Now in Paperback–“Going to Tehran: Why America Must Accept the Islamic Republic of Iran”

We are pleased to note that the paperback edition of our book, Going to Tehran:  Why America Must Accept the Islamic Republic of Iran, with a new Afterword, will be officially released on December 31.  Please click here to access the Amazon.com page for the paperback edition (from which one can pre-order for delivery on December 31).  We encourage everyone to get a copy—and to give copies to your friends, loved ones, and colleagues.

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

 

65 Responses to “Now in Paperback–“Going to Tehran: Why America Must Accept the Islamic Republic of Iran””

  1. James Canning says:

    Bravo.

  2. Castellio says:

    Good. Thank you.

  3. Iranian@Iran says:

    Excellent

  4. Fiorangela says:

    Congratulations.

    I am eager to read the New Afterword.

    = = =

  5. Fiorangela says:

    Joseph Nye spoke about Ukrainian soft power at the Institute of World Policy, a civil society organization whose mission is “to inform and educate policy makers, experts, journalists, and the general public about events and trends in international relations as it concerns Ukraine and Ukraine’s foreign policy.”

    He was asked to whom Ukraine should direct its soft power. Nye answered, “USA, Russia, and EU.”

    http://iwp.org.ua/eng/public/340.html

    “Regarding, what other countries it may attract, I think the most important task is to attract Russia, because you have a long shared history. Both of you had a time being under one government. The question there is what sort of actions by Ukraine can be attractive to Russia, not only to Russia, but to Russian people and Russian government. Because if we find a situation, when there is a difference between the government and the people, we may understand which attract one but don’t attract the other. So, soft power depends very much on what is in the mind of the perceiver.

    Finally, Ukraine can attract countries in Western Europe, or West of Europe, if you want. And here again a great deal will come from the feeling that Ukraine is indeed more democratic and more respectful of human rights than any of its neighbors. These are some examples of how I think Ukraine may enhance its soft power with other countries.”

    – – –

    Nye used Iran as an example to address the problem of tailoring soft power when the audience is perceived to have conflicting wants:

    “For soft power it matters very much what is in the mind of person who is actually receiving, it’s not only broadcasting, it is also receiving. Something that may be attractive to one may be not attractive to another. I often use the example of the U.S. relations of the Iran. American culture, American policies are not attractive to the ruling party in Iran, but if we look at the younger generation of the Iranians, for them there is nothing they want more than a Hollywood film they could show in the privacy of their homes. So, American culture is repulsive for some religious conservatives, who rule the country, but it is attractive to some from the younger generation.”

    Joseph Nye appears to have more in common with Benjamin Netanyahu than with many Americans, who deplore “Hollywood film,” and appears to be unaware that Iran has its own highly sophisticated film industry.

    In Sept. 2002, Netanyahu told a panel of US Congressmen that Iraq should be militarily attacked to topple its government since Iraq was the “keystone” of the network of terror, but Iran could be brought down by beaming in Hollywood film, in order to subvert Iran’s young people. http c-spanvideo dot org/program/Conflictw

    On a Nov 30 2013 C Span Washington Journal call-in segment, the audience was asked “does the [US] entertainment industry portray American values?”

    Nearly 30 opinions were registered, through phone calls, tweets and emails. The overwhelming majority said No, the entertainment industry does NOT represent American values.

    Several callers expressed sentiments similar to these — “When we go back to 9/11, we’re told that these people hate our freedom. I don’t think so. People in the Middle East worry about these anti-values intruding, about women being degraded, violence glorified”

    and

    “The entertainment industry is why the US is called the Great Satan.”

    http www dot c-spanvideo dot org/program/OpenPhones7998

    Nye might expand his own soft power horizons by making himself acquainted with Iran’s Fajr Film Festival, held every February since 1982. http www dot youtube dot com/watch?v=A-XWK5oPwlM For the last three years, an associated group has offered a coordinated conference on the deleterious effects of Hollywoodism on film and entertainment in Iran and throughout the world.

  6. Pirouz says:

    Thanks for posting. I’ll have my local library systems order copies.

  7. Fiorangela says:

    The library system in my region notes that it has seven copies on order, with these reviews:

    Published Reviews
    Booklist Review

    Most libraries will want this book but be prepared for polarized reader response. The Leveretts have served key foreign-policy institutions: the State Department and National Security Council (both), and the CIA (Flynt). Flynt Leverett is an international-affairs professor at Penn State; Hillary, a senior lecturer at American University. Their analysis of U.S.-Iran relations challenges Washington’s conventional wisdom. Going to Tehran maintains the U.S. has misunderstood the Islamic Republic of Iran since its 1979 revolutionary inception, erecting myths (of irrationality, illegitimacy, and isolation) as the basis for a foreign policy that ill serves U.S. interests. The authors address each myth in detail, arguing that Iran’s government is neither irrational nor illegitimate, and that U.S.-led isolation will never produce the pro-U.S., pro-democracy government its supporters promise. In fact, they argue, the best analogy for U.S.-Iran relations today is U.S.-China relations in the 1970s; what we need, the Leveretts suggest, is twenty-first-century equivalents of Kissinger and Nixon, traveling to Tehran to take steps toward a sound relationship to replace a half-century of mythmaking.–Carroll, Mary Copyright 2010

    From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
    Powered by Syndetics

    Publisher’s Weekly Review

    As the war of words over Iran’s nuclear ambitions threatens to spiral into violent conflict, objective analysis of the Islamic Republic’s policies, intentions, and capabilities has never been more necessary-or more difficult to find. The Leveretts, who since leaving government service have become increasingly enthusiastic proselytizers on behalf of Tehran, offer an analysis, but not one easily classified as objective. Fashioning their latest polemic as a shot across the bow of the prevailing orthodoxy regarding “the most critical country in the world’s most critical region,” they call for a reset in relations and substantial engagement rather than saber-rattling and sanctions. Although some of their points are well-taken, they cast every assertion by an Iranian official in glowing terms-Ahmedinejad, they say, could not possibly be seeking nuclear weapons, since, in his view, they violate Islamic morality. They accuse the American government of “shameless duplicity” but their celebration of Iran’s “significant progress toward the integration of Islamic governance and participatory politics” obfuscates the difficulties standing in the way of rapprochement. Illus. Agent: Andrew Stuart, The Stuart Agency. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  8. Bibijon says:

    Congrats to Leveretts!

    On other matters …

    Mark Weisbrot recons:

    The ultimate constraint on the Washington side is public opinion at home, where the latest polling this week shows that only 20 percent would support a military strike if the talks fail. “War-weary” Americans will have to be vigilant, and anti-war organizers active and strong, if the long-threatened war with Iran is to be prevented.
    See ttp://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/192104-can-war-with-iran-be-prevented

    But, Jeremy R. Hammond says:

    American citizens seem to have little, if any, influence on their government or even awareness of its intentions. Moreover, there is no organized opposition behind which Americans could rally to stop Washington’s drive toward world war.
    See http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2013/12/16/washington-drives-the-world-toward-war/

  9. Rd. says:

    with the new ‘nuc’ approach, an argument for other options than nucs;

    given the many accomplishments of IRI in transforming the ‘village’ rural areas of Iran (healthcare, education, et.).. one would hope that transformation will continue into the smart ‘village’. Just as much as nano tech , space, etc, smart ‘village’ will be an essential transformation of our todays into tomorrow.

    “Kyoto and other Japanese cities are prominent agents in the country’s smart-city programme. Kyoto will in fact host the 2014 Smart City Expo, during March 26th and 27th 2014. The smart-city approach integrates the increasingly miniature, versatile, and inexpensive ICT capacity held, for example, in a smartphone with such large-scale urban infrastructure as power and energy, administration, waterworks, transportation, healthcare, and waste treatment. Somewhat akin to sensory organs and a nervous system, ICT sensors measure and monitor an increasing range of phenomena relevant to managing these resource- and energy-intensive infrastructures. The sensors deliver real-time information on the urban ecosystem, allowing for greatly enhanced efficiency, interactive power grids, and other facilities that seemed distant prospects even a few years ago. -”

    From MOA;

    http://japanfocus.org/-Andrew-DeWit/4049?utm_source=December+16%2C+2013&utm_campaign=China%27s+Connectivity+Revolution&utm_

  10. Rd. says:

    Rd. says:
    December 16, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    From [a poster on] MOA;

  11. Bibijon says:

    Recommended: “Conversations with History: U.S. Iran and Saudi Arabia with Andrew Scott Cooper”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BXCx8oNvoo

  12. Photi says:

    Flynt and Hillary,

    Congratulations on the paperback release of Going to Tehran! I have pre-ordered several copies to give to friends and my local library. A great reminder (thanks Pirouz and Fiorangela) to be proactive at ensuring our local libraries have up-to-date information available to the public on a broad range of issues. Especially in the dynamic and fast-paced world of international relations, perceived reality is constantly shifting and so the need for constant updating, which can be oppressive to local library budgets. Donate today!

  13. Photi says:

    The following quote is some great perspective on Saudi actions from Conflicts Forum (thanks to HarryLaw, commenter at Mondoweiss). it is a somewhat long quote, but there is much more there concerning the current outlook in the Middle East beyond the Saudi factor, it is clear though the Saudis are mucking things up with increased violence, though it seems further clear that the current Al-Qaida/Saudi tactics in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq comprise a losing hand:

    “The passage from ‘olive branch’ to open conflict has been marked by each side in its own way: In a lengthy interview on television, the Secretary General of Hizballah, who rarely mentions Saudi Arabia by name, and traditionally skirts making direct accusations against Arab states, said that the al-Qae’da-leaning, Lebanese movement who [‘credibly’] claimed responsibility for the bombing at the Iranian embassy in Beirut, was directly financed and supported by Saudi intelligence. Nasrallah also said that Saudi intelligence was behind the upsurge of daily violence in Iraq; and added that in Syria, Saudi Arabia continued to frustrate talks, preferring instead to pursue (the chimaera) of opposition military leverage on the ground: “Saudi Arabia is determined to keep on fighting until the last bullet and last drop of [Syrian] blood”, the Secretary General noted.

    Equally, King Abdallah in a frigid and much postponed meeting with the Lebanese President earlier this month, uttered no more than a few sparse, laconic, one or two-word, throw-away lines to Suleiman: offering only the insubstantive response of ‘InshAllah’ to Suleiman’s quest for endorsement to his remaining as President; saying ‘no’ to any formation of a government in Lebanon; and urging rather, that the President should turn the Lebanese army on Hizballah: to use the military force of Lebanon’s national army against a major component of its own people for its intervention in support of the Syrian government – this latter demand forming the essence of Abdallah’s message to the President.

    But whilst there are no auguries here suggesting de-escalation, let alone reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran for the moment, there are reports of disagreements within the Saudi royal family: a number of senior princes have written to the king’s chef de cabinet to complain about Prince Bandar’s poor management of Saudi Arabia’s interests. This letter of complaint essentially connects with the second of our three dynamics, which is Saudi Arabia’s growing isolation. Some senior al-Saud are disquieted at Saudi Arabia’s posture.

    Indeed, Iranian diplomacy has been pursuing a prepared, and highly active, charm campaign across the region, which is leaving Saudi Arabia quite diplomatically isolated – even within the GCC…”

    – See more at: http://www.conflictsforum.org/2013/conflicts-forums-weekly-comment-29-november-%e2%80%93-6-december-2013/#sthash.MBApUybs.0szzHObJ.dpuf

  14. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Still trying to get that Lebanon war going…Syria or no Syria…

    Israel-Lebanon Tensions Rising After Crossborder Shootings
    http://news.antiwar.com/2013/12/16/israel-lebanon-tensions-rising-after-crossborder-shootings/

  15. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iran FM: We will not give up the reactor in Arak
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4466146,00.html

  16. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Russia: Aug. 21 Syria Chemical Attack Was ‘Staged’
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/russia-aug-21-syria-chemical-attack-staged-21237839

  17. Bibijon says:

    Bob Schieffer says Iran President Hassan Rouhani has more cabinet members with American Ph.D.s than Obama, and he has the advantage of being right.

    http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2013/dec/16/bob-schieffer/bob-schieffer-says-iran-president-hassan-rouhani-h/

  18. Fiorangela says:

    Bibijon says:
    December 17, 2013 at 6:08 am

    Being right has far more value than any number of American PhDs.

    Joseph Nye is the dean of deans of foreign policy at Harvard (and presumably has a PhD), but in this overview of history, he’s wrong on numerous counts, including errors in fact, omissions, and propagandized interpretations. http://c-spanvideo.org/program/CenturyPres

    “Demonization destroys the ability to think critically,” and Nye allows his intellectual faculties to be overwhelmed by demonizing propaganda. Perhaps the Iranian PhDs are “right” because they view the world as it is rather than through the distorted lens of propaganda.

  19. Fiorangela says:

    Bibijon says:
    December 16, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Thank you for the recommendation.

    One take-away from Andrew Scott Cooper’s very useful and comprehensive research may be that it was Kissinger who lost Iran.

    Ironic that the actions in going to China of the same duo, Nixon and Kissinger, are advocated as the pattern for re-establishing a US-Iran relationship. Wendy Sherman is the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time to build that bridge, and the bridge, if it is to be built, must be of a far different design than the previous Nixon-Kissinger relationship with the Shah.

  20. Bibijon says:

    Contradictions vs inconsistencies
    ===============================

    The fear that international corporations are/will be lining up to do business in Iran, an echo of Kissinger/Shultz warning in WSJ earlier, which will cause the sanctions to unravel has Ilan Berman flailing in the National Review. Mr. Berman is blissfully unaware of the inherent inconsistency as pointed out by a commenter:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/366492/real-cost-geneva-ilan-berman#comment-1167305441

    YES. YES! Exactly, and they [international corporations] wouldn’t be making these plans and investments in Iran if they thought Iran was going to let loose a nuke at israel at some point in the future. Private corporations, who are putting their own money on the line, are clearly saying that either a) Iran gets nukes, but does not use them or b) Obamas/kerry’s plan works and Iran never gets nukes. In either case, there is a non-war situation and more rapid economic growth which is the best and most proven way to achieve greater peace and democracy in any context.

    But for think tanks and commentators who receive donations from the defense sector, there is an incentive to try to – lets be generous- not be overly enthusiastic at measures that reduce the chance of conflict.

    ——

    Obama/Kerry confron Schultz/Kissinger/Berman’s inconsistency, with the blunt force of contradictions of their own. On the one hand we have Obama and Kerry tell the Saban center gathering that sanctions and threats have achieved the opposite of the intended goal. But, they persist in the language of threats even while negotiating.

    It is anybody’s guess whether the inconsistency will surrender to the contradiction or vice versa?

  21. Fiorangela says:

    PS re Bibijon says: December 16, 2013 at 4:56 pm and Andrew Scott Cooper’s Conversation with History http://www dot youtube dot com/watch?v=7BXCx8oNvoo

    ~10 min. Cooper explains how the deal to sell F-14s to Iran, at an initial cost of $500 million, that ballooned to $1.8 billion, and destroyed Iran’s economy, precipitating the overthrow of Palavi.

    Cooper says that then-sec-def Schlesinger opposed the deal as militarily and strategically useless. Cooper showed Schlesinger a document that, apparently, implicated Kissinger in a “fix” regarding the contract.

    [“On the issue of the Huge sale of F 14 fighter plane to Iran in the mid 70s, that Schlesinger opposed, and tried to challenge – no military or strategic justification for the sale [10. min] So I had a transcript of one of kissinger’s conversations, and I asked Schlesinger to read it … what do you think it means … he read it and said Oh God. The contract was fixed, there was a fix … Schlesinger said, it had never been explained to me why the sale went thru .

    This was a big contract — $500 million in 1973. by 1977-78 it became $1.8 billion. That deal placed an enormous stain on Iran’s state finances … … “]

    What Cooper did not discuss in the video (but touches on in his book) is that US defense contractors were milking Iran contracts for all they could squeeze out of them, and further, that Grumman, who produced the F-14, required a federal government bailout to stay in business.

    In the 1970s, defense contractors lined up at Congress’s door for bailouts. In addition to Grumman, Lockheed and General Dynamics took advantage of Public law 85-804, which provided that fed gov will bailout defense companies that might go bankrupt and be unable to fulfill defense contracts.

    General Dynamics’ bailout was, allegedly, fraudulently obtained: the company was NOT in danger of bankruptcy but took advantage of the “Grumman – Lockheed” pattern and Law 85-804 nevertheless. General Dynamics had initially filed a claim for compensation for overruns in the amount of $544 million. A settlement board reduced the amount to $125 million. The case was presented to a grand jury, but DoJ did not follow through. General Dynamics was ultimately awarded twice the amount of its original claim.

    see, for example, http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=950&dat=19730524&id=zH1QAAAAIBAJ&sjid=9lcDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6775,2856985

  22. Fiorangela says:

    PS re Bibijon says: December 16, 2013 at 4:56 pm and Andrew Scott Cooper’s Conversation with History www dot youtube dot com/watch?v=7BXCx8oNvoo

    ~10 min. Cooper explains how the deal to sell F-14s to Iran, at an initial cost of $500 million, that ballooned to $1.8 billion, and destroyed Iran’s economy, precipitating the overthrow of Palavi.

    Cooper says that then-sec-def Schlesinger opposed the deal as militarily and strategically useless. Cooper showed Schlesinger a document that, apparently, implicated Kissinger in a “fix” regarding the contract.

    [“On the issue of the Huge sale of F 14 fighter plane to Iran in the mid 70s, that Schlesinger opposed, and tried to challenge – no military or strategic justification for the sale [10. min] So I had a transcript of one of kissinger’s conversations, and I asked Schlesinger to read it … what do you think it means … he read it and said Oh God. The contract was fixed, there was a fix … Schlesinger said, it had never been explained to me why the sale went thru .

    This was a big contract — $500 million in 1973. by 1977-78 it became $1.8 billion. That deal placed an enormous stain on Iran’s state finances … … “]

    What Cooper did not discuss in the video (but touches on in his book) is that US defense contractors were milking Iran contracts for all they could squeeze out of them, and further, that Grumman, who produced the F-14, required a federal government bailout to stay in business.

    In the 1970s, defense contractors lined up at Congress’s door for bailouts. In addition to Grumman, Lockheed and General Dynamics took advantage of Public law 85-804, which provided that fed gov will bailout defense companies that might go bankrupt and be unable to fulfill defense contracts.

    General Dynamics’ bailout was, allegedly, fraudulently obtained: the company was NOT in danger of bankruptcy but took advantage of the “Grumman – Lockheed” pattern and Law 85-804 nevertheless. General Dynamics had initially filed a claim for compensation for overruns in the amount of $544 million. A settlement board reduced the amount to $125 million. The case was presented to a grand jury, but DoJ did not follow through. General Dynamics was ultimately awarded twice the amount of its original claim.

    see, for example, http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=950&dat=19730524&id=zH1QAAAAIBAJ&sjid=9lcDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6775,2856985

  23. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    A letter to the editor of the Financial Times, in FT today, notes that the Japanese minister of finance was assassinated in 1936. He had argued in favor of cutting spending on the military.

  24. James Canning says:

    Bibijon,

    The many major corporations hoping to re-enter (or enter for first time) the Iran marketplace, apparently see chances as good that a deal can be reached between P5_1 and Iran, resolving the nuclear dispute. I doubt very many, if any, of the majors, think such a deal is at hand, if Iran refuses to give up ability to build nukes quickly.

  25. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    There is no question but that a number of American corporations played key roles in bringing down the Shah of Iran. Not that this was their intention.

  26. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Wendy Sherman most definitely is not the person to handle the effort to repair US-Iran relations. Lady Ashton is fair more suitable.

  27. James Canning says:

    Photi,

    Those who give their local libraries copies of the Leveretts’ book, might do well to check later to see if the books are available to the public.

  28. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Thanks for reminding us of Netanyahu’s role in the conspiracy to set up the illegal US invasion of Iraq.

  29. Bibijon says:

    Fiorangela says:
    December 17, 2013 at 11:06 am

    One of the points Cooper raised, which I found to be an apt concept, was that of a client state morphing into a “super client” and start to “wag the dog.”

    Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Britain, Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz al Saud has a piece in NY Times today, which I think exemplifies Cooper’s concept really well.

    See http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/18/opinion/saudi-arabia-will-go-it-alone.html?_r=0

    The Saudis see themselves as equally exceptional/indispensable as the US. E.g. the ambassador imagines:

    ” Saudi Arabia has enormous responsibilities within the region, as the cradle of Islam and one of the Arab world’s most significant political powers. We have global responsibilities — economic and political — as the world’s de facto central banker for energy. And we have a humanitarian responsibility to do what we can to end the suffering in Syria.”

    He then goes on to assert extra specialness by declaring:

    “We will act to fulfill these responsibilities, with or without the support of our Western partners.”

    Indeed the super client’s self-imagined super-specialness extends beyond just dissing the ‘capo’. I.e.: “We showed our preparedness to act independently with our decision to reject a seat on the United Nations Security Council. What point was there in serving in an international talking shop when so many lives are threatened, and so many opportunities for peace and security are being thwarted by the U.N.’s inability to act?”

    —-

    Same delusional mindset applies to Israel, who regards itself as a bastion of democracy, and a power to be reckoned with.

    Andrew Scott Cooper was discussing the internal difficulties the Nixon administration had in dealing with never-ending demands of only one super client, the Shah. Obama, if he fails, can blame it on double the trouble. Should Obama eventually accede to Saudi/Israeli demands to bomb Syria, then Cooper’s advice is worth repeating:

    Obama should analyze the consequences of bombing Syria for SA and Israel. Just because super clients demand something, doesn’t necessarily mean it will turn out good for them.

  30. James Canning says:

    I highly recommend Gideon Rachman’s column in the financial Times today (“Israel’s public paranoia masks private complacency”).

    Quote: ‘One Israeli official notes, with pleasure, that in six hours of talks with the Chinese leadership, “they spent roughly 10 seconds on the Palestinians”.’

  31. fyi says:

    All:

    Why Turkey will never have nuclear power (but Iran & Pakistan will):

    http://guests.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/4115/the-turkish-nuclear-model#more-4097

  32. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Russia apparently wants better terms for the deal to build nuclear poer plants in Turkey.

    Russia surely is aware of the economic risks, and the fact the British nuclear power plants built decades ago, were losers economically.

  33. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Russia also surely is aware that if Iran gets the sanctions reduced, or eliminated, there will be a good deal more gas and oil on the market. Increasing the risk in the nuclear power plants deal.

  34. Bibijon says:

    Lest we forget how fragile we are
    ================================

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/17/us-usa-india-diplomat-idUSBRE9BG0NC20131217

  35. James Canning says:

    Farideh Farhi reports on a recent lengthy visit to Iran:

    http://www.lobelog.com/three-months-in-rouhanis-iran/#more-22477

  36. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Cordesman claims, in the piece you linked, that Iran “continues to use [Revolutionary Guard], intelligence services, and diplomats, to pose a growing threat to the Arab states and Israel”. Do you agree with his assessment?

  37. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    December 18, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Any state may be perceived by her neighbours or next nearest neighbours to be a potential threat.

    That is just the nature of the international System – poles of power are mutually threatening; another manifestation of the Fall of Man.

    In case of Iran, strategic autonomy must be included in the assessment of any potential threat by Iran to her neighbours.

    Dr. Cordesman obfuscates the strategic situation by concentrating on a few instrumentalities of Iranian power as well as by ignoring threats emanating from Israel, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, assorted Arab states, US, EU, and India to Iran.

    Given that Iran experienced the following events during the last 100 years:

    Invaded by Ottomand and Russian Empoires during World War I

    Invaded again by the British Empire, USSR, and US in World War II

    Her government overthrown by US & UK and a puppet regime installed

    Invaded by Iraq in 1980

    In Iraq-War Sunni Arabs, US, EU, UUSR/Russia aided and abetted her mortal enemy

    Has been a target of relentless economic warfare by US and EU

    Has been a target of diplomatic pressure and isolation by P5+1 as well as EU

    Is surrounded by 4 nuclear-armed states – all within striking distance with not even a 5-minute warning of launch

    Her allies attacked numerous times by Israel

    Has been under constant threat of attack by US, NATO, Israel for the last 10 years

    No; I do not think that Iran has been a threat.

    On the contrary, I think Iran must become much more of a threat to sage-guard her existence, her independence, and those of her allied states and peoples.

    Iranians are just too weak and too divided to pose a serious threat right now. That is their problem.

  38. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    December 17, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    In less than a generation – 20 years – Iranians will be in position to stop oil and gas export at will.

    This is one of the strategic consequences of the failure of the economic war against Iran.

  39. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I have no objection to Iran’s ability to stop oil and gas exports. Contractual issues aside.

  40. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I too did not agree with Cordesman’s assessment. Arms manufacturers may like it, obviously.

  41. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I doubt Rouhani and Zarif worry much about Indian, Russian, Pakistani or even Israeli nukes.

  42. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    December 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Then they would be in dereliction of their duty to the Iranian people as well as their allies.

  43. Fiorangela says:

    further observations on Andrew Scott Cooper interview —

    [the Johnsons load their guns and point them at Bart. Bart then points his own pistol at his head]
    Bart: [low voice] Hold it! Next man makes a move, the nigger gets it!

    1. As Cooper narrated, in the 1970s, US [and Israeli] corporations sold so much weaponry to Iran that it destroyed Iran’s economy and the people rose up against the government and overthrew the shah.

    The US Treasury Dept. (that means YOU Stuart Levey, Daniel Cohen, Juan Zarate) are the Mel Brooks of “guerillas in grey suits.” Their goal is to destroy Iran’s economy. They intend to do this by prohibiting US corporations and banks from transacting business with Iran.

    That’ll learn ’em.

    ” Olson Johnson: Hold it, men. He’s not bluffing.

    Dr. Sam Johnson: Listen to him, men. He’s just crazy enough to do it!

    Bart: [low voice] Drop it! Or I swear I’ll blow this nigger’s head all over this town!

    Bart: [high-pitched voice] Oh, lo’dy, lo’d, he’s desp’it! Do what he sayyyy, do what he sayyyy!

    [Townspeople drop their guns. Bart jams the gun into his neck and drags himself through the crowd towards the station]

    Harriet Johnson: Isn’t anybody going to help that poor man?

    Dr. Sam Johnson: Hush, Harriet! That’s a sure way to get him killed!

    Bart: [high-pitched voice] Oooh! He’p me, he’p me! Somebody he’p me! He’p me! He’p me! He’p me!

    Bart: [low voice] Shut up!

    [Bart places his hand over his own mouth, then drags himself through the door into his office]

    Bart: Ooh, baby, you are so talented!

    [looks into the camera]

    Bart: And they are so *dumb*!

    Forty years ago, American corporations profited from the predations on Iran’s economy, which ended up working against US interests (i.e. to keep the shah in power). Thousands of Americans held hi-paying jobs and their paychecks were undersigned by Iran.

    Today, thanks to the cheenyus of Stuart “Mel Brooks” Levey and Daniel “Blazing Saddles” Cohen, with their side-kick Juan “prop man” Zarate making sure there’s live ammo in the gun Bart er, the US Treasury is holding to its brain, the US is going broke and Iranian leaders are sitting in the balcony laughing at US Treasury pratfalls.

    = = =
    2. Nixon-Kissinger liked working with the Shah — and his successor, Saudi Arabia, because neither ruler had to answer to the people ruled. As well, Nixon & Kissinger ran their own foreign policy, without consultation with the Demos or even their own advisers.

    Consider: the entire thrust of US sanctions against Iran are to cause the PEOPLE to become so discontented that they will rise up against their government (see #1. above). The implication is that Iran’s rulers are answerable to the ruled.

    On the other hand, in the USA, the arsenal of democracy, when millions of people protested against war in Iraq, their voices were ignored.

    When 800,000 people protested against the bank bailout, their voices were ignored.

    Americans delude themselves to think that THEIR protests intervened against war in Syria, but had not Russia stepped in, — well, who can say? Obama chose not to test the issue in Congress.

    So which government is answerable to its people, Iran or the USA?

  44. nico says:

    http://m.gulfnews.com/business/sanctions-on-iranian-banks-seen-remaining-longer-1.1268107

    “Dubai: Sanctions on Iranian banks and financial institutions are likely to remain for much longer even if the country reaches a comprehensive deal on nuclear talks in Geneva, said Juan Zarate, senior adviser at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies and a former deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism.
    Delivering his keynote address on the crucial role of financial integrity in maintaining national security on Sunday as part of the 40th anniversary of National Bank of Sharjah, he said it would be unrealistic to expect a sudden withdrawal of all sanctions on Iranian financial institutions even if there is credible progress in nuclear talks.”

    “While many sanctions are linked to the nuclear and missile programmes, Zarate said a number of these are also linked to Iranian institutions’ alleged link to militias, illegal channeling of funds to foreign organisations and poor financial integrity of these institutions.”

    “There are several layers of sanctions linked to illicit cross border fund flows involving both Iranian and international banks. It has been a well established fact that there is a close link between financial integrity and national security. Thus, it would be overoptimistic to expect governments withdraw all sanctions before these institutions prove their credibility,” said Zarate.”

  45. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    I think it is clear Obama welcomed the Russian initiative on Syrian CW, to avoid a US missile attack (on Syria). And public opinion did not sup[port such a strike.

  46. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Iran would serve the interests of Syria, if it insisted on getting closer to ability to build nukes quickly and to deliver the nukes against other countries?

    One reason for the appalling catastrophe in Syria is Iran’s nuclear programme.

  47. Fiorangela says:

    something very basic about Andrew Scott Cooper’s conversation w/ Mr. Kriegler does not stack up — They agree that Nixon and certainly Kissinger were not “concerned” about the economy of either the US OR Iran, but their machinations revolved around prices for oil and selling weapons.

    So what WAS the dynamo driving Nixon & Kissinger? The three goals indicated were: assurance of a supply of oil; preservation of the Iran-based CIA listening posts against the USSR, and turning Iran into a “western-style secular democracy.”

    In this game, oil lost; Iran lost; US lost — similar to Iran, US went into a steep recession; Spain, Portugal and (unstated, but factually valid) Great Britain experienced a steep decline.

    Who were the winners, and why did they win?

    Bankers won — the made loans to destabilized states and nations.
    Israel won — the 1973 war that set the whole imbroglio in motion.
    Marc Rich won — he black marketed oil to Spain, England and Portugal, who borrowed money from bankers to pay — Marc Rich. Rich bought oil from Iran.

    Bill Clinton pardoned Rich on the last day of his second term.

    Cooper & Kreitzer offered up some interesting insights into those sources that Cooper acknowledged researching, but the areas they did not cover — actually, Kreitzer seemed to scrupulously avoid — are the closets where the skeletons are hanging.

  48. Ataune says:

    @Canning

    “One reason for the appalling catastrophe in Syria is Iran’s nuclear programme.”

    If one said that the main reason for wars and miseries in the last 100 years in the world is the anglo-american policy of considering other nation’s wealth and resources their own…

    one would have been much more distant from fallacy than your utterance here.

  49. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    December 18, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    “Iran would serve the interests of Syria, if it insisted on getting closer to ability to build nukes quickly and to deliver the nukes against other countries?One reason for the appalling catastrophe in Syria is Iran’s nuclear programme.”

    Once again the typical sophistic and nut case argument.
    Iran is demonized and defamed by western hulaballoo about some alleged nuclear program.
    That being said the western case is quite quite weak with no proof and no Iran trespassing its commitment as per NPT.
    That is, the western case is only based on propaganda.
    Now the guy is trying to convince that somehow Iran should be held morally accountable about Syrian sitiation based on some fabricated case or psychotic and invented fear of some countries in the region…
    Wow… THAT is chutzpah, arrongance and morally undefensible argument !

    That was based on moral lecture of the situation about what is fair and just.

    Now let’s take a realpolitik perspective.
    Then it is clear and obvious that what is ongoing in the ME is battle of alliances and fight for regional dominance between opposite regimes or clans.
    Thus the whole story about Iran nuclear issue being reponsible for the situation is malice and not so subtle pernicious dishonesty.
    Actually what is important in such realpolitik perspective is the narrative.
    And the westerners lost the narrative a decade ago with their criminal Irak and Afghanistan wars.
    The kind of disgusting narrative they tried hard to sell about some kind of brave FSA while it was abundantly clear from de VERY start that that was an engineered coup by Westerners and allies. (Remember the Roland Dumas interview concering the UK syrian conspiracy about one year before the real events in Syria…?)
    In spite of western MSM obnoxious propaganda that is the hard truth.
    Everything else is solid BS.
    And more than everything else the kind of illogical and depictable dishonesty sold every day here by the usual resident nut case is disgusting solid BS.

    The guy should make us a favor a leave this forum for good.
    He is soiling the site by his dishonest and perfidious presence.

  50. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning,

    In March 2007 several Israeli pundits, politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats met at an AIPAC conference in Washington, DC.

    The panel discussed the state of Israel in the aftermath of the 2006 war on Lebanon.

    Under the sobriquet “unintended things happen in wars,” the panel observed that previously stable relations with Syria had been disrupted and “would have to be dealt with in the coming months and years.”

    As Patrick Tyler detailed in “Fortress Israel,The Inside Story of the Military Elite Who Run the Country—And Why They Can’t Make Peace” Israel knows only one way to deal with problem — through military action. Consistent with that view, panelist Efrat
    Duvdevani, Director General/ Vice Prime Minister under Shimon Peres, said that “Israel was actively developing “the Galim and the Negev, the real home of the Jews,” with a view to being able to provide security for Jews “in coming wars.” Israel’s Army and Air Force had already removed from Israel’s large and vulnerable cities and relocated to “the Galim and the Negev.” Bedouin who are native to the land will be/are being removed from the Negev to make room for Jews (the so-called Prawer Plan provides the “semilegal” cover for this “soft pogrom” of the Bedouin. http://c-spanvideo.org/program/Zion

    Israel is the intruder on the land. Culpability should not be place on others for Israel’s acts.

    Syria’s minor protests in 2011 were the opportunity that US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel exploited to exacerbate a much broader and tragic war against the Syrian government and people.

  51. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    December 18, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Aristotle, whose name I assume you have heard, made a distinction among “Material Cause”, “Efficient Cause”, “Formal cause”, and “Final Cause”.

    The “Formal Cause” of the catastrophe are the anti-government forces funded and aided by US, EU, Saudi Arabia’s , Turkey, Jordan=n, and Qatar.

    The “Efficient Cause” was the geopolitical rise of Iran and the allied people and states – the “Efficient Cause” of which was the destruction of the Ba’ath state in Iraq by US, UK, Spain and others.

    The “Material Cause” was the existence of independent (of Axis Powers) states that were in opposition to the Zionist fantasy in Palestine as well as the existence of the State of Israel and the unrequited Love of US for that fantasy.

    And the “Final Cause” – as always – remains the Fall of Man.

  52. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Hollande: US Senate will ‘squash’ Iran if it evades talks

  53. James Canning says:

    Let’s bear in mind that Paul Kirk is on record as saying protecting Israel is the reason he sits in the US Senate.

  54. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    My view is simple: certain Saudi leaders saw a considerable risk Iran would bring war to the Gulf, and they decided to take out Bashar al-Assad while the opportunity was to hand.

  55. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    You may recall how close Turkey came to successfully brokering a peace deal between Syria and Israel in 2008.

  56. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    My understanding is that certain Saudi leaders decided to try to take out Bashar al-Assad, while circumstances seemed to allow this. And they did so due to concerns Iran would bring war to the Gulf. Surely you are aware that the civil war in Syria has a good deal to do with an effort to injure Iran.

  57. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    And surely you do not doubt that there are reasonable grounds to think Iran might try to build nukes.

  58. Kathleen says:

    Thanks…another holiday gift for any thinking person