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US Treasury Dept imposes new Iran-related sanctions on 2 individuals and a company in Iraq

RT | June 12, 2019

The US Treasury Department announced sanctions on Wednesday against two Iraq-based persons and one company, for their alleged links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

Makki Kazim and Mohammed Hussein, along with the South Wealth Resources Company have all been hit with secondary sanctions, according to the Treasury Department website.

Secondary sanctions form a major part of US international statecraft, cutting off businesses and individuals from the US financial system and tarnishing their reputations with international businesses and banks. A number of measures can be enforced against targeted individuals, ranging from limiting their ability to do business in the US to prohibiting all US parties from conducting business with them.

June 12, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , | 2 Comments

Qatar rejects anti-Iran statements of Mecca summits

Press TV – June 3, 2019

Qatar says it rejects the anti-Iran statements of the recent Mecca summits as they had been prepared in advance without consulting Doha.

“The statements of the [Persian] Gulf and Arab summits were ready in advance and we were not consulted on them,” Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told the Al-Araby broadcaster.

“Qatar has reservations on the Arab and [Persian] Gulf summits because some of their terms are contrary to Doha’s foreign policy,” he added.

“We hoped the Mecca summits would lay the groundwork for dialogue to reduce tensions with Iran,” the top diplomat said in comments reposted on Twitter by his ministry.

“The Mecca summit ignored the important issues in the region, such as the Palestine issue and the war in Libya and Yemen,” he went on to say.

Qatar is not the first Arab state to reject the final statements of the emergency meetings in Mecca. Following the talks, Iraq also opposed the communiqué issued by the Arab participants.

Iraq, which maintains close ties with neighboring Iran and has strong ties with Washington as well, objected to the communiqué, which required “non-interference in other countries” as a pre-condition for cooperation with Tehran.

Iraqi President Barham Salih asked the gathering to support his country’s stability, arguing that rising tensions with Iran could cause war. He voiced hope that Iran’s security would not be targeted.

“We are watching before our eyes the escalation of a regional and international crisis which can turn into war that will engulf all. If the crisis is not managed well, then we will be faced with the danger of a regional and international confrontation which will bring tragedy to our countries,” Salih said.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is a Muslim country that is a neighbor to Iraq and Arabs. It is certain that we do not wish the security of Iran to be targeted. We share a common border that is 1,400 km long and a long history and relations, and it is also certain that the security of a fellow Islamic country is in the interest of Arab and Islamic countries. The region needs stability based on a mechanism of joint security that guarantees non-interference in internal affairs and the rejection of violence and extremism,” he added.

The statements mainly cited concerns about the recent sabotage attacks against several ships off the UAE. Both Saudi and Emirati officials have blamed the mysterious “sabotage” attacks on Iran while Iran has strongly denied any involvement, and offered to sign non-aggression pacts with the Persian Gulf Arab states.

Related:

Iran repeats offer on non-aggression pact with Arab states

June 2, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 2 Comments

Iraqis denounce rocket attack amid foul play suspicions

Press TV – May 20, 2019

Iraq’s Kata’ib Hezbollah, a major pro-government resistance group, says a rocket attack on Baghdad’s Green Zone Sunday night is “unacceptable” and against the country’s national interests.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack which came in the wake of back-to-back sudden decisions taken by the US recently, including its withdrawal of “non-essential” staff from Iraq.

Those measures have surprised many Iraqi leaders and politicians who have questioned Washington’s claims of stepped-up threats to American interests in the Arab country.

Jaafar al-Husseini, a spokesman for the pro-government militia Kata’ib Hezbollah, told reporters on Monday that the rocket attack was “unjustifiable” and contrary to Iraq’s national interests.

The Green Zone, a 10-square-kilometer area in central Baghdad, is home to Iraqi government offices and those of other foreign governments, including the United States.

Although the apparent Katyusha attack hurt no one and its target was not specified, Trump was quick to point the finger at Iran in a tweet, saying if Tehran wants a war, “that will be the official end of Iran.”

Trump’s hawkish national security adviser, John Bolton, also headed to the White House to discuss the rocket attack, according to media reports.

Kata’ib Hezbollah’s reaction came in the wake of the US having turned its attention to pro-government military groups which played a crucial role in defeating Daesh and other terrorist groups in Iraq.

Washington has commonly described the popular Iraqi forces as “Iran-backed proxies” despite being formally funded and incorporated into Iraq’s security forces.

Earlier this month, during an unannounced visit to Baghdad, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the Iraqi government to restrain popular mobilization and anti-terror forces, saying they posed a “threat” to US interests.

Western media reports said Washington had notified Iraqi officials that the US might even directly attack the groups without coordinating with Baghdad if it perceived any threat.

The US military also said its forces in Syria and Iraq were ordered to stay vigilant over fears of “imminent threats” from what it called Iran-backed forces in the region.

Speaking to reporters last Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi made it clear that Iraq had not observed “movements that constitute a threat to any side.”

Over the past few days, the US has put its political staff in its Baghdad embassy as well as in the American consulate in the Iraqi city of Erbil on high alert without a viable reason.

American energy giant Exxon Mobil also pulled its foreign workers out of West Qurna 1 oil field in Iraq’s southern province of Basra, a move Iraq’s Oil Minister Thamir al-Ghadhban called “unacceptable and unjustified.”

‘US stirring tension in Iraq to score negotiation points’

Iraqi political analyst Wathiq al-Hashimi said Sunday that Washington was building up a tension about the security situation in Iraq in order to drive a wedge between the Arab country and Iran.

He said in an interview with China Central Television (CCTV) that the recent measures by the US in Iraq were meant to send Iran a clear warning following high-profile visits to Baghdad by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

“Presidents of the US and Iran and foreign ministers of the two countries previously visited Iraq in a row. Now the US sends a warning signal to Iran that it is going to do something,” Hashimi said.

Trump caused outrage among Iraqi people and officials by suggesting during and after his Christmas trip to the country that he would use Iraq as a platform to “watch” Iran and take action against it if necessary.

The US has recently raised the stakes in its so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran. Washington sent a carrier strike group as well as strategic B-52 bombers to the region in a “clear warning” to Tehran.

The deployment came days before several oil tankers were mysteriously “sabotaged” off the UAE emirate of Fujairah last week.

While dismissing US brinksmanship as a psychological warfare, Iranian officials have made it clear that such maneuvers will not coerce Tehran into negotiations with the United States.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said last week that Tehran would not negotiate with the United States on another nuclear deal and such talks would be “poison”.

May 20, 2019 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism | , , | 1 Comment

US orders departure of non-emergency employees from Iraq

Press TV – May 15, 2019

The US State Department has ordered the departure of non-emergency government employees from Iraq, following Washington’s repeated expressions of concern about so-called threats from Iran’s allies in the Arab country.

The State Department ordered the pullout of the employees from both the US Embassy in Baghdad and its consulate in Erbil, the embassy said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Normal visa services at both posts will be temporarily suspended,” it said, recommending that those affected depart as soon as possible.

“The US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Iraq,” it added.

It was unclear how many staff members would leave.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced trip to Iraq on Tuesday, pressing Iraqi leaders about what he alleged were the increased dangers to Americans there from Iranian forces and their allies.

Despite this, the British general overseeing the so-called US-led coalition forces in Syria and Iraq has asserted that there has been “no increased threat from Iran” amid the US military buildup in the Persian Gulf.

British Major General Chris Ghika said at a Pentagon news briefing Tuesday that the coalition has seen “no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces” in the two countries.

The coalition has observed “no change in their posture since the recent exchange between the United States and Iran and we hope and expect that that will continue… We don’t see an increased threat from them at this stage,” Ghika told reporters.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said on Tuesday he was getting indications from talks with both the United States and Iran that “things will end well” despite the rhetoric.

The administration of US President Donald Trump has been ratcheting up economic and military pressure on Iran.

The US has deployed a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East to confront what the Trump administration claims are “clear indications” of threats from Iran.

May 15, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

Iraq rebuffs US demand to stop Iran energy imports

Press TV – May 7, 2019

Iraq’s Electricity Minister Luay al-Khateeb says his country brushed aside US demands that Baghdad stop gas and power imports from neighboring Iran.

Khateeb, whose remarks were quoted by Iraqi media on Monday, did not say whether the Americans had made the demand after ending waivers for exports of crude oil from Iran this month.

US pressures on Iraq to wean itself off Iran has become a major point of conflict between Washington and Baghdad. A lightening rod in their spat is Iraq’s reliance on Iranian gas imports to generate electricity consumed daily in the country.

Washington is pressing Baghdad to source them from other countries or develop its own energy self-sufficiency. Iraqi leaders say the country cannot stop Iranian gas imports without serious electricity shortages.

In their latest back and forth, Iraq told the Americans that it needed Iran gas imports for at least three more years, Khateeb said.

“Iraq now imports nearly 1,200 megawatts of electricity from Iran. It also imports gas from Iran to produce another 2,800 megawatts of electricity,” the Iraqi minister said.

“If in the next two to three years, large projects are implemented in the field of electricity generation, we can reach self-sufficiency and need no more imports,” he added.

Iraq has signed agreements with General Electric and Siemens over potential deals to develop the country’s power infrastructure.

Siemens had been favorite to win a contract to supply 11 gigawatts of power-generation equipment in a possible $15 billion deal, but the German group has to share the work with US rival after pressure from the Trump administration.

Washington is also pushing for Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti investment in Iraqi power infrastructure in order to reduce Iran’s trade share.

Without Iran, however, Iraq could lose around a third of its power overnight. The Arab country faces sweltering months ahead when the electricity shortage becomes acute.

The shortage sparked violent protests in southern Basra last September, which spread to other cities, including Baghdad.

Iran is also Iraq’s third-largest trading partner, with an estimated $12 billion in cross-border trade per year, and the countries share strong cultural, religious and geographic ties.

Last month, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi visited Iran for his first official visit since he took office and the two countries pledged to raise trade to $20 billion in two years.

Head of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hassan Montazer Torbati said this month that Iran is about to raise gas exports to neighboring Iraq to 35 million cubic meters a day this year.

“Last year we exported gas to Turkey, Baghdad and Basra with an average of over 40 million cubic meters a day, and this year, gas exports to Iraq will reach more than 35 million cubic meters per day,” he told a news conference in Tehran.

May 7, 2019 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | Leave a comment

US troops kill Iraqi policeman, injure two others while ‘transferring’ Daesh terrorists: Report

Police vehicle belonging to Iraqi police forces that were targeted by US forces in the country’s northern province of Kirkuk on April 25, 2019. (Photo via Alahad)
Press TV – April 26, 2019

American troops have killed an Iraqi policeman and injured two others while allegedly transferring a group of Daesh Takfiri terrorists in the country’s northern province of Kirkuk.

The incident happened after American troops were deployed to the region by helicopter in an attempt to airlift the terrorists to an undisclosed region, Iraq’s Alahad television network reported on Friday.

The operation turned deadly after US forces opened fire on an Iraqi police unit nearby. Iraqi forces had been monitoring the Daesh elements but were not informed of the US operation.

Iraq’s Joint Operations Command (JOC) later issued a statement announcing the formation of a committee investigating the incident.

During an interview with the Alahad, Iraqi law expert Ali al-Tamimi claimed the incident was a case of intentional murder that should be dealt with according to Iraqi law.

Tamimi stressed that based on mutual agreements, the military immunity of US forces expired after the 2011 withdrawal from Iraq.

The Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq group, a main component of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), later issued a statement describing the incident as a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.

The statement said that despite Washington’s claims that US military presence in the country is to provide military and logistical assistance to Iraqi forces, American forces have operated in the country at will and without coordination with Iraqi forces.

While circumstances surrounding the incident remain unclear, this is not the first incident where US forces have ‘airlifted’ Daesh terrorists to undisclosed locations. Many similar cases have also been reported in Syria.

US aircraft reportedly airlifted Daesh commanders from a northwestern town before the Syrian army staged an offensive to liberate it.

Daesh overran large swaths of Syria and Iraq in offensives beginning in 2014. The group was, however, militarily defeated by the governments of the two countries in the course of some four years.

Speculations have been made about Washington’s direct or indirect support for the terrorist group in the past years.

Numerous accounts have emerged alleging airlifts, weapon airdrops and aerial support for the group, especially as its strength gradually diminished in the region.

April 26, 2019 Posted by | War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Mideast States Join Iraq Summit in Blow to US-Led ‘Arab NATO’ Initiative

Sputnik – April 20, 2019

The summit marks a shift in Iraq’s foreign policy, with the country assuming the role of a mediator in the region as US President Donald Trump has revived the Obama-era concept of an anti-Iranian alliance of Gulf nations.

Iraq is hosting a one-day summit, which brings together the country’s neighbours: Syria, Turkey, Jordan, and Kuwait, as well as two long-time rivals – Saudi Arabia and Iran – in a blow to the US-led “Arab NATO” initiative, Press TV reported.

“This is a positive message to all neighbouring countries and the world that Iraq is determined to regain its health and return to its Arab, regional environment and assume its rightful place in the map of the balance of power”, Bashir Haddad, deputy parliamentary speaker said.

The development comes as US President Donald Trump breathed new life into the Obama-era initiative, “Middle East Strategic Alliance”, commonly referred to as “Arab NATO”, to forge an anti-Iran alliance of Gulf nations.

In 2017, the Trump administration suggested creating an alliance to stop what the US called Tehran’s “malign activities” in the Middle East.

The plan, first proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2017, was promoted by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who even met with Qatari officials last year in a bid to deescalate tensions between Doha and Riyadh to push the idea forward.

Aside from the US and Saudi Arabia, the so-called Middle East Strategic Alliance would hypothetically include the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan and Egypt to counter Iran, deepen defence relations, energy cooperation and deal with regional threats.  However, Egypt reportedly dealt the first blow to the proposal last week, having withdrawn from the initiative over concerns of damaging relations with Iran.

April 20, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 1 Comment

The Fall of Baghdad 16 Years Ago

By Eresh Omar Jamal | The Duran | April 13, 2019

Three weeks into the invasion of Iraq, coalition forces led by the US army entered Baghdad and formally occupied it on April 9, 2003. The city’s infrastructure was seriously damaged. The Al-Yarmouk Hospital in the south received about 100 new patients every hour at the time of fighting. And many treasures at the National Museum of Iraq—from ancient Mesopotamia and early Islamic culture—were stolen or broken while the Iraqi National Library and National Archives housing thousands of manuscripts from civilisations dating as far back as 7,000 years were burned down and many of its items destroyed.

Like it was an attack on the past, the invasion, from when it occurred, has also proved to be an attack on the future of civilisation. But to most Iraqis, that was obvious from the get-go.

In his eyewitness account of “liberated” Iraq in May 2003, Radio France Internationale’s Tony Cross recalled seeing daily protests against the Americans. Of witnessing western boys of 18-25 years-old standing with their tanks and advanced military equipment, looking fearful (and helpful sometimes) of the host population whose language none of them understood. The most interesting contradiction he points to was between the widely held believe among Iraqis that there was a Zionist-American plot to wipe out their history and subdue them through prolonged occupation, versus a 23-year-old US marine’s statement that, “I talked to a few Iraqis yesterday and some of them said that they didn’t really like us being here. But we liberated them, so I hope they appreciate it.”

Years later, ordinary people in the west still don’t understand the true nature of the horror that it brought to Iraq. In an April 2013 poll by ComRes supported by Media Lens, 44 percent of people estimated that less than 5,000 Iraqis had died since 2003, while 59 percent believed that fewer than 10,000 had died—out of 2,021 respondents. The more likely estimate, according to most independent sources, is in excess of one million.

In 2010, WikiLeaks’ disclosure of 391,832 US army field reports of the Iraq War from 2004 to 2009 exposed that the army itself recorded 109,000 deaths among which 66,081 were civilians. Aided by these documents, Iraq Body Count, which has compiled the most comprehensive record of deaths caused by the war, confirmed the death toll to have exceeded 150,000 in 2010 with roughly 80 percent of them being civilians.

The leaks moreover revealed information about the torture of Iraqis, including by British forces. Adding to the worldwide condemnation that followed Seymour Hersh’s disclosure on the gruesome and humiliating torture carried out by American soldiers on Iraqis in Abu Ghraib. In his 2004 report published by The New Yorker, Hersh had earlier shed light on a 53-page report by Major General Antonio Taguba, who wrote that “between October and December of 2003 there were numerous instances of ‘sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses’ at Abu Ghraib.” That included: “Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape; allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell; sodomising a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick, and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee.”

Such brutality naturally created resentment. And that resentment could just as well have inspired the formation of forces such as ISIS and their ferocious treatment of those they saw as their enemy or opponent.

Yet, it was as if no lessons were learned by western governments. Who used the same blueprint of exploiting lies and deceptions to concoct new wars. In the case of Syria, by fostering tensions between Shiites and Sunnis, to cause its government to overreact by increasing paranoia of an imminent coup, and use that to get Islamic extremists to act against the Syrian government.

And also in Libya, through similar destabilising efforts, followed by more direct intervention which overthrew its government and created a quagmire in what was the wealthiest country in all of Africa before the 2011 NATO intervention—a country where less people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands, where there is now a thriving slave market according to the UN.

As former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi warned prior to him being overthrown by NATO—and sodomised with a bayonet and killed by extremist forces on live television—without a unified and stable Libya, there would be no one to control countless migrants from Africa and the Middle East from fleeing to Europe. And that is exactly what happened since, turning American political scientist Samuel Huntington’s theory of Clash of Civilisation now into near reality.

So what should we make of the fall of Baghdad 16 years ago, or the broader invasion and destruction of Iraq, which by now has clearly turned out to be one of the most important events of the 21st century?

One, that greed for power often causes leaders of powerful countries to lie their citizens into waging wars against less powerful nations. And given the nature of modern weaponry, those wars are now costlier in terms of destroying human lives than ever.

Two, this is especially true for democracies, where, as Julian Assange explains, “wars are a result of lies”—lies such as Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, Gaddafi is providing Viagra to his soldiers to rape women, Assad is attacking unarmed Syrian civilians, etc., all of which have now been proven untrue.

Third, had these lies been exposed early enough, there is a chance that all these wars could have been avoided, and millions of lives spared. However, as most mainstream media outlets became the “stenographer of great power”, as John Pilger describes it, opting to spread lies and propaganda, rather than tell truth to the public and report the facts, the exposure of these lies came too late.

Fourth, the public has entered a state of mind where they can repeatedly be lied into wars. Where through some form of mental gymnastics, they seem to convince themselves time and again that: “this time they are taking us to war for humanitarian reasons, not for greed or for power.” Giving the impression that they are suffering from some sort of mass mind-control. Which is the ultimate goal of propaganda.

That is why it is so important for alternative sources to inform the public about the true nature of wars. To record and reveal the real history of events that shape our world and to counter propaganda with facts. Because if we are to learn anything from the Iraq War and its subsequent events, it is that: “If wars can be started by lies, peace can be started by truth.”


Eresh Omar Jamal is a member of the editorial team at The Daily Star, Bangladesh. His Twitter handle is: @EreshOmarJamal

April 13, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

Iran, Iraq and Syria considering transnational railway project: Report

Press TV – April 13, 2019

Iraq says negotiations are underway with Iran and Syria to develop a transnational railway line linking the three countries.

Iraqi Republic Railways Company chief Salib al-Hussaini said a summit will be held between the countries to further discuss the matter, the Arabic-language al-Sumeria news website reported on Friday.

The comments made on the sidelines of the joint Syrian-Iraqi committee held in Damascus came a week after Iranian First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri spoke of an initiative to link the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean.

“We will connect the Persian Gulf from Iraq to Syria and the Mediterranean via railway and road,” said Jahangiri, making reference to the construction of a railway linking the Iranian Shalamcheh border region to the Iraqi city of Basra.

The Shalamcheh-Basra railway project is estimated to cost 2.22 billion rials and can link Iran to Syria via Iraq.

Speaking last December, Director General of the Railway and Technical Structures Department at the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (RAI) Mohammad Mousavi said Iran was planning to build a movable railway bridge over the Arvand river as part of the Shalamcheh-Basra project.

Mousavi said the project would effectively link the Iranian cities of Khorramshahr and Abadan along with the Imam Khomeini Port to the Iraqi city.

The railway project was agreed to last month when Iran and Iraq signed five memorandums of understanding for the expansion of bilateral cooperation in various economic and healthcare sectors.

Observers have described the new agreements as a sign of Baghdad’s serious intention of not being “party to the system of sanctions against Iran” as Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi said earlier in February.

Iraq heavily depends on Iran for everything from food to machinery, electricity, natural gas, fruits and vegetables.

Last year, Iran exported $8.7 billion worth of commodities to Iraq, overtaking Turkey with $7.3 billion of exports.

President Hassan Rouhani said last week that Iran and Iraq had plans to expand bilateral trade volume to $20 billion in the future.

Iran and Syria also signed a series of “historic” agreements earlier this year, including a “long-term strategic economic cooperation” deal described as a sign of changing realities in the Middle East.

Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis said the “historic” agreements covered cooperation in fields of industry, trade and agriculture. He called the agreement “a message to the world on the reality of Syrian-Iranian cooperation.”

Iraq and Syria have been expanding political and economic ties with Iran as they seek assistance in the post-war reconstruction of their countries which had large swathes of their territories overrun by foreign-backed terrorist outfits in the past years.

Iran has been offering military advisory support to Iraq and Syria at the request of their governments, enabling their forces to speed up gains on various fronts against the terrorist groups.

April 13, 2019 Posted by | Economics | , , , | 1 Comment

Iran, Iraq ‘agree on aerial defense cooperation’

Press TV – April 7, 2019

Iran’s top military commander says the country and its neighbor Iraq have agreed to cooperate in the area of air defense to fend off the challenges facing their respective air spaces.

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri made the announcement to reporters following a meeting in Tehran with his visiting Iraqi counterpart, Lieutenant General Othman al-Ghanimi, Tasnim News Agency reported on Sunday.

The cooperation, Baqeri said, will be aimed at confronting aerial threats.

The meeting addressed “the integrated defense of Iran and Iraq’s skies, because we might sense threats coming from the direction of [our] western borders,” he added.

“Accordingly, it was agreed that the countries’ air defense sectors work together and more coordination be made in this regard,” the Iranian commander said.

Baqeri said the two sides also agreed on potential training cooperation, the transferring of Iran’s defensive experiences to Iraq, and joint military exercises. Agreements on these, he added, will be finalized during a future visit by the Iraqi military chief.

Ghanimi was in the Iranian capital as part of a delegation accompanying Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi. On Saturday, the delegation met with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani.

Baqeri cited the Iraqi commander as saying that Baghdad would be exercising stricter control on the United States’ military presence on its soil.

The American forces are only there to train Iraqis and their activities are under the Iraqi Army’s oversight, Baqeri added, citing al-Ghanimi.

In his meeting with Ghanimi, Ayatollah Khamenei had stressed that the Iraqi government should make sure that US forces leave Iraq as soon as possible.

April 7, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 1 Comment

Kill Them Over There, Not Here, Please.

By Jeremy Salt | American Herald Tribune | March 20, 2019

All of us must stand against hatred in all of its forms. – Barrack Obama

Israel mourns the wanton murder of innocent worshippers – Benjamin Netanyahu

White supremacist terrorism must be condemned by leaders everywhere – Hillary Clinton

People of all faiths must condemn these attacks and call out those who encourage Islamophobia. – Madeleine Albright

These are excerpts from some of the messages of condolence sent to New Zealand by ‘world leaders’ after the Christchurch massacre. There is no point in giving more names because all politicians and public figures would say the same, as they should, given the monstrosity of the crime.

Obama, Netanyahu, Clinton, and Albright have been chosen because they have been responsible for acts of murder infinitely greater than the slaughter of 50 Muslims in New Zealand.

The victims of their crimes and the crimes of their political predecessors in the past three decades run into the millions. Brenton Tarrant terrorized Muslims in two mosques in one country. They have terrorized Muslim populations in a number of countries. He has violated New Zealand law. They have violated international law. He will be punished but they never are.

Obama, Netanyahu, Clinton, and Albright have never uttered a word of remorse for the crimes they have committed. Not once has the head of any western government expressed regret for the millions of people killed in Muslim countries over the past three decades, not with Brenton Tarrant’s semi-automatic firearms, but bombs, missiles, and tank fire or, in the case of Syria, with the armed gangs set loose like attack dogs.

When asked whether she thought the ‘price’ paid for the first Gulf War (1991) and the decade of sanctions that followed, which took the lives of 500,000 children, was worth it, Madeleine Albright replied: ‘We think the price is worth it.’

For these governments and politicians, the price is always worth it as long as someone else pays. Even now there is nothing but estimates of how many Iraqis were killed or died as a result of the two wars launched against their country but the figure hovers around three million since 1991.

On top of this are the millions of wounded, many disabled for life, and the children born with deformities because of the use of uranium-depleted weapons.

Senior UN officials described the war and decade of sanctions against Iraq as genocide. No horror was expressed in the media for the enormous crimes that had been committed almost wholly against Muslims, men, women, and children as innocent as Brenton Tarrant’s victims.  Except on the margins, no demands were ever made for those responsible to face justice.

Every Tuesday Obama sat in his office and signed the death warrant for Yemenis or Somalis targeted in drone missile strikes that were totally illegal under international law. Thousands have been killed in these attacks, many if not most of them civilians, men, women and a lot of children. They are all Muslims. Did any of the politicians sending condolences to New Zealand and condemning terrorism ever bend their heads in shame at the killings in Yemen or Somalia and demand moral accountability and legal responsibility?

Has even one of them condemned Benjamin Netanyahu for the crimes committed against Muslims in Palestine, for the massacres of the innocent by sniper fire, missile strike, and artillery fire? Is the killing of Muslim children somehow different in New Zealand and Palestine?

After the destruction of Libya, Hillary Clinton laughed when told Muammar al Qadhafi had been killed, most brutally. This was her war, Obama’s war, a war of deceit that was carried on for seven months, destroying the most developed country in Africa and killing thousands. They were all Muslims. What else did Libya represent but Clinton’s ‘white supremacist terror,’ the same terror that has been delivered across the Muslim world by western governments for the past 200 years.

In Syria an estimated half a million people have been killed in a war orchestrated by western governments and their regional ‘allies.’ Their weapons of choice, the terrorist groups they have armed and financed, have assassinated, massacred and slaughtered in every way possible, thinkable and unthinkable.

Nearly all of their victims have been Muslims. In the face of this slaughter their paymasters, procurers, and enablers have remained morally mute, save for trying to blame the Syrian government for the war they initiated.

Over decades these enormous crimes have forced millions of people out of their wrecked countries. They have fled in all directions. Many have drowned in the Mediterranean trying to reach the presumed safety of Europe. Boats headed in the direction of Australia, only to be turned back at sea or for the desperate people they were carrying to be locked up in ‘detention centers’ if they managed to slip through. Many sank and many men, women, and children drowned.

Australia was a willing participant in the wars that destroyed their homes yet refused them entry, abusing them as ‘queue jumpers.’ They were locked up behind razor wire in the middle of the desert so the Australian people could not see them and feel sorry for them. All were Muslims and many were children, treated as cruelly as the adults.

No matter how many millions of innocent people are killed in the Middle East, the designation of terrorist is reserved for Brenton Tarrant or the Islamic State, not for the western governments and the gangs they and their regional allies have employed in Syria to do their dirty work.

The same media that has covered up the monstrous crimes committed against Muslims in the Middle East can now talk of nothing else but the danger of white supremacists, not the far greater danger that Muslims around the world have always faced from western governments.

Brenton Tarrant, the Islamic state, Israel, the US and its ‘allies’ and the armed groups they are sponsoring in Syria are all joined at the hip. Terror is terror whether state or individual. Brenton Tarrant now has to face the consequences of what he has done. The politicians who have destroyed Middle Eastern countries don’t.

There is a law for Brenton Tarrant. There is no law for the politicians. Tarrant will be jailed for life for the murder of 50 Muslims. Politicians responsible for the deaths of millions of Muslims never seen the inside of a jail.  We have a system of international law but only in theory. In practice, when the massive crimes of the powerful are involved, it does not work. It is broken.

Claud Cockburn (father of Patrick) called the 1930s the ‘devil’s decade.’ The devils were human, of course: nationalist socialists and fascists destroying Spain, Italian fascists poison- gassing Ethiopians and Japanese fascists slaughtering Chinese. Now, since the 1990s, we have had nearly three devil’s decades.

Today’s western liberal democracies – as they are called – are doing exactly what the fascists did in the 1930s. Instead of Spain, we have Syria. Instead of Guernica, we have hadFallujah. Country after country has been destroyed by these liberal democrats in their grey suits and pastel ties. Do they really need to wear black or brown uniforms for people to recognize them for the killers that they are?

In their pursuit of power, they have no more respect for international law than the fascists and national socialists did in the 1930s. They have no respect for human life over there.

Yet when it comes to the killing of Muslims over here, they, and their outliers in the media are shocked, appalled and outraged at this senseless act of terror. Brenton Tarrant is a sick, depraved and twisted individual but so is Benjamin Netanyahu and so are the politicians responsible for the deaths of millions of Muslims in distant countries. Over there, not here, and that is what counts.

March 21, 2019 Posted by | Islamophobia, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

Iranian official rejects US secretary of state’s ‘fabricated’ allegations

Press TV – March 14, 2019

A senior Iranian official has dismissed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent claims about Iran’s regional role as “fabricated,” saying the United States practices fear-mongering in order to sell more arms to the countries in the region.

“Certain US officials, influenced by the Zionist lobby, have been making utmost efforts to intoxicate the atmosphere against Iran,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Thursday.

In a meeting with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday, Pompeo expressed concerns over what he called Iran’s “destructive and disruptive activities” across the Middle East region.

Qassemi said US officials were making up allegations against Iran in order to sustain an appearance of crisis in West Asia and thus increase American arms sales to the region.

The Iranian official also censured remarks made by Pompeo in the CERAWeek conference — an annual US oil and gas industry forum — regarding relations between the Islamic Republic and Iraq.

Addressing the conference in Houston on Tuesday, Pompeo had said, “Iran uses its energy exports to exert undue influence all across the Middle East, most particularly today on Iraq.”

Qassemi said Pompeo was angered by the close relations between Iran and Iraq.

“The relations between Iran and Iraq have been established totally based on the will of the two countries’ leaders and nations and [have been] based on mutual respect and trust and shared interests,” he said, adding that neither of the two countries was seeking to impose its will on the other.

On Monday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani traveled to Iraq at the head of a high-ranking delegation. The state visit featured several meetings between President Rouhani and Iraq’s top leadership, and the signing of memorandums of understanding for the expansion of bilateral ties in various fields, including the energy sector.

On Wednesday, President Rouhani traveled to the Iraqi city of Najaf to meet with senior religious leaders there, including most prominently with Iraq’s top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Rouhani was the first Iranian president ever to meet with Ayatollah Sistani, signifying the depth of bilateral relations between Tehran and Baghdad.

Qassemi, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, pointed to the deep-rooted relations between Iran and Iraq and said the two countries had stood by each other during “tough times.”

Earlier, US President Donald Trump had made an unannounced and very brief trip to Iraq in the dark of the night and landed at a military base where he only met US soldiers and no Iraqi officials before he left the country.

March 14, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment