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Liberty News ForumLNF Forums HerePolitical Opinion Page - The Hot Seat › WH Designates IRGC a Foreign Terrorist Organization
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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) WH Designates IRGC a Foreign Terrorist Organization (Read 6,103 times)
Demos
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Re: WH Designates IRGC a Foreign Terrorist Organization
Reply #50 - May 14th, 2019 at 9:47pm
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Pentagon disputes British general’s assessment on Iranian threat

U.S. Central Command announced it raised the threat level in the Middle East, rebuking comments from a top British general in Iraq that Iranian-backed fighters do not pose an increased risk to coalition forces fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

“There’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria," British Army Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, a deputy commander with the Operation Inherent Resolve coalition, said Tuesday during a video briefing from Iraq.

Ghika added that the measures in place to protect U.S. and coalition forces were “completely satisfactorily,” and said that leadership does not “intend to change them."

The comments were at odds with warnings from the Pentagon and White House that justified a military build-up in the region over the past week. In the hours following Ghika’s press briefing, CENTCOM announced that the threat level was increased...

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This was also interesting:

Iran's Playbook: Deconstructing Tehran's Regional Strategy [pdf]
  
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Demos
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Re: WH Designates IRGC a Foreign Terrorist Organization
Reply #51 - May 15th, 2019 at 11:37am
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US pulls nonessential staff from Iraq amid Mideast tensions

BAGHDAD (AP) — The U.S. on Wednesday ordered all nonessential government staff to leave Iraq, and Germany and the Netherlands both suspended their military assistance programs in the country in the latest sign of tensions sweeping the Persian Gulf region over still-unspecified threats that the Trump administration says are linked to Iran...

The movement of diplomatic personnel is often done in times of conflict, but what is driving the decisions from the White House remains unclear. A high-ranking British general said there was no new threat from Iran or its regional proxies, something immediately rebutted by the U.S. military’s Central Command, which said its troops were on high alert, without elaborating.

Last week, U.S. officials said they had detected signs of Iranian preparations for potential attacks on U.S. forces and interests in the Middle East, but Washington has not spelled out that threat, and an alert on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad said that all nonessential, nonemergency U.S. government staff were ordered to leave Iraq right away under State Department orders...

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Re: WH Designates IRGC a Foreign Terrorist Organization
Reply #52 - May 15th, 2019 at 1:44pm
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U.S. pressures Baghdad over Iran-backed militias

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s surprise visit to Baghdad this month came after U.S. intelligence showed Iran-backed Shi’ite militias positioning rockets near bases housing U.S. forces, according to two Iraqi security sources.

He told Iraq’s top brass to keep the militias, which are expanding their power in Iraq and now form part of its security apparatus, in check, the sources said. If not, the U.S. would respond with force...

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Man, what a good decision that invasion turned out to be.
  
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Re: WH Designates IRGC a Foreign Terrorist Organization
Reply #53 - May 16th, 2019 at 5:39pm
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Trump tells Pentagon chief he does not want war with Iran

WASHINGTON (NYTIMES) - US President Donald Trump has told his acting defence secretary, Patrick Shanahan, that he does not want to go to war with Iran, according to several administration officials, in a message to his hawkish aides that an intensifying US pressure campaign against the clerical-led government in Teheran must not escalate into open conflict.

Trump's statement, during a Wednesday morning meeting in the Situation Room, came during a briefing on the rising tensions with Iran...

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Great. Better send Bolton packing now then.
  
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Re: WH Designates IRGC a Foreign Terrorist Organization
Reply #54 - May 20th, 2019 at 2:29pm
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U.S. Intel Indicates Iran Behind Tanker Sabotage

Tanker sabotage. American intelligence officials have concluded that it is “highly likely” that Iran was responsible for attacks on four oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, NBC reports.

The attacks, which were carried out using explosive charges, have contributed to increasing tensions in the region, with the United States deploying a carrier strike group and B-52 bombers in a bid to deter any Iranian attacks on American interests in the Middle East, in the wake of ramped-up U.S. sanctions pressure.

The attacks struck two Saudi vessels and an Emirati and a Norwegian ship. The Norwegian vessel’s insurers also concluded that Iran was likely behind the attack and observed similarities in the kinds of shrapnel in the attack and previous attacks carried out by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, Reuters reports.

Tweeter-in-chief. President Donald Trump used his favorite medium to issue a dire warning to Iran on Sunday: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!”

Saudi warning. Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, told reporters over the weekend that his country is prepared to defend itself against Iran.

“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not want war in the region and does not strive for that,” al-Jubeir said. “But at the same time, if the other side chooses war, the kingdom will fight this with all force and determination and it will defend itself, its citizens, and its interests.”

A simple misunderstanding? The latest flashpoint in Iran-U.S. relations turns on how American officials are interpreting what appears to be fairly hazy intelligence on Iranian plots against American forces and diplomatic compounds. According to an intriguing Wall Street Journal report it may come down to a misunderstanding.

One reading of the American intelligence indicates that Iranian leaders believed the United States was about to attack Iran and made preparations for a counterattack. The United States then observed those preparations, and concluded that Iran was preparing to strike U.S. forces.

While there appear to be differences in how to interpret that intelligence, American officials are describing the underlying material in serious terms.

“The information and warnings that we have collected are of greater concern than the normal Iranian harassment activity that we’ve seen in the Persian Gulf and surrounding area,” Rep. Mac Thornberry, the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said. “I don’t think it’s business as usual. It is cause for greater concern.”

The oil trade. With the United States attempting to increase economic pressure on Iran, China appears to have restarted oil purchases from Tehran, Bourse and Bazaar reports...

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Here is the NBC story:

U.S. officials: 'Highly likely' Iran carried out tanker attacks
  
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Re: WH Designates IRGC a Foreign Terrorist Organization
Reply #55 - May 20th, 2019 at 2:56pm
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Looks like yet another proxy war is brewing...
  

What is the cost of lies? It's not that we'll mistake them for the truth. The real danger is that if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognize the truth at all. What can we do then? What else is left but to abandon the hope of truth and content ourselves instead with stories. In these stories it doesn't matter who the heroes are. All we want to know is who is to blame. - V. Legasov
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Re: WH Designates IRGC a Foreign Terrorist Organization
Reply #56 - May 20th, 2019 at 5:05pm
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Iraq’s Iran-backed militias repudiate missile attack on Baghdad’s Green Zone

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iran-backed Shia militia leaders on Monday distanced themselves from a rocket attack a day earlier that was directed at the Iraqi capital’s fortified Green Zone, landing near the US embassy complex.

The attack, conducted using a Katyusha rocket with no casualties reported, came amid escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran, as the former re-imposed and later compounded economic and political sanctions on Iran after it withdrew last year from the landmark nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)...

Striking the heart of the Green Zone, about a kilometer away from the US embassy, the rocket was apparently fired from the eastern part of Baghdad near the capital’s Technological University, where the Iraqi security forces found the launch pad, a knowledgeable source told Kurdistan 24...

Although the identity of the perpetrators is yet unclear, the launch site is close to areas where various Shia militias are active and hold sway. The model of the launcher, as seen in a picture that is believed to have been used by the attackers on Sunday, is one used by Iranian forces, the American Washington Examiner claimed in a report...

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Re: WH Designates IRGC a Foreign Terrorist Organization
Reply #57 - May 21st, 2019 at 10:46am
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Bomb-carrying drone from Yemen rebels targets Saudi airport

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Yemen’s Iranian-allied Houthi rebels said Tuesday they attacked a Saudi airport and military base with a bomb-laden drone, an assault acknowledged by the kingdom as Mideast tensions remain high between Tehran and the United States. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage...

In the drone attack, the Houthis’ Al-Masirah satellite news channel said early Tuesday they targeted the airport in Najran with a Qasef-2K drone, striking an “arms depot.” Najran, 840 kilometers (525 miles) southwest of Riyadh, lies on the Saudi-Yemen border and has repeatedly been targeted by the Iran-allied Houthis...

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Re: WH Designates IRGC a Foreign Terrorist Organization
Reply #58 - May 22nd, 2019 at 1:41pm
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U.S. Officials Work to Convince Divided Congress of Iran Threat

WASHINGTON — Top American national security officials sought to convince a divided Congress on Tuesday about the seriousness of new threats from Iran as they defended intelligence that has prompted military deployments aimed at deterring attacks by Tehran...

In separate meetings with senators and representatives, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan outlined the intelligence that prompted the United States to send an aircraft carrier, bombers and missile defense systems to the Persian Gulf region this month.

“We have deterred attacks based on our reposturing of assets, deterred attacks against American forces,” Mr. Shanahan said after briefing lawmakers. “Our biggest focus at this point is to prevent Iranian miscalculation. We do not want the situation to escalate. This is about deterrence, not about war"...

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Deterring them from what exactly?

The Houthi attack on the Saudi airport, the (maybe) Houthi attack on the pipeline, and the alleged Iranian attack on the tankers all occurred after our supposed deterrence actions. Iran is continuing to assist/aid Assad in reconquering Syria. They have reportedly quadrupled their uranium enrichment. Oh, and the Ayatollah is now publicly criticizing the president and foreign minister by name for the nuclear deal, which is probably a signal the hardliners are on the up.

So, we escalated tensions to "deter" Iran, but those actions haven't actually deterred them from actually doing anything we don't want them to do.

Given the people prominently involved in all this, I'm more inclined to believe we escalated tensions to provoke a response which would legitimize military action against Iran. Luckily, the mustache hasn't succeeded at that (yet).
« Last Edit: May 22nd, 2019 at 2:55pm by Demos »  
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Re: WH Designates IRGC a Foreign Terrorist Organization
Reply #59 - May 23rd, 2019 at 11:17am
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Pentagon eyes more troop deployments amid Iran threat

MORE TROOP DEPLOYMENTS? DoD officials are expected to brief national security leaders today on a proposal to send more troops to the Middle East as tensions with Iran continue, according to The Associated Press.

“The officials said no final decision has been made yet, and it’s not clear if the White House would approve sending all or just some of the requested forces. Officials said the move is not in response to any new threat from Iran, but is aimed at reinforcing security in the region. They said the troops would be defensive forces, and the discussions include additional Patriot missile batteries, more ships and increased efforts to monitor Iran.”

The number of troops the Pentagon is considering sending depends on the source. AP reported it’s 10,000, while Reuters and Bloomberg say it’s 5,000.

The new deployment plan seems at odds with acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan’s comment on Tuesday that deterrence has put the Iran threat “on hold.”

And the news comes as Iranian paramilitary forces claim they are in control of the Persian Gulf, Reuters writes.

“Everything north of the Strait of Hormuz is under our control,” Ali Fadavi was quoted by Fars as saying. “(Movements of) American battleships in the region are under the complete control of Iran’s army and the Revolutionary Guards.”

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