Iran’s change of language is quite interesting. It is now complaining the the present US administration is the 'most spiteful’ in many years????
World War 3: Iran brands US most hostile in 40 YEARS as Trump team branded ‘SPITEFUL’

A bit of a change from their usual bellicose threatening abuse ‘...a crushing blow to the Great Satan who will suffer the most devastating retaliation etc, etc, etc!!!!!'

Perhaps the recent swift US steps to counter Iran’s threats to the Hormuz may have suddenly alerted them to the fact that their less than sensible prodding of US forces in the area could well quickly backfire.

The foolishly aggressive, less than professional and undisciplined Revolutionary Guard often postures dangerously close to US vessels in the area, but the recent exercises will have demonstrated and left them in no doubt that it would not end well for them should it go too far.

The present US administration has now served them warning that they will be faced down.
The Royal Navy has just been subjected to Iranian fast boat provocation with three IRGC fast attack boats blocking HMS Dragon while she was performing escort duties.
Royal Navy ships in the Gulf confronted by Iran's fast-attack machine gun boats
World War 3 ALERT: Royal Navy ship THREATENED by Iran's fast ATTACK boats in the Gulf

Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri had stated in August that the ships of "hostile countries" will be confronted when passing through the Strait of Hormuz.
Iran's fast attack craft fleet: behind the hyperbole - Naval Technology

Iranian fast attack boats have had a history of being provocative and manoeuvring dangerously with both the UK and USN having had a number of incidents where boats and personnel have been detained.
BBC NEWS | UK | UK sailors captured at gunpoint

This might be changing as far as the USN is concerned after Obama left office and Trump has shown Iran that he will meet any such incident a lot more more vigorously.
Iran Constantly Harassed The US Navy Under Obama. That Stopped Under Trump
Iran harassed and humiliated the US Navy under Obama — here's why it stopped under Trump

Appeasement it appears is taken by Iran as a sign of weakness.

The IRGC tactics complement those the Iranian navy with their large missile-armed cruisers conserved for diplomatic long-range deployments to more distant waters Syrian and Chinese ports being two ports of call, and generally behaving in a more conservative manner

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, act more as a rogue element bringing uncertainty to the equation The U.S. Navy trains and equips its forces for battles with peer navies and its main weapons multimillion-dollar cruise missiles. The threat from swarm tactics of small cheap but well armed, a very different threat.

The USN began by bringing U.S. Army attack helicopters aboard some ships in the Persian Gulf. The Army missiles and guns ideal for countering Iranian small craft. And adding Army-style missiles to its own helicopters.

In 2012, they fielded a custom-made guided rocket of its own optimized for defeating swarms of boats. The Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System is a 2.75-inch-diameter rocket with laser seeker.

USN and USMC helicopters, as well as other aircraft, can carry pods, with each containing up to seven of the rockets. Lasing enemy boats, each APKWS rocket heads for a different boat, in essence swarming the attacking swarm with tiny lethal munitions with 95-percent hit rate.

In 2014 a new, large laser gun was fitted to the amphibious USS Ponce stationed in the Persian Gulf, acting as an at-sea base for helicopters, small boats and special operations forces.

This shoots a 30-kilowatt laser over a distance of several miles and drawing power from a generator, potentailly never runs out of ammunition. At around $40 million not cheap but proved that a laser can work.

No doubt newer developments have been ongoing to deal with this asymmetric type of conflict. However, what does remain is a grimmer aspect of these. By using these constant probing harrasements they pose the serious risk of being allowed to get within range for a sneak suicide attack that will do hugely disproportionate damage. This then quickly be apologised for as a rogue action that was not officially sanctioned!
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USS Puller arrived in the region in August 2017, and the Fifth Fleet took control of the ship from the Navy’s hybrid military-civilian Military Sealift Command.

Officially termed an Expeditionary Sea Base, or ESB, the vessel has taken over from the USS Ponce that was serving as a floating staging platform

In September 2017, Ponce returned to Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia for decommissioning. She had been an extraordinary vessel
Iranian intelligence service suspected of attempted attack in Denmark -security chief | Reuters
The Dutch are saying an Iranian govt plot to kill the leader of the Danish branch of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASMLA) Ahvaz - Wikipedia
“We are dealing with an Iranian intelligence agency planning an attack on Danish soil. Obviously, we can’t and won’t accept that,” Andersen said.

Iran’s foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday, a public holiday in the Islamic Republic.
A Norwegian citizen of Iranian heritage has been arrested and denies he is guilty:
Andersen said Danish police had arrested a Norwegian citizen of Iranian heritage on Oct. 21 and he had denied wrongdoing in a court appearance. Norway’s Police Security Service said it was cooperating with Danish police on the case, which it also described as a planned attack in Denmark.

The Ahvazi Arabs are a minority in mainly ethnic Persian Iran, and some see themselves as under Persian occupation and want independence or autonomy.
Iran Guards general dies of self-inflicted accidental gunshot: report | Reuters
A bit of a WTF moment. He heads a military base in N Eastern Iran, in a fairly sensitive area with the border with Afghanistan, some Sunni militants and separatists, whilst cleaning his gat shot himself in the head. Either a bit of Russian influence or he’d be elected giblets for a Darwin Award, albeit unlikely as at his age he’ll likely have fathered kids:
A Revolutionary Guards general, who headed a military base in a sensitive security area in northeastern Iran, died on Sunday after he accidentally shot himself in the head while cleaning his gun, the official news agency IRNA reported.

The report identified the commander as General Qodratollah Mansouri, a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.
Eastern Iran, which borders Afghanistan — the world’s top opium producer — and Pakistan, has long been plagued by clashes with drug smuggling gangs. Southeastern Iran is also the scene of unrest by separatists and Sunni militant groups.
Iran Guards general dies of self-inflicted accidental gunshot: report | Reuters
A bit of a WTF moment. He heads a military base in N Eastern Iran, in a fairly sensitive area with the border with Afghanistan, some Sunni militants and separatists, whilst cleaning his gat shot himself in the head. Either a bit of Russian influence or he’d be elected giblets for a Darwin Award, albeit unlikely as at his age he’ll likely have fathered kids:
Several news sources indicated that the wound was in his mouth which would involved a really odd gun cleaning method if it was indeed an accident.
Probably is suicide as I can't see how an Iranian would have incriminating information about Hillary Clinton
Europe's patience with Iran wears thin, tiptoes toward Trump | Reuters
Seems the Iranians are a tad miffed that Europe doesn’t want them to carry on ballistic missile testing and trying to kill people abroad. They walked out of a meeting held with French, Brit, German, Danish, Dutch and Belgian diplomats.

Some minor and pretty much inconsequential sanctions were applied. The first since 2015:
The French, British, German, Danish, Dutch, and Belgian diplomats in the Iranian foreign ministry room had incensed the officials with a message that Europe could no longer tolerate ballistic missile tests in Iran and assassination plots on European soil, according to four EU diplomats.

“There was a lot of drama, they didn’t like it, but we felt we had to convey our serious concerns,” one of the diplomats said. “It shows the relationship is becoming more tense,” a second said.
Iranian commander threatens Israel's destruction if it attacks - state TV | Reuters
IRGC Comdr laying down the latest bit of rhetoric:
A commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said on Monday Iran’s strategy was to wipe “the Zionist regime” (Israel) off the political map, Iran’s state TV reported.

“We announce that if Israel takes any action to wage a war against us, it will definitely lead to its own elimination and freeing occupied territories,” Brigadier General Hossein Salami, deputy head of the IRGC, was quoted as saying.
E2A: EU agency says Iran likely to step up cyber espionage | Reuters
Together with a warning regarding their Cyber espionage as relations worsen with the West:
This month the European Union imposed its first sanctions on Iran since world powers agreed a 2015 nuclear deal with Teheran, in a reaction to Iran’s ballistic missile tests and assassination plots on European soil.

“Newly imposed sanctions on Iran are likely to push the country to intensify state-sponsored cyber threat activities in pursuit of its geopolitical and strategic objectives at a regional level,” the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) said in a report.
Although this is denounced as a US plot by Iran, as do the other two named as the 'three most capable and active cyber actors tied to economic espionage':
A senior Iranian official rejected the report, saying “these are all part of a psychological war launched by the United States and its allies against Iran”.

ENISA lists state-sponsored hackers as among the highest threats to the bloc’s digital security.

It said that China, Russia and Iran are “the three most capable and active cyber actors tied to economic espionage”

Iran, Russia and China have repeatedly denied U.S. allegations that their governments conduct cyber attacks.
Stuxnet from a decade ago is widely thought to be of US and Israeli origin against the Irainian uranium enrichment facility and of course any sanctions against Iranians accused of such cyber espionage are denounced as 'provocative, illegitimate, and without any justifiable reason':
A malicious computer worm known as Stuxnet that was used to attack a uranium enrichment facility at Iran’s Natanz underground nuclear site a decade ago is widely believed to have been developed by the United States and Israel.

When Washington imposed sanctions on several Iranians in March 2018 for hacking on behalf of the Iranian government, Iran’s foreign ministry denounced the move as “provocative, illegitimate, and without any justifiable reason”.

In November the United States indicted two Iranians for launching a major cyber attack using ransomware known as “SamSam” and sanctioned two others for helping exchange the ransom payments from Bitcoin digital currency into rials.

Cyber activities are expected to increase in coming months, particularly if Iran fails to keep the EU committed to a 2015 landmark nuclear deal, ENISA said.
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Iran facing the toughest economic situation in 40 years - president | Reuters
Nothing to do with the corruption in high places, mismanagement, wars abroad, bolstering terrorist organisations, trying to slot opposition in Europe etc. Iran's worst problems for forty years are all to do with (quelle surprise) the United States and its followers:
“Today the country is facing the biggest pressure and economic sanctions in the past 40 years,” Hassan Rouhani said, according to the presidential website.

“Today our problems are primarily because of pressure from America and its followers. And the dutiful government and Islamic system should not be blamed,” he added.
E2A: Iran implementing its commitments under nuclear deal, IAEA says | Reuters
However, according to the IAEA they appear to be keeping their commitments under the JCPOA:
“Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA,” Amano said, repeating his position on the deal, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. “It is essential that Iran continues to fully implement those commitments.”
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Trump: We are leaving Syria!
Mattis: Is that wise?
Trump: Yes. Everyone except me is stupid!
Mattis: I resign!
Trump: Thank you for your service. ...(Second thoughts start creeping in.)
US: Possible slight delay.
Iran: You are leaving whether you want to or not, and we will force you if you don’t!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The rest of the world: What dream state do these Iranians inhabit??
Israel, (a tiny compared with the US, but with an incredibly potent military) regularly hands Iran its arse whenever it steps out of line in Syria.

Conclusion: Iran possesses the biggest mouth in the Middle East...with a foot that fits perfectly. Trump is an idiot who thinks he know best about everything. Daesh still need exterminating.
Probably not, but an awful lot of people around him probably do, and when they all start muttering the Don’s mind gets distracted...again.

Iran’s strategy in Syria was to bolster, arm and support Hizbollah in Lebanon. These shipments and storage facilities were regularly audited by Israel.

Iran then changes strategy and started building a 100,000-strong force of Shia militia fighters from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq together with building intelligence bases at Syrian air force facilities and airports.

Israel it appears is still stocktaking. Iran still threatening.
Iran vows ‘CRUSHING’ response to Israeli strikes in Syria as regional tensions SKY-ROCKET

Problem is they will eventually convince themselves and do something really stupid.
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Problem is they will eventually convince themselves and do something really stupid.
Yep, the problem of believing your own propaganda and a world view that says you're special. Doesn't just apply to the Iranians though!
Iranian backed militia 'hero' in Iraq.

Iran's foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif has announced his resignation. The resignation appears to be associated with some sort of internal dispute over the conduct of foreign policy.
Resignation of Iran foreign minister who negotiated nuclear pact sparks confusion | CBC News
Iran's foreign minister said Tuesday he hoped his sudden resignation would reinforce the position of his fellow diplomats, hinting at a dispute with the security apparatus and hardliners over the conduct of the country's foreign policy.
Mohammed Javad Zarif's resignation sent shockwaves through Iran, where tensions are already running high over America's withdraw from the nuclear deal he helped negotiate with President Hassan Rouhani.
Zarif's resignation appears to be a move to strengthen the foreign ministry's hand in this dispute by bringing the dispute out into the open.
Earlier, the state-run IRNA news agency said Zarif told colleagues his resignation would aid in "restoring the ministry to its legal position in foreign relations."

The remark appeared to be aimed at other bodies within Iran's government.
Following the announcement President Hassan Rouhani praised Zarif without mentioning his resignation.
Later on Tuesday, and without mentioning the resignation, Rouhani praised Zarif as well as oil minister Bijan Zanganeh and central bank chief Abdolnasser Hemmati as soldiers on the battlefield against U.S. pressure.
"Today, the front line against the U.S. are the foreign and oil ministries as well as the Central Bank," Rouhani said in a televised address. "Zarif, Hemmati and Zanganeh have stood in the front line."
One politician in Iran has said that Rouhani was unlikely to accept Zarif's resignation "since there is no alternative" to him.
Prominent pro-reform lawmaker Ali Motahari said Zarif's resignation came in response to the "interventions by unaccountable bodies in foreign affairs."
He said Rouhani was unlikely to accept the resignation "since there is no alternative" for Zarif.
The dispute which caused Zarif to announce his resignation apparently comes as a result of a struggle with hard liners who oppose the nuclear deal and are taking advantage of US trade sanctions to advance their agenda.
Analysts say Rouhani faces growing political pressure from hardliners within the government as the nuclear deal unravels. Iranian presidents typically see their popularity erode during their second four-year term, but analysts say Rouhani is particularly vulnerable because of the economic crisis assailing the country's rial currency, which has hurt ordinary Iranians and emboldened critics to openly call for his ouster.
Zarif is closely associated with the original nuclear deal under which Iran was to limit their uranium enrichment in return for the removal of sanctions. The US has backed out of that deal however.
The son of a wealthy family, Zarif overcame hardline objections and Western suspicions to strike the accord with world powers that saw Iran limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.
Zarif had faced great criticism in Iran over the deal, which was unpopular with those who wanted to continue their nuclear program.
Zarif, who was educated in the U.S., had faced withering criticism at home after he shook hands with President Barack Obama.
As noted above, this resignation may not stick. If it does, then that may possibly signal Iran's conclusion that the deal is no longer viable due to US opposition and that they no longer have any reason to hold back on developing their nuclear capability.

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