News

National Security & Defense

Iranian Official Downplays Possibility of Military Confrontation with U.S.

Advisor to Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz receives Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Supreme National Security Council of Iran, in Islamabad, Pakistan, October 28, 2015. (T. Mughal/Pool/Reuters)

A top Iranian official on Wednesday predicted that no military conflict with the U.S. was coming, despite the Trump administration’s decision to send more troops to the Middle East amid tensions with Tehran.

“There will not be a military confrontation between Iran and America since there is no reason for a war,” said Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, according to state media outlet IRNA.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused Iran of being behind last week’s attacks on two oil tankers — laden with “Japan-related cargo,” according to Japan’s Trade Ministry — in the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. Navy responded to the attacks, offering assistance after a series of explosions that partially destroyed the tankers and injured their crew members.

Iranian defense minister Amir Hatami on Wednesday doubled down on his denial that Iran was responsible for the attacks, saying, “the accusation against Iran is totally a lie and I dismiss it firmly,” according to the Iranian Fars news agency.

Shamkhani echoed Hatami’s rhetoric, pointing the finger back at the U.S. “Accusing other countries has turned into a common practice among U.S. officials as they try to pressure other counties,” he said.

On Monday, the Pentagon announced the U.S. will send 1,000 more troops as well as additional military resources to the Middle East “for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats.”

“The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region,” Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said.

The same day, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization announced that the country plans to flout the restrictions on uranium stockpiling under the the nuclear deal signed with the Obama administration in 2015, which the Trump administration backed out of in May of last year.

Earlier this month, Iran’s supreme leader said the U.S. would be powerless to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons should it desire to develop them, adding that no further negotiations with American leaders are forthcoming.

Most Popular

White House

The Impeachment Clock

Adam Schiff’s impeachment inquiry is incoherent. Given the impossibility of a senatorial conviction, the only strategy is to taint the president with the brand of impeachment and weaken him in the 2020 election. Yet Schiff seems to have no sense that the worm has already turned. Far from tormenting Trump and ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Clock

Adam Schiff’s impeachment inquiry is incoherent. Given the impossibility of a senatorial conviction, the only strategy is to taint the president with the brand of impeachment and weaken him in the 2020 election. Yet Schiff seems to have no sense that the worm has already turned. Far from tormenting Trump and ... Read More
Elections

Warren’s Wealth Tax Is Unethical

Senator Warren would impose a 2 percent annual tax on wealth above $50 million, and a 6 percent annual tax on wealth above $1 billion. These numbers may seem small, but remember that they would be applied every year. With wealth taxes, small numbers have large effects. Applied to an asset yielding a steady ... Read More
Elections

Warren’s Wealth Tax Is Unethical

Senator Warren would impose a 2 percent annual tax on wealth above $50 million, and a 6 percent annual tax on wealth above $1 billion. These numbers may seem small, but remember that they would be applied every year. With wealth taxes, small numbers have large effects. Applied to an asset yielding a steady ... Read More
Immigration

The ‘Welfare Magnet’ for Immigrants

That term refers to a controversial concept -- and a salient one, given the Trump administration's efforts to make it harder for immigrants to use welfare in the U.S. A new study finds that there's something to it: Immigrants were more likely to come to Denmark when they could get more welfare there. From the ... Read More
Immigration

The ‘Welfare Magnet’ for Immigrants

That term refers to a controversial concept -- and a salient one, given the Trump administration's efforts to make it harder for immigrants to use welfare in the U.S. A new study finds that there's something to it: Immigrants were more likely to come to Denmark when they could get more welfare there. From the ... Read More
Economy & Business

Who Owns FedEx?

You may have seen (or heard on a podcast) that Fred Smith so vehemently objects to the New York Times report contending that FedEx paid nothing in federal taxes that he's challenged New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger to a public debate and pointed out that "the New York Times paid zero federal income tax ... Read More
Economy & Business

Who Owns FedEx?

You may have seen (or heard on a podcast) that Fred Smith so vehemently objects to the New York Times report contending that FedEx paid nothing in federal taxes that he's challenged New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger to a public debate and pointed out that "the New York Times paid zero federal income tax ... Read More