Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 14, 2019

Iran Decided To Put Maximum Pressure On Trump - Here Is How It Will Do It

Thirteen month ago the United States launched a total economic war against Iran. It demands its capitulation. Now Iran decided to respond in kind. It will wage a maximum pressure campaign on U.S. economic interests until the Trump administration concedes its defeat. Shipping in the Middle East will soon become very hazardous. Oil prices will go through the roof. Trump will be trapped between two choices neither of which he will like.

In early May 2018 U.S. President Trump broke the nuclear deal with Iran and sanctioned all trade with that country. Iran reacted cautiously. It hoped that the other signatories of the nuclear deal would stick to their promises and continue to trade with it. The year since proved that such expectations were wrong.

Under threat of U.S. sanctions the European partners stopped buying Iranian oil and also ended their exports to it. The new financial instrument that was supposed to allow payments between European countries and Iran has still not been implemented. It is also a weak construct and will have too little capacity to make significant trade possible. Russia and China each have their own problems with the United States. They do not support trade with Iran when it endangers their other interests.

Meanwhile the Trump administration increased the pressure on Iran. It removed waivers it had given to some countries to buy Iranian oil. It designated a part of the Iranian armed forces, the Revolutionary Guard Corp (ICRG), as a terrorist entity. On Friday it sanctioned Iran's biggest producer of petrochemical products because that company is alleged to have relations with the ICRG.

The strategic patience Iran demonstrated throughout the year since Trump killed the deal brought no result. Trump will stay in power, probably for another five and a half years, while Iran's economic situation continuous to get worse. The situation requires a strategic reorientation and the adoption of a new plan to counter U.S. pressure.

On the strategic side a long term reorientation in four different fields will counter the effects the economic war on Iran. Foreign imports to Iran will be reduced to a minimum level by increasing production at home. Iran will ally with no one, not even China and Russia, as it recognizes that relying on partners has no value when those partners have their own higher interests. The third step is to loosen interior pressure on the 'reformist' who argued for a more 'western' orientation. Trump, and the cowardice of the Europeans, have proven that their arguments are false. The last measure is to reorientate exports from global oil trade to other products, probably derived from oil, and to neighboring countries.

All four steps will take some time. They are at large a reorientation from a globalization strategy to a more isolationist national one. Some first steps of this new plan are already visible. A common bank will be set up by Syria, Iraq and Iran to facilitate trade between those countries.

The economic reorientation is not sufficient. To directly counter Trump's maximum pressure campaign requires a tactical reorientation.

Trump continues to call for negotiations with Iran but he can accept nothing but a total capitulation. Trump also proved that the U.S. does not stick to the agreements it makes. There is therefore no hope for Iran to achieve anything through negotiations. There is only one way to counter Trump's maximum pressure campaign and that is by putting maximum pressure on him.

Neither Washington, nor the anti-Iranian countries in the Middle East, nor the other nuclear deal signers have so far paid a price for their hostile acts against Iran. That will now change.

Current loaded tanker traffic in the Middle East

via Tanker Trackers - bigger

Iran will move against the interests of the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. It will do so in deniable form to give the U.S. and others no opening for taking military actions against it. Iran has friends in various countries in the Middle East who will support it with their own capabilities. The campaign Iran now launches will also create severe damage for other countries.

In mid 2018, after Trump began to sanction Iran's oil exports, its leaders explained how it would counter the move:

‘If Iran can't export oil no-one in Middle East will,’ Tehran warns.

Last December Iran's President Rouhani repeated that position:

“If one day they want to prevent the export of Iran’s oil, then no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf,” [Rouhani] said.

In mid May 2019, one year after Trump destroyed the nuclear deal, a demonstration of capabilities damaged four tankers which anchored near Fujairah in the UAE. There was no evidence to blame the attack on Iran.

The incident was a warning. But the U.S. ignored it and increased the sanction pressure on Iran.

Yesterday two tankers with petrochemical products were attacked while crossing the Gulf of Oman. Coming only a few days after Trump sanctioned Iran's petrochemical exports points to Iran's involvement. But again no evidence was left in place to blame the incident on Iran.

The U.S. published a grainy black and white video which it says shows an Iranian Search and Rescue crew removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the tankers. No mine in visible in the video. The Iranian crew seems to inspect the damage on the tanker.

The U.S. itself admits that the video was taken several hours after the incident. The U.S. also says that one of its ships was nearby. Why did it take no steps to remove the claimed mine itself?

Meanwhile the owner of the Kokuka Courageous, one of the stricken ships, said that the damage to its ship was not caused by mines but by drones:

Two “flying objects” damaged a Japanese tanker owned by Kokuka Sangyo Co in an attack on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, but there was no damage to the cargo of methanol, the company president said on Friday.
“The crew told us something came flying at the ship, and they found a hole,” Katada said. “Then some crew witnessed the second shot.”

Katada also rejected speculation that the tanker, which sailed under the flag of Panama, was attacked because it was a Japanese owned vessel:

“Unless very carefully examined, it would be hard to tell the tanker was operated or owned by Japanese,” he said.

Despite the obvious lack of knowledge of who or what caused the incident the U.S. immediately blamed Iran:

Secretary Pompeo @SecPompeo - 18:27 UTC - 13 Jun 2019

It is the assessment of the U.S. government that Iran is responsible for today's attacks in the Gulf of Oman. These attacks are a threat to international peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable escalation of tension by Iran.

Iran pushed back:

Javad Zarif @JZarif - 12:11 UTC - 14 Jun 2019

That the US immediately jumped to make allegations against Iran—w/o a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence—only makes it abundantly clear that the #B_Team is moving to a #PlanB: Sabotage diplomacy—including by @AbeShinzo—and cover up its #EconomicTerrorism against Iran.

I warned of exactly this scenario a few months ago, not because I'm clairvoyant, but because I recognize where the #B_Team is coming from.

The "B-team" includes Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahoo, Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Zayed of the UAE.

To say that the attacks were provocations by the U.S. or its Middle East allies is made easier by their evident ruthlessness. Any accusations by the Trump administration of Iranian culpability will be easily dismissed because everyone knows that Trump and his crew are notorious liars.

This cat and mouse game will now continue and steadily gain pace. More tankers will get damaged or even sunk. Saudi refineries will start to explode. UAE harbors will experience difficulties. Iran will plausibly deny that it is involved in any of this. The U.S. will continue to blame Iran but will have no evidence to prove it.

Insurance for Middle East cargo will become very expensive. Consumer prices for oil products will increase and increase again. The collateral damage will be immense.

All this will gradually put more pressure on Trump. The U.S. will want to negotiate with Iran, but that will be rejected unless Trump rejoins the nuclear deal and lifts all his sanctions. He can not do that without losing face and his allies. By mid 2020 the maximum pressure campaign will reach its zenith. Oil prices will explode and the U.S. will fall into a recession. The world economy will tank and everyone will know who caused the underlying issue. Trump's reelection will come into doubt.

There will also be pressure on Trump to take military action against Iran. But he knows that a war would be equally disastrous for his re-election chances, and for the United States. A war against Iran would put the whole Middle East in flames.

The maximum pressure Trump hoped to wage against Iran will turn into maximum pressure on him and his allies. He will be trapped and there will be no way out.

Posted by b on June 14, 2019 at 17:04 UTC | Permalink

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This morning when I awoke (7 am PCT) I was struck by the fact there was no major headlines on this Iranian tanker attack in the usual MSN outlets. I have come back now (1 pm PCT) and looked at the headlines in the NYT, WaPo, The Guardian and BBC) and there is still no news on their front pages. Two of them had articles or op eds complaining that Trump's response to this crisis did not provide any facts, but no new information about what actually happened. It does sound to me that the dogs are not barking (to refer to a Sherlock Holmes story) and that sounds suspicious. Or maybe the MSN people are getting a little worried.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jun 15 2019 20:03 utc | 201

Brilliant analysis, but it has one weakness. It is based on the premise that either Trump or his handlers want him in office for a second term. Any of the loony Demonrats would do other than Tulsi. If this is Iran's strategy, it could also backfire stupendously. Trump's handlers could then initiate that war with Iran which would give them several advantages.
1) It would further violently increase the political rancor in the USA at the grass roots. The old divide and conquer.
2) It would put crude well over $200 and thus stop the bleeding of the shale oil industry and the default to Wall Street of its junk bonds and leveraged loans.
3) They could essentially destroy the petro infrastructure of Iran from the air.

One might argue that it would throw the USA, and the world for that matter, into that long anticipated crash and mega depression. Well, that's what the Cabal wants anyway. The so-called "reset." Like they ever cared about the common man of any nation, even Israel. Maybe they think it is now time to pull the plug. The can has reached the end of the road anyway. Iran can destroy the petro infrastructure of the Arab Gulf States with missiles. So much the better for the Cabal. Hezbollah can do some serious damage to Israel with missiles. So much the better to increase the average Israeli's paranoia and viciousness to "lesser humans."

My point here is that if this is Iran's strategy, it could backfire. That said, they have no better options.

Posted by: el Gallinazo | Jun 15 2019 20:16 utc | 202

Walter @ 88
"Seven Days in May" and "War Games" are two movies from my adolescents that never leave my mind when watching world events. I would be happy to lend my DVD copy of "Seven Days in May" to Clowner, Stasher, and Pomper. Also "War Games" where the computer spits out that War Games is a strange game and only winning move is not to play.

Posted by: lgfocus | Jun 15 2019 20:19 utc | 203

They [Iran] were suppose to wither away in silence but .. <= how do you know that??

your statement "Iran is subtlety fighting back with various acts of sabotage through its proxies. "
<= what possible hidden truth would make you say something like that? Name them with facts to support that please?
<= Seems to me the proxies involved are highly partial to Britain and the Sunni shoreline states and Israel..
<= Why not private parties responsible for these attacks (like oil and gas companies, shipping company
and insurance companies, and mercenary armies seek to get contracts. )

"This works because Iran knows that the US does not want a war because of the threat to Israel. " < another assumption?
<= what makes you think the war hawks would avoid war to protect Israel?
<= the hawks claim they can protect Israel from God himself. I think they call it the Iron Dome & trillions of USA $s?
<= What hawks might be protecting is 4/10 chance the west and ME proxies can be defeated? Yemen and Syria.
I do not thinK Iran will or cares to defeat America but the USA middle east presence is quite a different platter of food.
and in that they might actually get some non belligerent support from Russia and China.. Even EU might winter
approaches and Russia turns off their gas supplies into Europe.

As b suggests, this sabotage can be ramped up to a level that forces the US to cry "uncle."
<== i think it true that Propaganda can be beefed up to make the don't care about facts story seem plausible also.

It doesn't even matter if the US has unimpeachable proof of Iran's hand in the sabotage.
<=fake propaganda always overcomes real facts?
<====If it is Iranian induced you suggest.. its even more expertly executed than 9/11 ..

The US does not want a war that might cause Hezbollah to attack Israel.
On the other hand, if Hezbollah can be neutered than Iran can be bombed. Not before.
<==Hezbollah will probably still be there after the war.. logic suggest there will not be a war?

by: TheBAG @ 68, very interesting your take.. wish you had some facts.

Posted by: snake | Jun 15 2019 20:34 utc | 204

Posted by: somebody | Jun 15, 2019 2:44:58 PM | 195

"Take care of your sanity.

Your list of "revolutionaries" - well pick your poison."

I did indeed mean Socrates, not Aristotle....

Thank you for the correction and additional details. I admit, there are gaping gaps in my knowledge and far too frequently I find facts unbeknownst to me in the comment section here at MOA.

These people are listed because they were all killed for their ideas with the exception of mcveigh who was killed for his actions. Maybe I should have left him off.

Kennedy is on my list because I believe he was a great mediator during the civil rights movement.

McVeigh because he exemplifies what is to come should the government continue its overreach. Revenge or retaliation?

Malcolm because he was able to shed what he had been taught when confronted with the truth.

Socrates, primarily because he did not fear death. I think he was one of the 1st 'free' men.

Martin, you're going to let his philandering ass off the hook...ok.. :)

Jesus: I tell people that the truth is in the bible, but everything in the bible is not the truth. Not going to get into that type of debate here, suffice it to say I believe that Jesus is real, but his message was first usurped and then twisted over time.

Re: my sanity....that's a challenge I face every day. I know where the lone wolves come from, it is a place called 'Despair'. Fortunately, I know that there is still Love in the world and this strengthens me.


Posted by: b4real | Jun 15 2019 20:35 utc | 205

@ b4real | Jun 15, 2019 3:19:06 PM | 198

Thanks for recalling. Absolutely correct about the character of many political candidates. It may be worse than that though, anymore it is almost a requirement the successful candidate has the best hair and most photogenic features to be elected; appearance is all. The ubiquitous culture of anti-intellectualism exacts a price in political quality needed for office; the herd mind of the electorate cannot appreciate either excellence or principle and will tear apart any who show those traits. The elite can no longer actually be elite; (Darth) Bolton, Pompimpo, Abrams and the occupant of the WH are exemplars of that species. This is why no politician should have more than one ride on the merry-go-round of any one public office. If they perform well in the public interest, then there are many other public offices available.
Let those with a private agenda and sufficient where-with-all try to control all the new office holders after each election; not. gonna. happen. Outside a violent revolution which is unlikely to produce the desired results (refer to the French revolution being subsumed by Napoleon, or the founding of Israel now over seven decades still under control of founding thugs, terrorists and thieves and their spawn). Granted there is no guarantee the system can be rebalanced through elimination of incumbents, but it is the only way to remove from the handles of political power those hands on the leavers of power now without the resort to violence - well worth the effort.
In the current political arrangement of duopoly, all those who vote for any alternative candidate only reduce the numbers the successful party needs to collect to prevail. Those choosing not to participate can only show a future historian the shallowness of support the winning party had among the eligible citizenry, a distant and hollow reward it would seem. Your milage may differ though.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 15 2019 20:38 utc | 206

I was in Iran a month ago. They were worried about the sanctions, and the decline of the riyal/toman. Were they worried enough to take desperate action, as suggested by b, I doubt.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 15 2019 20:48 utc | 207

Posted by: b4real | Jun 15, 2019 4:35:21 PM | 205

You call Waco government overreach?

I realize USians have a different mentality from Europeans, coming from a country where

- people usually don't carry weapons
- kids have to attend public schools, otherwise this is an issue for police
- social workers routinely visit kids born out of wedlock

the gun battles at Waco sound completely crazy. I would call it underreach resulting in desaster.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 15 2019 20:53 utc | 208


I forgot. Child marriage is not possible in my country either.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 15 2019 20:58 utc | 209

arby @158 linked to an RT news article about Senator Lindsey Graham who advocates giving anyone who disagrees with US foreign policy the Granada treatment starting with Venezuela, Granada [population 91,000] Venezuela [population [33 million]. Politicians like Graham,Bolton,Pence and Pompeo [the latter two are waiting for the rapture]are certifiable.

Posted by: Harry Law | Jun 15 2019 21:07 utc | 210

3) They could essentially destroy the petro infrastructure of Iran from the air.
Posted by: el Gallinazo | Jun 15, 2019 4:16:25 PM | 202

Once that genie is removed from the bottle, you cannot put it back in. IMO the US is equally vulnerable on that particular tactic.
A. If you have ever fished in "The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway" (the portion of the Intracoastal Waterway located along the Gulf Coast of the United States. It is a navigable inland waterway running approximately 1,050 mi (1,690 km) from Carrabelle, Florida, to Brownsville, Texas.) you would notice unprotected gas pipelines every few hundred yards that could be breached with a long gun easily. Dense gas would settle in low to the ground making clouds of death that could last for many years.
B. If you have ever flown from Houston to Cancun, Mexico you would have seen many thousands of oil wells in the Gulf. The entire hour and a half flight will treat you with a view where it seems that an additional oil well just couldn't be added. They are densely packed, close together.

The water's Loop Current flows towards the US coast and contains many eddy(s) where oil pollution would just circle on the Texas and Mexico side while the rest of the oil would make its way down the coast towards Florida's tip where it would re-enter the Loop for a next pass. Deepwater Horizon made a mess. A hostile attack against several wells would make an unimaginable mess.

I hope that our Creeps never give their Creeps any reason to respond in kind and create this kind of a mess.

Posted by: mrd | Jun 15 2019 21:07 utc | 211

CIA, possibly subcontracted to WH types. How do we know?
1) U.S. Navy watched "limpet mine" on side of civilian ship filled with naphthalene for over five hours without doing anything.
> case a: they wanted it to be there.
> case b: they knew it wasn't dangerous.
2) US radar can see baseballs miles away, satellites film license plates, drones film faces. US would know who caused explosion, and release film. No film release: we're not going to reveal who did it.
3) Pompeo, former CIA dir, announced immediately, w/o waiting for evidence or conclusions, that he knew it was the Iranians. White House released its own intelligence assessment w/o waiting for the DIA etc. Then Trump, same. US only jumps to conclusions when it knows it's a false flag. Contrast this against Japan: "We condemn whoever did this attack".

Posted by: Imagine | Jun 15 2019 21:11 utc | 212

4) Hole was above the waterline, not designed to sink ship, designed to cause dramatic fire. Designed to look like it was done by Iranians. Designed to stick thumb in eye of any negotiations/cooperation between Japan and Iran.
5) holes came from international side of ship, not Iran side.
6) Although Pentagon is sane and does not want a war--its boys would be doing the dying--Bolton + neocons faction pushed America into the Iraq war, and they'd prefer a hot war with Iran. It makes no difference whatsoever that America would win every battle and lose the war, as it did in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bolton is willing to fight to the last American soldier to wipe out Iran for greater Israel. Rationality has been lost from American neocons for decades; this is closer to a religious tenet.
7) Pompeo predicted May 8th that Iran would soon launch an attack. It is the same pattern as with the WH.

Cui bono? Neo-cons, U.S. arms dealers, and CIA gigs.

Posted by: Imagine | Jun 15 2019 21:12 utc | 213

I have learned along my healing path that those who say bad things about a person instead of confronting the issue that person may make them uncomfortable about are saying more about themselves than the person they are disrespecting.

My position and statements about monotheism and global private finance both bring into question the faith folks have in the social contract they are forced to live. Both groups think themselves better than others and yet their leadership's actions don't reflect the spiritual values they pretend to front and have abused the social responsibility they have been entrusted with by this faith.

It is time to say that is a bankrupt social contract and develop better. I think China is in the process of doing and has made it clear that religions have no place in determining social policy but can be practiced by its followers. Yes, I think that reflects the transition to placing logic and reason above faith and I think that is good...and I have referred to this as finishing up the Enlightenment period evolution.

And yes again, I don't have a clue who owns global private finance and so think it is quite counterproductive, and represents the efforts of paid trolls to try to make the focus of peoples ire be individuals or groups instead of the social construct of private/public finance

But you all of faith keep showing your true colors by attacking my character you know nothing about but your negative conjecture from my forthright sharings.....Blessings to you my fellow humans.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 15 2019 21:20 utc | 214

@ Laguerre 207
Were they [Iranians] worried enough to take desperate action, as suggested by b, I doubt .

Probably you didn't talk to Khamanei & Co who have repeatedly said that they will take action against the US, and if they did the tankers, as I believe they did, it is turning out to be a very smart move by Iran.

Desperate action? when the US:
> is obviously floundering on getting their story straight, with fuzzy "evidence" about which Iran has successfully charged the US was wrong “to make allegations against Iran without a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence,” which has been picked up by the media
> has no allies except the normal poodles, like Japan which paid a price
>doesn't dare to bring its wonderful Lincoln carrier fleet into the Gulf. . ."Nothing rides like a Lincoln" in the open Arabian sea, far from Iran
>and is powerless to do much of anything except claim in the UNSC that the attacks "demonstrate the clear threat that Iran poses to international peace and security" which every knows is ridiculous coming from a government which has laid waste to much of the Middle East and North Africa, to name a couple areas.

What's desperate about that?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 15 2019 21:22 utc | 215

Why haven't we seen images of the two ship's crews being rescued?Are there none.Up to now I have been reading rather confusing information in MSM about Iranian,Dutch ,and american vessels to save the mariners from board.Of course there are two ships.

I think this is a very insightful article and I felt surprise when finding its translation in French ,by following some links given .

Posted by: willie | Jun 15 2019 21:26 utc | 216

Somebody @ 208:

The battle between the FBI and David Koresh's cult was no more crazy than the 1992 Ruby Ridge stand-off between the US Marshals and the FBI on one side, and on the other side a family of six people plus a family friend holed up in their self-made cabin (in the state of Idaho). The stand-off lasted 11 days and resulted in the deaths of one US marshal and two of the family members and a pet dog. It ended only when the head of the family Randy Weaver was persuaded by civilian negotiators to surrender.

Randy Weaver was later cleared of all criminal charges related to the death of the US Marshal agent. He and his surviving children won $3.1 million in an out-of-court settlement for the wrongful deaths of the wife/mother and son/brother.

The FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi who shot Elizabeth Weaver also participated in the Waco siege.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 15 2019 21:30 utc | 217

And what if it was the russians who did it?Normally they are pointed at.Not this time.Remember their military meets the israei military as well as the iranian.Recently.Maybe they are really playing chess on a high level.Or the IRGC have concluded a deal with Russian military intelligence to externalize the job.Much like the american mob with Murder Inc.Weren't there russian sailors among those rescued,now in Iran?

Posted by: willie | Jun 15 2019 21:52 utc | 218

I'm undecided whether
1. Some party arranged a black flag to point the blame to Iran and escalate
2. Iran arranged deniable attacks to force the US to put its cards on the table. flight forwards.
3. it started as scenario 1 and Iran decided to escalate with 2.
Now, a differential diagnosis with an ordered list of hypothesis is good procedure but I don't even know which to put first. The baddies are always the same though.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jun 15 2019 21:52 utc | 219

Psycho @ 212

Not saying you shouldn’t defend yourself. But, anyone with a brain recognizes that self-sacrifice (e.g., not driving a car, riding public transport, or taking medicine because you hate the bloodshed that goes into fossil fuels) is meaningless unless it inspires enough other people to follow your example and lead to meaningful change. So accusing you of hypocrisy just shows the accuser has little of value to say. Either way, you can probably safely ignore, knowing that MoA barflies know the score.

Posted by: oglalla | Jun 15 2019 21:57 utc | 220

TG @ 185:

The first Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini died in 1989. Since then Iran (under current Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei) has had family planning programs that have brought the country's birth rates to their current low levels.

I understand that most young men (who in other countries would be unemployed and left to their own devices) are taken under the wing of the IRGC which also manages bonyads (trusts) that invest in businesses in the Iranian economy. The profits earned go towards providing social welfare including healthcare and free education for families, especially the families of those who died during the war waged by Iraq against Iran (1980 - 1988), up to and including college and university education for their children. That should take care of most alienated youth.

It is difficult to find online information on Iran's bonyads that portrays them in less than a severely negative manner. This article is the most "objective" I can find.

Here is another link to an article on Iran's bonyads which explains how they can help Iran circumvent economic sanctions and moreover help keep Venezuela's economy afloat. It's not terribly complimentary I'm afraid so you will have to parse it carefully to see how bonyads function outside the conventional Western economic paradigm and within an alternative Islamically based economic system.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 15 2019 21:58 utc | 221

I repeat: anyone care to explain why CENTCOM releases a video of an (alleged) limpet mine being removed by an Iranian gunboat crew, and then a photo of the same tanker is released, by the same CENTCOM, with the (alleged) limpet mine still attached.
Is the CENTCOM PR machine confused?

Posted by: bjd | Jun 15 2019 22:02 utc | 222

@ willie
June 13 Gulf of Oman tanker "attack" timeline:
>The two vessels were in international waters in the Gulf of Oman approximately 10 nautical miles apart at the time of the distress calls. USS Bainbridge was approximately 40 nautical miles away from the Front Altair at the time of the attack, and immediately began closing the distance," according to CENTCOM.
>Commander Joshua Frey of the US Fifth Fleet said that the US heard two separate distress calls. The first was at 6:12am.
>10:40 US confirms that it received the calls at 6-7am. “We are aware of the reported attack on tankers in the Gulf of Oman. US Naval Forces in the region received two separate distress calls at 6:12a.m. local time and a second one at 7:00 a.m.”
>11:00 USS Bainbridge arrives at Kokuka Courageous (the less-damaged ship) nearly five hours after the distress call. The Bainbridge is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer with a top speed of over 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph) . .timeline info here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 15 2019 22:12 utc | 223

Back up the thread, anon asks about the type of mine supposedly being removed. As I wrote last night, after examining the one clear photo available of that tanker's hull, I don't think there's anything attached to it as there's zero shadow being produced by what--if a limpet mine--ought to be a protruding object. Indeed, I think what we're seeing is an irregular gash in the hull caused by whatever projectile penetrated it. That there's nothing there is the best explanation for what's seen in the video of the small boat hugging the hull at that location with most hands in the bow. Some limpet mines are fitted with a actuator that detonates the mine if its removal is attempted. That potential would be more than enough to have personnel cleared away and some sort of shielding emplaced to absorb some of the explosion's force as is usual with demining.

The brief exchange between myself and Peter AU 1 upthread about the means of attack provides a strong hypothesis based on what evidence we know: A flying object is reportedly heard and seen prior to the explosion (s?); no such sound is reported afterward. The damage is clearly from some sort of shaped charge--thus limpet mine--but the impacts are @1 meter above the waterline for both impacts. A kamikaze drone with a shaped charge in its nosecone and guided via CCTV could very well be the type of weapon used since the remaining evidence from the drone would sink into the sea. So: Hear drone; hear explosion; hear nothing; rather than hear drone; hear explosion; hear drone. Drones of the sort being discussed are widely available and being used within the entire theatre--from Yemen to Syria. Besides land, they could be ship launched--even from a partially surfaced submarine. So, who-done-it expands to every actor present in the region--from India to Turkey--and of course, the Outlaw US Empire and its Vassal-pack.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 15 2019 22:14 utc | 224

@208 Somebody

I think you are sincere in your wonderment...

The United States Government, just like many of its citizens has become too prone to use violence to resolve difficult and not so difficult situations. Government officials ought to be held to a higher standard because they have the most powerful weaponry and vast resources which is provided by its citizenry.

When the government resorts to violence against its citizens, it should be the last resort.

Do you think the government had no other option than to set the place on fire?


Posted by: b4real | Jun 15 2019 22:49 utc | 225

@Karlof - thanks. It looked like a gash to me at first until it was suggested a mine. I don't know what to make of it all really, reporting is pretty much scaled down to official releases. The ships should be photographed again at some point, so maybe we will see what kind of damage is there are not. I'm very cynical about accepting any version for now. If it were a false flag by the west for example, they may have used ied techniques and material that pointed to Iran, even an Iranian mines if they had access - a reason Iran would not display. Equally Iran might actually decide that any proof it offers will not be accepted, or that the population would expect it to react if it gave some proof or insisted on blame - that might satisfy those actually pushing for conflict. It is all very dificult to piece together, I hope that the western public demands maximum caution.Apart from economic consequences the west is pretty much out of range of Iran, that unfortunately allows people to detach from what their countries are up to. The western public seem generally oblivious or unresponsive to the effects of the conflicts their countries have been involved in, I find this disturbing.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 15 2019 22:56 utc | 226

Irish Times: US seeks to build ‘consensus’ around tanker attacks in Gulf of Oman

The acting defence secretary, Patrick Shanahan, said the US was looking to “build international consensus to this international problem” on Friday.

The attack was not only a “US situation”, Mr Shanahan said. He listed several other countries that operated vessels in the waters. “When you look at the situation, a Norwegian ship, Japanese ship, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UAE,” Mr Shanahan said, referring to attacks a few weeks prior.

Sounding more and more like these attacks are the B-team's version of coalition building.

Later in same article:

The UK officially joined the US in accusing Iran of perpetrating the attack on Friday night, in a statement from the foreign office saying: “It is almost certain that a branch of the Iranian military – the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – attacked the two tankers on June 13th. No other state or non-state actor could plausibly have been responsible.

That is a blatantly false statement.

The statement continued: “There is recent precedent for attacks by Iran against oil tankers. The Emirati-led investigation of the May 12th attack on four oil tankers near the port of Fujairah in the [UAE] concluded that it was conducted by a sophisticated state actor We are confident that Iran bears responsibility for that attack.”

This is all in prep for something much bigger.

Sophisticated state actor that nonchalantly removes "mines" from ships with 10 other people hanging out in the same boat? The same sophisticated actor that doesn't know the US has nighttime surveillance capabilities?

Looks like politico has removed a statement about Iran not knowing about US nighttime surveillance capabilities. Glad I archived that article yesterday. They also changed the headline.

Comment on MoA I made yesterday referencing this same article.

Today's Politico article.

Having issues hyperlinking yesterday's version, but the link for it is below.">">

Posted by: Zack | Jun 15 2019 23:00 utc | 227

Finally spent an hour trying to closely examine the god-awful video taken, and it does appear to show something being removed thus begging the question why the USN ship didn't detail a party to do the removal. Being afraid of a boobytrap's the only reasonable explanation that comes to mind or no personnel trained to perform such a task. But why not at least launch a small boat to get the closest look possible. Clearly, I ought to have watched what I assumed was a worthless video as it does show some detail, all of which begs more questions than the video answers.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 15 2019 23:20 utc | 228

Zack @225--

From what I read, the removal was done in broad daylight. The USN chose to release only the IR film it used to record.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 15 2019 23:25 utc | 229


Thanks for sharing your family tragedy due to the genocidal Vietnam war. Returning soldiers were mostly just dumped back on the streets in that era and their families had to just fend for themselves. Much like what my Uncles experienced following trench warfare in WWI.

My father worked in a shipyard on Liberty ships during WWII and died of lung cancer in 1968 (non-smoker) most likely due to asbestos exposure. Smedley Butler's message the "War is a Racket" has been largely lost to the American public.

Despite all the protests against the Vietnam war, the only thing that stopped the war was when soldiers in uniform marched on the Pentagon. With a professional army a military revolt against war is unlikely today.

I really enjoy your well thought out posts.

Posted by: Krollchem | Jun 15 2019 23:32 utc | 230

Just my shot on developing Iranian self reliance / "isolationism;" I think Ayatollah Khamenei and Rouhani meant Iran would from hereon avoid hard, NATO-style compacts, and look out for their own strategic interests (which in reality extend no further than Iran itself; they're not crazy expantionists). But I don't think there's going to be any change in their current approach to regional economic and cultural exchange projects; their participation in BRI underscores this.
And I tend to agree with the notion that this particular incident could've been a counter-strike; the US has been bullying Iran for at least 60+ years. Iran is like the skinny kid the bully has in a headlock at this juncture; just reach over and give those 'nads a squeeze...
A barfly wrote earlier in the thread, "The harder they come..."; yes indeed. And given the karmic buildup, this'll be a mighty hard fall.
Excellent analysis, b ^_^

Posted by: robjira | Jun 15 2019 23:35 utc | 231

@198 b4real.. thanks for your additional comments... more to ponder...

magneir has a new article up today - Trump offered to suspend sanctions while negotiating with Iran, Khamenei rejected the offer: more attacks expected as does indianpunchline - Posted on June 15, 2019 by M. K. BHADRAKUMAR
Iran can be Trump’s nemesis

Posted by: james | Jun 15 2019 23:41 utc | 232

"...I think China is in the process of doing and has made it clear that religions have no place in determining social policy but can be practiced by its followers. Yes, I think that reflects the transition to placing logic and reason above faith and I think that is good...and I have referred to this as finishing up the Enlightenment period evolution..."

I think you may well be correct on this, and I am not sure why your post was attacked. As you know, I am a Christian, but that really should have nothing to do with the affairs of state, since those must have to do with so many different belief systems in order to be fair and democratic. I don't have any problem with 'logic and reason' being used rather than faith in world affairs, in fact that is how it should be. I'll just quibble with saying that those are 'above' faith - but we don't need to fight over that, do we?

I appreciate your focus on financial matters, as indeed, that is the heart of the matter. Money greases the machinery of empire; when that stops happening we will all be at a better place. Thank you for your posts.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 16 2019 0:00 utc | 233

Auroraintel twitter (seems hawkish) has photos of cone shaped 42kg 56cm dia 32cm high limpet mine in a post there, part of IRGC presentation.

The only recent images of Kokuka, which is anchored off Fujairah now and floating high after offloading, are distant and mist covered so no detail. (gulfnews e.g.)

Altair is being towed there still .

Posted by: Anon | Jun 16 2019 0:08 utc | 234

Magnier has published another article I haven't seen linked to yet. He reveals Abe's message to Khamenei:

"Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo conveyed a message from US President Donald Trump to the Iranian leadership, asking the release of 5 US prisoners and inviting Iran to sit around a negotiation table, adding 'he [Donald Trump] would be ready to suspend all sanctions only during the negotiations'. No guarantee was offered to freeze or revoke the sanctions. Sayyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the revolution, rejected the message and any dialogue with the US President and told his guest that he considers Trump unworthy to 'to exchange a message with'."

Iran has already said what's required for any negotiations: Drop all sanctions and rejoin JCPOA. In other words, obey international law. The article confirms b's hypothesis that deniable attacks will continue. Meanwhile, Houthi forces have escalated their drove attacks against Saudi airports, hitting two today.

CBS News has illegally infiltrated a crew into Idlib that will soon be targeted because it chose to embed with al-Qaeda, which I thought was illegal. The Outlaw US Empire has initiated cyber attacks on Russia's power grid--a direct act of war apparently unknown by Trump!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 16 2019 0:38 utc | 235

It gets better and better....
Intelligence Experts Question Iran Video: 'U.S. Track Record on Ginning up Evidence for War is Not Good' . . independent intelligence experts say the video provides no proof whatsoever of Iran's alleged responsibility for the attacks, a charge Iran denies.. .

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 16 2019 0:44 utc | 236

TASS reports on the power grid cyber attacks, which have been ongoing since 2012. Seems it's time to fire a hypersonic missile over the breadth of the Outlaw US Empire then tell it to behave or else.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 16 2019 0:50 utc | 237

The NYTimes war-rag has gone full Bellingcat....

Was Iran Behind the Oman Tanker Attacks? A Look at the Evidence
Internet databases confirm much about the incident, but the Trump administration hasn’t provided convincing evidence of Tehran’s culpability.
By Eliot Higgins
Mr. Higgins is the managing director of the investigative collective Bellingcat.

The US friend Higgins presents this:
Bellingcat @bellingcat
· Jun 14, 2019
Bellingcat's @Timmi_Allen made the following video that enhances the original video, and makes it somewhat easier to see what is going on. It does look like an object is removed. But we still have to confirm this is the Kokuka Courageous. . .and. . .

...Yet what the videos and photographs published by the United States don’t show us is more important. While the object on the side of the Kokuka Courageous is described as a “likely limpet mine” the images presented aren’t clear enough to verify that. etc

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 16 2019 0:58 utc | 238

Don Bacon @234--

Geez, those guys are even more skeptical than I was. And Newsweek isn't exactly peacenik. Thanks for providing the timing of USN response! They sure took their sweet-ass time! Another black mark on USN!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 16 2019 1:08 utc | 239

Come on, you unbelievers, admit that b got it right.
I call a TKO for Iran against US, with the US on the ropes and the referee waving Iran off.
What's next? Let's see...(from the posting above)....

All this will gradually put more pressure on Trump. The U.S. will want to negotiate with Iran, but that will be rejected unless Trump rejoins the nuclear deal and lifts all his sanctions. He can not do that without losing face and his allies. By mid 2020 the maximum pressure campaign will reach its zenith.

. . .tick-tock

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 16 2019 1:12 utc | 240

mid 2020 -- or sooner??

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 16 2019 1:14 utc | 241

@219 Jen

I think Ramin Mazaheri gives a good sense of how the bonyads work, in his 11-part series on Iran. I'll give the link to the final part, since it contains links to the previous parts, and suggest you look at part 3 on "privatization" to see how Iran's economy differs from our western concepts of state and private ownership. Mazaheri also illustrates the Basij in great detail in the series - they and the IRGC cannot be separated from the mechanism of the bonyad.

Iran detente after Trump’s JCPOA pull out? We can wait 2 more years, or 6, or…

I also read a very succinct and useful brief history of Iran since both of the Shahs and then the Islamic Revolution, also at the Saker, by Aram Mirzaei, who has proven to be an excellent analyst at the site. I recommend both of these from 2016:

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps: a deep insight into Iran’s most powerful institution

The Iranian political system, the 2016 elections & consequences

Both writers are Iranian, youngish, and with contemporary immersion in the west, so you will find their treatments of Iran both truthful and admiring.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 16 2019 1:20 utc | 242

Shanahan at Defense continues the US practice of installing unqualified people in key positions. The evidence of that mistake is the poor results that these neophytes engender. But it's not all Shanahan, most (not all) of the flag officers under him advanced by kissing up and pushing down. So when they come up against an Iran or a China they are simply out-classed and out-thought by people who came up the hard way, by producing results. They've been getting promoted by beating up on third-world countries down in the minors and they can't succeed in the major leagues. So don't expect much and you won't be disappointed.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 16 2019 1:26 utc | 243

@ juliania with the words of support...thanks

I had 12 years of Catholic education, 4 years under the Jesuits. I believe monotheistic religions have a lot to offer as guiding myth like greek and roman ones but need to stop being the underpinnings of secular society that is respective of all that we don't know but currently profess to believe in.

I think Western religion has coopted the concept of community for their purposes and humanity needs to develop secular communities that are not default God of Mammon members.

And to speak to the posting topic, Iran is fighting a war against the very concept of global private finance that I continue to point out is the center of our social crisis.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 16 2019 1:39 utc | 244

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 14, 2019 8:29:06 PM | 102

There are versions of the Russian RPG and equivalent US Army LAW that are small, lightweight and very potent--the linked RPG can penetrate 400mm of armor. They could easily be mounted to a number of drones readily available in the Gulf region.

Like this?

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 16 2019 2:01 utc | 245

Thanks, JS @243, that formidable weapon might a reason the Lincoln aircraft carrier is staying out of the Gulf, with all that activity and heavy equipment on deck.
Missiles and drones will change everything we knew about warfare. (I'm looking at you, trillion dollar F-35.)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 16 2019 2:14 utc | 246

Okay, it's getting late, let's play a little mind-game. Let's suppose Iran used this weapon (drone-mounted RPG) against tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Let's say that US intel is as smart as karlof and has figured it out, but can't disclose the fact because that would mean that Iran has a weapon that neither the US nor any other country has a defense against. And it leaves no evidence!
And then the US is forced to announce it, or the intel slips out via a whistle-blower. Now we have a whole new situation that gets world attention, and new demands to settle this issue that only the US has with Iran because NOT to do so would endanger world commerce, and all because the US is wrong on the issue. So the US needs to change its wrong position.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 16 2019 2:32 utc | 247

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 15, 2019 10:14:20 PM | 244

If this topic is interesting:

Homemade unmanned jet aircraft:

Missile launches:

and as a "joke" (not AK-47 but Vepr 12 Molot):

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 16 2019 2:51 utc | 248

I agree that Iran can't necessarily rely on Russia and China to put their own interests above Iran's.
However, the one single scenario which would bring China to the US' side, or more likely a non-veto, in a UN vote for a "peacekeeping" campaign is the closing of the Persian Gulf.
China is the single most vulnerable nation to this - they likely are the #1 importer of oil today worldwide, and 45% to 55% of their oil comes from Persian Gulf nations.
Russia doesn't have a dog in the fight, but the US could also swing a Russian non-veto by lifting sanctions.
I've already noted that the US might suffer economic damage from a closing of the Persian Gulf, but that it would be far, far less than anyone else except perhaps Russia.
A truly isolationist Iran engaging in activities to close down the Persian Gulf is the one sure way to get a shooting war started in the ME.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 16 2019 2:53 utc | 249

@karlof1 #227

Not sure how that has anything to do with what I posted.

Was more interested in showing the absurdity of the MSM narrative and in showing direct proof of MSM media editing their words to fit .govs narrative.

Posted by: Zack | Jun 16 2019 3:19 utc | 250

@ bjd

I was merely pointing to two new news sources (presstv and NY times) on the recent incident. I am not citing presstv or the NY times as authoritative sources. Everyone knows I am not a fan of the IRI, let alone its pro-government propaganda news network, or any government for that matter, because I know a little too much about why governments exist in the first place and the role they play in reproducing capitalist relations of production within and outside of their borders in favour of classes attached to the expansion of capital and at the expense of workers. The ruling class in Iran is only interested in maintaining its hold over the wealth of the country. It is not anti capitalist at all. It is just trying to avoid the fate of many other dictatorships that sought to control the wealth of their respective countries (Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc.).

Posted by: ninel | Jun 16 2019 3:42 utc | 251

I've never mentioned the name of the military propaganda site for the apartheid Zionist state, and am most certainly not going to provide a link even now, but the latest piece at the Debka site was a puzzler to me.

It's just running over with praise for Iran's recent actions!

1) "Tehran managed to keep its plans hidden from the eyes of hostile spy agencies and catch them all by surprise."

2) "Iranian marine and special forces units assigned to these attacks were highly proficient."

4) "All the weapons the Iranians have used hitherto have operated faultlessly, none missing their mark."

Why would a freaking propaganda site claim Iran has a long-range cruise missile with tack-driving accuracy? The only reason I can imagine is that the leadership of the murderous and thieving little nation is prepping the bloodthirsty citizens there with the idea that tackling the Iranians right now is not a good idea. BTW, I left out #3 because whatever the accuracy of the rest of it, the hasbara peddlers still put out some rather obvious lies.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 16 2019 4:06 utc | 252

Thanks b for your take on the situation. The most critical key here, is what exactly the irg crew pulled off the ship. An israeli mine? An iranian mine obtained by israel and slapped on the ship by israel? Xi & Putin know exactly what it was no doubt after their meeting. Allow that to sink in. Regardless of who did what, Xi & Putin, along with everyone else in the region who's at war with the empire, knows a key piece of knowledge that either the empire doesn't, or that the empire worked really really hard to keep anyone from knowing, but failed thanks to the daring irg crew of that ship. I think the fact that days have passed without bolton being allowed to attack says a lot about what the irg crew found and what Xi, Putin know. They have absolute proof of what the empire intended to do to the region and can plan accordingly as can Iran and their partners. We can expect the whole incident to be forgotten about in the us eu msm if they know what was found, if they actually don't know and israel doesn't tell them of the major screw up, i dont know what the empire will do and neither do they themselves.

Posted by: Notjohnhelmer | Jun 16 2019 5:00 utc | 253

Unlike what Goebbels said it doesn't become Iran just because somebody keeps repeating "It's possible!". You're being had.

A professional military is more likely to revolt than a conscript one, not less. Coups and rebellions tend to be led by at least officers. When the French military in Viet Nam started turning against France it was the officers on location and not the geriatric and possibly senile dimwits "back home", exactly the same with the US later. What happened was what should have happened in WWI; when the order to go over the trenches came down to troop level the Sargent or whoever was leading the charge should have shot his superior and blamed it on an enemy instead of following orders, and after it happens often enough the same soldiers start contemplating how to take power and go rogue.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 16 2019 6:51 utc | 254

@212 psychohistorian.. bang on my friend... stay positive..

i think another event is going to happen real soon in here, to push this further.. june 19th, maybe 20th or before..

Posted by: james | Jun 16 2019 8:01 utc | 255

Hey all

I posted a link on the last open thread and the following is the take away quote which fits here as well
We should ensure that diversified coexistence will replace civilization superiority, harmonious symbiosis will replace civilization clashes, exchanges and sharing will replace civilization estrangement, as well as joint prosperity and progress will replace civilization rigidity, said Xi.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 16 2019 8:07 utc | 256

Posted by: Notjohnhelmer | Jun 16, 2019 1:00:40 AM | 253


The interesting thing is that the Americans do not know or care how it was done or they would have avoided being contradicted by the Japanese ship owner.

Israelis are playing the oistrich, so I guess they are out. Saudi Crown Prince has come out now threatening Iran directly, the fact that he felt he had to do this (and could not hide behind the United States) speaks volumes. He does not even have the backing of UAE.

Press tv makes it sound like the hit was directed at Japan - "both of them carrying “Japanese-related” cargo".

So yes, it is possible that Saudi tried to get more US protection and made the point to attack Japan whose premier was just visiting Iran. If they did it was a serious miscalculation.

But it would make sense for Iran to prove to everybody and themselves that the United States will not fight them. Which might have been Abe's message. As Trump cannot be trusted Iran needed a proof of concept.

So where will sanctions go from here.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 16 2019 8:45 utc | 257

Two holes on the side of damaged Ship were about one and half meter above the sea level.
Does Mine fly?

Posted by: kasra Niawaran | Jun 16 2019 8:59 utc | 258

@ kasra Niawaran | Jun 16, 2019 4:59:09 AM | 258

Only when they are jumping the shark. One and a half meters is about head height of someone standing on water, go figure.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 16 2019 9:14 utc | 259

Russia, Iran Have Potential to Increase Bilateral Trade - Minister

Earlier this week, Iran moved to create a free trade zone with the Eurasian Economic Union, which Russia is part of.

Xi and Putin Place the Greater Eurasian Partnership on the Path to Realization

..the development of the concept of the Great Eurasian Partnership. That idea was initially proposed many years ago by Charles De Galle, who envisaged a common free trade area stretching from Portugal to the Ural Mountains. More recently, as both China and Russia have developed, that has now extended to the potential for a bloc that covers the entire Eurasian landmass and more.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 16 2019 9:41 utc | 260

kasra Niawaran (258) asks

'Does Mine fly?'

Well, if it has wings attached then yes. ;)

On a more serious note: This entirely depends on the warhead's configuration. If the warhead is equipped with a booster to separate itself from the delivering device prior to impact and, too, accelerate itself towards the target for increased penetration then yes it would be possible for the warhead to breach the surface of the water prior to impact and detonation. I don't know about sea mines/torpedoes, but a similar approach has been tested and implemented in some artillery shells and anti-armor smart mines.

Anyway, this mine/drone/loitering munition stuff is all pure speculation on our(commenters) part. We don't know what really happened and, also, do not have the means to evaluate properly - at least that is true with me.
IRO the damaged tanker it is even possible the images showing the damaged hull and this cone shaped thing attached to the hull are a complete fake. I'm not an expert in compositing but do have some experience with which, given the p*ss poor quality of the images, made me go *hmmm*. Having access to a compositing software such as Eyeon Fusion, a proper image of the tanker, another image of some blast damage on a plane metal surface and finally a 'sophisticated' 3d model of a cone is all what's required to produce such an image for public consumption.

Posted by: Hmpf | Jun 16 2019 10:31 utc | 261

Remember that grainy video.
Could it be? I don’t know, but Trump and Pompeo would have red faces if this turns out to be the truth that’s for sure. Hat Tip to Iain at Craig Murray blog.
"Magnets for fastening and anchor points
With a holding force ranging from 90kg to 2,000kg, Miko magnets fulfil a variety of functions below or above water offshore. With over 17,000 sold worldwide, Miko magnets perform tasks ranging -from fastening items such as diving equipment, anchor points and guide wires for divers to securing instrumentation, including acoustic transponders to subsea structures".

Posted by: Harry Law | Jun 16 2019 11:07 utc | 262

Grieved @ 242:

Thanks for the Ramin Mazaheri references. I already have a copy of his Vineyard of the Saker post "How Iran got eocnomically socialist and then Islamic socialist". Mazaheri's post though doesn't put enough emphasis on how the bonyads help the poor and provide work and education for youth from marginalised classes (and in so doing, tries to bring them into mainstream Iranian society so they cannot be used as jihadi cannon fodder by external enemies). The American Thinker link (hmm, looks like the original link I put up now goes to the homepage so here's the direct link - Inshallah and fingers crossed, it will work!) mentions the bonyads' investments in Latin America.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 16 2019 11:07 utc | 263

@3 what is your point, exactly?

Posted by: nimbus | Jun 16 2019 11:08 utc | 264

Damn it! That link I posted @ 263 goes straight to the homepage again! MoA barflies, you will have to Google "American Thinker" and "Bonyads" to get the article link.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 16 2019 11:10 utc | 265

Iran should make clear the grainy video recording, either it was them and they did not do anything with a mine as Trump said or they should deny that it was them. As soon as they done that, the desinformation that are now spreading will be stopped. Iran need to act now on this.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 16 2019 11:31 utc | 266

Thank you Do,,have a beer.

Little reference sofar has been made to the envoy of britissh special boat-team to the Gulf,like stated in the MSN article.

Posted by: willie | Jun 16 2019 11:56 utc | 267

I'm sorry ,thank you Don,

the msn piece is dated 19 mai ans origins from Iran Daily

Posted by: willie | Jun 16 2019 11:59 utc | 268

@Jen | Jun 16, 2019 7:07:48 AM | 263

This is a working URL: Bonyads: Iran's Greatest Strength against Sanctions. For some reason you or your browser or some gremlin (blame Putin… :-)) adds a closing `/` at the end of the URL you posted.


For the life of me -and I say that after observing Abe Shinzo for ~ 10years– I cannot understand what (and why) he was seeking by doing this mission. This is absolutely not his way of working. Multiple people in the JPN MSM and outside of it were quite surprised as well that he accepted. The Trumpian blackmail with auto tariffs is definitely not enough an explanation.

Posted by: philipe | Jun 16 2019 12:08 utc | 269

b, bold analysis and quite plausible and accurate. Would only add that the past attacks by Yemenis/Houthis into KSA are part of the Iranian response to the US and its allies, the recent attacks to airports and much more to come will create an environment for a deal or die situation but a deal is very much likely. Excellent article as usual.

Posted by: Canthama | Jun 16 2019 14:04 utc | 270

c1ue @249 sez " single scenario which would bring China to the US' side, or more likely a non-veto, in a UN vote for a "peacekeeping" campaign..."

I cannot agree with this. In fact it looks to be the precise opposite of the behavior I would expect from the Chinese. At this point only stupid people do not realize that UN "peacekeeping" at the request of the United States is just a rubber stamp for US/NATO mass destruction and slaughter. While Europeans and Americans are rather dense and keep voting for "peacekeeping" operations that literally always fail and achieve the opposite of their stated goals, the Chinese are not nearly so stupid (or more accurately not so thoroughly brainwashed by corporate mass media into making bad decisions). While the Americans and Europeans have repeatedly demonstrated that they are intellectually damaged enough to actually believe it when someone like Bolton assures them that the bombs will be smart and precise and the destruction limited and the duration of intervention brief - a few weeks at most - people outside of those media markets are no longer so gullible. People outside of those media markets know that any "peacekeeping" operation targeting Iran will result in some massive destruction throughout the region.

The United States would just shrug the consequences of that destruction off and the fracking industry would rejoice at finally being able to make a profit. European austerity would hit new records, but that's OK because they seem to like that sort of thing. Maybe they think it builds character or something. The Chinese, on the other hand, would lose a great deal of their petrochemical resources. That is the opposite of what they want to happen, and they are currently sufficiently grounded in reality (unlike Americans and Europeans) to know that is exactly what a US/NATO "peacekeeping" operation would result in.

No, the Chinese are now fully aware of the fact that America is not a rational actor on the world stage and that America's word and promises have negative value, much like the financial derivatives that the US dollar is largely based upon these days. In other words, literally everyone who trusts America and takes their word will be taken advantage of and will suffer. That's just the nature of late stage empire.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 16 2019 14:36 utc | 271

@William Gruff #271
Perhaps you can explain how China can maintain internal stability if there is significant slowdown or actual shutdown of oil flow from the Persian Gulf?
Remember that while China doesn't agree or like US policies - ultimately they are pragmatists.
An Iran going its own way to shut down to Persian Gulf would hurt China more than anyone else. As little as they would like it, that would be the one reason why they would not veto a UN resolution for "Persian Gulf" peacekeeping.
Of course, in the real world, there are many levels between full peace and a Persian Gulf slowdown/shutdown. I can certainly see how China and Russia would agree to allow Iran to "demonstrate" its Persian Gulf capabilities - that would show the US, more importantly Europe, just how economically vulnerable they might be.
Of course, any analyst can see that there is a world of difference between "demonstrations" vs. the actual will/desire to shut down the Persian Gulf.
Ultimately, Iran will act in its own interests - and Chinese trade with the US or internal Chinese stability is in no way in Iran's interests if Iran gets all of the negative consequences of sanctions/economic warfare and no actual material assistance from its "allies".
The tell is whether China complies with US sanctions. It seems to me that Iran is at the point where they want to see actual results, not talk.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 16 2019 15:53 utc | 272

@272 c1ue... worthwhile conjecture on your part here and on the new thread.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Jun 16 2019 16:53 utc | 273

c1ue @272

1) China isn't at risk from internal instability. There is far more risk of the Chinese population demanding their government go to war with the US to restore petrochemical trade.

2) The Chinese KNOW that a supposed "peacekeeping" mission requested by the US would lead to China's oil imports from the Middle East being curtailed. I am not just talking about Chinese high level government strategists with their supercomputers here, but also about the man in the street. They KNOW that a US/NATO "peacekeeping" operation will shut down their oil supplies. They know this because they know that the "peacekeeping" operation is just a lie to cover American aggression, so the only way to protect their oil supplies is to prevent the fake "peacekeeping" operation from taking place.

3) The Chinese KNOW that they cannot make deals with the US anymore. They KNOW it is just like trying to bargain with a rabid animal at this point, and it has nothing to do with who is president.

There is 0% chance of the Chinese even refraining from vetoing more US aggression in the UNSC, much less supporting it.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 16 2019 17:05 utc | 274

What's next? Israel is so very desperate for the US to war against Iran we can expect a USN ship to be attacked soon. Possibly sunk. Remember the USS Liberty.

Posted by: joetv | Jun 16 2019 19:07 utc | 275

@274 william gruff... i agree with you and thanks for saying all that as well! the jig is up essentially..

Posted by: james | Jun 16 2019 19:19 utc | 276

Just a little tip to all searching for what could be that flying object the crew of the Kokuka Courageous has seen (“…The crew told us something came flying at the ship…”)

Well to remind you, the UAE has meanwhile extensive RAW (Remote Areal Vehicle) capabilities. In addition, the UAE has their own Agenda in the whole game of chicken - a long term quarrel about a few islands in the middle of the gulf. Most might not be aware that Iran is holding a few islands that the UAE is claiming that are theirs (Abu Musa and Greater & Lesser Tomb).

Having that in mind I cannot get off the feeling that the UAE is silently and hidden adding fuel to the fire because they expect that when they play “the devil’s hidden servant” the devil will reward them by forcing the Iranians - sometimes down the road of the conflict - to hand the islands to them (UAE).

Now to the tankers. The UAE has Shiebel CAMCOPTER S-100 and what they can be equipped with can be seen by googling. They come with an option of attaching 2 Hydra rockets. But the Kokuka Courageous crew stated flying objects… and not mini missiles, because they have a clear signature (smoke trail and noise).

So, what the hell could that “flying object” be…. ?

May I draw your attention to the not very much known Gliding Bomb/UAV bomb NAMROD - developed by the UAE company ADCOM Systems. This is in fact a remote controlled, un-propelled, UAV glider where you can pack a low cost standard artillery shell inside.
There are only very few pictures of this device on the internet (I can count them on one hand). Here is one.


This gliding vehicle might have an L/D ratio (gliding factor) of approx 6-8. Taken the middle of 7 means from a height of 6+ km it can fly (glide) up to approx 45 km far.
Now… how can it be delivered? Well, maybe with some of the same UAE company’s UAVs such as Yaboon-R or even the Yaboon United 40. (Easy to Google)

Well… I have to make clear… this are only speculations!! But a few things make me suspicious.

Posted by: Desertfox | Jun 16 2019 19:48 utc | 277

Desert Fox, you really screwed the pooch with your super long unformatted link. I think it’s a new record : font on my ipad is less than 1mm tall. Flies take bigger shits. I guess I’ll read MOA some other day.

Posted by: Featherless | Jun 17 2019 4:28 utc | 278

Ohh, I am very sorry. I never use my phone or reading blogs so I was not aware of this.
Anyhow, maybe admin can replace it with this link:

Posted by: Desertfox | Jun 17 2019 5:56 utc | 279

@William Gruff #274
You still are not answering the point I raised: That Iran's interests to spur China into a more direct confrontation is not in any way necessarily what China wants to do. Nor is Iran's suffering something which China would be that terribly concerned about so long as its own interests are met.
Threats to Persian Gulf exports affect China the most; unless there is some proof that China can withstand such an interruption better than Europe or the US, then the threat of a Persian Gulf "interruption" or "slowdown" is something China needs to take seriously.
Thus the situation is much less simple than you assume - it isn't just about US vs. Russia, China and Iran.
The US wants Iran to knuckle under; China and Russia don't want that but ultimately doesn't actually care how much Iran suffers.
Iran wants sanctions to end. They know they can't trust the US, but neither have the Europeans or Chinese pushed back hard against US sanctions. Europe would be affected by a Persian Gulf situation but Russia is poised to take advantage. China, on the other hand, is much less able to compensate because it imports so much more.

Secondly, you are extremely ignorant about China's population.
There is a reason why the Great Firewall of China exists: the people are young, naive and have very little institutional wisdom or knowledge.
The CCP knows this very well - what happened in 1989 at TianAnMen is just one example.
The implicit bargain in China is ongoing economic growth in exchange for domestic tranquillity. No growth = much less tolerance for the existing government.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 17 2019 6:03 utc | 280

c1ue @280

Your failure to comprehend is astonishing. As for my being "extremely ignorant about China's population", I have lived there.

I am not talking about "10-Cities-In-5-Days!" package tours or business trips, but actually living there and having Chinese coworkers and friends.

You? Obviously not.

Once again (read slowly this time): The Chinese know that "peacekeeping" operations are just cover for American wars of aggression.
Furthermore they know these wars of aggression will negatively impact their oil imports from the region.
The Chinese will not sign off on that.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 17 2019 11:11 utc | 281

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