he president followed-up his threats on Monday when he signed an
executive order freezing "all Iranian government and financial
institutions' assets that are under U.S. jurisdiction," Bloomberg News
According to the White House, Obama took the additional step towards
cratering Iran's economy and cited "'deceptive practices' of the
Iranian central bank in hiding transactions of sanctioned parties and
its failure to prevent money laundering, concluding that Iran activities
pose an 'unacceptable risk' to the international financial system."
If only Obama's "neocon-lite" regime had taken similar measures to
rein-in the fraudulent and patently "deceptive practices" of the big
Western capitalist financial firms that continue to pose an
"unacceptable risk" to the economic and social well-being of the global
Nigel Kushner, the CEO of the London-based Whale Rock Legal told Bloomberg that
"the practical impact is less important than the message it sends to
Iran." The analyst went on to say that the new executive order is "a
declaration of economic warfare, to the extent that it's not already
been declared," Bloomberg averred.
Accordingly, the asset freeze blocks "all property and interests in
property belonging to the Iranian government, its central bank, and all
Iranian financial institutions, even those that haven't been designated
for sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department," and is one more sign
that "hope and change" fraudsters in Washington have taken these steps
as deliberate provocations.
This is spelled out quite clearly by neocon Mark Dubowitz, the
executive director of the oxymoronic Foundation for Defense of
), which has rightly been described as the successor organization of the infamous Project for the New American Century.
Last summer, an exposé of the organization by Eli Clifton at Think Progress
revealed that FDD's über-rich donors include individuals who, like Obama, march "in lockstep" with Israel's Likud party.
According to Clifton's research, FDD sugar daddies include: U.S.
Healthcare CEO Leonard Abramson, the head of the Abramson Family
Foundation ($822,000); Edgar M. and Charles Bronfman, heirs to the
Seagram liquor fortune (($1,050,000); Home Depot cofounder Bernard
Marcus ($600,000); mortgage backed securities "pioneer," Lewis Rainieri
($350,000); "hedge fund mogul" Michael Steinhardt ($850,000) and
Ameriquest owner and former Bush administration ambassador to the
Netherlands, Roland Arnall ($1,802,000).
"Most of the major donors," Clifton wrote, are active
philanthropists to 'pro-Israel' causes both in the U.S. and
internationally," who "helped promote the 'Bush doctrine' which led to
the invasion of Iraq" and are doing so today with the ginned-up crisis
Dubowitz told Bloomberg that
Obama's new executive order was "the logical next step in the
'administration's economic war on the Iranian regime'." He gloated that
"freezing assets of Iran's central bank and its government institutions,
including the National Iranian Oil Company, makes them 'subject to much
tougher enforcement by the U.S. government and the global financial
In response, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast told Tehran Times
that "the issue of sanctions pursued by Western countries and U.S.
officials is not a new issue. The issue... is regarded as a hostile
measure and indicates that officials of Western countries, particularly
the Americans, have not yet come to know our great nation."
"If illogical pressure and inhumane methods are used to hinder the
progress of the country and to prevent it from achieving its rights,"
Mehmanparast said "they (countries that impose sanctions) will
definitely not receive a pleasant response from our nation."
Military Build-Up Accelerates
War is not pursued by economic means alone, however.
On the military front, Navy Times
last week that the "essence" of a massive war game carried out along
the U.S. east coast, "Bold Alligator 2012" was "planning, staging and
getting them here--and not a few platoons, not a Marine Expeditionary
Unit but an entire Marine Expeditionary Brigade that could number
upwards of 14,500 Marines and sailors."
According to the right-wing Israeli publication Debkafile
the "Bold Alligator" drill "is the largest amphibian exercise seen in
the West for a decade, staged to simulate a potential Iranian invasion
of an allied Persian Gulf country and a marine landing on the Iranian
As part of the exercise, three Marine Corps gunship carriers that
practiced an amphibious landing and attacked a "hostile" mechanized
enemy division which had "invaded its neighbor."
alongside their U.S. counterparts, "French, British, Italian, Dutch,
Australian and New Zealand military elements are integrated in the
Debkafile reported that "Bold
Alligator" is "led by the USS Enterprise nuclear carrier with strike
force alongside three amphibian helicopter carriers, the USS Wasp, the
USS Boxer and the USS Kearsage."
"On their decks," the Israeli publication averred, "are 6,000
Marines, 25 fighter bombers and 65 strike and transport helicopters,
mainly MV-22B Ospreys with their crews. Altogether 100 combat aircraft
Coinciding with naval exercises currently underway in the Persian
Gulf, when the "Bold Alligator" war games end, "the participants are to
be shipped out to Persian Gulf positions opposite Iran. Altogether three
American aircraft carrier strike groups, the French Charles de Gaulle
carrier and four or five US Marines amphibian vessels will be posted
there," Debkafile's military sources report.
As war drums beat louder, researcher Rick Rozoff at Stop NATO
that during a January 30 meeting, President Obama "met with his
Georgian counterpart Mikheil Saakashvili in the Oval Office at the White
House for an unprecedented private meeting between the heads of state, a
tête-à-tête initiated by Washington."
Rozoff reports that "Obama had summoned the ambitious and erratic
Georgian leader to Washington to propose a quid pro quo: The use of
Georgian territory for American attacks on Iran in exchange for the U.S.
exercising its not inconsiderable influence in Georgia--with a
population of only 4.7 million the third largest recipient of American
foreign aid--to assist in securing Saakashvili's reelection in next
year's presidential poll."
The move was denounced by former Georgian President Eduard
Shevardnadze, "who was overthrown by Saakashvili's self-styled Rose
Revolution in 2003," a U.S.-financed "civil society coup" that installed
an American-educated puppet in power in Tbilisi. Shevardnadze warned,
"I don't rule out that to retain the [presidential] chair Saakashvili
may join a military campaign against Iran, which would become a
catastrophe for our country."
"Georgian analysts and opposition party leaders seconded
Shevardnadze's suspicions, specifying that the Saakashvili regime would
provide air bases and hospitals, of which a veritable proliferation have
appeared in recent months, for such a war effort."
"A Georgian opposition analyst estimated that 30 new 20-bed
hospitals and medical clinics were opened last December and that new air
and naval sites are being built and modernized, military air fields in
Vaziani, Marneuli and Batumi most ominously," Rozoff wrote.
Similarly, The Jerusalem Post
, citing a piece that appeared Saturday in The Times,
reported that Azerbaijan, which shares a long border with Iran, "is
teeming with Mossad agents working to collect intelligence on the
happenings within the Islamic Republic."
"This is ground zero for our intelligence work," an anonymous Mossad intelligence operative told The Times.
"Our presence here is quiet, but substantial. We have increased our
presence in the past year, and it gets us very close to Iran. This is a
wonderfully porous country."
One might say, a "wonderfully porous country" for staging terror attacks, as NBC News
revealed last week.
According to Richard Engel and Robert Windrem, "deadly attacks on
Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident
group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel's secret service,
U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran's
That group the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), designated a Foreign
Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department, enjoys considerable
support amongst Washington's power elite as The Christian Science Monitor
disclosed last summer.
Indeed, "a high-powered array of former top American officials,"
from Rudy Giuliani to Howard Dean, "have been paid tens of thousands of
dollars to speak in support of the MEK."
administration officials have tried to distance the U.S. secret state
from the Mossad's assassination program, as Richard Silverstein noted on
the left-wing Tikun Olam
site: "One aspect of this report, however, is misleading. The U.S.
officials who confirm Mossad involvement in these plots carefully note
that the U.S. is not participating. That, unfortunately is not quite
true. The Bush administration allocated $400-million for this black ops
war against Iran. A good portion of this is suspected of funding
Israel's efforts. So it is highly likely that we are the paymasters for
this effort and our denials ring hollow."
But the Iranian terror cult's connections to the CIA don't stop
there. In fact, "law enforcement officials have told NBC News that in
1994, the MEK made a pact with terrorist Ramzi Yousef a year after he
masterminded the first attack on the World Trade Center in New York
City," Engel and Windrem wrote.
"According to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity,
Yousef built an 11-pound bomb that MEK agents placed inside one of Shia
Islam's greatest shrines in Mashad, Iran, on June 20, 1994. At least 26
people, mostly women and children, were killed and 200 wounded in the
Yousef, the nephew of reputed "9/11 mastermind" Khalid Sheik
Mohammad, was the top bombmaker for Osama Bin Laden's Afghan-Arab
database of disposable Western intelligence assets, also known as Al
Qaeda, who had a long history of close collaboration with the CIA and
Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence agency before "going off the
reservation" in the early 1990s.
These connections, and links, to Western destabilization operations
are hardly historical relics of Washington's anticommunist jihad against
the former Soviet Union, as Peter Dale Scott pointed out in The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus
Scott noted that "Americans have used al-Qaeda as a resource to
increase their influence, for example Azerbaijan in 1993. There a
pro-Moscow president was ousted after large numbers of Arab and other
foreign mujahedin veterans were secretly imported from Afghanistan, on
an airline hastily organized by three former veterans of the CIA's
airline Air America."
And today, with foreign fighters flooding into Syria, including
Libyan jihadist elements armed and trained by the CIA and MI6, it should
hardly come as a shock that Al Qaeda's "emir," Ayman al-Zawahri, in a
reprise of Islamist-backed efforts in alliance with the CIA in
Afghanistan during the 1980s "urged Muslims in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and
Jordan to come to the aid of Syrian rebels confronting Assad's
Western operations against Syria are viewed as a prelude to an
all-out attack on Iran as Michel Chossudovsky and other analysts
describe in a new series published by Global Research
Indeed, U.S. war planners have presented regional military
commanders with a target list that include "beyond Iran's nuclear
facilities, communications systems; air defense and missile sites;
Revolutionary Guard Corps facilities; munitions storage facilities,
including those for sea mines (remember the Strait of Hormuz); airfields
and aircraft facilities; and ship and port facilities, including midget
submarines, missile boats and minelayers,"The Washington Post
"Aircraft employed," the Post averred,
"would include B-2 stealth and B-52 bombers, fighter-bombers and
helicopters, along with ship-launched cruise missiles."
In other words, Washington is contemplating a massive air and sea bombardment followed by a land invasion, as the "Bold Alligator 2012" drill suggests, with the express purpose of forcing "regime change" in Tehran.
As analyst Peter Symonds pointed out in the World Socialist Web Site
"While the US and its allies insist that Iran must satisfy
'international concerns' about its nuclear programs, the demands for
'clarification' are endless."
"IAEA inspectors visited Iran on January 29-31 and are due to return
for further discussions later this month," Symonds wrote. "No report
has been released, but the US and international media nevertheless
accused Tehran of 'obfuscation' and 'time wasting'."
that a new dossier "to be issued next month by the International Atomic
Energy Agency on Iran's nuclear program is expected to be harsher than
the last one, which the IAEA released in November."
According to Haaretz, "the
agency's board of governors is scheduled to convene on March 5 in
Vienna, the same day on which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due
to give a speech in Washington at a meeting of the annual policy
conference of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, the American Israel Public
Netanyahu is also scheduled to meet with Obama where talks on the
"international response" to the "threat from Tehran" will take center
stage. Isn't that a coincidence!
"The reality," the World Socialist Web Site noted,
"is that nothing short of complete capitulation to all Washington's
demands--not only on the nuclear issue, but its relations with the
Syrian government and groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as its
alleged 'interference' in Iraq and Afghanistan--would end the US
build-up to war."
"In short," Symonds observed, "Washington is pressing for a regime
in Tehran that bows to American economic and strategic interests in the
Middle East and Central Asia on every significant issue."
"For all the talk about 'diplomacy' and 'sanctions,' the World Socialist Web Site warned,
"the US is recklessly setting course for a war with Iran that threatens
to engulf the Middle East and spread internationally."
The clock is ticking...