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USraeli war against Iran has already begun, from Peter Myers

(1) Oil markets brace for Trump to kill Iran deal

(2) Economist: Netanyahu failed to present any proof that Iran is violating the agreement

(3) Netanyahu’s performance like Colin Powell’s in 2003; US-Israeli war against Iran has already begun

(4) Europe says Bibi’s ‘atomic archive’ pitch proves need for Iran deal

(5) Durham, NC first US city to ban police exchanges with apartheid Israel

(6) Zionists pushed for war on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria and now Iran

(1) Oil markets brace for Trump to kill Iran deal

(2) Economist: Netanyahu failed to present any proof that Iran is violating the agreement

Bibi’s big show

Binyamin Netanyahu tries to convince Donald Trump to scuttle the Iran deal But he has presented no evidence that Iran is violating the agreement

 May 1st 2018 | JERUSALEM

IT WAS one of the most hyped PowerPoint presentations in history. “Game changing”, “very significant” and “dramatic”, was how aides to Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, described it. To manyviewers, it did not disappoint. On April 30th Mr Netanyahu (pictured) unveiled 55,000 pages stolen by Israeli spies, fully half a ton ofmaterial related to Iran’s nuclear programme. He showed off photographs of test devices and blueprints of warheads. The “secret atomic archive” proved beyond any doubt, said Mr Netanyahu, that Iran had for years sought to develop nuclear weapons.

The presentation seemed aimed at an audience of one: President Donald Trump, who must decide by May 12th whether to pull America out of a deal under which Iran agreed to halt its nuclear-weapons programme in return for sanctions relief. Other signatories, including Britain, France and Germany, have tried to convince Mr Trump to stay in the agreement. They have worked with America to try to fix what the president regards as the deal’s fatal flaws. But Mr Netanyahu said that the deal was “based on lies” and, therefore, never should have been struck.

The problem with Mr Netanyahu’s argument is that nearly all of the information he presented had been documented by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) before 2015. Despite Iran’s protestations that its nuclear programme had only ever been for civilian use, the IAEA and Western governments had little doubt that its aim was to getnuclear weapons. American intelligence agencies concluded that Iran suspended much of its bomb-making activity in 2003, though someelements continued. Indeed, it was because of this that America and others pursued the nuclear deal.

The signatories did not insist that Iran admit everything it had done in the past, because that might have scuppered the negotiations. Instead they fudged it and ensured that Iran’s untrustworthiness was reflected in an obligation to open itself up to unprecedented inspections by the IAEA.

Critics, including Mr Netanyahu and Mr Trump, say that the inspections of military sites leave the Iranians ample time to hide nuclear-weapons material. They also complain that the deal does not cover Iran’s ballistic-missile programme, which has continued since 2015, and that it allows constraints on Iran’s nuclear programme toeventually expire—at which time it might use the old blueprints to build a bomb.

Yet few argue that the deal is not currently effective. Mr Netanyahu failed to present any proof that Iran is violating the agreement. None of the material obtained by Israel’s spies pertains to the periodsince it was signed. In an interview in March, the chief of staff of Israel’s armed forces, Gadi Eizenkot, said, “Right now the agreement, with all its faults, is working and is putting off realisation of the Iranian nuclear vision by ten to 15 years.”

Critics have struggled to come up with an alternative, short of military strikes, that would contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Still, the White House seems determined to scrap the deal. It said MrNetanyahu provided “new and compelling details about Iran’s efforts to develop missile-deliverable nuclear weapons.”

Israel is confronting Iran in other areas, too. Mr Netanyahu’s presentation came less than a day after missile strikes on targets in Syria killed over a dozen people, many of them Iranians. Suspicion has fallen on Israel, which has hit Iranian bases in Syria in the past. Analysts worry that increasing friction between the countries couldeventually lead to an all-out war. The unravelling of the nuclear deal has heightened such fears.

(3) Netanyahu’s performance like Colin Powell’s in 2003; US-Israeli war against Iran has already begun

Washington and Tel Aviv lurching toward a war with Iran

 Bill Van Auken

 2 May 2018

Events of the past few days have made it clear that USimperialism—working in close tandem with its main ally in the Middle East, Israel—is set on a course of direct military confrontation withIran.

Barely a week and a half before the May 12 deadline for President Donald Trump to announce his decision on whether or not his administration will renew a waiver of unilateral US sanctions that were shelved as part of the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu staged a theatrical presentationclaiming to have “proof” that “Iran lied” about its nuclear program. He went on to express confidence that Trump would “do the right thing,” i.e., scuttle the nuclear accord—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA—that was reached between Iran and five major powers: the US, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia.

Trump hailed Netanyahu’s theatrical presentation as confirmation that he had been “100 percent right” in his denunciations of the nuclear accord as a “horrible deal.”

In reality, international nuclear experts, European representatives and even ex-Israeli intelligence officials all dismissed Netanyahu’sperformance as a farce. The Israeli government, which claimed to have stolen hundreds of thousands of files from Iran, produced not a single shred of evidence that Iran has engaged in any form of nuclear weapons program for the past 15 years, much less that it has violated theterms of the JCPOA. Repeated reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency, including one as recent as February, have established that Tehran is abiding by the stringent restrictions on uranium enrichment and intrusive inspections regime imposed under the agreement.

Netanyahu’s performance recalled nothing so much as Colin Powell’s 2003 presentation of what he described as “evidence, not conjecture” of Iraq’s nonexistent “weapons of mass destruction” used to justify the US war of aggression against Iraq a month later. Powell at least told lies that purported to substantiate American false claims ofIraqi malfeasance; Netanyahu presented nothing.

The Israeli presentation—delivered in English—was stage-managed in direct consultation with Trump, with whom Netanyahu spoke shortly before going on the air, and the new US secretary of state, MikePompeo, who had met with him and other officials in Tel Aviv the day before.

Behind all of the chaos and scandals of the Trump administration, what has clearly emerged in Washington is a war cabinet, with the elevation of John Bolton to the post of National Security adviser and Pompeo’s confirmation by the Senate, with the indispensable support of the Democrats, as secretary of state. Both are fervent advocates of waragainst Iran.

Bolton has described the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran as a “massive strategic blunder,” insisting that US policy should be one of “ending Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution before its fortieth anniversary,” next February. Regime change in Tehran, according to the new national security adviser, should be promoted through direct military action. “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.” was the headline of an opinion piece he wrote for the New York Times shortly before the agreement was reached on the JCPOA.

The US-Israeli war against Iran has already begun. Strikes carried out by US-supplied Israeli F-15 fighter jets on Syrian military bases on Sunday night killed as many as two dozen Iranians. It marked the fifth round of such Israeli attacks on Syria since September. All of them have been aimed at the assets of Iran. Along with Russia, Tehran isthe main ally of the Assad government, which Washington and its allies have sought to topple in a seven-year-old war for regime change.

Reports from Israel have also indicated a major redeployment of tanks, troops and armored personnel carriers to the country’s northern borders with Syria and Lebanon.

“On the list of the potentials for most likely live hostility around the world, the battle between Israel and Iran in Syria is at the top of the list right now,” a senior US official told NBC News Tuesday.

The intimate collaboration between Washington and Tel Aviv in preparing such a war has been made evident by the extraordinary flurry of meetings between top-level US and Israeli military and security officials flying in and out of both countries’ capitals. This has beensupplemented by the dispatch of Pompeo, before he even set foot in the State Department, to the Middle East, where he not only consulted withNetanyahu and other officials, but also met with Saudi and Jordanian officials in an attempt to solidify a bloc of reactionary monarchical Arab regimes behind the US-Israeli war drive.

Behind this drive to war lies not any supposed concern about anIranian nuclear threat—Tehran has no bomb and never initiated any real program to produce one, while Israel’s own arsenal includes an estimated 200 to 400 nuclear warheads. Rather, what are at play are naked imperialist interests.

As a regional power, Iran stands as an impediment to the drive by US imperialism to assert its hegemony over the oil-rich and strategically vital Middle East.

The European powers are increasingly at odds with Washington. After the visits of France’s Macron and Germany’s Merkel apparently failed, despite their obsequiousness, to persuade the Trump administration not to blow up the Iranian nuclear accord, discussions between them and British Prime Minister May over the weekend apparently centered on whether or not there was any prospect of salvaging the agreement without the US. There are both the fear of a major regional warspilling over into Europe in the form of violence, political crisis and a renewed flow of refugees, as well as definite profit interests at stake.

While US banks and corporations have been largely locked out of the Iranian market by continuing nonnuclear-related US economic sanctions,European interests, including the French oil conglomerate Total, have signed lucrative agreements. Most of them have produced little thus far because of fears that Washington will upend the nuclear accord and begin sanctioning foreign firms doing business in Iran.

Filling this vacuum, China has forged significant economic ties with Iran, including a recent $10 billion line of credit from the Beijing government for Chinese firms to launch infrastructure projects, including power facilities, dams and transportation hubs. Beijing sees Iran as a key segment of its “Belt and Road” mega-project, linking China to Europe, and is anxious to shift a growing share of its oil imports from regional producers like Saudi Arabia that are alignedwith Washington. In 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced plans to increase bilateral tradeto $600 billion over the next decade.

In Iran, as elsewhere, US imperialism seeks to counter the decline of its economic domination through a turn to military aggression. While the European capitalist powers have joined in US military actions, particularly with the participation of the UK and France in the April 14 missile attack on Syria, their hopes of reaping a share of thebooty from imperialist intervention can never be realized by serving as the tail of the American dog. Inevitably, they must turn to their own rearmament for a struggle of each against all for the redivision of the world. This process is already well under way.

To the extent that Washington has sought to placate Europe with the postponement of the implementation of trade war tariffs and that it has ratcheted down, temporarily, tensions on the Korean peninsula, it is to better concentrate war preparations in the Middle East.

The drive toward a war between Israel and Iran, beginning in Syria, is unfolding in tandem with the continuing US military intervention in that country, which is evolving into a confrontation withpro-government force backed by Iran and Russia.

Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis Monday indicated that the more than 2,000 US troops presently deployed inside Syria would not be going anywhere anytime soon. “We do not want to pull out before thediplomats have won the peace,” he said. “You win the fight—and then you win the peace.”

The reality is that the US military force, augmented by proxy ground forces based upon the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, is staying in place to secure an American zone of influence consisting of approximately a third of Syria’s territory on its northeastern borders with Turkey and Iraq. The area also contains the country’s oil and gas reserves. From their supposed mission of fighting ISIS, this US force is now turningto confronting attempts by the Syrian government, backed by Russia and Iran, to regain control of this territory and its resources.

With Russia also in discussions with Damascus on providing advanced air defense systems to Syria, the prospect for a clash between Russian forces and those of the US and Israel are steadily growing.

The developments in Syria and the threats of confrontation with Iran constitute a grave warning to working people in the US and throughout the world. Driven by the crisis of its system, world capitalism, with America’s ruling class and its military in the lead, is preparing for a world war that would be fought with nuclear weapons.

(4) Europe says Bibi’s ‘atomic archive’ pitch proves need for Iran deal

Europe says Bibi’s ‘atomic archive’ pitch proves need for Iran deal

 Laura Rozen May 1, 2018

European powers and Russia said Israel’s claimed seizure of documents from Iran’s shuttered nuclear weapons research program proves the need for 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

WASHINGTON — European powers and Russia said Tuesday that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that Israel has obtained a 50,000-plus page archive of Iran’s pre-2003 nuclear weapons research from a storage warehouse in Tehran only proves the need to maintain the Iran nuclear deal. But European reaction to Netanyahu’s televisedpresentation Monday comes as diplomats see growing signs that US President Donald Trump will not issue Iran nuclear-related sanctions waivers this month and instead announce he is withdrawing from the deal.

“The Israeli prime minister’s presentation on Iran’s past research into nuclear weapons technology underlines the importance of keeping the Iran nuclear deal’s constraints on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions,” British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Tuesday.

“The deal was put in place exactly because there was no trust between the parties, otherwise we would not have required a nuclear deal to be put in place,” European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said.

“The relevance of this [Iran nuclear] agreement is heightened by the information Israel has presented,” a French Foreign Ministry representative said Tuesday.

Hamid Baeidinejad, Iran's ambassador to the UK and a former nuclear negotiator, said the information Netanyahu presented is already known to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"All documents presented by Netanyahu were available and known to the IAEA, which after a comprehensive ten years study found no indications of Iran having conducted activities linked to a nuclear weaponsprogram," Baeidinejad wrote Tuesday on Twitter. "IAEA decided accordingly to permanently close the issue in 2015."

European efforts to keep Trump in the deal were at the forefront of visits to the White House last week by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But Macron acknowledged in a press conference upon his departure that he did not think he had succeeded.

"My view [is] … that he will get rid of this deal on his own, for domestic reasons," Macron said April 25. "My view is that there is a big risk he will leave."

Trump is expected to not issue the waivers this month, but to notimmediately reimpose sanctions, which can take as long as 180 days to go into effect. He will then urge the Europeans in the meantime to tryto negotiate a more comprehensive deal with Iran that addresses concerns about Iranian behavior not covered in the Joint ComprehensivePlan of Action (JCPOA). Those concerns include “sunsets” that let Iran expand its enrichment capacity after a decade, ballistic missileproliferation, and Iran's presence and support for militant proxy groups in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

“What I have been led to believe is Trump will withdraw from JCPOA, but not engage in snapback [of sanctions], to give the Europeans time to talk to the Iranians, to address other aspects [of Iranian behavior] left untouched by the deal,” Pooya Dayanim, an Iranian American pro-democracy activist who last week met with groups lobbying the US administration to toughen or abandon the nuclear accord, told Al-Monitor.

“They are going to have the Europeans approach Iran and propose, let’s bring other issues … and have a comprehensive agreement,” Dayanim said, adding that the Trump administration thinks Iran is weak enough to come to the table again.

Former State Department Iran expert Suzanne Maloney also believed Trump was likely to not issue the waivers this month, but stressed that Trump is unpredictable. She also said the administration’s apparent plan to then pressure the Europeans to try to negotiate a bigger deal with Iran before the sanctions kick back into place isunlikely to work.

“Nobody really knows what Trump is going to do. I say that withreasonable confidence about the people around him,” Maloney, now with the Brookings Institution, told Al-Monitor. “Netanyahu played to his sweet spot and complete loathing of the deal and conviction that it was a fraud from the beginning. But [French President Emmanuel] Macron also succeeded a little bit more than initial reviews gave him credit for.”

Trump’s “inclination has always been renegotiation, not rip up,”Maloney said. But the administration’s apparent approach to pressure the Europeans and Iranians into a renegotiation is “a long shot. I think it will almost certainly implode. There is almost no chance this could succeed.”

“The world is not going to explode on May 13,” Maloney said. “But there will be an intensification of what we have been seeing over the course of the past few weeks: Everyone trying to find a way to fix it. … There will be a month of frantic maneuvering and diplomacy to try to salvage diplomacy from the ashes of whatever decision Trump makes.”

Newly confirmed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking tojournalists as he arrived at Andrews Air Force base Monday from a weekend trip to NATO, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordan, said his team was still trying to reach an agreement with the Europeans on a deal to toughen policy toward Iran. But he hinted that transatlantic relations might soon get tested by Trump withdrawing from the Iran deal.

“We’re working diligently to fix this thing,” Pompeo said. “I mean, on the plane we’ve been working to try and get language right that will address President Trump’s concerns. So we’re still working our waythere.

“We’ve had lots of conversations with the Europeans,” Pompeocontinued. “We share the same end goal to keep the Iranians from ever having a nuclear weapon. I am confident that we will continue to have good relations with our European partners should the president choose to pull out of this.”

(5) Durham, NC first US city to ban police exchanges with apartheid Israel (they cause militarization of US police)

From: Mazin Qumsiyeh <>Subject: [HumanRights] The next uprising and more

BDS Victory: WA Court Dismisses Seven-Year Lawsuit Over Boycott of Israeli Goods

Congratulations Durham, NC first US city to ban police exchanges with apartheid Israel (thse police exchanges cause militarization of US police forces and allows them to shoot more blacks in the same way that Israel shoots Palestinians

Boycott Starbucks: Its chairman is a racist supporter of apartheid Israel and it has just decided to hire the ADL (a racist organization that works against arabs and muslims in America) to brainwash Starbuck’s employees to be like the ADL: hateful.

(6) Zionists pushed for war on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria and now Iran

From: Mazin Qumsiyeh <>Subject: [HumanRights] Benjamin Mielenkowski and more

Israeli prime minister Netanyahu  (original name Benjamin Mielenkowski, Polish colonial settler) is pushing for war on Iran to distract attentionfrom continuing genocide of Palestinian natives.  Everyone now recognizesthis: that Zionists pushed for war on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria and now Iran (see links below). ...

Basically "Everything he [Netanyahu] said was already known to the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] and published," Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear-policy expert at the MiddleburyInstitute of International Studies, tweeted. “There is literally nothing new here and nothing that changes the wisdom of the JCPOA [The so called Iran nuclear deal]."

Reminder to Westerners who Netanyahu is. Unaware he is being recorded, he is candid “America can be manipulated”

Oops - Obama and Sarkozy caught complaining about Netanyahu’s lies

... [this article was written in 2013, it is still great] The Oslo Illusion: The Oslo Accords weren’t a failure for Israel — they served as a fig leaf to consolidate and deepen its control over Palestinian life

Settler fined for clubbing Arab boy to death

Sowing Hate and Reaping Death By Rami Elhanan

Violations by the Israeli military against peaceful demonstrators in the right to return march

Peter Myers