Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 20, 2020

Iran Counters EU Threat Of Snapback Sanctions

U.S. President Donald Trump wants to destroy the nuclear agreement with Iran. He has threatened the EU-3 poodles in Germany, Britain and France with a 25% tariff on their car exports to the U.S. unless they end their role in the JCPOA deal.

In their usual gutlessness the Europeans gave in to the blackmail. They triggered the Dispute Resolution Mechanism of the deal. The mechanism foresees two 15 day periods of negotiations and a five day decision period after which any of the involved countries can escalate the issues to the UN Security Council. The reference to the UNSC would then lead to an automatic reactivation or "snapback" of those UN sanction against Iran that existed before the nuclear deal was signed.

Iran is now countering the European move. Its Foreign Minister Javad Zarif announced that Iran may leave the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) if any of the European countries escalates the issue to the UNSC:

Zarif said that Iran is following up the late decision by European states to trigger the Dispute Resolution Mechanism in the context of the JCPOA, adding that Tehran officially started the discussion on the mechanism on May 8, 2018 when the US withdrew from the deal.

He underlined that Iran sent three letters dated May 10, August 26 and November 2018 to the then EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, announcing in the latter that Iran had officially triggered and ended the dispute resolution mechanism and thus would begin reducing its commitments to the JCPOA.

However, Iran gave a seven-month opportunity to the European Union before it began reducing its commitments in May 8, 2019 which had operational effects two months later, according to Zarif.

Iran’s top diplomat said that the country’s five steps in compliance reduction would have no similar follow-ups, but Europeans’ measure to refer the case to the United Nations Security Council may be followed by Tehran’s decision to leave NPT as stated in President Hassan Rouhani’s May 2018 letter to other parties to the deal.

He stressed that all the steps are reversible if the European parties to the JCPOA restore their obligations under the deal.

The Europeans certainly do not want Iran to leave the NPT. But as they are cowards and likely to continue to submit themselves to Trump's blackmail that is what they will end up with. Britain is the most likely country to move the issue to the UNSC as it is in urgent need of a trade deal with the U.S. after leaving the EU.

Adherence to the NTP is controlled through safeguard agreements between the individual member countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which inspects nuclear facilities. If Iran were to leave the NPT it could still decide to continue its safeguard agreements with the IAEA and could continue to have its nuclear facilities under inspections. That would increase international confidence that Iran is not up to something nefarious.

Leaving the IAEA and ending its inspection role in Iran would then become a separate step the country could still take.

Trump would probably like it if Iran would end its NPT commitments. It would be used to allege that Iran was doing so to build nuclear weapons even if that were not the case.

If Iran were to leave the NPT it would no longer have any obligation to not build a nuclear weapon. But that does not mean at all that it would start to make nuclear bombs. Iran's Supreme Leader has issued a fatwa, a binding religious verdict, that prohibits the production or use of any weapon of mass destruction by Iran:

Khamenei.ir @khamenei_ir - 12:49 · Feb 26, 2015

'We consider the use of WMDs as Haraam.'
Ayatollah Khamenei's fatwa on 4/17/2010
link

Khamenei has publicly emphasized that position (vid) again and again.

Khamenei's fatwa is not his personal decision but a longstanding official policy position of the Islamic Republic. During the Iran-Iraq war Iraq's Saddam Hussein ordered the use of chemical weapons against Iranian front lines and cities. Ten thousand Iranians died of those and many more were wounded by them. Back then the Islamic Republic still had chemical weapons which were leftovers from the previous Shah regime. But it refrained from using them as its Supreme Leader at that time, Ayatollah Khomeni, prohibited their use.

Meanwhile the Trump administration continues to press Iran with other petty measures.

Foreign Minister Javad Zarif had a personal invitation to speak at the the World Economic Forum in Davos. But when Trump announced that he would come to Davos the planned event with Zarif was modified in a way that led to his cancellation of the event:

Zarif had been scheduled to attend the gathering after receiving a personal invitation, his ministry said.

"They changed the original program they had for him, the program that had been agreed upon, and came up with something else," said spokesman Abbas Mousavi.

"Either way, this trip unfortunately will not happen," he told a news conference in Tehran.
...
In a tweet published later on Monday, Mousavi suggested that the change in program by the organizers of the Davos forum was “perhaps geared to have only one outcome,” and called Zarif’s absence a “missed opportunity for dialogue.”

It is likely that Trump demanded the WEF to take that step.

In another petty measure the Asian Football Confederation stripped Iranian football teams of their right to host their own international matches:

The Asian Football Confederation has reportedly banned Iran from hosting international matches based on safety fears over the current tensions in the region. Iranian club sides have responded by planning to withdraw from the AFC Asian Champions League. The clubs have said Iran is “safe”, while Iranian media and fans have claimed that politics, rather than security, is behind the AFC’s decision.

Iran are one of the top nations in the Asian Champions League, and have some of the best supported clubs in Asia. Iranian clubs had a poor campaign last year, but the year before that, Persepolis reached the final of the competition. They, along with Esteghlal, Sepahan and Shahr Khodro, will withdraw from the competition should the AFC’s fixture ban not be reversed.

Iran suspects that Saudi Arabia pushed the ACL to take that step.

All this is part of Trump's maximum pressure campaign against Iran. His Special Representative for Iran recently repeated what Trump hopes to achieve:

Hayvi Bouzo هيفي بوظو @hayvibouzo - 15:24 UTC · Jan 16, 2020

Brian Hook detailing how a new “nuclear deal” with Iran would differ from JCPOA:
1- Iran will NOT be allowed to enrich uranium, period.
2- The deal will be submitted to the Senate to make it a “treaty”
3- It will include Iranian missile programs
4- Iran’s regional aggression
video

Brian Hook forgot to ask for pink ponies. There is no chance at all that Iran will ever give up its 'indelible right' to nuclear enrichment or the missile program on which its strategic security is based. These unfulfillable demands the Trump administration makes are not designed to reach an agreement but to lead to a deeper conflict.

Posted by b on January 20, 2020 at 18:46 UTC | Permalink

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Press conference on Jan 13 (?), Reuters translating Tass that quotes Lavrov:

"We cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that it all started the moment when the United States announced a few years ago that "all problems and woes of the region arise from Iran’s activities, that Iran is the main terrorist" even though no one can prove this and "that Iran should stop exercising influence over what is happening around its borders," the minister underlined.

"Parallel to that, the US tore up its obligations to the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), started punishing everyone engaged in legitimate trade with Iran with sanctions which also led to a significant heightening of tensions."

The assassination of Commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force General Qasem Soleimani goes beyond all legal and human boundaries, the Russian foreign minister said.

According to him, the assassination was the culmination of Washington’s illegal actions. "It goes beyond all legal and human boundaries," Lavrov pointed out.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 21 2020 4:39 utc | 101

It doesn't matter what Iran does because it's damned if it does and damned if it doesn't as long as Trump remains in power, because Trump is a Zionist of the lunatic frame of mind that Iran must be governed by a Zionist-friendly puppet, with controlled economic growth, as Iran has too much unexploited wealth to ever be allowed any power in the region since Israel must be in total control without competitors. Israel is more threatened by Iran's wealth and growth potential than by hypothetical nukes which is a fake narrative it pretends is real. Zionists fear an iranian economic powerhouse run by people who resist Zionism and its inherent control.

The JCPOA was designed from a U.S./EU interest protection perspective.

Zionists were diametrically opposed to it from the beginning because it failed to include their interests which are ridiculuos and unacceptable for any soverign nation. Enter Trump.

Hobbling Iran's economy and escalating hostility towards Iran is Trump's ticket to guaranteeing his power. It's that simple.

The only hope for Iran is for Bernie Sanders to win the election and have two terms in which case Iran will have time to form strong commercial bonds and prove it can stick to the JCPOA for 8 years and longer as it was trying to prove from the beginning before the Zionist shet parade marched in to take over the White House.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 21 2020 4:55 utc | 102

Dear Bevin, your comment truly rings home with me. The rural world and nature seem more and more important in the overall survival of humankind. But where do we find it? Can "developed" countries ever come to terms with the laws and directives of "nature"? I sincerely hope so. Our lives and souls depend on it.

Posted by: ribcluck | Jan 21 2020 5:01 utc | 103

The jcpoa was nothing but a bear trap from the get-go. The deluded so-called moderates got Iran into this trap. If the people of Iran are as smart as I think they are the next presidential elections will bring some relief for Iran.

Posted by: Al Kiani | Jan 21 2020 5:05 utc | 104

@100 Jen

So what if Russia offered Iraq the s-400! What about Iran's airspace?

Russia and China do not lift a finger for Iran; only veto further sanctions at UNSC, which is the LEAST they can do (knowing the U.S. has the power to destroy its economy anyway)!

Posted by: Circe | Jan 21 2020 5:11 utc | 105

I'm wondering whether all the Fake News about the US-manufactured Iran 'crisis' is merely a US-NATO ploy to keep events in Libya out of the MSM headlines?

According to DW News yesterday, Haftar's military forces have notional control of circa 90%+ of Libyan territory with the blessings of Russia, the UAE and Egypt. The recent US-NATO-convened 'summit' in Germany was a thinly veiled attempt, by NATO, to freeze the conflict by negotiating a ceasefire. The 'summit' didn't produce an unanimous outcome and can therefore be presumed to have failed.

That puts NATO in an 'awkward' position. As the initiator of the destruction and looting of Libya (to save it) the LAST thing NATO's greedy, bloodthirsty little pigs want is a united Libya governed by Libyans, for Libyans.

This looming catastrophe (for NATO) in Libya probably helps to explain why the hastily cobbled together threats to Iran seem so clumsily mendacious, illogical and premature. It looks that way because NATO's thieves, lairs and vandals are in Panic Mode and have probably left it too late to prevent Haftar & Friends from restoring Libya's territorial integrity and Sovereignty.

If Haftar efforts meet with continued success then NATO will be left with 3 choices...
1. Convene a War Crimes tribunal to arrest, try and convict the NATO instigators of the destruction and looting of Libya.
2. Sit on their hands and wait for Haftar's Libyan Government to convene a War Crimes tribunal in Libya.
3. Attack Libya AGAIN to keep NATO's dirty little secret, secret.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 21 2020 5:49 utc | 106

Posted by: ribcluck | Jan 21 2020 5:01 utc | 103

Can "developed" countries ever come to terms with the laws and directives of "nature"? I sincerely hope so. Our lives and souls depend on it.

They cannot because civilization is congenitally ecocidal, and the modern economic production-driven, extreme-energy-bingeing civilization most of all. (You've no doubt noticed that every allowable discussion of "solutions" to the climate crisis and ecological collapse presupposes the perpetuation of the energy binge, and indeed a continued increase in the burning of fossil fuels.)

Therefore the Earth will impose its laws and directives by force. By now the economic civilization is hunkering in the bunker like Hitler in 1945, determined to prolong its existence in its most extreme form as long as possible, and determined to kill and destroy as much as it can before being destroyed itself.

US warmongering psychopathy is one aspect of this omnicidal derangement, and ultimately not different in kind from continuing to extract and burn, or continuing to spew chemical poisons and plastics into the environment, just to give two examples.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 21 2020 6:52 utc | 107

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/20/business/boeing-737-accidents.html?action=click&module=News&pgtype=Homepage

After a Boeing 737 crashed near Amsterdam more than a decade ago, the Dutch investigators focused blame on the pilots for failing to react properly when an automated system malfunctioned and caused the plane to plummet into a field, killing nine people.

The fault was hardly the crew’s alone, however. Decisions by Boeing, including risky design choices and faulty safety assessments, also contributed to the accident on the Turkish Airlines flight. But the Dutch Safety Board either excluded or played down criticisms of the manufacturer in its final report after pushback from a team of Americans that included Boeing and federal safety officials, documents and interviews show.

The crash, in February 2009, involved a predecessor to Boeing’s 737 Max, the plane that was grounded last year after accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people and hurled the company into the worst crisis in its history.

A review by The New York Times of evidence from the 2009 accident, some of it previously confidential, reveals striking parallels with the recent crashes — and resistance by the team of Americans to a full airing of findings that later proved relevant to the Max.

In the 2009 and Max accidents, for example, the failure of a single sensor caused systems to misfire, with catastrophic results, and Boeing had not provided pilots with information that could have helped them react to the malfunction. The earlier accident “represents such a sentinel event that was never taken seriously,” said Sidney Dekker, an aviation safety expert who was commissioned by the Dutch Safety Board to analyze the crash.

Dr. Dekker’s study accused Boeing of trying to deflect attention from its own “design shortcomings” and other mistakes with “hardly credible” statements that admonished pilots to be more vigilant, according to a copy reviewed by The Times.

The study was never made public. The Dutch board backed away from plans to publish it, according to Dr. Dekker and another person with knowledge of its handling. A spokeswoman for the Dutch board said it was not common to publish expert studies and the decision on Dr. Dekker’s was made solely by the board.

At the same time, the Dutch board deleted or amended findings in its own accident report about issues with the plane when the same American team weighed in. The board also inserted statements, some nearly verbatim and without attribution, written by the Americans, who said that certain pilot errors had not been “properly emphasized.”

The muted criticism of Boeing after the 2009 accident fits within a broader pattern, brought to light since the Max tragedies, of the company benefiting from a light-touch approach by safety officials.

References to Dr. Dekker’s findings in the final report were brief, not clearly written and not sufficiently highlighted, according to multiple aviation safety experts with experience in crash investigations who read both documents.

One of them, David Woods, a professor at the Ohio State University who has served as a technical adviser to the Federal Aviation Administration, said the Turkish Airlines crash “should have woken everybody up.”

Some of the parallels between that accident and the more recent ones are particularly noteworthy. Boeing’s design decisions on both the Max and the plane involved in the 2009 crash — the 737 NG, or Next Generation — allowed a powerful computer command to be triggered by a single faulty sensor, even though each plane was equipped with two sensors, as Bloomberg reported last year. In the two Max accidents, a sensor measuring the plane’s angle to the wind prompted a flight control computer to push its nose down after takeoff; on the Turkish Airlines flight, an altitude sensor caused a different computer to cut the plane’s speed just before landing

DJ-How does this story relate to the MH17 story in wich the west blames Russia for downing of an airbus over east Ukraine ?

Posted by: Dutch Josh | Jan 21 2020 7:31 utc | 108

The JCPOA was designed to be a tripwire for war. Still, a return to it would be better than the situation now. China and Russia should be insisting on this as strenuously as they can. I read that Rissia is calling for Iran to be made a full member of the SCO. This would be a very good move, as a way to build solidarity with Iran without directly countering the Empire, though I suppose it will eventually come down to that somehow.

Posted by: paul | Jan 21 2020 7:36 utc | 109

I would posit that the past is the most accurate indicator of the future.
Which doesn't bode well for us (humans) at all.
Deforestation, species extinction through hunting/fishing, to name but a few...
We just never seem to learn; exception being our own selfish desires; acting in the macro, while destroying the micro...

Posted by: V | Jan 21 2020 7:38 utc | 110

winston2 #23.

Thank you and we'll said. I have always assumed that the bomb is well distributed and Iran would have been an early adopter as the USSR collapsed. I also gather that Israel is frantic with that same knowledge and has been relentless in its pursuit of the GPS coordinates of Iran's storehouses. Given Israel's absolute refusal to be a part of the NPT then Iran will equally outmanoeuvred them. In my opinion the JCPOA was just a ploy by Israel to discover more intelligence.

Iran outmanoeuvred them so Trump tore it up.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 21 2020 7:41 utc | 111

Regarding Iran's potential retaliation, if it comes down to that, it might turn out that Palestinians being segregated into the west bank and gaza would make it an easy decision to strike Israel without incurring Palestinian casualties. Ironically the kindest thing the Zionist occupation ever did was ghettoize the Palestinians ..

Posted by: Arch | Jan 21 2020 8:17 utc | 112

Richard Steven Hack@68

"People who still think war with Iran is unlikely are victims of cognitive dissonance - the inability to face reality due to emotional issues if they do so."

I'm hoping (against my gut feeling) that sanity will prevail, and the threat of the grave consequences for all will bring a halt in escalation. I wouldn't call that cognitive dissonance, as I am just day-dreaming of better outcomes for all of us.

I'm comfortable carrying and conveying that attitude, and I'm not feeling any dissonance. Ambivalence, yes, just not dissonance.

Otherwise, I am inclined to follow your line of reasoning w.r.t neo-cons/zionists/Trumpler, et al, salivating at the mouth for more death and mayhem. It is their usual shtick after all.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 21 2020 8:18 utc | 113

Google translation:

Invisibility on the radar

The Container radar complex most likely tracked the flights of American F-35 fighters along Iran’s borders at the time of the crash with a Ukrainian civilian plane.

This was stated by Sergey Lavrov. According to the acting Russian Foreign Minister, "at that time there were at least six F-35s in the air on the border with Iranian airspace. This information still needs to be double-checked, but emphasizes the whole nervousness of the situation."

According to experts, only the over-horizon “Container” radar can see and identify at such a distance almost all flying objects. Fifth generation F-35 aircraft are considered invisible. And their flights, it turns out, are tracked without problems for thousands of kilometers, and from the territory of Russia.

https://rg.ru/2020/01/20/rossijskaia-rls-otslezhivala-polety-f-35-u-granic-irana-v-moment-aviakatastrofy.html

Posted by: Mao | Jan 21 2020 8:29 utc | 114

Posted by: Mao | Jan 21 2020 8:44 utc | 115

Where Putin is clear. But where is Trump? Busy with plans for new sanctions and killings?

And who is internationally isolated? Russia with Putin or the United States with Trump?

Posted by: Sarah | Jan 21 2020 9:16 utc | 116

Posted by: DFC | Jan 20 2020 22:27 utc | 52

You're an innocent, thinking that countries are going to behave in justified ways, and should not be hypocritical.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 21 2020 9:39 utc | 117

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 21 2020 4:39 utc | 101

This is quite a complete description of the situation except for the fact, that the US keep a plantation on the Mediterranean which is held hostage by Iranian "proxies" and a plantations on the Gulf that are held hostage by "proxies" and Iran.

These plantations are military and secret service black boxes unaccountable to US congress ie an extension of the US military industral complex.

Best solution would be the US running out of printing press money.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 21 2020 10:22 utc | 118

> 'We consider the use of WMDs as Haraam.'

One may deliberate what "use" constitutes of.
Applying on the battlefield definitely is using.
Conducing experimental blasts on some test range... probably is. But no more definitely.
Designing "on paper" is probably NOT using.

Selling bombs or at least blueprints to third party also hardly is "use", though it is hardly achievable without proving blasts on real nuclear device on a real test range.

So, it seems that Iran is now but clear to start theoretical research into nukes, anything short of actual test range blasts.

Posted by: Arioch | Jan 21 2020 10:26 utc | 119

The retaliation of General Soleimani should continue on a regular basis. Iran should give 2 hours warning and then send in a volley of missiles to various bases throughout Iraq. Keep that up for a few weeks ...

Seriously.

Some US heads need to be banged. Their self-righteousness and exceptionalist thinking is sick.

God I'm sick of this shit.

Posted by: imoverit | Jan 21 2020 10:52 utc | 120

@106 Hoarsewhisperer

Balderdash! Iran is way more important to NATO than Libya, so it's not the distraction for the Libya civil kerfuffle. There is no threat of Libya resisting Zionism under any of the two potential leaders fighting each other for power. Hafter merely represents another client, albeit a Zionist-bought client like Zionist-bought al Sissi who prefers to buy Russian-made weapons to U.S. made. That's all. As with Egypt, Russia just wants a client, but Egypt and Libya are now Empire-dominated in every other sense. And, no, Hafter will not unite all sides; like Sissy he will strongarm any resistance to his rule. That's not unity; it's force.

Now can you please stop trying to derail this IRAN thread with such ot nonsense.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 21 2020 12:23 utc | 121

When is everyone going to write from the true premise that Iran's top priority is defending the right to exploit its wealth of resources and become an economic power. Since Iran rightly resists Zionist control, Zionists fabricated a paranoia-fuelled NUKE fake narrative like they did with Saddam who also resisted Zionist control. Since Saudi's monarchs and Egypt's Sissy are Zionist tyrant puppets squashing resistance in their respective enclaves, they are are allowed to rule with impunity and grow their wealth.

If anything, Zionist efforts to control and now destroy Iran's economic growth will substitute Iran's economic ambitions for nuke ambition to deter Zionist control, and since Zionists are salivating for any excuse to raze Iran back to the Middle Ages like they did in Lebanon with maniac Sharon commanding the operation, Iran must instead strenghthen its assymetrical warfare for now and wait for the orange raving lunatic, who is out to destroy Iran as per the Zionist plan, to be kicked out of office, and then work towards restoring the JCPOA.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 21 2020 13:15 utc | 122

Meanwhile Iran acknowlege fired Two Tor-M1 missiles. New statement that plane dissapear from radar

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2020/01/21/616719/Iran-civil-aviation-Ukraine-plane

Posted by: ARN | Jan 21 2020 13:20 utc | 123

Russ@107
Room in the bunker is limited.
If Iran, Russia, China and close to two billion denizens of the sub-continent could squeeze into it, along with the ruling elites(scum) of the western nations, they might. But there is no room. There isn't even room for most Americans, whose living standards are slowly disintegrating, together with the infrastructure that is the skeleton of 'civilisation.' As to the rest of the world: what you see- tiny 'racially' selected economic elites dominating, with increasing difficulty, masses of peasants slopping over from the countryside to the favelas and bidonvilles crowding around civilisation's cities; Harvard or Sandhurst educated sunni Sheikhs, the great grandchildren of bedouin raiders who made deals with the pirate Royal Navy, surrounded by masses of bemused shi'ites, growing angrier by the year- is what you get. An explosive mixture of poverty, inexplicable and unappetising changes in culture, morality and traditional social relations.

What will happen I do not know: nothing leads automatically from one state of consciousness to another- frustration is as likely to lead to demoralisation and apathy as it is to revolution. But this cannot go on- the degradation of the environment cannot be ignored, it spells out famine and disease, brackish toxic water and smog that eats up lung tissue.

The only thing that stands in the way of humanity's choosing to solve the problems that 'civilisation' has brought to the planet and the life forms which are part of it, is the conviction that it is impossible for humanity to reach an understanding of what is necessary and even less possible for it to act in its own interests.
And while there are certainly grounds for such cynicism they are not of such overwhelming weight as to make it unrealistic to place one's hope for the future in the development of populist movements, which understand both the necessity and possibility of taking the exploiting classes by the scruff of their neck and putting an end to their power. And to the entire system of commodity production and international trade. Without any perceptible or lamentable losses.

Nor is it impossible that out of such assorted movements as the Communist Party of China, the Russian people, Latin America's socialists and the followers of peasant religions will be formed the basis of an international movement which will repair, rationally, the earth and employing, Robinson Crusoe style, the useful loot from the wreck of capitalism and walk, slowly and contemplatively into the realm of freedom.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 21 2020 14:33 utc | 124

@Likklemore (94)

Are you a dimwit? Can you read? Don't you have reading comprehension?
I'm not talking about TASS or any news agency. I am talking --as clearly stated-- about the source itself: the Russian Foreign Ministry. I explicitly gave the link to their website. You should look it up and read it.

It states there that the phone call was inititated by Zarif.
When I stated above "[Russia] Didn't even call them for condolences." that was an accurate statement. The one that called was Zarif. He had to fetch the condolences.

I suggest that before you start typing, you actually take some time to read & comprhend what you are commenting on.

Posted by: bjd | Jan 21 2020 14:43 utc | 125

@Jen (100)

The point has become that you are quick to spout nonsense.

Posted by: bjd | Jan 21 2020 14:45 utc | 126

@106 Hoarsewhisperer

Balderdash! Iran is way more important to NATO than Libya, so it's not the distraction for the Libya civil kerfuffle.
...
...
Now can you please stop trying to derail this IRAN thread with such ot nonsense.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 21 2020 12:23 utc | 121

Sorry you didn't like it.
However, if you go to b's current Douma/OPCW thread, January 21, click on the TASS link, and scroll down past the Douma story, you'll find a report on Turkey's attitude to Libya's Haftar and his apparent commitment to a "Military Solution" for Libya's NATO-inflicted woes :-)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 21 2020 15:48 utc | 127

S-400s deployed in NE Syria:

"Russian military deployed S-400 system near Iraqi border, tracked F-35s."

IMO, Russia seems to be moving ahead in implementing a No Fly Zone. Recall that the recent war spending bill passed by the Outlaw US Empire's Congress contained language ordering the cessation of communication links between the Russian and Outlaw US militaries. IMO, Russia, Syria and Iraq have reached the end of their rope with terrorist airstrikes by ISIS's airforce. Rules of engagement that allow the targeting of hostile aircraft outside Iraqi and Syrian airspace must now be adopted for the NFZ to have bite.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 21 2020 16:57 utc | 128

bjd @126

I've never known Jen to spout nonsense.

Attacking a trusted commentator like this is just face-planting.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 21 2020 17:44 utc | 129

It seems to me that Iranian Clerics admonition against nuclear weapons can be considered just a "no first first use" policy.

Iran almost certainly recognizes that nuclear weapons have immense deterrent value and can be expected to act accordingly. At the same time, USA+Israel are committed to ensuring that Iran never does not have nuclear weapons.

Thus it's difficult to be optimistic about the prospects of avoiding a shooting war.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 21 2020 17:55 utc | 130

karlof1 | Jan 21 2020 16:57 utc | 128 (F35)

I believe also by OTH radar from Ru. I read in translation from Rus. Makes sense, flying restaurant visible with the SW frequencies of OTH/R, the big improvement is in processing the returns . the dope was always in there... Chain Home was OTH @ (I think) 20 meters.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 21 2020 18:35 utc | 131

@ jr - bjd outed himself on this thread.. best response is to ignore them as they have done karlof1's thoughtful post and etc...

Posted by: james | Jan 21 2020 19:33 utc | 132

The US administration has made a critical mistake by murdering the military commanders of Iraq and Iraq that will lead to the collapse of the colonial efforts in the Mideast. The long interview of journalist Elijah Magnier titled “What the US attacks on Iran and military occupation of Iraq mean for the Axis of Resistance” explains the likely strategy for the expulsion of US troops in the Iraq and Syria.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIXCFzDkPwY&feature=youtu.be

The interview goes into deep background on the efforts of the Masters of the Universe to destroy opposition to the occupations and how the deal with China for reconstruction counters the western agenda. The role of the resistance movements in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen will be critical to this effort. The interview lays out how the US and its allies face a cascade of failures leading ultimately to the collapse of the oil dictatorship regimes of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain.

It is obvious that this axis of resistance is a severe threat to Zionist Israel, control of oil resources and the maintenance of the petro dollar.

I fear that the Western colonial powers (including Israel) are intent on the conquest of Iran in an all or nothing effort. It appears that the WMD false flag approach as used against Iraq will be reactivated against Iran as explained by Scott Ritter
https://thegrayzone.com/2020/01/19/ex-un-weapons-inspector-bidens-iraq-war-explanation-a-bald-faced-lie/#more-19361

Iran has been very supportive in providing the axis of resistance with missile technology and GPS guidance systems which accounts for the high accuracy of the Scud variant missiles used in the recent Iranian demonstration of their capabilities
https://jetguyone.home.blog/
https://www.thedailybeast.com/to-target-israel-irans-suitcase-gps-kits-turn-hezbollah-rockets-into-guided-missiles
https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2020/01/16/irans-attack-on-iraq-shows-how-precise-missiles-have-become

Meanwhile the US has been conducting tests to jab GPS to throw off GPS guidances systems in hopes of reducing the effectiveness of such missiles
https://www.winknews.com/2020/01/17/gps-reception-may-be-unreliable-over-swfl-during-military-testing/
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/06/07/us_military_testing_gps_jamming/

Electronic warfare will be used as a part of the massive bombing campaign to cripple the resistance against occupation by attacking the source of the aid that allows the resistance to continue. The likely result is the collapse of the world economy and widespread unrest in most Western powers that depend on massive infusions of petroleum products to lubricate their economies.

Posted by: Krollchem | Jan 21 2020 19:35 utc | 133

Iran should do what Israel did to obtain nukes, and that's buy them from the Bush family, maybe from Israel itself. They adherebto no nation, but rather to greed and the game.

Posted by: Joetv | Jan 21 2020 21:47 utc | 134

Given Ukraine's missing nukes, there's been all sorts of guesses as to where they may have gone. If Iran was able to get a few and managed to keep them maintained, what is it going to use as a delivery system? Iran's been very keen not to develop a missile that could carry a nuke and none of its military aircraft have the ability as far as I'm able to discern, although a civilian jet could be tinkered with so it becomes a Kamikaze nuke. So having a few nuke revolvers stashed in a cave are worthless unless they have a delivery system. And of course, covering up such an operation with IAEA people all over makes it rather difficult, particularly if discovered.

Personally, I don't think Iran has or wants a nuke. Its conventional munitions are devastating enough. It would be much easier to have several sleeper cells buried within the Outlaw US Empire that could turn nuke powerplants into bombs and perform similar deeds on strategic soft targets of which there're many--the pipeline system being one glaring example.

Forward deployment in a hostile region isn't very smart when thought about as it's easy for those forces to become hostages or immediately destroyed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 21 2020 23:16 utc | 135

Posted by: JasonT | Jan 21 2020 3:25 utc | @99

Agreed.

Posted by: trind | Jan 22 2020 6:32 utc | 136

The Axis of Resistance may have made political gains in Lebanon with the new government just announced today:
https://www.voltairenet.org/article209008.html

Political corruption appears to be a major target of the people of Lebanon as well as Iraq

Posted by: Krollchem | Jan 22 2020 21:33 utc | 137

A video surfaced online Wednesday of an official Iranian political strategist suggesting that Iran should take Americans hostage because their lucrative ransoms would make up for sanctions on the country.

“Do you want to solve the sanctions problem? Our naval forces should take 10 or 20 Americans as hostage every month. For each one of them, we should get $1 billion. If we get $1 billion per week, and the year has around 50 weeks. That’s at least $50 billion,” the IRGC officer Hassan Abbasi said.

The widely shared video shows Abbasi, who also heads the IRGC-affiliated think-tank Andishkadeh Yaghin, giving a speech on January 17 reportedly in a mosque in the Iranian city of Nowshahr.

In the video, the strategist makes an example of Jason Rezaian, the Iranian-American journalist who served as the Tehran bureau chief for The Washington Post. He spent a year and a half between trial and Evin Prison until he was released in 2016.

The Obama administration denied any link between the payment, which it said was a settlement to end a dispute over a failed arms deal, and the prisoner exchange at the time.

Abbasi also said that the Iranian government received $3 million from Qatar in blood money for the killing of Qassem Soleimani, in what could be a reference to Doha’s role in housing the base from which the drones used in the attacks were launched.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani went to Iran to offer condolences on the killing of the former commander of the IRGC, Qassem Soleimani.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2020/01/23/Iranian-IRGC-officer-suggests-taking-US-hostages-to-make-up-for-sanctions-.html

Posted by: Mao | Jan 23 2020 13:53 utc | 138

@Moa 138

Iran has done it before like in this case regarding money for Britisg tanks that never was delivered....
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2020/jan/23/zaghari-ratcliffes-ordeal-a-story-of-british-arrogance-secret-arms-deals-and-whitehall-infighting

Posted by: ARN | Jan 23 2020 15:30 utc | 139

and we have this case too..
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/iran-acknowledges-it-has-missing-person-file-on-ex-fbi-agent-2019-11-10

Posted by: ARN | Jan 23 2020 15:37 utc | 140

mr Jason T, I guess I understand your reasoning perfectly well.
The Roman empire had also longly desired the destruction of Carthage and in fact managed to complete the task in the year 146 BC.

And you are obviously correct in assumptions 1 and 2, nameley that bad old US is controlled by Israhell and the latter wants Iran destroyed.
But I definitely must disagree with the conclusion: America will not destroy Iran neither as a nation or a even a 'regime' just to use a word of the empire's fondness so far.
The iranian means of deterrance will be increased and solidified.Because it is a matter of survival for Teheran. Besides, there are assymetric countermeasures that RUssia and China can use to block it.

Posted by: augusto | Jan 26 2020 16:57 utc | 141

 c1ue | Jan 20 2020 21:40 utc | 35

I don't trust Cockburrn. He is not a chip off the old block, he is more of the Guardian/Independent type of “Analyst”.

Likklemore | Jan 20 2020 21:41 utc | 36
I think Putin did. He announced that any nuclear or really serious attack on attack on Russia or its allies would trigger a nuclear response. Then, a couple of months later in Tel Aviv, he said that Iran was an ally.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jan 26 2020 17:48 utc | 142

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