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Pushing the Envelope for Confrontation with Iran

by Stephen Lendman Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011 at 4:57 AM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

anti-war

Pushing the Envelope for Confrontation with Iran - by Stephen Lendman

Currently waging multiple imperial wars, Obama perhaps plans more.

On October 11, the Department of Justice charged Iranian involvement in a fake terror plot to kill Saudi Arabia's US ambassador, blow up the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Argentina, and smuggle opium into Mexico.

Charges, of course, are brazen, fabricated and laughable on their face, but major media scoundrels headlined them since announced. Regurgitating official lies, they declared Iran and three alleged suspects guilty by accusation.

On October 13, Manssor Arbabsair, a naturalized US citizen holding an Iranian passport, was indicted in Manhattan's federal court for New York's southern district.

Also implicated, Gholam Shakuri, an Iranian-based member of its Revolutionary Guard Quds Force, is still at large. So is Abdul Reza Shahlai, identified as his deputy with "a notorious past as one of the central architects of Iran's strategy in Iraq."

The Justice Department said Arbabsair confessed and provided "other valuable information." His lawyer, Sabrina Shroff, said her client will plead not guilty to all charges.

On October 13, New York Times writer Helene Cooper headlined, "Obama Says Facts Support Accusation of Iranian Plot," saying:

Vowing to push for the "toughest sanctions," Obama said Washington has "strong evidence that Iranians were complicit in an alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States."

Obama's a serial liar. Where's the evidence? There's none except what's concocted without corroboration.

"In his first public remarks....Obama sought to counter skepticism about whether Iran's Islamic government directed an Iranian-American car salesman to engage with a Mexican drug cartel" to commit terror attacks.

On October 12, the London Guardian reported that "Iran's alleged Mexican hitman was a US drugs informant" with a past criminal record.

Russia and China may refuse support for tougher sanctions given commercial and political ties to Iran. Hawkish congressional members want Obama to punish Russian and Chinese companies doing business with the Islamic Republic. So far he resisted.

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague endorsed Obama's lie, telling the House of Commons that the alleged plot "would appear to constitute a major escalation in Iran's sponsorship of terrorism outside its borders."

In fact, Washington, Britain and Israel are unequalled perpetrators of state-sponsored terrorism globally. As a result, they point fingers at present or perhaps future targets to divert attention from themselves.

Obama officials declined to say how high in Iran's leadership the alleged conspiracy goes. Nonetheless, baseless accusations suggest Revolutionary Guard commanders, President Ahmadinejad, and/or Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's involvement.

On October 13, Wall Street Journal writer Adam Entous headlined, "Obama Intensifies Pressure on Iran," saying:

Tehran must "pay a price" for its behavior. "Mr. Obama injected a new level of gravity into the incident by taking the unusual step of authorizing US diplomats to deliver a tough message directly to Iranian representatives" even though Washington's had no direct contact since 1980.

Obama also accused Iran of "dangerous and reckless behavior," saying Washington won't "take any options off the table in terms of how we operate with Iran." Clearly, he suggested open confrontation perhaps leading to war.

Claiming undisclosed evidence, he urged other countries back tough retaliatory measures. "Russian and Chinese officials expressed skepticism." They've seen numerous past examples of US duplicity and may refuse to provide support.

They know how America and NATO partners used Resolution 1973 to terror bomb Libya since March 19. They want no part in instigating more regional conflict so will likely back efforts to prevent it.

On October 13, tensions were further heightened by claiming Iranian involvement in attacking US forces in Iraq. New York Times writer Michael Schmidt headlined, "Militants Aided by Iran Fired at GI's in Iraq, Officials Say," claiming:

Iran's Quds Force financed and trained militants "attacked United States forces in Iraq on Wednesday, continuing a role they have played in recent years in a proxy war between the United States and Iran."

No evidence was given, just baseless charges that Iranian-connected militants fired rockets at Contingency Operating Station Garry Owen US forces in Maysan province, bordering Iran, saying three soldiers were wounded.

"The military provided few other details of the attack." Iran, however, is often accused with involvement in assaults targeting US forces, Iraqi civilians, its military and members of its government. According to Washington, Tehran wants a weakened Iraq more dependent on Iran.

Schmidt quoted General Jeffrey Buchanan saying:

"Anything they can do to cause separation between us and Iraq helps achieve their greater aims. Anything they can do to cause dissent or attack our forces and cause us to leave" serves their purpose.

He like other US military and political officials provided no evidence to substantiate charges.

Accused "mastermind" Arbabsiar is an Iranian/American failed used car salesman. Previously he was arrested for passing bad checks. College associates recall him making hostile comments about Iran.

Iran's Quds Force is highly professional and well trained. It's ludicrous to imagine they'd enlist someone like Arbabsiar for any overt or covert activity, let alone something as bizarre as what Washington's charges. Suggesting it, in fact, is absurd and insulting on its face.

In contrast, the Bush administration authorized covert CIA destabilization of Iran. Congress appropriated 0 for it. The Obama administration continues similar policies. It also has "kill lists" of targets (including US citizens) to be assassinated by drones or covert Special Forces death squads.

Moreover, Iranian scientists involved in its nuclear program have been murdered. Last spring, Iranian intelligence determined that the Stuxnet malware computer virus infected its Bushehr nuclear facility. At the time, its operations were halted indefinitely.

Israel was blamed. Washington was also implicated. Calling it a hostile act, General Gholam-Reza Jalali said if Bushehr went online infected, Iran's entire electrical power grid could have been shut down.

Washington has many ways to destabilize, weaken and oust regimes. They include provocations, fake accusations, political and economic sanctions, isolation, covert or direct confrontation, and cyberwar, among other tactics in its arsenal of dirty tricks.

All are ruthless ways to advance America's imperium, no matter what it takes to make it unchallenged globally, including all out general war.

A Final Comment

Interviewed on Press TV, US Army Lt. General Anthony Shaffer said an FBI insider told him that Obama officials likely manufactured the plot.

Political scientist Kaveh Afrasiabi said charges will "make a laughing stock of US diplomacy because by all indications (they're) absurd and baseless and they (won't) be sustainable."

He added that sooner or later the whole scheme will unravel. Notably, they follow a familiar "pattern of Iran bashing behavior (by) the United States."

Ismail Salami said:

"Regardless of the impertinence and hollowness of the claim, one should not disregard the influence of" America's powerful Israeli Lobby "in the new mudslinging campaign."

It's part of a longstanding US/Israeli plan to vilify and destabilize Iran. So far, in fact, nothing's worked, including sanctions countries like Russia, China and others mostly or entirely ignore.

Iran's UN ambassador Mohammad Khazaei called the scheme an "insult to the intelligence" of people globally, saying:

"We are used to the baseless allegations made by some US officials over the past three decades, but the big lie they told today is so unfounded that it sounds like the work of Hollywood (script) writers."

Notably post-9/11, US policy has been bomb first, then ask questions when it's too late to matter. NATO allies France and Britain go along willingly and institute other measures.

Last August, UK Prime Minister Cameron targeted free expression, saying social network sites can be used for good or ill. As a result, he called for monitoring and perhaps censoring them to curtail anti-government communication that could lead to violence.

On October 12, Britain's Office of Communications (Ofcom) banned Iran's Press TV for alleged noncompliance with UK law. In fact, it was brazen censorship to silence a vital source for news, information and analysis.

A personal note. Press TV interviews this writer often. A platform is provided to speak openly and freely on many topics. Other independent writers, authors, academics and global analysts also appear regularly. They rarely ever get air time on BBC or US major media.

Press TV said Ofcom bowed to government and royal family pressure. Doing so violates UK media law. Last May, Ofcom said Press TV breached rules "by airing a 10 second extract from an interview with Iranian-born Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari while (detained) in an Iranian prison."

WikiLeaks documents revealed that Britain's Foreign Office told Washington's London embassy that it was "exploring ways to limit (Press TV's) operations...."

Tehran-based Press TV is a 24-hour English language global news service available in most parts of the world by satellite, cable or online. Its US presence is limited through intermediary companies.

Major cable operators Comcast and Time Warner exclude it from their lineups. So do media conglomerates Disney, Viacom and Fox.

Controlled and funded by Britain's government, BBC's an imperial tool. Throughout its history, it's suppressed information, commentaries and analysis critical of its policies.

Money power in private hands controls America's media, including long ago corrupted National Public Radio and Public Broadcasting.

In contrast, Press TV, like Russia Today and Voice of Russia, airs diverse discussions and opinions on major global issues.

UK and US viewers can access all three online. Do so daily for real information and analysis to stay current and well informed - free from Western propaganda.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

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