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Report: Iran’s verification of US reversal to take 3 months at least

Press TV – April 11, 2021

A detailed report by the Iranian parliament’s Research Center says the verification of any US removal of sanctions on Tehran would require at least three months, emphasizing that the process would not be possible within hours or days.

“It is obvious that the real test of sanctions removal and fulfillment of measurable indices put forward by Iran is not possible in a matter of few hours or days, and would take at least 3 to 6 months. It is also necessary to verify within specified intervals (for example every six months) that the Iranian economy benefits from the removal of the sanctions,” the parliament’s Research Center (IPRC) said in its report.

The report said Article 6 of the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions, a law passed in December by Iranian legislators, stipulates several general criteria concerning the removal of the anti-Iran sanctions.

They include normalization of banking transactions, total removal of export barriers, unhindered sale of Iranian petroleum and oil derivatives, in addition to complete and rapid return of revenues from Iranian oil sales.

Last December, Iranian lawmakers overwhelmingly voted in favor of the action plan, which tasked the administration with suspending extra commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The Iranian parliament’s report went on to say that Article 7 of the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions obliges the government to report to the parliament on measures taken to counteract the US sanctions. Parliamentary commissions have been assigned to assess those measures.

The report noted that Washington has a number of economic, political and legal means which it could employ despite its possible removal of the sanctions in order to prevent the Iranian economy from benefiting from the dividends of the nuclear deal.

The United States, the report said, may prevent Iran from benefiting economically from the removal of the sanctions by trying to maintain the status quo, including limiting other countries’ cooperation with the Islamic Republic.

Research conducted by the IPRC has significant impact on the legislation passed by Iranian lawmakers.

On April 8, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said verification means Iran should be able to sell its oil under normal conditions and receive its money.

The Biden administration has conceded that its predecessor’s so-called maximum pressure campaign has failed, but it has so far failed to take any practical steps to undo the wrongs.

April 11, 2021 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

Israeli circles cautiously monitor developments in Jordan as reports indicate Tel Aviv, Riyadh involvement in failed coup

Al-Manar | April 5, 2021

The Israeli circles continued monitoring the dangerous developments in Jordan without giving public statements for fear of exacerbating the cold ties with the Jordanian leadership.

Zionist reports indicated that the Israeli intelligence was directly involved in the recent incidents in Amman, adding that the ties between the arrested officials and the Saudi crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, hint at KSA involvement in the coup as well.

The Jordanian intelligence intercepted a phone call between an Israeli Mossad officer and the wife of former crown prince Hamzah bin Al-Hussein who was offered a private jet to leave Jordan into a foreign country, according to the reports.

State media reported citing Jordan’s armed forces on Saturday that former Jordanian crown prince, also a half-brother of King Abdullah II, was told to halt actions undermining national security.

Hasan bin Zaid, a member of Jordan’s royal family and envoy to Saudi Arabia, and King Abdullah’s long-time confidant Basem Ibrahim Awadallah were arrested on Saturday, the state news agency Petra reported, citing a security source.

The Israeli media expressed concerns about the possibility of a considerable shift in Jordan’s strategic policy, citing the cold relation between KIng Abdullah II and the Zionist PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

April 5, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Wars for Israel | , | Leave a comment

Washington Institute Calls Yemeni Forces as New Hezbollah, Warns against Augmenting Military Capabilities of Ansarullah

Al-Manar | April 4, 2021

The augmenting military capabilities of the Yemeni Armed Forces have been increasingly worrying the United States of America and the Zionist entity, according to The Washington Institute for the Near East Policy.

The study, titled “Yemen’s ‘Southern Hezbollah’: Implications of Houthi Missile and Drone Improvements”, called on the US administration to deal with the “Houthis” as a challenge that will go beyond the war in Yemen.

In light of the recent Yemeni attacks on the Saudi home front, the study concentrated on the development of Yemen’s missile and drone industries, calling on U.S. diplomats and military planners to factor this threat complex into their future calculations beyond the current Yemen war.

The study also considered that the Yemeni armed forces can develop missile/drone assembly industry further range increases, adding that the Yemeni forces would be able to reach new targets if they so desire—perhaps ‘Israel’ given their known enmity toward that country, or even Egypt and Jordan as part of a wider effort to exert themselves in the Red Sea (e.g., hindering international shipping, targeting Suez Canal infrastructure).

The study warned against the possible victory of the Yemeni army and popular committees (Ansarullah) in Marib, considering that either a win or a draw would ensconce the Houthis as “a new ‘southern Hezbollah’ on the Red Sea—mirroring the position of Lebanese Hezbollah on the Mediterranean—with a growing arsenal of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and drones capable of threatening the Suez Canal, the Bab al-Mandab Strait, the Gulf states, the Red Sea states, and perhaps even ‘Israel’”.

April 4, 2021 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

US foreign policy under Biden is a return to the ‘old normal’ – a continuation of subverting democracy abroad

By Tomasz Pierscionek | RT | March 18, 2021

Biden’s administration includes hawks from the Obama era and other disciples of imperialism. Despite the delusions of some progressives, Biden’s foreign policy is hardly a breath of air.

US President Joe Biden’s election heralds a return to business as usual, where Wall Street and large corporations dictate domestic policy whilst the State Department and Pentagon spearhead America’s imperialist ambitions abroad. The US establishment and its allies can cool their nerves. In contrast to Donald Trump, who was accused of instigating a right-wing mob to storm Congress and sabotage democracy at home, Joe Biden looks set to follow the US tradition of subverting democracy abroad.

Following Trump’s neglect of his NATO allies, Biden reaffirmed his commitment to the combative cold-war alliance. In January, Biden made his views clear during a telephone conversation with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, in which the former declared he was “totally committed to NATO.” A few weeks later Biden informed world leaders at the annual Munich Security Conference that “America is back” and followed with the usual adversarial stance towards Russia and China.

On Tuesday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a report blaming Russia for trying to influence the recent Presidential election and for eroding public confidence in the electoral process. On Wednesday, Biden declared during a television interview that “he will pay a price,” in reference to President Putin, whom he also accused of lacking a soul. At the same time, despite economic losses secondary to the Covid pandemic, this week NATO announced an increase in its spending for the sixth year running.

Earlier this month the Pentagon announced that Ukraine would receive a $125 million aid package, with another $150 million on the way if the nation makes “sufficient progress on key defense reforms this year.” Last week the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine’s website reported that four NATO ships had docked at the Black Sea port of Odessa and would perform training exercises with the Ukrainian Navy.

We can expect Ukraine’s former comedian-turned-president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to feel emboldened to reignite tensions on the border of Ukraine and the breakaway Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR/LPR) in the Donbass region. As journalist Eva Bartlett reported, Kiev’s shelling of civilians in DRP and LPR has intensified in recent weeks. Even before his election, Biden made no secret of his support for Belarus’ opposition and vowed to “significantly expand” sanctions. Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has since urged Biden and the West to make good on this promise.

Meanwhile, in Venezuela, despite repeated failures over the past couple of years to parachute self-declared ‘interim president’ of Venezuela Juan Guaido into the actual presidency, the Biden Administration does not intend to give up trying and is in “no rush” to lift the sanctions Trump implemented. Meanwhile the US continues trying to groom Guaido for the Venezuelan presidency, as shown by a recent telephone conversation he had with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Soon after taking office Biden ordered the bombing of alleged Iranian militia positions in Syria in order to send a warning to Iran, a move that was criticised by some Democratic members of Congress, who stated“Offensive military action without congressional approval is not constitutional absent extraordinary circumstances.” These lawmakers ought to also ask why the US continues to occupy Syrian territory without the nation’s consent – the US reportedly has 11 military facilities across Syria.

Contending with China, set to be the largest global economy by the end of the decade, is no trivial matter. Donors to Biden’s presidential campaign, such as Wall Street, Big Tech, major banks and Hollywood, all want a piece of the growing Chinese economic pie and would welcome a rapprochement. However, other factions of the US establishment have different ideas. In January Secretary of State Blinken declared in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: “Let me just say that I believe that President Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China…I disagree very much with the way that he went about it in a number of areas, but the basic principle was the right one, and I think that’s actually helpful to our foreign policy.”

Biden’s administration has spoken out against the International Criminal Court’s plan to investigate whether Israel has committed war crimes within the occupied Palestinian territories. According to a State Department spokesman, the US “will continue to uphold our strong commitment to Israel and its security including by opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly.” When it comes to Israel, no one expects a miraculous change in policy. Regardless of who sits in the presidential chair, unwavering loyalty to Israel is a prerequisite for holding the position.

Biden’s administration includes hawks from the Obama era and other disciples of imperialism. A return to the ‘Hope and Change’ era of President Obama, who bombed seven countries in six years and whose administration aided in the overthrow of a democratic government in Ukraine, is something the world could well do without.

It is going to be a long four years if the Biden administration tries to continue projecting waning US influence to all corners of the globe instead of allocating resources to a multitude of domestic problems. Ignoring significant socio-economic and health inequalities exacerbated by the Covid pandemic and lockdown can lead to the type of domestic instability and civil unrest that America has at times instigated abroad.

Tomasz Pierscionek is a medical doctor and social commentator on medicine, science, and technology. He was previously on the board of the charity Medact and is editor of the London Progressive Journal.

March 18, 2021 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Wars for Israel | | 1 Comment

Biden Regime won’t incentivize Iran to join JCPOA talks

Press TV – March 12, 2021

The US once again asserts that it will not offer any “incentives” to prompt Iran to rejoin talks with Washington on “mutual compliance” with a 2015 nuclear agreement it unilaterally left later, insisting that it is Tehran that has to take the first step.

“We will not offer any unilateral gestures or incentives to induce the Iranians to come to the table,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Thursday, Reuters said.

“If the Iranians are under the impression that, absent any movement on their part to resume full compliance with the [nuclear deal], … we will offer favors or unilateral gestures, well that’s a misimpression,” he added.

Under his signature “maximum pressure” policy against Iran, former American president Donald Trump withdrew Washington from a landmark nuclear accord between Iran and the P5+1 group of states – the US, the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany.

He then restored the economic sanctions that the deal had lifted. The US also began threatening third countries with “secondary sanctions” if they did business with Iran in defiance of the bans.

This is while the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has been ratified as a United Nations Security Council resolution, making both the US’s departure from the accord and its snapping the sanctions back into place unilateral and illegal.

Iran, in turn, began confronting the sanctions under Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei’s Resistive Economy directive.

It also started a number of nuclear countermeasures on the first anniversary of the US’s withdrawal in line with its rights under the deal to retaliate for the other side’s non-commitment. The Islamic Republic gradually increased its counteractions as Washington and its allies in the deal would continue to violate their JCPOA obligations.

Price suggested that Washington could consider step-by-step resumption of each party’s nuclear commitments only after Tehran returned to the negotiation table.

“If and only if Tehran comes to the negotiating table, would we be in a position, would we be prepared to discuss proposals that would help push both sides back on that path of mutual compliance to the deal,” he said. “Ultimately, that is where we seek to go: compliance for compliance,” the spokesman added.

Iran has, on the one hand, underscored that, unlike the US, it was never the party to leave the talks in the first place. On the other, it notes that the JCPOA is a done deal and does not need any renegotiation.

As its definitive stance on the issue, the Islamic Republic also emphasizes that it will only resume its full compliance with the deal once the US lifted all the sanctions, noting that the sanction relief process is Washington’s contractual duty and should take place without any preconditions.

March 12, 2021 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , | 1 Comment

How Israel is Shaping Biden’s Iran Policy

By Salman Rafi Sheikh – New Eastern Outlook – 09.03.2021

While Joe Biden the candidate wanted to quickly normalise relations with Iran and re-enter the JCPOA, Joe Biden the president has, as the developments that have happened so far, deviated from his stated course of action. To a large extent, Biden has appropriated Trump’s “maximum pressure” strategy and has refused to lift sanctions on Iran and simply make the US a part of the Iran nuclear deal. To a significant extent, this dramatic change in policy, while not completely surprising for the Iranians, is a result of the way Israel is pushing the Biden administration away from reconciliation and normalisation. In fact, a crucial reason for Biden’s appropriation of Trump’s “maximum pressure” strategy is the way the Israelis have very quickly implanted their own discourse vis-à-vis Iran in the mindset of the Biden administration. Echoing what the Israelis have been saying for years, Antony Blinken recently remarked that Iran was only “weeks” or “months” away from making a bomb. Although there is a huge difference between having the capacity to build a bomb and actually building and using a bomb, the US sees this [doubtful] proximity to building a bomb as a crucial factor that has made the Biden administration change its plans from re-joining the JCPOA to emphasising renegotiations. It has led it to refuse to lift sanctions.

The hard-line position that the Biden administration has taken feeds directly into the Israeli narrative. What Blinken said matches perfectly with what Israeli officials have also recently claimed. According to a recent assessment issued by Israel’s Militray Intelligence Directorate, “Iran may be up to two years away from making a nuclear weapon if it chooses to do so.” The report further says that Iran’s current enrichment level brings it closer to various “breakout” estimates about how quickly it could enrich uranium to 90%, and also begin to build better missiles and a weapons system that might lead to a nuclear weapon.

For Israel, therefore, it is of utmost importance that the US remains focused on the “violations” that Iran has committed by enriching uranium beyond the limits imposed by the JCPOA. A recent report of The Jerusalem Post thus sums Israel’s current approach. It says, “What is important for Israel is that the brinkmanship continue, and that Iran’s violations and Israel’s concerns continue to be recognized. For that to happen, it is also important for close US-Israel cooperation and discussion in order to prevent nuclear proliferation by the Tehran regime.”

The report refers to an IDF intelligence officer Maj.-Gen. Tamir Heiman who said in a briefing on the IDF assessment that Iran is at an unprecedented low point and is “battered, but on its feet,” following actions carried out by Israel and the US. Tehran is banking on the Biden administration for some breathing room. It is incumbent on the US – and Israel – to make sure that is not allowed to happen for nothing.”

Now, the fact that the Biden administration has refused to take a step back and lift its sanctions to pave the way for the US’ re-entry shows how closely the US and Israel are already coordinating their policies vis-à-vis Iran. The Biden administration’s announcement that the US would not re-join the agreement or even lift sanctions unless Iran halts enrichment dovetails perfectly with what Netanyahu had said just before the US elections. To quote him, “There can be no going back to the previous nuclear agreement. We must stick to an uncompromising policy of ensuring that Iran will not develop nuclear weapons.”

The Biden’s administration’s capitulation to Israel’s uncompromising policy vis-à-vis Iran has led Iran to stick to its own path. An official Iranian statement released on February 28 said that:

“the way forward is quite clear. The US must end its illegal and unilateral sanctions and return to its JCPOA commitments. This issue neither needs negotiation, nor a resolution by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Islamic Republic of Iran will respond to actions with action and just in the same way that it will return to its JCPOA commitments as sanctions are removed…”

The hardening of US and Iranian positions serves Israeli interests in the best possible way. An unresolved nuclear power tussle in the Middle East would keep Israel at the centre stage of regional politics. Given Israel’s recent rapprochement with the UAE and other Gulf states, tensions in the Gulf would not only reinforce Israel’s direct security ties with these Gulf states, but the scenario could very well make other Gulf states join The Abraham Accords. Tensions with Iran, therefore, could allow Israel to establish itself as the new regional hegemon.

Israel has already got supporters in the form of not only the UAE but Saudi Arabia as well. They have both stated that they would be open to a deal only if it went well beyond the previous one. According to them, any deal, in addition to putting limits on Iran’s nuclear program, must include provisions aimed at reversing Iran’s ballistic missile program, ending its “meddling” in other countries and the militias it supports in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere.

Israel, as it stands, is already leading the Gulf states in lobbying the US for an agreement that not only limits Iran’s nuclear program, but also curtails its national power potential in many other ways. As some reports in the US mainstream media show, the Mossad chief, Yossi Cohen, and a team of experts will soon travel to Washington to brief senior American officials about what they see as the threats still posed by Iran, hoping to persuade the US to hold out for harsher restrictions on Iran in any deal.

Iran, on the other hand, is unlikely to change its position vis-à-vis any new deal, especially the one that tends to force it into a virtual capitulation. China and Russia continue to support an unconditional US return to the JCPOA in exchange for Iran’s return to full compliance with the deal. An unconditional return “is the key to breaking the deadlock,” said Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry, in a recent news conference.

But “breaking the deadlock” is not what Israel and its allies in the Gulf are seeking to achieve. They are pushing the US to adopt a policy that keeps the deadlock alive unless Iran’s power and regional influence can be fully and permanently curtailed. For the Israelis, the path to Iran’s capitulation demands a US capitulation to Israel first so that they can shape the US policy in a way that best serves their interests. So far, the Israelis have been successful.

March 9, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Biden Extends Sanctions against Iran by One Year

Al-Manar | March 6, 2021

US President Joe Biden has decreed to extend the set of sanctions against Iran, which are in force since 1995, for another year, the White House press office announced.

“The actions and policies of the Government of Iran – including its proliferation and development of missiles and other asymmetric and conventional weapons capabilities, its network and campaign of regional aggression, its support for terrorist groups, and the malign activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its surrogates – continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States,” the statement reads.

“For these reasons, the national emergency declared on March 15, 1995, must continue in effect beyond March 15, 2021,” according to the statement.

The US national emergency state with respect to Iran was declared in March 1995 by former US President Bill Clinton.

March 6, 2021 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , | 2 Comments

Biden becomes the sixth successive President to bomb Iraqis: how far could this latest round of escalation go?

By Aram Mirzaei for The Saker | March 4, 2021 

Another president, another act of aggression. For the past few decades, it’s almost like a mandatory rite of passage for US presidents to bomb Muslim countries. I don’t think many of us are surprised to see that current US President Joe Biden turned out to be no different to his predecessors, when Washington once more bombed Iraqis last week.

Continuing the same policy of terrorism and humiliation from the Trump era, Washington felt the need to show strength against the Resistance forces on the Syrian-Iraqi border area. What angers me most, is not just the terrorist act of killing people who are fighting US occupation and US backed terrorism, but the fact that Washington cannot and will not recognize that there is a growing local resistance to Zionist hegemony, instead resorting to degrading and humiliating legitimate resistance groups such as Hashd al-Sha’abi of Iraq (PMU) or the Houthis of Yemen by labelling them “Iranian backed proxies”.

Everything and everyone that oppose Washington and Zionist hegemony in West Asia are “Iranian backed”. Whether it is a Houthi attack on a Saudi airport, a Taliban attack on a NATO convoy or a suspiciously random rocket attack on a US base in Iraq, it is always Iran’s fault and somehow the Islamic Republic must be held responsible for these attacks. Both Washington and the Zionist entity keep attacking Resistance forces in the very area where ISIS remnants have been re-emergent for the past months, claiming their right to self defense. Self defense?! America is more than 10,000 kilometres away. US troops are occupying Syrian and Iraqi territory and Washington claims the right to self defense? This narrative has been drilled into the minds of so many people in the West that nobody even reacts when one of the Obama gang’s old crude liars, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby was telling the press that Washington acted to “de-escalate” the situation when it bombed Resistance forces on the Syrian-Iraqi border.

What Kirby really meant by “de-escalation” was that he believes that Washington sent Iran and its allies a “clear message”, that messing with Washington is unwise. The sad part is that he and the other psychopaths in Washington actually believe that the so called “message” will in any way deter the Resistance forces in West Asia. It is pretty clear what the US is doing with these random attacks on the Resistance forces. Washington knows the realities on the ground and acts in response to them. In Syria, it has become clear for Washington that Damascus won’t fall, that dream came down crashing when Russia entered the war in 2015. So, Washington is acting to deny Syria and her allies their well deserved victory through the occupation and looting of eastern Syria. Washington will act for as long as it takes to starve the Syrian people into submission.

In Iraq, Washington, being well aware that the Iraqi parliament has voted to expel US forces from Iraq, is desperately seeking new reasons to prolong their occupation. Be it through the magical re-emergence of Daesh terrorists in Western Iraq or through suspicious Katyusha rocket attacks on US interests in Baghdad’s green zone, which are then blamed on the Iraqi Resistance forces without any kind of evidence presented, Washington is seeking to undermine the Iraqi parliament’s decision.

In Iraq, Washington has a foothold in Baghdad not seen in Syria’s Damascus. It is through this foothold that Washington wields influence over many Iraqi politicians and thus has the ability to cause great internal disunity and animosity among Iraqis themselves.

Washington has both great influence over the Kurds in northern Iraq and over the Prime Minister’s office. PM Al-Kadhimi is known to be a close associate of Washington’s and is suspected to be cooperating with the US to prolong their stay in Iraq. During his tenure, tensions between Baghdad and the PMU have run high as government forces have made random raids on the PMU headquarters, arresting some members even. Yet even more dangerous is the escalating tension between Washington and the PMU. On Wednesday March 3rd, a new rocket attack on the Ain Al-Assad military base was reported. This is the same military base that was struck by the IRGC last year in retaliation for Washington’s murder of martyrs Soleimani and Al-Muhandis. Previously the PMU had vowed revenge for Washington’s attack last week, which makes it rather obvious that Washington will blame the PMU for this recent strike.

With this latest round of escalation, one wonders what will happen next? Of course I’m just speculating but I see some real dangers with tensions running this high. I believe that Washington could very well seek to push Iraq into a new civil war in a bid to eradicate the Hashd al-Sha’abi. Many of the groups within the PMU have threatened to wage war on US forces if Washington refuses to withdraw. Unfortunately, this threat by the PMU can easily be exploited by the US, giving Washington a casus belli, as they intensify their “defensive” airstrikes while claiming to support Baghdad’s campaign to bring “stability” to Iraq. Such an endeavour could risk dragging several regional countries into the conflict as the Islamic Republic could be forced to intervene on behalf of the Iraqi Resistance forces. It is clear that Washington cannot and will not attack Iran directly, such an adventure would be too risky for the crazies in the White House and Pentagon. However, fighting “Iranian backed” forces and rolling back Iranian influence could serve to both solidify the continued US occupation of Iraq in the short term, and prevent the Resistance forces from achieving complete victory, in the mid-to-long term. In order to manufacture consent, Washington must portray their actions as both “defensive” and in service of “stability and peace”. Having others fight Washington’s wars for them is a speciality for the Empire. This is why I believe the most likely scenario to be one where Washington attempts to pit Baghdad against the PMU, then sweep in to “help” Baghdad “preserve stability”. This strategy has been used in different ways before by the Obama regime when it unleashed the Daesh terrorist group in Iraq, then claimed to fight the same terrorists it had armed and trained, in a bid to continue their occupation of Iraq and pressure pro-Iran PM Nouri Al-Maliki to resign. Obama then did the same thing in Syria with the support of Kurdish militants in a bid to pressure Damascus into concessions. Trump continued on the same path but went even further when his administration began using phony attacks on “US interests” in Iraq as a pretext for direct confrontation with the PMU, a path that ultimately led to the murder of Martyrs Soleimani and Al-Muhandis. The then-secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that Washington had acted to “stabilize” Iraq with the murder of these “terrorists” who were “hated among Iraqis”.

Iraq is key to the Resistance Axis and cannot fall into enemy hands. It is however also the most vulnerable of the countries where the Resistance forces are active, as not only does Washington have great influence over Baghdad, but also over the Kurdish autonomous region in the north.

Supporting Kurdish independence is another way that Washington could seek to attack the Resistance Axis. This can be seen in Syria as well where the Kurdish militants are acting as excellent proxy troops for Washington, occupying about a third of the country and helping US forces in the looting of Syrian oil. Kurdish parties also have excellent ties to the Zionist entity in Tel Aviv, as Zionist chieftain Netanyahu has on several occasions been a vocal supporter of Kurdish independence, often likening the Kurdish people’s cause with the Zionist one. The reactionary Kurdish parties, who are too ignorant and too greedy to understand and realize that they are being used as cannon fodder to further US imperial ambitions, will be more than happy to wage war on Syria and Iraq with US support behind them.

It’s been almost 10 years since the war in Syria began, and 18 years since the war in Iraq began, and still there seems to be no peace in sight for any of the Arab countries. Biden has been in office in less than two months, but in my opinion, the next four years seem to be rather clear in terms of Washington’s policies towards the West Asia region- the long wars will continue and more blood is to be expected. Bush bombed Iraq, [Clinton bombed Iraq, Bush Jr bombed Iraq,] Obama bombed Iraq, Trump bombed Iraq, and now Biden bombs Iraq. For our people, it never matters who or what occupies the White House, the bombings and wars will continue. Iraq has a rather young population, more than 60 percent of the population is under 25 years of age. This means that most Iraqis have known nothing else except the US imposed wars on their homeland. It is a tragedy and a shameful moment in human history where most people in the totally “advanced, civilized, democratic, morally superior” West don’t care about what their despicable governments are doing in Iraq or Syria, because they are stupid Muslim terrorists anyway. This is why Iraq cannot and should not rely on Western public opinion. Resistance is the only way, and the US Empire must be kicked out with force in order for Iraqis to finally have some peace.

March 4, 2021 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

American mouthpieces for Israeli regime had unrivaled access to Obama White House: Former Official

Press TV – March 2, 2021

A former senior US official has said some 20 American mouthpieces for the Israeli regime had unrivaled access to the White House during Barack Obama’s presidency, highlighting the close link between Israeli lobbies and the White House and Congress.

Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security adviser under Obama, said he had to meet with Israel lobbyists as much as all other interest groups combined.

He said there were 10 to 20 individuals who invariably took the position of the Israeli regime and were apparently scripted by the Israelis in some cases.

“You just have this incredibly organized pro-Israel community that is very accustomed to having access in the White House, in Congress, at the State Department. It’s taken for granted, as given, that that’s the way things are going to be done,” Rhodes said in an interview with US-based Foundation for Middle East Peace.

Rhodes said White House national security aides were expected to appear at the Israel lobby group AIPAC’s annual conference, but if they paid attention to Arab-American or peace groups, they could “get in trouble.”

The former Obama official said he was warned at times by members of Congress about the “acute” financial threat of taking on the lobby as the Israel lobby’s access was reinforced by “compliant media and Congress.”

Rhodes said the Biden team is forgetting the “history,” that Israel made life hell for Obama, when the Obama White House pretended that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu believed in a “two-state solution” when he never did.

He also recalled Netanyahu’s pressure by calling on “vast” rightwing media resources in the US.

“The media interest is dramatically intensified [on this issue]. And that’s both a very aggressive kind of pro-Likud media in the United States. It’s also just the mainstream media delights in any Israel controversies. Netanyahu knew that he could gin up the rightwing pro-Likud media in the United States, which is pretty vast, but he also knew that if he needled Obama he would create a week-long political story, because political reporters view Israel as a domestic political story, not a foreign policy issue.”

Regarding efforts to block anti-Israeli moves at the UN, the former Obama official said whenever there was an international incident like the Goldstone Report or the Turkish Flotilla,” you have to make sure that you’re doing everything that you can at the UN to kind of block this from going forward.”

On Iran, Rhodes said “by the way, it’s not as if anyone plans to “decenter” Jews! Today it is no coincidence that the top three officials in the Biden State Department — Tony Blinken, Wendy Sherman and Victoria Nuland — are all Jewish. These appointments are meant to reassure the Israel lobby of Biden’s support.”

“The same reason Obama hired Hillary Clinton as secretary of state in 2008 by reaching out to an Israel lobbyist to be the intermediary. The same reason that for many years all of the Treasury undersecretaries for counter-terrorism, enforcing Iran sanctions, were Jewish.”

March 2, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

Biden Digs Up the Hatchet

By Vladimir Danilov – New Eastern Outlook – 02.03.2021

Just one month has passed since the newly elected, 46th US President started his tenure in the White House, and he has clearly shown that his foreign policy strategy for the next four years is by no means dovish. Demonstratively renouncing the “era of the previous Republican president”, which was, incidentally, marked by the fact that Donald Trump was the only US president over the past thirty years who did not start any new wars, Joe Biden decided from his very first days to plunge the US – and the entire world – into the cold world of armed confrontation, something that was a trademark for the 44th US president, Democrat Barack Obama.

It is worth recalling how right when Barack Obama was about to leave office The American Conservative gave an objective assessment for this president (with whom Joe Biden had worked on the same team) who had undeservedly won the Nobel Peace Prize, emphasizing his particular love for the use of brute military force abroad: “Obama [is] … the only president to spend his entire tenure presiding over foreign wars… [T]he US has bombed at least half a dozen countries on his watch, and his administration has assisted other governments in laying waste to one of the poorest countries on earth.” According to Airwars data for that period, during 2014-2016 alone the United States carried out more than 9,600 air raids in Iraq, and about 5,000 in Syria, with dozens of thousands of civilians killed. And in the United States itself, many people died because of Obama’s policies, and therefore it was with good reason that WorldNetDaily back then emphasized that “Obama has been blithely watching coffins float by his entire presidency”.

Having understood from the example set by the 44th President of the United States that the Nobel Peace Prize can be won for efforts that are anything but peaceful, Joe Biden, using a specially chosen slogan: “America is Back”, in his very first days in office started to “intimidate” Russia and China, trying to show everyone “who is in charge in the world.”

Long-suffering Syria (primarily at the hands of the United States itself!) was chosen as the starting point of the “Biden-style” war saga, where the United States launched an airstrike on February 25 on a facility that may have belonged to the Iranian military. According to the American side, the airstrike was a response to a series of attacks that were carried out on US targets in Iraq.

As Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs John Kirby said, the United States executed precision strikes against targets run by pro-Iranian forces in Syria located along the border zone with Iraq. According to US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, the US military allowed the Iraqi side to “develop intelligence” for the operation, and encouraged them to do so. At the same time, Austin stressed that cooperation on the part of the Iraqi side greatly helped to clarify their goals. F-15 fighter jets were involved in executing the US strikes. In its report on Washington’s operation, Reuters emphasized that the order to launch the airstrike was personally given by the head of the White House, Joe Biden.

According to the monitoring group The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), at least three trucks with weapons and ammunition were destroyed in a strike by the US air force in eastern Syria, and at least 17 militants were killed. The militants themselves announced that one person was killed, and that several others suffered minor injuries. The Washington Post also reported on the deaths of people as a result of this airstrike, stressing that before this occurred no US representatives had spoken about eliminating terrorists, or that civilians could have died because of this airstrike.

This strike in Syria by the US Air Force is being fiercely debated in international circles. What was highlighted in particular was that, clearly guided by the “pieces of silver” from the US military-industrial complex that brought Biden to power, the new master in the White House used this attack on Iranian [backed] militias on Syrian territory in an obvious attempt to placate Israel and the Gulf countries, which are afraid of the new American administration sliding towards a pro-Iranian position.

There was emphasis placed on how the consequences of these actions by Washington could be an escalation of military confrontation across the region. Among other risks, what also stands out is the failure of the process charted out to normalize relations between Washington and Tehran on the nuclear deal.

In the telephone conversations between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad that took place immediately after the US airstrike on the Syrian-Iraqi border, the ministers pointed out the need for the West to adhere to the UN Security Council resolution on Syria, respect the sovereignty and independence of the Arab republic, and not to lend support to terrorist groups. In addition, they stressed their commitment to the process of settling the situation in Syria as agreed upon during the talks in Astana. The airstrikes that the US Air Force carried out in Syrian territory near the border with Iraq are a manifestation of “American aggression”, the state-run TV channel Al-Ikhbariyah Syria emphasizes. The Syrian government-run TV channel Al-Surya stressed that “the United States took aggressive action against Syria, attacking ground targets in the eastern Deir ez-Zor Governorate”.

As the chair of the Russian Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev pointed out, despite the fact that four states are involved in the situation – the United States, Iraq, Iran, and Syria – the United States is the only one overtly using military force, in violation of international law. According to him, the American authorities are again assigning themselves the right to “conduct an investigation, pass sentence, and execute it out of court.”

Discussing the airstrike on Syria carried out by the United States under the leadership of Democrat Joe Biden, even American observers (in particular, the conservative FOX News channel) highlight that his predecessor, Donald Trump, was criticized for taking the same actions by Jen Psaki, the current White House press secretary. For example, users pointed to Psaki’s Twitter post after the 2017 airstrikes, where she questioned the legitimacy of the attacks and stressed that Syria is a sovereign state, even if President Bashar al-Assad is a “brutal dictator.”

After the most recent airstrike, Psaki’s remarks were cited by both social media users and politicians in the United States. For example, Muslim House Representative Ilhan Omar posted a short response to an old Psaki tweet: “Good question.”

March 2, 2021 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , | 3 Comments

More Suggestions for Dealing with Israel

Recusal and banning dual nationality good places to start

By Philip Giraldi | Unz Review | March 2, 2021

My article last week that made some suggestions about what ordinary Americans can do to put pressure on Israel and on the lopsided bilateral relationship with Washington that has done so much damage to the United States proved to be quite popular. It also resulted in some comments by readers who saw other issues that might be considered pressure points that could be exploited to bring about change or at least to mitigate some of the damage.

Two areas that were mentioned a number of times were the possibility of recusing the most strident Israeli partisans from some discussions on Middle East policy and also refusing to issue security clearances to American government employees and politicians who are “dual national” citizens, which raises the issue of dual loyalty. Recusal is defined as removing oneself from participation to avoid a conflict of interest due to lack of impartiality while refusing to issue clearances would completely block dual national Israeli and other foreign citizens from having high level positions in the U.S. government.

Some would argue that recusal is an excessive punishment that will limit debate on a key foreign policy issue. It will also inevitably be perceived by the usual suspects as anti-Semitic since the only ones who would be excluded would be some Zionists, but they miss the point, which is that the current system does not in any way permit the review of a range of points of view on the Middle East since it is monopolized by Jews and friends of Israel. And there is a precedent. Not so long ago the U.S. State Department had an informal policy that discouraged the selection of Jewish ambassadors for Israel. The intent was to prevent any conflicts of interest and also to protect the ambassadors from inappropriate pressure. There also existed a cadre of so-called Arabists who dealt with issues in the Middle East alongside Jewish officers in the State Department. In the 1950s and 1960s a concerted effort was made by Jewish organizations and Congress to weed out the Arabists and currently nearly all the working level handling of policy formulation for that region is being done by Jews.

One might assume reasonably that the concentration of decision making in the hands of a partisan group, whether Arabists or Zionists, would inevitably not be in the U.S. national interest, and so it has proven if one looks at the shambles in the arc from Afghanistan over to Lebanon.

The following description of how the process actually works comes from Ben Rhodes, who is himself half-Jewish, and it describes the decision making on the Middle East during the administration of President Barack Obama where Rhodes served as Deputy National Security Advisor. During his time in office he observed how same 10 to 20 individuals who invariably took the position of the Israeli government were in on discussions of Middle East policy but if anyone in the White House paid attention to Arab-American or peace groups, they could “get in trouble.”

Rhodes observed that “You meet more with outside, organized constituency groups on Israel than any other foreign policy issue. I’d actually go as far to say that… as a senior White House official working on national security… the number of people you meet from the organized pro Israel community equals all the other meetings that you might do with kind of diaspora or constituency groups on all the other issues. It’s that degree of dwarfing. I’m pretty confident that’s consistent across [presidential] administrations…

“You just have this incredibly organized pro-Israel community that is very accustomed to having access in the White House, in Congress, at the State Department. It’s taken for granted, as given, that that’s the way things are going to be done… I remember looking around the situation room on a meeting on the Israel Palestine issue and every single one of us in the meeting was Jewish or of Jewish origin like me…”

The United States has many interests in the Near East, but if every move is seen through the optic of Israel the inevitable results will not be beneficial to Americans. So, if recusal, either voluntary or forced, is employed to obtain a better mix of opinion on policy options it can only beneficial. And it will also ipso facto loosen the overweening influence that successive Israeli governments have exercised over U.S. presidents and Congress.

Preventing individuals holding two passports from obtaining sensitive government jobs would also be a highly desirable step but it will be hard to execute in practice as the Israeli government does not make available lists of American citizens who have also taken up Israeli citizenship. Holding two passports was, in fact, illegal in the United States up until 1964. New citizens were required to turn in old passports and swear loyalty to the United States. Retention of former citizenship could be punished by the loss of the American citizenship.

Numerous online lists of dual Israeli-Americans in government circulate on the internet, but it is clear from the content that most of the compilations are speculative. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer describes himself as the “shomer” or protector of Israel in the Senate and appears on such lists. So too does former Congressman Tom Lantos, described as holocaust survivor and very active in his support of Israel. And then there is former Senator Frank Lautenberg was often described as the “Senator from Israel” and Senator Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania who tried to cover up the Jewish source of the enriched uranium that Israel stole to construct its nuclear weapon.

Protecting Israel sometimes includes bending the rules. Lautenberg, for example, was responsible for the “Lautenberg amendment” of 1990 which brought many thousands of Russian Jews into the United States as refugees, even though they were not in any danger and were therefore ineligible for that status. As refugees, they received significant taxpayer provided housing, subsistence and educational benefits.

One might also include Rahm Emanuel, former White House Chief of Staff and mayor of Chicago, who reportedly served as a volunteer in the Israeli Army, and Doug Feith, who caused so much mischief from his perch at the Pentagon in the lead-up to the Iraq War. Feith had a law office in Jerusalem, suggesting that he might have obtained Israeli citizenship. Obama Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro chose to live in Israel after his term in office ended and wound up working for an Israeli national security think tank. He quite likely obtained Israeli citizenship and never registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, as required by law. Both he and Emanuel are reportedly being considered by President Biden for major ambassadorial assignments.

But in reality, few in Congress and in the federal government bureaucracy are likely to have actual Israeli citizenship even if they regularly exhibit what amounts to “dual loyalty” sympathy for the Jewish state. Nevertheless, Jews who are Zionists are vastly overrepresented in all government agencies that have anything at all to do with the Middle East.

That said, there was one individual dual national who truly stood out when it came to serving Israeli interests from inside the United States government. She might be worthy of the nickname “Queen of Sanctions” because she was the Department of the Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (OTFI), who handed the punishment out and had her hand on the throttle to crank the pain up. She is our own, unfortunately, and also Israel’s own Sigal Pearl Mandelker, and it is wonderful to be able to say that she finally resigned in late 2019!

Mandelker was born in Israel and largely educated in the United States. She is predictably a lawyer. She has never stated how many citizenships she holds while repeated inquiries as to whether she retains her Israeli citizenship have been ignored by the Treasury Department. It is not clear how she managed to obtain a security clearance given her evident affinity to a foreign country. The position that she held until October 2019 was created in 2004 by George W. Bush and is something of a “no Gentiles need apply” fiefdom. Its officials travel regularly on the taxpayer’s dime to Israel for consultations and also collaborate with pro-Israel organizations like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD). Mandelker’s predecessor was Adam Szubin and he was preceded by David Cohen and, before that, by the office’s founder Stuart Levey, who is currently Group Legal Manager and Group Managing Director for global bank HSBC. Since its creation, OFTI has not surprisingly focused on what might be described as Israel’s enemies, most notably among them being Iran.

During her time in office, Mandelker, who predictably claims to be the child of “holocaust survivors,” was clear about her role, citing her personal and business relationship with “our great partner, Israel.” Referring to her office’s imposed sanctions on Iran, she has said that “Bad actors need money to do bad things. That is why we have this massive sanctions regime … Every time we apply that pressure, that crunch on them, we deny them the ability to get that kind of revenue, we make the world a safer place.”

So the answer is pretty clearly that there are Israelis and/or dual nationals working for the federal government and possibly also ensconced in the Congress. Refusing them clearances so they would not wind up in policy making jobs would be a good step forward, particularly if it is combined with recusal from policy planning for obvious partisan representatives of organizations dedicated to protecting Israel.

As a final observation, one might only suggest three additional bastions of “Israel-first” think that need to be assailed to permit any rational discussion of an appropriate U.S. role in the Middle East. They are the deeply flawed accepted holocaust narrative, which is used to grant Israelis and Jews special exemption due to their status as perpetual victims; the cynical use of the label anti-Semitism to silence critics; and the still undisclosed role of Israel in 9/11, which has never been adequately addressed. For more information, I would refer the reader to Norman Finkelstein’s The Holocaust Industry, Ron Unz’s American Pravda piece on Mossad Assassinations and Justin Raimondo’s book on 9/11 The Terror Enigma. They are all major areas of inquiry on which some new information has developed and are worthy of separate articles in the future.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

March 2, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , | 2 Comments

US Foreign Policy: War Is Peace

By Stephen Lendman | March 1, 2021

A permanent state of war on invented enemies is longstanding US policy.

It’s been this way throughout most of the post-WW II period.

Terror-bombing Syria last Thursday was one of many examples — escalating US aggression against the nation and people by Biden.

The Syrian Arab Republic threatens no one. President Assad is supported by most Syrians.

Yet Obama/Biden launched preemptive war on the country in March 2011.

US forces illegally occupy northern and southern areas.

The Pentagon and CIA use ISIS and likeminded jihadists as proxy forces to advance US imperial aims in Syria and elsewhere.

Washington under both right wings of its war party intends permanent occupation of the country.

Sergey Lavrov noted the diabolical scheme, saying:

Washington is “making the decision to never leave Syria, even to the point of destroying this country” — more than already he should have added.

Lavrov also stressed the US forces occupy “Syrian territory illegally, in violation of all norms of international law, including Security Council Resolutions on reconciliation in the Syrian Arab Republic.”

“They continue to play the separatism card.”

“They continue to block, using their levers of pressure on other states, any supply even of humanitarian aid, not to mention equipment and materials necessary to restoring the economy in the territories controlled by the government, and in every way possible force their allies to invest in territories outside Damascus’s control.”

“At the same time, they illegally exploit Syria’s hydrocarbon resources” by stealing them.

Longstanding US plans call for partitioning Syria and other regional countries for easier control.

According to former Global Policy Forum director James Paul, partitioning Syria “is the Israeli solution,” adding:

The Jewish state’s “overarching goal is to weaken every Arab state by bringing religion and ethnicity into the equation.”

The plan for Syria is partitioning it into Kurdish, Alawite and Sunni states.

Balkanization of Middle East countries is also longstanding US policy.

Regional expert Mahdi Nazemroaya earlier explained that “(r)egime change and balkanization in Syria is very closely tied to the objective of dismantling the ‘resistance bloc’ formed by Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, the Palestinians, and various Iraqi groups opposed to the US and Israel.”

US/NATO/Israeli regional aggression aims to achieve this objective — what failed so far and won’t likely fare better ahead, but continues anyway.

In cahoots with Israeli interests, Obama/Biden launched preemptive war on Syria in 2011.

For hardliners in both countries, the road to Tehran runs through Damascus.

Control over the Syrian Arab Republic is seen as a way to weaken and isolate Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

According to Algerian academic Abdelkrim Dekhakhena, Bush/Cheney’s 2003 aggression against Iraq “metamorphosed into an apocalypse that swept the core nations of the region.”

“Chaos and destruction” followed with no end of it in prospect.

Washington’s notion of democracy building is suppressing its emergence everywhere and eliminating it wherever it exists.

Endless US Middle East wars created instability and human misery.

US regional aggression is aided by ISIS and other terrorist groups — created by the CIA to advance Washington’s control over regional countries, their resources and populations.

According to Biden’s doublespeak through his press secretary Psaki — paid to lie for her boss — he OK’d escalated US aggression in Syria to “protect Americans (sic),” adding:

Further aggression will aim to “deescalate tensions.”

The above doublespeak mumbo jumbo defines Washington’s war is peace policy.

Endless US wars by hot and/or other means have nothing to do with democracy building, pursuing peace, or protecting Americans.

They have everything to do with advancing Washington’s diabolical imperial agenda that prioritizes unchallenged global dominance.

Psaki also defied reality by claiming that preemptive terror-bombing of Syria on Thursday underwent a “thorough legal process (sic).”

There’s nothing remotely legal about naked aggression in Syria or anywhere else.

A decade of US war against the Syrian Arab Republic and its long-suffering people perhaps will continue in perpetuity.

The same diabolical agenda continues in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Libya, along with war by other means against numerous invented US enemies — notably China, Russia and Iran.

Washington’s rage to dominate other countries by brute force defines what the scourge of imperialism is all about.

There’s no end of it in prospect.

Biden’s longstanding support for wars on invented enemies suggests further escalation of hostilities on his watch.

Confrontation by belligerence and other means will likely be prioritized over pursuing peace and cooperative relations with other countries.

It’s the diabolical American way — addicted to warmaking, abhorring peace and stability.

March 1, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 6 Comments