US to Break Iran Deal – Not Iran

Trump Iran DealRichard Silverstein

As the October 15th deadline for President Trump to certify Iranian compliance with the P5+1 nuclear deal, the administration, through various media leaks made clear it will refuse to do so.  His grounds for refusal are the flimsiest imaginable: Iran has engaged in objectionable behavior which the President wishes violated the deal, but doesn’t.  That’s an exceedingly thin reed on which to hang an entire policy.

Trump and the GOP are locked into a rejectionist, even nihilist, approach toward Iran.  This should be familiar to many Americans, because It is very similar to the one being used against North Korea. Threats, bellicosity, all substitute for a real policy.  Furthermore, they elevate countries and foreign policy issues far above their real importance, even to the brink of nuclear war.  Does anyone believe that whatever issues we may have with North Korea, it is worth the death of tens of millions of Asians and Americans to prove a point?

In Iran’s case, the war hawks object to Iran’s missile tests and its support for fellow-Shia in Syria and Lebanon.  They also side with their oil rich Sunni allies in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, who declare Iran to be a mortal threat.  In truth, none of these Iranian actions violate the nuclear deal which, as its title suggests, only deals with nuclear issues.

If the Trump administration accepted the P5+1 agreement, and then sought to negotiate a separate one dealing with some or all of these issues, this would he a far more constructive approach.  But the GOP knows that many of these issues involve far more players than just Iran, including Syria, Russia, Sunni Islamists like al-Qaeda and ISIS, and their proteges, among them Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.  In other words, you can’t isolate Iran’s role without taking into account the roles of all the other parties intervening in Syria.

Iran’s missile tests, which so enflame Israel and the GOP, do not violate the JPOA (aka the Iran Nuclear Deal).  That does not stop the anti-Iran media and GOP from declaring that they do.  Of course, it would be possible to open a new round of negotiations to restrain them.  But only in the context of an open process in which all parties are treated with respect. Something sorely lacking in current U.S. foreign policy.  The current thinking seems to be that the U.S. will simply declare Iran must stop missile testing, Iran will acquiesce, and demand nothing from us in return.  Nor should it have the right to do so.

But that is simply not the way international negotiations work (as Trump, of all people, should understand).  If one party wants the other to give away something, then you must give something in return.  There simply is no sense of reciprocity in U.S. policy.  Which is why it is doomed to failure. Iran will not be brow-beaten into submission.  You might even reduce Iranians to eating grass as North Koreans once did during a famine, and they still wouldn’t buckle.  So unless the U.S. is prepared to pursue a policy of outright sadism leading to the death of tens of thousands through starvation and plague, we are doomed to fail.

That is what the worst elements of the neocon policy élite want to see. Former administration officials like Tom Ridge and Washington think tanks allied with the Israel Lobby have published screeds calling for violent overthrow of the Iranian regime.  Their op-eds are bought and paid for by former terror groups like the MeK charged with assassinating U.S. diplomats.  Ridge alone has earned tens of thousands of dollars for giving 15-minute speeches addressed to MeK gatherings around the globe.  Scores of other past officials including Howard Dean, Rudy Giuliani, Ed Rendell, John Bolton, have also joined the gravy train.

When Sam Husseini questioned Ridge at an MeK press conference about this, it was not received kindly:

I asked Ridge about any financial arrangement between him or the other speakers and the MEK. He reacted with anger, questioning my motives and my affiliations. Rendell said in much calmer tone that no one was getting paid for today’s event but that people there had been paid for other speeches at other events. One of the speakers indicated that Ridge had personally paid for today’s event. Ridge in his remarks derided the notion that money would ever influence men of the stature of those speaking at the event. I asked if he was arguing that there was no problem of money influencing politics. Rendell cut that off.

Many analysts believe that MeK’s mysterious largesse originated in the treasury of the Saudi regime, a sworn enemy of the Iran’s Shia regime.  NBC, quoting Obama administration sources, claimed the Mossad was an important funder as well.  Meir Dagan, Israel’s former Mossad chief, publicly boasted of Israeli acts of terrorism sponsored inside Iran.  Clearly, these sorts of operations need Iranian insiders and MeK is a likely culprit.  The same NBC report asserted that the MeK participated in the assassination of five Iranian nuclear scientists.  I reported here, based on a high-level Israeli former military officer, that the Mossad and MeK jointly coördinated the attacks.  Other journalists have reported that the Saudis gave Israel $1-billion for various operations to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program including the assassinations and the Stuxnet malware attack.

It would be totally in character for the MeK to accept funding from Iran’s enemies, as it was once sheltered in Iraq by Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war.

Returning to the U.S. president, the problem with the Trump approach is that he has no strategy, no ultimate vision for future relations between the U.S. and Iran.  As the old Talking Heads song went: “We’re on the road to nowhere.”  His policy is designed for media sound bytes and tweets.  It’s pure posturing.  This is something that could end up getting many millions killed.  And for what? To mollify the ego of a madman?  That would be our madman, not theirs.

It’s pitifully ironic that amidst all the gnashing of teeth about Iran’s supposed effort to attain nuclear weapons the GOP dominated Congress shows no sense of outrage for Israel’s 200 weapon stockpile and its refusal to join the Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT).  Unlike Israel, Iranian leaders have never contemplated or advocated using nuclear weapons against their enemies during wartime.  Unlike Israel, Iran is a member of NPT and has permitted numerous inspections of its facilities by the IAEA, which has affirmed the country’s adherence to the JPOA.  Israel on the other hand has never permitted legitimate inspections of its Dimona nuclear reactor, which produces its nuclear weapons.

This week, the Nobel committee awarded its Peace prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.  Iran, though it does not have nuclear weapons, has made clear that it will never use them or deploy them. Israeli leaders have urged their use during past wars. If Iran knew that its enemies heeded the call of this NGO for a nuclear ban, it would have no need for such weapons, even were it to be pursuing their production.  The fault and burden here is on Israel which has them, not Iran which doesn’t.

One hopes that this award will increase pressure on Israel to abandon the folly of its own nuclear arsenal.  In Israel’s case, nuclear weapons have enabled it to pursue a reckless, rejectionist policy toward its neighbors.  WMD enables it to avoid dealing with a festering, decades-old political problem.  Trump’s reckless decertification of the nuclear deal could lead Iran to follow the same path.

This post originally appeared on Richard’s blog, Tikun Olam under the title, Trump and the Iran Nuclear Deal: ‘On the Road to Nowhere,‘ on October 9, 2017.

6 thoughts on “US to Break Iran Deal – Not Iran

  1. I think it’s pretty clear that this is another example of US policy failing BY DESIGN. The intent behind reneging on the agreement with Iran is to encourage the regime there to resume working toward having nuclear weapons for use as a deterrent to aggression by the US and its client state, Israel. The US can then point toward (alleged) progress along those lines to “justify” a “pre-emptive” all-out air assault on Iran, a joint US-Israeli operation. Israel has been salivating over such a prospect for a long time. It is nearly 40 years since Iranians humiliated The Great Satan by seizing the staff of the US Embassy. The scenes from that event will be shoved in our faces endlessly in nightly “3-Minute Hates” [see Orwell: “Nineteen-Eighty-Four”] when the armed hostilities are launched.

    • The Fourth Slogan of the Property Party, U.S.A. franchise:


      Someone forgot to tell both right-wing factions of America’s right-wing only political puppet show that George Orwell wrote 1984 as a fictional dystopian nightmare, not a conglomerate media operations manual.

      Got to hand it to the ticket-punching, fuck-up-and-move-up Pentagram, though. Getting rid of the accurately descriptive title, War Department, for the ironic — if not schizophrenic — misnomer, Department of Defense, has to qualify as the propaganda coup of the centuries. Imagine demanding trillions of dollars of taxpayer funding just so the brass can spend seventy years losing wars to barely armed rice farmers and goat herders while taking credit for what the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans plus the Gulf of Mexico provide for the United States for free.

      It seems not so long ago that the United States had a President, George H. W. Bush whose Secretary of State, James Baker III, had this to say about the Apartheid Zionist Occupation of Palestine (AZOP) and its fifth-column agitators in America: “Fuck ’em. They didn’t vote for us.” I wonder where the real America First people like that went? Not many of them left anywhere near the U. S. government today, certainly no one the equal of John Quincy Adams, America’s sixth President, who wrote in 1821:

      And now, friends and countrymen, if the wise and learned philosophers of the elder world, the first observers of nutation and aberration, the discoverers of maddening ether and invisible planets, the inventors of Congreve rockets and Shrapnel shells, should find their hearts disposed to enquire what has America done for the benefit of mankind? Let our answer be this: America, with the same voice which spoke herself into existence as a nation, proclaimed to mankind the inextinguishable rights of human nature, and the only lawful foundations of government. America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own. She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart. She has seen that probably for centuries to come, all the contests of that Aceldama the European world, will be contests of inveterate power, and emerging right. Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force…. She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit….

      [America’s] glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind. She has a spear and a shield: but the motto upon her shield is, Freedom, Independence, Peace. This has been her Declaration: this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice.

      Too bad that a long sequence of U. S. Presidents has forgotten, if they ever knew in the first place, what John Quincy Adams wrote for their inspiration and guidance. Since 1945, America has not just gone abroad in search of monsters to destroy, but has garrisoned the globe so as to create them where none previously existed — only to ignominiously lose to their own little creations, time after time after …

      • Thanks, Mike. I’d never seen this screed by J. Adams the younger. The ultimate irony is that but a few years would pass before Mr. Monroe would declare all of “the New World” (i.e. including South America) to be an exclusive exploitation zone for the USA. I peg the start of modern US Imperialism at 1898, with the seizure by force of arms of Cuba, Puerto Rico (gee, those folks seem to be in the news of late), the Philippines, and islands like Guam far, far from our shores. Such logic! “We whupped Spain, so any land they had possessed becomes our possession henceforth!” And of course US tentacles went forth into Haiti, Dominican Republic, other Caribbean islands, Latin America, etc. As Phil Ochs wrote and sang: “Now look at all we’ve won with a saber and a gun/Tell me is it worth it all?” Well, was it? The American Myth is that we enjoy the highest living standard on Earth, less than 5% of the world’s population devouring 25% of its resources and producing 25% of the pollution. But even this is a Big Fat Lie. We are denied universal health care, have a higher infant mortality rate than little Cuba (among others ahead of us in health), morbidly obese citizens, addicted citizens, suicidal citizens and…too many homicidal citizens–witness Las Vegas the other day. Tell me, was it worth it all???

  2. I like beginning with Big Picture understandings. In this case it is the goal of the Bilderberg group and others like them–you know, the big money people of the world who meet regularly to decide what they want to do with the world and its people. Here we see the genocidal goals of this miniscule group of narcissists and sociopaths. Here we see there goal of ridding the world of 80% of its population. Afterall people are such a nuisance. They like to live over oil rich ground, gas pockets, control access to large water ways and ports. They also like to use the land to grow their own food and even respect nature that provides them with all sorts of herbs and medicines that have no patents to provide billions in profit. And these people even revere the natural world for is spiritual connections. What useless and bothersome creatures we are. Even in the US we want to save sacred land of Native Americans and the great and wonderful areas designated as National Parks where millions visit annually to pay tribute to the wonders that Nature has created without bulldozers and toxic chemicals.

    As for Iran, Iraq, and the rest of the Mid-east, consider the hubris of such people who live in regions, not only oil rich, but they also ring huge regions such as Russia and India or the Asian States that buffer China. And the best part of the neo-con agenda–these are people of color who live in these regions. Killing millions of them in one fell swoop is a no brainer for these monied goons. The blood lust for genocide of them all in one fell swoop drips from their pores. Enslavement morphed into a full developed system of institutionalized Racism .which is the total base of the US economy and its policies. Isolationist policies worked when the US was still developing its own internal power as a self-protective cloak but that is no longer a need as this country grew strong from enslaved labor. With such genocidal attitudes as developed towards Native Americans and enslaved Black folk, it is an easy leap to wanting to destroy whole civilizations that are not white. Deny they exist, deny their history and contributions to civilization, denigrate them in the mainstream news, etc and justify mass murder. They go in an steal the resources as well as the land itself. Build more military bases for easy striking of those countries remaining.

    The mythology created in grade school about the land of the free does not exist, only the idea of it. But remove the blinders and we see a really sinister and cruel State that respects nothing, a totally narcissistic State run by sociopaths who hate their own public who they use for cannon fodder, a public that has no use except for the wealth it can generate for the 1%

    • The proof of the mental pathology of the self-appointed “elite” is that they always neglect to consider good old blowback. How to reduce global population by 80%? Hmmm. Thinking caps on, please. Global climate chaos might succeed, but it’s relatively slow (though its effects are snowballing, accelerating, feeding on one another, just as the best scientific minds predicted DECADES ago–but that was an inconvenient truth). How about a major nuclear war with those Evil Russkies or ChiComs (haven’t heard that one in a while, eh? Despite their vigorous embrace of Capitalism, let’s always refer to “RED China,” yes?)? But either of these methods of population control will provide inescapable blowback, especially the latter one. Where will the “elite” shelter while the radioactivity rages? There’s a popular slogan in the Environmental Movement: “There is no Planet B” (a pun on having a “Plan ‘B'” when Plan ‘A’ fails). This must explain the interest in Earth-like planets within a reasonable number of light years from here. I imagine society’s “elite” already have their seats booked for the first flight out (see the very interesting early-1950s movie “When Worlds Collide”), yep, the WASP self-appointed Alpha Males and their Trophy Wives with their tummy tucks and enhanced boobs. “O brave new world, with such people in’t!” (And yes, I’m at least half serious about the concept of planetary relocation.)

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