Category: Iran

The Grayzone news articles and reports on Iran and the Middle East

‘US economic terrorism will backfire’: Iranian foreign minister calls for unity in Nicaragua

In Nicaragua, Ben Norton and Max Blumenthal asked Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif about US sanctions, Europe’s role in the nuclear deal, the Non-Aligned Movement meeting in Venezuela, and seizures of oil tankers.

Video by Ben Norton

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US officials join bizarre Iranian cult MEK in rallying for regime change

The exiled Iranian MEK regime change cult rallied in front of the US State Department, just after Trump backtracked from bombing Iran. Current and former American officials joined the bizarre organization, hailing it as the legitimate resistance to Tehran. Shadowed by a team of Mojahedin-e Khalq minders, Max Blumenthal and Thomas Hedges reported from the scene.

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Even Japan, Germany, and EU are doubting Trump admin’s claim Iran attacked ships

While the Trump administration accuses Iran without evidence of attacking oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, Japanese, German, and EU officials are skeptical, saying there is no “definite proof.”

By Ben Norton


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US gov narrative blaming Iran for oil tanker attacks falls apart in hours

The Trump administration’s claims Iran attacked oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman were quickly debunked, with the ship’s crew saying it “was hit by a flying object.” But the US disrupted important Iranian diplomatic efforts at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

By Ben Norton


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Trump admin aims to kill historic talks and strangle Iran with evidence-free accusations

Hell-bent on isolating and suffocating Iran, the Trump administration derailed Japan’s historic talks by accusing Tehran without any evidence whatsoever of attacking oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

By Ben Norton


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Instagram Acts as Arm of US Govt, Bans Top Iranian Officials After IRGC ‘Terrorist’ Designation

Top Iranian government officials were suspended from Facebook-owned Instagram just hours after Trump dubbed the IRGC a “terrorist” organization.

By Ben Norton

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‘Pistachio Wars’: How the Resnick billionaires’ snack food fortune is fueling the assault on Iran

A highly original documentary project reveals how a couple of Beverly Hills billionaires “are willing to risk war in Iran and the Middle East — all in order to boost and protect their lucrative pistachio business.”

By Max Blumenthal


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Big Tech Corporations Are Now Banning Iranian Social Media Accounts – A Censored Student Journalist Speaks out

Google, Facebook, and Twitter are removing social media accounts of real life Iranians who are falsely dubbed as “government trolls.” Student journalist Sayed Mousavi warns “this is just the tip of an iceberg.”

By Ben Norton

Under apparent government pressure, big tech corporations in the United States have tightened their social media grip, censoring accounts that criticize the US government and its allies.

Under the spell of Russiagate hysteria promoted incessantly by the US government and corporate media, social media accounts that were identified by shady private cybersecurity firms as supposed “Russian trolls” were targeted first. Then pro-Venezuelan government websites like the state-funded media outlet TeleSUR English and even the independent Venezuela Analysis had their Facebook pages temporarily removed.

Now Silicon Valley has set its sights on Iran. While the Donald Trump administration is banning Iranians from traveling and imposing suffocating sanctions on their country, Big Tech is banning them from using social media.

Google (which owns YouTube), Facebook (which owns Instagram), and Twitter have removed hundreds of Iranian social media accounts that have been accused — without any evidence — of being linked to the government in Tehran. These suspensions were based on a questionable, thinly sourced report by the American cybersecurity firm FireEye, which is led by former US military officers.

But contrary to what numerous corporate media reports are claiming, some of the Iranian accounts being banned are in fact not operated by the government. In fact, many are average Iranians whose opinions do not fit into the tightly managed, pro-war Washington consensus.

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Trump White House Reviewing Iran Regime Change Plan by Right-Wing Troll Jim “Uncle Jimbo” Hanson

By Max Blumenthal

President Donald Trump’s unilateral exit from the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) has triggered a frenzied push inside the administration to support color revolution-style regime change operations in Iran.

According to the neoconservative Free Beacon, National Security Director John Bolton has authorized the publication and distribution of an internal white paper urging “a strategy by which the Trump administration can actively work to assist an already aggravated Iranian public topple the hardline ruling regime through a democratization strategy that focuses on driving a deeper wedge between the Iranian people and the ruling regime.”

The white paper was produced by Jim Hanson, a self-proclaimed expert “practitioner of the art of war” who is virtually unknown in Washington. I know of Hanson primarily through his prolific presence on Twitter, where he operates under the handle, “Uncle Jimbo,” generally behaves like a far-right troll, and has eloquently branded me a “#JihaDbag.”

Hanson is the director of the Security Studies Group (SSG), a little-known think tank staffed by former employees of Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy. Like Gaffney, who has spilled gallons of ink trying to prove that Barack Obama was a Muslim, Hanson and his colleagues are fervent anti-Islam zealots who emerged from the fever swamps of right-wing online media, touting their military experience and mock scholarship to market themselves as counter-terror experts.

During the 2016 campaign, Hanson and his crew insinuated themselves into the campaign of Ted Cruz before moving into Trump’s orbit thanks to sponsorship from Steve Bannon and his alt-national security council, the Strategic Initiatives Group. Bannon was eventually removed from the White House under pressure from the national security establishment, but the subsequent replacement of H.R. McMaster with Bolton at the NSC has brought Hanson and his SSG back into the fray. The resurgence of these counter-terror cranks suggests that Trump’s Iran policy is heading towards a dangerous and very strange place.

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How Trump blamed bin Laden’s crimes on Iran to stir war

Donald Trump blamed al-Qaeda kingpin Osama bin Laden’s crimes on Tehran in his historic speech on the Iran nuclear deal, and the media missed these huge lies.

By Ben Norton / AlterNet

Donald Trump claimed during his campaign that he would change U.S. foreign policy, opportunistically condemning Hillary Clinton over her support for the “failed policy of … regime change.” Pundits predicted that Trump would usher in a new era. But as president, the far-right billionaire has doubled down on key elements of the bipartisan U.S. foreign policy consensus, resulting in a dangerous escalation of the so-called War on Terror.

Trump has placed aggression against Iran and staunch support for the regimes in Saudi Arabia and Israel front and center. While previous administrations assumed a similar agenda in the Middle East, Trump has embraced anti-Iran fervor to an unprecedented degree.

Trump has gone so far in his anti-Iran fervor that he has wound up whitewashing the crimes of al-Qaeda, blaming Tehran for past attacks that had actually been overseen by Salafi-jihadist leader Osama bin Laden.

In his anti-Iran speech in October, Trump tried to pin al-Qaeda bombings on Tehran, using ambiguous rhetoric that is reminiscent of the language alleging Iraq’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. Some media outlets that were critical of Trump’s speech and its many factual errors failed to draw attention to his whitewashing of al-Qaeda.

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