The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook

It’s quite possibly the longest article posted since Global Geopolitics has started, but is quite worth the read.

 

https://www.politico.com/interactives/2017/obama-hezbollah-drug-trafficking-investigation/images/_benin-lots-Artboard_1.jpg

Hezbollah’s used-car money-laundering operation in West Africa Satellite images show the growth of used cars in lots close to Port of Cotonou in Benin.

 

Part I

A global threat emerges

How Hezbollah turned to trafficking cocaine and laundering money through used cars to finance its expansion.

In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation.

The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.

Continue reading

US New Moves: War with Iran May Be Much Closer Than We Think

US New Moves: War with Iran May Be Much Closer Than We Think

 

The US does not intend to end or even curtail its military presence in Iraq (as well as Syria) after the defeat of the Islamic State. It is planning to turn Iraq into a major theater of confrontation with Iran. There are signs that a war with Iran may be much closer than we think.

CIA director Mike Pompeo, an official known for his staunch opposition to Iran, has warned Tehran that the United States would hold it accountable for any attacks it conducted on American interests. Addressing high-ranking US military and security officials on Saturday, Dec. 2, at a defence forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in Simi Valley, California, Pompeo said that he had sent the letter to General Qassem Suleimani, a leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and elite Quds. “What we were communicating to him in that letter was that we will hold him and Iran accountable… and we wanted to make sure that he and the leadership of Iran understood that in a way that was crystal clear,” the CIA director explained. Continue reading

War with Iran’s proxies could be ‘weeks’ away, Israel’s US envoy warns

A poster bearing an image of Syrian President Bashar Assad (R) and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is seen in Damascus on September 7, 2017. (AFP/Louai Beshara)

 

Ron Dermer cautions that Tehran’s growing influence is likely to lead to military conflict, says regional peace deal is likely

Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, said Monday that his country is closer to a full-blown military conflict along its northern border than people think.

In a wide-ranging interview with US news site Politico, Dermer reiterated Israel’s assertion that it will not tolerate the presence of Iranian proxies in Syria. Continue reading

Iran Deploying Warships to Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico

Iranian military frigate and light replenishment ship are seen docked for refueling / Getty Images

 

Iranian supreme leader instructs navy to expand presence

Iranian military leaders announced on Tuesday the country will send a fleet of warships into the Atlantic Ocean en route to the Gulf of Mexico, where the Islamic Republic aims to solidify ties with several Latin American states, according to the commander of Iran’s navy.

Following orders from Iran’s supreme leader, the newly installed commander of its navy, Rear Adm. Hossein Khanzadi, announced a fleet of Iranian warships would soon be making their way into the Atlantic Ocean, despite what Iran claims is opposition by U.S. officials. Continue reading

Iranian Army Chief: Next War Will Eradicate Israel

The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps has vowed that the next war with Israel will result in the Jewish state’s eradication. (Photo: Reuters)

 

Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari has vowed that any future conflict with Israel will be the Jewish state’s last, and promised to come to Hezbollah’s aid if the terrorist group is attacked. Continue reading

Saudi vows new Islamic alliance ‘will wipe terrorists from the earth’

Lowe and behold the ‘islamic NATO’ discussed in the previous posts:

Is Saudi Arabia building an ‘islamic NATO?’

Trump to unveil plans for an ‘Arab NATO’ in Saudi Arabia

 

A member of the Saudi Royal Guard stands on duty inside the hall where the first meeting of the defence ministers of the 41-member Saudi-led Muslim counter-terrorism alliance is taking place in the capital Riyadh on November 26, 2017 (AFP Photo/Fayez Nureldine)

 

Riyadh (AFP) – Saudi Arabia’s crown prince vowed to “pursue terrorists until they are wiped from the face of the earth” as officials from 40 Muslim countries gathered Sunday in the first meeting of an Islamic counter-terrorism alliance.

“In past years, terrorism has been functioning in all of our countries… with no coordination” among national authorities, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also Saudi defence minister, said in his keynote address to the gathering in Riyadh.

“This ends today, with this alliance.” Continue reading

Lebanon Preparing for War With Israel

The Lebanese Army is said to be preparing for war with Israel in response to building tensions over Iran’s efforts to cause instability in the region.

 

The likelihood of war in the Middle East grew again Tuesday after the head of the Lebanese Army ordered his soldiers to “full combat readiness.”

Gen. Joseph Aoun ordered his soldiers to continue to cooperate with the United Nations forces in the country under Security Council Resolution 1701, but also told them to prepare for war on their southern border with Israel. The American-trained general also said:

“The army needs to be prepared to confront the threats and violations of the Israeli enemy and its hostile intentions against Lebanon.” Continue reading

Israel Ready to Share Iran Intel With Saudi Arabia

Israel Ready to Share Iran Intel With Saudi Arabia

Israeli Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot told a Saudi Arabian newspaper his country is ready to share its intelligence on Iran with the Saudi military.

 

The intrigue surrounding a potential Israeli-Saudi alliance to confront Iran’s aggression in the Middle East took another strange turn Thursday when a Saudi newspaper reported on an in-depth interview it conducted with the Israeli Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot. Continue reading

Iran already has 13 bases in Syria and tens of thousands of troops. Is their removal realistic?

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman again warned Wednesday, Nov. 15, that Israel would not permit Iran to establish a military presence in Syria, and the skeptics would soon discover this. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said earlier this week that Israel reserves its freedom of military action in Syria to defend its borders. Continue reading

The Saudi-Iran Brewing War

 

The turmoil in the Middle East has been instigated in part by fiscal mismanagement. When the money was rolling in with high oil prices, it was assumed, as always, that whatever trend is in motion will remain in motion. Consequently, the government expanded their spending assuming money would continue to flow in. When oil broke, the fiscal mismanagement has been exposed for all to see if they care to look.

Falling oil prices have decimated revenues and trade in the region. Security worries about terrorism, particularly in the US, have led to cuts in airline routes. Then there has also been a long-running diplomatic and trade impasse between Saudi Arabia and its allies on the one hand, and Qatar on the other. Now the good-old-days of easy money and rapid growth has led to concerns about over-capacity, waste, and corruption that nobody cared about when money flowed like oil.

Continue reading

Iran and Gulf nations prepare for war. Sudden reshuffle in Iran’s top army, naval commands

 

 

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir on Monday, Nov. 6 accused Iran of an “act of war” in reference to the Iranian-backed Yemeni Houthi missile attack on Riyadh airport Saturday.

On Sunday, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei secretly ordered a significant reshuffle in the high commands of the Iranian army and navy. Brig. Gen. Mohammad Hossein Dadras was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, with orders to boost the intelligence and operational preparedness of the Army. He came from the post of commander of ground forces. Continue reading

IRGC General Kawthari: Israel Will be Wiped off Planet Earth in 25 Years or Less

Please see the source for the video.

Transcript:

General Ismail Kawthari, Deputy Commander of the IRGC Tharallah Base, told Al-Alam TV that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had said “that this entity [Israel] must be wiped off the Planet Earth within 25 years,” but that in his own opinion, that was the maximum period, and “God willing, it will happen before that.” The interview aired on September 27.

Interviewer: Iran has provided aid to Hizbullah, Syria, and the resistance movements in Palestine for almost four decades, but it has paid a steep political price for this. Will Iran continue to pursue this policy of support for the axis of resistance, despite the political price this exacts? Continue reading

Ignoring empty threats, Iran tightens its military noose around Israel

Hamas’ Saleh Arouri in Tehran.

 

Iran pressed ahead with its plans this week, regardless of the loud scorn and threats poured on Tehran from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Cairo and Washington.

On Friday, Oct. 20, less than two weeks after Saleh Arouri, Deputy Chief of the Hamas political bureau, approved an Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation agreement between his party and the rival Fatah, he was leading a large Hamas delegation to Tehran. Continue reading

Hezbollah Leader: War is Coming

Hezbollah Leader Hassan Nasrallah urged “non-Zionist” Jews to leave Israel to avoid a war between his terrorist group and Israel that is coming soon.

 

Hezbollah’s leader warned “non-Zionist” Jews they should leave Israel immediately to avoid the war that is coming between his Iranian-backed terrorist group and the Israel. Continue reading

Iran extends reach with fight for land link to Mediterranean

In this Nov. 22, 2013 file photo, Iraqi and Lebanese Shiite fighters from a group called the Hussein Brigade use a helmet to draw sniper fire, during clashes with the Sunni-dominated Free Syrian Army, in the town of Hejeira, near Damascus, Syria. (AP Photo/Jaber al-Helo, File)

 

Islamic Republic’s regional expansion raises concern in Jerusalem of Tehran’s efforts ‘to entrench itself militarily on Israel’s border’

BEIRUT (AP) — Thousands of Iranian-backed fighters in Syria’s central desert region are advancing east, bringing Tehran closer to its goal of securing a corridor from its border, through Iraq and all the way to the Mediterranean and providing it unhindered land access to its allies in Syria and Lebanon for the first time.

The land route would be the biggest prize yet for Iran in its involvement in Syria’s six-year-old civil war. Continue reading