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NATO/Israeli WWIII against Iran blipping on the radar again
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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a look at psychological warfare techniques
In Farsi!



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Here's a look at psychological warfare techniques
In Farsi!

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_________________
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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BREAKUP OF IRAN
https://aanirfan.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/breakup-of-iran.html

What is happening in Iran?

"The Bernard Lewis Project was first presented in 1979.

"The core proposal of this project is to divide countries in the Middle East along ethnic and regional lines into smaller, rival states in order to weaken the power of existing governments."

Narratives of Suffering: Bernard Lewis

Bernard Lewis: one of the secret rulers of the world / THE COLLAPSE OF THE MOSLEM WORLD

Operation Ajax

In 1953, the CIA toppled Iran's popular and moderate Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, and put the Shah into power.

In 1979, the CIA toppled the Shah and put Ayatollah Khomeini into power.

Currently, in 2018, the CIA is trying to topple Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and president Hassan Rouhani.

The aim of the CIA and its friends is to do to Iran what has been done to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia ....

The mainstream media would like us to believe that the Shah was overthrown by People Power and that the CIA and MI6 were taken by surprise.

However, there is clear evidence that the CIA and MI6 toppled the Shah because he had become too much of a nationalist, like Nasser, and was not following instructions on oil or even opium.

The CIA did not want moderately left-wing democrats taking over from the Shah as they might not be easy to control.

So, reportedly, the CIA put the Ayatollahs into power.

Reportedly, Khomeini's real father, was William Richard Williamson, born in Bristol, England, in 1872 of British parents and lineage. KHOMEINI

Radio Free Iran claimed that while at Qom, the Ayatollah Khomeini received a "monthly stipend from the British, and he is in constant contact with his masters, the British."

The British, Muslim Terrorism and September 11

On 19 January 1980, the International Herald Tribune reported that the Shah had said, two years before he was overthrown, that he had heard from two different sources connected with oil companies that the regime in Iran would change.

'We believe that there was a plan to ensure less oil was offered to the world markets in order to bring about a price,' said the Shah. 'One country was to be chosen for the sacrifice... It seems that the country chosen to drop its oil production was mine.'

webgardian: Shah:Oil Companies Helped to Oust Him


Carter and the Shah. In 1979, the aim of the Carter regime was to put the extreme Islamists into power in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. The Kosher Nostra likes to weaken such states.

The Shah's nationalist policies were making him more popular in Iran and making his country more independent and more powerful.

redmoonrising.com

This worried the CIA, Mossad and MI6.

1. The Shah bought land from the upper classes and, along with the crown's own land, sold it back cheaply to tenant farmers.

Over one a half million people became land owners, thus ending the old feudal system.

2.The Shah allowed women the right to vote. He brought an end to the wearing of the veil.

3. He developed plans for a $90 billion nuclear power program.

4. The Shah signed petroleum agreements with ENI, the Italian oil company.

5. He began to close down the opium industry. This had been created during the days of British influence.

Iran under the Shah.

'Former intelligence officer' Dr John Coleman considers opium to be of prime importance in the toppling of the Shah

(Conspirators’ Hierarchy: The Story of the Committee of 300 - 6).

Coleman writes that the US government toppled the Shah of Iran because of DRUGS.

The Shah had clamped down and virtually put an end to the immensely lucrative opium trade being conducted out of Iran by the British...

This the British would not tolerate, so they sent the United States to do their dirty work for them in terms of the 'special relationship' between the two countries.

Iran's drug problem: Addicts 'more than double' in six years.

Coleman writes:

After 1984, Khomeini's liberal attitude toward opium had increased the number of addicts to 2 million, according to United Nations and World Health Organization statistics.

With the advent of Khomeini... opium production skyrocketed.

By 1984 Iran’s opium production exceeded 650 metric tons of opium per annum.... Iran presently rivals the Golden Triangle in the volume of opium produced.


The Iran-Iraq War 1980-88. The CIA put Saddam into power, and, put the Ayatollah into power. One of the aims was to get a war started between Iran and Iraq, and then supply both sides with weapons. SADDAM AND THE CIA.

Coleman writes:

When Khomeini took over the U.S. Embassy in Teheran, arms sales by the United States, which had begun with the Shah, were not discontinued...

Both President Carter and his successor, Ronald Reagan, willingly and with full knowledge of what was at stake, went on supplying arms to Iran even while American hostages languished in captivity...

The arms trade with Iran was sealed at a meeting between Cyrus Vance... and Dr. Hashemi, which resulted in the U.S. Air Force beginning an immediate airlift of arms to Iran, carried on even at the height of the hostage crisis the arms came from U.S. Army stockpiles in Germany and some were even flown directly from the United States with refueling stops at the Azores.

The following is taken from redmoonrising.com/Ikhwan

(Sources used in the article: The Biography of Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, jebhemelli.org
Killing Hope - U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, William Blum, 1995
MI6 - Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service, Stephen Dorril, 2000)

The CIA and MI6 used the Muslim Brotherhood to put the Ayatollahs into power.

Prior to World War II, British Intelligence controlled the Muslim Brotherhood - a Muslim equivalent of the West's Masonic brotherhood...

According to CIA agent Miles Copeland ... the CIA began to cooperate with the Muslim Brotherhood...

British Intelligence used their contacts with Iran's mullahs and ayatollahs to overthrow the Shah.

Prior to the British-sponsored massive public relations campaign on behalf of the Ayatollah the government of the Shah was loved by the vast majority of the population.

Dr. John Coleman, a former British Intelligence agent... states that the Muslim Brotherhood was created by "the great names of British Middle East intelligence" ...

And that their mission was to "keep the Middle East backward so that its natural resource, oil, could continue to be looted..."

Dr. Coleman writes that in 1980 the broadcasts of Radio Free Iran divided the enemies of the Shah into four categories:

1. Iranian politicians bought by the Israeli Shin Bet,
2. The CIA's network of agents,
3. The feudal landowners,
4. The Freemasons and the Muslim Brotherhood.

redmoonrising.com

On February 1st, 1979, two weeks after the Shah's departure, Khomeini made a triumphant return to Iran.

The BBC's John Simpson was on the plane that carried him back from Paris.

BBC links to MI6?

On 3 November 2011, Saman Mohammadi, at The Excavator, points out that:

The British and U.S. governments put Khomeini into power in Iran in 1979

1. The Shah said: "If you lift up Khomeini's beard, you will find Made In England written under his chin."

The Shah told David Frost:

"Do you think that Mr. Khomeini, an uneducated person ... could have planned all this, masterminded all this, set up all the organizations...

"I know that a tremendous amount of money was spent...

"I know that top experts in propaganda were used to show us like tyrants and monsters, and the other side as democratic, liberal revolutionaries who wanted to save the country.

"I know how mean the BBC, British Broadcasting Corporation, had been towards us... So it seemed that it was really a very well orchestrated conspiracy."

Boys from Isfahan by Detengase

2. The BBC promoted Khomeini, according to Dr. Ronen Bergman, an Israeli investigative journalist and author of the 2008 book, 'The Secret War with Iran'.

A "propaganda tool for Khomeini was none other than the Persian-language broadcasts of the British Broadcasting Corporation," wrote Bergman.

"The BBC gave free hours of free broadcast to Khomeini from Paris," said Bergman.

Bernard Lewis and Henry Kissinger. "Lewis's scheme - to promote balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along tribal and religious lines."

3. Historian F. William Engdahl, in his 2004 book A Century Of War : Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, wrote:

"In November 1978, President Carter named the Bilderberg group's George Ball, another member of the Trilateral Commission, to head a special White House Iran task force under the National Security Council's Brzezinski.

"Ball recommended that Washington drop support for the Shah of Iran and support the fundamentalistic Islamic opposition of Ayatollah Khomeini."

Iranian kids by Hamed Saber

"Robert Bowie from the CIA was one of the lead 'case officers' in the new CIA-led coup against the man their covert actions had placed into power 25 years earlier.

"Their scheme was based on a detailed study of the phenomenon of Islamic fundamentalism, as presented by British Islamic expert, Dr. Bernard Lewis, then on assignment at Princeton University in the United States.

"Lewis's scheme, which was unveiled at the May 1979 Bilderberg meeting in Austria, endorsed the radical Muslim Brotherhood movement behind Khomeini, in order to promote balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along tribal and religious lines.

"Lewis argued that the West should encourage autonomous groups such as the Kurds, Armenians, Lebanese Maronites, Ethiopian Copts, Azerbaijani Turks, and so forth.

"The chaos would spread in what he termed an 'Arc of Crisis,' which would spill over into Muslim regions of the Soviet Union."

Iran by Jeremy Curl Photography

"The coup against the Shah was run by British and American intelligence...

"During 1978, negotiations were under way between the Shah's government and British Petroleum for renewal of the 25-year old extraction agreement.

"By October 1978, the talks had collapsed over a British 'offer' which demanded exclusive rights to Iran's future oil output, while refusing to guarantee purchase of the oil.

"With their dependence on British-controlled export apparently at an end, Iran appeared on the verge of independence in its oil sales policy for the first time since 1953, with eager prospective buyers in Germany, France, Japan and elsewhere."

Children in Iran by Ivan Mlinaric.

4. In his 1981 book, Hostage to Khomeini, journalist Robert Dreyfuss wrote:

"The mullahs did not come to rule in Iran on the basis of their own power; they were placed in power by men more evil than they - who would use the depravity of backwardness for their own ends.

"In September 1975, the Aspen Institute held a symposium in Persepolis, Iran...

"In the behind-the-scenes discussion, the plans for reversing the Shah's industrialization program and for turning Iran into a model dark ages regime were mapped out..."

Two girls and a bicycle by Damon Lynch

5. Fritz Springmeier wrote in an article called, To Love Or Hate - Know Your Enemy:

"The Ayatollah Khomeini was British MI6.

"And tying together Saudi intelligence, Saddam Hussein's intelligence and Egyptian intelligence (and previously the Shah’s CIA-led SAVAK) is a group called the Safari Club set up by French espionage."

Old man and the boys, Iran, by Kamshots

Boys Army by Sharto4.

Iranian kids by Shapour

_________________
www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org
www.rethink911.org
www.patriotsquestion911.com
www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org
www.mediafor911truth.org
www.pilotsfor911truth.org
www.mp911truth.org
www.ae911truth.org
www.rl911truth.org
www.stj911.org
www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
https://37.220.108.147/members/www.bilderberg.org/phpBB2/
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outsider
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Either US to leave Eastern Euphrates or to be kicked out':
http://www.syriatimes.sy/index.php/don-t-miss/34693-either-us-to-leave -eastern-euphrates-or-to-be-kicked-out

'The Iranian Leader’s Aide on International Affairs, Ali Akbar Velayati, stressed Wed. that “Either US will leave Eastern Euphrates in Syria or we will force them to leave,” according to the Mehr News Agancy.

Ali Akbar Velayati made the remarks in a conference in support of the Palestinian Intifada on Wednesday in Mashhad, adding “the Middle East is the beating heart of the world and every country wishes to have an influence in this region. How could we have remained silent when the flag of Israel was raised during the referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan region?”

Velayati noted the US plan for creating the Greater Middle East, and the developments in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen as a result of it, adding “Washington seeks to partition regional countries to topple them, and the recent developments in Syria are a result of this plot.”.........'

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Middle East’s Coming War
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/opinion/the-middle-easts-coming-war .html

Remains of an Israeli F-16 fighter jet that crashed in northern Israel on Saturday, after coming under antiaircraft fire.CreditAbir Sultan/European Pressphoto Agency
By Ronen Bergman - Feb. 12, 2018
In the early hours of Saturday morning, the Middle East was on the brink of yet another war.

During the night, according to my high-ranking sources, Israel’s intelligence services had been tracking an Iranian drone that was launched by the Quds division of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from the Tiyas air base in central Syria.

A minute and a half after the drone entered Israeli airspace, an Israeli Air Force attack helicopter shot it out of the sky. Simultaneously, eight Israeli fighter jets fired missiles at the drone’s command and control center at Tiyas, blowing it up, along with the Iranians manning the center. (Iran has denied that its drone was shot down or that its troops were killed.)

The Syrian military, allied with Iran, responded by firing surface-to-air missiles at the Israeli jets. The missiles locked onto two Israeli aircraft. One of these managed to evade the rockets, but the other was hit by fragments of the exploding missile. The two-man crew ejected and landed in Israeli territory. One of them was gravely wounded.

This was the first aircraft that Israel had lost in combat since 1982, and its air force, its reputation for invincibility injured, responded angrily by striking at the Syrian air defense system, knocking out five batteries, as well as destroying four Iranian communications facilities in Syria.

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The response to the downing of the Israeli jet was intended to be a lot more violent. Israel has long maintained contingency plans for a huge offensive operation in Syria. On Saturday, the generals took them out of the drawer. But the Iranians and the Syrians, along with their Lebanese ally Hezbollah, realized that something like that was in the offing, and let it be known that they would not let it happen without responding. The Israelis heard this, but were not deterred. The Israel Defense Forces went on to a war footing.

It soon became clear, though, who is calling the shots. The Israeli bombardments of the air base had been dangerously close to Russian forces. A furious phone call on Saturday morning from President Vladimir Putin of Russia was enough to make Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel cancel the plans.

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Publicly as well, the Russians vehemently condemned Israel’s violation of Syrian sovereignty, making no mention of the Iranian drone’s incursion into Israeli airspace. “Even outwardly, publicly, the Russians took the other side, against us, and not only in private,” a senior Israeli military source told me. “They could have prevented the launch of the drone, but they didn’t do anything. We heard the Russian message, very loud and clear.”

War was averted — but only for now. All of the ingredients for an extremely violent eruption in the Middle East remain in place.

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Iran was the first country to come to the aid of President Bashar al-Assad when the Syrian civil war broke out six years ago. Joining the Iranians were units from Hezbollah, as well as Shiite fighters shipped in from Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is thanks to these forces that the Assad regime has survived.

Israel predicted early on that these units’ guns would eventually be turned against it. But in those days, the Islamic State was seen as the embodiment of all evil and accordingly anyone fighting it was one of the good guys. No one heeded Israel’s warnings.

For its part, Israel has conducted more than 100 bombing and missile raids in Syria, without ever admitting it or taking responsibility, against storage sites for weapons and convoys supplying the Iranian-led forces.

With the Syrian Army itself extended to its limits combating rebels, and the Iranians and Hezbollah helping it in the heavy fighting, this tripartite alliance was forced to swallow time after time some bitter truths: They recognized that Mossad and Israeli military intelligence knew how, where and when they were operating, and they knew that they wouldn’t be able to respond to the Israeli raids without suffering heavy losses.

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When Russian forces entered Syria in 2015 and it became clear that the United States would not take real measures to counter Mr. Putin’s moves, Mr. Netanyahu managed to set up a secret communications channel between himself and the Russian president, according to my sources in Israeli intelligence, as well as an encrypted phone line for communication between Israel and the Russian military and intelligence in order to prevent clashes between Israeli and Russian forces in Syria.

But that limited amount of tactical coordination hasn’t led Russia to understand Israel’s strategic needs. As an Assad victory approaches, Israel has been asking Russia to guarantee that the Iranians will leave Syria once the war is over. Those requests have been met with indifference in Moscow. Russia wants to build a secure foothold in the Middle East and its policy requires it to maintain good relations with Iran.

Israel has also asked the Trump administration several times to do something to stop the situation from deteriorating. Last August, a high-ranking delegation visited Washington, including Yossi Cohen, the director of the Mossad, and Herzl Halevi, the head of Israeli military intelligence. They presented H. R. McMaster, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, with, according to my sources, “sensitive intelligence material, credible and of great concern” about Iranian and Hezbollah plans to attack Israel on the border with Syria. Hezbollah, they said, was building a significant military presence in Syria and Iran was planning to set up a naval base on the Mediterranean at the port of Tartus.

A participant in those talks told me that Israel “demanded” that any peace agreement in Syria require the removal of Hezbollah and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps troops from the country.

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The Americans, however, didn’t agree to deliver. “We do not altogether understand what this administration wants to achieve,” I was told by one of the participants in the talks, “and truth be told we are not at all sure that our interlocutors on the American side know what they want or what the president had told them to achieve. The general feeling is one of confusion and chaos.”

The conduct of the United States, which has largely withdrawn from the Middle East, in the face of the Iranian and Russian presence in Syria has prompted anger and frustration toward America in parts of the Israeli military and intelligence communities.

The events on Saturday made two things clear: First, Israel will no longer be able to act in Syria without limitations. The joint forces opposed to it will from now on react with vigor. Second, if anyone was not yet aware of it, Russia is the dominant power in the region.

This weekend’s events brought the confrontation between Israel and Iran into the open air, making the prospect of a bigger conflict more immediate and more menacing. Israel has demonstrated in the past that it is forceful when it feels that it has been left to fend for itself.

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On Friday morning, for the first time ever, an Israeli prime minister will attend the Munich Security Conference. Mr. Netanyahu and his Mossad chief, Mr. Cohen, who will accompany him, hope to make it clear there that the current configuration in Syria is unacceptable — and to warn the United States and other countries that if Iran is not reined in, Israel will attack its bases in Syria.

Israel is the strongest military power in the Middle East, but wars are unpredictable. And everyone — from Moscow to Jerusalem to Washington — should want to deter an even more serious conflagration in Syria before it’s too late.

Ronen Bergman, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and a senior correspondent for military and intelligence affairs at Yedioth Ahronoth, is the author, most recently, of “Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations.”

_________________
--
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Israeli F-16 Shot down By Syria.Netanyahu will Resign on Corruption Charges?
Ken O Keefe told truth but badly chaired interview and Ken O'Keefe took advantage to wage persona attacks - looked awful - rude
1,532 views - Message For Peace TV - Published on 11 Feb 2018

Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muq-B2DeEFw

Netanyahu is trying to play the victim. Will he get away with it?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/html/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/02/15  /netanyahu-is-trying-to-play-the-victim-will-he-get-away-with-it/

By Gershom Gorenberg February 15, 2018 at 1:39 PM Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turns as he waits to deliver a speech at Ben Gurion Airport in Lod, outside Tel Aviv, on Thursday.

An old Jewish folktale explains Benjamin Netanyahu’s political strategy in the face of the escalating corruption case against him:

A Polish count demanded that the rabbi of the village on his lands appear before him. The rabbi and his assistant arrived to find the count petting his hound. “Teach this dog to talk,” said the count, “or I’ll expel the Jews.” The rabbi stroked his beard, and replied, “Certainly, I’ll teach him. But it will take a year.”

After they left the manor house, the assistant demanded, “How could you agree? We’re doomed!”

“Don’t worry,” said the rabbi. “A year is a long time. Either the dog will die or the count will die.”

The story is so well known that in Hebrew that you need only say “the count will die” to have told the whole thing. In Netanyahu’s case, it has a double meaning: He’s playing for time, and he’s presenting himself — the cigar-puffing fourth-term prime minister — as being like the rabbi in the tale, the little guy who’s up against malevolent forces.

On Tuesday evening, Israel’s national police force released its long-awaited conclusions in two investigations against Netanyahu. In both, it said there was sufficiently solid evidence to indict the prime minister for bribery.

In one case, the police said, Netanyahu received 1 million shekels ($280,000) worth of cigars, champagne and jewelry from two businessmen, and gave a quid pro quo including an attempt to change tax law in a manner “contrary to the national interest” and pressing the U.S. administration to extend one of the men’s American visa. In the other, police said, Netanyahu negotiated with the publisher of one of Israel’s two leading newspapers to help it financially in return for favorable coverage.

Netanyahu answered the police with a speech insisting on his innocence. That’s his right.

But for months he has portrayed the investigation as a slow-motion coup attempt by the press, the left and the police. In Tuesday’s speech, Netanyahu suggested the police were driven by personal animus, though he’d dedicated his “entire life” to the state. In short, the dangerous, powerful police were trying to crush poor, idealistic Benjamin Netanyahu.

The victim gambit is transparently false. But despite the damning recommendations, peculiar legal and political twists could help Netanyahu hold on to power.

To start with, the police only recommend. It’s the attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, who has to decide whether to indict. In theory, the threshold of evidence should be the same for the prime minister as for any citizen. But indicting the prime minister is likely to lead to the fall of the government and possibly to new elections. If, after all that, the prosecution fails to get a conviction, it could confirm Netanyahu’s narrative of a coup by law enforcement.

So Mandelblit, never known for quick decisions, is likely to be even more cautious about this one. A year could easily pass.

Ironically, the police may have given Netanyahu two advantages in the political battles during that time.

One is that they recommended charging Noni Mozes, publisher of the daily Yedioth Ahronoth, with offering Netanyahu a bribe to reduce the circulation of the competing Israel Hayom. The latter paper’s support for Netanyahu makes Fox News look unbiased. If Mozes uses his pages, however subtly, to raise doubts about the case, the readers of both major newspapers will be getting coverage slanted in Netanyahu’s favor.

In the other bribery case, one allegation is that Netanyahu tried to create a tax break for Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, the main supplier of his cigars and other goodies. A key witness is former finance minister Yair Lapid, who opposed the move. Lapid, head of the centrist Yesh Atid party, is today the highest-polling challenger to Netanyahu for the premiership. So the prime minister’s allies are already accusing Lapid of giving testimony purely to push Netanyahu from office.

For now, Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition partners are sticking with him, at least until they see a major shift in public mood. Yet that shift could be toward Netanyahu if the tension on the Syrian border keeps growing. When war looms, people tend to rally around the government.

It is impossible to prove that Netanyahu is acting or speaking a shade too aggressively in order to focus attention on the external threat. It would also be naive to ignore the possibility.

Barring a flare-up in the north, though, the likely escalation is in demonstrations against corruption, which have already been going on for months. Eventually, at least one coalition partner will decide not to be stained by association with a four-term prime minister who allegedly preferred cigars, champagne and sycophantic news coverage to his country’s welfare.

The essential flaw in Netanyahu’s strategy is that he’s not a victim. He’s the man who has grown used to thinking that power is his personal property. And after the police recommendations, it might not take all that long for his support to crumble.

Gershom Gorenberg is an Israeli historian and journalist. His books include The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977 and The Unmaking of Israel. He is a senior correspondent for The American Prospect and has written for The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, and The New York Review of Books.

_________________
www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org
www.rethink911.org
www.patriotsquestion911.com
www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org
www.mediafor911truth.org
www.pilotsfor911truth.org
www.mp911truth.org
www.ae911truth.org
www.rl911truth.org
www.stj911.org
www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
https://37.220.108.147/members/www.bilderberg.org/phpBB2/
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Israel creates fake Jewish tombs around al-Aqsa Mosque
Fake tombs

Hamas: The resistance will not stay silent on Judaization of J’lem
Huge crane installed by Israeli occupation at Jerusalem’s Aqsa Mosque
Al-Quds Committee warns of Jerusalem Judaization project
Palestinian campaign to purge Jerusalem schools of Israeli curriculum

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)
https://english.palinfo.com/news/2017/2/21/Israel-creates-fake-Jewish- tombs-around-al-Aqsa-Mosque

The Israeli government is cooperating with Jewish settlement associations to escalate its ongoing Judaization policy at al-Aqsa Mosque and the rest of the Old City in occupied Jerusalem, the PIC reporter revealed.

The PIC reporter on Tuesday quoted eyewitnesses as affirming that Israeli associations started installing fake Jewish tombs around al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli bulldozers were seen carrying Jewish tombstones and planting them around the Mosque to indicate graves, but underneath, there are no bodies, nor skeletons.

Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage had earlier revealed that different Israeli government-backed associations and authorities such as the Elad Association and the so-called Nature and National Parks Authority have been working on implanting dozens of fake Jewish graves in the land surrounding al-Aqsa Mosque “at the pretext of carrying out repair and maintenance works and new excavations in a bid to lay hand on Palestinian and Islamic endowment lands.”

This Israeli move aimed at establishing a chain of Talmudic gardens and settlement facilities, the Foundation pointed out.

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www.rethink911.org
www.patriotsquestion911.com
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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wed, 28 Feb 2018
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity issue memorandum to Trump on war with Iran
https://www.sott.net/article/378603-Veteran-Intelligence-Professionals -for-Sanity-issue-memorandum-to-Trump-on-war-with-Iran

MintPress News Mon, 26 Feb 2018 21:11 UTC William Binney

William Binney, member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
As President Donald Trump prepares to host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week, a group of U.S. intelligence veterans offers corrections to a number of false accusations that have been leveled against Iran.

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: War With Iran

Introduction

In our December 21st Memorandum to you, we cautioned that the claim that Iran is currently the world's top sponsor of terrorism is unsupported by hard evidence. Meanwhile, other false accusations against Iran have intensified. Thus, we feel obliged to alert you to the virtually inevitable consequences of war with Iran, just as we warned President George W. Bush six weeks before the U.S. attack on Iraq 15 years ago.

In our first Memorandum in this genre we told then-President Bush that we saw "no compelling reason" to attack Iraq, and warned "the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic." The consequences will be far worse, should the U.S. become drawn into war with Iran. We fear that you are not getting the straight story on this from your intelligence and national security officials.

After choosing "War With Iran" for the subject line of this Memo, we were reminded that we had used it before, namely, for a Memorandum to President Obama on August 3, 2010 in similar circumstances. You may wish to ask your staff to give you that one to read and ponder. It included a startling quote from then-Chairman of President Bush Jr.'s Intelligence Advisory Board (and former national security adviser to Bush Sr.) Gen. Brent Scowcroft, who told the Financial Times on October 14, 2004 that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had George W. Bush "mesmerized;" that "Sharon just has him wrapped around his little finger." We wanted to remind you of that history, as you prepare to host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week.

Rhetoric vs. Reality

We believe that the recent reporting regarding possible conflict with nuclear-armed North Korea has somewhat obscured consideration of the significantly 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 potentially serious consequences for the U.S., in the wake of the recent incident involving an alleged Iranian drone and the shooting down of an Israeli aircraft.
Trump Iran nuclear deal
© Associated Press/Susan Walsh
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to the crowd after speaking during a rally opposing the Iran nuclear deal outside the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015.
There is also considerable anti-Iran rhetoric in U.S. media, which might well facilitate a transition from a cold war-type situation to a hot war involving U.S. forces. We have for some time been observing with some concern the growing hostility towards Iran coming out of Washington and from the governments of Israel and Saudi Arabia. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is warning that the "time to act is now" to thwart Iran's aggressive regional ambitions while U.S. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley sees a "wake-up" call in the recent shooting incident involving Syria and Israel. Particular concern has been expressed by the White House that Iran is exploiting Shi'a minorities in neighboring Sunni dominated states to create unrest and is also expanding its role in neighboring Iraq and Syria.

While we share concerns over the Iranian government's intentions vis-à-vis its neighbors, we do not believe that the developments in the region, many of which came about through American missteps, have a major impact on vital U.S. national interests. Nor is Iran, which often sees itself as acting defensively against surrounding Sunni states, anything like an existential threat to the United States that would mandate the sustained military action that would inevitably result if Iran is attacked.

Iran's alleged desire to stitch together a sphere of influence consisting of an arc of allied nations and proxy forces running from its western borders to the Mediterranean Sea has been frequently cited as justification for a more assertive policy against Tehran, but we believe this concern to be greatly exaggerated. Iran, with a population of more than 80 million, is, to be sure, a major regional power but militarily, economically and politically it is highly vulnerable.

Limited Military Capability

Tehran's Revolutionary Guard is well armed and trained, but much of its "boots on the ground" army consists of militiamen of variable quality. Its Air Force is a "shadow" of what existed under the Shah and is significantly outgunned by its rivals in the Persian Gulf, not to mention Israel. Its navy is only "green water" capable in that it consists largely of smaller vessels responsible for coastal defense supplemented by the swarming of Revolutionary Guard small speedboats.
Iran revolutionary guard

Members of the Iran's Revolutionary Guard march during an annual military parade marking the 34th anniversary of outset of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, in front of the mausoleum of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini just outside Tehran, Iran, Sept. 22, 2014.
When Napoleon had conquered much of continental Europe and was contemplating invading Britain it was widely believed that England was helpless before him. British Admiral Earl St Vincent was unperturbed: "I do not say the French can't come, I only say they can't come by sea." We likewise believe that Iran's apparent threat is in reality decisively limited by its inability to project power across the water or through the air against neighboring states that have marked superiority in both respects.

The concern over a possibly developing "Shi'ite land bridge," also referred to as an "arc" or "crescent," is likewise overstated. It ignores the reality that Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon all have strong national identities and religiously mixed populations. They are influenced - some of them strongly - by Iran but they are not puppet states. And there is also an ethnic division that the neighboring states' populations are very conscious of- they are Arabs and Iran is Persian, which is also true of the Shi'a populations in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.

Majority Shi'a Iraq, for example, is now very friendly to Iran but it has to deal with considerable Kurdish and Sunni minorities in its governance and in the direction of its foreign policy. It will not do Iran's bidding on a number of key issues, including Baghdad's relationship with Washington, and would be unwilling to become a proxy in Tehran's conflicts with Israel and Saudi Arabia. Iraqi Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi, the highest-ranking Sunni in the Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi government, has, for example, recently called for the demobilization of the Shi'ite Popular Mobilization Forces or militias that have been fighting ISIS because they "have their own political aspirations, their own [political] agendas. ... They are very dangerous to the future of Iraq."

Nuclear Weapons Thwarted

Iran nuclear research
© Associated Press/Vahid Salemi
An Iranian security agent walks through the Uranium Conversion Facility, outside the city of Isfahan, 410 kilometers, south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, March 30, 2005.
A major concern that has undergirded much of the perception of an Iranian threat is the possibility that Tehran will develop a nuclear weapon somewhere down the road. We believe that the current Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, even if imperfect, provides the best response to that Iranian proliferation problem. The U.N. inspections regime is strict and, if the agreement stands, there is every reason to believe that Iran will be unable to take the necessary precursor steps leading to a nuclear weapons program. Iran will be further limited in its options after the agreement expires in nine years. Experts believe that, at that point, Iran its not likely to choose to accumulate the necessary highly enriched uranium stocks to proceed.

The recent incident involving the shoot-down of a drone alleged to be Iranian, followed by the downing of an Israeli fighter by a Syrian air defense missile, resulted in a sharp response from Tel Aviv, though reportedly mitigated by a warning from Russian President Vladimir Putin that anything more provocative might inadvertently involve Russia in the conflict. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is said to have moderated his response but his government is clearly contemplating a more robust intervention to counter what he describes as a developing Iranian presence in Syria.

In addition, Netanyahu may be indicted on corruption charges, and it is conceivable that he might welcome a "small war" to deflect attention from mounting political problems at home.

Getting Snookered Into War

We believe that the mounting Iran hysteria evident in the U.S. media and reflected in Beltway groupthink has largely been generated by Saudi Arabia and Israel, who nurture their own aspirations for regional political and military supremacy. There are no actual American vital interests at stake and it is past time to pause and take a step backwards to consider what those interests actually are in a region that has seen nothing but disaster since 2003. Countering an assumed Iranian threat that is minimal and triggering a war would be catastrophic and would exacerbate instability, likely leading to a breakdown in the current political alignment of the entire Middle East. It would be costly for the United States.
netanyahu drone part
© Lennart Preiss/Reuters
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, displays what he alleges is a remnant of an Iranian drone shot down over Israeli airspace at the Munich Security Conference in Germany.
Iran is not militarily formidable, but its ability to fight on the defensive against U.S. naval and air forces is considerable and can cause high casualties. There appears to be a perception in the Defense Department that Iran could be defeated in a matter of days, but we would warn that such predictions tend to be based on overly optimistic projections, witness the outcomes in Afghanistan and Iraq. In addition, Tehran would be able again to unleash terrorist resources throughout the region, endangering U.S. military and diplomats based there as well as American travelers and businesses. The terrorist threat might easily extend beyond the Middle East into Europe and also the United States, while the dollar costs of a major new conflict and its aftermath could break the bank, literally.

Another major consideration before ratcheting up hostilities should be that a war with Iran might not be containable. As the warning from President Vladimir Putin to Netanyahu made clear, other major powers have interests in what goes on in the Persian Gulf, and there is a real danger that a regional war could have global consequences.

In sum, we see a growing risk that the U.S. will become drawn into hostilities on pretexts fabricated by Israel and Saudi Arabia for their actual common objective ("regime change" in Iran). A confluence of factors and misconceptions about what is at stake and how such a conflict is likely to develop, coming from both inside and outside the Administration have, unfortunately, made such an outcome increasingly likely.

We have seen this picture before, just 15 years ago in Iraq, which should serve as a warning. The prevailing perception of threat that the Mullahs of Iran allegedly pose directly against the security of the U.S. is largely contrived. Even if all the allegations were true, they would not justify an Iraq-style "preventive war" violating national as well as international law. An ill-considered U.S. intervention in Iran is surely not worth the horrific humanitarian, military, economic, and political cost to be paid if Washington allows itself to become part of an armed attack.


FOR THE STEERING GROUP, VETERAN INTELLIGENCE PROFESSIONALS FOR SANITY

William Binney, former NSA Technical Director for World Geopolitical & Military Analysis; Co-founder of NSA's Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center (ret.)

Kathleen Christison, CIA, Senior Analyst on Middle East (ret.)

Graham E. Fuller, Vice-Chair, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)

Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC Iraq; Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan (associate VIPS)

Larry C. Johnson, former CIA and State Department Counter Terrorism officer

Michael S. Kearns, Captain, USAF; ex-Master SERE Instructor for Strategic Reconnaissance Operations (NSA/DIA) and Special Mission Units (JSOC) (ret.)

John Brady Kiesling, Foreign Service Officer; resigned Feb. 27, 2003 as Political Counselor, U.S. Embassy, Athens, in protest against the U.S. attack on Iraq (ret.)

John Kiriakou, Former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former senior investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Edward Loomis, Jr., former NSA Technical Director for the Office of Signals Processing (ret.)

David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council, National Intelligence Estimates Officer (ret.)

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst; CIA Presidential briefer (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Near East (ret.)

Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)

Coleen Rowley, FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel (ret.)

Greg Thielmann, former Director of the Strategic, Proliferation, and Military Affairs Office, State Department Bureau of Intelligence & Research (INR), and former senior staffer on Senate Intelligence Committee (ret.)

Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA ret.)

Lawrence Wilkerson, Colonel (USA, ret.), former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State; Distinguished Visiting Professor, College of William and Mary (associate VIPS)

Sarah G. Wilton, CDR, USNR, (ret.); Defense Intelligence Agency (ret.)

Robert Wing, former Foreign Service Officer (associate VIPS)

Ann Wright, Colonel, US Army (ret.); also Foreign Service Officer who, like Political Counselor John Brady Kiesling, resigned in opposition to the war on Iraq

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) is a group of current and former officials of the United States Intelligence Community, including some from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the U.S. State Department's Intelligence Bureau (INR), and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). It was formed in January 2003 as a "coast-to-coast enterprise" to protest the use of faulty intelligence "upon which the US/UK invasion of Iraq was based." The group issued a letter before the 2003 invasion of Iraq stating that intelligence analysts were not being listened to by policy makers.



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See Also:
Israel proposes bill that bars Palestinians from petitioning High Court over residency claims
Flashback: State-sponsored doping? At least 80 New Zealand athletes caught taking drugs
US strategy in Afghanistan is peace through bombing

_________________
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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scott Bennett: THE BOLTON BETRAYAL

What an absolute disaster I fear this will be. As the leopard doesn’t change its spots, neither does the corporate warmonger his appetite for blood and fire and wealth. Since we know, based on Bolton’s record of comments—especially to Tucker Carlson—Bolton is aggressively and arrogantly going into the White House job with a goal of destroying Iran-Russia-North Korea, using a strategy of manipulating the President’s mind, using tactics of deception, half-truths, and false facts (especially military-CIA), to achieve an agenda, almost identical to the mentality of George W. Bush seeking vengeance for his father’s first Iraq war. Hence, this appointment of Bolton could prove to be Trump’s most dangerous step, and he must be wise. Once Bolton is in the job, he will try and shift the entire White House course along a warmongering agenda, and he will lie, cheat, and LEAK information to achieve this. He lies without reservation or shame, because truth is an impediment to power, and power to Bolton justifies war, and war is necessary to dominate the world, redefine cultures, and control all economic-political-education-media activities. The big problem is that Bolton will smile and embrace Trump on one side, while reaching around and stabbing him in the back because Bolton is a “parasite, Beta-male, parasite” and naturally sees Trump as an “ignorant, slow-witted, crippled with ego host”. This means that Bolton will begin to immediately undermine Trump the “second” that Trump hesitates or questions the Zionist-neocon-interventionist religious-political ideology. Bolton is incapable of presenting raw honest facts, he instinctively spins them to serve his long-term war-regime change agenda. So Trump needs to keep him on a very tight leash, and pointed in a very strict, limited direction…lest he turn around and attack. It’s like the classic story of the frog offering a scorpion a ride on its back to cross the river, and the scorpion immediately stings the frog and as they both sink and drown, the scorpion justifies his betrayal and death blow as….”I can’t help it….it’s in my nature.” Don’t be the frog Trump, Bolton’s nature is clear in the history of the Iraq war. I know, I was there.

Scott Bennett
Former U.S. Army Officer and State Department Counterterrorism Analyst

FFWN: The Untold Story of John Bolton’s Campaign for War with Iran
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-a-john-bolton-appo intment-is-scarier-than-you-think-mcmaster-trump/

_________________
--
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

7/4-14/4 false flag unfolding?


Stranger Than Fiction News was live.
4 hours ago ·
Follow
BREAKING: WHITE HOUSE RELEASES EVIDENCE OF SYRIA GAS ATTACK


https://www.facebook.com/stfnews/videos/1761853420558427/



Link


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dlLVKe8hlQ

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyNDlMbg0W7Km2Ul2AtHuqQ
https://www.facebook.com/stfnews/


https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Hamish_de_Bretton-Gordon#Douma_chemical_we apons_attack

Quote:
Douma chemical weapons attack
Following an alleged chemical weapons attack on 7 April 2018 in the Syrian town of Douma, Hamish de Bretton-Gordon said:

"A sophisticated nerve agent was used at Douma, not just chlorine. Only Assad has the capability to produce these substances inside Syria. And using chemical weapons is his standard modus operandi."[5]
These assertions were made before the arrival of an OPCW mission in Douma to investigate the alleged attack, which begs the question: "On what evidence are these categorical assertions based?

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Leaked Doc Reveals White House Planning 'Regime Change' In Iran':
http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/may/11/lea ked-doc-reveals-white-house-planning-regime-change-in-iran/

‘Just a few days after the former NYC mayor and latest member of President Trump’s unexpectedly let it slip that “we got a president who is tough, who does not listen to the people who are naysayers, and a president who is committed to regime change [in Iran]”, the Washington Free Beacon has obtained a three-page white paper being circulated among National Security Council officials with drafted plans to spark regime change in Iran, following the US exit from the Obama-era nuclear deal and the re-imposition of tough sanctions aimed at toppling the Iranian regime….’

Not only wasn’t Giuliani (in this instance) lying, neither was Wesley Clark.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Israel planned to bomb Iran and start a war, former spy chief says http://www.newsweek.com/israel-planned-attack-iran-and-start-war-forme r-spy-chief-says-951848

BY TOM O'CONNOR ON 5/31/18 AT 1:59 PM



Israel planned to bomb Iran and initiate an all-out conflict in the Middle East, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's former head of intelligence, who said he believed the move may have been illegal.

Tamir Pardo, who served as head of Israeli spy agency Mossad from 2011 to 2016, told local investigative program Uvda in an interview set to air Thursday that Netanyahu instructed his military command in 2011 to prepare for a strike against longtime foe Iran, which Israel has accused of developing nuclear weapons and supporting militant groups abroad. Pardo said then-Israeli chief of staff Benny Gantz informed the prime minister that the armed forces would be ready within 15 days.


"It’s not something that you’re permitted to do just for practice," Pardo said of Netanyahu's request, according to the Times of Israel. "If someone does that then it has two [possible] purposes: One purpose is that he really means [to attack] and the other option is that he is sending a signal, that someone out there should know," he added, suggesting it may have been a message to the U.S.

"In matters like these you have to believe people, they are the pilots," Pardo said in reference to Netanyahu and his administration. "So when he tells you, 'Begin a countdown process,' you understand that he isn’t playing games with you. These things have tremendous implications."

Israeli Merkava tanks are seen in a deployment area near the Syrian border in the Israel-occupied Golan Heights, on May 10. After a rocket barrage targeted Israeli forces in the Syrian territory, Israeli jets conducted the largest air campaign in Syria since 1973 against what Israel said were Iranian forces.
MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Pardo said that his first instinct was to look into the legality of the measure, which he said he would need to be "certain" was legal before carrying out, even though he was supposed to do so without question. He described the measure as tantamount to "launching a war," according to the Associated Press, and said he and Gantz ultimately protested.

In an interview last June, former Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barack told Israeli news site Ynet that he was a fervent supporter of attacking Iran at the time and that he was "more of a hawk than Netanyahu" on the issue. He said he faced opposition from various Israeli cabinet members, including Pardo's predecessor, Meir Dagan. Shortly after leaving the post in 2011, Dagan called Israeli plans to attack Iranian nuclear facilities "a stupid idea," as The New York Times reported.

Related: U.S. gave Jerusalem to Israel, will Syria’s Golan Heights be next?

No overt Israeli war on Iran was launched. Instead, Iran's nuclear program suffered a devastating campaign of targeted assassinations that a number of outlets—including Newsweek and Politico— tied to the Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency. Between 2010 and 2012, four Iranian nuclear scientists were slain and another injured by assailants using bombs and gunfire. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied its responsibility. Iran has claimed its nuclear program was strictly for peaceful purposes, but the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia have cast doubt on this narrative.

The U.S. led an extensive campaign of international sanctions against Iran until reaching an unprecedented multilateral nuclear agreement that included China, Germany, France and the U.K. in 2015. The deal would lift nuclear-related sanctions against Iran in exchange for its limiting its nuclear production. Despite the International Atomic Energy Agency verifying Iran's compliance and pleas from the accord's other signatories, President Donald Trump exited the deal earlier this month.

Shortly after Trump announced he was leaving the deal, Israel conducted new airstrikes against suspected Iranian positions in neighboring Syria, where Iran and Russia support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against rebels and jihadis who rose up in a 2011 uprising backed by the West, Gulf Arab states and Turkey. Israel has said it remained neutral in the conflict, but it has reportedly offered support to rebels operating near the occupied Golan Heights and has launched airstrikes against Iranian forces and Iran-backed Shiite Muslim militias such as the Lebanese Hezbollah.

The conflict escalated significantly after rockets from Syria targeted Israeli forces in the Golan Heights, compelling Israel to launch its biggest bombing campaign in Syria since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The U.S., Russia and Jordan are reportedly seeking to strike a deal that would see all Syrian and non-Syrian militias withdrawn from the country's southern borders in exchange for insurgents being relocated to rebel-held Idlib, in the north, the Syrian military reclaiming territory in the south and, potentially, the dismantling of a U.S. military base near Syria's border with Jordan and Iraq.

_________________
--
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The US and NATO Are Establishing Terrorist Bases in Europe
NATO and the United States, which, together, claim to be fighting some sort of amorphous “global war on terrorism,” have enabled a terrorist group to establish bases in two NATO member states.
https://www.mintpressnews.com/nato-terrorist-bases-in-europe/243959/

June 14th, 2018 By Wayne Madsen
NATO and the United States, which, together, claim to be fighting some sort of amorphous “global war on terrorism,” have enabled a terrorist group to establish bases in two NATO member states – France and Albania – and one NATO protectorate, Kosovo. After evacuating forces of the anti-Iranian terrorist group Mojahedin-e-Khalq from their former bases in Iraq, the United States and NATO facilitated the group’s establishment of a well-guarded military base in Manez, Albania, near Tirana. In addition to hosting MEK members, NATO has convinced Albania to accept members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), who surrendered to Western special forces in Syria and Iraq.

The MEK was founded in 1965 and it has the unusual distinction of taking action to overthrow both the former government of the Shah of Iran and the Islamic Republic of Iran by relying on terrorist actions. In the early 1970s, the MEK embarked on a program of assassinating Iranian officials and U.S. personnel in Iran. The Iranian Revolution of 1979 saw the MEK’s program of bombings and shootings increase in intensity. The MEK is led by the husband-wife team of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, who opponents and ex-members of the MEK describe as leaders of what has become known as the “Rajavi Cult.” The Rajavis abhor criticism and have been known to silence former MEK members-turned-critics by having them constantly harassed or worse, assassinated.

The MEK’s most notable terrorist actions included:

the attempted kidnapping in 1970 of the U.S. ambassador to Iran, Douglas MacArthur II, the nephew of the famed World War II general.
the attempted assassination in 1972 of U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Harold Price with an improvised explosive device (IED).
the assassination in 1973 of U.S. Army officer Louis Lee Hawkins in Tehran. That same year, the MEK assassinated U.S. Air Force officers Col. Paul Shaffer and Lt. Col. Jack Turner.
the 1973 bombings of Pan-American World Airlines and Shell Oil offices in Tehran.
the assassination in Tehran in 1976 of three American employees of Rockwell International — William Cottrell, Donald Smith, and Robert Krongard. U.S. President Gerald Ford said he hoped that “the murderers will be brought to justice.” Instead, they are treated as heroes and the future government of Iran by bi-partisan leaders in Washington.
MEK threats to kill Presidents Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter during their respective May 1972 and December 1977 visits to Iran.
the 1978 assassination of Texaco oil executive Paul Grimm in Ahwaz, Iran.
assisting in the 1979 takeover by Iranian militants of the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
the 1979 bombing in Tehran that killed the democratically-elected Iranian President, Mohammad Ali-Rajai, and Prime Minister, Mohammad Javad Bahonar.
During the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein permitted the MEK, also known as the “People’s Mojahedin,” to establish bases inside Iraq. Saddam armed the MEK and provided them with financial and logistical support to carry out terrorist attacks inside Iran. In 1988, the MEK, with Saddam’s assistance, launched a ground invasion of Iran.

In Operation Mersad, Iranian forces defeated the MEK, which had hoped to establish control over Iranian territory to establish a rival Iranian government. Had the MEK succeeded, the Middle East would have seen its first genuine terrorist state. Establishment of a terrorist state would have to wait until the Syrian civil war, when ISIL proclaimed an independent caliphate in occupied territory in Syria and Iraq.

After the United States ousted Saddam in the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, the MEK forces were confined to U.S.-protected compounds in Iraq, the most prominent being Camp Ashraf, the former U.S. military’s Camp Liberty. The new Iraqi government demanded the MEK forces leave Iraq. Acceding to Iraqi demands, the United States re-located 3,000 MEK members to the Manez base in Albania, which the MEK calls “Ashraf 3.” The MEK, which reportedly receives support from Israel’s Mossad, is said to be involved in money laundering and sex trafficking through the intensive use of crypto-currencies like Bitcoin.

Not surprisingly, MEK forces joined with ISIL forces in battling against Syrian and Iraqi government forces. The MEK saw ISIL as a natural ally in fighting pro-Iranian governments in Baghdad and Damascus. It was well-known to Western intelligence agencies that the MEK and ISIL had established an alliance, but, nevertheless, the Barack Obama administration removed the MEK from the U.S. State Department’s terrorist list in 2012. From 1997 to 2012, the United States officially designated the MEK as a foreign terrorist organization.

After ISIL forces were routed in Syria and Iraq, the United States pressured Albania to allow the Islamist terrorists to join their MEK allies in Albania. ISIL terrorists and their families have reportedly been housed in buildings in Tirana that were formerly occupied by MEK members prior to their transfer to the Manez base. From their Albanian base, MEK operatives have easily entered Kosovo, the location of another major NATO military base at Camp Bondsteel, near Ferizaj in eastern Kosovo. MEK terrorists, allied with sympathizers in Albania and Kosovo, have targeted Shi’a and Sufi Islamic institutions. It is also believed by some Albanian journalists, who have been intimidated by the Albanian government and MEK, that Ashraf 3 and Camp Bondsteel are being used to train MEK and other Middle Eastern mercenaries for a war against Iran to effect a NATO-led regime change operation.

The Albanian and Kosovo governments enjoy top-level access to the Trump administration. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, himself a one-time terrorist leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army, are represented in Washington by Brian Ballard, a former Trump presidential campaign official who runs Ballard Partners, a lobbying firm based in Tallahassee, Florida.

Thanks to the political influence of the Rajavis, Rama, and Thaci, an unholy troika of the MEK, Albania, and Kosovo has blossomed under NATO’s nose in the Balkans. This troika’s tentacles extend throughout the Balkans and into Western Europe, particularly France, Italy, and Germany.

In June 2003, the Rajavi-operated MEK compound in the Paris suburb of Auvers-sur-Oise was raided by French police on the orders of anti-terrorist magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguière. Maryam Rajavi was arrested, along with over 100 other MEK members. Intense political pressure from Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress resulted in criminal charges, including those involving money laundering, being dropped by the French government.

The Office for the Protection of the German Constitution (DPA) has accused the MEK of not only money laundering but receiving charitable donations in return for “assisting” refugees. The Germans charges that the MEK’s charitable donations were spent on terrorist operations.

In 2004, a U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation report stated that the MEK financed its operations “through a complex international money laundering operation that uses accounts in Turkey, Germany, France, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates.”

The MEK enjoys widespread support in the Trump White House, as well as in the U.S. Congress. One of the MEK’s biggest boosters is Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton. On April 1, 2017, Bolton addressed an MEK Nowruz (Persian New Year) conference in Albania and declared that the MEK would be celebrating taking power in Tehran before 2019. Bolton added, “I have believed for over a decade now that the declared policy of the United States should be regime change in Iran. And the sooner the better, for the sake of international peace and security.” Over many years, Bolton has repeatedly spoken at MEK events in Paris and New York and has reportedly accepted a total of $180,000 in speaker’s fees from the organization. The MEK primarily receives financial backing from Saudi Arabia and Israel. Some of the funds are funneled to Western politicians as honoraria in return for their speeches at MEK events in venues like Paris, Tirana, and New York.

In addition to Bolton, a frequent recipient of MEK speakers’ honoraria is former New York Mayor and Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, a person who is so corrupt, the Italian mafia wanted to have him “eliminated.” Two former CIA directors, James Woolsey and Porter Goss, have spoken at MEK events, along with one former FBI director, Louis Freeh, Jr.

The MEK is represented in Washington by the law firm of Joseph diGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing. DiGenova almost became Trump’s personal attorney. However, diGenova took his name out of consideration due to conflicts of interest and Giuliani accepted the job.

In June 2017, the MEK and ISIL coordinated a terrorist attack on the Iranian parliament in Tehran and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The terrorists were armed with AK-47s, hand grenades, and explosive-laden suicide vests. At least 12 people were killed in the attacks. The Trump White House defended the MEK/ISIL attack in stating, “We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called the White House statement “repugnant.”

The Trump administration’s neocons, notably Bolton and Giuliani, are hell-bent on regime change in Iran. They are ramping up their terrorist army in the Balkans for such a future war.

Top Image | Maryam Rajavi, former leader of the MEK and current leader of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, waves to the audience as she addresses thousands of exiled Iranians in Villepinte, north of Paris, Friday June 27, 2014.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rudy Giuliani calls for Iran regime change at rally linked to extreme group
Trump lawyer speaks at Paris event staged by MeK, once listed as terrorist organisation and widely seen as a personality cult
Arron Merat in Paris and Julian Borger in Washington
Sat 30 Jun 2018 23.31 BST First published on Sat 30 Jun 2018 23.04 BST
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/30/rudy-giuliani-mek-iran -paris-rally

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, addressed a rally staged by an extreme Iranian opposition group in Paris on Saturday, calling for regime change in Tehran.

Giuliani spoke to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an umbrella coalition largely controlled by the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MeK), which was once listed as a terrorist organisation in the US and Europe and is still widely viewed as a Marxist-Islamist cult built around the personality of its leader, Maryam Rajavi.

“We are now realistically being able to see an end to the regime in Iran,” Giuliani told a crowd of about 4,000, many of them refugees and young eastern Europeans who had been bussed in to attend the rally in return for a weekend trip to Paris.

“The mullahs must go, the ayatollah must go, and they must be replaced by a democratic government which Madam Rajavi represents,” Giuliani said. “Freedom is right around the corner ... Next year I want to have this convention in Tehran!”

The former New York mayor, who became a cyber security adviser in the White House before being named as Trump’s personal lawyer in April, is one of a long line of American conservative hawks to attend the NCRI annual conference. Another prominent guest on Saturday was Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker and a close Trump ally.

In his speech, Giuliani said the fall of the government in Tehran would be brought about by economic isolation.

“When the greatest economic power stops doing business with you, then you collapse ... and the sanctions will become greater, greater and greater,” he said.

In May, Trump abrogated the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran and ordered a campaign of intense economic pressure, threatening sanctions against any foreign company doing business with Iran and calling for an end to trade in Iranian oil by November. Giuliani suggested that the current wave of protests in Iran was being orchestrated from outside.

“Those protests are not happening spontaneously,” Giuliani said. “They are happening because of many of our people in Albania [which hosts an MeK compound] and many of our people here and throughout out the world.”

It was unclear whether “our people” was intended to mean the US or the MeK.

The guest of honour at last year’s NCRI conference was John Bolton, who has since become Trump’s third national security adviser. Bolton told the 2017 rally US policy should be to make sure the Islamic Republic “will not last until its 40th birthday” –1 April 2019.

The policy of the Trump administration is not officially to call for regime change, though top officials have often hinted at it. Outlining his approach in May, the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said it was up to the Iranian people to relieve the pressure on the country by changing their government.

Giuliani was one of 33 senior US officials and military brass at the year’s conference on Saturday. Bill Richardson, former US ambassador to the United Nations, US energy secretary and Democratic governor of New Mexico, was also in attendance.

Stephen Harper, former prime minister of Canada, also delivered a speech advocating regime change in Iran.

It was unclear if the speakers at the Saturday conference were paid. The NCRI and MeK have been known for paying very high fees.

Most observers of Iranian politics say the MeK has minimal support in Iran and is widely hated for its use of violence and close links to Israeli intelligence.

In sweltering temperatures on Saturday, around 4,000 people arrived by bus at the Parc des expositions centre. Many were draped in the MeK flag, which replaces the sign for “Allah” on the Iranian flag with a yellow lion. Others wore yellow sun hats displaying the hashtag “#Maryam Rajavi”.

Around half of the attendees were Iranian. The other half consisted of an assortment of bored-looking Poles, Czechs, Slovakians, Germans and Syrians who responded to a Facebook campaign promising travel, food and accommodation to Paris for a mere €25. Hundreds of Syrian refugees settled in Germany also attended. Many snoozed under trees during speeches.

“We saw the deal on Facebook and we agreed to come on a holiday,” said a young Syrian mother as she sat on the conference floor, fanning her two young children. “I have never seen Paris. I don’t know anything about the MeK.”


Freedom is right around the corner​! Next year I want to have this convention in Tehran!
Rudy Giuliani

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


_________________
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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For 40 Years, Iran’s Been Preparing For The War The US Has Been Threatening https://www.mintpressnews.com/for-40-years-irans-been-preparing-for-th e-war-the-us-has-been-threatening/224677/
_________________
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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terrorists, cultists – or champions of Iranian democracy? The wild wild story of the MEK
They fought for the Iranian revolution – and then for Saddam Hussein. The US and UK once condemned them. But now their opposition to Tehran has made them favourites of Trump White House hardliners. By Arron Merat
Fri 9 Nov 2018 06.00 GMT
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/nov/09/mek-iran-revolution-regim e-trump-rajavi


Mostafa and Robabe Mohammadi came to Albania to rescue their daughter. But in Tirana, the capital, the middle-aged couple have been followed everywhere by two Albanian intelligence agents. Men in sunglasses trailed them from their hotel on George W Bush Road to their lawyer’s office; from the lawyer’s office to the ministry of internal affairs; and from the ministry back to the hotel.

The Mohammadis say their daughter, Somayeh, is being held against her will by a fringe Iranian revolutionary group that has been exiled to Albania, known as the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK (Mujahedin-e Khalq). Widely regarded as a cult, the MEK was once designated as a terrorist organisation by the US and UK, but its opposition to the Iranian government has now earned it the support of powerful hawks in the Trump administration, including national security adviser John Bolton and the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo.


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Somayeh Mohammadi is one of about 2,300 members of the MEK living inside a heavily fortified base that has been built on 34 hectares of farmland in north-west Albania. Her parents, who were once supporters of the group, say that 21 years ago, Somayeh flew to Iraq to attend a summer camp and to visit her maternal aunt’s grave. She never came back.

The couple have spent the past two decades trying to get their daughter out of the MEK, travelling from their home in Canada to Paris, Jordan, Iraq and now Albania. “We are not against any group or any country,” Mostafa said, sitting outside a meatball restaurant in central Tirana. “We just want to see our daughter outside the camp and without her commanders. She can choose to stay or she can choose to come home with us.” The MEK insists Somayeh does not wish to leave the camp, and has released a letter in which she accuses her father of working for Iranian intelligence.

“Somayeh is a shy girl,” her mother said. “They threaten people like her. She wants to leave but she is scared that they will kill her.”

Since its exile from Iran in the early 1980s, the MEK has been committed to the overthrow of the Islamic republic. But it began in the 1960s as an Islamist-Marxist student militia, which played a decisive role in helping to topple the Shah during the 1979 Iranian revolution.

Anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and anti-American, MEK fighters killed scores of the Shah’s police in often suicidal street battles during the 1970s. The group targeted US-owned hotels, airlines and oil companies, and was responsible for the deaths of six Americans in Iran. “Death to America by blood and bonfire on the lips of every Muslim is the cry of the Iranian people,” went one of its most famous songs. “May America be annihilated.”

Such attacks helped pave the way for the return of the exiled Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who quickly identified the MEK as a serious threat to his plan to turn Iran into an Islamic republic under the control of the clergy. The well-armed middle-class guerrillas, although popular among religious students and intellectuals, would prove to be no match for Khomeini’s organisation and ruthlessness.

Following the revolution, Khomeini used the security services, the courts and the media to choke off the MEK’s political support and then crush it entirely. After it fought back, killing more than 70 senior leaders of the Islamic republic – including the president and Iran’s chief justice – in audacious bomb attacks, Khomeini ordered a violent crackdown on MEK members and sympathisers. The survivors fled the country.

Saddam Hussein, who was fighting a bloody war against Iran with the backing of the UK and the US, saw an opportunity to deploy the exiled MEK fighters against the Islamic republic. In 1986, he offered the group weapons, cash and a vast military base named Camp Ashraf, only 50 miles from the border with Iran.

For almost two decades, under their embittered leader Massoud Rajavi, the MEK staged attacks against civilian and military targets across the border in Iran and helped Saddam suppress his own domestic enemies. But after siding with Saddam – who indiscriminately bombed Iranian cities and routinely used chemical weapons in a war that cost a million lives – the MEK lost nearly all the support it had retained inside Iran. Members were now widely regarded as traitors.

Isolated inside its Iraqi base, under Rajavi’s tightening grip, the MEK became cult-like. A report commissioned by the US government, based on interviews within Camp Ashraf, later concluded that the MEK had “many of the typical characteristics of a cult, such as authoritarian control, confiscation of assets, sexual control (including mandatory divorce and celibacy), emotional isolation, forced labour, sleep deprivation, physical abuse and limited exit options”.

After the US invasion of Iraq, the MEK launched a lavish lobbying campaign to reverse its designation as a terrorist organisation – despite reports implicating the group in assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists as recently as 2012. Rajavi has not been seen since 2003 – most analysts assume he is dead – but under the leadership of his wife, Maryam Rajavi, the MEK has won considerable support from sections of the US and European right, eager for allies in the fight against Tehran.

In 2009, the UK delisted the MEK as a terror group. The Obama administration removed the group from the US terror list in 2012, and later helped negotiate its relocation to Albania.

At the annual “Free Iran” conference that the group stages in Paris each summer, dozens of elected US and UK representatives – along with retired politicians and military officials – openly call for the overthrow of the Islamic republic and the installation of Maryam Rajavi as the leader of Iran. At last year’s Paris rally, the Conservative MP David Amess announced that “regime change … is at long last within our grasp”. At the same event, Bolton – who championed war with Iran long before he joined the Trump administration – announced that he expected the MEK to be in power in Tehran before 2019. “The behaviour and the objectives of the regime are not going to change and, therefore, the only solution is to change the regime itself,” he declared.

The main attraction at this year’s Paris conference was another longtime MEK supporter, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, now Donald Trump’s lawyer. “The mullahs must go. The ayatollah must go,” he told the crowd. “And they must be replaced by a democratic government which Madam Rajavi represents.” Giuliani also praised the work of MEK “resistance units” inside Iran, that he credited with stoking a recent wave of protests over the struggling economy. “These protests are not happening by accident,” he said. “They’re being coordinated by many of our people in Albania.” (Giuliani, Bolton and the late John McCain are among the US politicians who have travelled to Albania to show support for the MEK.)

Meanwhile, back in Albania, the MEK is struggling to hold on to its own members, who have begun to defect. The group is also facing increased scrutiny from local media and opposition parties, who question the terms of the deal that brought the MEK fighters to Tirana.

It would be hard to find a serious observer who believes the MEK has the capacity or support within Iran to overthrow the Islamic republic. But the US and UK politicians loudly supporting a tiny revolutionary group stranded in Albania are playing a simpler game: backing the MEK is the easiest way to irritate Tehran. And the MEK, in turn, is only one small part of a wider Trump administration strategy for the Middle East, which aims to isolate and economically strangle Iran.

Before the MEK could become a darling of the American and European right, it had to reinvent itself. Democracy, human rights and secularism would become the group’s new mantra – as its leader, Maryam Rajavi, renounced violence and successfully repositioned an anti-western sect as a pro-American democratic government-in-waiting.

The long march to respectability began with the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. The war toppled Saddam Hussein, the MEK’s patron and protector, but it brought the group into direct contact with US officials – who would soon be looking for additional ammunition against Iran.

The US had designated the MEK as a terrorist group in the late 1990s, as a goodwill gesture toward a new reformist government in Tehran. When George W Bush accused Saddam Hussein of “harbouring terrorists” in a 2002 speech that made the case for invading Iraq, he was actually referring to the MEK. But in the early days of the US occupation of Iraq, a row erupted inside the White House over what to do with the 5,000 MEK fighters inside their base at Camp Ashraf.

Members of the MEK near Camp Ashraf in the 90s.
Members of the MEK near Camp Ashraf in the 90s. Photograph: Alamy
Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, argued that the MEK was on the list of terrorist organisations and should be treated as such. But Iran hawks, including then secretary of defence, Donald Rumsfeld, and vice-president Dick Cheney, argued that the MEK should be used as a weapon against the Islamic republic – the next target in the neoconservative roadmap for remaking the Middle East. (“Boys go to Baghdad, but real men go to Tehran,” was their half-joking refrain.)

Rumsfeld’s faction won out. Although the group was still listed as a terrorist organisation, the Pentagon unilaterally designated MEK fighters inside Camp Ashraf as “protected persons” under the Geneva conventions – officially disarmed, but with their security effectively guaranteed by US forces in Iraq. The US was protecting a group it also designated as terrorists.

There is no doubt that US hawks regarded the MEK as a weapon in the fight against Iran: as early as May 2003, the same month that Bush famously declared “mission accomplished” in Iraq, the New York Times reported that “Pentagon hardliners” were moving to protect the MEK, “and perhaps reconstitute it later as a future opposition organisation in Iran, somewhat along the lines of the US-supported Iraqi opposition under Ahmed Chalabi that preceded the war in Iraq”. In 2003, the Bush administration refused an offer, signed off by Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, to hand over MEK leaders in Iraq in exchange for members of the military council of al-Qaida and relatives of Osama bin Laden, who had been captured by Iran as they fled Afghanistan after September 11.

As the US occupation of Iraq collapsed into a nightmarish civil war, the American right increasingly blamed Iran for the country’s disintegration. Senior politicians openly called for bombing the Islamic republic, amid growing panic over Iran’s nuclear programme – the existence of which had first been exposed by the MEK in what the BBC called a “propaganda coup” for the group. (Several experts on Israeli intelligence have reported that Mossad passed these documents to the MEK.) By 2007, US news outlets were reporting that Bush had signed a classified directive authorising “covert action” inside Iran.

Between 2007 and 2012, seven Iranian nuclear scientists were attacked with poison or magnetic bombs affixed to moving cars by passing motorcyclists; five were killed. In 2012, NBC news, citing two unnamed US officials, reported that the attacks were planned by Israel’s foreign intelligence agency and executed by MEK agents inside Iran. An MEK spokesperson called this a “false claim … whose main source is the mullahs’ regime”.

It was around this time that the MEK began working to remake its image in the west. Groups associated with the MEK donated to political campaigns, blanketed Washington with advertisements and paid western political influencers fees to pen op-eds and give speeches – and to lobby for its removal from the list of designated terrorist organisations.

A stupendously long list of American politicians from both parties were paid hefty fees to speak at events in favour of the MEK, including Giuliani, John McCain, Newt Gingrich and former Democratic party chairs Edward Rendell and Howard Dean – along with multiple former heads of the FBI and CIA. John Bolton, who has made multiple appearances at events supporting the MEK, is estimated to have received upwards of $180,000. According to financial disclosure forms, Bolton was paid $40,000 for a single appearance at the Free Iran rally in Paris in 2017.

A handful of UK politicians have attended two or more of the MEK’s Paris events in the past three years, including the Conservatives Bob Blackman and Matthew Offord, and the Labour MPs Roger Godsiff and Toby Perkins. The Conservative MP and former minister Theresa Villiers has attended the past two annual Paris events. So has David Amess, the Conservative MP for Southend West – the MEK’s loudest champion in the UK parliament, who has also travelled to the US to speak at a rally in support of the group. (All of the MPs declined to reply to questions about their attendance.)

The other British attendees at this year’s Paris rally included three peers and five former MPs, including Mike Hancock, who resigned from the Liberal Democrats after admitting inappropriate behaviour with a constituent, and Michelle Thomson, who was forced to resign the SNP whip in 2015 in a controversy over property deals. The former Bishop of Oxford, John Pritchard, was also there, carrying a petition in support of the MEK signed by 75 bishops, including the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

At this year’s event, flanked by union jacks and “#RegimeChange” signs, Villiers spoke of the importance of women’s rights, “paid tribute” to Maryam Rajavi – who is barred from entering the UK – and pledged support for her “just cause” in seeking to create “an Iran which is free from the brutal repression of the mullahs”. In a carefully stage-managed performance, Rajavi laid flowers and wrote a tribute in an enormous yearbook of MEK martyrs. “The time has come for the regime’s overthrow,” she said. “Victory is certain, and Iran will be free.”

One day after the conference, the MEK accused Tehran of plotting a bomb attack against the event, following the arrest of four suspects – including an unnamed Iranian diplomat – in Belgium, Germany and France. Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, rejected claims of Iran’s involvement and described the accusations as a “sinister false flag ploy”.

Even as the MEK successfully amassed political allies in the west, its security in Iraq eroded as US troops departed. Between 2009 and 2013, Iraqi security forces raided the MEK base at least twice, killing about 100 people. Nouri al-Maliki, then the prime minister of Iraq – whose ambassador to the US called the group “nothing more than a cult” – insisted it leave the country.

Daniel Benjamin, who was then the head of counter-terrorism at the state department, told me that the US decided to remove the MEK from the list of foreign terrorist organisations not because it believed it had abandoned violence, but to “avoid them all getting killed” if it remained in Iraq. After the MEK was no longer designated a terrorist group, the US was able to convince Albania to accept the 2,700 remaining members – who were brought to Tirana on a series of charter flights between 2014 and 2016.

The group bought up land in Albania and built a new base. But the move from Iraq to the relative safety of Albania has precipitated a wave of defections. Those with means have fled the country to the EU and the US, but around 120 recent MEK escapees remain in Tirana with no right to work or emigrate. I spoke to about a dozen defectors, half of whom are still in Albania, who said that MEK commanders systematically abused members to silence dissent and prevent defections – using torture, solitary confinement, the confiscation of assets and the segregation of families to maintain control over members. In response to these allegations, an MEK spokesperson said: “The individuals who are described as ‘former members’ were being used as part of a demonisation campaign against the MEK.”

The testimony of these recent defectors follows earlier reports from groups such as Human Rights Watch, which reported former members witnessed “beatings, verbal and psychological abuse, coerced confessions, threats of execution and torture that in two cases led to death”.

The MEK grew out of Iran’s Liberation Movement, an Islamic-democratic “loyal opposition” established in 1961 by the supporters of Mohammad Mossadegh, the prime minister ousted in a 1953 coup orchestrated by Britain and the US. The movement called for national sovereignty, freedom of political activity and the separation of mosque and state. The MEK cleaved to these traditions, but responded to the growing repression of the Shah throughout the 1960s and 70s by rejecting nonviolence.

At the time, the MEK, whose members were largely idealistic middle-class students, combined Islamism with Marxist doctrine. They reinterpreted the Qur’anic passages that undergirded their Shia faith as injunctions to socialise the means of production, eliminate the class system and promote the struggles of Iran’s ethnic minorities. Steeped in thinkers such as Frantz Fanon and Régis Debray, they expressed solidarity with national liberation movements in Algeria, Cuba, Palestine and Vietnam. Quoting Lenin’s famous pamphlet, the MEK posed the question: “What Is to Be Done?” “Our answer is straightforward,” the MEK wrote: “Armed struggle.”

Rajavi was among 69 members of the MEK tried in 1972 by a military tribunal for plotting acts of terrorism. “The ruling class is on its deathbed,” he told the tribunal. When the prosecutor interrupted him to ask why he had acquired weapons, Rajavi replied: “To deal with the likes of you.”

Newt Gingrich delivers a speech during the Free Iran rally in Paris in July 2016.
Newt Gingrich delivers a speech during the Free Iran rally in Paris in July 2016. Photograph: NurPhoto via Getty
Of the 11 members of the MEK central committee tried in 1972, nine were immediately executed and one remained in jail. When Rajavi emerged from prison in 1979, three weeks before the Iranian revolution, he was the undisputed leader of Iran’s most deadly underground rebel group.

The MEK played an important role in the 1979 revolution, seizing the imperial palace and doing much of the fighting to neutralise the police and the army. Two days after the revolution, Massoud Rajavi, who was 30, met the 77-year-old supreme leader. The two did not hit it off. “I met Khomeini,” Rajavi told a journalist in 1981. “He held out his hand for me to kiss, and I refused. Since then, we’ve been enemies.”

Khomeini saw the MEK as a threat to his power, barring Rajavi from running for president and casting his organisation as an enemy of Islam. Armed members of the newly created Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) disrupted MEK events, burned its literature and beat up its members. Without political power, the MEK relied on street protests. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians attended its rallies, which the courts soon banned.

In response, the MEK and the president, Abolhassan Banisadr, who was also antagonistic to Khomeini, organised two days of protests across 30 cities – forcing Khomeini to go on television to reiterate the ban. The MEK, he said, were “waging war on God”. Other clerics warned that demonstrators would be shot on sight. On 20 June 1981, the MEK organised a mass protest of half a million people in Tehran, with the aim of triggering a second revolution. The clerics were true to their word: 50 demonstrators were killed, with 200 wounded. Banisadr was removed from office and a wave of executions followed.

Over the following months and years, the violence escalated. Khomeini rounded up thousands of MEK supporters – while his loyalists launched waves of mob violence against MEK members and sympathisers.

By December, the regime had executed 2,500 members of the MEK. The group counter-attacked with a spate of assassinations and suicide bombings against Friday-prayer leaders, revolutionary court judges and members of the IRGC. “I am willing to die to help hasten the coming of the classless society; to keep alive our revolutionary tradition; and to avenge our colleagues murdered by this bloodthirsty, reactionary regime,” wrote one MEK fighter, Ebrahimzadeh, who killed 13 IRGC and Ayatollah Sadduqi, a close advisor to Khomeini, by detonating a hand grenade in a suicide attack in July 1982.

By the mid-1980s, thousands of people labelled as MEK had been executed or killed in street battles by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

This was the time when Rajavi accepted Saddam’s offer to fight Iran from the safety of Iraq. Over the next few years, Rajavi launched an “ideological revolution”, banning marriage and enforcing mandatory “eternal” divorce on all members, who were required to separate from their husbands or wives. He married one of the new divorcees, Maryam Azodanlu, who became, in effect, his chief lieutenant and took his name.

For Saddam, the MEK was a useful, but disposable, tool in his war against Iran. The MEK, however, was totally dependent on the Iraqi leader. In addition to cash and arms, he sent Iranian prisoners of war to Rajavi as new recruits. “The whole world was Camp Ashraf,” said Edward Tramado, one of these prisoners, remembering his indoctrination. “Nothing else had any meaning for me,” recalled Tramado, who now lives in Germany. “I was living in a delusional world. Even though I knew I had a mother who was waiting for me, my entire world had become what they had constructed for me.”

In July 1988, six days after the ceasefire that officially ended the Iran-Iraq war, the MEK launched a suicidal mission deep into Iranian territory, dubbed Operation Eternal Light. Once again, Rajavi predicted his actions would spark another revolution. “It will be like an avalanche,” Rajavi told the fighters he was about to send to their deaths. “You don’t need to take anything with you. We will be like fish swimming in a sea of people. They will give you whatever you need.”

The mission would end in a massacre: hapless MEK fighters were lured into an ambush by the Iranian army, which crushed them with minimal effort. One Iranian soldier who took part in the operation recently described it to me. Mehrad, who volunteered in 1987 at the age of 15, recalled that his division, which had fought against Iraqi soldiers on the southern front, was redeployed to the north in July 1988 to repel a new assault from Iraq. His division was sent to a location near the city of Kermanshah, about 111 miles (180km) from the border with Iraq. Mehrad and his fellow soldiers were surprised to hear that enemy soldiers had managed to make such a deep incursion into Iran. “We thought our army had given up,” he said.

When he arrived, Mehrad discovered that the enemy was the MEK – which had been led into a trap. “Their military strategy was very stupid,” he told me. “They just drove down the Tehran highway. It was like if the French army wanted to invade England and they just drove down the motorway from Dover to London.”

“We very quickly killed thousands of them,” Mehrad said. “There were piles of bodies on either side of the road. What was interesting to us was that many of them were women.” Some MEK took cyanide rather than be captured alive. The MEK subsequently claimed that 1,304 of its members were martyred, and another 1,100 returned to Iraq injured.

The survivors were tried on the spot and quickly executed; Mehrad watched as hundreds were hanged at gallows erected in the nearby town of Eslamabad. Khomeini then used the failed invasion as a pretext for the mass execution of thousands of MEK and other leftists in Iranian jails. Amnesty estimates that more than 4,500 people were put to death, and some sources say the numbers were even higher.

Eternal Light marked a major turning point for the MEK. Inside the barbed wire of Camp Ashraf, as the reality of indefinite exile sank in, a traumatised and grief-stricken membership turned against itself under the paranoid leadership of Rajavi. Several former members told me that after the bloody defeat, Massoud Rajavi cast himself as the representative of al-Mahdi, the 12th Imam who was “hidden” in the 9th century and who, according to Iranian Shia, will return alongside Jesus to bring peace and justice to the world.

Outside Camp Ashraf, the MEK continued to stage cross-border attacks against Iran, and helped Saddam to crush uprisings against his rule after his defeat by the US in the 1990 Gulf war. In March 1991, Saddam deployed the MEK to help quell the armed Kurdish independence movement in the north. According to the New York Times, Maryam Rajavi told her fighters: “Take the Kurds under your tanks, and save your bullets for the Iranian revolutionary guards.” The MEK vehemently denies it participated in Saddam’s campaigns to put down the Shia and Kurdish rebellions, but an Iraqi human rights tribunal has indicted MEK leaders for their role in suppressing the uprisings.

Karwan Jamal Tahir, the Kurdistan regional government’s high representative in London, was a fighter for the Kurdish peshmerga in 1991. He told me that he remembers how the MEK arrived in the town of Kalar, about 93 miles (150km) south-east of Kirkuk, just after Saddam had lost control of the north of Iraq after the first Gulf war. “They came in Saddam’s tanks,” he said. “We thought they were returning peshmerga because the tanks were covered with portraits of Kurdish leaders … but they opened fire on the town … It was a big atrocity.”

Maryam Rajavi and Rudy Giuliani at a ceremony in Tirana in March marking the Iranian new year.
Maryam Rajavi and Rudy Giuliani at a ceremony in Tirana in March marking the Iranian new year. Photograph: Alamy
In the next decade, the MEK continued to fight against Iran. In 1992, the group launched concurrent attacks on Iranian diplomatic missions in 10 countries, including Iran’s permanent mission to the UN in New York, which was invaded by five men with knives. The MEK also settled more personal scores. In 1998, an assassin killed Asadollah Lajevardi, the former warden of Evin prison who had personally overseen the executions of thousands of MEK members.

Back at Camp Ashraf, commanders would tell wavering members that if they escaped, they would face certain death at the hands of either Saddam or the Iranian authorities. “We were far away from the world,” one member, who only escaped the MEK after the move to Albania, told me. “We had no information. No television, no radio.” Instead, within the camp, they had “Mojahedin television”, which consisted of looped speeches by Maryam and Massoud Rajavi, played “all day long”.

Rajavi told his followers that the failure of Eternal Light was not a military blunder, but was instead rooted in the members’ thoughts for their spouses; their love had sapped their will to fight. In 1990, all couples inside the camp were ordered to divorce – and women had their wedding rings replaced by pendants engraved with Massoud’s face. Spouses were separated, and their children were sent to be “adopted” by MEK supporters in Europe.

MEK commanders demanded that all members publicly reveal any errant sexual thoughts. Manouchelur Abdi, a 55-year-old who also left the MEK in Albania, told me that the confession sessions used to take place every morning. Even feelings of love and friendship were outlawed, he says. “I would have to confess that I missed my daughter,” he says. “They would shout at me. They would humiliate me. They would say that my family was the enemy and missing them was strengthening the hand of the mullahs in Tehran.”

Another recent defector, Ali (not his real name) showed me scars on his arms and legs from what he described as weeks of torture after he first joined the group in the early 1990s, including cigarette burns on his arms. When it was over, he said, he was taken to Baghdad to meet the leader. “They took us into a big hall. Massoud Rajavi was sitting there with a group of women,” Ali recalled. “[Rajavi said] ‘If any of you say one word to any one … One word, if any of this is exposed, reaches anyone else’s ears, or if you talk about leaving, you’ll be delivered to [Saddam’s] intelligence service immediately.’”

Batoul Soltani joined the MEK in 1986 with her husband and infant daughter. At first, her family was able to live together, but in 1990, she says she was forced to divorce and give up her five-year-old daughter and newborn son, who were sent abroad to be raised by MEK sympathisers. Soltani alleges that she was forced to have sex with Massoud Rajavi on multiple occasions, beginning in 1999. She says that the last assault was in 2006, the year that she escaped from Camp Ashraf and a time when Rajavi had not been seen in public for three years. When we spoke recently, Soltani accused Maryam Rajavi of helping Massoud to abuse female MEK members over the years. “[Massoud] Rajavi thought that the only achilles heel [for female fighters] was the opposite sex,” Soltani told me. “He would say that the only reason you women would leave me is a man. So, I want all of your hearts.”

Soltani, who was one of three women to speak about sexual abuse inside the MEK in a 2014 documentary aired on Iranian television, alleged that Rajavi had hundreds of “wives” inside the camp.

Another former female member, Zahra Moini, who served as a bodyguard for Maryam Rajavi, told me that women were threatened with punishment if they did not divorce their husbands and “marry” Massoud. “Maryam was involved in this sexual abuse, she used to read the vows to allow for the marriage to be consummated,” Moini said, in a telephone interview from Germany.

“Those who didn’t accept to marry would be disappeared. I was told that if I didn’t divorce [my husband], I would end up in Ramadi prison and I would have to sleep with the Iraqi generals every night.” (In response to questions about these allegations, an MEK spokesperson said: “The mullahs’ propaganda machine has been churning out sexual libels against the resistance and its leader for the past 40 years.”)

Two other female defectors, Zahra Bagheri and Fereshteh Hedayati, have alleged that they were given hysterectomies without their consent in the Camp Ashraf hospital, under the pretext they were being operated on for minor ailments. In the eccentric ideological language of the group, the women say the procedure was retrospectively justified to victims as representing “the peak” of loyalty to their leader.

Hedayati, who survived the massacres of Operation Eternal Light, joined the MEK as a 22-year-old in 1981 with her husband, who is still inside the group. “They said I had a cyst,” she told me. “But they also took out my womb. They told me that it meant that I had an even stronger connection to our ideological leader.” Hedayati, who left the group in Iraq and now lives in Norway, says she was never sexually abused, but was “brainwashed” by the group into divorcing her husband, and alleges that more than 100 other women were sterilised by MEK doctors. “I always ask myself why they did this to us,” Bagheri said. “Of course, to take away our futures.”

Between an escape attempt in 2001 and her exit from the MEK in 2013, Hedayati says she was subject to extraordinarily harsh treatment by her commanders. “They said I was a lesbian,” she says. “They spat on me, they beat me, they locked me up. I was put in jail, in solitary confinement.”

Albania ostensibly accepted the MEK members for humanitarian reasons – but the country’s leaders may have seen an opportunity to curry favour with the US government, which had seen its offers rejected by various other European states. “They were the only ones who would take them,” the former state department official Daniel Benjamin has said.

Olsi Jazexhi, a professor of history at the University of Durres critical of the government’s decision to accept the MEK fighters, says that Albanian politicians hoped the deal would lead the US to turn a blind eye to their own corruption. “The MEK is a card which gives them leverage with the United States,” he said. “They think that by taking the MEK, the Americans will leave their business alone.” (A secret US state department cable from 2009, published by WikiLeaks, said that the country’s three major parties “all have MPs with links to organised crime … Conventional wisdom, backed by other reporting, is that the new parliament has quite a few drug traffickers and money launderers.”)

For the Trump administration, the MEK is a valuable asset in the escalating regional conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran. This summer, Trump abruptly pulled out of the Iran nuclear agreement and announced new sanctions, triggering a currency collapse and four months of sporadic protests across Iran. The US has reimposed tough sanctions this week, targeting Iranian oil exports and banking. But Trump’s Middle East strategy has come under new scrutiny after the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in Istanbul – which has sparked a backlash against the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, and his allies in the Trump administration.

For most of its life in exile, the MEK was funded by Saddam. After his downfall, the group says it raised money from Iranian diaspora organisations and individual donors. The MEK has always denied it is financed by Saudi Arabia – but the former Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal, made waves when he attended the group’s 2016 rally in Paris and called for the fall of the Iranian regime.

“The money definitely comes from Saudis,” says Ervand Abrahamian, a professor at the City University of New York and author of the definitive academic work on the group’s history, The Iranian Mojahedin. “There is no one else who could be subsidising them with this level of finance.”

Analysts agree that the MEK lacks the capacity or support to overthrow the Iranian government – as even Bolton and Pompeo would surely concede. “They are probably smart enough to know that this group is not democratic and anyway has no constituency inside Iran,” said Paul Pillar, who served in the CIA for 28 years, including a period as the agency’s senior counter-terrorism analyst. Trump and his Iran hawks, Pillar said, are not concerned with replacing the current regime so much as causing it to crumble. “They are pursuing anything that would disrupt the political order in Iran so they and the president can cite such an outcome as a supposed victory no matter what comes afterwards.”

According to one recent MEK defector, Hassan Heyrani, the group’s main work in Albania involves fighting online in an escalating information war between Iran and its rivals. Heyrani, who left the MEK last summer, says that he worked in a “troll farm” of 1,000 people inside the Albanian camp, posting pro-Rajavi and anti-Iran propaganda in English, Farsi and Arabic on Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and newspaper comment sections.

“We worked from morning to night with fake accounts,” he says. “We had orders daily that the commanders would read for us. ‘It is your duty to promote this senator, this politician, or journalist writing against Iran’ and we would say ‘Thank you, the Iranian people support you and Maryam Rajavi is the rightful leader’, but if there was a negative story on the MEK, we would post ‘You are the mercenaries of the Iranian regime, you are not the voice of the Iranian people, you don’t want freedom for Iran’.” An MEK spokesperson called these allegations “another lie” made up to support the Iranian foreign ministry.

According to Marc Owen Jones, an academic who studies political bots on social media, “thousands” of suspicious Twitter accounts emerged in early 2016 with “Iran” as their location and “human rights” in their description or account name, which posted in support of Trump and the MEK. These accounts, says Jones, were created in batches and would promote Trump’s anti-Iran rhetoric using the hashtags #IranRegimeChange, #FreeIran and #IstandwithMaryamRajavi.

Albanian journalists say that the MEK, which has close contacts with senior politicians and the security services, operates with impunity within Albania. Ylli Zyla, who served as head of Albanian military intelligence from 2008 to 2012, accused the MEK of violating Albanian law. “Members of this organisation live in Albania as hostages,” he told me. Its camp, he said, was beyond the jurisdiction of Albanian police and “extraordinary psychological violence and threats of murder” took place inside.

Former members accuse the MEK of responsibility for the death in June of Malek Shara’i, a senior commander who was found drowned by police divers at bottom of a reservoir behind the group’s Albanian base. Shara’i’s sister, Zahra Shara’i, said that his family had received news from former members that Malek was about to escape, and says the MEK was responsible for his death. “I am their enemy and I will not rest until I get my revenge,” she told the Guardian from Iran. The MEK said that Shara’i drowned while attempting to save another member from drowning. The Albanian police said the death was not suspicious.

While defectors with private means have been smuggled out of the country into the EU, many former members live hand-to-mouth in Tirana. The Albanian state has not granted refugee rights to the MEK or its defectors, and a UN monthly stipend of 30,000 lek (£215) lapsed on 1 September. “They’re stuck,” says Jazexhi, who has worked to support the defectors. “They don’t know the languages, they don’t know the laws, they don’t know what democracy is. They are used to dictators. We tell them that they shouldn’t be afraid.”

Migena Balla, the lawyer representing Mostafa and Robabe Mohammadi, the couple in Tirana fighting for the release of their daughter Somayeh, believes that pressure has been put to bear on both the police and the judiciary to ensure the MEK does not “create political problems”. “Politics is interfering in the judicial system,” she says. “When I went to the police station to register their complaint the police officers actually ran away. They are scared of losing their jobs.”

The MEK has not taken kindly to the presence of the Mohammadis in Albania. They accuse Mostafa – and any former member who has spoken out against the MEK – of being a paid agent of the “mullah regime”. On 27 July, Mostafa was hospitalised following an assault by four senior members of the MEK, which was captured on video by his wife. The attackers, who shouted “Terrorist!” at Mohammadi, were briefly detained by Albanian police. But, after a phalanx of MEK members arrived at the police station, the men were promptly released.

The MEK has published letters, purportedly written by Somayeh, accusing her father of being an Iranian intelligence agent. A nervous-looking Somayeh recently gave a video interview inside the MEK base saying that she wishes to remain a member of the group.

The Mohammadis have responded with open letters to their daughter and to Albanian politicians, calling for an unsupervised meeting with their daughter. “I am your mother Mahboubeh Robabe Hamza and I want to meet with you,” Robabe wrote to Somayeh. “I am the woman who fed you at my breast, I held you in the crook of my arm. You are my flesh and blood … I love you more than my life … I’m getting old, I am getting tired, but life is not worth living without seeing you.”

Arron Merat was a Tehran correspondent for the Economist between 2011 and 2014. He has covered Iran for the Guardian, the Sunday Times and Vice News. He tweets at @a_merat

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

US: Pentagon Outlines Options for Military Strike in Iran
U.S. President Donald Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 27, 2018. | Photo: Reuters file.
https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/US-Pentagon-Outlines-Options-for-M ilitary-Strike-in-Iran-20190114-0002.html

Published 14 January 2019
A report commissioned by Trump's National Security Advisors last year outlines military options to strike Iran.

For the first time a request made by the White House on “military options to strike Iran” was reported on Sunday by the Wall Street Journal.

RELATED:
Pompeo's Middle East Visit Contradicts Trump Admin Policy

The request was initiated by President Trump’s National Security Council which asked the Pentagon to produce the report, a move which seemed unusual, “It definitely rattled people,” stated a former senior U.S. administration official describing the hawkish intentions behind the report, “People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran,” the official added.

The move also received criticism from Iranian-American diplomatic relations lobbyists in Washington D.C, who believe the Trump administration is bent on torpedoing the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal.

“John Bolton and fellow Iran hawks believe they have two years left to collapse the Iran nuclear deal and trigger a disastrous war that the American people want no part of,” said the President of the National Iranian American Council Jamal Abdi.

The petition was allegedly made in response to attacks carried out last year by militants firing mortars into Baghdad’s diplomatic quarter in which the U.S. Embassy is located.

However, this alleged justification based on the Iraq attack it appears to be an excuse to carry out an agenda consisting in removing the Iranian government held by longstanding officials with hawkish intentions: “We know that Bolton and other administration officials preferred an Iran war to negotiations prior to serving Trump. Now there is confirmation that they are still seeking out opportunities to fulfill their war agenda,” added Abdi.

According to the Wall Street Journal’s report, there are some blind corners on the specifics of the White House request. Two things stand out. First, if President Trump was aware of the request at the time of submission, and second if these plans were seriously concocted.

Nonetheless, there are clear causes of concern related to the people in charge of handling Iran policy who are quick to call for military intervention. Key officials in the current White House Administration, such as National Security Adviser John Bolton have been outspoken about their position on removing the government of Iran, “To stop Iran’s bomb, bomb Iran,” said Bolton in 2015.

The attack perpetrated on Iraq’s diplomatic quarter in September 2018 did not lead to any casualties. The United States government claimed that Iran did not stop its allies from carrying out the attack, according to a White House press statement. The accusation was categorically rejected by Iran’s foreign ministry and described it as “astonishing, provocative, and irresponsible,” according to Iran’s media reports.



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WSJ - The Guardian - Arab News - The Hill - NIAC
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Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Senate has just voted to advance the pro-Israel bill S.1, which would give Israel billions of dollars and interfere with Americans' right to boycott, to a quick vote. This required 60 aye votes, which it just received: See vote below. (so far, the vote is 73-19)

The next steps for it to become a law are (1)
for a majority of Senators to vote for the bill itself, (2) the House to pass the bill, and (3) for the President to sign it into law.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Next Israeli Foreign Minister, Yuval Steinitz, threatening 'airliner false flag' to start Iran war?

Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YApMyjDKsKw

NeoCons: Israeli Foreign Minister to be, Yuval Steinitz, threatens to attack Iran.
Hints at false flag attack war provocation by Israelis, blaming Iran?
BDS Bill – banning Israeli settlement goods;
Captain Boycott (1947 film) – Irish invention

Scott Bennett, Yuval Steinitz, Kevin Cahill
& Tony Gosling
thisweek.org.uk - 01 Feb 2019

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exclusive: Sec. Mike Pompeo goes one-on-one with Bret Baier

Link

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

War on Iran & Calling America’s Bluff
https://thesaker.is/war-on-iran-calling-americas-bluff/

6276 Views - April 24, 2019 - 21 Comments - by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Consortium News) by special agreement with the author

Vast swathes of the West seem not to realize that if the Strait of Hormuz is shut down a global depression will follow, writes Pepe Escobar.
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 posing as diplomat, Consul Minimus Mike Pompeo, now essentially orders the whole planet to submit to the one and only arbiter of world trade: Washington.

First the Trump administration unilaterally smashed a multinational, UN-endorsed agreement, the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal. Now the waivers that magnanimously allowed eight nations to import oil from Iran without incurring imperial wrath in the form of sanctions will expire on May 2 and won’t be renewed.

The White House - @WhiteHouse
President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran deal upheld his highest obligation: to protect the safety and security of the American people.
Why Iran sanctions are necessary: http://45.wh.gov/SUUPiW - 2,376 - 6:51 PM - Aug 6, 2018 - 1,122 people are talking about this

The eight nations are a mix of Eurasian powers: China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece.

Apart from the trademark toxic cocktail of hubris, illegality, arrogance/ignorance and geopolitical/geo–economic infantilism inbuilt in this foreign policy decision, the notion that Washington can decide who’s allowed to be an energy provider to emerging superpower China does not even qualify as laughable. Much more alarming is the fact that imposing a total embargo of Iranian oil exports is no less than an act of war.

Ultimate Neocon Wet Dream

Those subscribing to the ultimate U.S, neocon and Zionist wet dream – regime change in Iran – may rejoice at this declaration of war. But as Professor Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran has elegantly argued, “If the Trump regime miscalculates, the house can easily come crashing down on its head.”

Reflecting the fact Tehran seems to have no illusions regarding the utter folly ahead, the Iranian leadership ­ if provoked to a point of no return, Marandi additionally told me ­ can get as far as “destroying everything on the other side of the Persian Gulf and chasing the U.S. out of Iraq and Afghanistan. When the U.S. escalates, Iran escalates. Now it depends on the U.S. how far things go.”

This red alert from a sensible academic perfectly dovetails with what’s happening with the structure of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) ­ recently branded a “terrorist organization” by the United States. In perfect symmetry, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council also branded the U.S. Central Command ­ CENTCOM ­ and “all the forces connected to it” as a terrorist group.

The new IRGC commander-in-chief is Brigadier General Hossein Salami, 58. Since 2009 he was the deputy of previous commander Mohamamd al-Jafari, a soft spoken but tough as nails gentleman I met in Tehran two years ago. Salami, as well as Jafari, is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war; that is, he has actual combat experience. And Tehran sources assure me that he can be even tougher than Jafari.

In tandem, IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri has evoked the unthinkable in terms of what might develop out of the U.S. total embargo on Iran oil exports; Tehran could block the Strait of Hormuz.

Western Oblivion

Vast swathes of the ruling classes across the West seem to be oblivious to the reality that if Hormuz is shut down, the result will be an absolutely cataclysmic global economic depression.

Warren Buffett, among other investors, has routinely qualified the 2.5 quadrillion derivatives market as a weapon of financial mass destruction. As it stands, these derivatives are used ­ illegally ­ to drain no less than a trillion U.S. dollars a year out of the market in manipulated profits.

Considering historical precedents, Washington may eventually be able to set up a Persian Gulf of Tonkin false flag. But what next?

If Tehran were totally cornered by Washington, with no way out, the de facto nuclear option of shutting down the Strait of Hormuz would instantly cut off 25 percent of the global oil supply. Oil prices could rise to over $500 a barrel, to even $1000 a barrel. The 2.5 quadrillion of derivatives would start a chain reaction of destruction.

Unlike the shortage of credit during the 2008 financial crisis, the shortage of oil could not be made up by fiat instruments. Simply because the oil is not there. Not even Russia would be able to re-stabilize the market.

It’s an open secret in private conversations at the Harvard Club – or at Pentagon war-games for that matter – that in case of a war on Iran, the U.S. Navy would not be able to keep the Strait of Hormuz open.

Russian SS-NX-26 Yakhont missiles ­ with a top speed of Mach 2.9 ­ are lining up the Iranian northern shore of the Strait of Hormuz. There’s no way U.S. aircraft carriers can defend a barrage of Yakhont missiles.

Then there are the SS-N-22 Sunburn supersonic anti-ship missiles ­ already exported to China and India ­ flying ultra-low at 1,500 miles an hour with dodging capacity, and extremely mobile; they can be fired from a flatbed truck, and were designed to defeat the U.S. Aegis radar defense system.

What Will China Do?

The full–frontal attack on Iran reveals how the Trump administration bets on breaking Eurasia integration via what would be its weakeast node; the three key nodes are China, Russia and Iran. These three actors interconnect the whole spectrum; Belt and Road Initiative; the Eurasia Economic Union; the Shanghai Cooperation Organization; the International North-South Transportation Corridor; the expansion of BRICS Plus.

So there’s no question the Russia-China strategic partnership will be watching Iran’s back. It’s no accident that the trio is among the top existential “threats” to the U.S., according to the Pentagon. Beijing knows how the U.S. Navy is able to cut it off from its energy sources. And that’s why Beijing is strategically increasing imports of oil and natural gas from Russia; engineering the “escape from Malacca” also must take into account a hypothetical U.S. takeover of the Strait of Hormuz.

Night view of coast of Oman, including Strait of Hormuz. (Intl Space Station photo via Wikimedia)

A plausible scenario involves Moscow acting to defuse the extremely volatile U.S.-Iran confrontation, with the Kremlin and the Ministry of Defense trying to persuade President Donald Trump and the Pentagon from any direct attack against the IRGC. The inevitable counterpart is the rise of covert ops, the possible staging of false flags and all manner of shady Hybrid War techniques deployed not only against the IRGC, directly and indirectly, but against Iranian interests everywhere. For all practical purposes, the U.S. and Iran are at war.

Within the framework of the larger Eurasia break-up scenario, the Trump administration does profit from Wahhabi and Zionist psychopathic hatred of Shi’ites. The “maximum pressure” on Iran counts on Jared of Arabia Kushner’s close WhatsApp pal Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) in Riyadh and MbS’s mentor in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed, to replace the shortfall of Iranian oil in the market. Bu that’s nonsense ­ as quite a few wily Persian Gulf traders are adamant Riyadh won’t “absorb Iran’s market share” because the extra oil is not there.

Much of what lies ahead in the oil embargo saga depends on the reaction of assorted vassals and semi-vassals. Japan won’t have the guts to go against Washington. Turkey will put up a fight. Italy, via Salvini, will lobby for a waiver. India is very complicated; New Delhi is investing in Iran’s Chabahar port as the key hub of its own Silk Road, and closely cooperates with Tehran within the INSTC framework. Would a shameful betrayal be in the cards?

China, it goes without saying, will simply ignore Washington.

Iran will find ways to get the oil flowing because the demand won’t simply vanish with a magic wave of an American hand. It’s time for creative solutions. Why not, for instance, refuel ships in international waters, accepting gold, all sorts of cash, debit cards, bank transfers in rubles, yuan, rupees and rials ­ and everything bookable on a website?

Now that’s a way Iran can use its tanker fleet to make a killing. Some of the tankers could be parked in ­ you got it ­ the Strait of Hormuz, with an eye on the price at Jebel Ali in the UAE to make sure this is the real deal. Add to it a duty free for the ships crews. What’s not to like? Ship owners will save fortunes on fuel bills, and crews will get all sorts of stuff at 90 percent discount in the duty free.

And let’s see whether the EU has grown a spine ­ and really turbo-charge their Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) alternative payment network conceived after the Trump administration ditched the JCPOA. Because more than breaking up Eurasia integration and implementing neocon regime change, this is about the ultimate anathema; Iran is being mercilessly punished because it has bypassed the U.S. dollar on energy trade.




Russian Military Expert Says Time for Russia to Prepare for War
https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/04/13/russian-military-expert-sa ys-time-for-russia-to-prepare-for-war/

Paul Craig Roberts | April 13, 2019 | Categories: Articles & Columns | Tags: | Print This Article Print This Article

Russian Military Expert Says Time for Russia to Prepare for War

Someone should speak to the Russian finance minister, Anton Siluanov, and put him in touch with reality. According to a RT news report, Siluanov has called for restoring economic and political ties between Moscow and Washington.

Ties between the US and Russia were intentionally wrecked on purpose by the US military/security complex and its congressional and media vassals in order to provide the military/security complex with an enemy big enough to justify the $1,000 billion annual budget of the complex.

What does Siluanov think Russiagate was about other than to prevent Trump from normalizing relations with Russia?

The last president who tried to rein in the military/security complex was John F. Kennedy, and he was assassinated. On Trump they used Russiagate instead of bullets, and it proved almost as effective.

If Russian government officials continue to be victims of their dreams to be America’s partner, they and their country are headed to destruction. The Putin government’s toleration of a Fifth Column financed by Washington that is operating within Russia against the Russian government and Russian sovereignty indicates that the Russian government can’t get its mind around the fact that the neoconservatives intend to reestablish a unipolar world.

Perhaps Igor Korotchenko should speak to Siluanov. Korotchenko says that Russia needs to quit dawdling and prepare properly for war. In the digital/thermonuclear world of today, Russia will not have time, as Stalin had, to recover from an attack and go on to victory. Among the things Russia needs to do in order to be ready for war, says, Korotchenko, is “to multiply the strategic stocks of high precision missiles,” which requires building additional plant and equipment to manufacture them, protect Russia’s digital sovereignty, and increase the functionality of the FSB (the Russian Security Service) in order to prevent the externally funded Fifth Column from operating against Russia.
https://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=3136021&cid=4441

Russia’s weakness is the government’s toleration of the Western-financed media and politicians inside Russia that operate as Washington’s agents. The Russian government tolerates these agents of Washington, because the Russian government wants to show how democratic it is in the hopes that the West will accept Russia as one of its own.

All the while the West is preparing Russia’s demise.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iran: Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif

Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXbkKaJ1wvk
NEW YORK, April 24, 2019 — Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif engages in a wide-ranging discussion with Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran. (59 min., 32 sec.)

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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Israel is rushing US into a war with Iran
Tuesday, 7. May 2019 , by Freeman at 08:00
Last Sunday evening Trumps war adviser John Bolton Iran with "relentless violence" threatened, "as a response to a series of disturbing and escalation of indications and warnings", and the dispatch of the aircraft carrier "USS Abraham Lincoln" and a bomber squadron in the Region of the Persian Gulf proclaimed. It's going to be a "clear and unequivocal message" to the Iranian government.
http://alles-schallundrauch.blogspot.com/2019/05/israel-hetzt-usa-in-e inen-krieg-mit-iran.html


An employee in the US Department of defense suggested that it was a reaction to a plan to attack Iran. There was "specific and credible information" about planned attacks of Iran, and its representative on the U.S. troops in the Region. Potential targets of the US armed forces in Syria, Iraq and at sea, the AP news Agency said without further Details.

Three times you may guess who said the "specific and credible information"originate? From the Propaganda and Disinfo-kitchen of the Israeli intelligence service Mossad, as was to be expected.

Because of a correspondent in the White house for Axios, Barak Ravid reported, "Israel handed over Information on an alleged Iranian plot, U.S. interests in the Gulf to attack the U.S. before security adviser John Bolton Iran with 'relentless violence' last night threatened, a senior Israeli Official told me."

This "information" of the Mossad came at the same time, as some senior Israeli officials have claimed that Iran had ordered the Palestinian-Islamic Jihad to initiate a conflict in Gaza in order to Israel to stop, to stop the alleged Expansion of Iran in Syria.

The firing of rockets from Gaza to Israel had been a distraction, it is claimed.

This means that a whole Armada consisting of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and escorts ships, plus the Bomber, deployed against Iran in front of the coast, only because the White house believes the allegations of the Mossad.

The Lincoln should be 10 to to. May in the Adriatic stay and quoted by Italy NATO Maritime exercise "Mare Aperto", and then the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis detachment, up to 8. April in the Persian Gulf. Now, however, brought forward the use and the aircraft carrier to pass through the Suez canal in the next 48 hours.

Since how many decades, Yes decades, claimed the Zionist Regime, "Iran will in a year of the atom bomb", then passed the year and nothing was happening. The claim is repeated and repeated and repeated ... until today, but still no nuclear bomb.

All what Israel claims about Iran as a threat to a pack of lies. EVERYTHING!!!

Just as everything was about the threat of mass destruction weapons of Iraq, a giant lie, which was also invented with false Evidence in Israel.

The upper-Zionist John Bolton was also at that time, in 2002, the largest propagator of this lie called the war of aggression against Iraq, as he now wants to start a war against Iran.

The Duzfreund of Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu, wants for a long time, that Washington carries out a "preventive war" against Iran and has allowed one lie after the other about out. As at 28. September 2012, before the UN with a cartoon of a bomb.



Netanyahu asked the General Assembly of the United Nations, "a clear red line" to Iran to stop developing nuclear weapons.

In a theatrical gesture, gave Netanyahu a cartoon-like drawing of a spherical bomb and drew a red line below the fuse, "before Iran has the second stage of nuclear enrichment to a bomb finished, "he said.

"It is not a question of whether Iran has the bomb. The question is, in what stage is Iran from the bomb hold can, "said Netanyahu.

"I question, only the Iranian Aggression with nuclear weapons, "he said. "Who among you would in the Middle East feel safe? Who in Europe would be safe? Who would be in America safe? Who would they be somewhere safe?"

What outrageous lies and invented threats. No one believes any more what is Netanyahu, because that was SEVEN years ago!!!

Iran has no nuclear bomb, in contrast to Israel, that of an entire nuclear Arsenal has been around for over 50 years, the nuclear non-proliferation Treaty acceded to and NOT the UN inspectors.

How extremely hypocritical, cynical and rude is it to point the Finger constantly on Iran, no nuclear weapons and also want to, if you have a few yourself and the world a secret?

So far, Netanyahu has to get all his wishes Trump met, such as the rocket attacks on Syria, the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the recognition of stolen Syrian Golan to Israel, belonging to the classification of the Iranian revolutionary guard as a terrorist organization, and the tightening of the sanction up to a total Boycott of Iranian oil Exports.

Since 1. May, 2019, prohibit the United States itself wonderfully to all countries of the world to buy Oil from Iran!!!

It is not typical, of all those on the call to "buy not from Jews" get upset and as a very bad discrimination, condemn, exactly, no problems to have, "buy not for Iranians" as a punishment to ask for?

As a punishment for what? Because of Iran since 1979 his own way, and not a colony of the American Empire, and a slave to the financial elite want to be?

Has started the obedient hearing Trumps, immediately after his inauguration, with the unilateral termination of the nuclear agreement with Iran, which was signed between the five UN veto powers and Germany on the one hand, and Iran on the other hand, to ensure that Iran does not build nuclear weapons, the nuclear force but still civil.

The Iranian foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, has said that the hawks in the Trump Regime and Israel want the USA in a war "lure", possibly with a false flag attack.

"Those who the policy is designed to not simply provide a negotiating solution, "said Zarif told Reuters in an Interview. The virulent anti-Iranian NEOCON "B-Team", consisting of Mike Pompeo, John Bolton and Benjamin Netanyahu, could try "a Disaster plan", a reason to create, to attack Iran.

If the former lying caused no American attack, then we can expect as a war trigger, with an Israeli False Flag against the US-troops, facilities, or vessels pushing Iran in the shoes, to rush to the United States against Iran.

It's not as if Israel would have never attacked a US warship and over 34 American Sailors were murdered and 172 wounded, to blame Egypt as the culprits and to draw the United States into a war.

The attack on the USS Liberty ... The day Israel and the USA attack

UPDATE: The latest news on Iran, FOUR B-52 bombers are now on the way in the Region of the Persian Gulf as part of the announcement, the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier Association is there commanded.



Two of the nuclear bombs equippable bombers have left on Tuesday, the Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana and are on the way to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. It is as if the Iran bombers would kidney to Cuba from the coast of the USA site.

Hier weiterlesen: Alles Schall und Rauch: Israel hetzt USA in einen Krieg mit Iran http://alles-schallundrauch.blogspot.com/2019/05/israel-hetzt-usa-in-e inen-krieg-mit-iran.html#ixzz5nNf5CSxm

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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iran threatens to attack Israel if the US launches an assault on it with the aircraft carrier now in the region
America deployed USS Lincoln, fifth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier to Persian Gulf
Iran said America had stated a 'psychological' war but warned aagainst attack
Revolutionary Guard's air force head Amir Ali Hajizadeh called the move a 'serious threat'
By BHVISHYA PATEL FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 12:19, 13 May 2019 | UPDATED: 02:01, 14 May 2019
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7022981/Iran-threatens-attack -Israel-launches-attack.html

Iran has aimed fire at the deployment of US military forces in the Persian Gulf and threatened an attack on Israel if the aircraft carrier was ever used against them.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday the Iranian Parliament's vice-speaker Ali Motahhari said the military forces based in the region had started a 'psychological' war in the region and warned the US against an attack on the Middle Eastern nation.

The comments come after the Pentagon deployed the USS Lincoln, the fifth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in the United States Navy, to the Middle East in a move that officials said was to counter 'clear indications' of threats from Iran.

Iranian has aimed fire at the deployment of the USS Lincoln, the fifth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in the United States Navy, to the Middle East and threatened to retaliate if an attack was ever launched +5
Iranian has aimed fire at the deployment of the USS Lincoln, the fifth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in the United States Navy, to the Middle East and threatened to retaliate if an attack was ever launched

In addition to the deployment of the aircraft carrier, the country has also sent over B-52 bombers to the area.

The aircraft, which has at least 40 to 50 planes on it and was commissioned in 1989, will be replacing another carrier that was removed from the region in April.

Mr Motahhari told FARS news agency: 'The US military forces' deployment in the Persian Gulf is more of the nature of psychological warfare. They are not ready for a war, specially when Israel is within our range.'

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His comments resonate with those of the head of the Revolutionary Guard's air force Amir Ali Hajizadeh who called the move a 'serious threat' and said that if the US decided to make a move, Iran would be forced to retaliate.

Speaking to the Iranian Students' News Agency he said: 'An aircraft carrier that has at least 40 to 50 planes on it and 6,000 forces gathered within it was a serious threat for us in the past.

'But now it is a target and the threats have switched to opportunities.

'If [the Americans] make a move, we will hit them in the head.'

In addition to having allies Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, Iran also has a number of explosive missiles aimed at Israel making the country a dangerous threat.

The U.S. military has sent forces to the Middle East to counter 'clear indications' of threats from Iran to American forces in the region +5
The U.S. military has sent forces to the Middle East to counter 'clear indications' of threats from Iran to American forces in the region

Fearing that 'anything could happen' former finance Minister of Israel Yuval Steinitz told Ynet news: 'Things are heating up. I wouldn't rule anything out. Iran may fire rockets at Israel.'

He added: 'The American sanctions are breaking the neck of the Iranian economy, and a new and stronger wave [of sanctions] is still to come.'

On Sunday it was revealed that President Trump had increased economic pressure on Iran and was looking to cut off all its oil exports in a bid to get Tehran to curb its nuclear and missile programs.


Iran threatens to 'target' an American aircraft carrier after the USS Abraham Lincoln is deployed to the Persian Gulf

By Reuters and Chauncey Alcorn for the DailyMail.com

A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander warned on Sunday that the presence of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf used to be a serious threat, but now represents a target, according to the Iranian Students' News Agency.

Amirali Hajizadeh, Iran's head of the Guards' aerospace division, said carriers like the Lincoln were 'a serious threat for us in the past, but now it is a target' +5
Amirali Hajizadeh, Iran's head of the Guards' aerospace division, said carriers like the Lincoln were 'a serious threat for us in the past, but now it is a target'

The U.S. has sent forces, including an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers, to the Middle East in a move that officials said was to counter 'clear indications' of threats from Iran to American forces in the region.

The USS Abraham Lincoln is replacing another carrier rotated out of the Gulf last month.

President Donald Trump has increased economic pressure on Iran, moving to cut off all its oil exports in a bid to get Tehran to curb its nuclear and missile programs as well as end support for proxies in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.

Speaking to CNBC in an interview to be broadcast on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. deployments came in response to intelligence about potential Iranian attacks and aimed both to deter them and to be able to respond if necessary.

'We've seen this reporting,' Pompeo said. 'It's real. It appears to be something that is current, that is things we're worried about today.'

The USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier (pictured) is replacing another carrier rotated out of the Gulf last month +5
The USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier (pictured) is replacing another carrier rotated out of the Gulf last month

'In the event that Iran decided to come after an American interest - whether that be in Iraq or Afghanistan or Yemen or any place in the Middle East - we are prepared to respond in an appropriate way,' he said, adding that 'our aim is not war.'

Iranian navy commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi said on Sunday that American forces must exit the Gulf, according to ISNA. 'The presence of the Americans in the Persian Gulf region has reached its end and they must leave the region,' Khanzadi said.

Major General Hossein Salami, appointed head of the Guards last month, told parliament on Sunday the United States had started a psychological war in the region, the parliamentary spokesman said.

'Commander Salami, with attention to the situation in the region, presented an analysis that the Americans have started a psychological war because the comings and goings of their military is a normal matter,' spokesman Behrouz Nemati said, according to parliament's ICANA news site.

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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No increased Iran threat in Syria or Iraq, top British officer says, contradicting US
Deputy commander of anti-Isis coalition rebuts White House justification for sending troops

Julian Borger in Washington

Wed 15 May 2019 00.34 BST First published on Tue 14 May 2019 18.32 BST
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/14/no-iran-threat-in-syri a-or-iraq-says-top-british-officer-in-defiance-of-us

The top British general in the US-led coalition against Isis has said there is no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq or Syria, directly contradicting US assertions used to justify a military buildup in the region.

Hours later however, his assessment was disowned by US Central Command in an extraordinary rebuke of an allied senior officer. A spokesman insisted that the troops in Iraq and Syria were on a high level of alert due to the alleged Iranian threat. The conflicting versions of the reality on the ground added to the confusion and mixed signals in a tense part of the Middle East.

Maj Gen Christopher Ghika, who is a deputy commander of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), the coalition conducting counter-terrorist operations against Isis in Iraq and Syria, was repeatedly questioned by reporters about the threat from Shia militias in Syria and Iraq, cited by US officials over the past week as justification for speeding up the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group in the Gulf and for sending B-52 Stratofortress bombers and an anti-aircraft battery to the region.


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“No – there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria,” Ghika said in a videolink briefing from Baghdad to the Pentagon. “We’re aware of that presence, clearly. And we monitor them along with a whole range of others because that’s the environment we’re in. We are monitoring the Shia militia groups. I think you’re referring to carefully and if the threat level seems to go up then we’ll raise our force protection measures accordingly.”

On Tuesday night, US Central Command – whose area of operations covers the Middle East and Afghanistan – put out a statement refuting Ghika’s comments.

“Recent comments from OIR’s deputy commander run counter to the identified credible threats available to intelligence from US and allies regarding Iranian-backed forces in the region,” it said.

“US Central Command, in coordination with OIR, has increased the force posture level for all service members assigned to OIR in Iraq and Syria. As a result, OIR is now at a high level of alert as we continue to closely monitor credible and possibly imminent threats to US forces in Iraq.”

The rebuke was particularly striking as it implied that Ghika was unaware of the state of alert of his own troops. The remarkable comments heightened concerns that fabricated or exaggerated intelligence may be being used by administration hawks led by the national security adviser, John Bolton, to further the case for war against Iran, in a manner reminiscent of the buildup to the Iraq invasion.

The New York Times reported on Monday night that the acting defence secretary, Patrick Shanahan, had presented the White House with a plan that involved sending up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East in the event of an Iranian attack or departure from the constraints of the 2015 nuclear deal that the US abrogated a year ago.

The revised plans were ordered by administration hardliners led by Bolton, the report said.

Donald Trump dismissed the account as “fake news” on Tuesday. “Now, would I do that? Absolutely. But we have not planned for that,” the president said. “Hopefully we’re not going to have to plan for that and if we did that, we’d send a hell of a lot more troops than that.”

US officials have said there was clear evidence that Iran was building up its proxy forces’ combat readiness and preparing them to attack US forces in the region. The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, went to Brussels on Monday to brief his European counterparts on the alleged threats.

Speaking in Russia on Tuesday, Pompeo said the United States does not want war with Iran but vowed to keep pressuring Tehran.

“We fundamentally do not seek a war with Iran,” he said, adding: “We have also made clear to the Iranians that if American interests are attacked, we will most certainly respond in an appropriate fashion.”

The Shia militias in Iraq are collectively known as the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), and have ties of varying strengths to Iran.

In his briefing from Baghdad on Tuesday, Ghika told Pentagon reporters: “We’ve seen no change in the posture or the laydown of the PMF. And of course the PMF is a moniker for a very broad range of groups. So I think it’s important to say that many of them are compliant and we have seen no change in that posture since the recent exchange between the United States and Iran. And we hope and expect that that will continue.”

The general stressed that the coalition’s mission was exclusively focused on defeating the remains of Isis and not on confronting Iran, but he added that the issue of force protection had been reviewed “in the light of the events of the last week or so”.

“Am I concerned about the danger? No, not really,” Ghika said.

Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday that armed drones had attacked two of its oil pumping stations, two days after two Saudi oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

The Saudi energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, said that the alleged drone attacks caused a fire and minor damage to one pumping station, and implied that the drone strikes and the sabotage of the tankers were the work of Iranian proxies.

“These attacks prove again that it is important for us to face terrorist entities, including the Houthi militias in Yemen that are backed by Iran,” Falih said in an English-language statement issued by his ministry.

Iran’s ambassador to the UN, Majid Takht Ravanchi, denied any involvement by his country or any of its regional allies in the attacks.

“Definitely not,” Ravanchi told CNN. “Iran is not in the business of doing such a thing. We need to have a thorough investigation as to what has happened and who is responsible for it.”

Pompeo’s briefing to European foreign ministers in Brussels reportedly failed to convince them of the urgency of the Iranian threat. They repeated their commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal, and warned of the dangers of unintended consequences of a military build-up.

Spain announced on Tuesday that it had withdrawn a frigate from a US-led naval group in the Gulf on the grounds that it had changed its mission from celebrating 500 years of the first circumnavigation of the globe, to focusing on alleged threats from Iran.

Additional reporting by Patrick Wintour

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why the Risks of War With Iran Are Real
WRITTEN BY CHRIS NINEHAM ON 14 JUNE 2019. POSTED IN NEWS & COMMENT
http://www.stopwar.org.uk/index.php/news-comment/3398-why-the-risks-of -war-with-iran-are-real

War with Iran is closer than it has ever been says Chris Nineham

IranFlames

"Scrapping the nuclear deal and tightening sanctions with Iran are chiefly designed to inflict regime change but are also meant as a signal of a new bullishness in the Middle East and beyond. The results have been disastrous."

Neither the US nor Iran really wants war we are told, because the reality of such a conflict is too horrific to contemplate. But the Gulf tanker crisis and the US response shows that we are alarmingly close to open hostilities. It is true that there are voices in the US defence establishment calling for restraint. It appears to be the case too that the Iranian government is operating on the assumption that the US doesn't want a war. But there are several reasons why such assumptions are not a sound basis for judgement.

First, some do want military action against Iran. And they really are not marginal players. They include notably the US's two main allies in the Middle East and the two most senior foreign policy officials in the US government. The governments of Saudi Arabia and Israel have been putting a strong case for action against Iran for some years. The US and its Western allies are closer to these countries governments than they have ever been.

John Bolton, who as National Security Advisor is the last man in any meeting with the President, is famously an advocate of war against the Islamic Republic. But Secretary of State Pompeo is equally hawkish. As a Republican Tea Party member of Congress from 2011 to 2017, he regularly called for regime change in Iran. In 2014, Pompeo demanded the Obama administration break off the talks that led to the Iran nuclear deal. He even called instead for launching airstrikes, saying fewer than 2,000 bombing sorties could take out Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

No surprises then that Pompeo’s response to the attacks on tankers in the Gulf has been to insist without credible evidence that Iran is responsible and throw in a highly questionable list of alleged recent Iranian atrocities for good measure. On top of the last round of tanker attacks these include an assault on the Green Zone in Baghdad not previously linked to Iran and a bombing in Afghanistan that has actually been claimed by the Taliban. Listening to his statement it was hard not to be reminded of the adrenaline pumped pronouncements in the run up to war in Iraq.

Donald Trump's impulsive foreign policy style is hardly reassuring in this situation. His record of provocative action includes threatening North Korea with a nuclear strike, dropping the 'Mother of All Bombs' in Afghanistan and surprise missile blitzes in Syria. But such confrontational and unpredictable behaviour isn't just a quirk of personality. Despite Trump's apparent isolationist rhetoric during his election campaign, America First policy has in practice meant less concern with multilateral institutions and an increased belligerence in key areas.

The general view in Washington is that Barack Obama's strategy of projecting US power through proxies and drone warfare, stressing alliances and power balancing, failed to deal with the national humiliation in Iraq and Afghanistan or to rise to new challenges. Hence arms spending has been ramped up, and confronting Russia and Chinese influence has been flagged as the central concern. Faced with growing military challengers the administration’s approach is essentially to take them on and win.

The Iran policy has been developed in this context. Scrapping the nuclear deal and tightening sanctions with Iran are chiefly designed to inflict regime change but are also meant as a signal of a new bullishness in the Middle East and beyond. The results have been disastrous. The Iranian currency has plummeted, imports have been badly effected and living standards have fallen sharply. Last month's ending of the oil exemptions has brought things to crisis point. Oil exports, by far Iran's biggest earner, look like halving this month compared to last. Even in the short term, this is extremely damaging. Far from encouraging domestic opposition to the regime, most commentators agree this economic warfare is strengthening anti-western feeling and pushing the regime towards retaliation.

In the last few days Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but rejected the invitation he apparently carried from Trump saying 'I do not consider Trump as a person worth exchanging any message with and I have no answer for him, nor will I respond to him in the future."

War with Iran is closer than it has ever been. Just like in the run up to war in Iraq, there is a very powerful Washington lobby who think it is sound policy. In general, the Washington foreign policy establishment is on a rebound from the perceived timidity of the Obama years, in particular the situation with Iran is becoming tenser by the day. War can be avoided but the anti-war movement needs to be active and organised.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Russia's Putin says a war between the U.S. and Iran 'would be a catastrophe'
An Iran-U.S. war would "lead to an increase of violence, and potential increase in refugees from the region,” Putin said, adding it could have "sad consequences" for those who "attempt it."
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/putin-sides-china-over-u-s-huawei-r ussia-s-relations-n1019581

June 20, 2019, 1:43 PM GMT+1 / Updated June 20, 2019, 5:58 PM GMT+1 / Source: Reuters
By Yuliya Talmazan
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that a war between the United States and Iran would be a “catastrophe,” remarks that came as tensions between Washington and Tehran continue to escalate.

He made the comment during an annual televised "direct line" with the Russian public Thursday, an event that usually runs for hours and is heavily censored.

When asked about the possibility of a U.S.-Iran war, Putin said it’s a scenario he hopes not to see.

“It would be a catastrophe, for the region at the very minimum, because it will lead to an increase of violence, and potential increase in refugees from the region,” the Russian president said. “But also, for those who would attempt it, it could have possibly sad consequences.”



Putin: U.S. attack on Iran 'would be a catastrophe'
JUNE 20, 201900:46
The U.S. accused Iran of attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week, which Iran has denied. And Thursday, U.S. military officials said a U.S. drone was shot down in international airspace above the Strait of Hormuz, contradicting Iran's claim that it had struck the aircraft after it entered Iranian airspace.

Both countries insist they don’t want war, but there are concerns about the possibility of a full-blown military conflict should tensions escalate further.

Putin said that Iran is ready to go “to the extremes” to defend itself, and that it’s hard to tell where that would lead.

He also said that he is satisfied that Iran has been abiding by its nuclear agreements, and that “the application of sanctions against it are not justified.”

President Donald Trump’s administration pulled out of an international nuclear agreement with Iran last year and reimposed sanctions on the country.



US drone shot down by Iran, US officials say
JUNE 20, 201902:41
Putin also weighed in on the possibility of improving ties between Russia and the U.S.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries turned sour in light of Russia’s alleged role in the military conflict in eastern Ukraine, its annexation of Crimea, meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom last year, for which most western allies have blamed Moscow.

Putin said Russia was ready for dialogue with the U.S. if the Americans agree to reciprocate.

But he suggested that the realities of U.S. politics could tie Trump’s hands when it comes to Russia.

“Even if the president wants to make steps towards each other, wants to talk about something, there are multiple restrictions coming from other institutions of power,” Putin said.

He added: “I don’t think things will be easy in our relations considering that part of the U.S. establishment is trying to speculate on the Russian-U.S. relations and gain something for itself."

Related

BUSINESS
Huawei founder says revenue will be $30 billion below forecast
Putin also slammed American measures against Chinese tech giant Huawei, saying they are a means to "hold Chinese development back."

His comments come as relations between Moscow and Beijing have been blossoming, to the alarm of some U.S. policymakers.

When the Russian leader was asked about sanctions that have been imposed on Russia since 2014 when it annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and was accused of backing pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donbass, Putin said that even if Russia “totally surrender[ed] and spit on our fundamental interests" to reverse the sanctions, nothing would fundamentally change.

He compared the situation to tariffs imposed on China by the U.S., saying they are “essentially sanctions.”

Negotiations between Beijing and Washington took a turn for the worse in early May with a tariff hike on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods exported to the U.S., and an effective ban on American companies doing business with Huawei.

The U.S. has begun investigating whether $300 billion of other Chinese goods could be subject to tariffs.

Beijing responded with tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods.

“Look at China,” Putin said Thursday. “It has nothing to do with Crimea or Donbass. You know how we are being blamed for occupying Donbass, which is absurd and a lie. China has nothing to do with that, but the tariffs on their goods — consider them sanctions — are growing and growing.”

He also addressed U.S. restrictions against Huawei.

“Where did that come from and what is the reasoning behind it,” Putin said. “The reasoning is holding Chinese development back. [China] has become a global competitor of another global power — the United States. The same is happening towards Russia and will be happening in the future.”

During the almost 4.5-hour conference, Putin also tackled a number of questions concerning Russia's internal affairs, including falling real incomes, corruption, Internet freedom, health care and utility tariffs.

The moderators alleged a hacking attack “from abroad” was launched on the call center that was taking in questions for the president during the event. There was no immediate information about where exactly the alleged attack came from.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lobbyist Says Israel Should Create A 'False Flag' To Start A War With Iran
Geoffrey Ingersoll and Michael B Kelley Sep. 26, 2012, 9:43 PM israel

Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-mo96i_4iI

Patrick ClawsonYouTube/PlanetEarthAwakens01 Israel is conducting massive " snap-training" exercises.

The U.S. is doing unprecedented naval mine clearing evolutions. Iran is launching anti-ship missiles and submarines. Now is the time that a small provocation could lead to a full-blown war.

And Patrick Clawson, Director of Research at Washington Institute Of Near East Policy (WINEP), has suggested that someone should fabricate that small provocation.

https://www.businessinsider.com/top-researcher-suggests-israel-get-nas tier-with-iran-sink-sub-illicit-false-flag-2012-9

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leaked Netanyahu Tape: We Made Trump Cancel The Iran Deal https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-18/leaked-netanyahu-tape-we-mad e-trump-nix-iran-deal

Tyler Durden
Wed, 18/07/2018 - 17:52
On Tuesday an Israeli television channel aired leaked video footage it obtained exclusively showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasting that he had personally convinced President Trump to abandon the Iran nuclear deal. The statements were made at a small dinner event where he addressed senior members of his Likud party.

The video, aired by Israel's Kan News shows Netanyahu enthusiastically praising his and Likud leadership's efforts, saying “We convinced the US president [to exit the deal] and I had to stand up against the whole world and come out against this agreement." He added, "And we didn't give up."


Image source: Reuters via YNet News
According to a translation of the prime minister's words by The Times of Israel he further agrees that "the Iranian regime" will "disappear with the help of God" — in the words of one of his supporters, to which Netanyahu adds, "You said it. From your mouth to God."




The Times of Israel presents the rest of the short clip's contents as follows:

The prime minister then begins to speak about the Iranian regime — “not the Iranian people, I have nothing against them” — before he is interrupted by an unidentified person off-screen who says, “It will disappear with the help of God.”

“You said it. From your mouth to God,” Netanyahu says in response as the clip ends.

Netanyahu does not explain in the video aired by Kan how he convinced Trump to exit the deal. Trump had vowed to scrap what he assailed as the “worst deal ever” before becoming president.

The Israeli broadcaster that obtained the footage said it was filmed two weeks ago.

When early this week the New York Times published the Israeli account of how a daring Mossad operation deep inside Iran netted what are said to be tens of thousands of secret Iranian nuclear documents in an "Ocean's 11"-style heist, we noted the Times story appeared to be a propaganda victory lap of sorts meant to further bolster Israeli intelligence's reputation and far-reaching abilities abroad.


Netanyahu unveiled the stolen cache of about 55,000 pages of documents and 183 CDs in a television address that the said proved the existence of an illegal and ongoing secret program to "test and build nuclear weapons" called Project Amad.

Just days after the colorful and prop-laden Netanyahu presentation, President Trump announced he would follow through on prior threats to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, or JCPOA. Observers noted at the time that Netanyahu's address had a single audience in mind in the person of Donald Trump during the very week the White House was intensely mulling a final decision over whether to finally pull the plug on the JCPOA.



While it appears Netanyahu had his April televised presentation in mind when he says in the clip "I had to stand up against the whole world," there is also little doubt that his personal appeals to Trump on the issue were even more direct and persistent. Other signatories to the deal brokered in 2015 under the Obama administration have vowed to stick by it, which include Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China — even as the White House threatens punitive measures against any country that continues to do business with Iran.

Earlier this summer it was confirmed that a high level joint US-Israeli "working group" under the oversight of National Security Advisor John Bolton has been meeting for months with the goal of facilitating regime change in Tehran. As Axios reported: "Israel and the United States formed a joint working group a few months ago that is focused on internal efforts to encourage protests within Iran and pressure the country's government." So it's very clear that Netanyahu has the White House's ear on Iran (though this is no surprise).

Meanwhile, Netanyahu has posted to his official Twitter account a clip of Trump saying that Russian President Putin is a "Bibi fan". The statement came in a Fox News interview following the US president’s summit and press conference with Putin.


In the uploaded clip Trump said he and Putin “came to a lot of good conclusions” during the meeting, including “a really good conclusion for Israel, something very strong.” Trump said Putin is “a believer in Israel; he is a fan of Bibi and really helping him a lot – and will help a lot, which is good for all of us.”

Netanyahu posted the interview segment with the commentary in Hebrew: “I will continue to strengthen Israel as a rising global force.”

Likely, Netanyahu will continue his boasting about his personal intervention and impact with the White House both in public and in private, so more such revelatory footage will probably surface in the coming months.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EU says it will work with Zarif despite US sanctions
‘We regret this decision,’ says EU spokesman.
https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-mohammad-javad-zarif-us-sanctions/

By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN 8/1/19, 4:54 PM CET Updated 8/1/19, 5:00 PM CET
The EU said Thursday that it would ignore U.S. sanctions against Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in the latest example of the stark rift between Washington and Brussels over dealings with Tehran.

The U.S. on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Zarif, the Western-educated foreign minister, in a move that seemed to contradict — and deeply complicate — President Donald Trump's stated desire to open new negotiations with Iran.

Asked about the U.S. decision on Thursday, an EU spokesman said it was of little matter to Brussels. The EU has sought to preserve the Iran nuclear accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), after Trump's unilateral withdrawal put the agreement in serious jeopardy.

"We regret this decision," the EU spokesman, Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela, said. "From our side we will continue to work with Mr. Zarif as Iran’s most senior diplomat and in view of the importance of maintaining diplomatic channels."

Zarif has proven an effective communicator for Iran on the international stage, but has often appeared to be undercut by more senior religious figures, including the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, who wield greater control over the government.

The disagreement over how to deal with Iran is perhaps the sharpest divide between the EU and the Trump administration. The European guarantors of the JCPOA have even created a special corporate vehicle intended to maintain economic dealings with Iran despite sanctions reimposed by Trump after he quit the nuclear deal.

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