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Saudi Arabia wont attack Iran. But it may pay someone else to | Nesrine Malik

The US is being fooled that it needs to rescue its ally in the Middle East, says the Guardian columnist Nesrine Malik There is a longstanding joke told in the Middle East about Saudi Arabias reluctance to fight its own wars. Saudi Arabia will fight until the last Pakistani, the punchline goes, in reference to the fact that Pakistani troops have long supported Saudis military endeavours. The punchline has expanded lately to include the child soldiers, whose deaths are handsomely compensated for with cash paid to their families back home.…

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Netanyahu accuses Iran of hiding evidence of nuclear facility

Israels opposition says prime ministers claims are an election campaign stunt Benjamin Netanyahu has unveiled what he claims was a previously undisclosed Iranian nuclear weapons facility and accused Tehran of destroying the site to hide the evidence. This is what I have to say to the tyrants of Tehran, Netanyahu said. Israel knows what youre doing, Israel knows when youre doing it, and Israel knows where youre doing it. Without providing details, he accused Iran of using the facility near the city of Abadeh to conductexperiments to develop nuclear weapons.…

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Why Trumps ‘maximum pressure’ foreign policy yields minimum results

The president is heading into 2020 with no major successes and looming crises so many expect him to attempt to reverse the trend with dramatic deals Donald Trump is heading into the 2020 elections with no clear-cut foreign policy successes, some dramatic failures and a string of looming crises around the world that could undermine his bid for re-election. For that reason, many expect the president to try to reverse the trend with dramatic interventions around the globe with uncertain outcomes which will make the next 16 months even more…

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Odds and Ends 

Iran Says Its Revolutionary Guard Shot Down a U.S. Drone

Irans Revolutionary Guard has claimed it shot down a U.S. drone, according to the countrys state-run IRNA news agency. The news comes amid mounting Associated Press: There was no drone over Iranian territory. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump had been briefed on the reports of a missile strike in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, according to the Associated Press. We are closely monitoring the situation and continuing to consult with our partners and allies, she was quoted as saying. The incident comes as tensions are already…

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US to send 1,000 more troops to Middle East, citing ‘hostile behavior’ by Iran

Tensions between countries on the rise after Washington blamed Tehran for attacks on oil tankers The US is sending an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East in response to hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups, Patrick Shanahan, the acting defence secretary, announced on Monday. The move further heightens tensions between the two nations. Last week Washington blamed Iran for Shanahan said in a statement. The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups…

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Team Obama Tells Iran: Dont Escalate, Dont Take Trumps Bait

As the Trump administration concerned American intelligence and national-security officials, sent ships and B-52 bombers to the region in a show of force. That move fed fears of military conflict between the two powers. Officials in the intelligence community concluded that those aggressive steps came in response to the Trump administrations decision to punish any country that violates U.S. sanctions by buying Iranian oil and to as History Today notes, and nobody has ever been convicted over it. The Logan Act bars people outside the U.S. government from engaging in…

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U.S. Intel to Congress: No Evidence al Qaeda Is Helping Iran

The American intelligence community has no evidence that al Qaeda has cooperated with the Iranian government in its recent aggressive moves in the Persian Gulf region, a senior U.S. government official told members of Congress on Tuesday. That finding, which was relayed to The Daily Beast by three sources familiar with the matter, could undercut a potential legal case for going to war with Iran if tensions between Washington and Tehran keep escalating. The assessment was delivered in a classified briefing with dozens of House members on Capitol Hill. According…

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EXCLUSIVE: Trump Admin Inflated Iran Intel, U.S. Officials Say

On Sunday, the National Security Council announced that the U.S. was sending a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Persian Gulf in response to troubling and escalatory warnings from Iranan eye-popping move that raised fears of a potential military confrontation with Tehran. Justifying the move, anonymous government officials cited intelligence indicating Iran had Gen. Qasem Soleimanithe head of the Quds Force, Irans covert action armhas told proxy forces in Iraq that a conflict with the U.S. will come soon, this source noted. I would characterize the…

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Trump provokes global anger by recognising Israel’s claim to Golan Heights

Russia, Iran and Turkey condemn US president while Syria vows to recapture territory lost in 1967 war Syria has vowed to retake the Golan Heights as Donald Trumps call for the US to recognise the occupied territory as part of Israel elicited strong responses from Russia, Turkey and Iran. The president ended half a century of US foreign policy and broke from post-second world war international consensus that forbids territorial conquest during war said on Friday that the country was now more determined to liberate it by all possible means…

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Iran dismisses Trump’s late-night Twitter rant despite market jitters

Tehran officials careful to avoid kneejerk reaction to threats as rial hits all-time low Iran has dismissed July 23, 2018 Iranian officials were dismissive of Trumps tweet, which called on Rouhani to never, ever threaten the United States and be cautious, but the US presidents remarks provoked jitters in the Iranian market. The Iranian national currency was sent into a tailspin when trading opened on Monday, exacerbating months-old fluctuations that have prompted protests in Tehrans Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MeK), which is bent on regime change and has no visible support inside the…

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Haley Defends U.S. Decision to Quit UN’s Human Rights Council

Ambassador Nikki Haley defended the U.S. decision to quit the United Nations Human Rights Council last month as a stand against “political corruption and moral bankruptcy” and the organization’s “anti-Israel bias.” “The United States provided the last shred of credibility that the council had, but that was precisely why we withdrew,” Haley said Wednesday at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. In June, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Haley announced the U.S. decision after the council passed a resolution denouncing Israeli settlements as a “flagrant violation” of human rights. In…

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World Cup 2018 power rankings: Brazil and Croatia lead the way

At the end of the group stage we rank the 32 teams at the World Cup in Russia, with Brazil top, England in 10th and Panama last 1) Brazil It is hard to shake the feeling that Brazil are the best-balanced side at this World Cup. win over Serbia and they look capable of raising things further. thumping win over Argentina. A meeting with Spain in the last eight looks likely and Zlatko Dalics side cannot be ruled out of doing something special. 3) Belgium Whether or not they really…

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The Iran Nuclear Deal’s Unraveling Raises Fears of Cyberattacks

When the US last tightened its sanctions against Iran in 2012, then-president Barack Obama boasted that they were "virtually grinding the Iranian economy to a halt." Iran fired back with one of the broadest series of cyberattacks ever to target the US, bombarding practically every major American bank with months of intermittent distributed denial of service attacks that pummeled their websites with junk traffic, knocking them offline. Three years later, the Obama administration lifted many of those sanctions in exchange for Iran's promise to halt its nuclear development; Tehran has…

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Hedge-Fund Investors Pour Into Oil as Firms Predict Surge to $80

Hedge funds investing in oil are luring capital at the fastest pace in more than a year. With crude climbing to levels not seen since 2014, commodity funds have recovered the client outflows they suffered last year. And if firms such as Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest exporter, wants to push prices to $80 a barrel to help pay for the government’s policy agenda. Declining output in Venezuela and falling global inventories are also playing their part, as are the worsening tensions in Syria, which threaten to disrupt supply from…

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