by Aram Mirzaei for The Saker Blog
On Sunday morning, the Islamic Republic cut its latest obligations to the JCPOA by enriching uranium to a higher purity than 3.67%, Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi stated. He said that Iran would increase uranium enrichment to the level that fulfils the needs of its power plants.
He also noted that the country had not yet decided on the level of enrichment for the Tehran research reactor. This comes after Tehran had given the remaining signatories a 60 day deadline to offset the adverse impacts of the unilateral pull-out by Washington. Of course, Europe, being the chained lapdog of Washington with no will of its own, couldn’t satisfy Tehran’s demands since Europe doesn’t dare to stand up to their masters, so this move was very much expected.
Western media have been quick to write their headlines: “Iran violates JCPOA”. This kind of headline lays the blame on the Islamic Republic, accusing Tehran of violating a deal which Washington pulled out of. Nobody in Europe seems to be placing any blame on Washington for totally reneging on the deal, this shows how “impartial and free” western media and its political institutions are.
Meanwhile, another signatory to the JCPOA, namely Britain has decided to engage in sea piracy at the behest of Washington when earlier this week an oil tanker heading for Syria was hijacked by British special forces near Gibraltar. This is part of Washington’s economic warfare on Syria where the recent sanctions are aimed at preventing Syria from receiving and importing any kind of fuel. Washington reasoning is that if it cannot control Syria, then it will destroy Syria altogether, and London will follow Washington without hesitation to whatever hell Washington is heading for.
This was also evident in the aftermath of the downing of the US RQ-4A drone and the false flag attacks on the oil tankers in the Persian Gulf last month, when Jeremy Hunt “warned” that the UK would join the US in a war against Iran since according to the him the UK has done some “independent intelligence assessments” to determine that Tehran was behind the oil tanker attacks.
“We have done our own intelligence assessment. We have got videos of what happened. We have seen evidence. We don’t believe anyone else could have done this,” he said.
With regards to Iran’s recent threat that it will suspend Tehran’s obligations to the JCPOA, Hunt responded that: “We want to preserve that deal because we don’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons but if Iran breaks that deal then we are out of it as well.”
Pathetic statements by the foreign minister indeed, he truly shows that the UK parrots whatever bullshit Washington spews and has no will of its own. And so two out of 6 signatories are out and I expect France and Germany to follow the same path soon as well since they are in the same vassal position as Britain is.
Luckily, the threat of war seems no longer as imminent as it was just a couple of weeks ago, especially after the downing of the US drone over the Persian Gulf. According to reports in Iran, Washington asked Tehran to be allowed to bomb mock targets inside Iran, to save face after the humiliating incident. Tehran responded that this would be considered a declaration of war and denied Washington this bizarre request. This would explain why Trump behaved so incoherently in the aftermath of the incident, speculating that the downing of the drone could have “been a mistake by an individual” in the Iranian armed forces. I believe that this shows that the Iranian analysis of this escalation has been correct all along, Washington wants to intimidate Iran with threats but wont make good on them as they know what the consequences of these threats would be. I’ve said before that the Zionist state would be the biggest loser of a potential war between the US and Iran and last week Mojtaba Zolnour, the chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National security and Foreign policy commission confirmed that Israel would indeed be the main target of Iran’s response to any kind of US aggression by declaring that only half an hour of Israel’s lifespan would remain if Iran was attacked.
Elsewhere, Syrian and Russian military commanders are said to be discussing a new offensive in northwestern Syria after reports of collapsed ceasefire talks between Ankara and Moscow. This report comes as Moscow has resumed heavy airstrikes over the Idlib, Hama and Latakia provinces, targeting both Jihadists and Turkish backed “rebels”.
The offensive is said to be aimed at expanding the Syrian Army’s presence around the Al-Zawiya mountain region and the Al-Ghaab plains bordering Hama and Idlib. The months of May and June were bloody as the Syrian Army and the jihadists traded many blows, mainly due to Turkish interference. The Turkish Army has been very active lately, using all the previous ceasefires as opportunities to re-arm and regroup the jihadist forces, thus saving them from their imminent destruction. Meanwhile this report is also accompanied by allegations that Turkey is seeking to annex the Idlib province and other areas in northwestern Syria. Fars News reported that Ankara’s continued military presence, including new reinforcements sent on a weekly basis are indications of preliminary steps taken by Ankara to permanently occupy these areas. It should be noted that Ankara has installed a puppet government in this area under the flag of the so called “National Liberation Front” (NLF), a collection of Turkish backed militants. The main obstacle for Ankara would reportedly be the presence of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham terrorists, the main rival group of the so called NLF. The Fars News report added that Turkish officials are contemplating to have the HTS terrorist group dissolved through either war or peace to leave Moscow and Damascus with no more excuses to continue military operations in the area.
Fars News added that the interim government affiliated with the militants would gain control of the bordering corridors between Syria and Turkey and the residents of these regions would be provided with main services with the revenues of these passageways. The likelihood of this happening, however, is very slim as Moscow looks to reunite the country and Damascus would never accept such an outcome.
Despite the odds of Ankara annexing Idlib and other northern provinces in Syria, Damascus and Moscow would do well to remain wary of Ankara’s treacherous motives in Syria and should proceed with military operations to liberate these occupied territories.