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Iran Vows Major War Even If US Conducts “Limited Strikes”

Iran Vows Major War Even If US Conducts “Limited Strikes”

Just after on Friday Pentagon leaders presented Trump with numerous “military options” for a response to Iran following last week’s twin attacks on Saudi Aramco facilities, Iran has again put the US on notice that any “limited attack” will assuredly lead to major war.

The briefing on “options” for responding to Iran were followed by a late Friday Pentagon announcement that it is deploying US troops to Saudi Arabia as a “first step” which could be followed by additional “kinetic” moves down the road. “As the President has made clear the United States does not seek conflict with Iran. That said we have many other military options available should they be necessary,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in the briefing.

Iran on Saturday responded to the move by again declaring any potential “limited” US attack on Iran would certainly lead to rapid escalation. The head of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Major General Hossein Salami, said in remarks broadcast on state TV that no such limited strikes would actually remain ‘limited’.

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Major General Hossein Salami, via AMN News

Gen. Salami said

“Be careful, a limited aggression will not remain limited. We will pursue any aggressor.”

Clearly understanding Trump’s deep reluctance to drag the United States into yet another costly Middle East quagmire, it appears the Iranians are telegraphing that if they can convince Washington that even a small, one-off strike on Iran could spark WW3, this could dissuade the US altogether from even limited, “kinetic” missions. 

It’s likely the administration could be spit-balling the idea of missile strikes similar to Trump’s two instances of bombing Syrian government facilities — each confined to a single night, not more than hours long, but going no further in terms of expanding the scope of originally defined objectives. 

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

Iran Seizes Foreign Tanker “Smuggling” Fuel In The Gulf

Iran Seizes Foreign Tanker “Smuggling” Fuel In The Gulf

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) says it has seized a foreign vessel with 12-crew members carrying one million barrels of oil. In an official Iranian media statement early on Thursday, the country’s military asserted the tanker was caught “smuggling” the fuel through the Strait of Hormuz

While details to the breaking story remain confused, with some early reports speculating it could be reference to the Riah tanker which since the past weekend disappeared as it drifted toward Iranian waters in the Strait of Hormuz, what is clear is that Tehran is ramping up the pressure, perhaps now making good on its longtime threat to cut off global shipping through the vital oil passageway

Illustrative image: tanker in the Persian Gulf. 

A foreign vessel smuggling one million liters of fuel in the Lark Island of the Persian Gulf has been seized,” state run ISNA said, adding that the ship was seized on Sunday. 

This was the same day Iran had claimed to have “rescued” the UAE-owned, Panamanian-flagged Riah as it was in need of repairs due to technical problems, however, neither Iran’s military nor media identified the seized vessel or its country in initial statements. 

Iran’s Press TV has issued the following details in a breaking statement

The incident took place to the south of the Iranian Lark Island on Sunday.

IRGC naval forces, which were patrolling the waters on an anti-smuggling mission, acted against the vessel in a “surprise” operation upon ascertaining the nature of its cargo and securing the required legal approval from Iranian authorities.

The ship had loaded the fuel from Iranian dhows and was about to hand it over to other foreign vessels in farther waters. The vessel, which had 12 foreign crewmembers aboard at the time of the mission, is capable of carrying two million liters of fuel.

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

Is Trump Trying to Goad Iran Into War with the US?

Is Trump Trying to Goad Iran Into War with the US?

On Monday President Trump designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a foreign terrorist organization.

Mainstream media is playing it up as an escalation of economic pressures on the country.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes

The designation should deepen Iran’s international isolation, another step in the maximum pressure campaign against the regime for its nuclear program. Anyone who provides material support to the group can now be prosecuted more easily and IRGC members are blocked from entering the U.S. IRGC officials will also risk arrest and extradition while traveling.

Don’t believe for a minute this is the half of it.

This is the first time ever that the United States government has named a part of another government as a foreign terrorist organization.

What does it mean?

Labeling any group a foreign terrorist organization allows that group to be targeted by the U.S. government by means of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

Colonel W. Patrick Lang, a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces, writes:

The AUMF on terrorism has been used far and wide as a hunting license to attack any armed group that could even distantly be thought a terrorist enemy.  The anti-terrorism AUMF makes such attacks legal under US law.

The official designation as “terrorist” of the IRGC which is a 125000 man army with its own navy and air force makes it legal for the US Armed Forces to attack the IRGC and its people wherever they are found and under any circumstances that may occur.  It is a declaration of war.

Former Under-Secretary of State and lead Iran negotiator, Wendy Sherman, told Reuters she worried about implications for U.S. forces.

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

Iran Designates US Military As Terrorist Organization

Iran Designates US Military As Terrorist Organization

Just hours after President Trump formally designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization, Iran’s foreign ministry has put forward a bill placing US Central Command on a list of organizations designated as terrorists, akin to Daesh.

Statement from the President on the Designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a Foreign Terrorist Organization

Today, I am formally announcing my Administration’s plan to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), including its Qods Force, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.  This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft.  The IRGC is the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.

This designation will be the first time that the United States has ever named a part of another government as a FTO.  It underscores the fact that Iran’s actions are fundamentally different from those of other governments.  This action will significantly expand the scope and scale of our maximum pressure on the Iranian regime.  It makes crystal clear the risks of conducting business with, or providing support to, the IRGC.  If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism.

This action sends a clear message to Tehran that its support for terrorism has serious consequences.  We will continue to increase financial pressure and raise the costs on the Iranian regime for its support of terrorist activity until it abandons its malign and outlaw behavior.

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

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