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Iran

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bombing-iran
Fake news about a terrorist connection could serve as a pretext for war
Observers of developments in the Middle East have long taken it as a given that the United States and Israel are seeking for an excuse to attack Iran. The recently terminated conference in Warsaw had that objective, which was clearly expressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but it failed to rally European and Middle... Read More
The humiliation of United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Warsaw last week was a good thing. The ancient Greeks, exercising their demonstrated ability to synthesize defining characteristics, had a word for it: hubris. Hubris is when one develops an extreme and unreasonable feeling of confidence in a certain course of action that inevitably... Read More
white-helmets-terrorists
How easy it is to give awards to terrorists
I am often asked to explain why countries like Iran appear to be so aggressive, involving themselves in foreign wars and seeking to create alliances that they know will provoke the worst and most paranoid responses from some of their neighbors. My response is invariably that perceptions of threat depend very much on which side... Read More
doomsday-clock
Last week Washington threatened Iran, Syria, China, Venezuela and Russia
The nuclear war doomsday clock maintained on the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists website has advanced to two minutes before midnight, the closest point to possible atomic apocalypse since the end of the Cold War. In 1995 the clock was at fourteen minutes to midnight, but the opportunity to set it back even further was lost... Read More
syrian-army
Will a new war be the October Surprise?
It’s official. The Syrian Army assisted by Russian air support is closing in on the last major pocket of terrorists remaining in the country in the province of Idlib near Aleppo. The United States, which has trained and armed some of the trapped gunmen and even as recently as a year ago described the province... Read More
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No understanding in the White House of what might come next
President Donald Trump makes a point of insisting that he has nothing against the Iranian people and is only interested in opposing what he regards as the dangerous activities of their government, but his own record in office belies that claim. It is clear that what he is trying to do is put pressure on... Read More
Maryan Rajavi
But it can buy a lot of politicians
Iran’s radical Marxist cult Mohajedeen e Khalq, better known by its acronym MEK, is somewhat reminiscent of the Israel Lobby’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in that it operates somewhat in the shadows and is nevertheless able to punch well beyond its weight by manipulating politicians and understanding how American government functions on its... Read More
iran-philip-2
Iranians want to be friends with Americans but Israel hates the idea
I have just spent a week in Mashad and Tehran Iran, speaking at an international conference on the future of Jerusalem as well as other related issues while also meeting with a broad range of Iranians, including journalists, students and government officials. The conference was organized by a non-government organization called New Horizon. It was... Read More
maccron
The nuclear agreement with Iran is worth preserving
The analysis of the recent exchanges between French President Emmanuel Macron and President Donald Trump suggest that Washington is most likely about to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran that was signed by the U.S. and five other governments in July 2015. The decision will likely be made... Read More
bibi-and-drone
Time to tell Israel and Saudi Arabia to fight their own wars
The deluge of recent reporting regarding possible conflict with nuclear armed North Korea has somewhat obscured consideration of the much higher probability that Israel or even Saudi Arabia will take steps that will lead to a war with Iran that will inevitably draw the United States in. Israel is particularly inclined to move aggressively, with... Read More
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Will Israel start a new war?
When politicians are feeling the heat, they start a war and their popularity goes up even if the war is unnecessary or completely ridiculous. Donald Trump, the presidential candidate who promised that he would not take the nation into another Middle Eastern war, did so when he launched a fifty-nine cruise missile barrage against a... Read More
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The White House is targeting Iran but should instead focus on Saudi Arabia
It is one of the great ironies that the United States, a land mass protected by two broad oceans while also benefitting from the world’s largest economy and most powerful military, persists in viewing itself as a potential victim, vulnerable and surrounded by enemies. In reality, there are only two significant potential threats to the... Read More
iran-rg
A world in turmoil, thank you Mr. Trump!
The real Donald Trump has been exposed. The man who promised a sensible and non-interventionist Middle Eastern policy and a reset with Moscow has now reneged on both pledges. His nitwit United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has directly linked Russia and Syria for punishment by the omnipotent Leader of the Free World lest anyone be... Read More
Inspired by fringe theories about Islamic civilization, Michael Flynn is leading Trump down a dangerous path
The United States is adding new sanctions on Iran over that country’s alleged misdeeds, and nearly all of those allegations are either out-and-out lies or half-truths. It has a familiar ring to it, as demonizing Tehran has been rather more the norm than not since 1979, a phenomenon that has included fabricated claims that the... Read More
trump-iran
Will Iran be the target of the Trump regime?
One of the most discouraging aspects of the filling out of the Donald Trump cabinet is the array of Iran haters that seem to be lining up in the foreign policy and national security areas. Trump has been personally advocating sensible policies relating to Russia and Syria but he appears to have gone off the... Read More
rev-guards
Another phony excuse for endless war
The Israeli Minister of Defense is now telling anyone who is willing to listen that the Iranian government is building an “international terror network that includes sleeper cells that are stockpiling arms, intelligence and operatives to be ready to strike on command in places including Europe and the U.S.” Moshe Yaalon elaborated that Iran intends... Read More
Long after the nuclear agreement was settled, opponents are undermining an already fragile peace
Since July the Israel Lobby and other opponents of the understanding reached by the White House and other parties to limit the Iranian nuclear program have been warning that any celebration would be premature, as the agreement is far from a done deal. President Obama survived initial attempts to create legislative hurdles hindering implementation of... Read More
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A successful agreement could restore sanity to American foreign policy
Back in February 2003 my wife and I joined twenty other Americans standing on the corner near my small Virginia town’s only traffic light to hold up signs protesting the impending invasion of Iraq by U.S. forces. Some drivers honked approval and waved while others flipped us off. Two years later, after the war had... Read More
bibi-bomb
Let's push back against Israel's friends and avoid a war
It now appears that the longest drawn out negotiations in history since the Treaty of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years War have will again be prorogued. I am, of course, referring to the P5+1 talks in Vienna seeking to come up with a peaceful resolution to the problem of Iran’s nonexistent nuclear weapons program. Today... Read More
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Are the soccer federation arrests about Israel?
There is a folk tale attributed possibly inaccurately to the Arabs regarding a traveler who allows his camel to first stick its nose into his tent, then followed by other parts of its body, until finally the camel is entirely inside, taking up all the room and refusing to leave. The camel’s humble initial importunity... Read More
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Sending the wrong message to Russia, China and Iran
Currently the United States is assisting Ukraine against Russia by providing some non-lethal military equipment as well as limited training for Kiev’s army. It has balked at getting more involved in the conflict, rightly so. With that in mind, I had a meeting with a delegation of Ukrainian parliamentarians and government officials a couple of... Read More
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Iran will always be the enemy
For more than twenty years the world has been hearing from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his friends in the United States that Iran is a global threat because it is developing nuclear weapons. Netanyahu’s warning has been framed around his repeated prediction that if nothing were done to intercede in the process the... Read More
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Neocons Call It "America's Biggest Challenge"
The reports of the latest military action in Syria and Iraq has pushed most other foreign news out of the US media. This has been good for the neoconservatives, who have been urging an even more aggressive intervention, to include US boots on the ground. Since so much mainstream media coverage of the fighting has... Read More
shutterstock_94711495
And the United States Government is Helping
There is a group of Jewish American billionaires who are apparently doing their best to make sure than negotiations with Iran go nowhere in the mistaken belief that they are doing what is best for Israel. And they would also appear to be assisted in their efforts by the White House, which is at the... Read More
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A Dangerous Game for Washington
In a recent round of finger pointing, the Obama Administration blamed China for being both “dangerous and provocative” in its crisis in relations with Vietnam. The specific incident that led to the rebuke was rioting in Vietnam in response to a Chinese oil drilling rig being placed in disputed waters in the South China Sea.... Read More
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Negotiations with Iran Become More Difficult
It is becoming difficult to accept that the Obama Administration, though apparently serious in its desire to come to an agreement over Iran’s nuclear program, is willing to do what it might take to come to a compromise solution. Repeated warnings that talks with Iran are proceeding but fraught with difficulties can be interpreted as... Read More
Secret parallel negotiations with Iran that led up to the recent agreement over that nation’s nuclear program included an unusual and highly interactive role for the intelligence community. Normally the analysts provide a formal report on an issue or development, a report that is frequently codified into a National Intelligence Estimate, if there is time... Read More
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Jennifer Rubin Wants More War
Israel’s friends frequently claim that critics hold Tel Aviv to a higher standard than they do other countries that have similar or worse records on human rights. Actually the truth is quite the reverse, with Israel frequently able to escape censure for actions that would normally result in the imposition of sanctions by the United... Read More
CIA freelancer disappears in Iran—and Russian and Israeli gangsters are among the suspects.
The 2007 disappearance of former FBI Special Agent Robert Levinson is inevitably being exploited to score political points in Washington, with some critics denouncing the alleged CIA role in the affair while others are more focused on what is being called a cover-up in the subsequent investigation. Levinson vanished while on the Iranian island of... Read More
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Turkey is fertile ground for Iran-related intelligence operations, and Israel recently blew one.
David Ignatius of the Washington Post is reporting that early in 2012 Ankara informed the Iranians of the identities of a number of Israeli intelligence sources that were being routinely met in Turkey. Per Ignatius, who is particularly well connected to the Israel government and its security agencies, 10 Iranians who were spying for Israel... Read More
Was the Iraq War's architect getting advice from an agent of the Islamic Republic?
It is now generally accepted that the Iraq War came about as a result in large part of manipulation of intelligence, which skewed the decision-making process. Ahmed Chalabi, the multi-millionaire confidence trickster who headed the Iraqi National Congress, fed fabricated information to his neoconservative allies in the Pentagon and White House. The so-called intelligence was... Read More
On Sunday the Washington Post featured an op-ed “What Bill Clinton can teach Obama about the Israelis.” It was written by Natan B. Sachs, an Israeli “research fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.” Sachs opined that it is possible for the White House to disagree with Israelis on... Read More
Why an Israeli attack is risky--and might not even eliminate Iran's nuclear facilities.
During the Napoleonic Wars, when it was reported that the French were preparing to invade England, Admiral John Jervis said "I do not say they the French cannot come--I only say they cannot come by sea." Barring the movement of a regiment of sans culottes across the English Channel by a fleet of Montgolfier balloons,... Read More
I have previously written for TAC about the October Surprise of 1980, how it developed, and what impact it might have had on the election of Ronald Reagan. The “Surprise” was arranged through a secret agreement made between some associates of the Reagan campaign and the Iranian government. Those who follow the international media are... Read More
Scott McConnell has described the recent comments made by Patrick Clawson, director of research for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), an organization founded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and closely tied to the Israeli government. Clawson heads WINEP’s Iran Security Initiative. As Clawson’s comments are both quite extraordinary and... Read More
There have been a number of conspiracy theories floated by those who are seeking to learn exactly how a video clip guaranteed to provoke riots throughout the Middle East surfaced at this time, close to a U.S. presidential election. The Romney team has already worked hard to make hay from the past week’s events, claiming... Read More
Iran and Syria move to the frontburner
Normally Washington bureaucracies shut down in August, but this year the intelligence community was working flat out to develop information on two crises in the Middle East. One official describes a deep sense of foreboding, recalling NSC Counter Terrorism Security Group chairman Richard Clarke’s description of walking around the West Wing in August 2001 with... Read More
New sanctions on the Islamic Republic stack the deck for war.
Over the past two weeks there has been something like a competition between Republicans and Democrats to see who can do more for Israel by hyping Iran as a threat. Mitt Romney fired the first shot while speaking at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Reno, accusing the president of “undermining” Israel and citing... Read More
Iran is again front-page news, on this occasion for threatening the United States Navy. A lengthy featured article in the Washington Post describes how Iran has obtained new sophisticated anti-ship missiles and has added fast attack boats and submarines. It has also adopted new tactics involving swarming attacks that would put US vessels in a... Read More
The Washington Post is generally regarded as liberal on most issues but has promoted a neoconservative foreign policy since Fred Hiatt took over the editorial page in 2000. The Post has supported the Iraq war, the “Surges” in Iraq and Afghanistan, and drone warfare, while also pushing for a more aggressive US response to Iran,... Read More
How one reports the news is more important than the actual content, with many readers only scanning headlines before moving on to the sports or entertainment pages. An article by Yeganeh Torbati of Reuters that appeared on July 1st caught my eye, “Iran threatens Israel; new EU sanctions take force.” The tale of how Iran... Read More
The Washington Post is continuing its drumbeat for war with Iran. Last week it ran an op-ed urging the West not to be fooled by Iranian conciliatory steps, urging instead harsher sanctions and a possible military option. A lead editorial followed three days later making the same points. But the piece de resistance was a... Read More
One has to wonder at the seemliness of a U.S. ambassador announcing to a foreign audience that the U.S. is prepared to attack a third country with which it is not at war, but that is precisely what Dan Shapiro told a gathering of Israeli lawyers last Tuesday. He said the U.S. would try to... Read More
A New York Times story on March 19 reported that there might be “perils” for the U.S. in the event of an Israeli attack on Iran and warned that “it may be impossible to preclude American involvement in any escalating confrontation” with “dire consequences for the region and for United States forces there.” The story... Read More
Israel is tightening the noose around Iran. The Israeli government has signed a secret agreement with the government of Azerbaijan to lease two former Soviet military airfields located close to the Iranian border. One of the facilities is being used as an intelligence collection site, with advanced Sigint capabilities and preparations underway for drone operations.... Read More
I am wondering if other TAC readers noticed the metamorphoses in a New York Times article that I noted last night and this morning? A featured article appeared on the NYT website last night under the headline "United States War Game Sees Disaster in an Israeli Attack on Iran." By this morning that headline had... Read More
TAC supporters have likely noted the torrent of editorials and opinion pieces calling for war against Iran. On February 7th alone there were nine lead editorials in major newspapers throughout the country calling for the use of force as the best option for dealing with Tehran. Coordinated? You bet. Since that time the flow has... Read More
The bombing in New Delhi and attempted bombing in Tbilisi directed against Israeli diplomatic targets is a major escalation of the tit-for-tat terrorism between Israel and Iran. Israel has killed four Iranian scientists using Mujaheddin e Khalq agents and possibly also relying on intelligence provided by Washington. Israel's involvement in recruiting Jundullah-Baluchi militants using officers... Read More
The New York Times strikes again. In an article basically discussing the possible timing for attacking Iran Mark Landler and David Sanger state that Washington wants to “give the latest sanctions a chance to inflict enough pain on the Iranian leadership to force it back to the negotiating table.” In reality, it is the US... Read More
Here’s a beauty. “Iran…willing to attack on US soil, US intelligence report finds” screams a headline for an article on the front page of the Washington Post. But para 3 begins “US officials said they have seen no intelligence to indicated that Iran is actively plotting attacks on US soil.” The article then goes on... Read More
Philip Giraldi
About Philip Giraldi

Phil Giraldi is a former CIA Case Officer and Army Intelligence Officer who spent twenty years overseas in Europe and the Middle East working terrorism cases. He holds a BA with honors from the University of Chicago and an MA and PhD in Modern History from the University of London. In addition to TAC, where he has been a contributing editor for nine years, he writes regularly for Antiwar.com. He is currently Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest and resides with his wife of 32 years in Virginia horse country close to his daughters and grandchildren.


Personal Classics
A Modern Guernica Enabled by Washington
Pressuring Candidates Even Before They Are Nominated
But is it even a friend?
The gagged whistleblower goes on the record.
Today’s CIA serves contractors and bureaucrats—not the nation.
Pay no mind to the Mossad agent on the line.