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Iran

Bolton pushes United States to over-reach in Iran

Helena Cobban on
John Bolton

In ’56 the British overreached tragically in Suez, the U.S. punished the pound, a Prime Minister fell, and an Empire ended. John Bolton is exhibiting the same hubris about regime change in Iran, and using economic leverage to do so, but the gambit may not work out well for the American empire, Helena Cobban writes.

The neoconservative push for war with Iran is not in the American people’s interest

Philip Weiss on

Neoconservatives are pushing for war with Iran inside the Trump administration, and we can only thwart their plans by calling them out, as the rightwing Israel lobby, whose aims are not in the American people’s interests, however you define them, from human rights in the Middle East to avoiding another disastrous war.

Pundits who supported Iraq war should come forward now, in order to stop Iran conflict

James North and Philip Weiss on
Jeffrey Goldberg

As a US carrier steams toward Iran, Trump risks another disastrous neoconservative war in the Middle East. The pundits and pols who supported the Iraq war, from Joe Biden to Jeffrey Goldberg to Roger Cohen, still have not accounted for that tragic error; and they could clear their account nobly today by coming out against any war with Iran based on sad experience.

The United States, Iran and the Warsaw Conference

Robert Fantina on
Top US leaders and other global officials at the Warsaw summit on Middle East security — which was mainly about building pressure on Iran — on February 13, 2019 (Photo: Michael Sohn/AP)

The United States’ much ballyhooed conference in Warsaw, the purpose of which was to gather support for more pressure on Iran, is now over. This exercise in futility did not gain the so-called ‘benefits’ that President Donald Trump and his racist, jingoistic cohorts had hoped. Rather, it exposed disagreements between the U.S. and many of its allies, and worsened some of them.

Khashoggi murder has set back US-Israel effort to confront Iran

Philip Weiss on
Donald J. Trump, Mohammed Bin Salman, Jared Kushner

Israel is already a big loser in the fallout from the Khashoggi murder, which has set back the effort to work with Saudi Arabia to confront Iran and impose a peace deal on the Palestinians. Trump negotiator Jared Kushner has been hurt by his association with the Saudis, and even rightwingers are supporting sanctions against Israel’s new ally.

The (genocide-enabling) ‘NYT’ confesses that 1000s of slaughtered Yemenis were just too much to get our heads around

Donald Johnson on

The Times’s Max Fisher writes a long article rationalizing the indifference of Western elites to the Yemeni slaughter by Saudi Arabia by saying that it’s much easier to relate to the death of one person, Jamal Khashoggi. Yes except that the Times had no problem relating to faceless victims when it’s Putin and Assad. Thus is propaganda justified.

An ominous warning: ‘Netanyahu needs a war with Iran. And he needs it soon’

James North on
Netanyahu and Trump meet at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue. (Photo: (AP/Evan Vucci)

There are ominous signs that Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu and the Saudi Crown Prince are pushing for a wider war in the Mideast. In a dangerous escalation, Israel last night attacked an Iranian military base near Syria’s capital, Damascus, using both warplanes and surface-to-surface missiles.

Target Hezbollah

Ted Snider on

Israel backed al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Syria in an effort to weaken Bashar al-Assad and Iran. The effort has failed and now Israel and Saudi Arabia are turning their attention to Lebanon where two mysterious events over the past week indicate that Hezbollah may be in Israel’s sights.

Interrogating the Qatar rift

Richard Falk on

The abrupt announcement that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, UAE, Yemen, the Maldive Islands, and the eastern government in divided Libya have broken all economic and political ties with Qatar has given rise to a tsunami of conjecture, wild speculation, and most of all, to wishful thinking and doomsday worries. Richard Falk untangles the threads of the story so far what it could mean for U.S. foreign policy in the region.

Iran beats US for wrestling world cup, but you wouldn’t know it from watching NBC

Robert Visznevski on

When Donald Trump stopped all incoming travelers from seven primarily-Muslim countries, Iran was on the list. Iran retaliated by blocking all Americans from traveling to Iran, including the U.S. wrestling team who were scheduled to compete in the annual wrestling version of the World Cup. When the ban got knocked down stateside, the Iranians relented and the plot thickened when it all came down to the U.S. vs. Iran in the finals. You might think a sports drama like that would be of interest to the media. But NBC, who had rights to cover the event, instead opted for a blackout on it.

Jews in Iran: a travelogue

Yakov Rabkin on

Yakov Rabkin travels to Iran where he meets with local Jews. He writes, “One should not idealize the life of Jews in Iran who have had their share of challenges. But their life stands in contrast to a well-oiled campaign to besmirch the history of Jewish-Muslim relations in order to suit a political agenda, the agenda of those who argue that there is no safe place for Jews except Israel.”

As sanctions end over nuclear program, US socks Iran with new sanctions over missile testing

Annie Robbins on

Over the weekend, in a victory for diplomacy, the U.S. lifted sanctions on Iran in place since 2006 as the two countries also completed a prisoner exchange. But no sooner than the plane carrying released prisoners had left the tarmac in Iran, the U.S. Department of Treasury slapped new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile testing last fall, breaking the spirit of the agreement with Iran.