View Full Version : Iran: ally, friend or enemy? (2015 onwards)

SWJ Blog
11-23-2013, 08:22 PM
Russia & Iran: Strategic Alliance or Marriage of Convenience (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/russia-iran-strategic-alliance-or-marriage-of-convenience)

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SWJ Blog
03-13-2015, 10:13 PM
The Strategy is Working in Iraq…for Iran (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/the-strategy-is-working-in-iraq%E2%80%A6for-iran)

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Bill Moore
04-10-2015, 12:32 PM

Should America fight more like Iran? Pentagon official raises eyebrows.

The Pentagon's No. 2 civilian said the US need to be better at operating in the 'gray zone' of 'deception, infiltration, and persistent denial.' But that doesn't mean America has to play dirty, some expert say.

I think a counter argument is that America should fight more like America, and I don't mean RMA, but when we decide to fight, then fight to win. We can and should (and do) incorporate aspects of unconventional warfare, so little is new here.

SWJ Blog
07-17-2015, 04:46 AM
Despite Nuclear Deal, US and Iran Locked in Regional Shadow War (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/despite-nuclear-deal-us-and-iran-locked-in-regional-shadow-war)

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08-20-2015, 08:02 PM
Nuclear Iran?

I agree with those who think the Iran agreement should be supported, first because nothing better seems to be available, second because I suspect that technological means of supervision (to avoid a global catastrophe), are available in the USA. Here is what I have just posted on that subject, at an Internet forum for physics teachers:

" ... How can one detect the strongly-enriched uranium, placed either inside or outside of a bomb? I am sure that nuclear physicists have been addressing this problem, in the context of inspecting vessels arriving to our ports, or crossing our borders.

One possible approach is to irradiate a suspected object with a source of slow neutrons (for example, a Cf-252 source surrounded by pure graphite or paraffin). The slow neutrons, in turn, would induce fission; fission fragments would be gamma radioactive and gamma rays would be detectable from outside the suspected material. ... " The idea is simple, but it presents some practical difficulties, as always. For example, how can one distinguish gamma rays emitted by fission products in the enriched uranium from the gamma rays emitted by fission products in the Cf-252 source? Will the method work despite the presence of the cosmic background?

Ludwik Kowalski, a retired nuclear physicist (see Wikipedia)

http: //csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.html

10-16-2015, 10:00 PM
The United States has confirmed that Iran tested a medium-range missile capable of delivering a nuclear weapon in "clear violation" of a United Nations Security Council ban on ballistic missile tests, a senior US official said on Friday.


SWJ Blog
01-04-2016, 01:04 PM
Middle East Tensions Boil as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain Cut Ties with Iran (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/middle-east-tensions-boil-as-saudi-arabia-bahrain-cut-ties-with-iran)

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SWJ Blog
01-12-2016, 10:50 PM
Pentagon: Iran Holding 2 U.S. Navy Boats (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/pentagon-iran-holding-2-us-navy-boats)

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SWJ Blog
01-13-2016, 03:42 PM
Iran Releases US Sailors (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/iran-releases-us-sailors)

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SWJ Blog
01-16-2016, 09:58 PM
U.N. Agency Clears Way for Lifting of Iran Sanctions (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/un-agency-clears-way-for-lifting-of-iran-sanctions)

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02-04-2016, 07:07 PM
A detailed explanation about Iran, the complex interplay between factions, leaders, policies and the outside world - including the USA and West generally by David Patrikarakos (who has a book on the nuclear aspects):

The post-deal Islamic Republic is going to be harder to handle. The world had better get used to that.

02-04-2016, 07:15 PM
There are a number of threads on Iran, the vast majority are historical about the nuclear aspects (including independent action by Israel) and they have been closed.

There are several threads that maybe useful for reference:
1) a very small, new one Iran: ally, friend or enemy (merged thread 2015 onwards, into which this thread will go one day):http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=22522
2) a long running, short one Iran & AQ: a safe haven or holding cell?:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=17236
3) a long running Iran, Nukes and Diplomacy 2011-2014, which went quiet in terms of posts in 2014-2015:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=14500

02-06-2016, 05:35 PM
From a "lurker":
I would add the dimension of regime in-fighting in context of this month's elections between "centrists" like Rouhani and Rafsanjani and the hardliners. Tension at its highest since 2009.

02-14-2016, 09:16 PM
From the Israeli "think tank" the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Center, their latest 'Spotlight on Iran':
It is based on reports in the Iranian media and written for the ITIC by Dr. Raz Zimmt, an expert on Iran's politics, society, foreign policy and social networks.

02-15-2016, 07:18 AM
Another "big win" from the Iran Deal from the "Iranian moderates"......

All problems root in arrogant powers at the top of which is US and the Zionist regime is epitome of evil.

02-29-2016, 09:14 AM
Reference the Obama/Kerry tilt to Iran in the hope of a more moderate Iran....

A stern push-back from @EliLake on the torrent of nonsense about "moderates" being "elected" in Iran

The search for nuance in Iran after Khamenei and the Guard Corps have gutted even Rafsanjani is a staggering example of wish-thinking.

The so called Obama hoped for moderates only have 69 seats vs the over 250 plus radical/conservative seats...not a majority thus no voice.

02-29-2016, 09:53 AM
WHY is this so important for the Syrian war...this means that Khamenei and the IRGC will just keep on fighting to maintain their land corridor to Hezbollah in Lebanon and to turn a major Arab Sunni nation state into a Shia controlled state.....the moderates ACTUALLY did voice their support publicly for the war as well......

02-29-2016, 02:42 PM
WHY is this so important for the Syrian war...this means that Khamenei and the IRGC will just keep on fighting to maintain their land corridor to Hezbollah in Lebanon and to turn a major Arab Sunni nation state into a Shia controlled state.....the moderates ACTUALLY did voice their support publicly for the war as well......
Indeed. Who to hell told either Oblabla or the Mentalist any Iranians might change their opinions about Syria?

Their 'moderates' (the side that 'won' latest 'elections') is designated as such just because of Western wishful thinking. Actually, they're well-known as loyalists to by ultra-conservatives (who, in turn are such 'true Shi'a clergy, that all are lacking necessary qualifications for their positions, while the those that don't are all sitting in house-arrest in Qom).

On the contrary: absolutely nothing changed in regards of how much is the IRI controlled by the ultra-conservatives - and even less so in regards of influence upon Iranian security- and foreign policies by the Khamenei clique and the IRGC.

11-18-2016, 10:17 AM
Report 12 members of nuclear negotiating team arrested by Iran for espionage
Hardliners are now tacking control

01-08-2017, 05:10 PM
Former Iranian president Rafsanjani dies of heart attack: state media

Three people built and then sustained the Islamic Republic. Khomeini, Rafsanjani and Khamenei.Rafsanjani made 2 mistakes. The first & worst was to allow the IRGC into the Iranian economy. This would prove catastrophic for his faction (& Iran) it turned the IRGC from just a military org into a force that would permeate and ultimately dominate all levels of Iranian society: economically, politically and militarily.

The IRI we see we see today: with Iran resurgent across the ME can be traced (*in part*) to that decision. The second mistake he made was to think he could "control" Khamenei forever.

As time passed Khamenei consolidated power, esp after 2009 uprising. When Khamenei, breaking with protocol, directly intervened in Iranian politics on side of Ahmadinejad whose fraudulent re-election as president had brought the people onto the streets in protest.In so doing Khamenei threw his lot in with Ahmadinejad and the IRGC that backed him, and drew away from Rafsanjani and the clerics in the holy city of Qom.

Since then Rafsanjani became marginalised & an overt government critic. He was banned from standing as Pres in last elect.

In its place is an IRI dominated less by the clerics and more by the IRGC. Right now in Iran there is a huge struggle between President Rouhani - a *moderate* - who wants greater cooperation with the west & entrenched hardliners who are against any further cooperation with the West. Cooperation w the west = no "Great Satan", a founding principle of the IRI.

And no common enemy with which to unite the people around. Rafsanjani's death weakens Rouhani and empowers hardliners.

01-10-2017, 03:04 PM
Iranians at Rafsanjani's funeral chant "Death to Russia" and "Russian embassy is a den of spies."

Daraa: Rebels have destroyed an #Assad Shilka at Abandoned Battalion today.

Aleppo: Rebels shelling #Nayrab Airbase with Grad rockets.

01-23-2017, 07:10 PM
BREAKING: Iran Caught Importing Missile Technology In Violation Of International Ban

02-04-2017, 05:20 PM
DUBAI, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Iran is holding a military exercise on Saturday to test its missile and radar systems, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump's administration imposed sanctions on Tehran for a recent ballistic missile test.
The United States sanctioned 13 individuals and 12 entities related to Iran's missile programme and Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn said the United States was putting Iran on notice over its "destabilising activity".


02-24-2017, 01:40 PM
A commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Wednesday warned that the U.S. will “receive a strong slap in the face” if it underestimates Iran's military power.
"The enemy should not be mistaken in its assessments, and it will receive a strong slap in the face if it does make such a mistake," General Mohammad Pakpour said, according to remarks on the group's website, as reported by Reuters. "Everyone could see today what power we have on the ground."
Iranian officials have been warning the U.S. of their country’s military might since initiating a series of ballistic missile tests last month. Tehran claims its tests are for defensive purposes only, but President Trump put Iran “on notice” and vowed a response.

03-03-2017, 02:13 PM
Ignore the partisan distractions by the Associated Press, since this film's four-year long production (which had to be state sanctioned) illustrates just how much smoke-and-mirrors Tehran was serious about 'rapprochement'.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — In a climactic battle at sea, an Iranian commander orders his forces to open fire on a much larger U.S. fleet, obliterating it with a barrage of rockets, some of which tear American flags from their masts.
The scenario unfolds in "Battle of the Persian Gulf II," a new Iranian animated film more than four years in the making that imagines a devastating response to an American attack on the country's nuclear program.
It might have seemed out of date this time last year, when a nuclear accord reached with world powers had lifted sanctions and raised hopes for a broader rapprochement between Iran and the West.


03-27-2017, 02:38 PM
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran denied on Saturday U.S. accusations that its fast-attack boats were "harassing" warships at the mouth of the Gulf, and said Washington would be responsible for any clashes in the key oil shipping route.
U.S. Navy commanders earlier accused Iran of jeopardizing international navigation by "harassing" warships passing through the Strait of Hormuz and said future incidents could result in miscalculation and lead to an armed clash.
They spoke after the U.S. aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush confronted what one of the commanding officers described as two sets of Iranian Navy fast-attack boats that had approached a U.S.-led, five-vessel flotilla as it entered the Strait on Tuesday on a journey from the Indian Ocean into the Gulf.


04-16-2017, 06:31 PM
CrowBat...something for you....

Iran’s Homemade F-313 “Qaher” Stealth Jet


06-02-2017, 07:31 PM
By Heshmat Alavi at Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/heshmatalavi/2017/06/02/irans-road-ahead-signals-international-isolation/#314b361314b3

With the presidential election set aside, what is the road ahead for Iran, domestically and abroad? Is Iran seeking to establish relations with the international community, especially the United States? Is this regime interested in engaging the world, and is this why President Hassan Rouhani was granted a second term?

“There are those who are concerned a state and its people should have global relations, and I completely agree,” said Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on May 27th.

“Iran has no restrictions in cooperating with large US oil companies,” said Iranian Oil Minister Bizhan Namdar Zangane to reporters on the sidelines of a recent OPEC meeting.

Many may consider such words as a new window of opportunity in Iran, falling for the same deceptive tactics used by this regime for nearly four decades. We should not go down this path and play into Iran’s hands. Those familiar with the true nature of this regime understand these are signals of weakness, desperation, fear and begging.

US President Donald Trump recently ended a 9 day foreign trip to the Middle East and Europe. Time and again, in Riyadh, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Bethlehem, Brussels and Italy he resorted to strong remarks against Iran, accusing it of terrorism and evil, highlighting the regime’s destabilizing role, its use of militias and meddling in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, flagrant human rights violations and the fact that the Iranian people are the main victims of this regime. Trump also highlighted how the US intends to work with all nations in the region against Tehran’s meddling.

And in response, Khamenei delivered four speeches with his fledgling camp of followers expecting strong remarks from their “Death to America” flag-holder.

Yet with Obama gone and a far different US president in the White House, Khamenei has not dared resort to his old practices. Again, another sign of weakness. His silence is not merely a reflection of Trump’s visit to the region, but a canvas of the new balance of power in the Middle East and beyond as the new American leader is overhauling previous foreign policy doctrines after failing to deliver.

Khamenei has every right to be concerned. The US Treasury Department has been busy issuing three new rounds of sanctions and various blueprints are also discussed in Congress, rendering a number of bills. Interestingly, Khamenei has refused to say a word in response, not even accusing the US of failing to fulfill its nuclear deal.

Furthermore, the new US sanctions may have only been imposed on 40 or 50 companies, and there are voices heard describing such measures as merely kicking the can down the road. Yet there is significance in the details:

These sanctions have broadened the spectrum beyond Iran’s ballistic missile program and targeted the regime’s human rights violations. This includes sanctioning the Prisons Organization and blacklisting Sohram Suleimani, the brother of Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force chief Qassem Suleimani. For those familiar with this regime, the human rights dossier is this regime’s Achilles heel.
The IRGC is being specifically targeted, parallel to its affiliated companies, and paving the path for its ultimate blacklisting.
Congress has begun focusing on non-nuclear sanctions on Iran. With the Obama obstacle set aside, there is real perspective of such plans being adopted.

This includes the very sensitive 1988 massacre dossier in Iran where the mullahs sent over 30,000 political prisoners to the gallows in the span of a single summer. The House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul introduced such an initiative, enjoying co-sponsorship of House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ed Royce, Ranking Member Eliot Engel and Rules Committee Chair Rep. Peter Sessions.

The House resolution “condemns the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the 1988 massacre of political prisoners and [calls] for justice for the victims.”

Such measures become so utterly significant when they enjoy bipartisan support, as seen in the new Senate Foreign Relations Committee, adopted with 18 of 21 votes in favor. This bill targets Iran’s ballistic missile program, terrorism, human rights and the IRGC. If passed by the Senate the bill obligates the US government to impose new sanctions against active individuals and entities involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program.

Another similar measure directly targets the IRGC and if adopted this will render the first sanctions directly targeting this entity. The only previous such measure dates back to 2007 when the US blacklisted the IRGC Quds Force.

The truth is Iran’s election façade has come to an end with Khamenei failing to unify his regime. The entire regime apparatus suffered a blow, as rifts are rampaging across the board amongst its ranks and file. Iran is also faced with a new international coalition and the most noteworthy regional isolation.

There are no signs of change as in early May, Khamenei admitted, “a change of behavior is no different from regime change.”

All this is recipe for disaster as Tehran faces a very difficult road ahead. This is also considered a window of opportunity for the Iranian people to finally enjoy the long overdue support of the international community in their quest for freedom and democracy.

06-08-2017, 05:47 PM
Yesterday's ISIS twin attacks in Tehran strongly indicate Iran has a problem, although this is not the first ISIS attack in country.

From an ICSR commentary by Charlie Winter:
In sum, this attack against Iran makes strategic sense for the Islamic State in the same way that attacking the United States on 9/11 made strategic sense to Usama bin Ladin.

In the next few days, people will be wondering where this operation came from. Even if the attackers turn out to be foreign nationals, they will have required extensive support from a local network to execute something like this.

The Soufan Group's commentary appears to highlight the implications for the USA, following the strong "tilt" to Saudi Arabia and the official note of condolence had a barb within:
We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.

06-08-2017, 09:30 PM
Yesterday's ISIS twin attacks in Tehran strongly indicate Iran has a problem, although this is not the first ISIS attack in country.

From an ICSR commentary by Charlie Winter:

The Soufan Group's commentary appears to highlight the implications for the USA, following the strong "tilt" to Saudi Arabia and the official note of condolence had a barb within:

I'm curious if Daesh in Iran is a reconstitution of Jundallah, Ansar Al-Furqan or Jaish ul-Adl?

Much will depend on how those groups react and whether the plots are attributed to Iranian Arabs, Sunni Persians, Balochis, etc.

08-15-2017, 03:36 PM
Personal anxiety, or something larger?

TEHRAN, Iran – #An Iranian soldier opened fire on his colleagues, killing three and wounding 12 of them at a military air base in south Tehran, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Sunday.
The report said one of the victims was an officer and the two others were regular soldiers. It added that the assailant was killed in a shootout with other soldiers.

10-02-2017, 08:07 AM
A short, balanced review article. It starts with:
Iran’s presence and involvement in the Gulf continues to impact security in the region. In a recent paper presentation, I argued that the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) regime has had a hand in security and insecurity concerns amongst its neighbors in the region, and beyond. This argument is conveyed through four examples concerning the Gulf, namely; the IRI’s involvement in the fight against DAISH, attempts (successful and otherwise) to achieve regional influence through and with Shia and Shia-aligned actors, the economic and strategic potential of Iran’s ‘re-entry’ into the global energy market, and the heightening international community’s concerns over the country’s nuclear program. Each of these four examples are taken in turn to convey just how much of a role Iran plays in Gulf security matters. Further, and perhaps most importantly, Tehran’s involvement in each of these matters is embedded in a pragmatic sense of ensuring the IRI regime’s survival.Link:https://defenceindepth.co/2017/10/02/iran-and-insecurity-in-the-gulf/

01-04-2018, 03:18 AM
Reading music (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njfilFfczwQ)

Last night, a large number of aircraft were spotted leaving Iran with “no callsign, origin, or destination.” Strategic Sentinel, a DC-based firm that provides “nonpartisan international relations and national security analysis,” raised the prospect that the live flight radar data may suggest an “exodus,” is in progress.


01-04-2018, 06:34 AM
They told me Iran turned off their ADS-B

01-07-2018, 07:34 AM
CrowBat...something for you....

Iran’s Homemade F-313 “Qaher” Stealth Jet

Can't understand how can anybody take that toy seriously any more... :rolleyes:

01-07-2018, 08:27 AM
Even if they would have a decent chance to be successful it such projects just seem a huge waste of money due to the very high opportunity costs...

More so if the economic legs are so marginal in propping up the whole state. If you disregard the common good much is of course possible until it all breaks down.

01-08-2018, 11:21 AM
I wish the Iranians all the best. Indeed, I wish them a quick removal of that fascistoid regime that's terrorising even itself (as absurd and amazing at it might sound, but that's the simple truth about the Khamenei, IRGC and the entire gang of cliques there).

However, and I'm very sorry to say it: I do not see how should their protesting ever work?

The regime is so deeply embedded in the society, and having such a firm grip of the economy and security, nothing else but a civil war might ever work.

Indeed, 'this time' it's the very core basis of the IRGC's regime that's protesting. Contrary to what various of Shah-wannabes abroad are trying toe explain, it's masses of poor Iranians. Not the educated elite, nor anybody else, but the poorest between the poorest. Just like in Syria of 2011.

With other words: in 'best case scenario', this is going to be 'just another Syria of 2011' (even much of 2012).

Perhaps even worse than that: the last six years, the Mullah regime has been taught (by the West), that it can apply any kind of terror, any kind of weapons upon its own population (and that of several neighbouring countries) - and absolutely nothing is going to happen to it.

On the contrary: Airbus and Boeing are going to continue selling it airliners.

01-08-2018, 06:33 PM
With other words: in 'best case scenario', this is going to be 'just another Syria of 2011' (even much of 2012).

Perhaps even worse than that: the last six years, the Mullah regime has been taught (by the West), that it can apply any kind of terror, any kind of weapons upon its own population (and that of several neighbouring countries) - and absolutely nothing is going to happen to it.

Harsh words but I fear there is more then just some truth in it. All those wars with their brutalities and often direct Iranian military intervention have certainly set the bar of feasible terror very low.

Economically the times are harsh although some support will come from the higher oil prices .

01-08-2018, 07:02 PM
Someone loves Qassem Soleimani, it's Palestinian children - an Israeli watcher has spotted a video by children in Gaza singing his praises. Whilst reportedly demonstrators in Iran were saying something very different.

01-08-2018, 10:47 PM
Of course there is 'more than just some truth in it'.

One is that there is an all-out Iranian military intervention in Syria going on since 6 years, with the IRGC-QF controlling and providing for up to 250,000 troops there (including locals)...

...another is that there is no Syria even in form of an 'Assad Regime' actually left worth talking about, because everything there is de-facto IRGC-QF-controlled...

...and yet all of the West can't find a single Pasdaran in all of Syria, and don't anybody dare touching that nuclear treaty.

...while all are crying foul about three (in digits: 3) Hezbollah in Yemen, fantasising about some 'increased tempo of Iranian arms deliveries to the Houthis', and increasing the resulting hysteria for an 'Iranian effort to destabilize the Middle East'.

...while two (out of several thousands) of videos showing a few Iranian protesters calling for something like 'return of the Shah', are happily misinterpreted into who-knows-what sorts of amazing stuff and whatever else.

When not only the politics, but indeed the entire 'reality' goes that absurd... then it's sure as Hell: there few billions of sticky, little, green truths in it.

01-21-2018, 12:16 PM
Hopefully this FT article can be viewed; normally there is a pay wall. A "taster" passage:
As disgruntlement festered over rising living costs and complaints that Mr Rouhani had failed to back his promises of reform grew louder, the budget exposed the large amounts of taxpayers’ cash allocated to religious institutions and other entities affiliated to factions within the Islamic regime.

04-02-2018, 05:57 PM
An analysis of the regional competition which focuses on Iran and Israel by a UK-based, American analyst. It opens with:
Just last month, the long-simmering Israeli-Iranian conflict came out of the shadows when Iran sent a drone across the Jordanian border into Israel, and Israel retaliated with air strikes on several targets including the Iranian drone operators at a Syrian base in Palmyra, northeast of Damascus. The two sides appear to be on a collision course as Iran penetrates further into a hollowed-out Syria and Israel tries to frustrate that effort. The current status quo, where Israel limits itself to enforcing its publicly stated red lines in Syria, is likely to continue. However, new events that change the intentions of the parties could lead to miscalculation and uncontrollable escalation.

04-19-2018, 12:17 PM
Wonder if Tehran is going to the bargain-basement sale Pyongyang is about to throw in the next 48 hours or so...

Iran will acquire whatever weapons it needs to keep out “invading powers” that seek to surround it the country’s President Hassan Rouhani said at a military showcase in Tehran.

Speaking at a rally for National Army Day, Rouhani appeared to take a swipe at the recent strikes against its ally Syria by the United States, United Kingdom and France, all of which are convinced the Syrian regime has once again used chemical weapons against its own people. Iran and Russia remain the Syrian government’s main allies, and often argue that they are the only foreign military powers whose involvement in Syria is legitimate.


04-26-2018, 12:11 PM
The latest pitch for Persian hegemony.

ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran's supreme leader called on Muslim nations to unite against the United States, saying Tehran would never yield to "bullying," state television reported on Thursday.

04-30-2018, 06:18 PM
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed new "dramatic" intelligence Monday which he claimed shows Iran is "brazenly lying" about its nuclear weapons program and shows the country is not complying with the vaunted nuclear deal it signed in 2015.


05-13-2018, 11:14 PM
From 2015

During a 45-minute speech, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner claimed that in 2010 a former Obama administration official asked Argentina to “provide the Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear fuel” under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

According to Kirchner, Gary Samone, who was the White House Coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction at the time, visited Argentina in the hopes of convincing them to provide reactor fuel. When the Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs asked for the request in writing, they never heard from Samone again.

There is a backstory to this, as Kirchner explained. In 1987, Argentina supplied Iran with nuclear fuel for their “Teheran” reactor. Samone told Hector Timmerman, the Argentine Foreign Minister, that negotiations with Iran to end or limit its nuclear enrichment program had begun and that the “Teheran” reactor was a sticking point. Iranian negotiators wouldn’t go forward without the fuel. And Argentina was the United States’ answer.


05-15-2018, 07:54 AM
Bruce Reidel has a strongly worded article 'Don't Let Israel and Saudi Arabia Drag the U.S. Into Another War' and sub-titled:
We have listened to the siren call of war in the Middle East too often in the past. A ‘New Middle East!’ we are told. The results have been disastrous.

The 2007 Bob Gates story is new to me and explains the author's final comment:
The lesson of Gates’ meeting in 2007 is highly relevant to today’s situation. The American people would be wise to lose their cool if the administration listens to those who are all too eager to send Americans into harm’s way to pursue fantasies.
Link:https://www.thedailybeast.com/dont-let-israel-and-saudi-arabia-drag-the-us-into-another-war? (https://www.thedailybeast.com/dont-let-israel-and-saudi-arabia-drag-the-us-into-another-war?source=twitter&via=desktop)

07-16-2018, 06:42 PM
TEL AVIV—Israeli agents covertly extracted documents detailing Iran’s nuclear program in a dramatic 6½-hour operation in Tehran in January, removing a trove of materials that included partial designs for a nuclear warhead, senior Israeli intelligence officials said.

08-06-2018, 11:06 AM
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran’s Revolutionary Guards confirmed on Sunday it had held war games in the Gulf over the past several days, saying they were aimed at “confronting possible threats” by enemies, the state news agency IRNA reported.

The U.S. military’s Central Command on Wednesday confirmed it has seen increased Iranian naval activity. The activity extended to the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway for oil shipments the Revolutionary Guards have threatened to block.

Guards commander Mohammad Ali Jafari “expressed satisfaction over the successful conduct of the Guards naval exercise, emphasizing the need to maintain and enhance defense readiness and the security of the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz and to confront threats and potential adventurous acts of enemies,” IRNA quoted Sharif as saying.

One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said possibly more than 100 vessels were involved in the drills, including small boats.


08-12-2018, 09:07 PM
The U.S. and Iran saga has had a grip over oil markets for the last three months. Oil prices spiked in May when Trump announced that he was imposing sanctions on Iran and leaving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Now, as the first round of sanctions goes into effect, the relationship between Iran and the U.S. has become increasingly strained. The second round of sanctions, which is going to focus on the energy sector, will have a much higher impact than the current round. According to different estimates, sanctions could take anywhere from 1.5 to 1 million barrels out of the market. This combined with the recent worries about spare capacity and the ongoing tension in the Arabian Peninsula (between Yemeni Houthis and KSA) may well drive prices towards the much-hyped $90 mark.

While there is certainly a possibility of a more than one million bpd decline in Iranian oil, there are some who suggest the decline will be significantly less than that. It is important to note that India and China account for almost 50 percent of Iranian oil exports between them and likely have the ability to boost their imports.


Useful graphic - https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/SlcGl2i5rzzgKmiJGBJi0Q--~A/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjtzbT0xO3c9NDQ5O2g9NDAw/http://media.zenfs.com/en-US/homerun/oilprice.com/970c7db4f9f82405024036f242c763a3

10-01-2018, 05:48 PM
Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Monday that they had launched at least six ballistic missiles into eastern Syria, targeting those responsible for the recent attack on a military parade in Iran, in order to "convey a clear message to Saudi Arabia, the US and Israel," according to the Hezbollah-affiliated Al Mayadeen news channel.

10-18-2018, 09:39 PM
Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' air space division, said his country has spent a decade working on anti-ship missiles.

"We have managed to make land-to-sea ballistic, not cruise, missiles that can hit any vessel or ship from 700 km (435 miles),” he said.

10-26-2018, 10:10 PM
A suspicious incident occurred Friday when two armed Iranian vessels approached the USS Essex with a top U.S. general on board. Gen. Joseph Votel, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) commander, was aboard the amphibious assault ship to observe flight operations when two Iranian fast-attack boats approached – one crossing in front of the Essex and the other traveling along its side, the Associated Press reported Friday.

“I really appreciate you arranging for the Iranians to be here,” Votel said, jokingly, to crew members aboard the Essex.

The Essex was on a routine patrol mission in the southern Persian Gulf. Votel was unsurprised by the Iranians’ presence, as they noticed the Essex’s presence and questioned it over radio traffic.


11-08-2018, 06:26 PM
A "long read" by Ali Soufan in CTC's 'The Sentinel' on this remarkable opponent, at times it is painful reading.

The Abstract states and with my bold:
Abstract: In recent years, Iran has projected its power across the Middle East, from Lebanon and Syria to Iraq and Yemen. One of the keys to its success has been a unique strategy of blending militant and state power, built in part on the model of Hezbollah in Lebanon. The acknowledged principal architect of this policy is Major General Qassem Soleimani, the long-serving head of Iran’s Quds (“Jerusalem”) Force. Without question, Soleimani is the most powerful general in the Middle East today; he is also one of Iran’s most popular living people, and has been repeatedly touted as a possible presidential candidate.

The article objective:
This article reviews Soleimani’s career and assesses his contribution to Iran’s regional ascendancy.

This was merged into this main thread on Iran.

01-25-2019, 06:58 PM
A short article in FP (beware it may behind a paywall) that is a balanced viewpoint, although I suggest his admiration or respect for the man and Iran's strategy may annoy some.

02-22-2019, 02:19 AM
Iranian military leaders disclosed on Thursday that their intelligence operatives had infiltrated a U.S. Army Command Center and commandeered control of several American drones flying through Syria and Iraq.

Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Aerospace Force, released information and photographic evidence that Iran claims as proof it was able to take control of several U.S. drones.

This would not be the first time Iran commandeered such sensitive technology. Tehran assumed control of a downed U.S. drone several years ago and claimed that it had siphoned both information and technical data.


05-20-2019, 03:29 PM
Did The US Detect A Credible Threat From Iran Or React To Iran Preparing For US Attack? (http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/2019/05/did-us-detect-credible-threat-from-iran.html)

05-20-2019, 09:27 PM
" Iraq unfortunately is caught in the middle between these two countries as it often has been since 2003 and has little say in matters."
Apparently neither does the Congress or most anyone else.