PM, Bolton – Israel News – Jerusalem Post

“Iran has been contributing a lot to the fight against terrorism in Syria, helping to stabilize the situation,” Patrushev said.

Gog and Magog Heating Up? Russia clarifies it Will Side with Iran Against the US and Israel –

Russia’s chief national security adviser, Nikolai Patrushev, defended Iran ‘s claims during a trilateral meeting with his Israeli and American counterparts.

Does trilateral Jerusalem summit indicate Russia’s willingness to restrain Iran? |

The results of the conference were not immediately clear, but just the fact that it took place was touted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an indication of Russian and American recognition of the Jewish state’s centrality as a strategic regional actor.

Iran’s Rouhani: US sanctions on Khamenei ‘idiotic and outrageous’ – YouTube

Al Jazeera English Published on Jun 25, 2019 The latest round of American sanctions on Iran target the most powerful man in the country, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. It is a move that has angered Tehran and threatens to escalate tensions. Al Jazeera’s Zein Basravi reports from Tehran.

In trilateral Jerusalem summit, Russia sides with Iran, against Israel and US | The Times of Israel

Senior Russian official stands by Tehran’s claim that US drone was shot down in Iranian airspace, defends rights of foreign troops to remain in Syria despite Israeli opposition

Bolton presses Iran to withdraw forces from Syria, areas of conflict | TheHill

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said the U.S.

John Bolton threatens ‘maximum pressure’ on Iran during Jerusalem meeting with Russian and Israeli counterparts

JERUSALEM (JTA) — National Security Adviser John Bolton said the United States will put “maximum pressure” in the form of sanctions on Iran if it does not return to the negotiating table. Bolton made the statement Tuesday in Jerusalem following a three-way meeting of the national security officials of the U.S., Russia and Israel.

Watch: Netanyahu meets with US and Russian national security advisers | The Times of Israel

Iran’s efforts to entrench itself militarily in Syria and escalating tensions between Tehran and Washington top agenda at unprecedented trilateral summit

‘Israel acted against Iran hundreds of times’ – Israel National News

Top American, Russian, and Israeli security advisers meet for Jerusalem summit to deal with Iranian aggression.

Israeli air strikes on Syria undesirable, says Russian security official – Israel News –

Russian Security Council Secretary added that ‘Iran is contributing a lot to fighting terrorists on the Syrian soil and stabilizing the situation there’

Netanyahu Presses Superpowers to Remove Iranian Forces from Syria – The New York Times

At a meeting of American, Israeli and Russian national security advisers, the competing regional interests were evident.

UN Asks Russia For Answers About Bombed Hospitals In Syria

The United Nations humanitarian coordinator said on June 25 that he had asked Russia to provide details on how it was using the location coordinates of hospitals in Syria following a string of atta…

LtGen David Deptula | What Is The Next U.S. Move With Iran?

With respect to the next U.S. move with Iran, while the President and his advisers must act one step at a time, they must always be thinking 10 steps ahead.

What the Iran Crisis Reveals About European Power – Defense One

Without a rival currency, there is none.

Brett Velicovich: Iran now sees America as weak – That’s dangerous | Fox News

Trump’s decision to put new financial sanctions on Iran in response to the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone is simply not enough to deter Iran in the near term.

We Don’t Need Airstrikes to Restore Deterrence in the Strait of Hormuz – Defense One

Recent history shows that a restrained, multilateral military response can help restore stability.

Trump’s Iran Sanctions Are the Opposite of Madness – Bloomberg

Predictably, Tehran has attacked the latest U.S. measures. But neither side is in any rush to settle their differences.

Marc Thiessen: Trump’s Iran policy is working | Fox News

Trump was right to show restraint toward Iran.

WaPo Attacks Trump’s ‘Erratic’ Policy Moves, Then Admits They’re Working – Accuracy in Media

According to a story Monday from the Washington Post, President Trump should not unduly pressure his rivals in negotiations because the moves are “politically risky” for the president and “send mixed messages and put U.S. national security at risk.” “Trump’s support on three issues – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids, tariffs on Mexico and [&hellip;]

Trump administration’s ‘forced diplomacy’ with Iran isn’t working | TheHill

Rather than more weapons and wars, the Middle East needs good faith conflict resolution, for the near and long term.

Donald Trump’s Iran Show – WSJ

He has a nose for power, and he thinks Tehran is weaker than Obama understood.

Fourth of July Fireworks – Opinion – Jerusalem Post

The Trump administration has blamed Iran for both incidents, at least one of which is said to have been carried out by use of a limpet mine similar to devices previously displayed in Iranian parades.

Scaramucci warns Iran to cut tensions with the US

President Trump announced fresh sanctions on the Islamic Republic on Monday, following the downing of an unmanned American drone last week.

Trump’s new Iran sanctions are part of a ‘high risk’ strategy that could start a war he doesn’t want, experts warn | Business Insider

President Donald Trump on Monday announced he’s slapping Iran with new “hard-hitting” sanctions, which experts warn are unlikely to achieve the administration’s stated goals while the specter of armed conflict is still on the horizon.

With Iran, a Reality-Show President Finally Confronts Reality – Foreign Policy

Trump says he doesn’t want another war in the Middle East, but this one would be entirely of his own making.

Opinion | Susan Rice: How Did We Get 10 Minutes From War With Iran? – The New York Times

President Trump’s process of ordering and then canceling military strikes was a mess. But he now has an opening to restart talks on Iran’s nuclear program.

Maxine Waters hates Trump so much that she’s rooting for Iran

Maybe Maxine Waters would like to see Iran invade the U.S. and force regime change?

Asia Times | The hybrid war against Iran | Opinion

Threats, sanctions, and actual killings are part of Washington’s crusade against Tehran, all enabled by its unshakable grip on the global financial system

Trump is Our Best Hope for Peace in the Middle East | The American Conservative

The New York Times report that President Donald Trump ordered and then withdrew a military strike against Iran—“planes were in the air and ships were in position”—is terrifying to nobody more than the president’s political opponents. First, there are the neoconservatives who have weaseled their way into the Trump administration. No doubt John Bolton is the most flea-bitten Persiaphobe in Washington. Bolton is (or ought to be) known best as the architect of the two-state solution to the conflict in…Syria and Iraq. As he wrote in a Times op-ed back in 2015:

Not Even Trump Has Any Idea What His Iran Policy Is – Defense One

The president canceled a strike because it was “not proportionate,” and then vowed “obliteration.”

How Will Iran Respond to the Threat of Force? | The National Interest

The mere threat of force, and perhaps some limited bombing, is expected to suffice to bring Iran to its senses. This thesis was about to be put to the test—until Trump undermined it.

Opinion | Trump Takes On China and Persia at Once. What’s to Worry About? – The New York Times

He’s imposed pain. Now, if he only had defined plans and goals.

3 thoughts on “Iran Escalation (24)

  1. I am not sure where Jebel al Harim is located but my best guess is that it is located on the top of the Arabic horn next to the straight of Hormuz. Well, two American airbases are already existing in UAE very near or in the straight of Hormuz. All the countries in the Persian Gulf exports oil,as a norm except for Bahrain where you Americans have access to a port. You also have an airbase in Qatar and access to a joint airstrip in Quwait.

    1. Roger, Roger.

      Please note I said a “coalition” airstrip. Not airbase or airport, it’s temporary. Coalition means it is focused on the Strait of Hormuz and Iran until this blows over. I wanted the airstrip there, on that little tip of the horn, so any aircraft taking off is inside of Iran’s airspace before they can react. Yeah, militarily it’s almost indefensible, but if the airstrip is protected and overseen by multiple airbases, Iran cannot defend themselves.

      Again, no boots on the ground inside Iran, but Iran is now definitely on the defensive.

      1. I have been thinking about it for a few minutes. Since the Strait of Hormuz is only 35 nautical miles or 65 km at its narrowest Point it would mean that from the nearest American airbase you would only have to add some 30 km. I Think your government and military have already been contemplating what gains and losses your suggestion would mean. More important than a closer proximity, it seems, is what height the Aircrafts initially are flying on. The aircrafts may be able to fly in radar shadow the first few miles. Even more important is to have a good EW capability. Also the presumably relatively salty water in the Gulf of Oman may help the Iranian cause since saltwater often makes regular radars work as an Over The Horizon-radar, and thus Aircrafts may be detected already from liftoff. Then you would have gained nothing.

        On the other hand it would look good for Trump if he could spark up a coalition just as George W Bush managed to do. But temporary airstrips on the tip of the horn seems superfluous to me when you already have two existing airbases in UAE. I am sorry, but you have to have better arguments than that to convince Europe’s leaders I Think.

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