US-Led Iran Sanctions Stoking Anti-American Sentiment

The sanctions are harming millions of Iranian civilians for an offense the regime has not even committed

The US-led economic sanctions on Iran are ruining the economy and stoking anti-American sentiment, according to a Tehran-based journalist.

“Many people have taken on second, even third jobs,” reports Al Jazeera’s Soraya Lennie. “They’ve watched their savings disappear, critical medicines are getting harder to find, inflation is high, factories are closing. Basically, so many people are watching their futures vanish.”

The Iranian have a laundry list of reason to dislike the United States, from overthrowing their democratic government in 1953 and imposing a dictatorship to militarily surrounding their country and threatening constantly to join Israel in an unprovoked bombing campaign.

But now crippling sanctions are at the forefront of their grievances, especially since they have been imposed on Iran for a transgression of the Iranian government that even US intelligence admits has not taken place. The most recent National Intelligence Estimate concluded Iran has no nuclear weapons program.

“Pushing Iran, isolating the country and trying to cripple the country’s economy to stop it enriching uranium is isolating the wrong people: the educated, the pro-Western youth, most of whom don’t tend to cling to any revolutionary zeal, who are more likely to be seen at the Apple store than at any anti-US rally,” Lennie writes.

But these are the people the Obama administration is turning off. As one student told Lennie: ”It’s just a vicious circle. His [Obama’s] rhetoric of change actually ended up with change for the worst.”

by John Glaser

In Wake of Israeli Airstrike, Iranian Warships Dock in Port Sudan

Sudan Reiterates: No Iran Ties at Attacked Factory

With everyone still trying to make sense of last week’s Israeli attack on a Sudanese weapons factory, which killed two and caused considerable fire damage, a pair of Iranian warships have docked at Port Sudan.

The timing of the arrival is likely coincidental, as the two ships, which are the same ships that crossed the Suez Canal and docked at Tartus earlier this year, were apparently already in the Red Sea when the attack took place as part of their anti-piracy patrols.

Reports over the weekend claimed that during the January 2010 Dubai assassination Israel got wind of Iranian ties to the Khartoum Factory, and that Israel believed it was producing Iranian missiles for Hamas.

There doesn’t seem to be any evidence for that, at least none that’s been made public. Sudan insists that the whole claim is false, and that Iran had no ties to the weapons factory whatsoever.

by Jason Ditz,



Massive US-Led Anti-Mining Drill in Persian Gulf a Disaster

Less Than Half of Practice Mines Actually Found

More than 30 nations engaged in what is being called the single largest naval drill in human history aimed to find 29 simulated sea mines planted in the water. The results were not very good, according to Captain Robert O’Donnell.

“I don’t think a great many were found,” O’Donnell said of the fake mines, saying that less than half of them were ever actually located. That is a stark difference from the official statement, which initially claimed “no missed mines.”

The long and short of it is that every anti-mining ship managed to find a mine, but most of them apparently found the same few, and most of the mines just stayed there for the duration of the exercise, undiscovered.

This isn’t exactly promising results if Iran indeed deploys hundreds or thousands of sea mines into the Straits of Hormuz. If the multi-week exercise couldn’t even find 29 practice mines, they seem woefully ill-prepared to fend off large numbers of the real thing.


Hezbollah: Iran Could Strike US Bases, Troops if Israel Attacks

Hassan Nasrallah said ‘a decision has been made’ that ‘if Israel targets Iran, America bears responsibility.’

Iran would strike US military bases in the Middle East in response to any Israeli strike on its nuclear facilities, the leader of Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah said on Monday.

“A decision has been taken to respond and the response will be very great,” Hassan Nasrallah said in an interview. ”The response will not be just inside the Israeli entity – American bases in the whole region could be Iranian targets,” he said. “If Israel targets Iran, America bears responsibility.”

The statement came on the same day an Israeli newspaper reported that the Obama administration sent a secret message to Iran via European allies confirming that the US will not back an Israeli strike against Iran so long as Tehran refrains from attacking American interests in the Persian Gulf.

Iran has conventional capabilities that would allow it to target thousands of US troops in the region, in neighboring Afghanistan, in the southern Gulf island Bahrain, and elsewhere. Even with Obama’s alleged deal, this deterrent threat is something Iran will stick to in order to discourage an attack for a nuclear weapons program it doesn’t even have.

declassified war simulation run by the Pentagon earlier this year forecasted such a “strike would lead to a wider regional war, which could draw in the United States” and would immediately get at least 200 Americans killed in Iran’s retaliation, not to mention heavy Iranian and Israeli casualties.

Nasrallah also said that Hezbollah would attack Israel in retaliation of any preemptive strike on Iran. Even Hezbollah has no chemical weapons, he added, they do have an arsenal that could strike Israel’s nuclear reactors.

The costs of an unprovoked Israeli strike on Iran would be immense for everybody in the region. The fact that it would entirely be a war of choice, not of necessity, is making Israel’s constant warmongering – and the Obama administrations aggressive economic and diplomatic postures – all the more dangerous.

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