Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 22, 2019

As Trump Wants To Avoid A Shooting War, Iran Will Use Other Means To Pressure Him

Iran will continue to put Trump under pressure. As he wants to avoid a war that would hurt his re-election chances, Iran will use other means to pressure him.

The discussion about Trump's decision not to 'retaliate' for the shoot down of a U.S. drone by Iran is still dominating U.S. media. The accounts of the various 'sources' contradict each other. Most likely Trump saw the trap of an ever escalating military conflict and did not fell for it. The Pentagon prepared a strike plan as it always does, but Trump never approved its execution.

One new detail about the White House discussion emerged in a New York Times story on the issue. The Pentagon and the White House are not sure where the Global Hawk drone came down. They do not trust that the U.S. Central Command is telling them the whole truth:

On Friday night, the Pentagon confirmed the presence of a second surveillance aircraft, a Navy P-8A Poseidon, which officials said took photographs of the drone being shot down. But a senior Trump administration official said there was concern inside the United States government about whether the drone, or another American surveillance aircraft, or even the P-8A manned aircraft flown by a military aircrew, actually did violate Iranian airspace at some point. The official said the doubt was one of the reasons Mr. Trump called off the strike.

An earlier version of the same NYT story, quoted here, included this:

The delay by United States Central Command in publicly releasing GPS coordinates of the drone when it was shot down — hours after Iran did — and errors in the labeling of the drone’s flight path when the imagery was released, contributed to that doubt, officials said.

A lack of provable “hard evidence” about the location of the drone when it was hit, a defense official said, put the administration in an isolated position at what could easily end up being the start of yet another war with a Middle East adversary — this one with a proven ability to strike back.

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif added to the doubt when he gave the exact point where the drone was targeted:

Javad Zarif @JZarif - 18:20 utc · 20 Jun 2019

At 00:14 US drone took off from UAE in stealth mode & violated Iranian airspace. It was targeted at 04:05 at the coordinates (25°59'43"N 57°02'25"E) near Kouh-e Mobarak.

We've retrieved sections of the US military drone in OUR territorial waters where it was shot down.

Shortly before Zarif posted the above, the Iranian Fars news agency distributed a video from the shoot down and an hour later a video that showed the flight path of the U.S. drone. Yesterday Iran retrieved debris of the drone and distributed photos of it. Experts said that the material is genuine.

Today Javiad Zarif posted an even more detailed flight path of the drone:

Javad Zarif @JZarif - 14:01 utc - 22 Jun 2019

For more visual detail on the path, location, and point of impact of the U.S. military drone Iran shot down on Thursday, and of the waters over which it was flying, see these maps and coordinates.

There can be no doubt about where the vessel was when it was brought down.

LEGEND: blue=drone; yellow line=Iranian FIR; red line=Iranian territorial waters; green line=baseline internal waters; yellow dots=Iran radio warnings sent; red dot=point of impact.

(FIR is the Flight Information Region)

He attached seven pictures:







The data those maps show is consistent with the flight path video provide two days ago.

Zarif added another map that that makes a good point.

Javad Zarif @JZarif - 2:18 utc - 22 Jun 2019

One last visual: Red dot is the impact point of the trespassing drone against the border of Iran; and the border of the United States.


The distance between Palmdale in California, where the Global Hawk drone was built, and the port Bandar Abbas at the Strait of Hormuz is 13,134 kilometer or 8,161 miles.  With that in mind it seems a bit ridiculous to discuss if the U.S. drone was a mile outside or a mile inside of Iran's national airspace.

The U.S. is waging a total economic war on Iran. It blocked Iran's exports of oil, steel, aluminum, copper and petroleum products. It is hindering imports into Iran by blocking its bank connections. All this has extremely harsh effects on Iran's population:

I live on 30 Tir Street in southern Tehran, the beating heart of the city. The labyrinthine Tehran bazaar is a short walk away. There are government ministries, libraries, churches, a functioning synagogue and a Zoroastrian high school nearby.

This is the Tehran that would draw visitors, but there are few. The devastating impact of American sanctions is everywhere: The stores are often empty; the restaurants, mostly deserted. On the adjacent Hafez Avenue, a deafening silence pervades the shopping complex specializing in selling mobile phones.

One of the few stores on 30 Tir Street that still attracts customers is run by Abbasi, a retired army officer who repairs household gadgets — people cannot afford to buy new stuff. “Well, isn’t this already war?” he asked, without much rancor. It’s a question many Iranians ask themselves these days.

Trump's non-reaction to the Iranian downing of the U.S. drone provides that his administration does not want to fight a war by military means against Iran. At least not yet. It is happy to have Iran sanctioned into an economic downward spiral. The thinking is that sanctions will over time make Iran much weaker. They will make a future attempt of regime change, by war or other means, much easier.

For several years Iran's neighbor Iraq was under a similar harsh sanction regime. 500,000 Iraqi children died and the then U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said that it was worth it (vid). Iran has seen and knows what sanctions can do over time and recognizes that it has to fight against them early and by all possible means.

Iran will fight this war against its economic strangulation as best as it can. The U.S. outspends Iran on military issues by a factor bigger than 100 to 1. Iran can not attack the U.S. It has to fight this war by asymmetric means.

A third of the global oil production must flow through the Strait of Hormuz to reach its customers. Iran can easily hold the global economy at risk. It can close the Straits or impede traffic through it. It can sabotage or destroy the oil production capabilities of the hostile Arab producers nearby.

Iran is now using these means to build up pressure on Trump. He is not willing to go to war? Well, how does he like an oil price way north of $100 per barrel?

Next week we will likely see more clandestine attacks on tankers, on loading ports in Arab Gulf countries or on their coastal oil fields. Iran will deny to have caused those. But the message is clear: If Iran can not export oil, no other country in the Gulf region will be able to export oil.

Trump can either lift the sanctions on Iran or wage a war by military means against it and bear the consequences. He has no other choice.

Trump is offering talks and negotiations. But Iran will not (again) fall into that trap. The U.S. has shown that it is, as the Russians say, 'non-agreement-capable'.

Iran will steadily increase its pressure on Trump by going against bigger and more important targets. There will be more tanker and other incidents with less time between them.

The sanctions are biting Iran. To lay down and play dead is not an option. Iran has no other choice than to fight back. Fast and by all possible means.

Posted by b on June 22, 2019 at 17:48 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Trump thanks Iran for not shooting down the U.S. P-8 spy plane that flew next to the drone:

Current press pool report on Trump:

asked about casualties from a potential strike, he said, "Anything is a lot when they shoot down an unmanned" vehicle.

"There was a plane with 38 people yesterday, did you see that? I think that's a big story. They had it in their sights and they didn't shoot it down. I think they were very wise not to do that. And we appreciate that they didn't do that. I think that was a very wise decision."

Posted by: b | Jun 22 2019 18:15 utc | 1


So much for the "thanks"

Trump says US moving forward with ‘additional sanctions’ on Iran

US President Donald Trump has said that “additional sanctions” against Iran are aimed at stopping the country from developing a nuclear bomb, but warned that military actions against Tehran remains on the table.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 22 2019 18:28 utc | 2

And of course, the U.S. regime is just going to put more sanctions on Iran. What I would like to know is which countries will not abide by the sanctions war, and how do they trade with Iran? Does China and Russia have their own a cryptocurrency way of helping Iran through the sanction war?

Posted by: SharonM | Jun 22 2019 18:30 utc | 3

"Iran will steadily increase its pressure on Trump by going against bigger and more important targets. There will be more tanker and other incidents with less time between them."

I don't believe for a second that Iran had anything to do with the tanker incidents--there needs to be proof. That's just common sense for everyone following these stories;)

Posted by: SharonM | Jun 22 2019 18:36 utc | 4

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 22, 2019 2:28:00 PM | 3

I guess this is "Press Speak".

“additional sanctions” against Iran are aimed at stopping the country from developing a nuclear bomb,

would not include oil sales, I suppose.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 22 2019 18:36 utc | 5

The Pentagon lied in 1988, claiming that the Vincennes was in international waters when it shot down the Iranian Airbus. It later came out that it was in Iranian waters.

Posted by: lysias | Jun 22 2019 18:38 utc | 6

Here is an article that looks at what Donald Trump had to say about America's flawed foreign policy before he was elected:

His recent moves in Iran are only creating a geopolitical environment in the Middle East that he promised to end.

Posted by: Sally Snyder | Jun 22 2019 18:40 utc | 7

This here is Iran's reading of what Trump said

US President Donald Trump has said that he would be Iran's "best friend" and that the Islamic republic could be a "wealthy" country if it stopped pursuing nuclear weapons. Iran’s leadership has repeatedly expressed their firm opposition to the development and use of nuclear weapons.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 22 2019 18:41 utc | 8

Someone said that China is buying Iranian oil via Russia as third party. If that is correct, Russia, being a victim of US NATO sanctions itself, can trade with Iran without further repercussions.

Perhaps China could ignore the sanctions at this point.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jun 22 2019 18:44 utc | 9

Given the recent SCO and SPIEF meetings, there seems to be a bit of movement: Russia has said it will step up if the Europeans don't. We can probably fully expect that Russia will step up.

Posted by: m | Jun 22 2019 18:45 utc | 10

thanks b... what i find especially interesting is the response, or lack of response from the rest of the world as this moves forward... if the un was an actual legit venue, they would be addressing the financial sanctions... if any of the europeans, canucks, or australians were legit, they would also be addressing it.. but instead there is a huge amount of silence as we move towards this war, which we are already in the early stages of... financial sanctions are against humanity, as are wars.. they are the first obvious step towards an outright war.. we are seeing the next steps here...

do we have to wait for someone with some sanity to step forward and address it? we will not be doing anyone a favour focusing on what trump and the usa are, or aren't doing at this point.. it is obvious what they are doing...

at what point do russia, china and a number of other countries step in and state in unequivocal terms what exactly is going on here and how they are not willing to support or condone it? i would have thought europe and the corporations going along with this boycott would have found a way to circumvent this by now.. but they seem completely hopeless... i wasn't expecting anything different from the uk, canada, australia and etc... they are all a pathetic group of sycophants at this point..

Posted by: james | Jun 22 2019 18:46 utc | 11

@10 fastfreddy.. i think it was harry, or harry law that shared that bit on the previous thread... at some point china is going to have to respond..

Posted by: james | Jun 22 2019 18:47 utc | 12

b, just a guess on my behalf, but I'll bet we will see something favorable to Iran to show respect for their measured response to the alleged violation of their air space. Look for something positive such as oil waivers.

And just so folks know, the Iranian deal was never ratified. A deal of such significant importance to all parties involved must be transparent and be voted on by congress.

Appreciate the fact Obama and team did not do this. The JCPOA was an agreement with a party of one - Obama. That is not how the U.S. government functions on such a huge policy deal. And I doubt Iran was not aware of this pesky little fact.

Blame and beat up Trump all you want, but at least show some respect for the laws that govern such treaties/deals in the United States.

Just an fyi for those who are talking about the U.S. summit in Israel w/Russia this week, that was announced nearly a month ago and has everything to do with the Palestinian plan the Trump administration is lobbying on. And yes, Russia will/is likely playing a significant role in all of this as they should.

Posted by: h | Jun 22 2019 18:50 utc | 13

@fastfreddy #10
Russian oil isn't sanctioned - but if Russia is helping launder oil sales to Iran, that could easily change.

Furthermore we're not talking about Rochefort cheeses that "originate" from Belarus. China was buying in the order of 1 million barrels per day from Iran - that's a full supertanker every 2 days, and a $100M+ transfer tanker.

2 million barrels is a bit under half of India's entire national oil consumption per day - and India is the 4th largest consumer of oil in the world.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 22 2019 18:52 utc | 14

David Goldberg's correct predictions about a staged false flag war with Iran:

Tragically, David recently passed away after also predicting his death after receiving multiple threats related to his youtOOb video channel posts.

Posted by: Jack Planter | Jun 22 2019 18:54 utc | 15

A little off topic but I am intrigued that at two points the indicated track of the drone loops back on itself. Did it find something of interest? Or go into a holding pattern while the p8 caught up?
Incidentally the p8 and naval drones often patrol together in pairs. I assume to enhance synthetic aperture radar.

Posted by: David Goodrich | Jun 22 2019 18:54 utc | 16


I think everything is possible now by Trump, also, not sure if this been posted yet, but this was also reported today:

US Launches Secret Cyberattack Iran - report

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 22 2019 18:56 utc | 17

The Philadelphia refinery fire will likely result in the facility's closure as its owners don't have the capital to make proper repairs. The closure will have a drastic affect on the region's gasoline and jet fuel supplies. Cutbacks on maintenance budget caused the explosion, not sabotage.

The Houthis remain quiet. I suspect they await targeting directions.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 22 2019 19:00 utc | 18

Time is the essence in this power game and it looks to be on the Iranian side, both short and long term.

To counter the US ambiguously defined goal, behavior change vs regime change, and hastily conceived "maximum pressure" tactic, I believe Iran has brought forward a two-prong medium-term approach. (1) Diplomatic high pressure will be put on the ones claiming to defend the nuclear agreement. This will be done through timely phases extending to maximum one year when at the end Iran will be level with, but likely ahead of, the pre-JCPOA period. (2) Overwhelming response against any military attack by any belligerent. The goal here is to get the political pressure cooking for the main protagonist in one year time frame.

Posted by: ATH | Jun 22 2019 19:02 utc | 19

@14 "h"

There is no reason to believe that Trump has "some respect for the laws..."--any laws. Don't forget that Trump ordered the murder of people in Syria for entertainment whenever you make the error of thinking Trump is anything other than a sociopathic conman;)

Posted by: SharonM | Jun 22 2019 19:04 utc | 20

The discussion here about how a pattern of tit-for-tat escalation might lead to war with Iran might be overlooking one frightening scenario: Once a pretext has been concocted for a" strike" presumably against Iranian nuclear development, that strike might consist of a tactical nuke bunker buster. The geniuses from the Pentagon and the Las Vegas White House have been sending signals about that for a long time. The current nuclear posture seems to regard going nuclear as a way "of restoring stability." That of course would be the preferred gangster stability of" unilaterally assured destruction".
How would one suppose any escalation to commence from that starting point? From the gangster point of view one might expect capitulation. How would or could it play out?

Posted by: NOBTS | Jun 22 2019 19:08 utc | 21


That's right. Trump has been, and continues to be, in the business of manipulating laws to his own benefit. He has no respect for laws.

For example, bankruptcy laws beneficial to Trump have been repeatedly exploited.

And he proudly boasts that he is exceedingly smart to use such laws to his benefit.

He is genuine in one thing, and that is his total lack of regard for others.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jun 22 2019 19:15 utc | 22

Turkey almost started WW3 by shooting down a Russian jet which got close to its air space. A set up that could only have happened if the US provided accurate coordinates for interception. US ships shoots anything that blocks their path. IN THIS SAME AREA.. Killing dozens of fishermen.. Shoots an Iranian passenger jet that flies regular routes inside Iranian airspace..

Any discussion of Iran's right.. Should precede with, other nations regularly shoot down military or spy planes in its air space or even looks like it would violate it including the US. You only need the resolve to shoot down a terrorists assets for payback..

Posted by: Igor Bundy | Jun 22 2019 19:18 utc | 23

If the US goes nuclear, that means there is nothing to hold anyone back at all.. It would be the last act of a dying country. Because the escalation would be so huge that strategic nukes would have to be used soon after.. And the US still wont win and would never ever return to the middle east.

Posted by: Igor Bundy | Jun 22 2019 19:21 utc | 24

This means the aircew on the P-8A were being used as bait.

Posted by: thecelticwithinme | Jun 22 2019 19:26 utc | 25

I think the analysis here is excellent but I would take it a step further.

The Iranians already have nuclear weapons. That's why we are so frantic to shut them down. It's why we evacuated Baghdad personal. A ground to ground missile from Iran to Israel has it peak in arc above Baghdad. It's at that peak point that it is easiest to shoot down. It's that nuclear debris we are afraid of.

Nuclear pollution is a military doctrine, and nothing is more suited to ending nuclear and biological production than making a production site radioactive, so an enemy state will not attempt a rebuild. Imagine Carthage but instead of sowing salt, its radioactivity.

The US is even developing a low-yield ballistic missile which some fear is a move towards using nukes in future wars.
The new weapon - the W76-2 - is a modification of the existing Trident warhead but with a much smaller blast range.
The thinking is that, as the smaller W76-2 is likely to less devastating consequences, it is more likely to be used in anger.
The White House has insisted the precision 'low-field' nukes will be a true deterrent, however.

Tactical nuclear deployment is cost effective. A conventional war costs America one trillion dollars, but a select nuclear salvo costs an enemy a trillion dollars while America gains victory for a few million dollars. A nuclear pock mark polluting an enemy state is a global reminder to not play with nuclear weapons.

Trump is heading in that direction. Doesn't have a choice if they already have nucs and I bet they do.

Posted by: NicoleGuzman20505 | Jun 22 2019 19:27 utc | 26

Bear in mind that another organized crime minor apparatchik in the White House introduced America's demand for global dominance by showing a willingness to drop the big one.

Posted by: NOBTS | Jun 22 2019 19:27 utc | 27

On the map put out by the pentagon, they have the red line showing territorial waters (looks the same as Zarif's) plus another black line that straightens out the lumps and bumps and they list this as 'Iranian claimed waters".
Where the drone was shot down is where the black line runs inside the red line on the pentagon map.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 22 2019 19:38 utc | 28

So you think the use of a tactical nuke in Iran would require the same response as the full out attack on Russia and/or China? Probably not. If Iran were to respond with attacks on US bases in the region or on Saudi/Emerati etc. They'd receive other tactical nukes; it's the gangster way don't you know? What would the "sane world" do about it?

Posted by: NOBTS | Jun 22 2019 19:43 utc | 29

i wouldn't blame trump for being the only one who disrespects laws, or international law.. this is a regular feature of usa action on the world stage... so, it is a bit laughable, those who talk about here is how the law works and blah, blah, blahd.. since when has the usa ever given a rats ass about laws and maintaining the integrity of them?? no... rules are for suckers according to the exceptional nation...

if there ever was a law to address the inequalities and hostilities expressed towards others on this planet, there would be a law against financial sanctions as a lead up to a war.. and, of course there would be a law against wars.. there isn't.. usa is fully intent on going to war with iran, in spite of all the positive thoughts to the contrary... it really is that obvious..

Posted by: james | Jun 22 2019 19:46 utc | 30

Others in this thread and previously here as well as I have already pointed it out but since there is still time I will repeat it.

NYT and others like them are part of a nasty brew when they pretend to be "reasonable" or "fair".

One easy explanation for such "kindness" of theirs is for them to have much more effect and larger impact when they "suddenly" in feigned shock and horror completely flip sides due to some alleged incident and start braying for blood and war louder than they ever have before.

A false flag where the US does everything in its power to fool everybody into thinking Iran has used a nuclear weapon could easily be the scenario.

Contrast that with the following reasoning about what Iran is doing.

Iran has by shooting down the drone shown that any military action against them will be very costly and unlikely to succeed unless it uses extreme measures like nuclear weapons. At face value they have successfully mitigated the "ordinary" threats of violence against them and they have done so without being belligerent.

If Iran (as b proposes) increases or forces the situation into violence then this achievement becomes void by their own actions.

Why wouldn't they instead continue to work to mitigate and render meaningless the unilateral US sanctions as they already do? It would be a far superior outcome and any risky belligerent actions such as attacking third parties would only make it more difficult for Iran.

Iran is capable of surviving while having nothing at all to do with the US as long as it can trade with most of the rest of the world or at least its immediate neighbors (which includes the south-east of the European part of Russia to the north across a little bit of water) and without a reliance upon the US dollar. What I'm saying is that it's a problem that Iran already knows is solvable without violent antics and a problem which Iran has already been working at in a peaceful manner.

In my opinion there's not only a need for proof but a need for extraordinary good levels of proof to say otherwise, not extraordinarily untrustworthy levels of proof which is all we've got so far.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 22 2019 19:48 utc | 31

@28 nobody quote "Eventually if enough tankers get attacked, the entire world will unite against Iran." i agree with you.. instead of addressing the financial sanctions, the world will passively address this.. well, the usa-israel-ksa config will be anything but passive in addressing it, but the rest of the world continues to sleep towards where we are headed here..

Posted by: james | Jun 22 2019 19:49 utc | 32


If your comment reply to mine, you didn't read it correctly. It doen't look like you have a good read on the situation either.

Iran's short-term approach will be based on responding to ATTACKS overwhelmingly not to attack first though. In such a condition it's difficult to see US uniting others under its leadership. The main pressure cooker is not military but diplomatic.

Posted by: ATH | Jun 22 2019 19:52 utc | 33

That last map by Zarif says it all: why are we there?? We now pump out more oil than we consume. Why should American soldiers die 7,000 miles from home? Even worse, why are we risking possible nuclear war if things spiral out of control? ( Just one scenario: we bomb them, killing many; they fire missiles at our ships or bases; Americans die, Russian technicians die; soon Israelis and Hezbolah fighters die; the dogs of war are unleashed.) Who the heck “cui bono’s“ here?

We can leave the easy way: end sanctions and pull out and try to normalize relations. Or we can leave the hard way. For what?

Posted by: Paul b | Jun 22 2019 19:54 utc | 34

@h #10
You write as if the JCPOA was a bilateral deal between the US and Iran: it wasn't. There were many European parties to the deal, which theoretically survived the US's abrogation. If the US President isn't really in charge of foreign policy then Congress should have called him on it at the time. The rest of the world can't be responsible for your dysfunctional political system

Posted by: No Pasaran | Jun 22 2019 19:55 utc | 35

"Guzman" from Tel Aviv Jun 22, 2019 3:27:14 PM | 26

"The Iranians already have nuclear weapons"

You are triggered not by Irans fictional nukes, but by its cruise missiles that can potentially deliver nukes. 2500 km range cruise missiles plus nukes is a deadly combination and it spells the end of US and israeli military hegemony. They can be fired by commercial vessels, btw. Or from shipping containers placed almost everywhere. This is the real reason JCPOA was terminated. You don't want Iran to have ballistic and cruise missiles, although they are fully legal under international law.

I have a name for the the cruise missile plus nukes combo - it is called multipolarity. Deal with it. You won't rule the world anymore.

"Tactical nuclear deployment is cost effective. A conventional war costs America one trillion dollars, but a select nuclear salvo costs an enemy a trillion dollars while America gains victory for a few million dollars. A nuclear pock mark polluting an enemy state is a global reminder to not play with nuclear weapons."

It is increadible stupidity that only a desperate, psychopathic brain could think of.

Using nukes to destroy countries around will simply cause everybody to get nukes. Which will be the end of the US led (dis)order.

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 22 2019 19:57 utc | 36

is this actually happening?

Posted by: Tom | Jun 22 2019 20:02 utc | 37

Nicole 26

If Iran already has nuclear weapons there is only one option, that is to negotiate with it on equal terms, setting up a security framework and regional political agreement that is stable and works.

There are many who would not take that option because it runs counter to their own position and narrative. However anything else than the first is not really an option, it is only a choice.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 22 2019 20:02 utc | 38

Iran's plan of action should be civil disobedience on a global scale.
Iran should just fill up those Chinese tankers, and send them off. What's the US going to do -- stop or attack a Chinese vessel? In Iranian waters? In international waters? Iran should proceed as if there are no sanctions. Force 'the first shot' to necessarily be a US one. The US will think twice. It will be shown to be what it has become -- a paper tiger.

Posted by: bjd | Jun 22 2019 20:03 utc | 39

@h #14. Your point is well taken, though it is overlooked by most observers. The nuclear deal was never ratified by the U.S. Senate and, thus, did not rise to the level of a binding treaty according to the United States Constitution. The reason for this was that such a treaty would surely have been rejected by the Republican controlled Senate, so the Obama administration did not even submit it for a ratification vote. But anyone thinking that this means that the U.S.can be trusted to honor its treaty obligations should think again. It was not long ago that it withdrew from the ABM treaty.

Posted by: Rob | Jun 22 2019 20:12 utc | 40

It shouldn't be too hard to find the person who authorized the drone to take a right turn into Iranian airspace. How about pulling him/her out in front of the cameras Donald?

Posted by: dh | Jun 22 2019 20:12 utc | 41

The follow on to Trump's NPR is "Nuclear Operations 11 June 2019"

This about sums it up.
"d. The spectrum of nuclear warfare may range from tactical application, to limited
regional use, to global employment by friendly forces and/or enemies. The use of a nuclear
weapon in support of even tactical operations requires detailed planning at all levels.
Whatever the scenario for employment of nuclear weapons, planning and operations must
not assume use in isolation but must plan for strike integration into the overall scheme of
e. Employment of nuclear weapons can radically alter or accelerate the course of a
campaign. A nuclear weapon could be brought into the campaign as a result of perceived
failure in a conventional campaign, potential loss of control or regime, or to escalate the
conflict to sue for peace on more-favorable terms...."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 22 2019 20:21 utc | 42

“Iran will continue to put Trump under pressure. As he wants to avoid a war that would hurt his re-election chances, Iran will use other means to pressure him.“

Did you mean “...Israel will use other means to pressure him?”
For the sake of the Yonin Plan.

Iran wants war? They just want sanctions lifted which is why the attack on the Japanese bound oil tanker while the Japanese PM was meeting in Iran is f**king ludicrous. A narrative for the minds of children.

Posted by: Chuck | Jun 22 2019 20:28 utc | 43

SharonM @5

I don't believe for a second that Iran had anything to do with the tanker incidents--there needs to be proof. That's just common sense for everyone following these stories;)

Agreed. Such a claim is extraordinary, and requires very solid proof to be believable, since it goes against all logic of Iran's interest.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jun 22 2019 20:35 utc | 44

Isn't this the first time a POTUS does not find it beneficial to go to war during elections? Tel Aviv and Washington has always loved it before so why not now?

EJ Magnier wrote:
"Iran is offering only two choices to the US President: end the embargo on Iranian oil or go to war."

Iran is putting itself in a corner doing that and simultaneously playing according to NWO/Illuminati plans who need WWIII to brake out because humanity is experiencing its second Renaissance; that of the masses. The antithesis to the NWO are still clueless over 7.5 years after the US started to fish for WWIII...

Posted by: rockwool | Jun 22 2019 20:35 utc | 45

@nobody #28. Only in the fever dreams of neocon warmongers does a shooting war with Iran seem like good idea. Even if Iran is totally demolished, the damage to the world’s economy will be massive and long-lasting. Oil production and transportation will be severely impacted for years to come. The ripple effects will leave very few nations and their peoples unscathed. In the meantime, squads of terrorists will be seeking revenge on the U.S. and it’s allies 24/7. One can expect numerous 9/11s. Surveillance and persecution of innocent people will rise far beyond their already absurd levels.

All of the above should bring reasonable people to understand why Iran can take risks in retaliating against economic sanctions designed to strangle their economy and starve their citizens. No sane person should want this war.

Posted by: Rob | Jun 22 2019 20:39 utc | 46

To deploy a nuclear weapon of whatever size against Iran the US would have to bring it into range of Iran. Where might be the closest US base that could accomplish that?
My reasoning is that the movement of the nuclear weapons would be tracked by Russia and Russia might just arrange an accident at said base.
And if said nukes are already at said base, then Russia already has the coordinates. I believe Russia is clever enough to arrange an accident that would not track back to them IMO.
The world's future appears to be in the hands of Russia, looks like Edgar Casey was on to something:)

Posted by: frances | Jun 22 2019 20:43 utc | 47

I have to disagree with some of the conclusions. The tanker war in the '80's was far more severe and hardly made a dent in oil prices. If Iran attempts anything similar it will lose on a grand scale as the whole world will demand it be punished harshly. Who gains from higher oil prices? All of its enemies. There are enough strategic reserves around the world to soften the blow and reopen tanker traffic.

Trumps non response only proves that Trump appears to me to be holding back another large conflict. He has opposed large deployments and pulled his finger off the trigger. It appears to me that many in his orbit want to hit Iran hard which would definitely lead to escalation. The Pentagon is being held back for positioning larger forces in the region to protect their partners.

Trump can either lift the sanctions on Iran or wage a war by military means against it and bear the consequences. He has no other choice.

He has other choices, do nothing, strike small installations, keep asking for talks and look like the sane person in the room, he can ignore these small incidents, or he can speedily or slowly wreck Iran's coastal installations and its navy. He has a whole host of options, right now he appears to me, love him or hate him, to be playing a great hand.

Iran has few options, they know talks with the US will go nowhere but in public that is a bad position. Talking with the US would make them look more reasonable in the worlds eyes, even thought no agreement is possible. Hitting US ships with missiles and killing sailors would lead to massive escalation. The US does not need to have surface vessels in the Gulf to wreck Iran but they can leave them there as target of opportunity for escalation. A trickle style shooting war against oil infrastructure does nothing but make contractors richer. Iran is getting the blame for a trickle war against tankers and oil infrastructure and they are painted as the villain.

Whatever move Iran makes or even does not make they are going to be painted as the troublemaker in the yellow press. Nobody has proven who is behind these trickle attacks in the Gulf. It all come down to the yellow press in the West and who draws large amounts of blood first.

This is a long road and we are still in the early stages. When massive deployments come then look out. I have noticed an increasing in military traffic in my area so I would not doubt that they are repositioning items for use toward that region.

Posted by: dltravers | Jun 22 2019 20:44 utc | 48

If China and India continue to refuse to purchase Iran oil, after being faced with the possibility of a stoppage from the Gulf, Iran should consider the option of mining the Strait. They have the capability to sow mines from many small boats. It was done thirty years ago with good effect, it could be done again. It would be implementing the Iran position: If we can't export oil from the Gulf, then others will not be permitted to. Iran is in an ideal geographical position to do this, and it ought to be done in view of US crippling sanctions. The US Navy is especially weak at mine-sweeping, and at last count had only two antiquated minesweepers in the area.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 20:45 utc | 49

When following Iran's technological development, one thing I have noticed is how closely it parallels North Korea's, with North Korea usually (but not always) being ahead by a year or two. I believe North Korea first tested a nuclear weapon in 2006. With Iran next on the Axis of Evil Hitlist, following Iraq, I can't imagine they didn't pursue a nuclear weapon themselves with all due haste, acquiring the technology 2008-2009.

Being under a different set of geopolitical conditions than North Korea, they wouldn't have tested nor revealed their acquisition of The Bomb, instead working quietly to build a few dozen while developing reliable delivery means including ballistic missiles with MIRV capabilities. By the time of the JCPOA they would have built what they needed, therefore enabling them to shut the program down as part of the JCPOA agreement.

Posted by: Haasaan | Jun 22 2019 20:51 utc | 50

"To lay down and play dead"

That should read "to LIE down and play dead."
Intransitive verb "lie" needed.
Cf. liegen (intrans.) vs. legen (trans).

Posted by: Really? | Jun 22 2019 20:52 utc | 51

Rob @47

No sane person should want this war.

Sure, but Bolton and Pompeo do not belong to that category.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jun 22 2019 20:54 utc | 52


This is again an erroneous read of the situation. The main channel for the battle of the wills is the politico-diplomatic one and not military. Iran commanders have clearly stated that their attack will be overwhelming but retaliatory only. There is no way the US will risk going to war without allies and there is no way allies will accept participating, under US leadership, without real casus belli. The diplomatic channel is a pressure-cooker against the US side and plays in favor of Iran in middle-term (2 to 5 years). There is no long-term solution to the "Iran problem" from US interests perspective, since Iran, although having the upper dynamic in the region, is not a competitor with the US, at a minimum because they are not in the same league. But China and Russia are real competitors … and emerging.

Posted by: ATH | Jun 22 2019 20:58 utc | 53

While I think Iran is quite capable of arranging incidents to discomfort their enemies, they don't really have to, they can just wait, as they just did, and their enemies will provide them.

One suspects that the Houthis improved capabilities has Iran or it's minions behind it to some extent. They appear to be conquering some parts of SW Saudi Barbaria, and threatening Saudi and UAE infrastructure at just the wrong time of the year. That part of Saudistan has a large Shi'ia population IIRC. They may get local support ...

The war in Yemen has a great potential to add to the oil crunch, if things get froggy in Iran, too. Bab al Mandeb is another strait where a lot of oil passes by. That's what the war with the Houthis is about, among other things, that strait.

The first four tanker attacks in which the ships were disabled might have had IRGC behind it, given the care not to harm any persons, which was less evident in the recent attacks on Japanese ships. One suspects the incidents in Iraq may have Iranian acquiescence at least behind them too. But I suspect they will be very careful about plausible deniability from now on. They have Trump right where they want him and they won't risk wasting such a gift.

Trump and his minions and Uncle Sugar seem to be thrashing around trying to figure out what to do, not getting much traction, not having the story straight, so we get these little sallies in one direction or another, looking for a threat that might be useful.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 22 2019 21:01 utc | 54

The New York Times said that Donald Trump changed his mind about retaliation against Iran when Gina Skirpal, the director of the CIA, showed him photos of dead ducks on the Persian Gulf. He realised that his warships are sitting ducks for Iranian retaliation. Trump would rather play golf than welcome US seaman back to Washington in bodybags.

Trump does not care about 130 Iranian lives. His sanctions have already killed far more people than that. But he does care about American lives.

Posted by: Ron McKenzie | Jun 22 2019 21:12 utc | 55

Did Erdogan's Turkish government shoot down the Russian plane, or was it the Turkish Air Force that was about to launch a coup attempt on behalf of the U.S., a coup attempt in which Erdogan himself was nearly shot down?

Posted by: lysias | Jun 22 2019 21:12 utc | 56

Has Iran done it again?
Is the US being targeted directly now?

Posted by: helen | Jun 22 2019 21:13 utc | 57

Travers 49.

The tanker war of the 80s did little to interrupt supply. If you look at global supply chart the biggest dip was Iran going offline during the war with Iraq. Global supply dipped around 4% then , prices doubled (search oil shock '79). Here we are talking ten or twenty percent going offline possibly, it would have a hard effect, and globally.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 22 2019 21:14 utc | 58

President Hassan Rouhani says Iran has reached self-sufficiency in all areas. I dont know if its true , but if so they are well positioned to withstand sanctions, much as Russia is, and unlike Venezuela and China (free of sanctions).

I really don't get why Iran would need to pressure the US at the risk of a war. Sure, the economy takes a hit as measured by discredited GDP, but Iran creates its own money and has low foreign debt. The elites might suffer but Iran is well positioned to take care of its population even with sanctions.

The hypothesis that Iran is backed into a corner and must engage in risky behavior to pressure the US does not pass the smell test.

One thing Trump is known for. The hand he shows is often a fake. He likes to get people thinking he is going to do one thing while doing another. But not always. As such he is unpredictable and what he says should be discounted

Couple things thats unchanged. He is Israels sock puppet and has surrounded himself with Israeli backed war hawks. He rules one of the dumbest populations on the planet and his opposition looks like they want to run Biden and his Ukrainian baggage at him. Indeed, whoever they run they have completely discredited themselves over Russia Gate and this Green New Deal Fraud. Basically, his opposition has conceded 2020.

He can do anything he wants and get elected short of crashing the fake economy figures which hide the actual recession from the clueless population. Might not be around to see how it turns out, stage 4 is a real “b”, but that may be a blessing.

Posted by: Pft | Jun 22 2019 21:14 utc | 59

ATH 54 "There is no way the US will risk going to war without allies"

There is quite a bit about this in various papers the US has put out. I think it was mentioned in the US 'National Strategic Strategy Dec 2017'. The bottom line is - the US will go to war without allies.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 22 2019 21:15 utc | 60

lysias @57: Excellent question, how soon we forget. IIRC Russia warned Erdogan about the coup, which precipitated it just a bit too early. This could even have something to do with his intransigent attitude.

I would not be surprised if we tried it again one of these days.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 22 2019 21:17 utc | 61

"Iran will deny to have caused those. But the message is clear: If Iran can not export oil, no other country in the Gulf region will be able to export oil."

Just as Elijah J. Magnier said for weeks, as i posted for weeks. THIS is the current red line of Iran. And what else could they do??

I still dont get why some here would not believe this. Always screaming "FALSE FLAG" only casts doubt on the very real false flags we had in history.. And again, what other options has Iran?
I just hope in the future those here that would not believe the obvious, but still attack those that point out the obvious, will reflect for a second before witch hunting again.

And i guess there will be many more occasions in the near term to see such incidents.
The shia doctrine of taqiyya (in this case denying the attacks) should not confuse anyone. It is part of their strategy, just like Israels. Everyone should know, but everyone should be uncertain and confused.
Its war. And this is part of the game. Plus the openly communicated they would prevent all other oil exports, leaving everyone with half a brain to connect the dots for themselves, without risking direct exposure.
Plus, the uncertainty makes the supremacistic American self esteem to nuts. A nice benefit for Iran if you ask me.

Even though for the Shia it is only a small episode of their 1000+ years of surviving against genocidal enemys. taqiyya has always been essential to their defence..

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Jun 22 2019 21:17 utc | 62

Peter@43 & passerby
So there it is. Supposing tactical nukes are introduced as under clause e. basically to gain the upper hand then what? I tend to think of MOA as something of an anti-militarist think tank; so when some of the "thinkers" seem to be saying "we'll not think about that because that's unthinkable" I experience some "bemilderment." The militarists think tanks have no qualms, and they do think in terms of what's cost-effective. Some of them may be discussing how to gracefully integrate into the new multipolar order but in the main they're concerned about how not to "lose" and they're most likely thinking "lose" in ways similar to how Meyer Lansky thought about "losing" Cuba. That they might be psychopaths to think that way does not lessen their influence and analysis of the potential consequences of that influence might be essential. Please consider how they might think they're holding a winning hand.

Posted by: NOBTS | Jun 22 2019 21:18 utc | 63

The U.S. has long had nukes at Incirlik near Adana in Turkey. I suspect they have them at the recently established U.S. military base in Israel.

Posted by: lysias | Jun 22 2019 21:19 utc | 64

@Peter AU 1

Could you pls provide hard evidence (link).
From my perspective, US strategy being long-term (century) hegemony of the globe based on a "soft leadership" over allies is not compatible with a unilateral war in such a strategic region, so important for the future of her allies... and others

Posted by: ath | Jun 22 2019 21:34 utc | 65

By "soft leadership" you of course mean" large occupying forces and puppet regimes?"

Posted by: NOBTS | Jun 22 2019 21:40 utc | 66

This is the Tehran that would draw visitors, but there are few. The devastating impact of American sanctions is everywhere: The stores are often empty; the restaurants, mostly deserted. On the adjacent Hafez Avenue, a deafening silence pervades the shopping complex specializing in selling mobile phones.

Having recently visited Iran, I do not subscribe to that view. But some points are true. "Western" tourist are very few (have seen about 100 in 2 weeks including on tourist hot spots). Surprisingly, there are no Chinese tourists as well. Shopping complexes and Bazars are full of people. Everyone uses a cell phone. Mobile network is much better than in Germany, may be like in the Baltics.
True, hotels suffer - I have seen today an offer 35 EUR for a 5-star-Hotel in Shiraz. Few days ago an offer for a 2 months Persian language course (Absolutely all inclusive, some 400 EUR). The exchange rate drops and many Iranian can't afford visit or studying abroad.
Go there and have a look by yourself. The people are incredible friendly but not pushy. Always helpful and appreciating seeing foreign visitors not believing the BS. Visa on Arrival is easy.

Posted by: BG | Jun 22 2019 21:47 utc | 67

NOBTS | Jun 22, 2019 5:18:52 PM | 64

"There it is. Supposing tactical nukes are introduced as under clause e. basically to gain the upper hand then what? I tend to think of MOA as something of an anti-militarist think tank; so when some of the "thinkers" seem to be saying "we'll not think about that because that's unthinkable" I experience some "bemilderment."

I did not said that it can not happen. But i said if it happens (the US attacks other countries with tactical nukes) then everybody will start getting nuclear weapons. I think the UN may well collapse. NPT will be gone as well - what will be the point of its existence if nuclear weapons are used at will against smaller countries?

In sum - a world where everybody has nukes = multipolarity on steroids, something the US wants to avoid, and it means veery bad news for Israel.

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 22 2019 21:54 utc | 68

Should not have to go over this in detail but here:

Near 50% of global oil supply is from Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, Saudi.

70% of Asian supply comes from the middle east.

In '79 Iran revolution knocked 4% off global supply, oil price doubled. Through the early '80s Iraq and Saudi production suffered due to the war, another maybe 10% of global supply was affected. This led to widespread economic repercussions. The population of the world is near double since then, countries like India face starvation if nitrogen fertiliser which is fuel derived is interrupted, US corporations profit from manufacturing in Asia. I really don't have to spell out what happens if the oil facilities in the middle east are targeted as escalation to incidents related to shipment through Hormuz.

It is not a question of minor rationing in the west and the rest of the world having greater difficulty, the whole existing economic order would be disrupted, including most basic necessities like supply of food. Anyone considering that a war with Iran is winnable either knows something no one else does, or else is not properly informed. There would be a tremendous cost if it escalated to include regional energy production, and that is not even counting the direct losses to the local populations, which I think would be horrific. The US would not escape the direct effect of this.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 22 2019 21:57 utc | 69

I only meant what was claimed by US long-term policy thinkers. The reality is obviously not the same, but notwithstanding of it US policy makers need at least to put up a show of "soft leadership"

Posted by: ATH | Jun 22 2019 21:58 utc | 70

It's foolish to claim that mining, done properly, would have no effect on shipping. Naval mines can be used strategically, channeling or denying passage through restricted waters and in and out of ports needed for sustenance by littoral nations. They can shape the naval battlespace, the approaches to it, and routes of commerce, setting the conditions of a campaign. Used tactically, they can slow or stop movement to and through narrow straits and to landing zones on beaches, and in so doing can also make a slowed or stopped force more vulnerable.

In the more recent past, the United States has not been averse to using sea mines.4 During the Vietnam War, in May 1972, thousands of magnetic-acoustic mines were dropped in Haiphong harbor and in other harbors along the North Vietnamese coast, virtually stopping the delivery of war materials by sea.5 Within 3 days, 27 foreign merchant vessels were trapped in port. When peace talks broke down the area was reseeded in November 1972. For 2 more years, without loss of U.S. life, this mining campaign continued to stop shipping into and out of Haiphong and other North Vietnamese harbors, thus interdicting 95 percent of the seaborne logistics resupply to North Vietnam. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 21:58 utc | 71

Trump announces 'major' sanctions amid tensions

The US will impose "major" additional sanctions on Iran in a bid to prevent the country obtaining nuclear weapons, President Donald Trump says.

He said economic pressure would be maintained unless the leadership in Tehran changed course.

"We're putting additional sanctions on," he told reporters. "In [some] cases we are moving rapidly." . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 22:05 utc | 72

On the issue of the sanctions: IMF itself estimates stabilisation of the iranian economy after 2020 at 1 % gdp growth per annum. It is pretty low growth, but it certainly does not mean "an economic collapse" or starving people. This compared to growth levels of 1,5 % per annum in the US and Western Europe.

So i think Iran can wait out the US. After 2020, cuts to the military budget will start, expiration of tax cuts, and cuts to the non-discretionary spending. The economic crisis coming will also further slow down the US and forces it to concentrate on domestic issues.

And the US will have to do lots of other cuts in 2020 - 2030 or a large debt crisis will start in the 2030s.

So i think that the iranian blockade will not be sustainable after 2030 - the US will face China becoming a bigger economy, with more military spending, its own share and importance in the world economy declining, plus massive spending cuts, military cuts, pension cuts, and new taxes.

In other words loss of importance externally and a crisis internally.

In sum: the iranian blockade is not sustainable after 2030. Iran can wait out the US.

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 22 2019 22:09 utc | 73

I believe Iran has calculated its mid-term approach (2 to 5 years) beyond the US sanction regime and the pressure-cooker will continue toward boiling temperatures pretty quick.

Posted by: ATH | Jun 22 2019 22:09 utc | 74

One possibility: The bombing raid was called off while they bombers were in flight because the Iranian Defense System was more sophisticated that US war planners envisioned with the shooting down of the high altitude drone.

Posted by: simjam | Jun 22 2019 22:14 utc | 75

Trump: "Iran right now is an economic mess. They're going through hell. The sanctions have hit them hard. More sanctions are going to be put on, a lot more. All I want is no nuclear weapons," Trump said. "We could have a deal with them very quickly if they wanted to. It's up to them."

But Iran won't fall for that again--Ali Khamenei--

. . .Therefore, negotiation is essentially wrong. Negotiating with a decent person [from the other side] is wrong, let along these people who are not decent. Negotiating with people who break their promises, who go back on their commitments and who are not committed to anything – they are not committed to morality, to legality, to international conventions and to anything – is ridiculous.

Therefore, the definite option for the Iranian nation is resistance in the face of the US. In this confrontation and resistance, he will be forced to retreat. And when speaking of resistance, resistance does not mean a military confrontation. When some people bring up the issue of war in the press, in cyberspace and the like, this is nonsensical. No war is going to be waged. By Allah’s favor, no war will be waged. We are not after a war, nor is it to their advantage to pursue a war. They know that it is not to their advantage. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 22:15 utc | 76

I'm still quite doubtful Iran was behind the tanker attacks, as MoA seems to be suggesting, and would continue that going forwards. They seem to show admirable restraint and precision. Non-military retaliation would likely have better follow on effects.

Posted by: Charles Peterson | Jun 22 2019 22:18 utc | 77

To say that Trump doesn't want war ignores:

> Trump duplicity, his hiring of Bolton and Pompeo, etc.

> That everything Trump has done wrt Iran moves USA towards war;

> That USA+Israel have a history of false flags.

The theory that Iran is conducting a campaign of stealth attack makes little sense. It could easily backfire against Iran and is believable only because it plays into Western false narratives about Iran as a terrorist state.

There is no evidence that Iran attacked the ships and Iran did not try to hide it's downing of the USA drone. Now Pat Lang says to b:

One of my correspondents with deep access in Israel suggests that the tanker attacks may have been done by Israeli combat swimmers for the purpose of provoking war between the US and Iran.

In fact that is MUCH more plausible than b's "stealth attacks" theory - especially since the narrative constructed around the grainy US 'gotcha!' video was so obviously bogus.

Anyone paying attention suspects that what Trump meant when he said that the Iranians had made a mistake is that they hit the wrong aircraft - USA/neocons/Israel needs dead American servicemen to start the war with Iran, not a downed drone. The drone+warplane combination seems a replay of two previous events: Israeli trickery that caused SAA to mistakenly down a Russian IL-20 spy plane and Israel's apparent attempt to get SAA to down a civilian airliner on Christmas eve 2018.

The rumored 'campaign of stealth attacks' is a self-licking ice cream cone. It invites anti-Iranian groups to conduct attacks that will be blamed on Iran. Which, in turn, prompts USA to increase surveillance and provocations that can/will eventually lead to dead US servicemen. And the war that Trump, neocons, and Israel want.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 22 2019 22:20 utc | 78

Re: 48 Russia will save the world

Edgar Casey was on to something..

Sure he was. He was reading from the Rothschild script. Russia will save the world because that's what the writer's have written into their scarcely believable passion play.

Yet someone is believing, or else they are guberment trolls pretenting someone is believing so others will follow.

Like Russia, Iran is itself a satrap of the City of London/Globalist camp, or rather it's leadership is, including massive investments they hold in places such as the EU and Canada, where the Rouhani's and Rafsanjani's of this world launder their earnings from the business of profiteering in middle eastern wars, and always alongside their partners in crime since Iran Contra days at least.

The ownership of assets in 'enemy' nations, including pipelines co-owned by Iranians with ISRAEL, as described by Thierry Meyssan, demonstrates that globo elites, from whatever nation we are discussing, have more in common with each other than they do with the people on whom they herd into zombie plantations to feed on like vampires.

Posted by: C I eh? | Jun 22 2019 22:20 utc | 79

Trump is in a re-election campaign so I just do not see how he can climb out of the hole he has dug himself into. And the Iranians are justifiably implacable in their not backing down unless the US re-instates the comprehensive agreement.

The unstoppable meets the unmovable. The login of this says the longer it goes on the higher the probably of war and in that region will not stay confined to it. It will rapidly escalate.

The board is set for war that seems inevitable.
End of analysis.
God help us.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Jun 22 2019 22:21 utc | 80

@ AA 81
And the Iranians are justifiably implacable in their not backing down unless the US re-instates the comprehensive agreement.
Iran is not going to fall for any "agreement" again. Khamenei was dragged into the 2015 JCPOA when he really didn't agree with it.

In 2013 Ali Khamenei said: "Certainly, we are pessimistic about the Americans. We do not trust them. We consider the government of the United States of America as an unreliable, arrogant, illogical, and trespassing government, which is badly possessed and dominated by the international Zionist network. They are forced to appease the extorter and forged regime that has occupied Palestine to observe the illegitimate desires and interests of the international Zionist network. They ought to be flexible against it for the interests of the international Zionist network."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 22:32 utc | 81

@ Nicole Guzman 26

Do you have evidence of your claim? Otherwise it is an outlandish conjecture. Plus, If Iranians had Nuclear weapons they would test it in the open just to send a message, like DPRK. And that would change the chessboard completely.

Having said that, lets not get carried away with fantasy and disinformation. There are more important things to concentrate on.

Nice try though.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 22 2019 22:35 utc | 82

Really great analysis both in the article and by many in the comments.

Here’s my two cents: Tired of the abusive sanctions and sabotage by the US (remember Stuxnet and the death of four Iranian nuclear scientists?) the Iranians are at a point where they are ready to do something about it. They tried the reasonable way with the Obama deal but now that that’s gone sour they have few options remaining. Add to this the fact that they’ve watch the US have lose to relatively weak forces in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, they probably feel confident they could hold their own against an isolated America. There’s also the possibiiity that other nations tired of US bullying would help them (Russia, China).

They will suffer greatly but it may be a gamble they’re looking to make because they have little to lose considering how things have been going and the reward of smacking down America would be huge for them.

Again, just my theory but figured I’d share.

Posted by: Geo | Jun 22 2019 22:36 utc | 83

C I eh?

That might even be so, but it does not change the fact that when they fall out they are still commanders of powerful countries whose populations and military have a mind of their own, and to whom they must fulfill their scripted position of be replaced by those who will.


Apart from the known questionability of who carried out the tanker attacks, now I see a divergence of opinion on whether Iran is able to wait and not act in any way that might be attributed directly to it, or whether it is in a position where to not act will be its undoing.

This information, what the leadership sense is happening or will happen to their country economically and related, is obviously not going to be made public. Add to this that there might exist a military planning where preservation of stance is considered of greater importance. That is to say that to not react to sanctions is already to admit defeat of previous effort or gains, in short sanctions being unequivocally understood as an undeclared act of war.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 22 2019 22:41 utc | 84

Sunburn missiles were capable of devastating warships 20 years ago as linked in the preceding thread. The Iraqi airforce nearly cut a yankee destroyer in half. Iran purchased many at that time. Consider how improved they are now. The coastline of Iran is probably bristling with them and many other ships pleasures.

I doubt Iran will hold talks or meetings again with the USA until all sactions and treaties are reset to normal as they were 24+ months ago.

@karlof1, I believe the Houthis are fairly autonomous and not await instructions from Iran, its just that their targets are similar because of the pain they inflict on the B team and especially KSA.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 22 2019 22:41 utc | 85

Just a reminder that the JCPOA "agreement" that Iran thought it had was always on tenterhooks because under the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA), the president must issue a certification to Congress every 90 days that is tied to Iran’s performance under the JCPOA. Voila, Trump didn't certify (after doing so several times) and the international "agreement" was a dead duck.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 22:43 utc | 86

@helen 58

Here comes the troll bus. My suggestion to you is not to get off and keep going to the next station. This forum is above your pay grade.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 22 2019 22:52 utc | 87

reply to 80
"Re: 48 Russia will save the world
Edgar Casey was on to something..Sure he was. He was reading from the Rothschild script. Russia will save the world because that's what the writer's have written into their scarcely believable passion play.Yet someone is believing, or else they are guberment trolls pretenting someone is believing so others will follow.."

My point in mentioning Casey and his quote on Russia was that Russia has been doing a very credible job of maintaining peace in the Middle East and elsewhere.
As for me being a govt troll...just sad.

Posted by: frances | Jun 22 2019 23:00 utc | 88

In reference to the tactical nukes. I posted on another thread a while ago and was backed up by another well informed and serious barfly, ( apologies I forget who ) that.
President Putin is quoted as saying.
If ANY of Russia’s allies are attacked by ANY type of Nuclear weapon Russia will consider it a Nuclear attack on itself and will respond with an ALL out retaliatory strike.
Pompeo has almost certainly been warned about this on his last visit to Moscow and Trump, having quite possibly discussed this face to face with Putin, is well aware of the gravity of the consequences if someone in his administration is insane enough even to contemplate it.
I suspect the Damecles Sword of Nuclear Anihilation has had something to do with his decision to impose yet more sanctions.

Posted by: Beibdnn. | Jun 22 2019 23:06 utc | 89

About the only compromise I am able to find that the US could ask for in exchange for renewing the JCPOA and eliminating sanctions is increased inspections on Iranian nuclear activity. I do not know if Iran is amenable to this as solution.

Explains what are described as the shortcomings of the JCPOA inspections.

Posted by: Anon | Jun 22 2019 23:07 utc | 90

zerohedge quoted moa here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 23:11 utc | 91

@Anon (91)

If there's anything wrong with the JCPOA, it should have been discussed in a civil matter between all parties involved. Instead the US went it alone, withdrew from it and started the sanctions-regime. But the sorry lot over there aren't interested and neither capable of diplomatic and civilized discussions. They love hurting people by the size of whole countries.

Posted by: bjd | Jun 22 2019 23:18 utc | 92

Beibdnn @90, Here you go:

Moscow— Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his State of the Nation Address to the Russian Federal Assembly on Thursday, announcing that Russia would acknowledge any nuclear attack on its allies as a direct attack on Russia and would immediately retaliate, noting that Russia’s military doctrine allows for use of nuclear weapons in response to use of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction against the country or its allies.

“I believe it as my duty to say this: any use of nuclear weapons of any yield – small, medium or whatever— against Russia or its allies will be regarded as a nuclear attack against our country. Retaliation will be instant with all the ensuing consequences,” Putin said, drawing thunderous applause.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 22 2019 23:20 utc | 93

We don't need no stinkin' straits (but we'll take Caracas for when the freakin' frackin' Ponzi comes tumblin' down)


Posted by: Full Spectrum Domino | Jun 22 2019 23:23 utc | 94

One of Trump's designated Iran targets in the planned (but aborted) strike, a Pentagon official told Newsweek, was the Khordad transporter erector launcher site. .here
A photo of the site is here /s

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 23:28 utc | 95

@Anon 70

I share your thoughts as well, based on my reading of various accounts from credible sources.

What leaves me baffled is the lack of response and the silence of the international community, since there are not too many countries that would not be affected by closing the gulf. How can they sit idle and allow US decide their future and push their countries into the abyss?

How can China remain silent since a hot war with Iran will effectively end the BRI? Europe is the most vulnerable and yet they are more concerned about which football player will be traded to what team, more than the future of their children.

How can the gulf monarchies allow this since this will spell out a certain death for their miserable kingdoms? US will not be able to guarantee their safety, nor their survival as ruling families, although they are in the expendable category in the mind of the Empire. They can always find another Mohammad Bin (fill-in the-blank) to take their spot.

The only possible winners, and I use the term very loosely, will be the psychopaths in Israel and even they will suffer. But to these obsessive godless heathens, war with Iran is a win even if it is to their own detriment.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 22 2019 23:29 utc | 96

@ bjd 93
If there's anything wrong with the JCPOA, it should have been discussed in a civil matter between all parties involved.
Israel was unavailable.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 22 2019 23:30 utc | 97

@90 Beibdnn & #94 Bemildred

This is an important point. Do we know if Iran can be considered an "ally" in Putin's use of the term? What actually is the status of the relationship between the two countries?

I would greatly like to know, if someone here could spell it out.

And by the way, what a marvelous example of power projection, that simple and astonishingly generous umbrella of protection.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 22 2019 23:36 utc | 98

Clearly, the US is putting sanctions on more countries than Iran. Cutting off oil supplies to Japan in 1940s inspired them to attack Pearl Harbor.
The US is cutting off oil supplies to multiple countries, in Europe as well as Asia, while cutting off vital supplies to Iran.
I wonder how this will play out?
(JK, it's obvious).

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jun 22 2019 23:38 utc | 99

Grieved @98: That one is sometimes hard to pull up, but not this time:

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 22 2019 23:43 utc | 100

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