Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 11, 2019

Media Amplify Iran War Propaganda - Play Up Intelligence Lies

The Trump campaign launched a propaganda campaign to prepare the public for a war on Iran. The campaign is similar to the one the Bush administration ran in 2002 and 2003 preparation for the war on Iraq.

Anonymous officials make claims about alleged 'intelligence' that is said to show 'Iranian threats' against U.S. 'interests'. Iran, it is claimed, has this or that malign motive to do such. Routine military rotations to the Middle East are then declared to be 'in response' to the claimed 'threats'.

The media, either played like a fiddle by the administration or willing accomplices, repeat each and any such nugget thrown at them without any second thought. Anti-Iranian lobbyist are presented as 'experts' to reinforce the messaging.

Here are some examples of the above methods.

NBC News headlines:

Trump's top intelligence and military advisers held unusual meeting at CIA on Iran, officials say
Current and former officials said it is extremely rare for senior White House officials or Cabinet members to attend a meeting at CIA headquarters.

In a highly unusual move, national security adviser John Bolton convened a meeting at CIA headquarters last week with the Trump administration's top intelligence, diplomatic and military advisers to discuss Iran, according to six current U.S. officials.

The meeting was held at 7 a.m. on Monday, April 29, and included CIA Director Gina Haspel, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, five of the officials said.

National security meetings are typically held in the White House Situation Room. The six current officials, as well as multiple former officials, said it is extremely rare for senior White House officials or Cabinet members to attend a meeting at CIA headquarters.
The U.S. has a very specific intelligence gathering capability on Iran that is only able to be reviewed at CIA headquarters, two former officials said.

It is highly likely that the "very specific intelligence gathering capability on Iran", that can only be reviewed at the CIA headquarter is the same "very specific intelligence gathering capability on Iraq" that officials used in the run up to war on that country. In 2002 then Vice-President Dick Cheney visited the CIA several times to press its analysts to come up with intelligence that 'proved' that Iraq was doing something nefarious and had ill intentions.

Moon of Alabama consulted its own sources about the 'specific intelligence capabilities'. We are told that a very rare book, of which one copy is held in the CIA directors personal safe, constitutes those capabilities. Six officials confirmed the book's existence. Multiple former officials and a  military official said that the extremely rare book contains one thousand and one 'narratives' that constitute the raw intelligence from which the CIA analysts derive their conclusions. The specific capability can only be used at nighttime. No more than one narrative can be extracted per night. That raw data is then immediately processed as sunlight is said to delude its veracity. This might explain the early morning gathering mentioned in the NBC News report.

A former CIA analyst involved in the creation of intelligence on Iraq in 2002 revealed that one of the narratives in the book mentioned special metallic tubes, while another narrative told of a biological process carried out on the back of a carriage. The former CIA analyst said that many of the conclusion drawn from the book turned out to be correct, but that - unfortunately -  the conclusion drawn from those two narratives were later proven to be wrong.

The CIA's Iran operations are run by Mike D'Andrea, also known as the CIA's undertaker for his prominent role in so called 'signature strikes' and the CIA's torture program. He played a role in enabling the 9/11 incident:

He was one of the agency's officials who failed to keep track of Nawaf Al-Hamzi, one of the 9/11 hijackers, after he entered the United States. As The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer wrote in her book The Dark Side, the CIA knew Al-Hamzi was in the United States. An FBI officer named Doug Miller who was attached to the agency's Osama bin Laden–tracking unit typed up a memo about Hamzi, hoping to share the tip with the FBI so they could locate the suspected terrorist. “But his boss, a CIA desk officer in the Bin Laden unit of the Counterterrorist Center who is identified by the 9/11 commission only as ‘Mike’ told Miller to hold off on sending the memo,” Mayer wrote. “After the second try, Miller dropped the matter.” Three hours after “Mike” gave that order, he inexplicably told his CIA superiors that the tip had, in fact, been passed to the FBI. “The CIA assumed from then on that it was,” adds Mayer. “But it wasn’t.”

One of the authors of the NBC News story is Ken Dilanian, the CIA's Mop-up man, known for letting the CIA edit his reports before they get published.

The U.S. public must surely trust these people and whatever nonsense they come up with.

Just like in 2002 it is the New York Times that plays a prominent role in the current propaganda campaign:

The Pentagon will deploy a Patriot antimissile battery to the Middle East to shore up defenses against Iranian threats, part of a series of carefully calibrated deployments intended to deter attacks by Iranian forces or their proxies, Pentagon officials said on Friday.
The new steps are meant to be measured and limited, in part because a new intelligence analysis by American and allied spy services has concluded that the Iranian government, declining in popularity amid economic woes, is trying to provoke the United States into a military overreaction to cement its hold on power, according to American and allied intelligence officials.

This obviously lacks logic. If Iran would really want to 'provoke the United States into a military overreaction', sending more military capabilities towards the Persian Gulf region would only show that the U.S. is falling for it.

The NYT also publishes a crude op-ed by Ariana Tabatabai, a so called 'political scientist' residing in a Pentagon stink tank:

Mr. Rouhani is sending Europe a clear signal: If Iran doesn’t get any benefits from its participation in the agreement, neither will Europe. That’s why he announced Iran will hold on to its excess enriched uranium and heavy water — both of which could potentially be used in building nuclear weapons — rather than sell them to other countries, as is required by the agreement. He is also giving the Europeans 60 days to take steps to help Iran’s economy, which has been crippled by the American sanctions. If he doesn’t get those things, he says, his country will take additional steps that violate the deal and eventually pull out altogether.

Iran announced that it will hold its 'excess' enriched Uranium and heavy water BECAUSE THE U.S. NOW SANCTIONS ANY EXPORT OF THESE PRODUCTS, not because Rouhani wants to 'send a signal'.

Nicholas Wadhams @nwadhams - 17:41 utc - 3 May 2019

The U.S. is revoking two sets of waivers that allowed Iran to ship excess heavy water to Oman and swap enriched uranium in exchange for yellowcake.

Nowhere are these specific sanctions mention in the 'expert' op-ed, nor are these mentions in the NYT's original reporting on Iran's recent steps. The NYT and other media systematically avoid to mention that these sanctions caused Iran's steps but then go on to construe and assign 'motives' to Iran for which have they have neither evidence nor a logical factual basis.

It is by the way impossible to use heavy water "in building nuclear weapons". Heavy water is a moderator in some nuclear reactor types. The central vessel of the only reactor of such type that Iran build but never operated was destroyed. To build a new one would take years. Iran continues to produce heavy water because it has the facilities to do so and because it is a valuable product. But such basic knowledge seems to be beyond the capabilities of the 'political scientist'.

The U.S. is rotating some of its military forces in the Middle East as it has done continuously since at least 2001. A recent carrier arrival in the region was announced in April. In September four Patriot batteries were pulled out of the Middle East, now one is send back. All together there are more than 50 Patriot batteries in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates all own Patriot systems. One more or less in the region does not change a thing. These rotations are normal moves that occur regularly. Now the Trump administration is playing these up to propagandize an 'Iran threat' and the press is falling for it.

This BBC report is another example:

The US is sending a Patriot missile-defence system to the Middle East amid escalating tensions with Iran.

A warship, USS Arlington, with amphibious vehicles and aircraft on board, will also join the USS Abraham Lincoln strike group in the Gulf.
The Pentagon says US forces are responding to a possible threat to US forces, but did not offer any specifics regarding those threats.

The Pentagon simply lies as it often does and it should be the task of the media to point that out. If the Pentagon would send the USS Arlington "in response to a possible threat" why is it ordering the USS Fort McHenry landing dock ship to return from the region. Those two ships have similar technical functions and tactical tasks. They rotate through deployments in various areas on long determined schedules:

[T]he Arlington is being moved into the region in “a one-for-one swap” with a similar ship, the USS Fort McHenry, which is leaving, according to a defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

There simply is no basis for assigning any of those recent military moves to anything that Iran has said or done. The 'intelligence' the 'officials' present to reporters is obviously derived from mere fairy tales. The 'experts' have either no idea of what they are taking about or are willfully manipulating the public.

It is the job of the media to point that out. Instead it is amplifying the war propaganda the administration plays at it.

Posted by b on May 11, 2019 at 13:02 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Why should the MSM act like you demand from it? They're doing what they are (well) paid for. The task of informing the public is now with "alternative" media like the MoA and several other kindred sources.

Posted by: Geraldo Lino | May 11 2019 13:29 utc | 1

The loud barking is to cover the very failures of the FP team in every theater. OTH, the various resistance fronts, keep kicking the mad gorilla, in a round robin fashion!! not in any order;

Venezuela issues warrant for one opposition hiding in spanish embassy
NK fires some rounds
Palestinians fire some rockets
Hezbollah fires some media war campaign
Iran fires the first JCPOA shot
NK fires some more projectiles
Venezuela arrests another opposition

guess, when you keep getting egg on your face, you tend to scream louder.

Posted by: Rd | May 11 2019 13:31 utc | 2

As with Venezuela, Trump is taking a different line to Bolton and Pompeo;

As Trump put it, "What [Iran] should be doing is calling me up, sitting down, and we can make a deal. A fair deal. We just don't want them to have nuclear weapons, it's not too much to ask. And we would help put them back into great shape. They're in bad shape right now. I look forward to the day when we can actually help Iran. We're not looking to hurt Iran. I want them to be strong, and great, and have a great economy."

The deal the Iranians made with Obama was designed by Washington to not work, perhaps the merchantilist Trump wants to put in place a deal that does work for United States corporations as well as the Iranians. Although the Iranians should probably hold off from calling Trump until he's delivered on North Korea.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | May 11 2019 13:32 utc | 3

Iran "took the US behind the woodshed" when Iran sided with Iraq patriots in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and then did the same sort of thing in Syria which resulted in the abject US failures in the Middle East.

Iran has to be punished for its "malign behavior" so the intelligence community and the obedient mainstream media have been tasked to justify the continued US enmity toward Iran.

But despite its saber rattling the US is militarily powerless against Iran's missiles, especially when the US has a carrier with 5,000 troops nearby, in addition to the 50,000 US troops spread around Iran at various bases in the Gulf, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. Also the US stands virtually alone in the world in its behavior. . .no more coalition of the willing.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11 2019 13:33 utc | 4

Whats difficult to understand here is who is driving who. The white house uses the media, the media uses the white house. The CIA uses both. All of them use the Pentagon, which in turn uses and serves the MIC. These stories that suddenly appear could be any one of those parties using the press, or a drive by the press to prepare the stage for war on behalf of their corporate overlords.
It is not " the job of the media to point that out", the job of the media is to serve shareholders interest, whoever they may be. It is, however, the responsibility of a conscientious public to discriminate very carefully between various consumable media outlets.

Posted by: dan | May 11 2019 13:34 utc | 5

It is the duty of patriotic journalists to support their country's war efforts in times of war, is it not? America has been at war for a very long time. For as long as the latest crop of crappy "journalists" can remember (assuming they can remember anything beyond yesterday's breakfast, which we see precious little evidence of).

Maybe in Europe and the rest of the world outside America there remains this idealized conception of what journalism should be about, but that is long gone in the US. In America the journalists consider themselves the "boots on the ground" in the psy-op information war. They know that they are just as vital to America's imperial ambitions as the Special Forces assassins and CIA covert operatives directing the death squads.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 11 2019 13:43 utc | 6

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11, 2019 9:33:11 AM | 4

There is always Poland.

Posted by: somebody | May 11 2019 13:51 utc | 7

dan @5

The CIA does the coordination of media narratives. You can think of them as the conductor of the orchestra... the organist at the Mighty Wurlitzer. The CIA also direct a lot of covert operations to strong-arm vassals into line and to knock states off balance that try to resist the empire. They also do lots of assassinations of labor organizers and the like.

But who is above the CIA? Who does the CIA work for? Certainly not the US Executive Branch! The CIA kills presidents when they feel the need.

Just ask yourself who benefits. The corporate elites at Coca-Cola, Nestle, Exxon, Monsanto, GE, and so on; and above them the elites at maybe a dozen giant financial syndicates whose evils psychohistorian is always going on about (he is right, by the way). These are the folks that gather at the Bilderberg and Bohemian Grove meet-ups where the large scale plans are hatched and corrections to faltering plans are debated and that the CIA must then fine tune and implement.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 11 2019 14:07 utc | 8

As MoA seems to say, the military machinery sitrep is sorta "normal". However MARAD has, perhaps, implied a possible ploy to create an incident.

see> (MARAD advisories)

I do not share the view that the matter is bluffing. Maybe the hallucinating fat guys are bluffers...but the Iranians are not..., and they're not hallucinating.

Posted by: Walter | May 11 2019 14:07 utc | 9

By the way, I think it is a game of chicken.

Hit Iran/Gaza/Syria economically as much as you can in the hope to drive an internal revolution (tends to consolidate Iranian/Hamas/Syrian leadership but what do they know), trick them to attack so intervention is justified, and then hit the softened target.

The leadership of the countries involved are more intelligent than Saddam Hussein, Russia is back and China plus india have a lot of economic muscle.

AND - Trump is trying to win the next elections.

Let's look how the economic stuff works in Gaza

In order to ameliorate its image in Washington, Qatar is now ready to extract Israel from the complicated situation it got into by withholding money from the Palestinian Authority.

Let's look how the sanctions work with Iran

U.S. Moves to Stop All Nations From Buying Iranian Oil, but China Is Defiant

No Asian country dependent on oil - China, India who house a third of the World's population will stop trading with Iran.

From above link

But some experts warned that relying on Saudi Arabia presents other threats to the stability of the Persian Gulf, including possible Iranian cyberattacks on Saudi energy facilities. “The disruption of Saudi oil production could systematically rattle markets,” according to a research note by the consultancy Eurasia Group on Monday.

The US can afford to go "the world be damned we will attack Iran" even if it would be completely irrational. But Saudi and Israel won't make it.

Posted by: somebody | May 11 2019 14:27 utc | 10

@ WG 6
It is the duty of patriotic journalists to support their country's war efforts in times of war, is it not?
Yes, that's the way the perceive it now, in this (so far) non-combat war against Iran, just as in the combat in Vietnam in the past.
Dan Rather, an iconic US journalist:
"Look I'm an American. I never tried to kid anybody that I'm some internationalist or something. And when my country is at war, I want my country to win, whatever the definition of 'win' might be. Now, I can't and don't argue that that is coverage without prejudice. About that I am prejudiced." So Dan brought us through the criminal war against Vietnam and the Nixon presidency. -- from Norman Solomon's "War Made Easy" -- How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death here.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11 2019 14:30 utc | 11

b, a grammar note. English, unlike German, has a strong Viking influence in the pronunciation of final consonents. So, we do not say " hant" for " hand" or "sent" for "send". So, if you hear "sent", it is spelled "sent", not "send".

Posted by: Albertde | May 11 2019 14:53 utc | 12

we must stop pretending the Arab patsies of 9/11 were the cause of 9/11. WTC was clearly wited cor demo, and if it was, so were (((Mr. Silverstein's))) other 2 recently leased and recently heavily insured buildings.

Posted by: Florin N | May 11 2019 14:56 utc | 13

Iran's economy is seriously going south. The only path out of the mess is with Russia/EAEU and China/BRI. However, trade and investment from EU is very urgent. The total trade with EU in the last four months has dropped 86%. Sanctions have frightened the big corporations and many governments.

There may be a surplus of lies about threats and military counter-moves, but the economic mess and danger is very real.

Iran has little leverage. It's strength is only as strong as it trusts Putin and Xi to save its "bacon".

Operating on its own ideological agenda is its weakest option.

Like Russia having help from China at a critical moment a few years ago, Iran needs and should work with Russia and China. In the background also comes India. Modi needs Iranian energy supply.

Germans are speaking out against the wild west of US Sanctions, their illegality and menace to other nations and economies, as well as the globalized supply chains.

These are the spokes in the wheels of US Hegemony. Iran needs to use those spokes, not move away from them into isolation.

Posted by: Red Ryder | May 11 2019 15:01 utc | 14

Supposedly, we spend more on our military than the next ten nations combined so no one ever “messes with us”. So isn’t it curious how we always seemed to be threatened by third rate powers who want to mess with us?

Posted by: Kevin | May 11 2019 15:05 utc | 15

Alexander Mercouris has a much rosier view of Trump's intentions than those expressed here. He cites reports that the US military brass are vigorously apposed to the Bolton and Pompeo efforts to provoke war against Iran. He even seems to be suggesting that Bolton is going to be removed as Nation Security Adviser.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 11 2019 15:06 utc | 16

UK and French media are fully onboard.
South Sudan FAILED
Venezuela FAILED

The are going berzerk.

Posted by: Mina | May 11 2019 15:08 utc | 17

Mostly what the media does is keep the focus on the misdeeds of the enemy du jour.

By rotating the enemies, public outrage is continually refreshed.

It's all part of the evidence-free, accountability-free Deep-State-sponsored Trump Show (cue patriotic-sounding show music). The Empire is conducting an economic war/war of attrition on no fewer than 5 countries but the propaganda war is global (cue laugh track).

Most Americans will tell you: USA is not part of an Empire, USA is not at war, and Assad, Putin, Kim, Maduro, and the Mullas of Iran are dangers to their own people as well as the world (cue applause).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 11 2019 15:12 utc | 18

India used a heavy water moderated reactor supplied by Canada to produce plutonium for its nuclear weapons program.

Posted by: Kevin | May 11 2019 15:15 utc | 19

@16 I think Mercouris is right about the Trump/Bolton article. Strange that it appeared in the Washington Post. Obviously Trump would play down any rift but he wants us to know he has a tight rein on the Great Moustache.

Posted by: dh | May 11 2019 15:32 utc | 20

The good news for the US is that its sanctions on Iran and Russia are putting a hurt on the EU economy, with GDP growth seen as an anemic 1.2% in 2019 here, helping to make America great again.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11 2019 15:42 utc | 21

Posted by: Kevin | May 11, 2019 11:05:20 AM | 15

The problem is that "you" go to places where you are likely to be messed with.

Posted by: somebody | May 11 2019 15:51 utc | 22

@ ToivoS 16
the US military brass are vigorously apposed to the Bolton and Pompeo efforts to provoke war against Iran.
Yes, for the reasons I noted in my 4 above. The Pentagon has found its niche pounding upon third world countries which can't defend themselves, and that's not Iran. The recent US defeats in Iraq and Syria also sent a message. So the Pentagon is now content with aerial bombing of Afghanistan and Somalia while spending big bucks to (supposedly) contend with Russia and China, which of course is also out of the question when it comes to execution.

The Pentagon materiel acquisition system is riddled with corruption and poor management, the army is handicapped by low recruiting, drugs and obesity, the navy suffers from performance and maintenance problems, and the air force has been decimated by personnel problems and by an overly zealous procurement of useless F-35 prototypes. So bombers dropping bombs on villages in poor countries is as far as the Pentagon can go.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11 2019 15:56 utc | 23

@ William Gruff | May 11, 2019 10:07:24 AM | 8

Spot on about the operations and loyalties of the CIA.

Not at all surprising when one considers that the initial recruiting of personnel into the organization was done among Nazi war criminals being whitewashed into the country by Alan Dulles, and among the offspring of the wealthiest US families like the DuPonts, the Harrimans, etc.

So, a combination of Nazis and spoiled trust-fund babies – what could possibly go wrong . . ?

Posted by: AntiSpin | May 11 2019 16:03 utc | 24

ToivoS @16, Don Bacon @23

Bolton cleverly used a pre-scheduled deployment to turn the page on the failure in Venezuela and set-up for renewing USA bombing threats against any attack on Idlib. USA's war of attrition against Iran and Syria will take time to work. There's no need for USA to rush to war.

But such reasoning falls on deaf ears as people are mesmerized by the possibility of a shooting war with Iran. It's what all the cool kids are talking about.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 11 2019 16:14 utc | 25

Posted by: Red Ryder | May 11, 2019 11:01:53 AM | 14

I wonder about Iran's economic data. Obviously their economy has gone underground but that does not mean things are going badly.
As I understand the German situation there is still trade with problems of money transfer nobody talks about how they are solved.
My guess is that all secondary sanctions do is making companies develop ways and routes that are independent from US trade.

The BBC has this estimation of sanctions effects - with the main issue being inflation. Iran's unemployment rate is better than Turkey's.
It is possible that the sanctions work for Iranian production, similar to the effect of sanctions on Russia.

As any oil and gas producer Iran operates with a trade surplus. Surely to bring a country like that to its economic knees is close to impossible, as long as there are traders like India and China?

Iran does not run a neoliberal economy - people get subsidies. This here is a radiofarda summary (radiofarda seems to be a radio free europe clone).

Iran’s Plan and Budget Organization (PBO) says that during the current year, the country’s hidden and direct subsidies is estimated to reach 8,900 trillion rials, or $63.7 billion, based on the current USD rate in open market which stands at around 140,000 rials.

If the subsidy is calculated based on the official government exchange rate, the amount will be at least three times higher in dollars.

The current Iranian fiscal year is from March 21, 2019 – March 20, 2020.

Nevertheless, total subsidies constitute 2.2 times of government’s budget.

About one third of subsidies is directly paid from the government budget and state-run financial entities. These are cash subsidies, financial aid to farmers and the industrial sector, etc. But the “hidden subsidies” stand at around 6,490 trillion rials ($46.35 billion).

Hidden subsidies mainly mean subsidized cheap products, from food to drugs and energy carriers (gasoline, gas, etc.). If the Iranian government sold these products abroad or if it charged people for the true value of imported goods, then there would be no “hidden” or indirect subsidies. In other words, Iranian government would earn or save $46.35 billion if it charges the consumers for the real value of many goods and services.

For instance, a liter of gasoline in Iran is 10,000 rials or about 7 cents, while the regional prices are 6-10 times higher. The daily gasoline consumption in Iran is expected to reach 85-93 million liters in 2019. Therefore, subsidized gasoline alone costs the government at least $40 million daily.

I guess, the Iran economic crisis is fake news.

Posted by: somebody | May 11 2019 16:19 utc | 26

5 words: that's as much as a Saudi can go when trying to articulate his ideas.

Posted by: Mina | May 11 2019 16:28 utc | 27

@ JR 26
It appears that the US is finished in Syria.
news report: "Syrian troops captured the town of Qalaat al-Madiq on Thursday as they continued a push into a remaining rebel-held enclave located in Idlib province. . . under a massive [Russian] bombardment.". .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11 2019 16:28 utc | 28

Sarah Huckabee Sanders is today's Scheherazade?
too funny! thanks for that B

Posted by: dan of steele | May 11 2019 16:36 utc | 29

Things are coming to a head, Turkey said S400 is a done deal, US threatens sanctions, US Ambassador to Germany again warns of sanctions against firms involved in the Nord Stream 2 and wants Germany to almost double its NATO commitments and to buy its Lemon,the F35, It is threatening the UK by withholding vital intelligence if it goes ahead with its deal with Huawei for the G5 network. The US will shortly find that it does not rule the world, and their bluff will be called. As for intelligence agencies advising governments on what they should do based on an overall assessment of any given situation, that's all it is [mostly]guesswork, the most important element is the governments 'Policy' when that has been determined then intelligence can be made to fit the policy.

Posted by: Harry Law | May 11 2019 16:46 utc | 30

@ Kevin #19

India used a heavy water moderated reactor supplied by Canada to produce plutonium for its nuclear weapons program.

A quick search verified what you wrote. I'd never before looked into India's weapon's program, and just assumed they had used graphite as a reactor moderator same as the US and USSR in WW2 and afterwards. Producing heavy water is slow and expensive while making ultrapure graphite is quick and easy. But if the carbon catches fire, you've got a real problem on your hands. One reason for the famous commando raid in WW2 Norway was to destroy as much of the heavy water production as possible.

In 1955 construction began on India's first reactor, the 1 MW Apsara research reactor, with British assistance. And in September 1955, after more than a year of negotiation, Canada agreed to supply India with a powerful research reactor - the 40 MW Canada-India Reactor (CIR). Under the Eisenhower Administration's "Atoms for Peace" program the US agreed to supply 21 tons of heavy water for this reactor in Februrary 1956, and the reactor was dubbed the Canada-India Reactor, U.S. or CIRUS (now commonly written as Cirus).

Just a personal opinion here, but I worry about somebody taking some slightly enriched Uranium and using laser enrichment to bring it up to weapons-grade purity. It's my impression such a facility could be small and very difficult to detect. Last time I made a search there was very little information to be found on the subject. On a side note, I wondered why on earth Oman would be purchasing heavy water by the ton, so I googled the stuff. Turns out there is a non-military use I'd never heard of before.

The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) in Sudbury, Ontario uses 1,000 tonnes of heavy water on loan from Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. The neutrino detector is 6,800 feet (2,100 m) underground in a mine, to shield it from muons produced by cosmic rays. SNO was built to answer the question of whether or not electron-type neutrinos produced by fusion in the Sun (the only type the Sun should be producing directly, according to theory) might be able to turn into other types of neutrinos on the way to Earth.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 11 2019 16:51 utc | 31

Don Bacon @29: It appears that the US is finished in Syria.

I very much doubt this is the case.

1) The battle for Idlib just began last week. At this point, I don't think anyone can say that USA+Turkey have no plans to stop it.

USA has positioned itself to be reactive. Civilian casualties or humanitarian crisis that occur from the attack on Idlib have a high likelihood of triggering a response. Wildcard: Turk-USA relations.


2) USA+allies still sanction Syria and USA's oil embargo has meant a energy crisis for Syria. This affects Syrian reconstruction and return of refugees.

3) USA and SDF still hold northeastern Syria.

4) USA still has troops at al-Tanf.

5) USA recently announced support for Israel's occupation of the Golan Heights.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 11 2019 16:54 utc | 32

>news report: Pentagon deploying Patriot anti-missile battery to Middle East to further deter Iranian threat
>in other news: Patriot Missiles Are Made in America and Fail Everywhere . .The evidence is in: the missile defense system that the United States and its allies rely on is a lemon.. . .Social media images do appear to show Saudi Patriot batteries firing interceptors. But what these videos show are not successes. One interceptor explodes catastrophically just after launch, while another makes a U-turn in midair and then comes screaming back at Riyadh, where it explodes on the ground. .here
>and: Iran possesses the largest and most diverse missile arsenal in the Middle East here
>also: Hezbollah is estimated to have 130,000 missile rounds . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11 2019 16:55 utc | 33

There's a lot of media attention on enriched uranium, and also "breakout capacity" but not so much attention on the effort involved in the actual development of a nuclear weapon.
from Slate (2014):
"Breakout capacity” refers to the time it would take to produce enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon. . .Perhaps the most common misconception about breakout capacity is that it refers to the time it would take to actually build a nuclear weapon. Though Iran’s estimated breakout time is now about two months, if Tehran tomorrow embarked on a headlong effort to build a weapon, the project would take much longer than two months. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11 2019 17:14 utc | 34

Harry Law @32: Things are coming to a head

I generally agree with this statement but not in the sense of urgent timing.

Things are coming to a head because USA recognized the challenge from Russia+China and is fighting back. That will lead to a 'head' moment where actual conflict occurs. It could be this year or next, but it's coming.

Here's my warning from July 2018 that explains this and includes my even earlier warning from 2014 written as a response to Kissinger's Op-Ed.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 11 2019 17:17 utc | 35

Question for the Sunni Defense troll: So I take it you welcome the sanctions and blockade of your country? Also do you welcome a bombing/ war of aggression by US/ Israel / Saudis on your own country? I’m just trying to see what kind of troll you are, one who’s just trying to be recalcitrant, or one who is actually for mass murder on his own country. If it’s the latter I hope the Iran intelligence finds you from this post.

Posted by: Jason | May 11 2019 17:36 utc | 36

There's a lot going on in the Middle East, and the loser US is only a spectator (and a tweeter).

>Al Masdar: Speaking from Damascus on the condition of anonymity, a government source told Al-Masdar that two new alliances have emerged in northern Syria, with one led by Iran and Turkey and the other Saudi Arabia and Russia..
>Also from AM: Iran, Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia set to meet for first time at Baghdad
>VOA: Russia-Backed Assad Forces Pummel Syria’s Idlib
>WaPo: Only Trump can save Syria’s Idlib, but time is running out. . .here

All Trump has to do, according to WaPo, is to tweet again like he did last September. . . "The tweet worked."

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11 2019 17:46 utc | 37

The US can talk all it wants (which is all it is doing in terms of military moves as it's only the propaganda attributed to normal rotations that has changed) but Iran controls all traffic in the Persian Gulf and there's little the US can do about it.

Posted by: worldblee | May 11 2019 18:05 utc | 38

Iran's leaders aren't saints, but the burden of ill will and reckless action is clearly on the other side.
It is becoming increasingly clear that this is the last flailing of an imperial power unwilling to give up it's last illusions.
Sadly, it also seems increasingly that it will require a failed "short, victorious war" to finally burst that bubble.

Posted by: C1ue | May 11 2019 18:07 utc | 39

That book in the safe they use: you forgot to mention that if anyone ever reads it all the way through, to the very end of the last page, they will go hopelessly, gibbering insane ... oh wait, I got confused, wrong book! And these particular people are all already in that state anyway.

Posted by: PrairieBear | May 11 2019 18:08 utc | 40

i have to wonder how these omnipotent "intel sources" in iran can be squared with reports like these:

and especially the hysterics of ones like this:

but then the media is as israeli occupied as congress and the west bank combined so expecting logic is a bit much. and as usual we can expect the "resistance"/(assistance) to suddenly overlook trump being a KGB manchurian whatever when their shared bloodlust and oil addictions are in play.

they lost in syria (so far) and looked like complete asses in venezuela (until they false flag guaido's brains out at a rally) yet they just keep going. because bolton and his fellow neocons are part of an insane death cult. my guess is that nothing will happen on the US end until the election but if trump gets another term we can expect immediate conflagrations in every possible sphere to the point where china and russia can no longer pretend they're dealing with actual sane human beings.

Posted by: the pair | May 11 2019 18:17 utc | 41

At a propaganda site operated by the son of the most famous Orthodox Jewish novelist is some information for the simpletons who visit the place.

Under the 2015 deal, Iran was permitted to enrich uranium for peaceful medical research purposes but was required to sell its surplus. Iran is now immediately keeping its surplus low-enriched uranium, which it had sold overseas. Low enriched uranium may be repurposed to make nuclear weapons. In 60 days, unless its partners take steps to ease its economic isolation, Iran has threatened to remove caps on uranium enrichment levels and resume work on its Arak plutonium nuclear facility.

Dishonesty is at the core of what these people do. Here in the US they generally restrict their activities to lying, but back in the homeland of the pissant state anything goes. Theft, murder, and general lawlessness. I've yet to see this son of the famous man write a single thing which I could call either honest or decent. Sadly, I don't expect any surprises in that direction in the future, either.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 11 2019 18:34 utc | 42

@Mina [28]:

What makes you think they're Saudi? I'm not an Israeli, yet I can do this too

Fuck Iran
- From Israel

If you had gotten into debates with the Whose-name-shell-not-be-said, you would have better idea how they roll. And these never ending tricks of assuming the false identity.

Posted by: Fantome | May 11 2019 18:48 utc | 43

At a neocon mil-blog I found a link to The Economist titled The brewing conflict between America and Iran. This unsigned bit of hack work has the theme of "both sides need to step back. Most of the "stepping back" will be done by Iran, of course. Despite the pretense of being "even handed", this is example is typical of the way so many publications are preparing their readers for attacking Iran.

Even Mr Rouhani, who championed the nuclear deal, has begun to sound like a hawk. Having long hoped that Europe, at least, would honour the promise of the deal, he is exasperated. On the anniversary of America’s exit from the agreement, on May 8th, he said that Iran would begin stockpiling low-enriched uranium and heavy water, which would in sufficient quantities breach its terms.

Just as with the Zionist propaganda site, this "sober" reporting is as dishonest as hell in skipping the part about WHY Iran is stockpiling the materials instead of selling them.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 11 2019 18:54 utc | 44

thanks b.. same story on the msm - carrying water for the empire.. thanks for shining a direct light on it...

as for iran sanctions having an impact, i think @26 somebody is partly correct "I guess, the Iran economic crisis is fake news."

why is it that iran isn't allowed to have nuclear weapons, but israel is and israel has not signed onto the npt?? aside from the stupid talk of they are insane - which could just as easily be applied to israel - maybe more applicable actually - why are we where we are at here today?? it is completely bonkers and no one reading a paper with any thought can miss this glaring hypocrisy...

and, you can only describe your opponents as twisted, insane and etc. etc. for so long before the jig is up...

95% of people on the planet want peace... 5% support war and mayhem... usa-isreal as countries are leading the way in the 5% category.

Posted by: james | May 11 2019 18:55 utc | 45

The goal appears to be to goad Iran into a war with ever deepening sanctions. The false flag attack is another option. If the attack occurs I would guess that they would spend quite a bit of time smashing up the infrastructure. Bridges, power plants, water treatment, sewage treatment, military facilities, oil infrastructure, and the like in an all out air campaign. We also can stand off and fire very accurate missiles into the place relentlessly.

Iran might be able to smash up some of the infrastructure of the Gulf states and might bring down some aircraft. The players seem to be happy by taking these countries down in a fashion that weakens society for generations and takes a bunch of oil and gas off the market so others can supply it at higher prices.

I would guess that all this needs to be completed fairly urgently before China's military bulks up in the region. Taking a coil out of of the Silk and Road initiative is another plus for the players. We have seen this played out repeatedly prior to 911 in the take down of post Soviet Union ally's and post 911 in the take down of Israel's enemies in the region.

There are no talking heads available in the media to point that out and strangely enough Tea Party Rand Paul seems to be the only one daring to
take an anti war stance. The old left wing establishment has completely sold out to the war hawks and are silent in the face of the NEOCONS brash push for war of these many decades. The Left's leadership is the war party. The whole propaganda campaign is playing into what we have witnessed over these many decades is fairly obvious.

Trumps' war may well become the one thing the Democrats and the Republicans agree on if a missile hits one of our vessels. I do not think he wants that but it may well be out of his control and if it happens he will have to go along for the ride. It is just a perfect scenario for them and the pump is primed.

Posted by: dltravers | May 11 2019 18:59 utc | 46

On Libya, extremely interesting sitrep

Posted by: Mina | May 11 2019 19:06 utc | 47

I have a handy trick when dealing with trolls; as it might be 'The Sunni Defence' here. It's called dading. With each comment where you're wondering whether to spend time reading it, first check the poster (would be easier on Moon if the names were at the top of the post; but it's still doable as is, if a little more cumbersome).

If the poster is one of the stalwarts who've already demonstrated their savvy - and their straightness - then read; if not skip; if an apparent troll take DR. DADE's excellent medicine: Don't Read. Don't Answer Don't Engage. Works wonders! Less aggro from fools and scummy knuckle-dragging shit-stirrers, and a much clearer consensus idea emerging from the savvy inputters. Dading is the goods against useless time-waster internet plankton. Recommended! :)

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | May 11 2019 19:07 utc | 48

@ William Gruff 8#

"The CIA does the coordination of media narratives."

For an example of just how tightly choreographed that coordination is 2:08-4:25:

Posted by: Full Spectrum Domino | May 11 2019 19:07 utc | 49

"Multiple former officials and a military official said that the extremely rare book contains one thousand and one 'narratives' that constitute the raw intelligence from which the CIA analysts derive their conclusions. The specific capability can only be used at nighttime. No more than one narrative can be extracted per night. That raw data is then immediately processed as sunlight is said to delude its veracity."

LOL Another gem from M.O.A.
Also thanks to 29 The Scheherazade story is great

Posted by: Ike | May 11 2019 19:23 utc | 50

Donald Trump is old enough to know that he is playing with fire. He probably personally didn’t sit in Dick Nixon’s or Jimmy Carter’s gasoline lines but they were a prime reason one President resigned, the other kicked out after one term and the Reagan/Thatcher counter revolt succeeded. Donald Trump desperately needs a second term to postpone indictment until he is 78. Corporate media overlooks it but the internet reports that Syria is suffering hugely from the sanctions with miles long gas lines and cars stranded out of gasoline. The oil embargo of Imperial Japan got the USA into WWII. Internet sites I read daily like MoA are talking about a Summer War. The propaganda campaign has to frighten any rational person. Somebody’s got back down or the psychopaths are going to explode the ongoing mini-world war in the Middle East and engulf the world.

Posted by: VietnamVet | May 11 2019 19:30 utc | 51

Looking for news on Houthis on google. Check out all these stories uploaded very close in time with identical headlines.

Apparently google by default hides duplicate headline results when news results are sorted by date.

First noticed this the other day when same thing happened while searching for news on the carrier strike group.

Thought this could be used in useful ways.

Posted by: Zack | May 11 2019 19:49 utc | 52

WG @ 8; Good take, I concur. In my world, the business folks addressed, are the so-called "deep state". They're the people behind the "curtain"..

They own DJT....

Posted by: ben | May 11 2019 19:54 utc | 53

The rare book in the safe is probably the Necronomicon. It is said that anyone that reads too much of it is driven insane, their minds taken over by Great Cthulhu.

Antoinetta III

Posted by: Antoinetta III | May 11 2019 19:55 utc | 54

Sanctions have frightened the big corporations and many governments Red Rider..

I disagree, big corporations and their puppet governments are mostly all in it together..fear is the keyword for war mongering propaganda but not the reason to stop earning profits.

NATO hosted corporations are foaming at the mouth to rob everyone blind ( Venezuela, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Libya, Sudan, Ukraine, Georgia, and many other targets).. Turkey has seen the light..and since it no longer has obligations to NATO corporate dependents: Turkey has hesitated and in doing so it has shifted the balance of power ..reducing the predictability of aggression.

It may well be, the outcome of extending the wars in Yemen, Venezuela, Iraq, and Syria to Iran, will end with Iran in possession of much of the middle east real estate and Iran and Russia establishing energy dominance over the EU as well as the Middle East. China will not notice.. since China can buy oil from whomever.

something along the line posted by Full Spectrum Domino | May 11, 2019 3:07:11 PM | 49

Posted by: snake | May 11 2019 20:13 utc | 55

I supplied MoA with the Iranian position earlier in the week as its ministers announced. Everything published by BigLie media on the affair is just that--A Big Lie. Iran is doing what is allowed to do within the parameters of the JCPOA, which was made 100% clear by Iran's officials.

What's required is to look at the Big Picture from POV of the Outlaw US Empire--An existential competition for commercial and economic global hegemony which it's in the process of losing to the China/Russia EAEU/BRI vision, which has attracted 131 UN member nations and numerous corporate participants. One need only read the agreed to vision provided in the recent BRI Forum Communique I excerpted and linked to earlier in the week to understand why the Empire's losing. Its screeches about Iran, Syria, Venezuela, DPRK, Chinese trade, and drawing out for as long as possible its losing position in Afghanistan, etc, is all related to the Big Picture situation. The Empire's lock on the EU is very much threatened by EAEU/BRI which means NATO's integrity is also imperiled, with the Turkish situation at a very sharp point that could be easily broken.

But all of that is way too complex for any 5-Eyes located corporate media to deal with as telling the truth totally upends so many Big Lies. Perhaps the best writer to follow in this ongoing Saga is Pepe Escobar whose latest echoes the dynamics I write about above:

"There are no illusions in the Zhongnanhai, as there are no illusions in Tehran or in the Kremlin. These three top actors of Eurasian integration have exhaustively studied how Washington, in the 1990s, devastated Russia’s post-USSR economy (until Putin engineered a recovery) and how Washington has been trying to utterly destroy Iran for four decades.

"Beijing, as well as Moscow and Tehran, know everything there is to know about Hybrid War, which is an American intel concept. They know the ultimate strategic target of Hybrid War, whatever the tactics, is social chaos and regime change."

And as most of us know and acknowledge, the only way the dynamic will change is through a massive, swamp draining regime change within the Outlaw US Empire that returns it to the status of a normal, peer nation seeking equality instead of dominance.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 11 2019 20:17 utc | 56

Rouhani's apparent petulance in rebuffing Trump's offer of direct Trump-Iran dialogue to resolve the impasse, created by Trump, seems out of character. I can't see how such a chat would do more harm than good. So I'm wondering if he's responding to advice from his Chinese and Russian allies, or whether he's waiting for an assurance from Trump that Bolton and/or Pompeo will be excluded such a meeting?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 11 2019 20:22 utc | 57

I think it safe to conclude that Iran is now in possession of a Russian S-400 air defense system and that this is what prompted Trump to pull out of the treaty. There is nothing on earth right now that strikes more fear into the U.S. than the S-400 system. Its range, stealth and ability to take out the most advanced missiles and fighters (including the f-35) creates a virtual dome over Iran. They could close the Straits of Hormuz and still be out of reach of America's airpower.

If there is a CIA Book as b describes, the longest narrative chapter is on the S-400.

Posted by: RenoDino | May 11 2019 20:23 utc | 58

I should qualify my 56 by adding that China/Russia's EAEU/BRI is not seeking hegemony; rather, what's being sought is a network of peers to develop into moderately prosperous nations with an infrastructure that will be ready to operate when we enter into the upcoming Steady-State Economic Paradigm that's not based upon infinite growth on a finite planet.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 11 2019 20:24 utc | 59

I just got back from my trip to Iran this morning. My impression was that the intellectual class (my contacts) still hate the Islamic regime as much as they ever did. Iran is a divided country. The Islamic revolution was populist, in that it appealed to the poor. The middle and upper classes, minoritaire, prefer an identity with ancient pre-islamic Iran.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 11 2019 20:56 utc | 60

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 11, 2019 4:22:42 PM | 57

Rouhani is asking the very obvious question why Iran should trust the US not to renege on any treaty for a second time. You cannot negotiate with someone you cannot trust - there is nothing to negotiate about.

They might just as well wait for the next US election or the election after that.

With Syria decided, Iran's strategic position has improved. Trump is deluded if he thinks he can get a "better" deal than Obama.

Posted by: somebody | May 11 2019 20:59 utc | 61

On May 14/2019 Pompeo is to meet Lavrov in Sochi! ..."Pompeo is scheduled to meet with Putin and Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, in Sochi on May 14 to “discuss the full range of bilateral and multilateral challenges.” Before that, he will meet with officials at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow."...

A messenger boy on the errant trip overseas from his handlers. Something to tell in person, mano a mano no less.

..."“On May 13, he will arrive in Russia to meet with his team at U.S. Embassy Moscow before meeting with U.S. business leaders and U.S. exchange alumni. Secretary Pompeo will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said."... That's rich, a nobody faces an unknown.

Anyway...have a pleasant weekend, sir(B).

Posted by: Taffyboy | May 11 2019 21:07 utc | 62

@8 Gruff. Agreed but I would posit the CIA, Bilderbergers, et al are only upper mid-level management tasked with implementing decisions coming from those Elites you and PH refer to..

@48 RG. A great elixir! I also recommend DR DADE's..

Posted by: Lozion | May 11 2019 21:17 utc | 63

Full Spectrum Domino @49

Good info. Very interesting. I was aware of Mike Rogers role but I discounted it because:

1) It came too late (October 2016) and got little real media attention before the election.

2) Although NSA discovered irregularities in the Spring, they didn't get aired until October? Maybe because he reports to the President?

3) It is said that Rogers informed Trump. Yet Trump didn't little if anything as a result.

In the end, "Russiagate" continued despite Rogers info. Almost as though the Deep State consensus was to initiate a new McCarthyism - which has been my operating theory for months.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Will anyone be prosecuted for "Russiagate"? I doubt it. Everyone involve will say they were doing their jobs. Their "intent" based on patriotic duty.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 11 2019 21:21 utc | 64

I would like to make one small addition to my post @8 above.

The reader might think "But what about the Pentagon? You skipped right over the 1200 pound gorilla crowding the room!"

It might surprise some people to hear this said but the US military is, for the most part, the most pacifist part out of all the machinery of empire. They really do not want war, with Iran, Venezuela, China, and certainly not Russia. The vast bulk of the US military command structure would far rather just take their kids (and that's how the generals view their troops) out on camping trips and sing kumbaya around the campfire while roasting marshmallows. They really don't want their kids to get blown up by IEDs or to get PTSD or go home and commit suicide from the guilt of slaughtering families in their homes in faraway lands. The generals will order their troops to go slaughter defenseless families if the Commander in Chief gives that order. They are soldiers, after all. They do what they are told. They won't like it, though, and they will argue against it if they can.

In other words there really is a degree of honor in the military command structure. Scumbags who rise through the ranks don't last as the pay sucks and they can very easily transition to the private sector where scumbags are much more handsomely rewarded.

This, by the way, is why the CIA and its Operation Mockingbird corporate mass media goes through so much trouble manufacturing consent for wars and crafting false flags to make America look like the victim. If the orders to go kill for empire do not at least seem legal, and if the American public isn't snarling for blood, then the military isn't going to get serious about the killing they are told to do. They would very much rather do airshows than drop bunker busters on bomb shelters full of school children.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 11 2019 21:27 utc | 65

@60 Laguerre, interesting, care to tell us more about current Iran? Those you refer to are probably part of the ancient nobility who never was concerned about the endeavors of the working class..

Posted by: Lozion | May 11 2019 21:35 utc | 66

@60 Thank you Laguerre. How do your contacts feel about Israel? Does pre-Islamic Iran include Cyrus the Great?

Posted by: dh | May 11 2019 21:39 utc | 67

Curious to know more about that Big Book of Sacred Narratives that the CIA treasures so much that it can only be taken out of its safe (why, can it not be touched by human hands in case it shrivels and disappears in a sulfurous whiff? or was it written in the blood of children sacrificed during a strange ritual and therefore stinks to high heaven?) and read at night, presumably under candlelight.

Or is the book no more than Joseph Campbell's "The Hero with a Thousand Faces", a work well known to Hollywood scriptwriters as a manual for creating plots?

And yes I did see earlier comments referring to "The Thousand and One Nights" and the Necronomicon - both very funny!

Posted by: Jen | May 11 2019 21:43 utc | 68

Trump must need control of Venezuelan oil before attacking Iran.
"CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said on Saturday he has asked his envoy to the United States to meet with Pentagon officials to “cooperate” on a solution to the South American country’s political crisis."
"Guaido told an Italian newspaper this week that he would “probably” accept a U.S. military intervention if the United States proposed it.
“We have instructed our ambassador Carlos Vecchio to meet immediately ... with the Southern Command and its admiral to establish a direct relationship,” Guaido said at a rally in Caracas on Saturday."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 11 2019 21:43 utc | 69

@ William Gruff who wrote
In other words there really is a degree of honor in the military command structure. Scumbags who rise through the ranks don't last as the pay sucks and they can very easily transition to the private sector where scumbags are much more handsomely rewarded.
I do agree with your assertion that there is some honor and love for their children left in the military. I disagree with the completeness of your description of the scumbags in the military though. I assert that you left out the revolving door of scumbags at the top that are the real lever pullers for the elite.....and I know it is not just the military....look at the head of the FCC...sigh

The elite have their acolytes in strategic positions and they move them around as needed.......on what shelf was Abrams stored until Venezuela came around?

It doesn't take buying half of the population to kill the other half. History has shown it can and is being done much cheaper.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 11 2019 21:47 utc | 70

@65 william gruff... the usa has a bad habit of telling it's people there actions are all legal.. pompeo was saying something like this in the past few weeks regarding it's role towards venezuala... these freaks have a very different concept on 'legal'...personally i don't believe many are buying into this b.s. either, but i could be wrong.. at this point i think most folks see the usa-israel as a rogue country, operating outside international law and having no respect for the concept of law, let alone the idea about why we have international laws, or laws more generally.. ''might makes right and just make a law to make it as such'', seems to be the motto of this dysfunctional duo.. thanks for your posts!

laguerre, a few of us would like you to elaborate, if you can.. thanks..

Posted by: james | May 11 2019 21:49 utc | 71

@ Laguerre who wrote
The middle and upper classes, minoritaire, prefer an identity with ancient pre-islamic Iran.
I have two questions
1. Is this similar to the middle and upper class in China not liking Mao's CR?
2. Is this "ancient pre-islamic Iran" you write of code for secular?

Just saying on 2 that the US, that is suppose to be secular, is far from it and the elite are relying on their support for the evangelicals to keep faith in the ring to rule them all, global private finance.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 11 2019 22:10 utc | 72

Rouhani is asking the very obvious question why Iran should trust the US not to renege on any treaty for a second time. You cannot negotiate with someone you cannot trust - there is nothing to negotiate about.
Posted by: somebody | May 11, 2019 4:59:28 PM | 61

Yeah...OK. It's certainly not irrelevant.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 11 2019 22:17 utc | 73

It's always the same pack of lies because it always works!

Govt to Media & Gen Pop: "I won't come in your mouth."

Media & Gen Pop to Govt: Promise?

Govt to Media & Gen Pop: Promise!

Followed by:

Govt to Media & Gen Pop: Ooops! The Devil made me do it.

Posted by: mrtmbrnmn | May 11 2019 22:44 utc | 74

@ RenoDino #58

Your link on the possibility of Iran having some version of the S-400 was fascinating reading. It would have cost the Russians very little to have done that, and as the article says, the benefits to both would be significant. Iran has been struggling to build an improved version of the S-300, and progress has been measurable but slow. Part of the deal may have been some free hints to speed up progress in the Bavar program. Unlike China and possibly Turkey, Iran isn't a threat to be selling its missiles in competition with the Russians.

Speaking of Turkey, an article at that Military Watch site gave a hint about why Turkey may continue to dig in its heels about buying the S-400 instead of the US Patriot system. They have dreams of getting the S-500, and Russia has already offered the SU-57 semi-stealth airplane. The US has whined about Turkey using the S-400 to probe holes in the stealth of the F-35, and this is something Turkey could do with the SU-57 as well. Just as Russia has gotten some good things from the cooperation with India, pooling resources with Turkey could turn the SU-57 into a much more effective airplane. It's just a matter of how much money is thrown at the program, and Turkey isn't far behind Russia in nominal GDP.

Thanks for the link.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 11 2019 22:44 utc | 75

Saudi "Nawaf Al-Hamzi, one of the 9/11 hijackers," as mentioned by b above,
arrived in the US in January of 2000.

The CIA station chief in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was there in Saudi Arabia during what
would have been the early planning stages for 9/11.

He left this position and traveled back to the US to become chief of staff
to CIA director George Tenet in 1999. This was just before the 9/11 hijackers
themselves began arriving.

I have not been able to locate a time table. Was it days, weeks or months
before Nawaf Al-Hamzi arrived in the US that John Brennan, CIA station chief
in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, relocated to the US?
**Anyone have John Brennan's arrival date in 1999?**

Posted by: librul | May 11 2019 22:47 utc | 76

Posted by: Posted by: Laguerre | May 11, 2019 4:56:52 PM | 60

IMO your statement needs a correction, only secular Iranians rather like to identify themselves with pre-Islamic Iran, and majority of them have no idea what pre-Islamic Iran looked like. This is not that in anyway I say that some religious intellectuals like the current government. Majority of Iranians identify themselves as Muslim Shia Iranians, for them correctly their Shia faith is part of their national identity, unlike the seculars they do not separate pre and post Islamic Iran from their identity, this group is in a great majority I would say over 85% of Iran.

Posted by: kooshy | May 11 2019 22:48 utc | 77

the hooti terror cells are moving away from the ports of yemen now they the ecil doers have been defeated france,uk, emirates saudi israel and usa and the usa can now stabilise and protect the children of yemeni iran has failed.

we should use yemen as spring board into irania like we did libya into syriana
the iranian musy be stopped now before they hold the world to ransom with a samson option we cannot allow the muuselims to prevails and threaten are xhildrens future like what hitler did to the uk,usa and israel long ago already

Posted by: tiberious kirk | May 11 2019 22:57 utc | 78

@60 Laguerre

Your observations absolutely reflect my own made in Iran 3 years ago.

Posted by: Das Kommentariat | May 11 2019 22:58 utc | 79

@ Laquerre 60
My impression was that the intellectual class (my contacts) still hate the Islamic regime as much as they ever did. Iran is a divided country.
Is that unusual, for people to be divided and for some to hate their government?
I think not.
The US is certainly divided currently. France too, and others.
According to the Real Clear Politics US polls:
--President Trump job approval 45%
--Direction of country wrong track 54-50% here
Also, 42% of US the voting-eligible population did not vote in the 2016 election

Bottom line: The US with its many domestic problems including historic racism and mysoginism should keep its nose out if others peoples' domestic affairs.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11 2019 23:03 utc | 80

@46 dltravers
"The old left wing establishment has completely sold out to the war hawks and are silent in the face of the NEOCONS brash push for war of these many decades."

I have wondered what is behind MSNBC becoming the neocons channel. Pre Iraq, Chris Matthews was vehemently against it and many of his guests were, although oddly he was critical of Phil Donahue's aniwar stance. Even Rachel M ~ 5 years ago did a special on the lies that led up to the Iraq war.

They have done a 180 since HRC lost and now show blatant propaganda like a Richard Engel travesty of a show about nine months and never allow dissenting views, other than when someone goes off-script like Jeffrey Sachs on Morning Joe re: Syria. William Arkin resigned and noted the pressure to be pro-war. Not sure if this is to run "to the right" of Trump on foreign policy; I don't think it ties in to Russiagate since that has nothing directly to do with Iran or Venezuela.

Posted by: Schmoe | May 11 2019 23:11 utc | 81

Neocons? What's neo about it? The US has a history from its beginning of exceptionalism and manifest destiny coupled with a disregard for anyone stupid enough to be born anywhere else. Army camps were established in the American west to "eliminate criminals and Indians" and it's still being done, against alleged terrorists and anyone else unfortunate enough to be a US target.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11 2019 23:26 utc | 82

reply to
Posted by: RenoDino | May 11, 2019 4:23:36 PM | 58

Excellent article! I have wondered for some time why the US was so reluctant to shell Iran, surely the US could protect Israel and after all, the US have shelled just about everyone in the neighborhood.

NOW I better understand their reluctance. Even if the possible Iranian S-400 are few in number, if they are shown to be as capable as they are believed to be, it is game over for US military sales and that is the bread, butter and gold of the empire.

Posted by: frances | May 11 2019 23:35 utc | 83

@ frances 83
Please I'm begging you to read my 4 and 23 about why the US won't attack Iran.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11 2019 23:53 utc | 84

@ Don Bacon #84

Your posts at #4 and #23 are logical and reasonable. Where you err is in making an assumption the people in charge of the US government have either quality.

But despite its saber rattling the US is militarily powerless against Iran's missiles...

Suppose Pence, Pompeo, and Bolton provoke a missile exchange where regional US targets are getting a lot of accurate incoming missiles. Starting this in the first place wasn't sane, but now they've got to either back down and be humiliated, or escalate. Have you considered they might do precisely that with the brand new "small" nuclear weapons?

US nuclear weapons: first low-yield warheads roll off the production line___1/28/2019

They're not building these things to put in a dark bunker somewhere - somebody has plans to use them. The American Empire is faltering, and your posts list a lot of the symptoms. But Pence, Pompeo, and Bolton are nuts. Or in more technical terms, stark raving mad. Two religious fanatics who don't care about anything except kicking Jesus into action, and a cold-blooded bastard who will do anything at all for the apartheid Jewish state.

Reason and logic and good sense have nothing whatever to do with this trio and their equally fanatical underlings. Show President Gullible some pictures of a shattered US base and he'll start screaming "Bring me that football thingamabob - I'm going to kill every towelhead in that shithole country!"

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 12 2019 1:03 utc | 85

Iranian FM Zarif said the following on Thursday:

"EU statement today is why JCPOA is where it is: the US has bullied Europe—and rest of world—for a year and EU can only express 'regret'.
Instead of demanding that Iran unilaterally abide by a multilateral accord, EU should uphold obligations - incl normalization of economic ties."

Khamenei's Twitter's been silent. Machine translation of what Rouhani Tweeted on the 7th:

"Iran has no obligation to keep its enrichment of uranium reserves and its produced absinthe. = = = = Iran = = = = the following acts of Iran will be in Iran if they can't fulfill their obligations in the day and supply the interests of Iran. The win-win conditions will be agreed."

Otherwise, lots of silence due to VE-Day celebrations. Syrian operations in Hama and Idlib are going very well.

Here's my Wednesday comments about Iranian and Russian statements about Iran's JCPOA announcements that weren't twisted by BigLie Media.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 12 2019 1:07 utc | 86

By the way, I think it is a game of chicken. <-- somebody

OTOH, I think that White House folks were shown an ultra secret gigantic freezer full of dead ducks. As Gina Haspel explained, Twelver rituals sacrifice sheep to assure victory on the land and ducks to assure victory on the sea. For that reason, CIA has monitored for years the number of carcasses of dead ducks floating in Persian Gulf. This years the numbers are dramatically higher, and "as you can see here", as Gina explained showing several specimen removed from the freezer, "all their necks are wrought in the same peculiar fashion, the hallmark of this Twelver ritual." Twelver leadership in Qom and IRC that is under their control are surely preparing a major naval confrontation this year.

The guest seemed deeply impressed and a few could not refrain from vomiting.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 12 2019 1:47 utc | 87

re: the "concern" of Washington with human rights anywhere. Iran. Anywhere.
I recently had the privilege to attend the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. I figured an hour or two and then move on to the Blues Museum. What did I know about the CR Museum attached to the Motel Lorraine where Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed. We spent at least three hours there. Exhibit after exhibit after exhibit on the struggle of one people. I recommend it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 12 2019 1:59 utc | 88

@ Piotr Berman writing about chickens and ducks in ramp up to war

At least we can all be of comfort that we will be dying for some groups claim to being the instigator of mythical monotheistic end times for poor social misfits.


Posted by: psychohistorian | May 12 2019 3:31 utc | 89

What's next, a dead guy leaving his grave and roaring up to heaven?

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 12 2019 3:59 utc | 90

@ Don Bacon who is confusing his trinity of Catholic myths

You are referring to the Jesus one.

There is the Creation one, the Jesus one and the Apocalypse one

The Apocalypse one is suppose to incite that vomiting thing in some so all have faith in the Creation and Jesus myths....and tithe.....don't forget to tithe.....

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 12 2019 4:32 utc | 91

Laguerre | May 11, 2019 4:56:52 PM | 60

The elite will always remain the elite/intellectuals. They want to have their cake and eat it too. Same in Venezuela and same in Cuba.

In the meantime, the underclass are left out of the pie and only offered crumbs when these elites are in power.

If the US had a logical foreign policy, they will keep out and the masses will self-correct a bad decision, such as the Islamic Republic.

Having said that, I am rooting for them for the time being, since they offer one of the only viable resistance to the Empire, in the region. If they are able to ride this out and have the sanctions lifted, the Iranian people will replace the government, hopefully with a nationalist and a secular one.

Although that doesn’t solve the Empire’s problem. They want to have their cake and eat it too.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | May 12 2019 4:39 utc | 92

Laguerre @ 60:

I'd be curious to know in what way the upper and middle class Iranians identify with "ancient pre-Islamic" Iran. I suppose few of them identify with the Sassanid empire and its centuries-long war against the Roman empire and then the Byzantine empire that sapped both empires, left Mesopotamia in ruin and made the whole region from the eastern Mediterranean to the Indus Valley so spiritually impoverished that Arabs fired by Islam needed only a couple of decades or so to convert Persian speakers to the religion.

Fifteen hundred years ago, Zoroastrianism was not the religion it is today: it had a caste system and, as the official religion of Sassanid Persia, its priests were perhaps a little too close to the Shah and Sassanid court politics to be in possession of good thoughts, good words and good deeds.

Mohammed-Mehdi Rowshanfekr, "A Review on Muslim Victory Over the Sassanid Empire with a Social and Cultural Approach" (International Journal of Scientific Study, June 2017, Volume 5, Issue 3)

Posted by: Jen | May 12 2019 4:51 utc | 93

Javad Zarif put it best: “Negotiations and treaties are not about trust, but about respecting your signature”.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | May 12 2019 4:54 utc | 94

@ Hoarsewhisperer 73

Javad Zarif put it best: “Negotiations and treaties are not about trust, but about respecting your signature”.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | May 12 2019 4:57 utc | 95

@Jen 92

“I'd be curious to know in what way the upper and middle class Iranians identify with "ancient pre-Islamic" Iran.”

Allow me to offer my opinion, if I may.

You are reading too much into their desires. These upper crust live in the pre-revolution excesses and want the secular past with a tinge of nationalism and Persian-Empire-wishful-thinking, just as a matter of prestige in the world. Iranian people are vain. They rather look good than feel good, as the saying goes. They think that at the time of the Shah, at least, they had respect around the world.

But, they are also tired of this extreme as well. Life hasn’t been good in the past 10 years in Iran.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | May 12 2019 5:11 utc | 96

The analysis on MoA is usually focused on the national level, with two or more states constituting the 'main actors' of any article (e.g., China and US, US and Venezuela, Russia and Britain, Iran and US).

However, the current conflict should not be solely reduced to such a cross-national geo-political analysis In Iran, there is a lot of discontent with the ruling class, and the sanctions combined with the political and economic corruption, mismanagement and authoritarian rule is making life unbearable for most Iranians, creating the conditions for a revolt or mass expression of discontent of sorts, likely to be exploited by the Americans. Iranian workers have been protesting against unpaid wages and other conditions across the country (see for example The Iranian ruling class, therefore, not only faces external pressure (i.e., economic, political and military) but internal as well. In general, this blog usually fails to capture many conflicts, contradictions and problems because of its nation-state level of analysis and division between the supposed good guys/victims (e.g., Iran, Russia, Venezuela, etc.) and bad guys/oppressors (e.g., US, Britain) instead of seeing all governments as repressive, as class institutions that protect the interests of their rich and powerful, against those of their respective working classes.

Posted by: nini | May 12 2019 5:47 utc | 97

" This well-favored friend, one more
Time after a thousand, has deceived us…
The crowned butcher is gone; on his
Throne sits the turbaned butcher.
But the play is the same,
The same the players,
With a thousand new masks,
But with one difference:
Yesterday's wolves are today's lambs."

-Bahman Sholevar

Posted by: ninel | May 12 2019 5:53 utc | 98

Read about worker related protests and strikes in Iran here:

Read about the kind of complaints that have been filed with the International Labour Organization here:

The mullah dictatorship is not anti-imperial, nor anti-capitalist, nor emancipatory in any way. The Iranian working class is being crushed internally by its ruling class through mismanagement, corruption and authoritative rule and externally by the Americans and their clients through sanctions, military threats and demonization. Unfortunately, there seems to be no end to their suffering in sight.

Posted by: ninel | May 12 2019 6:07 utc | 99

Good guess, somebody @26, at least according to Wikipedia.

Posted by: John Anthony La Pietra | May 12 2019 6:42 utc | 100

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