Pompeo Lays an Egg

From RT:

Speaking at the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing Washington think tank, Pompeo laid out a list of 12 “basic requirements”for Iran. The demands call on Iran to withdraw from Syria, “release all US citizens,” end support for Houthi rebels in Yemen, stop “enrichment” of uranium, and promise never to process plutonium. Iran must also allow “unqualified access to all nuclear sites throughout the country,” Pompeo said.

He promised that the US would impose the “strongest sanctions in history” if Iran failed to comply with these demands…

The secretary of state also pledged that the US “will track down Iranian operatives and their Hezbollah proxies operating around the world, and we will crush them. Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East.”

Speaking directly to the Iranian people, Pompeo claimed that “President [Hassan] Rouhani and Foreign Minister [Javad] Zarif… are your elected leaders. Are they not the most responsible for your economic struggles?” He added: “The United States believes you deserve better.”

From RT:

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has rejected demands made of Tehran by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, vowing to continue “our path,” insisting that the era when the US could “decide for the world” is over.

The US government has regressed 15 years, back to “Bush Jr.’s era” and is once again trying to dictate its will on the entire world, Rouhani said as he rejected Washington’s Monday ultimatum.

“Who are you to decide for Iran and the world? The world today does not accept America to decide for the world, as countries are independent … that era is over … We will continue our path with the support of our nation,” Rouhani said, as quoted by ILNA news agency.

From RT:

One major point used as a bargaining chip is, however, entirely unrelated to the Iranian nuclear program. It reads: “Iran must withdraw all forces under Iranian command from Syria.”

The demand conveniently ignores the fact that Iranian troops were invited by the Syrian government and have been helping fight Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) on the ground – while the US troops, stuck in Syria indefinitely, were not. “Nobody invited them there,”Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said in February, reminding the world that their presence was illegal…

Another US demand is that Iran must “respect the sovereignty of the Iraq government and permit the disarming, demobilization, and reintegration of Shia militias.” Just as in Syria, Iranian troops are in Iraq with the approval of Baghdad, and the country’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) even receive funding and training from Iran and  have been declared part of Iraq’s security apparatus.

From MoA:

Pompeo demands that Iran closes its heavy water reactor. Iran can not close its heavy water reactor. It does not have one…

There is a demand that Iran does not develop “nuclear capable” missiles. Iran had already committed to that under the JCPOA…

The Europeans are enraged that Trump s threatens them with secondary sanctions if they stick to the agreement they signed and continue to deal with Iran…

The Pompeo speech will unite the people in Iran. The moderate neoliberals around the current president Rouhani will join the nationalist hardliners in their resistance.

From EJ Magnier:

During his meeting with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad in Sochi, President Vladimir Putin expressed his wishes for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Syria. The Russian president, however, did not explain how he would get the withdrawal of US and Turkish forces that occupy about 50% of northern and eastern Syria. These forces have expansionist and geopolitical aims that suggest a very long-term occupation.

In fact, the explosive situation on several fronts in the Middle East means that no force should withdraw anytime soon. The coming months could reveal the existence of belligerent plans likely to drag the Middle East into a generalized war. Therefore, both the US and Turkey deem it necessary to maintain their forces on the ground, dangerously close to the hottest point in the world, being ready to intervene.

President Donald Trump announced a few months ago his intention to withdraw his troops from Syria. He did not order them to attack and defeat Daesh in the provinces of Hassake and Deir Ezzor. Many months have elapsed without real military activity against Daesh, at least without activity serious enough to justify the presence of US forces and demonstrate in a concrete way their declared intention to fight exclusively against the terrorist group and to destroy it.

In the meantime, Washington maintains two military airports and bases that can accommodate large contingents in the north, as well as commanding some 35,000 Kurdish and Arab militants. In addition, in the Kurdish sector to the north and east, as well as to the border crossing at al-Tanf, US, British and French forces train, feed and maintain 30,000 other militants under their command.

But the occupation forces in Syria are not exclusively American. Turkey has taken control of Afrin and Idlib, where 70,000 to 100,000 militants are based, including those of former al-Qaeda (Hayat Tahrir al-Sham al-Front al Nusra) and Horras al- Deen (the Guardians of Religion), the latest version, even more radical. Turkey has created schools, imposed the Turkish language and considers this Syrian territory as part of Turkey.

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The Rise of Hamza bin Laden

From War on the Rocks:

Al-Qaeda has been seeking to exploit domestic skepticism of the prince’s modernization efforts, which are aimed at changing the way the country engages with gender, culture, religion, and the economy. The jihadi organization hopes to foment a backlash that helps it to better position Hamza bin Laden, son of Osama, as heir to his father’s throne and to continue a longstanding feud between al-Qaeda and the House of Saud. These efforts, if successful, will pit the reformist ambitions of the crown prince of Riyadh against the revolutionary Salafi-jihadism promoted by the crown prince of jihad. This war of two princely visions may shape the future of the Middle East…

After 9/11, Hamza bin Laden fled with other family members to Iran. There, he was eventually put under house arrest, but al-Qaeda operatives schooled him in religion and geopolitics at the request of his father. In HBL’s first speech after his 2014 release from Iran, he emphasized that his father’s request had been fulfilled.

The prince’s lineage is even more intriguing. Hamza is the son of Osama’s third wife, Khairah Sabar, a Saudi whose ancestry dates back to the Prophet Muhammad. This places Hamza in the same category of hereditary esteem held by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISIL’s so-called caliph, granting him the ancestral qualifications a caliph requires under fundamentalist interpretations of Islamic law…

al-Qaeda issued a bulletin during MBS’ tour of the West that declared “Muhammad bin Salman was working in every way on behalf of and in dependence of the Crusader West,” and that surprisingly expressed support for Saudi clerics, calling for them to stand up and “speak the truth to the tyrannical oppressor.” Additionally, the most recent edition of al-Nafir, released as MBS’ tour drew to a close, called on “true scholars” to stand up to the Saudi crown prince’s “moderate, open Islam, which all onlookers know is American Islam.”..

Measuring the effectiveness of al-Qaeda’s propaganda campaign will be especially difficult because the group calls for clandestine, rather than open, contestation. In contrast to ISIL’s more overt approach, HBL calls for patience and the formulation of clandestine cells in Saudi Arabia, with the option of emigration to safe haven in Yemen.

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Pepe Escobar Visits Tehran

From Pepe Escobar:

I was in Tehran as part of a small group of foreign analysts, guests of the Majlis (Parliament) for the 6th International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada. No one in Trump’s circle would be caught dead in such a gathering – featuring parliamentary delegates from more than 50 nations, a de facto mini-UN. Yet what they missed at the impressive opening in a crowded, round conference hall was the center of power in Iran on display; Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani and Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani…

On Palestine, Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabi Berri offered a gloomy assessment of the three solutions now available; suicide; giving in; or running away from what’s left of Palestinian land. Later on down the hall I asked the deputy secretary-general of Hezbollah, the affable Naim Qassem, about the Trump administration’s hint of a one-state solution. His answer, in French: “One state means war. Two states means peace under their conditions, which will conduct us to war.”..

Blake Archer Williams, otherwise known as Arash Darya-Bandari, whose pseudonym celebrates the “tyger tyger burning bright” English master, gave me a copy of Creedal Foundations of Waliyic Islam (Lion of Najaf Publishers) – a sophisticated analysis of how Shi’ite theology led to the theory of velayat-e faqih (the ruling of the jurisprudent) at the heart of the Islamic Republic of Iran. I’m considering sending the book to voracious reader Steve Bannon.     

Pyongyang was also in the house. The North Korean delegate had produced an astonishing speech, essentially arguing that Palestine should follow their example, complete with a “credible nuclear deterrent.” Later on in the corridors I saluted the delegation, and they saluted back. No chance of a bilateral though to expand on the unclear points surrounding Kim Jong-nam’s assassination.    

Every time I’m back in Tehran I’m impressed with the open avenues for serious intellectual discussion. Once again Tehran proved to be unrivaled all across Asia as a theater to debate all crosscurrents involving post or counter-Enlightenment, or both.

I was constantly reminded of Jalal Al-e Ahmad, the son of a mullah born in poor south Tehran who later translated Sartre and Camus and wrote the seminal Westoxification (1962). 

He spent the summer of 1965 at a seminar in Harvard organized by Henry Kissinger and “supported” by the CIA, and pivoted to Shi’ism only by the end of his life. But it was his analysis that paved the way for sociologist Ali Shariati to cross-pollinate anti-colonialism with the Shi’ite concept of resistance against injustice into a revolutionary ideology capable of politicizing the Iranian middle classes, leading to the Islamic Revolution.

That was the background for very serious discussions on how Iran (resistance against injustice), China (remixed Confucianism) and Russia (Eurasianism) are offering post-enlightenment alternatives that transcend Western liberal democracy – a concept rendered meaningless by neoliberalism’s hegemony.

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Nasrallah: It’s all over now.

From Thierry Meyssan:

Donald Trump, for whom regional peace can only be possible if each party accepts its own defeats, considers Iran to be a danger because it refuses to recognise the State of Israël. It is precisely in order to force all regional actors to accept reality as it is that he is moving the US embassy to Jerusalem…

From the Russian point of view, the deployment of the Revolutionary Guard alongside the Chiite populations of Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, is more or less comparable to that of the Russian soldiers protecting Russian citizens living in Transnistria, Abkhazia, Ossetia and Ukraine. But the presence of the Revolutionary Guard in Gaza – where they supervise the Islamic Jihad and a faction of Hamas – can not be justified in the same way, not to mention their infiltration in Africa and Latin America…

Indeed, as soon as the United States had withdrawn from the nuclear agreement, President Hassan Rohani appeared on television to declare that the JCPoA was a multilateral agreement, and could not be blocked by a single party. He tried in particular to reassure his citizens by affirming that the country had prepared for this eventuality, and that their quality of life would not be affected. He was not believed. Within a day, Iranian money collapsed, losing close to a third of its value.

From Zero Hedge:

The Israeli military continued its violent repression of Palestinian protesters on Monday when soldiers once again gunned down unarmed demonstrators whom it claimed were trying to penetrate the border fence separating Israel from the Gaza Strip….

The IDF murdering unarmed Palestinians using a Gandhiesque tactic of showing how venal Nuttyyahoo’s regime is… like Britain in India… there is no way to make this slaughter seem justified, and attempting to keep it out of the public consciousness has not worked…

From Sputnik News:

In response to Israel’s ongoing violent suppression of Palestinian protesters in Gaza, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has recalled his country’s ambassadors to both the US and Israel, accusing Israel of “state terror” and “genocide.”

From MoA:

On Saturday the people of Iraq voted for a new parliament.

The surprising winner is the Sairoon coalition of the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and the Communist Party of Iraq. According to the preliminary results it gained 54 parliament seats. There are a total of 320 seats in the Iraqi parliament and complicate multiparty coalitions are necessary to gain a majority and to elect a new Prime Minister…

Muqtada and his followers in the Mahdi Army viciously fought the U.S. occupiers as well as sectarian Sunni gangs. In 2006 the U.S. planned to kill him and al-Sadr fled to Iran. U.S. media called him “anti-American” but Sadr is simply an Iraqi nationalist.

From Joe Lauria:

New York Times headline on Monday said: “Dozens of Palestinians have died in protests as the U.S. prepares to open its Jerusalem Embassy.” Journalist Glenn Greenwald responded: “Most western media outlets have become quite skilled – through years of practice – at writing headlines and describing Israeli massacres using the passive tense so as to hide the culprit. But the all-time champion has long been, and remains, the New York Times.#HaveDied.”..

Moshe Dayan, one of the Israel’s Founding Fathers, who said in 1956:

“What cause have we to complain about their fierce hatred to us? For eight years now, they sit in their refugee camps in Gaza, and before their eyes we turn into our homestead the land and villages in which they and their forefathers have lived.” He went on: “We are a generation of settlers, and without the steel helmet and gun barrel, we shall not be able to plant a tree or build a house. . . . Let us not be afraid to see the hatred that accompanies and consumes the lives of hundreds of thousands of Arabs who sit all around us and wait for the moment when their hands will be able to reach our blood.”

From Caitlin Johnstone:

The only way to spin this as the fault of the Palestinians is to dehumanize them, to attribute behaviors and motives to them that we all know are contrary to human nature…

Sheldon Adelson was present at the opening of the Jerusalem embassy, getting what he paid for…

It isn’t nations and governments pulling the strings of real power in the world, it’s a class of plutocrats who aren’t ultimately answerable to any government.

From Russia Today:

The European Union is planning to switch payments to the euro for its oil purchases from Iran, eliminating US dollar transactions, a diplomatic source told RIA Novosti.

Brussels has been at odds with Washington over the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, which was reached during the administration of Barack Obama. President Donald Trump has pledged to re-impose sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

From Zero Hedge:

European Council President and former Prime Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk, has set the bar high for Trump rebuttals with his latest tweet, blasting that:

” Looking at latest decisions of @realDonaldTrump someone could even think: with friends like that who needs enemies….

But frankly, EU should be grateful. Thanks to him we got rid of all illusions. We realise that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm. “

From MoA:

One condition North Korea had asked for at the beginning of the negotiation cycle was a freeze of ‘strategic’ military exercises by South Korea and the U.S. in exchange for a freeze of nuclear and missile tests by North Korea. This was understood by both sides. The condition had held for a while but a few days ago the U.S. and South Korea announced a new exercise:

SEOUL, May 10 (Yonhap) — South Korea and the United States will begin massive combined air force drills this week, officials here said Thursday, in an apparent move to strengthen their hand ahead of denuclearization talks with North Korea.The two-week Max Thunder exercise will begin on Friday, involving some 100 warplanes, including eight F-22 radar-evading fighters as well as an unspecified number of B-52 bombers and F-15K jets, the officials said.

It is the first time that the allies have decided to deploy eight F-22 jets to a combined exercise. Observers said the planned show of formidable air power appears aimed at further pressuring the North to give up its nuclear ambitions.

F-22 stealth fighter and B-52 are nuclear capable and thus strategic assets. Incorporating them in an exercise breaks the previous understanding. In response to the exercise North Korea canceled high level talks with South Korea:

The North’s Korean Central News Agency said the Max Thunder drills between the South Korean and U.S. air forces are a rehearsal for invasion of the North and a provocation amid warming inter-Korean ties.

“This exercise targeting us, which is being carried out across South Korea, is a flagrant challenge to the Panmunjom Declaration and an intentional military provocation running counter to the positive political development on the Korean Peninsula,” the KCNA report said. “The United States will also have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-U.S. summit in light of this provocative military ruckus jointly conducted with the South Korean authorities.”..

UPDATE

The North Korean protests helped on both points. The U.S. military exercise was dialed back and the White House disowned the Libya disarmament concept that Bolton introduced to sabotage the talks…

Moon Chung-in, a special security adviser to President Moon Jae-in, said in a lecture at the National Assembly that the decision was made at an emergency meeting between Defense Minister Song Young-moo and Gen. Vincent Brooks, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea.

From EJ Magnier:

[T]he US policy towards Ukraine and its attempt, along with the European Community, to kick Russia out of the country and disrupt its huge economic income from gas selling into Europe was enough to make the Russian bear dive into the Levant…

For Iran, the fall of Bashar al-Assad meant the fall of Iran itself and its Hezbollah strategic ally, and with it Iraq afterwards…

Israel is aware that the Russian stock of anti-tank laser guided missiles “Kornet” found its way to Hezbollah in 2006 and halted the Israeli Merkava during the second war (over 55 tanks were destroyed and damaged)…

The IRGC are in Syria since 1982 and won’t leave unless requested to do so by the Syrian government.

From Chris Hedges:

Nakba Day—“nakba” means catastrophe in Arabic—commemorating the 70th anniversary of the forced removal of some 750,000 Palestinians in 1948 by the Haganah, Jewish paramilitary forces, from their homes in modern-day Israel…

The 2014 assault, perhaps better described as a massacre, was one of eight massacres that Israel has carried out since 2004 against the 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, over half of whom are children.

From Zero Hedge:

Reuters reported that the European Commission is set to launch tomorrow the process of activating a law that bans European companies from complying with U.S. sanctions against Iran and does not recognise any court rulings that enforce American penalties.

From Middle East Monitor:

The signatories give the US President “legal notice” of “a massacre beginning at the time of the Nakba anniversary in order for you to register a response and call upon the Israelis to cease and desist in your capacity as President of the United States and a Permanent Member of the Security Council and NATO.”..

This notice, it is pointed out, will be “EXHIBIT 1 in any war crimes investigation and prosecution (past, present, future) relating to this matter.”

From Hassan Nasrallah:

O Lebanese, O Palestinians, O peoples of the region, we can not trust the United States…

(Despite) P5 + 1, Trump did not consult Europe, nor Russia, nor China, nor the Security Council nor the international community…

If you think (O Israel) that you can go on, come in Syria, bomb, kill, destroy, without facing the slightest reaction, and to threaten and intimidate with impunity and see everyone bow, you’re delusional…

After the [Golan] missile attack, Israeli decision-making, this trigger-happy behaviour so to speak, it will disappear…

[T]he enemy government was warned by international intermediaries that if the Israeli response in Syria exceeded the red lines, the second bombing would target the heart of occupied Palestine (Tel Aviv), not the Golan…

[T]hey have not managed to prevent most of the missiles from striking Israeli military positions in the Golan…

One of the most important implications of this event was to prove that the (Israeli) home front is not ready for war…

One of the other implications that was rich in lessons is the need for Israel to conceal the magnitude of what happened by resorting to lies when they spoke of 20 missiles (instead of 55)…

If anyone dared to put his hand on the Golan, advancing only a finger towards the Golan, Israel was willing to cut off his head. But it’s over. It’s all over now.

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Iran is not Iraq

From Moon of Alabama:

The U.S. administration, the neoconservatives and the media are running a remake(recommended) of the propaganda campaign they had launched to wage war on Iraq. This time the target is Iran:

As with Iraq, it’s easier for Bolton and Netanyahu to achieve that goal if they discredit the current system of international inspections. Bolton has called the inspection efforts established by the Iran nuclear deal “fatally inadequate” and declared that “the International Atomic Energy Agency” is “likely missing significant Iranian [nuclear] facilities.” In his 2015 speech to Congress attacking the Iran deal, Netanyahu insisted that “Iran not only defies inspectors, it also plays a pretty good game of hide-and-cheat with them.”

From the comments:

Iran is quite safe. Regime change is possible in the US…

The US public won’t tolerate another Iraq debacle, as zero body bags landing at Edwards AFB is the limit…

How many times will Americans shoot themselves in the foot for Israel and fairy tales?..

Leo Strauss, who is the godfather of the neocons, emphasized Plato’s Noble Lie, which is behind all of today’s fake news/history . Plato was heavily influenced by Iran’s Zoroastrianism…

Europe, whether it likes it or not, is playing good cop in the game…

The fact is, before anyone can attack Iran, they have to win in Syria and it doesn’t look like they are going to…

No one has seen the S-300 yet in action and Russia is holding it back keeping the ECM signature still secret until it is absolutely necessary…

[T]he worst record of war fighting imaginable. They can’t beat the goat-herders in Afghanistan for example over a span of now 17 years. Fighting a real military such as Iran would be impossible and especially if China throws in her weight…

Again, the US soldiers/mercenaries currently in eastern Syria are in a caldron-in-making. They can no longer count on escaping via land transport through Iraq or Turkey, and without any air support/transport, they are trapped…

The IDF murdering unarmed Palestinians using a Gandhiesque tactic of showing how venal Nuttyyahoo’s regime is… like Britain in India… there is no way to make this slaughter seem justified, and attempting to keep it out of the public consciousness has not worked…

[T]he logic of Eurasia and the illogic of Atlanticism are inescapable. The western european economies, including Germany’s, France’s and (the weakest link of all?) Italy’s are dying for access to the eastern markets. Historically Germany has shared its technologies and culture with Russia, which has been the great source of its raw materials and food. The ending of the Iran deal seems to be the excuse needed to slip back into that relationship…

The fact is, the US was in a much better position to attack Iran in 2006 or 7, and they still didn’t do it, because it was a terrible idea even back then. They will not do it now when it is a much worse idea…

Israelis were cowering in their sewers while their junk air defense network repeatedly failed to defend against a minor Syrian retaliatory barrage while Syrians in Damascus were cheering on their rooftops as their Russian air defense network knocked Israeli missiles from the sky…

Look up the Millennial War Games simulation that pitted the US against Iran. And how did that $200 million exercise turn out? The US had to “refloat” its fleet in order to win. Using older Chinese anti- ship missiles the Iranians decimated US naval assets…

The principal advantage Iran has, is its targets for its mobile missile launchers of 40,000 US troops on half a dozen bases on the western Gulf shore fifty or less miles away. Plus ships at sea…

Iran recognized Israel in 1950, Saudi Arabia still has not done this.

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Iran is not Yemen

From Moon of Alabama:

With a very belligerent speech Trump nixed the nuclear deal with Iran. He also lied a lot in it. Neither is a surprise. The United States only keeps agreements as long as they are to its short term advantage – just ask native Americans. One can never count on the U.S. to keep its word.

Trump will reimpose U.S. sanctions on Iran because:

  • The nuclear deal was negotiated by the Obama administration and thus must be bad;

  • Israel wants to keep Iran as the boogeyman;

  • the Zionists and right wing nuts in the U.S. want the U.S. to attack Iran;

  • MAGA – Trump needs Iran as enemy of the Gulf states to sell more U.S. weapons.

Iran will largely stick to the nuclear deal if the EU effectively defends it and does not hinder Iranian deals with European companies. If the EU fails to do so the nuclear agreement will be null and void. Iran will leave the deal. The neoliberal Rouhani government that agreed to the deal will fall and the conservatives will be back. They will defend Iran’s sovereignty at all costs…

Iran has not only new allies but gained in the Middle East because of U.S., Israeli and Saudi stupidity.

From the comments:

I myself can’t listen to the dotard….

This deal was not a treaty with advice and consent by the Senate according to the Constitution. As long as some presidents ignore the Constitution and make agreements on their own with other countries, they shouldn’t be surprised when other presidents nullify them…

The change also reduces U.S. influence in Europe and elsewhere, which is not a bad thing because it reduces U.S. world hegemony…

[A]lways a good sign when a war criminal named “mad dog” is the voice of reason…

Trump’s approach of threatening others with huge consequences worked. It worked with N Korea, it worked with the China trade war, and it worked with Russia. Now he will do the same with Iran…

China and Russia could not have asked for Trump to do more…

Netanyahu: “That “new weapon” is something no Zionist can defeat as it’s psychological–Fearlessness in the face of Zionist provocations and undying faith in Zionism’s eventual defeat. It’s something Hezbollah was able to instill in its people and is spreading within Lebanon, and all Syrians are learning it too–this weapon’s not restricted to just Shiites, but is multiconfessional. The same fearlessness is seen in Houthis. And many Iraqis learned how to use that weapon against the Outlaw US Empire’s occupation. For a long time the unofficial slogan of Zionists and the Outlaw US Empire was: We don’t care if they hate us just as long as the fear us. Well, fear has vanished from the formula–just look at Gazans!”..

Trump has embarked on the journey that will result in the Outlaw US Empire finally becoming an outcast nation–universally unloved and unwanted except by the Zionist settler state, no longer feared, just hated…

The fact is, Israel has a functioning airforce, but nothing else…

Zionism is the Empire; it looms over all geopolitics and I don’t see any significant resistance that is adversely affecting its expansion. The only countries that could pose a threat are top oil producers still resisting this expansion, Iran being top of the list.

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Hezbollah Focuses on Israel

From South Front, on April 30th:

The Syrian pro-government blog “Encyclopedia of Syrian military” has noted an interesting fact in the photos appearing from the site of the last night Israeli strike on Syria.

According to the report, the photos may show the wreckage of the GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB). The GBU-39 SBD is a (110 kg) precision-guided glide bomb designed by the US to provide aircraft with the ability to carry a higher number of more accurate bombs.

The GBU-39 SBD can be used against stationary targets such as ammo depots, bunkers, etc.

From AMN, on April 30th:

The rebel delegation in northern Homs just announced that a ceasefire agreement has been reached between their forces and the Russian Reconciliation Centre.

According to the details of the agreement, all parties will adhere to a 24 hour ceasefire in order to discuss terms of surrender in northern Homs.

From MoA, on April 30th:

Yesterday former CIA director and now Secretary of State Pompeo visited Israel. A few hours later Israel bombed two ammunition depots in Syria which are supposedly related to Iran. This was a clear attempt to provoke Iran into some reaction…

Behind Trump, Netanyahoo and Bolton is one financier, the militant Zionist and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. He financed Trump’s and Netanyahoo’s election campaigns and the various think tanks that create anti-Iranian propaganda and paid Bolton.

From MEE, on April 30th:

US-led coalition fighter jets reportedly bombarded pro-Syrian government forces on Sunday, rolling back their advance into oil-rich areas held by the Syrian Democratic Forces in eastern Syria.

At least nine pro-government fighters were killed in the operation, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights activist group said, hours after the Syrian army claimed it had “liberated” four villages in Deir Ezzor province from the US-backed SDF.

If confirmed, the attack would be a significant departure from the international coalition’s stated mission of battling the Islamic State group (IS) in Syria, instead seeing the US-led force fighting over territory not currently contested by the group.

From AntiWar.com, on April 30th:

Unnamed Iranian officials were quoted in the Tasnim news agency denying reports earlier Monday that an overnight Israeli attack on Syria hit Iranian bases and killed “mostly” Iranians. They said the claims were “baseless” and no Iranians were killed at all…

[T]he habit has been to portray Shi’ite militia members supporting the Assad government as “Iranians,” even though large numbers are from Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

From EJ Magnier, on April 30th:

Hezbollah has accomplished its mission in Syria and its presence on the battlefield is no longer necessary. Thus, in coordination with the Syrian government, Hezbollah has moved the majority of its forces into Lebanon, particularly as the Syrian army has recovered and regained its military strength and increased its combat capability…

Hezbollah has pulled in its core fighters and elite forces and is deploying these to positions that the leadership considers sensitive in the unlikely but possible event of an Israeli aggression on Lebanon…

[T]he US – so the sources believe – is ready to offer support from aircraft carriers and battleships to participate in an attack against Hezbollah, to build a steel-umbrella over Haifa and Tel Aviv, to hunt down missiles fired at Israel, offer all intelligence information, and share banks of objectives.

From AMN, on May 1st:

According to a military source in Damascus, the Russian Aerospace Forces have launched nonstop airstrikes over Hajar Al-Aswad and the Yarmouk Camp this afternoon, paving the way for the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and their Palestinian allies to advance against the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists.

From Thierry Meyssan, on May 1st:

Western aggression began with the assassination of Lebanese ex-Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, in 2005.

The US ambassador in Beïrut at that time, Jeffrey Feltman – who probably organised this crime himself – immediately accused Presidents Bachar el-Assad and Emile Lahoud…

13 years later, Jeffrey Feltman is the number 2 of the United Nations, and the business at hand is the alleged chemical attack on the Ghouta.

From Nauman Sadiq, on May 1st:

What defies explanation for the April 14 strikes against a scientific research facility in the Barzeh district of Damascus and two alleged chemical weapons storage facilities in Homs is the fact that Donald Trump had already announced that the process of withdrawal of US troops from Syria must begin before the midterm US elections slated for November…

This seems like a last-ditch attempt by Israel to further escalate the conflict and to force the Trump administration to abandon its plans of withdrawing US troops from Syria.

From Laurent Guyénot in 2013:

Neoconservatism is essentially a modern Jewish version of Machiavelli’s political strategy…

First, nations derive their strength from their myths, which are necessary for government and governance. Second, national myths have no necessary relationship with historical reality: they are socio-cultural constructions that the State has a duty to disseminate. Third, to be effective, any national myth must be based on a clear distinction between good and evil; it derives its cohesive strength from the hatred of an enemy nation.

From MoA, on May 1st:

The dog and pony show the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahoo provided yesterday (videoslideshow) was not based on material Israeli secret services acquired in Iran, but most likely from data Iran provided to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) during the implementation period of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action(JCPOA, pdf).

From Alexander Mercouris, on May 1st:

Iran’s nuclear weapons programme was put on hold in 2003, and has not been pursued since, and nothing Netanyahu said yesterday in any way casts doubt on that fact…

Even the generals in the Pentagon favor continuing [the JCPOA].

From Russia Today, on May 1st:

The US and its allies intend to occupy the eastern part of Syria and partition the country, in order to “use the Sunnis in East Syria and West Iraq to form a barricade to stop any Iranian influence and cut off supplies to Hezbollah.”

From Jonathan Broder, on May 1st:

The country is already host to one war between government troops and Sunni rebels; another between a U.S.-trained Arab militia and the Islamic State militant group (ISIS); and a third pitting invading Turkish troops against Kurdish fighters. Yet even after seven years of fighting that have left half -million dead and uprooted two-thirds of Syria’s 18 million people, the country is bracing itself for a fourth war, this one between Israel and the Iranian forces that have established a sizable military presence in Syria…

Over the past five years, Israeli warplanes have bombed [Hezbollah] weapons convoys more than 100 times, Israeli officials now acknowledge…

Iranian military leader, General Qassem Soleimani, will press ahead with his strategy to turn Syria into a missile platform against Israel…

The role of the estimated 2,000 Iranian troops now in Syria, he adds, is to set up the military infrastructure for that endeavor, including factories to produce sophisticated GPS-guided missiles with increased accuracy to hit high-value military and economic targets in Israel. Once this has been accomplished, he said, Soleimani will turn these bases over to Hezbollah and allied Shiite militias. “The goal is to surround Israel on almost every side with proxies equipped with rockets to be able to bombard Israel.”..

Trump’s threats to pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Tehran play into the hands of Iranian hard-liners like Soleimani, who never trusted the United States in the first place and sees the Quds Force as the spearhead of Iran’s drive to dominate the Middle East and confront Israel.

From Pepe Escobar, on May 3rd:

China is Iran’s top trading partner – especially because of its energy imports. Iran for its part is a major food importer…

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) took a significant 30% stake in a project to develop South Pars – the largest natural gas field in the world. A $3 billion deal is upgrading Iran’s oil refineries, including a contract between Sinopec and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) to expand the decades-old Abadan oil refinery….

For Beijing, Iran is an absolutely key hub of the New Silk Roads, or the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). A key BRI project is the $2.5 billion, 926 kilometer high-speed railway from Tehran to Mashhad; for that China came up with a $1.6 billion loan – the first foreign-backed project in Iran after the signing of the JCPOA….

The Export-Import Bank of China so far has financed 26 projects in Iran – everything from highway building and mining to steel producing – totaling roughly $8.5 billion in loans…

Aseman Airlines decided to buy 20 Sukhoi SuperJet 100s while Iran Air Tours – a subsidiary of Iran Air –  has also ordered another 20…

[T]he 2014  Moscow-Tehran oil-for-goods deal, bypassing the US dollar, is finally in effect, with Russia initially buying 100,000 barrels of Iranian crude a day…

Russian investment in developing Iran’s oil and gas fields could reach more than $50 billion…

Barely certified as the new US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo’s first foreign trip  to Saudi Arabia and Israel amounts in practice to briefing both allies on the imminent Trump withdrawal of the JCPOA on May 12…

[T]he JCPOA was the product of a strenuous seven-country negotiation over many years.

From Lee Camp, on May 2nd:

[L]ast week, Iran finally did it: It switched from the dollar to the euro. And sure enough, this week, the U.S. military-industrial complex, the corporate media and Israel all got together to claim that Iran is lying about its nuclear weapons development.

 

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