How Trump’s Iran Decision Invites War

By decertifying the Iran-nuke deal, President Trump opts for another Mideast war of choice, but war on Iran is really the choice of Israel and Saudi Arabia wanting the U.S. to do the killing and dying, as Trita Parsi explains.

By Trita Parsi

Make no mistake: We do not have a crisis over the Iran nuclear deal. It is working and everyone from Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to the U.S. and Israeli intelligence services to the International Atomic Energy Agency agree: Iran is adhering to the deal.

President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel at the United Nations General Assembly (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

But President Trump is about to take a working deal and turn it into a crisis – an international crisis that very likely can lead to war. While the decertification of the Iran deal that Trump is scheduled to announce on Friday in and of itself doesn’t collapse the deal, it does trigger a process that increases the risk of war in the following five ways.

  1. If the deal collapses, so do the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program

The nuclear deal, or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) took two very bad scenarios off the table: It blocked all of Iran’s paths to a nuclear bomb and it prevented war with Iran. By killing the deal, Trump is putting both of those bad scenarios back on the table.

As I describe in my book Losing an Enemy – Obama, Iran and the triumph of Diplomacy, it was the very real danger of a military conflict that drove the Barack Obama administration to become so dedicated to find a diplomatic solution to this crisis. In January 2012, then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stated publicly that Iran’s breakout – the time it would take from making the decision to build the bomb to having the material for a bomb – was 12 months. In spite of massive sanctions on Iran aimed at both retarding the nuclear program and convincing the Iranians that the nuclear program was too costly to continue, the Iranians aggressively expanded their nuclear activities.

By January 2013, exactly a year later, a new sense of urgency dawned on the White House. Iran’s breakout time had shrunk from 12 months to a mere 8-12 weeks. If Iran decided to dash for a bomb, the United States might not have enough time to stop Tehran militarily.

According to former CIA deputy director Michael Morell, Iran’s shrinking breakout time caused the U.S. to be “closer to war with the Islamic Republic than at any time since 1979.” Other countries realized the danger as well. “The actual threat of military action was almost felt as electricity in the air before a thunderstorm,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told me.

If nothing changed, President Obama concluded, the U.S. would soon face a binary option: Either go to war with Iran (due to pressure from Israel, Saudi Arabia and some elements inside the U.S.) to stop its nuclear program or acquiesce to Iran’s nuclear fait accompli. The only way out of this lose-lose situation was a diplomatic solution. Three months later, the U.S. and Iran held a pivotal secret meeting in Oman where the Obama administration managed to secure a diplomatic breakthrough that paved the way for the JCPOA.

The deal prevented war. Killing the deal prevents the peace. If Trump collapses the deal and the Iranians restart their program, the U.S. will soon find itself facing the same dilemma that Obama did in 2013. The difference is that the President is now Donald Trump, a man who doesn’t even know how to spell diplomacy, let alone conduct it.

  1. Trump is planning to take on the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps

Decertification is only half the story. Trump also plans to significantly escalate tensions with Iran in the region, including taking a measure that both the Bush and Obama administrations rejected: Designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization. Make no mistake, the IRGC is far from an army of saints. It is responsible for much of the repression against the population inside of Iran and it fought the U.S. military indirectly in Iraq through Shia militias. But it has also been one of the most critical fighting forces against ISIS.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on March 3, 2015, in opposition to President Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran. (Screen shot from CNN broadcast)

In real terms, the designation does not add much to the pressure the U.S. already is or can impose on the IRGC. But it ratchets things up in a very dangerous way without any clear benefits to the United States. The drawbacks, however, are crystal clear.

IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari issued a stern warning last week: “If the news is correct about the stupidity of the American government in considering the Revolutionary Guards a terrorist group, then the Revolutionary Guards will consider the American army to be like Islamic State [ISIS] all around the world.” If the IRGC acts on its warning and targets U.S. troops – and there are 10,000 such targets in Iraq – we will only be a few steps away from war.

  1. Trump is escalating without having any exit-ramps

Escalation is under all circumstances a dangerous game. But it is particularly dangerous when you do not have diplomatic channels that ensure that the other side reads your signals correctly and that provide mechanisms for de-escalation. Not having such exit-ramps is like driving a car without a brake. You can accelerate, you can crash, but you can’t brake.

Military commanders understand this. That’s what former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen warned about prior to the Obama administration investing in diplomacy. “We’ve not had a direct link of communication with Iran since 1979,” Mullen said. “And I think that has planted many seeds for miscalculation. When you miscalculate, you can escalate and misunderstand… We are not talking to Iran, so we don’t understand each other. If something happens, it’s virtually assured that we won’t get it right — that there will be miscalculation which would be extremely dangerous in that part of the world.”

Mullen issued this warning when Obama was president, a man often criticized for being too restrained and too unwilling to use military power. Imagine how nervous and worried Mullen must be today with Trump calling the shots in the situation room.

  1. Some U.S. allies want the U.S. to fight their war with Iran

There is no secret that Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been pushing the U.S. for years to go to war with Iran. Israel in particular was not only making threats of preemptive military action itself, its ultimate aim was to convince the United States to conduct the attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities for Israel.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaking to the AIPAC conference in Washington D.C. on March 21, 2016. (Photo credit: AIPAC)

“The intention,” former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak admitted to the Israeli paper Ynet in July of this year, “was both to make the Americans increase sanctions and to carry out the operation.”

While the Israeli security establishment today opposes killing the nuclear deal (Barak himself said as much in an interview with the New York Times this week), there are no indications that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has changed his mind on this matter. He has called on Trump to “fix or nix” the deal, though his criteria for how to fix the deal is so unrealistic it virtually ensures the deal will collapse – which in turn would put the U.S. on a path to war with Iran.

The only person who arguably has a worse sense of judgment than Trump is Netanyahu. After all, this is what he told U.S. lawmakers in 2002 as he lobbied them to invade Iraq: ”If you take out Saddam, Saddam’s regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region.”

  1. Trump’s donors are obsessed with starting war with Iran

Some have suggested that Trump is pursuing the decertification of the Iran deal – in spite of the near consensus advice of his top advisors to not go down this path – as a result of pressure from his base. But there is no evidence that his base cares much about this issue.

Rather, as Eli Clifton meticulously had documented, the most dedicated force behind Trump’s obsession with killing the Iran deal is not his base, but a tiny group of top Republican donors. “A small number of his biggest campaign and legal defense donors have made extreme comments about Iran and, in at least one case, advocated for the use of a nuclear weapon against the Islamic Republic,” Clifton wrote last month.

The billionaire Home Depot founder Bernard Marcus, for instance, has given Trump $101,700 to help pay Trump and Donald Trump Jr.’s legal fees following the probe into Russian election interference. Hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer is another major donor to pro-war groups in Washington who Trump has relied upon for financial support. The most famous billionaire donor, of course, is Sheldon Adelson who has contributed $35 million to pro-Trump Super PAC Future 45. All of these donors have pushed for war with Iran, though only Adelson has gone as far as to suggest the U.S. should strike Iran with nuclear weapons as a negotiating tactic.

Thus far, Trump has gone with the advice of these billionaires on Iran over that of his Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff.

None of the above five scenarios were realistic a few months ago. They have become plausible – even likely – because Trump has decided to make them so. Just like with George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, Trump’s confrontation with Iran is a war of choice, not a war of necessity.

Trita Parsi is President of the National Iranian American Council and author of Losing an Enemy – Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy. [This article first appeared at

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/5-reasons-why-trump-is-moving-towards-war-with-iran_us_59df6f8de4b0fdad73b27711?section=us_contributor]

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67 comments for “How Trump’s Iran Decision Invites War

  1. Northern Observer
    October 12, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Idiots. Proof the too much money and an incomplete education go ill together. How fast does America want to fall? Pretty damned fast it seems.

    • anon
      October 12, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      True, but the base problem of the US is corruption of elections and mass media by money. The oligarchy is pleased by murder until it raises taxes or causes rebellions close to home. Their international decline may be fairly soon, but history may show their domestic containment awaiting militia attacks upon gated communities, and rebellions in the police and national guard, denying enforcement. The sooner the better.

  2. Ames Gilbert
    October 12, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    A quick search shows that Bernard Marcus, Sheldon Adelson, and Paul Singer were born to Jewish families. Whether they practice their religion or not, I have no idea. Whether they hold Israeli passports or not, I have no idea. But they certainly and incontrovertibly support the interests of Israel far above the interests of the U.S.A. and their fellow US citizens.

    • anon
      October 12, 2017 at 6:43 pm

      Yes, the corrupt US politicians overthrew democracy in Iran in 1953 for oligarchy bribes, and have zionist bribes to attack Iran now. At the same time the US was murdering two million NK innocents for the right wing. It would be very fitting that the US suffer severe consequences from either or both victims.

  3. mike k
    October 12, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Trump imagines himself the smartest person in the world, and deeply wants everybody to worship him. Using the military is his way of making everyone acknowledge that he is the most powerful man in the world. He must show the world that he will make others obey his rulership by threatening military consequences against any who dare disobey him. Those who openly defy him like Kim Jong Un are triggering him to violent retaliation. His boast of making a rocket attack on Syria, while he was having chocolate cake with the President of China, showed how important it is for him to show his muscle. He was like one Mafia Don bragging to another about a hit he had ordered. Donald Trump is a cheap, cowardly thug.

    • Annie
      October 12, 2017 at 7:45 pm

      Why go on a rant about Trump when he is not acting alone in desiring to undo the Iran deal? “There’s a whole parade of horribles out there who are involved.” That last line was a quote from another Trita Parsi article that was picked up by the Huffington Post, in March of this year and was titled “Trump Didn’t Start The Anti-Iranian Fire”

      • mark
        October 14, 2017 at 5:07 pm

        Annie
        Very true.
        I don’t particularly like Trump, but Clinton threatened to “obliterate” Iran.
        If the election had gone the other way, we would be in exactly the same situation.
        I don’t think it would have made any difference at all.
        All the other elements of the Deep State want to attack Iran.
        The Neocons, superannuated generals (who have Trump’s delegated authority to do whatever they want), the Israel lobby, the Saudi lobby, the MIC, all cheered on by the MSM who start creaming their pants as soon as the bombs start falling.

    • Annie
      October 12, 2017 at 7:47 pm

      I should have added she makes the same claims in this article.

      • David G
        October 13, 2017 at 4:54 am

        Trita is a he.

        • Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
          October 13, 2017 at 12:53 pm

          You made me laugh….I know it is a he but the name sounds very much like a female….”T-r-i-t-a” does that sound like a masculine name to you?! See how much the West and the East are different?!

    • John the Ba'thist
      October 14, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      It wasn’t chocolate cake; it was chawclit. Listen again…”beautiful chawklit cake”.Cheap shot, I know. Feel free to ridicule my accent, y’all.

  4. jaycee
    October 12, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Iran’s nuclear “ambition” seems to have been as much a manufactured fake news story as Russian meddling. There has been no proof or positive indication Iran seeks or sought to develop nuclear weapons. The constant claim that the existing agreement is all that prevents such (nonexistent) intentions is a misdirection. That such onerous terms were subjected to a nuclear program that Iran had every right to engage, while Israel was allowed to continue outside international protocol was foolish and one-sided.

    A deal brokered by Turkey and Brazil to keep Iran’s enriched fuel out of country was scotched by the Obama administration long before the current treaty was negotiated. Iran policy evolved clumsily over the course of that administration, despite the fashionable revisionism exhibited in this article. Regime-change remained the goal, although the negotiated agreement moved the goalposts far down field – perhaps to see through regime-change in Libya/Syria. Now that the latter project has been stalled, a sort of war panic amongst the truest believers has arisen.

    The terms of the game has changed now. Threats of saction and isolation may well leave the US as the sanctioned isolated player.

    • Sam F
      October 12, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      Yes, the US may before long be widely sanctioned by trading partners and OPEC, and forced to cut back its military. Russia could calm the Mideast by simply announcing a nuclear counterstrike treaty with Iran targeting Israel in case of any nuclear attack involving the US or Israel; then it could arm Iran, Syria, and Lebanon to destroy any conventional attack from Israel. Jordan might join, as it’s population does not support the US presence, and Qatar could evict the US command center. Eventually Egypt, KSA and UAE might join, uniting Sunni and Shiite to force a re-partition of Palestine. The US would still have to buy their oil, and demand elsewhere is rising.

    • lydia anstiss
      October 13, 2017 at 3:02 am

      This is true, The USA is now in danger of becoming the world’s pariah, the bully and threat to peace, development and stability. Why should anyone look to the USA for inspiration nowadays?

    • David G
      October 13, 2017 at 5:09 am

      Excellent points, jaycee!

      Beyond there being no proof of an active Iranian nuclear weapons program prior to the current agreement, the 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate affirmatively concluded such a program did *not* presently exist. That really stuck in Bush’s craw.

      And iirc, that 2010 Brazil/Turkey plan to swap out enriched fuel had actually been *proposed* by the U.S. and friends. Only when it looked like it was actually going to happen did Obama and Clinton come out against it. Bluff called.

  5. Joe Tedesky
    October 12, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Well after reading this fine article by Trita Parsi I think it time I break out the Brookings Institutes Path to Persia game plan once again, and do some reading. If I recall correctly there were contingency plans for a variety of situations concerning Iran. The one was to make an offer that Iran could not refuse, but to make it that Iran will refuse the deal over some matter or concern they would have with the U.S. offer, and with that that’s the key to the U.S. starting some trouble. Then once Iran drags it’s feet, or turns the offer down, then that is when the war begins.

    Now, could Trump be doing a reverse of that little gimmick to make an offer with a good deal, and replace it with a denial of working with Iran on a cooperative basis, and upon Iran’s dismay this will be enough to accuse Iran of not cooperating with the conditions of the decertification that the U.S. is making, and then we are off to war with Iran? In other words decertify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement, and then wait for Iran’s reaction, which no doubt won’t be a good one, and then start the war over Iran’s sour reaction.

    What is interesting, is once again there is Israel and we find the U.S. is working against it’s own U.S. interest when it comes to diplomacy in the Middle East. I mean for a country like the U.S., who prides itself on it’s doing tons of business like no other civilization ever did before it, then why isn’t the U.S. excited about doing business with the newly unsanctioned Iran? Boeing is forced to deny taking an order from Iran for over 100 passenger planes, all because Senators who are on AIPAC’s payroll don’t like it, or the truth be told Israel doesn’t like it.

    Also, someone please tell President Trump that this money that he claims we are giving to Iran, is Iran’s own money which was embargoed and put in a kind of escrow account to be held until Iran certified it was not building nuclear weapons. This whole affair stinks to high heaven, and the American public has had the wool pulled over it’s eyes on many things when it comes to Israel, but this plan of decertification is truly the worst lie so far that fly’s in the face of every American man, woman, and child, and hey let’s throw in the family dog for the pup needs a place to feel safe in as well as it’s owner does.

    • Sam F
      October 12, 2017 at 8:30 pm

      We can hope that Iran will ignore a US “decertification” of JCPOA and continue to comply with inspections, as this gives the US no excuses and exposes its lies. The admin has pressured the CIA to claim some confidence in Iran noncompliance, a public test of their honesty, as they are not the inspectors. Americans begin to see the corruption by Israel, the only nuclear troublemaker in the Mideast. The US may only discredit itself further and expose the corruption of its government and mass media by Israel.

      • D.H. Fabian
        October 12, 2017 at 8:42 pm

        No, our “liberal bourgeoisie” are just going into overdrive to blame Russia/Israel (depending on the issue) for the consequences of American choices. They have also built a solid record of being wrong on issue after issue — especially since “Russia stole the election” from that “bold progressive,” Hillary Clinton.

        • Sam F
          October 12, 2017 at 9:14 pm

          Some truth there, but not clear relative to my comment and the JCPOA issue, and few liberals publicly blame Israel.

        • Joe Tedesky
          October 12, 2017 at 10:30 pm

          It’s a simple equation to be made, Israel deserves a lot of praise for being able to gain so much influence over the U.S. Government for all of what Israel has accomplished by doing so. On the other hand the U.S. is to be soundly spanked for giving so much blood and treasure away for America’s obedience to accept such bribe. So in a very real sense Israel whether for the right or wrong of it, is doing what it needs to do to serve its nation’s interest, whereas the U.S. has done everything possible to give it all away, and to deny its self interest the benefit of what it could have attained. But I ask you who is at the heart of all this trouble in the Middle East, the rabid dog or the dog’s owner?

          The only right answer is yours D.H. Fabian, and great to read your comments here. Joe

          • Annie
            October 13, 2017 at 1:22 am

            I really don’t know how you can make that kind of assessment. I certainly don’t think Israel deserves a pat on the back for being able to manipulate many in our government who are willing for money and votes to become her whore, I give Israel no pat on the back because she is able to manipulate the media to the point that anyone who criticizes Israel could loose their job, as Phllip Giraldi did. Is Israel serving it’s nation when it is a racist, non-democratic state? Is Israel serving it’s people by allowing them to rob and plunder the people of the West Bank, or keep those in Gaza virtual prisoners, as well as periodically attacking them, killing innocent men women and children? Would you give the British a pat on the back for creating an apartheid state in South Africa?

          • Joe Tedesky
            October 13, 2017 at 8:22 am

            Annie slow down. This is why I’m not doing stand up, because my sarcasm doesn’t extend to the reader/listener.

            Annie I could not agree more, and what Israel has been doing to the Palestinian along with how Israel has hid behind the curtain pulling the strings of many an American politician for to long a time, is very evil.

            I’m praising Israel for it’s selfishness, and of what a good job it has done for itself, and no others. Sorry if I offended you. My intention of praise for the land robbers, was like praising John Wilkes Booth for a speedy get away, and blaming Lincoln for going to the theater. And yes I am another out of work comedian. Joe

          • Annie
            October 13, 2017 at 11:37 am

            Okay, but I can really understand why your comedic days are over. It is really people like Miko Peled who have the best interest of their country at heart, and deserves praise.

          • Sam F
            October 13, 2017 at 12:28 pm

            I knew that Joe was joking, but at first it surprised me!

          • Joe Tedesky
            October 13, 2017 at 3:05 pm

            Annie I’ll try to do better in the future, but you and I do agree, and Peled is someone worth supporting. To further explain myself though, I meant that Israel did itself well by cajoling the heck out of our American flunky’s who hold office. In other words Israel takes care of Israel, and not America. I hope you catch my drift, but you made a good point, and I’ll watch how I phase these comments in the future, because I don’t want anyone to misunderstand my point to be made. Joe

          • Realist
            October 13, 2017 at 5:55 pm

            The best I can figure is that Donald ben Yahoo is trying to set up his dual-citizen grandkids as players in the Israeli Dynasty that really calls all the shots for its vassal state in Washington. Bite my tuchus if that offends the anti-Americans out there.

          • Joe Tedesky
            October 13, 2017 at 7:53 pm

            Realist I never thought of that, Trump paving the way for his Zionist grandchildren, but that would be motive for sure. Joe

          • mark
            October 14, 2017 at 5:50 pm

            Which is the dog and which is the owner?
            Who is in charge?
            The US is just Israel’s bitch.

        • Zachary Smith
          October 12, 2017 at 10:39 pm

          I couldn’t help noticing the fake linkage between Russian and Israel, so I looked up some of this person’s other posts.

          The anti-Israel claims of today’s liberal bourgeoisie just don’t add up when we include the fact that the US is one of the top three providers of weapons to the surrounding Arab states, some of which seek to establish a 100% “pure” Moslem Mideast, eradicating the Jews.

          “anti-Israel” words and deeds by the dirty hippies. These evil people want to eradicate the Jews!!

          The second quickest way is point out how the trendy anti-Israel propaganda is contradicted by the facts.

          I’m sure our new propagandist for the murderous and thieving little cesspool of an apartheid nation state will be providing those “facts” real soon.

          • mark
            October 14, 2017 at 5:47 pm

            This is a standard recent hasbara talking point.
            How can the Israel Lobby really be all that powerful in the US? After all, the US sells hundreds of billions of arms to Saudi Arabia, and this is a terrible danger to Israel. Israel can’t be all that powerful, or they would stop these arms sales.

            1. Israel has a complete veto over all arms sales to Arab states. It only allows them to go ahead provided it gets a huge pay off, either in free weapons of superior quality, or billions in extra cash, or both. Israel banned US arms sales of aircraft and anti aircraft weapons to Jordan until Jordan was on the verge of obtaining replacements from Russia.
            2. Saudi Arabia buys arms for two reasons. (a) To keep Uncle Sam happy. (b) To provide colossal amounts of graft for Saudi princes. I had a very small involvement in the UK Yamamah £80 billion arms deal to S. Arabia in the 1980s. At least £20-40 billion of this went in bribes and graft. Bandar got £1,000 million. Mark Thatcher was a bottom feeder by comparison – he got £40 million. Tornado bombers, which cost £12 million then, were put through the books at £25 million to cover the bribe money.
            3. None of this equipment is of any use whatsoever, except perhaps bombing schools and hospitals in Yemen. All S. Arabian aircraft had to be grounded for a time for fear that some prince was going to bomb the palace. Hundreds of tanks are just parked in the desert and left to rust. The Saudi dictatorship can’t trust its own people – all its troops are Pakistani mercenaries. Some time ago a Saudi religious nutter gathered some armed fanatics around him and took over the Holy Places in Mecca. The Saudi armed forces were completely incapable of doing anything about it – they had to bring in French special forces to get them out.

            None of these arms sales represent the slightest danger to Israel. So far as Israel is concerned, they might as well have been getting water pistols or BB guns.

        • Curious
          October 13, 2017 at 4:23 pm

          D.H.F,
          The term “liberal bourgeoisie” must be a new vernacular ‘buzz word label’ for something you don’t understand. Let me be more clear here. The article, with the help of Abe, explains the nuclear weapons undeclared by Israel. They are not piece and parcel of any international agreement and simply pretend they don’t have them. Oh, poor, poor Israel. Israel far exceeds the rebellious nature of NK by megatons. Add in their biological wmd to the mix and we are talking about two very different levels of weapons regarding Israel and the surrounding countries. You say the US is one of the top three providers of weapons to the surrounding Arab States, but is the US providing nuclear weapons to any surrounding countries?
          And while you’re trying to figure out what the heck a liberal bourgeoisie is, also try and delve into the intricacies of Persia, Shia, and the large Sunni contingent. Not all have talked of eradicating Israel, so painting them all with the same ‘consevative proletariate brush’ (like you?) is just dumbing down the discussion. A more productive discussion would be why is Israel the only country in the world which has not declared their nuclear arsenal? Nor have they declared, or have even tried to eradicate their biological WMD. I await your aristocratic reply.

          • John the Ba'thist
            October 14, 2017 at 1:16 pm

            Prime Minister probably declared her nuclear weapons to President Sadat most emphatically on October 9, 1973, and that’s what counts in the world of brinkmanship. It’s the story I heard, anyway.

        • mark
          October 14, 2017 at 5:56 pm

          The “liberal bourgeoisie” never utter a word against Israel.
          Russia, yes.
          Israel, no.

      • Joe Tedesky
        October 12, 2017 at 10:17 pm

        Sam I can only wish that the American public sees through this Israeli American Neo infested deception, and that U.S. citizens make enough noise to extinguish the flames of war, if these war igniting pyromaniacs continue on their way. Iran would be disappointing these warmongers if they were to ignore these deliberate acts of intimidation by the U.S. as prompted by Israel, and that would mean Iran takes a page out of Putin’s playbook. If Iran can duplicate Putin’s strategy of keeping their eyes focused on what’s ahead, and not be distracted by the loud sounds of their rivals Israel and the U.S., then yes Iran may avoid an invasion. Although remember Sam there are some pretty comprehensive thinkers over there at a Brookings, and their ultimate goal, is to take down this Iranian Government there is now in power.

        Remember this, that the First Battle of Bull Run or under that battles other name Battle of First Manassas, was suppose to be a picnic outing to be enjoyed by the curious public, and you may recall how that piece of cake walk worked out. With that as a visual, then just imagine what waits for all of us if war with Iran is pursued.

        Enjoy reading all your comments Sam. Joe

        • Joe Tedesky
          October 12, 2017 at 11:01 pm

          Here is Presstv’s Iranian news reporting on Germany’s discontent with Trump’s talk of decertification.

          http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/10/13/538414/Germany-Gabriel-US-Trump-Iran-nuclear-deal-JCPOA

          Something interesting to chew on.

        • Sam F
          October 13, 2017 at 8:07 pm

          Thanks, the article is a bit surprising, quoting German FM Gabriel “We also have to tell the Americans that their behavior on the Iran issue will drive us Europeans into a common position with Russia and China against the USA.”

          A US attack on Iran seems likely be taken as an attack on Syria by Russia and Iraq, and may unify them all against the US. If the US makes raids for Israel/KSA, Trump will likely lose most of his supporters, who wanted the Mideast wars to end.

          • Joe Tedesky
            October 13, 2017 at 11:10 pm

            Yeah Sam the outcomes for the U.S. aren’t that good. Joe

          • mark
            October 14, 2017 at 5:22 pm

            Yes, but the American sheeple don’t matter. They never have.

  6. D.H. Fabian
    October 12, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    It’s really not so complicated. The Arab states have oil, Americans demand oil. High prices and long lines at the gas pumps can gravely damage the careers of US politicians. This is why US wars in the Mideast will continue.

    • anon
      October 12, 2017 at 9:56 pm

      Nonsense, the US can buy oil from anyone at the same price as everyone else, and if it wished to steal oil, would attack KSA. Didn’t work in Iraq. A zionist, perhaps formerly WC?

      • Dave P.
        October 12, 2017 at 10:41 pm

        anon – Yes, I agree. The oil is not that much of an issue here in pursuing these Wars. It is the pursuit of wider agenda of ZioNeocons of “Full Spectrum Dominance” – to rule the whole World. Very ambitious agenda, indeed.

        • Paranam Kid
          October 13, 2017 at 6:46 am

          But so true.

      • Antares
        October 13, 2017 at 2:49 am

        No, the oil needs to be sold in dollars because that is the only currency that your government can print.

        • Sam F
          October 13, 2017 at 5:28 am

          No, DHF/Antares, the oil can be sold to others, and the US can get other currency if it must; the petrodollar excuse appears to be a zionist fabrication.

          • Antares
            October 13, 2017 at 1:34 pm

            “appears”? That sounds like nothing more than a wild suggestion. Without the petrodollar the dollar will lose any value and cannot be traded to any currency without coercion.

          • Sam F
            October 13, 2017 at 7:38 pm

            No one else has that currency problem. Currency is freely traded. Perhaps the currencies of the largest trading nations are a bit easier to trade. Can you think of a reason why no one would trade dollars for petroyuan or petrorubles? After all, suppliers have to sell the oil too. Without good evidence, no argument.

        • Paranam Kid
          October 13, 2017 at 6:46 am

          Yes, but does not define the region where the oil needs to come from.

        • Yvonne
          October 14, 2017 at 12:11 pm

          Iran is not using petro dollars, nor is Russia. At risk is the petro dollar. So I don’t believe it’s necessarily about oil but about the currency being used to buy and sell it.

      • Realist
        October 13, 2017 at 6:34 pm

        Moreover, American corporations have enough domestic oil to frack for decades to come. That would come at higher prices than international oil, but the powers in Washington would rather spend even more money on armaments with which to steal oil (“via regime change”) from places like Venezuela, Iran, Iraq and whoever else is on their shit list. Of course, oil, like money, is fungible so the actual liquid per se might not end up in your American gas tank, but we’d control its eventual destination and sales price. Just part of full spectrum dominance which the world can learn to like or lump.

    • Zachary Smith
      October 12, 2017 at 10:41 pm

      It’s not “wage the dog” by God’s Favorite People! No, look over there at those oil-soaked towel-heads!! They’re the guilty ones.

    • turk151
      October 13, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      The US pays Israel $38 Bn a year to be their scapegoat, you need to uphold your part of the bargain.

      • Abe
        October 15, 2017 at 2:31 pm

        In fact, in September 2016, the Obama administration finalized a $38 billion package of military aid for Israel over the next 10 years, the largest of its kind ever.

        Citing erroneous information is one of the primary propaganda strategies of both Conventional Hasbara (pro-Israel /pro-Zionist) and Inverted Hasbara (false flag “anti-Israel” / “anti-Zionist”) propagandists.

        Caution is advised when responding to “comments” from the Hasbara troll army.

  7. Aziz
    October 12, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Is it a coincidence that the three donors mentioned Marcus, Singer and Adelson are big Zionist Jews?

    • Zachary Smith
      October 12, 2017 at 10:46 pm

      It turns out the the list of Christian Zionists is a fairly large one too. They may not be as individually wealthy, but considering the influence they have with the End-Time protestants, they can swing a big “influence” bat too.

      h**ps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Zionism#Notable_proponents

  8. Wm. Boyce
    October 13, 2017 at 12:21 am

    Man, I’m sure glad that Hillary wasn’t elected, then we’d have someone really unstable in the WH, or, maybe we do now? What idiots vote in this country.

    • October 13, 2017 at 2:31 pm

      “Man, I’m sure glad that Hillary wasn’t elected, then we’d have someone really unstable in the WH…”

      Look, if Hillary had been elected we’d not be close to war with either North Korea or Iran. You are right in your sarcasm on that.

      But why?

      Because we’d be too busy with our war in Syria and fighting Russia there and the Ukraine to move on to the next nations on the NeoCon agenda: Iran and North Korea, before the ultimate prize of China. (They spelled this out 20 years ago.)

      Clinton definitely would go to war with Iran and North Korea if she didn’t destroy us with Syria, Ukraine, and Russia first.

    • Tannenhouser
      October 13, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      Wouldn’t matter. The country would still be in the same place. The only thing Hillary Democrats and Trump disagree on are who won the election and which country to threaten next.

  9. David G
    October 13, 2017 at 5:16 am

    One of the more troublingly persuasive things I have read on the likelihood of hot conflict between the U.S. and Iran.

    Glum thanks to Trita Parsi.

  10. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    October 13, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    I guess the lesson from the whole Iran Deal story is that the ISRAEL LOBBY never quits to try to use America to the last drop of American blood……………….and American $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ too……………………All America’s enemies need to do is wait and let the Israel Lobby destroy it…………………………(The Israel Lobby also includes the Corrupt Royal Families in the Oil-Rich Gulf and their corrupt military dictators around)…………

  11. mike k
    October 13, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    I hope all the War Making President Trump supporters are happy now. Or will it take a nuclear preemptive strike against North Korea to warm their hearts? This cowardly jerk is out to have fun with his war toys now – he thinks it makes him look tough. Any of those making alibis for this creep will doubtless find some way to justify their stupid votes, even sitting in the nuclear ashes of civilization.

  12. mike k
    October 13, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    The Republican and Democratic parties are really one party – the War Party. Anyone who votes for any candidate of either of these parties, is a War Lover. And by the way, we have plenty of those – they call themselves patriots. They worship the Military – that is their real God.

  13. mike k
    October 13, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Why are shows about the Mafia so popular? Because we are a nation of little secret Mafia worshipers. We love violence and power over others. We loved being able to do anything we want. We want to vent our accumulated rage and frustration on others. Our media pander to our secret desires.

  14. Abe
    October 13, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Clinton and Trump are highly paid by their leading donors to obsessed about starting war with Iran.

    As noted back in 2014 by journalist Alex Kane at Alternet, agents of a foreign government – Israel – openly declared their efforts to influence the U.S. presidential election:

    “Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban, two billionaires with right-wing, pro-Israel agendas, took the stage at the Israeli American Council’s inaugural conference in Washington, D.C. They fantasized about bombing Iran and about buying the New York Times because they said it’s biased against Israel. Both [went on to] to play an outsized role in the 2016 presidential elections by flooding the campaign with money to support their favored candidates. In a post-Citizens United world, Adelson and Saban are kings, and Israel will be the beneficiary of their largesse […]

    Saban and Adelson are on opposite ends of the mainstream (and narrow) political spectrum. Adelson is a casino mogul who bankrolled the 2012 presidential campaigns of GOP candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. Saban is in the entertainment business and is a major Democratic Party donor. But when it comes to U.S. foreign policy and Israel, Saban and Adelson take many of the the same positions, displaying an eagerness for war with Iran and a desire to keep the U.S. alliance with Israel rock-solid.

    “There’s no right or left when it comes to Israel,” Saban said in what news reports called a joking reference to the moguls’ seating positions at the conference where they spoke.

    But the quip was more than just a joke. It was a nod to how the Democratic and Republican parties are united in singing Israel’s praise, backing its military actions and voting to give the country $3.1 billion in U.S. military aid annually. […]

    Saban, an Israeli-American famous for producing the TV show Power Rangers, is currently the CEO of the Saban Capital Group, which invests in media companies around the world. A 2010 New Yorker profile of Saban by Connie Bruck paints a portrait of a man who is heavily influential, charming and hawkish. “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel,” he told the New York Times in 2004.

    At the the event with Adelson, Saban had a crude prescription for what Israel should do about Iran. “I would bomb the living daylights out of the sons of bitches.” The answer came during a discussion of what Saban would do if he were Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and thought a nuclear deal with Iran was a threat to Israel.

    His chosen candidate is Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic Party nomination in 2016. As Bruck reported in the New Yorker, Saban has given millions of dollars to the Clintons in the form of donations to Bill Clinton’s presidential library and the Clinton Global Initiative.

    Speaking about Clinton to the Washington Post at the conference, Saban said, “I have told her and everybody who’s asked me, ‘Whatever it takes, we’re going to be there…’ She would be a fantastic president for the United States, an incredible world leader and one under whom I believe — deeply — the relationship with the U.S. and Israel will be significantly reinforced.”

    Clinton has given backers like Saban ample reason for thinking of her as the perfect candidate for Israel. During the 2008 presidential election, Clinton was asked by ABC’s “Good Morning America” what she would do if Iran used a nuclear weapon on Israel. “In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them,” she said. This year, in an interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, she doubled down on her pro-Israel agenda. “If I were the prime minister of Israel, you’re damn right I would expect to have control over security [in the West Bank],” she said.

    GOP donor Adelson’s choice for who to back in the 2016 race is trickier. The leading GOP candidates include people like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, two politicians with divergent views on U.S. foreign policy, though Paul has been moving towards a more hawkish position in recent months. What is more clear is that Adelson’s impact, no matter who he backs, will be large. After the GOP losses in 2012, Adelson promised he would “double” his donations to the party. That means Adelson is prepared to spend as much as $300 million on Republican candidates.

    Adelson, who made his fortune in the casino business, is one of the richest people in the world. He has used his largesse to shower pro-Israel groups like the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Zionist Organization of America with millions of dollars. In 2012, it was Adelson who prolonged the GOP primary by boosting Newt Gingrich, who famously proclaimed, in line with Adelson’s views, that the Palestinian people were “invented,” that there is no such thing as a Palestinian nation. When Gingrich finally dropped out, Adelson gave $30 million to a pro-Mitt Romney super-PAC.

    His influence in the Republican Party was made clear in March of [2014]. Chris Christie and other potential presidential candidates flew out to speak to the Adelson-backed Republican Jewish Coalition. But Christie tripped up when he used the term ‘occupied territories’ to refer to the West Bank and Gaza. While the Palestinian territories are indeed under occupation–a term used even by the U.S. State Department–Adelson and his ilk reject that view. The audience at the RJC event in March was no fan of the “occupied” remark, and Christie later apologized to Adelson.

    “The casino mogul apparently believes Israel should hold onto the West Bank forever, even at the cost of democracy in the area. ‘I don’t think the Bible says anything about democracy,’ Adelson said on November 9. ‘God talked about all the good things in life. He didn’t talk about Israel remaining as a democratic state, otherwise Israel isn’t going to be a democratic state — so what?’

    “Adelson also said that the U.S. should ‘not just talk [with Iran]. I would take action.’ [In 2013], Adelson made waves when he suggested that President Obama should launch a nuclear weapon at Iran […] when it comes to Israel and Iran, the two candidates, backed by people like Saban and Adelson, will have many of the same prescriptions: ramp up pressure on Iran and back Israel no matter what. The only debate will be on how far to take those positions. Think of it as a battle between the Saban position of bombing the ‘sons of bitches’ vs. the Adelson position of nuking Iran.”

    https://www.alternet.org/meet-warmongering-billionaires-who-will-spend-fortune-influence-next-president

  15. david
    October 14, 2017 at 7:27 am

    a few other tid-bits some known and maybe some unknown?……1) Four fairly recent wars just outside Iran’s borders, twice in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria….. 2) US support of SADAM’S INVASION of Iran in Iran/Iraq war (Sadam used chemical weapons on Iran and no world condemnation)….. 3) The downing of Iran Flight 655 in July 1988 by the US Navy…… 4) 1953 overthrow of their democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh complements of the CIA’s Operation Ajax…….. 5) Multiple times sanctions place on Iran lead by the US……. 6) December 2011 US CIA Drone flying in Iran airspace then falls out of sky…… 7) 2010 Cyberattack called “Stuxnet” on Iran by Israel and the US……. 8) 2010 to 2012, Israeli Intelligence assassinates 5 Iranian scientist. Oct 2011, Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich supported “taking out [Iranian] scientists,” and presidential candidate Rick Santorum called the killings “A wonderful thing”…….. 9) Bush’s National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft pointed out in the 1999 book “A World Transformed”, co-authored with George H.W. Bush, when Rafsanjani personally facilitated the release of the Lebanon hostages in late 1991, the Bush administration “didn’t do anything.” Goodwill, as it turns out, did not beget goodwill (In other words, Bush welched on a promise to Iran, and there goes the trust)…… 10) Continued bad mouthing by the goons in the Trump administration…… 11) November 2001, Iran assisted the USA (via the 6+2 meeting at the UN) in the taking of Kabul with a plan of freeing up the Northern Alliance. Iran’s plan succeed for the US to take Kabul from Taliban. Then in a January 29th 2002 speech George W Bush labels Iran a part of the “Axis of Evil” thus worsening relations..….12) July 18th 2017, Iran is found to be certified by the US government to be COMPLIENT with the multination nuclear agreement, yet more sanctions are imposed on Iran by the USA. JCPOA, noting that “according to Article 29, the US is committed to refrain from any policy intended to affect ‘the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran.” Also, President Donald Trump is reported to dissuaded other foreign leaders from doing business with Iran at the 2017 G20 summit….. 13) The US has up to 42 military installations surrounding Iran (My count, I could be wrong). I provided a link for a map to verify, or do your own key wording: https://www.juancole.com/2012/02/ring-of-iranian-bases-threatens-us.html this does not count Israeli military or ships at sea in the area..…Yet they still cheer for US wrestlers when they came to Iran in Feb 2017 for a tournament. Now who are the real terrorists? (As I study this, the list keeps getting bigger and bigger)………….. May 2nd 2003, Iran, through the Swiss Ambassador, presents the US State Dept. with a “Roadmap” to mending Iran/US relations. Everything for both sides was on the table to be negotiated. US Top State Dept. officials decided not to reply (Ignored) to Iran’s offer to normalize relations.
    On March 14th, (2016) Iran announced that it will never pay the $10.5B that a U.S. court demanded it pay for the 9/11 attacks. The same Bill-Clinton-appointed judge who had ruled, on 29 September 2015, that Saudi Arabia has sovereign immunity for 9/11 and so can’t be sued for it, ruled recently, on March 9th that Iran doesn’t have sovereign immunity and fined Iran $10.5 billion to be paid to 9/11 victims and insurers; but, on March 14, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Iran won’t pay, because, as the Ministry’s spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari put it, “The ruling is ludicrous and absurd to the point that it makes a mockery of the principle of justice while [it] further tarnishes the US judiciary’s reputation.” Source: by Eric Zuesse March 16th 2016

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 14, 2017 at 11:39 am

      Comments like this one here david are worth copying and pasting to a document for future reference. I also believe, and I will reference the Brookings Institute Plan Path to Persia document, where if the Iranians screw up the JCPOA by our determination then the war is on, so could this have been the plan all along? Joe

  16. Robert Reissner
    October 14, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    In the past, how many countries has Iran used military action against?
    It was claimed that America’s CIA was instrumental in getting Pahlavi installed as the Shah of Iran.

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