• 2020-01-08

    As of January 2020, the United States possessed an overwhelming advantage in conventional military capabilities in the Persian Gulf – dominating in both air and naval power. But Iran’s unconventional capabilities, along with its array of short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, posed a threat to American assets and partner forces. 

  • 2020-01-07

    By 2020, tensions between the United States and Iran increasingly played out in invisible cyberspace. Both governments acknowledged that cyberattacks were central to their strategies. The scope was unknown, but cyberspace has turned into a near-unrestricted war zone. Cyber offered an alternative to kinetic military action that could lead to full-scale war – which both Washington and Tehran sought to avoid. 

  • 2020-01-07

    “The general principle of the Chinese government on this issue was to “get the conflict under control,” said Jin Canrong, Associate Dean of Renmin University of China’s School of International Studies in Beijing. The US attack was against international law and should be condemned, he noted. […] China must also weigh its own interests in the region, according to analysts. Iran, located along the routes of the Chinese Belt & Road Initiative, is expected to play a more significant role in enhancing connectivity and trading between Asia and Europe. Globalisation has connected the world, not to mention China has overseas interests, Niu noted. “China’s oil imports from the Middle East and its construction projects in the region will all be seriously affected if the region becomes chaotic,” he said. China is Iran’s largest trade partner. The two sides’ trade reached $35 billion in 2018, according to the Chinese Embassy in Iran. China’s oil imports from Iran were 29.27 million tons in 2018, or $15 billion, increasing 21.8 percent compared to 2017. China-Iran economic ties were also seriously affected after November 2018 when the US government re-imposed full sanctions on Iran, a decision which the White House outlined as part of an unprecedented US economic pressure campaign. When unrest happened in the Middle East in the past, withdrawal was the only option for China, Niu said. Take Syria as an example. China suffered losses of about 18 billion yuan ($2.6 billion), he said. 

  • 2020-01-07

    Iran’s lawmakers unanimously voted for a motion to designate the US Army and the Pentagon as terrorist organizations in response to a recent move by Washington to assassinate Iran’s revered commander, Lt. General Qassem Soleimani.

  • 2020-01-06

    In a move underscoring that the U.S. Congress has the sole constitutional power to declare war, Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee and Ilhan Omar announced a War Powers Resolution in the House on Sunday as a companion version to that introduced by Sen. Tim Kaine in the Senate on Friday. "Let's not mince words: the assassination of Qasem Soleimani was an act of war undertaken without Congressional authorization, in violation of the Constitution of the United States of America," said Congresswoman Omar of Minnesota in a statement. "Following the assassination, thousands of additional troops were sent to the Middle East in one of the largest rapid deployments seen in decades. This follows years of saber-rattling and threats of war against Iran by President Trump and his accomplices. We in Congress must exercise our Constitutional duty—and do everything in our power to stop another disastrous war."

  • 2020-01-06

    ... Furthermore, the rapport built by Moscow in the Middle East with Iranian rivals such as Saudi Arabia, UAE and even Israel can be come adversaries again leading to an unmitigated disaster of Putin’s grand strategy of keeping ties with American allies in the middle east. These circumstances will create twilight scenario to assess any possible moves by Moscow. […] All in all, Russia’s next move would not definitely be a blatant military assistance to Teheran as a brother in arms. But, Russia is likely to play a key role through its diplomatic means to impede any crisis that would be detrimental to its ally Iran.

  • 2020-01-05

    The International Association of Democratic Lawyers  (IADL) strongly condemns the assassination of General Soleimani as well as all threats against the Islamic Republic of Iran, its people, its leadership and its cultural heritage. IADL also condemns the outrageous threats by US President Trump to attack 52 targets in Iran, including cultural sites of deep importance to Iranian culture. Such an action would without a doubt constitute a war crime. IADL calls on the international community to view the attack on General Soleimani through the prism of international law, and to roundly condemn it as an illegal act of aggression, a crime against peace, and a crime of aggression under UN General Assembly Resolution 3314. IADL calls on the United Nations Security Council to immediately address the issue and take all necessary measures to put an end to all US aggressions and interferences in the Middle East and to maintain peace and security in the region. IADL calls on all UN member states not to provide any political or logistical support for US acts of aggression or war crimes against Iran or any other country.

  • 2020-01-03

    In short, the United States has taken a highly escalatory step in assassinating one of the most important and powerful men in the Middle East. [...] The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump argues that Soleimani was a terrorist and that assassinating him was a defensive action that stopped an imminent attack. Both of those assertions may or may not be true, but the United States would never have felt compelled to act against the Iranian general if not for the reckless policy the administration has pursued since it came into office. In May 2018, Trump left the Iran nuclear agreement and adopted a “maximum pressure” policy of economic sanctions on Iran. For a year, Iran responded with restraint in an effort to isolate the United States diplomatically and win economic concessions from other parties to the nuclear agreement.

  • 2020-01-03

    Essentially, an outgrowth of the US-Iran crisis has played out inside Iraq, which could escalate well beyond “shadow wars” and the use of proxies, with unpredictable twists that present a clear risk to the thousands of US military personnel in the region - not to mention the health of the global economy, which is tied to the free flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz. Playing with fire to shore up his flagging presidency, undermined by the sting of impeachment, Trump is now showing all the symptoms of a trigger-happy president apt to cause another calamitous Middle East war, thus betraying his pledge to avoid getting the US entangled in another conflict. Sadly, as his misguided policies with respect to both Iran and Iraq clearly show, Trump is not only repeating the impeachment ploy of his predecessor, but he is also on the verge of recycling the errors of the Bush-era wars in the Middle East.

  • 2020-01-03

    Retired Col. Viktor Mukrakhovsky, editor of the military journal Arsenal Otechestva (National Arsenal), said Trump's decision to kill Soleimani opens a new chapter in the confrontation between Iran and the United States. “A statesman is killed, an official representative of his country that is a member of the UN and with which the US is not officially in a state of war. He was killed on the territory of a third country. This is not an undercover struggle of intelligence services. The US has thus openly committed an act of vengeance and is taking pride in this 'achievement.' It is testing the reaction of the international community in general and Iranian leadership in particular. Following failures in Venezuela, Syria and over talks with North Korea, after losing control of the situation in Afghanistan and ceding Iraq to Iranian militias, the US leadership has moved to raise the stakes,” Mukrakhovsky said.

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