US Hawks Lay Out Plan for Getting Into a War With Iran

Conference Sees Calls to Start Sinking Ships, Bombing Iranian Forces in Syria

United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI), an organization packed to the gills with a bipartisan who’s who of hawkish figures, held an event on the “Future of Iran Policy” in Washington DC. Unsurprising, given the list of attendees, the future they envision is war, and lots of it.

The event headlined by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R – FL) and former Sen. Joe Lieberman saw calls to “restore coercion” against Iran, with several figures advocating that the US accept the limits of sanctions alone by sinking Iranian naval vessels in the Persian Gulf.

This call, pushed by Lieberman and Foundation for Defense of Democracies head Mark Dubowitz, who sought to parlay those intermittent events in which the US warships parked off Iran’s coast complain Iran’s boats, inside Iran’s territorial waters, are “too close” by simply attacking and sinking those boats at every opportunity.

It’s not restricted just to Iran’s Navy, however, as Dubowitz also noted that Israel is able to attack Syrian military targets within Syria with relative impunity, and that therefore the US could just as easily start unilaterally attacking Iranian military forces who are in the country to fight ISIS.

Ros-Lehtinen suggested that while the US is carrying out this overt war against Iran, they could also dramatically escalate sanctions against them, targeting entire sectors of the Iranian economy and reimposing the sanctions the US lifted under the P5+1 nuclear deal as soon as President-elect Donald Trump gets into office

UANI first made a name for itself pressuring US corporations to sign a pledge to never do business with Iran, and since the P5+1 deal lifted international sanctions has been inundating companies in nations like France with threats of an American boycott if they sign contracts with Iran.

The group has been described as primarily funded by Sheldon Adelson and Thomas Kaplan, and has also received legal support from the Obama Administration, as in 2014 when the Justice Department ordered a judge to cancel a defamation suit by a Greek shipper against UANI on “state secrets” grounds. This was the first time in history that a case not directly involving the US government or a defense contractor was ended because of the state secrets privilege.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Bianca

    I guess that the speech by President Elect Trump given to audiences In humble places such as Fayetteville, NC, or in Iowa — is really disturbing the usual suspects. Must be. For Trump has spoken to his supporters, not the fancy think-tanks. And he renewed, with more detail, his promise to end regime changes, or toppling governments. And policies of intervention as we know them. He have hinted of bringing back troops from various global hinterlands, to insure we restore military to its strength, and to save money to do it with. It is starting to make more sense, especially as he is repeating now that HE HAS BEEN ELECTED. Usually, promises that seem to undo the existing consensus between neocons and neolibs — are scuttled after elections. But that he has decided to go on the road, and repeat the same foreign policy change at every stop to his supporters — tells me that he is not paying attention to the think tanks. And intends to talk to people directly. What a change. What will media do now when they are not in a position to interpret for the unwashed masses what is going on in Washington.

    • Observer

      Let’ s hope that they won’t assassinate (that he has good bodyguards) him for his committment to less war and more reasonable peace.
      I have the feeling that Trump might amaze us all when he gets into office.
      No matter what kind of racist rhetoric he used, I think he is better than most people suppose and I wish him good luck. Not only US-citizens are waiting for a change but the whole world is waiting for someone in the USA who dares to stand up against the warmongers in medias, politics and industries!

      • Glenn Festog

        “No matter what kind of racist rhetoric he used,”

        Racist like “illegals should be deported” and “Muslim immigrants must be vetted”? Just checking. lol

        • Since there’s no such thing as an “illegal” — the US Constitution forbids the federal government to regulate immigration so all such laws are void — it’s reasonable to assume that “illegal” is just code for “brown Spanish-speaking person.” So yes.

          • Glenn Festog

            As the fundamental law of the United States, the U.S. Constitution
            empowers the U.S. Congress to pass federal immigration and citizenship
            laws providing such laws do not violate the provisions of the
            Constitution itself, particularly those included in the Bill of Rights
            and the Fourteenth Amendment.

            Thus, the constitutional Framers authorized Congress, in Article I,
            section 8, to establish a uniform standard for naturalization and
            citizenship, subject always to limits placed on Congress by the
            Constitution itself.

            Tell me Thomas, if someone breaks into your home, does that make them a member of your family? Or say you put an ad in Craig’s list for a roommate who must match your criteria; if someone notes said ad and chooses to move in without your knowledge, consent, or remotely meeting your criteria for a roommate, is that perfectly legitimate based upon their needs, not yours? How many “illegals” are you PERSONALLY willing to support?

            The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY! lol

          • “As the fundamental law of the United States, the U.S. Constitution
            empowers the U.S. Congress to pass federal immigration and citizenship
            laws providing such laws do not violate the provisions of the
            Constitution itself, particularly those included in the Bill of Rights
            and the Fourteenth Amendment.”

            And all federall immigration regulations DO violate the provisions of the Constitution itself.

            First of all, they are forbidden by Article I, Section 9, which could have been amended any time after 1808 but never was.

            Secondly, per the 10th Amendment, any power not given to the feds is reserved to the states or to the people — and nowhere in the Constitution is a power to regulate immigration given to the feds.

            Those two facts account for why Congress didn’t try to regulate immigration for nearly 100 years after the Constitution was ratified. It was unconstitutional, they knew it was unconstitutional, and back then they at least occasionally deigned to abide by the Constitution. It was a slow downhill slide from the Anti-Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to the impertinence of requiring passports to enter and leave the United States, a tyrannical abomination implemented after World War II.

            You can babble about houses all you like, but unless you own every square inch of land bordering the Rio Grande, the analogy doesn’t work. Just because a street gang declares that an area is its turf, that doesn’t mean anyone owes said claim any respect.

            As far as other people’s money, when you plan to stop taking it for your socialist border control police state fantasies?

    • DanMar
  • RickR35

    Don’t these clowns get sick and tired of their own bullcrap? Every day the same stuff by the same morons for the same morons.

    • Basil McDonnell

      I said much the same thing in 1998 when that clutch of neocons sent that letter to Bill Clinton pimping for a war with Iraq. What a bunch of fools, I said. They’ll never get another war with Iraq.

      Was sadly mistaken.

  • Observer

    They pretend do be Americans, but they are just zionist agents, Netanyahus stooges. When do actually get Americans their country back? The GOV of the US since long ago has been usurped by a certain foreign lobby.

  • Dracaveli

    These guys need to be held on charges…if you like it or not Iran is shedding blood for us interest in Iraq…pretty much makes them an ally. Just need a leader with a backbone to admit it and demand any American seeking to undermine the alliance be declared a enemy of the state.

  • lemur

    Frankly hate speech by the usual suspects of the chosen ethnicity and their pod people. But we must help Israel and Saudi Arabia, because not many kickbacks flow out of Iran, right?

    Arrest, eliminate. Cauterize this wound.

  • Bastiat

    These people just don’t quit. America should not start another war in the Middle East.

  • August

    Of course their children will not be sent….YOURS WILL!

  • richardstevenhack

    As I’ve said for years now, the entire purpose of the Syrian crisis is to set the preconditions for a war with Iran. Those preconditions are: 1) degrade Syria’s ability to be an effective actor against Israel in a war with Iran; and 2) degrade Hizballah’s ability to be an effector actor against Israel in a war with Iran – in that order because Israel can only effectively attack Hizballah in Lebanon through the Bekaa Valley which entails crossing Syrian territory and thus engaging Syrian military forces – a two-front war which no planner would prefer.

    This is why Israel has not attacked Iran yet. Israel does not want to fight Hizballah, Syria AND Iran at the same time. Israel wants a “cheap war.”

    Russia has screwed the pooch on taking out Syria. The original plan was get a civil war going, then bring in the US and NATO based on the Libya model. That failed because 1) Russia and China vetoed the THREE UNSC Resolutions put up by the US; and 2) Russia outmaneuvered the US THREE TIMES by getting Assad to dump his chemical weapons, then intervening militarily in 2015, and then directly warning the US that they would be shot down a few months ago.

    Therefore, apparently the military-industrial complex and Israel-Firsters in the Beltway have decided to go directly to war with Iran, bypassing Israel starting it. Israel may not be happy about that since Hizballah and Syria are not yet down, but they may have decided that there is no choice.

    The US elites have seen Trump install a number of rabid anti-Iran personnel in his transition team, so feel that talking up war with Iran has a shot at succeeding.

    The remaining question is will Trump be led down that path to a decades-long war with Iran which will cost the US at least four times what the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost.

    I’ve been predicting war with Iran since at least 2006. It hasn’t happened yet, and everyone has dismissed the possibility for the last ten years. Yet here we are again – with a President loaded with anti-Iran militants.

    • Rich Wagner

      Trump has been telegraphing his intentions towards Iran the entire campaign. And he had a number of meetings with Adelson. I’m sure Adelson owns him at this point. Zionist are mostly finished with Syria, anyway. It has been balkanized and destabilized. Next stop, Iran.

  • Pave Way IV

    Trump’s brand of conservatism has elements of the Republican old-school paleo-conservatism, but incorporates certain facets of the Democrats neo-conservatism. Don’t interpret Trump’s hate for the existing neocon cult as somehow anti-neocon.

    He wants the existing neocon cabal gone, but seeks to replace them with conservatives that have a schizophrenic blend of paleo- and neo-conservative ideas – ‘unicons’ for lack of a better word.

    One mandatory element of neoconservatism has always been an unwavering support for Israel and unabashed hatred for Iranian Shia and the desire for the destruction of their ‘regime’ in Iran. This hardly fits into the paleo-conservative sensibilities of avoiding international conflicts, yet is repeatedly seen as a significant driver in many (most?) of Trump’s advisers. That’s not by accident – Trump will have us at war with Iran sooner than later. I’m surprised that few people see this – it’s as plain as day to me. Nettanyahu isn’t going to leave office until the U.S. destroys Iran for him, and he’s not getting any younger. The infant blood meals are only going to keep him in his human form for a few more years.