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Manufactured Iranian Threat in the Persian Gulf
Sharmini Peries

National Security Adviser John Bolton released a statement on May 5 announcing that the United States is deploying the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf. The action is “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.” There was no clarification regarding any warnings the United States had received about Iran’s activity.

Col. Larry Wilkerson reads the statement as an indication that Bolton is “trying to provoke something” in the gulf.

“He’s looking for an incident. That’s all I can see in it, because Iran does not threaten a country to whom we are, by Donald Trump’s own proud admission, selling $100 billion worth of arms to. Iran does not threaten a country that has more of the United States military power arrayed around it than any other place on the face of the earth. … How can this country threaten anything the United States has in the Strait, in the Gulf, or in the region, when we have so much superiority?”

Col. Wilkerson explained that Donald Trump’s intention could be to resume negotiations with Iran. “He wants to do a Kim Jong-un moment with Rouhani and Zarif. He wants to do it really close to the election, too, because it would be a real kick for him electorally.” However, he cautioned that Bolton’s plans for Iran have always focused on regime change.

“What worries me here, and you talk about the deployment of forces and so forth, and what might be going on with Saudi Arabia and with the UAE, and with Israel, really worries me,” said Col. Wilkerson, “because Trump’s attention to detail is almost nonexistant. … While John Bolton and his crew are making mischief with regard to Iran, and that crew might include some of these military forces that are deploying there, if we’re looking for an incident, it’s not going to be hard to manufacture one. If we’re looking for a Tonkin Gulf, if we’re looking for a smoking gun and a mushroom cloud, you know, those kinds of propagandistic things, those kinds of made up things that lead to war, then this is a perfect scenario in which to find something like that.”




Sharmini Peries is a journalist and executive producer for the National and International News Bureaus at The Real News Network. As co-founder of TRNN, she harnesses the power and expertise of civil society institutions to curate programming for TRNN. Previously, Sharmini was Economic and Trade Adviser to President Hugo Chavez at Miraflores and for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Venezuela. Prior to that she served as the executive director of the following institutions: The Commission on Systemic Racism in the Criminal Justice System, The International Freedom of Expression Exchange, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, and the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants. She also managed the Human Rights Code Review Task Force in Ontario, Canada. She holds a M.A. in Economics from York University in Toronto, Canada. Her Ph.D. studies in Social and Political Thought at York University remain incomplete (ABD).

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