For months, we at Israel News Talk Radio – Beyond the Matrix had asked why the Trump Administration hadn’t developed a strategy to confront Iran’s jihadi regime? This was after Iran downed a US reconnaissance drone and launched a drone and cruise missile attack crippling Saudi Arabia’s oil processing and storage facilities. The New Year saw an abrupt shift to active deterrence with the dramatic killing of Iran’s powerful Ouds Force commander Soleimani and the regime lying about its downing of a Ukrainian airliner with 176 passengers aboard shortly after it took off from Tehran’s Khomeini Airport. That set off massive Iranian protests calling for the fall of the hated Islamic regime and its Supreme Ruler, Ayatollah Khamenei. The sequence of stunning events included a US air attack at an Iran Shiite proxy base in Iraq in late December that killed 25 fighters and destroyed Iranian supplied precision rockets used in an attack at a US base near Kirkuk killing a US contractor. That brought out Iran-backed Iraqi Shia militia forces who tried to force entry to the US Embassy in Baghdad in the Green Zone; thwarted by the arrival of 100 US Marines from Kuwait. On January 3rd, Iran’s powerful Quds Force Commander and Number 2 Islamic Regime figure, General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi Shia proxy Commander Abu Mohammed Al- Humandis were killed in a US MQ9 Reaper drone strike at Baghdad airport. On January 7th the IRGC launched 15 missiles at US Iraqi bases, Al-Asad and Erbil in Western and Northern Iraq clearly aimed at killing US troops based there. There were no casualties, but there was damage to the facilities and destruction of a helicopter. Within hours of that on January 8th a “lethally incompetent attack” by an Iranian Russian-supplied Tor SA-15 air defense missile destroyed Ukrainian Air Flight Ps 752 with 176 passengers and air crew. Most of the victims aboard the fateful flight were ex-pat Canadian Iranians and Iranian students. The Islamic regime was caught lying about the downing of the plane prompting massive protests across Iran. Videos of the protests revealed cries of “Death to the Dictators” and “Don’t blame America” as well as, beatings, use of tear gas and shooting of protesters by Iranian security police and the dreaded Basij paramilitaries. The Islamic regime was left stunned on its backfoot forced to acknowledge its downing Flight 752. Iran’s economy was already reeling from the Trump maximum pressure campaign and announcement of new sanctions. David Goldman in an Asia Times article cited how fragile the economy is with a drop in real income, swooning fertility, three years of drought and an incompetent water management system. To assess what this all means, we brought back Kenneth Timmerman veteran US Iran watcher, investigative journalist and New York Times best-selling author of Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran. Timmerman brought news about the impact of a previous INTR – BTM interview on nefarious Iran activities in the Republic of Georgia against a defector and witness in the US Iran Links 9/11 case, Alireza Soleimanpak. Our article, based on the Timmerman interview, was a key feature in a national Republic of Georgia TV news broadcast. Timmerman said, “intensive investigations have unearthed Georgian PM and former Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia money laundering and Iran intelligence connections which might result in his removal from office”. PM Gakharia and the Iranian Ambassador, an intelligence operative, colluded in a nefarious plot against Soleimanpak who was wrongfully arrested and prosecuted in Georgia and sentenced to 18 years on trumped charges that he was in Georgia to kill two Iranians. Timmerman had the following observations on the stunning developments in Iran. On the Mushrooming protests against the Islamic Regime. The shooting down of the Ukrainian airliner with Iranians, both Canadian ex-pats and nationals aboard, “was a turning point”. The Trump Farsi tweet scored over 200,000 “likes” – the highest ever recorded. There is now “new hope for Iranians opposing the Ayatollah”. Timmerman drew attention to protesters in a video at Amir Tabir University in Tehran who avoided stepping on the US and Israeli flags painted on the quadrangle. Instead protesters hassled Hezbollah supporters who attempted to step on them. He drew attention to news media in the West “silent on what happened at Amir Tabir University”. By way of contrast, Western media focused on the videos of the throngs of what Timmerman called, a “rent a mob” of government workers who were drafted to attend the funeral of General Soleimani. He cited comments of Democrat Presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren as “confused’ criticizing the President’s actions killing Soleimani on cable news programs while in the company of Washington lobbyist Trita Parsi, “a paid agent of the Islamic Regime”. On the matter of the US withdrawal from Iraq letter from US. Marine General Seeley. Timmerman said, “he is out of a job”. He argued that if the US withdrew, Iraq would cease to exist as a unified country. In its place would be an independent Kurdistan, Sunni and Shia states. It “would be a disaster waiting to happen”. It would generate a war of liberation from Iran. Turkey would seize the opportunity to seize Kurdistan and other Ottoman – era possessions especially oil rich areas like Kirkuk. On the impact of the loss of control of black terror funding with the death of Soleimani and fragility of Economy. Timmerman said the US Treasury should swing into action to seize accounts directly held by Soleimani, including those in Germany. The recently announced sanctions would the noose around the neck of the Islamic Regime. The $600 million-dollar annual subsidy to Shia proxy Hezbollah from Soleimani’s ‘black’ bank may be in jeopardy. Timmerman noted the swooning oil sales by Iran falling from 2.5 million barrels daily to less than 400,00 which “can’t cover domestic consumption needs”. On the status of the Revolutionary Guards. The Revolutionary Guards are “not monolithic”. The takeout of Soleimani is a “big deal”. He thinks the opposition may be courting the hierarchy with offers of a peaceful transition. He noted there are “fissures” in the rank and file”. The prod would be the new US deterrence doctrine – “If you kill Americans, there is the threat of “kinetic reprisal actions”. Couple that with more Trump Farsi tweets and other forms of assistance to Iranian protesters. Timmerman noted only half of Iran are Persians, the remainder are Kurds, Lurs, Azeri, Ahwaz Arabs and Sunni Baloch, some with their own resistance groups.
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