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World At the Edge of a War, U.S. and Iran Appear to Step Back

17:50  08 january  2020
17:50  08 january  2020 Source:   nytimes.com

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Iran can hit back , as the country demonstrated this week. It could strike Saudi Arabian oil refineries or shut down the Strait of Hormuz by sinking a tanker And Iran has competent cyberwar capabilities, as well. While Iraq would probably be the main theater in the beginning of the war , that would most likely

After storming to the edge of a cliff this week, early indications suggest that the United States and Iran apparently have decided they do not want to jump, at least not yet. Let' s seek an in-depth analysis of the situation and try to read between the lines of President Trump' s speech just hours ago.

WASHINGTON — After storming to the edge of a cliff this week, early indications suggest that the United States and Iran apparently have decided they do not want to jump, at least not yet.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: American troops deploying to the Middle East from Fort Bragg in North Carolina on Sunday.© Bryan Woolston/Reuters American troops deploying to the Middle East from Fort Bragg in North Carolina on Sunday.

With initial battle assessments indicating that no Americans were killed in Iranian strikes on two military bases in Iraq on Tuesday, President Trump may not feel the punch-back-or-lose-face pressure he would have confronted with high troop casualties.

Iran’s foreign minister announced early Wednesday that the nation had “concluded proportionate measures” in its retaliation for the killing of the country’s most revered military general in an American drone strike last week.

Cries of ‘Revenge Is Coming’ at Funerals for Slain Commanders in Iraq

  Cries of ‘Revenge Is Coming’ at Funerals for Slain Commanders in Iraq BAGHDAD — As Iraq held joint funeral services on Saturday for two revered military leaders killed in an American drone strike near the Baghdad airport this past week, tens of thousands of pro-Iranian fighters marched through Baghdad, waving flags and chanting that “revenge is coming” to the United States. The surprise killing on Friday of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the architect of Iran’s regional security strategy, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a powerful Iraqi militia commander and government official, threatened to shift fault lines across the Middle East.

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Prior to that, Trump last appeared in public on November 4 th , when he falsely declared victory over Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential race. Trump has also publicly called for vote counting to stop by citing baseless allegations of fraud and misconduct.

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But with Iran’s leadership demanding anew that the United States must leave the region, it is expected that attacks by Tehran’s proxy forces will continue, and Iran’s leadership can, at a time of its choosing, decide whether to launch additional, asymmetrical strikes, especially cyberattacks, against Western interests. And that could bring both countries back to the edge of the cliff again.

a man standing next to a wine glass: People gathered in Tehran on Tuesday for a candle light vigil honoring Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani.© Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times People gathered in Tehran on Tuesday for a candle light vigil honoring Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani.

There was visible relief among some officials at the Pentagon that the highway to a larger war on which the administration appeared to be speeding may have provided an off-ramp.

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  Trump's big risk on Iran showdown Analysis: If the president is lucky, he'll avoid major casualties while fusing hawks and evangelicals in his own party. If he doesn't, he risks consequences of blood and politics.

As a guest on InfoWars' War Room with Owen Shroyer today, intelligence expert Steve Pieczenik declared that the 2020 election was set up by Trump' s people as a "sophisticated sting operation" to trap the Democrats and the Biden crime family in irrefutable criminal fraud.

Trump appeared to be positioning the US to de-escalate, but offered very little room for Iran to maneuver, essentially sticking to a "We did not take action to start a war ." After the strikes Tuesday evening, Trump met in the White House Situation Room with members of his national security team

For all of the public chest-thumping in the last week, both sides took measures to de-escalate.

Before Tuesday night, Iran made clear that it would launch retaliatory attacks, and that they would come from the official Iranian military, and not proxy groups. The United States, for its part, was monitoring Iranian communications and had plenty of time to prepare to protect American troops in Iraq.

Photo gallery by photo services

By the end of a long night Tuesday, there was a collective exhaling in the Trump administration’s national security apparatus, and officials indicated they believed things had been contained, for now.

One administration official said the hope now is for de-escalation. “So far, so good,” Mr. Trump said in his tweet.

Though Iranian officials said their military response had ended, American troops in the region continued to fortify their positions in case of another attack, one military officer in Baghdad said.

'The world is watching': Trump tweets in support of Iran protests

  'The world is watching': Trump tweets in support of Iran protests "We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage," President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Saturday."The government of Iran must allow human rights groups to monitor and report facts from the ground on the ongoing protests by the Iranian people," Trump tweeted in English and Farsi. "There can not be another massacre of peaceful protesters, nor an internet shutdown. The world is watching.

A war with Iran would look nothing like any conflict this generation has witnessed, national security and military experts say. It would be felt aboard oil tankers making their way through the Strait of Hormuz and at gas stations in Kansas, in hotels and public plazas in Paris and in the mosques in the United Arab Emirates.

As budget-shattering and far-reaching as the war with Iraq has been, Iran would be far worse.

Any assumption that the Iranian people would welcome an American toppling of their government does not take into account the deep pride that many Iranians have in their national identity, an outpouring that has surfaced in the stampede in Iran during Tuesday’s funeral procession of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the Iranian military commander killed in an American airstrike last week, experts said. More than 50 people died as millions of people flooded the streets for his funeral procession.

“Iranians are nationalistic and would view this as a war being imposed upon them by someone who they see as deliberately picking a fight with them,” said Vali R. Nasr, an Iranian-American and former senior adviser at the State Department. “And they would support hitting back.”

Early Wednesday, Iran said it has finished the official hitting-back phase for now.

“Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched,” Irans foreign minister, Javad Mohammad Zarif, said in a tweet early Wednesday. “We do not seek escalation of war but will defend ourselves against any aggression.”

'The world is watching': Trump tweets in support of Iran protests .
"We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage," President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Saturday."The government of Iran must allow human rights groups to monitor and report facts from the ground on the ongoing protests by the Iranian people," Trump tweeted in English and Farsi. "There can not be another massacre of peaceful protesters, nor an internet shutdown. The world is watching.

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