Showing posts with label khameini. Show all posts
Showing posts with label khameini. Show all posts

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Trump's Iran Speech

For far too long, all the way back to 1979, to be exact, nations have tolerated Iran’s destructive and destabilizing behavior in the Middle East and beyond. Those days are over. Iran has been the leading sponsor of terrorism, and their pursuit of nuclear weapons threatens the civilized world. We will never let that happen. ........ At my direction, the United States military eliminated the world’s top terrorist, Qasem Soleimani. As the head of the Quds Force, Soleimani was personally responsible for some of the absolutely worst atrocities. He trained terrorist armies, including Hezbollah, launching terrorist strikes against civilian targets. He fueled bloody civil wars all across the region. He viciously wounded and murdered thousands of U.S. troops, including the planting of roadside bombs that maim and dismember their victims. Soleimani directed the recent attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq that badly wounded four service members and killed one American. And he orchestrated the violent assault on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. In recent days, he was planning new attacks on American targets. But we stopped him. Soleimani’s hands were drenched in both American and Iranian blood. He should have been terminated long ago. By removing Soleimani, we have sent a powerful message to terrorists: If you value your own life, you will not threaten the lives of our people. ....... the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime. These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior. ........ In recent months alone, Iran has seized ships in international waters, fired an unprovoked strike on Saudi Arabia and shot down two U.S. drones. Iran’s hostilities substantially increased after the foolish Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2013, and they were given $150 billion dollars, not to mention $1.8 billion in cash. Instead of saying thank you to the United States, they chanted “Death to America.” In fact,

they chanted “Death to America” the day the agreement was signed. Then Iran went on a terror spree funded by the money from the deal, and created hell in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration. The regime also greatly tightened the reins on their own country. Even recently killing 1,500 people at the many protests that are taking place all throughout Iran. ......... We must also make a deal that allows Iran to thrive and prosper and take advantage of its enormous untapped potential. Iran can be a great country. Peace and stability cannot prevail in the Middle East as long as Iran continues to foment violence, unrest, hatred and war. ........

Over the last three years under my leadership, our economy is stronger than ever before, and America’s achieved energy independence.

...... We are now the number one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world. We are independent, and we do not need Middle East oil. The American military has been completely rebuilt under my administration, at a cost of $2.5 trillion dollars. ........ Our missiles are big, powerful, accurate, lethal and fast. Under construction are many hypersonic missiles. The fact that we have this great military and equipment, however, does not mean we have to use it. We do not want to use it. American strength, both military and economic, is the best deterrent......... ISIS is a natural enemy of Iran. The destruction of ISIS is good for Iran. And we should work together on this and other shared priorities. ....... to the people and leaders of Iran: We want you to have a future and a great future, one that you deserve, one of prosperity at home in harmony with the nations of the world. The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.

2017: Certifiable Nonsense Trump’s speech on the Iran deal might be his most dishonest, and also his most damaging. ...... It flagrantly misrepresents what the deal was meant to do, the extent of Iran’s compliance, and the need for corrective measures. If he gets his way, he will blow up one of the most striking diplomatic triumphs of recent years, aggravate tensions in the Middle East, make it even harder to settle the North Korean crisis peacefully, and make it all but impossible for allies and adversaries to trust anything the United States says for as long as Trump is in office. .......... all of his advisers, all the European allies who co-signed the deal, and even the vast majority of Israeli military and intelligence officers—including some who opposed the deal in the first place—have urged him not to pull out........

The problem, from Trump’s point of view, is that the Iranians are abiding by the deal’s terms. The JCPOA required Iran to dismantle the vast bulk of its nuclear program, essentially closing off every road to a nuclear bomb—in exchange for which the U.S. and the other countries would lift sanctions, which had been imposed as penalty for its nuclear activities.


as the inspectors have reported time and time again, Iran is not cheating.

......... Even Trump has had to certify twice that Iran was in compliance—and he was getting sick and tired of it. ........ To the extent the Iran deal is one-sided, it’s sided against Iran. Unlike the U.S.-Soviet arms deals, we didn’t have to give up any of our weapons; we only had to lift sanctions that we and other countries had imposed to pressure the Iranians to dismantle their weapons program—and now that they have done the dismantling, it’s only fair to lift the sanctions. ....... the U.N. had passed a different set of sanctions against Iran for its tests of ballistic missiles and its support of terrorists. Even after the Iran nuclear deal was signed, those sanctions remain in place. There is no need to rewrite the Iran nuclear deal to address these other problems; they are already being addressed. ....... some—including the International Atomic Energy Agency’s right to inspect facilities—have no expiration at all. .......

he said, they “failed to meet our expectations in its operation of advanced centrifuges.” I have no idea what this means and can’t find anyone to decipher it.

...... the deal allows more intrusive inspection and verification than any arms-control treaty in history. ....... In the year since the deal has been in effect, the IAEA has conducted 402 inspections of Iranian sites, including 25 “snap” inspections. That’s 402 more inspections—and the gathering of a lot more intelligence information—than would have occurred without the nuclear deal. “So far,” the agency’s director general, Yukiya Amano, said in a statement on Friday, “the IAEA has had access to all locations it needed to visit.” ..........

the “violations” that Trump cited are fiction. If anyone is in violation of this deal, it is Trump.

............. Trump has made his preference clear—if a choice must be made, he’ll take diplomatic disaster. ....... If the United States pulls out of the JCPOA, the deal won’t necessarily fall apart. It is a multinational agreement—signed by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (the U.S., Britain, France, China, and Russia), along with Germany and the European Union. Those other countries could decide to keep the deal going and to make up for any business that Iran loses as a result of resumed U.S. sanctions by stepping up their own investment and trade. Then the United States would be isolated—and blinded by lack of access to the intelligence provided by the inspections (which would be continued by the IAEA). ....... If our face-off with North Korea is to end without war, it will require some sort of diplomatic settlement. But who will want to negotiate with the United States, and who would believe any deal Trump would sign or guarantee he would make, if he pulls out of the Iran deal, even though Iran is abiding by its terms? ......

And all of this is happening because Trump doesn’t like the Iran nuclear deal. He doesn’t like it because it was Barack Obama’s triumph, because he doesn’t like Iran, because his friend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t like Iran and doesn’t like the Iran deal, and because he, Donald Trump said that he would kill the deal, and if he doesn’t, his “base” will be upset.

......... Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been mumbling a lot of nonsense lately, saying, for instance, that Iran is violating “the spirit” of the deal (which is completely false: This deal has no spirit beyond its contents, and Iran is not violating those) ....... He has withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, has withdrawn from UNESCO, is on the verge of withdrawing from NAFTA, and is now getting set to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. Our allies are already looking for new partners and new security guarantors. Trump may soon discover that America can’t be first if it’s all alone.

The Only Winner of the U.S.-Iran Showdown Is Russia A crisis tailor-made for Vladimir Putin. ........ Hours before Iran launched a missile attack on U.S. troops in Iraq, Vladimir Putin visited Syria to huddle with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad over the mounting U.S.-Iran crisis. Russia has repeatedly condemned the U.S. airstrikes that killed Iranian Major Gen. Qassem Soleimani. It’s fair to assume that leaders in Moscow are seeking to turn the situation to their advantage. .......... With no troops in Iraq, the United States will find it hard to sustain a presence in Syria. That void would create more maneuverability for Moscow in the region—essentially, cementing its position as a regional power broker. ....... Moscow has already succeeded in undermining U.S. relations with Middle Eastern allies. The prime example is Turkey: Although Russia and Turkey were on opposite sides of the conflict in Syria, they now jointly control operations in the north of the country ....... Moscow could also benefit if the U.S. strikes create more disunity between Washington and its European allies. Numerous U.S. decisions in the Middle East have frustrated allies, particularly its withdrawal from the nuclear deal. Reports suggest that the Trump administration even failed to warn Britain and other allies ahead of the strikes on Soleimani. If Washington does not heed its allies’ calls for immediate de-escalation, the United States could find itself further isolated on the world stage. ........ Washington could incur additional damage to its relationships with European allies if Iran now hastens its pursuit of a nuclear weapon as a result of the strikes. Iran announced Sunday it would stop obeying all restrictions imposed by the Iran deal on its nuclear activities. Russia has been a vocal critic of the U.S. decision to withdraw from the deal and instead mount a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran. In fact, Moscow’s position has placed it on the same side as European powers like France and Germany opposing the U.S. decision to reimpose sanctions. Russia has worked with France and Germany to sidestep U.S. sanctions to keep Iran in the deal. Consequently, Russia is ideally situated to emphasize its efforts to maintain the agreement and blame Washington for pushing Iran toward a nuclear bomb........ Russia, on the other hand, is left with the enviable position of capitalizing on the turbulent behavior of the United States in the Middle East, regardless of whether the United States and Iran go to war. Ultimately, U.S. actions will strengthen Russian leadership: first, by removing American competition, and second, by turning regional and global sentiment against the United States. Provided Moscow continues cooperating with all regional states and maintains stability in Syrian territory where Russian forces are present, Russia stands a good chance of supplanting U.S. influence in the Middle East—no matter what happens next.

The Iran Crisis Isn’t Even Close to Over Trump is holding fire for now—but doing nothing to de-escalate tensions. ....... “We are continuing to evaluate options” in response to Iran’s aggression, Trump said, with the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff standing behind him, suggesting that military escalation is still a possibility. Meanwhile, he added, he would impose “new sanctions” on Iran’s economy until the regime “changes its behavior,” scuttling rumors and reports from the night before that Trump would seek an “off-ramp” to the growing tensions between the two nations. ....... Trump continued to denounce the Iran nuclear deal as “foolish” and claimed that Tehran’s “terrorist spree” was funded by the money that President Barack Obama gave the regime as part of the deal. This was a false charge in three ways. First, the money consisted of Iranian assets that had been frozen because of Iran’s illegal nuclear program and that were, therefore, freed when the program was dismantled. Second, during the three years that the nuclear deal was in place, Iran launched no attacks on oil tankers or U.S. military bases; those began only after Trump pulled out of the deal. Third, Iran’s attacks haven’t cost much to execute; they could have been done if sanctions had never been lifted (and they were lifted only partially before they were reimposed). .........

Trump’s remarks indicate that he has no interest in reviving the deal or returning to the negotiating table

........ Trump is holding fire for now, but he made it very clear that he is reserving the right to return more—and that, meanwhile, he is taking no steps toward a peaceful resolution of the broader conflict. All concessions will have to come from Tehran. ....... One of Iran’s strategic goals has been to push the United States out of the Middle East, and particularly out of Iraq. On that level, was Trump handing Iran a win—and one consistent with his isolationist leanings? ......... he touted America’s military strength (though

wildly overstating that he had “rebuilt” the armed forces

during his presidency), noting that even if U.S. troops were pulled out, he could launch massive airstrikes any time he chose. Yet the night before, the Iranians demonstrated that they too could launch missile strikes at U.S. sites. This was the first time Iran—rather than some Iranian-backed proxy force—has launched a strike against a U.S. military base and openly taken credit for it. ......... we are right back where we were two weeks ago, before the round of escalating strikes began. The tensions that sparked the crisis remain unresolved. If anything, they’ve been aggravated.

Fact check: Trump discusses escalation of tensions with Iran in televised speech signaled he was open to dialogue. ..... “Iran's hostilities substantially increased after the foolish Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2013," he said. ..... While Trump tied the escalation of tensions to the deal negotiated under President Barack Obama, a series of major provocations occurred after Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement in 2018. ....... Critics of the Iran deal have said Tehran used the money it received as part of the agreement to finance terrorism in the Middle East. At the time, Obama administration officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, acknowledged the possibility that Iran might use some of the money realized through sanctions relief to fund terrorist groups. But Tehran's funding of militant groups was ongoing years before the deal was reached. ....... Trump also misstated when the Iranian nuclear agreement was signed. Although an interim deal was signed in 2013, the broad multilateral agreement – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – was signed two years later in 2015. ........ “Iran remains the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism,” concluded the State Department report, which is a review of 2018 data and activities. “The regime has spent nearly one billion dollars per year to support terrorist groups that serve as its proxies and expand its malign influence across the globe. Tehran has funded international terrorist groups such as Hizballah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It also has engaged in its own terrorist plotting around the world, particularly in Europe.” .........

In his 2011 book, Trump called Saudi Arabia “the world’s biggest funder of terrorism. Saudi Arabia funnels our petrodollars, our very own money, to fund the terrorists that seek to destroy our people.”

......... After it signed a multinational deal to restrain its nuclear development in 2015, Iran was allowed access to its own assets, which had been frozen. The U.S. Treasury or other countries did not give Iran $150 billion. Rather, Iran was allowed to gain access to its own money. ....... As for the $1.8 billion, Iran did get a payment of roughly that amount from the U.S. Treasury. But that was to pay an old IOU ....... In the 1970s, Iran paid the U.S. $400 million for military equipment that was never delivered because the government was overthrown and diplomatic relations ruptured. After the nuclear deal, the U.S. and Iran announced they had settled the matter, with the U.S. agreeing to pay the $400 million principal along with about $1.3 billion in interest. .......... Iran had ballistic missile technology before the deal was reached........ To say that that money funded the attack on our personnel and on our base is just

the most disgraceful kind of lie, of the sort that unfortunately President Trump tells every day

........ Trump’s claim of spending more than $2 trillion on military equipment over the last three years is incorrect. The Pentagon bought less than half a trillion in equipment over that period ....... A single U.S. military surveillance drone was downed by Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) in June 2019 ......... the U.S. is not completely free of importing Middle East oil, as Trump claimed, since the U.S. still imports it.

Iranian commander vows "harsher revenge" against U.S. President Trump added a new piece of information to his administration's justification for the deadly strike that killed Soleimani, saying on Thursday, without providing evidence, "We did it because they were looking to blow up our embassy."

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Excellent Opportunity To Not Retaliate

Iran had to do something and it did. But there are no casualties. And this is an excellent opening for the US to not retaliate.

The other powers that are actively trying to help de-escalate should be allowed to play their roles.

This thing has to be steered to dialogue.

Trump replaced NAFTA with something that looks and smells like NAFTA. Perhaps Trump would like to cut a nuclear deal with Iran.

Restraint Would Be A Good Idea
Trump-Khameini Tit-Tat: This Is Not Looking Good
The Strong Case For No War
Suleimani Episode: Bizarre Turn Of Events
Trump's Suleimani Move: Politically Bad
Qassem Suleimani: Dialogue Beats Escalation (2)
Qassem Suleimani: Dialogue Beats Escalation

The Nightmare Stage of Trump’s Rule Is Here Unstable and impeached, the president pushes the U.S. toward war with Iran. ........ NATO has suspended its mission training Iraqi forces to fight ISIS. Iraq’s Parliament has voted to expel American troops — a longtime Iranian objective. (On Monday, U.S. forces sent a letter saying they were withdrawing from Iraq in response, only to then claim that it was a draft released in error.) On Sunday, Iran said it will no longer be bound by the remaining restrictions on its nuclear program in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the deal that Trump abandoned in 2018. Trump has been threatening to commit war crimes by destroying Iran’s cultural sites and tried to use Twitter to notify Congress of his intention to respond to any Iranian reprisals with military escalation. ...... The administration has said that the killing of Suleimani was justified by an imminent threat to American lives, but there is no reason to believe this......... Defense officials who might have stood up to Trump have all left the administration. ....... James Mattis, Trump’s former secretary of defense, instructed his subordinates not to provide the president with options for a military showdown with Iran. ........ presented Trump with the possibility of killing Suleimani as the “most extreme” option on a menu of choices, and were “flabbergasted” when he picked it. ........ “His maximum pressure policy has failed,” Nasr said of Trump. “He has only produced a more dangerous Iran.” ....... ISIS benefits from the breach between Iraq and America. “ISIS suicide and vehicle bombings have nearly stopped entirely,” said Brett McGurk, who until 2018 was special presidential envoy to the coalition fighting ISIS. “Only a few years ago, there were 50 per month, killing scores of Iraqis. That’s because of what we have done and continue to do. These networks will regenerate rapidly if we are forced to leave, and they will again turn their attention on the West.” ....

an establishment that has too often failed to treat him as a walking national emergency. Now the nightmare phase of the Trump presidency is here. The biggest surprise is that it took so long.

GOP Rep. Michael Waltz Says Iranian Missile Attack Could Be Sign of ‘Future De-Escalation’ “If they are hitting infrastructure, that could be a signal that while they had to respond, they did so in a way that would lead to some type of future de-escalation.”

Opinion: How inevitable is war with Iran? war with Iran is not to the president’s advantage. .... Trump has only one strategic imperative in 2020, and that’s vindication in an impeachment trial and reelection. A messy, all-out — and if the past is any guide unwinnable — war that results in skyrocketing oil prices, a meltdown in financial markets, economic dislocation and a surge in U.S. deaths at Iranian hands will not help him at the ballot box. ......

Like Trump, Khamenei in Tehran wants to stay in power. He’s a crafty leader committed to expanding Iran’s regional reach, but his main objective is survival of the Islamic Republic and regime maintenance.

...... The drone attack on the second most powerful man in Iran and in a third country was an act untethered from any coherent, long-term strategy. ..... The killing has not made Americans more secure or limited Iran’s regional influence. What it has done is cripple the U.S.-Iraqi relationship, strengthen Iran’s power in the region and undermine the fight against Islamic State.

Oil prices soar after Iran attacks airbases housing US troops in Iraq Iran used ballistic missiles from inside Iraq, indicating a significant escalation. ..... A spike in oil prices could deal a blow to the world economy, which is already struggling from weak manufacturing activity. Dow (INDU) futures tumbled more than 300 points, or 1.2%, late Wednesday.