Sunday 21st of October 2018

the strongest sanctions in history by the time we are completely mad, loony, loco, deranged...

deal

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has issued a steep list of demands that he said should be included in a nuclear treaty with Iran to replace the Obama-era deal, threatening "the strongest sanctions in history" if Iran doesn't change course.

Key points:
  • Mike Pompeo gives first major speech as Secretary of State and threatens "toughest sanctions in history" on Iran
  • Submits 12 demands to the Middle East nation which would ensure it "has no possible path to a nuclear weapon"
  • Mr Pompeo warns punishment against European businesses which continue to trade with Iran

 

Following President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the deal, the United States will ensure "Iran has no possible path to a nuclear weapon, ever," Mr Pompeo said.

As he called for a better agreement to constrain Iran's activities, he said the US would "apply unprecedented financial pressure" to bring Tehran back to the table.

"These will end up being the strongest sanctions in history by the time we are complete," Mr Pompeo said at the conservative Heritage Foundation, his first major policy speech since taking over as top diplomat.

The Secretary of State's list of 12 requirements included many that Iran is highly unlikely to consider.

...

Pompeo said he understood that Trump's decision "will pose financial and economic difficulties for a number of our friends." But he warned them that the US planned to follow through with threats to punish European companies that continue doing business with Iran that is allowed under the deal but will violate reimposed US sanctions.

"I know our allies in Europe may try to keep the old nuclear deal going with Tehran. That is their decision to make," Pompeo said. "They know where we stand."

Read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-22/mike-pompeo-threatens-iran-with-to...

 

Gus:
Trump, driven by Bolton, Pompeo and Nikki, is not about negotiating minuties of diplomacy and agreements. Bolton has announced several times in his tenures that he wanted to bomb Iran. He will. So no matter what the Europeans do — unless they piss dramatically on Trump's USA by breaking out of the NATO agreement and more shit like that — Trump could not care less and will still demonise Iran (the US will easily find breaches of their new deal) and eventually bomb the place.

Demanding that the Europeans cease business with Iran is also a way to reduce the "freedom of Europe" to trade, more than that of Iran. Similar situation is happening in Ireland: You buy our US "fracked" gas or we break your legs (not expressed in such crude fashion but with the same intent). The warning is mostly for the Europeans: Iran is going to be bombed, your business better be out of there otherwise we can't guarantee your safety. And BUY AMERICAN SHIT or else.

The 5th and 6th navy fleet are ready to attack Iran ANY TIME. They are not in the Med and the Gulf for a picnic.

 

the recidivist bully...

the bully

Add the 5th and 6th US fleets to this map...

 

crapping on the planet...

crapping on the planet...

on the precipice of a full blown regional war + WW3...

The prospect of German, French and British companies being hit with US sanctions in the wake of Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran Deal carries with it an element of poetic justice.

Over the past few years each of the aforementioned governments have been slavish in their support for sanctions against Russia, and therefore now that they are faced with being on the receiving end of sanctions themselves; well, let's just say the opportunity to luxuriate in schadenfreude is hard to resist.

However, this being said, under the circumstances — what with the Middle East perched on the precipice of a full blown regional war; what with an administration in Washington more redolent in its actions of a mafia crime family than a government; and what with instability and escalation the new normal — schadenfreude at this juncture is an indulgence too far.

For if this enveloping crisis confirms anything it is that the time has come for Europe to wake up to the reality of its transatlantic alliance with Washington — an alliance in which they have invested so much political capital and which has now been exposed as a sham, a masquerade that has allowed dandified popinjays, such as Emmanuel Macron, to indulge their imperial pretensions — much like that snivelling boy you encountered in the playground when you were at school, who by dint of sucking up to the school bully was able to prance around as if his you-know-what didn't stink.

 

In truth, the relationship between the US and Europe has never been a relationship of equals. In truth, it has always been a relationship between an imperial hegemon and its various satellites; one that has tethered Europe to the dead weight of unipolarity since the demise of the Soviet Union. The only difference now is that the Trump administration has removed the mask of propriety, civility, and democracy to reveal the snarling beast of hegemony that is the real driver of US foreign policy, and always has been.

READ MORE: Germany, UK, France to Remain in Nuclear Deal While Iran Adheres to It — Merkel

In a tweet posted by newly installed US Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, Washington's disdain for Europe was laid bare. Ambassador Grenell tweeted: "As @realDonaldTrump said, US sanctions will target critical sectors of Iran's economy. German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately."

This diktat, issued by a latter day Roman proconsul to one of European satellites, marks the nadir of an alliance that has impeded European unity and development rather than enabled it.  Indeed the destabilizing factor in Europe is not and has never been Moscow; the destabilizing factor is and has always been Washington.

 

Thus Europe now has a very clear decision to make. Does it continue to tether itself to the mast of US hegemony, at the mercy of the caprice of a US president in Washington? Or does it join Russia and China in seeking an anti-hegemonic alternative, one rooted in the principles set out in the UN Charter — i.e. respect for national sovereignty, self-determination, and the universal application of international law.

It is arguable, in fact, that this decision has just been made for Europe, with the only thing left to ascertain whether those in power possess the requisite integrity to act accordingly and start the process of de-coupling from Washington's coattails. If they do not — if France, Germany and the UK continue to champion this failed husk of a transatlantic alliance — then there can no longer be any equivocation: they are governing contrary to the interests of their own people.

So, yes, that Europe has arrived at a key juncture in its history is not in doubt. It is why resisting the temptation to ascribe this crisis to the machinations of one bad or vulgar president in the shape of Trump in the Oval Office is non-negotiable. Despite the claims of his liberal detractors in Washington and across Europe, Trump is not a departure from the status quo in Washington. Trump, instead, is merely its most crude and brazen exemplar.

And, too, in talking about US hegemony, we are dealing with its economic manifestation in the shape of neoliberalism, its cultural manifestation, and of course its military component; most emphatically reflected in NATO — a military alliance which now exists to deal with the crises that very existence creates.

READ MORE: Europe Can No Longer Rely on US 'to Protect It' — Merkel

The monstrous injustice involved in the Trump administration's demarche over the Iran Deal, driven by a transparently geostrategic agenda in conjunction with Riyadh and Tel Aviv, moves the region, as mentioned, to the brink of a devastating conflict. It must also, in response, produce a sea change in European thinking when it comes to its relations with the United States — and also, by definition, with Russia.

Though operating as a de facto colony of Washington can be described as many things, honourable and strong are not among them. France's most famous leader of modern times, Charles De Gaulle, said it best: "You may be sure that the Americans will commit all the stupidities they can think of, plus some that are beyond imagination.'

Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran Deal is the very epitome of a 'stupidity beyond imagination', leaving no hiding place for those who continue to believe in the verities America as that shining city on the hill.

Since the end of the Second World War US involvement in Europe has had a corrosive effect on the continent's political, economic, and cultural life. Thus it is high time that Europe declared its independence and forged its own path as part of a multipolar world.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201805111064373593-iran-deal-transatl...

 

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... an administration in Washington more redolent in its actions of a mafia crime family than a government...

 

Charles De Gaulle, said it best: "You may be sure that the Americans will commit all the stupidities they can think of, plus some that are beyond imagination.'

 

Gus: "it's time for Australia to disengage from this US madness..." Malcolm Fraser if he was still alive.

the scheming saudis...

Benjamin Netanyahu’s April 30 presentation accusing Iran of lying about its nuclear program was clearly aimed at a Western audience, and at one man in particular—Donald Trump. Trump was already inclined to violate and exit the multi-party deal to block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon, but Netanyahu’s presentation offered a timely addition to the administration’s rhetorical arsenal. His PowerPoint performance, filled with misleading assertions and stale information dressed up as new revelations, was referenced by Trump as part of the justification for abandoning the nuclear deal. 

While this garnered headlines, another U.S. ally—Saudi Arabia—had been orchestrating a quieter but equally effective lobbying and public relations push to dismantle the deal. The Saudis’ arguments were used just as much, if not more, by Trump in justifying his decision for the U.S. to walk away from a carefully crafted agreement that even some of his own military leaders had acknowledged was working.

The Saudi lobby’s push began long before the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was formally announced on July 14, 2015. In fact, Saudi lobbyists had been working behind the scenes in the U.S. for years to ensure that the Kingdom’s concerns were incorporated into any deal Washington would agree to with Iran—if there was to be a deal at all. 

In total, the Christian Science Monitor found that Saudi Arabia spent $11 million dollars on Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)-registered firms in 2015, and “much of this spending relates to Iran.” They were also assembling former policymakers like Senator Norm Coleman, whose FARA disclosure mentions his work on “limiting Iranian nuclear capability.” More recently, Coleman penned an op-ed in The Hill applauding Trump for leaving the deal without disclosing that he was being paid by the Saudi government.

 

Read more:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-saudi-lobbys-scheme-...

seen from another cartoonist...

iran sanctions

iran sanctions

tit for tat...

Pompeo:

pompeopompeo

 

The Iranian foreign minister has turned a recent US statement, about a protest in Iran, back against his American counterpart – by exposing how the same comments can easily be applied to the situation in the US.

 

The original statement by Mike Pompeo, issued on Wednesday, had accused Tehran of “squandering its citizens’ resources… in adventurism in Syria, its support of Hezbollah, Hamas and the Houthis” and states that “it should be no surprise [to] no one that protests continue in Iran.”

“The people of Iran are tired of the corruption, injustice and incompetence from their leaders. The world hears their voice,” Pompeo said.

Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif:

iraniran

 


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divine right to stupidity...

US President Donald Trump’s dire warning to Iran has renewed debate within American news media about whether his administration is seeking regime change in Tehran or merely using threats as a psychological weapon. 

Embedded in the US public discourse is the arrogant assumption that Washington has the right to pursue regime change against any nation it chooses. For the American ruling class and its media echo chambers, it is tantamount to a “divine right” – an unquestionable mission with which Americans are “blessed.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier this week talked about how America was doing “God’s work” in reaching out to Iranian people to encourage the overthrow their “mafia regime.”

“To our Iranian American and Iranian friends, tonight I tell you that the Trump administration dreams the same dreams for the people of Iran as you do,” said Pompeo. “And through our labors and God’s providence, that day will come true.”

Ironically, Pompeo referred to Iranian rulers as “hypocritical holy men.” What does that make the Americans who, it’s well documented, have overthrown as many governments around the world as the number of years that have passed since World War II?

The level arrogance and ignorance amongst Americans about their own government’s malfeasance reminds us of the quote from historian William Blum: “Americans are like the children of a mafia boss who do not know how their father makes his living, but then they are shocked when someone throws a firebomb through their living-room window.”

Trump had angrily tweeted to the Iranian leaders, warning them to “never ever threaten” the US, or they would face consequences “few in history have suffered.” Coming from the only nation to have ever used atomic bombs in battle, that is truly odious rhetoric.  

Trump’s outburst echoed previous warnings of “fire and fury” aimed at North Korea before he arrived at detente with Kim Jong-un. So, it could be that Trump is playing hardball in negotiations with Iran. Regardless, it’s unacceptable that the US evidently sees itself as possessing an ordained right to openly consider regime change against any nation.   

This American contempt for international law is at the root of global tensions and instability. Iran may be in the cross-hairs right now but the same pernicious principle applies to all nations, as deemed by American rulers. Today Iran, yesterday Syria, tomorrow Venezuela, and so on.  

Some 65 years ago, in 1953, it was also Iran, when the CIA and Britain’s MI6 overthrew the elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh, in a bloody coup that ushered in 24 years of brutal dictatorship under the Western-backed Shah. The current Iranian leadership seized power in 1979 in reaction to US interference in Iran’s politics.  

The US corporate news media provide a service to the nation’s government by concealing its crimes or making its crimes unnoticeable. The corollary of that is the fact the same media provide a disservice to the American public by not informing them why certain foreign countries find Washington so abominable, expressing the exasperated sentiment with rhetoric like “Death to America!”

For example, following Trump’s threat to Iran of destruction that “few have suffered in history,” CNN’s celebrity journalist Christiane Amanpour this week discussed with a guest on her program the pros and cons of regime change.  

At one point, Amanpour asked without a hint of qualm what a “military intervention” by the US in Iran would look like?  

Her guest averred that the Trump administration would likely not go for a large-scale military invasion of Iran like the one the George W. Bush administration carried out against Iraq. Instead, it would more likely carry out “limited air strikes on nuclear facilities.”  

At no point in the CNN discussion was the legal or moral right for the US to militarily attack Iran even questioned. The discussion was confined to narrow considerations about the efficacy of Trump’s policy in achieving regime change in Tehran.  

READ MORE:'Who will heat us during winter?' Turkey rejects US plan to torpedo Iran’s oil exports

Just for the record, a policy of regime change is a gross violation of international law and the sovereignty of nations enshrined in the United Nations Charter.  

The same sanguine attitude is prevalent among all US corporate news media. There is simply no scruples or discussion about the American “right to regime change.”  

The New York Times and Washington Post, like CNN and others, ran articles this week casting doubt on Trump’s “Iran policy.” But the concern was not about the fundamental violation of international law and the potential horrific human consequences. Again, criticism of Trump’s renewed belligerence towards Iran was more concerned about the efficacy of such a policy, not the policy itself.  

Another disservice to public information by the US corporate media is the lack of perspective.  

Trump’s hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton has reportedly ramped up the belligerence toward Iran. That was, apparently, after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Washington not to “play with the lion’s tail.”

But what the US media have not done is to sufficiently put in context why the Iranians issued such a warning. It follows a massive effort by the Trump administration to choke off Iran’s economic lifeline of oil exports to the rest of the world.  

It also follows US top diplomat Pompeo launching a new American-government media campaign to target the Iranian population with agitation against the Iranian authorities. Reuters reported that the new US media campaign, including Farsi language broadcasts 24/7, is to “erode support for Iran’s leaders.”

This is an influence campaign at the highest level, openly touted by Washington, without a hint of embarrassment over its hypocritical allegations leveled against Moscow for “meddling” in US internal politics.  

Washington claims that its “right” to confront Iran is due to Tehran’s “sponsorship of international terrorism.” This is simply American and Israeli bombast, never substantiated beyond caricature or wild assertion. Such allegations by Washington are in reality more befitting of its own criminal conduct in the Middle East where it has created whole armies of terrorist proxies, along with its NATO partners and client regimes in Saudi Arabia and Israel.  

The arrogance of America’s political class and its servile news media is staggering.  

For the past year and more, Washington has been convulsed by self-righteous claims of “Russia interfering” in its internal affairs. No evidence has ever been produced to lend those claims any credence. But from the way the US political class has reacted hysterically to the mere claims, one would think that Russia committed the worst transgression in modern history.  

Meanwhile, with casual, rampant hubris, the American political class openly ponders the pros and cons of pursuing regime change in Iran.  

Iran has warned that it will not tolerate American aggression, that it will block all global oil transport through the Persian Gulf. If that happens the repercussions for America’s cheap-oil-addicted economy will be severe. But the misinformed American public will cry foul, claiming that some crazy “regime” just tossed a brick through their living-room window.  

America’s divine right to regime change is predicated on a divine right to stupidity, thanks to its effete politicians and media.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/434240-iran-regime-change-us/

 

 

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trump the bully boy with a broken toy...

China and Germany rejected Trump’s threats over doing business with Iran:

The comments from Beijing and Berlin signalled growing anger from partners of the United States, which reimposed strict sanctions against Iran on Tuesday, over its threat to penalise businesses from third countries that continue to operate there.

“China has consistently opposed unilateral sanctions and long-armed jurisdiction,” the Chinese foreign ministry said.

“China’s commercial cooperation with Iran is open and transparent, reasonable, fair and lawful, not violating any United Nations Security Council resolutions,” it added in a faxed statement to Reuters.

“China’s lawful rights should be protected.”

The German government said U.S. sanctions against Iran that have an extra-territorial effect violate international law, and Germany expects Washington to consider European interests when coming up with such sanctions.

Other governments have every reason to resist the Trump administration on this issue. Secondary sanctions are obviously a threat to their economic interests, but they are especially obnoxious because they are an attempt to impose our government’s policy preferences on other states and to treat them as if they are U.S. vassals. The U.S. has no legitimate grounds for sanctioning Iran over its nuclear program, so that makes the attempt to coerce other states into helping the U.S. strangle Iran’s economy even worse. The administration is effectively trying to punish all of the other parties to the JCPOA for adhering to an agreement that our government is violating, and it is threatening all of Iran’s other trading partners for engaging in legal commerce.

There was an international consensus in favor of pressuring Iran before the nuclear negotiations because there was broad agreement that this was necessary to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remained peaceful. Now that there is a deal in place that ensures that, there is no legitimate reason for any other governments to cooperate with the U.S. in sanctioning Iran on this issue. Trump’s Iran policy is illegitimate in the eyes of almost every other government in the world, and the only thing it can succeed in doing is inflicting harm on the Iranian people for no good reason. The policy will fail on its own terms, and in the process it will do significant damage to U.S. interests and relationships with the world’s leading economic powers. The administration’s Iran policy is a senseless, destructive one that needs to be challenged and reversed as soon as possible.

 

Read more:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-trump-administration...

 

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dates and apricots export versus energy supplies?...

Ankara says it remains committed to energy contracts with Tehran despite the risk that renewed US sanctions against Iran could make Turkish firms a target. 

Turkey is heavily reliant on energy imports, and neighboring Iran is one of its biggest suppliers. US President Donald Trump threatened this week that anyone doing business with Iran won’t be able to trade with America.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/business/435395-turkey-iran-gas-us-sanctions/

fire with fire...

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin are in the midst of a budding bromance. 

The two strongmen celebrated Mr Putin's last birthday over vodka and Russian sausage and afterwards Mr Xi called the Russian President his best, most intimate friend.

With the two cosying up to Iran, many in the West are worried about a new "Axis of Autocrats" emerging. 

The China-Russia relationship, of course, has been helped along by a common enemy: US President Donald Trump, who has recently slapped more sanctions on Russia and more tariffs on China.

Mr Putin and Mr Xi have met 26 times and will meet again later next month. Their nations are forging the deepest and strongest relationship since their last formal split in 1979 when Russia was the Soviet Union. 

Their biggest ambition is to thwart American dominance in the world order and, with help from Iran, they are proving effective in shaping events from Syria to North Korea.

Senior Associate Professor Stephen Nagy from Tokyo's prestigious International Christian University has been carefully watching the geopolitical plates shift over the past decade and says the new Russia-China partnership is more a marriage of convenience.

"China is feeling the heat, so by strengthening relations with Russia, stressing comradeship between Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, the growing economic and military tie — this is a way to send a message to the United States that China does have options and Russia is a powerful option that can provide energy resources as well. 

"It's also, importantly, an ideological partner that appreciates authoritarianism."

 

Read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-20/russia-and-china-bolster-ties-to-thwart-us-dominance/

 

Read from top. Fighting fire with fire: authoritarianism of the empire helps other authoritarianism — if you dare call Russia and China's "authoritarian" compared to the one way traffic of the US Empire that delights in sanctions, military threats and interventions,including massive spying and cyberwarfare, plus "exceptionalism" — and exclusive invasion of pop soda and fast food ugly culture. At least the apricots from Turkey are organic and sulfur-free. The USA are authoritarians but the average punters don't know it.

the emirates claim then retract...

On 22 September, an attack during a military parade killed 24 people and wounded 60 others, in Ahvaz (Iran).

Ahvaz is the capital of the Iranian Arab region of Khuzestan. On 22 September 1980, the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein tried to annex this population to Iraq. This unleashed a war between Iran and Iraq. At the time, the overwhelming majority of Iranian Arabs opposed the foreign Iraqi invasion. The military procession on September 22 2018 marked the anniversary of this terrible war, funded by the West against the Khomeini Revolution.

Various groups are regularly organizing protests and attacks in Khuzestan:  
• the Party of Democratic Solidarity of Ahvaz (supported by the US CIA and the British MI6), is trying to link up different non-Persian minorities in Iran. 
• the Party for Liberation of Ahvaz (supported by those who supported the long deceased Saddam Hussein).

Responsibility for this week’s attack was claimed by two groups: the Popular Democratic Front of the Arabs of Ahvaz (which allegedly groups different pro-Iraqi organizations) and by Daesh (which published a video of the kamikaze before the action).

Let us recall that the Hussein regime in Iraq abandoned the state following a secular path by its programme “Return to Faith”. Following the toppling of Saddam Hussein and the US invasion, members of the Iraqi Baath Party were banished from national politics and the national army was dissolved, while Iraq was governed by the Shiites linked to Iran. As the former Vice President, Ezzat Ibrahim Al-Douri the Grand Master of the Nachqbandis Order (a Sufi brotherhood) formed an alliance with the CIA and MI6 to integrate its men into Daesh and to obtain its revenge against the Shiites. This explains how both claims of responsibility led, by different paths, to Washington and London. This is why the Iranian Republic of Iran immediately accused the Westerners and the Gulf States, that sponsor of terrorism, of being responsible for the attack.

However, Professor Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, one of the advisers to the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates, declared that his country has succeeded in bringing war to the territory of Iran, claiming, thus, publicly a role in the attack. This type of declaration is not very surprising in the Middle East. In 2015, the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, had publicly congratulated the attacks that had been sponsored in Europe.

The United Arab Emirates position on Iran changed all of a sudden. This was not due to the war in Yemen (where they were fighting against the Hutis supported by Iran) but by the rupture of the Iran deal (JCPoA). Over the last two decades, the Emirates has increased its wealth through measures that the Islamic Republic had to adopt to buffer the US sanctions applied on Iran. The port of Dubai, became the centre of this traffic.

With this change, the two countries became enemies and the bilateral dispute over the possession of an islet situated in the Arab-Persian Gulf was reopened.

The Iranian President, Sheikh Hassan Rohani, promised the Emirates a terrible response, forcing the Emirates Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, to back off and to deny the prior declarations of the adviser to the Crown Prince.

Translation 
Anoosha Boralessa

 

Read more:

http://www.voltairenet.org/article203160.html

 

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