Trump Fooled by Advisors on Iran?
Zionist neocons Bolton and Pompeo are using faulty Israeli intelligence to con the president.
By Richard Walker
Not for the first time, two of the most hawkish members of the Trump administration have been using slanted Israeli intelligence to argue for military action against Iran, a move that would surely lead to a full-blown war across the Middle East.
National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been ratcheting up their calls for striking Iran by announcing the dispatch of the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Group and a bomber task group to the region. Both men claimed they had intelligence confirming that Iran was planning attacks on U.S. troops and assets. No one else seemed to know where that intel had originated, and security officials in Europe dismissed it as a deliberate effort to stoke tensions and justify actions that would lead to war with Iran.
On May 12, two Saudi Arabian oil tankers were damaged at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. The Saudis were quick to blame Iran for the attacks on the two ships, which were delivering oil to the U.S. forces in the Middle East, but Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on May 14 that the Iranians were not responsible and blamed the “false-flag attack” on the United States.
“We discussed the regional issues and dangers that the policies of extremist individuals in the U.S. administration are trying to impose on the region, as well as worries about the actions and suspicious sabotage in the region,” Zarif said to reporters.
“We had earlier predicted that they will adopt such measures to provoke tensions,” he added.
Diplomatic and security sources this writer spoke to in London and in Moscow all agreed that the intelligence Bolton and Pompeo touted was likely provided by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been a champion for demanding a war to force regime change in Iran.
Pompeo has not been shy about using bogus intelligence to make a case against Iran. In May 2018, he accused the Iranian Quds force of assassinations within Europe when there was no evidence to support his claim.
Security experts suspect that once again he has been spoon-fed fake information by the Israelis. In Washington and in European capitals, his warning was met with skepticism and silence.
Somewhat ironically, Bolton and Pompeo are not averse to feeding questionable information back to Netanyahu. Security correspondent Joe Cirincione pointed out in online security source “Defense One” that Bolton had “zero evidence” for telling Netanyahu, “We have no doubt that Iran’s leadership is committed to achieving deliverable nuclear weapons.” One can reasonably conclude that, by hyping a potential nuclear threat from Iran, Bolton’s intent was to encourage Israel to consider bombing Iranian nuclear facilities.
As Cirincione put it: “I have found zero evidence to support Bolton’s claim. It is unclear who ‘we’ means, but it certainly does not include the American intelligence community. They have found exactly the opposite.”
All of this raises the question of how Trump views the risk of a new Middle East conflict. It appears from his latest statements that he is not on the Pompeo-Bolton track and is not an Iran hawk. He now says that he would like to talk directly with Iran’s leaders. That leads one to wonder if until now he had been so consumed with defending his presidency that he has allowed hawkish figures like Bolton and Pompeo to exploit the space created by his preoccupation with Washington issues.
Similarly, reports have surfaced lately that he was angry that Bolton misled him that Venezuela’s leader, Nicolas Maduro, was about to concede defeat. Whatever the truth, there is undoubtedly room for Trump to negotiate a deal with Iran, but it would be opposed by the Israelis, the Saudis, neocons, and pro-Netanyahu elements in Congress.
The neocon view that Iran poses an existential threat to the U.S. and its interests is dismissed by most experts. In The New Republic, Jefferson Morley makes the interesting observation that Sunni Arabs have posed a more serious threat to America than Iranian Shiites. Most Americans know that is true because many attacks carried out by groups like al Qaeda and ISIS originated within the Arab world, financed in the main by Saudi Arabia and the Mossad. While it would be wrong to say Iran has not been involved in terror, it would be incorrect to exaggerate the threat it poses to America.
Most foreign policy observers tend to believe that there is no guaranteed outcome of regime change resulting from war with Iran. On the contrary, if one looks closely at the chaos in other Middle Eastern nations, especially Libya, such a war would engulf Iraq, Lebanon, and other countries, possibly drawing in Russia, Iran’s ally. The Russian and Chinese foreign ministers have already warned Washington against increasing tensions. Both those nations still favor the international Iran nuclear agreement, which is fraying at the edges as the Trump administration strangles Iran’s economy and threatens to do likewise to any country that does business with Iranian energy companies.
One of the sources this writer spoke to pointed to the fact that Pompeo and Bolton, as well as members of the Trump inner circle like Rudy Giuliani, are closely aligned with MEK, the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, a shady Iranian exiles group that was on the U.S. terrorist list from 1997 to 2011. It has been used by the Israelis and the Saudis to carry out terror operations inside Iran. The Trump family is also linked to the former Shah of Iran’s son, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who wants to return to Iran as its monarch and has the support of the Saudi royals and some prominent figures in Israel.
Richard Walker is the nom de plume of a former New York mainstream news producer who grew tired of seeing his articles censored by his bosses.