Aletho News


Senior diplomat: Withdrawal from nuclear deal on Iran’s agenda

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi during an interview with state TV on May 08, 2019.
Press TV – May 8, 2019

A senior Iranian diplomat says the Islamic Republic has put a “step-by-step” withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on the agenda.

“We have not left the JCPOA so far, but we have put such a move on our agenda and that would happen step-by-step,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi said in an interview on Wednesday.

“No country can accuse Iran of breaching or leaving the nuclear deal,” the diplomat noted, adding that all the measures Tehran has adopted so far, including Wednesday’s move, has been within the deal’s framework.

The ambassadors of the countries remaining in the nuclear deal — France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China — on Wednesday received a letter penned by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani elaborating the suspension of some of Iran’s commitments under the accord, officially called the JCPOA.

The letter was handed over by Araqchi to the ambassadors of the five countries, who had been invited to the Foreign Ministry. The document specifies the details of the decision taken by Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, which is chaired by Rouhani himself.

The document says Tehran has exercised utmost self-restraint and patience since Washington’s exit from the deal last May, and has given the remaining signatories “considerable” time at their own request to compensate for Washington’s withdrawal and guarantee Iran’s interests.

Nevertheless, the other parties have failed to adopt any “practical measures” to blunt the impact of the economic sanctions that were re-imposed against Tehran by the US following its withdrawal, the statement said.

The Islamic Republic is thus entitled to restore the balance between its rights and obligations under the JCPOA, and has no option but to “reduce its commitments” within the framework of the deal, it added.

At the current stage, the statement said, Iran will no longer consider itself committed to the limits agreed under the deal on its stocks of enriched uranium and heavy water stocks.

Under the JCPOA, Iran is allowed to keep 300 kilograms of uranium enriched up to 3.67 percent. The deal requires Tehran to sell off any enriched uranium above the limit on international markets in return for natural uranium.

Tehran’s stock of heavy water is also restricted to 130 tonnes under the deal, which also calls for Iran’s excess heavy water to be sold to a foreign buyer.

The council has given Iran’s partners in the deal “60 days to meet their commitments, especially in the banking and oil sectors,” said the statement.

If they fail to address Iran’s concerns, Tehran will suspend the implementation of two more commitments under the JCPOA, according to the statement.

In the next stage, Tehran will no longer be bound by its commitment to enrich uranium up to 3.67 percent and will also begin developing its Arak heavy water reactor based on its pre-JCPOA plans, it added.

May 8, 2019 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , | Leave a comment

Trump’s “Deal of the Century” Will Use Sanctions, Military Threats to Force Palestinian Acceptance

By Whitney Webb | MintPress News | May 8, 2019

The Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom, owned by top Trump donor Sheldon Adelson, has published in Hebrew a leaked draft of the Trump administration’s “Deal of the Century” for the Israel-Palestine conflict. The draft was given to the newspaper by an official from Israel’s Foreign Ministry, which is currently headed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The plan, which has been drafted by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, is expected to be released this June after the conclusion of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to Mondoweiss.

The draft plan published by Israel Hayom, while in keeping with many of the details that have been leaked to the press in past weeks and months, contains several new and troubling claims, including the Trump administration’s plan to force Palestinian leadership to accept the plan through threats of economic strangulation and military force.

For instance, if Palestinian leadership — such as the Palestinian Authority (PA) or Hamas — rejects the Trump administration’s “peace plan,” the United States will respond aggressively by ensuring that “no country in the world transfer money” to Palestine, which would apparently be accomplished through U.S. sanctions. With Palestine’s economy and the livelihood of many Palestinians dependent on foreign aid, such an act would amount to economic strangulation of the over 6 million Palestinians in the West Bank and around 2 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. 

Furthermore, if the PA accepts the plan but Gaza’s leadership — i.e., Hamas — rejects it, “the U.S. will back Israel to personally harm leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad” and the U.S. will hold Hamas fully responsible for any future “round of violence between Israel and Hamas,” regardless of the circumstances that initiate that violence. In other words, the Trump administration is willing to join a future war against the embattled Gaza Strip, described by the United Nations as an open-air prison that is already largely unlivable for its inhabitants and under a full blockade, if Hamas rejects the Trump administration’s plan for the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Thus, the draft plan states that the Trump administration’s tactic of negotiating with the Palestinians involves a combination of threats of economic destruction and military destruction aimed at bullying an already dispossessed people into accepting a plan that clearly favors their occupiers.

Creating a “new” Palestine

In addition to the Trump administration’s apparent game plan to force Palestinian compliance with the so-called “Deal of the Century,” the plan also calls for the creation of a demilitarized state of “New Palestine” that would be incredibly small, as the document calls for the Israeli annexation of the entirety of the Jordan Valley (around 30 percent of the West Bank) and the annexation of all illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which now cover well over half of what international law maintains is Palestinian territory.

This “new” state would be showered in aid from several countries, including the Gulf monarchies, European nations and the United States, allegedly amounting to $30 billion over the next five years. Most of the funding, according to the plan, will come from oil-producing Gulf states like Saudi Arabia. It is unclear whether “New Palestine” would be considered a sovereign state and whether it would be allowed to apply for full membership in the United Nations.

While the plan would allow “New Palestine” access to Jerusalem as a shared, undivided capital with Israel, Palestinians would be responsible for paying the state of Israel for their security because it would be forbidden from having its own army. In other words, Palestinians would be forced to pay the Israel Defense Force (IDF), the military force that has occupied the West Bank for over 50 years, to “protect” them despite the fact the Palestinians are regularly extrajudicially murdered by IDF soldiers. However, the apparent “concession” offered by the Trump administration in this regard would be allowing the “New Palestine” to maintain a police force with “light weaponry.”

In addition, the plan apparently concedes to some past Palestinian demands, such as the release of Palestinian prisoners over a three-year period. However, the draft of the plan published by Israel Hayom does not address Palestinian refugees or the right of return of those refugees in any capacity.

Outsourcing the destruction of Palestine

The fact that this draft of the plan was released to the Netanyahu- and Trump-aligned Israel Hayom by Israel’s Foreign Ministry — itself run by Netanyahu — strongly suggests that Israel’s government was ready to make the details of the plan known to the Israeli public. The draft, which was dismissed by at least one unnamed White House official as “speculative,” reveals an Israeli-centric plan that will likely be rejected by both Israeli right-wing hardliners and a majority of Palestinians.

However, Israel’s leadership is likely to accept the plan only because they know that the Palestinians will reject it, allowing them to blame the failure of the Trump administration-brokered “peace process” on the Palestinians.

Indeed, Dr. Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, affirmed on Tuesday that the PA considered the “peace plan” as merely a pretext to a long-planned West Bank land grab by Israel and planned to reject the so-called “Deal of the Century. “If what we read is what is to be expected from this plan, then it seems that the objective of it is not a solution to the conflict, but to give pretext to the Israeli government to annex other portions [of the West Bank],” Mansour recently stated at UN headquarters.

Mansour added:

Some in the [Trump] administration, they think, ‘Yes, what will help peace is break the legs of the Palestinians, break one arm and five teeth, and when they are on the ground they will come crawling to you for anything you offer them.’ Those who think that way don’t know the Palestinians.”

The Palestinian plan to reject the Trump administration’s deal is no secret, with the outgoing French ambassador recently describing the plan as “dead on arrival.” This fact of assured rejection makes all the details of the plan irrelevant, save for the part of the plan that deals with “penalties” for the Palestinians if they reject the plan.

Those penalties should draw the most concern as the “peace plan” is made public, as it harkens coming U.S. military involvement in a future war between Israel and Gaza –regardless of whether that war is initiated by Gazans or Israelis — as well as extreme economic hardship on the West Bank through U.S. sanctions.

Netanyahu has made no secret of the fact that he does not want the two-state solution provided in this U.S. plan, even if the Palestinian “state” is demilitarized and minuscule. However, if the Palestinians reject the plan — as he knows they will — the United States will do the work of further destroying Palestine for him by committing to a future U.S. invasion of Gaza and to the economic strangulation of the West Bank. These “penalties” will allow Israel’s government to blame Palestinians for their own foreign-imposed hardship while giving Netanyahu’s government leeway to fulfill its long-standing goal of “conquering” the Gaza Strip and completely annexing the entirety of the West Bank.

As Mansour noted, the “peace plan” is indeed a pretext, but for far more than a land grab. Instead, it is a pretext for outsourcing the destruction of Palestine to the United States under the cover of a “peace process” that no diplomats — in Israel, Palestine or elsewhere — have at any point taken seriously since the early days of the Trump administration.

Whitney Webb is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.

May 8, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

New Iran sanctions: Trump threatens anyone trading aluminum, iron, steel & copper

RT | May 8, 2019

The US has imposed sweeping new sanctions on anyone who trades with Iran in iron, steel, copper, aluminum and related products, escalating the economic blockade of Tehran as the nuclear deal continues to unravel.

An executive order signed by US President Donald Trump on Wednesday says the property of anyone who owns or operates or engages in “significant” transactions with Iran’s metals sector will be seized by the US under sanctions laws. Likewise, anyone accused of materially assisting, sponsoring or supporting anyone who is sanctioned will have their property blocked as well.

The blocked property “may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in,” says the executive order. The sanctions apply to property inside the US, or in possession or control of any US person.

The Treasury Department announced it would allow a 90-day “wind-down” period for any transactions related to Iran’s metal sector.

The new sanctions are part of the continuing US policy to “deny Iran all paths to both a nuclear weapon and intercontinental ballistic missiles, and to counter the totality of Iran’s malign influence in the Middle East,” it said, adding that revenues from the metals trade could be used to “provide funding and support for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorist groups and networks, campaigns of regional aggression, and military expansion.”

Metals are said to represent about 10 percent of Iran’s exports.

Trump’s latest move comes exactly a year after he unilaterally withdraw the US from the JCPOA nuclear agreement, negotiated by his predecessor in 2015 to limit Iran’s ability to develop atomic weapons. Tehran has consistently claimed its nuclear program was peaceful, but Israel has disagreed and actively campaigned against the deal.

Earlier on Wednesday, Iran announced it would no longer sell excess uranium and heavy water as provided under the JCPOA, citing last week’s decision by the US to end sanction waivers on these transactions. Tehran officially remains party to the JCPOA, but has grown increasingly frustrated by the lack of practical steps from Europe to offset US sanctions.

May 8, 2019 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , | 2 Comments

UN Targets the Sand People

Control sand to limit concrete to control housing to limit human reproduction and achieve eugenics

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | May 8, 2019

On Monday in Paris, four UN bodies released a summary of an 1,800-page report about threats to biodiversity. It declares that “fundamental structural change is called for…for the broader public good.”

On Tuesday in Geneva, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) released another report. Its press release tells us that sand needs to be planned, regulated, and managed by the UN. Yes, really. Sand.

Apparently, those who currently trade in sand and gravel sometimes do so in an unsustainable manner. “[R]ules, practices and ethics” apparently differ worldwide. Imagine that. Moreover, “irresponsible and illegal extraction” needs to be curbed. In other words: the UN has now set its sights on this industry.

In the foreword to the 56-page Sand and Sustainability: Finding new solutions for environmental governance of global sand resources, Joyce Msuya, UNEP’s executive director, declares that humanity is “spending our sand ‘budget’ faster than we can produce it responsibly.”

While this report says it merely wants to spark a conversation, that it doesn’t intend to be “prescriptive,” Msuya’s remarks belie that. She advocates “improved governance of global sand resources,” talks about implementing global standards, and looks forward to the creation of brand new “institutions that sustainably and equitably manage extraction.” What’s another level of red tape, after all?

UN bureaucrats see only one conceivable solution to every problem: meddling from above. This woman wants to “cut consumption of sand and gravel” by “reducing over-building and over-design.” In her view, keeping her nose out of other people’s business isn’t an option. She doesn’t trust poor nations to become more environmentally responsible on their own schedule. It doesn’t occur to her that people struggling to drag themselves out of poverty don’t need UN busybodies second-guessing the trade-offs they’re compelled to make.  

How did this report come about? Last October, UNEP invited 19 ‘experts’ to gather in Geneva. Three were UN employees. Activist organizations were also well-represented: the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Awaaz Foundation,, and the World Economic Forum.

Also in attendance were a lobbyist, a sustainable energy expert, a researcher from the Responsible Mining Foundation, a journalist who’s written a book about sand, and a representative of Switzerland’s federal environment ministry. As far as I can tell, only two people had any connection to entities that do things with sand in the real world.

Based on the conversation that took place at this one-day event, a report got written which was then reviewed by 11 other people – including, once again, representatives of the WWF and the IUCN.

So it’s no surprise that the final version relies heavily on activist-produced ‘evidence’ – such as a WWF report titled Impacts of Sand Mining on Ecosystem Structure, Process & Biodiversity in Rivers.

You see what’s going on here. The wholly activist WWF writes a report which then gets cited repeatedly by the UN. Like money-laundering, the questionable nature of the original source becomes obscured. The public will now get told that illegal sand mining threatens fish, birds, turtles and dolphins. After all, the UN says so.

The public is unlikely to be advised that the UN’s only source for this claim is an activist document. Because activists never indulge in hyperbole. They never ever exaggerate.

Oh, wait. Didn’t Greenpeace argue in court recently that it is “well-known for advancing…opinions, not hard news”? When accused of using phony photos and phony videos, didn’t Greenpeace tell the court that ordinary people “clearly understand” its accusations aren’t factual but are merely an “interpretation”?

The bottom line is that there’s an octopus of aligned/interconnected interests out there. UN bureaucrats. Activists. Academics. These people work hand in glove, pushing certain ideas into the public square in an orchestrated manner.

It’s no accident that the UN press release and the WWF’s press release yesterday had the same headline – Rising demand for sand calls for resource governance – and shared nine paragraphs of identical content.

How the UNEP press release began:

How the WWF press release began:

May 8, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , | 1 Comment

Trump and Putin Hold a 90-Minute Telephone Call, US Liberals Go Ballistic

By Robert Bridge | Strategic Culture Foundation | May 8, 2019

Like a pit bull with its favorite chew toy, the Democrats refuse to abandon the debunked ‘Russian collusion’ script, to the point where a simple phone call between Moscow and Washington triggers rabid media hysterics.

When tasked to cover last week’s telephone conversation between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, the left-leaning mainstream media had a golden opportunity to prove it had moved beyond partisan politics, above intrigue, and above subjective bias. Predictably, it failed the test miserably. What the media did prove, however, came as no surprise: it is totally incapable of casting a gaze beyond the debris-strewn battlefield field known as Russiagate and report on US-Russia relations in a dispassionate and honest manner.

Instead, it obsessed over petty details, like the duration of the phone call and the fact that it was initiated by Donald Trump instead of the Russians. “Trump Initiated Putin Call, And It Was 90 Minutes, Not 60,” a snooty headline in the Huffington Post screamed, much like dozens of other unhinged outlets as if the world’s myriad problems can be sorted out in an afternoon over Twitter.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told the journalists that Trump and Putin discussed a number of global flash points, predominantly Venezuela, where the US, Russia and even China are jockeying for position as a showdown continues between Washington’s man in Caracas, Juan Guaido and the embattled but duly elected President Nicolás Maduro. Given that the US has long considered Latin America its private hunting grounds makes it all the more unacceptable for Washington policymakers and the media that Moscow and Beijing are nosing around in their backyard.

With no loss of irony, which we’ll come to in a moment, the US pundit class assailed Trump for taking Vladimir Putin’s word at face value when he said that Russia, as quoted by Trump, “is not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela other than he’d like to see something positive happen for Venezuela.”

In one uniformed and very agitated voice, the media bloodhounds demanded to know how it was possible that Trump placed faith in Putin, when just days earlier his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that Maduro was preparing to flee to Cuba – but was discouraged by Russia.

“He had an airplane on the tarmac, he was ready to leave this morning as we understand it and the Russians indicated he should stay,” Pompeo told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer with a remarkably straight face. “He was headed for Havana.”

Trump himself probably didn’t know exactly who or what to believe since just last month Pompeo the pompous practically fell out of his chair laughing as he told an audience from Texas A&M University about his heyday as CIA chief.

“I was the CIA director,” he began with a smile. “We lied, we cheated, we stole. We had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.”

When glory moments involve the lowest examples of human behavior it is painful to imagine what a bad day looks like. But I digress.

Regrettably, the young and impressionable students and faculty welcomed the creepy confession as some kind of a big joke, chortling as Pompeo resembled a frat boy discussing last night’s drunken endeavors. It may speak volumes about the American state of mind that no audience member thought to inquire as to what use Mr. Secretary of State was putting those “entire training courses” especially as the United States continues to employ psychological warfare against Maduro. Those methods include suggesting that top officials in his inner circle have secretly betrayed him, while disseminating the ‘news’ that he is about to flee. Such tricks from the regime change handbook may be giving the Venezuelan leader many a sleepless nights, but thus far it has failed to dislodge him from power.

May 8, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

When We Were the ‘Good Guys’: US Keeps Invoking WWII to Validate New Wars

By Helen Buyniski | Helen of desTroy | May 8, 2019

Americans are sick of fighting a 20-year war against an undefined enemy they can’t seem to beat. With morale and recruitment scraping bottom, the world’s best-funded military reckons that, if it can’t win, it can at least look like a winner.

The US Army looked to World War II, the last war the US could decisively be said to have “won,” for inspiration when designing its new service uniform to invoke “the most prominent time the Army’s service to our nation was universally recognized,” as sergeant major Daniel Dailey, the Army’s highest-ranking enlisted soldier, told the New York Times. But the specter of World War II – when Americans were hailed as “the good guys” – was conjured up long before the military decided to reenact its golden age through cosplay. Indeed, the US has been borrowing from the WWII playbook since before the War on Terror officially began.

Like WWII, the US’ forever-war, which has long since spilled beyond the Middle East, is being fought on multiple fronts against countries that, left alone, would pose no threat to the US. In both cases, the American people had to be tricked into supporting long, bloody, expensive conflicts that served little strategic purpose for the US – but strongly benefited their allies.

Neocon think tank Project for a New American Century (PNAC) infamously called for a “new Pearl Harbor” to advance its foreign policy goals, and the attacks of September 11 were used to shred the Constitution and pitch the country headlong into nearly two decades of unparalleled destruction, destabilizing the Middle East for generations and bankrupting the US. Neither attack happened without plenty of warning, however, and both were arguably permitted to take place in order to manufacture consent for extremely unpopular wars.

With the US barely out of World War I, President Franklin Roosevelt faced a population 80 to 90 percent opposed to entering another global conflict; he even ran on the promise that “your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.” Not only did Roosevelt deliberately place the US’ Pacific fleet in harm’s way by anchoring it in Pearl Harbor against the advice of fleet commander Admiral James Richardson; he relieved Richardson of his command for complaining, reportedly telling him “Sooner or later the Japanese will commit an overt act against the United States and the nation will be willing to enter the war.” US military intelligence, which had cracked the Japanese encryption codes, intercepted radio messages indicating Japan planned to attack Hawaii. The attack was allowed to happen, and overnight, a population allergic to war was baying for Japanese blood.

Several government agents, including FBI Minneapolis field office chief counsel Coleen Rowley and FBI Special Agent Robert Wright, came forward before September 11, troubled by evidence that seemed to point to a foreign group planning an attack on American soil. Saudi nationals training at flight schools and Israeli “art students” probing security vulnerabilities in government buildings set off alarms in government agencies all over the country.  But the administration of President George W. Bush, packed with PNAC alumni, ignored and even punished these whistleblowers. The Twin Towers were destroyed, the PATRIOT Act (pre-written and ready to go) was rammed through a docile Congress and, less than a month later, according to General Wesley Clark, the decision to invade Iraq had been made, even as hostilities had barely commenced in Afghanistan. Clark was told of a classified memo from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that described how “We’re going to take out seven countries in five years,” and while their timetable is a little behind, Iran is the only country on that list where the US and its allies haven’t attempted a regime change.

It’s worth looking at what triggered the Pearl Harbor attack, because it is happening again. When Japan refused to pull its forces out of China, the US imposed an oil embargo on Japan, cutting the nation off from 80 percent of its oil supply and leaving it no choice but to seek fuel elsewhere. The closest oil was in then-Dutch Indonesia, but US-controlled Philippines physically barred the way. The US had thus almost guaranteed Japan would have to attack the US, allowing Washington to enter the war with the American people’s approval in order to fight Germany, whom Roosevelt perceived as the “real” enemy.

The US has imposed the strictest sanctions on Iran yet, repealing the last waivers last week in the hope of forcing the country into a similarly suicidal act. Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if it is blocked from using the waterway, which sees 20 percent of the world’s oil traffic. US officials have deemed such a move “unacceptable,” suggesting massive retaliation would follow, and a US carrier strike group is on its way to the region, supposedly acting on a “credible threat” that Iran plans to target US interests. Regardless of who fires the first shot – and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has warned Trump a false flag attack is extremely likely – war with Iran would be the result, and Americans would be cheering it on. The question is not if, but when.

War with Iran wouldn’t benefit the US at all – a 2002 Pentagon wargame simulation has even indicated the US would lose. But Iran is the strongest enemy of Israel left standing, and Trump’s inner circle – like the neocons at PNAC (whose members included John Bolton) – has made it clear where his priorities lie. Just as laying waste to Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen only created an endless supply of enemies for the US while crossing Israel’s regional rivals off the list, attempting to destroy Iran will have devastating repercussions for the US while ensuring no one is left to challenge Israel’s regional dominance. It is no coincidence that the intel suggesting Iran was plotting an attack on American targets in the Middle East – the tip that triggered the deployment of the carrier strike group Abraham Lincoln to the region last month – came from the Mossad, the Israeli intel agency whose motto is “by deception, thou shalt do war.” Israel has been lying about Iran’s ambitions for decades. In the same way, Britain, not the US, stood to benefit from the US attacking Germany in WWII. While the US did eventually profit from Germany’s defeat, splitting a destroyed Europe with the Soviets, Britain needed US intervention if it hoped to survive at all.

World War II was a golden era for propagandists on both sides, and the US’ reliance on the art has only grown since the days when buck-toothed racist Japanese caricatures spoke to American civilians in broken English: “Please, take day off!” Hitler remains the exemplar of evil in the American mind only because history is written by the victors – Stalin, whose body count was significantly greater, was cast as kindly Uncle Joe, until the military-industrial complex required a new enemy to maintain military spending levels and the Soviet Union was transformed from powerful friend into formidable foe. Anti-Nazi propaganda has flourished since the war’s end, with lurid tales of lampshades and soap made from concentration camp victims, and “Nazi” itself has become shorthand for anyone we disagree with politically.

Americans are told again and again that military intervention is the only way to “save” the people of Libya, Syria, or Iraq, especially their women and children. While Libya may have taken the cake for most bizarre propaganda narrative yet, with stories that Muammar Gaddafi was doling out Viagra to his soldiers to ensure they were at the top of their rape game, the terrorist White Helmets in Syria won an Oscar for their convincing portrayal of a noble civil defense force, convincing the folks back home that Bashar Assad was a gas-happy monster instead of the cosmopolitan statesman who’d received the French Medal of Honor just a few years before.

An important part of both eras’ successful propaganda campaigns was bringing the war closer to home. Most Americans couldn’t care less about what is happening halfway around the world, no matter how many babies are supposedly being thrown into ovens or out of incubators. During WWII, this was accomplished with a speculative story in Life magazine on how the Nazis might invade the US. One of the routes took the Nazis up through Mexico. The narrative hasn’t changed much since then, except now it’s ISIS camped out at the border, lustily eyeing our “freedoms.”

Trump isn’t the only American aware that the US is no longer “winning.” But enacting the rituals of the last time it tasted victory is not going to catapult the world back into the golden age of the American empire. Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it – worse, they are doomed to think repeating it is a good idea.

May 8, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hamas condemns Israel’s bombing of media offices in Gaza

Palestine Information Center – May 5, 2019

The Hamas leader Raafat Murra on Sunday decried the Israeli occupation army’s targeting of several media offices in the ongoing aggression on the Gaza Strip.

Murra condemned the Israeli attack on the Anadolu Agency office and described it as “terrorism” and “deliberate crime”.

He affirmed that Hamas fully supports all Palestinian, Arab, and international media platforms which cover the events in Gaza objectively and professionally.

Israeli warplanes on Saturday bombed the Anadolu Agency office and the Palestinian prisoners media office with several missiles during large-scale aerial attacks on Gaza.

May 8, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Iran stops selling excess uranium, will enrich to higher level in 60 days unless Europe acts

RT | May 8, 2019

Iran’s President Rouhani announced a gradual scale-down of the country’s nuclear commitments. Tehran refused to dispose of excessive heavy water and uranium, and said additional measures will be taken over periods of 60 days.

The deal signed with Iran by leading world powers and the EU, offered Tehran a relief of sanctions in exchange for voluntarily restrictions of its nuclear industry. Last year the US broke its commitments under the deal and has been seeking to cripple Iran’s economy with economic sanction. Iran nevertheless remained faithful to its commitments as other signatories pledged to keep the deal alive by withstanding to US pressure.

On Wednesday, President Hassan Rouhani announced on national television that Iran will be suspending some of its commitments under the deal, which is also called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), due to continued US violation and a failure of European signatories to compensate for the damage done by Washington.

As of now, Tehran will no longer sell off excessive enriched uranium and heavy water, the Iranian president said. Under JCPOA terms, it is required to dispose of those materials if production exceeds certain thresholds.

Other signatories will have 60 days to negotiate with Iran and address its concerns, particularly in oil industry and banking sector, which Washington targets with its sanctions. If an agreement is reached, the suspension will be reversed.

Otherwise Iran will no longer be bound by an obligation not to enrich uranium over a certain level and may restore the shut heavy water nuclear reactor in Arak, which was supposed to be repurposed with the help of other signatories under the nuclear deal.

After those measures are implemented, 60 more days will be given for negotiations, Rouhani warned. And then Iran may take additional unspecified measures, he said.

Rouhani defended the JCPOA as a deal that was beneficial to Iran and detrimental to the enemies of Iran. He said only “radicals in the US,” Israel and Saudi-led Arab nations were interested in destroying it.

“Today is not the end of the nuclear deal,” he stated, calling on other signatories to act and salvage the agreement.

The deal was signed under US President Barack Obama, but the Trump administration sided with Israel, which believed the agreement to be a threat to its national security and sought to undermine it. Washington withdrew from the JCPOA in May last year.

May 8, 2019 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , | Leave a comment

US responsible for ‘unacceptable’ deadlock on JCPOA – Lavrov

RT | May 8, 2019

The irresponsible policies of the US have put the multilateral pact on Iran’s nuclear program at risk of failure, the Russian foreign minister said, adding that Washington should try diplomacy instead of threats for a change.

Sergey Lavrov criticized the US during a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif, who personally brought a letter from his government informing Russia about Tehran’s latest decision on the nuclear agreement. Russia is one of the signatories of the 2015 document, also known as JCPOA, which offered Iran relief from economic sanctions in exchange for accepting restriction on its nuclear industry.

“As I understand, our main task here is to discuss the unacceptable situation, which has unfolded around the JCPOA as a result of irresponsible behavior by the United States,” the Russian diplomat said before negotiations with the Iranians.

The Iranian minister said Tehran’s actions came in response to the US withdrawal from the deal, and were not meant to destroy the agreement. “[They] can be reversed. There is a 60-day windows of opportunity for diplomacy,” he said.

Later in the day, Lavrov lamented the current US administration’s habit of coercing other nations with threats of sanctions or direct use of military force, be it in the Middle East or Venezuela.

“The day before yesterday, I met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Finland and called on him to use instruments of diplomacy instead of threats when dealing with all issues of contention, and to stick to international law and UN principles, which require the peaceful resolution of conflicts,” he said. “One has to have a taste for diplomacy, which probably not everyone has today.”

Iran on Wednesday announced that it will no longer observe the limits on reserves of enriched uranium and heavy water established by the deal, calling it a response to the US withdrawal from the JCPOA exactly a year ago. Unless European signatories of the agreement deliver on their promise to protect the Iranian economy from unilateral sanctions reimposed by the US over the last 12 months, Iran would take further action, President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised address.

All signatories were formally notified about Tehran’s decision, with Zarif using his coinciding visit to Moscow to offer personal explanations about why it was taken.

Lavrov stressed that Russia appreciated Iran’s continued compliance with the JCPOA even after the US broke its side of the bargain.

May 8, 2019 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , | Leave a comment

US to Sanction Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution

By Peter Jenkins | LobeLog | May 6, 2019

On May 3, the U.S. Department of State announced:

Starting May 4, assistance to expand Iran’s Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant beyond the existing reactor unit could be sanctionable. In addition, activities to transfer enriched uranium out of Iran in exchange for natural uranium could be sanctionable. Iran must stop all proliferation-sensitive activities, including uranium enrichment, and we will not accept actions that support the continuation of such enrichment. We will also no longer permit the storage for Iran of heavy water it has produced in excess of current limits; any such heavy water must no longer be available to Iran in any fashion.

This latest U.S. diktat amounts to a frontal assault on UN Security Council Resolution 2231 of July 20, 2015, which reads in part:

[The Security Council] Calls upon all member states…to take such actions as may be appropriate to support the implementation of the JCPOA, including by taking actions commensurate with the implementation plans set out in the JCPOA and this resolution, and by refraining from actions that undermine implementation of commitments under the JCPOA.

The Security Council adopted this resolution six days after Iran, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the European Union agreed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). This agreement was designed to restrict Iran’s nuclear activities while International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors look systematically into whether Iran’s nuclear program is “exclusively peaceful.”

Not content with ceasing to implement the JCPOA after the United States pulled out a year ago, the Trump administration is seeking to undermine the implementation of JCPOA commitments by threatening to punish others with sanctions.

The other state most clearly targeted by the diktat is Iran. Paragraph A.7 of the JCPOA stipulates:

During [a] 15 year period Iran will keep its uranium stockpile under 300 kg of enriched uranium hexafluoride…. The excess quantities are to be sold and delivered to [an] international buyer in return for natural uranium delivered to Iran.” And paragraph B.10 requires: “There will be no accumulation of heavy water in Iran for 15 years. All excess heavy water will be made available for export to the international market.

But the U.S. statement of May 3 leaves open the possibility that other states engaging in “activities to transfer enriched uranium” and activities that “support the continuation of enrichment” in Iran could be sanctionable, and that the storage of heavy water on Iran’s behalf will be punished. In other words, henceforth other states run the risk of attracting U.S. sanctions if they “support the implementation” of paragraphs A.7 and B.10 of the JCPOA.

It would be interesting to know whether this is a post-1945 “first.” On several occasions, the United States has turned a blind eye to a client state’s failure to implement the provisions of UN Security Council resolutions. But could this be the first time that the United States has threatened to sanction states for implementing such provisions?

On May 4, the EU High Representative and the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, and the U.K. issued a statement:

We.…. take note with regret and concern of the decision by the United States not to extend waivers with regards to trade in oil with Iran. We also note with concern the decision by the United States not to fully renew waivers for nuclear non-proliferation projects in the framework of the JCPoA. The lifting of nuclear-related sanctions is an essential part of the JCPoA – it aims at having a positive impact not only on trade and economic relations with Iran, but most importantly on the lives of the Iranian people. We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the United States following their withdrawal from the JCPoA.

It may be that the reference to non-proliferation projects is intended to encompass the May 3 diktat. If so, this expression of concern is better than silence. But it is hardly commensurate with a frontal assault on the implementation of UN Security Council obligations.

What the situation requires is a Security Council debate and forthright condemnation of U.S. contravention of Resolution 2231.

May 8, 2019 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , | 6 Comments