Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 25, 2021

U.S. Further Complicates Its Return To The Nuclear Deal With Iran

A week ago we found that Biden's slow walking of a U.S. return to the nuclear deal with Iran makes no sense if we presume that doing so is really his aim:

Why Is Biden Creating Himself An Iran Quagmire?

The Biden administration demands that Iran fully come back under the restrictions of the deal, to agree to an extension of some restriction under the deal and to agree to talks about its missile programs and its role in the Middle East. Only after that, says the Biden administration, would the U.S. remove some of its sanctions.

The demands are nonsense and have absolutely no chance of being fulfilled.

It is the U.S. that is in breach of the deal. Biden could simply reenter it by lifting the sanctions Trump imposed. Iran had promised that it would follow through by coming back into the technical limits of the deal. But instead of agreeing to that the Biden administration is trying to create a more complicated process by coordinating its negotiation positions with Saudi Arabia, Israel and other opponents of the deal: ...

Then came the announcement of a brigade strong deployment of NATO forces to Iraq with the obviously aim to put pressure on Iran:

It is likely that the U.S. sees the additional troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as a pressure point that can be used against Iran in the rather hopeless attempt to renegotiate the nuclear agreement with Iran into a larger surrender document. Iran will not surrender.

The NATO troops will become hostages of U.S. policies and may well take casualties.

Why the European NATO countries agreed to put themselves into this no-win situation is beyond me.

In between Iran reached an agreement with the IAEA which, under the nuclear deal, is tasked with inspecting Iran's nuclear program:

In response to the murder by Israel of Iran's top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh the conservative parliament passed a law that compels the moderate government under the Iranian President Rohani to further reduce its adherence to the JCPOA deal. As part of this the Iranian government will soon reduce the ability of the international inspectors from the IAEA to observe parts of its civilian nuclear program.

The Iranian parliament had instructed the government of President Rouhani to restrict the IAEA's activity. But Iran's President Rouhani wants to hold up good relations with the IAEA. He agreed on a compromise under which IAEA surveillance cameras, installed at various nuclear sites in Iran, will continue to work. The captured video and data will be archived for three months before it will be deleted:

IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi said Sunday that the two sides had reached the temporary "technical understanding" following his trip to Iran, which had recently signaled plans to scale back cooperation with the global nuclear watchdog.
...
The interim deal reached Sunday would alleviate the impact of Iran pulling out of the additional protocol, Grossi said. "What we agreed to is something that is viable, it's useful to bridge this gap that we are having now, salvages the situation now," he said.

If the U.S. returns to the deal within the next three months the IAEA will receive all the stored data. If no deal is reached the data will be deleted and the IAEA will lose insight to Iran's program. Rouhani was lambasted by conservative in the Iranian parliament for agreeing to this and for thereby giving the U.S. more time.

But neither words nor deeds by the Biden administration show a real effort to return to the deal. It presumably did not like the IAEA's effort to prolong the negotiation time frame before Iran takes stricter measures. Today it started efforts to use the IAEA to further sabotage the relation:

The U.S. is asking other countries to support a formal censure of Iran over its accelerating nuclear activities, a signal that the Biden administration wants to turn up the diplomatic heat on Tehran as it looks to restore a crumbling 2015 accord.

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors convenes next week in Vienna to discuss the latest reports that Iran has stepped up production of nuclear fuel while stalling inquiries into the presence of uranium particles at undeclared sites.

U.S. diplomats circulated a document on Thursday which lists Washington’s grievances and orders Iran to fully cooperate with inspectors. The proposed resolution would “underscore strong concern at the IAEA’s findings” and “express the board’s deepening concern with respect to Iran’s cooperation,” read the three-page document seen by Bloomberg.
...
The proposed censure suggests the U.S. is ratcheting up the pressure. “The world has long known that Iran pursued nuclear weapons in the past,” according to the document. “We also know that Iran retained a vast collection of records from its past nuclear weapons program. Iran must now cooperate fully with the IAEA so we may have assurance that the legacy of Iran’s past nuclear weapons work does not include undeclared nuclear material in Iran today.”

A suggestion that Iran could be providing incomplete information has potentially serious consequences, including another referral to the United Nations Security Council.

Iran is still within the limits of the JCPOA deal. It has exceeded some technical limits which is allowed under §36 of the JCPOA if the other side, the U.S. and European countries, do not fulfill their commitments. The old documents that Iran has archived are well known to the IAEA. The programs described in them have long been shut down and all issues with them were closed when the nuclear deal was signed. That the Biden administration is now pushing these old issues at the IAEA is totally unnecessary if it really wants to return to the deal.

Daniel Larison @DanielLarison - 16:31 UTC · Feb 25, 2021

This is absurd. They are wrecking their opportunity for a diplomatic success with stunts like this. This practically guarantees that Iran will “accelerate” further
Iran Faces U.S. Censure in First Diplomatic Showdown With Biden

Lots of JCPOA supporters have been giving Biden and his team the benefit of the doubt that they were going to do the smart thing on this issue and they just needed to be given time to get things together. This report suggests that was a mistake.

It was the U.S. which left the deal and it is the U.S. that makes unrealistic preconditions to reentering it. Iran is within the limits of the deal the U.S. left but the U.S. wants to censure Iran at the IAEA.

Ali Ahmadi @AliAhmadi_Iran - 17:01 UTC · Feb 25, 2021

Iran says lets compromise & reenter together, US says no. Iran gives IAEA good access risking wrath of Majlis, US escalations with censure motion. There isn't going to be a compromise if Biden is too scared of DC to reach out.

Hard to overstate the level of hypocrisy here. US is completely in violation of its obligations but it wants Iran censured for downgrading its participation in accordance with JCPOA articles.

The U.S. attempt to abuse the IAEA to censure Iran is likely designed to bring the European participants of the JCPOA deal onto its side by pressing them to support its hard line approach at the IAEA.

UPDATE (19:34 UTC): Iran thinks that the EU3, Britain, Germany and France, wanted this IAEA stunt:

Iran accuses Britain, France and Germany—the E3—of having initiated the US plans to censure Tehran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Speaking to Amwaj.media on condition of anonymity, Iranian sources allege that France is now leading a charge behind the scenes to single out Tehran at the Agency’s Board of Governors meeting next week. They also warn that such efforts will jeopardize Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA.

End-update

If a majority at the IAEA votes to censure Iran over exceeding the technical limits of the original deal the issue would escalate to the UN Security Council. There China and Russia would veto any further measure.

On top of the IAEA move the State Department issued a hypocritical and empty threat:

The United States’ patience with Iran on returning to discussions over the 2015 nuclear deal is “not unlimited,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Wednesday.
...
Asked at a news briefing whether there was an expiration date on the offer, Price said Iran’s moves away from compliance with the 2015 agreement’s restrictions on its nuclear activities made the issue an “urgent challenge” for the United States.

Our patience is not unlimited, but we do believe, and the president has been clear on this ... that the most effective way to ensure Iran could never acquire a nuclear weapon was through diplomacy,” Price said.

And then what?

Russia as well as China have today urged the U.S. to stop this nonsense, to immediately lift the sanctions on Iran and to return to the deal:

Developments surrounding Iran's nuclear program are at a “critical point” and lifting sanctions on the country is key to breaking the deadlock, China's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

The attitude of the Trump administration towards a return to the nuclear deal seems extremely hostile. It is completely unnecessary if the aim is really to reactivate the deal. The U.S. could just lift the sanctions against Iran. Iran would then came back into the technical limits of the deal and the whole issue would be be done with.

The Biden administration wants a bigger deal and it seems to believe that it could reach it with more pressure. But despite 'maximum pressure' sanctions the Obama, as well as the Trump administration, failed to get more concessions from Iran than are included in the original JCPOA deal.

The U.S. balance of power positions has since not improved while Iran has learned to live under 'maximum pressure'. Since it agreed to the JCPOA it has also gained the support of Russia and China. Iran is not willing to give any further concession. It also has the ability to make the life for the U.S. and its allies in the Middle East much more complicate and dangerous. It is Iran that has escalation dominance, not the U.S.

Which again leaves the question what endgame the Biden administration foresees. The aggressive track it is currently on points to war. But a war against Iran is not winnable. It would create huge damage to the U.S. and its allies.

It makes absolutely no sense to risk one over a few unreasonable demands which Iran, as any other truly sovereign country, is sure to reject. To insists on these demands means only that the U.S. will lose face when it finally has to drop them.

Posted by b on February 25, 2021 at 19:06 UTC | Permalink

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again, simple Game Theory tactics employed by USA to make your opponent do what YOU want him to do.
The final aim is to declare Iran to be an immediate and present danger to Israel/Middle East/Europe/USA/world and then follow that with massive bombing campaign on Iran's main nuclear/military/civil(water, electricity, etc) facilities thus destroying the weakest link in the Russia/China/Iran chain and dealing a massive blow to BRI in the process.
Again, it is mainly CHina/Russia who are responsible for USA doing tis because neither of them will stand up and defend Iran, thus empowering USA's behavior.

You know, I come to this site to get educated wit facts I don't know, NOT to explain simple and obvious shit. Fuck this site.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Feb 25 2021 19:24 utc | 1

The aberration is the US having entered into the JCPOA to begin with. Otherwise US behavior remains consistent. The only real question is whether the US would be willing to wage a military attack at some point in the medium term. I don't think there's enough evidence to make that prediction at present, except to say that forces of inertia within the military and political establishment would have to be overcome in order to make a military attack probable.

Posted by: elephant | Feb 25 2021 19:29 utc | 2

[...] Biden's slow walking of a U.S. return to the nuclear deal with Iran makes no sense [...]

This may help explaining why:

US, in relative decline, retakes human rights tool to unite allies

Human rights are gaining more weight in US diplomacy, and this to some degree reflects the US' decline in strength. The US is in relative decline and the tools at its disposal against China have become more and more limited. The human rights card has been given more attention. It can be used to suppress China, and also unite its Western allies.

Just substitute the instances of "China" with "Iran", because the logic is the same.

But I want to be even more specific: by "decline", it means the decline of the USN, thanks both to the BRI and the revolution in missile technology. The USN is now only all-powerful nowadays as a patrolling force, i.e. a peacetime force, which means war through economic sanctions are more important than ever to the American arsenal.

Posted by: vk | Feb 25 2021 19:45 utc | 3

The US wants to elbow the EU out of the economic potential of Iran as a market to exploit.

Keep this in mind. No one except Bibi and Israel fear "nukes" and "weapons" from Iran.

It's about the huge market and financial potential trading with Iran and keeping Iran away from Eurasian Integration.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Feb 25 2021 19:50 utc | 4

Thanks for the report, b. I suspect highly that Iran will bring up the issue of Dimona's expansion at the IAEA meeting and expand on the content of this Zarif tweet:

"Israel is expanding Dimona, the region's only nuclear bomb factory.

@POTUS

@iaeaorg

@BorisJohnson

@EmmanuelMacron

#AngelaMerkel

Gravely concerned?

Concerned? A little?

Care to comment?

I thought so."

Iran might as well counter that until Occupied Palestine adheres to the NPT and gets inspected by the IAEA, its situation will not change.

As for Biden's Imperial policies, many have written that they are a continuity of Trump and Obama policies and very little is apt to change. Here's an op/ed with a new angle:

"The Obama-era JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal, was designed, from a Western perspective, to prevent Iran reaching a nuclear weapon. We are now at a stage where the alarmist rhetoric, coming from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and top Israeli Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi, predicts that Iran could develop the capability to produce nuclear weapons in the span of weeks to months. The question then would be, if there is truly a genuine fear of Iran quickly producing a nuclear bomb and potentially using it, then why would the US not be scrambling to re-enter the deal?

"Whilst it is likely that the US government is truly fearful of an Iran equipped with nuclear weapons, it is less likely that preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon is the main reason behind the hesitancy to re-enter the JCPOA.

"Instead it seems that two other primary goals of the US, Israel and their Western allies, are driving the hardball diplomatic stance of Washington, the same two issues which were the priority of the previous administration. The US seeks, whether in the advent of re-entering the deal or prior to that, 're-negotiating' the terms of the two key issues of Iran’s offensive weapons capabilities and its regional alliances." [My Emphasis]

IMO, such a line of reasoning is obvious. And that's why the current deadlock will continue. Iran's policy might change after its elections, but if it does it won't be in the West's favor. I could see Iran bringing its case to the UNSC that since over half of the JCPOA's signatories are in gross violation of the agreement, it should be annulled and all UNSC sanctions on Iran removed. Of course, despite such reasonable logic, any such measure will be vetoed by the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 25 2021 19:51 utc | 5

The US is addicted to war and it needs more and more war and chaos to justify the insanely bloated military budget. With the exception of Trump, every US president for the past 40 years has started at least 1 war in their first term, let see if the Biden/Harris regime starts one in its' first year.

Posted by: Kadath | Feb 25 2021 19:56 utc | 6

The US policy makes no sense at all unless Israel's obsessive paranoia over Iran is factored in. The US has been in a unilateral war with Iran for 70 odd years. US policy against Iran, including the mass casualty war between Iran and Iraq fueled by the US has murdered and or ruined the lived of millions of human being caught in the great game of Pax Americana.

We all remember Netanyahu's hilarious turn at the UN with his Acme cartoon bomb right out of a Roadrunner cartoon, howling at the diplomatic gathering of the existential threat Iran poses to the world.

The war against Iran has been gamed a thousand times and, short of preemptive nuclear genocide, Iran always wins. The game was clearly afoot with the assassination of Soleimani. The Trump/Pompeo plan to provoke Iran into a war failed, not because Iran withheld a response, but because it responded with such precision at such distance that the war was called off because the outcome was known - Iran would prevail.

Why does the US continue its insane belligerence against Iran? Ask Netanyahu.

Posted by: gottlieb | Feb 25 2021 19:59 utc | 7

There will be war, eventually, maybe even this year, maybe next. It will be a disaster for all those directly involved - and not only for them. Tronald started the endgame and his successor will finish it. The reactionary, warmongering parliament will do its part.

It is fabulously stupid, but that will not stop the empire or it is absolutely resistant to learning.

Posted by: pnyx | Feb 25 2021 20:04 utc | 8

The U.S. Air Force Just Admitted The F-35 Stealth Fighter Has Failed
Is this disinformation or the truth? If the former, suggests that US is looking at war soon. If the latter, can the US afford to go to war if it supposed "war winner" is of little or no use. Developing a new aircraft from scratch will take 5-10 years and by that time Chinese economy will have overtaken US one

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 25 2021 20:05 utc | 9

The other point is that the Gas and oil Majors want to keep high prices, and a clear field. If Iran, Venezuela (plus the 140'000 barrels per day stolen from Syria. => 5 million barrels a month) could sell their oil at a reasonable level after sanctions were removed, then the Oligarches might lose a bit of their own "revenue". Same for LNG and NStreamII etc. Note that Qatar, was in the process of organising the sale of its gas VIA Iran to China. I don't know how far they got with that.

Since all foreign policy by the Bidet cabal, involves corruption and profit taking somewhere, the "Nuclear deal" will never happen. No baksheesh, no deal.

Secondary reason is that Iran had commercial relations with Europe, before the sanctions started. The EU is placed very low on the scale of "people to take into consideration".

(Aside; China has found a massive new Oil field. Longterm, they will need less from the middle east.)

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 25 2021 20:05 utc | 10

Correction: in the last sentence it should say 'for' not or

Posted by: pnyx | Feb 25 2021 20:06 utc | 11

Always ask "who benefits?".

There are multiple players that are against the nuclear deal with Iran, the JCPOA.

It is time for "Iran" to be blamed for something provocative. Right on cue.
It will only be a surprise if something doesn't happen. Our mockingbird media
can be counted on to have the same depth of perception (sarcasm) as they have so many times
before and report what they are told to report, see what they are told to see, hear
what they are told to hear.

Posted by: librul | Feb 25 2021 20:18 utc | 12

Philip Giraldi writes about Biden's troubling and disappointing continuity of Obama and Trump's Imperial Policies and reaches a conclusion many barflies will agree with:

"the United States [is moving] inexorably towards a totalitarian state intolerant of dissent."

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 25 2021 20:27 utc | 13

biden wants to stay in afghanistan and wants to overthrow the iranian government (again). it's all one party, with some culture war colors to try to distinguish themselves.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Feb 25 2021 20:34 utc | 14

the US has never been an "honest broker." obviously the purpose of the JCPOA all along has been to provide a casus belli, not prevent war. the purpose of such a war could never be an impossible victory, the US cannot defeat Iran, but simply disruption of economic development and manufacturing an unimaginable chaos. b/c anyone else's development is by definition a threat that must be crushed.

Posted by: jason | Feb 25 2021 20:35 utc | 15

United States of Israel is driving this one!

Posted by: Thomas Minnehan | Feb 25 2021 20:36 utc | 16

One other reason why they want to keep up the "threat" from Iran ; "Israel in talks to establish 4-nation defense alliance with Saudi, UAE and Bahrain"
It provides cover for Israel to increase it's presence in other countries of the middle east. Israel already has access through NATO and partially through US forces (ie in Syria and Iraq? They also have links to the Kurds), but this is their own "political expansion".

They always did want to take the place of Iran as THE influence in the Middle east. Jealousy. A potential Israeli Empire?

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 25 2021 20:47 utc | 17

The clock is ticking. Iran is building out its industry and the Digital Yuan could blow up sanctions across the globe.

The US Air Force is simply too old and maintenance dependent. Dumping the F-35 now is a disaster for warmongers.

The cowardice of the EU is astonishing. Why don't they announce that Israel has nukes and force the US to deal with it? Some of us remember the war in Vietnam and how much agony it took to get out of it. Only a disaster such as a dollar crash will stop the warmongering - and even then they will freely sacrifice the domestic needs of the nation to keep wars going.

The question to me is, does the US survive as a nation if it gets defeated and the dollar plunges?

Posted by: Eighthman | Feb 25 2021 20:48 utc | 18

Re the F35

Besides the 871 faults the F35 is left with, it cannot fly at supersonic speed for more than a few minutes
before the anti radar coating peels off.

Besides the acquisition cost, flying one for an hour costs 44,000.00USD in maintenance.

All in all, I wonder why any country would spend 125,000,000.00 USD for such a lemon.

Lately, the USAF wants to buy brand new F15s proving that the F35 program is complete failure.

Posted by: CarlD | Feb 25 2021 21:30 utc | 19

A differing POV would see the Biden admin's tough talk as a necessary deceit to keep the hardliners at bay and less inclined to use a false flag event to settle issues. Bhadrakumar, for one, has noticed a number of small details which suggest the diplomacy is behind-the-scenes right now.
https://www.indianpunchline.com/us-iran-edging-back-to-negotiating-table/

There are differing factions, certainly, in USA. When JCPOA was first agreed, influential Congressional persons sent word to the Iranians that the agreement would be rejected as soon as political conditions in US changed. And it was.

Posted by: jayc | Feb 25 2021 21:36 utc | 20

Stonebird @17--

When looking at its origins, Occupied Palestine is an extension of the Outlaw US&UK Empire and serves its purposes in that region since its injection, which as many have described acts as a cancer. Laws the USA has enacted (one detailed in the link #13) ought to have severed the relationship except for the one built-in consideration of Occupied Palestine serving the Empire's interests, which serves to toss all announced values by the Empire into the ocean for its support of OP violates all of them. (And lets not forget how OP got its nukes.) The current impasse will continue until the Empire finally falters and OP loses its protection. It will then take awhile for time to remove it from the map and Palestine reemerges in 100 or so years. Remember, Neoliberal planners all live in the very short-term. So, it's the Long Game; and unless nukes are employed, it's fairly easy to see which side will triumph.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 25 2021 21:44 utc | 21

Eighthman @18--

"The question to me is, does the US survive as a nation if it gets defeated and the dollar plunges?"

The dollar will plunge forcing the USA to vastly curtail its overseas empire which many will see as a loss, while domestically it enters into a very Deep Depression that might engender some form of political change. The first event, the replacement of the dollar as the international reserve currency, will be resisted to the utmost, but this time as opposed to the two previous (see here), the world's nations will stand up to the bully/outlaw. What occurs after that is of course unknown aside from the stark economic outcomes which will fall on the shoulders of the guilty Neoliberals.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 25 2021 22:00 utc | 22

So a brigade strong NATO deployment to Iraq. To put pressure on Iran? A brigade stationed in Iraq imagining taking action against Iran would need two more brigades to defend its rear and its flanks. Essentially useless. Possibly that brigade is there for logistic support to US operations in Syria. Perhaps it is simply the Bidet pretending to be doing something.

Some will remember the buildup to the Iraq invasions of 1991 and 2003. US probably no longer has the navy that could accomplish that. We have no new weapon systems, or at least none that work. US population can be led, they are no longer enthusiastic about punishing imagined evil perpetrators of 9/11. In 91 and ‘03 the adversary was physically smaller, numerically smaller, far more accessible. That adversary had no air defenses and no will to fight. Later the population would decide to harass the occupier, the national army did not fight.

US can still make mischief. There is nothing in US inventory short of nukes that will accomplish a thing.

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 25 2021 22:04 utc | 23

The reference to the "Trump administration" in the fifth last paragraph should, I think, be to the "Biden administration".

Posted by: Simon | Feb 25 2021 22:07 utc | 24

karlof1 | Feb 25 2021 21:44 utc | 21

Long game optimism?
You could be right, but we have a long way to go to get there.

The one factor that I see is ; the arrogance of the OP occupiers.
I remember saying quite often in the past, that without any accountability, things (in OP) would get worse progressively. The IDF would sink into a band of "hors la loi", since there is no law that will correct them, they will just get worse.

I regularly follow quite closely what happens in OP. As the IDF and settlers treat the Pal's as subhumans, and where theft, murders and house destuction happen daily, there will be no EU statement/pressure to make them change their minds. The IDF is above that, or at least that is how they conceive themselves.

Thinking of the Tao, any movement will change towards its opposite sooner or later. So Israel will implode. The soldiers, like all mercenaries in history will "return" and take command of the country. The present crop, heavily influenced by the religious sector, will take control ultimately and try to set up.... ? A religious theocracy, a mercenary "kingdom" or something else. (They had 15 generals in parliament at the time of Sharon, I wonder how many they have now?)

Although I am picking on Israel, it is evident that the US and other countries with a dominant military will also have the same problems. How much "influence" does it take for a budget of over a 1'000 billion to be accepted each year in the US?. "They" can't and won't give that up.

Which is yet another reason why there will not be a "return" to the JCPOA. No bucks for the Boys?
***

(To avoid confusion; "boys", or girls, its, thems, trans, or whatever new form of humanity will be necessary to confuse future alien visitors. Blobs, octopusses, pelosi's and greys may have their own forms of semi-sentient being to add to the mixture.)

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 25 2021 22:25 utc | 25

Eighthman put is Finger in the wound. I remember Saigon 1974, my father remember Die Bien Phu 1956. Deutschland will never forget Stalingrad (nor Russia). Imperialismus never think that deplorable country are patiently building their counteroffensive.
Iran hat patiently cornered the USA.
Trump was cornered for three year, Biden is playing Mario-kart at Camp David... No comment
Tut mir Leid, B', but the question is perhaps nicht mehr but what is Iran next step.

Posted by: Bernard | Feb 25 2021 22:28 utc | 26

The crux of the US position is this: the inclusion of Iran’s ballistic missile program with any new deal. Anything else is just window dressing.

Posted by: Andrew Ho | Feb 25 2021 22:43 utc | 27

The Iran policy is on autopilot, permanent hostility.

Meanwhile, it like they want something from Saudi crown prince MBS - this is suggested by US airing details of the Kashogi assassination. A US-imposed change of leadership in the desert kingdom perhaps helps explain the recently discussed shuffling in Yemen, but don't see how it changes anything with Iran.

US forces aren't going to be involved directly unless by accident. But proxies are always an attractive option.

IMO, as with China, State Dept not playing for a direct victory any more, but more like defense - to slow regional connections between Iran and neighbors, on a case by case basis.

Posted by: ptb | Feb 25 2021 23:09 utc | 28

This is the continuation of death by a thousand cuts for empire.

Empire very much wants to build a case for war with Iran and this action by Iran closes that window for at least 90 days. China and Russia will stand behind Iran at the UN and take the opportunity to educate the public and representatives of non-aligned countries.

The update shows that empire still includes most, if not all, EU nations. That said, they can't attack Iran any more than the US can...we are in a MAD phase of our civilization war between government for the many versus government for the few.

Since Iran is now out of the picture, where do the war drums turn their beat to next?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 25 2021 23:42 utc | 29

@Eighthman

Fall of Saigon 1974
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcQoQDkhbYw


Always letting the Empire think it’s in control. Bait him with confidence in a crushing and definitive victory, let him lock himself in his arrogance and raise the stakes until the retreat, which was still easy at first, became too costly.
And crush the snake’s head.

Return to agreement is too costly for US, Israël, Saoud's Régime and Arabs Mini-Kingdoms

Dear Eighthman, the question must be:
Will WE survive as united Nations wenn it gets defeated and the dollar plunges?
I hope Iran, Russia and China will help US find a way back.

Posted by: Bernard | Feb 25 2021 23:52 utc | 30

@everybody
Be careful, I am Bernard (from France) not B.
Next time I will use another Name to avoid confusion.
Sorry

Posted by: Bernard | Feb 25 2021 23:56 utc | 31

I can’t even remember how many times
I have written on this blog that Biden regime like all other US regimes before him since the Iranian revolution wants to try his luck at regime change in Iran first.

Those who have observed US behavior on Iran will know US first and most urgent policy on Iran is regime change, meaning absolving the revolution not just another administration , this thinking gets form in US every 8th years when a new US president takes office and is coincided with Iranian presidential elections in the fallowing summer.

Iranian elections are set to be held this coming June, US regime wants to be at the center of all candidates debates and have control on the economic discussions to utilize such discussions for possible Medan demonstrations and decent against the system.

In case Planed regime change fails US will be the first one to be back at JCPOA without conditions. To get this arseholes back to the deal all Iranians need to do is first not to pay attention to western propaganda about their election second to elect a real independent true Iranian to the bone president and support the SL and the revolution.

Posted by: Kooshy | Feb 26 2021 0:04 utc | 32

@ Bernard | Feb 25 2021 23:56 utc | 31 with the concern about using his name

b spells his name Bernhard so I think you are safe to use your name and I expect he will let you know if that is not ok

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 26 2021 0:04 utc | 33

I still think that the problem with Iran is it is not obedient and not compliant.

Look at what they are doing sending ships back and forth to Venezuela. This is like giving the mighty US the middle finger.

Posted by: arby | Feb 26 2021 0:05 utc | 34

by: vk @ 3 I think the argument with Iran is about how the Price of oil which if left low will impact the waste oil empire.

The neoliberal/neocon Borg members that make up the LNG and LNG-based power generation industry in Texas are indistinguishable from those represented by Joe Biden. And Donald Trump. by: _K_C_ @ 78 last week right on.. the entire state of Texas belongs to the LNG criminal empire and most of the foreign policy is in response to their corruptions.

The other point is that the Gas and oil Majors want to keep high prices, and a clear field. If Iran, Venezuela (plus the 140'000 barrels per day stolen from Syria. => 5 million barrels a month) could sell their oil at a reasonable level after sanctions were removed, then the Oligarchs might lose a bit of their own "revenue". Same for LNG and NStreamII etc. Note that Qatar, was in the process of organising the sale of its gas VIA Iran to China. I don't know how far they got with that.

Second reason is that Iran had commercial relations with Europe, before the sanctions started. The EU is placed very low on the scale of "people to take into consideration". <=yes this was necessary so EU could be forced to push oil and gas out in favor of LNG.

China has found a massive new Oil field. Long term, they will need less from the middle east.)

by: Stonebird @ 10 <= yes, in answer to kc @ 78 last week I said practically the same thing. the LNG crowd are on their last legs.. they have prevented the development of wind and solar energy and delayed the development of battery storage technology and refused to allow solar fed power lines to be embedded in the streets and down interstates.. and that demise has shaped USA foreign policy.. Since Biden, billions have poured into the situation in yemen.. Syria, Egypt, lybia, sudan.. and every effort is being made to stop Venezuela.

The forces against peace are mostly from countries that have major oil companies..if the LNG and existing oil reserves are never used because wind, solar and battery storage replace their market demand, the LNG is broke.

Karlof1 @ 13 says "the United States [is moving] inexorably towards a totalitarian state intolerant of dissent." and
just the other day a major mail server company forced those external mail clients like thunder bird to work with trackable elements or don't work at all. (two part log in I think they called it) Basically unless everything you do and every person you talk to you is available to the Ptb the mail service is off limits.. Many are leaving major mail services.and erasing Chrome from their software, but I don't think the PTB care as the OS catches the things the mail and web clients overlook. That there is a coordinated corporate conspiracy to create from the USA and UK and Israel a totalitarian set of states which the corporations can control and use to dictate the allowed behaviors of the governed. But I argue the conspiracy is not the doing of the nation state, it is the doing of private corporate wealth and it is not limited to a single nation but to the who group of so called NATO nations.

I don't think the corporate vaccination program is going well either millions are refusing to be infected with what i think is a very risky biological RNA script and as the amount of TV advertising trying to get people to take the risk is grows so too does the resistance to RNA inoculation.

Posted by: snake | Feb 26 2021 0:40 utc | 35

Empire has bombed Syria
Biden bombs Syria: US carries out airstrike on Iranian-backed militia target in retaliation to rocket attacks on American targets in Iraq

Posted by: ld | Feb 26 2021 1:00 utc | 36

Mr. Kooshy

Iran has very much moved on.

And the United States cannot unwind her sanctions against Iran, US economic siege war against Iran is a permanent war. It cannot be terminated.

In 20 years or so, when Iran has eliminated her economic vulnerabilities there might be some sort of new cease-fire.

Posted by: Fyi | Feb 26 2021 1:14 utc | 37

M. Bernard

I agree that there will be no returning to JCPOA by the Mad King and her vassal. There might be a couple of small deal, like suspending 20% enrichment for selling oil to India and Korea and repatriation the funds.

Posted by: Fyi | Feb 26 2021 1:17 utc | 38

As far as I can tell, Iran is the only country that quite openly calls a spade a spade when it comes to the US.

Posted by: arby | Feb 26 2021 1:30 utc | 39

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 25 2021 19:51 utc | 5
(RT OpEd)

Yep. There's an avalanche of Memory Holes R Us 'forgetfullness' going on behind the Pomp & Cretinism curtain. The Jewed-up Christians, including the United States Of Amnesia, seem to have 'forgotten' the reason Iran can NEVER give up its conventional weapons arsenal.
Iraq & Libya.
Both countries succumbed to 'Christian' pressure by abandoning their Nuke programs AND disarming, only to be bombed back to the Stone Age and LOOTED by the same 'Christians.'

None of this would be happening if "Israel" had a Real Nuclear Arsenal because the value of such an expensive toy is Deterrence. And deterrence only comes with telling the World you've got it.
Dr Strangelove, anyone?

The Jewed-up Christians are pissed off because Iranians aren't as stupid/forgetful as 'Existentially Threatened' "Israel" wishes they could be.
Western politicians are so corrupt, in an Owned by Someone Else kind of way, that it's time they conducted a referendum to find out what the Ignored Electorates think about their irrelevant Drama Queening.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 26 2021 1:30 utc | 40

b: It is Iran that has escalation dominance, not the U.S.

That's why USA is taking steps to de-escalate:

U.S. Carries Out Air Strikes on Iran-Backed Groups in Syria

“The operation sends an unambiguous message,” Kirby said Thursday night. “President Biden will act to protect American and coalition personnel. At the same time, we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq.”


!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 26 2021 1:40 utc | 41

re Rabbit @ 41

War is Peace...

Posted by: gottlieb | Feb 26 2021 1:43 utc | 42

@41 Jackrabbit

hm, tit-for-tat retaliation, not clear how this de-escalates anything.

More like "we wish we had a way to attack Iran itself, but for now we'll just bomb Syria some more"

Posted by: ptb | Feb 26 2021 1:48 utc | 43

USA just now bombed SYria jut now.

if ONLY Putin The Pussy

1. has stood up to USA earlier and

2. NOT allowed most of Syria to fall into USA's hands

3. has made it clear USA cannot attack Syria

4. had activated S-400 and S-500

this would not be happening.

Putin will NOT say anything and USA will determine they can continue. This is just a test to see how Putin the Pussy will respond.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Feb 26 2021 1:53 utc | 44

36 days in office and already Biden is launching Air strikes on Syria and not even bothering with a faked chemical weapons pretext. The Biden regime must be incredibly fearful for their weak hold on power if they couldn't even wait for the pretext to start a new war. If this keeps up Biden incompetence may succeed in making Trump look like a paragon of restraint and a peacemaker.

Like most things the Americans do, I suspect this will fail to force the Syrian government, Russia or the Iranians do what the Americans demand, in fact I'm certain we'll see more US conveys in Iraq mysteriously blow up in the coming weeks.

Posted by: Kadath | Feb 26 2021 1:53 utc | 45

Yes, according to Biden's SoD, China is our number one threat with a bullet.

Ok, ok, more like a pop gun.

Is that why we just reupped into Syria with a nice, little test for Putin?

Ohhhhh, Iran is so dangerous! Lol.

Putin is the enemy of our globalist times. He and he alone. Don't fall for the bs in the South China Sea. Utter theater.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 26 2021 1:57 utc | 46

China is the top target for the globalists, but they are a harder nut to crack than Russia.

Best way to take down China is to take down Russia first.

China will continue to be pressured using the usual human rights schtick and pressure on the BRI, but as far as direct aggression goes, Russia/Syria is first in line.

Posted by: Haassaan | Feb 26 2021 2:10 utc | 47

1st commenter, Hoyeru, giving your opinion is Okay, but when you think you know better and boast about it, you look like a clueless idiot. Which I've no doubt you truly are.

Posted by: Hass | Feb 26 2021 2:10 utc | 48

I don't know why b, who's been around for a while, claims to be so surprised by Biden's Iran policy, when Biden's said in advance that he'd go with what his Israeli superiors would tell him. It's all the standard Iraq/Libya playbook: (A) you disarm your enemies, (B) you verify the disarmament, and then (C) you attack of course--why else was the disarmament so important?

Overall, this blog's analysis, like Saker, Escobar, and others, often seems overoptimistic about the "other side". For instance, why was it such a Big Deal when Lavrov talked about breaking off relations with the EU? Politicians say stuff all the time. The EU promptly called his bluff by saying "F U, we're sanctioning you anyway", and all Lavrov had to offer was expressing "disappointment".

A couple years ago, Iran was talking tough that it wouldn't permit the American presence in Syria; the US made its move by whacking Soleimani. Iran, by and large, responded with more tough talk about expelling the US from the Middle East altogether. As "ld" has also noted at #36, Biden is now saying "not so fast", and started merrily bombing Syria while Putin is hiding under the bed as usual.

Yes, the Empire is deranged, bothering less and less to hide what it actually is, but there is real power backing it all up. Meanwhile, most of the time the rest of the world seems to be waiting for each other to, you know, do something about it.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 26 2021 2:11 utc | 49

Great piece. The US/UK have not recovered from the 1979 Islamic revolution. Iran has two things the US covets: 1) the world’s fourth largest oil reserves and largest natural gas reserves, 2) geostrategic position in the Middle East—between Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia and abuts the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic “choke point” through which circa 25% of the world's energy transits. In a prescient piece published several years ago, Dan Glazebrook pointed out- “The reason for this obsession with destroying Iran – shared by all factions of the Western ruling class, despite their differences over means – is obvious: Iran's very existence as an independent state threatens imperial control of the region – which in turns underpins both US military power and the global role of the dollar.” (See: Trump's delusional Iran oil gambit is decades too late by Dan Glazebrook RT July 9, 2018; Link: http://www.rt.com/op-ed/432418-iran-trump-china-tariffs).
Despite facing continuous military threats and economic sanctions from the US, UK and other western Imperialist powers since 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has developed a formidable defensive military capability which has no doubt deterred direct military attacks from the US/Israel and positioned Iran as a major power broker in the region. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has concluded- ‘Iran possesses the largest and most diverse missile arsenal in the Middle East, with thousands of ballistic and cruise missiles, some capable of striking as far as Israel and southeast Europe.’(See: Missile Defense Project, "Missiles of Iran," Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies July 16, 2020; Link: https://missilethreat.csis.org/country/iran).
Any US/Israeli war on Iran will likely incinerate the entire ME, and potentially lead to WWIII. Unfortunately, Empires in decline do not act rationally as we are seeing with the rapidly crumbling American Empire. This is going to end very badly.

Posted by: PaulB | Feb 26 2021 2:12 utc | 50

Mr. gottlieb |

It is, in fact and in deed, the United States, led by Protestant, that is occupying Palestine. IDF is the analogue of Hizbullah. No analogy is perfect, the Lebanese Shia do not occupy an analogous conceptual space in Shia Islam as Jews do in Protestant Theology and Eschatology.

Until the war over Palestine is ended, there could be no settlement possible between White American Protestantism and Zionist Judaism on one side and Islam on the other side.

Posted by: Fyi | Feb 26 2021 2:32 utc | 51

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/02/breaking-biden-bombs-syria-punish-iran-attacks-us-iraq/

Joe Biden personally approved US airstrikes on Syria Thursday in response to recent Iranian-backed militia attacks on US forces in Iraq, Reuters was first to report. The Biden airstrikes reportedly targeted a facility in Syria belonging to Iranian-backed militias. (UPDATE at end, Pentagon statement.)

Posted by: gm | Feb 26 2021 2:34 utc | 52

Mr. Ma Lao-Shi

In fact, Iranians cannot be provoked easily. They are carpet merchants and carpet weavers. They gave the same lessons to their allies as well. To wit, Hizbullah wove a pattern of Resistance Rug and kicked Israelis out of Lebanon, defeated them in 2006, and has established M.A.D. doctrine with Israel. Iranians spent 35 years weaving the Precision Rocketry rug, among a number of other rugs. Syrians and Yemenis are also weaving their rugs. One rug is called Golani Liberation. In Iraq, Iranians and Shia Arabs are weaving a number of rugs, future will reveal their names.

Posted by: Fyi | Feb 26 2021 2:44 utc | 53

(((Joe (More Wars for the Jews) Biden)))* just bombed pro-Iranian militias in the Syrian War for the Jews today. Why in the Hell did he do that? Also (((Joe (More Wars for the Jews) Biden))) is increasing the number of US bases in the Syrian War for the Jews. In addition, (((Joe (More Wars for the Jews) Biden))) will reportedly say nothing at all as Israel expands settlements in the West Bank in the next four years. In addition, Joe (More Wars for the Jews) Biden will not change the location of the US Embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

One thing I like about the US is all the choices we have, especially in foreign policy:

(((US Democratic Party))) foreign policy: More wars for the Jews!
(((US Republican Party))) foreign policy: More wars for the Jews!

Wow that's some choice! I can hardly decide which one to choose!

*All Israel-firsters get coincidence marks. You don't have to be Jewish to get one. Really coincidence marks just mean Israel-firster.

Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Feb 26 2021 2:54 utc | 54

There is one weird thing I don't see a clear explanation about.

What the hell are they doing with Saudi Arabia? What is the end game? Sure, the Saudis are repellent but that's nothing new. I can only hark back to other weirdness (or is it sheer delusional arrogance?) in which the CIA seemed to support Khomeini in Iran rather than the Shah. Or Obama/Hillary supporting Muslim Brotherhood types - until it became painfully obvious that they absolutely hate Israelis (Egypt)

Saudis need oil in the high 60's for their budget. Turkey has long term dreams in being Sunni Central, if not one day grabbing the holy cities - did they build a base off Sudan?. Civil war maybe? What the heck are they thinking?

Posted by: Eighthman | Feb 26 2021 3:18 utc | 55

President Jew Bidet just bombed Syria?

Posted by: Kodiak | Feb 26 2021 3:28 utc | 56

With respect to the commenters asking why doesn't Russia, China or Iran do some massive, violent response to the Americans. You must remember that Russia, China & Iran are all playing the long game and their actions have to be seen as part of a broader geopoticial strategy.
1. Why did Iran agree to the JCPOA in the first place: Russia and China were still playing nice with the US at that time, Iran wanted to sign an agreement with the US to show Russia and China (both countries that Iran had poor relations with at that time) that they were an honest and reliable partner and that they could work with Iran as part of their larger silk road economic plan. The Iranians probably always expected that the US and Europeans would break the deal, alienating the US & Europe from Russia and China and proving them an entry point into a closer relationship with both (which is what happened, Iran leveraged this relation to bring Russia into Syria and China into a $400 billion economic investment deal). a few months ago Russia, China & Iran had joint naval drills which points to a close relationship that will expand (both militarily & economically) in the future

2.Why doesn't Russia destroy the illegal US bases in Syria or expand it's nuclear deterrence to Syria: Aside from not wanting to start WW3, Russia is well aware of how expensive the US presence in Syria & Iraq is, Russia can simply not match the US dollar for dollar, but it doesn't have to, it just needs to frustrate the US efforts at regime change, which it can do for pennies on the dollar, the US & allies have spent more than $12 billion dollars (publicly, as of 2018, meaning it is probably double or triple that in reality) trying to destroy Syria and install a US puppet regime over the past 7 years. Russia spent, around $200 million and managed to stalemate the US completely. Yes, Syria is not fully liberated from the US occupation forces, but Russia prevented the US goals at a minimum costs, enabling them to build up their own defenses and alliances to discourage future US aggression. Presumably, the Russians believe that the economic costs will eventually force the US to leave entirely triggering a cascading collapse of the terrorists to government forces.

3. Why doesn't China do something about Taiwan and US provocations? China is doing something, it recognizes that the US power (military, political, economic) is collapsing and the US is trying to instigate a crisis to rally its people and allies to its' banner to fight a new Cold War with China. China however, is refusing to take the bait of using force against the US proxies and this is making the US act more and more irrational trying to create a pretext for its' new Cold War. In doing this China does several things, a)show US allies that the US is unreliable and unstable and that they will bring ruin to their countries if they support them, sadly, some vassal states, like Australia & Japan, would gleefully follow the US lead and capsize their nations into a boiling sea, but others like the Philippines and South Korea are already telling the US to back off. b)allow the US to continue to grow weaker, so that when the final crisis does occur China will be in the superior position.

4. Lastly, many Barflies here feel that the US and the Western World itself has entered a prolonged and perhaps irreversible period of decline and eventual collapse. The Russia, Chinese & Iranian governments have access to far more intelligence and assessments than even the most informed amateur, is it not possible that they have also came to this conclusion and feel that their best course of action is the slow burn, to stall, frustrate and impede the US aims until this process utterly collapses US powers?

Posted by: Kadath | Feb 26 2021 3:49 utc | 57

JCPOA = Jesus Christ: Price On Application.

The Iran Fiasco reminds me of a South Park episode.
Cartman's? parents buy a Toyota Prius to help combat Global Warming.
As they leave home, smugly, on their first Prius Family Outing, the camera zooms in on the badge at the rear of the Pious.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 26 2021 4:00 utc | 58

@57 kadath...thank you, you've succinctly summed up what i've been thinking as well.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Feb 26 2021 4:48 utc | 59

The site bombed in Syria was Albukamal on the Euphrates according to the link in gm | Feb 26 2021 2:34 utc | 52. I.e. the same site as Israel bombed a few weeks back. Sounds like the Israeli attack was not as successful as claimed at the time, if a second strike was necessary. In between time, of course, whatever assets were there will have been dispersed.

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 26 2021 5:17 utc | 60

My analysis is that Iran is to be destroyed via tactical nukes ostensibly aimed at "nuclear" sights. The resulting and planned for "collateral damage" will destroy Iran's economy. Iran will then be occupied in the North by the West's Kurd allies and Balkanized.* Iran's energy/oil fields will be occupied by Western troops.

To accomplish the occupation of Iran's energy/oil fields, forces must be positioned in Iraq. It is no surprise then that more Western troops are headed to Iraq. To maintain the occupation of Iran's energy/oil fields, and to diminish the ever growing pool of impoverished Americans, the draft will be instituted.

During the occupation the baton of the West's enforcer/police man, international thug, will pass from the bankrupt US Tyranny to the European Tyranny.

The plan is to completely destroy Iran and steal Iran's energy/oil. Look for it.

* Iran is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. Lots of money and arms, as seen done before, and Iran will be turned in to a quilt of ethnic strife, fiefdoms, and hate like never before seen.

Posted by: Brad Tifman | Feb 26 2021 5:19 utc | 61

@53 Fyi

Your comment is perfect, thank you. Indeed, there are many rugs being woven, patiently and skillfully, and only the future will reveal their names.

~~

This is the great key, that despite appearances and false impressions, the US is not leading this story, not in any theater, not even in Europe. The US has given up leading. The US has no power left to rule events. The great nations of the world are leading this story, charged by fate to seal the demise of the US with minimal damage to the world - a world which will include an intact US if possible.

Even in Europe the forces are being conceived that will become born that will sever from the US - the motion towards Eurasia has already begun, signed in ink.

We are not watching the US acting and the rest of the world reacting - or appearing to fail to act, to the disappointment of observers who are stuck in the same short time frame of reference that the US is caught in.

When the future arrives that the US is no longer a threat in the world, if at that time we see that damage to the world has been very minimal in relative terms, compared to the grave threats that used to be imagined coming from the US, then observers will note that the player countries who were actually guiding the fall of the US - China, Russia, Iran and others - acted impeccably, with great wisdom and true to their duty of care.

We are fortunate that the leadership of those nations thinks of that future time and plans for it. The future will be grateful for it. And meanwhile, short-term observation will always parse this struggle incorrectly.

~~

Why should everything be NOW? From what addiction to instant gratification does this demand come, to obscure observation?

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 26 2021 5:22 utc | 62


Diplomacy: 'the art of saying “Nice doggie” until you can find a rock'.

That's the game Iran is cleverly playing.

They've been able to buy endless decades of time while saying "Nice Doggie".

One can only hope they find that rock in time ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Feb 26 2021 6:05 utc | 63

Kadath @57 & Grieved @62--

Thanks for your excellent summations. They'll be good to sleep on!

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 26 2021 6:08 utc | 64

@ Kadath | Feb 26 2021 3:49 utc | 57 who wrote
"
The Russia, Chinese & Iranian governments have access to far more intelligence and assessments than even the most informed amateur, is it not possible that they have also came to this conclusion and feel that their best course of action is the slow burn, to stall, frustrate and impede the US aims until this process utterly collapses US powers?
"

Yes, this death of empire by a thousand cuts has been written about here before and is becoming more real as time passes.

What is the cut going to be in Syria now to forestall further escalation there now that we read that the US has started bombing in Syria?...whatever happened to the Russian Swhatever systems that were suppose to keep air attacks away?

We do have a civilization war going on and the stakes are high. Where/when is the climax to this shit show?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 26 2021 6:24 utc | 65

OK here we all are up the usual cul-de-sac still whining about issues we knew were dead set certainties should either of the two scummy old pricks who were permitted to compete in the 2020 prez beauty contest win. Why is anyone still talking about this? To say "I told you so" whoopty-doo.

Nothing posted here or anywhere else will change jack-shit, yet day after day people choose to re-invigorate their's and others' outrage by posting & reading this stuff.

I would be interested to hear from anyone who can show that self-righteous outrage ever changed whatever it was that outraged 'em in any way let alone for the better.

It doesn't happen, if your dislike of the empire's treatment of Iran affects you as much as many here claim, then get off yer arse and take action to help force a change, anything less is both pointless & hypocritical.

There are a kazillion of these issues created by the empire, read social networks & blogs and you'll see many amerikans het up about them all, but rather than actually doing anything, as far as I can see most whiners would rather spend their time in tedious arguments about terminology or grammar usage (see yesterdays farce about the propriety of 'liberal fascist' or whatever, all that energy for what - nothing, that is what - just another pointless argument, another pointless jig on the fiddle while the world burns.

Otherwise we get "See I know more about what is happening in the ME than you, cause I spelt it correctly!" etc.

I fully acknowledge most will reject this (if they even bother to read it that is) because acceptance would be most inconvenient, yet the fact remains most of us are old & well past our use by date so why not act instead of talking? There is SFA to lose and much to be gained for our descendants.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 26 2021 6:43 utc | 66

We caught up with the US spokesperson by the gates of the expanded Dimona nuclear facility, “I have just seen the awesome nuclear bomb making technology Israel possesses, I’m sure the IAEIA would be impressed if they were allowed to visit. It’s good to see the billions of US tax dollars haven’t been wasted on unnecessary health or housing initiatives for Palestinians.”

The US has provided further pressure on Iran to force them to comply with the JCPOA treaty the US abandoned under Trump. “Even though we are not signatories to the treaty, Iran his complying and we have continued to add to the illegal sanctions we have been using, we insist that Iran accept the additional conditions that have nothing to do with the treaty.”

“We know Iran has a secret bomb plan because Israel told us so, and they know all about secret nuclear weapons programs.”

Grieved 62
In the 1983 film Sunless Chris Marker makes the observation that future conflicts will be about different conceptions of time.

Posted by: DeQuincey | Feb 26 2021 6:44 utc | 67

@Eighthman | Feb 26 2021 3:18 utc | 55

There is one weird thing I don't see a clear explanation about.

What the hell are they doing with Saudi Arabia? What is the end game?


Well, an explanation is that there is no ideology or plan, the US is going down like a led balloon. The US is panicking and all "Biden" can think of is to create chaos and disruption everywhere to somehow level the "playing field".

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 26 2021 7:03 utc | 68

Re airstrike on Albukamal on the Euphrates
I found some background, interesting and just started looking

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 26 2021 7:23 utc | 69

@Debsisdead | Feb 26 2021 6:43 utc | 66

Nothing posted here or anywhere else will change jack-shit, yet day after day people choose to re-invigorate their's and others' outrage by posting & reading this stuff.

And why exactly do you read the posts here and why did you post this here then? B has provided a place for intelligent conversation of current events and related matters, something that is more needed than ever, but you seem to want to discourage such exchanges. Maybe we should call it what it is, an attempt to censor?

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 26 2021 7:26 utc | 70

Kadath @57 & Grieved @62

Thanks...good commentary!

Posted by: Haassaan | Feb 26 2021 7:44 utc | 71

@ Kadath 57 and Grieved 62, 
thanks for bringing some sanity
boys are boys, still excited by heroîcs, guns, wars, don't like prolonged suspense... the big Now 
Well this is The Great Game and the burden of the Anglos 2.0... but this time China is back and in sinc. with Russia for the Long Game, Iran is in it and so are parts of Africa and South America. That's globalization.
Europeans double speak says volume about allegiance to Nato and the hollowness of Nato military power. And by the way E.U. is not an Union, Nato art.5 is not really imperativ nor contraignant (Poles should know better)
The MAD reallity is so strong that even Biden had to accept prolonging the limitation treaty...
So the adults in the room reprimand politely the savage, uncivilized, hooligans posturing as the International Community

Posted by: Charles Michael | Feb 26 2021 8:06 utc | 72

Developing a new aircraft from scratch will take 5-10 years and by that time Chinese economy will have overtaken US

Ghost Ship | Feb 25 2021 20:05 utc | 9:

Developing a clean sheet aircraft would likely take somewhere between 15-20 years. The Pentagon is in panic mode since they're going back to the F-15 airframe. Meanwhile, the Chinese are set to unveil another stealth fighter sometime this year.

In any case, I believe the Chinese economy have already overtaken the US but nobody wants to admit it.

Posted by: Ian2 | Feb 26 2021 8:25 utc | 73

Posted by: Ian2 | Feb 26 2021 8:25 utc | 73

China's GDP has long surpassed the US in PPP terms.

In any case, F-35 was initially touted to be an a low cost weapon, and we know how well that bullet point ended up. There is no good reason to believe the replacement wouldn't be following the same fate.

Posted by: J W | Feb 26 2021 9:26 utc | 74

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 26 2021 7:23 utc | 69

The Jerusalem Post article wasn't that convincing. You don't hear that much about massive Iranian convoys crossing Sunni Iraq to get to Albukamal (the Iranians come in by air mostly; but the Israeli narrative requires the land-bridge, to supply the imaginary massed Iranian units in Syria)

For recall

Wiki:
"A series of airstrikes were carried out by the Israeli Air Force on multiple Iranian-linked targets in the Deir ez-Zor Governorate of Syria on 13 January 2021. 57 people were killed according to Israeli reports."

Evidently the loudly vaunted Israeli airstrikes were not a success, if the site had to be bombed again by the US. For Israel to do it again would have been to admit the failure, so they got the Yanks in to do it.

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 26 2021 10:21 utc | 75

@Eighthman | Norwegian

I agree with Norwegian

JUST read it from "Biden's Régime" official
NED PRICE, US DEPARTMENT of STATE SPOKESPERSOND, Department Press Briefing – February 25, 2021

"when you look at the results of maximum pressure, you can only be left with one conclusion [...] Rather than cowing [...] into submission, Tehran and its proxies [...] have been emboldened."

https://www.state.gov/briefings/department-press-briefing-february-25-2021/#post-221634-IRAN1

The question with Saoud's (and Netanyahu) can be
"stop pushing US so much! ".

Bombing AlBoukamal (7 x 500 kg) is just as fake as Trump's Shayrat 2017 bombing. Carpet bombing as Dresden 1945 is no more so easy. So, what's Next? Nuke as Hiroshima? Don't be crazy...

So, stay tuned on Iran will and act.

Posted by: Bernard F. | Feb 26 2021 10:52 utc | 76

So once again US attack Syria, this time Biden,
tragic that Russia never step up against this especially against the new neocon presidency of Biden, that is why Russia, Syria, Iran are losing.

Posted by: Zanon | Feb 26 2021 11:03 utc | 77

Laguerre | Feb 26 2021 10:21 utc | 75

do you have some sources you can point me to? I understand you have personal knowledge of many things going on in the middle east and suspect you can read Arabic as well.

that way I don't have to go to Fox News and or the Jerusalem Post for information.

btw, I have seen your posts for some time, both here and at SST and appreciate them a great deal.

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 26 2021 11:15 utc | 78

@ Posted by: Kadath | Feb 26 2021 3:49 utc | 57

4. Lastly, many Barflies here feel that the US and the Western World itself has entered a prolonged and perhaps irreversible period of decline and eventual collapse. The Russia, Chinese & Iranian governments have access to far more intelligence and assessments than even the most informed amateur, is it not possible that they have also came to this conclusion and feel that their best course of action is the slow burn, to stall, frustrate and impede the US aims until this process utterly collapses US powers?

Yes, that's exactly the case. Time is definitely not on the American side, and we know why: Marx's Law of the Tendency of the Profit Rate to Fall, which states every capitalist society crumbles by itself in the end, not needing any alien element to do so.

And I go beyond that: all of those leaks on the British MSM plotting with their government in order to wage a propaganda war against Russia, Putin already knew that and he knows much more.

In fact, most of my analyses here are only possible because the extraofficial media from the Russian and Chinese governments exist - which make my sources essentially primary - and because they are on the right side of History, therefore they can afford to be honest about their general objectives.

Posted by: vk | Feb 26 2021 11:26 utc | 79

Why Is Biden Creating Himself An Iran Quagmire?

This question assumes
1 he knows what he is doing
2 that he is in control
3 that it is his policy

Just balls and strikes folk

Posted by: Dogon Priest | Feb 26 2021 11:34 utc | 80

50,000 Pound "Mega-Shipment" Of Cocaine Seized At Hamburg Port, allegedly destined for Netherlands

https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/50000-pounds-cocaine-seized-german-port

A Valentine's Day card allegedly found with the belongings of the *single person* arrested in connection with with the estimated $8.5 Billion seizure, which occurred earlier in the month, of a shipping container full of the [likely] Colombian-sourced drug, concealed within cans labeled construction paste,

According to unverifyable anonymous sources who have read the card, it is reported to have said the following:

Dear Klaus:
Hope you and the backroom boys/girls in Davos enjoy this small gift of appreciation for all you have helped us accomplish. It is some of the CIA's best. By the way, they're still working on the hot pizza logistics. Big Guy would send his best too, if he still could (Hah-hah). The plan is working beautifully.

Stay strong,
-Hunter

Posted by: gm | Feb 26 2021 11:55 utc | 81

The JCPOA ("Iran deal") solved one of the main pressing issues of our time and was a major diplomatic achievement for all parties involved. Before the JCPOA almost the whole world was aginst Iran, including Russia and China who had agreed to the UN sactions. After Trump broke the deal both Russia and China clearly sided with Iran while Europe remained at least neutral. The Iranians seem to have never really appreciated this impressive diplomatic breakthrough (constantly claiming they got "nothing" in exchange for adhearing to the JCPOA).

I have the impression the Biden administration isn`t afraid of the Iranian nuclear program and wants to continues the "maximum preassure" strategy of Trump - just with the major differnce that unlike Trump they will also effectively use the means of dimplomacy. The first step is turning Europe.

The Europeans are genuinely concerned about the Iranian balitic missile program and the prospect of an Iranian nuclear bomb. When the IAEA inspections insight into the Iranian nuclear program will be lost and trust doesn`t excist between Europe and Iran. In such a situation the EU/E3 will almost cetainly side with the US against Iran. (The Iranians - who constantly falsely claim that the EU/E3 didn`t live up to their obligations under the JCPOA - have then the chance to find out that things can always get still worse.)

Russia and China have been consistently held up the principles of nuclear non-profileration and international law. What if one of the E3 - for instance the UK in exchange for a favourable trade deal with the US - invokes the "snab-back"-clause of the JCPOA? Without IAEA inspections Russia and China can`t proof that the Iranian nuclear program is really only peaceful. They will be in a situation where they have the choice to either abandon their principles or abandon Iran.

Posted by: m | Feb 26 2021 12:33 utc | 82

Just finished reading this...thoughts

New Biden policies snub Saudi prince, “uncover” Israel’s reputed nuclear program - DEBKAfile https://shar.es/aoyzB2

Posted by: Dogon Priest | Feb 26 2021 13:14 utc | 83

One twitter account is saying one person was killed in the bombing, and I believe the "coalition" forces called this an attack on infrastructure. In significant contrast to the Trump-era raids in the same region that killed 20-30 fighters.

This feels like Kabuki theater, especially since the Biden regime had to do "something".

Posted by: schmoe | Feb 26 2021 13:51 utc | 84

Mr. M

It does not matter what China or Russia do at this time, in contradistinction to the situation prior to 2015.

The fact is that the power to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear-armed state does not exist in the international arena.

It has not existed for 20 years.

Nothing has happened since 2015 to alter that fact.

In the end, a North-Korean situation may come to pass - and Iran might have arm herself with nuclear weapons to safeguard Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.

Posted by: fyi | Feb 26 2021 15:03 utc | 85

So America just bombed Syria, allegedly targeting an "Iranian-backed militia."

And what is the response of the not-so-peace-loving American people?

The vast majority of them will:

1). Support their beloved war criminal American troops who are illegally occupying and bombing Syria.
2). Spew their usual Orwellian rationalizations and excuses as to why America was morally justified to bomb yet another country.
3). Downplay and minimize this latest act of American aggression by suggesting that it wasn't a big deal.
4). Stifle a bored yawn and devote their attention to more important shit like surfing the internet for porn, sports, or celebrity hijinks.

God Bless America and the American people--the greatest war criminals on this planet!

Posted by: ak74 | Feb 26 2021 15:10 utc | 86

At least 17 dead and the Russians are now accusing the US of wanting permanent occupation in Syria and Anbar Province (Iraq).

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202102261082197048-lavrov-russia-has-information-that-us-plans-to-stay-in-syria-forever-destroy-the-country/

Which is why Israel has bombed 4 times as well (earlier.) The Russians have now warned Israel (4 days ago) that no further bombing of Syria will be tolerated.

The US wants to steal Oil and grain and keep at least 19 permanent bases in which to train ISIS and other terrorists on a full time basis. (plus AL-Tanf). They have more on the Iraqi side of the border.

Note that the Pro-Iranian forces were in fact part of Iraq's PMU (ie official Iraqi forces but Shiite.) The other group mentioned denied responsibility for the rockets but unfortunately had "Hizbollah" in their name. For the brain dead US forces that was enough to warrant a few more murders.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 26 2021 15:11 utc | 87

Mr. Arch Bungle

Basically, Diplomacy is used to reduce (mutual) risks.

Americans, under Trump, decided to dispense with it and proceeded to realize all the risks for everyone, including their vassals and satraps.

They hurt everyone, including themselves.

Posted by: fyi | Feb 26 2021 15:18 utc | 88

Bombed by the US;
"Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Force) is formed of the people of Iraq: Shia, Sunni, Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Assyrian Church, Yezidis and Sabean- Mandeans." No Iranians ?
They are moving ISIS detainees from Hasakah to Al-Tanf. Will they then arm them and then let them go ?

I said 17 dead, the "official" total is one Hizbollah. (I might be wrong but it depends on which source you read), There was a "unknown explosion" (both sides of the ship) with an Israeli flag near the straits of Hormuz. Coincidence?

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 26 2021 15:20 utc | 89

Mr. Stonebird

Americans cannot stay in Iraq or in Syria - they are operating akin to Crusader Castles in a sea of hostile Muslims.

The largest religious gathering on Earth is the commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein.

They just murdered a number of Shia Iraqi soldiers.

Posted by: fyi | Feb 26 2021 15:21 utc | 90

Mr. Bernard F.

Dresden bombing's firestorm was a fluke. It could never be replicated.

Posted by: fyi | Feb 26 2021 15:24 utc | 91

It seems as if the USA is intent on forcing as many countries as they can into developing nuclear weapons.

Posted by: arby | Feb 26 2021 15:35 utc | 92

Following from my comment @Feb26 1:40 #41

The last time we heard about Iran's "escalation dominance" there were a series of mysterious attacks blamed on Iran that culminated in a set-up whereby Iran was apparently meant to down an American P8 (aircraft used for surveillance). But the Iranians downed a drone that was flying with the P8 instead.

Now we have a US attack on infrastructure that is meant to "deescalate"...

... and this: Merchant Vessel Hit By Explosion In Gulf Of Oman, Report Says

<> <> <> <> <>

And don't forget USA's dire warnings that Iran is harboring al Queda. That is a card that will almost certainly be played in the near future. This year is the 20th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 26 2021 15:41 utc | 93

@Stonebird, #87

So mastermind Lavrov has intel that the Dark Throne is up to no good in Syria? His epiphany would have been more useful ~six years ago, when his boss invited the Yanks in--for partnership of course, in case some people forgot. Last month, Biden rolled into town with the biggest band of Russophobes and war-hawks ever assembled; instead of preparing for war, what did Putin do? Beg him for partnership for a change.

The Russkies are now being shown their place in the food chain, just like Trump did early in his term. As for the Russians "forbidding" Israel to bomb Syria: been there, done that, like what--five times already? The Izzies may or may not play along for a week or two and then piss on it from 50,000ft. Russia is not going to shoot down IAF jets, or allow the Syrians to do so with Russian weapons. Not gonna happen. The rest is just talk--something which the Kremlin is admittedly good at.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 26 2021 16:23 utc | 94

Mr. Brad Tifman

Iran is a religion that became a country - the ethnic diversity cannot be leveraged by foreigners.

They have tried for 40 years and have failed.

Posted by: fyi | Feb 26 2021 16:49 utc | 95

I’m starting to see a new term in use nowadays: “Iran-aligned.”
Are these the same groups that used to be, Iranian proxies, pro-Iran militia, Iran backed, Iran funded, Iran supported, shia militia, malign actors?

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Feb 26 2021 17:00 utc | 96

If nobody else can explain it, I'll try: What the heck are they doing with Saudi Arabia?

Is it just possible that we are seeing two inconsistent strategies in Washington, fighting it out? One is to fight, sanction and destroy Iran - as demanded by the Israeli lobby ( lunacy). The other.......maybe takes a longer view: they have to restrain Iran and build friendly relations with it - rather than Saudi Arabia.

To me, Saudi Arabia is an accident waiting to happen.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Saudi_Arabia

Their demographics look like a prelude to civil war (heavily young male with a shortage of females). They need high oil prices to pay their bills. Their economic plans are daydreams from a narcissist. Their landscape screams Blitzkreig Ready. The population is an argument against Guaranteed Income as they hardly work at all and depend on foreigners to keep things going.

Iran, OTOH, is building out infrastructure and even educates women. Iran has a future, Saudis don't. And European History suggests Iran may one day turn anti-clerical. Maybe someone with a brain and a time sense beyond the next quarter ( in the State Dept.) realizes this..... but they can't say it out loud.

Posted by: Eighthman | Feb 26 2021 18:01 utc | 97

without comment:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/02/26/western-powers-can-save-iran-nuclear-deal-by-honoring-it/

Posted by: Charles Michael | Feb 26 2021 19:20 utc | 98

@ Ma Laoshi | Feb 26 2021 16:23 utc | 94.. the bully will get smashed in the face.. the time is coming... your impatience is noted..

Posted by: james | Feb 26 2021 19:39 utc | 99

I'm reading several comments that start with the premise that America's objective in Iran and Syria is regime change. In my opinion, it's important to ask WHY the US would want a change of government. Is it because of Assad's ears? His long neck? Obviously not. Once we draw up a list of reasons, it may come to light that the US can achieve its goals without taking out the government. On a similar vein, we shouldn't dismiss a hypothetical military intervention on the sole basis that a full blown land invasion would require too many resources.

If the US is concerned about Iran selling large quantities of gas in currencies of its own chosing, then perhaps the combined effect of embargo, economic sanctions and intimidation of 3rd parties will alleviate that concern.

If the US is concerned about an emergent competing bloc rising in the middle east, it would make sense to stir up as much trouble as possible by arming and training separatists.

Worried about developing trade? Occupying most of the border areas and regularly bombing the areas controlled by government forces will put a damper on things.

I would argue that the so called regime change is in fact undesirable at this point. Why lose the undeniable tactical advantage afforded by the heavily loaded brand names "Iran" and "Assad"? There are countless examples of actions undertaken by the empire which would be unthinkable in any other context. Consider these two examples:

- A fellow, let's make him a professor, waits for his flight and reads the headlines scrolling on the monitor: "Israel bombs Iran linked facilities at Damascus airport. Research facility also hit". [Hmm, that's nice. Wonder what's happening at the Australian Open?]

- A parent is making dinner and listening to a discussion on talk radio: "...considering bombing nuclear sites..." [Wait what? Oh my god! A nuclear plant, why, where? Where are the kids? ]"...are on the table as the Iranian Regime continues its aggressi..." [Oh, Iran. Right. that's nice. Think I'll add some tomatoes to the salad.]

This little cognitive miracle, this complete disconnect which goes far beyond lack of empathy is the result of years of conditioning and is an asset which serves the Empire very well.

Posted by: robin | Feb 26 2021 19:52 utc | 100

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