Heshmat Alavi liked – Rudy GiulianiVerified account @RudyGiuliani 22 July 19
Kerry has admitted advising Iran. What did he tell them? Stop slaughtering your own people? Stop giving money to terrorists? Or did Kerry say wait out @realDonaldTrump and we will restore your path to nukes and release another billion in cash? We should find out.
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MESOP MIDEAST – Sima Shine, Eldad Shavit – THE INSTITUTE FOR NATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES – ISRAEL – INSS Insight No. 1197, July 2, 2019
The recent escalation in the confrontation between the United States and Iran demonstrates the determination of both sides not to concede any ground, on the understanding that doing so would undercut their ability to bargain in any future negotiations. In parallel to the mutual muscle-flexing there are mediation efforts underway, currently led by French President Macron, in an effort to formulate the conditions and nature of a dialogue. Looking ahead, the two likeliest scenarios remain as they were: protracted confrontation between the sides, within the current parameters; or resumed negotiations.
The US warned in early May that Iran or its proxies were threatening the US and US allies. American naval assets were dispatched to the Gulf and war planes followed.
MESOPOTAMIA NEWS OPINION BY SETH FRANTZMAN – Iran outmaneuvers the UK in Gulf tanker conflict -analysis
By Seth J. Frantzman – JERUSALEM POST – July 21, 2019 12:05 – It was abundantly clear what Iran was up to in the Gulf in the days prior to it seizing the British-flagged Stena Impero in the Straits of Hormuz on Friday, July 19. Iran had already sought to impede the movement of the British Heritage tanker, according to reports on July 11. Tehran had warned this after the UK seized an Iranian tanker allegedly transporting oil to Syria.
Toby YoungVerified account @toadmeister 20 Juli 2019 – Toby Young Retweeted Jeremy Corbyn
When I tweeted earlier that Corbyn would side with Iran in this dispute I was joking. But…
Toby Young added,
Jeremy CorbynVerified account @jeremycorbyn
Britain should act to ease tensions in the Gulf, not fuel a military escalation that began with US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement. Without credible evidence about the tanker attacks, the government’s rhetoric will only increase the threat of war.
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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : TANKER WAR 2.0
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said it had seized the British tanker “for failing to respect international maritime rules.”Adam Rawnsley – THE DAILY BEAST – 20 July 2019 – Iran’s military seized a British tanker in the Persian Gulf on Friday, further ratcheting up the tensions between Tehran and Western powers in the Persian Gulf.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps announced via state-run news outlets that it had seized the British tanker Stena Impero “for failing to respect international maritime rules.”
By Jennifer Jacobs BLOOMBERG – 18. Juli 2019, 19:01 MESZ Updated on 19. Juli 2019, 08:43 MESZ – Decision gives Turkey at least a brief reprieve over S-400 – Law sets penalties for buying Russian missile-defense system
President Donald Trump said he’s not looking at economic sanctions against Turkey “right now” following its decision to begin receiving parts of a Russian missile-defense system that has divided the two NATO allies and fueled outrage in Congress.“No, we’re not looking at that right now,” Trump told reporters Thursday at the White House.
MESOPOTAMIA NEW INSIDER : Why the Strait of Hormuz Is Still the World’s Most Important Chokepoint And Why the United States Should Guarantee Its Security
By Allen James Fromherz July 17, 2019 – BY FOREIGN AFFAIRS
An Iranian navy boat tackles a fire on a tanker after it was attacked in the Gulf of Oman, June 2019. REUTERS
The Strait of Hormuz links the majority of the world’s people who live along the shores of Asia and East Africa to the heart of the Middle East. Long before the discovery of oil, it was the world’s carotid artery. Cut off the blood supply almost anywhere else and the world would adapt. Here, however, an interruption could be fatal: 90 percent of oil exported from the Gulf, about 20 percent of the world’s supply, passes through Hormuz. Shipping through the strait, which is a mere 21 nautical miles wide at its narrowest point, is concentrated and hazardous. In Musandam, the Omani exclave on the strait’s southern side, you can hear Persian radio from Iran as often as Arabic. Along the rocky shorelines, islets and peninsulas thrust precipitously into the sky. Heat, humidity, and a scorching wind make the climate inhospitable; many mountain ranges and valleys near Hormuz remain sparsely inhabited.
Originally published in The Jerusalem Post, the post below has links to sources – By Seth Frantzman
Sometimes Iran acts like it is a playing a complex game of international diplomacy that mixes war threats with diplomatic threats and sometimes involves direct attacks designed to show that it means business. Other times Iran seems to blunder along doing the most obvious thing that it has said it would do, as if it is just looking for a fight. It’s attempt size a British oil tanker appears to fall into the latter category. On the face of it Iran is carrying out threats it made over the past week to respond to the UK taking over an Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar.
Iran 17 July 2019 – On Wednesday, an Iranian artillery strike in the Sidakan District of Iraqi Kurdistan killed an 18-year-old woman and injured two of her brothers. The strike came a day after three members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were killed by Kurdish rebels. Mohammad Osanlou, the IRGC commander in charge of Iran’s western Kurdish territories, accused entities in Iraqi Kurdistan of facilitating rebel operations on the Iranian side of the border in a statement issued to the regime-friendly Tasnim News Agency. On Friday, the IRGC announced it launched drone strikes on the positions of Kurdish parties near the Iran-Iraq border. The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq called upon the Iranian regime to stop attacks in the region, though it bears mentioning the Iranian regime has been targeting Kurdish opposition parties since its foundation in 1979.
Will Iran ‘break out’ for a nuclear weapon, and what can Trump do?
THE HILL 16 July 2019
Iran is beginning to breach some of the limitations imposed on its nuclear program by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which it signed in 2015 and from which the United States withdrew in 2018.
Initially, Iran exceeded the stockpile of low-enriched uranium it was permitted to maintain; then it began to enrich above the 3.67 percent permitted under the deal. While enriching to just under 5 percent — well short of weapons-grade 80 to 90 percent enrichment level — the Iranians, nonetheless, are no longer respecting the limits. And, they are threatening to do much more if Europeans nations cannot act in a way to lessen the economic impact of reimposed U.S. sanctions.
There are a number of questions to pose: