Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 02, 2019

No, Iran Is Not Rushing To Build A Nuclear Weapon

John Mearsheimer is a political science scholar who adheres to the realist school of thought. He developed a theory of offensive realism that at times produces valid predictions of the behavior of some states. But his theory does not account for cultural factors and its predictions fail when these predominate in a state's decisions.

His ridiculous op-ed in today's New York Times is proof for that.

Mearsheimer may not be responsible for that fakenews headline. The NYT is generally anti-Iran and some of its editors are the worst warmongers.  But even as the claims made in the headline are false, they are not far from what Mearsheimer writes.

For the record: No, Iran is not rushing to build a nuclear weapon. And if it would do such Trump could stop it.

Mearsheimer starts:

President Trump says he wants to make sure Iran never acquires nuclear weapons. His policy, however, is having the opposite effect: It is giving Tehran a powerful incentive to go nuclear, while at the same time making it increasingly difficult for the United States to prevent that. On Monday the official Iranian news agency announced that the country had breached the limits for enriched uranium imposed on it by the 2015 international agreements.

Indeed, American policy toward Iran over the past year makes it clear that Iranian leaders were foolish not to develop a nuclear deterrent in the early 2000s.
The Iranians had good reason to acquire nuclear weapons long before the present crisis, and there is substantial evidence they were doing just that in the early 2000s. The case for going nuclear is much more compelling today. After all, Iran now faces an existential threat from the United States, and a nuclear arsenal will go a long way toward eliminating it.

The current "existential threat" against Iran, says Mearsheimer, is the economic war and blockade the U.S. wages against it.

But where is the evidence that nuclear weapons would prevent the economic war and blockade? North Korea, which has nuclear weapons and even the ability to strike the United States with them, is under similar measures. In sight of that how does this make the case to go nuclear more compelling for Iran?

Before 2003 Iran likely had a nuclear research program to find out what it would take to make a nuclear weapon. But the reason to pursue that was not the threat from the United States. The threat to Iran was a potentially nuclear Iraq, a country which had already used weapons of mass destruction against its cities. When the U.S. invaded Iraq that threat went away and Iran's nuclear weapon research program was canceled.

Iran has a much better weapon than nuclear devices to deter the U.S. from threatening its existence. It can block the flow of oil from the Gulf to the global economy. It is a relatively cheap capability and nothing but a full fledged invasion of Iran can take it away.

Mearsheimer believes that Iran would need nukes to do that:

[I]f its survival was at stake, Iran could credibly threaten to use a few nuclear weapons to completely shut down the flow of oil in the Persian Gulf.

It might seem hard to imagine Iran using nuclear weapons first in a crisis, but history tells us that desperate states are sometimes willing to pursue exceedingly risky strategies [...] The Trump administration would surely be aware of the dangers of provoking a nuclear-armed Iran. In short, nuclear weapons would profoundly alter Iran’s strategic situation for the better.

If Iran destroys the loading stations for oil along the western Persian Gulf coast with conventional ballistic missiles it would slow the flow of oil to a trickle. Additional attacks on tankers would bring it to effectively zero. There are no nukes needed to achieve either.

By not pursuing nuclear weapons and by adhering to the framework of the nuclear agreement, Iran has kept the Europeans on its site. If it goes nuclear Iran will bring the world into a united position against it. UN Security Council sanction would immediately be back. Other Persian Gulf states would soon try to also acquire nukes. Iran would be confronted by a large coalition of states whereas today only the U.S., Israel and some of their Gulf minions are hostile to it. Which is the better strategic situation for Iran?

There is absolutely no need for Iran to go nuclear and there would be no strategic advantage for it in possessing nukes.

Mearsheimer also believes that Trump has no way out of the situation:

Mr. Trump’s policy has backed the United States into a corner, leaving no clear diplomatic offramp in sight. [...] If Mr. Trump tries to lower tensions by easing the sanctions, which Tehran insists he must do before it will even agree to talk, he will be savaged at home by the Iran hawks, who are an important part of his political base. Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States will be equally critical.

Didn't the North Korea hawks "savage" Trump for making nice with Kim Jong Un? Has Japan's critic of the move influenced his decision? How much did it cost him with his base?

Trump has changed his opinion and actions so often that no one would be surprised if he would change his mind on Iran. He can rejoin the nuclear agreement and lift the sanctions, possibly in exchange for some minor promises from Iran. Iran would continue its anti nuclear weapon policy. Trump would sell that as a success just as he sells the 'denuclearization' of North Korea as a political victory. His base actually seems to like such grant moves.

Mearsheimer is reading the issue so wrong because his theory of offensive realism is misleading him:

John Mearsheimer's offensive neorealism intends to fix the "status quo bias" of Kenneth Waltz's defensive neorealism. While both neorealist variants argue that states are primarily concerned with maximising their security, they disagree over the amount of power required in the process. To the contrary of defensive neorealism according to which states are status quo powers seeking only to preserve their respective positions in the international system by maintaining the prevailing balance of power, offensive neorealism claims that states are in fact power-maximising revisionists harbouring aggressive intentions.

The theory that states inherently have aggressive intentions may hold for some states that Mearsheimer knows well, specifically the United States and Israel. But where is the evidence that Iran, and many other small to medium states, have any such tendency?

As Mearsheimer puts it: "[states] look for opportunities to alter the balance of power by acquiring additional increments of power at the expense of potential rivals", since "the greater the military advantage one state has over other states, the more secure it is". States seek to increase their military strength to the detriment of other states within the system with hegemony—being the only great power in the state system—as their ultimate goal.

Again, that may hold for some states, but does fit for all? The theory misses two points.

The first one is the spending that is necessary to build a military advantage over other states. What are the marginal returns for investing more money into military might? The population of a state may well prefer peaceful consumption over an increase of its hegemony.

The second point is even more cultural. States have characters. While some are aggressive others are not.

Iran is an Islamic Republic led by jurists of Shia believe. Its leader issued a religious verdict against making and possessing nukes. Under Shia doctrine outward Jihad, religiously justified war, is only legitimate in defense, not as aggression. During the last 300 years Iran behaved  non-aggressive. Despite having the financial means and population size to fight its smaller neighbors, it did not initiate any war. Its military posture and doctrine is defensive.

Mearsheimer ignores these facts. Most likely because they contradict his political theory.

Iran will not go nuclear and it will not start a war. It is Israel that is threatening to do that over Iran's slightly increased stockpile of low enriched Uranium. Two days ago it launched an extensive air attack on Syria and hit several military and civilian sites. 16 people died, including kids, and over 60 were wounded. It might have been in preparation for an attack on Iran.

An hour or two ago U.S. Vice President Pence, on his way to some campaign event, was called back to the White House for some urgent meeting. Russia's President Putin is in an urgent meeting with his Defense Minister Shoigu. Earlier today a Russian spy submarine had a fire on board that killed 14 of its crew. Has the U.S. something to do with the incident? Is something else up?

Posted by b on July 2, 2019 at 17:15 UTC | Permalink

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Wow, I thought Mearsheiner would be the last one to write such warmongering lies, nonsense.
He was against Iraq war but now he opens up for a war on Iran. Shameful behavior.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 2 2019 17:27 utc | 1

As shown in this article, it is one nation that is largely driving the move to ban Iran's missile testing program:

While this nation is allowed to protect itself from outside forces with its nuclear weapons and tens of billions of dollars worth of American military equipment, it believes that Iran, a nation that has suffered from missile attacks launched by its next-door neighbour, does not have the same right.

Posted by: Sally Snyder | Jul 2 2019 17:29 utc | 2

So far as economic warfare goes, with friends like the European states, Iran doesn't need enemies. INSTEX is an acronym so far. Wait until it's not to declare Iran successful. As of now, it's policy of denuclearization has failed.

Also, states do not have characters. Iran in many respects is a permanent conquest of many nations/parts of nations. In that sense the Persian Empire is always an aggression. The lack of open military aggression outside the geographical "Iran" for so many years reflects the balance of forces. It's like noting little women rarely start fist fights with big men. Iran's benevolent neutrality towards US operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan should be noted in assessing the aggressiveness of the Iranian state.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 2 2019 17:50 utc | 3

Mearsheimer is a realist (in international relations, one of the three major tendencies in Western IR theory). He's not anti-war, he's anti-whatever if he thinks the US stands to lose more than it benefits. Many realists were against the Iraq war because the cost of deposing Saddam Hussein's government and occupying Iraq outweighted any tangible benefits (according to their own cost-benefit analysis which uses different assumptions than say, a Marxist class-based analysis). Similarly, Mearsheimer is against the "Israel Lobby" only insofar as he thinks Israel has become a strategic and economic liability to the United States.

But realists like John Mearsheimer (and people in general) are misled by a set of erroneous assumptions in mainstream American political discussion -- and I mean REALLY mainstream, the stuff you see in the Democratic nominee "debates" for example.

First, the assumption that the United States is NOT class-divided. That there's only ONE class, the middle class. That everyone shares the same middle-class interests. Lastly, that the State rules in the interests of all. Only here can you say things like, "The US should wage war on Iran," or "Israel is a strategic liability to the United States", because taxpayer money floods to Israel with no tangible benefit returned to the US public.

If you look at the situation from a class-based analysis, it's clear that there IS a benefit -- but not to the US public, but to its own imperial capitalist ruling class; the bankers, oil companies, and military contractors (among others), in both cases of waging war on Iran and supporting Israel.

Posted by: David | Jul 2 2019 17:51 utc | 4

Meersheimer: Iranian leaders were foolish not to develop a nuclear deterrent in the early 2000s.
Baloney. How many times did that peacenik (not) Barack Obama say "all options on the table?" About a thousand? But Iran was never attacked, and it's stronger now while the US is weaker.

Yes, Iran doesn't have nukes, nor a capable air force, nor a formidable ground army. What Iran does have is a large arsenal of missiles, ballistic and cruise, which are a particular aggravation to the US and Israel. Iran also has a small fleet of aggressive missile-firing boats and 34 submarines armed with torpedoes, plus a dedicated ground force that would defeat any landing from the sea and fill a lot of enemy coffins. And all this is backed up by national fortitude and pride in country that would over-match any mercenary military fighting for. . .what?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 2 2019 17:52 utc | 5

@Don Bacon #5: also proxies in Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and Lebanon not to mention the limited/covert support that China and Russia can supply to Iran in such a scenario...

Posted by: David | Jul 2 2019 18:00 utc | 6

b: ... is something else up?

It occurred to me late last night that recent moves by USA/Trump seemed to be consistent with positioning prior to a false flag. I posted the following comment earlier this morning but moving here (with minor changes) because it seems relevant to b's musings.

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

High probability of a false flag in the next several days?

July 4th is America's National Day
Patriotic feelings are elevated at this time of year. Any attack on US forces - especially if it produces casualties will be felt most keenly during this week.

USA has positioned itself for a false flag
Trump's visit to North Korea is a high profile empty gesture. As is his temporary easing of Chinese Trade frictions. These moves are meant to highlight Trump's peaceful intentions.

The announcement of the Soros-Koch funded think-tank for peace is just another way to underscore Trump's offer of negotiation with Iran. It's also meant to suggest that USA elite wants to provide "space" to Trump to follow his *cough* 'best instincts' and throw off his war-mongering advisors. Although that's never going to happen, I expect we will see rumors that he might do so just before the ff.

And now we have Mersheimer's NYT Op-Ed warning that Iran intends to build nuclear weapons. In 2002, Bush used similar fear-mongering to justify the coming war with Iraq:

"Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof - the smoking gun - that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud," Mr Bush said.

"The time for denying, deceiving and delaying has come to an end. Saddam must disarm himself or, for the sake of peace, we will lead a coalition to disarm him."

Russia-US-Israeli failed meeting
IMO this was a last-ditch attempt to completely isolate Iran - and it failed to do so. If Russia had been convinced to abandon Iran, then the "maximum pressure" campaign might've been given more time to work. But there's no reason to delay military action if Iran is too buoyant to be dragged under the water.

Any military action has to be preceded by a ff to convince the Western public to support the war. The public has already been prepared to see Iran as a bad actor so they will readily accept a ff. We may have already seen the first attempt at a ff: oil tanker attacks followed by the Poseiden/Global Hawk incident.

Israel's attack on Syria
Is said to have occurred a day after S-300 became operational. But the severity of the strike (with civilian casualties) is a provocation that sets up a the rationale of a retribution attack (the 'false flag') on what some believe is Israel's proxy: USA.

Note: We saw possible ff coordination between USA and Israel last December when Israel attacked Damascus airport in an apparent attempt to trick SAA into downing a civilian airliner. Trump announced a "pull-out" of all troops from Syria just 11 days before the Israeli attack over DefSec Mattis' objections.

Although attributed to Iran, a false flag attack in Syria would also be blamed on the Syrian government and would thus give USA ample reason to support Turkey's occupation of Idlib. The Idlib occupation one of the cornerstones of the latest strategy to overthrow Assad.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 2 2019 18:00 utc | 7

b: . . . lift the sanctions, possibly in exchange for some minor promises from Iran
One promise would be for Iran's legislature, Majlis, to ratify the NPT additional protocol (AP). Iran has signed the AP, and is following its provisions, some of which are in the JCPOA, but Iran has not ratified the AP.

This would provide comfort to the US in the future, because when the JCPOA expires the AP would still be in effect and provide sufficient controls over preventing the transfer of fissionable fuels to a weapons program.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 2 2019 18:03 utc | 8

Of course Iran should have had nukes, like 15-20 years back, but its way too late to get them now.
Iraqwar, Libyawar, Iranwar will be the logical outcome.
Note that I didnt say North Korea, they gave them up after threats by US.

Also Another backlash for Iran,
Iraqi PM decree curbs powers of Iranian-allied militias

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 2 2019 18:06 utc | 9

@ David 6
Yes, I was focusing on Iran but there others especially Hezbollah. And Iraq. And...?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 2 2019 18:06 utc | 10

Israel is a proxy for the US and always will be.

Posted by: David | Jul 2 2019 18:14 utc | 11

Trump bid no more enriched uranium for you, Khamenei raised with more and better enriched uranium for us.
This whole "game" is silly because enriched uranium, by itself, isn't a threat to anyone, and there are safeguards in place to ensure that enriched uranium is not transferred to any weapons program, if it existed.
I doubt that Trump, with his shallow understanding, knows any of this but now that he's listening to Tucker Carlson perhaps some truth will seep in under the door and into Trump's mind.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 2 2019 18:16 utc | 12

thanks b... it looks like Mearsheimer got used by the nyt... i wonder what he thinks of the title? i agree with you - his ideas are antiquated...

why doesn't the nyt, american politicians and people like mearsheimer talk about israel-usa - the real warmonger pushing all this to the front burner? to me, all other talk is just a facade for what really needs to be talked about - israels fanatical insecurity and how endless it is... when the nyt and american politicians start talking about that, i'll listen... everything else is a distraction - just like this mearsheimer article... of course the nyt is a regular distraction..

Posted by: james | Jul 2 2019 18:19 utc | 13

I will go with the something else is up scenario

Everyone but the American public knows that Russia is not going to let Iran get nuked so what sort of attack can the US do to IRAN and not draw blood in return?

If the wreckage near Cyprus is really parts of an Israel jet then that part of the game changes as well.

Empire and the evangelicals are running out of armageddon starting options which means anything they do try will be stupider than prepared to be further offended.

Thanks for the posting b and all your Moon efforts

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 2 2019 18:22 utc | 14

I admit I was too quick on criticizng the article (post #1),
it was the headline I didnt agree with. THe other things are logical to 100%.

More pressure on Iran > Iran respond in kind.

This by b is also wrong:

There is absolutely no need for Iran to go nuclear and there would be no strategic advantage for it in possessing nukes.

Libya, Iraq, Syria, North Korea are all reaons why Iran should get nukes, but as I said earlier, they should have done it way earlier, now its too late I am afraid.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 2 2019 18:30 utc | 15

Best book i ever read on Iran was "Shah of Shahs" by Ryszard Kapuscinski......

Posted by: peteypies | Jul 2 2019 18:32 utc | 16

Re: Iran Is Rushing to Build a Nuclear Weapon — and Trump Can’t Stop It
Actually that mirrors Pompeo's “maximum pressure” strategy for Iran and indicates that the current US approach is only making Iran stronger.
So there needs to be another approach.
I like it. . . maximum pressure
Meersheimer --

The United States is certainly not going to invade and occupy Iran — forever — to ensure that it does not go nuclear. Hard-liners will instead advocate bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities, but the Iranians will go to great lengths to make them invulnerable to aerial attacks. Air power can delay a determined Iranian effort to get the bomb by a few years at most. It is also hard to imagine the United States bombing Iran year after year to prevent it from acquiring the bomb.

So ditch the current US strategy and go to another peaceful one. There are others.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 2 2019 18:34 utc | 17

At least there is a barrel of laughs in anyone naming their political dogma "realist" or "neo-realist" and so forth, one can only guess that "pretentious" and "neo-pretentious" were already taken or too hot to handle :D

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jul 2 2019 18:43 utc | 18

Something must be up. I also heard that the EU Security Council was called in for an emergency meeting. I don't know about NATO.
Last week the NY Times bragged about sabotaging Russia's electric grid. Now there are 14 dead Russian sailors on a sub?
I wish they would leave Pence out of any decision making. Trump is firmly opposed to nuclear war, but Pence is salivating for Armageddon, along with his Christian rapture buddy Pompeo.
The US Air Force is also infested with fundamentalist Christians.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jul 2 2019 18:44 utc | 19

Iran's Spiritual leader issued a Fatwa against Nuclear Weapons years ago. There is no evidence that has changed.

Posted by: William H Warrick II | Jul 2 2019 18:54 utc | 20

@19 wagelaborer... b's last paragraph is kind of ominous... i am sorry to hear of the 14 dead russian sailors..
here is rt news on it -

Posted by: james | Jul 2 2019 18:55 utc | 21


This is what EU waited for, to get a reason to jump behind Trump.
This looks more and more like a big folly by Iran and its not like them to act like this (even if they have all right).

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 2 2019 18:56 utc | 22

"What are the marginal returns for investing more money into military might?"

Marginal returns for whom? For the ostensibly 'defended' population? Or the military industrial complex' ROI? The US MIC's first line of defense are it own profits. After that, if incremental defense utility can be afforded the bill-paying population then so be it. The MIC is addicted to complexity (the black hole of non-deliverable R&D). The grit and grim of battlefield conditions eat complexity for lunch.

So, there is an undeclared first-order war being waged against Americans by overly aggressive MIC profit demands masked as defense appropriations and (over)selling enhanced existential well-being.

If that can be survived (and overall fiscal health says perhaps not) Americans will be lucky to be left standing for the first Chinese and Russian onslaught. While there is no shortage of corruption in the Russian MIC one sense a rough parallelism where national preservation has not been discarded or sublimated altogether. It doesn't take a military scientist to glean that the lethality-to-expenditure index is vastly superior there as opposed to here.

The only thing that rises to the existential in the US MIC are the existential levels of corruption, greed and misappropriated (missing) funds.

Posted by: Full Spectrum Domino | Jul 2 2019 19:22 utc | 23

"Iran will not go nuclear and it will not start a war. It is Israel that is threatening to do that over Iran's slightly increased stockpile of low enriched Uranium. Two days ago it launched an extensive air attack on Syria and hit several military and civilian sites. 16 people died, including kids, and over 60 were wounded. It might have been in preparation for an attack on Iran."

Again why would Israel feel so emboldened to do something like this right after having a joint security meeting with the US and Russia?
Because they couldn't separate Russia from Iran? That is the most ludicrous form of logic being put out there. Those S-300 have yet to be used for anything other than show pieces.

Iran warns Opec 'might die' due to Russia-Saudi domination ...
Saudi-Russian Oil Fling Becomes a Marriage to Last an ‘Eternity’

Posted by: O | Jul 2 2019 19:24 utc | 24

Iran demand to remove sanctions, reinstate both the Iran Agreement and the NPT and the Fed's comment that it will no longer allow politics to control its decisions, the Bank of America Trucking Diffusion Index numbers <=transport slowest since October 2016, down 29.9% for the year, 15 straight months of down trending in used home sales, and Philadelphia Fed comment that bus. act. indicators moved from 16+ to 0.3. between May and June this year...and the growing realization that American made aircraft are crashing world wide, all suggest Trump is under pressure to do something.. what he needs to do is return to his promises to the American people, and forget everyone and everything else.. until he wins the election or gets Trumped.

INSTEX might be an acronym ..STJ @3 but trading between China and Iran and Iran and China is happening in the native currencies.. that is a plus.. IMO there is a chance Americans might become independent of the federal reserve over this. very interesting .. return control of money matters to the USA.. ?? .

It's clear that there IS a benefit -- but not to the US public, but to its own imperial capitalist ruling class; the bankers, oil companies, and military contractors (among others), in both cases of waging war on Iran and supporting Israel. by: David @ 4

And all this is backed up by national fortitude and pride in the country [of Iran] that would over-match any mercenary military fighting for. . .what? by: Don Bacon @5

last-ditch attempt to convince Russia to help isolate Iran - failed <=now there is no reason to delay military action..hence the Hawks cannot allow their propaganda effort that beefed up the American public go long, before it will wear off, therefore, attacking Iran has a short window.. do know who said this sorry

Israels steps up its attacks on Syria, the Russian oil tankers suddenly catches fire, and Turkey takes delivery on S-400, USA is about to lose Idlib and Nato about to lose Turkey, usa d/n want to lose Idlib or Turkey. hence a nuclear attack promise to Turkey "we give you Idlib, and wipe out Iran, you turn off your S-400 purchase from Russia.. I think this is what it is all about.. and it ain't going to work..

Iran is prepared to die to the last person, but before they go, they will, IMO cause some significant damage. I feel sorry for the persons that get tasked to create a false flag..

Trump is stumped.. if he starts a war, any war, or even uses weapons against Iran, Syria or Yemen, Venezuela he will lose the election at home.. So I look for Saudi Arabia and their ME cronies to nuke Iran and if I know Iran there will not be in the Middle East a Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: snake | Jul 2 2019 19:28 utc | 25

"If it[Iran] goes nuclear Iran will bring the world into a united position against it. "

Wrong, just the members of the Anglo-Zionist empire and vassal states.

Posted by: O | Jul 2 2019 19:30 utc | 26

I think Iran is existentialy threatened now, I think the US is seen as able of launching conventional strike/s that are capable or feasibly capable of dismantling the country as it is now. I don't think that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons in reply (or just very remotely possible it may already have that capability). Iran has been poised for a large conflict for a long time, but it has absolutely no reason to strike first. So really we are in the realm of false flags, provocations and misreporting, escalation scenarios, such as Israel going it alone knowing what the reply might be, etc. It is such a fine line for either side to maintain a controlled response at each event that I remain pessimistic, the direction of various members of the international community are not reassuring at all. In theory it is well understood that a reply by Iran to an aggression might well be catastrophic, but in practice there are those who might feel that they have the eventual advantage now, not later. We do not know the full capability of western technology able to reduce a counter attack by Iran, some might think it is sufficient.

Posted by: gzon | Jul 2 2019 19:31 utc | 27

@Jackrabbit 7

About that "Soros-Koch funded think-tank". That looked interesting until I got to the bottom of the Boston Globe story where they said the think tank was going to target minority districts. At that point it all made sense. The plan here is to split support in Democratic leaning districts. You can expect some third party candidates to appear some where in the near future.

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Jul 2 2019 19:33 utc | 28

"Mearsheimer is reading the issue so wrong..." Indeed, he does, I agree with your diagnose. But... you're falling again for the 'Tronald will not start a war theory'. He will, and soon. Perhaps this slightly paraphrased quote fits: "Half they pulled him, half he sank down." In any case, he will start the fire.

Posted by: Pnyx | Jul 2 2019 19:36 utc | 29

West Texas is down $2.75 right now. Doesn't look like the traders smell anything up with Iran.

Posted by: arby | Jul 2 2019 19:46 utc | 30


Again why would Israel feel so emboldened to do something like this right after having a joint security meeting with the US and Russia?

Speaking on that, I cant feel bad for Russia, they are being played by Israel and the US time after time. It is almost tragic to watch how not only they let Iran, Syria off, but hurting their own interest in the mix - meanwhile Russia have on its border Ukraine, that is being armed, and supported on every way by the US, but no, Russia chose to HELP that same party!
As I said earlier, Iran, Syria should start getting better ties with China and hopefully will sell real and good arms so Syria, Iran can defend itself against these threats and actual attacks.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 2 2019 19:50 utc | 31

First, the limit that Iran is now going to exceed concerns the stockpile of low enriched uranium. It is impossible to build a nuclear bomb from low enriched uranium. The laws of physics say it would never possibly explode. It requires uranium with much higher levels of enrichment. Physics says that you can power a reactor with low enriched uranium, but never build a bomb.

If you watch the American politicians and media closely, they constantly conflate and confuse the terms "nuclear program" and "nuclear weapons program". Ie, they tell scare stories about the notion of Iran having a nuclear bomb, then they talk about Iran's "nuclear program". But, it is of course legal and normal for nation's to have a "nuclear program". The nuclear non-proliferation treaties only try to ban or discouraged a nation from having a "nuclear weapons program" like the big one the USA operates.

Posted by: Canine | Jul 2 2019 20:04 utc | 32


"Everyone but the American public knows that Russia is not going to let Iran get nuked...."
"Empire and the evangelicals are running out of armageddon starting options...."

First of all "everyone" does not know any such thing. There are nuances, one of which is the meaning of" nuked". Are you actually suggesting that Russia would engage in a nuclear escalation in response to a limited tactical nuke attack on Iran? Or any military response for that matter? Meanwhile for the wackangelicals such an attack would be the perfect" Armageddon starting option"! But only if Russia and/or China were as crazy as they are!
For the enraptured ones it probably looks like a winning proposition; at one stroke they can either" restore strategic stability" or initiate "Automatic Armageddon," hard to know which they'd prefer.
In any case even the dumbest of them realize that a conventional attack on Iran is not viable. Why would they not employ their new nuclear option when at the very best they would get to their coveted Country Club In The sky! And at the very next best they would restore "strategic stability" a.k.a. "balance of terror" and maintain the hegemony of their country clubs down here.

Posted by: NOBTS | Jul 2 2019 20:05 utc | 33


'meanwhile Russia have on its border Ukraine, that is being armed, and supported on every way by the US, but no, Russia chose to HELP that same party!"

Again this makes sense if one realizes that Trump,Putin and Netanyahu are being ran by the same international crime syndicate.

Posted by: O | Jul 2 2019 20:06 utc | 34

Israel. It wants Lebensraum. Whereto? Syria. Who stands in the Way? You guessed it.
Iran has all the world reason to have a nuclear deterrent against the nuclear fanatics in Israel that want their Lebensraum now.

Posted by: bjd | Jul 2 2019 20:11 utc | 35

Offensive neorealism is interesting to those without empathy. States that practice offensive neorealism will enjoy power; however, when saturation point arrives, best option is power maintenance. Otherwise, others will gang up on them and, like Hitler and those before him, they will vanish in history.
Power maintenance neorealism is no different than security neorealism.
Thanks for the article,

Posted by: pj | Jul 2 2019 20:11 utc | 36

"Trump has changed his opinion and actions so often that no one would be surprised if he would change his mind on Iran."
Doubtful, Trump's paymaster Sheldon Adelson the Chabad crime syndicate that also runs Netanyahu and Putin have been singularly focused on Iran for a long time.

Trump and the Anglo-Zionist will only change their tune when Iran says all bets are off and start shutting the oil off by sending their network of fighters to smash up the Saudi and Iraqi pipelines And also willing to level Israel to include civilians with missiles.

This is highly unlikely since Iran would likely be taken out as well. So the slow pressure cooker method of the Anglo-Zionist will continue, they have no reason not to.

Posted by: O | Jul 2 2019 20:14 utc | 37

Wow! Mearsheimer fell into a tar pit of his own making and will find it close to impossible to emerge unscathed. As b illustrates so well, his assertions go against an extremely well established reality, thus begging the question Why did he jeopardize his reputation and write something no better than Pompeo's daily lies?

Here's Zarif's latest tweet on the subject:

"Iran is committed to the full implementation of the #JCPOA: as long as E3/EU implement THEIR economic commitments.

"So moving forward, Iran will comply with its commitments under the JCPOA in exactly the same manner as the EU/E3 have—and will—comply with theirs.

"Fair enough?"

Positive movement must be occurring; otherwise, why the above phrasing?

Oh, Zarif's response to yesterday's outright White House Press Secretary's lies was curt, proper, and somewhat amusing diplomatically: "Seriously?"

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 2 2019 20:18 utc | 38


Again this makes sense if one realizes that Trump,Putin and Netanyahu are being ran by the same international crime syndicate.

Very true statement, I think up until 4,5 years back there have been a obvious but slow change for the worse on Russia's part.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 2 2019 20:21 utc | 39

I always found Iranian leadership highly principled which might not be a good thing for Iranians. Had they developed the nuclear weapons in 2000's that would have ensured the safety of their country but instead they chose to use the threats to get the US on the negotiating table. They will realize that principles won't work in a lawless world where the pray mentality dominates the approach but they may never find out.

I don't know the cleric that issued the edict against developing nukes but they surely were fallowing some different version of Islam. Mass murders are explicitly prohibited in Islam but had they developed the nukes, was it with the assurance of using it on someone ? What kinda moron would think that ? Pakistan, another Muslim nation has nukes and hasn't used it on anyone but sure keeps their enemies in check and gives them leverage they need. Why was it not possible for Iran to pursue a similar policy ?

The gravestone of the Iranian nation will read, "here lies a nation that craved for principles" which no one will care to read and the world will move on.

Posted by: Fantome | Jul 2 2019 20:22 utc | 40

"Are you actually suggesting that Russia would engage in a nuclear escalation in response to a limited tactical nuke attack on Iran? Or any military response for that matter?"
Is anyone daring enough to try and check? Trump, Bolton, Pompeo and others might suspect Russia wouldn't retaliate with nukes, but what if they actually did? Because then the first *major* strike would be against the US, which is something they surely don't want to see happening. At least, the likes of Kissinger, Mattis and even Tillerson would be sane and wise enough not to tempt fate, and not risk to lose literally everything for quite a small gain.
But really, I tend to think Russia and China would nuke back, and anyone knows that only a full-scale strike is really efficient, so they won't go soft or small, but they will target every major military installation, and probably plenty of others as well.
As for: "would they?", of course. Allowing a nuclear first strike to go unpunished, even a small tactical nuke, is asking for trouble later on. It's like allowing the Reich to annex this or that area of Europe unchallenged, and hoping it will stop and not go for bigger juicier targets. It is an existential issue for Russia and China to actually deter use of any kind of nukes by the US in any kind of first strike, even against a limited strictly military target.
Besides, the fact that once again they would use nukes against a non-nuclear country alone requires a massive punishment, one at least on the scale of what happened to Germany and Japan in 1944/45.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jul 2 2019 20:31 utc | 41

Notwithstanding US menacing of Iran for the last forty years, Iran has many nuclear armed neighbours: Pakistan, India and China to the east (all rather hungry for oil), Russia to the North, Saudi Arabia to the south (currently stored in Pakistan) and of course, Israel to the west.
Such neighbours alone would warrant serious consideration of the acquisition of a deterrent.

Posted by: DomesticExtremist | Jul 2 2019 20:36 utc | 42

The WhiteHouse lie referred to at the end of 36 was treated to some needed Comic Relief by RT via this tweet and its accompanying graphic!

Nice to see @37 the confirmation of our local trolls's linkage. They're making a good living hanging out and getting fed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 2 2019 20:44 utc | 43

OFF Topic:

US submarine downed by a Russian sub.

Leadership of the US, Russia and EU are holding emergency meetings.

Posted by: Fantone | Jul 2 2019 20:51 utc | 44

karlof1 | Jul 2 2019 20:44 utc | 41
"Nice to see @37 the confirmation of our local trolls's linkage. They're making a good living hanging out and getting fed."

Anyone who doesn't fall inline to your dogmatic reasoning is automatically a troll or infiltrator. You overestimate the significance of your trite opinions.

Posted by: O | Jul 2 2019 20:58 utc | 45

craig murray has a post up on twitter trolls here

lavrov comments towards iran and europe -

"Moscow has called on Tehran to show restraint amid the situation with the nuclear deal and observe key provisions of a deal on guarantees with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.

Commenting on Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile that has exceeded the 300-kilogram limit, he said Russia “is calling on our Iranian colleagues to show restraint and in no way to be subjected to emotions.”

Russia also demands that its European colleagues meet their commitments in order to make the INSTEX payment tool truly effective, TASS reports. The rights of Iran under the UN Security Council’s resolution in the field of trade and economic ties should be ensured, Lavrov said." link here..

Posted by: james | Jul 2 2019 21:07 utc | 46

I have seen no evidence that N. Korea possesses the capability to hit the US with a nuclear warhead. Saying it over and over, does not make it true. They have never tested a delivery system with that capability. What they do have is the ability to hit S. Korea with nuclear weapon, and possibly Japan. They could also reach parts of China and Russia ... but that would not be very wise. They can threaten to incinerate Seoul and 20 million people, along with ~ 30,000 American Troops. They might be able to hit some ships if they were close enough.

I think a distinction needs to be made about exceeding the enrichment limit. The limit is on the amount of uranium enriched to a level of ~5% U235, which makes is useable as reactor fuel. They are now exceeding the total mass of 5% U235 uranium that was specified in the agreement (there are clauses though, that exempt them under the current circumstances). That is a very different thing from enriching uranium beyond 5% U235. You can NOT make a bomb from uranium enriched to that level. A uranium fission bomb requires a level of U235 of ~90% or higher.

This does not mean that Iran could not do this. Oversimpifying, you just keep sending it through the centrifuges until you reach the level you desire. If at some point, it was demonstrated beyond doubt that Iran was enriching uranium to 90% or higher, that would be an absolutely clear indication that they were working on a bomb.

Posted by: SteveK9 | Jul 2 2019 21:10 utc | 47

Sorry Canine, did not notice you made the same point about enrichment.

Posted by: SteveK9 | Jul 2 2019 21:18 utc | 48

@steven t johnson #3
INSTEX is a joke. What it does is attempt to match companies buying products from Iran with companies selling products to Iran. Payments thus go from one company to the other - thus "avoiding" sanctions.
Of course, the real problem is that Iran is embargoed on pretty much everything. Meaning any company buying from *or* selling to Iran is having to flout sanctions anyway - which means there is hardly any trade going on at all to start with.
Matching up buyers and sellers thus fails to solve the chicken or egg issue.
A look at public data for Iran trade confirms this: Iran has about $50B in imports vs. $53.7B in exports - but at least $40B of exports are oil or related products. 2 million bpd @ $55 = $40 billion, incidentally...

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 2 2019 21:32 utc | 49

Something very bad has happened off the coast of Alaska. The Americans, the EU and the Russians are all in emergency meetings.One of the articles is talking about an American sub being involved and no word on its crew.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jul 2 2019 21:33 utc | 50


Posted by: mina | Jul 2 2019 21:36 utc | 51


On Karlof1 guy, Yeah apparently one are forbidden to criticize Russia here according to some commentators, Russia is a savior to some people here - and they arent even russian themselves! Even when there is obvious signs that Russia making blunders. Its ridiculous, they always come out to smear you as soon as you do not like what Russia is up to. Its like a cult. Very weird.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 2 2019 21:39 utc | 52

"Are you actually suggesting that Russia would engage in a nuclear escalation in response to a limited tactical nuke attack on Iran?"

This, folks, illustrates the insanity you are dealing with from America. Americans really think it would be unreasonable for Russia and China to respond to a "limited tactical nuke attack" with a strategic nuclear retaliation.

"But it was just a little baby atom bomb! Barely any bigger than the one we used on Nagasaki! Why do you guys have to take it so seriously?!? And we probably killed less than a hundred thousand people who were brown anyway. What, Persians are not brown? Well, they are ragheads, and that's the same thing. We were just giving them a 'bloody nose'! Not like a real attack or anything!"

I think Americans need something serious to wake them up to the fact that their killing isn't some sort of game.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 2 2019 21:43 utc | 53

Here's a not altogether off topic bit of information Max Blumenthal is trying to raise awareness of as I'm sure its predecessors were used against Iran and all other emerging post-colonial nations following WW2. The main item Max links to is this 9-month old article, "Thy Will Be Done: Brasil’s Holy War." Max provides the linkage:

"The Christian Right is a counter-insurgency weapon exported by the US to Latin America to obstruct the rise of socialism, the same way Islamism was backed by the US/UK to destroy pan-Arab nationalism. It’s a leading social force behind Bolsonaro, JOH & many future rightist govs."

There's always been an element suggesting the Iranian Revolution was fomented to counter a suddenly independent-minded Shah rekindling Iranian nationalism while he went about developing a nuclear power program it appeared Iran had little use for given its massive amounts of hydrocarbons, which reeks of Zionist inspiration.

Given the multiheaded nature of the Outlaw US Empire's Hydra, here's another aspect to learn about and neuter.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 2 2019 21:44 utc | 54

Report of F35 downed over Cypress. Some more information at Hal Turner site.

USA Stealth fighter runs into non steath missile. Just like US navy running into path of a freighter. Believe they really are stealth, wanna buy one?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 2 2019 21:53 utc | 55

F-35 is a dud. As is the US military period.

Posted by: bjd | Jul 2 2019 21:57 utc | 56

David @ #4

"....If you look at the situation from a class-based analysis, it's clear that there IS a benefit -- but not to the US public, but to its own imperial capitalist ruling class; the bankers, oil companies, and military contractors (among others), in both cases of waging war on Iran and supporting Israel.... "

nice, and succinct, David, thanks

even though I am hardly a marxist, I really have found class analysis to be useful in many cases, especially for the US which is an Empire and is run for the benefit of several tens of thousands of families (at most), the ruling class; and too I always have remembered this quote from Marx, “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force...."

so what you read in the NYT, the WA Post or see on CNN, Fox or msnbc (Maddow now saying how horrible trump is for not getting N. korea to 'denuclearize' blah blah), that's all basically the Ruling Ideas of our times...

& which would explain a lot to me about WHO benefits by the foreign policies of the US - sometimes, with these wars since WWII, they are very much wrong, because of all the unintended consequences. I suspect that Trump called off the strike after the shoot down of that killer spy drone, once someone whispered in his ear that the consequences would be catastrophic, world wide - and still would be, whether Israel starts the war or the suadis or the US or by accident...

But those Power Elites (representing different interests or wings of the one ruling class) are still itching to attack or have a war, which some of them think they can control...

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jul 2 2019 21:59 utc | 57

@karlof1 52

The only wrinkle in that theory is that Iran acquired the technology during Ike’s presidency “Atoms for peace” program. The French and the Americans (Westinghouse) were involved with that.

From Wikipedia:

“Iran's nuclear program was launched in the 1950s with the help of the United States as part of the Atoms for Peace program.[3] The participation of the United States and Western European governments in Iran's nuclear program continued until the 1979 Iranian Revolution that toppled the last Shah of Iran.”

So I don't think that was the reason for his toppling especially when the reactor and the facilities were in its infancy. Plus, the Shah had great relationship with Israel at that time.

As I have mentioned here before, the main reason was him refusing to renew the oil consortium contract with the old terms, plus his high flying nationalism.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jul 2 2019 22:00 utc | 58

@48 uncle jon.. links would be useful..

@51 wg... i agree.. actually the world needs to wake up to who is running the ongoing agenda here..

Posted by: james | Jul 2 2019 22:05 utc | 59

hal turner is saying it on his radio show here


Posted by: james | Jul 2 2019 22:11 utc | 60

james, Wikipedia says "Harold Charles "Hal" Turner is an American far-right political commentator from North Bergen, New Jersey. Turner's viewpoints typically encompass Holocaust denial, white supremacy, and have included calls for assassination of government officials."

Posted by: spudski | Jul 2 2019 22:13 utc | 61

sounds like a debka rumour... i would definitely ignore that..

Posted by: james | Jul 2 2019 22:13 utc | 62

@59 spudski.. thanks.. sounds about right.. i wish folks would share a link so as for others to put it in context...

Posted by: james | Jul 2 2019 22:14 utc | 63

At 1620 EST, the Times has still not enabled comments, and the piece is off the online front page.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Jul 2 2019 22:23 utc | 64

@ Jackrabbit #7:

"July 4th is America's National Day
Patriotic feelings are elevated at this time of year. Any attack on US forces - especially if it produces casualties will be felt most keenly during this week."

-> Israelis launched the raid on Entebbe on July 4, 1976, while US was celebrating Bicentennial. (Bibi's older brother, Jonathan, was ostensible leader of the raid and only casualty.)

-> July 4, 1979: Benzion and Bibi Netanyahu hosted the Jerusalem conference at their "Jonathan Institute," at which the blueprint for Global War on Terror was rolled out. George H W Bush spoke at that conference, as did a gaggle of neocons.

Posted by: chasmark | Jul 2 2019 22:44 utc | 65

But really, I tend to think Russia and China would nuke back, and anyone knows that only a full-scale strike is really efficient,....
Clueless Joe.
I think Americans need something serious to wake them up to the fact that their killing isn't some sort of game.
W. Gruff
I tend to think that you guys were not reading my post @31 very carefully. Consider this: The Joint Chiefs of Staff official nuclear posture states that first use of a nuclear weapon might be advantageous; no need to paraphrase; you can read the damn thing. I don't know what Americans think or don't think about that idea. The fact is that a tactical nuke could have anywhere from zero to 1/2 a million or so " enemies" killed depending on its size and where it was used. The suggestion that the __ONLY__response in all cases of such use is to immediately terminate all life on the planet is asinine. The inability to even think about or discuss the ramifications of US limited first use is pathetic.
Bringing up the existence of the new nuclear policy does not mean advocacy. Surely Americans do need something to wake them up, but thermonuclear annihilation might not be the most appropriate alarm. Why not see if you can think of something more subtle?

Posted by: NOBTS | Jul 2 2019 22:46 utc | 66

The most interesting news of the past two days has been Tucker Carlson of Fox taken along by Trump for his meeting with Kim (which I only realized thanks to a poster on this site, so thanks). Carlson has been very outspoken against any war with Iran, was extremely cynical about Russiagate and has had Trump's ear for a while now. Carlson is the opposite of John Bolton and I have been watching him ever since he got his own spot on Fox. Me, who never watches TV and especially Fox! But there is something very bright about Tucker, he's brilliant at argument while at the same time listening to good reasoning - he is a lawyer by training and sticks to that.

Murdoch, the old dog, had sensed something different was needed - hence Carlson. It's like he's being groomed for a nomination.

Posted by: Lochearn | Jul 2 2019 22:46 utc | 67


You might be on to something. A Soros-Koch backing of a 3rd party candidate to split the Dems and attract some disillusioned conservatives who might cross the line and vote against Trump.

Tulsi comes to mind. Military background attracts the right, her mixed race -sex attracts some on the left and her anti-war stance does the same.

Posted by: Pft | Jul 2 2019 22:48 utc | 68

Uncle Jon @56--

The basic facts aren't in dispute. What I dispute is the ruse promoted by some that the Shah was overthrown by the West and where that ruse was disseminated from. As proven, the Zionists trust nobody, not even their #1 benefactor the Outlaw US Empire. So, I doubt they had great trust in the Shah or the Iranian people who immediately became targets as soon as the Shah was ousted and remain such.

Always overlooked is the several thousand year linkage in relations between the peoples of Palestine and Persia/Iran, wherein the latter have been protectors and benefactors--how else does one deal with the observation that the Jewish/Palestinian community within Iran is totally at ease with its very longstanding presence other than by admitting the obvious truth. Try as they might, Zionists and their Christian allies cannot undo that historical and current set of facts, which clearly fuels their angst against Iran. Indeed, I don't know the level of effort undertaken over the years but it must be quite large to try and establish a Jewish-based 5th Column within Iran that has never materialized. And there can only be one overarching reason why that's never occurred--Jewish people like and are very comfortable with where they are, which totally upends Zionist and American propaganda about Iranian Anti-Semitism and anti-Jewishness. And they hate that so much that Pompeo must lie about Iran daily!

And so we have our crisis based on the hostility of Iran for the region's destabilization caused by Zionist Colonialism, which is an extension and serves the interests of European and American Imperialism. If the Zionists were to disappear, the region would rapidly become stable again.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 2 2019 22:53 utc | 69

Jack Rabbit @7:

Yeah, I sense a disturbance in The Force, hard to say yet whether it is some small item horse-trading (i.e. lettings US Tomawawk al Qaeda in Syria, or letting Israel have one more bombing run, Erdogans S-400s OK now, perhaps), or something bigger, but I'm toying with the idea that Trump is going into campaign mode and all this foreign policy belligerence is going to be restrained while he attempts to present himself as a peacemaker (e.g. N. Korea) except for Iran of course. We appear to be giving Iraq a break on power from Iran, too, but quietly. Various other contentious, accidents and whatnot going on in the bushes. Bolton being dispatched to Mongolia, even is scripted, represents a change in the script.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 2 2019 22:56 utc | 70

Thank you james #58 who the fuck is hal turner?

He appears linked to debka sources as some of his commenters indicate.
Take it all with a grain of salt or ayahuasca if you prefer. Seems hal gets info fast as I see nothing in MSM after a quick search. I noticed the Israel F35 downed story there.

debka does not inspire me other than heads up on immediate issues.

Remain calm and research as the chabad sage would say.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 2 2019 23:09 utc | 71

All this blather of the Anglo-Zionist attacking Iran with a nuke is just that blather, old 20th century thinking blather. Have folks already forgotten about the Stuxnet virus and what it did to Iran's nuclear programme?

It was only a few weeks ago that Iran said they created a firewall against it?

You don't need to nuke anyone to take down a nation anymore. The Israelis know this and have invested heavily in scooping up the most advanced tech and training their people in it. Talpiot program anyone?

What The World's Top 10 Tech Firms Have In Common

Posted by: O | Jul 2 2019 23:16 utc | 72

Bemildred @68:Bolton being dispatched to Mongolia ...

I think that would fall under my expectation of the pretense that he would throw off his war-mongering advisors.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 2 2019 23:16 utc | 73

Primarily it is up to anyone in the US to stop the US from using nukes including stopping people within the US from conspiring to use nukes under false pretexts. If the US does use nukes everyone in the US should assume they'll die within a range of minutes to days and their complaints won't matter.

Simple as that. Been that way for perhaps 70 years now. All the nukes in the US, China, and Russia are still on hair triggers and every one of those three is sure to have dead man's switches and more. No one needs to survive the first strikes or waves for there to be additional waves and no one who survives the first waves should assume there won't be new nuclear explosions or other nasty stuff at random times next week, next month, next year, and so on. Mutual Assured Destruction with at least 60 years of increasing assuredness.

Microbial and maybe also fungal life will survive, maybe something smarter than "simians with books" will evolve in a few hundreds of millions of years when even the space probes are sublimating away out in the middle of nowhere.

No trace left.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jul 2 2019 23:17 utc | 74

Fantone @ 42:

Your link combines the allegation that two submarines, one US and one Russian, engaged in a "firefight" off the coast of Alaska with the accepted story that a fire on a Russian submarine has taken 14 lives. The problem is that the Russian submarine that suffered loss of lives was off the coast of Finland, thousands of miles from Alaska. Close but no cigar.

Posted by: Donnie | Jul 2 2019 23:20 utc | 75

Lochearn @65--

We agree about Carlson. It would be a boon for the world if more Americans watched his program. He represents the MSM revolt I've mentioned.

NOBTS @64-

I agree with the gist of your argument, the problem always related to ease of escalation once such weapons are employed and the growing idea that a war with limited nuclear weapon use is somehow possible/acceptable. Lets review:

The initial idea of battlefield nukes was the need to stop the massive armor formations it was deemed the USSR would use in its invasion of West Germany. That threat no longer exists, although some are still deluded in believing Russia will invade its Western neighbors. Now, the focus on the use of such weapons is to neutralize hardened underground sites that even the largest of conventional bombs can't touch, meaning such targets are strategic, not tactical, which alone ups the escalation chain as tactical first use is omitted. Hypothetically, once one strategic target is targeted, the remaining strategic targets must also be hit since they're linked in their nature--one being another's redundancy. The likelihood that all such targets are remotely buried underneath mountains away from civilian population centers isn't tenable. Thus, such a limited strike immediately becomes a nuclear terror attack on civilians. And what of Law and Morality in all this? A nuclear capable power attacks one without any means of deterrence because why--because it won't bow to the diktat of the nuclear armed power, it refuses to submit to its blackmail? Where do we go with Law and Morality? IMO, it ceases to exist and we degenerate into Hobbes's war of All Against All, and humanity goes poof as no nation will allow itself to be subjected to nuclear blackmail--and as Putin's Russia's made 100% clear--it would rather die freely defending itself than to be subjected to such bondage.

That's why using nukes at any level of combat is insane and will lead to destruction of humanity.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 2 2019 23:23 utc | 76

chasmark @63: July 4th 1976 ... July 4th 1979 ...

The Israeli attack on Damascus airport that seemed to be an attempt to get SAA to down a civilian airliner was on Christmas eve.

That recent episode alone is enough to be wary of how holiday-inspired feelings might be used by whomever plans these things.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 2 2019 23:24 utc | 77

@ 67
Maybe the Shah knew too much. Sheikh Yamani, Saudi Oil Minister during the OPEC oil price rise, according to what he said in an interview with the Brit Observer in 2002, claimed the Shah laughed and said the oil price rise was all Kissinger's idea. From the Empire's point of view, raise oil prices, put the third world in debt, make things difficult for Europe and Japan and convert Saudi cash in to petrodollars that could be loaned to countries suffering from precisely what had been decided at the 1971 meeting of the Trilateral Commission.

Posted by: Lochearn | Jul 2 2019 23:32 utc | 78

As I understand it, and I may very well be mistaken, the stockpiling of enriched uranium by Iran arises because US sanctions have interrupted the export of surplus processed uranium.
In other words the entire crisis is deliberately contrived by the US government- a nightmare in institutional form.

"I'm so bored with the USA.." Joe Strummer sang and this is the sort of thing, interrupting the life of the species, imposing the rattlings of verminous sub reptiles such as Pompeo, Pence and Bolton upon an innocent humanity's tender consciousness, that Joe was thinking of. It is hard to disagree with his sentiments. It speaks volumes about the nature of class society in the capitalist USA that it throws up such people-and there are tens of thousands of them- and them, instead of incarcerating them, gives them political power.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 2 2019 23:39 utc | 79

At least CNBC was a bit more honest that this is low-level enriched uranium and that Iran would have a long way to go before actually having a working, viable nuclear weapon.

Iran is breaching its uranium stockpile limit under the nuclear deal. Here’s what that actually means)

Posted by: Curtis | Jul 2 2019 23:40 utc | 80

correction: "...and then, instead of incarcerating them, gives them political power."

Posted by: bevin | Jul 2 2019 23:41 utc | 81

William Gruff 51
Americans need to understand that they have little input or affect on US foreign policy. It is decided from above and dictated down below.

Posted by: Curtis | Jul 2 2019 23:43 utc | 82

“Most VPs are fairly useless. Mike Pence, less so. I can't think of ANY VP duties that would require the VP to abruptly cancel a scheduled trip... except one: participation in an emergency National Security Council meeting. Can we find the whereabouts of other NSC members today?”

“Looks like #Israel is preparing to participate "retaliatory" strikes against #Iran with US-backing. All that is needed is for Iran to "provoke" them. And, if Iran doesn't provoke them. They'll create the provocation themselves.”
“Lindsey Graham Says Israel Will Attack Iran, And The U.S. Will Follow”

ZeroHedge:”Israel Talks 'Preemptive Strike' On Iran As China Slams US As "Root Cause" Of Tensions”

“Early this week Israel's Foreign Minister went so far as to say Israel may "act alone" to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, while China's reaction was very different, slamming US policy and its "maximum pressure" campaign as the “root cause of the current tensions,” according to Reuters. EU signatories, meanwhile, urged further dialogue and expressed “extreme concern” over Iran's breaching the 300km uranium enrichment ceiling.”

Posted by: Stever | Jul 2 2019 23:47 utc | 83

Curtis @80

Ordinary Americans may not feel responsible but they are and will be held responsible. Americans are not exceptional enough that they can wash their hands of their rulers and imagine it has nothing to do with them.

Posted by: ADKC | Jul 3 2019 0:12 utc | 84

Russian submarine fatalities story at the DRIVE warzone report:

No mention of any US related info.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 3 2019 0:13 utc | 85

Lochearn @76--

That gibes with the developing genesis of Neoliberalism which is no longer useful as a policy tool, so something else must be developed. The problem is the utter bankruptcy of credible ideas coming from the West aside from more of the same, thus the attractiveness of BRI/EAEU to so many nations. The threat against Iran as I've mentioned represents a gun aimed at one of the crucial nodes of the entire project. Only one entity stands to benefit from its delay and that's the Outlaw US Empire--I can't see any other national entity benefitting from BRI/EAEU not becoming reality: none. Even the Saudis and Zionists would benefit. IMO, it's ideology that's being used as the last possible impediment and nothing else.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 3 2019 0:14 utc | 86

"Iran has kept the Europeans on its si[d]e. " This statement is FALSE.

Think about it: If the Jackass down the block is whooping up a need to raise a lynch-mob to string-up Ira the N-- for a "reason" I and my neighbours Brit-Ann and Frances and Mz Deutcher know is false,have evidence, in fact, that Ira N could not have committed the offence alleged, and we sit tight and keep our mouths shut and DO NOT call out the Jackass for being a bigoted jackass, and blood-thirsty,

How are we all NOT RESPONSIBLE with the Jackass for whatever the Jackass may be able to wrongly insitigate?

Come on, We have a world ruled by International Law, agreed to and adopted by national parties, to rule between them

Or we have a world of NO LAW, where the biggest bully nations, dumb as dogshit, but obedient as brainless dogs (run by goading from their small side-kick manipulator-instigators), "lead" packs of mobsters in momentarily exciting mobbings.

What Iran has been doing through the last year of being reasonable while urging the Nations of Europe has been giving those nations enough rope to hang themselves out as their own sign-boards showing to History what they are, what they were, and, being in the middle (and in a muddle), why they deserve what they are waffling themselves in for.

Posted by: Evangelista | Jul 3 2019 0:16 utc | 87

Regarding the Hal Turner radio show:

If it's on his web site, it's false. Period. I've seen quite a few links to his site pop up on various sites... every single one of which has turned out wrong. Every single one.

Posted by: Timothy Hagios | Jul 3 2019 0:24 utc | 88

Evangelista @85:

"Iran has kept the Europeans on its si[d]e. " This statement is FALSE.

I would even go further and say that they never really had the Europeans on their side.

And this realization bodes ill for Nordstream as well.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 3 2019 0:28 utc | 89

'.... using nukes at any level of combat is insane and will lead to destruction of humanity."

Or: Designing and building nukes is insane and will lead to destruction of humanity.

Here's the reason I think it's necessary to pay attention to the new nuclear posture and the current context: The US and Israel are both gangster nations, literally. They are corporate military dictatorships largely controlled by actual gangsters. Gangsters always intimidate their adversaries with threats and need to occasionally make good on those threats in order to retain their credibility.
My interpretation of " restore strategic stability" is "remind less powerful nations that they should be frightened and deferential" sort of like Thomas Friedman's" whack them upside the head with a 2 x 4" or whatever idiotic formulation he made.
Currently the actual gangsters are barely restrained from indulging their natural proclivities. Getting the nuclear genie out of the bottle would suit them very well, an excellent negotiating advantage. Suppose the first use of a tactical nuke were to destroy a small hydroelectric dam supplying power to a nuclear enrichment facility a few miles away. Suppose at 4 AM there wasn't anybody at that dam. Could that be considered strategic anymore than, say, releasing Stuxnet into the control systems of that facility? Sure there would be a furor and there'd be denunciations after which there would be a new status quo. The US would probably call it something like "nuclear enhanced conventional warfare." US threats would become more credible because similar attacks could be launched without any risk to US personnel and without the expense of conventional mobilization. At this stage what could possibly be an appropriate response? The answer "Don't worry, Putin won't allow it" is not sufficient.

Posted by: NOBTS | Jul 3 2019 0:31 utc | 90


Apart from being the ruler of a corrupt and vassal although temporarily wealthy state, the Shah had other short-term political issues working against him:

In the mid 1970s, the Shah knew that he had terminal cancer, and most likely all major intelligence services were aware of it too;
Saudi Arabia, a bitter although quiet rival, was already pushing hard on American administration to gain a shift in her favor in the Persian Gulf;
The sole ruler of an un-popular and un-democratic system, the Shah was relying heavily on the westernization without taking in consideration the aspiration of the majority of the population;
And above all, he had, confronting him, a charismatic and determined leader as the political alternative.

Usually in those unfavorable circumstances, weak political leader flinch and this is what happened to the Shah of Iran ... nothing else.

Posted by: ATH | Jul 3 2019 0:40 utc | 91

Has Israel ever admitted to having nuclear weapons? If Iran had nuclear weapons would they admit it? Are the Persians not smart enough to put together nuclear weapons? Were they not working with the North Koreans on nuclear weapons?

All in all, we really do not know if they have them or not. They are surely capable of building them and they could have bought some during the fall of the Soviet Union.

I am amazed it took so long for the NEOCONS to get to this point. Lets nuke 'em now before they get the muscle. I suspect that Iran does have them and that is why the US has not hit them hard like their other neighbors.

Iran's nuclear threat to Israel may not be in jest. What is holding this war back? It has been largely gloves off of Iran since the revolution with the exception of a sub rosa intelligence war.

Posted by: dltravers | Jul 3 2019 0:59 utc | 92

NOBTS @88--

Thanks for your reply and elaboration of your argument!

Yes, I understand the dilemma you present. Your scenario posits an act of nuclear terrorism substituting for an act of cyber terrorism, the latter of which has already been performed on the global stage in several instances but was never responded to appropriately, IMO. Lying at the bottom of the dilemma is the fact that the two Global Gangsters have been able to avoid punishment for their actions--and with the 911 False Flag in their tool box--the task's become much harder than before 911 as all too many drank the False Flag Poison and are now paralyzed to act. Since punishment to deter doesn't appear possible, one of two possible alternatives is the overthrow of the gangsters by their domestic populace, with the other being their overthrow by external factors. Eradicating the gangsters hypothetically solves the initial problem but ignores potential future problems. Then there's the possibility that the attempt to capture the gangsters fails and they retaliate. (Almost seems easier just to end humanity.)

We got rid of several gangster factions with WW2 only to see them get replaced by two more, with the international mechanisms put into place immediately becoming unable to contain the vermin. Their longstanding behavior ought to have convinced the genuine International Community of their status as gangsters long before 911. Even if total consensus is achieved, what can be done to arrest these nuclear armed gangsters? (Yes, I'm running into a wall.)

Perhaps we can get more voices to brainstorm this issue as it's too important to be ignored given the current situation.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 3 2019 1:11 utc | 93

NOBTS it isn't a case of "Don't worry, Putin won't allow it" it is a case of "Worry, anyone who does not want to be a US slave won't allow it".

And guess what no one wants to be a US slave.

People in power not understanding this, or understanding it but ignoring it, is a big part of the problem. They need to be removed.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jul 3 2019 1:13 utc | 94

Comcerninging the crime family standing behind Vladimir Putin, and alongside the Addelson (CIA) crime family standing behind Trump and Netanyahu, John Helmer has the goods:


There are many reasons why, to Russians who suffered through the regime of Boris Yeltsin, Yeltsin’s son-in-law Valentin Yumashev should be regarded with the same contumely as the people of Paris considered Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre-Dame in Victor Hugo’s tale.

If we consider most Russian oligarchs have most of their assets tucked away in UK and European Rothschild banks, then is it not posible Russia is either playing both sides against the middle, or much more likely both of the major crime families (Intel factions for the most part), i.e. UK-centric Rothschilds 'globalists' versus US/Israel-centric 'nationalists,' are essentially working together to sort through the particulars of how the NWO will operate -- with the Iran crisis providing all the needed precedents, false flag or otherwise.

I note all the major players have a strong interest in maintaining a relatively high price for oil.

Mearsheimer is a Jewish name. He did not impress me with his revelations about the Israel lobby nor did he get fired from his job. I have not seen anything to suggest he does anything beyond carrying water for the Central Reality Planning Committee of the Globalist-Imperial Priesthood.

And since globo elites have so much more in common with each other than they do with the serfs over whom they preside, why would these gangsters not work together to recover their 1000+ trillion dollar losses from stupefied masses via expensive oil?

Posted by: C I eh? | Jul 3 2019 1:19 utc | 95

@90 dltravers I have often wondered about that possibility. Can anyone, even the Israelis, be certain Iran has not got nuclear weapons? Why the emphasis on delivery systems? And there is this statement made the other day which didn't get much attention at the time...

"Mojtaba Zolnour, the chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, has warned in an interview with the Tehran-based Arabic language news TV network al-Alam that if the US attacks Iran, “only half an hour will remain of Israel’s lifespan”."

Posted by: dh | Jul 3 2019 1:30 utc | 96

Nuclear is the only way to go: Instant victory, Americans feel great, reminding the world that “no one fucks with us”, dead are all Arabs, sold as payback for 9/11. Russia and China will not respond: better to be alive and try to improve their lot. All non-nuclear countries would instantly cave in to all US demands.

Posted by: aspnaz | Jul 3 2019 1:34 utc | 97

Foreign banks willing to join Russia’s alternative to SWIFT

Banks based in several states are planning to participate in the Russian-developed money transfer network that serves as an alternative to the traditional SWIFT system, according to the head of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR).

“It is open for external connection, we are developing it for our trade partners if they want to join. This work is already ongoing and banks of several countries are going to join, test connections already exist,” Elvira Nabiullina said at the first EU-Russia Student Conference in Moscow on Saturday. “We think it will be developing.”

Moscow started working on its own payment service, which is dubbed the SPFS (System for Transfer of Financial Messages), amid threats that it could be disconnected from the internationally recognized SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) system back in 2014.

Trump is responsible for a controlled takedown of the US dollar. If not then why would US sanctions (supposedly) not target the alternative system of payments that will impoverish anyone still holding US dollar assets when the poop finally hits the fan?

Each time a new fiat has replaced an old one the accumulated cost of elite criminality has been downloaded onto the masses. It happens every time, from tally sticks to gold, bonds and etc. The new currency, SDR, Renmimbi or whatever, will only be available to those who are properly authorized to obtain it. (Hint: that won't be you or me). When the US dollar does finally collapse globo elites will buy up everything they do not get via mass bakruptcy, for pennies on the dollar and viola, suddenly they own everything and you will be rushing to the welfare dept. to sign up for meal chip implant.

It is the same with the system being devised by the EU for trade with Iran. Everywhere the infastructure of a Super Financilized NWO is being errected while the old institutions are being left to whither and die.

Posted by: C I eh? | Jul 3 2019 1:45 utc | 98

Thank you Timothy Hagios #86 you are on the money there. The Hal Turner radio show is a BS hysterical war drummer on close research.

The F35 Cyprus story is better covered at Warzone. Looks like a missile by the debris shown in related videos, nothing like an F35.

Warzone report of 1 July:

Still I would not buy a F35 anytime. Maybe a thousand fully staffed village hospitals and schools and transport infrastructure.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 3 2019 1:46 utc | 99

Thank you aspnaz #95 All non-nuclear countries would instantly cave in to all US demands.

They already have and not a shot fired. Wait there, I sense there are a few recalcitrant wannabe upstarts ! I guess you would have us nuke them too?

That might create a lot of atmospheric dust and radiation and .....

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 3 2019 1:51 utc | 100

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