US Politics in Trump era Public date: 17.01.2020 00:45:43

11 Jan 2020

On the day U.S. forces killed Soleimani, they launched another secret operation targeting a senior Iranian official in Yemen

On the day the U.S. military killed a top Iranian commander in Baghdad, U.S. forces carried out another top secret mission against a senior Iranian military official in Yemen, according to U.S. officials. The unsuccessful operation may indicate that the Trump administration’s killing of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani last week was part of a broader operation than previously explained, raising questions about whether the mission was designed to cripple the leadership of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or solely to prevent an imminent attack on Americans as originally stated.
On the day the U.S. military killed a top Iranian commander in Baghdad, U.S. forces carried out another top secret...

Publisher: NYTimes

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9 Jan 2020

Pompeo Upended Middle East by Pushing Trump to Kill Iranian General

Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was the loudest voice in the administration pushing President Trump to kill Iran’s most important general. This week, he is back in his role as the nation’s top diplomat, trying to contain the international crisis the general’s death created.
Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was the loudest voice in the administration pushing President Trump to kill...

Publisher: NYTimes

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8 Jan 2020

Iran Fires Missiles at U.S. Troops at Two Bases in Iraq

Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq where American troops are based, the Pentagon said Tuesday. “It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel at Al-Asad and Erbil,” Jonathan Hoffman, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, said in a statement.
Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq where American troops are based, the...

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7 Jan 2020

Trump Threatens Iranian Cultural Sites, and Warns of Sanctions on Iraq

President Trump on Sunday evening doubled down on his claim that he would target Iranian cultural sites if Iran retaliated for the targeted killing of one of its top generals, and threatened “very big sanctions” on Iraq if American troops are forced to leave the country.
President Trump on Sunday evening doubled down on his claim that he would target Iranian cultural sites if Iran...
6 Jan 2020

Iraq’s PM Adel Abdul Mahdi says ‘urgent measures’ should be taken to remove foreign forces

Following the killing of a senior Iranian commander, Iran announced it is suspending all its commitments under the nuclear agreement it struck with world powers in 2015, although it will continue to cooperate with the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog.
Following the killing of a senior Iranian commander, Iran announced it is suspending all its commitments under the...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

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6 Jan 2020

Iraqi parliament calls for expulsion of foreign troops

In an extraordinary parliamentary session on Sunday, parliament called on the government to end all foreign troop presence in Iraq and to cancel its request for assistance from the US-led coalition which had been working with Baghdad to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
In an extraordinary parliamentary session on Sunday, parliament called on the government to end all foreign troop...

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3 Jan 2020

Trump Orders Strike Killing Top Iranian General Qassim Suleimani in Baghdad

President Trump ordered the killing of the powerful commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, in a drone strike on the Baghdad International Airport early Friday, American officials said. General Suleimani’s death was confirmed by official Iranian media.
President Trump ordered the killing of the powerful commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, Maj. Gen. Qassim...

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30 Dec 2019

U.S. Launches Attacks on Iranian-Backed Forces in Iraq and Syria

The United States military on Sunday struck five targets in Iraq and Syria controlled by an Iranian-backed paramilitary group, in response to a rocket attack on Friday that killed an American contractor, the Pentagon said. The airstrikes, carried out by Air Force F-15E fighter planes, hit three locations in Iraq and two in Syria, all controlled by the paramilitary group, Kataib Hezbollah.
The United States military on Sunday struck five targets in Iraq and Syria controlled by an Iranian-backed paramilitary...
19 Nov 2019

Trump administration says Israel’s West Bank settlements do not violate international law

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared Monday that Israeli settlements in the West Bank do not violate international law.Pompeo said the Trump administration, as it did with recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, had simply “recognized the reality on the ground.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared Monday that Israeli settlements in the West Bank do not violate international...
13 Nov 2019

U.S. drone imagery shows possible atrocities by Turkish-backed forces in Syria

Footage captured by U.S. surveillance aircraft over northern Syria has documented several incidents that military officials say may constitute war crimes on the part of Turkish-backed forces there, a U.S. official said.If verified, the imagery could provide credibility to allegations that the offensive Turkey launched over Western objections last month has resulted in repeated abuses against Syrian Kurds who have been an important U.S. partner against the Islamic State.
Footage captured by U.S. surveillance aircraft over northern Syria has documented several incidents that military...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

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5 Nov 2019

Iran breaks further away from crumbling nuclear deal

Iran has taken further steps away from its crumbling nuclear deal with world powers by announcing it is doubling the number of its advanced centrifuges, calling the move a direct result of the United States' withdrawal from the agreement last year.
Iran has taken further steps away from its crumbling nuclear deal with world powers by announcing it is doubling the...

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23 Oct 2019

In Hungary, a Freewheeling Trump Ambassador Undermines U.S. Diplomats

He has undermined efforts by career diplomats to deliver messages to Washington about corruption and democratic backsliding in Hungary. And he has privately acted as a broker for Mr. Orban’s point of view, taking positions contrary to United States policy, according to interviews with roughly two dozen current and former American and foreign officials as well as others who have worked with Mr. Cornstein.
He has undermined efforts by career diplomats to deliver messages to Washington about corruption and democratic...

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22 Oct 2019

For Trump the Dealmaker, Troop Pullouts Without Much in Return

The Taliban have wanted the United States to pull troops out of Afghanistan, Turkey has wanted the Americans out of northern Syria and North Korea has wanted them to at least stop military exercises with South Korea. President Trump has now to some extent at least obliged all three — but without getting much of anything in return.
The Taliban have wanted the United States to pull troops out of Afghanistan, Turkey has wanted the Americans out of...
17 Oct 2019

Mulvaney emerges as a key facilitator of the campaign to pressure Ukraine

Current and former officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters, said Mulvaney contributed substantially to the unfolding political crisis, both through his connection to key events related to the attempt to pressure Kiev and through his general approach to the chief of staff job, which was driven by a perceived reluctance to displease the president.
Current and former officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters, said Mulvaney...
17 Oct 2019

Slashing Pentagon Budget Could Pay for Medicare for All While Creating Progressive Foreign Policy Americans Want

The Institute for Policy Studies on Thursday shared the results of extensive research into how the $750 billion U.S. military budget could be significantly slashed, freeing up annual funding to cover the cost of Medicare for All—calling into question the notion that the program needs to create any tax burden whatsoever for working families.
The Institute for Policy Studies on Thursday shared the results of extensive research into how the $750 billion U.S....

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17 Oct 2019

Trump Lashes Out on Syria as Republicans Rebuke Him in House Vote

President Trump seemed to wash his hands of the conflict between Turkey and America’s Kurdish allies in Syria on Wednesday, generating withering criticism from Republican allies, who rebuked him in a House vote. The day ended with a heated confrontation between Mr. Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the Oval Office.
President Trump seemed to wash his hands of the conflict between Turkey and America’s Kurdish allies in Syria on...
16 Oct 2019

Turkey-Syria offensive: Russian forces move to separate Turkish and Syrian armies

Russia announced Tuesday that its units were patrolling between Turkish and Syrian military forces near the northern Syrian town of Manbij, in a sign that Moscow, a key ally of the Syrian government, was moving to fill a security vacuum after U.S. troops withdrew from the area.
Russia announced Tuesday that its units were patrolling between Turkish and Syrian military forces near the...
15 Oct 2019

US bombs at Turkish airbase complicate rift over Syria invasion

An estimated 50 nuclear bombs stored at a US airbase in Turkey have become potential bargaining chips in the tense relationship between Washington and Ankara in the wake of the Turkish offensive into Syria. The presence of B61 nuclear gravity bombs at İncirlik airbase, which is about 100 miles from the Syrian border and which the US air force shares with its Turkish counterpart, is complicating Washington’s calculations.
An estimated 50 nuclear bombs stored at a US airbase in Turkey have become potential bargaining chips in the tense...
14 Oct 2019

Trump orders withdrawal of U.S. forces from northern Syria, days after Pentagon downplays possibility

U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters announced late Sunday that the Syrian Army would deploy along the Turkish border to “liberate the areas that the Turkish army has entered with its mercenaries.”The agreement with forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, followed a Syrian government announcement that its troops were heading toward a confrontation with Turkey.
U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters announced late Sunday that the Syrian Army would deploy along the Turkish border to...

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12 Oct 2019

Trump Orders Troops and Weapons to Saudi Arabia in Message of Deterrence to Iran

The United States is sending about 3,000 additional troops to Saudi Arabia in the latest military response by the Trump administration after it accused Iran of attacks last month on Saudi oil facilities, the Pentagon said on Friday. The move came only five days after President Trump said that his desire to terminate America’s “endless wars” led to his decision to pull back from the border area between Syria and Turkey about 50 troops who were working to create a “safe zone” between Turkish and Kurdish troops.
The United States is sending about 3,000 additional troops to Saudi Arabia in the latest military response by the Trump...

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10 Oct 2019

Turkey Launches Syria Offensive, Targeting U.S.-Backed Kurds

Turkey launched airstrikes and fired artillery across its border into northeastern Syria on Wednesday to open a military operation aimed at flushing out an American-backed militia, Turkish and Syrian officials said.
Turkey launched airstrikes and fired artillery across its border into northeastern Syria on Wednesday to open a military...

Publisher: Newsweek

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8 Oct 2019

Ivanka Tweet Thanking Turkey’s Erdogan for Attending Istanbul Trump Towers Launch Re-Emerges Amid Syria Controversy

As the world reacted to America's sudden abandonment of its most trusted and effective local allies, a tweet from Trump's daughter Ivanka resurfaced, detailing a relevant conflict of interest regarding relations with Turkey."Thank you Prime Minister Erdogan for joining us yesterday to celebrate the launch of #TrumpTowers Istanbul!" Ivanka wrote in April 2012. The construction—made up of two conjoined towers—is one of seven current Trump Towers locations.
As the world reacted to America's sudden abandonment of its most trusted and effective local allies, a tweet from...

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8 Oct 2019

Trump Endorses Turkish Military Operation in Syria, Shifting U.S. Policy

In a major shift in United States military policy in Syria, the White House said on Sunday that President Trump had given his endorsement for a Turkish military operation that would sweep away American-backed Kurdish forces near the border in Syria.
In a major shift in United States military policy in Syria, the White House said on Sunday that President Trump had...
3 Oct 2019

Impeach Away, But Let’s Not Pretend Trump’s Plot Against Biden is his Worst Crime

Since his emergence as a political figure, Trump has promised that if he ever attained power, he would use the U.S. military to inflict a massive bloodletting on others, including noncombatants. Unlike other campaign promises, Trump has delivered on this one. Since taking office, he has presided over skyrocketing rates of civilian casualties in America’s many foreign conflicts.
Since his emergence as a political figure, Trump has promised that if he ever attained power, he would use the U.S....

Publisher: Vox

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2 Oct 2019

Trump impeachment: lots of scandalous news — and one clear scandal

President Trump has turned American foreign policy into an extortion racket, abusing his powers to goad foreign leaders into persecuting his domestic rivals and improve his political standing. The proof for this in the case of Ukraine is irrefutable.
President Trump has turned American foreign policy into an extortion racket, abusing his powers to goad foreign leaders...

Publisher: Truthout

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17 Sep 2019

Israel Was Caught Spying on Capitol Hill Cellphones and Trump Was Fine With It

The Israelis deployed StingRay mobile identity-catchers, devices that are mistaken for cell towers by cell phones, allowing them to capture the contents of calls and the mobile browser activity. Lipmann says that the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division subjected the devices to extensive forensic tests, looking at where the components came from, how old they were, and considering who would have access to them, and the trail led inexorably to Israel.
The Israelis deployed StingRay mobile identity-catchers, devices that are mistaken for cell towers by cell phones,...
16 Sep 2019

Iran denies role in crippling attacks on Saudi oil facilities; Trump says U.S. ‘locked and loaded’

President Trump said Sunday the United States was prepared to respond to the devastating attacks on two oil installations in Saudi Arabia that cut the state oil company’s production output by half, while Iran rejected U.S. accusations that it was responsible. Trump did not name Iran, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had on Saturday, nor specify whether he was contemplating a military response.
President Trump said Sunday the United States was prepared to respond to the devastating attacks on two oil...

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5 Aug 2019

Iran Says It Has Seized Another Oil Tanker in Persian Gulf

Iran seized a foreign oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, state television reported on Sunday, the third time Tehran has reported detaining a tanker in the last month as the United States applies its campaign of “maximum pressure,” sanctions and diplomatic isolation against the country.
Iran seized a foreign oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, state television reported on Sunday, the third time Tehran has...
1 Aug 2019

U.S. imposes sanctions on Iran’s Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

The Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday in a dramatic step bound to further escalate tensions with Tehran. A senior administration official said Zarif had acted more as a “propaganda minister” than a diplomat, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Zarif was “complicit” in Iran’s support of terrorists, torture and other malign activity around the world.
The Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday in a dramatic...
19 Jul 2019

Trump Says Navy Ship Shot Down Iranian Drone

The American military shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, President Trump said during a ceremony at the White House.Mr. Trump said the unmanned aircraft threatened the Boxer, an amphibious assault ship that can launch attack jets and helicopters from its landing deck.
The American military shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, President Trump said during a...

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10 Jul 2019

China demands US cancel proposed $2.2bn arms sale to Taiwan

China has demanded that the United States "immediately cancel" a potential $2.2bn arms sale to Taiwan, including battle tanks and anti-aircraft missiles. The move would be Washington's first big-ticket military sale to the democratically-governed island in decades, and comes amid deteriorating ties between the US and China, the world's two largest economies that have been locked in an acrimonious trade war.
China has demanded that the United States "immediately cancel" a potential $2.2bn arms sale to Taiwan, including...
9 Jul 2019

Donald Trump: we will no longer deal with the British ambassador

Donald Trump has launched a scathing attack on Theresa May and said the US would no longer deal with the British ambassador to Washington after the diplomat’s frank assessments of the president as “inept” and “dysfunctional” were leaked to the Mail on Sunday.
Donald Trump has launched a scathing attack on Theresa May and said the US would no longer deal with the British...

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2 Jul 2019

Iran Breaches Critical Limit on Nuclear Fuel Under 2015 Deal

Iran has exceeded a key limitation on how much nuclear fuel it can possess under the 2015 international pact curbing its nuclear program, effectively declaring that it would no longer respect an agreement that President Trump abandoned more than a year ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported on Monday.
Iran has exceeded a key limitation on how much nuclear fuel it can possess under the 2015 international pact curbing its...
2 Jul 2019

Iranians describe hardships as Trump expands sanctions

Iran’s news media was filled with upbeat economic reports last week. Several tankers of oil had been exported to China, and the economy minister said tax collections were up 30 percent. Farm-raised shrimp production had expanded by 400 percent. “Summer is here!” one article exulted, and online vacation rentals in the country’s tourist spots were a potential growth market. But on the streets of Iran’s cities, as the United States’ “maximum pressure” sanctions took hold, the view was decidedly less sunny.
Iran’s news media was filled with upbeat economic reports last week. Several tankers of oil had been exported to...

Publisher: NYTimes

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28 Jun 2019

Heading to G-20, Trump Once Again Assails America’s Friends

In the hours before and after leaving for an international summit meeting, Mr. Trump assailed Japan, Germany and India. He complained that under existing treaty provisions, if the United States were attacked, Japan would only “watch it on a Sony television.” He called Germany a security freeloader and chastised India for raising tariffs on American goods.
In the hours before and after leaving for an international summit meeting, Mr. Trump assailed Japan, Germany and India....

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28 Jun 2019

Iran warns US against ‘repeating mistake’ of violating borders

Iran's parliamentary speaker has warned the United States against violating the country's borders, cautioning such a move would draw a "stronger" reaction than the downing of a US drone a week ago. In comments carried by Iran's semiofficial Tasnim news agency on Thursday, Speaker Ali Larijani said the shootdown of the unmanned aerial vehicle was "a good experience for them to avoid any aggression".
Iran's parliamentary speaker has warned the United States against violating the country's borders, cautioning such a...
28 Jun 2019

Tillerson: Jared Kushner left him in the dark on conversations with foreign leaders

In newly disclosed testimony, former secretary of state Rex Tillerson said President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, operated independently with powerful leaders around the world without coordination with the State Department, leaving Tillerson out of the loop and in the dark on emerging U.S. policies and simmering geopolitical crises.
In newly disclosed testimony, former secretary of state Rex Tillerson said President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared...
26 Jun 2019

Trump Threatens ‘Obliteration’ of Iran, as Sanctions Dispute Escalates

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran on Tuesday called the White House “mentally retarded” and vowed that Tehran would not be intimidated by American sanctions — drawing a blistering threat of “obliteration” from President Trump.“Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, calling Mr. Rouhani’s comments “ignorant and insulting.”
President Hassan Rouhani of Iran on Tuesday called the White House “mentally retarded” and vowed that Tehran would...

Publisher: BBC News

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25 Jun 2019

Iran: New US sanctions target Supreme Leader Khamenei

US President Donald Trump has said he is imposing hard-hitting new sanctions on Iran, including on the office of the country's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.Mr Trump said the additional sanctions were in response to the shooting down of a US drone and "many other things".Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's highest authority, was singled out because he was "ultimately responsible for the hostile conduct of the regime".
US President Donald Trump has said he is imposing hard-hitting new sanctions on Iran, including on the office of the...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

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25 Jun 2019

Kushner: Israel-Palestine deal won’t follow Arab Peace Initiative

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner has said it will not be possible to solve the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a deal "along the lines of the Arab Peace Initiative".
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner has said it will not be possible to solve the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian...

Publisher: NYTimes

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22 Jun 2019

Trump Stopped Strike on Iran Because It Was ‘Not Proportionate’

President Trump said Friday morning that the United States military had been “cocked and loaded” for a strike against Iran on Thursday night, but that he called it off with 10 minutes to spare when a general told him that 150 people would probably die in the attack.
President Trump said Friday morning that the United States military had been “cocked and loaded” for a strike...
21 Jun 2019

Iran Shoots Down a U.S. Drone, Escalating Tensions

Iran shot down a United States surveillance drone early Thursday, both nations said, but they differed on the crucial issue of whether the aircraft had violated Iranian airspace, in the latest escalation in tensions that have raised fears of war between the two countries.Iranian officials said that the drone was over Iran, which the American military denied — an important distinction in determining who was at fault — and each side accused the other of being the aggressor.
Iran shot down a United States surveillance drone early Thursday, both nations said, but they differed on the crucial...
18 Jun 2019

Iran threatens to increase enriched-uranium stockpile beyond limits set by nuclear deal in 10 days

Iran said Monday it would boost its stockpile of enriched uranium to exceed limits set by a 2015 nuclear pact with world powers, in what appeared to be the latest salvo in an escalating standoff with the United States. Some European diplomats saw that 10-day deadline less as a firm plan to violate enrichment limits and more as an urgent call to Europe from Iran to deliver fresh concessions.
Iran said Monday it would boost its stockpile of enriched uranium to exceed limits set by a 2015 nuclear pact with world...
18 Jun 2019

The House committee quietly racking up oversight wins against Trump

The House Foreign Affairs Committee is quietly amassing documents on allegations of politically-motivated retaliation at the State Department; it’s looking into whether Trump has violated foreign emoluments and conflict of interest rules; and lawmakers are working to find out more about the president's relationship with Vladimir Putin and how he leads American foreign policy behind the scenes — all without the fanfare associated with the other committees’ work.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee is quietly amassing documents on allegations of politically-motivated retaliation at...
10 Jun 2019

Is Heshmat Alavi, Writer on Iran, a Fake Run By MEK Opposition?

In 2018, President Donald Trump was seeking to jettison the landmark nuclear deal that his predecessor had signed with Iran in 2015, and he was looking for ways to win over a skeptical press. In response, the White House passed along an article published in Forbes by a writer named Heshmat Alavi. There’s a problem, though: Heshmat Alavi appears not to exist. Alavi’s persona is a propaganda operation run by the Iranian opposition group Mojahedin-e-Khalq, which is known by the initials MEK, two sources told The Intercept.
In 2018, President Donald Trump was seeking to jettison the landmark nuclear deal that his predecessor had signed with...

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7 Jun 2019

Trump Allows High-Tech U.S. Bomb Parts to Be Built in Saudi Arabia

When the Trump administration declared an emergency last month and fast-tracked the sale of more American arms to Saudi Arabia, it did more than anger members of Congress who opposed the sale on humanitarian grounds. It also raised concerns that the Saudis could gain access to technology that would let them produce their own versions of American precision-guided bombs — weapons they have used in strikes on civilians since they began fighting a war in Yemen four years ago.
When the Trump administration declared an emergency last month and fast-tracked the sale of more American arms to Saudi...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

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7 Jun 2019

Trump: ‘Iran failing as a nation’ after US sanctions

Iran is failing as a nation after Washington imposed powerful sanctions last year, US President Donald Trump said on Thursday, adding that things could change rapidly in talks with the leadership in Tehran. "They are failing as a nation, but I don't want them to fail as a nation. We can turn that around very quickly but the sanctions have been extraordinary [in] how powerful they have been."
Iran is failing as a nation after Washington imposed powerful sanctions last year, US President Donald Trump said on...
4 Jun 2019

Jared Kushner casts doubt on Palestinian ability to self-govern

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s Middle East adviser and son-in-law, has expressed uncertainty over the ability of the Palestinians to govern themselves in a rare television interview broadcast on Sunday night.
Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s Middle East adviser and son-in-law, has expressed uncertainty over the ability of the...
4 Jun 2019

Pompeo delivers unfiltered view of Trump’s Mideast peace plan at off-the-record meeting

“I get why people think this is going to be a deal that only the Israelis could love. I understand the perception of that,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says in his most unvarnished comments on the plan to date.
“I get why people think this is going to be a deal that only the Israelis could love. I understand the perception of...
2 Jun 2019

The Most Powerful Arab Ruler Isn’t M.B.S. It’s M.B.Z.

Prince Mohammed bin Zayed grew the U.A.E.’s power by following America’s lead. He now has an increasingly bellicose agenda of his own. At times, the prince has contradicted American policy and destabilized neighbors. Rights groups have criticized him for jailing dissidents at home, for his role in creating a humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and for backing the Saudi prince whose agents killed the dissident writer Jamal Khashoggi.
Prince Mohammed bin Zayed grew the U.A.E.’s power by following America’s lead. He now has an increasingly bellicose...

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1 Jun 2019

North Korean Negotiator’s Downfall Was Sealed When Trump-Kim Summit Collapsed

Kim Yong-chol, a former North Korean spy master and vice chairman of its ruling Workers’ Party, had been the country’s most internationally visible diplomat in the past year, visiting the White House twice and leading negotiations for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s two summit meetings with President Trump. This week, leading South Korean newspapers reported Kim Yong-chol’s fall from grace. One of them, the conservative daily Chosun Ilbo, went so far as to report that Mr. Kim had been banished to forced labor, with many of his negotiating team members either executed or sent to prison camps.
Kim Yong-chol, a former North Korean spy master and vice chairman of its ruling Workers’ Party, had been the...
1 Jun 2019

US cuts funds for ‘anti-propaganda’ Iran group that trolled activists

The US state department has cut off funding to a group that purported to combat Iranian propaganda, after it was found to be trolling US journalists, human rights activists and academics it deemed to be insufficiently hostile to the government in Tehran. The group also focused on supporters of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which Donald Trump withdrew from last year, particularly the National Iranian American Council, which has advocated nuclear diplomacy with Tehran. It used the hashtag #NIACLobbies4Mullahs.
The US state department has cut off funding to a group that purported to combat Iranian propaganda, after it was found...

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29 May 2019

Trump Undercuts John Bolton on North Korea and Iran

President Trump publicly undercut John R. Bolton, his national security adviser, on Iran and North Korea in recent days, raising questions about the administration’s policy and personnel in the middle of confrontations with both long-term American adversaries.
President Trump publicly undercut John R. Bolton, his national security adviser, on Iran and North Korea in recent days,...

Publisher: Reuters

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27 May 2019

U.S. deploys more troops to Middle East, blames Iran for tanker attacks

The United States on Friday announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East, describing it as an effort to bolster defenses against Iran as it accused the country’s Revolutionary Guards of direct responsibility for this month’s tanker attacks.
The United States on Friday announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East, describing it as an effort to...

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26 May 2019

US troop move to Middle East ‘extremely dangerous’: Zarif

A US move to send more troops to the Middle East after accusing Tehran of being behind attacks on tankers in the region is "extremely dangerous ... [for] international peace", Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying. "Increased US presence in our region is extremely dangerous and it threatens international peace and security, and this should be addressed," state news agency IRNA quoted Zarif as saying on Saturday.
A US move to send more troops to the Middle East after accusing Tehran of being behind attacks on tankers in the region...
25 May 2019

Trump approves sending more forces to the Middle East amid tensions with Iran

The Trump administration, facing rising tensions with Iran, plans to reinforce its military presence in the Middle East by sending another few thousand forces to the region to step up missile defense and surveillance, according to U.S. officials.
The Trump administration, facing rising tensions with Iran, plans to reinforce its military presence in the Middle East...
24 May 2019

Facing U.S. sanctions, Iran abandons restraint but seeks to avoid war

Iran has made a dramatic shift in how it confronts the United States, abandoning a policy of restraint in recent weeks for a series of offensive actions aimed at pushing the White House to rethink its efforts at isolating Tehran, say diplomats and analysts. With the Trump administration tightening economic sanctions and intensifying military pressure, Iran is now seeking to highlight the costs it could also impose on the United States — for instance, by disrupting the world’s oil supply — without taking actions likely to trigger an all-out war.
Iran has made a dramatic shift in how it confronts the United States, abandoning a policy of restraint in recent weeks...
24 May 2019

Putin out-prepared Trump in key meeting, Rex Tillerson told House panel

Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Russian President Vladimir Putin out-prepared President Trump during a key meeting in Germany, putting the U.S. leader at a disadvantage during their first series of tête-à-têtes. The U.S. side anticipated a shorter meeting for exchanging courtesies, but it ballooned into a globe-spanning two-hour-plus session involving deliberations on a variety of geopolitical issues, said committee aides, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss Tillerson’s seven-hour closed meeting with the committee.
Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Russian President...
21 May 2019

A Path to War With Iran

That the Trump administration’s approach to Iran could lead the United States into an inadvertent conflict should come as a surprise to no one. Indeed, from the day Trump took office, many feared that his impulsive behavior, blustering rhetoric, inability to think ahead, disrespect for policy process, and determination to “win” could lead to war. In a spring 2017 essay for this magazine, I raised concerns about his potential to stumble into conflict with Iran, China, or North Korea.
That the Trump administration’s approach to Iran could lead the United States into an inadvertent conflict should come...
21 May 2019

Iran hits back at Trump for tweeting ‘genocidal taunts’

The Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, has hit back at Donald Trump’s “genocidal taunts” after a strongly worded warning from Trump that Tehran should not think of attacking the US. “Goaded by #B_Team,” Zarif wrote on Twitter, in an apparent reference to Trump advisers such as John Bolton, “@realdonaldTrump hopes to achieve what Alexander, Genghis & other aggressors failed to do. Iranians have stood tall for millennia while aggressors all gone. #EconomicTerrorism & genocidal taunts won’t ‘end Iran’.” He added: “#NeverThreatenAnIranian. Try respect – it works!”
The Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, has hit back at Donald Trump’s “genocidal taunts” after a strongly...
18 May 2019

Trump risks credibility with policy that veers between threats and inaction

Trump has said that there is no inconsistency in his administration’s messaging but that the image of incoherence can be useful. “At least Iran doesn’t know what to think, which at this point may very well be a good thing!” he tweeted Friday. But as he moves more deeply into the second half of his term with major foreign policy issues unresolved, Trump’s credibility has suffered, and his options have narrowed.
Trump has said that there is no inconsistency in his administration’s messaging but that the image of incoherence can...
18 May 2019

Venezuela’s Collapse Is the Worst Outside of War in Decades, Economists Say

Zimbabwe’s collapse under Robert Mugabe. The fall of the Soviet Union. Cuba’s disastrous unraveling in the 1990s. The crumbling of Venezuela’s economy has now outpaced them all. Venezuela’s fall is the single largest economic collapse outside of war in at least 45 years, economists say.
Zimbabwe’s collapse under Robert Mugabe. The fall of the Soviet Union. Cuba’s disastrous unraveling in the 1990s....

Publisher: NYTimes

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18 May 2019

War With Iran? Count Us Out, Europe Says

With strong memories of the last catastrophic war in Iraq, Europeans are united in opposing what many consider the United States’ effort to provoke Iran into a shooting war. Yet, despite the strains in trans-Atlantic relations in the Trump years, flat-out opposition to Washington remains an uncomfortable place for European nations.
With strong memories of the last catastrophic war in Iraq, Europeans are united in opposing what many consider the...
15 May 2019

No increased Iran threat in Syria or Iraq, top British officer says, contradicting US

The top British general in the US-led coalition against Isis has said there is no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq or Syria, directly contradicting US assertions used to justify a military buildup in the region. Hours later however, his assessment was disowned by US Central Command in an extraordinary rebuke of an allied senior officer.
The top British general in the US-led coalition against Isis has said there is no increased threat from Iranian-backed...

Publisher: BBC News

Author:

15 May 2019

US ‘blames Iran’ for damage to tankers in Gulf of Oman

US investigators believe Iran or groups it supports used explosives to damage four ships off the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, media reports say. Military experts were reportedly sent to investigate the incident and found a large hole in each of the tankers. No evidence has emerged to show that Iran was involved. The affected countries are yet to assign blame.
US investigators believe Iran or groups it supports used explosives to damage four ships off the United Arab Emirates on...
14 May 2019

Pompeo crashes Brussels meeting of E.U. diplomats for Iran talks

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Brussels on Monday for an unplanned visit with European foreign ministers who fear that the United States and Iran are inching toward war. The last-minute decision, announced as he boarded a plane from the United States, set up a confrontation between Pompeo and European diplomats who have been scrambling to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Brussels on Monday for an unplanned visit with European foreign ministers who...

Publisher: Washington Post

Author:

14 May 2019

Two Saudi oil tankers, Norwegian ship apparently attacked near the Persian Gulf amid rising Iran tensions

Two Saudi Arabian oil tankers and a Norwegian ship were damaged over the weekend near the Persian Gulf in what Saudi Arabia claimed Monday was an “act of sabotage,” further heightening regional tensions with Iran.
Two Saudi Arabian oil tankers and a Norwegian ship were damaged over the weekend near the Persian Gulf in what Saudi...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

14 May 2019

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

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.
At a meeting of President Trump’s top national security aides last Thursday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan...
4 May 2019

Trump says he and Putin discussed outcome of Mueller probe as part of hour-long phone conversation

President Trump said he spoke with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin by phone for more than an hour Friday about topics including special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation but that he did not confront Putin about Russian interference in the 2016 election.
President Trump said he spoke with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin by phone for more than an hour Friday about topics...
2 May 2019

Economist Jeffrey Sachs: U.S. Sanctions Have Devastated Venezuela & Killed Over 40,000 Since 2017

More than 40,000 people have died in Venezuela since 2017 as a result of U.S. sanctions, according to a new report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research co-authored by economists Jeffrey Sachs and Mark Weisbrot. The report examines how U.S. sanctions have reduced the availability of food and medicine in Venezuela and increased disease and mortality.
More than 40,000 people have died in Venezuela since 2017 as a result of U.S. sanctions, according to a new report by...
30 Apr 2019

On Palestine-Israel, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris miss the progressive wave they seek to ride

On April 13, Democratic primary candidate Cory Booker launched his campaign at a kickoff event in Newark, New Jersey with a slogan of “Justice for All.” Booker’s slogan quickly came under fire from student protesters who responded to his vocal support for pro-Israeli government policies with cries of “Justice for Palestine!”
On April 13, Democratic primary candidate Cory Booker launched his campaign at a kickoff event in Newark, New Jersey...
22 Apr 2019

Amid Push for New Oil Sanctions, Pompeo Reportedly Jokes About Secret Coup Plot Against Iran

With the Trump administration moving ahead Monday with punishing new sanctions against Iran with the goal of completely halting the country's oil exports, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly joked about a secret White House plot to overthrow the Iranian government during a private meeting with Iranian-American "community leaders."
With the Trump administration moving ahead Monday with punishing new sanctions against Iran with the goal of completely...
18 Apr 2019

North Korea’s Latest Weapons Test: Short in Range but Long in Message

Kim Jong-un’s test of what analysts said could be a new short-range guided or cruise missile shows the North Korean leader reverting to saber rattling as he seeks to end sanctions that are derailing his hopes of rejuvenating the North’s economy.
Kim Jong-un’s test of what analysts said could be a new short-range guided or cruise missile shows the North Korean...
17 Apr 2019

Secret Report Reveals Saudi Incompetence and Widespread Use of U.S. Weapons in Yemen

Donald Trump says Saudi Arabia could turn to Russia or China for arms, but the French intelligence report emphasizes its dependence on the West. But a highly classified document produced by the French Directorate of Military Intelligence shows that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are overwhelmingly dependent on Western-produced weapon systems to wage their devastating war in Yemen. Many of the systems listed are only compatible with munitions, spare parts, and communications systems produced in NATO countries, meaning that the Saudis and UAE would have to replace large portions of their arsenals to continue with Russian or Chinese weapons.
Donald Trump says Saudi Arabia could turn to Russia or China for arms, but the French intelligence report emphasizes its...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

17 Apr 2019

Trump Vetoes Measure to Force End to U.S. Involvement in Yemen War

President Trump vetoed a bipartisan resolution on Tuesday that would have forced an end to American military involvement in Saudi Arabia’s civil war in Yemen, rejecting an appeal by lawmakers to his own deeply rooted instincts to withdraw the United States from bloody foreign conflicts.
President Trump vetoed a bipartisan resolution on Tuesday that would have forced an end to American military involvement...

Publisher: LA Times

Author:

9 Apr 2019

Netanyahu says Trump named Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group at his request

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, facing a hotly contested bid for a fourth term, tweeted on the eve of the election that the Trump administration designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization at his request.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, facing a hotly contested bid for a fourth term, tweeted on the eve of the...
22 Mar 2019

Trump says US will recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights

Donald Trump has announced that the US will recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, captured from Syria in 1967, in a dramatic move likely to bolster Benjamin Netanyahu’s hopes to win re-election, but which will also provoke international opposition. Previous US administrations have treated Golan Heights as occupied Syrian territory, in line with UN security council resolutions. Trump declared his break with that policy in a tweet.
Donald Trump has announced that the US will recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, captured from Syria...
8 Mar 2019

Trump signs executive order to stop reporting civilian drone deaths

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order reducing the number of civilian deaths from drones that the government must report. Trump signed the order Wednesday, revoking an Obama-era requirement for the director of national intelligence to release an annual report on the number of deaths resulting from US operations in noncombat areas around the world.
US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order reducing the number of civilian deaths from drones that the...
5 Mar 2019

Sanders, Warren, Ocasio-Cortez, and Other Lawmakers Sign Pledge to End America’s “Forever Wars”

Eight members of Congress have taken a pledge to work to bring ongoing U.S. global military conflicts to a “responsible and expedient” end, the result of a first-of-its kind lobbying effort by military veterans on Capitol Hill. The pledge was written and organized by a group called Common Defense, made up of veterans and military families, which advocates for scaling back U.S. military commitments overseas.
Eight members of Congress have taken a pledge to work to bring ongoing U.S. global military conflicts to a...
1 Mar 2019

Trump-Kim summit: Trump and Kim abruptly cut short summit after failing to reach nuclear deal

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un abruptly cut short their two-day summit Thursday amid contradictory accounts over why they were unable to reach an agreement to dismantle Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons. Talks collapsed unexpectedly amid a disagreement about the trade-off between sanctions relief and denuclearization steps, leaving questions about the next possible moves for each side to keep alive the diplomatic outreach.
President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un abruptly cut short their two-day summit Thursday amid contradictory...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

17 Feb 2019

Rift Between Trump and Europe Is Now Open and Angry

European leaders have long been alarmed that President Trump’s words and Twitter messages could undo a trans-Atlantic alliance that had grown stronger over seven decades. They had clung to the hope that those ties would bear up under the strain.But in the last few days of a prestigious annual security conference in Munich, the rift between Europe and the Trump administration became open, angry and concrete, diplomats and analysts say.
European leaders have long been alarmed that President Trump’s words and Twitter messages could undo a trans-Atlantic...
14 Feb 2019

Unhinged Mike Pence Warns of ‘New Holocaust’ as Team Trump Tries to Rally EU Leaders for War With Iran

Speaking at a U.S.-led conference about the Middle East in Warsaw, Poland on Thursday, Vice President piled on the potent anti-Iran sentiment surrounding the conference by demanding that European Union (EU) allies withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, which President Donald Trump ditched last year, and accused Iran of plotting a "new Holocaust."
Speaking at a U.S.-led conference about the Middle East in Warsaw, Poland on Thursday, Vice President piled on the...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

14 Feb 2019

Yemen war: Progressive activists get a big foreign policy win. It’s been an uphill battle.

The House passed a resolution Wednesday, February 13, to end US support for the war in Yemen. It’s the culmination of a years-long effort by progressive activists and lawmakers to claw back war-approving authority from the president and end US participation in a war that has created one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.
The House passed a resolution Wednesday, February 13, to end US support for the war in Yemen. It’s the culmination of...
8 Feb 2019

Report: U.S.-Based Plane Caught Bringing Arms into Venezuela

McClatchy is reporting Venezuelan authorities have uncovered 19 assault weapons, 118 ammunition cartridges and 90 military-grade radio antennas on board a U.S.-owned plane that had flown from Miami into Valencia, Venezuela’s third-largest city.
McClatchy is reporting Venezuelan authorities have uncovered 19 assault weapons, 118 ammunition cartridges and 90...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

Author:

6 Feb 2019

Erdogan: ‘No satisfactory plan’ with US on Syria safe zone

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has not yet seen an acceptable plan for the creation of a "safe zone" in northeastern Syria, three weeks after US President Donald Trump suggested the move. "There is no satisfactory plan that is put before us concretely yet," Erdogan told a parliamentary meeting of his AK Party on Tuesday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has not yet seen an acceptable plan for the creation of a "safe zone" in...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

Author:

6 Feb 2019

Saudi Arabia, UAE gave US arms to al-Qaeda-linked groups

Saudi Arabia and its coalition partner in Yemen, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) transferred US-made weapons to al-Qaeda-linked groups and a Salafi militia whose commander who once "served with" the Yemeni branch of ISIL, a CNN investigation has found.
Saudi Arabia and its coalition partner in Yemen, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) transferred US-made weapons to...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

Author:

5 Feb 2019

Barham Salih: Trump did not ask Iraq’s permission to ‘watch Iran’

Iraqi President Barham Salih has said US President Donald Trump did not ask Iraq's permission for US troops stationed there to "watch Iran". Salih was responding on Monday to Trump's comments to US media in which he said American forces would remain at a US base in Iraq to keep a close eye on neighbouring Iran.
Iraqi President Barham Salih has said US President Donald Trump did not ask Iraq's permission for US troops stationed...
5 Feb 2019

While E.U. tries to bypass U.S. sanctions on Iran, Trump administration amps up pressure

To be a European company with links to Iran in the age of American sanctions can mean dealing with challenges that, every day, verge on the existential.  Suppliers cut off their shipments with little warning. Phone lines get disconnected. Even having the elevators repaired can be an ordeal, with service contracts canceled.
To be a European company with links to Iran in the age of American sanctions can mean dealing with challenges that,...
1 Feb 2019

Elliott Abrams Isn’t Going to Bring “Democracy” to Venezuela

On December 11, 1981 in El Salvador, a Salvadoran military unit created and trained by the U.S. Army began slaughtering everyone they could find in a remote village called El Mozote. Before murdering the women and girls, the soldiers raped them repeatedly, including some as young as 10 years old, and joked that their favorites were the 12-year-olds. One witness described a soldier tossing a 3-year-old child into the air and impaling him with his bayonet. The final death toll was over 800 people.
On December 11, 1981 in El Salvador, a Salvadoran military unit created and trained by the U.S. Army began...
31 Jan 2019

Donald Trump and the Plot to Overthrow the Venezuelan Government

The White House is openly plotting to bring down the government of Nicolas Maduro in Caracas. It is being openly promoted as a campaign to steal Venezuelan oil for the benefit of U.S. corporations, and some powerful Democrats are cheering Trump on and joining the conspiracy.
The White House is openly plotting to bring down the government of Nicolas Maduro in Caracas. It is being openly...
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