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Hank Sullivan: Iran tanker attack, seen this before
Hank Sullivan
Hank Sullivan is a Forsyth County resident, businessman, author and speaker on American history, economics and geopolitics.

In August 2017, I published two articles in which I placed the reader behind the scenes of President Barack Obama’s so-called “Iran nuclear deal.”  Although nuclear weapons are referred to in that agreement, its real purpose, as it turns out, had little to do with nuclear weapons.  

Like so many ventures our former president involved himself in, the nuclear deal was another scam on the American people. Obama’s real purpose, among others, was legitimizing the release of dark money into dark areas of the world, an activity even President Ronald Reagan regrettably approved.  Remember “Iran-Contra?” 

It all began in September 2013 when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani remitted a long overdue payment to the World Bank, passing an olive branch to the West.  

Next, Rouhani called Obama indicating willingness to negotiate certain long-standing differences with America. That afternoon, Obama held a press conference announcing he had spoken with Rouhani, the first talks between respective heads-of-state in over 30 years. According to Obama, Rouhani offered to negotiate concerning Iran’s nuclear program. 

 Now in my article, I recalled that world leaders, most notably Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, had been claiming Iran’s nuclear program would soon yield an operational nuclear weapon, for the previous 21 years.  

During all that time, no Iranian nuclear weapon ever materialized, Iranian scientists, although certainly, still hard at work.  After two decades of claims that Iran would soon possess an operational nuclear weapon, at some point one would think that people hearing that mantra would eventually grow wary of its authenticity.  But the people have short memories.  Knowing that, politicians continually resurrect claims of Iran’s nuclear bomb ambitions whenever purposes arise.

 Now Rouhani’s reason for contacting Obama was obvious, hoping America would remove long-standing economic sanctions written into American law during the George W. Bush administration. U.S. sanctions had been crippling Iran’s energy export revenues for several years, having devastating effects on its economy

 Importantly, because the U.S. sanctions against Iran were actually written into law, as opposed to mere presidential actions initiated by Bush, to remove them Obama was forced to seek permission from Congress. That is when Obama proposed smokescreen legislation known as the Iran Nuclear Review Act (INRA), partnering with the Republican Congress for its passage. 

Whether the Republicans understood the proposed legislation, I’ll let you decide.  But anyone who read it also understood that once INRA passed into law, any referenced “statutory sanctions” previously codified into law could be removed at Obama’s discretion.  

INRA was a “heads Obama wins, tails Republicans lose” proposition, passed by Republicans.  Obama could not lose.  If after negotiating the deal, the final product with Iran was still not good for America, INRA required Congress to override an Obama veto of any foreseeable congressional resolution of disapproval, passed by both Houses. In the end, while it may have appeared the Republicans in Congress vehemently opposed the deal they previously authorized Obama to sign, the opposite was true.  They pull the wool on the American people.

 And of course, you know the story after that.  After releasing INRA-related statutory sanctions against Iran, rather than authorizing previously withheld payments to be made through normal electronic methods, Obama sent Iran $1.7 billion, in untraceable cash, on U.S. cargo planes.  That Obama paid using cash raises the specter that those dollars had “dark money” written all over them.  Where are all those dollars now?  No one knows.  But noting subsequent, rabid insistence by former Secretary of State John Kerry that the deal Trump ultimately cancelled remain in place, the odds are very good that Iran had become a harbor for partnering Western intelligence agencies, long understood to operate using dark money.

 And so last week, according to President Trump, Iran attacked two oil tankers in the Gulf of Hormuz.  Does anyone really believe Iran would be so dumb as to attack oil freighters off its own coast, for no reason?  Surely not.   And remember, parallel events occurred in Syria two years ago.  Did anyone really believe Assad gassed his own people for no reason?  Again, surely not.  Well, who did then?  The evidence points toward so-called U.N. “white hats,” allegedly on the ground in Syria for “humanitarian purposes.”  Yet Trump never faltered, maintaining it was Assad all the time, ultimately firing a few harmless cruise missiles into the Syrian desert in response.  And after all the bellicosity, no war occurred. 

 Now the American involvement in Syria is complete. We don’t hear about Syria anymore.  But someone wanted Trump to take out Assad. Trump played along, but in the end resisted any urges for war, as he has long promised, while also appearing strong against Syria’s leader to stifle political opposition, even from hawkish Republican Senators Lindsay Graham and Marco Rubio.

And now we see the same kind of event happen in the Gulf of Hormuz.  As was the case in Syria, someone wants war between America and Iran.  Relax, won’t happen.  As is his pattern, although the video supplied by Pentagon officials convinced few, Trump plays along claiming it was Iran. That’s fine.  Rather than expend time and political capital alleging rogue intelligence agencies attacked the vessels, Trump uses the incident to place additional pressure on Iran, stealing opposing thunder and appearing strong.  Again, Trump will not war with Iran. 

 Earlier this week, Iran claimed it dismantled a CIA dark sight operating within its borders. Is that really a surprise? America and Iran have common enemies. 

We’ve seen all this before.  Expect a new, real deal with Iran. That’s how Trump works.


Hank Sullivan is a Forsyth County resident, businessman, author and speaker on American history, economics and geopolitics.