By Pepe Escobar – with permission and cross posted with Consortium News
The Trump administration unilaterally cheated on the 2015 multinational, UN-endorsed JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal. It has imposed an illegal, worldwide financial and energy blockade on all forms of trade with Iran — from oil and gas to exports of iron, steel, aluminum and copper. For all practical purposes, and in any geopolitical scenario, this is a declaration of war.
Successive U.S. governments have ripped international law to shreds; ditching the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is only the latest instance. It doesn’t matter that Tehran has fulfilled all its commitments to the deal — according to UN inspectors. Once the leadership in Tehran concluded that the U.S. sanctions tsunami is fiercer than ever, it decided to begin partially withdrawing from the deal.
President Hassan Rouhani was adamant: Iran has not left the JCPOA — yet. Tehran’s measures are legal under the framework of articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA — and European officials were informed in advance. But it’s clear the EU3 (Germany, France, Britain), who have always insisted on their vocal support for the JCPOA, must work seriously to alleviate the U.S.-provoked economic disaster to Iran if Tehran has any incentive to continue to abide by the agreement.
Russia and China — the pillars of Eurasia integration, to which Iran adheres — support Tehran’s position. This was discussed extensively in Moscow by Sergey Lavrov and Iran’s Javad Zarif, perhaps the world’s top two foreign ministers.
At the same time, it’s politically naïve to believe the Europeans will suddenly grow a backbone.
The comfortable assumption in Berlin, Paris and London was that Tehran could not afford to leave the JCPOA even if it was not receiving any of the economic rewards promised in 2015. Yet now the EU3 are facing the hour of truth.
It’s hard to expect anything meaningful coming from an enfeebled Chancellor Angela Merkel, with Berlin already targeted by Washington’s trade ire; a Brexit-paralyzed Britain; and a massively unpopular President Emmanuel Macron in France already threatening to impose his own sanctions if Tehran does not agree to limit its ballistic missile program. Tehran will never allow inspections over its thriving missile industry – and this was never part of the JCPOA to begin with.
As it stands, the EU3 are not buying Iranian oil. They are meekly abiding by the U.S. banking and oil/gas sanctions — which are now extended to manufacturing sectors — and doing nothing to protect Iran from its nasty effects. The implementation of INSTEX, the SWIFT alternative for trade with Iran, is languishing. Besides expressing lame “regrets” about the U.S. sanctions, the EU3 are de facto playing the game on the side of U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates; and by extension against Russia, China and Iran.
Rise of the Imperial Psychos
As Tehran de facto kicked the ball to the European court, both EU3 options are dire. To meaningfully defend the JCPOA will invite a ballistic reaction from the Trump administration. To behave like poodles — the most probable course of action — means emboldening even more the psychopaths doubling as imperial functionaries bent on a hot war against Iran at all costs; Koch brothers Big Oil asset and enraptured evangelist, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and paid Mujahideen-e Khalq asset and notorious intel manipulator, National Security Advisor John Bolton.
The Pompeo-Bolton gangster maneuver is hardly Bismarck’s Realpolitik. It consists of relentlessly pushing Tehran to make a mistake, any mistake, in terms of “violating” its obligations under the JCPOA, so that this may be sold to gullible American public opinion as the proverbial “threat” to the “rules-based order” doubling as a casus belli.
There’s one thing the no-holds-barred U.S. economic war against Iran has managed to achieve: internal unity in the Islamic Republic. Team Rouhani’s initial aim for the JCPOA was to open up to Western trade (trade with Asia was always on) and somewhat curtail the power of the IRGC, or Revolutionary Guards, which control vast sectors of the Iranian economy.
Washington’s economic war proved instead the IRGC was right all along, echoing the finely-tuned geopolitical sentiment of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, who always emphasized the Americans cannot be trusted, ever.
And as much as Washington has branded the IRGC a “terrorist organization,” Tehran replied in kind, branding CENTCOM the same.
Independent Persian Gulf oil traders dismiss the notion that the kleptocrat House of Saud — de facto run by Jared “of Arabia” Kushner’s Whatsapp pal Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), the Saudi crown prince – holds up to 2.5 million barrels of oil a day in spare capacity capable of replacing Iran’s 2 million barrels of exports (out of 3.45 million of total daily production). The House of Saud seems more interested in hiking oil prices for Asian customers.
Washington’s energy trade blockade of Iran is bound to fail.
China will continue to buy its 650,000 barrels a day – and may even buy more. Multiple Chinese companies trade technology and industrial services for Iranian oil.
Pakistan, Iraq and Turkey — all bordering Iran — will continue to buy Iranian high-quality light crude by every method of payment (including gold) and transportation available, formal or informal. Baghdad’s trade relationship with Tehran will continue to thrive.
As economic suffocation won’t suffice, Plan B is — what else — the threat of a hot war.
It’s by now established that the info, in fact rumors, about alleged Iranian maneuvers to attack U.S. interests in the Gulf was relayed to Bolton by the Mossad, at the White House, with Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben Shabbat personally briefing Bolton.
Everyone is aware of the corollary: a “reposition of assets” (in Pentagonese) — from the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group deployment to four B-52 bombers landing in Al Udeid Air base in Qatar, all part of a “warning” to Iran.
A pre-war roaring crescendo now engulfs the Lebanese front as well as the Iranian front.
Reasons for Psychotic Rage
Iran’s GDP is similar to Thailand’s, and its military budget is similar to Singapore’s. Bullying Iran is a geopolitical and geo-economic absurdity. Iran may be an emerging Global South actor — it could easily be a member of the G20 — but can never be construed as a “threat” to the U.S.
Yet Iran provokes psychopathic imperial functionaries to a paroxysm of rage for three serious reasons. Neocons never mind that trying to destroy Iraq cost over $6 trillion — and it was a major war crime, a political disaster, and an economic abyss all rolled into one. Trying to destroy Iran will cost untold trillions more.
The most glaring reason for the irrational hatred is the fact the Islamic Republic is one of the very few nations on the planet consistently defying the hegemon — for four decades now.
The second reason is that Iran, just like Venezuela — and this is a combined war front — have committed the supreme anathema; trading on energy bypassing the petrodollar, the foundation stone of U.S. hegemony.
The third (invisible) reason is that to attack Iran is to disable emerging Eurasia integration, just like using NSA spying to ultimately put Brazil in the bag was an attack on Latin American integration.
The non-stop hysteria over whether President Donald Trump is being maneuvered into war on Iran by his pet psychopaths – well, he actually directed Iran to “Call me” — eludes the Big Picture. As shown before, a possible shut down of the Strait of Hormuz, whatever the reasons, would be like a major meteor impact on the global economy. And that would inevitably translate as no Trump reelection in 2020.
The Strait of Hormuz would never need to be blocked if all the oil Iran is able to export is bought by China, other Asian clients and even Russia — which could relabel it. But Tehran wouldn’t blink on blocking Hormuz if faced with total economic strangulation.
According to a dissident U.S. intel expert, “the United States is at a clear disadvantage in that if the Strait of Hormuz is shut the U.S. collapses. But if the U.S. can divert Russia from defending Iran, then Iran can be attacked and Russia will have accomplished nothing, as the neocons do not want detente with Russia and China. Trump does want detente but the Deep State does not intend to permit it.”
Assuming this scenario is correct, the usual suspects in the United States government are trying to divert Putin from the Strait of Hormuz question while keeping Trump weakened, as the neocons proceed 24/7 on the business of strangling Iran. It’s hard to see Putin falling for this not exactly elaborate trap.
So what happens next? Professor Mohammad Marandi at the Faculty of World Studies of the University of Tehran offers quite a sobering perspective: “After 60 days Iran will push things even further. I don’t think the Iranians are bluffing. They will also be pushing back at the Saudis and the Emiratis by different means.”
Marandi, ominously, sees “further escalation” ahead:
“Iranians have been preparing for war with the Unites States ever since the Iraq invasion in 2003. After what they’ve seen in Libya, in Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, they know that the Americans and Europeans are utterly brutal. The whole shore of the Persian Gulf on the Iranian side and the Gulf of Oman is full of tunnels and underground high-tech missiles. The Persian Gulf is full of ships equipped with highly developed sea-to-sea missiles. If there is real war, all the oil and gas facilities in the region will be destroyed, all the tankers will be destroyed.”
And if that show comes to pass, Marandi regards the Strait of Hormuz as the “sideshow”:
“The Americans will be driven out of Iraq. Iraq exports 4 million barrels of oil a day; that would probably come to an end, through strikes and other means. It would be catastrophic for the Americans. It would be catastrophic for the world – and for Iran as well. But the Americans would simply not win.”
So as Marandi explains it — and Iranian public opinion now largely agrees — the Islamic Republic has leverage because they know “the Americans can’t afford to go to war. Crazies like Pompeo and Bolton may want it, but many in the establishment don’t.”
Tehran may have developed a modified MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) framework as leverage, mostly to push Trump ally MbS to cool down. “Assuming,” adds Marandi, “the madmen don’t get the upper hand, and if they do, then it’s war. But for the time being, I thinks that’s highly unlikely.”
All Options on the Table?
In Cold War 2.0 terms, from Central Asia to the Eastern Mediterranean and from the Indian Ocean to the Caspian Sea, Tehran is able to count on quite a set of formal and informal alliances. That not only centers on the Beirut-Damascus-Baghdad-Tehran-Herat axis, but also includes Turkey and Qatar. And most important of all, the top actors on the Eurasian integration chessboard: the Russia and China in strategic partnership.
When Zarif met Lavrov last week in Moscow, they discussed virtually everything: Syria (they negotiate together in the Astana, now Nur-Sultan process), the Caspian, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (of which Iran will become a member), the JCPOA and Venezuela.
The Trump administration was dragged kicking and screaming to meet Kim Jong-Un at the same table because of the DPRK’s intercontinental ballistic missile tests. And then Kim ordered extra missile tests because, in his own words, as quoted by KCNA, “genuine peace and security of the country are guaranteed only by the strong physical force capable of defending its sovereignty.”
Global South Watching
The overwhelming majority of Global South nations are watching the U.S. neocon offensive to ultimately strangle “the Iranian people”, aware more than ever that Iran may be bullied to extinction because it does not posses a nuclear deterrent. The IRGC has reached the same conclusion.
That would mean the death of the JCPOA – and the Return of the Living Dead of “all options on the table.”
But then, there’ll be twists and turns in the Art of the (Demented) Deal. So what if, and it’s a major “if”, Donald Trump is being held hostage by his pet psychopaths?
Let The Dealer speak:
“We hope we don’t have to do anything with regard to the use of military force…We can make a deal, a fair deal. … We just don’t want them to have nuclear weapons. Not too much to ask. And we would help put them back into great shape. They’re in bad shape right now. I look forward to the day where we can actually help Iran. We’re not looking to hurt Iran. I want them to be strong and great and have a great economy… We have no secrets. And they can be very, very strong, financially. They have great potential.”
Then again, Ayatollah Khamenei said: the Americans cannot be trusted, ever.
Excellent article by Pepe. Yes, the US intent vis a vis Iran is twofold: Grabbing Iranian oil and gas and preventing Iran joining the Euro-Asian Economic Union, something Iran announced it intended to do, and which would certainly strengthen not only the Union, but the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Silk Road.
However, I have to disagree slightly with Pepe when it comes to Western Europe and it’s stand against Iran. I don’t think the word “cowards” can be used in this context. Yes, Western Europe is somewhat following the US line, at least at the present moment, but Western Europe is also part of NATO. Sanctions against Iran did not go smoothly, especially since Europe was also expected to implement sanctions against Russia, losing heavily. I don’t see this situation lasting too long, especially since EU countries lost, by the second half of 2016, 100 billion euros in trade with Russia alone. Analysts have been stating that it’s a matter of time before we see a rift between European and US elites. Politics is politics, but business is business.
It doesn’t matter how much they lose.The traitor regimes in power in the West answer 100% to the US’s orders. Sure they complain as they obey. But that isn’t important,they still obey in the end. I think Pepe’s use of the word cowards,if anything is an understatement. I’d have found some more vivid term to use myself.
Well, Europe is in a complex situation, being bound by NATO. However, I stick with what I wrote. Latest news is that a Spanish frigate, part of the US fleet in the Gulf, has been ordered by the Spanish Government to leave the fleet, in case the US enters a war with Iran. The US cannot count on it’s European NATO allies as it did in the past. Also, the East is becoming very attractive to Europe.
Bob, the Euro-invertebrates answer just as much to Talmudistan and the Zionazi Fifth Columns inside their countries as they do to the USA. Micron, in particular, a vile little creature, was conjured, ex nihilo, by the CRIF, the French AIPAC, and he is their loyal lap-dog. If Iran is attacked, I rather expect Micron to order french forces to join in. Indeed, if the coming provocation is portrayed as attacking US assets, I fully expect NATO to join in fully, and with vigour.
Business is business indeed BUT the Europeans still allowed their collective economies to lose these 100 billion euros in trade with Russia alone as you stated. Pepe’s “coward” remark seems to fill the bill perfectly. They stepped all over their own farmers and businesses to please the U.S. 100 Billion you say, how much more cowardly can one get ??? I might not agree with Mr. Trump on many issues But he certainly isn’t putting American businesses second to another nations whims. The Europeans are ONLY going to do what they are told to do. They have had plenty of time to grow a spine, not just on the Iranian issue but their desire to form a European Defense Force. That idea was shot down by the Bill Clinton Administration way back when……..
Macron could deflate a lot of steam from the Yellow Vest Movement if he grew a spine and declared a more independent foreign policy I bet and detached from the Global Cabal that is trying to strangle the Persian Nation.
“Iran Squeezed Between Imperial Psychos and European Cowards”
What else to expect from the demented US and its totally captured vassals in the UK and EU?
The direction of the US will not lead to a win. Without a war it accomplishes nothing to end its decline. With a war it ends the world that came out of the end of WW2 and the Cold War (v1).
Much wisdom in Pepe’s article.
It illuminates the standoff. Iran must get nuclear weapons or it will be strangled economically.
Iran could wage a highly destructive war of attrition on the petroleum producers in its region, but would suffer enormously for decades itself.
The one clean solution for Iran under these present circumstances as the target for utter destruction of its economy, society and regime is to get nukes.
The window for EU and US to choose a lesser option for Iran is swiftly closing. 60 days is the generally thought time frame for the Hegemon and/or the big 3 EU countries to act intelligently. Not likely.
So, in 60 days, Iran will make every effort to secretly get possession of some nukes.
Buy some from Kim or Pakistan would be the short route.
The path is inevitable. Iran will have to get nukes or make some sort of deal with Russia to get full nuclear protection to prevent a war.
Please correct me if I’m wrong, I believe any attempt by Iran to develop or source for a nuclear weapon will immediately isolate it from China and Russia. It will play right into Trump hand and we will have the scenario of 2012 sanctions supported by the UNSC.
To be candid lately lots of pundits have been calling on Iran to develop a nuclear weapons but I still fail to see how that would solve Iran economic weaknesses which provide rooms for these sanctions in the first place.
If you argue that it will guarantee survival first using the North Korea alternative, then I’ll postulate that what is keeping the North in place is the implicit recognition by the Chinese that if Korea falls it would have a kinetic effect on mainland China. Even if Iran has a nuclear weapon it cannot employ it quantitatively as it would be like calling for nuclear holocaust on itself.
On the contrary I believe the sanctions have provided opportunities albeit painful ones for Iran to rectify the anomaly of its monolithic economy by diversifying away from oil and developing its local manufacturing base thereby generating taxes which can provide much cushion for the economic downside of the sanctions in the long run.
My take anyway, however I still welcome any dissenting opinion.
North Korea has nukes. No problem so far with its relationship with Russia and China.
Iran is at a point where it must have a credible means of countering the Hegemon.
So, far, only nukes do that.
So, Iran needs, either its own nukes, or straightforward nuclear umbrella from Russia/China.
Since neither of them would want to have the regime (tail) wagging the dog, they would prefer if Iran went nuclear on its own. Do they want Iran as another nuclear power? No.
But, they have to come up with a viable alternative.
The global fact of life is the Hegemon only backs off if its prey has nukes.
The JCPOA was the alternative Russia and China backed (UNSC sanctions). The US has shredded that.
For the record, I’m no fan of the Tehran government/regime. However, I’m a big fan of Persian Civilization and the country of Iran. I have many Iranian friends and co-workers.
If they have to have nukes, then I hope they get them. It will change the dynamic and end this march of the Fascists toward another war.
the Iranian revolution is nearly 40 years old…I don’t understand why they did not from the start developed a self contained economy, diversified and self reliant for all its needs..or most of them at least.
the logic of Khameni that the Americans cannot be trusted ever is not consistent with existing Iranian economic dependency for anything as a matter of fact. if they never trusted the american..if that was and is the mindset of the Iranian revolutionary leaders it follows that Iran should have been focused on self reliance from the start.
if also Iranian leadership did not trust the Americans why did they compromise their development of nuclear weapons..with the JCPOA? how come they were not sufficiently clandestine as they ought to have been so that when their nuclear ambitions were discovered it would have been an accomplished fact?
and what would they have to give the Russians in return for inclusion under the Russian military protection? isn’t that already and accomplished fact..that Iran will be protected by Russia in the even of an American showdown..isn’t it in Russia’s crucial interest to do so?
it appears to me that the North Koreans had the right idea all along. they were next door when the atomic bombs fell on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. they had the evidence that the Americans were always insane, double and triple insane and could never be trusted and built their weaponry regardless.
the Iranians have no/did not build nuclear and the results for Iran are obvious. I am absolutely certain that the USA is prepared to nuke Iran at this point. what else can they do..or will they do? there is too much damage that will take place over too long a period to US assets. the Iranians have prepared solidly to fight at that level, their max level. the Americans can defeat them at that level in their region..so an american escalation is natural and easy to predict.
IF HOSTILITIES BEGIN IRAN WILL BE NUKED..AS SOON AS SOME INTENSE LEVEL OF WARFARE IS ACHIEVED AND SERIOUS LOSSES AMERICA IS CERTAIN TO SUSTAIN ARE CLEAR: A CARRIER GOES DOWN WITH A COUPLE THOUSAND LIVES, A COUPLE OF B52’S ETC.
Please no caps- its like screaming and breaks site rules. There are several options to bold/emphasize available for commenters by pressing the [+] sign next to “Click here to get more info on formatting” when leaving a comment . Mod.
we all know that America will suffer serious losses in war with Iran in that region..yet Bolton and Pompeo behave as they do as if America will win easy, as if the looses we expect American to sustain are not a concern. that to my mind is because they intend to nuke Iran..plain and simple
The problem is the US is able to exert influence on other countries to not trade with Iran. See Europe.
The problem is not just Europe, but also countries like India that should know and do better.
The Modi government of India that potrays itself as nationalist, with a country that has a population of 1.3 Billion, and a significant trading relationship with Iran and also operates the Chabahar port in south-east Iran seemingly lost no time in caving to US demand that it stop buying Iranian crude.
India was getting Iranian crude at a significant markdown and paid for it in rupees, that were deposited in Indian banks and used by Iran to purchase Indian goods.
Yet the Modi government allowed the US to force it to abandon this trade with Iran that was of huge benefit to the Indian economy.
India is a huge dissapointment, more so that the spineless cowards in Europe. And Iran has said it will not forget those who cowardly caved to US pressure.
Iran should kick the Indians out of Chabahar and invite the Chinese in.
And Iran should under no circumstance accept any limitation to its missile program.
All those making this demand of Iran must be told in no uncertain way, to go to hell!
Germany made and delivered nuclear submarines to Israel – that criminal and muderous apartheid entity, that has on more that one occasion, threatened Iran with nuclear weapons – yet Germany, is “raising concerns” about Iran’s conventional ballistic missiles.
Iranians must rally around the flag and not bow to any outside pressure.
Iran must continue to extend the range and payload of its ballistic missiles, and must ensure that all countries that sound and act like enemies of Iran are within reach.
And if push comes to shove, the Supreme Leader must lift the fatwa on the Islamic Republic developing and possessing nuclear weapons.
All this that the US administration of Donald Trump is doing vis-a-vis Iran, is on behalf of Israel.
The hostility between the US and Iran benefits the US in no practical way. In fact, it is costing US businesses $billions to not have a trading relationship with Iran.
Israel and its supporters are the ones clamoring for a war with Iran and they are the ones steering the US in this direction.
How would the US benefit from going to war with Iran?
Answer: there are no benefits for the US, in going to war with Iran.
And if the US never won in Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria, despite the $trillions spent, the US most definately will not win in any confrontation with Iran.
Iran will never compromise with those that want to see it weakened and subjugated.
If Germany really wished to make some sort of real reparation for the Nazi Judeocide, it would advise the Zionazis that their insane arrogance, aggressive and contempt for the goyim will all in the end be highly detrimental to Israel and Jewry. But the Zionazis only accept total submission and boot-licking groveling from the lesser breeds, and no German has the commonsense, decency and moral courage to stand up to their bullying, so the Zionazi demands only ever grow and grow, in ambition and impudence.
Germany is really the last European nation to have a spine against Israel.
If you even *question* in public the official Holocaust story, even when you can undoubtedly prove it, you go to jail for five years.
So don’t expect some common sense. On the average, Germans will only tell what they really think behind closed doors and when they know and trust you. In this respect they are almost Asian.
An English friend tells me that the Blairite Zionazis have introduced a new tactic to help destroy UK Labour. Blairites turn up at constituency Party meetings, and begin aggressively attacking Corbyn for his entirely false and invented ‘antisemitism’. Then if any Party member dares to dissent and point out the utter fraudulence and malevolence of these inventions, they are denounced to the Party’s central organs as-you guessed it-‘antisemites’, and purged.
Having been following your comments on this site for a while I’ve realised you are not a fan of the Iran political system, however it doesn’t stop us from having a dispassionate discuss about Iran’s position in the great game.
What I’m particular about is that the Iranian state apparatus at the highest level has made a decision that they will not develop a nuke, though I accept such decision is not cast in stone nevertheless it remains part of the strategy that has keep the hyenas at bay for four decades. Sorry to say I believe they must have been doing something right all along.
We can keep denying but the truth is that if Iran should fall to the empire just like Venezuela it will set the clock of multilateral bloc back for decades because it remains the only nation standing between the empire and total domination of the middle east including eretz Israel project.
Iran revolt against domination by foreign powers in 1979 when it was much weaker than today so I don’t see it accepting a junior partner from Russia and China that doesn’t mean to say Tehran has equal leverage with Moscow and Beijing. But as someone has rightly observed on this thread superpower status are forged with fire and brimstone.
Iran recognise its nature nuke the strait of Hormuz and its allies across the region and it is using it perfectly to buy time which is on its side and it has already master the nuclear fuel circle making it a nuclear threshold state. No doubt sanctions are biting but Iran will not collapse as it is still able to sell some oil which will keep the economy afloat until such time it can successfully address its structural economic defects which to a high degree can neutralise the effects of the sanctions.
You have every right not to accept the political system of Iran but you cannot deny the fact that they have been successfully giving the empire a run for its money.
I agree with Khamanei’s fatwa that nukes are ‘un-Islamic’ ie Evil. If Iran used nukes, or even possessed them, they would be nuked. Satan-yahoo, in particular, is positively slavering for a ‘New Purim’ to consolidate his position in Judaic history. If Iran obliterates Saudi and other Gulf oil facilities, harbours etc, and shuts the Straits of Hormuz, the Ponzi scheme that is the US ‘economy’ will crash. Under those circumstances I rather believe, and fear, as it would lead to much suffering and unknowable consequences, that the USA will descend into internecine bloodshed and civil war. Iran would survive these troubling times better than the USA or Sordid Barbaria, and I’d expect the non-insane fraction of Israeli society to de-camp back to the USA and Europe, too.
Nuclear weaponry. Since Hiroshima and Nagasaki the world thinks in blinding flashes and mushroom clouds and ICBM’s as delivery vehicle. Imagine this. A cruise missile crawls at 100 to 150 knots across the Gulf, changes course several times and arrive at its destination with , say, 100kg Uranium enriched to 60 %.Possible destinations: Ras Tanura or the Ghahwan oilfields. The reply by Iran is seasonal, The monsoon has to blow from the north or northeast.
Afterthought. What is the capacity of the transarabian pipeline from the east to that loading terminal at Yanbo?
I was thinking along this line during the second Gulf War.
Absolutely I agree with Larchmonter. I can not see Iran getting them in time. But Russia could set them up nicely. Why not save Iran from being reduced to rubble as Israel wants so badly?
Iran is gaining the status of global power.
Such status is not a given. It is hardly won.
Only by going through such circumstances.
At the end of the day by not buckling and showing resilience and willpower under maximum pressure.
Iran is gaining more power, auctoritas, dignity and respect.
And more basically in a world where dog eats dog. Iran is gaining top status in the food chain.
IMHO today only Russia China Iran and the US are global sovereign powers and worthy of UNSC.
Others are only slaves.
EU is dramatically and utterly humiliated in this historical séquence and downgraded as a global actor.
Their Word count for nothing and they are boxing above their category.
EU is lacking willpower sovereignty. They lost mal dignitas.
That utterly desgusting.
For the sake of clarity. About dignitas and auctoritas. See wiki
Dignitas is a Latin word referring to a unique, intangible, and culturally subjective social concept in the ancient Roman mindset. The word does not have a direct translation in English. Some interpretations include “dignity”, which is a derivation from “dignitas”, and “prestige” or “charisma”.
With respect to ancient Rome, dignitas was regarded as the sum of the personal clout and influence that a male citizen acquired throughout his life. When weighing the dignitas of a particular individual, factors such as personal reputation, moral standing, and ethical worth had to be considered, along with the man’s entitlement to respect and proper treatment.
In ancient Rome, Auctoritas referred to the general level of prestige a person had in Roman society, and, as a consequence, his clout, influence, and ability to rally support around his will. Auctoritas was not merely political, however; it had a numinous content and symbolized the mysterious “power of command” of heroic Roman figures.
Whatever Trump says by tweet or statement to the press is utterly irrelevant. He isn’t in charge, obviously. And he also can spin on a dime if someone he trusts tells him to do something different than what he said he’d do. So quoting him is a waste of everyone’s time.
The real immediate target of these moves is Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israel can’f afford a war with Iran until Hezbollah is defanged. And Israel can’t do that by itself. So it needs the US to join it in an attack on Lebanon.
Trump probably thinks – or will be told by his neocon advisers – that he can get a “poll bump” in 2020 if he “keeps Israel safe by eliminating a terrorist threat to Israel”. Certainly he would get a lot of campaign money from rich Zionist billionaires in the US if he sent US troops to assist Israel in occupying Southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley and helping Israel clean out Hezbollah missile caches and underground bunkers, and used those B-52s they just sent to destroy much of Southern Lebanon. Those B-52s – and another 10-20,000 US troops, let alone the 120,000 Bolton just talked about – are the one thing Israel doesn’t have and needs if it is to have any chance of defanging Hezbollah.
Since he can’t think much past tomorrow, the fact that this operation would then enable Israel to start a war with Iran – which the US would then be forced to prosecute – probably is too hard for him to realize. So he can easily be led by the nose due to his antipathy to Iran to start a war in Lebanon.
Meanwhile everyone is distracted by threats against Iran – which will be used later to justify the US involvement in Israel’s war with Iran – whereas the real immediate target is Lebanon.
I agree with you regarding the plan and the intent.
However as written above the current sequence make it clear that the resistance front is now integrated.
It does encompass Yemen, Lebannon, Irak, Iran, Syria.
The unfolding events also make it clear that attacking the resistance front in Lebannon Will be met with clash against the full alliance.
The US blundered badly with the Irak war giving it to in a silver plate.
The arrogance front lost the war in Syria.
The Israel war against lebannon.
They cannot even manage Yemen.
Not even Gaza !
30 years of loss of the arrogance is coming home to roost.
That is finished. It will be made learer by the day…
I saw Iranian comments that the US Will need To leave the ME soon.
And 30 years blunder and fact on the ground seems to lead in that very direction.
Who would have thought that in 2000 or in the nineties ? Not me…
Truly incompetent policy making from the US and neocons.
@Hack: “to assist Israel in occupying Southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley and helping Israel clean out Hezbollah missile caches and underground bunkers”.
Been there, tried that, got the scars.
Beef-52s vs S-400? Iron Dome vs Hezb missiles? Don’t think so.
Campaign fund from “rich Jewish billionaires” to send another 100,000 U$ troops to the ME to fight yet another so-called “existential threat to Israel”? Possible — there seems to be no limit to the stupidity of a 21st centuryy POTU$A. But Shrub Bush found it hard to hide the body bags from Iraq; Trump will find it even harder to hide them — body bags returning not only from Lebanon but from Iraq, Syria and Iran — all of whom owe Hezb for blood shared in battle. Even harder to hide spiraling U$ debt to pay for yet another U$ war against yet another “existential threat” to Israel. (Debt to whom? Why, to those “rich Jewish billionaires” of course!)
It is obvious for me that Iran is leading the resistance front with Syria and Hezbollah. As it is officially recognized.
But I was quite surprised to see the depth of integration with the Houthi in Yemen. And the depth of Iran influence in Irak (see last Al maliki and other PMU declaration). As it was not officially that much officially recognized.
I took that only for western propaganda…
Howver It is quite clear now that Iran position is fully integrated with the Yemen attack on oil infrastructure in KSA.
The bombing of Yanbu port city and also the east West KSA pipeline this week tell that much.
It was choregraphed with the bombing possibly by IRGC special units of the 4 tankers at EAU near Fujairah port. And was most likely an Iranian clear warning.
I am not sure what is discussed behind the curtain.
But I suspect that Iran is negotiating with US the terms and condition in Yemen and Syria as godfather of the region.
And that current tense circumstances is related to those negotiation.
If that is the case then Iran playing low profile in Yemen worked well. Because I never bought that in the past.
But I would be interested to get a more expert opinion on the subject.
Saker. Please what is yours opinion ?
Anon @4.37pm EST
Nothing is obvious. You sound like you work for the US/Israel/MSM. Those are quite serious accusations that you haven’t backed up. Co-ordinating the bombing of a KSA pipeline? Sabotaging tankers?
For example, Iran has denied any involvement with the sabotage of the tankers:
Cui bono? What possible advantage would Iran gain? Sounds a bit like the Gulf of Tonkin. How very convenient – for some.
Sure that is only my educated guess and deduction.
The sequence of events and the tone of the official statements from US and Iran makes it obvious (at least for me !).
And how is the weather in Tel Aviv? Enjoying Eurovision, are you?
Elijah Magnier has an article about the Fujairah incident. His reading is that this was done by one of Iran’s proxies. He considers this an action taken by Iran to prevent the rumoured summer war but also speculated that the incident would be untraceable to Iran itself.
See here: https://ejmagnier.com/2019/05/13/from-karbala-to-al-fujairah-an-act-of-sabotage-may-end-prospects-of-a-summer-war-in-the-middle-east/
I don’t know how reasonable this interpretation of events is but it seems that Magnier’s reporting on Syria has been okay… although I do think he has the tendency to reach too soon conclusions for outcomes he wishes for (rather than those he does not hope for but may in fact be more plausible).
One thing to note is that Fujairah is *not* in the straits of Hormuz, it is “round the tip” and so has theoretically a different set of strategic advantages and disadvantages as a port.
As usual vintage Pepe. I totally agree with the piece. Iran does have good and strong allies to call upon should the need arise. Russia and China being the main muscle power however don’t count out the Iranian proxies inside the Middle east. If Iran bleeds so does USA/Europe/Israel and Middle East. What i am not sure of is this; should the strait of Hormuz is closed and oil flow reduced will China survive? Will Russia be effected? Would it be enough to destroy the Empire? Iranians are ready but they would need help to bleed the empire to the point it can not recover and that Help must come from all over the places.
‘Will China survive?’No-of course not. They’ll just disappear in a puff of wind.
Luckily there are quite some nations across the globe that produce crude oil.
It’s not even necessary for Iran to *close* the street of Hormuz. It would hurt their partner Qatar as well, for instance.
As for aircraft carriers of the USN, they may prepare for hosting inflying Yakhont anti-ship missiles (if Hezbollah has them, I guess Iran has them too). Gee, would the top brass have Bolton briefed on this as well?
And how many deaths is the USA prepared to swallow for *regime change*?
Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states (excl. Qatar) can be hurt in a far more subtile way than targeting oil tankers: their vulnerabilities are the loading facilities in the ports. Those are high-tech installations, that you don’t rebuild in a few months (btw, good luck in finding contractors to do that, knowing that they are a target).
You can have as much oil as you want, if you can’t load in on a ship, it’s pretty much worthless.
Even when Iran would be nuked, this might happen.
Iran is an 83 million demographic and counting… Iran is irrevocably bent on living disciplined by its own national interest and will submit to no hegemon. soon Israel will not be able to deal with Iran at all on any level. Iran more than any other regional nation is an existential threat to Israel as regional/global hegemon.
it appears practical to claim that Israel will never be able to achieve any regional goal(s) it may have in the ‘Middle’East’ if Iran continues to exist and grow.
therefore Iran must be neutralized..and American can do that, not Israel, unless it uses nuclear weapons.
American can use nuclear weapons..it has already dons so. and America exists as a global outlaw in, breaks all rules, traditions and international law at will
so America has been bent to the purpose of nuking Iran, eliminating it permanently as an obstacle to Israel. and it is also about time to remind the world what America is capable of. Venezuela take note!
just my sense of things developing relatively speaking
@Binyamin Shimshon: “X more than any other thing is an existential threat to Israel.”
There, fixed that for you.
Book title: Antisemitism the Longest Hatred.
Part 1: From the Cross to the Swastika.
Part 2: Secularism, Britain, America, France, East Europe, Poland, USSR.
Part 3: Mohammed, Holy Wars, Islamic Lands, Arabic Antisemitism, Palestine.
Forthcoming: Jeremy Corbyn an Existential Threat to Israel.
Judaism, which in my opinion is more the ideology and modus operandi of a Mafia, the Jewish elites, than a ‘religion’, came first, with its separation from and often genocidal hatred of non-Jews. So it must surely be the ‘Oldest Hatred’ and Judeophobia only ever possibly the ‘second oldest’.
Excellent article. Pepe neglected to mention the central role, in all dimensions, of the Zionazis in this Evil process, but I suppose he doesn’t wish to be falsely labeled an ‘antisemite’ after all. The ‘neo-cons’ are all Zionazis or Sabbat Goyim stooges, many ‘religious’ lunatics like Pompeo who bears as much resemblance to the Nazarene as a morbidly obese rat does to the angel in Leonardo’s ‘Annunciation’. The Zionazis also totally control that poor bladder of self-hatred transmuted into mindlessly erratic narcissism, Trump. Moreover, of course, they created Micron as their pet Sabbat Goy stooge in France, Germany has long been their bitch, for understandable historic reasons ruthlessly exploited and May would crawl naked over broken glass to kiss Bibi’s ring. The Euro invertebrates will never ‘grow a spine’, and have no intention of doing so. This double-cross was long planned, and would have occurred, if differently packaged, under Clinton. Zionazi control of the USA is, after all, total and bi-partisan. It looks like, just as with the Monroe Doctrine that went global in 1989 (or was it 1947?)the Masada Complex and Samson Doctrine are about to be imposed on humanity by that monument to semi-divinity, Satan-yahoo, King of the Jews (Self-Annointed). Did I say ‘semi’? God, my ‘anti-semi-tism’ is showing-I must ‘de-platform’ myself, from a great height, immediately.
Again, Top notch analysis, thanks Pepe. Iran is targeted obviously for its refusal to lick Washington’s boots. And because that little country next to Lebanon wants Iran destroyed. What is happening with the 4 Oil Tankers that were sabotaged in the United Arab Emirates a few days ago? For some reason, the media (here in Australia at least) seems to have gone very quiet on this story. Why? It was obviously a false flag attack a la potential Gulf of Tonkin incident. We live in very turbulent times.
Tonight, I am praying for Iran.
Best pray for us all.
Same here in NZ we are not hearing anything about the damaged oil tankers.
PS… I would love to see some reliable info on what happened. In the meantime, I am assuming it was yet another bungled false flag.
Col…. Zero Hedge had a really excellent peice on the Oil Tankers story on their site yesterday, tho you’ll have to scroll down a bit, and couple other sites like Moon Of Alabama, but very odd how its gone so quiet. I thought the vile stenographers would’ve been screaming from the rooftops by now.
1. If any country on earth needs a nuclear deterrent C/W inter continental missile delivery systems – it’s Iran.
2. Signing the NPT was the worst thing ever for small countries – especially if said small country has a lot of
gas/oil, the proceeds of which they intend to use for their own national interests and not donate to Wall
3 Having signed the NPT, Russia won’t give Iran any help in getting nukes since Russia won’t break the law – not
even sketchy ‘international’ law (a near meaningless construct) to save themselves let alone anyone else.
For the Anglo-Zionist Empire, the International Law is like Toilet Paper: used only to wipe sh!t
Pepe Escobar lists 3 reasons for US animosity towards Iran: 1) their defiance of US hegemony 2) their bypassing of the US petro-dollar and 3) a desire to disrupt Eurasian integration.
Although that is a good analysis, how could he not mention Israel? There is tremendous Jewish lobby influence on Trump. From Sheldon Adelson donating millions, to his son-in-law Jared Kushner, to his Evangelical Christian Right base.
Pepe listed 3 strategic reasons the US is operating a hybrid war against Iran.
That the Jews of the US and Israelis both influence the US are not Strategic. They are tangental influences.
All three reasons of Pepe’s article are vital US issues, not ideological (Jewish-Israeli) issues.
I think Pepe Escobar rather wants to be read by as much readers as possible, and therefore left out the more shady things, of which he is damned aware, I guess.
My first thought when reading, was to add a 4th reason: There are 4 nations in the world, that still do not have a central bank, owned by the Rothschild Family: Syria, Iran, North Korea and Cuba.
Btw, many thanks to Pepe Escobar for a great article, he was really on fire.
Iran will be the US’s “Suez Moment”.
Just hope that it stays non-nuclear.
Having watched several discussions on this subject on various more military oriented sites, some of us have come to the conclusion that there is a firm basis for the attacks, economic and potentially military, against Russia and her interests.
There was talk and urging for Russia to provide more modern air defense weaponry to Iran but most of us ‘older’ folks said that was difficult, Mother is working night and day to enhance her own defenses and has precious little excess production capacity to provide same to Iran. Others talked of Russia providing Iran with nuke capability or putting Iran at least under the Russian umbrella for nukes. Not needed, the Caspian Sea is close enough for Russia to be able to completely cover Iran with the ‘nuclear umbrella’ if she so chooses. Never forget those little Caspian Sea ships the shook the world when they unleashed Kalibr missiles on the takfiri in Syria not too long ago. One can rest assured that those little missiles are all over the Russian Navy by now.
It does boggle the mind that US is pressing so hard with threats and sanctions against a country that sits on the jugular vein of World Commerce, the Straights of Hormuz. Iran does not need nukes to do something quite unkind to that exposed jugular and I have few doubts that the bright lights in the background of those in Foggy Bottom screaming for war with Iran have mentioned this to the screamers. That, and positioning a carrier group (read large and very fragile floating outpost) as a threat in today’s time and potential hostile efforts against same is approaching the ‘ludicrous’ portal.
What we are watching, and wringing our hands over, is the beginning of the death throes of the US Empire. I doubt I will live long enough to see the end of this empire nor will my somewhat younger wife, but the end approacheth and it is plain to see. The trick will be for the Empire to slowly disintegrate without unleashing a Gotterdammerung on the rest of us. Therein is the danger, the rest, the aggressive sanctions and threats, the endless wars against smaller countries that can not resist, the complete domination (for the time being) of what was Europe, the attempts to emasculate Russia and China who are viewed as a threat to the Empire and the very cause of the impending demise of the Empire, is window dressing. Very, very dangerous window dressing, but non the less, of little consequence in the end.
Never The Last One. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZGCY8KK
A deep look in to Russia, her culture and her Armed Forces, in essence a look at the emergence of Russian Federation.
An Incident On Simonka. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ERKH3IU NATO is invited to leave Sevastopol.
“I doubt I will live long enough to see the end of this empire nor will my somewhat younger wife, but the end approacheth and it is plain to see.”
I think you will make it.
The Empire will be over by 2025.
As an addition to jiri:
Some time ago I wrote an expectation on this blog, that Saudi Arabia would not exist anymore in its present form over, say, ten years (due to oil depletion, financial mismanagement, and a society relying on expats).
It is even the question whether Israel will be there then, also based on a strange prediction of Henry Kissinger some years ago.
No petrodollar anymore. Gone the creation of trillions of dollars out of thin air. Maybe even sooner, when a military adventure turns into a devastating disaster.
Auslander, you may live to experience it. Just stay healthy, maybe you become as old as Kissinger himself, of whom I have the idea that he is already 130 years old or so.
Jiri and Rob,
I’m not young. I’m long past getting up in the morning and mumbling ‘that never hurt before’, I’ve gone through the list of ‘that never hurt that bad before’ and working on the list of ‘how bad can that hurt’.
Don’t worry, I’ll be around for a while, I haven’t annoyed enough folks yet in Foggy Bottom and in Admin in this village, but 25 years is really pushing it. If I do last another 25 years, I doubt very much I’ll know it after about 20.
As it stands now, and I’ll mention right now the fact that you never know what will happen in this house but you know something will, one of my favorite tricks to pull on VCO is every four or five weeks I’ll walk in to the room VCO is in while she’s concentrating on doing something, look around, then look at her and ask her who she is. Of course I always make sure there isn’t a dog snoring on the floor to block my rapid exit, I’ve usually got about four seconds before the look of surprise on her lovely face is replaced by narrowed eyes and tight lips. That’s the indication that it’s time to UATAO, which considering my age and generally decrepit condition I can accomplish with alacrity. I’m talking just putting a foot down here and there to maneuver meself.
Historically, sanctions have been a prelude to war, for example the oil embargo against Japan in summer 1941 that led to Pearl Harbor. The economic war against Iran could lead to war, indirectly world war. Today there are reports that the US is sending 120,000 troops to the Middle East for deployment against Iran. World war could result because Russia and China have vital interests to protect in the region. Neither could allow instability or regime change in Iran, the consequences would not be confined to that country’s borders, spreading into other Central Asian states. Their intervention would lead the nuclear powers into direct confrontation. The cycle of history shows we are nearing Armageddon.
And Khamenie is absolutely right. Trust the USA or any Jew and its all over for you.