U.S. contractor killed in Iraq is buried in Sacramento – Los Angeles Times

A U.S. defense contractor killed in Iraq in December — during a rocket attack that led to heightened tensions with Iran and the killing of a prominent Iranian military leader — was buried Saturday in Sacramento, the Sacramento Bee reported.
— Read on www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-01-07/u-s-contractor-killed-in-iraq-buried-in-sacramento

What really happened in Iran?

Soleimani for President?

Analyst Sharmine Narwani, based on the latest serious polls in Iran, completely debunked the American narrative.

It’s a complex picture. Fifty-five percent of Iranians do blame government corruption and mismanagement for the dire state of the economy, while 38% blame the illegal US sanctions. At the same time, 70% of Iranians favor national self-sufficiency – which is what Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has been emphasizing – instead of more foreign trade.

On sanctions, no less than 83% agree they exerted a serious impact on their lives. Mostly because of sanctions, according to World Bank figures, Iranian GDP per capita has shrunk to roughly $6,000.

The bad news for the Rouhani administration is that 58% of Iranians blame his team for corruption and mismanagement – and they are essentially correct. Team Rouhani’s promises of a better life after the JCPOA obviously did not materialize. In the short term, the political winners are bound to be the principlists – which insist there’s no possible entente cordiale with Washington at any level.

The polls also reveal, significantly, massive popular support for Tehran’s foreign and military policy – especially on Syria and Iraq. The most popular leaders in Iran are legendary Quds Force commander Gen. Soleimani (a whopping 82%), followed by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (67%) and the head of the Judiciary Ebrahim Raisi (64%).

The key takeaway is that at least half and on some issues two-thirds of Iran’s popular opinion essentially support the government in Tehran – not as much economically but certainly in political terms. As Narwani summarizes it, “so far Iranians have chosen security and stability over upheaval every time.”
— Read on thesaker.is/what-really-happened-in-iran/

China, US shouldn’t rush phase one deal – Global Times

Given the potential significance of the phase one deal for ending the costly trade tussle and even for the future of the world’s most consequential bilateral relationship, it is imperative for both sides to get the deal done right, rather than in a rush.

From discrepancies in official statements on both sides, it is apparent that there are still some final details to be worked out. For example, US officials have unilaterally disclosed information, such as the amount of China’s purchases of US products, and the date and location for the signing ceremony. 

Chinese officials have not publicly confirmed any of this information.

— Read on www.globaltimes.cn/content/1175929.shtml