The Gulf region is “on the edge of collapse”, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told world leaders on Wednesday at the annual high-level segment of the United Nations General Assembly, saying that “a single blunder can fuel a big fire”.
President Donald Trump discussed easing sanctions on Iran to help secure a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani later this month, prompting then-National Security Advisor John Bolton to argue forcefully against such a step, according to three people familiar with the matter. After an Oval Office meeting on Monday when the idea came up, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin voiced his support for the move as a way to restart negotiations with Iran, some of the people said. Later in the day, Trump decided to oust Bolton, whose departure was announced Tuesday.
In July of 2017, the White House was at a crossroads on the question of Iran. President Trump had made a campaign pledge to leave the “terrible” nuclear deal that President Barack Obama negotiated with Tehran, but prominent members of Trump’s cabinet spent the early months of the administration pushing the mercurial president to negotiate a stronger agreement rather than scotch the deal entirely. Thus far, the forces for negotiation had prevailed. But counterforces were also at work. Stephen K. Bannon, then still an influential adviser to the president, turned to John Bolton to draw up a new Iran strategy that would, as its first act, abrogate the Iran deal. Bolton, a Fox News commentator and former ambassador to the United Nations, had no official role in the administration as of yet, but Bannon saw him as an outside voice that could stiffen Trump’s spine — a kind of back channel to the president who could convince Trump that his Iran policy was adrift. As a top national security official in the George W. Bush administration, Bolton was one of the architects of regime change in Iraq. He had long called not just for withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or J.C.P.O.A., as the 2015 nuclear deal was known, but also for overthrowing the Iranian regime that negotiated it. Earlier that July, he distilled his views on the matter in Paris, at an annual gathering in support of the fringe exile movement Mujahedeen Khalq, or the M.E.K., which itself had long called for regime change in Iran. Referring to the continuing policy review in Washington, he repeated his belief that the only sufficient American policy in Iran would be to change the Iranian government and whipped the crowd into a standing ovation by pledging that in two years, Iran’s leaders would be gone and that “we here will celebrate in Tehran.”
Strikes reportedly carried out by Israel over the past month in Iraq, and in recent days in Syria and Lebanon, are part of the "campaign between wars" (CBW) that Israel has waged against Iran's regional campaign of proxy warfare. These incidents mark a deviation from the routine and from the principles that had guided the campaign in recent years. The recent sequence of events has three salient characteristics: the theaters of operations, the operational tempo and their public profile. These events have possible explanations in three spheres - strategic, operational, and political - and three possible consequences: escalation in Lebanon, tensions in relations with the United States, and narrower latitude for CBW operations. Furthermore, contending with the precision-guided missile project in the Iraqi and Lebanese theaters requires adaptation of the campaign waged so far within the Syrian theater.
2019-08-27Senior Iranian Official Hossein Sheikholeslam: 150,000 Missiles in Lebanon, Syria, Gaza Are Meant to Deter Israel and the U.S. a
Former Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Sheikholeslam, who has served as Iran's ambassador to Syria, said in an August 27, 2019 interview on Ofogh TV (Iran) that Iran has invested in the "huge defensive and strategic endeavor" of deploying roughly 150,000 missiles in Lebanon, Syria, and the Gaza Strip that are meant to be launched at Israel at Iran's discretion. He said that since the U.S. has defined Israel's national security as part of its own national security, this strategy is Iran's greatest deterrent against both countries, and he claimed that Israel would have certainly attacked Fordow, Bushehr, and Natanz dozens of times were it not for Iran's missiles in these countries. Sheikholeslam went on to say that a ballistic missile launched from Iran would take eight minutes to get to Israel and would be detected by American and NATO radars in the region. In contrast, he explained that missiles launched from Lebanon would start a rapid descent almost as soon as they can be detected and monitored. In addition, Sheikholeslam said that Iran does not intend to drive Israel into the sea or to use nuclear weapons against it. Rather, he said that Iran's military capabilities are exclusively for purposes of deterrence and that Iran simply wants the Zionists to "understand" that they have violated the rights of the Palestinians and to leave the region, especially since they "have citizenship in several European countries anyway."
In the winter of 2016, Donald Trump was roaring through the primaries, and Mike Pompeo was determined to stop him. Pompeo, a little-known congressman from Wichita, helped persuade Marco Rubio to make a late stand in Kansas. Like many Republicans in Congress, Pompeo believed that Rubio had the national-security knowledge and the judgment to be President, and Trump did not. Urged on by Pompeo, Rubio’s team pulled money out of other states to gamble on winning the Kansas caucus. It was one of the few remaining contests in which Rubio still hoped to beat Trump, who, he said, was a “con artist” about to “take over the Republican Party.”
In 2017, DIA began to produce a series of unclassified Defense Intelligence overviews of the major foreign military challenges facing the United States. This volume provides details on Iran’s defense and military goals, strategy, plans, and intentions; the organization, structure, and capability of its military supporting those goals; and the enabling infrastructure and industrial base. This product and other reports in the series are intended to inform our public, our leaders, the national security community, and partner nations about the challenges we face in the 21st century.
Michel Chossudovsky discusses the recent US/Iran clash in the Persian Gulf; Iran’s capability as a military power; the breakup of the Gulf Cooperation Council; the Al-Udeid military base in Qatar the largest US base in the Middle East, and Qatar an ally of Iran; …
Russia believes that the idea of establishing a security system in the Gulf area might be essential for consolidating political and diplomatic efforts in this region. It implies a long-term programme of action aimed at normalizing the situation, improving stability and security, resolving conflicts, indentifying key benchmarks and parameters for a future post-crisis architecture, as well as ways to fulfill the related tasks. Our initiative is a follow-up to Russia's proposals worked out in late 1990s and improved in 2004 and 2007.
Tensions in the Persian Gulf are reaching a point of no return. In recent weeks, six oil tankers have been subjected to Israeli sabotage disguised to look like Iranian attacks to induce the United States to take military action against the Islamic Republic. Some days ago Iran rightfully shot out of the sky a US Drone. In Yemen, the Houthis have finally started responding with cruise and ballistic missiles to the Saudis’ indiscriminate attacks, causing damage to the Saudi international airport of Abha ...