Friday, July 19, 2019





 (#11 Oct. 8, 2011; #12 Jan. 31, 2012; #13 Feb. 22, 2012; #14 Feb. 26, 2012; #15 March 17, 2012; #16 April 12, 2012; #17 May 21, 2012; #18, July 9, 2012; #19 August 13, 2012; #20 Sept. 10, 2012; #21, Dec. 14, 2012; #22 March 5, 2013; #23 Nov. 12, 2013; #24 March 5, 2014; #25 January 17, 2015; #26, July 28, 2015; #27, June 3, 2018; #28, June 21, 2019; #29, July 11, 2019; #30, July 19, 2019.)

I.  Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Reporting Iran: Analyzed April-July 2019 by Dick
II.  National Newspapers Examined by FAIR: Shupak and Cho
III.  General Criticism of US Aggressions against Iran
LTE from ARKie Reg Edwards
Veterans Against War Petition to Congress
Essay Against Sanctions by Dan Cohen
History of Iran, the 1950s by Heather Gray
IV.  Dick’s Newsletters on Iran 2011-Present


I.  NADG Reports on Iran April 7--

Bret Stephens. NYT. “The fiasco that wasn’t”. 4-7-19.   A FAIR article  analyzes a Bret Stephens argument to “sink Iran’s navy”:  New York Times Bret Stephens (6/14/19) contended, “If Iran won’t change its behavior, we should sink its navy.” The word “behavior” telegraphs how Stephens presents Iran is a nation of children that needs to be disciplined by its masters in the civilized world. He writes that “allowing Iran to go unpunished isn’t an option. What is appropriate is a new set of rules — with swift consequences if Iran chooses to break them. The Trump administration ought to declare new rules of engagement to allow the Navy to engage and destroy Iranian ships or fast boats that harass or threaten any ship, military or commercial, operating in international waters. If Tehran fails to comply, the US should threaten to sink any Iranian naval ship that leaves port.  If after that Iran still fails to comply, we would be right to sink its navy, in port or at sea. The world cannot tolerate freelance Somali pirates. Much less should it tolerate a pirate state seeking to hold the global economy hostage through multiplying acts of economic terrorism.” 
In Stephens’ estimation, the US has the right to issue “a new set of rules” and, in the event that Iran doesn’t “comply” with the US’s imperial fiats about the waters off Iran’s shores, employ gunboat diplomacy to enforce them. Notice how quickly he slides from “the US” in the first of these paragraphs to “the world” in the second, as though these are one and the same. Interestingly, his definition of “economic terrorism” seems only to include actions that Iran is accused of taking but hasn’t been proven to have done, and not the full-scale destruction of the Iranian economy that the US has embarked on in plain sight.
D-G staff.  “Iranian bill labels US forces terrorists” 4-17-19.  Well aren’t they?  The headline should be? Iranian Bill Recognizes US Terrorism.   What would Trump, Bolton, Pompeo, Pence say if the Iranians had an aircraft carrier attack group in the Gulf of Mexico? (Google search US carrier attack force, and read about each of the ships.)  Or if a U.S. cruiser in the Strait of Hormuz shot down an Iranian civilian airliner and killed all 200-plus people on board, as happened?  See LTE from Reg Edwards at end: thank you Reg..
Matthew Lee. AP. “US adds wiggle room to Iran Guard pressure. 4-25-19.  IG pressure?!  Take a look at the graphic of Iran surrounded by US military bases?  And the US has some 800 bases.

Nasser Karimi. AP. “Report: Iran to pull back from nuke deal.”  5-3-19.   Why shouldn’t they since the U.S.ripped it up already?   The other half of the nuke deal was for the U.S. to lift its crippling sanctions, its economic warfare on Iran.  So Trump tears up the agreement, increases sanctions, and denounces Iran for breaking the agreement.
From Medea Benjamin’s book Inside Iran: “It’s a wonder that the Iranian economy functions as well as it does, given the crippling restrictions it is been subjected to since the time of the 1979 revolution. Sanctions started with the U.S. embassy hostage crisis, when the Carter administration banned Iranian oil imports, froze $12 billion in Iranian government assets in the U.S., and imposed an embargo on travel to Iran….(In 1983) the Reagan administration, after the 1983 bombing of a US Marine compound in Lebanon, blocked World Bank loans to Iran and later banned all US imports from Iran.   Starting in 1995, the Clinton administration used sanctions (including a total trade and investment embargo and pressured foreign companies from investing in Iran) to punish Iran for links to groups it defined as terrorists—Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”
Lorne Cook. AP. “EU to Iran: Abide by nuclear pact.  5-10-19.  Iran did abide by the pact.  The US did not.    Does the EU tell the US to “abide by the nuclear pact”?  And what pact is there to abide by?
Jon Gambrell. AP. “Saudis: Oil tankers sabotaged near UAE. 5-13-19. 
Associated Press. “Iranian authorities shut magazine over US talks stance.”  5-13-19.  Iran presented as authoritarians attacking free press.  See Heather Gray’s history below.
Jon Gambrell. AP. “Iran suspected in ship sabotages.” 5-14-19.  Suspected by whom?  On what evidence?  (I’m writing this 7-18-19.)  What should that headline have said?
D-G Staff. “Talking down war talk”  5-15-19
D-G Staff. “Lawmakers say fill us in on Iran” 5-17-19
D-G Staff. “Airlines told of flight risk in Iran region” 5-19-19.  The flight risk warning is focused on a risk from Iranian attack.  Do we need to fear them, or the US?  Forgotten or suppressed is the U.S. shooting down an Iranian civilian aircraft, Iran Air flight 655, in 1988, killing all 290 passengers and crew.  This is paralleled by US warnings of nuclear weapons possessed by other nations, when only the US has used them and threatened to use them repeatedly. 
D-G Staff. “Will fight if Iranians start war, Saudis say” 5-20-19.  The Iranians are not starting a war and have not threatened to start a war.  But the US is engaged in an economic war against Iran and is threatening a military war.  We cannot gild the Saudis’ misleading statement with the label of sophistry (enabled by the newspaper’s headline) because it is not clever, plausible, or subtle.  The denied facts require a second exposure:   The US has engaged in economic warfare on Iran for a long time.  It is the US that is starting war.  See Cohen below on sanctions.
Richard Chapman LTE. “Actions speak loudly” 5-21-19
D-G Staff. “Iran boosts uranium production” 5-21-19.
D-G Staff. “Trump officials say US actions to deter attacks” 5-22-19.  The US is responding in “defense”. See the FAIR analysis following in Part II. 
Amir Vahdat. AP. “Iranian sets blame for deal failure: For First Time, Ayatollah Criticizes  President, Top Envoy on Pact.”   5-23-19.
David Rising. AP. “German to urge Iran to keep nuke deal” 5-24-19.  What is not emphasized is that half of the nuke deal is removing the US crippling economic sanctions (economic warfare) on Iran that have been going on since 1979.  Trump did not keep the nuke deal.  The whole world knows it, except for a minority of US populace bumfuzzled by their ideology and demagogue.  See Dan Cohen below on sanctions
AP. “[UN] Watchdog group: Iran Complying with 2015 deal”. 5-25-19.  MANY THANKS TO THE UN, but I wish it had spoken earlier and repeatedly.  Oh, perhaps it did, and was not reported.   Pres. Trump failed utterly to comply with the agreement involving a half-dozen major powers by unilaterally withdrawing from it, yet he is accusing Iran of not complying and uses this falsification to increase even more the economic warfare of sanctions, which is the central source of conflict.  See Cho below.
D-G Staff. “Iran protests US troop buildup.” 5-26-19.
Michael Kranish. WaPo. “Trump rebuffs claims he wants shakeup in Iran.”  5-28-19.
Hoyt Purvis. “Reverberations in Iran.”   5-29-19
John Gambrell. AP. “Bolton warns Iran of reprisals” 5-30-19.  They forgot to mention that Bolton is a verifiable war criminal.  Title should read “War Criminal Warns Iran of another Illegal War of Aggression.”  (Ref.: The UN Charter and subsequent writings about threatening war.  THE U N CHARTER FORBIDS, EXCEPT AS AND WHEN AUTHORIZED BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL,THE USE OF FORCE AGAINST ANOTHER STATE, EXCEPT IN CASE OF DEFENSE AGAINST ARMED ASSAULT, AND THIS OFFENSE VIOLATES A NORM PRESCRIBED BY OUR OWN CONSTITUTION.)
D-G Staff. “Saudi official calls for ‘force, firmness’ with Iran.”  5-31-19.   As if American citizens should take Saudi officials as rational, credible foreign policy advisors while they commit genocidal war crimes in Yemen.  What should this headline say?  Read the UN Charter.

Matthew Lee. AP. “In Europe, Pompeo keys on Iran” 6-1-19
Arsalan Shahla. Bloomberg. “Pompeo: US ready to talk to Iran” 6-3-19
Mari Yamaguchi. AP. “Japan’s Abe going to Iran as mediator in conflict with US” 6-7-19
Robert Burns. AP. “US makes presence known to Iran.” 6-9-19.  The US has Iran surrounded by wars and military bases.  Its presence is constantly known. You have seen the cartoon of Iran, surrounded by US military bases, asked why it had placed itself so close to them?  
Amir Vahdat. AP. “Japans Abe warns of ‘accidental conflict’ amid US-Iran tensions” 6-13-19
D-G Staff.  “Blasts Hit Ships; U.S. Blames Iran.  Crews of Two Oil Vessels Rescued; Pompeo Sees Tehran’s Hand.”  6-14-19.  1A, 4A.
D-G Staff. “Iran did it, says Trump, ripping ‘nation of terror.’” 6-15-19.  Trump again accuses Iran of attacking two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, citing a video from US Central Command ”purporting to show Iranian vessels retrieving an unexploded [limpet]mine from one of the damaged ships.”  But the co. that owns the tanker challenged the assertion saying it was hit by a “flying object.”  It’s a long report (for the ADG) like many of them needing careful analysis.
D-G Staff. “Crew of attacked ship out of Iranian hands” 6-16-19.
D-G Staff. “Pompeo vows more proof Iran hit tankers.” 6-17-19.
D-G Staff.   “Iran to Top Uranium Limits; U.S. Ups Troops.”  6-18-19.  1A, 2A.  Iran presented as a threat for moving from 4% enriched uranium (for nuclear power) to 5%, when 90% is necessary for a bomb, when it was the US president who broke the deal of Iran remaining below 4%.  The United States Responds to the threat.  Follows pattern described in FAIR article by Joshua Cho below of Iran being presented as an aggressive threat and US responding, and not vice versa which is much more the case.  [Alex Mironoff.  LTE.  “Need to Rest After That.”  6-18-19.  A part of the letter defends Iran against Trump.]
D-G Staff.  Cartoon satirizing Gulf of Oman attack as similar to Gulf of Tonkin. 6-19-19.  The cartoon related the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Tonkin, where mistaken  identification, poor judgement, and desire for war helped to trigger the Vietnam War.
[On June 20, Iran shot down a US RQ-4 drone.]
D-G Staff.  “Iran Reports It shot Down U.S. Drone in Its Airspace.”  6-20-19. 1A, 5A.   A report mainly about the bombing of the tanker ships.  ADG also published a cartoon relating the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Tonkin, where mistaken identification, poor judgement, and desire for war started the Vietnam War.
D-G Staff.  “Trump Ok’d, Then Halted Iran [retaliatory] Strikes: Reason for Canceled Plans Unknown.”  6-21-19, 1A,5A.   Read the final 3 essential paragraphs.  There we learn that Iran’s territorial waters extend 12 nautical miles, as does Oman’s across the strait.    Iran’s foreign affairs minister “gave what he said were precise coordinates for where the U.S. drone was targeted” near Kouh-e-Mobarak, and he said sections of the drone were retrieved “in OUR territorial waters where it was shot down.”   Here is the ADG’s final paragraph: “The GPS coordinates released by [minister Zarif] would put the drone 8 miles off Iran’s coast, to inside the 12 nautical miles from shore that Iran claims as territorial waters.”  Apparently the drone was shot down over Iranian territory, which explains why Trump canceled the retaliatory strike.
D-G Staff. “Surprising News, More secrets exposed to enemy. 6-21-19
DG Staff.  “No Sign of Iran Topping Uranium Stockpile Cap.”  6-28-19. 8A.


D-G Staff. “Iran surpasses deal’s uranium limit. 7-2-19. 
[Art Hobson. “Another U.S. war? Perhaps it’s time to slow down and think.” 7-2-19.]
David Haltfinger. NYT. “Israeli spy chief says Iran hit tankers in Persian Gulf.”  7-2-19.
Mike Masterson. “Every Last Vessel.“  7-2-19.
Amir Vahdat. AP. “Ex-Guard Head: Take British ship.” 7-6-19
D-G Staff. “Iranian Video Issues Threat on Uranium. 7-7-19. Threat?   Rather, more fear-mongering and war threatening by US and fecklessness by European leaders, as Ali Akbar Velayati explains: “’Americans directly and Europeans indirectly violated the deal.’  European parties to the deal have yet to offer a way for Iran to avoid the sweeping economic sanctions imposed by President Donald Trump since he pulled the U.S. out of the accord a year ago, especially those targeting its crucial oil sales.”  Velayati continues by explaining Iran’s intention to meet every US additional sanction by enriching its uranium commensurately.  “’We reduce our commitments as much as they reduce’” theirs.   Remember the accord (the “deal”) arranged by the Obama administration: Iran agreed 1) to enrich uranium to no more than 3.67%, which is enough for peaceful pursuits but is far below weapons-grade levels of 90%; and 2) to limit its stockpile of uranium to 661 pounds.  Trump trashed the agreement and increased sanctions, so Iran began ratcheting up both, while appealing to Europeans to restore the accord.   Now read the scary headline again.  In contrast to the headline, the full report gives Iran’s point of view.  What is missing here, as it is absent throughout this crisis reporting, is explanation of what is behind and underneath Trump’s ferocious, vicious prejudice against Iran.   For partial answers to this complex historical and psychological question see the next section, but involved are 1) his desire to dismantle all of Pres. Obama’s achievements, which seems both personal and ideological, and 2) his commitment to Israel the nation and Netanyahu the person.
 D-G Staff. “Iran Discards Another Piece of Nuke Pact: Willing to Talk, official Says as Enrichment Levels Raised.”” 7-8-19.   Another report packed with crucial details, including plenty of space for Netanyahu to repeat his conflation of Iran and Nazi Germany and his perception of a quick leap from 3.67% uranium enrichment to 90%.
Kate Brumback. AP. “Iran scientist faces sanctions case in U.S.”  7-8-19
David Rising.  AP.  “France Steps Up Diplomacy to Save Nuclear Accord.”  NADG (7-10-2019).
D-G Staff.  “Iranians Exercising…   NADG (7-11-19).
ADG Staff.  “EU Tries to Rescue Iran Pact.  Envoys Reluctant to Push Sanctions.”  NADG (7-16-19).   Netanyahu’s fear mongering is foregrounded—that the EU’s response to “Iranian violations” reminded him “of the European appeasement of the 1930s.  There are probably some in Europe who will not wake up until Iranian missiles fall on European soil.”

Megan Specia. (NYT).   “Iran Disputes Ship-Seizure Claim.”  NADG (7-18-19).

Amir Vahdat. (AP).  “Forced to Build Missiles, Iranian Says.”  NADG (7-18-19).

D-G Staff.  “US. Warship in Gulf Downs Iranian Drone.  Trump Calls U.S. Response –Self-Defense.”  NADG (7-19-19).  Imagine an Iranian warship in Tampa Bay shooting down a US surveillance drone.  Imagine too the warship was an amphibious assault vessel like the USS Boxer.  And imagine the ship was accompanied outside the Bay by the full complement of a Carrier Strike Force (like the one led by the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln presently in the Arabian Sea).   Now can you imagine US Central Command not sending out a surveillance drone?  And imagine Iranian news media describing the incident as part of the US “raising tensions” by threatening Iranian forces and interests in the Gulf of Mexico.  And throw in imagining four Iranian B-52 long-range bombers and Patriot air defense missiles to Cuba and Venezuela’.  And, no imagining now, remember how close to violent war the two nations came when on June 20, Trump ordered a retaliatory military strike in retaliation for Iran shooting down a US Navy drone, but called it off at the last moment.  The authors of the report, the D-G Staff, do not imagine how all of this might look to the Iranians. 

Shupak, US mainstream media normalize imperial aggression and facilitate war by hyping a threatening Iran.
Cho, US never breaks, breaches, or violates its international agreements.

JULY 2, 2019

Creating a Climate for War With Iran

Media outlets are creating a climate for a US military attack on Iran by hyping the idea that Iran is an imminent threat to peace, by failing to offer evidence that calls the US’s accusations against Iran into question, by amplifying warmongers’ voices and by naturalizing America’s supposed right to spy on every country on earth.
Headlines are breathlessly suggesting to readers that Iranians are going to kill Americans if Americans don’t kill Iranians first.
Hill article (6/7/19) told readers “Why Congress Needs Accurate Intelligence on the Iran Threat”; Fox (6/14/19) explained “The Trump Administration’s Strategy to Meet Threat from Iran.” A New York Times article (6/17/19) by David E. Sanger called Iran one of the “nuclear crises” facing the US, even though the International Atomic Energy Agency has said that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program and hasn’t been close to having one since at least 2003, and there is reason to believe that it never has been close.
Presenting Iran as a threat, nuclear or otherwise, over and over again carries the clear message that it must be confronted. Yet it’s much more accurate to say that the US is a threat to Iran than the opposite (FAIR.org6/6/19); after all, it’s the US government that is destroying Iran’s economy through sanctions that limit Iranians’ access to food and medicine, while surrounding Iran with military bases and land, sea and air forces. Iran has done nothing remotely comparable to the US.
Media outlets also create a climate for war when they fail to offer evidence that contradicts US government narratives about Iran. Sanger’s supposedly neutral piece of reporting in the Times (6/17/19) made three references to attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman for which the US blames Iran, in one case implying that readers should believe that Iran was responsible, writing:
Even the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff, no friend of Mr. Trump’s, says the evidence is overwhelming that Iran was responsible for the attacks on the tankers.
Schiff may be “no friend of Mr. Trump’s,” but that doesn’t necessarily make him a skeptic of intelligence claims about official enemies; he voted to authorize force against Iraq in 2002 on the basis of bogus intelligence claims that that country possessed unauthorized weapons of mass destruction.
At no point did the Sanger article mention the evidence that casts doubt on the claim that Iran carried out the attacks—for instance, the owner of one of the tankers, the Kokuka Courageoussaid that it “was struck by a flying projectile, contradicting reports by U.S. officials and the military” that a mine was a source of the damage to the vessel.
Another ostensibly objective Times report (6/20/19), this one on Trump’s apparent approval and subsequent cancellation of a military attack after Iran shot down a US drone, said that
United States officials sought to bolster their case that Iran was responsible for last week’s tanker attacks, telling journalists at a briefing that fragments recovered from one of the tankers bore a “striking resemblance” to limpet mines used by Iran.
This account also leaves out that, in addition to the statement from the owner of the Kokuka Courageous, those aboard one of the other ships thought it was a torpedo that hit them.
An Associated Press story (6/20/19) on the drone affair reported:
The US has been worried about international shipping through the strategic waterway since tankers were damaged in May and June in what Washington has blamed on limpet mines from Iran, although Tehran denied involvement. On Wednesday in the United Arab Emirates, the US Navy showed fragments of mines that it said bore “a striking resemblance” to those seen in Iran.
This article, like the two from the Times, opted against noting the above-mentioned flaws in the US’s account of the June tanker attacks, or the strong political reasons for Iran to not carry out these acts. Nor does the piece mention the shortage of evidence for US government allegations that Iran damaged tankers in May.
Instead of mentioning these elements of the story, the reports exclusively gave voice to the US government’s version of events. Without the evidence that calls that account into question, US/Iran relations are presented as a series of attacks by Iran against the US and its partners—first oil tankers, and then a US drone—which encourages people to see Iran as a violent aggressor that needs to be dealt with violently. Providing readers with reasons to be skeptical about US government claims that Iran is responsible for the tanker attacks both undermines that master narrative, and can lead audiences to be suspicious about all claims Washington is making about Iran.
More directly, media outlets are creating a climate for war by giving megaphones to right-wing ghouls explicitly calling for a US military attack on Iran.
A column by the New York Times’ Bret Stephens (6/14/19) contended, “If Iran won’t change its behavior, we should sink its navy.” The word “behavior” telegraphs how Stephens presents Iran is a nation of children that needs to be disciplined by its masters in the civilized world. He writes that “allowing Iran to go unpunished isn’t an option. What is appropriate is a new set of rules — with swift consequences if Iran chooses to break them. The Trump administration ought to declare new rules of engagement to allow the Navy to engage and destroy Iranian ships or fast boats that harass or threaten any ship, military or commercial, operating in international waters. If Tehran fails to comply, the US should threaten to sink any Iranian naval ship that leaves port.
If after that Iran still fails to comply, we would be right to sink its navy, in port or at sea. The world cannot tolerate freelance Somali pirates. Much less should it tolerate a pirate state seeking to hold the global economy hostage through multiplying acts of economic terrorism.”

In Stephens’ estimation, the US has the right to issue “a new set of rules” and, in the event that Iran doesn’t “comply” with the US’s imperial fiats about the waters off Iran’s shores, employ gunboat diplomacy to enforce them. Notice how quickly he slides from “the US” in the first of these paragraphs to “the world” in the second, as though these are one and the same. Interestingly, his definition of “economic terrorism” seems only to include actions that Iran is accused of taking but hasn’t been proven to have done, and not the full-scale destruction of the Iranian economy that the US has embarked on in plain sight.
Similarly, Eli Lake (Bloomberg6/18/19) criticized the claim that
the US is somehow responsible for Iran’s [alleged tanker attacks], a point made by…Trump critics. This kind of analysis is leading to some bizarre policy recommendations. Already, European diplomats are urging Trump to drop his campaign of maximum pressure and adopt one of “maximum restraint.”
This is asking to be blackmailed. And now that Iran is threatening to exceed the limits to uranium enrichment it agreed to in the 2015 nuclear deal, it’s more important than ever to understand that restraint and dialogue will not bring Iran to heel.
For Lake, Iranians are disobedient animals who the US should bring “to heel”—through violence, a revolting prescription even when applied to actual misbehaving animals. That the “2015 nuclear deal” is effectively null and void because the US tore it up is not the sort of detail that troubles a war propagandist like Lake.
In the Washington Post, Michael G. Vickers (6/21/19) argued that “the Trump administration should respond to [the tanker episodes and Iran’s downing of the drone] with strikes of its own on Iranian and Houthi air-defense assets, offensive missile systems and Revolutionary Guard Corps bases,” on the grounds that “by reinforcing deterrence, a short-duration US military operation may well help to prevent a wider conflict with Iran.”
In effect, his argument is that the best way to avoid a war with Iran is to have a war with Iran, as well as ratcheting up the war on Yemen, as if the US and its allies hadn’t done enough to Yemen already. What the US would be “deter[ing]”—a word that appears four times in the article, including in its headline—is Iran’s ability to interfere with the US capacity to spy on and bomb the country: Vickers called for bombing “air-defense assets,” giving away that his concern is with making Iran incapable, not merely of carrying out hypothetical and extremely unlikely offensive attacks, but of exercising its right to defend itself.
At no point does Vickers, or the Associated Press story on the downing of the drone, or the Times report (6/20/19) saying Trump approved and then called off bombing Iran over the drone incident, or any corporate media article I can find, question the assumption underlying the US government and much of the media’s fulminating over Iran shooting down the drone: If the drone was shot down in international airspace rather than over Iranian territory—and by no means has this been proven—it’s an outrage for Iran to interfere with the US’s divine right to spy on any nation it pleases, at any time and to any degree that it wishes. Even if the US is telling the truth, its claim is that it was 21 miles off the Iranian coast with a drone that has “powerful surveillance sensors to monitor ground or maritime activity in great detail.” It’s all but impossible to imagine a scenario in which US media take for granted Iran’s right to deploy powerful spy equipment 21 miles off the US coast. (That’s less than the distance from Dallas to Ft. Worth, or from Tampa to St. Petersburg.)
And treating arguments for bombing countries like those from Lake, Stephens and Vickers as though they are merely interesting ideas worthy of consideration—rather than calls to carry out war crimes—normalizes imperialist aggression. If the public is told that starting wars against other countries with no credible pretext is a reasonable action, the likely outcome is that ever more people will become inoculated against efforts to try to stop potential and ongoing slaughters.

Iran ‘Violates’ Nuclear Deal, After US ‘Withdraws’ by Joshua Cho.   view post on
USA Today: Iran says it will break uranium stockpile limit in 10 days
USA Today (6/17/19) describes Iran as planning to “break” an agreement that the US has already renounced.
Quick question: Does the US ever break, breach or violate its international agreements?
Apparently not, according to US coverage of Iran’s recent announcement that it intended to go beyond the limits of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in enriching uranium for its civilian nuclear program (frequentlymischaracterized as a nuclear weapons program in media coverage). Reading corporate media’s inversion of reality, it’s hard to escape the impression that while Iran betrays its international agreements, the US just leaves them behind.
An Associated Press report carried by USA Today (6/17/19) was headlined: “Iran Says It Will Break Uranium Stockpile Limit in 10 Days,” and reported that Iran’s announcement indicated its “determination to break from the landmark 2015 accord,” while noting that “tensions have spiked between Iran and the United States,” partly because the US “unilaterally withdrew” from the landmark agreement. Note that the US rejection of its obligations under the deal is referred to in neutral terms—Washington “withdrew”—while Iran’s response to US nonobservance gets negatively characterized as a “break”—a pattern that persists throughout the coverage.
There was no indication in the AP piece that Iran offered conditions under which it would continue to comply with the Iran Deal (formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), which gives the false impression that Iran’s decision to end compliance with the JCPOA is settled and unconditional.
WSJ: Iran to Breach Limits of Nuclear Pact, as U.S. to Send More Troops to Mideast
The Wall Street Journal (6/17/19) reports Iran will “breach” a pact that the US scuttled more than a year ago.
The Wall Street Journal (6/17/19) offered the same kind of misleading headline: “Iran to Breach Limits of Nuclear Pact, as US to Send More Troops to the Middle East.” Again, Iran’s potential departure from the pact whose terms the US has vitiated is portrayed as a “breach,” while the US’s actual violation of the deal is labeled a “pullout” in the accompanying piece.
The Journal, unlike the AP, did note that Iran offered conditions under which it would continue to comply with the JCPOA’s terms:
The spokesman for Iran’s atomic energy agency, Behrouz Kamalvandi, said that by June 27—10 days from Monday—the country would surpass its enriched-uranium limits. He said Iran would further increase its production in early July, but could reverse both steps if Europe provided relief from [US] sanctions.
CNN (6/17/19) went with “Iran says it will break the uranium stockpile limit agreed under nuclear deal in 10 days,” as their headline. Only people who read past the headline, which most people don’t, would’ve known that that’s not really what Iran is saying:
Iran has reiterated that it could reverse the new measures should the remaining European signatories in the nuclear deal (France, Germany and the United Kingdom) step in and make more of an effort to circumvent US sanctions.
To its credit, CNN added “withdraw” in addition to the usual “violate,” “break” and “breach” in its list of words to describe Iran’s potential departure compared with just “withdrew” to describe the US’s actions.
The New York Post (6/17/19) chose “Iran Will Violate Nuclear Deal, Boost Uranium Stockpile” as the headline to mislead readers, and kept with the pattern of describing the US’s JCPOA breach as “pulling out of the deal.” However, unlike other reports, it didn’t feature any sources skeptical of Iran’s responsibility for the recent Gulf of Oman attacks on Japanese and Norwegian commercial oil tankers, despite crew members aboard the Japanese Kokuka Courageous contradicting US allegations of an Iranian mine attack by claiming to have been hit by a “flying object ,” and European officials calling for further investigation

LTE from ARKie Reg Edwards
Veterans Against War Petition to Congress
Essay Against Sanctions by Dan Cohen
History of Iran, the 1950s by Heather Gray

LTE from Arkansas: Leave Iranians alone
Firstly: Iran is surrounded by nations with nuclear weapons--Russia, Pakistan, Israel, and the U.S. fleet in the Strait of Hormuz. So who are we to say they shouldn't have their own nuclear weapons?
Secondly: What would we say if the Iranians had aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Mexico? Or possibly Long Island Sound? It wasn't many years ago that a U.S. cruiser in the Strait of Hormuz shot down an Iranian civilian airliner and killed all 200-plus people on board. Just who do we think we are?
Seriously, folks, if an Iranian cruiser 100 miles off the American shore shot down a U.S. passenger aircraft and killed everyone on board, what would we think of that? If the Iranian fleet was in the Gulf of Mexico, what would we think of that? What would we do if Iranian drones were flying close to our shore, spying on us--what would we do?
Time to stop our threats and bring the military home. Why don't we try leaving the Iranians alone and stop bullying them?
NADG, 06/22/2019

Dear Dick,
You and I both know that Iraq war architect John Bolton has been agitating for a war with Iran ever since he was appointed as National Security Advisor (and really decades before that). We also know that the Trump administration got the ball rolling when they pulled out of the Iran deal last year. The good news is that the House just managed to pass an amendment that makes it so the President has to get a seal of approval from Congress before he makes any moves to war with Iran -- and now it's going to the Senate.
This is progress, but we aren't out of the woods yet. It's critical that we step up the pressure on Congress and not let them get complacent.
You may have seen today that an Iranian drone was shot down by the Navy, increasing tensions in what has already been a tension-filled moment. As the US military runs operations off of Iran's coastline, the very real possibility exists that something worse could happen. We need every Congress member to know that their constituents stand unequivocally against war with Iran.
That's why we have joined the National Iranian American Council and the Daily Kos to demand Congress take the right measures to prevent war with Iran. We are asking you to do the same:
Thank you for doing what you can to make sure another war is not an option for this administration. As more ways for you take action come up, we will let you know.
In solidarity,

Matt Howard
About Face: Veterans Against the War
(formerly Iraq Veterans Against the War)

Starvation sanctions kill people. Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have reportedly already died as a result of this administration’s relentless assault on their economy; those human beings are no less dead than they would have been if the US had killed them by dropping cluster bombs on Caracas. Yet these deaths have received virtually no mainstream media coverage, and Americans, while they strongly oppose attacking Iran militarily, have had very little to say about Trump’s attacks on the nation’s economy. The economy which people use to feed their children, to care for their elderly and their sick.
I’m titling this essay “Starvation Sanctions Are Worse Than Overt Warfare”, and I mean it. I am not saying that starvation sanctions are more destructive or deadly than overt military force in and of themselves; what I am saying is that the overall effect is worse, because there’s no public accountability for them and because they deliberately target civilians.
If the US were to launch a barrage of Tomahawk missiles into an Iranian suburb with the goal of killing civilians, there’d be international outrage and the cohesion of the US-centralized power alliance would take a major hit. Virtually everyone would recognize this as an unforgivable war crime. Yet America will be able to kill the same number of civilians with the same deliberate intention of inflicting deadly force, and it would suffer essentially no consequences at all. There’s no public or international pressure holding that form of violence at bay, because it’s invisible and poorly understood.
It reminds me of the way financial abuse gets overlooked and under-appreciated in our society. Financial abuse can be more painful and imprisoning than physical or psychological abuse (and I speak from experience), especially if you have children, yet you don’t generally see movies and TV shows getting made about it. In a society where people have been made to depend on money for survival, limiting or cutting off their access to it is the same as any other violent attack upon their personal sovereignty, and can easily be just as destructive. But as a society we haven’t yet learned to see and understand this violence, so it doesn’t attract interest and attention. That lack of interest and attention enables the empire to launch deadly campaigns targeting civilian populations unnoticed, without any public accountability.

Iran vs US arrogance
Justice Initiative via 
12:07 PM (8 hours ago)

Note: The US just celebrated the 4th of July when, in the late 1700's, Americans fought a battle to end the British colonial rule of America. One might assume that Americans would, in turn, respect the desire of others to also acquire independence and establish democratically elected governments. This assumption of the US respecting the desire of others for independence appears not to be accurate, particularly if the American leaders and their corporate sponsors desire access to valuable raw materials in designated areas such as in, for example, Iran, the Congo, and Chile, etc.  Along this line, this article below is about Iran and what happened, in the 1950s, when the US overturned the first democratically elected Iranian government and the US desire for oil and/or to also protect Britain's oil interests.

It appears that many governments, over the years, have also appreciated the Roosevelt New Deal model and wanted similar policies to assist the masses of their people. This American model seemed to be desired in Iran in the 1950s under the first Iranian democratically elected leader, Mohammad Mosaddeq. Mosaddeq wanted to advance opportunities for the Iranian masses by, not unreasonably, using revenues from Iranian based oil that was essentially under British control.

In 2015, I sent out the article below about the history of the US overturning the Iranian government in the 1950's. Given that Iran is yet again in the news, knowing this history of the CIA orchestrated coup in Iran, after WWII, is incredibly important as the consequences have been relevant to the dynamics in the Middle East ever since. This was the also first time the CIA had dismantled a government.
I need to also say that regarding the contemporary relationship with Iran, notwithstanding President Trump's recent debacle and confusion about it all,  I was so appreciative of President Obama's Nuclear Deal with Iran as a move toward peace in the Middle East and the world. It was the first time a US President had bravely gone against the directive of the Israeli government and AIPAC altogether:
First time in US history, an American president dares to oppose the pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC. The crisis deepening day by day upon the Iran nuke deal between the US and its biggest ally in the Middle East  - Israel.
U.S. President Barack Obama gave a strong message to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the pro-Israel group that has been strongly opposing the Iran nuclear deal, in his meeting this week at the White House with the two executives of AIPAC. (Global Research) 

Trump, however, appears to be following the Israeli and AIPAC directive regarding Iran and virtually every other policy in the Middle East. By Trump also taking the US out of the important Obama Iran Nuclear Deal he has made the Middle East all the more vulnerable to violence. 

The Trump policies echo back to the 1950s when the US decided that Iran, or virtually any other country, could not determine its own fate, particularly when it involved the desire on the part of the US to access raw materials, such as oil, that Americans and other countries might desire. 

Also, on Monday, July 15 from 6-8PM, on WRFG-FM (Atlanta), we will produce a 2-hour special program about the United States and its dangerous policies regarding Iran.

July 9, 2019

Iran and Post WWII History
The Atlantic Charter and Iranian Independence Thwarted 

By Heather Gray 2015
******* [I urge you read the entirety of this learned articles, as an essential preparation for understanding the present conflict. –Dick]
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, there has been a wide range of sanctions against Iran imposed by the United States, the United Nations and the European Union. Click herefor a summary of the sanctions.
Both the Shah and the Ayatollah Khomeini were not democratically elected as was Mosaddeq. It is rather mind boggling to speculate as to what might have happened had the U.S. not overturned the Iranian government in 1953 and instead had assisted the Iranians in having control over their own oil resource and respected the democratic process in Iran by adhering to the Atlantic Charter and Principle Three's concept of "self-determination". Nevertheless, the Iranians have suffered from isolation and economic sanctions from the west largely because some sectors decided to take the situation into their own hands rather than serving the dictates of the United States or the West overall. As Noam Chomsky notes:
"Why the assault against Iran? ....In 1979, Iranians carried out an illegitimate act: They overthrew a tyrant that the United States had imposed and supported, and moved on an independent path, not following U.S. orders. That conflicts with the Mafia doctrine, by which the world is pretty much ruled. Credibility must be maintained. The godfather cannot permit independence and successful defiance, as in the case of Cuba. So, Iran has to be punished for that." (Democracy Now)

Hopefully with the recent acceptance of the agreement with the Iranians in the U.S. Senate and the possible projected lifting of the sanctions against Iran, opportunities for the Iranians might again be in the offing. It is an exciting prospect.


What had begun, in the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt as "an example of what we could do by an unselfish foreign policy" ended in ignominy that continues to this day.... the feelings and aspirations that were enshrined in the Iran Declaration seem a world away today." (ademocraticiran)

The unfortunate lesson of it all was that the United States sent a message to the Middle East and to the world at large, that the United States was not interested in democratic systems and processes.  As Stephen Kinzer noted:
"When we overthrew a democratic government in Iran, ....we sent a message, not only to Iran, but throughout the entire Middle East. That message was that the United States does not support democratic governments and the United States prefers strong-man rule that will guarantee us access to oil. And that pushed an entire generation of leaders in the Middle East away from democracy. We sent the opposite message that we should have sent. Instead of sending the message that we wanted democracy, we sent a message that we wanted dictatorship in the Middle East, and a lot of people in the Middle East got that message very clearly and that helped to lead to the political trouble we face there today." (Democracy Now)
Further, it appears that the principles of the 1941 Atlantic Charter are not something the United States and Europe are willing to adhere to particularly if it regards threats of access to capital, control of labor and control of raw materials, such as oil and/or access to seeds and control of seeds in the agricultural sector and many other examples.
The disruptive Republican members of the House of Representatives in their opposition to the Iranian agreement are yet again arrogantly displaying their disdain for a semblance of justice and respect for the other. Nor are they adhering to Roosevelt's directive of "what we could do by an unselfish foreign policy" and/or the possibility of dialogue and negotiation.  As they say in southern Africa, "A luta continua" - the struggle continues!

Heather Gray is the producer of "Just Peace" on WRFG-Atlanta 89.3 FM covering local, regional, national and international news. She has been involved in agriculture advocacy and communications for 25 years in the United States and internationally. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia and can be reached at
Gray & Assoicates, PO Box 8048, Atlanta, GA 31106




 (#11 Oct. 8, 2011; #12 Jan. 31, 2012; #13 Feb. 22, 2012; #14 Feb. 26, 2012; #15 March 17, 2012; #16 April 12, 2012; #17 May 21, 2012; #18, July 9, 2012; #19 August 13, 2012; #20 Sept. 10, 2012; #21, Dec. 14, 2012; #22 March 5, 2013; #23 Nov. 12, 2013; #24 March 5, 2014; #25 January 17, 2015; #26, July 28, 2015; #27, June 3, 2018; #28, June 21, 2019; #29, July 11, 2019; #30, July 19, 2019.)

Contact Congress on War Powers, Action
Support House Amendment to Curb Trump (J Street)
Cut Pentagon $$ (Peace Action)
Criticisms of US Aggression
Have We Learned Nothing from Iraq?
Jeremy Scahill, Col. Wilkerson (The Intercept)
Veterans for Peace
Against Sanctions
Take to the Streets
Congress for Peace
Representative Omar
Senator Bernie Sanders
The Iranian People Are Not Our Enemies (Larison)
Democrats (Tveten)
US Empire by Economic Siege
Johnstone, Starvation Sanctions Worse than Overt Warfare
Dan Beeton, Iran and Venezuela
Donald Trump, Crushing Iran
Iran Newsletter #28

NADG Reports on Iran June 19-21
What’s at stake in Arkansas for war between US and Iran
What’s at stake in the world:  United Nations Charter
Local direct Action, Saturday June 22, Abel Tomlinson
National Actions
   Win Wthout War
   Peace Action
   Ground Zero Center
Iran No Threat, US the Threat
   British General Chris Ghika
   Media Benjamin’s Book, Inside Iran
Defending the US/Iran Nuclear Deal 2016
   John Isaacs, Council for a Liveable World
   Win Without War
     Repelling the Warmongers
From 2016 to 2019, US and Iran Peace to Threatened War
   Stephen Zunes, 5-15-19
   Peace Action, Stop Trump, 5-22-19
NADG Iran Headlines

Contents: Iran Newsletter #27, June 3, 2018
These publications prepare us to resist US malignant hostility toward Iran.  If you are short of time, I have put up front two brief essays and an easily read book:  Art’s column, Gray’s essay, and Benjamin’s book. 
History of US Aggression Against Iran and Nuclear Diplomacy
Art Hobson, Trump’s Disastrous Choice and Danger to World Peace (2018)
Heather Gray 2018, Background:  CIA Overthrow of Elected Leader
      Mosaddeq in 1953
Media Benjamin, Inside Iran (2018)
Ghamari, The Iranian Revolution
Porter, the Iranian Nuclear Program
Parsi, Obama and Iran Nuclear Deal
Tabatabai, Trump v. the Deal
The Nation, May 21, Save the Deal
Gore Vidal
Entekhabifard, Iranian POV
Satires by Dick Bennett

Iran is a theocracy.  Do we hear enough from US Christian leaders regarding US treatment of Iran?  Is the role of Israel and Zionism sufficiently reported in these articles of April-July 2019.
Jesus said in Matthew, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you…”  He proclaimed in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”   Readers, ask your minister to speak out against the violence of your president.


Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)