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Saudi Daily Calls for ‘Calculated Surgical Strike’ on Iran

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(CNSNews.com) – Saudi leaders on Thursday blamed Iran for recent drone attacks by its Houthi allies on oil installations in the kingdom, and a newspaper close to the government said in a front-page editorial it was time for “surgical” strikes against the Iranian regime.

Arab News said the pipeline attacks and damage caused to oil tankers near the Persian Gulf early this week “were aimed at subverting the world economy by hitting directly at the lifeline of today’s world of commerce.”

“Tehran should not get away with any more intimidation, or be allowed to threaten global stability,” it said, calling for “surgical strikes” as the next “logical step.”

“In the considered view of this newspaper, there has to be deterrent and punitive action in order for Iran to know that no sinister act will go unpunished; that action, in our opinion, should be a calculated surgical strike.”

The Saudi daily did not directly say it thought the U.S. should carry out such strikes, but suggested as much, recalling the U.S. cruise missile strikes in 2017 and 2018 ordered by President Trump in response to chemical weapons attacks blamed on the Assad regime.:snip:

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The Iran echo chamber tries to save its nuclear deal

Whatever the opposite of a rush to war is—a crawl to peace, maybe—America is in the middle of one. Since May 5, when John Bolton announced the accelerated deployment of the Abraham Lincoln carrier group to the Persian Gulf in response to intelligence of a possible Iranian attack, the press has been aflame with calls for America to show restraint, pursue diplomacy, and rein in the madman with the mustache before he starts a war.

Never mind that President Trump, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Patrick Shanahan, and Bolton have not said a single word about a preemptive strike, much less a full-scale war, against Iran. Never mind that the president's reluctance for overseas intervention is well known. The antiwar cries are not about context, and they are certainly not about deterring Iran. Their goal is saving President Obama's nuclear deal by manipulating Trump into firing Bolton and extending a lifeline to the regime.

It's a storyline that originated in Iran. Toward the end of April, Zarif showed up in New York and gave an interview to Reuters where he said, "I don't think [Trump] wants war," but "that doesn't exclude him basically being lured into one" by Bolton. On May 14, an adviser to Rouhani tweeted at Trump, "You wanted a better deal with Iran. Looks like you are going to get a war instead. That's what happens when you listen to the mustache. Good luck in 2020!"

And now this regime talking point is everywhere. "It's John Bolton's world. Trump is just living in it," write two former Obama officials in the Los Angeles Times. "John Bolton is Donald Trump's war whisperer," writes Peter Bergen on CNN.com. "Trump's potential war with Iran is all John Bolton's doing. But it might also be his undoing," says the pro-Iran Trita Parsi on NBCNews.com. "Is Trump Yet Another U.S. President Provoking a War?" asks Robin Wright of the New Yorker. Guess her answer.:snip:

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Pompeo to John Kerry: You're Not Secretary of State Anymore. If You Want to Revert to Weakness on Iran, Try Winning an Election.

Earlier this week, I traveled toBrussels, Belgium and Sochi, Russia as part of the press delegation accompanying US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on his latest overseas trip.  Pompeo made headlinesover his meetings with top Russian officials, including Vladimir Putin -- and as we landed back in the United States early Wednesday morning, news was breaking about the serious precautions the Trump administration had begun to implement in response to what it terms 'real' and 'escalating' global threats against Americans and American interests from the Iranian regime.  Though officials have been tight-lipped about the exact nature of the new intelligence, a New York Times report today suggests that the latest menace involves freshly-discovered Iranian sea-based missiles: 

The intelligence that caused the White House to escalate its warnings about a threat from Iran came from photographs of missiles on small boats in the Persian Gulf that were put on board by Iranian paramilitary forces, three American officials said. Overhead imagery showed fully assembled missiles, stoking fears that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps would fire them at United States naval ships. Additional pieces of intelligence picked up threats against commercial shipping and potential attacks by Arab militias with Iran ties on American troops in Iraq.:snip:

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