iran iraq Soleimani

Complete Debacle: Iran Totally Scraps Nuclear Deal, US-Led Coalition Suspends Anti-ISIS Operations In Iraq

This is a complete and utter disaster.

Following a high-level meeting, Iran said late Sunday it would cease complying with any and all restrictions on its nuclear program.

“The Islamic Republic will no longer observe any limits on the operational aspects, to include uranium enrichment capacity, enrichment percentage, levels of enriched material and research and development”, Fars said, citing a statement from the government.

Tehran had gradually fallen out of compliance with the terms of the agreement in an effort to compel the US to abandon its “maximum pressure” campaign. Over the past eight months, Iran has breached a stockpile limit on enriched uranium, exceeded the enrichment ceiling and begun enriching uranium with advanced centrifuges.


In November, an IAEA inspector was “harassed” in the course of conducting her duties. Around the same time, the country said it planned to inject uranium gas into centrifuges buried in Fordow, the secretive mountain facility which ignited an international incident in 2009, when its existence was unveiled.

Now, in the wake of the drone strike that killed its most revered general, the country is doing what Donald Trump did nearly two years ago – abandoning the nuclear deal altogether. Tehran will continue to work with the UN nuclear watchdog, Fars says.

Meanwhile, the US-led joint task force against ISIS has suspended operations in Iraq in order to focus on defending bases against threats from Shia militias loyal to Iran.

Here is the official statement;

Our first priority is protecting all Coalition personnel committed to the defeat of Daesh.  Repeated rocket attacks over the last two months by elements of Kata’ib Hezbollah have caused the death of Iraqi Security Forces personnel and a U.S. civilian.  As a result we are now fully committed to protecting the Iraqi bases that host Coalition troops.  This has limited our capacity to conduct training with partners and to support their operations against Daesh and we have therefore paused these activities, subject to continuous review.  We remain resolute as partners of the Government of Iraq and the Iraqi people that have welcomed us into their country to help defeat ISIS.  We remain ready to return our full attention and efforts back to our shared goal of ensuring the lasting defeat of Daesh.

A couple of things are worth noting. First, the US will not, as stated, “remain resolute as partners of the Government of Iraq”, because parliament on Sunday voted to expel US troops from the country and ban use of its airspace. That’s not official as of this writing, but the prime minister (acting in a caretaker capacity) is set to support the resolution.

Of course, parliament is effectively controlled by groups loyal to Iran, while Sunnis and Kurds generally did not show up for the vote, underscoring the extent to which the US simply does not have any sway left in the country relative to Iranian influence.

Second, do not let it be lost on you that although Iraq’s Shia militias have, in fact, inflicted casualties on US forces since the invasion in 2003, those same militias were instrumental in the ground war to oust ISIS. There is no chance (zero) that the Iraqi military proper would have succeeded in the fight against ISIS without the help of militias loyal to, and ultimately commanded by, Soleimani’s Quds.

Now, in order to fight a war with the very same Shia militias the US implicitly cooperated with in the ISIS fight, America has ceased to support the anti-ISIS effort, a truly absurd (if wholly predictable) manifestation of the “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran.

The bottom line is that the US is now in Iraq for one purpose, and one purpose only: To engage in guerrilla warfare with Shia militias openly backed by the very same politicians who just voted to boot American troops from the country.

How do you imagine that’s going to turn out?

Sunday’s events show that the Trump administration’s assassination of one man has, at the least, raised the odds of an ISIS resurgence, triggered a vote to rescind the invitation for US troops to operate in Iraq and ended any hope of convincing Tehran to return to compliance with the nuclear deal.

This is a complete and utter disaster. There are no two ways about it.

Read more: Iraqi Parliament Votes To Expel US Troops Following Drone Assassinations

8 comments on “Complete Debacle: Iran Totally Scraps Nuclear Deal, US-Led Coalition Suspends Anti-ISIS Operations In Iraq

  1. Anonymous

    What’s that old saying? Everything that Trump touches turns to shit? Well my my, anyone surprised?

  2. And Trump ‘fans’ love it. The Republican promotion-machine around his idiot kids shows the party is ALL-IN with Trump, and he’ll likely win the 2020 election by a landslide.

    Dems can’t rally around ONE GOOD CANDIDATE to beat Trump. Who’s the centrist-front runner that appeals to majority of voters? There ain’t one. When Bernie et al attack Bloomberg, it shows how easily Dems will again splinter into factions and lose another one… ‘for the gipper.’

  3. Curt Tyner

    Tick, tick, tick. If there is a bad decision to be made our “Liar in Chief” will surely (“Don’t call me Shirley) make it. OK Trump voters are you willing to bet YOUR life on this guy?????

    Decision time for republican senators history is coming like a freight train right at you. At least Pence only wants to blame Iran for 9/11 (laugh).

  4. couple thoughts
    1. the market is not likely to be greatly and sustainably moved by the dismantling of the US-led coaltion forces in Iraq, the resurgence of ISIS, Iranian attacks on US bases, or other developments in the Middle East, unless they involve something of immediate commercial importance. Namely, the flow of oil – that being the only real commercial relevance of the area.
    2. Democratic voters are entering this election with a purpose, which is to oust Trump. polling shows that most Dem voters are primarily concerned with which candidate has the best chance of doing that, rather than which candidate most syncs up with their individual views. if any of the top four or five candidates is nominated, the great bulk of Dem voters will vote for whoever it is, no matter whoever it is. independents and the few remaining moderate Republicans are another story.
    3. While I’d like a large pullback in risk assets – because I’m positioned too conservatively for a continuation of the levitating market of recent weeks – I don’t think Trump’s thoughtless blundering in Iraq is likely to produce that. A modest pullback or a stall, sure. To see a large pullback (SP500 down more than 10%) we need economic data, trade news, and earnings/estimates to be negative.

    • “To see a large pullback (SP500 down more than 10%) we need economic data, trade news, and earnings/estimates to be negative.”

      Coming soon to a theater near you!

      Whatever happen to those “sleeper cells” that were supposed to be in the US waiting to attack? Are they still here or did they fall apart?

      I think you’re right about #2

  5. H-Man,

    It looks like POTUS is going win. Iraq has thrown us out and now POTUS can claim he ended our involvement in Iraq via his termination of a general for somewhat dubious reasons. Impeachment goes to the back of the bus while he is consumed with defending our country from (unwarranted) Iranian aggression. The playbook looks great until we see how Iran responds.

    The Black Swann has arrived. Futures are responding to the downside for US equities but not in a land slide. Bonds are moving, but not with a rush to safety. Gold and silver are raging. Asian equities getting hit.

    When the wings of the Swann flap, when Iran responds and POTUS counters, hang on for the ride.

    • If Iran strikes some US bases and embassies and the US strikes some Iranian bases and other defense assets, will the markets really be moved, beyond a couple day reflex? The markets have mostly shrugged off the US’ Middle East war. If the US starts destroying holy sites and killing the worshipers inside, the markets might care a little, and only because of the knock-on implications. If Iran successfully attacks US soil, the markets will care, because of the implications for consumer confidence. And we’ve mentioned oil.

      But missiles and bombs have been killing masses in that region for years, including Americans, and investors largely don’t care. Does it materially affect corporate earnings, or the Fed backstop?

  6. From a discussion with friends: “There is no doubt that the killing of Qassem Soleimani was a major event whose ramifications will be deep and lasting on many levels. In the words of Four Star General and former Director of the CIA David Petreaus, “It is impossible to overstate the importance of this particular action. It is more significant than the killing of Osama bin Laden or even the death of [Islamic State leader Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi. Suleimani was the architect and operational commander of the Iranian effort to solidify control of the so-called Shia crescent, stretching from Iran to Iraq through Syria into southern Lebanon. He was] the most formidable adversary that we have faced for decades….This is a very significant effort to reestablish deterrence…” Soleimani reportedly established sleeper terrorist cells well beyond the Mideast, including in the United States; Shoshana Bryen writes that “Just last month, Ali Hourani, an American citizen, was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison for “helping Hezbollah and Iran prepare to strike strategic and vulnerable targets around New York City…” including airports and other critical infrastructure. As former Senator Joe Lieberman concludes in Monday’s Wall St. Journal, killing Soleimani was “morally, constitutionally and strategically correct”.

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