UPDATE (via Zerohedge):
A day after an Australian ABC report went viral with the claim that the White House has drawn up plans to strike Iran’s alleged nuclear facilities as early as next month, Defense Secretary James Mattis said on Friday morning it’s a “complete fiction”.
The Australian Broadcast Corporation report cited high level defense and intelligence figures: “Senior figures in the Australia’s Turnbull government have told the ABC they believe the US is prepared to bomb Iran’s nuclear capability,” and perhaps most alarmingly added, “The bombing could be as early as next month.”
Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin questioned Mattis about the report on Friday:
I asked Mattis about report US preparing strikes against Iran.
MATTIS: “I have no idea where the Australian news people got that information. I am confident it is not something that is being considered right now. I think it is a complete, frankly, it’s fiction.”
US President Donald Trump is reportedly prepared to strike at the heart of Iran’s nuclear capability as early as next month.
The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the possibility that the United States may be heading towards conflict with Iran, and what this means for the volatile region, and world, should Trump’s all-caps tweet turn out to be more than a simple warning.
According to Australian news outlet, News.com.au, senior figures in the Turnbull Government, the US is almost ready to pull the trigger on sites related to Iran’s nuclear program, in a move that would no doubt impact the wider region.
The unnamed sources told the ABC that Australian defence facilities would likely help identify targets in Iran, as would British intelligence agencies.
Pine Gap, the top-secret spy base in the Northern Territory, is considered crucial for its role in directing American spy satellites.
Sources said Australian agencies could potentially help isolate targets as part of our ongoing Five Eyes intelligence pact with the US, the UK, Canada and New Zealand — although they noted Canada and New Zealand would be unlikely to play a military role in the conflict.
Australia has separated itself from rising tensions between the US and Iran, instead urging the Middle Eastern giant to take a peaceful role in the region.
“Australia is urging Iran to be a force for peace and stability in the region,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told ABC radio yesterday.
“The relationship between the United States and Iran is a matter for them.
“What we are looking to do is to ensure that all parties embrace peaceful and stable principles to ensure that our region is safe.”
Earlier this week, the US President launched an all-caps tweet towards Iran, following a warning from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that the “mother of all wars” would take place if the US maintained its hostilities towards Iran.
Rouhani told a gathering of Iranian diplomats…
“Mr Trump, don’t play with the lion’s tail, this would only lead to regret.”
“America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.
“You are not in a position to incite the Iranian nation against Iran’s security and interests.”
Trump responded to Rouhani with a tweet on Monday night, warning the Iranian leader to:
“NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN”, or he will “SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE”.
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
Iran’s Foreign, Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to Trump’s tweet, saying Iran was “unimpressed” by his stance.
COLOR US UNIMPRESSED: The world heard even harsher bluster a few months ago. And Iranians have heard them —albeit more civilized ones—for 40 yrs. We’ve been around for millennia & seen fall of empires, incl our own, which lasted more than the life of some countries. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) July 23, 2018
Since sending the all-caps tweet that has the world wondering if Trump is ready to take America to war with Iran, the US President has softened his rhetoric slightly, telling a convention crowd in Kansas City…
“I withdrew the United States from the horrible one-sided Iran nuclear deal, and Iran is not the same country anymore.”
“We’re ready to make a deal.”
Meanwhile back in Iran, a top general says his forces are ready should Trump follows through on his warning.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday there was no need for him to “respond to any nonsensical comment” but General Qassem Soleimani, who heads the elite Revolutionary Guard said on Thursday it was his duty as a soldier to reply.
Soleimani was quoted by news website yjc.ir as saying “we are ready to confront you.”
Soleimani called Mr Trump a “gambler” stating that, “You will start the war but we will end it.”