…both figuratively, as in ‘necessarily longish’, and literally ‘who needs operations like mockingbird when we have SoS arranging a CIA-aided putsch in plain sight? and as Pepe Escobar reminds us again:
“…Iran is an even more crucial hub of the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – in conjunction to the new connectivity drive between Russia and Iran signed at the landmark Caspian Sea Convention.”
‘US creates Iran Action Group to ‘change regime’s behavior’, 16 Aug, 2018, RT
“US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – a fierce critic of the Tehran leadership – has announced the creation of a so-called Iran Action Group. It comes amid Washington’s campaign of economic pressure against Iran and its allies.
Speaking at the Thursday State Department briefing, Pompeo launched another verbal assault on the Islamic Republic. He claimed that the people of Iran and the world demand that the Iranian government “finally acts like a normal nation.” Director of Policy Planning Brian Hook will lead the Iran Action Group to counter the Iranian government’s “malign activity and support Iranian voices.”
Hook was a State Department official who served as an adviser to John Bolton in 2006.
“Hook, who also serves as a senior policy advisor to Pompeo, adopted the same harsh rhetoric as his boss. Delivering a scathing speech against Tehran, he stressed that the US wants to “promote a brighter future for the Iranian people,” while insisting the “Iran regime has been a force for instability and violence.”
The official went on to speak from America’s 12-point ultimatum, which Pompeo unleashed back in May this year after the US withdrew from the landmark nuclear accord. Hook believes that US President Donald Trump is “prepared to talk to the regime,” if Tehran “changes its behavior” in those 12 areas. Pompeo added that the US wants to see “major” changes in Iran’s behavior “both inside and outside of its borders.”
When it comes to other countries continuing to do business with Iran, Hook said the US is “prepared to impose secondary sanctions on other governments.” The US “certainly hopes for full compliance by all nations,” Hook stressed, while noting that Washington’s goal is to “reduce every country’s imports of Iranian oil to zero by November 4.”
“When AP’s Matt Lee noted that the announcement of the Iran Action Group was taking place on the anniversary of the 1953 US-backed coup, and asked if this suggested a desire for “regime change,” Hook responded that the timing is “pure coincidence” and that the IAG is aimed at “changing the Iranian regime’s behavior.” [snip]
“While the US repeatedly claimed that it’s not aiming for regime change in the Islamic Republic, former US diplomat Jim Jatras believes that, from what Pompeo describes, Washington wants “an entire different mode of governance in Iran.”
“I think he is basically saying that we want to support a popular movement to bring down the Ayatollah’s regime,” Jatras told RT back in July.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in July that the other signatories of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal agree that US sanctions on countries doing business with Iran “is an absolutely illegal and unacceptable policy, but, of course, this can hardly be changed and there will be enough struggle in trade, economic and political spheres.” The minister also urged the remaining signatories to the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), to develop ways to keep commercial and economic ties with Iran that “would not depend on US whims.”
Aug. 16 Tweetie by >@SecPompeo
‘Countering the #Iran regime’s malign activity is a key @POTUS foreign policy priority. The Iran Action Group, led by Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook, will ensure a coordinated, unified approach to address the regime’s hostile activity and support the Iranian people’
July 31 Tweetie> @SecPompeo
“Last week I spoke to the Iranian-American community to let them know that the Trump Administration supports Iranians yearning for freedom. Here are a few voices expressing their hopes for the proud people of #Iran after nearly 40 years of oppression.”
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo delivers remarks on “Supporting Iranian Voices”, at the Ronald Reagan Foundation and Library, in Simi Valley, California, July 22, 2018. A transcript is available at https://www.state.gov/secretary/remar…
This is the Iranian Voices…shmaltz-tastic video on youtube. Pompeo may be slightly easier to listening to than His President…but it’s small wonder some folks call him a Mafia don; the ‘voices’ seem to be pretty well-heeled folks./s
“Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and members of the Iranian diaspora express hopes that the next 40 years of Iran’s history will not be marked by repression but by fr… [freeedom?]- U.S. Department of State”
“Mr Secretary, #IranProtests all over the country Iranian Call4 #RezaPahlavi Thank you for your support #IranRegimeChange #IranRegimeMustGo #WeStandWithPahlavi
(Reza Pahlavi, Crown Prince of Iran: Wikipedia; alleged foreign support: CIA)
‘Iran Action Group’ a new US tool of regime change, but Tehran’s resilience is ‘strong’ – researcher’, 17 Aug, 2018, RT
“Announcing the creation of the IAG on Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said its goal is to address Iran’s “hostile activity and support the Iranian people.” He had earlier pledged to support the opposition in Tehran while meeting with Iranian diaspora. Similar ideas were expressed by Rudy Giuliani, New York’s former mayor, as well as a lawyer and confidant of Donald Trump, when he attended an Iranian opposition rally in Paris.
Iranian diaspora protest rally in Los Angeles, California. January, 2018 © Monica Almeida / Reuters
“Washington has indeed stepped up its efforts to stoke unrest in Iran by emboldening local protests, which are chiefly sparked by economic grievances – but it’s not guaranteed that the US would be able to convert these demonstrations into political action, Pankratenko says.” [Igor Pankratenko, who is a Middle East researcher, journalist and deputy director of the Center for Strategic Assessment and Forecasts]
“Iran sees protests almost every month. The rallies have been occurring for more than a year now, but the socially themed protests don’t put forward the anti-regime agenda,” the researcher argues. “The regime’s resilience and fortitude turned out to be higher than the US experts thought. Plus, when the outside pressure kicks in, the society consolidates. Iran’s resistance to outside pressure is quite strong.”
Pankratenko believes that if the US follows through with its threats to clamp down on Iranian trade with full force, the Iranian economy could suffer more than it did from the Obama-era restrictions. But it is highly unlikely that the government will collapse, or that Iran will cave in to US demands and change its policy, the expert warns.
The historian also compared the 12-point ultimatum that Pompeo issued back in May to “twelve daggers shoved into Iran’s back,” adding that “if Iran submits to them, we can say that the Islamic Republic is defunct. Iran won’t do it.”
Yeah, but choking off their oil, laying on more and more sanctions will certainly cause more protests likely aided by USAID CIA, et.al., which is a part of regime change ops. Add in ‘warnings to Iran: ‘don’t block the straits of hormuz or kaboom!’ bellicosity, psyop or not.
Now as to the scheme to ‘reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero’, this from F. Wm. Engdahl at NEO.org’s ‘Washington’s Silent Weapon for Not-so-quiet Wars’ August 20:
“Despite all efforts of Russia, China, Iran and other countries to shift away from US dollar dependence for international trade and finance, the dollar remains still unchallenged as world central bank reserve currency, some 63% of all BIS central bank reserves. Moreover almost 88% of daily foreign currency trades are in US dollars. Most all oil trade, gold and commodity trades are denominated in dollars.”
His sections From QE to QT… and A 2019 New Global Crisis? (further weaponizing of the US dollar) are worth reading for the financially aware among you.
“If Washington succeeds on November 4 in cutting all Iran oil exports, world (dollar) oil prices could soar above 100 dollars, adding dramatically to the developing world dollar shortage. This is war by other means. The Fed dollar strategy is acting now as a “silent weapon” for not so quiet wars. If it continues it could deal a serious setback to the growing independence of Eurasian countries around the China New Silk Road and the Russia-China-Iran alternative to the dollar system. The role of the dollar as lead global reserve currency and the ability of the Federal Reserve to control it, is a weapon of massive destruction and a strategic pillar of American superpower control. Are the nations of Eurasia or even the ECB ready to deal effectively?”
Also see ‘VIPS to Trump: Intel on Iran Could be CATASTROPHIC’, August 1, 2018, consortium news
“Mr. President, we do not know whether a fresh National Intelligence Estimate has been produced on Iran and nuclear weapons — or, if one has been produced, whether it is as honest as the NIE of Nov. 2007, which helped prevent the launch of another unnecessary war the following year. We stand on our record. In sum, if you believe that there is credible evidence that Iran has an active secret nuclear weapons program, we believe you have been misled. And if you base decisions on misleading “intelligence” on Iran, the inevitable result will be a great deal worse than the Bush/Cheney debacle in Iraq.”
Now this long essay just might give you the willies, at least it did me: ‘Russiagate conceals Israeli Meddling and Coming War with Iran’, Max Parry, August 22nd, 2018 dissidentvoice.org
It’s wide-ranging, and covers not only the epic power of the American Israeli Affairs Committee (AIPAC), thus the IDF acting with impunity in the Gaza Strip, etc., but loads of history I was wholly unfamiliar with. There isn’t any way to short-hand the rest, but I’ll paste in some of the illuminating parts of the following in trust that they’re so:
“It was Trump’s opponent in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton, who as Secretary of State delisted the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (People’s Mujahideen of Iran) from the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations in 2012. The militant organization (abbreviated MEK, MKO or PMOI) is a cult-like group in exile which advocates the violent overthrow of the Iranian government and was officially designated a terror group for 15 years by the U.S. It was removed by the Obama administration after aggressive lobbying by its political wing based in France, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). Two of Trump’s top associates — war hawk National Security Advisor John Bolton and his lawyer representing him in the Mueller probe, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani — have repeatedly met with the MEK in recent years giving highly paid speeches at their events advocating regime change in Iran.
Founded in 1965, the MEK committed terrorist attacks throughout the Shah’s reign which killed thousands of Iranians and also included several plots that took the lives of U.S. personnel. The group today claims the attacks which killed Americans were committed by a breakaway Marxist faction of the group during a period when the Shah imprisoned its founder, Massoud Rajavi, but the evidence of its violent past (and present) is overwhelming. This is yet another instance of the U.S. re-branding terrorism when it suits its interests while simultaneously conducting a vaguely defined war against it. The decision to remove the group from the blacklist was a politicized move as the criminal activity of the MEK has never ceased. Another motive has been the group’s close ties with Israel, whose intelligence agency Mossad has trained MEK operatives in committing assassinations against Iranian nuclear scientists.” [snip]
“Another motive has been the group’s close ties with Israel, whose intelligence agency Mossad has trained MEK operatives in committing assassinations against Iranian nuclear scientists.
In 1979, the MEK participated in the Islamic Revolution which overthrew the U.S.-backed Shah. Persian royalty had been in power for more than 2,000 years, but the Pahlavi monarchy had been re-installed as a U.S. puppet following a CIA/MI6 coup d’etat in 1953 green-lighted by Winston Churchill and the Eisenhower administration.”
“Mr Secretary, #IranProtests all over the country Iranian Call4 #RezaPahlavi Thank you for your support #IranRegimeChange #IranRegimeMustGo #WeStandWithPahlavi
Parry gets into some speculative territory, but this I’ll include for its threat possibilities:
“The group is also known by the CIA to have aligned itself with ISIS against the Iranian-backed government in Iraq that expelled them. ISIS and MEK even likely coordinated terrorist attacks in June 2017 in Iran just as the Trump administration increased the economic sanctions. In addition to Ashraf 3, the MEK is allegedly being trained at the NATO military base in Kosovo, Camp Bondsteel, possibly for a regime change operation in Iran. Concurrently, Trump is reported to be preparing to strike Tehran as early as this month [his link says ‘may be’] according to the Australian Geo-Spatial Intelligence Organization, just as he tweeted threats at Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The decision to use Kosovo as a base of operations for the MEK is consistent with the protectorate’s history — it was established after seceding from Serbia when the Clinton administration supported another de-listed Islamist terror group, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), in NATO’s bombing campaign against Belgrade in 1999.”
Meanwhile, from that panglossian world traveler and journalist Andre Vltchek: ‘Hello – They Lied to You About Iran!’, Aug. 17, 2018, NEO.org
“I have just left Tehran, a city with a tremendous history and culture, overflowing with museums, theatres, wonderfully kept parks dotted with modern art sculptures. It is a city with modern and fully subsidized public transportation, consisting of high-tech metro, ecological bus ways, as well as suburban trains. A city of tall trees, and quiet squares, of elegant cafes, and extremely educated and kind people.
A city that could easily be part of the ‘top ten’ cities on Earth, were it not be the capital of a country that the West is trying to ruin, first with unjust and draconian sanctions, and then, who knows, even by a militarily invasion.
What do most Westerners know about Iran; what were they told? I think the image the mass media outlets want to project is of “Iran – a radical Muslim country, some sort of Shia Saudi Arabia”, or perhaps worse. Much worse, as Saudi Arabia, the closest Arab ally of London and Washington, cannot be touched in the West, no matter what barbarity and terror it spreads all around the world.” [snip]
“You are also expected to remain ignorant about Iran’s social system, clearly socialist. Free education and medical care, greatly subsidized public transportation and culture, huge public spaces and to some extent, strong government and at least partially, central planning.
Despite those absolutely unjust, terrible sanctions imposed, with some interruptions, from Washington and its allies, Iran is standing tall, trying as much as it can to take care of its people. And despite the terrible ordeal Iranian people are being put through, they do not cheat and do not steal. The exchange rate collapsed after Washington imposed another round of bizarre sanctions, triggering frustration, even protests. But the majority of Iranians understands who the real culprit is. And it is no secret that the so-called opposition is often financed from the West.”
Iran is bleeding, suffering, but it is strong. Not everyone agrees with government policies here (although most of them do support their government), but everybody is determined to fight and defend his or her country, if it is attacked militarily or by other means.
Perhaps that is why the West wants to first ruin, and then to totally destroy this country. For the West, Iran is ‘dangerous’. Iran is dangerous, even deadly, for the imperialist arrangement of the world, as China is dangerous, as Russia is, as Cuba, Venezuela, Syria and Bolivia are.”
#HandsOffIran on Twitter; one image from Aug 19:
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)