Developments Following Trump's JCPOA Withdrawal
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Trump's withdrawal opened a Pandora's box of likely trouble ahead.
It's beginning. Overnight, Israeli warplanes struck Syrian sites in the Damascus countryside. The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said two missiles were intercepted and destroyed.
Video evidence showed one or more others struck targets, possibly an arms depot. It's unclear if there were any Syrian or Iranian military casualties.
The IDF called up an unknown number of reservists, not a good sign, a statement saying "there is high preparedness of IDF troops for an attack," adding:
"The IDF is ready and prepared for a variety of scenarios and warns that any action against Israel will be answered with a fierce retaliation."
Ahead of Trump's JCPOA withdrawal, Iranian General Mohammad Bagheri said the Islamic Republican Guard Corps (IRGC) will respond to Israeli aggression "at an appropriate time."
Following Trump's JCPOA pullout, IRGC commander General Mohammad Ali Jafari said "(i)t's clear that the Europeans cannot make an independent decision between Iran and America and are tied to America."
"The fate of the Iran deal is clear." He's likely right, EU and most other nations bending to Washington's will - no matter their public statements.
"One more time it's completely clear and has been proven that the Americans are bullies," Jafari added. "The Americans cannot be trusted for any kind of negotiation or agreement," he stressed. Indeed so!
Israeli military intelligence-connected DEBKAfile (DF) said Trump's JCPOA pullout "came against the background of unusual US, British and French forces heading for the Middle East and deploying in countries bordering on Syria," adding:
"…US warplanes and advanced surveillance drones" are tracking any military movements in Syria and Lebanon near Israel's border.
Britain and France deployed additional warplanes and ground forces to the region - continuing to support US hostility toward Syria and Iran while paying what appears to be lip service alone to backing the JCPOA.
Israel claimed what it called "irregular Iranian movements" in Syria, saying an attack on IDF positions could follow. Not a shred of evidence proves it.
Netanyahu is in Moscow today, meeting with Putin, attending the 73rd anniversary commemoration of Russia's Great Patriotic War triumph over Nazi Germany - Syria and Iran key topics they're discussing.
Other developments in Moscow include a new cabinet of ministers and other Kremlin officials to be appointed in the coming days.
On May 8, Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said "in the near future, (w)e will expect the appointment of cabinet members - deputy prime ministers and ministers - after the appointment of the head of the cabinet of ministers, and some appointments to the administration are possible at this time as well."
Unnamed sources said Sergey Lavrov intends stepping down. He's been foreign minister since 2004, likely to take an "honorary post," possibly a seat on Russia's National Security Council. It's unclear who'll replace him.
John Helmer explained Putin's inaugural address was scripted by (fifth column threat), pro-Western free market ideologue, former deputy prime minister and finance minister Alexie Kudrin.
Helmer called him the "candidate right now to be the second most powerful official in the land," an ominous development if things turn out this way.
Breakthroughs Putin cited in his address were Kudrin's recommendations, Helmer explained.
The Saker called Putin's reappointment of Dmitry Medvedev clear evidence that "there will NOT be a purge of the Atlantic-Integrationist IMF/WTO/WB type, of the 5th columnist inside the Kremlin and that the (very unpopular) 'economic block' of the Russian government will stay in power."
The above developments, along with possibly putting Kudrin in charge of Russia's economic policies reflect a disturbing way for Putin to begin his fourth term as Russia's president.
It's not a good sign for how he intends dealing ahead with developments in Syria, Iran, and Ukraine - nor Russia's relations with Israel, the EU and most of all Washington.
Will he deal through strength or weakness? Will he be forceful or passive? Much depends on his geopolitical strategy ahead.
Signs aren't encouraging, but it's too early to tell how things will unfold in the weeks and months to come.
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