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A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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 Iran ItemsEntire Archive
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Yet another clumsy attempt by the Three Rogue States to weaken Iran
First, a quick who's who We will probably never find out what truly was discussed between Trump, the Saudis and the Israelis, but there is little doubt that the recent Saudi move against Qatar is the direct results of these negotiations. How do I know that? Because Trump himself said so! As I mentioned in... Read More
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Introduction US policy in the Middle East and South Asia is shaped by several basic considerations: 1) US Imperialism is the force of global domination 2) US imperial policy in the Middle East focuses on encircling, destroying and dismantling Iran’s allies (Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Iraq (Shi’a Militia), Qatar and Yemen with the intent of overthrowing... Read More
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The Irrationality of Iran Vilification
“Everywhere you look, if there is trouble in the region,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters on a mid-April visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, “you find Iran.” I must admit that when I stumbled across that quote it brought up uncomfortable personal memories. East Baghdad, January 25, 2007: my patrol had missed a turn... Read More
You couldn't make this up, could you? Just before President Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, a genuinely despotic land with an extreme ideology and lacking elections, Iran’s moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, was swept back into office. It was an exuberant election campaign in which he trounced a hardline fundamentalist opponent, winning 57% of the... Read More
It was crude stuff. President Trump called on 55 Muslim leaders assembled in Riyadh to drive out terrorism from their countries. He identified Iran as a despotic state and came near to calling for regime change, though Iran held a presidential election generally regarded as fair only two days previously. He denounced Hezbollah and lined... Read More
Many people view Donald Trump as the most dangerous man on the planet, but next week he flies to Saudi Arabia for a three-day visit during which he will meet a man who surely runs him a close second as a source of instability. This is deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, 31 – the... Read More
Maybe the president believes he’s won a great victory over the wicked Syrians by lobbing cruise missiles at one of their underused air bases. Maybe Trump believes that he’s scared the evil Russians and the too big for their sampans Chinese into obedience. His 22,000 lb MOAB terror bomb on Afghanistan should keep those pesky... Read More
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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
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The Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is the friendly calf of the Russian proverb who sucks two cows. After his rather successful meeting with President Trump, he went to the enemy No.1 of the United States, and to his good friend, President Putin, in chilly Moscow, where he always gets a warm reception. This time... Read More
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The selection of Lt. General H. R. McMaster as Trump’s new National Security Advisor to replace Michael Flynn appears to be the coup de grâce to Trump’s efforts to achieve rapprochement with Russia. McMaster has received profuse praise from all types of mainstream figures: conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans. McMaster’s expressed hostile view of... Read More
The Trump administration is making its first radical policy change in the Middle East by escalating American involvement in the civil war in Yemen. Wrecked by years of conflict, the unfortunate country will supposedly be the place where the US will start to confront and roll back Iranian influence in the region as a whole.... Read More
My latest Newsbud video looks at signals from Secretary of Defense Mattis' trip to Asia and what it means for the South China Sea, East China Sea, and North Korea flashpoints. https://youtu.be/2QvcTZt4DVI For now, Trump Asia policy looks pretty mainstream.One point I make in the piece is that Trump isn't necessarily eschewing bloody American military... Read More
President Trump made great play when he came into office with his return of a bust of Winston Churchill to the Oval Office, presenting the move as a symbol of his admiration for adamantine patriotic resolve in pursuit of patriotic ends. Presumably, Trump was thinking of Churchill in 1940, not Churchill in 1915-16 when he... Read More
Photo by Ninian Reid | CC BY 2.0
Why is the Trump administration threatening Iran? On February 1, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn announced that the administration was “putting Iran on notice” after it tested a ballistic missile which the US sees as a violation of Iran’s treaty obligations. Flynn’s frigid tone made it clear that the administration is considering the use of... Read More
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One of the most frustrating tasks is to try to debunk the Hollywood myths imprinted on the mind of Americans about warfare in general and about special forces and technology in particular. When last week I wrote my column about the first SNAFUs of the Trump Presidency I pretty much expected that some of the... Read More
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave Theresa May a frightening account during their meeting of the threat posed by Iranian aggression to Israel and everybody else. In Mr Netanyahu’s eyes, Iran is a much more dangerous enemy than Isis or al-Qaeda, seeking “to annihilate Israel, it seeks to conquer the Middle East, it threatens Europe,... Read More
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When Gen. Michael Flynn marched into the White House Briefing Room to declare that "we are officially putting Iran on notice," he drew a red line for President Trump. In tweeting the threat, Trump agreed. His credibility is now on the line. And what triggered this virtual ultimatum? Iran-backed Houthi rebels, said Flynn, attacked a... Read More
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It is a rare privilege to be able to criticize a politician for actually fulfilling his campaign promises but Donald Trump is a unique President and this week he offered us exactly this opportunity with not one, but three different SNAFUs to report. First, there was the botched raid against an alledged al-Qaeda compound in... Read More
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President Trump is adding further venom to the raging sectarian hatreds tearing apart Iraq and Syria by his latest ill-judged tweets. These have far greater explosive potential than his better known clashes with countries like Australia and Mexico, because in the Middle East he is dealing with matters of war and peace. In this complex... Read More
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I bow (in case you were wondering) to no one in my loathing for the Clintons, the Establishment, the Beltway Insulates, political correctness, BLM, radical feminists, the controlled media, Obama, Wall Street, neocons, Social-Justice Look-at-Mes, and the New York Oligarchs. After the election, I figured, having no choice anyway, to see what Trump actually did.... Read More
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Restoring Washington-Damascus Relations?
Damascus, Syria. Not for at least three quarters of a century have the American people elected a president who so openly disparages, discards and seemingly abhors the principles, standards, policies, ideas, and institutions at the center of post-WW II US foreign policy. Trump seems to dismiss human rights even as a foreign policy principle, much... Read More
Tell me if this sounds familiar: the leadership of a distant nation has its own ideas about whom you should vote for, or who should rule your country, and acts decisively on them, affecting an election. Such interference in the political life of another country must be a reference to... no, I’m not thinking about... Read More
Or Is That the Least of Our Problems When It Comes to U.S.-Iranian Relations?
Though every Republican in Congress voted against the Iran nuclear deal, "Tearing it up ... is not going to happen," says Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Hopefully, the chairman speaks for the president-elect. During the campaign, Donald Trump indicated as much, saying that, though the U.S. got jobbed in the negotiations... Read More
In this world, it is often dangerous to be an enemy of the United States, said Henry Kissinger in 1968, but to be a friend is fatal. The South Vietnamese would come to appreciate the insight. So it is today with Aleppo, where savage reprisals against U.S.-backed rebels are taking place in that hellhole of... Read More
President-elect Donald Trump told a Cincinnati audience this week that he intends to make some big changes in US foreign policy. During his “thank you” tour in the midwest, Trump had this to say: If this is really to be President Trump’s foreign policy, it would be a welcome change from the destructive path pursued... Read More
President-elect Donald Trump vows to either tear up or rewrite the recent international nuclear deal with Iran, calling it ‘disastrous,’ and ‘the worst deal ever negotiated by Washington.’ Iran, which has closed important nuclear facilities, shut down half its centrifuges, and neutralized its stores of nuclear material under the international agreement, must be wondering if... Read More
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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
Evin Prison.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Iran’s hardline judiciary this week sentenced Iranian-American, Siamak Namazi, to ten years in Evin prison. His 80 year-old father, Baquer, who was once the governor of Shiraz province under the Shah, received the same sentence. Siamak was working for a Dubai energy company in 2015, when he made a visit to Iran to see his... Read More
How Daily Beast Editor, Michael Weiss Helped Send Iranian-American to Torture Chambers of Evin Prison
It’s a long way from the campus of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire’s Great North Woods in 2003 to Tehran’s Evin Prison in 2016. But the path between them led to a fateful intersection of the lives of Michael D. Weiss (the Dartmouth student) and Siamak Namazi (a jailed Iranian-American). It was Weiss who helped... Read More
Here is a quick pop quiz. What happens if we lie to the government? What happens if the government lies to us? Does it matter who does the lying? Last year, the Obama administration negotiated an agreement with the government of Iran permitting Iran to obtain certain materials for the construction of nuclear facilities. It... Read More
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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
Is the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, a RINO -- a revolutionary in name only? So they must be muttering around the barracks of the Iranian Republican Guard Corps today. For while American hawks are saying we gave away the store to Tehran, consider what ayatollah agreed to. Last week,... Read More
Today I have already posted the excellent analyses of the (possibly temporary) failure of the USA to submit Iran to its will: one by Alexander Mercouris, the other by Soraya Sepahpour Ulrich. I shall not repeat their very arguments here, mainly because both see this as a conflict between the USA and Iran, whereas I... Read More
Analysis: Iran has escaped years of isolation and the threat of war without sustaining much damage
Iran is politically and economically stronger because of the agreement on its nuclear programme and the partial end of sanctions. Israel and Saudi Arabia had argued in their different ways that such a deal would open the door to a radical expansion of Iranian influence in the Middle East. The late Saudi King Abdullah was... Read More
This has been the most dramatic week in US/Iranian relations since 1979.Last weekend ten US Navy personnel were caught in Iranian waters, as the Pentagon kept changing its story on how they got there. It could have been a disaster for President Obama’s big gamble on diplomacy over conflict with Iran. But after several rounds... Read More
Standard procedure at Radio Derb, when there shows up a story like this that calls for comment, is first to get the ascertainable facts in line. So off I went to Google Maps for a quick reminder of the geopolitical layout around the Persian Gulf. It’s not that complicated. The main body of the Gulfgoes... Read More
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To awaken Thursday to front-page photos of U.S. sailors kneeling on the deck of their patrol boat, hands on their heads in postures of surrender, on Iran's Farsi Island, brought back old and bad memories. In January 1968, LBJ's last year, 82 sailors of the Pueblo were captured by North Korea and held hostage with... Read More
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Once in a blue moon, this writer’s view coincides with that of the New York Times leader. It has happened now. The Saudi predilection for gore is not easy to stomach. The House of al Saud chose to celebrate the New Year, Christmas and Nativity of the Prophet Muhammad by shooting (or chopping heads, or... Read More
The New Year's execution by Saudi Arabia of the Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr was a deliberate provocation. Its first purpose: Signal the new ruthlessness and resolve of the Saudi monarchy where the power behind the throne is the octogenarian King Salman's son, the 30-year-old Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman. Second, crystallize, widen and... Read More
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The “Assad must go” policy implies war with Russia, Iran and Hezbollah
The “news” that Israel and Turkey are systematically violating international law is hardly news at all. After all, we all know that Turkey has been regularly bombing the Kurds in Iraq and Syria, that Turkey still illegally occupies northern Cyprus just like the Israelis have been bombing Syria and Lebanon for decades and that they... Read More
The speed at which the Russian military operation in Syria was conducted what a big surprise for the US intelligence community (which I can hardly blame as I was just as surprised myself). Make no mistake here, the Russian force in Syria is a small one, at least for the time being, and it does... Read More
How Henry Kissinger Helped Create Our “Proliferated” World
The only person Henry Kissinger flattered more than President Richard Nixon was Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. In the early 1970s, the Shah, sitting atop an enormous reserve of increasingly expensive oil and a key figure in Nixon and Kissinger’s move into the Middle East, wanted to be dealt with as a serious... Read More
Ten weeks before the first U.S.-Soviet summit ever held in Moscow, in May 1972, North Vietnam, with Soviet-supplied armor and artillery, crossed the DMZ in an all-out offensive to overrun the South. President Nixon responded with air and naval strikes on the North. Yet Nixon went to Moscow and signed the first strategic arms agreement... Read More
The Neoconservatives, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Republicans Game the System
David Addington, the legal adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, made that declaration to Jack Goldsmith of the Office of Legal Counsel in the months after September 11, 2001. Goldsmith would later recall that Cheney and Addington were the first people he had ever met of a certain kind: “Cheney is not subtle, and he... Read More
Everyone knows the basics of the dispute over the nuclear deal with Iran. In no time at all, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaped directly into the American political arena to take potshots at that agreement in a way that, had any other world leader acted similarly, would have been denounced across the political spectrum.... Read More
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Who Is the Gravest Danger to World Peace?
Throughout the world there is great relief and optimism about the nuclear deal reached in Vienna between Iran and the P5+1 nations, the five veto-holding members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany. Most of the world apparently shares the assessment of the U.S. Arms Control Association that “the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action establishes... Read More
The first prime-time Republican primary debate of 2015 was an eye-opener of sorts when it came to the Middle East. After forcefully advocating for the termination of the pending nuclear deal with Iran, for example, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker unleashed an almost indecipherable torrent of words. “This is not just bad with Iran,” he insisted,... Read More
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Prologue: In the village of Duma, an 18 month old Palestinian baby died following the fire-bombing of his family’s home by Israeli settlers. The father of the child died of burns a week later and the surviving mother and young sibling are barely alive – covered with burns from racist Jewish arson. The United Nations... 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
PastClassics
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
While other top brass played press agents for the administration’s war, William Odom told the truth about Iraq—though few listened.
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?