Showing posts with label iran. Show all posts
Showing posts with label iran. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

The Strong Case For No War

Even if everything Trump is saying about Suleimani is true (and that is not the case), it does not make sense to spend a few trillion dollars to go to war with Iran. That would be like taking a US Army to a one on one knife fight. The US Congress has every right to make sure the Iran War does not happen. A full-fledged war with Iran will give the global economy a heart attack. The world could be back in the 1930s, and we would see a Trump on every island on earth.

Trump's threats to Iraq totally discredit his arguments as to why economic sanctions need to be imposed upon Iran. Iraq is a sovereign country. The US troops are in Iraq because they got invited in by the sovereign government of Iraq, duly elected, mind you. Looks like that welcome is over. A better political mind could have seen this coming.

Two parliaments have voted to give a clear message to Trump. That is enough. Trump has to listen. Iran War is not an option. Trump can not legitimately go to war with Iran.

Here's what could be lost if Trump bombs Iran's cultural treasures If carried out, Donald Trump’s threat to target “cultural sites” in Iran would put him into an axis of architectural evil alongside the Taliban and Isis, both of which have wreaked similar forms of destruction this century. The Taliban dynamited Afghanistan’s sixth-century Buddhas of Bamiyan in 2001; Isis has destroyed mosques, shrines and other structures across Iraq and Syria since 2014, some in the ancient city of Palmyra. Not, you might have thought, company the US president would prefer to be associated with. ......... With a civilisation dating back 5,000 years, and over 20 Unesco world heritage sites, Iran’s cultural heritage is rich and unique, especially its religious architecture, which displays a mastery of geometry, abstract design and pre-industrial engineering practically unparalleled in civilisation. This is is not just Iran’s cultural heritage, it is humanity’s....... Iran has a long Christian history, particularly associated with Armenia at its northwestern border. Three of the oldest churches in the region are Unesco world heritage sites. Vank Cathedral, near Isfahan, was built by Armenians fleeing the Ottoman wars in the 17th century. The interior is a riotous patchwork of frescoes and gilded carvings.

“They said it’s a draft. OK, it’s a draft. But we received it. As a state, how are we supposed to act? We should get a second letter to clarify so we can clarify to our people too,” Abdul-Mahdi, who resigned in November but has stayed on in a caretaker role, said, according to the Agence France-Presse. “If I don’t trust you and you don’t trust me, how are we supposed to proceed?” ...... In a prerecorded television address he insisted the US would have to leave....... “We have no exit but this, otherwise we are speeding toward confrontation,” Abdul-Mahdi said, adding that Iraq would have to take a “historic decision” to implement the expulsion. “Otherwise we will not be taken seriously,” he added.

Monday, January 06, 2020

Suleimani Episode: Bizarre Turn Of Events

Restraint can look like you are doing nothing. But restraint is a lot of hard work, it is a great skill.

Emotions are running high on both sides. There is great chance at graver error. But one hopes the forces of de-escalation are out in full force.

Although it can also feel the air weighs in with the next irrational move. It could be from either side.

Trump's Suleimani Move: Politically Bad
Qassem Suleimani: Dialogue Beats Escalation (2)
Qassem Suleimani: Dialogue Beats Escalation

Tehran insisted that it remains open to negotiations with European countries and maintains that it is not seeking a nuclear weapon. Russia today urged parties to the Iran nuclear deal to treat salvaging the agreement as a 'priority', calling on European partners to fulfil their obligations. Germany also joined France and Britain in urging Iran to refrain from taking 'further violent actions or support for them'. 'It is crucial now to de-escalate,' Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson said in a joint statement last night. EU foreign ministers will hold emergency talks on the Iran crisis on Friday, diplomats said today. The United Nations' atomic watchdog agency says its inspectors are continuing to monitor and verify Iran's nuclear activities.

Trump's Suleimani Move: Politically Bad

When both the US Congress and the Iraqi parliament tells you to back off, you gotta listen. Large masses are out in the streets. People are doing two plus two and seeing four. They absolutely don't want what by any measure would be an unthinkable war. And they are right.

Trump threatening Iraq with sanctions worse than the one on Iran shows he is desperate. He obviously did not think this through. And we are not even seeing the worse of the unintended consequences.

The reason I oppose and have opposed escalation is, every escalation is one step closer to an unthinkable war.

Qassem Suleimani: Dialogue Beats Escalation (2)
Arundhati Roy On India
Qassem Suleimani: Dialogue Beats Escalation

The People Around Trump Are Totally Unqualified to Stop the Iran Crisis There might still be a peaceful way out of the crisis with Iran—the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, and the United Nations, as well as such quite hawkish prominent Americans as retired Gen. David Petraeus and former Middle East envoy Dennis Ross, are urging diplomatic overtures from both sides—but President Donald Trump isn’t likely to go that route for two reasons. First, he isn’t keen on diplomacy. Second, even if he suddenly were, no one around him is very fit for the task. .....

What would a diplomatic solution look like? First, and perhaps above all, it would involve a reembracing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, including a gradual lifting of economic sanctions, perhaps in exchange for Iran’s cessation of attacks on U.S. targets in the region.

..... his defense secretary, retired Gen. Jim Mattis, who particularly loathed the Iranian regime, called its verification provisions as airtight as those of any treaty he’d ever read. Trump’s hatred for the deal was entirely egotistical: Congress required the president to attest, every few months, that Iran was abiding by the deal, and though Iran continued to abide, Trump could not bear to keep endorsing Barack Obama’s signal diplomatic achievement. It really is that simple. ....... We do not know what the Iranians are plotting as retaliation to Trump’s assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Neither do we know what Trump and his aides are plotting as a response to Iran’s next move. If part of that response really is an attack on Iranian “cultural targets,” as Trump warns, then we will have no active allies anywhere in the world. (We have few enough now.) ...... Many observers are saying that, surely, the Iranians won’t dare launch an attack on American interests—or, surely, Trump wouldn’t really hit cultural targets. But many unlikely things have happened in recent times, so many—some of them so outrageous—that it’s hard to gauge probabilities any longer.

Pentagon Officials Reportedly “Stunned” by Trump’s Decision to Kill Soleimani Pentagon officials usually include a far-out option when they present possibilities to the president in order to make the others seem less extreme. The other options presented to Trump in Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach resort, included strikes against Iranian ships or missile facilities or militias backed by Iran that are operating in Iraq. “The Pentagon also tacked on the choice of targeting General Suleimani, mainly to make other options seem reasonable”...... . “My staff was briefed by a number of people representing a variety of agencies in the United States government and they came away with no feeling that there was evidence of an imminent attack,” Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico said.

The Impeachment Stalemate Is Working Fine for Democrats Mitch McConnell indicated that he had no plans of acceding to Democratic leaders’ demands that a Senate trial include witnesses and document production, as past impeachment trials did ..... McConnell said on the floor of the Senate. He also suggested that he was fine with an indefinite stalemate....... “Has there ever been an instance of such broad-scale defiance of a congressional request for information in the history of the Republic? Has there ever been anything like this?” Griffith asked DOJ attorney Hashim Mooppan. “An instruction has been given from the president of the United States not to cooperate in any form or fashion with an inquiry. Has that ever happened before?”

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Qassem Suleimani: Dialogue Beats Escalation (2)

Qassem Suleimani: Dialogue Beats Escalation

Waist deep and sinking in the Middle East: We're now at war with Iran the United States is at war with Iran, whether the White House acknowledges it or not. It’s the equivalent of Iran killing the commander of U.S. Central Command. ....... This war is not — and is unlikely to be in the future — a conventional war as American political and military authorities would prefer. It will continue to be internationally political, unconventional and asymmetric....... In Iraq alone, the Trump administration will be fighting this war in a vulnerable position with 5,000 isolated American troops on the ground, supported by air and naval power in the region, and an embassy fortress in Baghdad surrounded by Iranian and other enemies. ....... the U.S. is at war with a capable and difficult adversary that has options to attack Americans and U.S. interests in unexpected ways around the world ..... Freedom of movement is the most critical factor in evaluating success in any conflict area. From my experience in Vietnam and elsewhere, the U.S. was losing badly in both Iraq and Afghanistan by 2008. ......

What is lacking today from the Trump administration’s policy is any sign of a regional strategy for dealing with Iran and the growing American isolation in the Middle East. Now that this war is underway, how do he and his generals plan to fight and prevail against Iran? What are the political and military goals and objectives of American policy? How does this war end?

........ From the beginning, the Trump strategy in the region has been naïve and incompetent........ The plan to bring Iran back to the negotiation table on nuclear weapons is in tatters. The primary U.S. ally in the region, Saudi Arabia, is led by a murderous tyrant who is fighting a brutal and indecisive war in Yemen with American help. Given Trump’s hostility toward traditional allies in Europe and the general Muslim hostility toward American policy in the Middle East, the U.S. has virtually no possibility of international help in the region....... It is noteworthy that no significant Iraqi security forces showed up to defend the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad until the Shiite militants controlled by Iran withdrew from the area. .........

Today, Trump is trapped in a situation that Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon would well understand: Does the United States now fight and go deeper into the Middle East or withdraw under Iranian pressure? Given the foreign affairs and national security incompetence of this president, his disregard for professional knowledge and experience and his impulsive decisionmaking process, I have no confidence that this administration can handle the war they stimulated when they withdrew from the nuclear arms deal with Iran.

Democratic impeachment case collapses under weight of time By not seeking to compel numerous key witnesses, the House now relies on the Senate to complete its case. Since the House has maintained that the record overwhelmingly proves that Trump is guilty, the Senate could simply try the case on the record supplied by the House. Indeed, in the 1999 impeachment of President Clinton, Senate Democrats, including Minority Leader Charles Schumer, fought against any witnesses and sought a summary vote without a trial............ In the Nixon case, it took three months from the ruling of the trial court to the final decision by the Supreme Court that ultimately led to his resignation. Even if the House had waited until October to seek to compel witnesses, it could have had ample time to secure rulings or testimony by a springtime impeachment. We will never know because Democrats chose to do nothing due to the need to get to a trial that they have now delayed. ......

It is like pushing for a murder trial before an autopsy is completed because everyone has holiday plans.

...... Those Democratic voters who supported this premature act will be left to wonder, as did Doctor Seuss, “How did it get so late so soon?”

Trump threatens hit of Iranian sites if country retaliates for Soleimani killing administration officials have warned of attacks of retaliation coming from Iranian proxy groups in North America and Europe. ..... The pace of developments puts Trump in uncharted territory with Iran. The president has staked his foreign policy on confronting Tehran with economic sanctions and tough rhetoric, but until last week had largely held off on engaging militarily.

Pompeo after Soleimani strike: 'The Europeans haven't been as helpful as I wish that they could be' the Russian Foreign Ministry said “such actions don’t help resolve complicated problems in the Middle East, but instead lead to a new round of escalating tensions.”

Bernie Sanders’s Antiwar Message Highlights Ascendant Young Left “Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one”........ “All of that suffering, all of that debt, all of that huge expenditure of money ― for what?” he said, referring to the Iraq War. “It gives me no pleasure to tell you that at this moment we face a similar crossroads fraught with danger. Once again, we must worry about unintended consequences and the impact of unilateral decision-making.” ..... “Younger generations, including young American Jews, increasingly recognize that the primary threats to average Americans are not foreign bogeymen thousands of miles from our borders but rather the domestic policies that threaten their ability to get an education, earn a living and raise a family” ..... “It is rarely the children of the billionaire class who face the agony of reckless foreign policy ― it is the children of working families” ...... “If killing bad guys were the way to peace, Iraq and Afghanistan would be like Switzerland,” Khanna added. ....

Solid majorities of U.S. military veterans, who have historically leaned conservative, now believe that the two invasions were a mistake

....... “The Sanders approach ... clearly has crossover appeal with those conservative Americans who want a limited role for government,” Sperling said. “Many conservatives are increasingly vocal about how continuing endless wars and maintaining hundreds of thousands of troops abroad at over 800 foreign military bases runs counter to traditional conservative values.”

War With Iran Will Be Like Invading 'Germany In World War 2', Claims Royal Navy Admiral West told the Daily Star Online that he believes it is “highly likely” that Iran will respond to the attack and claimed that the only way that a full-scale war with Iran would be winnable is with a comparable operation to the invasion of Germany in World War 2. ....... “If you want to have a full war with Iran, you would have to go to war-footing, call up a couple of million men, and fully take it over like we did with Germany in World War 2"...... “And the US are not going to do that, so in the end you are left with a festering sore." ...... “If you just are relying on a revolution in Iran, you are deluding yourselves", the admiral said. ...... hitting strategic areas would not lead to an Iranian defeat due to Iranians rallying to defend their country..... “We could destroy all their naval units, naval bases, airfields and wipe out their aircraft – but then what are you going to do? The Americans don’t want to invade Iran, if they did that they would have to go onto a war footing"........ “So what you are left with is a badly damaged Iran which would have the mild Iranians rallying to the flag and out for vengeance"....... Iran's ambassador to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi told CNN that the assassination was “tantamount to opening a war against Iran”. ..... “The response for a military action is a military action", he told the US outlet. ....... The strike against Soleimani was personally ordered US President Donald Trump while he was at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, without informing Congress or the UK government. ...... Tensions between the US have been rising since Trump's withdrawal form the JCPOA, resulting in the tit-for-tat seizure of oil tankers between Britain and Iran in July 2019, followed by a drone attack claimed by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels on a key Saudi Aramco oil facility in September.

Iran plotting to snatch Brits off London streets and fly them to Tehran as tensions surge GENERAL Lord Dannatt, former head of the British Army, was among several experts warning holidaymakers could be targeted in Mediterranean and North African resorts in revenge for the strike ..... Gholamali Abuhamzeh also raised the prospect of attacks on ships in the Gulf, through which a third of the world’s oil is exported. .... He said: “The Strait of Hormuz is a vital point for the West and a large number of American destroyers and warships cross there. Vital American targets in the region have long since been identified by Iran. Some 35 US targets in the region, as well as Tel Aviv, are within our reach.” ...... Yesterday several rockets fell in the heavily protected “green zone” in Baghdad yesterday, with one coming down near the US Embassy and two near Balad air base, which houses US forces. There were no casualties. ...... In light of this escalating conflict military experts have warned British tourists visiting southern Europe, north Africa or the Gulf to be on high alert. ..... They called for the British Government to put pressure on security forces and the police in resorts popular with Britons to protect them from terror attacks in retribution for the death of

Soleimani, the second most powerful figure in Iran after the Ayatollah.

...... Lord Dannatt said: “I think we have to accept that everyone can be at risk, whether it is British holidaymakers in southern Europe, British interests up and down the Gulf, or British and American national figures. Individuals need to be alert but there is not much they can do ..... A source said this is part of an effort to bring the “transatlantic community together and find a way to de-escalate the situation, and deal with the threat from Iran but in a way that prevents wider conflict in the region”. .....Mr Wallace said last night: “Yesterday I spoke to my US counterpart Secretary Esper and we urge all parties to engage to de-escalate the situation.

US launches incendiary attack on Britain over Soleimani killing - ’Not helpful enough’ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has launched an incendiary attack on Britain and other European powers for failing to provide sufficient support over the assassination of Qassem Soleimani....... Mr Pompeo accused Britain, France and Germany of not providing sufficient support.....By contrast he said America’s regional allies, possibly a reference to Israel and Saudi Arabia, had been “fantastic”. ....

Iran War frenzy: Fears dozens of US warships could be hit in revenge attacks AN IRAN official has claimed at least 35 warships have been identified for retaliation strikes.......

Shia militant group Hezbollah has instructed Iraqi soldiers to keep a distance of least 1,000 meters from U.S. military bases, starting from Sunday.

US-Iran war: FOUR devastating ways Tehran could retaliate against US after attack He said that Iran had been "goading Washington, goading Donald Trump", adding: "And of course, we don't just have erratic leaders at the moment in Tehran, we have an erratic leader in Washington as well."

Trump warns Iran if it hits any Americans or American assets 'we have targeted 52 Iranian sites' "For what it's worth, I find it hard to believe the Pentagon would provide Trump targeting options that include Iranian cultural sites," tweeted Colin Kahl, former deputy assistant to President Barack Obama and national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden. "Trump may not care about the laws of war, but DoD planners and lawyers do...and targeting cultural sites is war crime." ...... There are intense discussions taking place inside US military and intelligence agencies to assess whether Iran might be preparing some type of retaliatory strikes in the next few days or wait for some time ...... Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf issued a new National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin in the wake of the drone strike that details the attack and potential Iranian threat, including previous plots against US infrastructure and cyber targets. ..... the President said he doesn't want war but that if it comes to conflict, Iran wouldn't last long.

Friday, January 03, 2020

Qassem Suleimani: Dialogue Beats Escalation

This is escalation. Iran and the US have been going tit for that for a while now. Iran does something, then denies it. Then both powers wait, Iran fully knowing something is coming. Then the US hits, and denies. Then both wait. Both take care to make sure there is no all-out war, unwinnable for both, unless you intend to outdo Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which would be a political disaster for the US in the global arena.

The Iran strike on Saudi Aramco looked like a major escalation. The US has gone to war on smaller pretexts. And officially the US said this was Saudi Arabia's business. But that was only an attempt to relax Iran. Something had to be coming.

It is only a matter of time that Iran strikes back. But just like during previous times, it will attack in a surprising manner, and it will do so in a way that would not justify an all-out war kind of retaliation.

The sensible thing is for the two powers to talk. If the nuclear deal is not enough, talk about everything. Why not? But talk.

This tit for tat has gone for too long. And considering every round has been an escalation, every tit for tat takes us that much closer to an unthinkable all-out war. This is foolish. An all-out war will give the global economy a heart attack.

Imran Khan of Pakistan is in an excellent position to mediate.

The problem with tit-for-tat escalations is, it is fairly easy to miscalculate. You might get a war you did not even want.

Even the tactic of economic isolation and physical attacks aims to take you to the negotiating table. The idea is not that, enough of this and Iran will say, what paper do you want us to sign? So why not negotiate now? Why not talk?

Yemen's Roadmap To Peace
Kashmir Deserves Normalcy
Thoughts On The Middle East
Formula For Peace Between Israel And Palestine
The Stupidity Of The Ayodhya Dispute
Saudi-Iran: Imran Is The Only One Who Can

In 2017, when TIME included Soleimani on its list of the 100 most influential people, former CIA analyst Kenneth M. Pollack wrote that “To Middle Eastern Shi’ites, he is James Bond, Erwin Rommel and Lady Gaga rolled into one.” Inside Iran, his successes abroad evoke the past glories of the Persian empire that, in its early years, the Islamic Republic worked to downplay, because they predated Islam. But the ayatollahs have lately found an asset in nationalism; another poster memorializing Soleimani labels him “PERSIAN GENERAL.”
How Qasem Soleimani's Assassination in Iraq Comes at a Fraught Moment for Trump Yet the fact that Trump notified senior Republican lawmakers about the operation but left Democrats in the dark was a breach of protocol that heightened the political backlash. ........ Democrats say they now worry that the situation will spiral out of Trump’s control. Past Presidents didn’t make the same call when considering how to respond to Soleimani’s military sponsorship that has killed hundreds of American troops. “We didn’t lack for opportunities to go after [Soleimani] or other Iranian leaders, but we also understood the consequences of taking that action,” says Brett Bruen, a former NSC official under President Barack Obama. “And you only do so if you put in place a really sound, smart strategy.”

The strike on Suleimani was wildly reckless. Blowback will come That explosive national security crisis we’ve been concerned that Donald Trump would be faced with at some point in his presidency? It may be here...... the danger is that we’ve blundered right into something Iran is very good at: asymmetric escalation........ None of this was necessary or inevitable: Trump didn’t have to pull out of the nuclear deal, didn’t have to send more US troops to the region, and didn’t have to kill Suleimani. But we are where we are ......... third, make clear that the United States wants to begin a direct dialogue with Iran....... The reality is that we are in the midst of a full-blown national security crisis of Trump’s own making. And Trump’s incompetent leadership, derision of diplomats and the intelligence community that he needs now more than ever, and penchant for disastrous decisions means that this is likely to get worse before it gets better.

For many Iranian-American families, this moment has us sick and terrified It felt like the country my family had fled to had declared war on us........ The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ushered in a new era of hell and social dislocation for any black or brown kid with a Muslim-sounding name. My friends and I were profiled, harassed, and interrogated, in and out of school. Our parents were bullied and blamed at work, in public, on the news and in casual conversations with the white parents of their kids’ friends...... For many everyday Iranian-Americans, 9/11 also reactivated an old traumatic fear of being blamed and villainized by Americans for things the Iranian regime did. Many of them dealt with it by receding from politics in fear....... We fight for an American democracy that doesn’t seem to acknowledge us; doesn’t seem to even understand itself, let alone our people....... Childhood me didn’t know that in my lifetime I’d fight a Muslim travel ban, battle Iranian family separation, watch a historic Iran deal be created that was decades in the making, then be reneged on by the US one administration later. In 2018, I became the first Iranian-American elected official in Minnesota history. As a city councilwoman, most of my work is for my constituency. But my family stories and the fallout of US foreign policy on my life experience is what propelled me and so many others into politics........

For so many Iranian-American families, this moment of precipice has us sick and terrified. It isn’t just detached political analysis and smug Twitter takes to us. It is about a lifetime of broken US Iran policy shaping a volatile current we have swum in for decades.

...... Don’t let liars and warmongers justify more violence in our names. Don’t let our oppressors tell you that questioning yet another one of their endless wars is supporting oppression. ..... We need your congressional action, popular action, anything to prevent war with Iran and to hold to the searing light the truth about the path that got us here.

The US, Iran, and the fallout of Soleimani's assassination
World War 3: What will happen next after Iran pledges ‘vigorous revenge on America’?
Trump has created his biggest foreign policy crisis yet
Trump's opportunism could plunge the Middle East into turmoil
Trump Is Playing Chess One Turn at a Time An impulsive president tries to look tough without being prepared to follow through. ........ Soleimani was an exceptionally talented and skillful leader who inspired his subordinates and a larger Shia public. He masterminded forms of warfare that were not without precedent—after all, Frenchmen and Englishmen waged proxy war in 17th-century North America—but to which he brought rare skill and subtlety. Iran is a negligible conventional power, but through its mastery of sympathetic and controlled regional militias; clever use of technology (including explosively formed projectiles for roadside bombs, but also drones, speedboats, and missiles); and deployment of propaganda, it has become the most formidable Middle Eastern power after Israel. Soleimani was very, very good at 21st-century war........ Soleimani’s demise is not only infuriating but demoralizing for his subordinates. A web of contacts and relationships cultivated over nearly 40 years of chronic warfare will vanish with him. Like one of his Hezbollah protégés, Imad Mughniyeh (assassinated by Israel in 2008, possibly with American help), he will prove impossible to replace for some period of time, perhaps forever....... Iran’s reaction to Soleimani’s assassination is unpredictable. It could be an explosion of violence, or long-term revenge plotted and executed over years, or attacks on exposed American outposts in Iraq and Syria, or terrorism in other countries, or mass-casualty events, or the proportionate killing of a senior American general. Or the Iranians could simply curl up in the fetal position. There are precedents for that, too, the most spectacular of which followed the shooting-down of an Iranian commercial aircraft in 1988 by an American warship, which killed all 290 passengers and crew members. It was a dreadful mistake, and in the immediate aftermath the U.S. government braced itself for a wave of terrorism in response. Instead, the Iranian government seemed to conclude that the Americans were willing to go to any lengths to bring them down, and moved quickly to terminate the Iran-Iraq War on terms disadvantageous to themselves...... Indeed, in one of those clever strokes of theatrical violence at which Iran excels, in September 2019 a sophisticated attack on Saudi oil facilities showed just how much damage the Iranians can do. It sent a message to the Gulf countries that the Islamic Republic was not going away, and could do a lot of damage that the Americans could not prevent. The ambiguity of the attack—credit was claimed, implausibly, by Houthi tribesmen in Yemen, but no one doubts that it was Iranian-directed—may be a hint of what lies ahead....... Iran cannot beat the United States in the field, but it can win the war politically, and may very well do so......... And above them all is a mercurial, impulsive, and ignorant president who has no desire to be pulled into a Middle Eastern war in an election year, and who wants to look tough without being prepared to follow through. This is a recipe for strategic ineptitude, and possibly failure......... some of his seniors “were not complete fools.” However, he noted, "it was the habit of all of them to look straight, and not very far, ahead. They saw their immediate duties and did those, not vaguely or stupidly, but in an experienced firm way. Then they waited until whatever was going to happen, happened. Then they sized this up, noted whatever new duties there were, and did those. Their position was that of a chess player who had in his head no moves beyond the one it was now his turn to make. He would be dumbfounded when, after he had made four or five such moves (each sensible enough in itself) sudden catastrophe, from an unexpected direction by an unexpected means, fell on him, and he was mated."

Politics of Iran Iran has a democratically elected president, a parliament (or Majlis), an Assembly of Experts which elects the Supreme Leader, and local councils. According to the constitution, all candidates running for these positions must be vetted by the Guardian Council before being elected. ...... Emigration has lost Iran millions of entrepreneurs, professionals, technicians, and skilled craftspeople and their capital. For this and other reasons Iran's economy has not prospered.[citation needed] Poverty rose in absolute terms by nearly 45% during the first 6 years since Iraqi invasion on Iran started and per capita income has yet to reach pre-revolutionary levels when Iraqi invasion ended in 1988. ........... The Supreme Leader of Iran[11] is the head of state and highest ranking political and religious authority (above the President). The armed forces, judicial system, state television, and other key governmental organizations are under the control of the Supreme Leader. There have been only two Supreme Leaders since the founding of the Islamic Republic, and the current leader (Ali Khamenei), has been in power since 1989. His powers extend to issuing decrees and making final decisions on the economy, environment, foreign policy, education, national planning of population growth, the amount of transparency in elections in Iran, and who is to be fired and reinstated in the Presidential cabinet. .......The Supreme Leader is appointed and supervised by the Assembly of Experts. However, all candidates to the Assembly of Experts, the President and the Majlis (Parliament), are selected by the Guardian Council, half of whose members are selected by the Supreme Leader of Iran. Also, all directly-elected members after the vetting process by the Guardian Council still have to be approved by the Supreme Leader........ According to the constitution, the Guardian Council oversees and approves electoral candidates for most national elections in Iran. The Guardian Council has 12 members: 6 clerics, appointed by the Supreme Leader and 6 jurists, elected by the Majlis from among the Muslim jurists nominated by the Head of the Judicial System, who is appointed by the Supreme Leader. According to the current law, the Guardian Council approves the Assembly of Experts candidates, who in turn supervise and elect the Supreme Leader.......

The reformists say this system creates a closed circle of power. Iranian reformists, such as Mohammad-Ali Abtahi have considered this to be the core legal obstacle for the reform movement in Iran.

“A nasty, brutal fight”: what a US-Iran war would look like The bottom line: It’d be hell on earth. ....... A deadly opening attack. Nearly untraceable, ruthless proxies spreading chaos on multiple continents. Costly miscalculations. And thousands — perhaps hundreds of thousands — killed in a conflict that would dwarf the war in Iraq...... Welcome to the US-Iran war, which has the potential to be one of the worst conflicts in history...... the Eurasia Group, a prominent international consulting firm, now puts the chance of “a limited or major military confrontation” at 40 percent.