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Thursday, January 09, 2020

Iran-US Standoffnote

The Command of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) confirmed early on Friday 03/01/20 an announcement from the Pentagon that US air strikes had killed Iranian Commander of the Quds Force Major-General Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad airport.

Several others were killed, including senior leader of the Iran-backed Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei vowed revenge on the United States.

On Wednesday 8/1/20, Iran launched missiles attacks on two bases housing US troops in Iraq; there were no casualties.
Iran's response:

The initial form of the IRGC response was expected in the 48 hours following the US air strikes in Baghdad.

What about this response?

How did the PMF react?

TR answers these questions in the following 328–word news report: Iran IRGC and the killing of Soleimani

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was said to be stressing that Iran’s combat is with US President Donald Trump and not with Saudi King Salman or any other Arab Gulf leader.

But in the meantime, he wanted Arab Gulf leaders to take a neutral position.

In fact, what did he request?

TR answers this question in the following 342-word report: Iran-US standoff: Zarif, Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries

Following the killing of Soleimani, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei headed a meeting for the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) on Friday.

There was talk that the SNSC did not outline quick, immediate and specific options to retaliate, stressing only that the retaliation would come at the appropriate time and location. However, the SNSC discussed a number of suggestions that would not lead to an all-out war with the United States.

How did the SNSC approach the situation?

What about Khamenei’s participation in the meeting?

TR answers these questions in the following 462-word report: Iran-US standoff: SNSC and retaliation options

On the other hand, the IRGC Command is said to have taken comprehensive field measures along the Iranian coasts overlooking the Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman.

What are these measures about?

Are there any orders to launch attacks in the Gulf?

TR answers these questions in the following 292-word report: Iran IRGC and field measures along the Gulf coast
Impact of Iran-US standoff on Iraq:

In light of the US killing of Soleimani, the Iraqi Parliament called on 5/1/20 for ending the US military presence in Iraq on Sunday.

Saudi King Salman is concerned about the repercussions of the Iran-US standoff on the situation in Iraq. He is said to have set up a crisis team to keep a close eye on the developments.

What about the crisis team?

What other steps has King Salman taken?

TR answers these questions in the following 472–word news report: Saudi King Salman, US-Iran standoff and impact on Iraq

In response to the Iraqi Parliament's decision to end the US military presence, the Pentagon is said to have prevented the F-16 fighter jets in service with the Iraqi Air Force (IQAF) from taking off from airbases in southern and central Iraq since Saturday 04/01/20.

What was the Pentagon’s decision about?

How did the Iraqis react?

TR answers these questions in the following 301–word news report: Iraq, the Pentagon and the F-16 take-offs

There is talk that the Iraqi Shia armed factions have started preparing for the establishment of a unified Shia military command to liberate Iraq from the US military presence.

This unified command would also include at a later time Sunni and Kurdish factions wishing to take part in this liberation

What is the position of the Iraqi Shia Marjaiya?

What is the position of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr?

TR answers these questions in the following 346-word report: Iraq: Plans to establish a unified Shia military command
Trump's options:

US President Donald Trump seemed to have no intention of backing down in the US-Iran standoff. He was said to be weighing various options, including more targeted assassinations and strikes on IRGC targets and bases.

What were these options?

How was Trump approaching the situation?

TR answers these questions in the following in the following 390-word report: Iran-US standoff: Trump's options

After the Iranian strikes on the two US bases in Iraq, Trump said that "Iran appears to be standing down", suggesting that tensions may be easing.

Is this the case?
Qatar's role:

Days after the Iranian attacks, Qatari Emir Tamim visited Tehran (12/1/20) and met with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Hasan Rouhani.

He is said to have not carried any initiative. He rather inquired about the views of the Iranian leadership with regards to the prevailing Iran-US crisis.

Did he have any other reasons to visit Tehran?

What about his talks there?

TR answers these questions in the following in the following 424-word report: Qatar: Emir Tamim’s visit to Tehran


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