The United States is edging closer and closer to a war with Iran, after the Trump administration attributed today’s attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman to Iran despite their denial.
“It is the assessment of the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at the State Department today while addressing reporters.
“This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high-degree of sophistication,” he added.
The timing of the attack is suspicious, however, as tensions were finally cooling down between the U.S. and Iran, and talks were finally looking like a real possibility.
Just yesterday, Iran released a U.S. resident who was being imprisoned in the country on espionage charges in a showing of good faith. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is currently visiting Iran to extend the olive branch with the blessing of President Trump.
Knowing those facts, it does not make much sense that Iran would strike two oil tankers, both en route to Japan, while delicate peace talks were occurring between Abe and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini.
“Suspicious doesn’t begin to describe what likely transpired this morning,” tweeted Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
The war hawk Pompeo claims counter-intuitively that Iran is behaving this way because they want Trump’s sanctions alleviated.
“Iran is lashing out because the regime wants our successful maximum pressure campaign lifted,” Pompeo said, also claiming that the U.S. “will defend its forces, interests and stand with our partners and allies to safeguard global commerce and regional stability.”
But the attacks attributed to Iran will only ensure that the pressure intensifies, the crippling economic sanctions remain intact, and it may even result in a full-blown war between the nations.
Pompeo has bragged previously about how he reveled in lying to the public while serving the deep state as CIA Director.
“What’s the cadet motto at West Point? You will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do. I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It’s — it was like — we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment,” Pompeo told a group of students at Texas A&M University in April.
He may draw President Trump into a war that he has made clear he does not want, as he campaigned strongly against the Iraq War before he was elected in 2016.
Trump insisted just last week that he “would much rather talk” with Iran than go to war with them, and is even willing to talk with Khameini directly.
After the events of today, peace talks look more unlikely than ever between the U.S. and Iran as the war drums are beating once again.
Locked and Loaded: Pentagon Grants Soldiers in DC Power to use Lethal Force
The National Guard have been authorized to use lethal force, if needed.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has authorized the twenty thousand National Guard members providing security around the U.S. Capitol to carry lethal weapons as Washington, D.C., braces for Inauguration Day.
“On January 12, 2021, National Guardsmen were given authorization to be armed in support of the U.S. Capitol Police to protect the U.S. Capitol and individual members of Congress and their staff,” according to a statement from the D.C. National Guard, which is commanding Guard forces in the city, including units deployed from six other states, to provide security for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week,” the DC National Guard revealed in a statement “This was requested by federal authorities and authorized by the Secretary of the Army.”
The National Guard Bureau declined to specify what weapons troops would carry.
“National Guard members are postured to meet the requirements of the supported civil authorities, up to and including protective equipment and being armed if necessary,” said the statement. “The public’s safety is our top priority.”
Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told media members on Monday that a force of up to 15,000 will deploy to D.C. with all their issued equipment, including their individual weapons. So if the need arises, “they are close by and they are readily accessible.”
The Pentagon initially authorized up to six thousand two hundred Guard members from Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania to deploy to D.C. on federal status to maintain security through Inauguration Day.
The history of National Guard members being a part of the presidential inauguration dates back to the first inauguration of President George Washington in 1789.
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