Information operations

Iran Escalation (47)


More bluster from Tehran. Germany, driven by the Russian proxy SDP, refuses to join the multinational coalition force to protect tanker traffic, and Amb Grenell publicly chastises the Merkel government. UK rejects Iran’s tanker swap proposal. Royal Navy reports repeated provocation by Iranian forces. Complaints about Royal Navy downsizing having gone too far (as happened also with the RAF). Iranian FM Zarif sanctioned, appropriately. Russia opts to support Iran as always to spite the UK and US.

BP and Shell route UK flagged tankers away from Persian Gulf. International tanker crews now turning off their transponders during Hormuz Strait transits to deny Iranians position and identity data and complicate any attempts to hijack.

Many OpEds and analyses, as always ranging from the sane to the highly partisan and the usual apologia for the Tehran regime. Some Western journalists appear to be suffering identity confusion, as they are actively defending a toxic fascist regime in Tehran.

Iran says it is ready for worst in fight to save nuclear deal – Reuters

President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday Iranian officials were ready for the worst as they tried to salvage their nuclear deal with world powers, but he was sure they would eventually prevail.

U.S. envoy urges Germany to take global role after Hormuz reluctance – Reuters

The U.S. ambassador to Germany called on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government on Thursday to take on a global responsibility to match its economic might after Berlin showed reluctance to join a naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz.

US envoy slams Germany for reluctance to join Gulf mission | DW News – YouTube

DW News Published on Aug 1, 2019 The US ambassador to Germany has sharply criticized Angela Merkel’s government for its reluctance to join a naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz. “America has sacrificed a lot to help Germany remain part of the West,” Richard Grenell said. “Germany is the biggest economic power in Europe. This success brings global responsibilities.” Germany’s Foreign Ministry has rejected the US request, saying that priority should be given to diplomatic efforts and to de-escalating tensions with Iran.

US Ambassador Lashes at Germany for Lack of Enthusiasm About Military Operation in Hormuz – Sputnik International

The US invited Germany, along with other European states, to join a military operation in the Strait of Hormuz, a vital maritime oil transit route, but the offer was rejected, with Berlin instead opting for a peaceful solution to ensure the safety of civilian ships.

Germany Says It Will Not Support U.S. Military in Gulf, Where Iran Is Ready for Talks with Saudi Arabia

Germany’s top diplomat said “there is no military solution” as the U.S. and Iran attempted to secure support for rival visions on how to secure the Strait of Hormuz.

Germany will not join US naval mission in Strait of Hormuz | News | DW | 31.07.2019

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Germany will not be taking part in a US-led mission to secure oil tanker ships sailing near Iran. The US ambassador in Berlin slammed the decision, saying Germany has responsibilities.

German FM Rules Out Joining US Naval Mission in Hormuz Strait – Sputnik International

WARSAW (Sputnik) – Germany will not take part in the US-led mission to secure shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Wednesday.

Germany refuses to join US-led naval mission in Strait of Hormuz | USA News | Al Jazeera

Germany’s foreign minister says his country wants to avoid further escalation, will not take part in mission.

Germany says it won’t join U.S.-led mission in Strait of Hormuz – World News – Haaretz.com

‘Germany will not take part in the sea mission presented and planned by the Untied States,’ says German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas

German vice chancellor ‘very skeptical’ about joining US military mission in Gulf – POLITICO

Olaf Scholz says a US-led naval operation in the Strait of Hormuz is ‘not a good idea.’

Wary of Trump’s Hard Line on Iran, Europeans Decline to Join Escorts in Gulf – The New York Times

The Europeans see risks of escalation in the conflict with Tehran, and they want to distance themselves from the U.S. policy of “maximum pressure.”

Britain tells Iran: there will be no tanker swap – Reuters

Britain on Thursday ruled out exchanging an Iranian tanker detained by Gibraltar for a British-flagged tanker seized by Iran in the Gulf.

Iranians test the ‘resolve’ of Royal Navy frigate in the Gulf by bombarding them with threats – The News

ROYAL Navy frigate HMS Montrose has had 85 ‘interactions’ with Iranian forces in just 27 days of patrolling the Gulf, the warship’s captain has revealed.

HMS Montrose Escorts Multiple British Ships Through Strait Of Hormuz

The ship’s commanding officer says they have escorted British ships safely through the waterway more than 20 times in the past month.

UK Commander: Iran testing British navy, but remains professional – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

During 27 days of patrolling the entrance to the Gulf, he had 85 “interactions with Iranian forces” which often led to “an exchange of warnings” over radio.

UK warship commander says Iran trying ‘to test’ Britain in Gulf – The Independent News

Latest Singapore News and Headlines, Top Stories and Alternative Perspectives.

Iran Tanker Seizures Pushing U.K. Royal Navy to its Limits as New PM Takes Charge – USNI News

LONDON — Britain’s new prime minister, Boris Johnson, is facing a maritime security standoff with Iran that could, if handled indelicately, spark conflict in the Persian Gulf region. At the center of the drama is the tit-for-tat seizure by Tehran of a British-flagged oil tanker transiting the Strait of Hormuz. As a result of decades of cuts, the Royal Navy has had a limited presence in the Middle East. Since the Falklands conflict in 1982 the number of warships in RN service (excluding coastal patrol vessels) has shrunk by 75 percent. Real defense spending in the U.K. has fallen to 1.8 per cent of GDP. Just nine frigates and destroyers are currently available for operational service, with 10 laid up or in refit. Delivering Britain’s exit from the E.U. on Oct. 31 is the very raison d’etre of Johnson’s administration; and it’s unclear where maritime security figures in his priorities. While opponents of Brexit claim the 2016 referendum result was a symptom of ‘Little England’ syndrome, driven in part by a dislike of foreigners and a desire to pull up the drawbridge over the Dover Strait, fervent supporters of divorcing the Brussels-based bloc argue instead for a new golden age of trade with the wider world. A renewed focus on far-flung opportunities will of course require commitment to, and investment in, a navy capable of safeguarding the freedom of navigation upon which global maritime trade depends, officials have said. Ex-prime minister Theresa May’s failure to win parliamentary approval for her E.U. withdrawal agreement, after two tortuous years of negotiations, led to her resignation as leader of the ruling Conservative Party in June and a two-horse race to replace her between pro-Brexit backbench MP Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who had previously campaigned to stay in the EU. The son of an admiral who commanded the amphibious ship HMS Intrepid in the mid-1970s and rose to Commander-in-Chief Fleet from 1985 to 1987, Hunt promised to boost the U.K.’s annual defense budget by $18.2 billion by 2023 – primarily to counter the growing Russian threat. On July 11 Hunt made a belated admission that cuts to the RN had been too severe and announced that, if he became prime minister, he would increase the number of warships and carrier-based jets. Hunt issued his remarks after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) tried to seize tanker British Heritage in the Strait of Hormuz. The sole Royal Navy escort in the region, the Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose, is thought to have trained a 30mm gun on the three Iranian boats, which retreated. Tehran said the attempted seizure was in retaliation for the detention in Gibraltar on July 4 of an Iranian tanker suspected of transporting oil to Syria in defiance of EU sanctions.

US admiral says allies to do the heavy lifting protecting ships from Iran in the Strait of Hormuz

The U.S. Navy’s protection mission in the Strait of Hormuz will apply strictly to American shipping while regional partners will shoulder most of the responsibilities in the region, according to a Navy admiral.

Iran crisis: UK set to join US against Iran amid shock claim of ‘increased chances of war’ | World | News | Express.co.uk

THE US and Iran are heading towards an outbreak of war, according to military experts, after the US administration slapped key Tehran officials with sanctions.

Iran news: EU deals major snub to Trump by working with banned Iranian foreign minister | World | News | Express.co.uk

THE European Union will ignore US sanctions against Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif by continuing to work with him in what is a major snub from Brussels to Donald Trump.

Iran news: US warns Germany of ‘global responsibilities’ as Merkel rejects mission help | World | News | Express.co.uk

THE United States has warned Germany of their “global responsibilities” and raged “billions of dollars” are spent on American troops stationed there every year after being left furious by Angela Merkel’s refusal to take part in a mission to stamp out Iran’s aggression.

US calls on Germany to join naval mission in Strait of Hormuz amid tensions with Iran | TheHill

The United States on Tuesday ramped up pressure on Germany to join the U.S.-led endeavor to secure a strategic shipping waterway in the Persian Gulf in the face of rising tensions between Washington and Iran.

Germany punts on Hormuz Strait mission with US involvement

Berlin is unlikely to go along with an American- and British-led naval protection mission in the Strait of Hormuz, though politicians are leaving the door open for a European plan.

US Failure to Drag Europe Into Gulf Naval Mission Behind Sanctions on Zarif – Iranian Military – Sputnik International

The US Department of Treasury introduced sanctions against Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier this week in what Steven Mnuchin has described as a “clear message” to Tehran that “its recent behaviour is completely unacceptable”.

Gulf Crisis: What Iran Will Do Next and How the U.S. Can Stop It – Bloomberg

The U.S. and its European allies must get ready to sweep mines, escort tankers, launch cyberattacks and, perhaps, sink Iranian ships.

John Bolton on Twitter: “Just went on air with @mariabartiromo, where we had a conversation on U.S. foreign policy, including the recent sanctions on Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif. https://t.co/R3kALMFJQz” / Twitter

U.S. Sanctions Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday announced sanctions against Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Trump administration sanctions Iranian diplomat; Feinstein derides ‘mistake’ | Fox News

The Trump administration announced Wednesday it will impose sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, a move that comes amid escalating tensions between Tehran and the west and could erode an already fraught relationship. 

US sanctions Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif – CNNPolitics

The United States sanctioned Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Wednesday, following through on a weeks-old threat that is likely to elevate already heightened tensions with Iran.

Iran’s president mocks ‘childish’ US sanctions against Tehran’s top diplomat | Fox News

Iran’s president mocked the “childish” U.S. sanctions targeting the regime’s foreign minister, saying the sanctions will be a barrier to diplomacy.

Iran mocks Pompeo’s offers to visit – POLITICO

‘Instead of making empty and disingenuous offers, @SecPompeo can accept any of the many requests from Iranian reporters to interview US officials,’ the Iranian foreign minister tweeted.

UAWire – Russia decides to back Iran in Persian Gulf tanker war

Russia may support Iran in the “tanker war” in the Persian Gulf, which has forced the UK and US to transfer naval forces to the key oil extraction and transit region to escort tankers. The General Staff of Iran’s armed forces and the Russian Defense Ministry have signed a memorandum of understanding with the aim of expanding their military cooperation, said Iranian Naval Commander Hossein Khanzadi following a three day visit to Russia. “This is the first document of this nature, which will become a turning point in the two countries’ military relations,” Khanzadi told the Mehr news agency. At present, Iran and Russia are preparing to hold joint exercises in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, including the Strait of Hormuz, a key artery for Middle Eastern oil companies through which passes one fifth of the world’s oil supply, from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Iraq, as well as virtually all of Qatar’s LNG. Iran has repeatedly threatened to obstruct the strait if sanctions prevent Iran from trading oil on equal terms to other regional producers. In the middle of June, there were explosions on two tankers, incidents which the US considers Iran responsible for. In July, Iran seized a British tanker in response to the seizure of its own vessel in Gibraltar. According to Khanzadi, Moscow and Tehran’s military cooperation is not limited to the Persian Gulf. The countries are currently discussing increased cooperation and possible joint drills in the Caspian Sea. Russian naval vessels will arrive in Iran before the end of the year, Khanzadi said in April. In addition, Tehran is also expecting financial assistance from Moscow. Iran’s draft budget for the financial year starting on 21 March (the year 1398 according to the Persian calendar) includes a $5 billion loan from Russia. The funds are expected to be used on infrastructural projects, including nuclear energy, railway transport, and the building of dams, irrigation networks and water pipelines.

Germany will not take part in US-led mission in Strait of Hormuz: Foreign minister | TheHill

Germany’s foreign minister on Wednesday said the nation will not join a naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz led by the U.S.

Germany will not join U.S.-led mission in Strait of Hormuz: Maas – Reuters

Germany will not participate in a U.S.-led naval mission to secure the Strait of Hormuz, close to Iran, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Wednesday.

German Foreign Minister rules out joining U.S.-led Hormuz mission – Reuters

Germany will not participate in a U.S.-led naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz as it wants to ease tensions with Iran, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Wednesday.

Trump to hold off on tightening limits on Iran’s nuclear work

The Trump administration plans to renew waivers that allow Iran to receive international aid for its civilian nuclear projects, sources said.

Trump administration will again waive nuclear sanctions on Iran – The Washington Post

Trump sided with Mnuchin over Bolton and Pompeo and agreed to let Iranian nuclear programs continue

Trump to disappoint Iran hawks with more nuclear waivers – POLITICO

The administration’s Iran policy is taking a softer tone despite a push from some GOP lawmakers to expand its maximum pressure campaign.

US expected to extend waivers for countries to continue civil nuclear work with Iran – CNNPolitics

The Trump administration is expected to extend waivers for countries in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to continue their participation in civil nuclear projects with Tehran, according to two administration officials.

U.S. to renew sanctions waivers for five Iran nuclear programs: Washington Post – Reuters

The United States is set to announce this week it will renew sanctions waivers for five Iran nuclear programs that allow Russia, China and European countries to continue civilian nuclear cooperation with Iran, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

U.S. Struggles to Get Help from Europe As Iran Plans Military Moves with Russia, Seeks Support from China

The U.S. embassy in Berlin criticized a German politician opposed to sending ships to the Strait of Hormuz, while Iran touted newfound ties with Russia and sought more Chinese support.

Oil Tankers Perform Vanishing Act in Hormuz as Tensions Escalate – Bloomberg

Oil tanker owners are finding a way to reduce the risks of navigating the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important — and lately most dangerous — energy chokepoint: vanish from global tracking systems.

Shell not taking British-flagged tankers through Hormuz – Reuters

Royal Dutch Shell is not taking any British-flagged tankers through the Strait of Hormuz amid heightened tensions with Iran in the vital chokepoint for oil shipments.

BP Avoids Sending Tankers and Crews Through Strait of Hormuz – Bloomberg

BP Plc, the British oil giant that had to shelter one of its tankers in the Persian Gulf this month in fear it could be targeted by Iranian forces, is avoiding sending ships to the region after tensions flared between Tehran and London.

BP has no plans to take its tankers through Hormuz – Reuters

BP has not taken any of its oil tankers through the Strait of Hormuz since a July 10 attempt by Iran to seize one of its vessels, the British company’s Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary said on Tuesday.

Iran calls European fleet in the Gulf ‘hostile’ and ‘provocative’ | UK News | Al Jazeera

UK said it is planning a European-led naval force to escort tankers through the world’s busiest oil shipping lane.

Britain’s seizure of Iranian oil tanker was illegal and will be detrimental for Britain: Iran president – Reuters

Britain’s seizure of an Iranian oil tanker off Gibraltar was illegal and will be detrimental for Britain, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday, according to the official presidency website.

At crisis talks, Iran links tanker row to nuclear deal | News | Al Jazeera

Envoys from UK, Germany, France, Russia, China and Iran met in Vienna to discuss how to salvage historic 2015 pact.

Iran, World Powers Meet In Vienna Over Nuclear Deal

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi has met with representatives from Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China to discuss how to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world p…

Iran says meeting with parties to nuclear deal ‘constructive’ – Reuters

An emergency meeting with parties to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal was constructive but there are unresolved issues and Tehran will continue to reduce its nuclear commitments if Europeans fail to salvage the pact, Iranian official Abbas Araqchi said on Sunday.

Talks held in Vienna to salvage Iran nuclear deal – BBC News

The meeting comes amid rising tensions in the Gulf and Iran’s decision to breach parts of the deal.

Iran news: Germany will not help UK over Iran as long as they seek US support | World | News | Express.co.uk

GERMANY has warned it will not help the UK fight the escalating conflict with Iran as long as it continues to seek support from the US.

U.S. Maximum Pressure on Iran Unsettles Syria’s Kurds | The National Interest

As tensions in the Persian Gulf ratchet up, it’s not clear whether the Kurds and their allies in the Syrian Democratic Forces are willing—or able—to be a part of any U.S.-led war against Iran.

Iranians say US sanctions blocking life-saving medicine | News | Al Jazeera

Iran’s health system can’t cope and many blame President Trump’s punitive campaign for staggering prices and shortages.

Video shows Iran warning British warship not to ‘interfere’ in seizure of oil tanker

Video released Monday shows Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces warning a British warship not to interfere as they seized a UK-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz earlier this month.

Israel, US test missile defense system in Alaska – ABC News

Get breaking national and world news, broadcast video coverage, and exclusive interviews. Find the top news online at ABC news.

U.S. Air Force F-15E jets participated in joint integration exercise in Arabian Gulf – Defence Blog

The U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fighter jets participated in maritime and surface warfare exercise in Arabian Gulf. According to a statement released by the U.S. Air Forces Central Command, Strike Eagles attached to the 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron participated in an air operations in maritime surface warfare integration exercise with the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) and a P-3 Orion in the Arabian Gulf. The F-15E Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. An array of avionics and electronics systems gives the F-15E the capability to fight at low altitude, day or night and in all weather. “This unit-level exercise reinforced integration of U.S. Air Force assets in support of U.S. Navy surface combatants,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Adrian Willing, 609th Air Operations Center Master Air Attack Plan Cell planner. “This training reinforces the very real-world missions they are already conducting.” The F-15Es are based out of Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, while the USS Gonzalez is assigned to Commander Task Force-55 and the P-3C Orion is assigned to the CTF-57 based out of Bahrain. “The P-3C provides maritime domain awareness, can also function as a maritime air controller with long loiter times or employ its own weapons as required,” Willing said. “The USS Gonzalez is operating in the Arabian Gulf to guarantee international freedom of navigation.” While the scenarios were simulated, the team practiced real world tactics, techniques and procedures to execute joint interoperability in maritime air control and dynamic targeting. “By exercising the full operational process, we can identify and correct any issues that would slow or hinder rapid combat capability and seamless integration,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Benjamin Davidson, AFCENT Forces Division chief. “This builds a closer relationship between NAVCENT and AFCENT, that we can utilize when called upon to execute real-world operations. The improved lines of joint communication and coordination will further facilitate seamless execution during combat operations.” The demonstration of flexible and adaptable joint operations shows U.S. military forces are even stronger together and prepared to respond to contingencies and defend the U.S. forces and interests in the region. “This exercise demonstrated our ability to conduct operations in multiple domains simultaneously,” Davidson said. “When integrated properly, the combined strength of these assets is greater than their sum. We multiply the effects by creating increasingly complex challenges to the malign activities of our adversaries.

Oil falls on worries over growth outlook, positive news on Iran

Oil prices fell on Monday as investors fretted over the outlook for global economic growth, while weekend talks between Iran and major powers ended on a generally positive note, suggesting an easing of tensions in the Middle East.

Oil edges up on prospect of U.S. interest rate cut – Reuters

Oil prices rose on Monday as the prospect of an expected interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve overshadowed pessimism over U.S.-China trade talks and worries about slower global economic growth.

UAWire – Israel strikes Iranian forces in Iraq and Syria

On 19 July, Israel attacked the Ashraf military base in Iraq, 80 kilometers from the Iran-Iraq border, reported the London-based news outlet …

Israel Expands its Targets against Iran in Iraq, Syria | Asharq AL-awsat

London – Asharq Al-Awsat Israel has expanded the scope of its Iranian targets in Iraq and Syria, western diplomatic sources told Asharq Al-Awsat amid reports that Tel Aviv carried out an airstrike earlier this month against an Iranian rockets depot northeast of Baghdad. The July 19 attack was carried out by an Israeli F-35 fighter jet, they added. On Sunday, the Ashraf base in Iraq, a former base used by the Iranian opposition People’s Mujahedin of Iran, was targeted by an air raid, said sources. The base lies 80 kilometers from the border with Iran and 40 kilometers northeast of Baghdad. The sources revealed that the strikes targeted Iranian “advisors” and a ballistic missile shipment that had recently arrived from Iran to Iraq. Last week, Syria’s Tal al-Hara was struck by Israeli jets. The diplomatic sources said the attack targeted Iran’s attempt to seize control of the strategic hill, located in Daraa countryside in southern Syria.

Israel reportedly use F-35 jets to attacks bases used by Iran in Iraq – Defence Blog

The Israeli Air Force has reportedly started employing its cutting-edge F-35i ‘Adir’ stealth fighter jets to attack Iranian targets in Iraq. The London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, citing the anonymous Western diplomats, reported that Israel struck Iranian warehouses storing arms and missiles at Camp Ashraf, north-east of Baghdad, twice in the past month. Also added that on July 19, the base was struck by an Israeli F-35i ‘Adir’ fighter jet. The base was allegedly attacked again on Sunday. The report also notes that Iranian-made ballistic missiles had just been delivered to the base shortly before Israel’s attack. Members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hezbollah terrorists were killed in the strike, according to Al-Arabiya. A second attack by Israel on Sunday targeted Iranian advisers and a ballistic missile shipment at Camp Ashraf northeast of Baghdad. The Israel Defence Forces representative refuses to comment on Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper report. This is not the first time that information has appeared in the press about the activity of Israeli F-35 jets. In mid-February, several media reported that Chinese-made JY-27 radar of the Syrian Air Defense at Damascus airport was destroyed by Israeli F-35i Adir fighter jets. The source was claimed that F-35i Adir fighter jet of the Israeli Air Force has destroyed Chinese design JY-27 radar of the Syrian Air Defense near Damascus International Airport on 20 January. Just as in the previous case, no concrete evidence had been provided.

Iran Bluff And Bravado – To Inform is to Influence

I am not sure how Iran can possibly proclaim that the US is “afraid” of anything Iranian, but I guess it plays out to the Iranian public as… Iran is not a major superpower. Iran is not a powerful military. Iran is not… much of anything. I’m curious. What is Iran but a blowhard? </end editorial>

Germany reminds the world it’s an awful ally

Refusing to join two multinational coalitions to secure civilian shipping thru the Strait of Hormuz, Germany on Wednesday reminded the world that it’s a poor ally.

Opinion: Strait of Hormuz crisis a political dead-end for Germany | Opinion | DW | 31.07.2019

The past few days have highlighted a key shortcoming in Germany’s foreign policy. Berlin’s response to the Iran crisis shows the country’s limited ability to act on the world stage, says DW’s Christian F. Trippe.

Europe, U.S. Must Unite Against Iran’s Maritime Misadventures – Bloomberg

Safeguarding the world’s most important shipping lane will require an international effort.

America vs. Iran: Just How Dangerous is the Navy’s Strait of Hormuz Mission? | The National Interest

The Navy wants to assure you that is not dispatching an entire fleet to the Strait of Hormuz a part of efforts to escort American commercial ships and has no plans on initiating a sequel to World War II’s Battle of the Atlantic with its Iranian adversaries.

Why Iran Tensions Are Rekindling the AUMF Debate | Council on Foreign Relations

A look at the post-9/11 war powers law that the Trump administration could use to justify conflict with Iran.

The United States’ Soft War with Iran | Center for Strategic and International Studies

The Issue Iran is engaged in a soft war, or jang-e narm, with the United States. Iran uses formal and informal means to influence populations across the globe and has expanded its information campaign utilizing the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, cultural centers, universities, and charitable foundations. But Iran’s authoritarian political system and attempts to control access to information make it vulnerable to a U.S. and Western information campaign. Iran’s weaknesses suggest that a major component of U.S. competition with Tehran should be ideological.

U.S. Doesn’t Need Propaganda to Win Hearts and Minds in Iran – Bloomberg

They already know Tehran is mostly to blame for their economic suffering.

Iran’s Democracy Movement: Trump Can Offer More Than Sanctions – Bloomberg

Trump could help the democracy movement while hurting the regime.

Regime change is the Trump administration’s goal in Iran – The Washington Post

If the administration’s goal is regime change, they should come out and say it.

James Carafano: Iran — Will Pompeo and Tehran talk soon? Here’s why it just might happen | Fox News

So far the Trump administration has been as dependable as a Rolex. When global actors threaten American interests, Trump takes notice. Washington then pressures with one hand and offers an off-ramp with the other.

About that Counter-Iran Coalition… – Defense One

The Trump administration called for help, but Washington\’s friends have shrugged and calculated it is safer to stay away from \”maximum pressure.\” There …

Op-Ed: The Strait of Hormuz, an ancient tinderbox, still sits at the center of global conflicts – Los Angeles Times

The current tensions in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz echo a millennium of warring interests.

Fox News Poll: Six in ten say Iran, North Korea pose a threat to US safety | Fox News

As tensions heat up with Iran and North Korea over nuclear weapons, a majority of registered voters thinks the rogue nations pose a risk to the country’s safety.

David Burns: I was in the last ‘Shadow War’ with Iran. It’s a cautionary tale. – The Salt Lake Tribune

These headlines have a familiar ring. In 1985, two days after my last final exam at the University of Utah, I was off to naval officer candidate school in Newport, Rhode Island. Eighteen months later, I was in the Persian Gulf, part of the U.S. Navy’s Operation Earnest Will, also called The Tanker War. As the bloody Iran-Iraq War (1980-88) stretched into its seventh year, both sides had resorted to anti-shipping campaigns in the Persian Gulf. The United States intervened militarily in 1987 to guarantee freedom of navigation. The U.S. strategy called for limited naval force short of war, known as gunboat diplomacy. At peak involvement, we had more than 30 ships in the region.

Former Mayor of Tehran Is Sentenced to Death in Wife’s Killing – The New York Times

Mohammad Ali Najafi was arrested in May after turning himself in to the police and purportedly confessing to shooting his wife.

Stop Your Sobbing: Iranian Minister Under Fire For Suggesting Islamic Mourning Is Depressing People

Iran’s health minister has come under fire by hard-liners for suggesting that religious mourning ceremonies lead to the spread of depression among Iranians.

70 Female Cyclists Arrested in Iran – To Inform is to Influence

I include the following article for two reasons. First, it is very informative about the culture inside Iran. It does an excellent job showing how the hardliner regime is effectively suppressing the women of Iran. It is not about the Quran, Hadiths, or Sunna, it is about an oppressive culture misinterpreted by Imams through fatwas and enforced by weak leaders. Why? Self preservation and the lack of moral fiber. Second, this article is written by Iranian resistance, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. The article is propaganda, but it is all factually correct. Nowhere is it more apparent than in the final paragraph. But why, when so many problems are plaguing Iran, are the mullahs focusing on women’s dress? Because their rule is reliant on the suppression of women and the Regime know[s] that women are leading the charge against them. They hope to scare these women, but it won’t work. The final paragraph is pure opinion. It is an interpretation of 90% of the article, which is almost pure facts. While I don’t disagree with the article, as a matter of fact I agree with everything in the article, I don’t see it as balanced. There seems to be no attempt to get the opinion of anyone associated with the Iranian government. Therein lies the rub. This is published on the website of the Iranian “resistance”. This article is well worth reading, if only for the sake of better understanding what is going on in Iran to 50% of the population. Notice the punishments meted out for such minor infractions. I am so glad I don’t live there. </end editorial