by Michael Eisenstadt and Farzin Nadimi – PolicyWatch 3122 – May 17, 2019
Washington should reduce tensions, open lines of communication, and restore deterrence, though managing the contradictions between these objectives will be challenging. On May 12, four ships—two large Saudi crude oil tankers and smaller Emirati and Norwegian tankers—were damaged in what various international authorities described as acts of sabotage, with U.S. officials attributing them to Iran or its proxies. Although explosive devices may have been used, no casualties or oil leaks were reported.
Jonathan Spyer – Jerusalem Post 17/5
Evidence grows that Iran is stationing missiles directed at Israel with its client militias in western Iraq
In a speech delivered on May 9, Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi, Secretary General of the Hizballah Nujaba movement in Iraq, delivered a series of threats against Israel. Hizballah Nujaba is an Iran supported Shia militia. It is affiliated with the Popular Mobilization Forces, or Hashd al-Shaabi, which is a gathering of mainly Shia, mainly pro-Iran military groups. Al-Kaabi’s speech is by itself of only passing interest. But it is an indication of the growing involvement of Teheran’s Iraqi servants in Iran’s preparations for conflict with Israel – and not only on the verbal level.
MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : WAR-LOVING MULLAHS – Iran’s IRGC chief: Ready for ‘full confrontation’ with the US
On April 8 the US designated the IRGC a terrorist organization. Salami was appointed to head the organization on April 21.
By Seth J. Frantzman – JERUSALEM POST May 16, 2019 – The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps released a statement on Wednesday claiming the country was now working at maximum capacity in preparation for a “full confrontation” with its “enemy,” which is a reference to escalating tensions with the United States.
The statement, from newly appointed IRGC commander Hossein Salami, said that this was a decisive moment for the Iranian “revolution” and that Iran’s enemies were working hard to break the stability and will of the Iranian people.
IRAN: 16 May 2019 – MESOP – Iranian oil production fell last month to its lowest level (VOA) in more than five years, according to the International Energy Agency, as U.S. sanctions on the industry took full effect.
In Foreign Affairs, Sanam Vakil discusses the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran.
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Kyle Orton Retweeted Jeffrey Goldberg
Their channel, opened in 2012, gives the lie to the idea Obama reached out to Iran after it “elected” a “moderate” president. The secret talks showed how desperate the US was for a deal, and indeed the sanctions built up over a decade were punctured in the *first* round.
Kyle Orton added,
Jeffrey GoldbergVerified account @JeffreyGoldberg
“We’ve seen coercive diplomacy succeed with Iran—this is not how it works.” William Burns and Jake Sullivan, the two negotiators who opened the Iranian channel, argue against escalation (via @theatlantic): https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/05/trumps-iran-strategy-all-coercion-no-diplomacy/589558/ …
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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS Special Dispatch No. 8066 – Saudi Columnist: It’s Time To Act Against Iran And Its Militias
In his May 15, 2019 column in the Saudi English-language Arab News, Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, a political analyst and researcher of international relations, called for international action against Iran in response to the May 13 sabotage of Saudi oil tankers off the UAE coast and the May 14 attack on a Saudi oil pipeline. These incidents, he wrote, prove that Iran is bent on using the militias under its control to threaten the security of the region and the entire world. Hence, listing these militias as terror organizations, which several countries have already done, is not enough. Instead, there is need for serious and concrete action against them and against the Iranian regime itself, which is funding, recruiting and training terrorists in the region. If this is not done, Al-Shehri stressed, chaos and terror will reign everywhere and preventing nuclear proliferation in the region will become very difficult.
The following is his column, as it appeared in Arab News: Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri (source: Arab News, Saudi Arabia)
Iraqi Former vice president Iyad Allawi: A US official told me that the Israel intelligence got photos from the ground not only satellite images of Iranian ballistic missile platforms in #Basra directed towards the Gulf, this is why Mike Pompeo suddenly visited #Iraq last week – WATCH YOUTUBE VIDEO
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Iran 14 May 2019
Kurdish border porters (Kolbars) suffered another deadly week. On Thursday, near the Nowsud crossing with Iraqi Kurdistan, Iranian border guards ambushed a group of Kolbars, which resulted in the death of a 50-year-old man who fell from a cliff while trying to escape. The victim, identified as Hadi Mosazada, is from a village in Javanrud (Jwanro), Kermanshah province. On Friday, near Piranshahr crossing point, Iranian border guards attacked and severely injured 21-year-old Assad Burka. Burka later died in Piranshahr hospital. On Saturday, Iranian security forces fired on a vehicle on the main road between Bokan and Shahin Dej city, killing one Kurdish businessman and severely injuring another. On Sunday, Iranian guards shot and wounded a Kolbar on the Beyuran heights of Sardasht city. 29-year-old Mohideen Rahimi was carrying goods into Iraqi Kurdistan. According to the Kurdistan Human Rights Association (KMMK), 36 Kurdish Kolbars and businesspeople have been killed and 73 injured since the beginning of 2019.
A special unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards marine force carried out the sabotage attack Sunday on 4 Saudi oil More via www.mesop.de