U.S. HEGEMONIC EXPANSION - IS IRAN NEXT? - A deep look at the Shadow Government's designs for Iran and a possible quid pro quo deal with President Trump

It's time to take a closer look at the coincidental timing between the developments involving Iran and the Attorney General's indication that Obama's administration spied on the Trump campaign and that prosecutions are forthcoming. That said and as we dig-in to the details, recall this critical component that Conservative Tree House touched on the other day in a related item - the President of the United States is a system; NOT an individual office or person. That must be kept in perspective because it places all things in the proper context.

For example, plausible deniability is a critical component to the Executive. By that, it's to be understood that the president NOT having information can be more critical to his position and the interests of the country than actually having information; whereby the president relies upon trusted advisors to process, filter and brief him accordingly. That's important to remember moving forward and CTH addressed the issue as it relates to the president's apparent stance toward classified documents targeted for declassification and the fact that he's never read any of them. Sidebar - it's a sage move by the president as it places a barrier between himself and obstruction of justice charges, but I digress. Again, we only reference this because it's a real-time and brief lesson in plausible deniability working the way it should within the office of the presidency (here's the CTH item: https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/04/13/mark-meadows-ig-horowitz-has-interviewed-kortan-pientka-and-three-others-also-trump-has-never-read-any-documents-related-to-declassification/).

To preface this entire article and the claims within, it's imperative to recall that the United States and its controlling Shadow Government devised plans to invade seven Middle Eastern countries in five years; dating back to the general 9/11 time frame. Consider this excerpt from the Global Research piece linked below. This is General Wesley Clark in a 02 Mar 07 interview:
"Well, in a way. But, you know, history doesn’t repeat itself exactly twice. What I did warn about when I testified in front of Congress in 2002, I said if you want to worry about a state, it shouldn’t be Iraq, it should be Iran. But this government, our administration, wanted to worry about Iraq, not Iran.
"I knew why, because I had been through the Pentagon right after 9/11. About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, “Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second.” I said, “Well, you’re too busy.” He said, “No, no.” He says, “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.” This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?” He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” So I said, “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said, “No, no.” He says, “There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said, “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments.” And he said, “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.”
"So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”"
*Source: https://www.globalresearch.ca/we-re-going-to-take-out-7-countries-in-5-years-iraq-syria-lebanon-libya-somalia-sudan-iran/5166

Let's review that list: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.

As of 15 Mar 18, the US was fighting wars in seven countries: Afghanistan, Iraq (check), Syria (check), Yemen, Somalia (check), Libya (check) and Niger (https://www.defenseone.com/news/2018/03/the-d-brief-march-15-2018/146688/.) When compared to the original list, progress is being made and it seems the time is now right for Iran.

Is it possible that the Trump administration, despite his campaign promises to pull back from foreign conflicts and focus resources on domestic issues like infrastructure, engaged in a quid pro quo deal to set the slate for Iran in exchange for prosecuting his criminally engaged political opponents? Perhaps. The timing certainly suggests it.

Recall the president's campaign as outlined here by Balltopedia:
Trump promoted what he calls an “America First” approach to foreign affairs and national security. This approach involved potentially reassessing U.S. commitments to NATO countries, a more aggressive foreign policy in the fight against the Islamic State and in the war on terror, and increases in military spending. Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the country from nations with “a history of exporting terrorism,” and he advocated for what he calls “extreme vetting” of Muslims visiting the U.S. Trump voiced support for using enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding, and he criticized the Iran deal, calling it a “bad deal.” Trump also called for improving U.S. relations with Russia by finding “common ground” in the fight against the Islamic State.
*Source: https://ballotpedia.org/Donald_Trump_presidential_campaign,_2016

Arguably, it's a mixed message as the president declares "America first," implying a retraction overseas for greater focus at home, while he's also promising a stronger effort against the Islamic State, which includes the nation of Iran. During the campaign and in a 2016 AIPAC Policy Conference speech, the president outlined his exact plan for addressing Iran:
"When I am president, I will adopt a strategy that focuses on three things when it comes to Iran. First, we will stand up to Iran’s aggressive push to destabilize and dominate the region. Iran is a very big problem and will continue to be, but if I'm elected President, I know how to deal with trouble. ... Secondly, we will totally dismantle Iran’s global terror network. Iran has seeded terror groups all over the world. During the last five years, Iran has perpetrated terror attacks in 25 different countries on five continents. They’ve got terror cells everywhere, including in the western hemisphere very close to home. Iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism around the world and we will work to dismantle that reach. Third, at the very least, we must hold Iran accountable by restructuring the terms of the previous deal. Iran has already - since the deal is in place - test-fired ballistic missiles three times. Those ballistic missiles, with a range of 1,250 miles, were designed to intimidate not only Israel, which is only 600 miles away but also intended to frighten Europe, and, someday, the United States.""
*Source: https://ballotpedia.org/Donald_Trump_presidential_campaign,_2016/Iran

On 08 Sep 15, the president also outlined his approach to Iran and it, too, omitted references to actual armed conflict with the nation:
"When I am elected president, I will renegotiate with Iran — right after I enable the immediate release of our American prisoners and ask Congress to impose new sanctions that stop Iran from having the ability to sponsor terrorism around the world. In fact, if I am elected, I am sure the prisoners will be released before my taking office."
*Source: https://ballotpedia.org/Donald_Trump_presidential_campaign,_2016/Iran

On 13 Oct 17, the White House issued a press release whereby the president expanded on his policy towards Iran; however, once again, he fell short of outlining armed conflict despite the continued rhetoric akin to "by any and all means necessary," as the president declared in his 2011 book.
"So today, in recognition of the increasing menace posed by Iran, and after extensive consultations with our allies, I am announcing a new strategy to address the full range of Iran’s destructive actions.
"First, we will work with our allies to counter the regime’s destabilizing activity and support for terrorist proxies in the region.
"Second, we will place additional sanctions on the regime to block their financing of terror.
"Third, we will address the regime’s proliferation of missiles and weapons that threaten its neighbors, global trade, and freedom of navigation.
"And finally, we will deny the regime all paths to a nuclear weapon.
"Today, I am also announcing several major steps my administration is taking in pursuit of this strategy.
"The execution of our strategy begins with the long-overdue step of imposing tough sanctions on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The Revolutionary Guard is the Iranian Supreme Leader’s corrupt personal terror force and militia. It has hijacked large portions of Iran’s economy and seized massive religious endowments to fund war and terror abroad. This includes arming the Syrian dictator, supplying proxies and partners with missiles and weapons to attack civilians in the region, and even plotting to bomb a popular restaurant right here in Washington, D.C.
"I am authorizing the Treasury Department to further sanction the entire Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for its support for terrorism and to apply sanctions to its officials, agents, and affiliates. I urge our allies to join us in taking strong actions to curb Iran’s continued dangerous and destabilizing behavior, including thorough sanctions outside the Iran Deal that target the regime’s ballistic missile program, in support for terrorism, and all of its destructive activities, of which there are many.
"Finally, on the grave matter of Iran’s nuclear program: Since the signing of the nuclear agreement, the regime’s dangerous aggression has only escalated. At the same time, it has received massive sanctions relief while continuing to develop its missiles program. Iran has also entered into lucrative business contracts with other parties to the agreement.
When the agreement was finalized in 2015, Congress passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act to ensure that Congress’s voice would be heard on the deal. Among other conditions, this law requires the President, or his designee, to certify that the suspension of sanctions under the deal is “appropriate and proportionate” to measure — and other measures taken by Iran to terminate its illicit nuclear program. Based on the factual record I have put forward, I am announcing today that we cannot and will not make this certification.
"We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror, and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout.
"That is why I am directing my administration to work closely with Congress and our allies to address the deal’s many serious flaws so that the Iranian regime can never threaten the world with nuclear weapons. These include the deal’s sunset clauses that, in just a few years, will eliminate key restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program.
"The flaws in the deal also include insufficient enforcement and near total silence on Iran’s missile programs. Congress has already begun the work to address these problems. Key House and Senate leaders are drafting legislation that would amend the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act to strengthen enforcement, prevent Iran from developing an inter- — this is so totally important — an intercontinental ballistic missile, and make all restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activity permanent under U.S. law. So important. I support these initiatives.
"However, in the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated. It is under continuous review, and our participation can be cancelled by me, as President, at any time.
"As we have seen in North Korea, the longer we ignore a threat, the worse that threat becomes. It is why we are determined that the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism will never obtain nuclear weapons.
"In this effort, we stand in total solidarity with the Iranian regime’s longest-suffering victims: its own people. The citizens of Iran have paid a heavy price for the violence and extremism of their leaders. The Iranian people long to — and they just are longing, to reclaim their country’s proud history, its culture, its civilization, its cooperation with its neighbors.
"We hope that these new measures directed at the Iranian dictatorship will compel the government to reevaluate its pursuit of terror at the expense of its people.
"We hope that our actions today will help bring about a future of peace, stability, and prosperity in the Middle East –- a future where sovereign nations respect each other and their own citizens.
"We pray for a future where young children — American and Iranian, Muslim, Christian, and Jewish — can grow up in a world free from violence, hatred, and terror.
And, until that blessed day comes, we will do what we must to keep America safe.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you."
*Source: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-iran-strategy/

Even as recently as 13 Feb 19, the White House revisited its Iran strategy whereby it delineated a number of further actions; none of which included outright military action, as predicated by the successes it has already reaped. Consider, "Predictions that unilateral U.S. sanctions would weaken and isolate America as the rest of the globe pursued instead do business with Iran have proven false; conversely, Iran has found itself increasingly alone and bereft of the anticipated influx of foreign investment that was to save its moribund economy." Further steps were then outlined; none involved direct armed conflict:
"There is more we can do to roll back Iran’s activities within its borders and in the region. We can continue to encourage warmer ties between Iraq and the Gulf countries, particularly Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. We have already made substantial progress aligning Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in support of the President’s Iran Strategy. Increasingly overt Israeli cooperation with a range of Arab countries across the economic and security sectors benefits them all. We must seize every opportunity to make this collaboration the “new normal” to the benefit of all involved.
"While engaged in this campaign we must remain vigilant to ensure this violent and unpredictable regime does not acquire a nuclear weapon and the capability to deliver it. Thanks to the Israeli revelation of Iran’s secret nuclear archive, we know their protestations that their nuclear program has always been peaceful are flat lies. We will redouble our efforts to expose and disrupt Iran’s illicit procurement networks and prevent Iran’s import of dual-use and proliferation sensitive items. We will also hold accountable those governments that allow Iran and its agents to use their territories to purchase, finance, or transfer items that support their nuclear and missile programs."
*Source: https://www.whitehouse.gov/articles/look-u-s-strategy-iran/

Despite tough and appropriate language that includes obvious inferences to military action germane to dismantling terror groups - that normally involves combat and military action - designating the country's standing army as a foreign terrorist organization and placing them directly in the cross-hairs for war was not explicitly outlined.

So, as we can see, Iran is nothing new as it relates to the geopolitical landscape and it's long-tenured status as the greatest state-sponsor of terrorism globally. Everyone knows that. It also goes without saying that we've seen a tumultuous and abrupt shift in how the United States views and handles Iran politically, militarily and diplomatically. It's important to note that the US severed diplomatic relations with Iran during the Carter administration and since that time, Switzerland has served as the nation's protector by proxy for the US (https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5314.htm.)

The days of Obama diplomacy, replete with transporting $1.5 billion in the form of pallets of currency and coin to the country aboard five different flights and using four different routes; and not to mention the splendid nuclear deal (at least from the Iranian's point of view) from which the Trump administration thankfully removed us despite all of the bellyaching from the Left and the usual Deep State suspects, are long gone.

There was no doubt that a shift in tactics would be forthcoming following the election of President Trump. That shift is now on full display for all to see; however, there was a notable development about six days ago when on April 8th, the administration took the unprecedented step of branding the military arm of the Iranian government - The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Qods Force - as a foreign terrorist organization. Again, this is an unprecedented maneuver - declaring a country's standing army as a foreign terrorist organization - and it has implications.

We first noticed this development the same day that President Trump made the declaration and issued two press releases. It prompted us to post and ask about the distinct possibility of a quid pro quo event; more on that later. For now, here are the press releases issued by the White House:

 1. Statement from the President on the Designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a Foreign Terrorist Organization - full text (08 Apr 19):
"Today, I am formally announcing my Administration’s plan to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), including its Qods Force, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.  This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft.  The IRGC is the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.
"This designation will be the first time that the United States has ever named a part of another government as a FTO.  It underscores the fact that Iran’s actions are fundamentally different from those of other governments.  This action will significantly expand the scope and scale of our maximum pressure on the Iranian regime.  It makes crystal clear the risks of conducting business with, or providing support to, the IRGC.  If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism.
"This action sends a clear message to Tehran that its support for terrorism has serious consequences.  We will continue to increase financial pressure and raise the costs on the Iranian regime for its support of terrorist activity until it abandons its malign and outlaw behavior."
*Source: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-president-designation-islamic-revolutionary-guard-corps-foreign-terrorist-organization/

2. President Donald J. Trump is Holding the Iranian Regime Accountable for Its Global Campaign of Terrorism - full text (08 Apr 19):
The Iranian regime is the leading state sponsor of terror. It exports dangerous missiles, fuels conflicts across the Middle East, and supports terrorist proxies.
INCREASING MAXIMUM PRESSURE: President Donald J. Trump is holding the Iranian regime accountable by targeting the primary entity that carries out its global campaign of terror. 
  • The Administration is designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) to counter Iran’s global campaign of terrorism.
  • The Trump Administration is taking this unprecedented step as part of a broader effort to counter Iran-backed terrorism around the world.
  • The Administration’s action will increase the financial pressure and isolation of Iran and deprive the regime of resources it uses for its terrorist activities.
  • This action puts other governments and the private sector on notice about the nature of the IRGC, which operates front companies and institutions around the world to fund terror.
    • The profits from what appear to be legitimate business deals can end up supporting the Iranian regime’s terrorist agenda.
  • This marks the first time that the United States has designated part of another government as a FTO.
    • The designation underscores that the Iranian regime’s use of terrorism makes it fundamentally different from any other government.
COUNTERING IRAN’S GLOBAL CAMPAIGN OF TERRORISM: The Iranian regime continues to engage in a campaign of terrorism around the world.
  • The Iranian regime employs terrorism as a central tool of its statecraft and uses the IRGC to direct and carry out its global terrorist campaign.
  • The IRGC provides funding, equipment, training, and logistical support to terrorist groups.
  • The IRGC has been directly involved in terrorist plots in numerous countries.
    • In 2011, the IRGC Qods Force plotted a brazen attack on the Saudi Ambassador to the United States in Washington, D.C., that was uncovered and thwarted.
    • IRGC Qods Force activity has been uncovered and disrupted in Germany, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Kenya, Bahrain, Turkey, and others.
  • The Iranian regime remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, spending nearly a billion dollars every year to support terrorism.
    • The regime provides funding to a number of terrorist groups, including Hizballah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Kata’ib Hizballah, al-Ashtar Brigades, and others.
PROTECTING AMERICA’S SECURITY: President Trump has taken action to address the full range of the regime’s malign activities and ensure it never obtains a nuclear weapon.
  • President Trump withdrew from the unacceptable Iran deal as it failed to protect America’s national security interests.
  • President Trump reimposed all sanctions lifted under the Iran deal and enacted the toughest sanctions regime ever imposed on Iran.
    • These sanctions help cut off revenues the regime uses to fund terrorism, promote global instability, fund nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and enrich its leaders.
  • The Administration has directed its actions against the Iranian regime—not the Iranian people, who are the regime’s longest suffering victims.
 *Source: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-holding-iranian-regime-accountable-global-campaign-terrorism/

Just as President Trump was addressing Iran from the Executive, Secretary Mike Pompeo was engaged in the same from State. Here is the introduction to his briefing from the same day (08 Apr 19), which can be read in full via the sourced link below.
"Good morning. I’m here to make an important foreign policy announcement concerning the Islamic Republic of Iran. Today the United States is continuing to build its maximum pressure campaign against the Iranian regime. I am announcing our intent to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, including its Qods Force, as a foreign terrorist organization in accordance with Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This designation will take effect one week from today.
"This is the first time that the United States has designated a part of another government as an FTO. We’re doing because the Iranian regime’s use of terrorism as a tool of statecraft makes it fundamentally different from any other government. This historic step will deprive the world’s leading state sponsor of terror the financial means to spread misery and death around the world.
"Businesses and banks around the world now have a clear duty to ensure that companies with which they conduct financial transactions are not connected to the IRGC in any material way. It also gives the U.S. Government additional tools to counter Iranian-backed terrorism.
"This designation is a direct response to an outlaw regime and surprise no one, and it builds on the more than 970 Iranian individuals and entities that the Trump administration has already sanctioned."
*Source: https://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2019/04/290966.htm

This brings us back to our original thoughts pertaining to a possible quid pro quo event as this news broke. In that light, here's exactly what we posted with the source linked below.
"SIDEBAR ON TIMING - Two coinciding events with controlling puppet strings originating in the Shadow Government are notable:
"1 - Real traction emerging in the FISA/FISC/Trump 'Spygate' scandal, according to AG Barr's testimony today
"2 - Pompeo and the White House laying the pretext for war on Iran - look at the rhetoric emerging
"Is this a quid pro quo event?"
*Source: https://gab.com/Statecraft_Discerned/posts/VUwxWVFyY1JZNGFMdXFXYmRVZlp1dz09

Specifically, it was the timing of all things Mueller; especially the Mueller report being submitted to Attorney General William Barr, Barr's principal summary findings being subsequently presented to Congress and Barr's congressional testimony that struck a chord germane to the developments with Iran. Barr's actions made for two tectonic declarations that stand directly opposed to the mainstream narrative of the past two-plus years and namely a) the Obama administration did in fact spy on the Trump campaign and b) prosecutorial efforts against those culpable were forthcoming. This is precisely why we all continue to see the epic meltdown of the MSM.

All of this occurred in the exact same time frame: 22 Mar 19 - Mueller submits report to Barr; 24 Mar 19 - Barr issues congressional letter with principal summary findings; 08 Apr 19 - White House issues two releases declaring the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a foreign terrorist organization; 09 Apr 19 - Barr declares that Obama's administration spied on the Trump campaign and that prosecutions are forthcoming. The timing speaks for itself - it represents a complete reversal of a two-plus year MSM narrative being separated from an unprecedented military and diplomatic declaration with significant war implications all by a total of one day.

For clarity, here's precisely what is being suggested: the Shadow Government - those individuals and entities that determine our nation's course and pull levers and strings from behind the cloak of darkness, have given the Trump administration the green light to pursue political opponents and prosecute them for their criminality (Spygate, Russiagate, Clinton Foundation, etc. - we all know the list) in exchange for its pursuit of the establishment of moral, ethical and legal pretext that will serve as the justification for military action against Iran. When the press releases were made, this was the exact thought that surfaced and as as you might imagine, it's all rooted in TIMING.

Speaking of timing, ABC news published this story today outlining precisely half of our claim - that the Trump Administration is laying the legal groundwork for military action in Iran. That Rand Paul has taken exception to the administration's unilateral approach is certainly notable and should be viewed as an indicator for further scrutiny. Here's that story:

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/concerns-trump-administration-laying-legal-groundwork-military-action/story?id=62360052

Of monumental significance here and as mentioned in the introduction when "implications" were cited, is the "foreign terrorist" designation. It directly affects the Executive's ability to utilize the military under the 14 Sep 01 Authorization for the use of Military Force subsequent to 9/11 and germane to the Constitutional authority of Congress to declare war. In other words, by declaring Iran's army as a foreign terrorist organization, the president can circumvent aspects of Congress' war power authority so as to maneuver the military as desired. The timing of this designation coinciding with the first real, tangible and notable traction in the prosecution of the president's political enemies is uncanny as we have noted.

The Trump administration's stance on Iran via the Department of State can be dated back to as early as 07 Nov 17, whereby two important notions were put forth in a press release. First, firm answers on Iran were referred directly back to the White House and second, Iran's broader influence in the region was defined. Consider,
"I think we know exactly where the responsibility lies in the region for much of the destabilization, and we’ve seen the activities of Iran. We’ve seen the activities of Iran in Yemen. We’ve seen the hand of Iran in Syria. We’ve seen the hand of Iran elsewhere. Where Iran – where Iran’s government – and I should be clear about saying that because we don’t take issue with the Iranian people. We take issue with the government of Tehran. Where they show up, trouble tends to follow. Okay."
*Source: https://findit.state.gov/search/docs?affiliate=dos_stategov&dc=2539&page=3&query=iran&sort_by=date

Whereas Rex Tillerson was confirmed as President Trumps first Secretary of State and presumably to serve a role in establishing a stronger diplomatic relations with Russia given his previous familiar and amicable relations with them, Mike Pompeo was confirmed to succeed him on 26 Apr 18 and the fate of the Iran nuclear deal was immediately in the cross-hairs (https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/26/pompeo-clears-key-senate-hurdle-to-be-secretary-of-state-555908.) Almost a year later, Trump, Pompeo, et al. made the Iranian FTO designation.

Shortly following Pompeo's confirmation in a 08 May 18 State Department press release, a senior State Department official confirmed that the current focus on any troop involvement in the region was specific to ISIS; not Iran (https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/05/281959.htm.) In a 11 May 18 State Department press release, Victoria Coates Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Strategic Assessment of the National Security Council Press Briefing Room stated,
"Secretary Pompeo was just there. I mean, we have regular – obviously, very high-level visits, and I wouldn’t read much into the scheduling. And as for the Syria policy, I mean, the President said very clearly – I believe it was in the Merkel presser about 10 days ago – that the United States is not interested in leaving Syria for Iran to just run amuck, that we take that threat very seriously, we take Israeli concerns extremely seriously, but we’re not going to signal exactly what our policy is going to be in terms of troop numbers."
Again, it was another confirmation that there were no intentions to take direct military action against Iran. On 21 May 18, Secretary Pompeo delivered his speech for a new Iran strategy whereby he stated,
"So, the path forward. America’s commitment to the Iran strategy President Trump laid down in October (of 2017 and as outlined above) remains. It will now be executed outside of the JCPOA (Obama's Iranian nuclear deal.)
"We’ll continue to work with allies to counter the regime’s destabilizing activities in the region, block their financing of terror, and address Iran’s proliferation of missiles and other advanced weapons systems that threaten peace and stability. We will also ensure Iran has no path to a nuclear weapon – not now, not ever.
"Following our withdrawal from the JCPOA, President Trump has asked me to achieve these goals on Iran. We’ll pursue those goals along several lines of effort.
"First, we will apply unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime. The leaders in Tehran will have no doubt about our seriousness.
"Thanks to our colleagues at the Department of Treasury, sanctions are going back in full effect and new ones are coming. Last week we imposed sanctions on the head of Iran’s central bank and other entities that were funneling money to the IRGC Qods Force. They were also providing money to Hizballah and other terrorist organizations. The Iranian regime should know that this is just the beginning.
"This sting of sanctions will be painful if the regime does not change its course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen to one that rejoins the league of nations. These will indeed end up being the strongest sanctions in history when we are complete.
"The regime has been fighting all over the Middle East for years. After our sanctions come in force, it will be battling to keep its economy alive.
"Iran will be forced to make a choice: either fight to keep its economy off life support at home or keep squandering precious wealth on fights abroad. It will not have the resources to do both.
"Second, I will work closely with the Department of Defense and our regional allies to deter Iranian aggression.
"We will ensure freedom of navigation on the waters in the region. We will work to prevent and counteract any Iranian malign cyber activity. We will track down Iranian operatives and their Hizballah proxies operating around the world and we will crush them. Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East.
"And I’d remind the leadership in Iran what President Trump said: If they restart their nuclear program, it will mean bigger problems – bigger problems than they’d ever had before.
"Third, we will also advocate tirelessly for the Iranian people. The regime must improve how it treats its citizens. It must protect the human rights of every Iranian. It must cease wasting Iran’s wealth abroad."
*Source: https://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2018/05/282301.htm
  
Again, this omits any mention of armed conflict with Iran; however, the handwriting is clearly on the wall given the above quote that includes, "bigger problems than they’d ever had before."

Following the Secretary's speech, in a press release the following day, a State Department official was questioned about Pompeo's speech and in particular, the inferred desire for regime change in Iran, which could obviously involve military conflict. The specific reply was was, "That is not our policy."

*Source: https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2018/05/282357.htm

In a 03 Dec 18 State Department briefing to update the Trump administration's stance toward Iran, to-date, only sanctions and other diplomatic solutions were discussed. Again, any mention of armed conflict was omitted (https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/12/287742.htm.)

Moving into January 2019, State's rhetoric began to intensify as the cross-hairs were more squarely sighted on Iran. Consider this press release where department officials elaborated by saying, "...the Iranian regime is the dangerous actor in the region.  There is no greater threat to stability than the Iranian regime.  The 12 demands that the United States has asked for remain.  The Secretary will continue his work on galvanizing our regional partners and allies to counter the regime’s destabilizing activities." Again, the efforts are all characterized as diplomatic and sanctions sans any mention of armed conflict.

When asked on 21 Mar 19 about specific steps in applying pressure on Iran and getting compliance from Iran in the region, Pompeo said,
"I won’t say what we talked about, but each of the pillars that we have – each of the vectors we’ve used to put back – push back against them, the sanctions that are in place – we have another decision about waivers that’ll be coming up in 60 days, I guess it is, the beginning of May. The sanctions regime that we’ve put in place for designating those connected to Iranian malign activity, wherever we find then, including in places like Iraq. You would have seen that recently we designated an organization inside of Iraq, which we had not done before. Our cooperation with Israel, our attempts to deny the Iranians the resources to continue to foment terror. We’re going to continue to increase the pressure we’re applying along each of those vectors of pressure.

"Remember the simple goal. The simple goal is to get Iran to behave like a normal nation: stop blowing up things around the world; stop fomenting terrorism; stop their assassination campaign in Europe; stop underwriting the Houthis, Hamas, Hizballah. Simple things – the same things we ask every nation in the world to do we’re asking of the Islamic Republic of Iran."
*Source: https://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2019/03/290547.htm 
 
A day later on March 22nd, the State Department was asked about applying the FTO designation to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps during a press briefing (https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2019/03/290587.htm) and on April 8th, the president made it official.

It's reasonable to state, as provided by the evidence above, that what we're seeing with Iran is a progression of a predetermined and adaptive plan that is in no way related to AG Barr, Mueller's report, or anything else related to those matters and outside the scope of matters pertaining the Middle East and Iran. In other words, they are in no way connected. It's supposed to appear that way.

That said, it's also reasonable to state that TIMING ALWAYS MATTERS and the timing of what can be interpreted as significant precursory maneuvers tied to military action against Iran, unilateral or otherwise, just happened to occur within one day of a monumental, tectonic shift in the Shadow Government's position on US former leaders and officials and their exposure to legal jeopardy for orchestrating the single largest political scandal in the history of the United States.

Is this a quid pro quo deal - "we" get Iran and "you" get Obama, Hillary, et al.? Circumstantially, the evidence suggests it's plausible.

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