Netanyahu: Don’t look here where we’re shooting children, look over there at Iran

by Juan Cole, Informed Comment

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a notorious warmonger, serial liar and supremacist racialist who used to lead the closest thing Israel has to a fascist party until parties even more extreme got elected to parliament, is attempting to bamboozle the clueless Trump into getting on a war footing with Iran.

Netanyahu’s breathless announcement that there was a potential weapons aspect to Iran’s nuclear enrichment program has been known for a decade and a half.

Netanyahu even seems to have provoked the White House to issue a communique falsely stating that Iran has a weapons program presently, which it promptly had to retract. The incident is so scary because it shows how easy it is to manipulate the erratic Trump and his not-ready-for-prime-time staff. That sort of thing, David Frum said on Twitter, can cause a war. And he should know.

But the retraction is incorrect, as well. Iran in the distant past had done some things that would be helpful if it had launched a full blown weapons program. It never did launch such a program.

Netanyahu instanced no evidence at all that Iran is out of compliance with the 2015 deal, and UN inspectors continually have affirmed that Tehran *is* in compliance. His allegation that Iran’s recent missiles are designed to be fitted with warheads is simply false.

So why try to put Iran on the front burner of American war-making? It is a desperate attempt on Netanyahu’s part to divert world attention from the ongoing Israeli Apartheid discrimination against the stateless Palestinians, which it militarily occupies (directly with jackboots and colonial settlers on the West Bank, indirectly with military encirclement and the sniping of innocent protesters in Gaza)…

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Oil Prices Rise As Israeli PM Calls Iran Liar Over Nuclear Weapons Status

by Julianne Geiger

Oil prices inched higher on Monday after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that Israel had proof that Iran lied about its nuclear weapons program.

The Brent Crude benchmark fell to $72.91 early on Monday, but rallied to as high as $75.34 in later-day trading after Netanyahu cited thousands of documents that Israel had obtained which showed Iran had lied repeatedly and “brazenly.”

In a succinct phrase that’s more indicative of U.S. President Donald Trump, Netanyahu said in a televised address “I’m here to tell you one thing: Iran lied. Big time.”

Specifically, Israel is claiming that Iran lied when it said it did not have a “comprehensive program to design, build, and test nuclear weapons.” Netanyahu went on to say in the address that Tehran’s Project Amad was designed to produce five warheads, each with a 10 kiloton TNT yield—warheads that could be placed onto a missile.

Netanyahu called on President Trump to “do the right thing”—a comment that is particularly poignant given the May 12 deadline for issuing yet another sanctions waiver to Iran..

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Russia Considers $50B Investment In Iranian Oil & Gas

by Irina Slav (published April 3, 2018)

Russian energy companies could spend as much as US$50 billion on oil and gas exploration in Iran, a presidential aide told media.

Yuri Ushakov said companies including Rosneft, Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Zarubezhneft, and Tatneft were “systemically working on development of fields in Iran.”

The official’s comments come after Zarubezhneft became the second company—after French Total—to sign the new petroleum contract devised by Tehran to lure international oil and gas companies back into its oil and gas.

Zarubezhneft will invest US$740 million in the development of two oil fields in western Iran—Aban and West Paydar—with plans to boost production to 105 million barrels over a period of 10 years.

Last year, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said the company was willing to sign up for several projects in Iran and invest around US$6 billion in their development. In February, it inked a deal with local IDRO Oil to present a joint bid for a third field, Susangerd, in southwest Iran…

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‘Masterpiece show’: Israeli PM touts proof to discredit Iran nuclear deal