The Five Blinding Myths About Iran

Exclusive: President Trump lines up with the Washington Establishment on at least one point: that Iran is the chief source of terrorism. The only problem is it’s not true, just one of the “Iran myths,” Ted Snider explains.

By Ted Snider

One of the promises that President Trump has kept is to get tough on Iran. Though he has not canceled the nuclear weapons agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), his administration has “officially put Iran on notice” for a missile test and he has imposed new sanctions.

Iranian women at a speech by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

More ominously, The New York Times reports that Secretary of Defense General James Mattis considered ordering the Navy to intercept and board an Iranian ship in international waters to search it for weapons being shipped to Yemen in support of the Houthi rebels who are facing a fierce U.S.-backed Saudi bombing campaign. According to White House officials, the boarding operation was called off, not because it would likely have been an act of war, but because word of it leaked.

Mattis and the rest of the Trump administration have based this canceled operation and other plans to get tough on Iran on a number of myths about the Islamic Republic. But the myths are not unique to the Trump team; the myths are widely embraced across Official Washington, repeated by Republicans and Democrats alike.

Myth One: Iran Is or Was Developing a Nuclear Bomb

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said repeatedly that “We have never pursued or sought a nuclear bomb, and we are not going to do so.” Both Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and his predecessor, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, have insisted that Iran would never pursue nuclear weapons because nuclear weapons are against the precepts of Islam.

Khamenei has insisted that “from an ideological and fiqhi [Islamic jurisprudence] perspective, we consider developing nuclear weapons as unlawful. We consider using such weapons as a big sin.”

And no one really believes otherwise: not U.S. intelligence and not Israeli intelligence. Former CIA director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta asked, “Are they [Iran] trying to develop a nuclear weapon?” and succinctly and pointedly answered: “No”. The 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), representing the collective conclusions of all of America’s many intelligence agencies, said with “high confidence” that Iran was not building a nuclear weapon. A 2011 NIE said “the bottom-line assessments of the [2007] N.I.E. still hold true. We have not seen indications that the government has made the decision to move ahead with the program.”

Yuval Diskin, the man who headed Shin Bet, the Israeli domestic intelligence agency, for six years, accused Prime Minister Netanyahu of “misleading the public on the Iran issue.” And Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz, then Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, insisted that Iran has not “made the decision” to pursue a nuclear weapons program. Then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak, clearly stated that “it is not the case” that “Iran is determined to . . . attempt to obtain nuclear weapons . . . as quickly as possible.” He added rhetorically, “To do that, Iran would have to announce it is leaving the inspection regime . . . . Why haven’t they done that?”

Former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed ElBaradei told investigative journalist Seymour Hersh that “[d]uring my time at the agency, we haven’t seen a shred of evidence that Iran has been weaponizing.”

The bottom line is that no one seriously — not the United States, not Israel, not the I.A.E.A. – ever really believed Iran was developing nuclear weapons. It was just a useful myth for politicians to use to justify continued hostilities toward Iran and keep open the possibility of military strikes.

Myth Two: Iran is Not to be Trusted and is Violating the Nuclear Weapons Agreement

General Mattis has said “the expectation” is “that Iran will cheat.” But Iran hasn’t cheated. The latest report by the I.A.E.A says that Iran is “honouring its end of the deal.” And each prior report since the deal was signed has said the same. The latest report says Iran has only about half the low-enriched uranium it is permitted to have under the agreement and that it is not enriching any uranium to the higher amounts that would be needed for nuclear weapons.

Defense Secretary (and retired Marine General) James Mattis.

But there’s more than one way to cheat a nuclear agreement, the skeptics say. The White House argues that Iran is in violation of the JCPOA due to its testing of a ballistic missile on Jan. 29.  But Iran is not violating the JCPOA here either. Iran made agreements about their nuclear program; they never agreed to abandon their conventional weapons program, insisting, like every other nation, on maintaining the right to defend themselves.

Resolution 2231, approved in support of the JCPOA, “calls upon” Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons” for a defined period of time. Beyond the fact that the phrasing “calls upon” does not suggest a direct prohibition, Iran insists they are in compliance because the missiles are defensive and are designed to carry a conventional payload: the missiles are not capable of being nuclear armed.

Iran expert Gareth Porter says that Iran’s “ballistic missiles were not designed for nuclear weapons.” Porter cites experts who say that “Iran’s medium-range missiles have been designed for conventional deterrence,” and that “Iran would have to redesign at least the internal components of the missile to adapt it to carrying nuclear weapons.”

Further, the missile was only medium-range and exploded in only about half the distance required to reach Israel and nowhere near the distance to reach America. The official record, then: Iran has consistently complied with the JCPOA nuclear agreement.

Myth Three: Iran is a Destabilizing Force in the Middle East and is the World’s Leading State Sponsor of Terrorism

The day after the U.S. imposed the new sanctions on Iran, General Mattis declared, “As far as Iran goes, this is the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.” CIA director Mike Pompeo has similarly called Iran “the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.” And Trump, himself, told Bill O’Reilly that Iran is “the number one terrorist state.”

President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at joint press conference on Feb. 15. 2017. (Screen shot from

There is no intelligence to support this claim although it’s a formulation that is insisted upon by the governments of Israel and Saudi Arabia and is recited by American politicians as a kind of mantra. In reality, the major terrorist groups bedeviling the West, including Al Qaeda and Islamic State, have been supported by Sunni-ruled Gulf States, not Shiite-ruled Iran. Indeed, Iran has helped the governments of Iraq and Syria in their wars against these terrorist groups.

Not only has Iran been a leader in the fight against these terror groups, the claim that it is “the largest” state sponsor of terrorism is absurd given what is now known about America’s Saudi ally’s sponsorship of Salafist terrorists. Senior U.S. officials have acknowledged as much.

As early as December 2009, a State Department cable had declared that “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban . . . and other terrorist groups.” A 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report identified the “supporting powers” of what became Islamic State to be “Western countries, the Gulf States and Turkey.”

On Oct. 24, 2014, Vice President Joe Biden told a Harvard forum, “[O]ur allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria. . . . They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad except that the people who were being supplied were Al Nusra and Al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis.”

In May 2015, at a meeting at Camp David between President Obama and the princes of the Gulf Cooperation Council that point was reiterated. According to David Ignatius of The Washington Post, at that summit,

“Obama and other US officials urged Gulf leaders who are funding the [Syrian] opposition to keep control of their clients, so that a post-Assad regime isn’t controlled by extremists from the Islamic State or al-Qaeda.”

And Saudi Arabia’s support for the jihadists who became Al Qaeda is nothing new. It dates back to the Saudi-U.S. funding of the Afghan mujahedeen in their war against the Soviet-backed secular government in Kabul in the 1980s. The Saudi financing of these Sunni jihadists continued through the 9/11 attacks and beyond, as the militants served as an irregular paramilitary force for the Saudis to project power against geopolitical rivals.

An important revelation in Seymour Hersh’s reporting on the truth behind the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011 was that the Saudis had been heavily financing bin Laden and Al Qaeda and that their motivation for keeping bin Laden under wraps was to prevent him from revealing that fact, according to one of Hersh’s sources.

“A worrying factor at this early point, according to the retired official, was Saudi Arabia, which had been financing bin Laden’s upkeep since his seizure by the Pakistanis. ‘The Saudis didn’t want bin Laden’s presence revealed to us because he was a Saudi, and so they told the Pakistanis to keep him out of the picture. The Saudis feared if we knew we would pressure the Pakistanis to let bin Laden start talking to us about what the Saudis had been doing with al-Qaeda. And they were dropping money – lots of it.’”

So, Iran is surely not the chief sponsor of state terrorism and American awareness of this reality may be reflected in Iran’s recent removal from the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment presented to the Senate by then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Indeed, far from being an exporter of terrorism, Iran has suffered from various forms of terrorist-like aggression from the U.S. and Israel, including the Stuxnet and Flame computer viruses aimed at Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities, three assassinations and one attempted assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists, and the blowing up of a military arms depot that killed 17 people, including Iranian missile pioneer Major General Hassan Moqqadam.

Myth Four: Iran is Not Really an Enemy of the Islamic State and Al Qaeda

In April 2016, in speech at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event, General Mattis said, “Iran is not an enemy of ISIS. They have a lot to gain from the turmoil in the region that ISIS creates. I would just point out one question for you to look into. What is the one country in the Middle East that has not been attacked by ISIS? One. And it’s Iran. That is just more than happenstance, I’m sure.”

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative.

But Mattis’s claim is sophistry. It does not follow that because ISIS has not attacked Iran’s territory that Iran doesn’t consider ISIS an enemy and vice versa. Iranian forces and Islamic State militants have clearly clashed inside Syria where Iran has provided military support for the government.

But there may be many reasons why ISIS hasn’t attacked inside Iran, including a lack of ability to penetrate into Iran or a recognition by ISIS that it is overextended already in its chief areas of operation.

While perhaps pleasing his audience at the neocon-dominated Center for Strategic and International Studies, Mattis’s sophistry also omits key facts, such as Iran’s commitment to fighting Al Qaeda and Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Even earlier, Iran viewed Al Qaeda and its Taliban allies as existential enemies cultivated by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan in the 1980s as Sunni paramilitaries to pressure Iran from the east while Iraq, then ruled by Sunni leader Saddam Hussein, was attacking Iran from the west.

After 9/11, Iran cooperated with the U.S. against Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Northern Alliance, which provided many of the anti-Taliban fighters assisting the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, was partly created by Iran, which also offered its air bases to the U.S. and permitted the U.S to carry out search and rescue missions for downed U.S. planes. The Iranians also supplied the U.S. with intelligence on Taliban and Al Qaeda targets.

After the Taliban and Al Qaeda were routed from their Afghan strongholds, Iran helped set up Afghanistan’s new government and offered assistance in rebuilding Afghanistan’s army. Iran also arrested hundreds of Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters who escaped across the border.

Iran experts Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett say Iran documented the identity of more than 200 members of Al Qaeda and Taliban who escaped into Iran to the U.N. and sent many of them back to their homelands. For many others who couldn’t be sent back to their own countries, Iran offered to try them in Iran. The U.S. then named several more Al Qaeda operatives that it demanded Iran search for, arrest and deport. According to Hillary Mann Leverett, who was negotiating directly with the Iranians for the White House, Iran captured some and said the others were either dead or not in Iran.

Contrary to Mattis’s false claim, Iran has historically and consistently been an enemy of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Myth Five: Iran is Controlling and Arming the Houthis in Yemen

Constantly being broadcast from Washington is the claim that Iran controls and arms the Houthi rebels in Yemen. But Iran neither substantially arms them nor controls them. The Houthis are an indigenous and independent-minded ethnic group in Yemen that has long played an important role inside the impoverished nation. They ended up in opposition to the Saudi-backed government and in conflict with the Saudi-supported Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, an Al Qaeda affiliate operating in Yemen.

The U.S. built its case that Iran was supplying weapons to the Houthis on an “assessment” that Iran was using fishing boats to smuggle weapons into Yemen. However, according to Gareth Porter, the U.S. was never able to produce any evidence for the link between Iran and the Houthis because the boats were stateless and their destination was Somalia, not Yemen. An earlier ship was, indeed, Iranian but was not really carrying any weapons.

In fact, Porter reports, when President Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced from power in 2012, he and his son, the former commander of the Republican Guard, maintained control over the army through their allies in the upper ranks. Saleh found himself in a strange-bedfellow alliance with the Houthis because as Jeremy Scahill reports in his book Dirty Wars, Saleh was often at war with the Houthis.

“To justify their wars against the Houthis to the United States, Saleh and the Saudis constantly used allegations of Iran’s support for the Houthis,” Scahill wrote. In other words, Saleh used the same deceptive claims then as the Americans are using now. However, even then, the U.S. knew the Houthi-Iran link was weak, and, as Scahill said, though “Saleh accused Iran of . . . backing the Houthis,” “In a subsequent classified cable, US officials . . . raised serious questions about the extent of Iranian involvement.”

Because of the alliance with Saleh, the Houthis could get all the weapons they wanted from local arms markets and from corrupt Yemeni military commanders. The Houthi-Saleh-army alliance also strengthened the Houthis, making it possible for them to advance and take over military facilities from which they acquired U.S.- supplied weapons.

Just as Iran does not substantially arm the Houthis, so it does not – and really cannot – control them. In 2014, the Iranians discouraged the Houthis from capturing the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, but the Houthis did so anyway.

“It is wrong to think of the Houthis as a proxy force for Iran,” a U.S. intelligence official told The Huffington Post. Yemen specialist Gabriele vom Bruck calls Iran’s influence over the Houthis “trivial” and asserts that the independent-minded Houthis grant Iran no influence over their decision-making.

To the extent that Iran is involved in the Yemeni conflict at all, Iran’s assistance has been a response to the Saudi air war against Yemen, which has killed thousands of Yemeni civilians and pushed the population to the brink of starvation.

Yet, Official Washington’s politicians and pundits – virtually across the political spectrum – continue to insist that Iran is the chief sponsor of terrorism. It is a classic example of how Official Washington, which decries “fake news” and “alternative facts,” is at the forefront of spreading fake news and alternative facts.

Ted Snider writes on analyzing patterns in US foreign policy and history.

42 comments for “The Five Blinding Myths About Iran

  1. Tim Hadfield
    March 19, 2017 at 20:46

    Great article – if only more people would read it.
    The mainstream media programming of the population is so effective in burying the truth, and spreading the lies,
    but then, look who owns the media.

  2. joe
    March 19, 2017 at 10:41

    The other “country” that hasn’t been attacked is Israel and its a fact that the terrorists, “Israeli mercenaries”, are given treatment for wounds and other health issue in Israel.

  3. alex
    March 14, 2017 at 19:50

    Iran supports Hezbollah and Al Sadr forces both of which extremely powerful, both of which use terror tactics, both of which are enemies of United States at least via proxy. Right or Wrong that is the reality.
    Iran has developed enough technology and they cheated in their agreements before. They never reported two major Nuclear Enrichment and Heavy Water sites so why should we trust them again just because they said so!?
    Iran is arming the Houthis and giving them all kinds of support. How do you think they get their arms?!
    Iran has used Al Qaedeh whenever it was to their advantage. Some hi ranking members are being kept in Iran, it is not a secret.
    All of the above is obviously destabilizing the ME.
    You may believe that they have a right to all they do and that is another argument but you can not deny that they are actually guilty of the above. In the eye of the United States the above statements are true.

    • Asqar
      March 18, 2017 at 19:40

      Who is destabilizing the ME, the US that invaded Iraq, attacked Libya, helps the terrorists in Syria, and aids Saudi Arabia in its genocidal war in Yemen, or Iran that saved Iraq and Baghdad from Daesh? Who invaded Bahrain in order to prevent the great majority of Shiites (over 75 percent of the population) to get some of their rights? SA. And, who was silent when that happened? US.
      How many Muslims have been killed as a result of US invasion of Iraq, attacks on LIbya, aiding terrorists in Syria, and helping SA to carry out its war of aggression on Yemen? over 1.5 millions, not counting Syria.

      First read, then begin clicking!!

    • Tim Hadfield
      March 19, 2017 at 20:50

      You get your ‘facts’ from the mainstream media.

      • Tim Hadfield
        March 19, 2017 at 20:52

        I meant that for the post above, sorry.

        • Tim Hadfield
          March 19, 2017 at 20:54

          Alex’s post, that is.

          Not being able to edit my post makes life difficult.

  4. Heman
    March 10, 2017 at 11:48

    Was it Dante’s Inferno, I am not a scholar. who talked about passage of the portal into hell? Makes me think of it when I think of our elected representatives and accepted insiders in Washington: when you pass through that portal abandon all independent thought and do what your are told to do lest your next passage is to political oblivion. To most, that is hell.

    Michael K’s litany of “facts” about Iran made me think of our elected leaders, which espouse everything Michael K laid out for us.

    How distant from the truth? Wow. Eons at least.

  5. mike k
    March 10, 2017 at 08:59

    And I feel that “Michael K’s comments are a sick defense of a sicker US policy on Iran.

  6. mike k
    March 10, 2017 at 08:54

    Just to be clear – “Michael K” is not me, I am “mike k.”

  7. Michael K.
    March 9, 2017 at 21:24

    This piece reads like it came off the NIAC website word for word. What a piece of fantasy literature and typical of the echo chamber that still continues to ring long after the facts have surfaced.
    1) Iran clearly was the path to developing nuclear weapons on an industrial scale. This includes thousands of centrifuges to enrich uranium, facilities to test explosive core detonators, ballistic missile design to carry warheads over intercontinental distances, fast breeder reactors to supply plutonium and importation of tons of uranium yellowcake, far in excess of what a civilian “research” program requires.
    2) The JCPOA was never designed to halt nuclear development, only slow it down. The much-ballyhooed “breakout” period went from months to only as much as 10 years or as little as three to ramp back up. It was such a badly flawed document that Iran was allowed only put its centrifuges into storage, not dismantle them, while allowing them to upgrade to faster ones. It also restricted international inspections to video monitoring and denied access to sites only until months later when they were scrubbed and only from soil samples collected by Iranians It also did not address payload delivery systems such as missiles and exempted any modifications on Iran’s policies such as proxy wars.
    3) The last four U.S. administrations have labeled Iran a state-sponsor of terror (Democrats and Republicans) for its use of proxies such as Hezbollah in the bombing of U.S. Marines in Beirut, Americans in Saudi Arabia and coalition forces in Iraq. Iran’s Quds Force was the primary supplier of IEDs in Iraq to Sunni militias and it continues to supply arms and men to fight in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Syria has been the textbook example of destabilizing acts since Iran saved Assad from collapse, brought Russia into a fight that has killed 400,000 Syrians and turned four million others into refugees flooding into Europe. Iran recruits Afghan mercenaries to fight in Syria and has airlifted Sunni militia fighters from Iraq as well.
    4) Iran originally provided safe haven for Al-Qaeda leaders after the invasion of Afghanistan. It later provided transportation and diplomatic covers to get them into Syria to help oppose Assad opponents. When some groups splintered off into extremist groups such as ISIS and Al-Nusra, it was Iran that provided the fateful lift by forcing out the Sunni coalition in the Iraqi government of Nouri Al-Maliki and straight into the arms of ISIS which led to the downfall of Mosul and its real birth. Since then Iran does not combat ISIS anywhere except to preserve Assad’s control. In fact, Iran and Russia have targeted U.S.-backed rebels in Syrian more often than ISIS units in order to keep Assad in power.
    5) Iran is the sole supplier of arms and ammunition to the Houthis in Yemen. Several Iranian fishing vessels have been caught trying to smuggle mortars, rockets, and communications equipment into Yemen. Iran supplied the anti-ship missiles to the Houthis that were recently used to shoot at American naval warships. The arms the Houthis use have even had their serial numbers traced back to Iranian factories producing them under Russian and Chinese licenses.

    Amazing how obtuse one editorial can be, but it’s not surprising given the need to protect the regime at all costs…including the truth.

    • Typhy
      March 10, 2017 at 04:54

      Was funny…
      USA is soul terrorist country on the earth.
      What did you do to Saudi Arabia for 9/11? Nothing! Because you were ordering them to do so and because of their money circulating in USA veins.
      USA is noturius for making fake excuses to invade foreign unfavorable (to the USA) countries.
      So shut your big mouth bastard terrorist.

    • Usul
      March 14, 2017 at 16:01

      Are you just plain stupid or just landed from La-La Land? In the less likely latter case, board that plane again and go back whence you came from.

    • Asqar
      March 18, 2017 at 04:38

      All right-wing propaganda; all nonsense. all lies.

      1. IAEA never uncovered a iota of evidence that Iran was developing nuclear bomb. “Iran was a path to make nuclear bomb” is sheer nonsense. If enriching uranium is the path to making bombs, so is Japan, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, …….

      2. JPOCA has eliminated 95 percent of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. This is not “slowing down.” The rest is B.S.

      3. Who gives a hoot that the US administrations have declared Iran sponsor of terrorism. This is the same U.S. that supports Saudi Arabia, the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world. This is the same US that has supported Israel’s apartheid regime in the West Bank. This is the same US that supported, armed and trained fascist dictatorships in Latin America that murdered hundreds of thousands of people. This is the same US that toppled Iran’s democratic government of Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh…..

      4. Pure nonsense. Iran arrested some al-Qaeda leaders, and offered to exchange them with some leaders of the MEK that US was holding after it invaded Iraq. At least at that time MEK was recognized as a terrorist organization by the US. But, the US wanted to hold them for “future considerations.”

      5. Even the New York Times and Washington Post say that the Houthis were not supported by Iran. But, after SA with US support began its war of aggression against that poor small country, Iran, in order to bloody SA, gave some small arms to the Houthis. SA, its allies, and the US have completely surrounded Yemen from land, air and sea. How do the arms get into Yemen? Read the recent article by Just Hilterman of International Crisis Group in Foreign Policy, and stop your nonsense. You are not fooling anyone.

    • eastman
      March 19, 2017 at 11:54

      hey moron saudis are isis and alqada /taliban are Brizinskyes contrivance all are proved terrorists and iran has been fighting them . Iran arrested Alqada members including Ben laden’s relatvies when they crossed its border from afghanistan .Huties are the poorest arab nation have been bombed by UAE. Isreal/ saudi Arabia and trumpet, killing 12000 innocent sofar just because the country refused to accept a puppet appointed by savage wahhabi saudi royal family.US is isolating those who don’t conform and those who dissent and trump only wants to get richer as he said he is a deal maker and business man not a politician and he will sells the whole US if he can gain from the deal

  8. March 9, 2017 at 20:05

    Typical bully, point the finger at someone else. The USA is the Bully of the World!

    • joe
      March 19, 2017 at 10:42

      As a province of Israel USA is second to Israel in terrorism

  9. Jay Noor
    March 9, 2017 at 17:41

    Truly refreshing and fact based article but I doubt it will see day in any main media or publication, still spreading the truth and facts will set us all free. Good Job
    But I think Trump administration will initiate a military conflict with Iran shortly on the assumption that Iran will not retaliate and I guess this might prove to be a folly.

  10. evelync
    March 9, 2017 at 15:36

    General Wesley Clark during his 2004 campaign for president or maybe it was following that campaign and after had been established with the help of Clark and General Eaton and other retired military officers – General Clark led a movement to Stop the War on Iran, which was brewing and bubbling away back then. Clark called Iran – a multicultural country of 80 million people.

    We’re a multicultural country of 350 million people. Not everyone agrees with Trump or McCain or Clinton for that matter.
    A lot of people trusted – still trust – Bernie Sanders, so he may have the view on foreign policy that would gain a bigger consensus.
    And Bernie was not a war monger – far from it. He appreciated multiculturalism and respected it.

    I have never been able to understand why our State Dept and the people who speak for the MIC select a regime change candidate country and portray it as a monolithic enemy to be vanquished.

    And as far as Iran is concerned, I still can’t forget that during the 1950’s Iran’s democratically elected Mossadegh was overthrown by Britain and the U.S. which installed the ruthless, torturing Shah. After years of suffering under the Shah, the Iranians revolted, producing a Mullah run regime which became the typical “unintended consequence” of that 1950’s coup.

    Why can’t this government remember what Wes Clark was saying about Iran – that it’s a multicultural country of 80 million people?
    Why is the State Dept and the MSM soooo myopic?

    We focus waaaaay too much on regime change, given that, as Colonel Andrew Bacevich says, we’ve been making things worse not better and “creating a mess”.

    (Bacevich discusses this during the talk and Q&A at the Pardee School of Boston University which is available on line)

  11. liam
    March 9, 2017 at 14:25

    There are so many lies and such utter deception going on now, that it has become completely absurd and ridiculous, yet the Deep State marches on with their false narratives and incessant propaganda. To this fact, people are waking up.

    Link to two very important reveals dealing with these issues:

    Massive White Helmets Photo Cache Proves Hollywood Gave Oscar to Terrorist Group

    Examining the Bizarre Facebook Page of the Snopes ‘Fact-Checker’ of the White Helmets Terrorist Ruse in Syria

    Thank you Mr. Parry and the amazing Consortium News team for bringing the truth to light and being a true beacon of hope in the darkness that has taken over the media of the USA.

    • Bill Bodden
      March 9, 2017 at 16:57

      Very interesting website. Thank you for the link, liam

  12. Monte George Jr.
    March 9, 2017 at 13:55

    The Top Three Biggest Lies Ever Told:

    1. The check is in the mail.
    2. A land without a people for a people without a land.
    3. Iran is a sponsor of terrorism.

    • as usmb
      March 18, 2017 at 11:59

      4. All Jews are “Holocaust survivors”
      5. Iran intends to “wipe Israel off the map”
      6. “Iran will have a nuke in 6 months.” (Bibi, 1992, 1998,…)
      7. [Name of Arab leader] is a “madman”, “kills his own people”
      8. “Nineteen Arabs” did 9/11
      9. We’re “not wittingly” spying on Americans

  13. Ryan Reisner
    March 9, 2017 at 12:47

    I just read through the Worldwide Threat Assessment of 2016 and it calls Iran a sponser of terrorism.

    • Bill Bodden
      March 9, 2017 at 13:52

      I just read through the Worldwide Threat Assessment of 2016 and it calls Iran a sponser of terrorism.

      What did this assessment have to say about the United States as a sponsor of terrorism?

    • David
      March 10, 2017 at 13:57

      When it comes to Iran, the credibility of the 2016 US Intelligence Worldwide Threat Assessment is highly questionable give the fact that Iran has effectively diminished US interference in the Middle East.

  14. March 9, 2017 at 12:44

    Israel’s and America’s interests are exactly identical in every detail. Israel is America’s closest ally, with no room for even a tiny beam of light to squeeze between them.

    Israeli President Netanyahu says that Iran is an existential threat.

    Let us recall what a Pentagon official said: there are worse things than war.

    Therefore America must attack Iran and set up a popular, democratic, pro-Israel regime. This logic is air-tight.

    • Bill Bodden
      March 9, 2017 at 16:51

      Israel’s and America’s interests are exactly identical in every detail. Israel is America’s closest ally, with no room for even a tiny beam of light to squeeze between them.

      When the Israeli puppeteer is jerking on the tail that wags the American dog there is lots of space between the dog and the puppeteer.

      Israeli President Netanyahu says that Iran is an existential threat.

      Netanyahoo has been crying “wolf” for years, and some Americans are gradually coming to their senses and seeing through his warmongering.

      Let us recall what a Pentagon official said: there are worse things than war.

      There is nothing better than peace – providing you’re not a psychotic warmonger or invested in the arms production business.

      Therefore America must attack Iran and set up a popular, democratic, pro-Israel regime. This logic is air-tight.

      If you get your head “out” and pay attention for a change to honest people who know what they are talking about a war against Iran will be much worse than the war on Iraq. America would do better establishing a democracy in the United States instead of having its craven politicians selling their souls to the Israel and other lobbies.

      • geoff
        March 9, 2017 at 18:42

        thank you. essentially the u.s. has no credibility. the u.s. population is subject to great efforts of propaganda and this is why misguided cretins must revert their logic to the necessity of war.

      • MEexpert
        March 11, 2017 at 05:37

        “America would do better establishing a democracy in the United States instead of having its craven politicians selling their souls to the Israel and other lobbies.” Indeed!

        Well said, Bill.

      • eastman
        March 19, 2017 at 11:27

        well said thank you. Robert is a moron ignoramus sheep

    • David
      March 9, 2017 at 20:36

      Israel is not an “ally” of America. It is America’s number one geopolitical liability, a millstone around its neck that has wielded enormous financial power by funding campaigns within America’s political system. The good new is that regardless of who is president and what party runs Washington, Israel’s free ride is coming to an end.

      • March 10, 2017 at 14:37

        The millstone analogy is good, but the Euhaplorchis californiensis analogy serves well also. Euhaplorchis infects horn snails, and feeds on them for several generations. Once the snail is consumed, Euhaplorchis infects killifish, taking control of their brain causing it to splash and surface, where it is more likely to be eaten by shorebirds. A bird eats the fish, Euhaplorchis then travels in the bird’s gut to another feeding location through the birds droppings.

  15. Bill Bodden
    March 9, 2017 at 12:44

    But Mattis’s claim is sophistry. It does not follow that because ISIS has not attacked Iran’s territory that Iran doesn’t consider ISIS an enemy and vice versa. Iranian forces and Islamic State militants have clearly clashed inside Syria where Iran has provided military support for the government.

    And, General “Mad Dog” Mattis is supposed to be a soldier-scholar?

    • nexusxyz
      March 10, 2017 at 01:14

      He is what passes for scholar in the US. Anywhere else not so much.

    • MEexpert
      March 11, 2017 at 05:34

      What about Israel? ISIS has not attacked Israel and it is indeed a fact that Israel has been treating the wounded ISIS fighters in Syria and sending them back to fight.

    • March 11, 2017 at 15:32

      And under the legal doctrine of “command responsibility”, Mattis should properly be held a war criminal for what occurred in Falluja, Iraq.

  16. Bill Bodden
    March 9, 2017 at 12:39

    General Mattis has said “the expectation” is “that Iran will cheat.”

    That is really unmitigated gall. The United States has been reneging on agreements ever since it broke its first treaty with Native Americans and hasn’t stopped since. With the war on Iraq the United State shredded the United Nations Charter, Geneva Conventions, and the U.S. Constitution. If anyone violates the new treaty with Iran it will be the United States.

    • March 11, 2017 at 16:22

      Nicely put. The irony is that we’ve lost most of our own civil rights as a result of NSA’s response to the blow back that has occurred in response to our own, highly illegal, post-911 acts of aggression in the Middle East — including genocide within our own past, cradle of civilization.

  17. arab
    March 9, 2017 at 12:35

    fuck you

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      March 9, 2017 at 17:50

      I don’t need to listen to a warmonger against Iran. And capitalize the word “Arab”.

      • David
        March 9, 2017 at 20:30

        He/she is not an Arab. The “Arab street” supports Iran and Hezbollah and views the Arab “leaders” with disdain.

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