Trump Locked and Loaded Against Iran or Just Bluster?

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September 16, 2019
Mixed Messages in US on Striking Nonbelligerent Iran
September 17, 2019

Trump Locked and Loaded Against Iran or Just Bluster?

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Take nothing Trump says at face value. Time and again his rhetoric  and actions diverge greatly. 

That said, on Sunday he tweeted the following: 

“Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!”

Reality is ignored and key questions aren’t asked. Throughout its 40-year history, the Islamic Republic of Iran never attacked another country.

It’s the region’s leading proponent of peace and stability, seeking cooperative relations with other nations — threatening nonr except in self-defense if preemptively attacked.

Why would nonbelligerent Iran attack another country now? Why would it strike another nation’s oil facilities — risking war, including retaliation against its own production and refining capabilities?

On Saturday, Yemeni Houthis struck two key Saudi Aramco oil facilities, the kingdom’s Abqaiq refinery (the world’s largest) and Khurais oil field.

Satellite images indicated considerable damage to Saudi energy facilities struck, halting over half the kingdom’s oil and gas operations until it’s repaired.

Houthis launched the attack either from Yemeni or Saudi territory its fighters captured near the border between both countries.

Pompeo falsely blamed Iran for what happened, tweeting there was “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen (sic).”

No evidence suggests Iranian responsibility. Clearly the Islamic Republic wants greater regional war than already avoided. It wants ongoing conflicts ended.

On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal cited unnamed Trump regime officials, claiming without evidence that “the fiery blasts were the result of cruise-missile strikes launched from Iraq or Iran…”

Iraq denied its territory was used. Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif debunked Pompeo’s Big Lie about Tehran’s involvement, accusing him of “maximum lying (and) deceit.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi slammed “futile (US) allegations and blind statements,” calling them “incomprehensible and meaningless within the framework of diplomacy,” adding:

Unacceptable Trump regime accusations “seem more like a plot being hatched by secret and intelligence organizations aimed at tarnishing a country’s image and setting the stage for future actions.”

On Sunday, Iranian President Rouhani said “(t)oday what is taking place in this region and has concerned many countries of the world is the result of erroneous plans and conspiracies of the United States,” adding: 

“We have declared time and again that regional issues must be resolved by regional countries and through dialogue.”

“If we want the establishment of real security in this region, a full stop must be put to acts of aggression by the US and provocative interventions by the (Israeli) Zionist regime. Otherwise we will witness the continuation of insecurity.”

So far, the extent of damage to Saudi oil and gas facilities is unclear. The WSJ said the following:

“About two million barrels a day could be restored by Monday, but it will take weeks to return to full capacity, people familiar with the damage estimates in Saudi Arabia said. One person familiar with the damage at Abqaiq (Riyadh’s crown jewel) said the facility was a wreck.”

Last week, Pompeo said Trump “is prepared to meet (Iranian President Rouhani) with no preconditions.” 

Treasury Secretary said he’s willing to meet with Rouhani in late September on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly session with “no preconditions.”

Weeks earlier, DJT said “I’ll meet (with Rouhani) anytime they want,” adding: It would be “good for the country, good for them, good for us, and good for the world.” He made similar remarks a number of other times.

On Sunday, he tweeted the following: “The Fake News is saying that I am willing to meet with Iran, ‘No Conditions.’ That is an incorrect statement (as usual!)” — contradicting his earlier statements.

Note: Rouhani and other Iranian officials reject talks with Trump unless his regime returns to the JCPOA it unlawfully abandoned and lifts illegally imposed sanctions.

In the wake of Houthi damage to key Saudi oil fields, falsely blamed on Iran, a Rouhani/Trump meeting under any conditions is even less likely.

Iran wants peace, not war, but is ready to retaliate if preemptively attacked, said IRGC aerospace commander Amirali Hajizadeh, adding:

“Everybody should know that all American bases and their aircraft carriers in a distance of up to 2,000km around Iran are within the range of our missiles.”

Saturday Houthi attacks on Saudi oil facilities were on a larger scale than the kingdom ever before experienced.

Riyadh has two options: Cease terror-bombing Yemen and lift the blockade on the country or face repeated Houthi strikes on its strategic targets, notably its oil and gas facilities.

If the Trump regime attacks Iran, all bets are off. 

What’s unlikely is possible because White House and congressional Iranophobes want the country transformed into a US vassal state.

They want Israel’s key regional rival eliminated and US control gained over Iran’s vast energy resources.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.