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Pompeo Tells Israel It Has “Fundamental Right” To Attack Iranian Targets In The Region

Pompeo Tells Israel It Has “Fundamental Right” To Attack Iranian Targets In The Region

“Our administration’s been very clear,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told The Jerusalem Post in an exclusive Friday interview, published on Sunday. “Israel has the fundamental right to engage in activity that ensures the security of its people. It’s at the very core of what nation-states not only have the right to do, but an obligation to do.”

Immediately after assisting Vice President Mike Pence in negotiating a Syria ceasefire with Turkey in Ankara on Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo headed to Israel. He told the Israeli newspaper in the interview that the ceasefire deal with Erdogan “saved lives”. However, with American troops now exiting Syria, the question of potential Iranian expansion and Israel’s security was focus of his statements.

We know this is a corner where Iran has attempted to move weapon systems across into Syria, into Lebanon, that threatens Israel, and we are going to do everything we can to make sure we have the capacity to identify those so that we can, collectively, respond appropriately,” Pompeo explained in the interview.

Prior file image of Pompeo and PM Netanyahu meeting in Israel, via Anadolu Agency

The interview followed a two hour meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mossad chief Yossi Cohen on Friday morning. Netanyahu has long urged Washington to stay the course in Syria, rather than allow Assad and the Syrian Army to retake the country.

“I think the Israeli people should stare at the probably starkest change this administration has made in foreign policy vis-a-vis what the previous administration has done – the toughest sanctions we’ve ever put,” Pompeo continued to The Jerusalem Post.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Major Blaze At Iran Oil Refinery Raises Suspicions Of Saudi Revenge Attack

Major Blaze At Iran Oil Refinery Raises Suspicions Of Saudi Revenge Attack

A section of Iran’s sprawling Abadan oil refinery in the southwest of the country went up in flames Saturday, and state media sources reported the emergency was under control as of Sunday morning. 

State media is describing it as “a fire in a canal carrying waste from Iran’s Abadan oil refinery,” with Iranian official broadcaster IRIB saying, “The refinery’s fire department contained the fire and prevented it from spreading to other units.”


#BREAKING
A fire in a canal carrying waste from #Iran’s #Abadan oil refinery was brought under control on Sunday: State Media


However, given the extent of the blaze captured in social media circulating videos, and especially given it comes after a tense summer of attacks on tanker and refineries — notably the Sept. 14 Saudi Aramco drone and missile attack — the newest Iran facility fire raises serious question. 

Could the clearly massive Abadan blaze, which Iranian state sources appear ready to downplay, be the result of a Saudi revenge attack? 

Though unverified and unconfirmed, Iranian opposition sources are pointing to a potential cyber attack as a possible cause for the fire.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Iran Claims To Have Video Evidence Of Oil Tanker Attacks

Iran Claims To Have Video Evidence Of Oil Tanker Attacks

By – Oct 16, 2019, 2:30 PM CDTJoin Our Community

Drone

Iran has claimed that it has footage of last week’s attack on its oil tanker while off the Saudi Arabian Jeddah port, and it proves that the attacks were carried out by Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, according to Mehr news agency, who quoted Abolfazl Hassan Beigi, Iran’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission member.

This evidence, Hassan Beigi said, will be provided to the UN and Security Council.

“Saudi Arabia and the U.S. are trying to put the blame on the ISIL [Islamic State] or the Taliban for the attack, but the documents dismiss such a notion as no ISIL or Taliban terrorists are present in the Red Sea,” Hassan Beigi said, adding that both ISIS and the Taliban were created and sponsored by Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday, in his first media conference in over a year, that the attack on the tanker would not go unpunished, adding that it was “carried out by a government” rather than an individual.

Rouhani stopped short of naming that state actor, however.

“If a country thinks that it can create instability in the region without getting a response, that would be a sheer mistake,” Rouhani said.

The Iranian tanker, the Sabiti, was attacked last Friday in the Red Sea, damaging the vessel and causing oil to spill into the water. The Sabiti belongs to the National Iranian Oil Company.

The attack on the Iranian oil tanker follows the September 14 attack on Saudi Aramco’s oil infrastructure that took offline nearly 6 million bpd of production. Tensions in the Middle East have been flaring up as the United States continues to sanction Iran’s oil industry for noncompliance with the nuclear deal.

Iranian Oil Tanker Struck By 2 Missiles Near Saudi Port

Iranian Oil Tanker Struck By 2 Missiles Near Saudi Port 

Many questions remained unanswered early Friday after an attack on an Iranian oil tanker in the Red Sea sent oil prices higher, in the latest attack on energy-industry infrastructure in an increasingly volatile part of the world. According to the New York Times, a fire erupted on an Iranian oil tanker about 60 miles from the Port of Jeddah on Friday after the tanker’s two major tanks were struck by missiles, causing an oil spill.

No crew members were hurt and the ship is reportedly in stable condition, according to Iranian state news media. The National Iranian Oil Company, which owns the tanker, said the ship was struck at 5 am local time and 5:20 am local time. Iranian officials said Friday that the incident was “an act of terrorism”, but they insisted that the ship had suffered minimal damage and that only a small amount of oil had spilled into the ocean. The Iranians also denied that the ship had caught fire, despite photos purportedly depicting the blaze.


#BREAKING: There is No longer fire & oil leakage in #Iran‘s oil tanker #SABITI. Images taken an hour ago show the oiler in #RedSea after changing its course. There are two possibilities behind the two explosions in the ship: 1-#SaudiArabia‘s attack 2-#Israel Navy attack.

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

Iranian media said “technical experts” are still investigating the cause of the explosion, though Iranian state media initially blamed Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom, meanwhile, denied any responsibility for the attack. However, according to conflicting reports, the National Iranian Oil Company denied that Saudi Arabia, Iran’s archrival in the region, was behind the attack, and instead pointed the finger toward Israel.

Another inconsistency emerged when Iran said a tanker known as the Sabiti had been hit. But the ship-tracking website Marine Traffic shows the vessel hasn’t transmitted any location data since mid-August.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The US-Iran Silent War is Transformed Into An “Iraq Uprising”

THE US-IRAN SILENT WAR IS TRANSFORMED INTO AN “IRAQ UPRISING”

The last four days have shown that the ongoing US-Iran war is acutely affecting the whole region. This is now evident in Iraq where more than 105 people have been killed and thousands wounded in the course of demonstrations that engulfed the capital Baghdad and southern Shia cities including Amara, Nasririyeh, Basrah, Najaf and Karbalaa. Similar demonstrations could erupt in Beirut and other Lebanese cities due to the similarity of economic conditions in the two countries. The critical economic situation in the Middle East offers fertile ground for uprisings that lead to general chaos.

Iraq has special status due to its position, since the 2003 US occupation of the country, as both an Iranian and as a US ally. Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi up to now has armed himself with article 8 of the constitution, seeking to keep Iraq as a balancing point between all allies and neighbouring countries, and to prevent Mesopotamia from becoming a battlefield for conflicts between the US and Iran or Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Notwithstanding the efforts of Baghdadi officials, the deterioration of the domestic economic situation in Iraq has pushed the country into a situation comparable to that of those Middle Eastern countries who were hit by the so-called “Arab Spring”. 

Fuelled by real grievances including lack of job opportunities and severe corruption, domestic uprisings were manipulated by hostile foreign manipulation for purposes of regime change; these efforts have been ongoing in Syria since 2011. Baghdad believes that foreign and regional countries took advantage of the justified demands of the population to implement their own agenda, with disastrous consequences for the countries in question.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Three Saudi Brigades Annihilated in Devastating Houthi Offensive in Saudi Arabia

Three Saudi Brigades Annihilated in Devastating Houthi Offensive in Saudi Arabia 

Many may have hitherto been led to believe that the Houthis were a ragtag armed force lacking in sophistication. Many, seeing the drone and missile attacks on Saudi oil plants, may have declared it to be a false-flag attack carried out by Riyadh to boost Aramco’s market value; either that or it was an operation carried out by Iran or even Israel. On Saturday September 28, the Houthis put paid to such speculation by confirming what many, like myself, have been writing for months; that is, that the asymmetrical tactics of the Houthis, combined with the conventional capabilities of the Yemeni army, are capable of bringing the Saudi kingdom of Mohammed Bin Salman to its knees.

The Yemeni army’s missile forces are able to carry out highly complex attacks, no doubt as a result of reconnaissance provided by the local Shia population within the Kingdom that is against the House of Saud’s dictatorship. These Houthi sympathisers within Saudi Arabia helped in target identification, carried out reconnaissance within the plants, found the most vulnerable and impactful points, and passed this intelligence on to the Houthis and Yemeni army. These Yemeni forces employed locally produced means to severely degrade Saudi Arabia’s crude-oil-extraction and processing plants. The deadly strikes halved oil production and threatened to continue with other targets if the Saudi-conducted genocide in Yemen did not stop.

On Saturday 29 the Houthis and the Yemeni army conducted an incredible conventional attack lasting three days that began from within Yemen’s borders. The operation would have involved months of intelligence gathering and operational planning. It was a far more complex attack than that conducted against Aramco’s oil facilities.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump, FDR, and War

Trump, FDR, and War

President Trump’s campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran reminds me of President Franklin Roosevelt’s similar campaign against Japan prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

After England declared war on Germany, owing to the latter’s invasion of Poland, the American people were overwhelmingly opposed to entry into the war. That was because they recognized that U.S. interventionism into World War I, which cost the lives and limbs of tens of thousands of American soldiers and severely infringed on the liberty of the American people, had accomplished nothing. 

Americans had no interest in doing it again. Their mindsets were similar to those of our American ancestors, whose founding foreign policy was to avoid involvement in Europe’s forever wars. 

In his 1940 campaign for president, Roosevelt told the American people that he was with them in their opposition to foreign wars. He said to them, “I’ve said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.”

The problem is that FDR was lying. In fact, his secret aim was to circumvent the will of the American people and somehow maneuver the United States into the war.

During that time, U.S. presidents were still complying with the provision in the Constitution that prohibits the president from waging war without first securing a declaration of war from Congress. FDR knew, however, that securing such a declaration was impossible, given the overwhelming sentiment against getting involved in another European war.

So, FDR, who is widely recognized as one of the craftiest politicians in U.S. history, began figuring out a way by which he could embroil the nation in the war despite the fierce opposition of the American people.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Oil Erases All Saudi-Attack Gains After Iran Sanctions Report

Oil Erases All Saudi-Attack Gains After Iran Sanctions Report

Already helped by reports of a partial Saudi cease-fire with Yemen, oil prices have legged lower – erasing all the price gains since the Saudi-attack – on the back on a Reuters report saying that US offered to remove all Iranian sanctions in exchange for talks.

That’s not going to help the value of the Aramco IPO.

Peak oil in Asia: where will the oil come from for the Asian Century?

Peak oil in Asia: where will the oil come from for the Asian Century?

Asian oil production peaked above 8 mb/d for the period between 2008 and 2016 (with spikes in 2010 and 2015). The 2015 peak was mainly caused by peak oil in China. Since then Asia’s decline  was almost 800 kb/d or 9%.

Asia-Pacific-oil-production_BP-1965_2018
Fig 1: The Asian oil peak lasted 8 years

The rest of Asia peaked already in 2000 (the year Australia peaked) followed by a very modest decline of 1.1% pa. Let’s go through the countries one by one.

In the following, net oil imports are defined as the difference between oil consumption and production. Please see the note at the end of this post.

Indonesia_oil_production_vs_consumption_1965-2018
Fig 2: Indonesia is in terminal production decline since the 1990s
Australia_oil_production_vs_consumption_1965-2018
Fig 3: Australia’s net oil imports
Malaysia_oil_production_vs_consumption_1965-2018
Fig 4: Malaysia is a net importer since 2010
Vietnam_oil_production_vs_consumption_1965-2018
Fig 5: Vietnam’s net imports are increasing fast
Thailand_oil_production_vs_consumption_1965-2018
Fig 6: Thailand was always a net importer

Thailand’s consumption increases faster than production.

India_oil_production_vs_consumption_1965-2018
Fig 7: India’s consumption exceeded 5 mb/d in 2018

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US To Deploy 200 Troops, Patriot Missile System To Saudi Arabia; Oil Jumps

US To Deploy 200 Troops, Patriot Missile System To Saudi Arabia; Oil Jumps

The Department of Defense has finally revealed some of the details of Trump’s grand deployment or appearance of doing something without doing much and response to the Sept. 14 Saudi Aramco attacks which the administration blamed on Iran.  The Pentagon is set to send 200 personnel and missile defense equipment to Saudi Arabia, specifically a total of one Patriot missile and its support personnel, which further includes Sentinel radars meant to detect any incoming attack, according to a Thursday announcement.

The news was a sufficient catalyst to spike the price of brent crude, which rapidly moved into the green upon news of the Pentagon announcement, after trading in the red all day. 

“This deployment will augment the kingdom’s air and missile defense of critical military and civilian infrastructure,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said. 

He added that this will bolster “an already significant presence of U.S. forces in the region.”

More significant is a potential further deployment on the table of additional troops and two more Patriot batteries and a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD), which would certainly signal escalation against Iran in the region should the plan be approved. 

The US beefing up Saudi air defenses comes also as Riyadh’s current US-supplied systems have come under scrutiny for clearly failing to detect and defend against the Sept. 14 aerial attack.

As The National Interest pointed out:

One thing is clear: The attack revealed the limits of Saudi Arabia’s seemingly sophisticated air-defense system. Riyadh in recent years has spent billions of dollars building up six battalions of U.S.-made Patriot surface-to-air missiles and associated radars. The Patriots didn’t stop the recent attack.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper formally blamed Iran for the attack in statements last week, saying “all indications are that Iran was responsible for the attack” on the two Aramco refineries. 

Pentagon to Present Trump, Aides With a ‘Range’ of Iran Military Options

Pentagon to Present Trump, Aides With a ‘Range’ of Iran Military Options

Gen. Dunford says US response is a ‘political judgment’

Though President Trump has downplayed the idea of war with Iran over the past couple of days, the actual decision is to be made at a high-profile meeting, either Thursday or Friday depending according to reports. 

Trump will be joined by a number of national security officials and other aides, and will be presented with a wide array of options by the Pentagon. Options are said to range from full-scale war to a simple cyberattack.

Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was very clear about the Pentagon not pushing any specific agenda on this matter, saying the response would be purely a “political judgement.”

Among Trump’s officials, Pompeo is seen as the one pushing hardest for a military response. He’s been in Saudi Arabia meeting with officials there, and probably will come back all the more hawkish. 

This response, whatever it will be, will be nominally over Iran attacking Saudi oil refineries with drones. The Iranians denied having done so, and Yemen’s Houthis said it was them, not the Iranians. 

Either way, Saudi oil output is virtually back to pre-attack levels as it is, not even a week later, which gives the appearance this whole thing was being hugely overplayed earlier in the week.

Trump has already announced that there will be sanctions against Iran, and those sanctions are set to be announced Friday as well. The timing of the two together could further reduce the pressure to take more extreme measures militarily. 

Trump Approves US Troop Deployment To Saudi Arabia In Response To “Iran Attacks”

Trump Approves US Troop Deployment To Saudi Arabia In Response To “Iran Attacks”

And now for the Friday evening tape bomb.

For the past five days, the world awaited to see what, if any, would be Trump’s response to last Saturday’s attack on Saudi oil facilities that has taken out millions of barrels of crude production out of the market for an indefinite period. Moments ago we got the first offical reaction, when US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said this in lieu of an immediate military strike on Iran, the Pentagon will deploy additional troops and military equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to beef up security.

The Defense Secretary said that “the Iranian attack” – which we assume means it has been now settled that Iran was behind the attack despite the lack of actual evidence and just more verbal confirmations, a la the staged “Syrian chemical attacks” – on Saudi oil facilities was a dramatic escalation, and added that President Trump approved deployment of U.S. forces, clarifying that such a deployment will be defensive.

“The president has approved the deployment of U.S. forces which will be defensive in nature and primarily focused on air and missile defense,” Esper said at a news conference late on Friday.

Actually, scratch that: as other U.S. and Saudi officials have done, Esper stopped short of confirming that the strikes originated from Iran, but he said investigators have concluded that the weapons used in the attack were produced by Iran and were not launched from Yemen, so might as well infer that Tehran is behind it all.

While Esper and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said details of the “force package” deployment will be determined over the coming days, it will include air and missile defense and a “moderate” troop increase, although the number of troops “will not be in the thousands.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Can Trump Still Avoid War with Iran?

Can Trump Still Avoid War with Iran?

Can Trump Still Avoid War with Iran?

A more fundamental question arises: If the United States was not attacked, why is it our duty to respond militarily to an attack on Saudi Arabia?

President Donald Trump does not want war with Iran. America does not want war with Iran. Even the Senate Republicans are advising against military action in response to that attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities.

“All of us (should) get together and exchange ideas, respectfully, and come to a consensus — and that should be bipartisan,” says Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch of Idaho.

When Lindsey Graham said the White House had shown “weakness” and urged retaliatory strikes for what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls Iran’s “act of war,” the president backhanded his golfing buddy:

“It’s very easy to attack, but if you ask Lindsey … ask him how did going into the Middle East … work out. And how did Iraq work out?”

Still, if neither America nor Iran wants war, what has brought us to the brink?

Answer: The policy imposed by Trump, Pompeo and John Bolton after our unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

Our course was fixed by the policy we chose to pursue.

Imposing on Iran the most severe sanctions ever by one modern nation on another, short of war, the U.S., through “maximum pressure,” sought to break the Iranian regime and bend it to America’s will.

Submit to U.S. demands, we told Tehran, or watch your economy crumble and collapse and your people rise up in revolt and overthrow your regime.

Among the 12 demands issued by Pompeo:

End all enrichment of uranium or processing of plutonium. Halt all testing of ballistic missiles. Cut off Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. Disarm and demobilize Shiite militias in Syria and Iraq. Terminate support for the Houthi rebels resisting Saudi intervention in Yemen.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Who Really Benefits From The “Iran Attacked Saudi Arabia” Narrative?

Who Really Benefits From The “Iran Attacked Saudi Arabia” Narrative?

After 9/11 the concept of the “false flag attack” gained prominence in American culture, and ever since, more and more people are starting to question the official narrative whenever new crisis events occur. It is possible that this is why there has not been another attack in the US on the scale of 9/11 since 2001; not because the government is doing a better job with security (there was ample security in operation on 9/11 that for some reason was not utilized), but because it’s harder for government agencies to get away fabricated disasters or scapegoating the wrong people as the culprits.

That said, sometimes governments don’t need to create a false flag from scratch. Sometimes disasters not of the government’s making can be turned into false flags, as long as they can pin the blame on the target they most want to attack.

The elites only need to get away with one major false flag every couple of decades to push the populace into a war or a cultural crisis which can be exploited. This was essentially the strategy outlined by the “Project For A New American Century”, a foreign policy think tank in the 1990’s made up of Neo-Cons and ghouls from the Council On Foreign Relations which called for a “new Pearl Harbor” that would give the US a rationale to enter the Middle East militarily and change the entire political landscape. As Rahm Emanuel once said, “You never want a serious crisis go to waste…”

Of course, they got their Pearl Harbor, but contrary to popular opinion I think it’s wrong to assume that the PNAC was designed to open the door to American hegemony. Rather, I think the intention was to cause the opposite – the eventual fall of American geopolitical influence.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Questions, Not Answers Surround U.S. Push to War with Iran

Questions, Not Answers Surround U.S. Push to War with Iran

When President Trump fired National Security Adviser John Bolton last week rational people the world over cheered. 

When there was news that Trump would meet on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly with Iran’s President Rouhani in a few weeks there were sighs of relief.

When Benjamin Netanyahu goes to Moscow to get Vladimir Putin’s blessing to continue airstrikes in Syria and was told no, the world said, “Finally! Enough is enough.”

The problem is that there were also very powerful people who were not happy about these things. 

Moreover, there are a lot of nervous people out there worried that Tuesday’s election in Israel will not go the way they want it.

A lot of people have invested a lot of time and money in ensuring Netanyahu stays in power. And I don’t just mean Bibi himself, who will likely go to jail on corruption charges if he doesn’t win. 

I mean a lot of people in the U.S., Saudi Arabia, the U.K. and in Europe, all of the places where anti-Russian, anti-Iranian and pro-Israeli sentiments abound.

And this brings up the main question I always have in the wake of one of these major escalations of tensions with the country currently catching the Twin Eyes of Sauron in D.C. and Tel Aviv.

Why do they always seem to occur right after moments of de-escalation and there’s the threat of peace breaking out somewhere?

Why is it that every time President Trump tries to push the U.S. and the world away from war within a few days there’s an incident which pushes us right back to the brink of it?

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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