On May 21st, US Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said that the US had succeeded in putting the potential of Iranian attacks “on hold.”
He further mentioned the “threats” and “some intelligence” and that there were attacks – quite possibly the attack on a patch of grass by alleged Iranian-backed militants approximately 1 mile away from the empty US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.
“I think all of you have been tracking, you know, the threats that we’ve talked about, and some of the intelligence. And, you know, one of the things I’d make — really, kind of, underscore is we talked about those threats, and there were attacks, and I really want to underscore the credibility of the intelligence. And what I would say about the department, it was extremely responsive, and I think our steps were very prudent, and we’ve put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans. And that’s what’s extremely important.”
He said that the threat still remained high and that the Pentagon’s job was “to make sure that there is no miscalculation by the Iranians.”
“That is — and it’s the most important thing we can do as the department is avoid miscalculation, and then control escalation. Our posture is for deterrence.”
Despite US President Donald Trump saying that the Iranians didn’t appear to be indicating that they’re undertaking any actions, Shanahan said that “there is risk, and we’re managing that risk.”
On proving to the Congress that the intelligence on Iranian attacks is real, he said that it could be done through “dialogue,” but no mention of evidence was provided.
“How many briefings have we done to the Hill since…, this is probably the ninth? I think we’ve done nine briefings. Maybe it was the fifth, but we’ve done a considerable number of briefings on the Hill.
The, you know, skepticism — I can’t address the individuals, and I think part of today will be to, kind of, give credible information that’ll address that.”
Regardless, Senators had seen the intelligence and they still remained skeptical of any of the threat US National Security John Bolton announced on May 5th.
Whether Iran “got this message of deterrence on the long run,” and not just for these possible suspected attacks, Shanahan had the following to say:
“I just hope Iran is listening. We’re in the region to address many things, but it is not to go to a war with Iran.”
Later on, Shanahan was asked:
“Mr. Secretary, on Iran, earlier, you said, “We couldn’t hold their potential for attacks on Americans.” Does that mean that the threat is diminished or reduced? Could you just kind of clarify what you meant by that?”
Shanahan admitted that no attacks on Americans happened despite all the fear mongering that led to the deployment of B-52 bombers in Qatar and the USS Abraham Lincoln’s carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf.
“There haven’t been any attacks on Americans. I would consider that a goal. That doesn’t mean that the threats that we had previously identified have gone away.
Our prudent response, I think, has given Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve, that we’ll protect our people and our interests in the region.”
On May 19th, US President Donald Trump said that if Iran wanted to fight, that would mean the end for them.
If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2019
On the next day, blamed the Fake News media of spinning the situation out of proportion and that the US was trying to set up negotiations with Iran, all along.
….Iran will call us if and when they are ever ready. In the meantime, their economy continues to collapse – very sad for the Iranian people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2019
In response to Trump’s call for negotiations, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that there would be no such thing and that Iran wouldn’t bow under pressure.
“Holding onto premature perceptions, they had thought they would be able to shatter Iran’s grandeur,” he said, adding, however, that “we have been witnessing prosperity across this land every day in this tough time and under sanctions.”
“This is a very decisive response to the White House…and to those who reckon they can make the great nation of Iran buckle under their pressures,” the president noted.
“The White House announces that the people of Iran should be wary of an attack: however, [no longer than] two hours later, under pressure from the Pentagon,” the US president declares that Washington was not after launching any attack against Iran,” he said.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said that Trump was right in “deploring the military-industrial complex,” but shouldn’t let “the B Team” have too much influence on decision-making.
But allowing #B_Team to trash diplomacy & abet war crimes—by milking despotic butchers via massive arms sales—achieves nothing but empowering that same complex.
Time to #DrainTheSwamp?
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) May 20, 2019
With the #B_Team doing one thing & @realDonaldTrump saying another thing, it is apparently the U.S. that "doesn’t know what to think”.
We in Iran have actually known what to think for millennia—and about the U.S., since 1953.
At this point, that is certainly "a good thing!"
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) May 17, 2019
Essentially, the Pentagon declared victory in a clash with Iran that didn’t happen.
It began with claims that attacks were to take place, a possible false flag in the face of the attacks on the Saudi and the Norwegian tankers, the shelling of the area near the US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq and so on. It is now ending with a proclamation of victory and a much softer rhetoric toward Iran.
Regarding the shelling of the empty embassy, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a radio interview that the United States had yet to reach a definitive conclusion he could speak publicly about.
“But given all the regional conflicts that we have seen over the past decade and the shape of these attacks, it seems like it’s quite possible that Iran was behind these,” he said, which is much softer than the determination he and Bolton usually have when speaking of accusations towards Iran, Russia and China.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- “No Talks, Only Resistance”: Iran’s Rouhani Slams Door On Trump’s “Call Me” Overture
- Rocket Hits Near Empty US Embassy in Baghdad, US Blames Iran
- US-Iran Showdown Is One False-Flag Attack Away From Global Calamity