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Thread: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

  1. #1081
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Whatever...

    for those of you who don't know, I'll put "Gordian Knot" into something more modern day you might understand better. "kobayashi maru"....

    The definition basically is to "cheat" your way out of a difficult situation.

    In mythology (something I studied by the way) Alexander the Great couldn't solve a knot, thus he cheated and cut it with his sword.

    Zeus smiled upon him and supposedly granted him his wishes.

    More importantly, Alexander's biographers rewrote history stating the prophecy was that "whomsoever shall solve the knot would become king of all of Asia"... a little bit of revisionism going on way back when.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  2. #1082
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Not to get off topic, but it is a kind of "fashion". I started with computers in the 1970s. In 1978 I built my first computer. It originally could only be programed in Machine Code. Later I added a board to it with a BASIC interpreter and it worked great, I still have it.

    In 1978 I bought an Apple ][+ computer, then a modem. In 1979 I started using BBSes and by 1982 I was helping write software for several BBSes (Bulletin Board Services) - which you used a dial up modem and connected, left messages on for other people.

    Eventually our EBBS system evolved to the point we could write emails to one another, and it would connect to the University of Virgina and send it out.

    During those days, almost everyone used an "alias" and it was a geeky thing to do. No one wanted to use a REAL name because it was so... well... "Normal" and computer folks weren't normal.

    They were in the 1970s and 1980s the "Real Hackers" and anyone who has come after us are just a lot of putzes in my opinion (those claiming to be hackers and crackers and phreakers and all sorts of other fancy titles).

    In reality most of them today are nothing but criminals.

    I have never, ever used an alias - except for gaming stuff. If I post on a public board, forum or web site, I use my real name or a shortened version of it. So you might find me out there as "Rick", "RickD", "Rick Donaldson", "Rick_D" or other forms, but almost always I use my real name.

    On occasion a site requires you to use an alias. I will use one on those sites.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  3. #1083
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    US urges Israeli patience on Iran

    Ahead of PM Netanyahu's visit to United States, US officials say Washington is 'trying to make the decision to attack Iran as hard as possible for Israel'
    Ynet
    Published: 03.03.12, 15:30 / Israel News



    Ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's meeting with US President Barack Obama in Washington next week, White House officials said that the US' stance on a possible Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities is clear.

    "We're trying to make the decision to attack Iran as hard as possible for Israel," an administration official, speaking anonymously, told the Washington Post.

    Related stories:




    White House officials said that for now, both the Democrats and the Republicans feel that a strike would be premature and that the diplomatic efforts and international sanctions have yet to exhaust themselves.
    "Obama plans to caution Netanyahu against attacking Iran's nuclear facilities in the coming months, urging patience while international economic sanctions take full effect," the report said.



    Obama and Netanyahu (Archives: GPO)

    Israel maintains that time is running out and that the West must find a way to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions in the immediate future.
    The US, however, is still hesitant: While the administration has voiced adamant intention to prevent Iran from containing nuclear weapons, it has yet to make the leap to declaring it wants to stop Iran's nuclear ambitions, i.e. – its civilian and nuclear efforts – altogether.
    Many within the administration also fear that a preemptive strike by Israel may spark a regional war. Obama himself said Thursday that "Nobody has declared war on Iran – yet."
    Netanyahu and Obama's talks are likely to focus on the effectiveness of sanctions and the perils of a unilateral Israeli attack. "People really don’t want war," a second administration official said. "They really don't."
    Washington officials said that Obama is likely to attempt to reassure the Israeli prime minister of the US' resolve and commitment to Israel's security, while urging patience and signaling to Iran that the two allies agree on the importance of stopping it from getting a nuclear weapon.
    In an interview published Friday in Atlantic Magazine, Obama said that "the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don't bluff.
    "At a time when there is not a lot of sympathy for Iran and its only real ally (Syria) is on the ropes, do we want a distraction in which suddenly Iran can portray itself as the victim?” Obama said in the interview.
    Still, Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently warned that Iran is approaching what he calls "the zone of immunity," a milestone after which an attack would perhaps prove ineffective in setting back the Iranian program.



    "When the chips are down and there's a lot at stake, the Israeli prime minister still calls the president of the United States," Dennis Ross, a counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who served as Obama's senior adviser on Israel and Iran, said.

    Iran insists that its nuclear program serves a civilian purpose only, but the West – backed by IAEA findings – believes that to be untrue.
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  4. #1084
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    'Iran won't surprise world with nukes'

    Former White House Adviser Dennis Ross says upcoming negotiations will expose Tehran's true intentions vis-à-vis nuclear program
    Yitzhak Benhorin
    Published: 03.01.12, 21:10 / Israel News



    WASHINGTON – Dennis Ross, US President Barack Obama's former Middle East adviser, said that Iran will not be able to unexpectedly attain nuclear capabilities.

    Speaking Thursday with reporters ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington next week, Ross said that every time the Islamic Republic tried to conceal their nuclear program, it was eventually exposed.
    Related stories:



    Ross noted that negotiations between Iran and the West over the former's attempts to develop nuclear capabilities are slated to begin in the next two months, and that the talks will reveal Tehran's true intensions.

    Obama, Ross added, prefers to find a diplomatic solution, but at the same time is determined to prevent a nuclear Iran. It is in Tehran's interest to take advantage of the diplomatic opportunity that's currently on the table, he said.
    Ross, who currently serves as a counselor at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said that Obama does not believe Iran would use nuclear weapons, if it acquires them, but is concerned that the move would spark an armament race in the Middle East.
    Iran not like Japan

    The former adviser estimated that Washington will not let Iran reach a point in which it possesses all the ingredients for a bomb, without actually having assembled one. Ross explained that Iran is not like Japan, and cannot be allowed to reach the same status, after it has lost the world's trust. He added that forceful measures will have to be employed if the sanctions fail and Iran is found to be buying time while sitting at the negotiations table.

    The upcoming meeting between Netanyahu and Obama will focus on the Iranian issue, and Ross claimed that Israel and the US are in full agreement vis-à-vis the goal of preventing Iran's nuclear armament and issuing paralyzing sanctions.


    The meeting, Ross estimated, will focus on the timetable for negotiations and measures for success. Israel is concerned that prolonged negotiations will close the window of opportunity for a military strike in Iran, he added.

    Ross also discussed the relations between the Israeli prime minister and the American president, which many claim is one of the worst in the history of the two states, saying that when Netanyahu feels that Israel is being threatened and needs assistance, the first thing he does is call Obama.

    That's what he did during the flotilla and the attack on the Israeli Embassy in Cairo. When it comes to important issues, there is a high level of trust between the sides, Ross noted.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Keyboard commando, thats funny! given what i do and who i work for. Very funny. I dont need to prove my Bona Fides to you, Michael. I go to work every day keeping loudmouth hypocrites like you safe. I work in the Natl Security field, thats all you need to know. if you had a need to know more, you would.

    If called you'd serve eh? then man up, and go enlist. If you aren't gonna do that, than you can shove your self righteous bullshit in your piehole. while i respect your right to spout your opinion as freedom of speech, your hypocritical viewpoint of re-enacting the draft just as long as its someone else is telling. if called to serve, you will, eh? nothings stopping you. go volunteer. I did. Rick did. whats stopping you?

    Peterle, while i respect you have a view point, as someone who isnt an American you are speaking about YOUR self interests, not ours. Necessarily, your point of view will be different and your experiences as well. Michael is an American who's viewpoints are dangerous to his country and his fellow Americans, view points formed from his 'ivory tower' of self righteous and naivete.

    Michael, you have a problem not knowing who i am? tough shit. Grow up. Why dont you stop acting like a child avoiding the cold hard facts that have been put right in front of your face? Everyone here, EVERYONE, has grown tired of watching you ignore and obfuscate regarding cold facts. People like you get innocent people killed with your self righteous justifications, your willful ignorance, your naivete, and your complete unwillingness to deal with reality.

    Ev
    Last edited by eversman; March 3rd, 2012 at 17:22.

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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    And what would you know about honor? calling for a draft and asking everyone else to step up, while you stand back and watch. I'm headed for a fall? no, brother, not so. I'm the one toeing the line while you sit back and bitch and complain.

    Real world experience? whens the last time you wore a uniform and went to the sandbox? dont stand on your soap box and talk to me about 'real world experience'.

    Funny the comment YOU make about being a keyboard commando, and calling others 'rude little boys'. Go fuck yourself. Go don a uniform, and a pair of boots and spend some time in theater, and then we will talk about who's a little boy, and who's got real-world experience.

    See, i can tell you've never been to a combat theater michael, because you would know these things, having learned them first hand, instead of bickering and proposing all your high-brow justifications and pontifications about US Foreign Policy. Go work for the State Dept, they'll love you.

    Ev

  7. #1087
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    No more baiting or swearing at each other if you please. We do enforce a TOS here.
    Brian Baldwin

    Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil.... For I am the meanest S.O.B. in the valley.


    "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in... And how many want out." - Tony Blair on America



    It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

    It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

    It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

    It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.

    -Father Denis O'Brien of the United States Marine Corp.


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  8. #1088
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Unfortunately I DO see the logic and/or reasoning in others all too often Michael and it is one reason I stand up for Conservative principles and values all of the time.

    I don't just jump in and accuse folks of something I've made up, they come out in the open and state their cases, or attempt to - and I call it like I see it.

    Apology accepted however....

    And I am going to add a few things. I grew up in the 60's - but wasn't a "product of the 60s' not like so many kids I knew who were indeed dope smoking, acid dropping dumb asses and who wee usually older than me and got drafted. I "avoided" the draft by not quite being 18 by the time it was over with. Damn... missed it by that much.

    I knew a LOT of Vietnam veterans who were still in the active service however in the 1970s and you bet your ass they were druggies. I got several of them removed from the service in my first job.

    You see, Hollywierd does a LOT of things wrong, but not always. MOST of the active military personnel that went over there to the jungle weren't druggies, so to them, I say Good on them.

    To those that WERE druggies and went over there and did their jobs, I say GOOD ON THEM TOO!

    But, druggies they were.

    Is that dishonorable for me, a retired member of the armed forces?

    No. I have a right to my opinion and I think moreso than some because I served. One more thing, to everyone. 66% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were VOLUNTEERS.... But, that's a damned lot of men who went over there too, and 33% of those were drafted.

    Facts are stubborn things.....Ronald Regan
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    With regards to drugs and Vietnam, I'd recommend watching Vietnam in HD. They cover this topic as well as the injection of draftees into the military a bit with takes from both sides. Interesting insights in it.

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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Iran vows to stick to nuclear 'path'
    By Marc Burleigh (AFP) 2 hours ago



    TEHRAN Iran declared on Monday it will not be swayed from its nuclear "path" by sanctions, a week before talks with world powers that are increasingly seen as a last chance for diplomacy in its showdown with the West.


    "The sanctions may have caused us small problems but we will continue our path," Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi vowed in an interview with the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).


    "We do not underestimate any enemy, no matter how tiny and lowly they are. The regime's officials -- the supreme leader, the president, the army, the (Revolutionary) Guards and Basij (militia) -- are completely vigilant. And the nation is prepared to defend the achievements of Islamic Iran," he said.


    The defiant words came after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Saturday that the talks between Iran and the world powers would take place April 13 and 14 in Istanbul.


    She and US President Barack Obama have both publicly said that the window for diplomacy in the standoff over Iran's nuclear programme is closing.


    "Our policy is one of prevention, not containment," Clinton said in Saudi Arabia after talks with her Gulf Arab counterparts.


    It is up to Iran to engage in the talks "with an effort to obtain concrete results," Clinton said.


    Israel -- the sole if undeclared nuclear weapons state in the Middle East -- and the United States have threatened military strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities if diplomacy and sanctions fail to curb the Islamic republic's nuclear ambitions.


    The UN Security Council has imposed four sets of sanctions on Iran because of suspicions over its nuclear programme, which the United States and its allies believe includes a drive to develop atomic weapons capability.


    The West has imposed its own unilateral economic sanctions on Iran.
    But Iran's oil minister, Rostam Qasemi, told the Mehr news agency on Monday that the West's efforts to curb Iranian oil exports "have been a failure".


    "We have seen off what they describe as 'rigorous sanctions' against the oil industry," he said.


    Iran denies any military dimension to its nuclear activities.


    Its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has called nuclear weapons a "sin". But he has also refused to bow to sanctions, and warned Iran would retaliate in kind if attacked.


    Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in an interview with the Fars news agency that Iran considered the talk of war to be a "psychological" gambit "to affect the Iranian nation, to lower the support of the people for the system."


    But, he said, "our readiness (to ward off any threat) is at its peak. We take any threat, even those with a low probability of happening, seriously.


    "If any practical action, either surgical or long-lasting, is taken, we will respond decisively."


    The talks between Iran and the P5+1 group -- the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany -- are seen as an opportunity to defuse the tense situation.


    EU officials in Brussels said that, despite Clinton's affirmation, Istanbul had not yet been fully confirmed as the venue.


    "The talks are scheduled to start late on the 13th and will be held primarily on the 14th," one EU diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.


    They will "very likely" take place in Istanbul, but all parties had not yet reached complete agreement, the diplomat said.


    A spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the P5+1 in the negotiations, said only: "We will announce it (the venue) formally once we have full agreement."


    The last round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 group was held in Istanbul in January 2011 and ended in failure. Geneva hosted the round before that in late 2010.


    The United States is poised to bolster unilateral sanctions that are already making it harder for Iran to sell its vital oil exports. Countries that do not reduce Iranian oil imports risk being targeted by US sanctions.


    But Salehi stressed to IRNA: "The West thinks that Iran is like many other countries who will yield under America's pressure. But they are mistaken."


    He said Iran had resisted Western pressure ever since it became an Islamic republic following its 1979 revolution. And he said the United States would be forced to retreat from its positions if Iranian "national unity" was strengthened.
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Is the U.S. leaking information to undermine Israel’s campaign against Iran?

    paul koring

    WASHINGTON— Globe and Mail Update

    Posted on




    A secret Israeli-Azerbaijan pact giving the Jewish state use of old Soviet air bases to attack Iran’s nuclear site revealed by Foreign Policy magazine exposed a bold military option to the vexed problem of getting bomb-heavy warplanes to their distant targets.
    Or was the story all part of a complex and devious disinformation campaign by the Obama administration to box Israel in, or one targeted at the president?
    From a military standpoint, the strategy was simple, if audacious. Israeli warplanes would refuel in Azerbaijan before the final low-level dash across the Caspian to targets in Iran.
    Predictably, Israeli and Azeri officials flatly denied the story which – according to Foreign Policy – was based on senior U.S. intelligence and military sources.
    Another denial came from a similarly unidentified Obama administration official, who said the White House had “no interest” in leaks of that type, adding it would “gladly prosecute” those who divulged the details supposed Israeli attack option using Azeri air bases – if they knew who they were.
    For some that seemed a touch too disingenuous.
    In the murky and multi-layered world of deliberate leaks and pressure by disinformation, the White House denial was interpreted as a clever piece in the Obama administration complex strategy to box Israel in. In that scenario, the message is that Washington – first by leaking details and then denying it was leaking – knows what Israel is up to and wants no part of it, at least until after the November elections.
    Accusations and denials started flying in all directions.
    John Bolton, the hawkish former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the George W. Bush administration said the Obama White House was deliberately undermining Israel by exposing its military strategy. ““This leak … is part of the administration’s campaign against an Israeli attack,” he said.
    In Israel, the story produced outrage. Military analysts lined up to dismiss the Azeri air base option as unworkable. They also noted that relative small and weak Azerbaijan would not want to pick a fight with its much bigger, more powerful, neighbour, certainly not at the behest of Israel, despite good relations with the Jewish state and a recently signed multi-billion dollar arms sale.
    But the prime target for Israeli fury was Mark Perry, the author of the original Foreign Policy article. He was denounced a sometime ‘unofficial’ adviser to former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
    Mr. Perry, "a veteran anti-Israeli warrior has simply taken advantage of the negligent naivety of Foreign Policy editors in order to plant one more of his cloak-and-dagger patchwork stories aimed at undermining the state he intensely detests,” wrote Israeli journalist Ehud Yaari in The Times of Israel. "The fact that Azerbaijan maintains close relations with Israel – including big arms and oil deals – does not justify flights of fantasy.”
    Back in America, where everything is political in an election year, David Harris, president of the National Jewish Democratic Council, demanded public apologies from Mr. Bolton and the Republican Jewish Coalition. “They should be ashamed of themselves for pushing this dangerous and offensive smear of the Obama administration for purely partisan purposes,” he said.
    Whatever the military merits of staging an attack on Iran using Azeri air bases – and the notion at least matches Israel’s long track record of audacious, improbable, daring and often successful strikes – the option now seems dead. Any element of surprise is gone and, with it, any vestige of Azeri deniability.
    For Israeli war planners, the problem remains. Unlike its 1981 attack of an Iraqi nuclear site, or the 2007 strike on a Syrian reactor, Iran’s multiple nuclear targets are dispersed, heavily defended, sometimes deeply buried and all much further away. A bombing campaign, not a single strike, would be required and without air bases closer to the targets, Israeli warplanes would need aerial refuelling multiple times and therefore over-flight permission from Turkey or Iraq or Saudi Arabia.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  12. #1092
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Jerusalem Post Middle East Iran News
    IRAN: 'ONLY SEVEN MINUTES NEEDED FOR THE IRANIAN MISSILE TO HIT TEL AVIV'
    BY JPOST.COM STAFF, MICHAEL WILNER 05 FEBRUARY 2017 22:00

    Iran’s officials vowed to continue launching “roaring missiles,” which they characterized as defensive in nature.

    "Only seven minutes is needed for the Iranian missile to hit Tel Aviv," senior member of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission and former Revolutionary Guard official, Majtaba Zonour, told semi-official Fars News Agency Saturday.

    His comments follow days of heated exchanges between US and Iranian officials.

    Tensions between Washington and Tehran have intensified after the Trump administration announced new sanctions targeting Iran’s ballistic-missile program.

    The US issued the new penalties in response to several Iranian missile launches that international powers say are in violation of Iran’s obligations.

    Follow
    Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
    Iran is playing with fire - they don't appreciate how "kind" President Obama was to them. Not me!
    6:28 AM - 3 Feb 2017
    51,014 51,014 Retweets 157,909 157,909 likes
    Iran responded forcefully, proceeding with a military exercise that further tested its missile radar capabilities.

    Iran’s officials vowed to continue launching “roaring missiles,” which they characterized as defensive in nature.

    And they targeted US President Donald Trump himself calling him “reckless” and inexperienced.

    Trump said on Twitter that Iran was “playing with fire.” And, in a statement, US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn said Iran’s “belligerent and lawless” behavior across the Middle East had only increased since it agreed to a deal with six foreign nations meant to govern its nuclear program for more than a decade.

    “The international community has been too tolerant of Iran’s bad behavior. The ritual of convening a United Nations Security Council in an emergency meeting and issuing a strong statement is not enough,” Flynn said.

    Iran last Saturday condemned the US visa ban against Tehran and six other majority-Muslim countries as an "open affront against the Muslim world and the Iranian nation" and vowed to retaliate.

    Reuters contributed to this report.

    http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Ira...el-Aviv-480654

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you wont accept
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    outright, but well keep feeding you small doses of
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    until youll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    ."
    Well so weaken your
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    until youll
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Iran leader: Trump 'shows real face of America'



    DUBAI -- US President Donald Trump has shown America's "real face" by proving Iranian allegations about American government corruption, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday in his first speech following Trump's inauguration.

    "We are thankful to for making our life easy as he showed the real face of America," Khamenei was quoted as saying by his website in a meeting with military commanders in Tehran.

    "During his election campaign and after that, he confirmed what we have been saying for more than 30 years about the political, economic, moral and social corruption in the US ruling system," he added.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7...918952,00.html

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you wont accept
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    outright, but well keep feeding you small doses of
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    until youll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    ."
    Well so weaken your
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    until youll
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Iran Missile Threat Prompts Calls in Congress to Expand U.S. Missile Defense



    A group of 25 Republican House lawmakers, joined by one Democrat, have sent a letter urging President Donald Trump to significantly increase funding to various programs aimed at developing an earth- and space-based “robust missile defense architecture” capable of protecting the U.S. homeland against “any threat from any nation,” not just Iran and North Korea.

    The letter, sent to the commander-in-chief on February 3, notes:

    By increasing funding to our resource-starved directed energy programs, the Trump Administration has the opportunity to complete what the Reagan Administration began and allow the United States to “leapfrog” the missile threat. By deploying multi-mission space sensors, we will be able to accurately identify and target the newest and most advanced missile defense architecture and further protect our homeland from the Iranian missile threat.

    This is also a great opportunity to accelerate the Multi-Object Kill Vehicle (MOKV) program, which will ensure we are able to protect against the most advanced enemy warheads which are capable of deploying extremely effective decoys, and the new Ground-Based Interceptors with Configuration 3 (C3) booster which will be required to adequately counter the newest missiles.
    […]
    Once the technology is mastered, the concrete poured, and the satellites deployed, the architecture is there to stay, regardless of which party controls Congress and the White House.
    A mandate in the 2017 National Defense and Authorization Act (NDAA), signed into law last year, calls for a “historic” shift in the U.S. missile defense system, points out the letter.

    Instead of only guarding against a “limited” threat, it is now U.S. policy to “maintain and improve an effective, robust, layered missile defense system capable of defending the territory of the United States, allies, deployed forces, and capabilities against the developing and increasingly complex ballistic missile threat,” according to the law.

    Lawmakers urge the president to take advantage of the provision.

    Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), one of the letter’s co-authors and co-chair of the Congressional Missile Defense Caucus, explained in a statement:

    Iran’s missile test on Sunday reinforces just how serious and growing is the threat from ballistic missiles. President Trump has a tremendous opportunity to rapidly advance our missile defense system. The FY17 NDAA completely changed our nation’s missile defense policy from a “limited” defense to a “robust” defense, capable of defeating evolving threats. After underfunding our missile defense budget for eight years under the Obama Administration, our near-peer competitors are rapidly developing ballistic missile capabilities aimed at exploiting the gaps and seams in our missile defense architecture.
    The February 3 letter comes after Iran recently fire-tested ballistic missiles despite a United Nations resolution barring the Islamic Republican from doing so.

    Various top Iranian officials have struck a defiant tone against sharp rebukes issued by the Trump administration in response to the tests.

    Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a U.S. military combat veteran from Hawaii who serves as a member of the House Armed Services Committee and co-chair of the missile defense caucus, is the only Democrat to sign the correspondence.

    Although he did not sign the letter, Mac Thornberry (R-TX), chairman of the House armed services panel, expressed support Monday for expanding America’s missile defense system, telling reporters, “If you look at what’s happening around the world, I would mention Iran and North Korea, the importance of missile defense is increasing.”

    Within minutes of President Trump’s inauguration, the White House revealed its intention to “develop a state-of-the-art missile defense system to protect against missile-based attacks from states like Iran and North Korea.”

    Echoing other analysts last week, John McLaughlin, a former deputy and acting director of the CIA, told members of the House Armed Services Committee, that North Korea “probably presents the most pressing near-term” threat against the U.S., noting that the communist country is “now clearly within reach” of a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) able to reach U.S. soil.

    Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) also signed the February 3 letter to Trump and wrote a complementary one of his own, urging the president to establish a permanent missile defense system in Kuwait to protect against a missile attack from Iran.

    The congressman, a military combat veteran who also serves on the House armed services panel, wrote:

    As a result of Iran’s continued provocations, it is my recommendation that you immediately consider permanently placing a ballistic missile defense system in Kuwait. I was recently made aware, by a highly regarded Senior Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory, that planning for a contingency currently exists. And taking this approach would serve as both a deterrent to Iran and protection for our critical allies in the region.
    Iran has repeatedly threatened to strike U.S.-ally Israel, which the Islamic Republican has failed to recognize.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    You Americans are so gullible.
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    About time!

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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    UAE Says Four Commercial Ships Targeted By "Sabotage" After Reports Of Tanker Explosions
    by Tyler Durden
    Sun, 05/12/2019 - 21:19

    Something odd took place in the Persian Gulf today: early on Sunday, Lebanon's pro-Iran satellite channel Al-Mayadeen, quoting Gulf sources, reported that a series of powerful explosions had struck the United Arab Emirates port of Fujairah, reportedly targeting seven tankers. State and semi-official media in Iran picked up the report from Al-Mayadeen, which later published the names of vessels it claimed were involved in the incident.



    According to Al Mayadeen, the blasts took place early on Sunday morning, adding that the seven oil tankers were completely burnt and that firefighters were still trying to extinguish the blaze. As Iran's PressTV adds, some social media activists said that American and French aircraft of unspecified type were flying over the port. Al Mayadeen did not say what had caused the explosions or the fire.

    Subsequent attempts to validate the report, however, proved futile and as the AP reports, after speaking to Emirati officials and local witnesses, "the report about explosions at the port was unsubstantiated."

    Despite the UAE government’s denial, witnesses emphasized that the blasts took place and some media sources even went further, identifying a number of oil tankers hit by the explosions by their hull numbers as follows:


    • AMJAD tanker: No.: 9779800
    • Marzouqah tanker: No.: 9165762
    • Miraj oil tanker: No.: 9394741
    • A.MICHEL oil tanker: No.: 9177674
    • FNSA10 oil tanker: No.: 9432074


    Yet, while this could have been quickly dismissed as just another case of fake news, later on Sunday the plot thickened because after initially denying anything had happened, the foreign ministry of the United Arab Emirates said that four commercial ships off its eastern coast "were subjected to sabotage operations" without causing casualties, however without giving details of the nature of the sabotage.

    Providing further validation to the previously debunked report, the ministry said that the incident occurred near the UAE emirate of Fujairah, one of the world’s largest bunkering hubs which lies just outside the Strait of Hormuz, even though trading and industry sources quoted by Reuters said operations at Fujairah port ran smoothly on Sunday.

    “Subjecting commercial vessels to sabotage operations and threatening the lives of their crew is considered a dangerous development,” according to the statement that was carried by state news agency WAM.
    #عاجل_وام |
    الخارجية : تعرض أربع سفن تجارية لعمليات تخريبية قرب المياه الإقليمية للدولة ولا أضرار بشرية pic.twitter.com/YOALCsIpDM
    — وكالة أنباء الإمارات (@wamnews) May 12, 2019

    The statement, which did not identify the vessels beyond saying they were of various nationalities, said the incident did not result in spills. The UAE did not blame any country or other party for the operation.

    Emirati officials declined to elaborate on the nature of the sabotage or say who might have been responsible; the statement also denied any incident had taken place inside the port, adding the government had taken all necessary measures and launched an investigation in coordination with international authorities.

    “The international community should carry out its responsibilities to prevent any parties trying to harm maritime security and safety, which would be considered a threat to international safety and security,” it added.



    However, what prompted many to speculate that the attack, or "sabotage" may have been a false flag provocation to escalate a regional conflict, the incident came as the U.S. has warned ships that "Iran or its proxies" could be targeting maritime traffic in the region, and as America deployed an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf to counter alleged threats from Tehran, while Tehran has called the U.S. military presence “a target” rather than a threat.

    The reported sabotage incident also comes after the U.S. Maritime Administration warned Thursday that Iran could target commercial sea traffic.

    "Since early May, there is an increased possibility that Iran and/or its regional proxies could take action against U.S. and partner interests, including oil production infrastructure, after recently threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz," the warning read. "Iran or its proxies could respond by targeting commercial vessels, including oil tankers, or U.S. military vessels in the Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, or the Persian Gulf."

    So was Iran indeed "targeting commercial vessels", or was someone pretending to be Iran and targeting commercial vessels, and if so did the operation fail to achieve its goal, resulting in the prompt denial that anything happened, even though it was Iran who originally reported that seven tankers were involved in the explosions?

    While there is no definitive answer, later on Sunday, a senior Iranian lawmaker and head of parliament’s national security committee, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, said that reports of “explosions” near Fujairah port showed the “the security of the south of the Persian Gulf is like glass.”
    انفجارهای فجیره نشان داد،امنیت جنوب خلیج فارس شیشه ای است.
    — حشمت الله فلاحت پیشه (@drfalahatpishe) May 12, 2019

    Fujairah's port is located about 140 kilometers (85 miles) from the Strait of Hormuz, through which a third of all oil at sea is traded. The facility handles oil for bunkering and shipping, as well as general and bulk cargo. It is seen as strategically located, serving shipping routes in the Persian Gulf, the Indian subcontinent and Africa.

    Washington tightened sanctions on Iran this month, eliminating waivers that had allowed some countries to buy its oil, saying it wanted to cut Tehran’s crude exports to zero. Iran has said it will not let its oil exports by halted.

    Finally, in another odd development for the incident which on one hand never, yet apparently was a case of sabotage, the UAE’s Gulf Arab ally Bahrain described the Fujairah incident as "a dangerous criminal act."

    Following these bizarre reports and subsequent official denials, it remains unclear if there were indeed any explosions, if oil tankers were targeted, who was behind said attacks, and just what was the purpose of this "dangerous criminal" sabotage.

    The confusion is similar to what happened earlier this week, when a number of powerful explosions rocked Saudi Arabia’s port city of Yanbu’, an important petroleum shipping terminal for the kingdom, and is home to three oil refineries, a plastics facility and several other petrochemical plants. Like on Sunday, however, reports fell short of giving any reason for the blasts or possible casualties.

    No further details have been made available up to this moment and no group or individual has assumed responsibility for the blasts.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-...ker-explosions

    "Sabotage Attacks" On Saudi Tankers Stoke Fears Of War By "Accident" - Iran Decries Possible 'Psyop'


    by Tyler Durden
    Mon, 05/13/2019 - 19:45

    Despite now near daily anti-Iran bluster coming out of Washington, fueling rising US-Iran tensions, and now with a major "incident" involving the reported "sabotage" attack on Saudi and UAE-docked oil tankers from an unknown perpetrator, leaders in Tehran do not see war on the horizon. Interestingly, the incident involving the Saudi tankers at the Emirates' port of Fujairah on Sunday came a mere days after the US warned that "Iran or its proxies" could attack commercial vessels in the region though there's yet to be blame officially cast over the latest mysterious incident.

    Instead, Iran does see possible desperate attempts at a Psyop in the works: “The US military forces’ deployment in the Persian Gulf is more of the nature of psychological warfare. They are not ready for a war, specially when Israel is within our range,” Iranian Parliament’s Vice-Speaker Ali Motahhari said on Sunday after a closed door session with MPs, according to FARS news agency.

    But the specific mention of Israel as being "within our range" marks a significant counter-threat which could easily make war a reality, now also given the Persian Gulf region is on edge after Saudi Arabia said overnight that two of its oil tankers were attacked while headed near the Strait of Hormuz. Meanwhile the US Department of Energy says it's "monitoring the oil markets, and is confident they remain well-supplied" amid fears there are efforts to "disrupt shipping," according to Bloomberg.



    Norwegian oil tanker Andrea Victory, one of the four tankers damaged in alleged "sabotage attacks." Via the AFP
    The Saudis said in the aftermath of the still mysterious incident there was "significant damage to the structures of the two vessels" identified by shipping monitors as the Amjad and crude tanker Al Marzoqah. Other tankers were also reported damaged in the UAE's Fujairan port.

    Later in the day Monday, images and footage began to appear online via Middle East news sources purporting to show damage from the "sabotage attack" of unknown origin on multiple international vessels.

    Second Video from #Fujairah incident shows damage to 1/2 Saudi oil tankers Al Marzoqah. Earlier video showed Norwegian vessel damaged. 4 vessels affected near #UAE: pic.twitter.com/It1KFMr4si
    — Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) May 13, 2019

    And in predictable fashion, the Gulf Sunni dominated Arab League jumped in to back Saudi Arabia's use of "all measures" to safeguard their security, per the AP:
    The head of the Arab League has condemned attacks that targeted vessels off the coast of the United Arab Emirates the previous day, including two Saudi oil tankers, as “criminal acts.”

    Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said in a statement on Monday that these acts are a “serious violation of the freedom and integrity of trade and maritime transport routes.”

    He says the Arab League stands by the UAE and Saudi Arabia “in all measures taken to safeguard their security and interests.”

    Senior State Dept. official Brian Hook responded with "no comment" when asked if Iran was to blame for the alleged attacks on the commercial vessels near the vital Strait of Hormuz.

    Hours after, President Trump weighed in by warning Iran against any "provocation" or else the country “will suffer greatly” if conflict breaks out with the US. Trump told reporters while meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the White House:
    “We’ll see what happens with Iran. If they do anything it’ll be a very bad mistake, if they do anything.”
    Though so far it appears minor, the sabotage incident could signal the start of a Gulf of Tonkin type incident in the Persian Gulf, which would ultimately force Iran into a direct confrontation with the US and its regional allies, given also the ease with which any major event which disrupts shipping and impacting global oil markets would immediately be blamed on Iran, and uncritically spread through global and western media.
    #BREAKING The Norwegian ship "Andr Victoria", which was subjected to subversive acts in the #Fujairah against four ships near the territorial waters of the #UAE, received a powerful blow that almost led her to sank, according to a video footage obtained by Russia Today pic.twitter.com/Nl15pFt81P
    — EHA News (@eha_news) May 13, 2019

    Seeming to be well aware of such a possibility, Iran on Monday urged caution and even directly suggested the events could be false-flag provocations designed to draw regional enemies into conflict. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said on Monday the incidents were "alarming and regrettable," and urged that more details were needed.

    He further warned against "plots by ill-wishers to disrupt regional security" and called for "vigilance of regional states in the face of any adventurism by foreign elements."



    via The Daily Mail
    Last week the US deployed a carrier strike group to the region and further has a B-52 bomber group monitoring the skies over the Persian Gulf from al Udeid airbase in Qatar.

    While the Iran's Revolutionary Guard has also dismissed the recent US building as “nothing but psychological warfare”, saying that “the US lacks power and does not dare to start a war against Iran,” it has also said its finger is on the trigger, ready to respond to any aggressive acts.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-...s-war-accident


    https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/defa...l%20waters.jpg


    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/58/8d...4bd5e52970.jpg


    Iran’s special marine unit sabotaged tankers. Fujairah was outside US, Saudi, UAE purview

    Diane Shalem Fujairah port, Iran sabotages oil tankers



    A special unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards marine force carried out the sabotage attack Sunday on 4 Saudi oil tankers outside Fujairah port, DEBKAfile’s exclusive sources reveal. Iran chose this venue in the Gulf of Oman waters of the United Arab Emirates for its first proactive strike against US sanctions, because it is way off the beaten track of Gulf oil export routes. There were two other reasons:

    (a) To show the US and Gulf oil nations that Tehran doesn’t need to block the Strait of Hormuz in order to disrupt the Gulf’s oil exports to international markets.

    (b) The UAE has built the new Habshan-Fujairah oil pipeline there for the purpose of circumventing the Strait of Hormuz. By striking Fujairah, the Iranians demonstrated that alternative shipping routes are just as vulnerable to Iranian attack as the Gulf of Hormuz.

    The above picture shows a direct hit to the Norwegian-flagged Andre Victoria oil tanker which was almost scuttled.

    Our sources note that although war tensions between US and Iran were mounting sharply, Western intelligence and the Gulf emirates were caught off-guard by the location of the Iranian attack and its precise targeting. It is now estimated that Tehran carefully calibrated the blasts to cause damage while falling short of sinking the vessels or inflicting casualties.
    Houthi Drones Attack Aramco Pipeline Booster Stations

    by Tyler Durden
    Tue, 05/14/2019 - 06:58

    Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels carried out drone attacks on two Aramco pipeline booster stations, a strike that was intended to disrupt world oil supplies, according to Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih.

    Al-Falih told Saudi-funded news agency Al-Arabiya that the attacks targeted two pipeline booster stations between the Eastern province and the city of Yanbu.



    He added that pumping will be stopped at one of the damaged pipeline in order to start repairs. Al-Falih claimed the attack was carried out with the aim of disrupting oil supplies, and that the attack "proves the importance of confronting all terrorist organizations."

    A news agency controlled by the Houthis said seven drones were involved in attacks on seven installations.

    [update] 2 Saudi Aramco pumping stations targeted in drone attack in Al Dawadmi and Afif, Riyadh #saudiarabia #oil #gas #terrorism #insurgency https://t.co/zJIx3iHIMO pic.twitter.com/YFe7thCgZE
    — Horizon Intelligence (@_hozint) May 14, 2019

    The attacks come one day after a string of attacks on two Saudi oil tankers and two other vessels in the Strait of Hormuz.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-...oster-stations




    White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War

    By Eric Schmitt and Julian E. Barnes

    May 13, 2019

    The aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln last week in the Persian Gulf. As a precaution, the Pentagon has moved an aircraft carrier and more naval firepower to the gulf region.CreditCreditU.S. Navy, via Associated Press
    WASHINGTON — At a meeting of President Trump’s top national security aides last Thursday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons, administration officials said.

    The revisions were ordered by hard-liners led by John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser. It does not call for a land invasion of Iran, which would require vastly more troops, officials said.

    The development reflects the influence of Mr. Bolton, one of the administration’s most virulent Iran hawks, whose push for confrontation with Tehran was ignored more than a decade ago by President George W. Bush.

    It is highly uncertain whether Mr. Trump, who has sought to disentangle the United States from Afghanistan and Syria, ultimately would send so many American forces back to the Middle East.

    It is also unclear whether the president has been briefed on the number of troops or other details in the plans. On Monday, asked about if he was seeking regime change in Iran, Mr. Trump said: “We’ll see what happens with Iran. If they do anything, it would be a very bad mistake.”

    There are sharp divisions in the administration over how to respond to Iran at a time when tensions are rising about Iran’s nuclear policy and its intentions in the Middle East.

    Some senior American officials said the plans, even at a very preliminary stage, show how dangerous the threat from Iran has become. Others, who are urging a diplomatic resolution to the current tensions, said it amounts to a scare tactic to warn Iran against new aggressions.

    European allies who met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday said that they worry that tensions between Washington and Tehran could boil over, possibly inadvertently.

    More than a half-dozen American national security officials who have been briefed on details of the updated plans agreed to discuss them with The New York Times on the condition of anonymity. Spokesmen for Mr. Shanahan and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, declined to comment.

    The size of the force involved has shocked some who have been briefed on them. The 120,000 troops would approach the size of the American force that invaded Iraq in 2003.

    Deploying such a robust air, land and naval force would give Tehran more targets to strike, and potentially more reason to do so, risking entangling the United States in a drawn out conflict. It also would reverse years of retrenching by the American military in the Middle East that began with President Barack Obama’s withdrawal of troops from Iraq in 2011.

    But two of the American national security officials said Mr. Trump’s announced drawdown in December of American forces in Syria, and the diminished naval presence in the region, appear to have emboldened some leaders in Tehran and convinced the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that the United States has no appetite for a fight with Iran.

    Since John R. Bolton became the national security adviser in April 2018, he has intensified the Trump administration’s policy of isolating and pressuring Iran.CreditTom Brenner for The New York Times
    Image

    Since John R. Bolton became the national security adviser in April 2018, he has intensified the Trump administration’s policy of isolating and pressuring Iran.CreditTom Brenner for The New York Times

    Several oil tankers were attacked or sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates over the weekend, raising fears that shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf could become flash points. “It’s going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens,” Mr. Trump said on Monday, asked about the episode.

    Emirati officials are investigating the apparent sabotage, and American officials suspect that Iran was involved. Several officials cautioned, however, that there is not yet any definitive evidence linking Iran or its proxies to the attacks. An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman called it a “regretful incident,” according to a state news agency.

    In Brussels, Mr. Pompeo met with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, cosignatories of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, as well as with the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini. He did not speak to the media, but the European officials said they had urged restraint upon Washington, fearing accidental escalation that could lead to conflict with Iran.

    “We are very worried about the risk of a conflict happening by accident, with an escalation that is unintended really on either side,” said Jeremy Hunt, the British foreign secretary.

    The Iranian government has not threatened violence recently, but last week, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would walk away from parts of the 2015 nuclear deal it reached with world powers. Mr. Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement a year ago, but European nations have urged Iran to stick with the deal and ignore Mr. Trump’s provocations.

    The high-level review of the Pentagon’s plans was presented during a meeting about broader Iran policy. It was held days after what the Trump administration described, without evidence, as new intelligence indicating that Iran was mobilizing proxy groups in Iraq and Syria to attack American forces.

    As a precaution, the Pentagon has moved an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers, a Patriot missile interceptor battery and more naval firepower to the gulf region.

    At last week’s meeting, Mr. Shanahan gave an overview of the Pentagon’s planning, then turned to General Dunford to detail various force options, officials said. The uppermost option called for deploying 120,000 troops, which would take weeks or months to complete.

    Among those attending Thursday’s meeting were Mr. Shanahan; Mr. Bolton; General Dunford; Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director; and Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence.

    “The president has been clear, the United States does not seek war with Iran, and he is open to talks with Iranian leadership,” Garrett Marquis, a National Security Council spokesman, said Monday in an email. “However, Iran’s default option for 40 years has been violence, and we are ready to defend U.S. personnel and interests in the region.”

    The reduction of forces in the Middle East in recent years has been propelled by a new focus on China, Russia and a so-called Great Powers competition. The most recent National Defense Strategy — released before Mr. Bolton joined the Trump administration — concluded that while the Middle East remains important, and Iran is a threat to American allies, the United States must do more to ensure a rising China does not upend the world order.

    As recently as late April, an American intelligence analysis indicated that Iran had no short-term desire to provoke a conflict. But new intelligence reports, including intercepts, imagery and other information, have since indicated that Iran was building up its proxy forces’ readiness to fight and was preparing them to attack American forces in the region.

    The new intelligence reports surfaced on the afternoon of May 3, Mr. Shanahan told Congress last week. On May 5, Mr. Bolton announced the first of new deployments to the Persian Gulf, including bombers and an aircraft carrier.



    Members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which was designated a terrorist group by the Trump administration last month.CreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images

    It is not clear to American intelligence officials what changed Iran’s posture. But intelligence and Defense Department officials said American sanctions have been working better than originally expected, proving far more crippling to the Iranian economy — especially after a clampdown on all oil exports that was announced last month.

    Also in April, the State Department designated the Revolutionary Guards a foreign terrorist organization over objections from Pentagon and intelligence officials who feared reprisals from the Iranian military.

    While much of the new intelligence appears to have focused on Iran readying its proxy forces, officials said they believed the most likely cause of a conflict will follow a provocative act, or outright attack, by the Revolutionary Guards’ navy. The Guards’ fleet of small boats has a history of approaching American Navy ships at high speed. Revolutionary Guards commanders have precarious control over their ill-disciplined naval forces.

    Part of the updated planning appears to focus on what military action the United States might take if Iran resumes its nuclear fuel production, which has been frozen under the 2015 agreement. It would be difficult for the Trump administration to make a case that the United States was under imminent nuclear peril; Iran shipped 97 percent of its fuel out of the country in 2016, and currently does not have enough to make a bomb.

    That could change if Iran resumes enriching uranium. But it would take a year or more to build up a significant quantity of material, and longer to fashion it into a weapon. That would allow, at least in theory, plenty of time for the United States to develop a response — like a further cutoff of oil revenues, covert action or military strikes.

    The previous version of the Pentagon’s war plan included a classified subset code-named Nitro Zeus, a cyberoperation that called for unplugging Iran’s major cities, it power grid and its military.

    The idea was to use cyberweapons to paralyze Iran in the opening hours of any conflict, in hopes that it would obviate the need to drop any bombs or conduct a traditional attack. That plan required extensive presence inside Iran’s networks — called “implants” or “beacons” — that would pave the way for injecting destabilizing malware into Iranian systems.

    Two officials said those plans have been constantly updated in recent years.

    But even a cyberattack, without dropping bombs, carries significant risk. Iran has built up a major corps of its own, one that successfully attacked financial markets in 2012, a casino in Las Vegas and a range of military targets. American intelligence officials told Congress in January that Iranian hackers are now considered sophisticated operators who are increasingly capable of striking United States targets.

    Since Mr. Bolton became national security adviser in April 2018, he has intensified the Trump administration’s policy of isolating and pressuring Iran. The animus against Iran’s leaders dates back at least to his days as an official in the George W. Bush administration. Later, as a private citizen, Mr. Bolton called for military strikes on Iran, as well as regime change.

    The newly updated plans were not the first time during the Trump administration that Mr. Bolton has sought military options to strike Iran.

    This year, Defense Department and senior American officials said Mr. Bolton sought similar guidance from the Pentagon last year, after Iranian-backed militants fired three mortars or rockets into an empty lot on the grounds of the United States Embassy in Baghdad in September.

    In response to Mr. Bolton’s request, which alarmed Jim Mattis, then the defense secretary, the Pentagon offered some general options, including a cross-border airstrike on an Iranian military facility that would have been mostly symbolic.

    But Mr. Mattis and other military leaders adamantly opposed retaliation for the Baghdad attack, successfully arguing that it was insignificant.

    Edward Wong and David E. Sanger contributed reporting from Washington, and Steven Erlanger from Brussels.



    US plans to deploy 120,000 troops in Middle East to counter Iran – report

    Published time: 14 May, 2019 06:14
    Edited time: 14 May, 2019 10:50



    Reuters / Romeo Ranoco

    Donald Trump has reportedly been presented with a plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East to counter the so-called Iranian threat, the New York Times reported.

    Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan disclosed the updated military plan at a meeting of Trump's top security aides on Thursday, the publication said, quoting anonymous sources inside the administration.

    Several options to tackle Tehran in the region were outlined to the president during the briefing, while "the uppermost option called for deploying 120,000 troops, which would take weeks or months to complete," the Times said.

    While the revisions "ordered" by "hard-liners" do not promulgate a land invasion of Iran, "the development reflects the influence of Mr. Bolton, one of the administration’s most virulent Iran hawks,” The Times reported. Bolton has been a long-time advocate of using military force against Tehran, even penning an op-ed in 2015 titled “Top Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.”

    The proposal to send additional reinforcements comes amid accusations from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Tehran has been engaging in “an escalating series of threatening actions and statements in recent weeks.” To counter the unspecified threat, the Pentagon has already deployed the USS ‘Abraham Lincoln’ carrier strike group and bomber task force, including B-52s, to the region.

    The deployment came exactly a year after Washington unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), and renewed sanctions against the Islamic Republic’s financial, oil and banking sectors. The US has also labeled Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Corps a “terrorist organization,” triggering a tit-for-tat response from Tehran.

    Meanwhile, Iran said it will cancel part of its obligations under the nuclear agreement, and urged the European signatories to tackle Washington's pressure.

    The US sabre rattling is "attempting to magnify the shadow of war," Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi explained on Sunday night, noting that American military buildup in the region is "theatrical and useless."


    As tensions increase, Trump warns that Iran will ‘suffer greatly’ if ‘they do anything’



    (May 13, 2019 / JNS) Amid increasing tensions between the United States and Iran, U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Monday that Tehran will “suffer greatly” if “they do anything.”

    “We’ll see what happens with Iran. … If they do anything, they will suffer greatly,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office in response to reports that two oil tankers owned by Saudi Arabia and two others, one owned by the United Arab Emirates and another by Norway, were sabotaged, possibly by Tehran.

    “It’s going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens. I can tell you that,” said Trump. “They’re not going to be happy. They’re not going to be happy people.”

    The president did not elaborate on the threat, saying, “You can figure it out yourself. They know what I mean by it.”

    Trump’s warning came as the Washington has increased pressure on Tehran over the past week with new sanctions and deploying two warships with fighter jets, in addition to a Patriot missile battery, to the Gulf in response to Pentagon reports that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was planning an attack on U.S. forces or interests in the region—moves that have caused European foreign ministers to call for de-escalation.

    Read More: Jewish News Syndicate

    https://www.cufi.org/as-tensions-inc...y-do-anything/





    Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps on full alert sending a clear warning to Gulf countries

    Posted on 14/05/2019 by Elijah J Magnier


    The IRGC commander of Iran aerospace force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizade

    By Elijah J. Magnier:

    Iran has deployed its ballistic and cruise missiles, some in positions visible to US satellites and drones. They are ready for any confrontation with the US military apparatus, in case the US administration decides on war. Iran is responding to President Donald Trump’s belligerent declaration that he is gathering more naval forces in the Persian Gulf as a possible preparation for war. The Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for a full readiness of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the army for the worst-case scenario. According to Iranian officials, “Iran will consider itself at war with every country in the Middle East that allows the US to use it as a base for its military campaign against Iran, the day Trump decides to go to war”.

    The US announced a new deployment of Patriot anti-aircraft missiles in the Middle East and sent several B-52 bombers to a US base in Qatar. The US State Department approved a $2 billion sale of 60 Patriot Advanced Capability 3 missiles systems and 100 Patriot Guidance Enhanced-Tactical (GEM-T) missiles to the United Arab Emirates. The Patriot missile interceptor recently failed to intercept Houthi missileslaunched against Saudi Arabia.

    Iran sent a message to all neighbouring countries that it will target every single country’s infrastructure and military base if the US uses it as a platform for a military campaign against it. According to well-informed sources, Tehran has deployed missiles capable of hitting any of the countries encircling Iran and wherever the US has a military presence usable in case of war.

    Iran considers all US naval effectives present in the Persian Gulf as potential targets in case of war. They are within the range of its supersonic anti-ship missiles. The Iranian defence and missile launching systems spread over the country number several thousands, according to the source. The message behind all that is the fact that the US will be incapable of neutralising all the Iranian missile bases deployed. This means the Iranian military leadership will be in a position to destroy several targets in the Persian Gulf and in countries supporting the US military campaign. The Iranian leadership’s bank of objectives will not exclude oil rigs and platforms in the Gulf, and civilians and military harbours in the region, said the source.

    “President Trump is dealing with Iran like he is trying to sell an apartment, leaving his business card and phone number for the potential buyer to contact him in case of an agreement. This is not how relationships between countries are handled. Iran is run by an ideological leadership and so are its armed forces. If we are attacked, we shall make sure the fire will reach not only our homes but all homes in every single country in the Middle East”, concluded the Iranian source.

    The IRGC commander of Iran aerospace force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizade said: “A US battleship with 6000 personnel in the vicinity (Persian Gulf) with 40-50 jets onboard used to be a threat to us. Today it is a target”.

    Poof-read by: Maurice Brasher & C.G.B
    Last edited by vector7; May 15th, 2019 at 07:45.

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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    Military plans to counter Iran include possible 120,000 troop deployment, cyber attack Nitro Zeus

    By: Todd South   19 hours ago
    As tensions with Iran mount, U.S. military officials have put together a plan to send up to 120,000 troops to the CENTCOM region, according to the New York TImes. An Emirati coast guard vessel passes an oil tanker off the coast of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, Monday, May 13, 2019.(Jon Gambrell/AP)

    The Pentagon recently presented a military plan to the presidents top national security aides that calls for up to 120,000 troops deploying to the Middle East and a potential crippling cyber-attack on Irans infrastructure should Iran speed up its nuclear program or attack U.S. forces.

    Details of the briefing were first reported by the New York Times, which cited more than half a dozen American national security officials, granted anonymity, who have been briefed on the updated plans.

    But today, President Donald Trump brushed aside the Times reporting in comments to the press.

    I think its fake news. OK? Now would I do that? Absolutely. But we have not planned for that. Hopefully, were not gonna have to plan for that, and if we did that, wed send a hell of a lot more troops than that, Trump said.

    The updated plan comes as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last week gave the remaining signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal 60 days to come up with a plan to buffer his country from sanctions imposed by Trump when he pulled out of the deal last year.

    On Friday, the Pentagon announced it would deploy a Patriot missile battery to the Middle East to defend against Iranian threats. Officials also announced an amphibious ship would be sent to the region, adding better launch capabilities for Marines. The move comes after four Patriot batteries were removed from the region last fall.

    New Persian Gulf deployments will also include bombers and the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln.

    Those shifts in resources came after a new intelligence report on May 3, Shanahan told Congress last week.

    Iranian military leaders are calling U.S. assets in the region a target, according to Reuters, citing a report in the Iranian Students News Agency (INSA).

    An aircraft carrier that has at least 40 to 50 planes on it and 6,000 forces gathered within it was a serious threat for us in the past but now it is a target and the threats have switched to opportunities, said Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Guards aerospace division.

    If (the Americans) make a move, we will hit them in the head, he added, according to ISNA.

    Also, over the weekend, four oil tankers off of the coast of the United Arab Emirates were damaged in potential sabotage or attacks. The incident remains under investigation. The Iranian government has called it a, regretful incident.

    Its going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens, Trump told reporters Monday in response to questions about the tankers.

    The new intelligence report looks at Iran preparing its proxy forces. But officials told the Times that the most likely scenario that ends up in conflict would be after act or attack by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy.

    The IRGC has a history of sending small, fast moving boats at U.S. Navy ships in the Gulf, attempting to provoke a military response.

    Video I shot of Iranian Houdong patrol boat 500 yards off the USS New Orleans with @CENTCOM commander Joe Votel aboard @TB_Times pic.twitter.com/42S2JI3Ehf
    Howard Altman (@haltman) March 29, 2017

    Its unclear if Trump himself has received the military plan briefing, based on the Times report. But a recent statement does not remove a military response.

    The president has been clear, the United States does not seek military conflict with Iran, and he is open to talks with Iranian leadership, Garrett Marquis, a National Security Council spokesman, wrote in an email to the Times on Monday. However, Irans default option for 40 years has been violence, and we are ready to defend U.S. personnel and interests in the region.
    @CENTCOM commander Joe Votel gets brief on @IRGC Navy Houdong on USS New Orleans @TB_Times pic.twitter.com/kkFY7piR3X
    Howard Altman (@haltman) August 30, 2016

    At the same time, European allies have reportedly been talking with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in efforts to deescalate any tensions and avoid any inadvertent overstepping on either side that could lead to conflict.

    We are very worried about the risk of a conflict happening by accident, with an escalation that is unintended really on either side, said Jeremy Hunt, the British foreign secretary told reporters in Brussels, Belgium.

    The updated military plans do not call for an Iraq War-style land invasion but instead focus on air strikes and a potential cyber-attack, which in previous plans had been called Nitro Zeus and would have attempted to disable major Iranian cities, military facilities and the power grid. That plan dates to at least 2010 or earlier, experts have said.

    The cyber attack plan was previously considered as a way to hit Iran in the first hours of a conflict, reducing the need for much of the conventional attacks such as bombings and missile strikes, according to the Times.

    But, experts have noted that Irans cyber capabilities have increased, pointing to attacks on financial markets in 2012, military targets and a Las Vegas casino. Experts testified to Congress this year that Iranian hackers are advanced enough now to hit U.S. targets.

    The Times reports that Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan presented the plan last Thursday in a meeting on broader Iran policy. The meeting included National Security Adviser John R. Bolton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph E. Dunford Jr., C.I.A. Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, according to the Times.

    -Military Times Deputy Editor Leo Shane III contributed to this report

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  18. #1098
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    EndGameWW3
    @EndGameWW3
    Iran news: U.S. pulls most personnel from Iraq as U.S. officials say Iranian military likely behind tanker attacks (link: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/iran-tr...es-2019-05-15/) cbsnews.com/news/iran-trum… via
    @CBSNews

    EndGameWW3
    @EndGameWW3
    My bet is that the U.S. is going to hit those Iranian missiles in Iraq. It seems every country in Iraq is pulling their people out real quick like.
    11:23 AM May 15, 2019
    13

    11m
    Replying to
    @EndGameWW3
    Good bet, keeps from hitting #Iranian soil but draws a line on what Iran can do in #Iraq. Similar to #Israel and Iranian gear in #Syria

    Dillon Wise
    @dwise_76

    8m
    Replying to
    @EndGameWW3
    Yea that’s probably right. When they pull diplomats and officials somethings about to go down.

    Babak Taghvaee
    ‏ @BabakTaghvaee
    6h6 hours ago

    #Breaking: It is highly possible that the #IRGC's proxies carry-out rocket attack at the Green Zone of #Baghdad to target the #US Embassy in #Iraq. This has resulted #US Government to order most of the staff of the embassy to leave #Iraq.

    EndGameWW3
    @EndGameWW3
    Breaking: Top leaders in Congress will be receiving a classified briefing on the Middle East (Iraq/Iran) on Thursday.
    1:04 PM May 15, 2019
    16
    Retweets
    23
    Likes

    Tim
    @Krommsan

    32m
    Replying to
    @EndGameWW3
    Your estimated chance of naval conflict this weekend...?

    EndGameWW3
    @EndGameWW3

    31m
    I think more of a chance the US may hit those Iranian missiles in Iraq

    Tim
    @Krommsan

    28m
    Iran really wants to take a poke at Israel and USA sees this by clearing out every diplomat (canary in the combat coal mine)

    Tomahawks prepped.
    1 more reply

    EndGameWW3
    @EndGameWW3
    UAE: Oil tanker attack investigation is ongoing but there are serious issues with Iran’s behaviour

    UAE: Oil tanker attack investigation is ongoing but there are serious
    arabnews.com
    1:36 PM May 15, 2019 https://t.co/USvKKBXj7V


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  19. #1099
    Postman vector7's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    U.S. pressures Baghdad over Iran-backed militias
    Ahmed Rasheed, John Davison
    May 15, 2019 / 1:36 AM / Updated 13 hours ago

    BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s surprise visit to Baghdad this month came after U.S. intelligence showed Iran-backed Shi’ite militias positioning rockets near bases housing U.S. forces, according to two Iraqi security sources.

    He told Iraq’s top brass to keep the militias, which are expanding their power in Iraq and now form part of its security apparatus, in check, the sources said. If not, the U.S. would respond with force.

    As tensions between Washington and Tehran increase, Iraq finds itself caught between neighboring Iran, whose regional influence has grown in recent years, and the United States.

    “The message from the Americans was clear. They wanted guarantees that Iraq would stop those groups threatening U.S. interests,” a senior Iraqi military source with knowledge of Pompeo’s trip said.

    “They said if the U.S. were attacked on Iraqi soil, it would take action to defend itself without coordinating with Baghdad.”

    The U.S. State Department declined to comment on the details of Pompeo’s discussions. He had said after the trip: “We don’t want anyone interfering in their country (Iraq), certainly not by attacking another nation inside of Iraq.”

    The second Iraqi security source said: “Communications intercepted by the Americans showed some militia groups redeployed to take up suspicious positions, which the Americans considered provocations.”

    He said the Iraqis were told that any threat from the groups “would be dealt with directly by the Americans with force.”

    Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Tuesday told reporters that the Iraqi side had not observed “movements that constitute a threat to any side. We clarified that to the Americans - the government is doing its duty to protect all parties.”

    Tensions between Washington and Tehran intensified early this month as U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration stepped up sanctions pressure by ending waivers for some countries to purchase Iranian oil - part of efforts to roll back the Islamic Republic’s expanding regional clout.

    It also said last week it was sending additional military forces to the Middle East.

    “PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE”

    Iraq would struggle to rein in the Iran-backed militias.

    The paramilitaries are formally part of Iraq’s security forces but operate semi-independently, backed by powerful Iran-allied politicians, and are expanding their economic power.

    Spokesmen for two Iran-backed paramilitary groups said there were no plans to target U.S. forces, saying talk of threats was “psychological warfare” by Washington.

    The United States says Iran is the biggest threat to peace in the region. It wants to weaken the paramilitaries which have expanded their sway over land stretching to Syria and Lebanon, and for Iraq to decrease dependence on Iranian gas exports.

    Iran sees Iraq as an important link to the world in the face of U.S. sanctions, and analysts say the positioning of pro-Iran forces and rockets indicates Tehran is prepared at least to threaten the United States with violence.

    The Iraqi security source said U.S. officials discussed with Iraqi officials Iran-backed militia deployed along the Syrian border, where U.S. troops have helped fight Islamic State.

    Pompeo said last week: “We’ve urged the Iraqi government ... to get all of those forces under Iraqi central control.”

    The groups say they already follow the orders of the Iraqi state and are not planning to target U.S. interests.

    “American claims are baseless. It reminds us of the big lie of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,” said Laith al-Athari, a spokesman for the Iran-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq group, referring to the pretext for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

    The Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), the umbrella grouping of mostly Shi’ite militias, numbers around 150,000 men.

    There are currently an estimated 5,200 U.S. troops in Iraq, having peaked at 170,000 in the years following the invasion.

    Analysts say the positioning of missiles by militias backed by Iran is likely meant as a symbolic threat to the United States, rather than a real plan to use them.

    Professor Toby Dodge of the London School of Economics said Iran has in the past moved such weapons “to slowly ratchet up the heat under America in Iraq when it feels America is seeking to threaten Iran’s interests.”
    ECONOMIC POWER
    Some observers say economic pressure on Iran will have more impact than military action.

    Pompeo said he discussed on his Baghdad visit “crude oil and natural gas ... (and) ways we could ... make those projects move forward very quickly,” a reference to efforts to wean Iraq off crucial Iranian energy imports.

    He urged Iraq to sign oil and power deals being negotiated with American companies, two energy officials said.

    U.S. energy giant General Electric is seeking a share of a $14 billion scheme to develop electricity infrastructure, and Iraq is close to signing a $53 billion oil infrastructure contract which includes Exxon Mobil.

    This is another way in which the United States is seeking to pressure Iraq’s major electricity supplier Iran and force Iraq to choose between Washington and Tehran as its chief ally, said Renad Mansour, a research fellow at Chatham House.

    “The U.S. is ... going to Iraqi leaders and saying you’re either with us or with them,” Mansour said.

    “Iraqis have been saying why can’t we be allies with both? But the Americans aren’t interested in that and I think neither are the Iranians.”

    A Western diplomat said warned of the danger of a serious escalation.

    “The atmosphere is no longer friendly ... (and) the White House does not seem to be concerned if Iraq is collateral damage,” the diplomat said.

    Additional reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein, Aref Mohammed in Basra and Humeyra Pamuk in Washington; Writing by John Davison; editing by Anna Willard

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKCN1SL0F6




    Anna Ahronheim‏Verified account @AAhronheim 1m1 minute ago

    Anna Ahronheim Retweeted سكاي نيوز عربية-عاجل

    #IRGC Commander says “we are on the verge of a full-scale confrontation with the enemy...The Islamic Republic is at the most decisive moment of its history.”


    Steve Herman‏Verified account @W7VOA 28m28 minutes ago

    "We are on the cusp of a full-scale confrontation with the enemy," declare IRCG commander. #Iran

    Steve Herman‏Verified account @W7VOA 9m9 minutes ago

    Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp commander, Maj. General Hossein Salami, says: "Because the enemy has stepped into the field of confrontation with us with all possible capacity, this is the most decisive moment of the Islamic revolution."



    Travel - State Dept‏Verified account @TravelGov 57m57 minutes ago

    #Iraq Travel Advisory: Level 4-Do not travel due to terrorism, kidnapping, and armed conflict. USG ability to provide services is extremely limited. On May 15, 2019, the Dept of State ordered departure of non-emergency USG employees from Baghdad and Erbil


    ������ ���������� �������� @IntelCrab 3m3 minutes ago

    CVN-72 and her strike group are now located within 900 kilometers of the Strait of Hormuz; stationary somewhere off the coast of #Oman.

    Unclear what her next objective will be, but we continue to monitor both satellite and AIS for any possible hints


    CNBC‏Verified account @CNBC 1h1 hour ago

    Risks are rising for an oil price spike as tensions between the U.S. and Iran increase



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    Default Re: Iran the Next Battlefield - Thread Renamed

    There is a 404 on the page but the link title on this Debkafile article is most curious;

    https://www.debka.com/iran-and-hizba...collaborators/
    Don't like Fascists of any kind, Marxist, Islamist, red white black or brown, they can all take a long walk off a short pier.

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