Khordad 18 1399 - June 07 2020
Who Are the Secret Puppet-Masters Behind Trump's War on Iran?

On May 6th, President Trump vetoed a war powers bill specifying that he must ask Congress for authorization to use military force against Iran. Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign of deadly sanctions and threats of war against Iran has seen no let-up, even as the U.S., Iran and the whole world desperately need to set aside our conflicts to face down the common danger of the Covid-19 pandemic. -Medea Benjamin, Nicolas J.S. Davies, Common Dreams 5/29/20

13 Organizations to DNC: Support JCPOA Reentry

NIAC Action and a dozen other organizations - including Foreign Policy for America, J Street, MoveOn, Our Revolution and Truman Center for National Policy - sent a letter jointly calling on the Democratic National Committee to support an unequivocal U.S. return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran nuclear deal, in the Party's 2020 Democratic Platform. While there may be divisions on some issues within the Democratic Party between the center and the left, the breadth of organizations backing this letter demonstrates a political consensus on this key foreign policy issue. 5/29/20

Washington's Tall Tale of Iranian-Al Qaeda Alliance Based on Questionably Sourced Book, The Exile

The U.S. assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani in January touched off a new wave of disinformation about Soleimani, with Trump administration allies branding him a global terrorist while painting Iran as the world's worst state sponsor of terrorism. Much of the propaganda about Soleimani related to his alleged responsibility for the killing of American troops in Iraq, along with Iran's role in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. - Gareth Porter, Antiwar 5/20/20

U.S. and Iran Need a Coronavirus Peace Plan

While Americans are rightly focused on handling the coronavirus at home, the government must also remain vigilant to threats around the world. Yet the Donald Trump administration's approach to Iran, in particular, increasingly lacks any clear policy or overarching strategy. The administration is at times threatening and at times conciliatory, giving Iran little sense of what actions the president will take. This could inadvertently lead us to war, and neither the U.S. nor Iran can afford to engage in hostilities that distract us from the pandemic. -Senator Dianne Feinstein, Bloomberg 5/15/20

Trump Vetoed the Iran War Powers Resolution, but America's No-War Message Is Clear

To no one's great surprise, President Donald Trump vetoed a bipartisan resolution last week passed by the Senate and the House to prevent him from starting an unauthorized war with Iran. Though the Senate was unable to override Trump's veto, Congress sent a clear message challenging the Trump administration's Iran policy and reasserting a core principle of the Constitution. -Assal Rad, Newsweek 5/14/20

'The Blob' strikes back, and misses

In an age of war, debt, and plague, is America's foreign policy establishment, or "the Blob" as it has been dubbed, part of the problem? Or part of the answer? According to Hal Brands, Peter Feaver, and William Inboden, three sharp minds who served in government and the academy, America needs its specialist class of experts at the helm. What's more, to challenge the Blob's workings, record, and judgement is to be Trumpian, and hostile to "expertise" in general. -Patrick Porter, Responsible Statecraft 5/6/20

Is Iran on the verge of collapse or a menace flush with cash? How hawks sell regime change using contradictory arguments

Iran's request for a $5 billion emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is revealing serious desperation, and not only on the part the Iranian government. Desperation is also apparent in the responses from the Trump administration and the regime change lobby in Washington led by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) as they try to block the loan. -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, Responsible Statecraft 4/29/20

Right-Wing Think Tanks Are Using Covid-19 To Push War with Iran

Since the global Covid-19 pandemic began, a cluster of U.S. think tanks has been aggressively lobbying the Trump administration to escalate militarily toward Iran and tighten U.S. sanctions. This push has come despite warnings that such sanctions are worsening the death toll of Iran's outbreak, which is one of the worst in the world. -Sarah Lazare, In These Times 4/28/20

70+ Groups Demand Trump Immediately End US Sanctions Against Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and Others During Covid-19 Crisis

Over 70 civil society groups representing more than 40 million people called on President Donald Trump Thursday to issue immediate sanctions relief for numerous countries-including Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea-for at least the duration of the coronavirus crisis which threatens to kill thousands in the hard-hit countries. The "urgent appeal" came in the form of an open letter sent by the groups to Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin calling for curtailing the sanctions regime for the duration of the pandemic. -Common Dreams 4/24/20

Creating the enemies they need: US militarism's strange bedfellows

Listen to America's imperial proconsuls long enough and they often let slip something approaching truth - perhaps exceptionalist confession is more accurate. Take Admiral Craig S. Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), with responsibility for all of Latin America. Just before the COVID-19 crisis shifted into full gear, on March 11 he testified before the House Armed Services Committee and admitted, "There will be an increase in the U.S. military presence in the hemisphere later this year." Naturally, admiral, but why? -Danny Sjursen, Responsible Statecraft 4/24/20

Trump Failed to Vanquish Coronavirus With Hot Air, Now Wants to "Shoot Down" Tiny Iranian Skiffs

What Trump was advising would be a war crime, since Iranian boats that haven't actually fired on or harmed US vessels have a right to be on the high seas, and interfering in that right to the point of termination with extreme prejudice is illegal. -Juan Cole, Common Dreams 4/24/20

How a misleading report on Iran from a hawkish 'think tank' made its way to Trump administration talking points

Whatever pain COVID-19 inflicts, it offers a golden opportunity for Washington lobbyists committed to tough sanctions against Iran. 'Regime change' or 'regime collapse', they say, is now within grasp if only the United States stands firm. United States sanctions have not just spawned a proliferating industry profiting lawyers, bureaucrats and "expert" consultants. They have created an opaque maze around which "bullet points" bounce from lobby groups and "think tanks" to the media to government, becoming "facts" through repetition and circular sourcing. -Gareth Smyth, Responsible Statecraft 4/23/20

Regime Change Is Wrong

Eric Edeleman and Ray Takeyh dispense with the usual hawkish smokescreens and evasions and call for regime change in Iran: "Regime change" is a toxic phrase in Washington. It conjures up images of the Iraq war, with the United States trapped in a quagmire of its own making. That is why those who favor a coercive U.S. approach to Iran are routinely charged with secretly supporting regime change. In response, the accused almost always deny it. They don't want regime change, they insist: they just want the Islamic Republic's theocrats to change their behavior. -Daniel Larison, American Conservative 4/15/20

The Roman Empire's experience tells us it's a bad idea to go to war with Iran during a pandemic

Almost 2,000 years ago, an overextended empire picked a new fight with an old rival. After Persian incursions in Syria, the Roman Empire launched a military expedition that quickly backfired. Although the Roman army managed to defeat the Persians near modern-day Baghdad, it returned to Rome with some sort of infectious disease, likely smallpox. The resulting Antonine Plague, also known as the Plague of Galen, would afflict the Roman Empire for more than 20 years, killing as many as one in five in the empire's city of Alexandria alone. -Akshai Vikrams, Responsible Statecraft 4/12/20

Beware of Trump Using the Coronavirus as a Cover for War With Iran

THE NEWS IS ALL coronavirus. Whether it's cable news, national newspapers, public radio, or even my own Intercept podcast, we can't get away from it. The pandemic has overwhelmed us all; we talk, think, dream of little else. But let me try and grab your attention for a few moments and point you in a different direction. How many of you noticed a rather disturbing New York Times story from Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt last week that was headlined, "Pentagon Order to Plan for Escalation in Iraq Meets Warning From Top Commander"? -Mehdi Hasan, Intercept 3/31/20

The Quiet and Lethal Wars Against Iran

Some wars are fought with bombs and bullets. These are the wars in Syria and Iraq, in Afghanistan and Yemen. Then there are quieter wars executed by drone. These cowardly wars also kill people, but not our people. These quieter wars accomplish what the more cacophonous wars accomplish without the public outcry and condemnation. -Ted Snider, AntiWar.com 3/31/20

How hawks are trying to shatter the Iran nuclear deal once and for all

If you visit the State Department's Iran page, you'll see an ominous clock counting down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the expiration of the United Nations arms embargo on Iran. The clock, and the embarrassing propagandistic script that accompanies it, reflects how far the State Department has fallen from the days when it laboriously worked to craft a deal to constrain Iran's nuclear program and open a window to resolve additional longstanding concerns with Iran's regional activities. -Ryan Costello, Responsible Statecraft 3/13/20

US Congress votes to limit Trump's war powers against Iran

The United States House of Representatives approved on Wednesday a War Powers Resolution aimed at limiting President Donald Trump's ability to wage war against Iran. The passage of the resolution was yet another rebuke of the president over his decision to order the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in January amid escalating tensions with Tehran. -Al-Jazeera 3/12/20

Jailed Iranian Activist Nasrin Sotoudeh Writes a Plea for Peace on International Women's Day

On this International Women's Day, as a deadly virus sickens my country, I throw my hands down and as a citizen, in a gentle voice, I ask the government to end their animosity with the world, to look at the world through the eyes of peace and to trust life and human beings. I ask human right activists to help us in our peaceful endeavor. I specifically extend my hand to American citizens. Our governments have been rivals for years, with little regards for us... -TIME 3/7/20

They Have the Watches, We Have the Time; US and Iran Hardliners Still Want War

When I was in Afghanistan, I often heard a Pashtun saying attributed to the Afghan Taliban strategy for war with the United States: "They have the watches, but we have the time". I do not know the provenance of this saying and I do not know if the saying exists in other Muslim or Asian societies, but it certainly has held true in warfare over the centuries whether you understand it in terms of the United States Revolution, the Vietnamese war for liberation against the French, Japanese and the US, or the decades long struggle against apartheid in South Africa. It is a saying that, if translated from Afghanistan's Pashto to Iran's Farsi, could be very applicable to Iran right now. -Matthew Hoh, counterpunch 3/4/20

A Difficult Peace

Nearly a thousand of us were gathered in Chicago beneath the alarming edifice of Chicago's "Trump Tower." Iran's General Qassem Soleimani had been brutally murdered the day before in Iraq, with several of his associates; and the welcome surprise of Iran's relatively measured response was yet a few days off. A region-wide conflagration seemed just on the verge of engulfing perhaps millions of lives, and consuming, as well, much of the species' remaining time and attention needed to face our direst threats... -Sean Reynolds, Counterpunch 2/28/20

Hawks' feigned push to restart diplomacy with Iran is actually an effort to kill the nuclear deal

As the Trump administration's term in office nears its end, U.S. hawks are gearing up for a final showdown in hopes of dealing a death blow to the remains of the JCPOA - the nuclear deal between the U.S., other major world powers, and Iran. News of agreement between Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) - both opponents of President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran - on a legislative vehicle that would craft the outlines of a "new" nuclear accord indicates that the showdown may well take in the halls of Congress. -Tyler Cullis, Responsible Statecraft 2/26/20

Iranian Dolls to Go to Geneva as Peace Ambassadors

Jai Jagat 2020, an Indian campaign organizing a global march for peace and justice, has decided to take two Iranian folklore dolls from Isfahan to the Swiss city of Geneva as peace ambassadors. The Indian campaign "Jai Jagat", which means "One Planet, All People", has organized a one-year global march for justice and peace. -IFP 2/24/20

Why the U.S. is on the brink of all-out war with Iran

For forty years, the U.S. has been exponentially more powerful than Iran on the global stage. But, economic and military superiority doesn't always guarantee that action won't provoke reaction. Other leaders also worry about looking tough and hold core interests that they are willing to defend with force. Ever since the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001, and Iraq in 2003, hawks - both Republican and Democrat - have been saying we need to restore credibility, leverage, and deterrence against Iran to justify their militaristic politics. -Siamak Tundra Naficy, Responsible Statecraft 2/21/20

Senate Republicans defied Trump and voted to stop him from taking further military action against Iran

Several Republican senators joined Democrats on Thursday to pass a resolution barring President Donald Trump from taking further military actions against Iran without congressional approval. The resolution, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia and heavily opposed by Trump, passed 55-45, marking a rare bipartisan rebuke of the president a little over a week after the Senate acquitted Trump in his impeachment trial. -Business Insider 2/14/20

Senate to rein in Trump's war powers after Iran strike

The Senate is set to pass a bipartisan resolution this week to limit President Donald Trump's authority to launch military operations against Iran weeks after the U.S. killed a top Iranian general. The War Powers resolution, introduced by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), will come to the floor Wednesday with a final expected vote Thursday. While the measure is not likely to garner enough support to overturn a likely Trump veto, its expected passage in the Senate nevertheless illustrates a rare congressional effort to rein in the president's executive authority. -Politico 2/12/20

Why House Democrats Passed Bills Reining in Trump's War Machine

In 2016, the New York Times' Maureen Dowd wrote a now infamous column arguing that Donald Trump would be more dovish on foreign policy than Hillary Clinton. Dowd was right on one front: Clinton, a supporter of the invasion of Iraq, was no anti-war champion. But neither was Trump: he was for the Iraq War before he was against it; he called for U.S. forces to stay in Afghanistan indefinitely; and he advocated massive Pentagon spending increases, "taking the oil" in Iraq, and shutting down immigration and asylum to Muslims, Mexicans, and other populations of color. Trump was no dove. But the undeserved moniker stuck - and it helped win him the election. -Erica Fein, Responsible Statecraft 2/4/20

Opposing War with Iran is an Environmental Imperative

Popular culture is filled with many infamous villainous partnerships: Bonnie and Clyde, Sauron and Saruman, Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine. As long as one thrives, the other survives. The climate crisis and militarism are the same. And just as we would the other devastating duos, champions of environmental and human justice must recognize the climate crisis and militarism as partners, rather than isolated evils, in order to truly confront them.-Laila Ujayli, Responsible Statecraft 2/3/20

House Votes 'No War Against Iran,' In Rebuke To Trump

The House has approved two measures seeking to limit the president's ability to take military action without congressional approval. The first piece of legislation, known as the No War Against Iran Act, would block funding for military force in or against Iran unless Congress has signed off. The measure, introduced by Rep. Ro Khanna of California, passed by a vote of 228-175. -NPR 1/31/20

The U.S. Is Recycling Its Big Lie About Iraq To Target Iran

This has led to an illegal regime of brutal sanctions, under which thousands of children are dying from preventable diseases and malnutrition, and to threats of another illegal U.S. war that would engulf the Middle East and the world in even greater chaos than the one the CIA engineered against Iraq. -Nicolas J S Davies, Common Dreams 1/29/20

No War With Iran!: International Day of Action, Saturday, January 25

The People of the World Say: NO WAR! The Trump administration is dragging the United States into a war with Iran that could engulf the whole region and could quickly turn into a global conflict of unpredictable scope and the gravest consequences. The people of the world need to rise up and stop it. For all who believe in peace, for all who are opposed to yet another catastrophic war, now is the time to take action. On Saturday, January 25 in cities across the globe, there will be protests against a new war in the Middle East. 1/23/20

ALL OUT THIS SATURDAY, JANUARY 25: "No War On Iran" Actions Across Canada

Tensions remain extreme in the Persian Gulf following the January 2, 2020 drone attack in Baghdad which killed Iranian Major-Gen. Qasem Soleimani and dozens of others in a blatant and illegal escalation by US imperialism. While the likelihood of further military action has receded at least temporarily, Washington seems intent to ratchet up economic sanctions and its propaganda war against Tehran, and the possibility of overt military aggression remains high. For this reason, peace organizations internationally have called for a Global Day of Protest this Saturday, January 25th, around the theme "No War on Iran!".Canadian Peace Congress 1/22/20

A War in Iran Won't Make us Greater or Safer

We call on President Trump to end the violence and aggression against Iran and instead use peaceful diplomatic channels to deescalate tensions. We support the resolution passed by the House of Representatives that requires President Trump to get the consent of Congress before taking new military action against Iran. -Ben & Jerry's Homemade 1/22/20

'Sculptures are talking': Selkirk man builds snow sculpture in memory of Iran plane crash victims

A retired sculptor who lives in Selkirk, Man., has returned to his craft to construct an icy monument dedicated to the victims of a plane that was shot down in Iran earlier this month... "After I lost friends and the 176 people in that airplane crash ... I thought, 'I have to send a message to the world. To the people who make the decision to go to a war,'" Majid Kermani said. -CBC 1/21/20

IRAN: WHAT NEXT?

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION'S assassination of Iranian military official Qassim Suleimani in Iraq was an act of aggression and an offensive act of war. This week on Intercepted: Jeremy Scahill hosts a live discussion in New York on the unfolding crisis with Intercept Senior Columnist Mehdi Hasan, reporter Murtaza Hussain, National Security Editor Vanessa Gezari, and Senior News Editor Ali Gharib. They discuss what the latest developments mean for Iran and the U.S. and how tensions have rapidly escalated since Donald Trump came to office. Will Trump's current posture hold, or will he order more violence? -The Intercept 1/20/20

Tom Cotton, soldier in Bill Kristol's proxy war against evil

Among the things I dislike about each fresh burst of American warmaking is seeing its cheerleaders bask in the spotlight. Consider Senator Tom Cotton, who has been unsettlingly visible since the assassination of Iranian General Qassim Suleimani. Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, is a protege of famous neoconservative Bill Kristol, who played a big role in getting the US to invade Iraq and has since championed various other forms of American belligerence, many of them aimed at Iran. -Robert Wright, Responsible Statecraft 1/20/20

We Need a Strong Anti-War Movement - Yesterday

It is crucial that we are all talking about Iran now, as we stand on the verge of a new chapter of catastrophes - and work to prevent it. But the killing and destruction of the War on Terror is happening around the world, every day. The lack of attention to it is part of what keeps it going, and sets the stage for the current situation involving Iran, Iraq, and the United States. -Khury Petersen-Smith, FPIF 1/20/20

Letter of Solidarity Standing with NIAC

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC), and its sister organization NIAC Action, are American civil-society organizations working on behalf of members of the Iranian-American community and the broader American public. At a time when our nation is bitterly divided, NIAC is an important voice in our public debate on issues of enormous consequence for all Americans - and particularly for Americans of Iranian heritage - including heightened tensions in the Middle East and the risk of war, policies like the Muslim travel ban and extreme vetting, the rise in domestic hate crimes, and the protection of civil liberties. 1/18/20

Europe Should Prevent the Iran Nuclear Deal from Going the Way of the Oslo Accords

A major regional war in the Middle East has been averted, for now. President Donald Trump decided not to respond militarily to Iran launching missiles at the U.S. bases in Iraq, which itself was in response to the U.S.-executed assassination of the General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the elite Al-Quds force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Instead, Trump announced new sanctions against Iran. There is no reason, however, to believe that this represents anything more than a pause in the rush to war rather than a beginning of a real de-escalation. -Eldar Mamedov, Responsible Statecraft 1/14/20

Congress's Work to Prevent War With Iran has Only Just Begun

No sooner than the dust had settled on Iran's limited military retaliation for the assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani did pundits claim it was a "win" for Trump. While we're all breathing a sigh of relief that a direct military confrontation between the United States and Iran appears to be on hold for now, there's a danger that Trump and his cabinet have taken the wrong lesson from last week's avoidable events - namely, that Trump's military action has deterred Iran and only more pressure will change the regime's calculus. -Kate Kizer, Responsible Statecraft 1/12/20

How Cities Can Elevate Diplomacy and Alleviate Animosity Between the U.S. and Iran

The United States relies too heavily on hard power. This is not surprising when the nation underappreciates noncoercive foreign affairs and diplomacy. So, as I read commentary on President Trump's decision to assassinate Qassem Soleimani, I feel the urge to take a step back and see if this signals a bigger problem - the same problem that should have been more pronounced when he pulled the United States out of JCPOA (the nuclear agreement with Iran), or the Paris Climate Agreement, or called certain countries sh**holes. -Sohaela Amiri, Responsible Statecraft 1/11/20

Brazil helped the US and Iran towards peace. Dialogue is the only answer

The assassination of Qassem Suleimani by drone bombs, at the express request of the president of the United States, has thrown the Middle East - and the world - into the most serious global security crisis since the end of the cold war. By unilaterally ordering the execution of a senior Iranian military on Iraqi soil, Donald Trump violated international law and took a reckless and dangerous step in escalating conflict, with potential impact all over the planet. -Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Celso Amorim, Guardian 1/10/20

No War With Iran: Day of Action

We will not be forced into another war. On Thursday, January 9, at 5 p.m. local time, the anti-war majority in this country will get visible to oppose Trump's war and say #NoWarWithIran. Trump's reckless action has needlessly endangered countless lives of U.S. troops, Iraqis, Iranians, and countless other civilians. 1/9/20

A Pause in the Rush to War

We have dodged a war - for now. Iran's restrained missile attack on two Iraqi bases and Donald Trump's stand down from further military attacks combine to create a pause in the slide towards a catastrophic war. Buried deep in the braggadocio and bombast of Trump's speech on Wednesday was an important message to the Iranians: We are not planning further military action. -Joe Cirincione, Responsible Statecraft 1/9/20

Trump Drives Past an Off-Ramp

President Trump, in his speech this morning, missed a de-escalation opportunity that Iran had given him. A confrontation that benefits neither the United States nor Iran (not to mention other affected parties, such as Iraq) is momentarily pausing, but the confrontation and its accompanying dangers will continue. The Iranian regime sent a carefully calibrated message with its missile strikes on two military bases in Iraq yesterday and with its subsequent messaging. The strikes were a prompt, highly visible, and openly proclaimed retaliation for the killing by a U.S. drone of senior Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani. -Paul R. Pillar, Responsible Statecraft 1/9/20

Trump Has No Strategy in the Middle East, Only Vengeance

President Trump has no strategy for Iran. After ordering the assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, he was not prepared for the Iranian response on two U.S. air bases in Iraq this evening. His national-security process is dysfunctional. His legal justification is bunk. In claiming to have preempted an imminent attack, he and his cabinet may be lying. All are important criticisms that politicians and analysts have repeated since the assassination. They are also utterly inadequate. -Stephen Wertheim, Responsible Statecraft 1/8/20

More than 70 Actions Took Place on Sat. Jan. 4 To Demand - No War With Iran!

More than 70 actions took place on Saturday, January 4 across the country to to demand no war with Iran and that U.S. troops leave the Middle East. The Trump administration and Pentagon have moved to start a war with Iran by assassinating Qassem Soleimani, the top military leader of that country. -Answer Coalition 1/5/20

On Qassem Soleimani's Assassination: Is It Foolish To Credit The Foolish Clown With Foolishness?

Jesus saw a dead man on a roadside. Startled, he pondered, saying: "O man, whom had you slain, for whose death. You paid the price with your blood; And where shall lie the avenger of your demise?" I am translating these haunting lines penned by a Persian poet over a thousand years ago. Tit for tat, and tat for tit; then tit for tat again, and tat for tit; over and over and over: will the riddle ever end?! -Kambiz Zarrabi 1/4/20

Protests planned across US to condemn Trump administration actions in Iraq, Iran

More than 40 demonstrations were planned across the U.S. Saturday to protest the Trump administration's killing of a top Iranian general and decision to send about 3,000 more soldiers to the Middle East. The protests are being spearheaded by Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER), a U.S.-based anti-war coalition, in conjunction with more than a dozen organizations. Demonstrations were expected to protest outside the White House, in New York City's Times Square and more. -USA Today 1/4/20

Don't Let Trump Go to War With Iran

Fifteen years after the U.S. entered Iraq, the president is inching us closer to another unnecessary fight. The decision of the United States to wage war against Iraq in 2003 was one of the worst mistakes our country has ever made. Was Saddam Hussein a brutal dictator? Yes, but he didn't have weapons of mass destruction, and toppling his regime had profound consequences-bringing the deaths of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, promoting deep instability in the region, inflicting lasting damage on American credibility, and imposing enormous costs on American taxpayers. -U.S. Senator Tim Kaine 1/4/20

Trump and his Team are Lying Their Way to War With Iran

President Trump ordering the killing of Qassem Soleimani is troubling on several fronts. The assassination has been treated as an act of war in Iran, uniting disparate political factions after a brutal crackdown on protesters in November. Now, U.S. forces are on a state of high alert across the region, with many anticipating potential Iranian counter reprisals that risk further deepening the escalation spiral from which there could be no escape. -Ryan Costello, Responsible Statecraft 1/4/20

Can Escalation be Prevented in Iraq?

The December 29 raid killed at least two dozen people-members of KH and the Iraqi security forces-and has brought the U.S. to the brink of a new war in Iraq or even of an outright confrontation with Iran, seen in Washington as being KH's main backers. The consequences of any such escalation, while unforeseeable in detail, would certainly be disastrous for Americans, Iraqis, and numerous others. Can escalation be prevented? -Helena Cobban, Responsible Statecraft 1/2/20

Trip To Iran Triggers Thoughts Of Hawaii's Role In War

When we arrived at the museum on the northern edge of Tehran's Shahr Park on a drizzly late October morning, we were greeted by the museum's director, Mohammad Reza Taghipoor Moghadam who, I couldn't help but notice, had no legs. As he wheeled himself into the museum, my companions and I followed closely behind. -Jon Letman, Civil Beat 12/20/19

Trying To Exploit Iran's Diverse Ethnic Population To Advance A War Agenda

On September 25, during the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI)-a pro-Israel, anti-Iran lobby group-held a "summit" in New York that was attended by, among others, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, and Sigal Mandelker, the outgoing Under Secretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, as well as diplomats from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. As usual, tough rhetoric was uttered by all the speakers, and threats were made. -Muhammad Sahimi 10/17/19

Trump Makes The Right Call: Bolton Out

The single biggest factor in getting Bolton the job was Sheldon Adelson, whose weighty political checkbook has won him much influence over Trump's policies. The policies that by far have mattered most to Adelson are any that deal with Israel or are important to the right-wing government of Israel. Adelson and Bolton both have openly advocated bombing Iran, which is music to the ears of the ultra-hardline policy toward Iran favored by Benjamin Netanyahu's government. -Paul Pillar 9/11/19

This Iranian War Vet Has Some Advice for Trump: Don't Play Checkers with the Grandmasters of Chess

Dear President Trump, In a recent Tweet, you claimed that "Iranians never won a war, but never lost a negotiation." As a world citizen and a veteran of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, I have firsthand experience with the bitterness of war, and I have a few suggestions and responses for you. First, I would advise you against using the words win and winning to describe war, especially from a US perspective. -Habib Ahmadzadeh 8/7/19

Coalition of Foreign Policy Experts Outline 8 Recommendations to Deescalate Tensions with Iran

Today, an expert group of foreign policy practitioners published a letter underscoring the dangerous new phase that has put the U.S and Iran on the path toward war. The signatories include prominent academics, such as John Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt, and Andrew Bacevich; foreign policy analyst Rula Jebreal; former Member of Congress John F. Tierney; former ambassadors and diplomats, such as Thomas Pickering, Francois Nicoullaud, and Peter Jenkins; national security expert Edward Price; and Iran experts such as Jamal Abdi, Dina Esfandiary, and Farideh Farhi. 7/31/19

War in the Persian Gulf? Let's hope not

In recent weeks, we have witnessed an alarming escalation of tensions between Iran and world powers that should frighten everyone involved. Uncertainty and mutual hostility have propelled the United States and Iran towards a perilous conflict that can only lead towards one terrifying conclusion (unless immediate measures are taken): war. -Younes Mahmoudieh, Foreign Policy 7/22/19

Behind The Foundation For Defense Of Democracies' Embrace Of Authoritarianism

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a neoconservative organization in Washington founded after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has long been obsessed with Iran and has vocally opposed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear agreement between Iran and 5+1 group of nations. While much is known about FDD CEO Mark Dubowitz-whose purported "defense of democracies" has been undermined by his recent calls for "inclusive authoritarianism" in the Middle East-his right-hand man on Iran, Saeed Ghasseminejad, has gone largely unnoticed. -Muhammad Sahimi 7/18/19

Joint Statement: House Reins In Trump on Iran

CREDO, Foreign Policy for America, J Street, NIAC Action, and Win Without War issued the following joint statement regarding the House vote passing the Khanna-Gaetz amendment to block any funds for an unauthorized war with Iran -Win Without War 7/12/19

We're Not the Good Guys: Why Is American Aggression Missing in Action?

Headlined "U.S. Seeks Other Ways to Stop Iran Shy of War," the article was tucked away on page A9 of a recent New York Times. Still, it caught my attention. Here's the first paragraph: "American intelligence and military officers are working on additional clandestine plans to counter Iranian aggression in the Persian Gulf, pushed by the White House to develop new options that could help deter Tehran without escalating tensions into a full-out conventional war, according to current and former officials." Note that "Iranian aggression." -Tom Engelhardt, Tom Dispatch 7/4/19

Open Letter by academics and civil society activists to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on significance of return to JCPOA

Hon. Secretary General, You are well aware that in 2015 with the support of all permanent members of the UNSC (China, France, Russia, UK, and US) plus Germany and Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was drafted, upon which UNSC issued Resolution 2231, replacing all previous UNSC resolutions targeting Iran's nuclear program. 7/3/19

Can International Institutions Stop A U.S.-Iran War?

The similarities between the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and today's rhetoric and events triggering Iran-U.S. hostilities are startling. The March 2003 invasion of Iraq, for instance, was premeditated. Preparations for attacking Iraq had been underway for months prior to the actual start of military activities. -Parisa Zangeneh 6/26/19

The Fog Of Selling A War

The "fog of war," about which Carl von Clausewitz wrote, refers to the confusion and lack of knowledge of what an adversary is up to on a chaotic battlefield. Currently, those promoting or welcoming a war with Iran are using a different kind of fog. It should be easier to see through the current war-selling fog than it was to see what was happening on smoke-filled battlefields of Clausewitz's time. -Paul R. Pillar 6/21/19

200 Iranian Activists Call For Unconditional Talks With U.S.

In a statement on Sunday, June 9, more than 200 civil and political activists living in and outside of Iran called for unconditional talks between Iran and the U.S. Referencing the Iranian people's desire for detente with forces around the region and world at large, 225 signatories to the statement called for the public and civil and political activists to urge the Iranian and American administrations to hold talks. -Radio Farda 6/11/19

170+ Iranian Women Activists Condemn Sanctions and Threats of War

We a group of Iranian women's movement activists and women's rights defenders strongly condemn US efforts to stoke yet another war in the Middle East, this time against Iran. The Trump administration's maximum pressure campaign, its bellicose posturing and sanctions, hurt the Iranian people most, especially women, children, minorities, refugees, the chronically ill and those with disabilities. 5/30/19

Effort To Force Trump To Seek Congressional War Approval For Iran Fails

An effort to force the Trump administration to seek congressional approval before taking military action against Iran has failed after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee turned down the bipartisan proposal tabled by Democratic senators Chris Murphy and Tom Udall. -Radio Farda 5/24/19

62 Organizations Tell Congress: Halt a March to War with Iran

We write to request that Congress take urgent action to halt a march to war with Iran. The Trump administration, spurred on by National Security Advisor John Bolton, has moved the U.S. into a war posture. Over the last few weeks, Bolton pushed through unprecedented sanctions and escalated the war of words intended to provoke retaliation from the Iranians. Now, Bolton has used a routine carrier deployment to the Middle East to threaten Iran with "unrelenting force" and has overseen the revision of war plans that would send 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran takes his bait. 5/23/19

Lessons From The Gulf Of Tonkin Incident: The Iran Script

Disturbing similarities between the run-up to the Iraq War of 2003 and the Trump administration's bellicosity toward Iran keep accumulating. They include war-selling rhetoric seemingly derived from the same script. But in some respects, the more striking parallel to the present occurred over half a century ago, beyond the living memory of most Americans. The time was August 1964, and the place was the dark nighttime waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog 5/22/19

Will The U.S Pressures Bring Iran To The Negotiating Table?

It didn't require a crystal ball to predict that some false-flag incident might escalate tensions in the current display of hostilities between Iran and the United States or its regional allies. That was why in the final paragraph in my previous article I cautioned Iran to "...create closer dialog with the Arab counterparts to watch out for deliberate accidents that might ignite the powder keg and destroy both nations." Well, the incident happened the day after my post on Payvand, as it was obvious something like that would take place sooner or later, and likely would be repeated in days or weeks to come. -Kam Zarrabi 5/17/19

What Makes Iran Look Like An Immediate Threat

The current crisis atmosphere in U.S.-Iranian relations, in which the risk of open warfare appears greater than it has been in years, is solely and unequivocally due to the policies and actions of the Trump administration. To point this out does not mean that actions of the Iranian regime have not come to be part of the crisis atmosphere as well. It instead means that such an atmosphere would never have existed in the first place if the administration had not turned its obsession with Iran into the relentless campaign of hostility that has become one of the single most prominent threads of the administration's foreign policy. -Paul R. Pillar 5/17/19

Iranian-American organizations campaign against U.S. war with Iran

Iranian-American organizations are actively campaigning against a U.S. war with Iran encouraging members of community to write to their members of Congress urging them to support the Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act. 5/13/19

A Realistic Alternative To A War Between The United States And Iran: Let Someone Else Do It!

Much to the delight of my regular detractors, I have cut back from writing my almost monthly opinion articles about the ongoing US/Iran tug-of-war. However, with the appointment of the warmonger neoconservative psychopath, John Bolton, as the national security advisor by the Clueless Clown-in-Chief, this decades-long almost ceremonial push and pull seems to be reaching, at least potentially, a disastrous flash point deserving of a bareknuckle commentary. -Kam Zarrabi 5/11/19

The Looming War And Tehran's Ostrich Politics

Last week, tensions between Iran and the United States reached even more alarming levels. First, Iran's Supreme Leader admonished Iranians that since the enemy-read America-is in war mode, Iran, too, should prepare for war (Arayesh Jangi Begirad). Then there was the news of the U.S. aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln going to the Middle East, ostensibly because of threats posed by Iran. According to some reports, this move was triggered by intelligence that Iran was moving missiles to the Persian Gulf. -Shireen T. Hunter 5/11/19

Grim Outlook For Iran Nuclear Deal

Iran's patience with Europe's feeble submission to one of the most villainous U.S. administrations of all time finally ran out on May 8. That day President Hassan Rouhani told the European parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), via remarks at a session of his Cabinet, that henceforth Iranian performance of certain of the agreement's commitments would be conditional on European performance of all its commitments. -Peter Jenkins, LobeLog 5/9/19

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