Iran again. (2)

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Iran again. (2)

set. 12, 2020, 5:03am

'This is over the top':
Lindsey Graham and Mick Mulvaney begged Trump not to kill Iran's top general, but 4 days later he did it anyway, according to Woodward's new book
Sonam Sheth and John Haltiwanger | Sept 11, 2020

Two of President Donald Trump's closest advisers desperately tried to stop him from ordering the military strike that killed Iran's Gen. Qassem Soleimani and brought the countries to the brink of war in January, according to Bob Woodward's upcoming book.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the most hawkish US lawmakers, told Trump, "Mr. President, this is over the top," the book says. He added that "with the election coming," Trump should temper his response and avoid risking "major war."

Graham wasn't the only one concerned. Mick Mulvaney, Trump's chief of staff at the time, made an "urgent request" and "almost begged" Graham to "stop this talk of hitting Soleimani," the book says.

Four days later, Trump ordered the strike. And despite Graham's reported reservations about the strike, he publicly supported the president's decision.

"The intelligence was very strong that Soleimani was orchestrating chaos in Iraq at our expense and throughout the region," Graham told "Fox & Friends" in January. "The president was informed of these potential attacks, and he acted."...

set. 12, 2020, 7:14am

Trump must have been on an all week bender with his cocaine habit. Graham and Mulvaney were always going to do an about face as soon as he acted. They are beholden to their team much more than they'll ever be to the voter.

Funny that Trump kept on talking to Woodward though. He worries so much about 'leakers'--he should look in the mirror, he'd see the biggest rat of all. Fucking insane really.

set. 20, 2020, 9:04am

European leaders warn US move to reimpose Iran sanctions is legally void (Guardian)

France, Germany and UK say Washington does not have the authority, setting up clash...

nov. 7, 2020, 10:55pm

Iran: Rouhani urges next US gov’t to ‘return to commitments’ (Al Jazeera)

As Joe Biden increasingly seems closer to victory in the United States presidential elections, President Hassan Rouhani has called on the next US administration to restart fulfilling commitments under the Iran nuclear deal...

nov. 17, 2020, 5:28pm

Trump Sought Options for Attacking Iran to Stop Its Growing Nuclear Program
Eric Schmitt, Maggie Haberman, David E. Sanger, Helene Cooper and Lara Jakes | November 17, 2020

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump asked senior advisers in an Oval Office meeting Thursday whether he had options to take action against Iran’s main nuclear site in the coming weeks. The meeting occurred a day after international inspectors reported a significant increase (12X) in the country’s stockpile of nuclear material, four current and former U.S. officials said Monday.

A range of senior advisers dissuaded the president from moving ahead with a military strike. The advisers — including Vice President Mike Pence; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Christopher C. Miller, the acting defense secretary; and Gen. Mark A. Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — warned that a strike against Iran’s facilities could easily escalate into a broader conflict in the last weeks of Trump’s presidency.

...Trump asked his top national security aides what options were available and how to respond, officials said.

After Pompeo and Milley described the potential risks of military escalation, officials left the meeting believing a missile attack inside Iran was off the table, according to administration officials with knowledge of the meeting....

nov. 17, 2020, 5:39pm

#4--hopefully that happens. We should work at building a relationship with Iran. It has a pretty young population and that younger population has a lot of pro-western values. By engaging with Iran we give ourselves a chance to link with younger Iranians and transition away from all the hostility. To do that also we have to be willing to make Israel and Saudi Arabia take a step back.

#5--thinking about starting a war as he's going out of office. Par for the course for this fucking shitbird.

nov. 17, 2020, 10:25pm

>6 lriley:

Meanwhile, further nuclear escalation from Saudi Arabia:

Saudi minister says nuclear armament against Iran ‘an option’ (Al Jazeera)

Saudi Arabia reserves the right to arm itself with nuclear weapons if Iran cannot be stopped from making one, says the minister...

nov. 23, 2020, 10:54pm

UK, France and Germany discuss working with Joe Biden on Iran nuclear deal (Guardian)

Foreign ministers hope US will lift sanctions in effort to revive 2015 agreement with Tehran...

nov. 27, 2020, 11:24am

Iran's top nuclear scientist shot dead near Tehran (Guardian)

An Iranian nuclear scientist described as the guru of Iran’s nuclear programme has been gunned down in the street in a town near Tehran... Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif immediately identified Israel as the likely culprit. “Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today,” he tweeted. “This cowardice – with serious indications of Israeli role – shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators. Iran calls on international community – and especially EU – to end their shameful double standards & condemn this act of state terror”...

high tensions inside Iran, amid reports that Israeli intelligence and secret service have been given the green light to mount attacks on Iranian nuclear installations before Donald Trump stands down as president. Many Iranian officials believe Trump, in conjunction with Israel and Saudi Arabia, is determined to weaken or antagonise Iran before the US handover of power on 20 January...

nov. 27, 2020, 11:30am

I saw this and was appalled yet again at what happens to Iran.

And the saddest commentary is that I immediately leapt to the idea that the US was responsible.

What a sorry state things are in.

nov. 27, 2020, 11:49am

#10--yeah we do have a lot of responsibility here.

nov. 27, 2020, 4:43pm

Trump is determined to dump as much crap on incoming president, Biden, as to make it impossible for him to succeed in addressing domestic needs of the people.

The definition of egotistical evil is Diaper Don.

nov. 28, 2020, 10:56pm

Iran suffers more humiliation with killing of nuclear chief. But no one in the world's most febrile region wants war (CNN)

It is the art of anything-but-actual war. The apparent goal of Iran's enemies, and possibly Iran itself, is in the next 50 days -- ahead of the US inauguration -- to be as antagonistic as humanly possible, without actually starting a full-blown conflict. In a region as febrile and tense as this, such broad statements carry the risk that an outlier, or unexpected reaction, tips the scale into rash conflict. But none of the interested parties -- not even after the broad-daylight apparent assassination on the outskirts of Tehran of Iran's most prominent nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, of which Israel stands accused by Rouhani and other senior officials of orchestrating -- really want outright war now...

des. 3, 2020, 11:03pm

Iran says it will comply with nuclear deal if Biden lifts all sanctions (Guardian)

Foreign minister calls on US to ‘show its good faith’ but appears to rule out renegotiating deal...

des. 3, 2020, 11:11pm

>14 John5918: That sounds like they're saying "okay, let's just roll all of this back and pretend this Trump nonsense never happened".

Sounds like a "hell yes" sort of a deal, but it's sort of telling that we're the ones who are thankful to get a mulligan from Iran... shows you once again just what a complete disaster Trump was.

Editat: des. 4, 2020, 2:41am

>15 kiparsky:

Well, yes, but when a country signs a multilateral international agreement and all but one of the signatories broadly honour the agreement, why should the whole agreement have to be renegotiated? It was a good agreement and it remains a good agreement in the eyes of the USA's European allies. Let the USA respect what it signed and recommit to the international agreement rather than expecting everyone else to accede to their new requirements.

des. 4, 2020, 1:43am

>16 John5918: I suppose there's usually a sense that breach of agreements should have repercussions - if there's no penalty for acting in bad faith, then there's a temptation to see bad-faith as a viable option. So I'd say Iran would be well within their rights and within reason to call for some - possibly symbolic - concessions from the US. We failed to honor the deal we signed, after all.

The fact that they're not doing this, frankly, looks to me like they're letting us off easy. Which is not how the US usually sees its relations with Iran, I think.

des. 4, 2020, 2:31am

>17 kiparsky: Iran gets a lot of play with nukes, but I think Iran gets a lot more from the deal than it loses. And for the US it's a political game, but it actually matters to Iran. There's various problems with Iran's government, but I think they know nukes aren't worth nearly what they can get by threatening nukes.

des. 4, 2020, 6:00am

As far as is know Iran hasn't taken its nuclear development to the point of weaponizing it. They were in complete compliance before Trump's administration came along with all kinds of provocations.....and it's pretty understood that Iran has a larger % of younger people than the norm and that they don't quite share all the values of the older people who more than less run everything now but will eventually die off. In a matter of time it could become a very Europanized nation--this is a case where we should allow that to happen organically and the best way to do that is to take the chains off. The Russians have far more influence there because they've more or less done that.

des. 10, 2020, 11:05am

The Vital but Delicate Task of Reviving the JCPOA (International Crisis Group)

President-elect Joe Biden says the U.S. will rejoin the Iran nuclear deal if Tehran resumes full compliance. Iran says it will do so if Washington relaxes sanctions. Each side should use the framework that already exists rather than try to squeeze the other for concessions...

des. 21, 2020, 11:12pm

EU foreign ministers pave way for revival of Iran nuclear deal (Guardian)

Step would allow Tehran to come back into compliance with deal, so long as US sanctions were lifted...

des. 31, 2020, 9:34pm

Not sure whether this is a misinterpretation and Rouhani was speaking figuratively, but the English translation as provided by the Iranians checks out.
“One of the effects of this stupid and disgraceful act,” Mr. Rouhani said of the airstrike that killed Soleimani, “was that Trumpism ended.”

“In a few days, the life of this criminal will end and he will go to the dustbin of history,” the official Iranian government site quoted him in English as having said.

The warning and prediction came less than a week before the first anniversary of the Jan. 3 drone strike on Baghdad airport.

“We are very happy about this and we believe that the period after Trump will be a better condition for regional and global stability,” Mr. Rouhani said.

He also, as he has frequently vowed fatal and equal retaliation for what Iran has characterized as the assassination of a prominent government official.


Trump left Palm Beach before his annual New Year’s Eve party, even though guests had already gathered at his south Florida club and were told Trump would be in attendance, according to three people familiar with the matter. The President typically relishes appearing on the red carpet in front of the press and his friends, but is skipping the event altogether this year in what will be an unusual move.

Over the course of his stay in Florida, Trump had been single-mindedly focused on the election results and the upcoming certification process in Congress, set for January 6. After losing dozens of court cases and having his appeal rejected by the Supreme Court, Trump has viewed the January 6 event as his best opportunity to overturn the election he lost.

He had been in an irritated mood during most of the trip and fumed about everything from the election outcome to Melania Trump’s renovations to his private quarters, according to multiple people who spoke with him.

At one point, Trump also said he was concerned Iran could retaliate in the coming days for the US drone strike that killed Iran’s top general, Qasem Soleimani, one year ago. A person speculated that could be a contributing factor in his early departure. Trump was at Mar-a-Lago when he ordered the Soleimani strike on January 3, 2020.

des. 31, 2020, 9:56pm

No reason given as Trump skips New Year’s Eve party at Mar-a-Lago and heads back to Washington
Iran tension joins the ongoing effort to overturn an election loss to Democrat Joe Biden as a prospective factor in the decision to depart Florida early

Editat: gen. 2, 12:14am

Iran says Trump is trying to fabricate pretext for war (Guardian)

Tehran says it will defend itself forcefully as tensions rise ahead of anniversary of Suleimani killing...

gen. 2, 12:01am

CNN's Pentagon correspondent:
Barbara Starr
Just In: Iranian maritime forces in the Persian Gulf raised readiness levels in last 48 hours: US official with latest info. Not clear if moves are “defensive” because expect US attack, or are signals Iran preparing for operations in the Gulf against the US, official said. #Iran

Editat: gen. 2, 5:02am

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has abruptly sent the aircraft carrier Nimitz home from the Middle East and Africa over the objections of top military advisers, marking a reversal of a weekslong muscle-flexing strategy aimed at deterring Iran from attacking American troops and diplomats in the Persian Gulf.

Officials said on Friday that the acting defense secretary, Christopher C. Miller, had ordered the redeployment of the ship in part as a “de-escalatory” signal to Tehran to avoid stumbling into a crisis in President Trump’s waning days in office. American intelligence reports indicate that Iran and its proxies may be preparing a strike as early as this weekend to avenge the death of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Senior Pentagon officials said that Mr. Miller assessed that dispatching the Nimitz now, before the first anniversary this Sunday of General Suleimani’s death in an American drone strike in Iraq, could remove what Iranian hard-liners see as a provocation that justifies their threats against American military targets. Some analysts said the return of the Nimitz to its home port of Bremerton, Wash., was a welcome reduction in tensions between the two countries.

“If the Nimitz is departing, that could be because the Pentagon believes that the threat could subside somewhat,” said Michael P. Mulroy, the Pentagon’s former top Middle East policy official.

But critics said the mixed messaging was another example of the inexperience and confusing decision-making at the Pentagon since Mr. Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and several of his top aides in November, and replaced them with Mr. Miller, a former White House counterterrorism aide, and several Trump loyalists.

“This decision sends at best a mixed signal to Iran, and reduces our range of options at precisely the wrong time,” said Matthew Spence, a former top Pentagon Middle East policy official. “It calls into serious question what the administration’s strategy is here.”

Mr. Miller’s order overruled a request from Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the commander of American forces in the Middle East, to extend the deployment of the Nimitz and keep its formidable wing of attack aircraft at the ready....

One fewer toy to throw out of the pram.

gen. 2, 11:12am

What the heck is going on?

In Abrupt Reversal of Iran Strategy, Pentagon Orders Aircraft Carrier Home
After weeks of escalation and threatening language, the Defense Department is sending mixed messages as the anniversary of the death of an Iranian general nears.
Eric Schmitt | Jan. 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has abruptly sent the aircraft carrier Nimitz home from the Middle East and Africa over the objections of top military advisers, marking a reversal of a weekslong muscle-flexing strategy aimed at deterring Iran from attacking American troops and diplomats in the Persian Gulf.

Officials said on Friday that the acting defense secretary, Christopher C. Miller, had ordered the redeployment of the ship in part as a “de-escalatory” signal to Tehran to avoid stumbling into a crisis in President Trump’s waning days in office. American intelligence reports indicate that Iran and its proxies may be preparing a strike as early as this weekend to avenge the death of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps...

Trump, others linked to Soleimani killing ‘will not be safe on Earth,’ Iran official warns
Sunday will mark the anniversary of the death of Iran's Gen. Qasem Soleimani in a military strike that President Trump reportedly ordered
Dom Calicchio | Jan 2, 2020

...President Trump and anyone else linked to the U.S. strike one year ago that killed a notorious Iranian general "will not be safe on Earth," a top official in Tehran warned Friday, according to a report.

Speaking in Tehran on Friday, Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s judiciary chief, said not even Trump was "immune from justice" for his role in the strike in Baghdad that killed Gen. Qasem Soleimani, a major general in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Times of Israel reported.

"They will witness severe revenge," Raisi told the gathering at Tehran University, referring to Trump and U.S. military leaders. "What has come so far has only been glimpses."

"Do not presume that someone, as the president of America, who appeared as a murderer or ordered a murder, may be immune from justice being carried out. Never," Raisi reportedly continued. "Those who had a role in this assassination and crime will not be safe on Earth."...

gen. 3, 2:30am

Trump's strategy on Iran has been a bit of a mess, but I was worried about John Bolton leading us into war, and despite several scares, Trump seems uninterested in going to war with Iran. Relatively speaking, it's one of my favorite part of his presidency, though that is some serious grading on a curve.

gen. 3, 2:35am

>28 prosfilaes: Much as I agree, I have to wonder just how unhinged Trump is at this moment, grasping at straws. Miller has the access. Maybe he sees something we don't.

gen. 5, 7:54am

From Guardian:
Acting US defence secretary, Christopher C Miller..."No one should doubt the resolve of the United States of America.”

Per radio interview of (somebody), Iran's nuclear enrichment, seizure of S Korean ship is meant to get immediate attention of incoming President Biden--to remove sanctions? Iran might secure his attention, but such actions don't make it easy for him to engage with Iran, remove sanctions, etc. Especially so early in his Administration? I understand Iran's impatience, but strategically, shouldn't an olive branch be extended as well?

gen. 5, 6:53pm

>31 margd: One thing that makes Iran hard to handle is that unlike North Korea and some other nations, it doesn't come down to one person. It may even be less unitary than the United States, in that the President doesn't have as much power yet the Supreme Leader doesn't have much hands-on immediate power. So you've got factions, and some of those factions were pushing for the nuclear deal and I believe the Supreme Leader was at least passively against it. It's like when Obama was pushing back against Israel at the same time Netanyahu was talking to Congress; while some parts of Iran's government would like to talk to Biden, other parts would like to make that as hard as possible.

(This is me spitballing, but I have read that the President of Iran is a more powerful figure because the US President is so powerful and that leads people inside and outside Iran to assume that the President of Iran has more power than the text of the law would give him. There's an alternate universe where the US President is a figurehead with Congress tying their hands at every step, and it wouldn't even need much reinterpretation of the Constitution, just Congress being more assertive and controlling.)

gen. 8, 10:42am

Donald Trump's parting gift to the world? Signs suggest it may be war with Iran (Guardian)

I will always regret that I did not do more to stop war with Vietnam. Now, I am calling on whistleblowers to step up and expose Trump’s plans...

By Daniel Ellsberg, who "was the whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers, which revealed the US government had lied to the American public about the Vietnam war".

gen. 9, 1:04am

Iran in no hurry to see the US return to nuclear deal: Khamenei (Al Jazeera)

The United States must lift harsh economic sanctions on Iran, the country’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has asserted less than two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden enters the White House. In a televised speech on Friday, the supreme leader said Iran does not insist on and is in no hurry to see the US return to the 2015 nuclear deal with six big world powers. Khamenei instead demanded that the sanctions must be lifted immediately...

gen. 9, 2:38am

>34 John5918: US sanctions interfere with banking, which has hampered Iran's ability to secure vaccines via WHO program.
They are understandably focused on sanctions. Life and death, y'know... Not something Trump cares about.

gen. 20, 6:23pm

>35 margd: If they were really so focused, they wouldn't be making unilateral demands. As I said above, I believe Khamenei opposes the nuclear deal; this may be a pushback against the best way to remove those sanctions.