US officials connected to Israel lobby pushed Trump to order Soleimani’s assassination Reply

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Senior US officials in President Donald Trump’s administration who are “heavily connected” to the Israel lobby and US arms industry pressured Trump to order the assassination of Iranian Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, says a political analyst in Virginia.

“The reason he did that seems to have been due to the influence of his immediate circle of advisers,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.

“Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, these were the people who pushed the president towards carrying out the assassination,” Preston told Press TV on Wednesday.

“These are individuals that are heavily connected to the Israeli lobby in the United States; these are individuals that are heavily connected to the American military–industrial complex, which profits heavily from American sales of armaments to Israel and Saudi Arabia,” Preston added.

“More and more, the fingerprints of Israel, and to some degree Saudi Arabia, are on this particular action,” he added.

The US military carried out an airstrike on the direction of Trump at Baghdad’s international airport last Friday, assassinating Soleimani and the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, as well as eight other companions.

Early on Wednesday, Iran responded to the assassination, striking the American airbase of Ain al-Assad in Anbar province in western Iraq and another in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

The Trump administration claims it carried out the assassination to avert an “imminent attack,” which is being faced with growing suspicion and skepticism in the US.

Dozens of countries attending a UN Security Council meeting on Thursday condemned the Trump administration for killing Soleimani, the Middle East’s most prominent anti-terror commander.

A USA Today/Ipsos poll released Thursday found that Americans, by 55%-24%, said they believe the killing of General Soleimani has made the United States less safe, rejecting a fundamental argument the Trump administration has made that the assassination made the US safer.

The poll also found that a majority of those surveyed, by 52%-34%,  called Trump’s behavior with Iran “reckless.”

Similarly, a Reuters/Ipsos polling released on Tuesday found that 53 percent of adults in the US disapprove of Trump’s handling of Iran, which is an increase of about 9 percentage points from a similar poll that ran in the middle of December.

The US House of Representatives passed a resolution on Thursday to stop Trump from further military action against Iran, rebuking the president days after he ordered the killing of Soleimani and escalated tensions in the region.

If passed by the House and Senate, the measure does not need Trump’s signature to go into effect.

Keith Preston: Trump’s willingness to abide by peace agreement with North Korea unclear 2

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The government of North Korea is determined to establishing peaceful relations with the United States and denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, but President Donald Trump’s willingness to abide by any agreement is unclear, says an American political analyst in Virginia.

“The regime of [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-un is serious about wanting to make some sort of international peace with the United States for a variety of reasons,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.

“The evidence is that they are indeed sincere about wanting to pursue some sort of agreement with the United States; the question how much the United States going to be willing to give,” Preston told Press TV on Thursday.

Trump said Tuesday Washington was stopping “very provocative” and “very expensive” military exercises with South Korea to facilitate denuclearization negotiations with North Korea.

The United States and South Korea hold regular military drills to the fury of North Korea, which has long seen the drills as preparations to invade it.

“The war games are very expensive, we pay for the majority of them,” Trump told a news conference on in Singapore after a historic summit with Kim.

Trump’s announcement was a surprise even to the government of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, which worked in recent months to help bring about the Trump-Kim summit.

“We will be stopping the war games which will save us a tremendous amount of money, unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should. But we’ll be saving a tremendous amount of money, plus I think it’s very provocative,” Trump said.

Pentagon officials were not immediately able to provide any details about Trump’s remarks about suspending military drills, a step the US military has long resisted.

Trump and Kim promised in a joint statement to work toward the “denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula, and the United States promised its Cold War foe security guarantees.

Trump and Kim arrived in Singapore on Sunday to hold the first ever face-to-face meeting between leaders of the two countries, which have remained enemies since the 1950-1953 Korean War.

While the summit is seen as a test for diplomacy that could end the long-running nuclear standoff, foreign policy experts say the stakes are high if it does not result in a nuclear agreement.