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Thread: Iran: ally, friend or enemy? (2015 onwards)

  1. #41
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Rouhani’s budget transparency stokes Iran unrest

    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.
    Link:https://www.ft.com/content/d3f6eebe-...2-2c9be7f3120a
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  2. #42
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Analysis of the emerging Israeli-Iranian conflict

    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.
    Link:https://www.thecipherbrief.com/artic...llision-course
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-02-2018 at 05:58 PM. Reason: 56,301v
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  3. #43
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    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.
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/iran-buy-...083245814.html
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  4. #44
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    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.
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/irans-kha...082350769.html
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  5. #45
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    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.
    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/04...-location.html
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  6. #46
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    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.
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/dougsch.../#73c4c9189500
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-15-2018 at 07:50 AM. Reason: 60,655v today
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  7. #47
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Don't Let Israel and Saudi Arabia Drag the U.S. Into Another War

    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?
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  8. #48
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    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.
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/inside-...ran-1531670401
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  9. #49
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    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.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-i...-idUSKBN1KQ06U
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  10. #50
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    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.
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/two-facto...230000605.html

    Useful graphic - https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/Sl...4036f242c763a3
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  11. #51
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    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
    .
    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,...361444,00.html
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  12. #52
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    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.
    https://www.foxnews.com/world/iran-t...tcmp=obnetwork
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  13. #53
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    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.
    https://americanmilitarynews.com/201...nder-gen-votel
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  14. #54
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Qassem Soleimani and Iran’s Unique Regional Strategy

    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.
    Link:https://ctc.usma.edu/qassem-soleiman...ional-strategy

    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.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-25-2019 at 06:54 PM. Reason: 450v today before merging
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  15. #55
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    Default Iran’s Deadly Puppet Master by Stanley McChrystal

    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.
    Link:https://foreignpolicy.com/gt-essay/i...sem-suleimani/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-25-2019 at 08:03 PM. Reason: 74,700v today
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  16. #56
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    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.
    https://freebeacon.com/national-secu...ndeers-drones/
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    " 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.

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