‘NYT’ report on stalled Iran deal talks hides Israel’s ongoing sabotage effort

  

It could have been written by Israel’s propaganda apparatus.

The Times whitewashes Israel’s efforts to sabotage the agreement, including by sponsoring murderous attacks inside Iran.

The paper quotes two “experts” without disclosing their pro-Israel bias, while ignoring others who could have told its readers the truth.

Additional slants further distort what is actually happening.

The danger here is far greater than misinformed Times readers.

For years, Israel has been trying to lure the U.S. into attacking Iran, supposedly to damage its nuclear program, a dangerous provocation that sober military experts, including Israelis, say would be ineffective but could lead to another war in the Mideast.

The word “Israel” appears only once in today’s 33-paragraph Times report, and then only in passing.

There’s zero mention of the most recent assassination of an Iranian official inside the country, last month.

Israel is suspected of long carrying out or sponsoring a campaign of sabotage, including the November 2020 killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the head of Iran’s atomic energy program. 

Here’s a friendly suggestion to the U.S. State Department: If you are in the middle of delicate negotiations with an adversary, it’s probably not a good idea to allow your ally to murder their citizens and to sabotage their economy.

In today’s article, the Times’s selection of outside experts to quote is comical.

First, Mark Dubowitz, who heads the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which the paper identifies merely as “a think tank that takes a hard line against Iran’s government.”

In fact, the FDD is a front for Israel. By citing it, the Times promotes Israel’s views, while keeping the actual connection hidden. The paper gave Dubowitz a couple of paragraphs to opine.

The paper also handed 3 paragraphs to Dennis Ross, “a Middle East negotiator who has worked for several presidents.”

Veteran Mideast watchers will laugh out loud.

Ross is widely known as the most pro-Israel of all the professional peace processors, and is sometimes called “Israel’s lawyer,” even though he was supposedly employed by the United States.

Meanwhile, there’s no shortage of genuine experts with alternative views about the Iran deal negotiations, including distinguished Iranian-Americans like Trita Parsi and Sina Toossi.

They aren’t hiding, but somehow the Times reporters couldn’t find their phone numbers. (The website for the organization Responsible Statecraft regularly includes valuable comment from them and others.)

There’s more distortion.

The Times does blame Donald Trump for withdrawing from the nuclear deal, but then adds, “After Mr. Trump quit the deal and reimposed sanctions, Iran began violating its terms.”

The words “after” and “began” are doing a lot of extra work there.

Trump pulled the U.S. out in May 2018. Iran continued observing the agreement’s provisions for more than another year, until July 2019.

Then it waited another year, until May 2020, to start enriching uranium beyond what the deal permitted. 

Again, more is at stake here than merely a misled New York Times readership.

Powerful elements within Israel, a country that is ostensibly America’s ally, are trying to trick us into conflict with Iran, a fight that is in no way in our national interest. 

If it breaks out, readers of the most influential newspaper in the country will have no idea why.

State Dept: Despite ‘Setbacks’, Iran Deal Could Be Reached in Days…

For weeks now, the return to the P5+1 Iran nuclear deal has seemed potential any day, and the US State Department is saying that’s still the case, that progress is being made through difficult issues.

The story has been consistent all month, that the deal is imminent, but that some single obstacle has come forward that might slow things up.

The State Department conceded that there have been “recent setbacks,” but that a deal could still happen “within days.”

Terms of the deal are not public, but are built around the 2015 version.

The biggest issue is opposition from Senate Republicans, with 49 of them opposed to the deal despite not having seen the terms yet.

International questions, particularly surrounding the US sanctions on Russia, seem to be getting resolved with a US promise not to sanction any Russian nuclear obligations that arise from the Iran deal.

China and Russia roll out new global financial system

The Eurasian Economic Community (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan + Armenia for certain provisions) and China will create a new global economic and financial system, the foundations of which they will set at the end of March 2022.

This new system should have a reference currency whose rate would be established from a basket of currencies of the founding Member States (therefore dominated by the Chinese yuan).

Say Hello to Russian Gold and Chinese Petroyuan-

It was designed by Sergey Glazyev (photo) and is intended to replace the Bretton Woods system, after Russia’s exclusion as part of the “sanctions” for its operation against the Ukrainian banderites [1].

The emergence of two competing economic and financial systems should bring globalization to a halt and divide the world in two.

Factory of falsehoods

Moshé Machover slams the hypocrisy of an Israeli aggressor state demanding sympathy as a victim state

6.01.2022

At the time of writing, the outcome of the Vienna talks about restoring the Iran nuclear deal – the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), preventing Iran from achieving nuclear weapon capability1 – is hanging in the balance.

Should we believe persistent news reports of an ‘unbridgeable gulf’ between the positions of the US (which withdrew from the deal during the Trump presidency) and Iran? Perhaps.

But they could just reflect bargaining postures, as often happens in hard negotiations, which seem to be at the precipice of breakdown before a last-minute agreement.

One thing is sure: Israel, the kibitzer in this political poker game, is doing all it can to prevent any real rapprochement between its US patron and the Iranian bête noire.

Preserving

What are Israel’s real concerns?

Israeli propaganda repeatedly claims that Iran is aiming to achieve capability to produce nuclear weapons, because it intends to annihilate Israel.

Here is a typical example, from an address by prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu at Yad Vashem on Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 15 2015:

Just as the Nazis aspired to crush civilisation and to establish a ‘master race’ to replace it in controlling the world, while annihilating the Jewish people, so too does Iran strive to gain control over the region, from which it would spread further, with the explicit intent of obliterating the Jewish state.

Iran is advancing in two directions: the first is developing the ability to arm itself with nuclear weapons and accumulate a stockpile of ballistic missiles; and the second – exporting the Khomeinist revolution to many countries by heavily using terrorism and taking over large parts of the Middle East.2

This is, of course, sheer nonsense. Iran has neither the intention nor the ability to ‘obliterate’ Israel.

Allegations to the contrary are figments of hasbarah, Israel’s efficient factory of falsehoods.

True, Iranian leaders have occasionally expressed the hope that the Zionist regime would collapse and disappear.

But this is wishful thinking rather than a threat that Iran was going to initiate military action to bring about the demise of Israel, as claimed by the Israel-friendly media.

The most notorious instance of this deliberate falsification involved a statement made on October 26 2005 by Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

He was quoting the Islamic Republic’s first leader’s expectation that “this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time”.

This was widely misrepresented as a threat to “wipe Israel off the map”.3

Moreover, even if Iran achieves “the ability to arm itself with nuclear weapons”, it would pose no existential danger to Israel.

This was emphatically pointed out by Ephraim Halevy, a former chief of Mossad (Israel’s counterpart of the CIA and MI6).

Addressing a conference held in February 2008 in Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies,

Ephraim Halevy slammed Israeli political leaders for calling Iran’s nuclear threat ‘an existential threat’.

“There is something wrong with informing our enemy that they can bring about our demise,” Halevy said.

“It is also wrong that we inform the world that the moment the Iranians have a nuclear capability there is a countdown to the destruction of the state of Israel.

We are the superpower in the Middle East and it is time that we began behaving like [a] superpower,” he said.4

Of course, Israel is not indifferent to the prospect of Iran achieving nuclear weapon capability.

But its concern is not fear of being ‘obliterated’; rather, it is worry about any erosion, however slight, of its position as hegemonic regional superpower.

This position depends, among other factors, on its being the only Middle Eastern state possessing a nuclear arsenal,5 as well as the only one that has refused to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

It is by far the most aggressive, expansionist state in the region, operating a prolific policy of assassinations;6 frequent, widely reported bombings in Syria and Lebanon; and attacks at sea on ships carrying Iranian oil.7

This state-terroristic practice depends on its enemies and rivals having no effective means of deterrence, as that would tilt the military balance and diminish Israel’s overwhelming advantage.

Iranian nuclear capability could constitute such a deterrent, albeit not a very serious one.

In fact, a more credible deterrent is Iran’s development of conventional missiles that would exact an unacceptably high price in retaliation for an Israeli attack8 – which is why Israel is lobbying for inclusion of a ban on this development in any revived Iran nuclear deal.

By the way, the same logic applies to Israel’s evident concern about the rather advanced state of missile build-up by Iran’s Lebanese ally, the Hezbollah.

There is no real danger of Hezbollah initiating an aggressive military action against Israel; but its missiles are now a credible deterrent against a repeat of Israel’s extensive, aggressive incursions into Lebanon, or a massive strike against Hezbollah’s patron, the Islamic Republic.

Political concern

However, from the perspective of preserving Israel’s absolute regional hegemony, the greatest concern is not the purely military one.

It is political. In his lecture, from which I have quoted above, Ephraim Halevy went on to say: “Iran’s real goal [is] to turn itself into a regional superpower and reach a ‘state of equality’ with the United States in their diplomatic dealings.”

This is a rather inept way of putting a valid point.

Of course, Iran can never reach a state of equality with the US in diplomatic dealings; but a détente between the global hegemon and the Islamic republic would certainly upgrade the latter’s regional position.

This would imply some erosion of Israel’s regional hegemony, because it is unlikely that as part of the US-Iran deal the latter would acquiesce in Israel’s leading regional dominance (as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states have done).

I have repeatedly pointed out that in this respect Israeli interest may diverge from American ones. For example, a year ago I wrote:

I have my own view on the possibility of an arrangement of some sort between the United States and Iran.

Of course, it would depend on many contingencies, but, as the nuclear deal struck by Barack Obama proved, there are circumstances where it is possible for these two states to come to an agreement. In my opinion, Israeli hostility to Iran is more far-reaching than that of the USA. It would be acceptable for the Americans under certain circumstances to strike such an agreement – provided Iran behaved like an obedient client state. That would involve giving Iran some kind of respect as a major power in the Middle East. But Israel would oppose such an arrangement, because Iran is regarded as an obstacle to its own regional hegemony.9

This explains Netanyahu’s vehement efforts to dissuade the US Congress under the Obama administration from signing the 2015 nuclear deal, and his encouragement to Trump to withdraw from the deal (not that Trump needed much encouragement). As several Israeli military commentators pointed out, the US withdrawal left Iran free since 2017 to enrich uranium to a higher concentration, thus coming closer to nuclear weapon capability than while the deal held. Netanyahu’s anti-deal advocacy would indeed have been irrational if his main concern was Iran’s nuclear capability. But it was quite rational, given that his priority was to exacerbate US-Iran relations.

The same logic applies to the Vienna talks. As the well-informed Iranian-American scholar, Trita Parsi, has recently pointed out,

It’s not the nuclear deal that’s the problem for Tel Aviv, but the very idea that Washington and Tehran would reach any detente at all …

[T]he details of the deal are not the real problem. It’s rather the very idea of Washington and Tehran reaching any agreement that not only prevents Iran from developing a bomb, but also reduces US-Iran tensions and lifts sanctions that have prevented Iran from enhancing its regional power …

There is a curious passage in the [New YorkTimes piece [published on December 10]: “American officials believe that so long as Iran has not moved to develop a bomb it does not have a nuclear military program, since it suspended the existing one after 2003. Israeli officials, on the other hand, believe that Iran has continued a clandestine effort to build a bomb since 2003.” If true, has Israel shared that intelligence with Washington?

If so, it has failed to persuade the CIA and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

If it hasn’t been shared, why not? And why did the Times choose to publish this rather inflammatory allegation without investigating these very basic – not to say critical – questions?

The moral of the story is this: US and Israeli interests on Iran diplomacy are irreconcilable.

Biden’s efforts to square the circle have predictably failed. Biden must choose whether he will pursue America’s interest or Israel. This should not be a difficult choice.10

Whatever political differences we may have with Parsi, his diagnosis of Israel’s main concerns is correct.

Israel is doing its damnedest to prevent any agreement in Vienna. It resorts to various provocations, including barely veiled threats of taking major unilateral military action.

In my opinion, the probability of such action – an all-out Israeli attack on Iran – is thankfully not high.

There are no signs in Israel of serious military preparations for this scenario, or of fortifying civilian population centres against expected Iranian and Hezbollah retaliation.

However, escalation of the relatively low-level raids and assassinations that have become routine is most probable; and these can get out of control and lead to an unintended major conflagration.

Nuke-free

Meantime, as Akiva Eldar, a senior Israeli political commentator, has recently remarked, what could deflate Israel’s puffed-up bullying posture is a serious proposal for a nuclear demilitarisation of the Middle East. In an article entitled ‘The Iranian threat: no nukes for us – or Israel’,11 he writes:

Over the years we have learned that when a politician or a general declares that “all options are on the table” he is actually referring to a single option – the military option. Supposedly that’s the only option that will remain to Israel if the negotiations with Iran don’t produce a nuclear agreement that satisfies the political leadership in Jerusalem.

… Has anyone read or heard about preparations for the possibility that Iran will announce that it accepts all the restrictions that the United States wants to impose on it; that in addition, it will allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit its nuclear installations without advance warning, and will even agree to extend the treaty by another 15 years – all that, on one condition: that Israel signs exactly the same document?

… As far as is known, the decision-makers in Jerusalem, those who declaim that “all options are on the table”, did not consider the possibility that Iran would pull out the doomsday weapon: an overall agreement for nuclear demilitarisation of the Middle East – including Israel – and acceptance of all the demands. It’s much sexier on television to show helmeted pilots talking about preparations for war.

Akiva Eldar has his tongue firmly in his cheek when warning against this “doomsday weapon”. But the point he is making is serious. We should call for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons. Israel will, of course, reject the very idea – as it has done in the past – but it will serve to expose its hypocritical stance of an aggressor demanding sympathy as a victim.

Iran Top Priority for U.S. (?), Israel

Headquartered at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., the DoD’s stated mission is to provide “the military forces needed to deter war and ensure our nation’s security”

DOD Statement on the Appointment of Benjamin “Benny” Gantz as Minister of Defense in Israel’s 36th Government

Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby provided the following readout:

Defense Lloyd J. Austin III congratulates Benjamin “Benny” Gantz on his appointment as the Minister of Defense in Israel’s 36th government today.

Secretary Austin looks forward to continuing the important cooperation and dialogue with Minister Gantz to deepen the U.S.-Israel strategic partnership.

The U.S. commitment to Israel’s security remains ironclad.*

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met today with Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin “Benny” Gantz during a closed meeting at the Pentagon.

A top priority for both defense leaders was a shared concern regarding the aggressive actions of the Iranian government.

“We share Israel’s deep concerns about the Iranian government’s destabilizing actions, including its support for terrorism and its missile program, and its alarming nuclear advances,” Austin said in advance of the meeting.

“We are completely aligned in our commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon — this is a national security interest of the United States and Israel and the world.”

While Austin said diplomacy is the first tool that should be used to address threats posed by Iran, he said it is not the only tool the U.S. has at its disposal.“The president has made clear that if the policy fails, we are prepared to turn to other options,” Austin said.

“The Department of Defense will continue to work closely with all of our partners throughout the region, including Israel, first and foremost, to ensure that we’re working together to address Iranian threats.

The Promise

We will defend ourselves, we will defend our friends, and we will defend our interests.”

Austin also told the Israeli defense minister that the U.S. remains committed to Israel’s ability to continue to defend itself.

“As you know, the United States remains unwavering in its commitment to Israel’s security, including maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge,” Austin said.

Included in that commitment, Austin said, is a strengthening of U.S./Israel bilateral defense cooperation, with an emphasis on air and missile defense.

Gantz reminded Austin that it is the government of Iran that Israel is at odds with — not the Iranian people.

“They are being held hostage by a tyrannical regime which violates their human rights,” Gantz said.

“Iran is not just a threat to our physical security.

Iran possesses a concrete threat to our way of life, and our shared values.

In its aspirations to become a hegemon, Iran seeks to destroy all traces of freedom, human dignity, and peace in the Middle East and beyond.”

Iran’s nuclear program, Gantz said, is its means to achieving its goals both regionally and globally, and he counts on the United States to ensure it doesn’t advance.

“I am totally confident in the commitment of the administration of the United States as a global power to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons,” he said.

“The international community, with the United States’ leadership, has an opportunity to act against Iran’s hegemonic aspirations, restore stability, and prevent the oppression of nations across the region.”

Related News Release: Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III’s Meeting With Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin ‘Benny’ Gantz

Israel and New Friends Hold First Joint Military Drills in “Message” to Iran

The drill come after Israel was moved under US Central Command

The US, the UAE, Bahrain, and Israel are holding joint military exercises in the Red Sea, the US Navy said Thursday.

It marks the first official exercise between Israel and the two Gulf nations and comes just over a year after they normalized relations.

The exercises began on November 1oth and will be held for five days.

“The five-day exercise includes at-sea training aboard amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland (LPD 27) focused on visit, board, search and seizure tactics,” the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet said in a statement.

One purpose of the US-brokered normalization deals was to further isolate Iran in the region, and the Red Sea exercises are a clear message to Tehran.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett reportedly floated the idea of creating an anti-Iran NATO-style alliance that includes Israel and the Gulf states in his meeting with President Biden back in August.

The drills also come after the US formally moved Israel under US Central Command’s area of operations.

Previously, Israel fell under US European Command because so many of Washington’s Arab allies did not recognize Israel.

The Trump administration ordered the change in January, and Israel sent a representative to CENTCOM headquarters in October, solidifying the move.

Israel to Attack Iran? Washington Gives the Green Light to the ‘Military Option’

America and Israel partner in all their imperial adventures, in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Some might recall candidate Joe Biden’s pledge to work to rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which was a multilateral agreement intended to limit Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon.

The JCPOA was signed by President Barack Obama in 2015, when Biden was Vice President, and was considered one of the only foreign policy successes of his eight years in office.

Other signatories to it were Britain, China, Germany, France, and Russia and it was endorsed by the United Nations.

The agreement included unannounced inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities by the IAEA and, by all accounts, it was working and was a non-proliferation success story.

In return for its cooperation Iran was to receive its considerable assets frozen in banks in the United States and was also to be relieved of the sanctions that had been placed on it by Washington and other governments.

The JCPOA crashed and burned in 2018 when President Donald Trump ordered U.S. withdrawal from the agreement, claiming that Iran was cheating and would surely move to develop a nuclear weapon as soon as the first phase of the agreement was completed.

Trump, whose ignorance on Iran and other international issues was profound, had surrounded himself with a totally Zionist foreign policy team, including members of his own family, and had bought fully into the arguments being made by Israel as well as by Israel Lobby predominantly Jewish groups to include the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Trump’s time in office was spent pandering to Israel in every conceivable way, to include recognizing Jerusalem as the country’s capital, granting Israel the green light for creating and expanding illegal settlements on the West Bank and recognizing the occupied Syrian Golan Heights as part of Israel.

Given Trump’s record, most particularly the senseless and against-American-interests abandonment of JCPOA, it almost seemed a breath of fresh air to hear Biden’s fractured English as he committed his administration to doing what he could to rejoin the other countries who were still trying to make the agreement work.

After Biden was actually elected, more or less, he and his Secretary of State Tony Blinken clarified what the U.S. would seek to do to “fix” the agreement by making it stronger in some key areas that had not been part of the original document.

Iran for its part insisted that the agreement did not need any additional caveats and should be a return to the status quo ante, particularly when Blinken and his team made clear that they were thinking of a ban on Iranian ballistic missile development as well as negotiations to end Tehran’s alleged “interference” in the politics of the region.

The interference presumably referred to Iranian support of the Palestinians as well as its role in Syria and Yemen, all of which had earned the hostility of American “friends” Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Israel inevitably stirred the pot by sending a stream of senior officials, to include Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to discuss “the Iranian threat” with Biden and his top officials.

Iranian threat!

Lapid made clear that Israel “reserves the right to act at any given moment, in any way… We know there are moments when nations must use force to protect the world from evil.”

And to be sure, Biden, like Trump, has also made his true sentiments clear by surrounding himself with Zionists.

Blinken, Wendy Sherman and Victoria Nuland have filled the three top slots at State Department, all are Jewish and all strong on Israel.

Nuland is a leading neocon. And pending is the appointment of Barbara Leaf, who has been nominated Assistant Secretary to head the State Department’s Near East region.

She is currently the Ruth and Sid Lapidus Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), which is an AIPAC spin off and a major component in the Israel Lobby.

That means that a member in good standing of the Israel Lobby would serve as the State Department official overseeing American policy in the Middle East.

At the Pentagon one finds a malleable General Mark Milley, always happy to meet his Israeli counterparts, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, an affirmative action promotion who likewise has become adept at parroting the line “Israel has a right to defend itself.”

And need one mention ardent self-declared Zionists at the top level of the Democratic Party, to include Biden himself, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and, of course, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer?

So rejoining the JCPOA over Israel objections was a non-starter from the beginning and was probably only mooted to make Trump look bad.

Indirect talks including both Iran and the U.S. technically have continued in Vienna, though they have been stalled since the end of June.

Trita Parsi has recently learned that Iran sought to make a breakthrough for an agreement by seeking a White House commitment to stick with the plan as long as Biden remains in office.

Biden and Blinken refused and Blinken has recently confirmed that a new deal is unlikely, saying “time is running out.”

And there have been some other new developments.

Israeli officials have been warning for over twenty years that Iran is only one year away from having its own nukes and needs to be stopped, a claim that has begun to sound like a religious mantra repeated over and over, but now they are actually funding the armaments that will be needed to do the job.

Israel Defense Force Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi has repeatedly said the IDF is “accelerating” plans to strike Iran, and Israeli politicians to include former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have regularly been threatening to do whatever must be done to deal with the threat from the Islamic Republic.

Israeli media is reporting that $1.5 billion has been allocated in the current and upcoming budget to buy the American bunker buster bombs that will be needed to destroy the Iranian reactor at Bushehr and its underground research facilities at Natanz.

In the wake of the news about the war funding, there have also been reports that the Israeli Air Force is engaging in what is being described as “intense” drills to simulate attacking Iranian nuclear facilities.

After Israel obtains the 5000 pound bunker buster bombs, it will also need to procure bombers to drop the ordnance, and one suspects that the U.S. Congress will somehow come up with the necessary “military aid” to make that happen.

Tony Blinken has also made clear that the Administration knows what Israel is planning and approves. He met with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on October 13th and said if diplomacy with Iran fails, the U.S. will turn to “other options.”

And yes, he followed that up with the venerable line that “Israel has the right to defend itself and we strongly support that proposition.”

Lapid confirmed that one of Blinken’s “options” was military action.

“I would like to start by repeating what the Secretary of State just said.

Yes, other options are going to be on the table if diplomacy fails.

And by saying other options, I think everybody understands here … what is it that we mean.”

It must be observed that in their discussion of Iran’s nuclear program, Lapid and Blinnken were endorsing an illegal and unprovoked attack to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon that it is apparently not seeking, but which it will surely turn to as a consequence if only to defend itself in the future.

In short, U.S. foreign policy is yet again being held hostage by Israel.

The White House position is clearly and absurdly that an Israeli attack on Iran, considered a war crime by most, is an act of self-defense.

However it turns out, the U.S. will be seen as endorsing the crime and will inevitably be implicated in it, undoubtedly resulting in yet another foreign policy disaster in the Middle East with nothing but grief for the American people.

The simple truth is that Iran has neither threatened nor attacked Israel.

Given that, there is nothing defensive about the actions Israel has already taken in sabotaging Iranian facilities and assassinating scientists, and there would be nothing defensive about direct military attacks either with or without U.S. assistance on Iranian soil.

If Israel chooses to play the fool it is on them and their leaders.

The United States does not have a horse in this race and should butt out, but one doubts if a White House and Congress, firmly controlled by Zionist forces, have either the wisdom or the courage to cut the tie that binds with the Jewish state.

Israeli Provocations; Iranian Patience

Is Israel Sabotaging Itself?

Best iran GIFs - Primo GIF - Latest Animated GIFs

[You know what, our leaders all work for those bad Jews now.]

Israel keeps attacking and sabotaging Iran; Iran keeps showing restraint.

Israel is running out of patience to stop the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal; Iran keeps showing patience.

In the summer of 2020, Israel sabotaged Iran’s Natanz civilian nuclear enrichment facility.

They have bombed Iran’s allies in Lebanon, and they have bombed their allies in Syria.

Earlier, at the beginning of 2020, Israel and the U.S. assassinated General Qassem Suleimani, Iran’s top military official.

Later, at the end of 2020, General Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the father of Iran’s civilian nuclear program, was assassinated.

Each time Israel provoked, Iran showed patience and restraint.

“The Iranian nation is smarter than falling into the trap,” President Hassan Rouhani calmy stated. “They are thinking to create chaos.”

On April 6, the US did what was unthinkable for Israel: they took the first wary steps toward returning to talking to Iran.

Iran had been too smart to fall into the trap, and Israel’s attempts to provoke Iran into destroying its own chances of returning to the international community and to the international nuclear deal had so far failed.

Israeli Provocations; Iranian Patience

So far. So, Israel upped the provocation and made the provocation public to try to force Iran into retaliating and publicly acting against its interest.

On April 11, Israel once again sabotaged the Natanz nuclear facility when they detonated an explosion in the facility that shut down the power that runs the centrifuges that enrich the uranium.

On April 6, not coincidentally the same day the US tentatively returned to the nuclear talks, Israel attacked an Iranian military vessel in the Red Sea.

The ship broke into flames and smoke when a mine that had been attached to it exploded.

Still, Iran did not take the bait, Iran did not retaliate.

On April 24, an Iranian oil tanker was attacked off the coast of Syria.

The ship was hit by what appears to be a drone that came from Lebanese waters.

This time three Syrians, including two crew members, were killed.

Such provocation is not a new Israeli strategy.

It goes back a long time.

When a country shows the maturity not to attack, Israel has often turned to provocation to try to purchase the attack.

Referring to war with Syria, Moshe Dayan, the head of the Israeli Defence Force, once confessed to a reporter, off the record, that Israel deliberately provoked Syria to attack.

He said that Israel would push further and further until Syria responded.

Dayan admitted that Israel had started “more than 80 percent” of the skirmishes with Syria.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharett once referred in his diary to “the long chain of false incidents and hostilities we have invented, and the many clashes we have provoked.” Sharett called this “the method of provocation and revenge.”

This time, the provocation wasn’t working.

Iran was still not taking the bait. Iran’s leaders refused to respond to Israel’s sabotage by engaging in retaliations that would simply sabotage their own efforts at squeezing out from under US sanctions and returning to the nuclear talks and to the international community.

Echoing Rouhani’s earlier words, Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif continued to explain that the Israelis “want to take revenge because of our progress in the way to lift sanctions…We will not fall into their trap.”

The Talks Go On

Not only did Iran not respond, but they side stepped the Israeli attempt to sabotage the nuclear talks in Vienna by embarrassing the US, by making them look complicit in Israel’s attacks, or alienating Iran, by provoking them into aggression.

Despite concerns that the Natanz attack would trigger Iran’s temper and cause them to walk out of the nuclear discussions, Iran continued to show patience and kept their seat at the talks.

Though a positive result is not a sure thing, the Americans and the Iranians are still talking: at least indirectly.

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani has said, to the dismay of Israel, that “The negotiations have achieved 60 to 70 percent progress.” Rouhani says that they could “reach a conclusion in a little time.”

American sanctions continue to be a road block, and though the US disagrees with the percentage of progress, saying “we have more road ahead of us than in the rearview mirror,” their tone has changed, and even the US describes the talks as having been “positive.”

Israel has taken note of that tone change. Israeli officials told Israeli journalist Barak Ravid that Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat has accused the US of “not showing sufficient consideration of the Israeli government’s position during its Iran diplomacy.”

The US has even recently suggested a willingness to consider lifting sanctions that targeted Iran’s economy, including crucial sanctions on the central bank and oil companies.

A high level Israeli delegation including all of Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi is heading to the White House with instructions from Netanyahu to focus on convincing the Biden administration of Israel’s objections to the US returning to the Iran nuclear deal.

When White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked whether the Israeli delegation would have any effect on the US returning to the nuclear deal, she answered in one word: “No.” As the Israeli acts of sabotage did provoke Iran to retaliate, so they did not sabotage the nuclear talks.

Increased Enrichment

The Israeli attacks also did not sabotage Iran’s civilian nuclear program.

Far from slowing it down, the attacks have sped it up.

As they did in the Obama negotiations, Iran is reversibly increasing their centrifuge capacity as leverage.

In response to the Israeli attack on the Natanz civilian nuclear facility, Iran escalated their program in two ways.

As promised when the Natanz nuclear facility was attacked, the damaged centrifuges have been replaced with more advanced versions.

Though the Israeli sabotage may have temporarily slowed Iranian enrichment, it ultimately accelerated it.

On April 21, the International Atomic Energy Agency verified that Iran had installed eight cascades of more advanced centrifuges.

One of those cascades is reportedly enriching uranium to 60%: less than needed to produce a bomb but more than enough to make a statement.

America Rebukes Israel

Perhaps the most striking sign that Israel’s acts of sabotage have gone so far that, this time, they may be sabotaging themselves, rather than moving the States against the Iran talks, the attacks provoked the US to issue a rare rebuke of Israel.

The US informed Israel that they are displeased with the recent Israeli attacks and with Israel’s public boasting about those attacks, expressing concern that those acts could damage the new negotiations with Iran.

Dropping Demands: Has Israel Conceded Failure?

Israel may be seeing the forecast. Even Israel may be seeing the signs that this time they have sabotaged themselves.

Israeli officials have reportedly concluded that they will not be able to pressure the US to significantly strengthen the nuclear agreement.

So, they seem to be backing down on their key demands, including expanding the deal to include Iran’s ballistic missile program and support for Iranian allies like Hezbollah.

Israel seems now to be restricting their demands to the much weaker – and somewhat redundant – demand for greater International Atomic Energy Agency powers to inspect Iran’s nuclear sites.

Saudi Arabia Calls Iran

And in a sign that others may also be recognizing that Israeli attempts to sabotage the Iran nuclear deal have instead sabotaged Israel’s attempts to sabotage the Iran nuclear deal, there are reports of direct talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran having taken place on April 9 in Iraq. T

he talks reportedly involved senior officials.

The talks are potentially interesting because the last time Iraq mediated possible talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran, in January 2020, the Saudis were motivated, at least in part, by a recognition that they had not succeeded in pushing the US into a war with Iran.

Pursuing more peaceful relations with the Iran was plan B. Perhaps the current talks are a version of plan B that comes with the recognition that Israel has failed to push the US to continue to isolate Iran.

The talks may indicate that, like Israel, Saudi Arabia is recognizing that, in the Israeli promise to sabotage the Iran deal, Israel has this time sabotaged themselves.

“Death by a thousand cuts” for Iran—or Israel?

How do you evaluate Bennett’s comment about Iran, the “a death by a thousand cuts strategy”?

By blathering about “death by a thousand cuts” (Israeli PM )Bennett is tacitly admitting that he doesn’t have a strategy.

Since Biden won’t go along with Israel’s plans for a major war in the region, the Israelis have no choice but to keep doing what they’re already doing.

They are going to just keep harassing Iran the way they always have.

If they escalate their harassment, Iran will of course escalate its retaliation.

So Bennett’s slogan “death by a thousand cuts” is a way of disguising Israel’s strategic failure for an Israeli domestic audience.

He is implying that the ongoing Israeli policy, small-time harassment, will somehow succeed in the future, even though it never has in the past.

That of course is not true; the policy will continue to fail. But Bennett has to put an optimistic spin on the situation for political reasons.

What reasons have forced Israel to change its strategy?

Israel is facing the reality that its post-2001 strategy of trying to orchestrate a US war on Iran will not be successful any time soon, if ever.

Since the Zionist-inspired Israeli-assisted neoconservative coup d’état of September 11, 2001, Israel has intended to hijack the US military to overthrow its regional enemies in general and Iran in particular.

When Gen. Wesley Clark revealed that the real purpose of 9/11 was to “overthrow seven countries in five years,” he explained that the last and most important country on the list was Iran.

In 2007 the Israelis were close to their objective of dragging the US into a war on Iran.

But Gwenyth Todd, an advisor to the Admiral in charge of the US 5th Fleet in Bahrain, alerted the State Department to a neocon plan to stage an attack on US ships in the Gulf and blame Iran-backed Bahraini Shia forces.

Though she was forced to flee for her life, Todd succeeded in derailing the false flag attempt and the planned US attack on Iran.

Again during the Trump-Bolton-Pompeo era, the Israelis once again nearly succeeded in inciting a US-Iran war.

Their agents in the Trump Administration, Kushner, Bolton, and Pompeo, had dialed up tensions.

The assassination of General Soleimani nearly triggered the war Israel wanted. Iran’s devastating but fortunately non-lethal retaliation managed to deter Trump and derail Israel’s hoped-for US attack on Iran.

Today, with risk-averse Biden in the White House and the US in full retreat from empire after its crushing defeat in Afghanistan, Israel recognizes that its chances of tricking the US into going to war against Iran are essentially zero.

How do you see the United States’ role in the Israel’s new strategy?

The US will continue to verbally and materially support Israel, as it always has.

Rich Zionist Jews dominate the US media and financial sectors, and provide about half of the bribes to politicians (euphemistically known as “campaign contributions”) that fuel the ultra-corrupt US political system.

So even though many middle-class Jews and other liberal Americans are gravitating away from Israel and toward support for the Palestinians, the domination of the heights of power by billionaire and multi-millionaire Zionist Jews ensures that the US will continue to undermine its own interests by throwing away its money and reputation propping up the Zionist entity for the foreseeable future.

But the US defeat in Afghanistan has dramatically lowered the already-low probability that the US could be tricked into fighting a major war against Iran for Israel.

Instead it will support Israel’s continued acts of small-scale terrorism against Iran, including cyber-terrorism, sabotage of energy infrastructure, and so on.

This policy, of course, is not in the US interest.

The Americans would do much better for themselves by cutting off aid to Israel and befriending Iran.

But that cannot happen for domestic political reasons.

What do you suppose Iran will do to neutralize the Israelis’ new plot?

Iran will undoubtedly continue with its policy of steadfast patience in the face of provocation, inflicting limited, proportionate retaliation for Israeli attacks.

It will not give the Israelis any hope of arranging a dramatic incident aimed at changing the US and international reluctance to support major escalation against Iran.

Like China vis-a-vis the US, Iran gets stronger every year in its face-off with Israel.

Iran’s and Hezbollah’s ever-improving, ever-more-numerous rockets are becoming an ever-more-effective deterrent to Zionist adventurism.

And the slow erosion of US power in the region works to the advantage of independent Iran, and against countries that are dependent on the US, above all Israel.

In the short term, Iran will defy Zionist and American plots and send fuel and other relief to suffering Lebanon.

Israel cannot stop those shipments, because they are a vital interest for Lebanon and any attempt to stop them would be met by Hezbollah rockets.

By continually countering the Zionists’ anti-Iran moves, and drawing red lines where necessary, Iran will outlast Israel. In the end, it will be the Zionist entity that dies the “death of 1000 cuts.”

How Iran’s Missile Strategy has Rewritten the Rules of Middle Eastern Wars

Iran has built an extraordinary military alliance stretching from Lebanon to Gaza to Yemen that missile by missile has changed the rules of war in the Middle East

 

by Kevin Barrett

On Nov. 12, 2011, an explosion was heard across Tehran.

Within hours, the Iranian press reported that 14 members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), including Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, popularly known as “the father of the Iranian missile,” had died in an accident at the Shahid Modarres base, 30 miles outside the city.

At the funeral, attended by the religious, civilian and military leaders of the Islamic Republic, the bereaved wept.

An IRGC general attributed Iran’s military deterrence and its “self-sufficiency” to Moghaddam, while Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, credited him with “filling Palestinian hands with missiles instead of stones to strike these arrogant terrorists.”

The mourners doubted Moghaddam and the other IRGC officers had died accidentally but had instead been killed in an Israeli attack, one of a string of recent political assassinations aimed at the heart of Iran’s security state.

Days before his death, Moghaddam, who headed the IRGC’s missile division, had ordered missile test results duplicated and stored in secret locations owing to a fivefold increase in explosions at key security sites in the previous year.

While the epitaph on his gravestone in Tehran reads “Here Lies a Man Who Wanted to Destroy Israel,” it is safe to assume Moghaddam knew his enemies would likely get to him first.

Although Tehran still struggles to deter so-called gray zone attacks by Israel such as assassinations and sabotage, its missile program, built from scratch by Moghaddam, has successfully deterred the airstrikes regularly threatened by Israel.

It has also deterred the United States from carrying out airstrikes, particularly during the first term of then-President George W. Bush, with U.S. forces occupying neighboring Iraq.

In the decade before his death, Moghaddam was involved as much in strengthening Iran’s missile defense and counterstrike system as he was in integrating Hezbollah’s defense into Iran’s own program, training a cadre of Lebanese engineers.

“Knowledge cannot be bombed,” he said, giving voice to Iran’s policy not only of supplying missiles but also, crucially, sharing know-how to sustain the deterrence.

Today, the balance of power is broadly equal; for the U.S. or Israel to launch a war against Iran or Lebanon is almost politically unthinkable.

“The Iranians and Lebanese Hezbollah now have a really deadly reconnaissance strike complex,” explained Michael Knights of the Washington Institute.

“They can absolutely wreck the infrastructure, lifestyle and economic functioning of their close enemies.”

Of course, the reverse is also true, but Iran’s strategy is not suicide, despite Moghaddam’s epitaph, but to stabilize the Resistance, an alliance of nations opposed to the U.S. security constellation of the Middle East: Iran, most of Shia Iraq, the Syrian state and Hezbollah.

This Resistance sees Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as part of an increasingly unstable American empire, whose power needs to be checked.

Yet Tehran’s goal goes further than merely maintaining a balance of power with its enemies or ending their influence in the region.

Instead, Iran believes it is offering an alternative to the crumbling U.S. version of modernity, sustained, at least in theory, by multibillion-dollar defense industries. Iran’s military-industrial complex is the tip of the iceberg of a wider political project.

The Tehran-Beirut alliance has brought Hamas in Gaza and Yemen’s al-Houthi fighters into the Resistance, training their engineers and smuggling components to produce Moghaddam’s designs.

Over the past decade, the Tehran-Beirut alliance has brought Hamas in Gaza and Yemen’s al-Houthi fighters into the Resistance, training their engineers and smuggling components to produce Moghaddam’s designs.

This military cooperation supports allies but also bolsters Tehran’s own deterrence against Israel and Saudi Arabia by having missiles placed on their more vulnerable southern borders.

“With blood, sand and love, they are sent, built and launched,” is how the rank-and-file IRGC refer to the emerging military-industrial complex of the Resistance…

Belligerent “Israel” Threatens World Peace After Afghanistan

What Israel would ideally like to see happen is for the US to issue a credible military threat against Iran.

Based on the threats from Israel in recent days, it could be that this is the direction Israel is once again headed.

It wants to get Iranians to think it is preparing an attack, but no less important is getting the world and specifically Biden to think that scenes of Israeli fighter jets flying to Iran is a realistic option.

Everyone knows their part. Gantz and Kohavi are making the threats, Lapid is working the diplomats, and Bennett is trying to get Biden on board.

Israel Instructs Biden Not to Lift Trump-era ICC Sanctions

“Israel may have the right to put others on trial, but certainly no one has the right to put the Jewish people and the State of Israel on trial.” — Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon*

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged United States President Joe Biden not to lift sanctions imposed on International Criminal Court (ICC) officials by the administration of former President Donald Trump, according to a report by Axios.

The Biden administration had pledged to “thoroughly review” the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, which had accused the Hague-based tribunal of infringing on US sovereignty by authorising an investigation into alleged war crimes by the US forces in Afghanistan.

Israel has increased pressure on the ICC following its ruling in early February that the court’s jurisdiction extends to the occupied Palestinian territories, paving the way for it to open investigations into war crimes committed by both Israelis and Palestinians, according to the report.

Israel and the US were quick to condemn the court’s announcement, with Israel accusing the court of “pure anti-Semitism” and the US saying it had “serious concerns” about the court’s decision and adding that it was reviewing the ruling.

Neither ally is party to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC, and both have sought to shield their citizens from prosecution in the court.

Washington, however, has supported and engaged with the court in various forms since it began operations in 2002.

The fight over the court’s jurisdiction has presented an early challenge for the Biden administration, which is seeking to re-engage in multilateral organizations.

Israel, meanwhile, has reportedly urged allies to pressure ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, one of the officials currently under US sanctions, no to move forward with any investigation involving Israelis.

On February 13, British lawyer Karim Khan was elected as the next prosecutor of the ICC to replace Bensouda, who retires in June. Khan, 50, led a United Nations probe into atrocities by the ISIL (ISIS) armed group.

Axios reported that Israeli diplomats are urging US officials to keep the sanctions as leverage and that the issue was also raised during a call between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Israeli counterpart Gabriel Ashkenazi.

Source: Al Jazeera