The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
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Iran

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No Washington-designed “maximum pressure” has been able to derail a crucial milestone this Sunday: the end of the UN arms embargo on Iran, in accordance with UN Security Council 2231, which has endorsed the 2015 JCPOA deal. The JCPOA - or Iran nuclear deal – was unilaterally ditched by the Trump administration. But that, notoriously,... Read More
An Indian Train Ride. Credit: Asia Times/Facebook.
There was a time when New Delhi was proudly selling the notion of establishing its own New Silk Road – from the Gulf of Oman to the intersection of Central and South Asia - to compete with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Now it looks like the Indians have stabbed themselves in the back.... Read More
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Making the case that the explosion resulted from an attack
The narrative that the Beirut explosion was an exclusive consequence of negligence and corruption by the current Lebanese government is now set in stone, at least in the Atlanticist sphere. And yet, digging deeper, we find that negligence and corruption may have been fully exploited, via sabotage, to engineer it. Lebanon is prime John Le... Read More
Two of the US’s top “strategic threats” are getting closer and closer within the scope of the New Silk Roads – the leading 21st century project of economic integration across Eurasia. The Deep State will not be amused. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi blasted as "lies" a series of rumors about the “transparent roadmap”... Read More
Greece invented the concept of barbaros. Imperial Rome inherited it as barbarus. The original meaning of barbaros is rooted in language: an onomatopoeia meaning “unintelligible speech” as people go “bar bar bar” when they talk. Homer does not refer to barbaros, but to barbarophonos (“of unintelligible speech”), as in those who don’t speak Greek or... Read More
So what’s goin’ on in Iran? How did the Islamic Republic really respond to Covid-19? How is it coping with Washington’s relentless “maximum pressure”? These questions were the subject of a long phone call I placed to Prof. Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran – one of Iran’s premier, globally recognized analysts. As Marandi... Read More
The latest installment of the interminable Syria tragedy could be interpreted as Greece barely blocking a European “invasion” by Syrian refugees. The invasion was threatened by President Erdogan even as he refused the EU’s puny “offer you can refuse” bribe of only one billion euros. Well, it’s more complicated than that. What Erdogan is in... Read More
The United States may be destined for a shorter historical existence than the Mongol era established by Genghis Khan
A considerable spectrum of the liberal West takes the American interpretation of what civilization consists of to be something like an immutable law of nature. But what if this interpretation is on the verge of an irreparable breakdown? Michael Vlahos has argued that the US is not a mere nation-state but a “system leader” –... Read More
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The US targeted assassination, via drone strike, of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, apart from a torrent of crucial geopolitical ramifications, once again propels to center stage a quite inconvenient truth: the congenital incapacity of so-called US elites to even attempt to understand Shi’ism - thus 24/7 demonization, demeaning not only Shi’as by also Shi’a-led governments.... Read More
Coming decade could see the US take on Russia, China and Iran over the New Silk Road connection
The Raging Twenties started with a bang with the targeted assassination of Iran’s General Qasem Soleimani. Yet a bigger bang awaits us throughout the decade: the myriad declinations of the New Great Game in Eurasia, which pits the US against Russia, China and Iran, the three major nodes of Eurasia integration. Every game-changing act in... Read More
President Donald Trump will de-escalate the crisis with Iran when he speaks to the nation at 11 a.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, a U.S. intelligence source has told me. Last night Iran retaliated for the assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani with missile strikes on two U.S. military bases in Iraq. So far there have... Read More
The bombshell facts were delivered by caretaker Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, during an extraordinary, historic parliamentary session in Baghdad on Sunday. Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani had flown into Baghdad on a normal carrier flight, carrying a diplomatic passport. He had been sent by Tehran to deliver, in person, a reply to a message from... Read More
A fuel tax hike set the country ablaze and triggered a social backlash
On November 15, a wave of protests engulfed over 100 Iranian cities as the government resorted to an extremely unpopular measure: a fuel tax hike of as much as 300%, without a semblance of a PR campaign to explain the reasons. Iranians, after all, have reflexively condemned subsidy removals for years now – especially related... Read More
Foreign Minister Zarif sketches Iran-US relations for diplomats, former presidents and analysts
Just in time to shine a light on what’s behind the latest sanctions from Washington, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a speech at the annual Astana Club meeting in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan delivered a searing account of Iran-US relations to a select audience of high-ranking diplomats, former Presidents and analysts. Zarif was the main... Read More
Compare US pillaging with Russia-Iran-Turkey’s active involvement in a political solution to normalize Syria
What happened in Geneva this Wednesday, in terms of finally bringing peace to Syria, could not be more significant: the first session of the Syrian Constitutional Committee. The Syrian Constitutional Committee sprang out of a resolution passed in January 2018 in Sochi, Russia, by a body called the Syrian National Dialogue Congress. The 150-strong committee... Read More
Lula on fights with Hillary, talks with Ahmadinejad, Obama ‘good but nervous and too young’
As we advanced past the first hour of a historic interview – see here and here – at a Federal Police building in Curitiba, southern Brazil, where Lula has been incarcerated for over 500 days as part of the lawfare endgame in a complex coup, former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was on a... Read More
Iran continues to sell oil, mostly to China
Complex doesn’t even begin to describe the positioning of Iran-Russia in the geopolitical chessboard. What’s clear in our current, volatile moment is that they’re partners, as I previously reported. Although not strategic partners, as in the Russia-China tie-up, Russia-China-Iran remain the crucial triad in the ongoing, multi-layered, long-term Eurasia integration process. A few days after... Read More
Moscow is proposing a diametrically opposed vision to Western sanctions, threats and economic war, one that is drawing...
Russia is meticulously advancing Eurasian chessboard moves that should be observed in conjunction, as Moscow proposes to the Global South an approach diametrically opposed to Western sanctions, threats and economic war. Here are three recent examples. Ten days ago, via a document officially approved by the United Nations, the Russian Foreign Ministry advanced a new... Read More
Donald Trump says he’s ‘okay either way’, whether there’s war with Iran and Tehran seems to be okay with that too
All bets are off in the geopolitical insanity stakes when we have the President of the United States (POTUS) glibly announcing he could launch a nuclear first strike to end the war in Afghanistan and wipe it “off the face of the earth” in one week. But he’d rather not, so he doesn’t have to... Read More
Lost in the submarine uproar, the deadline set by Tehran for the EU-3 to support Iranian crude sales expires Sunday
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the submersible was conducting bathymetric measurements, as in examining and mapping deep sea conditions. The crew on board was composed of “unique naval specialists, high-class professionals, who conducted important research of the Earth’s hydrosphere.” Now the – so far unnamed – nuclear-powered vessel is at the Arctic port of... Read More
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Philip Wagner, Jr./Released
Sooner or later the US “maximum pressure” on Iran would inevitably be met by “maximum counter-pressure”. Sparks are ominously bound to fly. For the past few days, intelligence circles across Eurasia had been prodding Tehran to consider a quite straightforward scenario. There would be no need to shut down the Strait of Hormuz if Quds... Read More
President Rouhani blasts US leader Donald Trump as ‘a serious threat to regional and world stability’, offers...
With the dogs of war on full alert, something extraordinary happened at the 19th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) late last week in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Virtually unknown across the West, the SCO is the foremost Eurasian political, economic and security alliance. It’s not a Eurasian NATO. It’s not planning any humanitarian imperialist adventures.... Read More
If Tehran blocks the Strait of Hormuz it could send the price of oil soaring and cause a global recession
Unlike Deep Purple’s legendary ‘Smoke on the Water’ – “We all came out to Montreux, on the Lake Geneva shoreline”, the 67th Bilderberg group meetings produced no fire and no smoke at the luxurious Fairmont Le Montreux Palace Hotel. The 130 elite guests had a jolly good – and theoretically quiet – time at the... Read More
Hysteria reigns supreme. As in the new Jim Jarmusch movie, The Dead Don’t Die, The Return of the Living Neocon Dead, in a trashy rerun of the lead-up to Shock and Awe in 2003, keeps orchestrating the zombie march. Yet no one in war-cheerleading US corporate media talks about the quadrillion derivative crisis that will... Read More
Vast swathes of the West seem not to realize that if the Strait of Hormuz is shut down a global depression will follow
The Trump administration once again has graphically demonstrated that in the young, turbulent 21st century, “international law” and “national sovereignty” already belong to the Realm of the Walking Dead. As if a deluge of sanctions against a great deal of the planet was not enough, the latest “offer you can’t refuse” conveyed by a gangster... Read More
US sanctions on Iran should be interpreted as a piece in a much larger chessboard
Hysteria reigned supreme after the first round of US sanctions were reinstated against Iran over the past week. War scenarios abound, and yet the key aspect of the economic war unleashed by the Trump administration has been overlooked: Iran is a major piece in a much larger chessboard. The US sanctions offensive, launched after Washington’s... Read More
TEHRAN The Trump administration’s withdrawal of the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, monopolizes 24/7 the highest levels of government in Tehran. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, meeting with the EU’s energy chief Miguel Arias Canete, reiterated that mere words of support from the Europeans are not enough. The JCPOA joint commission meets in... Read More
In a letter addressed to President Donald Trump, with copies to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the UN Security Council, four top former officials at the highest level of the US government have given him legal notice about his duty to advise the US Congress, the ICC and the UNSC, among others, about Israel’s... Read More
Regime change is unlikely but what is in play is setting the scene for a further renewal of economic sanctions
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani did the right thing going on television and at least acknowledging popular anger over hard economic times. Inflation is high at 12% but down from 40% at the start of Rouhani’s first term. And the recent increase in fuel and food prices by up to 40% has hardly helped. That was... Read More
In a well choreographed Sochi summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin defines a peaceful future for Syria after the...
The main take away of the trilateral, two hour-long Russia-Iran-Turkey summit in Sochi on the future of Syria was expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin: “The presidents of Iran and Turkey supported the initiative to convene an All-Syrian Congress for national dialogue in Syria. We agreed to hold this important event at the proper level... Read More
Baghdad On a sandstorm-swept morning in Baghdad earlier last week, Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, the legendary deputy leader of Hashd al-Shaabi, a.k.a. People Mobilization Units (PMUs) and the actual mastermind of numerous ground battles against ISIS/Daesh, met a small number of independent foreign journalists and analysts. This was a game-changing moment in more ways than one.... Read More
Just when world public opinion feared the US and North Korea were on the brink of nuclear war, the new axis of evil times (North Korea, Iran, Venezuela) yield a dramatic plot twist; President Trump is adamant the real threat is the Iran nuclear deal. Enter a brand new, major international crisis deployed out of... Read More
North Korea, Iran, Venezuela are targets in "compassionate" America's war on the "wicked few." It's almost as though...
This was no “deeply philosophical address”. And hardly a show of “principled realism” – as spun by the White House. President Trump at the UN was “American carnage,” to borrow a phrase previously deployed by his nativist speechwriter Stephen Miller. One should allow the enormity of what just happened to sink in, slowly. The president... Read More
Here we go again. General “Mad Dog” Mattis, the US Secretary of Defense, declares Iran “is the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.” National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn puts Iran “on notice.” President Trump says “they are not behaving,” and, on his Superbowl interview, doubles down: “They are the No 1... Read More
Anticipating an outcome of the US presidential election as a remix of the 1972 Nixon landslide, Hillary has also coined, George “Dubya” Bush-style, a remixed axis of evil: Russia, Iran and “the Assad regime”. Clinton Claims Russian Aggression Keeps War in Syria Going On That’s not even counting China, which, via “aggression” in the South... Read More
Russian Tu-22M3 Backfire bombers – as well as Sukhoi-34 fighter bombers – leave from the Iranian Hamadan airfield to bomb jihadis and assorted «moderate rebels» in Syria, and immediately we’ve got ourselves a major, unforeseen geopolitical game-changer. The record shows that Russia has not been present militarily in Iran since 1946; and this is the... Read More
Not a day goes by without US Think Tankland doing what it does best; pushing all sorts of scenarios for cold – and hot – war with Russia, plus myriad confrontations with China and Iran. That fits into the Pentagon’s Top Five existential threats to the US, where Russia and China sit at the very... Read More
Not a day goes by without US Think Tankland doing what it does best; pushing all sorts of scenarios for cold – and hot – war with Russia, plus myriad confrontations with China and Iran. That fits into the Pentagon’s Top Five existential threats to the US, where Russia and China sit at the very... Read More
Saudi Arabia is a beheading paradise. But this PR nightmare is the least of all problems in an oil crisis. Once again, the heart of the matter is – what else – black gold. So far, the House of Saud’s whole energy strategy has boiled down to shaving off its oil production no matter what... Read More
Ergin Mikhail / Shutterstock.com
How China and Russia Are Running Rings Around Washington
Let’s start with the geopolitical Big Bang you know nothing about, the one that occurred just two weeks ago. Here are its results: from now on, any possible future attack on Iran threatened by the Pentagon (in conjunction with NATO) would essentially be an assault on the planning of an interlocking set of organizations --... Read More
So what is the Obama administration really up to in Iran? What sort of strategic calculations have led to what for the moment looks like a tactical geopolitical shift? President Obama certainly concluded that the 36-year-long Wall of Mistrust against Iran was bound to fail. The real Masters of the Universe in Washington – those... Read More
The serious possibility of a nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 is only a few weeks away – on June 30. So guess what the terminally paranoid House of Saud is up to: Lay their hands on a nuclear bomb to counteract the non-existent “Iranian bomb”, which Tehran, via Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, has... Read More
Whatever happens with the nuclear negotiations this summer, and as much as Tehran wants cooperation and not confrontation, Iran is bound to remain — alongside Russia — a key US geostrategic target. As much as US President Barack Obama tried to dismiss it, the Russian sale of the S-300 missile system to Iran is a... Read More
The nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) are back this Tuesday in Vienna. The stakes couldn't be higher. It will be a long and winding road. Hidden agendas on both sides badly want the talks to fail - and will spare no effort... Read More
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is at the moment the hardest-working man in (geopolitical) show business. He has just stepped into the lion's den - or goldfish bowl; the World Economic Forum at Davos. And he charmed them all just with his "prudent moderation" strategy, which broadcasts what every Master of The Universe, real or fake,... Read More
The big story of 2014 will be Iran. Of course, the big story of the early 21st century will never stop being US-China, but it's in 2014 that we will know whether a comprehensive accord transcending the Iranian nuclear program is attainable; and in this case the myriad ramifications will affect all that's in play... Read More
Iran’s nuclear deal with the P5+1 group of world powers in Geneva has triggered a spin war which will last for the next 6 months, as many of the parties involved will pursue their own business interests in this situation, journalist Pepe Escobar told RT. RT: As we see, US Secretary of State John Kerry... Read More
The 34-year Wall of Mistrust between the US and Iran started tumbling down on Sunday at 3 am local time in Geneva. Or has it? It is, after all, only a mutually acknowledged "first step" - a deal to start negotiating a real deal (see the full text here ) And the terms, for Iran,... Read More
US Secretary of State John Kerry has famously stated the US “is not blind” or “stupid” in its push to clinch a historic deal over the Iranian nuclear program. [1] So now that the world has been informed, he must, cryptically, have been talking about France. The failed Geneva negotiations this past weekend over a... Read More
Here is definitive proof - if any was needed - that the Gallic fit-throwing that burned the possibility of an interim Iranian nuclear deal last week in Geneva was completely pointless. The key "concern" expressed by Israel-firster French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius to derail an interim deal was about the Arak heavy-water reactor. Well, UN... Read More