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The upcoming, unthinkable American war on Iran, from Peter Myers

(1) US considering attack on Iran - Jerusalem Post(2) Trump as the new Esther - Mashed Potato and Another War for Israel(3) Luxembourg Court refuses US ruling to seize Iranian assets(4) War against Iran threatens $ Hegemony - Barry Eichengreen(5) US sanctions on Iran are contributing to development of a Yuan block(6) Iran Claims Arrest of 290 CIA Agents; U.S. Sends 2 Aircraft Carriers(7) Iran says Mossad ‘fabricating intelligence’ on oil tanker attacks(8) For Iran to torpedo ships in Gulf would give USA an excuse to attack; therefore Iran did not do it(1) US considering attack on Iran - Jerusalem Post 20 2019|Sivan, 17, 5779U.N. officials: U.S. planning a 'tactical assault' in IranThe military action under consideration would be an aerial bombardment of an Iranian facility linked to its nuclear program, the officials further claimed.By SHLOMO SHAMIR/MAARIV ONLINEJune 17, 2019 20:05Is the US going to attack Iran soon?Diplomatic sources at the UN headquarters in New York revealed to Maariv that they are assessing the United States' plans to carry out a tactical assault on Iran in response to the tanker attack in the Persian Gulf on Thursday.According to the officials, since Friday, the White House has been holding incessant discussions involving senior military commanders, Pentagon representatives and advisers to President Donald Trump.The military action under consideration would be an aerial bombardment of an Iranian facility linked to its nuclear program, the officials further claimed."The bombing will be massive but will be limited to a specific target," said a Western diplomat.The decision to carry out military action against Iran was discussed in the White House before the latest report that Iran might increase the level of uranium enrichment.The officials also noted that the United States plans to reinforce its military presence in the Middle East, and in the coming days will also send additional soldiers to the area.The sources added that President Trump himself was not enthusiastic about a military move against Iran, but lost his patience on the matter and would grant Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is pushing for action, what he wants.Pompeo has repeatedly made statements against Iran in recent days. He claimed that there is no doubt that the recent explosions in tankers in the Gulf were carried out by Iran.The possibility of a US attack came at the time of the deterioration of relations between the United States and Iran, against the backdrop of the US's withdrawal from the nuclear agreement a year ago, and the sanctions on the economy of the Islamic Republic.In recent days, Iran has announced that it intends to deviate from the nuclear agreement signed in 2015 and to enrich uranium at a higher level than the maximum it has committed to within the framework of the nuclear deal.In addition to the confrontation over Iran's nuclear program, the United States accuses Tehran of trying to extend its arm across the Middle East and destabilize the region from Yemen to Syria.Among other things, the White House blamed Iran for the attack on several oil tankers in recent weeks in the Persian Gulf and even published a video showing Iranian fighters apparently removing a mine that did not explode from a ship that was attacked.For its part, Iran is threatening to continue countering the US sanctions, as long as the other signatories to the nuclear agreement do not compensate for the economic damage caused to it, and even to withdraw from the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty), which prevents countries from developing nuclear weapons.(2) Trump as the new Esther - Mashed Potato and Another War for Israel Potato and Another War for IsraelLINH DINHJUNE 19, 2019Done with my article on walking, I rewarded myself by heading to the local Popeyes. Yes, there’s one in District 6, within walking distance of my mosquito netting. Though any Saigon lunch beyond two bucks will cause me infinite, enduring pain, florid self-recrimination and post-traumatic stress disorder, I manned up and handed the young, angelic cashier $3.50 [82,000 ??ng], then patiently and humbly waited for this ethereal, merciful being to somehow yield to my disgusting, pitiful self two pieces of fried chicken, plus a jivey biscuit that was vaguely coated with something distantly related to honey, a Coke and, what I so shamelessly craved, some mashed potato!!!I manhandled that mash alright, dove headfirst right into it, to make up for all those mashless months. Just give me that mash! Give it up!In my Tri-Cities Postcard, I quoted a Vietnam vet, Pablo, "When I came home, my father asked me about Vietnam, and I said, ‘It has become a part of me!’ Every place you go becomes a part of you, so Vietnam has become a part of me. It’s inside me!"Very true, so Tacoma, Salem, San Jose, Northern Virginia, Philadelphia, Certaldo, Norwich and Leipzig, etc., are my ingredients, to be stirred up as a craving for a certain dish, and it’s always something very simple, such as mashed potato, which I was introduced to at elementary school cafeterias in Tacoma, Washington. Even at age 55, I distinctly remember mispronouncing it as "smashed potato," to my classmates’ amusement.My first two months in Tacoma, I lived in a house owned by an American colonel and his Vietnamese war bride, who was actually half British, half Chinese. Her dad had been my English tutor back in Saigon. My father, brother and future stepmother were also in this home.A native of Montana, the colonel was a thin, wiry man who usually wore a red plaid shirt and blue jeans. He was twice his wife’s age, and Annette was so young, he enrolled her in Lincoln High School. She was petite, pretty and often looked bemused. This marriage didn’t last. Annette ended up with a Vietnamese man.During my stint in the colonel’s house, I often saw him eating canned baked beans or canned chili con carne. Trying both, I found the chili OK, but the baked beans, I thought preposterous. In Philadelphia, however, I always had baked beans in my cupboard.In 2015, I visited my friend, Daniel Kane, in Hove, England, just down the beach from Brighton. (Daniel is the author of All Poets Welcome: The Lower East Side Poetry Scene in the 1960s.) Daniel told me about a guest who stayed in his house, alone, for a weekend. When Daniel came back, he found his trash bin filled with cans of baked beans, and nothing else, "So the guy ate nothing but baked beans for the entire weekend! Can you imagine that?! It’s, like, he gave up on life!"The guy’s a Brit, and that’s his comfort food, obviously. Towards the end of his life, Duchamp ate nothing but spaghetti with pats of butter. Even if that’s not entirely true, I like the thought.In Philadelphia during the late 80’s, I had a chemist friend from Thailand, Somchai, who ate a Wawa Italian hoagie for just about every meal, and this was no bizarre self-punishment or performance art. As a Philadelphian, Somchai just loved Wawa Italian hoagies.Marty told me that, after an evening of drinking at the Friendly Lounge, all he wanted was a roast pork sandwich from Pat’s, three blocks away, so he had had hundreds of them. Still working as a plumber and electrician at 75, Marty deserved a $10 sandwich at the end of the night. He started his working life dressing corpses.Relating these tepid nonstories, I’m suggesting that it really doesn’t take much to make a man content. As long as he’s free from immediate danger, pain, strife, stress or hunger, even a can of Budweiser or Miller, basically the worst beers in the world, will make him happy. All too often, though, a poor, simple man can’t be left unmolested to enjoy his falafel.This morning, I emailed Chuck Orloski, "It sure looks like the Jews will get the world embroiled in another war. I’m still hoping it won’t happen… If only life could be as simple as enjoying a Coney or Chinese food on Main."Chuck answered, "I miss you, & Keystone Restaurant & the Chinese Restaurant on Main are regular stops, mighty fine. Am very afraid for what ZUS has planned for Iran."For just $5.25, you can get a lunch special at New Foliage, and though its hot and sour soup, egg roll and sweet and sour pork will probably be spat at by any New York Times food critic, it’s mighty fine to sit in there, like Chuck said, and stuff your face with so much homey comfort. Done, you can mosey down to the Lounge on Jackson, and knock down a few with some of the finest folks anywhere.Since we’re in the endless war era, another war for Israel is on the horizon, but hardly anyone seems alarmed, least of all Americans, for they’ve come to see themselves, quite casually and indifferently, as only asskicking agents of war, and never its victims. Conditioned by Hollywood, many Americans also find mass violence exciting, so as another bloodbath looms, some joke that they’re getting out the popcorn to enjoy the fireworks.Not even two decades ago, an American war still needed elaborately concocted justifications, but now, any throw away lie will do, for hardly anyone is paying attention, preoccupied as he is with selfies, duck faces and hazy, indeterminate genitalia, and where to gently tuck them without incurring wrath and censure.So let me get this straight: As the Japanese Prime Minister was visiting Iran, two Japanese tankers were supposedly attacked by Iran. This is like sending your son out to scratch up your buddy’s SUV while he’s inside your living room, drinking a friendly six pack with your sorry ass.Discounting Muslims, Japanese have the absolutely lowest opinion of Israel, with one poll showing 55% negative, and only 3% positive, so is someone sending a message here?Getting out the popcorn, we want to see explosions and hear reports of mass casualties, for the thought of so many people being blown up can’t help but cheer us up, for we’re not in harm’s way, and since these people are so evil, as our televisions relentlessly tell us, they fully deserve this destruction. Plus, this war will give us another viewing option, for just a baseball game each night can get a bit tedious.Above, I named Jews as the instigators of war against Iran, which made some readers cringe, I’m sure, for you’re only supposed to point a finger at Israel or Zionists, at most, and never say anything negative against Jews, though it’s fine to accuse, say, whites, Russians or just men, as a sex, of numerous sins. Thanks to the gaseous Holocaust’s swarming shadow, the worst ism ever is anti-Semitism, so a Jew’s feeling is much more inviolable than, say, a Muslim body.In 1941, Charles Lindbergh opposed the Jewish push to get the United States into World War II, and for this, he was "attacked on all sides—Administration, pressure groups, and Jews, as now openly a Nazi, following Nazi doctrine," as noted by his wife, Anne, so she concluded, "I say that I would prefer to see this country at war than shaken by violent anti-Semitism. (Because it seems to me that the kind of person the human being is turned into when the instinct of Jew-baiting is let loose is worse than the kind of person he becomes on the battlefield.)" She identified and was concerned with the agents of war, not its many more victims.So even millions of deaths, hundreds of cities pulverized and dozens of nations dragged through hell are preferable to Jews being scrutinized and held accountable. Again, Anne may just get her wish.Lindbergh’s key point was that the United States and whites in general should look out for their own interests, not Jewish ones. Jews, however, will insist that Jewish values are universal, and what’s good for Jews is perfect for humanity.Jews’ hatred of Persians has only been festering for two millennia and a half, ever since a Persian vizier Haman informed Persian king Xerxes, "There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them […]" (Esther 3). Though the Jewish concubine, Esther, got Xerxes to impale Haman and his ten sons, on top of allowing his Jewish subjects to annihilate all their enemies, Jews won’t let this thwarted and amply revenged threat be forgotten. (Germany, then, can count on several more thousand years of Jewish hatred.)On March 31, 2019, the Jerusalem Post asked the American Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, "Today being Purim, a celebration, Jews worldwide and here in Jerusalem are talking about the fact that Esther 2,500 years ago saved the Jewish people with God’s help from Haman. And now, 2,500 years later, there’s a new Haman here in the Middle East who wants to eradicate the Jewish people like just like Haman did: the state of Iran. Could it be that President Trump right now has been sort of raised for such a time as this, just like Queen Esther, to help save the Jewish people from the Iranian menace?"Pompeo answered that it was quite possible that Trump is the new Esther. Though without the curves, he’s indeed a Jewish whore.Genocide is at the heart of the Jewish consciousness, you see, but it’s usually done on their behalf, as recounted in Exodus 12:12, "On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt." Exodus 23:23, "My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out." Deuteronomy 20:17, "Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you."In our era, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran have been in the Jewish crosshairs, and much of the world has gone along with this genocidal plan, because to cross Jews is much worse than to have oceans of blood on your hands.Masters of inversion, Jews accuse everyone else of a racial hatred they epitomize, but it’s all fine, for their genocidal Yahweh has assured their ancestors, "This very day I will begin to put the terror and fear of you on all the nations under heaven. They will hear reports of you and will tremble and be in anguish because of you."Linh Dinh’s latest book is Postcards from the End of America. He maintains a regularly updated photo blog.(3) Luxembourg Court refuses US ruling to seize Iranian assets 28, 2019 / 2:34 PMIran welcomes Luxembourg court decision on U.S. seizure of Iranian assetsLONDON (Reuters) - Iran welcomed on Thursday a Luxembourg court’s decision to refuse to reinforce a U.S. ruling that would have helped families of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks claim Iranian assets held by a Luxembourg-based clearing house.The court ruled on Wednesday that there were no grounds in international law to uphold in Luxembourg a 2012 U.S. court decision to strip Iran of sovereign immunity.Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said the decision showed the world still had courts that adopt independent decisions."The era of totalitarian and bullying behaviour of America toward other countries is over and it can no longer raise such groundless accusations," Qasemi was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.The governor of Central Bank of Iran, Abdolnasser Hemmati, called the decision "an important legal victory for Iran".President’s deputy for legal affairs Laya Joneidi was quoted by IRNA as saying that the lawyers won the case by arguing that Sept. 11 attacks were not related to Iran.Seven years ago, a New York court found there was evidence showing that Iran provided "material support and resources to al Qaeda for acts of terrorism". The militant group carried out the hijacked plane attacks on New York and Washington.That court awarded the plaintiffs damages of over $7 billion. Families of victims are seeking access to $1.6 billion of Iranian funds in Luxembourg, which were frozen as part of international sanctions over Iran’s nuclear programme.UK parliament to debate Brexit on Friday, exact format unclear However, the Luxembourg court said the plaintiffs could not continue their legal case to seize Iranian assets in the country.Iran has denied any links to al Qaeda or any involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks.Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Richard Borsuk(4) War against Iran threatens $ Hegemony - Barry Eichengreen dollar and its discontentsBY BARRY EICHENGREENOCT 19, 2018 - U.S. President Donald Trump’s unilateralism is reshaping the world in profound and irreversible ways. He is undermining the working of multilateral institutions. Other countries, for their part, no longer regard the United States as a reliable alliance partner and feel impelled to develop their own geopolitical capabilities.Now the Trump administration is eroding the dollar’s global role. Having unilaterally reimposed sanctions on Iran, it is threatening to penalize companies doing business with the Islamic Republic by denying them access to U.S. banks.The threat is serious because U.S. banks are the main source of dollars used in cross-border transactions. According to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), dollars are used in nearly half of all cross-border payments, a share far greater than the weight of the U.S. in the world economy.In response to the Trump administration’s stance, Germany, France and Britain, together with Russia and China, have announced plans to circumvent the dollar, U.S. banks and U.S. government scrutiny. "Plans" may be a bit strong, given that few details have been provided. But the three countries have described in general terms the creation of a stand-alone financial entity, owned and organized by the governments in question, to facilitate transactions between Iran and foreign companies.Those companies will presumably settle their claims in euros, not dollars, freeing them from dependence on U.S. banks. And insofar as the Europeans’ special-purpose financial vehicle also bypasses SWIFT, it will be hard for the U.S. to track transactions between Iran and foreign companies and impose penalties.Is this scheme viable? While there is no purely technical obstacle to creating an alternative payments channel, doing so is certain to enrage Trump, who will presumably respond with another round of tariffs against the offending countries. Such, unfortunately, is the price of political independence, at least for now.Having learned a painful lesson about dependence on the dollar, will other countries move away from it more generally? The fact that the dollar is used so widely makes doing so difficult. Banks and companies prefer using dollars because so many other banks and companies use dollars and expect their counterparties to do likewise. Shifting to another currency would require coordinated action. But with the governments of three large European countries having announced just such coordination, such a scenario can no longer be excluded.It is worth recalling how the dollar gained international prominence in the first place. Before 1914, it played essentially no international role. But a geopolitical shock, together with an institutional change, transformed the dollar’s status.The geopolitical shock was World War I, which made it hard for neutral countries to transact with British banks and settle their accounts using sterling. The institutional change was the Federal Reserve Act, which created an entity that enhanced the liquidity of markets in dollar-denominated credits and allowed U.S. banks to operate abroad for the first time. By the early 1920s the dollar had matched and, on some dimensions, surpassed sterling as the principal vehicle for international transactions.This precedent suggests that 5-10 years is a plausible time frame over which the U.S. could lose what Valery Giscard d’Estaing, then France’s finance minister, famously called the "exorbitant privilege" afforded it by issuing the world’s main international currency. This doesn’t mean that foreign banks and companies will shun the dollar entirely. U.S. financial markets are large and liquid and are likely to remain so. U.S. banks operate globally. In particular, foreign companies will continue to use dollars in transactions with the U.S. itself.But in an era of U.S. unilateralism, they will want to hedge their bets. If the geopolitical shock of Trump’s unilateralism spurs an institutional innovation that makes it easier for European banks and companies to make payments in euros, then the transformation could be swift (as it were). If Iran receives euros rather than dollars for its oil exports, it will use those euros to pay for merchandise imports. With companies elsewhere earning euros rather than dollars, there will be less reason for central banks to hold dollars in order to intervene in the foreign exchange market and stabilize the local currency against the greenback. At this point, there would be no going back.One motivation for establishing the euro was to free Europe from excessive dependence on the dollar. This is likewise one of China’s motivations for seeking to internationalize the renminbi. So far, the success of both efforts has been mixed, at best. In threatening to punish Europe and China, Trump is, ironically, helping them to achieve their goals.Moreover, Trump is squandering U.S. leverage. Working with the Europeans and the Chinese, he could have threatened Iran, and companies doing business there, with comprehensive and effective sanctions had there been evidence that the country was failing to live up to its denuclearization obligations. But working together to ensure Iran’s compliance was, of course, precisely what the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, renounced by the Trump administration earlier this year, was established to do.Barry Eichengreen is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His latest book is "The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era." © Project Syndicate, 2018(5) US sanctions on Iran are contributing to development of a Yuan block Tom HollandThe weaponisation of the US dollar is the end of its economic ascendancy in Asia – with China’s yuan ready to fill the voidHawkish US sanctions on Iran have had an unanticipated side effect – they’re helping to promote the formation of a new informal Asian monetary bloc centred on the yuan, at the expense of the US dollar.Published: 8:30am, 29 Apr, 2019It seems the Iran hawks have prevailed over the petrol-price doves; last week the United States government announced it would grant no more exemptions from its sanctions on Iranian oil exports."We’re going to zero across the board," said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, declaring his intention to halt Iranian oil shipments entirely.China, the biggest buyer of Iranian oil, immediately protested, insisting its purchases of Iranian exports are perfectly legitimate and should continue.Yet despite the vehemence of its complaints, in the near term China will have no option but to comply with US demands and stop buying crude from Iran.That compliance will allow the hawks in Washington to congratulate themselves for successfully implementing what Donald Trump has described as the "toughest ever" sanctions regime against Iran. Yet far from being a triumphant exercise of US influence, in the longer run the ability of Washington to compel China’s compliance with its wishes will only lead to a diminution of American power, and hasten the end of US economic and diplomatic primacy in Asia.The reason China has no choice but to comply with US sanctions is that in recent years the US government has increasingly weaponised the US dollar to serve its political aims.Each year China imports almost US$250 billion worth of oil and another US$150 billion or so of iron ore, copper, coal and soy beans. And because those vital commodities are priced and traded in US dollars internationally, China has to pay for its imports in the American currency.That means China’s transactions are ultimately settled through the US financial system, which gives the US authorities a huge degree of leverage over what China buys and – more importantly – from whom. In recent years, the US authorities have made it clear they are quite ready to use the leverage that the US dollar’s international status gives them.For example, they have hit non-US banks such as Standard Chartered and BNP Paribas with huge fines for conducting US dollar transactions with Iranian counterparties, even though the banks broke no laws in the countries where the deals were done.In Europe, China’s economic cold war with the West is over before it’s begun If China were now to continue to buy Iranian oil in defiance of Washington, it could find its companies and banks hit with secondary sanctions aimed at disrupting their ability to make or receive international payments in US dollars. For businesses operating in US dollar-denominated global energy and financial markets, such sanctions would be crippling. As a result, China and Asia’s other big buyers of Iranian oil – South Korea, India and Japan – will reluctantly decide to wind down their purchases in favour of crude from other suppliers. But short-term compliance does not imply longer-term acquiescence. Quite the reverse; the US move to scrap Iranian sanction waivers, using its weaponisation of the US dollar as an implied threat to ensure compliance, will only encourage China and others to seek an alternative to the US dollar as the currency of denomination for their future international trade and investment flows.Establishing an alternative will not be easy. Much like a dominant computer operating system, the US dollar has all the advantages of incumbency as the world’s currency of choice. The reason companies use Microsoft is that other companies use Microsoft, plus they have accumulated years of knowledge and experience of using Microsoft. So, for another operating system to replace Microsoft Windows, the new system can’t just be marginally better – it has to be miles better. But by weaponising the US dollar, Washington has made the search for an alternative more urgent. And over the last few years, Beijing has done much of the groundwork needed to promote the yuan to the rest of the world as a potential challenger.To encourage other countries to begin using the yuan as a trading currency, the Chinese government has improved access to yuan financing by allowing a pool of offshore liquidity to develop in Hong Kong. But the big step will be for Beijing to persuade commodity exporters, and oil exporters in particular, to accept payment for their shipments in yuan. To do this, Beijing must convince producers that they can do more with the yuan they earn than simply use it to buy manufactured goods from China.In other words, Beijing has to offer a stable, secure "risk-free" asset denominated in yuan, with plentiful liquidity and a guaranteed exit route, to provide the world with a viable alternative to US Treasury bonds as a safe store of value. ...Tom Holland is a former SCMP staffer who has been writing about Asian affairs for more than 25 years(6) Iran Claims Arrest of 290 CIA Agents; U.S. Sends 2 Aircraft Carriers 7, 2019By Aaron KeselU.S. and Iranian tensions are rising at a rapid rate. National Security Adviser John Bolton has publicly acknowledged deploying the U.S.S Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) region as a "clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force."However, this follows reports on April 22nd that the U.S.S. John C. Stennis and Abraham Lincoln carrier strike groups have joined the US Mediterranean 6th Fleet for the first time in more than two years, as DEBKAfile reported. For those unaware, DEBKA is used by Mossad intelligence very frequently to get their news/intelligence within the Middle East.An earlier report by the Navy’s military site actually announced the deployment in early April.This means that the U.S. may have two carrier strike groups within striking distance of Iran, not just one as the U.S. media is reporting, and DEBKAfile may have leaked intelligence (archived.) Although Vice Adm Lisa Franchetti is the source of the story, this writer couldn’t find a source for any of the quotes external to DEBKAfile.Vice Admiral Franchetti commented that it was a rare opportunity for two strike groups to work together alongside key allies and partners in the region. Our sources say she was referring to British, French and Israeli naval forces. The vice admiral, who has served as 6th Fleet commander since early 2018, added: "The dual carrier operations in the Mediterranean showcase the flexibility and scalability maritime forces provide to the joint force, while demonstrating our ironclad commitment to the stability and security of the region."One day prior on April 21st, the Trump administration announced it would end its waiver program for countries importing Iranian oil. The Trump administration is now warning it will start imposing sanctions on countries such as India, China, and Turkey that buy Iranian oil as part of its "maximum pressure" campaign. ...Eight countries — China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey — were initially given six-month reprieves after the United States reimposed sanctions on Iran in November, following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear accord which Activist Post reported. Those reprieves expired on May 2nd according to a Bloomberg report.China, arguably one of the largest buyers of Iranian oil, reiterated its opposition to unilateral sanctions and accused the U.S. of reaching beyond its jurisdiction. "China’s cooperation with Iran is open, transparent, reasonable and legitimate, and should be respected," Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in response to a question on the waivers at a briefing in Beijing, CNN reported.Iran has called the sanctions "illegal" according to a statement by the foreign ministry, reported."Since the sanctions in question are principally illegal, the Islamic Republic of Iran did not and does not attach any value or credibility to the waivers given to the sanctions," the foreign ministry said in a statement issued on its official website.Reuters reports that,If China does not cut Iran oil purchases to zero, the Trump administration may have to make a decision on blocking Chinese banks from the U.S. financial system. That could have unintended consequences for finance and business between the world’s two biggest economies, already in negotiations over trade disagreements. ...(7) Iran says Mossad ‘fabricating intelligence’ on oil tanker attacks StaffJune 6, 2019Iran’s foreign minister has condemned the UNSC meeting that will discuss UAE claims about oil tanker attacks.Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has condemned the June 6 meeting between the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and Saudi Arabia, Norway and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), regarding the attacks on three ships in the Persian Gulf off the coast of the UAE.The UAE, Norway and Saudi Arabia, whose oil tankers were slightly damaged in the May 12 attacks off the port of Fujairah, will present their findings to the UNSC. United States officials tried to point a finger at Iran immediately after the attacks, with US national security adviser John Bolton — who has long sought a military conflict with Iran — accusing Iran or groups linked to Iran of being behind the attacks, though he has not provided proof. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the attacks were an attempt to raise the price of oil.In response to the meeting, Zarif tweeted, "The B-Team boys who cry wolf are crying once again." The B-Team is Zarif’s moniker for Bolton, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Zayed and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who are all strategically aligned against Iran and advocated for the US exit from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and a more hostile US approach toward Iran. Zarif’s tweet continued, "This time, Mossad is fabricating intelligence about Iran’s involvement in sabotage in Fujairah. I’ve warned of ‘accidents’ and false flags — we know what happens when you believe their lies. We’ve been here before, haven’t we?"Zarif’s reference to Mossad, the national intelligence agency of Israel, is based on Israeli media claims that the organization presented evidence to the United States of Iran’s involvement in the attacks on the oil tankers. The source told Israeli media that the attack was a "pretty good commando operation."Iran's government immediately condemned the attacks on the tankers. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi called them "worrying and unfortunate." He called for an investigation that would "make clear all of the dimensions of the incident." Mousavi also warned of any "adventurism" from foreigners as a result of this incident.The attacks took place just one week after Bolton announced that a US carrier was being sent to the Persian Gulf due to Iranian threats. Later it was reported that the carrier was already scheduled to be deployed, but Bolton had used the occasion to issue a public statement against Iran. It was reported June 4, however, that the USS Abraham Lincoln had never actually entered the Persian Gulf and remained off the coast of Oman in the Arabian Sea. The commanding officer of the Lincoln, Capt. Putnam Brown, told the Associated Press, "You don’t want to inadvertently escalate something." In addition to the carrier, the United States also sent B-52 bombers and will be sending an additional 900 troops to the region.(8) For Iran to torpedo ships in Gulf would give USA an excuse to attack; therefore Iran did not do it bono? Iran has ‘no reason’ to torpedo oil tankers in Gulf of Oman & ‘go to war’Published time: 14 Jun, 2019 13:58Despite accusations from Washington, Iran has no motive for instigating the attack on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, analysts told RT, stressing that the suspicious incident has harmed, rather than helped, Tehran.Iran rescued 44 sailors from two tankers, ‘Front Altair’ and ‘Kokuka Courageous,’ after the vessels came under attack on Thursday. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was quick to pin the blame for the incident on Iran, claiming that the Islamic Republic was "lashing out" in frustration over Washington’s draconian sanctions regime.Analysts who spoke with RT, however, questioned Pompeo’s line of reasoning.‘Why would Iran do it?’Tehran has nothing to gain from attacking the oil tankers, defense analyst and retired Lt. General Amjad Shoaib said."Why would Iran do it? They have no reason to go to war and they have no reason to escalate the situation," he stressed.Tehran has adamantly denied any involvement. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif described the incident as highly suspicious, adding that Washington’s evidence-free accusations are designed to "sabotage" Iran’s diplomatic efforts.Experts noted the strange timing of the attack, which came as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was meeting with Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, marking the first time in 40 years that a Japanese leader had visited Tehran. Coincidentally, one of the oil tankers targeted in the attack was Japanese-owned.The Japanese firm, Kokuka Sangyo Co, said on Friday that its tanker had been attacked by two "flying objects" but that there was no damage to the ship’s cargo of methanol.Kourosh Shamlou, an attorney and Middle East specialist, told RT that it would be completely illogical for Iran to quite literally torpedo such a historic summit, especially since doing so would play into the hands of Washington’s anti-Iran hawks."I’m an attorney. You have to know for whom a crime is beneficial. We can see the geopolitical situation of Iran and the US in the Persian Gulf. We can say that the Iranians are not going to torpedo a ship that will lead to the Americans attacking them. It’s going to give the Americans an excuse to attack Iran. So it cannot be the Iranians."In fact, the incident has already had negative economic consequences for Iran, Hamed Mousavi, professor of political science at the University of Tehran and visiting professor at Carleton University, noted to RT."Iran’s currency lost five percent of its value today just because of talk of escalating tensions as well as perhaps the possibility of war. I think right now Iran wants to de-escalate the situation with the United States," said Mousavi.‘Mainstream conspiracy theory’It’s not surprising that media outlets are dutifully relaying Pompeo’s accusations against Iran without questioning his logic – or asking for evidence, observed political analyst Shabbir Razvi."As soon as something happens in the Gulf region, particularly over the last few months in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, it’s immediately blamed on Iran," he said, describing the phenomenon as a "mainstream conspiracy theory" being pushed by Washington and uncritical media.Razvi stressed that without evidence, it would be irresponsible of Washington – or anyone else – to put forward theories about who was responsible for the attack. However, there’s at least one country that has a documented history of fabricating scenarios to justify military action, Shamlou noted."All of a sudden, an accident happens, and [the United States] starts saying ‘it’s the Vietnamese, it’s the Iraqis, it’s the Iranians.’ And then they have a legitimate cause for their people to attack."