Category: Iran
US Infowar’s New Front
worker | June 24, 2021 | 8:28 pm | China, Iran, Russia | Comments closed

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/202106231083222508-us-infowars-new-front/

COLUMNISTS

Get short URL
by 
7523
Subscribe

The shutting down of dozens of Iranian news channels by the US government this week is a daring new offensive against free speech that is only one part of Washington’s global information warfare.

The US authorities claim the forced internet closure of Press TV and other affiliated online news services was based on alleged violation of American sanctions. The sites have since come back online by deftly switching to other internet domains beyond US control.

Nevertheless, the temporary blackout of a nation’s news channels is a deeply sinister sign of how far Washington is prepared to go in pushing information warfare under the guise of “complying” with sanctions probity.

If the United States designates foreign nations as “enemy” or “terrorist” – which it has done with regard to Iran – then, of course, it follows logic under pseudo-legal sanctions for such draconian actions to be taken in censoring public broadcasting from that nation.

But there’s a bigger picture. The latest American move against Iran can be seen as a gambit for a much broader front in information warfare against other nations. In particular, Russia and China.

Both of those nations are increasingly labelled in hostile terms as enemies, allegedly posing threats to American national security and the security of “allies”. Indeed, the hostile rhetoric is intensifying and becoming ever more frenetic, accusing Russia and China of endangering “rules-based order” and the very foundations of “Western democracy”.

What really galls Washington and its Western vassals in the European Union and the NATO military axis is that Russia and China have both developed impressive news media services that operate internationally and in English and other major languages. Those media outlets have broken the Western monopoly on information available to the world.

For decades, Washington and its allies could loudly proclaim this or that through their controlled news media and there was little chance to challenge or correct.

 

That media monopoly is no longer. Western narratives on international events are contradicted by alternative perspectives from Iran, Russia and China. Oftentimes the Western narratives, for example, the war in Syria, are shown to be completely false and exposed as propaganda masquerading as “news”.

Such competition for news and views should be seen as a healthy democratic choice. But it is intolerable to the United States and its Western lackeys because such alternative information fatally undermines imperial agendas for foreign intervention. In fact, furthermore, Western governments can be seen by their own citizens as acting criminally in violating international law, for example, in imposing crippling sanctions against Iran’s people.

This, by the way, is why brave truth-tellers like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are persecuted. It is another example of Western powers censoring sources of critical information that illuminates their war crimes and other imperial vices.

Iran’s news channels and regional affiliates have provided informative coverage on a swathe of issues, ranging from the international nuclear accord which Washington sabotaged and is wrangling over with criminal sanctions, to the war on Yemen in which the United States, Britain and France are implicated for complicity in war crimes.

The Americans and their Western partners cannot argue against the truth which exposes their depredations and sordid machinations.

So, the only line of action is to shoot the messenger in order to delete the indicting message.

This has been going for some time already, whereby US big tech and social media companies have been surreptitiously censoring alternative foreign and domestic news services under the cynical guise of “community standards” and other bogus pretexts. That can be seen as American information warfare conducted in the private commercial realm.

But now the American government is openly wielding blanket censorship by closing down Iranian news services on the internet.

Washington’s increasing belligerent logic towards Russia and China is formulating a rationale for the same draconian censorship against these two nations.

 

The US empire wants to criminalize Russia in order to justify NATO military expansion and to sabotage Moscow’s relations with Europe. And America’s minion-politicians in Europe are colluding in their own self-sabotage.

Perhaps more than this, the US empire is desperate to undermine China’s ascent to economic and geopolitical power by criminalizing Beijing over an array of allegations, including the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For Washington to succeed in its agenda it needs to win what it would call the information war. And that means shutting down news and views from Russia and China.

That’s why the latest American media offensive against Iran could be just the opening of a much bigger front.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

Iranian Navy Ship in Atlantic Reportedly Carrying Fuel Alongside Armaments for Venezuela
worker | June 14, 2021 | 8:54 pm | Iran, Venezuela | Comments closed

https://sputniknews.com/world/202106121083132928-one-of-the-iranian-navys-ships-in-atlantic-might-be-carrying-fuel-alongside-armaments-for-venezuela/

WORLD

Get short URL
by 
251110

The US earlier expressed concerns regarding media reports about two Iranian warships in the Atlantic Ocean possibly trying to deliver weapons to Venezuela. The online publication Foreign Policy noted, however, that Washington’s options to legally stop them are severely limited.

One of the two Iranian Navy warships sailing through the Atlantic Ocean might be carrying up to three million gallons of fuel for Venezuela, Maritime expert Sal Mercogliano has told the Daily Mail. Mercogliano came to this conclusion by studying satellite images, obtained by USNI News, of the Makran – a retrofitted military oil carrier that showed the vessel sailing low in the water and possibly transferring to the second Iranian ship, Sahand.

“She is loaded down to the gills. She is obviously loaded with fuel but much more fuel than what’s needed”, Mercogliano suggested.

Oil or fuel is not the only ware that Makran is suspected of carrying to Venezuela – its alleged, but still unconfirmed, destination. The Daily Mail cites another set of satellite images, captured by Maxar Technologies, as showing signs that the retrofitted carrier is also loaded with at least seven fast-attack boats alongside the purported shipment of fuel.

The Iranian Navy actively uses such high-speed vessels capable of manoeuvring around larger warships and carrying out strikes against them using machine guns and rockets.

When it comes to fuel shipments from Iran to Venezuela, the two countries have already engaged in such operations in the past. Tehran sent several tankers under its flags to help Caracas cope with the petroleum shortages in the country. All of them successfully reached the nation’s shores. Yet, the US claims to have intercepted several ships sailing under non-Iranian flags but purportedly carrying Iranian fuel for Caracas. Tehran denied owning the intercepted petroleum, but condemned Washington’s attempts to intercept such shipments as state piracy.

US Worried About Possible Arm Shipments to Venezuela

While all these reports remain unconfirmed and Iran is dodging questions regarding the two ships’ mission in the Atlantic, the US has already expressed concerns regarding the nature of the endeavour. US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said he was worried that the Iranian warships might be delivering weapons to neighbouring states. A Politico report cited an anonymous American official as claiming that Washington believes these weapons were bought by the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro.

At the same time, the US has so far been less than forthright about its plans concerning the reported Iranian arms shipment. US State Department spokesman Ned Price hinted that the White House is ready to act in response to attempts by the countries to trade weapons that allegedly violate “international obligations”.

“We’re prepared to leverage our applicable authorities, including sanctions, against any actor that enables Iran’s ongoing provision of weapons to violent partners into proxies”, Price said.

It is unclear, however, what violation an arms shipment from Iran to Venezuela would constitute – there have been no UN approved bans on weapon sales to Caracas and the one that used to affect Tehran expired last year.

Even if the US were to decide to stop the alleged arms shipment by Iran, it would have no option of doing so without violating international laws and would risk facing consequences for doing so, Foreign Policy (FP) noted in a recent article. The media outlet stressed that the Iranian Navy’s ships are protected by sovereign immunity and Washington can only take action in the event of a direct threat by them in American territorial waters. The Iranian vessels, however, are nowhere near the US coast and any attempt to stop them risks triggering international condemnation and reciprocal actions against American warships, FP noted.

Russia is ready to facilitate indirect contacts between Iran and the United States on the Iran nuclear agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), where “it is necessary,” Sputnik reported Monday citing Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna.
worker | April 5, 2021 | 8:26 pm | Iran, Russia | Comments closed

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-04-05/Moscow-ready-to-facilitate-Iran-U-S-contact-on-nuclear-deal-Report-Zdr7RYyv60/index.html

Translate
Moscow ready to facilitate Iran-U.S. contact on nuclear deal: Report
CGTN

Russia is ready to facilitate indirect contacts between Iran and the United States on the Iran nuclear agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), where “it is necessary,” Sputnik reported Monday citing Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna.

Representatives from Iran and world powers will meet this Tuesday in Vienna to discuss the JCPOA. Iran and the U.S. first said on Friday they would hold indirect talks in the meeting, but Iranian media Press TV on Sunday reported, citing an official, that Iran will have no direct or indirect talks with the U.S. in Vienna or “anywhere else.”

US intel report claims Russia ‘probably’ tried to sway 2020 election (as well as Iran, Venezuela & Cuba… but not China)
worker | March 17, 2021 | 8:27 pm | China, Cuba, Iran, Russia, Venezuela | Comments closed

https://www.rt.com/usa/518305-intelligence-russia-election-influence/

US intel report claims Russia ‘probably’ tried to sway 2020 election (as well as Iran, Venezuela & Cuba… but not China)

US intel report claims Russia ‘probably’ tried to sway 2020 election (as well as Iran, Venezuela & Cuba… but not China)
The Joe Biden administration is reportedly preparing new sanctions against Russia after an intelligence assessment claimed to find attempts at interference by Moscow, Tehran and other usual suspects in the 2020 presidential race.

15-page Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) released on Tuesday purported to review “foreign threats” to the last election, finding that most of the countries Washington has a grudge against – Russia, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba – had acted in various ways to “influence” the outcome of the race.

Prepared in the waning days of the Donald Trump administration, the report said intelligence officials could find “no indications that any foreign actor attempted to alter any technical aspect of the voting process” in the 2020 race, but nonetheless pointed to suspected “election influence” operations by a number of states. It defined those malicious activities as vaguely as possible – as any effort by a foreign government, or somebody acting on their behalf, to “directly or indirectly” affect any aspect of the election.

Though the ICA asserts with “high confidence” that President Vladimir Putin personally directed the alleged Russian influence campaign, the document later hedges that stance, noting that he “probably” ordered the operation. At no point does the report cite any evidence, however, invoking the standard classified ‘sources and methods’ rationale common to the intelligence community.

ALSO ON RT.COMEx-CIA congressman says disputing election results helps America’s enemies STEAL ELECTIONS – just what the CIA always did!The report also alleges that “proxies linked to Russian intelligence” disseminated “misleading” narratives about then-Democratic nominee Joe Biden, namely claims that he and his family have “corrupt ties” to Ukraine. Presumably, the document referred to allegations that, as vice president under Barack Obama, Biden pushed to oust Ukraine’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating a gas firm where Biden’s son sat on the board of directors.

Biden himself has acknowledged pressuring Ukrainian officials to fire Shokin with a threat to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees, but denies the move was meant to protect his son. Local media reports suggest the investigation into the gas firm, Burisma Holdings, was ongoing at the time Biden urged to have the prosecutor fired.

The ICA, moreover, claims “Russian state media, trolls and online proxies” sought to stoke divisions in the US by calling attention to “social media censorship” and last summer’s wave of police brutality protests – implying sinister motives, even as the same topics were covered universally across global media and intensely debated online.

In retaliation for the alleged “influence” operations, the Biden administration is now mulling a new round of sanctions for Moscow, which could come as soon as next week, Reuters and CNN reported, both citing anonymous US officials.

ALSO ON RT.COMWilliam Burns, ex-envoy to Russia who accused Putin of using judo-like tactics to ‘sow chaos’ in US, named as Biden’s CIA directorDespite previous rhetoric from the Trump administration to the contrary, the intelligence assessment found that China made no attempt at election-meddling, and “considered but did not deploy” any influence ops. It added that Beijing instead “sought stability” with Washington and did not prefer one candidate over the other.

That finding appears to cut against a statement from a top Trump intelligence official, William Evanina, who claimed last summer that China had already begun preparations to interfere in the race, though at the time he could only point to Beijing’s “public rhetoric” to “counter criticism” of itself on the world stage.

The assessment also reports a “multi-pronged covert influence campaign” by Tehran, intended to undercut Trump’s prospects for reelection and “sow division” in the US. While it left the charge largely unsubstantiated and offered few details, the ICA claims the Iranian effort focused on social media posts, mirroring the claims about mysterious and ill-defined Russian “proxies” online.

Those purported influence campaigns were joined by “smaller scale” ops by other actors, the report concluded, suggesting the governments of Cuba and Venezuela, as well as the Lebanese militant group and political party Hezbollah, “probably” acted to undermine Trump’s reelection bid.

The latest intel report comes after years of similar allegations of Russian meddling, hacking and “collusion” with the Trump campaign in the 2016 presidential race, which refused to die even after a special counsel probe failed to prove any such conspiracy.

ALSO ON RT.COMIn politicizing intelligence, America is blaming everyone but itself for its self-inflicted woesThink your friends would be interested? Share this story!

https://sputniknews.com/latam/202103171082369581-venezuelan-mp-calls-us-intelligence-report-attempt-to-justify-interventions/?utm_source=push&utm_medium=browser_notification&utm_campaign=sputnik_inter_en
worker | March 17, 2021 | 7:24 pm | Cuba, Iran, Russia, Venezuela | Comments closed

LATIN AMERICA

Get short URL
2124
Subscribe

CARACAS (Sputnik) – The recently declassified US intelligence report is an attempt by the United States to find arguments for justifying intervention, Venezuelan lawmaker Roy Daza told Sputnik.

According to the report, declassified on Tuesday, Venezuela and Cuba made efforts to meddle in the 2020 US elections, acting in their own financial interests. It adds that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had intentions to influence former US President Donald Trump’s image, but had no possibility to do so. The report also accuses Russia of attempting to support Trump, denigrate current US President Joe Biden, and sow discord in US society.

“By this report, they try to find arguments for their unipolar position, interference into other countries’ internal affairs and other governments’ policy”, Daza said.

The Venezuelan MP also said that the report is “banal” and cannot be taken seriously, adding that the “USA strives for hitting the image of countries that run independent policies such as Russia, Venezuela, Iran and Cuba”.

According to Daza, the USA is trying to resist a movement that has emerged in the United Nations to save the principles of the UN Charter and that opposes restrictive measures against countries Washington considers as ideological enemies.

Trump is a liar, rogue, and thief
worker | May 8, 2018 | 8:21 pm | Analysis, Donald Trump, Iran | Comments closed

By A. Shaw

The decision of the reactionary bourgeois US regime to violate the terms of the Iranian nuclear deal further exposes Trump, the leader of this rogue US regime, as a liar, rogue, and thief.

THE LIAR
Trump lies when he says that Iran violates the nuclear deal. The US regime under the rule of Trump violates the deal.
THE ROGUE
Trump is a rogue because he acts outside and against the law.
Under Article 6 of the US Constitution, the Iranian deal is protected by the Supremacy Clause.
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States 
which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; 
and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, 
under the Authority of the United States, 
shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”
 
The deal is a treaty made under the authority of the United States.
 
THE THIEF
 
Trump is a thief because the goal of Trump and his closest supporters is to extort
cash and business from Iran and from Trump allies which are also parties to the Iranian deal.
The Coming War with Iran
worker | May 2, 2018 | 8:15 pm | Iran, Israel, John Wight | Comments closed

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201805021064083008-netanyahu-iran-obsession/

Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in New York (September 27, 2012).

The Coming War With Iran

© AFP 2018 / Don Emmert
Columnists

Get short URL
John Wight
2120

Benjamin Netanyahu’s animus towards Iran has long been a driving obsession, occupying his mind before his goes to bed at night and when he wakes up in the morning.

During what can only be described as a bizarre example of coup de théâtre in Tel Aviv on April 30th — billed officially at a press conference — the Israeli Prime Minister left no stone unturned in impugning the Iran nuclear deal, signed during Obama’s tenure in the Oval Office, claiming that “Iran did not come clean about its nuclear program.”

Netanyahu’s case against the Iran nuclear deal, which he claims is now irrefutable based on a large cache of classified documents stolen from the Iranians by Mossad, is — it should be stressed — yet to gain the support of most of its signatories, specifically Russia, France, the UK, Germany and China. It is supported by the Trump administration, however, with the President coming out in support of Netanyahu’s claims during his own press conference outside the White House soon afterwards, right on cue.

Among his own remarks on Netanyahu’s claims, Trump repeated what has been one of the few consistent positions of his presidency, asserting that the Iran deal is a “horrible agreement for the United States.”

READ MORE: ‘Either a Liar or an Idiot’: Netanyahu’s Iran Claims Insult Integrity of IAEA

What we have here evinces all the hallmarks of a ruse on the part of Netanyahu and Trump, two leaders currently engaged in a bromance that would scare the pants off your average ghost, what with their shared caprice and reckless disregard for international law. It is a ruse designed to up the ante when it comes to isolating and demonizing Iran, which combined with a recent bout of Israeli airstrikes against Iranian targets in Syria, describes at this point seemingly inexorable march towards a full blown regional conflict.Making these gathering storm clouds even more concerning is that currently in Riyadh sits a leader, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, whose bellicosity towards Tehran is reflected in the hell Saudi Arabia has and continues to unleash upon men, women, and children in Yemen — a proxy war whose savagery has gone almost completely unremarked in the mainstream Western media. This is despite the fact that it could well be a prelude to the much more savage and destructive conflict that will ensue between Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah on one side, and Israel and Saudi Arabia, backed by a neocon-dominated Trump administration in Washington, on the other, should it come to pass.

READ MORE: Saudi Arabia ‘May Hope Israel Will Do the Job for Them and Fight Iran’ – Analyst

Iran, a country with no extra-territorial ambitions, which has not started a war with any of its neighbours in generations, is now firmly in the crosshairs of Washington and its regional allies. Despite Tehran’s considerable role in fighting and defeating Salafi-jihadi terrorism in Iraq and in Syria, Trump alleges that Iran is a major sponsor of terrorism. The President here is, of course, referring to Tehran’s close ties to Hezbollah, the Lebanese resistance and social movement born in the ashes of Israel’s invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon in the early 1980s.

One man’s terrorist, they say, is another man’s freedom fighter — and with the IDF’s penchant for shooting dead unarmed Palestinian civilians without compunction, legal or moral, where Israel and Hezbollah are concerned many will find it impossible to make the case for Israel.Significantly, the momentous and truly historic peace summit the world witnessed on the Korean Peninsula between North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in, will likely not be replicated anytime soon in the Middle East. Not when the key regional actors include Benjamin Netanyahu, Mohammad Bin Salman and Donald Trump, men for whom war and conflict would seem more desirable and feasible than diplomacy when it comes to resolving their issues with Iran and its allies.

This being said, a sober and serious analysis of the region leaves little doubt that the regional conflict between the aforementioned blocs is already underway, and has been for some time. As far back as the Obama administration, in the years leading up to the Iran Deal in 2015, Washington was doing its utmost to neuter Iran’s nuclear research program by nefarious means. US author and historian, Perry Anderson, reveals how the Obama administration “launched a massive joint US-Israeli assault on Iranian computer networks to cripple the development of its nuclear program. A blatant violation of what passes for international law, the projection of the Stuxnet virus was personally supervised by Obama.”

It is also a fact that Israel’s notorious intelligence agency, Mossad, has in the past assassinated Iranian scientists involved in the country’s nuclear program — a program that the Iranian government has always maintained is solely concerned with meeting the country’s domestic energy needs, thus freeing up more of its oil for export.

The uptick in aggressive rhetoric against Iran that we have seen, set alongside the celebratory scenes on the Korean Peninsula as peace and denuclearization beckons after many-many decades, it is entirely conceivable that if not before the Iranians now will be minded to actively embark on the pursuit of a nuclear deterrent, one that the Israelis already have in their arsenal.

Making a quick detour, the question of why certain countries are allowed their own nuclear deterrent and others not is one in whose answer we arrive at the reality of power politics as the arbiter of international affairs, rather than the UN Charter or international law.

The point is that the Iranians will be more than justified in arriving at the conclusion that the only reason peace has broken out between North and South Korea is because the DPRK managed to acquire its own nuclear missile capability.

Harsh logic maybe, but hard to refute all the same.

READ MORE: Israel Doesn’t Seek War With Iran — Netanyahu

What is abundantly clear is that something somewhere has to give. Iran is being backed into a corner for no other reason than it refuses to bow to US hegemony, along with the fact that it acts as the main bulwark of opposition to Israeli and Saudi regional ambitions.

In his bestselling book, ‘The Silk Roads’, Peter Frankopan writes, “The world is changing around us. As we move into an era where the political, military and economic dominance of the west is coming under pressure, the sense of uncertainty is unsettling.”

That’s one way of putting it. Another way of putting it is that the old unipolar world is dying while the new multipolar world struggles to be born.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.