Trump’s War Against Iran

An apparent coordination between Trump leaving the Iran deal and Israeli attacks on Iranian targets in Syria portend an attack on Iran itself, says Eric S. Margolis.

 By Eric S. Margolis

Israel attacked alleged Iranian military positions in Syria on Tuesday, just one hour after Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear deal with Tehran.   Are these big steps forward in the plan by Israel’s leader Benjamin Netanyahu and his ally Trump to provoke a major war with Iran?

The U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israel all recently suffered a stinging defeat in Syria. Their campaign to overthrow the Assad government in Damascus by using the rag-tag ISIS movement, and other jihadist wild men, was defeated by the Syrian Army, backed by Russian air power, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and some Iranian militia groups and army advisors. 

The alleged Iranian rocket barrage, supposedly in response to Tuesday’s attack, was directed at the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights that were illegally annexed and occupied after the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and are still held, legally, as part of Syria. Israel is very nervous about having world attention drawn to its continued occupation of the strategic Golan Heights from which Israeli heavy artillery can reach Damascus.

Israel now claims to have wiped out more than a score of Iranian positions in Syria.  As far as we can tell, these were minor logistics or communications facilities, not the backbone of a supposed Iranian offensive against Israel. Iran is in Syria at the invitation of the Syrian government.

Neocon Takeover Complete

But now that the Trump administration has fallen fully under the influence of the pro-war neocons, an attempt to overthrow the Iranian government appears highly likely, using both military intervention and intensified economic warfare. 

Iran has been under siege by the U.S. since the American/British installed shah was overthrown by a popular revolution in 1979. The CIA and Britain’s MI6 have mounted numerous attempts to oust the Islamic Republic and re-install a client ruler.

Ironically, the ‘democratic’ western powers – the U.S., Britain and France – rely on medieval monarchs and dictators to control the Mideast while democratic politicians and movements are ignored, suppressed or overthrown.  Iran, in spite of its many rigidities and failings, remains one of the region’s more democratic states.   Ask our Saudi or Kuwaiti allies when was the last time they held a real election?  

The failure of Western intelligence services to provoke serious uprisings in Iran (or Russia), means that the military option is increasingly tempting.   This probably means provoking military clashes with Iran in the Gulf leading to full-scale attacks on its nuclear infrastructure and industry.   U.S. warplanes and warships are actively probing Iran’s borders.  In addition, U.S. forces are getting ever more deeply involved in the Yemen War.

When the U.S. last considered a major attack on Iran during the Bush years, the Pentagon (which opposed the idea) estimated it would need 2,800 air strikes against Iran on Day One alone.   

Many of the same war party crowd that engineered the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq are now running the Trump administration.  Their goal is to cripple Iran and leave the Mideast to joint Saudi-Egyptian-Israeli control.       

Recall President George W. Bush’s assertion that once he had crushed Iraq the next targets of U.S. military intervention would be Lebanon, Syria, Iran and then Pakistan.

No Cake Walk

America controls the skies from Morocco to Afghanistan.  Iran is vulnerable to raids and small incursions but subjugating this large, mountainous nation of 80 million would be very difficult.

In fact, as an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander once told me, ‘let the Americans invade. They will break their teeth on Iran.’  Over-confidence, of course, but he had a point.  Fighting on the defensive in urban areas, Iran could offer fierce resistance. 

America’s imperial machine, like its British Imperial predecessor, likes small, easy wars against small, backwards nations.  Iran would be very different. 

As we have just seen with North Korea, Iran’s best survival strategy, short of security guarantees by Russia and China, would be to race to produce a small number of nuclear weapons to deter attacks by the U.S. and Israel.  Europe, which co-sponsored the Iran nuclear act and is now humiliated by Trump reneging on the deal, is too weak and disorganized to guarantee the pact and stand up to Washington.  This is too bad.  Now would have been a fine time for the EU to assert its independence from U.S. hegemony and begin building its own independent European military forces.

A version of this article first appeared on CommonDreams.Copyright  Eric S. Margolis 2018

Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist and book author. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, Times of London, the Wall Street Journal, the Khaleej Times, Lew Rockwell and other news sites in the Middle East and Asia.  He has appeared as an expert on foreign affairs on CNN, BBC, ABC, France 2, France 24, Al Jazeera, CTV, CBC, CCTV China His internet column is found at  www.ericmargolis.comHe is author of two best-selling books ”War at the Top of the World – The Struggle for Afghanistan and Asia” and “American Raj, How the U.S. Rules the Mideast”.


19 comments for “Trump’s War Against Iran

  1. anastasia
    May 16, 2018 at 10:26

    On the Iranian deal, the US performed it’s part – gave Iran billions of dollars. That was what Trump was complaining about during his campaign. He never said he would withdraw from it, merely saying that he would never have made the deal, and could have made a better deal. Having performed it’s part of the contract, there was nothing left for the US to do, except slowly lift its sanctions, if Iran complied. The only think left on the contract was for Iran to perform, and they were.

    Trump could not get the billions back, even if he withdrew, so what was the objective of withdrawing from the agreement? The only objective was to be able to impose more sanctions. How does the US benefit from that? How does anyone benefit from that. No one benefits except one country.

    • Skip Scott
      May 17, 2018 at 09:52


      I believe the billions “given” to Iran was actually Iran’s own money that had been frozen in western banks.

  2. Taras77
    May 13, 2018 at 23:27

    I tend to agree with the author of linked article-if anyone thinks that zionist regime change in Iran will not result also in regime change in Syria is smoking something stronger than anything commonly available:

  3. Glenn Goodman
    May 13, 2018 at 12:42

    Whatever happened to the warnings given some years back by Iran, that if Israel USA sttacked Iran the war would be fought in all three countries. They said they had 800 targets picked out in our country, which to the best of my recollection included military, infrastructure and mass civilian casualty. I have been unable to find any mention of this on the web, and no one seems to mention it. Does anyone know about the validity of this, or was it just a bad dream?

  4. Liam
    May 13, 2018 at 08:47

    I hope people realize now that Trump is a ruse and part of the Deep State. It was always all so that he could be placed in power for their next war in Iran.

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  5. Michael Morrissey
    May 13, 2018 at 07:17

    I don’t think it is likely to happen, but what if Iran pulled a Kim Jong-Un? Problem is of course they have no nuclear testing and development program to dismantle, and no estranged brothers reunite with. However, they do have Russia, China, and — hopefully — the EU on their side. This would require a huge over their shadow (as the Germans say), but it might be the best jiujitsu move against the US/Israeli military threat, which will obviously only increase if Iran goes in the other direction (of stepping up their nuclear program).
    Suppose Iran (after consulting Russia and China) made an offer the US and Israel could not refuse? That would involve, I think, two things. The first is supposedly already in the “deal” the US has now rejected, but there must be a way to make it undeniable that they have no nuclear weapons program. Secondly, they could formally forswear any intention to challenge the existence of the state of Israel.
    What would that cost them, in real terms? One might call it an “aggressive defense.” Sure there would be false flags, but an aggressive defense would be to not to retaliate militarily (as would be expected and desired) but to aggressively pursue the role of the “victim.”
    Then what? What if Israel and the US could be prevented in this way from provoking a Iranian military reaction that would “justify” a full-scale war?
    Would not then the economics of the situation take over? Is not Iran, especially combined with Russia and China, and with the EU, capable of competing successfully with the US — not to say of waging economic “war”?
    Furthermore, if this strategy were pursued openly, so that the dangers of false flag sabotage would be apparent to all, the effect of such sabotage might be minimized.
    This would require great restraint on the part of Iran, and Russia and China, but the wisdom of it would become obvious if it were pursued openly and energetically, since it would boil down to opposing insanity with sanity, opposing warmongering propaganda with facts and reason, opposing the pinhead neocons and other weasels currently in power in the various govts with the majority of the populations of all the countries involved.

  6. Chumpsky
    May 12, 2018 at 19:02

    As always, another brilliant and insightful piece by Eric Margolis, and Ted Snyder’s “eleven” lies of Trump are spot on.

    Europe’s leaders all come from the same elite financial and socioeconomic circles and political classes as those in the US. They are all educated in the same ivy league institutions and gain the same real-world experience in the same New York based firms. They are as predictable, gullible and manipulable as a herd of sheep–regardless of whatever nationality they claim. I expect nothing of any type of foreseeable pan-European unity to counter Israeli interests (via its US proxy lapdog).

    We are witnessing the last gasps of a desperate US empire that has sold its soul to the devil. Both political parties are guilty (pick your poison: campaign funds from Soros or Adelson/Koch). Furthermore, the 3Ms of Europe are no-shows as spending more than 2.5% of GDP on military would be political suicide to their subsidized and expectant citizens. So, expect nothing to come from them in terms of offering some type of deterrent to the neocons and Likudniks who are wagging the tail of the US empire and eating its lunch.

    The EU has outlived its usefulness as it is beginning to fracture along sovereign nation and cultural lines. So has NATO. So has the US Dollar as the World’s reserve currency. Times are a changing…

    • mike k
      May 12, 2018 at 19:18

      Although I am never one to pooh pooh pessimism, I resist the idea that there is no way out of the situation developing around Iran. We may not choose the obvious solutions to this situation, but solutions are available nevertheless. It is not impossible that less than total catastrophe may come out of the present crisis. We need to keep working for that, and not prematurely conclude there is no hope,

  7. mike k
    May 12, 2018 at 18:47

    If Europe sides with America in it’s war with Iran, then they have sealed their fate – and when the nukes are launched, they will be destroyed. In the meantime they will have tied their economic well being to a bankrupt thieving Empire, while the Eastern powers are building an economic powerhouse based on real accomplishments.

  8. Sam F
    May 12, 2018 at 18:27

    A “Neocon Takeover Complete” may not make a “No Cake Walk” war likely when the DoD likes “small, easy wars.”
    The EU can act independently of the U.S. with mutual trade reprisals, but doubtless their politicians like ours take zionist bribes to commit treason. The US may overplay economic war and should face wider resistance and broad sanctions, including the EU and even the UN,the sooner the better.

    Seems that KSA/Israel/US are arming for war against Iran/Syria/Lebanon, but are weak on the ground and could expect endless quagmire there, a gain for Israel alone. Their goal may be aerial economic destruction of Iran/Syria/Lebanon backed by nuclear threat. The outcome could be intended purely as economic injury to all but Israel.

    Iran/Syria/Lebanon need Russia to close that airspace if it will not sell them SAMs. Is Netanyahu an S-300 salesman?
    Perhaps Russia is waiting for arms production, perhaps bargaining with allies, perhaps it considers invasion unlikely.

    It looks to me that we will soon see a major shift of power toward Iran.

  9. Kiwiantz
    May 12, 2018 at 18:16

    Europe doesn’t have the courage or conviction to resist their American masters? They do not possess Leaders with the mental fortitude & sane intelligence of Russia’s Mr Putin? The absolute circus of Europe’s Leaders such as Macron, Merkel & May going to Washington like underly crime lackeys trying to convince America’s Mob boss & psychopath POTUS, Trump, to maintain the Iran, deal was laughable? Macron’s cringing display, with Trump treating him like a French poodle was a shamefully embarrassing display of appeasement that sums up the European mentality, but what do you expect from a corrupt ex-Banker, Europe is totally owned by America & is just vassal slave states with America being its slaveowner, who calls the shots? The only Countries who refuse to be American slaves are Syria, Iran, Russia &.China, so they must be destroyed to maintain America’s Govt of Slaveowner’s & hegemonic tyrants?

  10. alley cat
    May 12, 2018 at 16:50

    For anyone who missed it, Ted Snider posted a great article on yesterday entitled: “Trump’s Ten Lies: A Response to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Speech,” which meticulously debunks the president’s Big Lies about Iran. The article was also picked up by Zero Hedge this morning.

    Our president repeatedly denounced Junior for lying the U.S. into war with Iraq. He would never do the exact same thing to Iran only 15 years later. Right?

    Judas Iscariot betrayed Christ for 30 pieces of silver. The Donald betrayed his country for a $25 million bri . . . ahem . . . contribution from Sheldon Adelson.

  11. Mild - Facetious
    May 12, 2018 at 16:31

    Some here hated Hillary for her eagerness to murderous
    and ‘unsympathetic’ shout outs&boasts such as,

    How forebodingly Strong&sinister and FromThe Heart,
    with a gleefully giddy appearance of celebrating a ‘victory’

    Cold-Blooded-INTERNATIONAL- live video of his Murder!

    How much, in the realm of apocyrphal credibility,
    does this add to her stature as compared to Mr. President?


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  12. Realist
    May 12, 2018 at 16:10

    “Europe, which co-sponsored the Iran nuclear act and is now humiliated by Trump reneging on the deal, is too weak and disorganized to guarantee the pact and stand up to Washington.”

    Why? What effective reaction could Washington mount against them? Bomb Europe too? Dismember NATO? Wage a trade war against the EU? All these things would simply further alienate Europe and cause actual damage to U.S. interests. If NATO is actually an “alliance” rather than enforced vassal status, the countries of Europe should have a say in all foreign policy involving and affecting Europe, not just follow Washington dictates.

    They should not only throw off the yoke on matters involving Iran, but Russia as well, for it is primarily their interests that are being damaged by America’s imposed sanctions. If the response results in the breakup of NATO and diminished trade with America, nothing of value will have really been lost. Europe can defend itself. It can vastly simplify the matter by not cultivating all of America’s supposed enemies. It can also trade at will with the rest of the world, especially if the OBOR initiative by China and Russia comes to fruition. All of Eurasia will be opened up, with products and merchandise flowing both East and West, from Lisbon and Oslo to Shanghai and Vladivostok. As it is, Washington wants to make sure that Europe cannot share in the bounty of Eurasia and is constrained to trade only with it, essentially benefiting only the U.S. just to harm Russia, China and other countries in the Far East. Time for Europe to stop kowtowing to Yankee grudges and bully tactics.

    • Joe Tedesky
      May 12, 2018 at 19:26

      My enthusiasm for Europe to break free of our Neo-Tyrannical U.S. Foreign policies is like yours Realist. I too would like to see Europe become Europe and allow itself to deal with their many U.S. imposed problems, and take themselves to the next natural level of being a society. A level far and removed from the Neo-Zionist zeal for destruction, and war.

      How that is to happen is anybodies guest. I mean, just where does the Rothschild’s ambitions lie? With Macron, who is one of theirs, or with Trump who isn’t, but ah then there’s the Zionist, so is this even worthwhile speculating about when there can be no definitive answer? Instead we should contemplate to if Europe would even be allowed to drift full throttle towards the East?

      I’m sure the average European would love to be more Independent of a lot of things. I mean secession is everywhere, but even with that does the average citizen want more independence away from the terrible hegemonic America…. how does the average European feel about Trump? I’m guessing most Europeans like every other human on this planet would like peace. Saying that I like you Realist think an Independent Europe would be the awaited for best pivotal geo-diplomacy tool ever devised. If nothing more sovereignty would be allowed to function, and in my opinion that ain’t bad.

    • Sam F
      May 12, 2018 at 20:33

      Perhaps if the EU can rally a vote to reciprocate US sanctions, the US can be moderated.

      • Mild - Facetious
        May 12, 2018 at 21:02

        KA – POW !!!
        Wouldn’t that be –
        a kick in the head.?!

        The mask er aid
        is over, da fur-err
        has emerged, u/c?

      • tina
        May 12, 2018 at 21:38

        I think so too. The Roman Empire, the British Empire, the Persian Empire, the Norse, we have remnants of them today. No way is this USA empire going to last. We just do not learn, do we. But in the mean time, as peasants, our lives have been made better, we have computers, communications, blah , blah , blah. At least, we on the disempowered, do have more tools to resist than our grandparents had. Use the internet, not rocks and bombs. Love tina

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