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Iran Escalation (25)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

If I read only US news reports about Iran, the coverage will mostly appear strongly biased against President Trump’s approach.  The media is mostly very (I reiterate very) liberal, therefore a very liberal agenda is being pushed. 

For example: Jarrett Blanc’s article at Politico gets top billing in Google News: What Trump Really Just Told the Iranians: He’s Out of Ideas. Note the author: 

Jarrett Blanc is a senior fellow in the Geoeconomics and Strategy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He was previously the State Department lead for the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program.

Two things should quickly jump out at you, gentle readers. Blanc worked with the Obama administration, so everything he writes is going to be “anti-Trump”.  Second, Blanc is invested with JCPOA, which Iran is probably about to drop out of (Europe is begging them to stay).  

What Blanc fails to recognize is that the Trump administration’s approach to Iran is not the feckless approach of the Obama administration to the bluster, bluff, and buffoonery of rogue states like Iran.  The US no longer pays homage to Iran.  Iran is being held accountable and will be, de facto, paddled badly if they mess up.  Iran was, quite literally, minutes away from being pounded for downing the US drone before President Trump asked a sensible question and the proportionality of the US’ response was considered.  The headline, perhaps, should read ‘Jarrett Blanc is emotionally wed to JCPOA and doesn’t know any better’.  

The articles, below, reflect a much more accurate picture, I believe, a proper mix of good and bad. The Washington Post amazed me with their positive reporting: Trump was right not to strike Iran. His strategy is working. – The Washington Post

Iran’s perspective appears to be of ‘ignoring reality’ rather than merely ignorant. When Iran makes a mistake, and it will because they just do not appear to be capable of acting rationally, their pucker factor will quickly escalate to beyond painful constipation levels. 

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More bluster and bluff from Tehran, who evidently have no grasp of what an air campaign could actually do to their country, or how quickly the damage effects would cascade – “Morgenthau by PGM” would not be a bad label.

Tehran plays the Europeans, and may be overplaying their hand.

The US media debate remains as toxic as before.

Iran news: Iranians warn Donald Trump notion of short war “an illusion” as Europe pushes to keep nuclear deal alive today – CBS News

Europeans at the G-20 will say the nuclear deal Mr. Trump abandoned is the only way to avoid what Iran says would be a protracted war

Iran warns US against ‘repeating mistake’ of violating borders | USA News | Al Jazeera

Tehran will respond with even greater force to a second US incursion after drone shootdown, parliament speaker says.

Amid War Of Words, Iran Says It Will Accelerate Uranium Enrichment From June 27

Iran says it will not “retreat” and will speed up its enrichment of uranium from June 27 as it continues to back away from its commitments to a nuclear deal amid escalating tensions with the United…

Iran will not be burdened with preserving nuclear deal – Iran’s U.N. envoy – Breaking News – Jerusalem Post

UNITED NATIONS – Iran’s United Nations envoy described his country’s nuclear deal with world powers as being in “critical condition” on Wednesday and warned “Iran alone cannot, shall not and will not take all of the burdens anymore to preserve” the 2015 agreement. “As long as illegal sanctions are in place, one cannot be expected to trust the offer for an honest and genuine dialog,” Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi said of talks with the United States.

Iran says saving nuclear deal not its problem, EU warns no alternative

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal last year, inflaming tensions between Tehran and Washington that led to Iran shooting down a U.S. drone last week. Trump ordered retaliatory air strikes but called them off at the last minute. Under the deal to curb Tehran’s nuclear program most

Iran to speed up enrichment of uranium amid faltering nuclear deal

Iran will speed up enrichment of uranium and pull further out of the nuclear deal with world powers, Iranian officials said.

Tehran renews warning that it may soon bid farewell to nuclear deal

Amid continued frustration with the European signatories to the nuclear deal, Iran is sending fresh signals about its potential departure from the pact, while indicating that diplomacy remains a viable option.

Iran tells UN it cannot uphold nuclear deal ‘alone’ | The Times of Israel

Amid Iranian threats to violate the international agreement, Tehran’s envoy says accord’s other signatories must compensate his country

Iran’s ultimatum on breaching nuclear deal puts EU3 on the spot | World news | The Guardian

Tehran confirms it will violate 2015 agreement and take uranium stocks above limit

Experts fear ‘snowball effect’ as Iran abandons nuclear deal

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — As Iran prepares to surpass limits set by its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, each step it takes narrows the time the country’s leaders would need to have…

Experts fear ‘snowball effect’ as Iran abandons nuclear deal – Middle East News – Haaretz.com

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Israel has bombed nuclear facilities in Iraq and Syria in the past

France, Germany, Britain to Provide INSTEX with Credit Line by Friday: Report – Politics news – Tasnim News Agency

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – European governments will provide a credit line to help a special mechanism establish a route for trade between Iran and the West, a report said.

Europeans Race to Establish Trade With Iran – The New York Times

With Tehran threatening to breach limits set in the nuclear deal, Europeans are scrambling to restore some of the economic benefits Iran was promised.

EU makes last-ditch effort to keep Iran from leaving nuclear deal | World news | The Guardian

Europe aims to boost trade in effort to persuade Tehran not to escalate Gulf crisis

Europe begs Iran not to break nuclear deal | World | The Times

Britain and other European powers have issued a last-minute appeal to Iran to stop enriching uranium as Tehran announced that it was ditching the 2015 nuclear deal.Tehran said that it would today increase its stockpile of low-enriched uranium hexafluoride beyond its 300kg limit, effectively ending t

Iran on Brink of Nuclear Breach That Would Strain Europe Ties – Bloomberg

Iran is set to breach the 2015 nuclear deal for the first time on Thursday, piling pressure on European powers attempting to salvage it from crippling U.S. sanctions and avert a slide toward war.

More important than ever to preserve the JCPOA – GOV.UK

Joint statement by E6 members of the Security Council after briefing on non-proliferation: Implementation of UNSCR 2231

Europeans Plan to Inject Capital Into Iranian Trade Effort – WSJ

European governments will double down this week on their efforts to keep alive economic ties with Iran, providing a credit line to help a special mechanism establish a route for trade between Iran and the West.

Exclusive: Iran still short of nuclear deal’s enriched uranium cap – diplomats – Reuters

Iran is still short of the maximum amount of enriched uranium it is allowed to have under its deal with major powers but it is on course to reach that limit at the weekend, the latest data from U.N. nuclear inspectors shows, diplomats say.

Europe calls for ‘urgent restraint’ as US hits Iran with extra sanctions – EURACTIV.com

The European Union called for an “immediate de-escalation” of tensions in the Middle East on Monday (24 June), as the US government announced new “hard-hitting” sanctions on Iran after launching a series of cyber attacks on the country last week.

Macron calls for ‘little gestures’ to defuse U.S.-Iran tensions – Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday said Iran and world powers including the United States needed to find a way back into talks that restore trust and defuse a dangerous escalation in tensions.

Macron says he warned Iran’s Rouhani about breaking nuclear commitments – Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron warned Iran on Thursday not to quit its 2015 nuclear deal or give signals that it intended to do so, and said he would discuss efforts to avoid military escalation with U.S. President Donald Trump.

No ‘boots on the ground’ in Iran dispute, Trump says; cites ‘unlimited time’ for new deal – Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he was “not talking boots on the ground” should he take military action against Iran and that he had “unlimited time” to try to forge an agreement with Tehran.

Iran poised to have enough low-enriched uranium to speed up building an atomic bomb | Daily Mail Online

A report by the United Nations says Iran will have breached the levels of uranium it agreed to in its 2015 nuclear deal with world superpowers within 24 hours.

Iran Targeting U.S. With Destructive Wipers, Warns DHS | Threatpost

The Department of Homeland Security is warning that U.S. agencies are being targeted by Iranian-backed cyberattacks with destructive wiper malware.

US struck Iranian military computers this week

Operations targeting critical infrastructure by U.S. Cyber Command demonstrate the U.S.’s increasingly mature cyber military capabilities and its more aggressive cyber strategy under the Trump administration.

US cyber attack on Iran shrouded in digital ‘fog of war’ | The Times of Israel

Experts say the reported American hack after downing of drone and Iran’s denial highlight difficulty of verifying cyber operations

NATO split over US Iran policy | DW News – YouTube

DW News Published on Jun 26, 2019 The US is threatening a military strike on Iran after the countries shootdown of an Americn drone and an attack on oil ships the US blames on Tehran. US diplomats are using this week’s NATO meeting to lobby for more European help getting Iran to change its behavior. But this will very likely not be an easy task.

A breakdown of what’s at stake in US-Iran crisis

WASHINGTON (AP) — Both sides in the U.S.-Iran standoff say they don’t want war. But unless one or the other changes course – the United States from its harsh economic sanctions or Iran from its…

Iran Is About To Exceed Uranium Limits. Is The Nuclear Deal Dying? : NPR

As soon as Thursday, Iran is expected to surpass a key limit set in place by the 2015 nuclear agreement. It could spell the end of the deal.

Iran Says It Will Pass a Uranium Cap. Is It a Threat? What Happens Next? – The New York Times

Responding to American sanctions, Iran said it would break a 300-kilogram limit on its uranium stockpile under the 2015 nuclear accord, a significant threshold in a complicated crisis.

Do US sanctions give Iran a reason to restart its nuclear program? | DW News – YouTube

DW News Published on Jun 27, 2019 Iran says today is the day that its uranium enrichment levels could exceed a cap set by the 2015 nuclear accord. It would be the first breach of the deal aimed at restricting Tehran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for an easing of international sanctions. It comes after US President Donald Trump abandoned the deal last year and imposed new sanctions. Now Iran says it sees no reason to comply, unless Britain, France and Germany step in to help.

James Carafano: Trump adopts shrewd Iran strategy | Fox News

Iran is more boxed in than before, thanks to new sanctions President Trump imposed.

Trump was right not to strike Iran. His strategy is working. – The Washington Post

The president’s restraint was the correct call.

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.

As America and Iran inch closer to war, new talks are needed – How to contain Iran

Negotiation, not confrontation, is the way to stop the mullahs from getting the bomb

Opinion | This Isn’t About Iran. It’s About China. – The New York Times

Whether or not Trump realizes it, the current standoff in the Middle East is about something much bigger than the Gulf.

Trump and Iran: A Five-Step Plan to End the Crisis – Bloomberg

Trump says he wants Iran back at the table, but “maximum pressure” alone won’t make it happen.

US playing all its cards wrong – Hakkı Öcal – Daily Sabah

If peace comes to the Middle East one day, Israel would need to give up excessive monetary help from the U.S. government as well as the Jewish diaspora all over the world

Iran’s Strategy of Reversible Escalation – LobeLog

by Eldar Mamedov In case anyone thought Iran was bluffing with its threats to respond robustly to U.S. “maximum pressure,” recent developments should have disabused them of that notion. Not only did Iran down a highly sophisticated American drone near its borders in the Persian Gulf, but it also announced plans to reduce its commitments under the nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA). The phase of strategic patience Iran exercised in the year after the United States violated the agreement has come to an end. It is now being replaced by an assertive action phase. That action will develop on two main fronts: the nuclear agreement and regional security. Contrary to a popular view in the West, this shift is not the result of “hard-liners” displacing “moderates.” There is a job division within the Iranian system: diplomats deal with the nuclear dossier while the Revolutionary Guards lead on military deterrence. There is, however, an overarching unity of purpose: to strike back, with all means available, at what Iran sees as an economic war waged by the United States and its regional allies Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel. Far from being an act of suicidal defiance by some irascible religious fanatic, Iran’s decision to respond to U.S. pressure follows from a set of careful strategic calculations and domestic political imperatives. After respecting fully their JCPOA commitments and being denied economic dividends, Iranians decided that they should not be the only ones paying the price of the American decision to violate that agreement.

Trump’s hawks ramp up campaign to shred last part of Iran nuclear deal – POLITICO

The administration is consumed by a debate over how hard to go after Tehran amid heightened tensions.

Trump can launch a limited attack on Iran without Congress

The founders recognized that military commanders must have the flexibility to act efficiently and decisively.

What will potential war with Iran mean for Australia? | The Canberra Times

War between the US and Iran would have significant consequences for Australia.

Iraq War veteran Tulsi Gabbard denounces Trump’s ‘chickenhawk Cabinet’

Tulsi Gabbard took the opportunity to criticize President Trump’s Cabinet during one of her answers during the 2020 Democratic debate.

Tulsi Gabbard is right: Trump’s cabinet is full of ‘chickenhawks’

In a presidential debate with nine candidates and one Beto O’Rourke on stage, it’s hard to stand out. So tonight, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard leaned on her credentials as a military veteran and her reputation for restrained foreign policy, taking a hard stance on the Trump administration that’s sure to stand out.

Democrats can show Trump the way to avoid war with Iran | TheHill

Simply going back to the JCPOA is not the answer.