Will it reach a
CKrescendo soon? Yes, we’re lookin’ at you, Bibi. Also: your wife wears combat boots (on her face), so there!
‘Washington escalates “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran’, 6 September 2019, wsws.org, Bill Van Auken
“In abrogating US commitment to that deal [the JCPOA], in flagrant violation of international law, the Trump administration embarked upon a strategy of US aggression and regime change in Iran. This has involved the steady escalation of a “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at starving the Iranian people into submission, combined with a buildup of US military forces in the Persian Gulf in preparation for armed intervention.
The “maximum pressure” campaign’s stated aim is to drive Iran’s oil exports, which account for the overwhelming share of the country’s earnings, down to zero. According to most estimates, exports of Iranian crude oil have been slashed by roughly 80 percent.
Trump gloated over the effects of the sanctions during a White House press briefing Wednesday. “They’ve got a big problem,” he said. “They’re getting killed, financially. Their inflation is at a number that few people have ever seen inflation at. (sic)”
The measures taken by the United States amount to a criminal act of collective punishment against Iran’s 83 million people. In addition to slashing the country’s export income, the US sanctions regime has also frozen Iran out of the US-dominated world financial system, severely hindering the country’s ability to import vital necessities, including food and medicines that are technically exempt from the US blockade.
As a result, children on cancer wards are being denied the drugs needed to combat the disease and are dying in growing numbers. What imported drugs are available are in short supply, and their prices have skyrocketed. The financial sanctions have disrupted supply chains for Iran’s own extensive pharmaceutical industry, further reducing the availability of drugs and condemning many more to an early death. Among Iran’s working people, those not being killed outright by the sanctions are more and more being driven into poverty and hunger as the cost of food, housing and other basic necessities skyrocket.
There is no evidence, however, that the sanctions have destabilized the Iranian government, while its principal base, Iran’s capitalist ruling class, continues to reap profits, even as masses of workers are confronting increasingly desperate conditions.” [snip]
And while I suppose Iran’s ruling class continuing to reap profits, wsws does say the same about the Maduro government, Xi’s, and of course Putin’s oligarchs, I at least find myself hoping that it’s not quite so.
“Since then, Washington has been flailing about for a means of escalating its drive for regime change in Iran. On Wednesday, the Trump administration unveiled a new set of sweeping sanctions aimed at paralyzing the shipment of Iran’s oil exports. Claiming that the shipping network being used to evade Washington’s unilateral sanctions is run by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, it threatened to target any “non-U.S. persons who knowingly provide significant goods, services, or support” to Iran’s oil shipments with punishing sanctions. “Failure to take heed … bears grave consequences,” an administration official told the Washington Post.” [snip]
Trump himself swings wildly between offers of negotiations and threats of all-out war.
Remember we were told that FM Zarif had paid a ‘surprise visit’ to the G7 Summit, and wondered how that went?
“At the G7 summit last month, he seemed to embrace a proposal by French President Emmanuel Macron to extend a $15 billion line of credit to Iran to convince it to continue abiding by the terms of the JCPOA, which was supposed to trade a severe curtailment of Iran’s nuclear program for a lifting of the sanctions that have been re-imposed by Washington. Macron’s invitation to Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif to talks at the G7 were seen as a preparation for direct US-Iranian negotiations.
On Wednesday, however, Washington indicated it had no intention of allowing France to go through with the deal, while Trump told reporters that he didn’t need Macron to talk to Iran. Administration officials speaking to the media dismissed the “French scheme,” exposing the sharp conflicts between Europe and America over the Iranian question.”
Now this is both terrifyingly nutz and dangerous, but he offers no link to the Times piece, and I couldn’t kick it up externally, albeit paywalls and all that rot. Were they all anonymous US and Israeli officials, as the NYSlimes often quotes in their war fervor?
“The threat that the escalating tensions produced by US imperialism’s “maximum pressure” campaign will erupt into a full-scale war was underscored by a lengthy article published by the New York Times Wednesday reviewing the protracted collaboration between Washington and Israel in relation to Iran.
Citing US and Israeli officials, the article made clear that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is actively considering the launching of a unilateral military strike against Iranian nuclear installations, an action that would receive a green light from the Trump White House. Confronting a growing political crisis and the threat of criminal prosecution, Netanyahu has in recent weeks ordered Israeli military strikes against targets allegedly linked to Iran in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.”
“The article also underscored the bipartisan character of the protracted US campaign for regime change in Iran. Trump, the article states, “inherited a loaded gun: military plans for an Iran strike that had been meticulously refined during the Obama years.” The Times piece cites how, under the Obama administration, the Pentagon built a full-scale replica of Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility in a desert in the American southwest, destroying it with a 30,000-pound bunker-busting bomb designed by the US Air Force.”
‘Iran will give Europe two months to save nuclear deal – Rouhani’, 4 Sept. 4, 2019, RT.com
“Europe has two months to negotiate sanctions relief for Tehran, otherwise the country will initiate ‘phase three’ in its rollback of commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said.
“Europe has another two-month deadline for negotiations, agreement, and a return to its commitments,” Rouhani warned at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
Tehran has been calling on the EU to provide relief from the sweeping sanctions that were imposed by Washington after the US unilaterally left the 2015 deal, known as the JCPOA. Iranian officials have warned that they will gradually reduce their commitments under the agreement if this does not happen.
In early July, Iran activated the ‘first phase’ of this strategy by increasing its stockpile of enriched uranium beyond the 300kg limit imposed by the JCPOA. The ‘second phase’ – enriching uranium beyond 3.67 percent – was effected shortly afterwards.”
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)