Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory—The Case for U.S.-Iranian Rapprochement That Obama Must Still Make: Leveretts in The National Interest

As the Iran nuclear talks reach a critical juncture and Saudi Arabia invades yet another neighboring in its increasingly desperate efforts to contain the Islamic Republic’s rising regional influence, The National Interest has published our latest article, “Busted Stuff:  America’s Disastrous Iran Policy,” see here; we’ve also appended the text below.  The piece explains how the Obama administration, because of its continuing unwillingness to engage the Islamic Republic as a truly rising power, risks turning a possible nuclear deal with Tehran—which should be the greatest triumph of American diplomacy since the U.S. opening to China in the 1970s—into something that actually “ends up exacerbating America’s ongoing marginalization in the Middle East.”

As always, we encourage readers to post comments, Facebook likes, etc., both on this site and on The National Interest’s Web site.

 Busted Stuff:  America’s Disastrous Iran Policy

By Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

 Stakes in the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 couldn’t be higher for the countries involved—especially for the United States.  After nearly a decade and a half of disastrously self-damaging wars, “counter-terrorism campaigns,” and military occupations in the Middle East, the dysfunction and incoherence of U.S. policy is now on full display, from Iraq to Libya, Syria, and now Yemen.  To recover, Washington must accept on-the-ground realities:  U.S. efforts to dominate the region have failed and the Islamic Republic of Iran is now a rising power with which America must come to terms.

But President Obama has yet to explain why the United States—for its own interests, not as a favor to Iran, or simply because Americans are war-weary—needs rapprochement with the Islamic Republic.  Absent such advocacy, his administration may still reach a nuclear deal with Iran.  But it will lose the political fight at home over a new Iran policy, squandering the chance for a broader strategic opening with Tehran and locking the United States into increasingly steep strategic decline in the Middle East and globally.

Today, America cannot achieve any of its high-priority goals in the Middle East—e.g., combatting the Islamic State, forestalling another violent Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, and resolving conflicts in Syria and Yemen—without better ties with Iran.  Under any political order, Iran is a pivotal country, given its demographic and territorial size, its geostrategic location, its identity as a civilizational state with a history as long as China’s, and its hydrocarbon resources.  But, under the Islamic Republic—which, since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, has worked to forge an indigenously-designed political system combining participatory politics and elections with elements of Islamic governance, and to pursue foreign policy independence—Iran enjoys a powerful legitimacy that bolsters its regional impact.

For too many Americans, thirty-five years of demonizing caricature mask an essential fact:  the Islamic Republic of Iran, as the Middle East’s only successful participatory Islamist order, has been able to pursue an independent foreign policy that has steadily bolstered its influence in critical arenas across the Middle East.  If America is to recover its strategic position, it must devise a fundamentally different relationship with this rising power.  It must do so not only because of Iran’s unique importance, but also as a first step toward coming to terms with Middle Eastern Muslims’ manifest desire—reflected in polls and in electoral outcomes whenever they get to vote in a reasonably open way—to define their political futures in terms of participatory Islamism and foreign policy independence.

Ignoring these realities, the Obama administration treats a nuclear deal as, at most, a “nice to have” option.  Obama rarely identifies potential U.S. gains from realigning relations with Iran; instead, he stresses how Washington is providing Tehran with an “opportunity” to “benefit from rejoining the international community.”

It’s probably never a good idea to try selling a politically controversial diplomatic initiative by stressing the initiative’s presumptive benefits for the other side.  To the extent that the Obama administration has touched on potential upsides for the United States, it has done so in narrowly technical terms, positing that a multilateral agreement is the most cost-effective way to manage theoretical proliferation risks associated with Iran enriching uranium under international safeguards (risks posed by uranium enrichment in any country).

This restricted focus opens U.S. diplomacy up to three major problems.  First, it conditions U.S. demands on Tehran with no grounding in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or other aspects of international law.  This may seem useful to show constituencies in the United States and allied countries that the Obama administration is putting Iran’s nuclear capabilities in a very tight “box”—e.g., by requiring the dismantling of an arbitrarily large number of Iranian centrifuges or refusing to lift UN Security Council sanctions on Iran for years into the implementation of an agreement.  But it also makes clear that America is not prepared to deal with the Islamic Republic as the legitimate representative of legitimate Iranian interests—the only basis for real rapprochement.

Second, a narrowly technical approach is vulnerable to criticism that it does not actually accomplish the goals its advocates set (criticism epitomized in Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s charge that diplomacy “doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb; it paves Iran’s path to the bomb”).  In the 1970s, the Carter administration insisted that the SALT II agreements it had negotiated with the Soviet Union put meaningful limits on the growth of Moscow’s strategic arsenal.  But this technical argument was trumped by more politically resonant claims that SALT II left an unreconstructed Soviet adversary with too much nuclear capability; ultimately, congressional opposition killed SALT II.  If Obama does not make the case for a nuclear deal as a catalyst for broader (and strategically imperative) rapprochement with Tehran, he will face mounting political pushback against meeting U.S. commitments essential to implementing a deal.

Third, Obama’s posture makes it increasingly probable that the geopolitical benefits of diplomatically resolving the nuclear issue will accrue primarily not to the United States, but to China and Russia.  It seems all too likely that the Obama administration will continue to resist packaging a nuclear deal as part of comprehensive, “Nixon to China” rapprochement with Tehran.  It seems virtually certain that, under a deal, the administration will only commit to “waive” America’s Iran-related sanctions, for six months at a time, through the balance of Obama’s presidency.  Indeed, senior administration officials told Congress last week that current sanctions legislation should stay on the books until a deal’s end, years from now, so that Washington can continue leveraging Tehran’s actions.

By contrast, even before a nuclear deal is concluded, Beijing and Moscow are laying the ground to deepen their already significant economic and strategic cooperation with Iran.  (Both Chinese President Xi and Russian President Putin will visit Tehran this spring.)  The Obama administration’s technically reductionist approach to Iran relations raises the risks that what should be the greatest triumph of American diplomacy since the U.S. opening to China in the 1970s will end up exacerbating America’s ongoing marginalization in the Middle East.

Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

 

196 Responses to “Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory—The Case for U.S.-Iranian Rapprochement That Obama Must Still Make: Leveretts in The National Interest”

  1. Rehmat says:

    According to records published by Israel’s State Comptroller Office, more than 90% of Bibi’s campaign money came from the United States. In other words, the political charade is funded by the same Mafia in both the US and Israel. No wonder, Jew investigative reporter and author, Greg Palast, called America: The best democracy money can buy.

    I do pity Americans for having to listen to Netanyahu’s anti-Iran for another four years, even if the ‘Jewish money’ succeed putting a better Serf than Barack Obama in the White House, the American Generals, like the Israeli Generals are Pussies. They love to pick on weaker opponents – and even then have lost fights, such as, Taliban and Hizbullah.

    Tens of thousands of pages have written exposing Netanyahu’s lies about Iran’s ‘obsession’ with nuclear bombs since the 1990s that it would be waste of time in indulging with 10-ft thick Wailing Wall under the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem on this topic.

    On March 17, 2015, ex-UNHRC envoy for the Occupied Palestine, Dr. Richard Falk, posted an article at his personal blog, entitled, Iran’s Nuclear Program: Diplomacy, War, and (in) Security in the Nuclear Age.

    In the article, Falk discusses illegal ‘crippling sanctions’ against Iran claiming these were meant to “exert pressure on Iran to negotiate an agreement that would provide assurance that it was not seeking to acquire nuclear weaponry.”

    http://rehmat1.com/2015/03/19/ex-us-envoy-and-bibis-iranian-nuke-myth/

  2. fyi says:

    All:

    It seems to me that the P5+1 and Iran negotiations have failed on the inability of unwillingness of US to remove her extra-territorial sanctions regime.

    http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2015/03/27/sanctions-and-the-fate-of-the-nuclear-talks/

  3. Karl.. says:

    Could saudis win the war from airplane bombing?
    Need an invasion? Could saudis win that? I doubt that, they are too coward to try that I assume.

    Any comment on that issue?

  4. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:

    March 28, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    No to both questions.

    South and North Yemen will separate again, and both sides will plunge into starvation in the coming years.

    We are witnessing the destruction in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and soon likely to spread to Jordan and other places as Muslim populations destroy what has been built over decades of peace since 19120.

    I also observe here that the Saudi War with Yemen is now supported verbally and in action by 10 states, all of them Sunni – including Turkey and Pakistan – with Pakistan and Turkey making threatening noises against Iran.

    For this reason alone I think Iran should announce that she is leaving NPT.

    Nuclear attack by deranged Sunnis in Pakistan against Iran cannot be ruled out.

    Nor a war initiated by Arabs and later joined by Turks against Iran.

  5. Karl.. says:

    fyi

    Yes I agree, I dont see how the saudi bombing by airplane will win neither will an invasion that would probably be something of a guerilla war (something similar to what we are seeing in Ukraine were rebels still hold some grounds after all these months perhaps?)

    What do saudis know about war anyway? Do they even how to handle a handgun? Is there even saudis in those planes? I mean its ridiculous.

    Sunnis alone (which also reject any diplomacy with Iran whatsoever apparently even after Rouhani came to power), we have west join the killing of shiites, that should send a reminder to Iran regarding west’s intent beyond a possible nuclear agreement.
    At the same time Iran have the breakout possibility if things go very bad, so in a sense they have a “nuclear assurance”.

  6. Castellio says:

    FYI: What can Turkey or Pakistan conceivably get out of a war with Iran?

  7. James Canning says:

    Is the average American able to locate Iran on a map of the Middle East? I doubt it.

  8. Castellio says:

    James – the average American struggles with finding the Middle East on a map – but what’s your point?

  9. Rehmat says:

    fyi – Your “deranged Pakistani Sunni” and “normal Sunnis” and Christians have one thing in common – all of the 160 million with the exception of one Jew in Karachi, hate the Zionist entity.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/02/27/wow-israel-finds-a-jew-in-karachi/

  10. Rehmat says:

    Israeli jets join Saudi COALITION OF ABSURDS’ attack on Yemeni civilians based on their experience in Gaza and Lebanon.

    http://rehmat1.com/2015/03/28/pakistanis-against-us-israel-saudi-war-on-yemen/

  11. fyi says:

    Castellio says:

    March 28, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Ask them.

    What did Persian Gulf Arabs get from their animosity towards Iran for since 1950s?

    What did Turkey get by helping destroy a Muslim neighbor?

    [Perhaps the Pasha of Ankara had been threatened with the removal of credit in he did not comply with the diktats of the Mad King.

    But he never flew to Tehran to ask for help either.

    Nor did he lift a finger to help in Amerli – in spite of decades of Pan-Turkic propaganda – Sunnis Turks would never help Shia – Turkish peaking or not I knew it.]

    What did Pakistan get for all the help rendered over 30 years in Afghanistan?

    What did the late Lon Nol get for currying favor for US in Cambodia?

    The world is full of fools and the Americans know how o use them.

  12. Fiorangela says:

    I wonder how the TTP deal factors into the US administration’s thinking on Iran and nuclear negotiations, etc.

    Are the two issues stove-piped?

    Has Israel and US corporatism got Obama & friends so flummoxed that they do not see the larger picture; that they are painting the USA into a corner isolated from Russia-China initiatives?

  13. Fiorangela says:

    Nasser @ March 28, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Interesting atmospherics, Nasser, but try this very rich assessment of which tribes in the region do what to whom, and where their loyalties lie — The Zaidi Houthis are not “Iran’s Puppets”

  14. paul says:

    Although I think any decent human being would like to see a deal made between the US and Iran that reduces tensions between the two countries and ‘sanctions’ on Iran, such a deal, should it actually happen, should not be seen, I think, as a ‘peace’ deal. Let us remember that we are talking here about a conflict based on lies and distortions. Based on that rigged conflict we’ve seen the US impose an economic war on Iran – which is a real war, not a peaceful process or a form of diplomacy – which it appears has succeeded in forcing Iran to its knees. That’s not to say that there hasn’t been some come-around on both sides. The Obama administration has its own reasons for wanting to change course with Iran, finally (it would seem) seeking a resolution that it could have had long ago. The deal that seems to be emerging could even be construed as a victory for Iran in some ways. But the ‘bottom line’ here seems to be a victory for those who think that it is perfectly fine for a large and strong country to conduct an economic war against a weaker country in order to force its will on the weaker country. The use of words like ‘sanctions’ is itself an abuse of language, masking aggressive behavior by stronger countries as some sort of legitimate policing activity. Only the ‘sanctions’ imposed by the UN Security Council have even a fig leaf there, and barely. Economic warfare doesn’t become more legitimate because a pack of bullies imposes it, rather than just one bully. The ‘major powers’ of the UN Security Council have patently selfish reasons to want to limit and hamper Iran’s nuclear researches. Russia, France and the US all eagerly sell nuclear power, for example. For them to pretend to judge Iran’s nuclear power program is like Kroger passing judgement on the little grocery store around the corner and forcing it to close or to turn into a convenience store. Is it fair? Does anybody care, at all, whether it is in any way fair? Are we content, in 2015, with global relations that continue to emphasize sheer power and ‘national interest’ over anything remotely resembling political legitimacy? It seems we are content to watch as the ‘grand game’ continues, and not even to call it out for what it is, or to call for a better way of relating amongst human communities. We seem to enjoy constructing our little analyses, as one ‘power’ wins a little and another ‘power’ loses a little, as if it really were just a giant game of Risk. Any resolution to the rigged-up US-Iran conflict that stops short of missiles flying has to be seen as in some way a good thing — but let us make no mistake about it: it is not a good thing for the future of humanity that once again the US has succeeded in bringing a smaller nation to its knees and realize too that the Iran’s submission will not just be in the area of nuclear research and practice. We will see it unfolding in other areas, such as economic policy and global solidarity. The crucial point about Iran was that it resisted the ‘Washington consensus’, which is more about world government based on US/Nato hegemony and austerity-based global economic regimes than it is about nuclear power, human rights, democracy or any of the other bogus concerns that are bruited.

  15. Rehmat says:

    fyi – For a change – ask yourself why all this bloodshed in the Muslim world?

    In case you want a Jewish response – It’s all due to the very existence of the Zionist entity.

    http://rehmat1.com/2010/06/18/palestine-the-third-option/

  16. Rehmat says:

    Fiorangel – Yes Zaidi Shias have never been puppets of Iran’s 12-Imami Shias. In the past, it were Saudi ‘Crypto-Jew royals’ who sided with the Zaidi Imam against communist Yemeni rebels who were armed and supported by Egypt under Gamal Nasser – breaking-up the country into two – just like US-Israel did to Sudan a few years ago.

    Iran never interfered in Yemen’s internal affairs – but World Zionist movement had its eyes on Yemen since the beginning of the 20th century. The Zionist leaders had realized the strategic importance of the Red Sea (which leads to Suez Cannal, Mediterranean and Dead Sea) being the only Sea route open to their land-locked Eretz-Israel dream. The proposed map of Eretz-Israel which was presented by Theodor Herzl (d. 1904) and wrote in his Diaries, vol. II, page 711: “The area of Jewish State stretches from the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrate”. This map was also inscribed on Israel’s 10-agora coin, showing the Zionist entity stretching from “the Mediterranean to Mesopotamia and from Red Sea to Euphrate and upto Medinnah in Saudi Arabia.”.

    http://rehmat1.com/2010/03/09/yemen-red-sea-and-israel/

  17. Pirouz says:

    The Iranian nuclear negotiators have had their work made all that much harder, given during this “crunch time” there is the newly emerged backdrop of a military command dispute in the Salahaddin campaign, and the aerial bombardment of Yemen.

    Rather than preceding the nuclear negotiations with these military disputes, such disputes would have been better served in attempting to resolve them following a nuclear agreement. That is, if conflict resolution is the intended goal.

  18. fyi says:

    Pirouz says:

    March 29, 2015 at 11:26 am

    I think the Saudis initiated the war with Yemen on their own – possibly to get US attention and to discomfit Iranians.

    To me, the salient feature of the current crop of Sunni Muslims leaders – Arab or non-Arab – is their utter disregard for the Problem of the Day – namely Development & Modernization – in Law, in Governance, in Society, in Commerce & Finance, in Science & Knowledge, in Industry, in Education, in Manufacturing, in Transportation, in Infrastructure etc.

    Almost all have pursued policies of fear and loathing – of other Muslims.

    In the 1990s, Afghans destroyed what was left of Afghanistan after the late Dr. Najibullah’s government collapsed.

    Now are seeing how Arabs and Turks are helping destroy Syria and Iraq and now Yemen.

    The same way the Pakistan helped destroy Afghanistan.

    But then again, what can one expect of fools….

  19. fyi says:

    All:

    The Arabs Governments – specifically Algeria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia – could have used the institutional capacities of the Organization of Islamic Conference, or the Arab League to begin the slow process of political settlement in Libya.

    They could have tried to partner with Turkey to end the war in Libya – she could have brought in EU states later.

    They have not done so and will not do so – the most urgent thing for them is to roll back Iranian power. and to constrain or to otherwise destroy the Shia Crescent.

    Notice that ISIS has disappeared?

  20. Irshad says:

    Ah fyi, as one Arab professor from Qatar University said, why muddy the water by mentioning ISIS and Al-Qaeda?!? And then they go on how the rise of ISIS is the fault of Iran as its Iran’s sectarian policies in Iraq and Syria is forcing the Sunni youth to join ISIS. As you mentioned before, ISIS is the nazi Germany to be used against Iran, the USSR.

    In some ways, if one accepts the above points, the Saudis had no choice but to intervene as if they did nothing and allowed the Houthis take ovet Yemen, this will be a great propaganda coup for ISIS/Al-Qaeda as it shows the impotence of the Saudis, forcing more of their youths to join ISIS/Al-Qaeda to fight for the percieved Sunni community and roll back Iran’s influence. The late Bin Laden pleaded with the Saudi King not to invite foreign forces in 1991 – to take back Kuwait from Saddam. He wanted to use the Arab fighters from the Afghan jihad againt Russia to take on Saddam. The King refused and the rest is history.

  21. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    I agreed with you that Turkey and Pakistan have no reason to go to war with Iran. I think the gross ignorance of most Americans, regarding the geography of the Middle East, is a simple fact that needs to be kept in mind, to understand the reason for the noises made by various American politicians.

  22. fyi says:

    Irshad says:

    March 29, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    You know, the first thing that Japanese produced after the war was pots and pans – from the War’s remnants.

    A few years later, they started producing bicycles.

    And a few years after that, motorcycles.

    If you were Japanese alive in those times, you could see and feel the positive slope.

    And I ask myself, when would all of this madness come to an end in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Syria, in Pakistan, in Algeria, in Tunisia?

    When would Muslim youth have a bright future to look forward to?

    How can one plan to move forward, in however humble and undertaking one may wish – selling things on the street, going to university, getting married, finding a job when all around you is violence and death?

  23. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 29, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Iraq had no reason to invade Iran in 1980.

    Israel had no reason to invade Lebanon in 1982.

    Jordan had no reason to attack Israel in 1967.

  24. Sammy says:

    This one for James Canning :

    http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/03/29/403885/Nearly-1-in-4-UK-kids-abused
    The head of a British charity organization says nearly one in four UK kids have been abused.

    “”Peter Saunders, founder of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) says: “I think that we as a society need still to do a lot to protect our children from the scourge of abuse, not the sexual abuse, but all forms of abuse in the United Kingdom today.”

    Saunders told Press TV’s UK Desk on Sunday that “something about one in four of our children is subjected to abuse in childhood.”

    His comments follow the Friday sentencing of British Catholic priest Tony McSweeney, 68, from West Sussex to three years in jail by a court for child abuse.

    “The Catholic priest Father McSweeney was given three years in prison. He will serve less than half of that in prison for destroying the lives of children,” Saunders noted, adding: “He is a priest and therefore carries the authority. Three years is an extremely lenient sentence for a serious crime that he committed and the very great betrayal of trust that he has as a man supposedly of God.”…

  25. Rehmat says:

    fyi – Jordan did have genuine reason to attack the Zionist entity because it has to feed 60% of its population which was expelled by the European Jew terrorist in 1948.

  26. Rehmat says:

    On March 29, JTA reported that Netanyahu told his cabinet on Sunday that after receiving briefings from US Senators Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid, he was shocked to learn that the Lausanne (Switzerland) framework deal between FMs John Kerry and Dr. Javad Zarif is worse than Israeli leaders had feared.

    “After the ‘Beirut-Damascus-Baghdad’ axis, Iran is carrying out a pincers movement in the south (Yemen) as well in order to take over and conquer the entire Middle East. The Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis is very dangerous for humanity and needs to be stopped,” Netanyahu told his anti-Muslim extremist Jew ministers.

    http://rehmat1.com/2015/03/30/netanyahus-iran-lausanne-yemen-axis/

  27. AnyBody says:

    Nuclear threat against Iran has been real from the war of Saddam against Iran. Saudis had plans to patch a nuke for Saddam from Pakistani sources purported as Saddam’s rogue achievement and drop it on Kermanshah. (Saudis know Pakistani nuke of their own financial investment.)

    Supposedly that could not be realised due to absolute veto of such idea, by masters of Saudis/Kuwaitis, as allowing Saddam to gain any kind of these know-hows even in a basic form. As you later saw that Saddam was capable of using any of his military capacities against his former patrons.

    Then Saddam gained green light and European companies were allowed to give him chemical biological weapons to massacre Iranians and (ethnically Iranian) Kurds of Iraq. That overwhelmed Iranian army. Saddam had a decision to use chemicals against civilians in Tehran and other populated areas of Iran, too.

    Pakistan knows they are no match for army and nuclear capability of India, but they might obey and follow itch of the US after the cold war to test a local nuclear war against civilian to evaluate its modern usability. US is increasing temperature of its new adventurisms in such extrapolation.

  28. fyi says:

    AnyBody says:

    March 30, 2015 at 3:32 am

    Axis Powers knew that Iraq was building nuclear weapons – they had the information on what Iraq was buying.

    It was only when Iraq attacked Kuwait that they had to go destroy her.

  29. Rd. says:

    fyi says:

    “I think the Saudis initiated the war with Yemen on their own – possibly to get US attention and to discomfit Iranians.”

    perhaps time for an arab spring in the saudi royal disease!

  30. Rehmat says:

    fyi – When you will read Middle East history out of Daniel Pipes prism?

    Saddam invaded Kuwait, a former province of Iraq, with the blessings of the US state department. It’s a trapped laid-out by the ruling ZioConservatives in Washington to make an excuse to invade and occupy Iraq for Israel.

    On July 2, 2013, The Times of Israel reported two Kuwaiti MPs, Al-Dosari and Nabil al-Fadhl in support of Kuwaiti trade with Israel especially buying arms from Israel.

    In October 2014, Alam Alyawm daily quoting Kuwaiti Interior Ministry sources reported, there are 1,800 Jewish maids working in Kuwaiti households. Most of these maids are Falasha Jews who preferred to work in Kuwait than in anti-Black racist Israel.

    On November 2, 2014, The Jerusalem Post published an article by Kuwaiti journalist Nasser Bader al-Eidan in Arabic daily Al-Rai and translated by Israeli propaganda “translation” group, the Middle East Media Research Institute (Memri). The Memri’s famous translation of Ahmadinejad’s 2005 speech, which has become part of Zionist Talmud. Thus the readers of this blog have to take the Likud JP hasbara with grain of salt.

    “The Kuwaiti Jews excelled in wine production before the late Sheikh Salim al-Mubarak established religious police to eradicate public drunkenness and lewdness that was common (among Muslims) those days,” said Memri.

    S you see, Israeli Jews always benefit when a Middle East Muslim country is destroyed by the United States. Now, the ZioConservatives are playing the same old dirty trick against Iran and Syria.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/11/02/kuwait-israel-and-the-jews/

  31. Rehmat says:

    Rd.

    Both the US and Israel will never allow the so-called “Arab Spring” visit Saudi Arabia or Bahrain – because like ISIS, it’s also created by them.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/greater-israel-the-zionist-plan-for-the-middle-east/5324815

  32. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    The US State Dept. did not give its blessing to Iraq, to invade Kuwait in 1990.

  33. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Nasser forced Jordan to attack Israel in 1967.

    Saddam Hussein in 1980 thought he could become a “great man” in Iraqi history, by taking a province from Iran while Iran seemed too convulsed to stop him.

    Turkey and Pakistan are not trying to annex portions of Iran. They have no reason to attack Iran.

  34. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    March 30, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Says who?

    Says James Canning.

    My view is that Iran is living next to 4 nuclear-armed states as well as to a nuclear-armed alliance with no protection.

    One has to plan according to capabilities – Russia has no reason to attack UK, why does not UK dismantle her nuclear weapons.

    China has no reason to attack France, why does not she also drop her “Independent Deterrence” force?

    When UK and France have dismantled their nuclear weapons, call us.

  35. Karl.. says:

    UK urged not to give arms to Saudis for its war against Yemen

    http://presstv.com/Detail/2015/03/30/404017/Dont-give-UK-arms-to-Saudis-on-Yemen

  36. Nasser says:

    Cordesman on Yemen. As usual he recommends his country to double down on the support for Wahabia.

    http://csis.org/publication/america-saudi-arabia-and-strategic-importance-yemen

  37. Nasser says:

    Bhadrakumar on Pakistan and Yemen:

    “…In sum, Pakistan keeps on complaining that it is a victim of the US’ war on terrorism, and yet is eagerly offering itself once again as a ‘frontline’ state for financial considerations. Some countries never learn from history.

    Delhi can draw satisfaction that Pakistan’s overreach in the Gulf will preoccupy the military leadership in Rawalpindi. The Pakistani military personnel are also involved in suppressing the Shi’ite agitation seeking democratic empowerment in Bahrain. And Pakistan getting caught up in the Arab Spring cannot be ruled out. Delhi should make use of this respite to its advantage.”

    http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/2015/03/27/pakistans-yemeni-war/

  38. fyi says:

    Rd. says:

    March 30, 2015 at 10:11 am

    No matter how odious the Wahabi Takfiris may be, Axis Powers will not lift a finger against Saudi Arabia.

    Saudi Arabia is tied to US by bonds of history (80 years of alliance) and to Axis Powers through bonds of economics (50 years of petro-dollar recycling), as well as funding various policies that Axis Powers were implementing and could not fund themselves.

    They cannot afford to punish Saudi Arabia in any way, shape, or form without risking major strategic imbalance in that part of the world.

    That Saudis have been filling the minds of Muslims youth with mush was not their problem and will not be.

    After all, Muslims are the ones who are doing most of the dying caused by Wahabi Takfiris.

  39. MassoudH says:

    “Dalton… is indicating that the GOP’s 47, who wrote Iran a letter warning that they would undo any agreement the moment Obama went out of office, may well have given Europe an “out.” If the talks, fail, they can be blamed on the Republican Party, not the Islamic Republic. And many European countries will be unable to see why they should punish Iran (and themselves) for the sake of GOP orneriness.”

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/how_gop_threats_against_iran_guaranteed_end_european_sanctions_20150330

  40. fyi says:

    MassoudH says:

    March 31, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Talks have failed.

    Axis Powers were unwilling to discard UN sanctions.

    That was the litmus test for Iranians – what were the true intentions of Axis Powers.

    Now they are dressing up the failure – as the Americans say: “Putting lipstick on a pig.”

  41. Fiorangela says:

    C Span Washington Journal hosted Dr. Hillary Leverett and Mark Dubowitz, who is a colleague of Michael Ledeen, James Woolsey and such others at Foundation for Defense of Democracy, to discuss Iran negotiations.

    Dubowitz made a huge mistake. He said, You can’t negotiate with these people like normal people, they respond only to force; you have to use carrots and sticks; you can’t trust them.”

    As he was talking I knew exactly how Dr. Leverett was going to squash him, and she did: “I negotiated face to face with Iranian diplomats. The negotiation resulted in tremendous benefits to the USA.”
    Splat.

    His second major blunder was to raise the issue of the 2009 election. “The Leveretss were all alone in defending the election as fair,” said Dubowitz.
    Wrong again:

    World Public Opinion dot org at University of Maryland analyzed the data and concluded:

    Indications of fraud in the June 12 Iranian presidential election, together with large-scale street demonstrations, have led to claims that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not actually win the election, and that the majority of Iranians perceive their government as illegitimate and favor regime change.

    An analysis of multiple polls of the Iranian public from three different sources finds little evidence to support such conclusions.

    The analysis conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland (PIPA), was based on:

    • a series of 10 recently-released polls conducted by the University of Tehran; eight conducted in the month before the June 12 election and two conducted in the month after the election, based on telephone interviews conducted within Iran
    • a poll by GlobeScan conducted shortly after the election, based on telephone interviews conducted within Iran
    • a poll by WorldPublicOpinion.org (managed by PIPA) conducted August 27–September 10, based on telephone interviews made by calling into Iran

    Dubowitz’s third egregiously boneheaded comment was that “the NPT is not for states like Iran, it’s for states like Sweden and Denmark ..” (I have not reviewed the program to capture his precise wording.)

    In this Dubowitz is consistent with the thinking of his neocon fellow travelers. Donald Kagan, father of Robert Kagan and father-in-law to Victoria “f**k EU” Nuland, stated in a Discovery Channel discussion on Machiavelli that there are no rules governing international relations. . . . It really is a jungle. . . This makes people uncomfortable, but it is true. And that is why you need strong armies.”

    I recall when Nixon resigned and newly-sworn Pres. Gerald Ford addressed the nation:. He said, “Our Constitution works. We are a nation of laws and not of men.”

    Dubowitz is a Kaganite, not an American Constitutionalist; he does not seem to believe in rules that apply to everyone equally, and certainly not to Iran.

    One caller stated that Dubowitz’s think tank serves Israel’s interests, which is correct. The personnel listed on FDD’s web page includes persons who have stated that their agenda is to support Israel.

    In a 2011 speech Ambassador Chas Freeman related how Israeli leaders have adopted a policy of systematically eroding international laws (the laws that Kagan says do not exist).

    Freeman said:

    “It is, however, hard to find any principle of due process, the several Geneva Conventions, or the Nuremberg trials that has not been systematically violated in the Holy Land. Examples of criminal conduct include mass murder, extra-judicial killing, torture, detention without charge, the denial of medical care, the annexation and colonization of occupied territory, the illegal expropriation of land, ethnic cleansing and the collective punishment of civilians, including the demolition of their homes, the systematic reduction of their infrastructure and the de-development and impoverishment of entire regions. These crimes have been linked to a concerted effort to rewrite international law to permit actions that it traditionally prohibited, in effect enshrining the principle that might makes right.

    As the former head of the Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) Legal Department has argued:

    “If you do something for long enough the world will accept it. The whole of international law is now based on the notion that an act that is forbidden today becomes permissible if executed by enough countries . . . . International law progresses through violations.”

    A colleague of his has extended this notion by pointing out that:

    “The more often Western states apply principles that originated in Israel to their own non-traditional conflicts in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, then the greater the chance these principles have of becoming a valuable part of international law.” http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/display/ContentDetails/i/29130/pid/897


    Three strikes you’re out, Mark Dubowitz.

    It may have been the quality of mercy that motivated C Span moderator John McCardle to give Dubowitz preferential treatment when a contentious call came in, or that induced him to ignore Dr. Leverett immediately after Dubowitz had made an especially incendiary statement: Hillary just might have wiped the floor with him. I know I would have been tempted to, and I watched in admiration as Dr. Leverett maintained composure and redirected the conversation to topics that are important and in the interests of the American people rather than amplify Dubowitz’s agenda of demonization.

  42. M. Ali says:

    NO ONE EVER LEARNS?

    Turkey: Training, Arming Syrian Rebels Could Start in May
    ANKARA, Turkey — Mar 31, 2015, 7:29 AM ET
    Associated Press

    Turkey’s defense minister says a joint Turkish-U.S. program to train and arm Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State group could begin in May.

    Ismet Yilmaz, however, told reporters Tuesday that the sides were still holding talks on the soldiers to be chosen for the program.

    Turkey and the U.S. reached a deal on training and arming the rebels in February after several months of negotiations. Turkish officials had previously said training would start in March.

    The U.S. has screened about 1,200 moderate Syrian rebels to participate in training in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. U.S. Congress passed legislation authorizing the training and providing $500 million for training about 5,000 rebels over the next year.

    Yilmaz said Turkey supports British participation in the program as observers or trainers.

    Also, 500 million for training 5,000 rebels? That’s 100,000 USD per person!

  43. Fiorangela says:

    I’m reviewing Dr. Leverett’s discussion with FDD’s Mark Dubowitz; it calls for much analysis. (The most significant analysis will involve Dubowitz’s criticism of Leverett’s reliance on the China model. He and his cohort rely on the FDR-Churchill-Germany model. That did not work out well.

    I will also note that Dubowitz’s embrace of sanctions is, as Dr. Leverett pointed out, an act of war and, I would add, a deliberate provocation and attempt to cause such distress among a civilian population that it will rise up and overthrow their government. CA rep. Ed Royce has articulated that this is the purpose of sanctions on Iran; and Dr. Jeff Engel has revealed that critical to the decision-making of G H W Bush in pursuing the Persian Gulf war but NOT ‘going to Baghdad’ was the “99% conviction” that the people of Iraq would rise up and overthrow Saddam.
    Yo, Mark — you may have noticed: that didn’t happen.

    Nevertheless, Engel continued, “if the same team had to do it again, they would have the same 99% conviction that the people would overthrow their government.”

    As regards the “FDR-Churchill-German” model: find an hour or so to listen to Jorg Friedrich discuss his book, “The Fire: The Bombing of Germany, 1940 – 1945” The planned and rehearsed strategic goal of deliberately killing working-class German civilians was to so demoralize them that they would overthrow their government. US war planners built mock-ups of German workers’ housing, furnished with “two beds and a crib for a typical German family,” and practiced the most effective means of creating a firestorm that would be inescapable. War planners did NOT practice bombing the Reichstag — the Russians destroyed it after they took Berlin. Friedrich explains that “if you kill the leader, he is dead. That was not the goal; capitulation was the goal.”

    Citizens were the target in Germany; citizens were the intended target in Iraq; and, as Dubowitz stated, citizens are the ones who he knows are being harmed in Iran.

    This does not make me proud to be an American.
    —–

    For the immediate moment, this must be said: Dubowitz’s patronizing attitude toward Dr. Leverett is unacceptable. “I admire your passion,” he repeated; and “let’s talk like adults.”

    Those sorts of mansplaining pats on the head will not stand.

    Dubowitz owes Dr. Leverett a public apology. Every feminist group in the US should demand it; and he should be made to wear a frilly pink bra and corset when he delivers it.

  44. Fiorangela says:

    PS One more thing — regarding sanctions:

    Dan Joyner and his colleagues at Arms Control Law dot com have done “adult” work on Coercive Diplomacy, Sanctions and International Law.

    C Span would do well — in fact, C Span owes it to its audience, to invite Dr. Joyner and other experts like him to present the information they have produced and gathered from study in international law and participation in international conferences.

  45. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    March 31, 2015 at 11:44 am

    In my opinion, balance of power is a pipedream.

    The Persian Gulf Arabs know who to fly an airplane and drop bombs.

    That is all.

    [There is a desalination plant across the Persian Gulf from Iran that supplies the water of Riyadh. Enough said.]

    Turkey cannot afford extending her power outside of the Turkish border barring excursions of limited duration.

    Turkey would only be balancing Iran as an active NATO policy of balancing Iran.

    It may happen, but I seriously doubt it.

    There are tow items:

    By engaging in sectarianism, all non-Sunnis will become de facto Iranian allies – Iran can extend her power without having to commit major Iranian military forces outside of Iran’s borders.

    The second item is that there is no military force between the oil wells of Persian Gulf except the Islamic Republic of Iran’s forces.

    Lastly, such a paper-alliance of Sunnis – including Pakistan – makes it even more imperative for Iran to be a nuclear-armed state.

  46. Nasser says:

    fyi says:
    March 31, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Agreed on all counts and especially so on the last point.

    I never agreed with Dr. Friedman by the way. I don’t believe what the US/EU is after is simply a balance of power in the Middle East where Muslims kill each other, but they rather want to permanently neuter Iran or any such vialable stable entity that could challenge their supremacy; only to be (in their belief) momentarily distracted by the Russia situation. As you have said they have shelved their project for now but haven’t given up on it. Iran shouldn’t wait to be attacked at her enemies’ convenience but should make sure they never have to play the role of victim again.

  47. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Once again, you argue that Iran can go ahead and build nukes, and that Iran should do just that. I simply think your assumption is unsound.

  48. Nasser says:

    Why Iran must, absolutely must, point nukes at the City of London if it ever wants to be free

    http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21647292-although-barack-obama-right-chastise-binyamin-netanyahu-israels-prime-minister-has-point

  49. MassoudH says:

    fyi says:
    March 31, 2015 at 9:17 am

    “Talks have failed.”

    You got my rushing to check news web sites! But there is nothing about the talks failing.

    “Axis Powers were unwilling to discard UN sanctions.”

    No they are not. That’s why they are spending so much time at it. Would be silly of them to give it so much of their time and attention otherwise. Or perhaps they just like Lausanne?

  50. MassoudH says:

    Nasser says:
    March 31, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Nasser,

    The nest step should be pressure on Israel to join the NPT. That would be a lot more effective than building nuclear bombs.

  51. Karl.. says:

    Massoudh

    Pressure?
    Who should do that? West and their allies (israel) (or any other nuclear state for that matter) wont destroy their nuclear weapons, ever.

  52. MassoudH says:

    Karl,

    But the game of sanctions might begin against Israel. There is already talk of that.

  53. MassoudH says:

    “Minor issues remain on Iran bans in nuclear talks: Iran negotiator

    “Sanctions have many aspects, there are unilateral sanctions, US sanctions, EU sanctions, UNSC sanctions… I should say that many of these aspects have been resolved, but still there are some limited areas that also need to be resolved, and we are now concentrating on those remaining technical aspects with regard to the sanctions.” Baeidinejad told Press TV.

    He added that oil, gas, and banking sanctions will be lifted as soon as a comprehensive deal is implemented”

    http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/03/31/404150/Minor-issues-remain-on-sanctions-Iran

    fyi, please take note.

  54. fyi says:

    MassoudH says:

    March 31, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    We shall see in a few hours, shan’t we?

  55. MassoudH says:

    Iran Matters Most

    “Do the Iran deal. Defeat the barbaric marauders of Islamic State. In the fragmenting mayhem of the Middle East, these must be the American and Western priorities… American or Israeli bombs on Persia (or both) would have all sorts of ghastly consequences, but the fundamental argument against such folly is that they would cause no more than a hiccup in Iran’s nuclear program before spurring it to renewed and unmonitored intensity. This would be war without purpose, or war on false pretenses. We’ve seen enough of that… Only elementary knowledge of Iran is needed to know that sanctions will never bring this proud nation to its knees. It would rather starve than cave.”

    Roger Cohen

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/31/opinion/roger-cohen-iran-matters-most.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

  56. Rehmat says:

    On Sunday, the Jewish-controlled western press invented another lie to help Netanyahu sabotage US-Iran nuclear deal. It claimed that an Iranian journalist covering the so-called P5+1 and Iran meeting in Lausanne (Switzerland) has defected (to Israeli embassy!). The defector, Amir Hossein Motaghi has claimed that American team at the meeting is acting on Iran’s behalf at the negotiation.

    Iranian media has not mentioned the defection because Mtaghi is not an official of president Hassan Rouhani’s “moderate” regime. He was not inside the meeting room, as no journalist is allowed to listen to what the heck John Kerry is telling Javad Zarif. This is not the first time the Jewish media have made disgusting anti-Iran claims.

    http://rehmat1.com/2015/04/01/iranian-defector-us-carry-water-for-iran/

  57. Karl.. says:

    Masaoudh

    Who is talking about sanctions against israel’s nuclear.weapons?

  58. Castellio says:

    Fiorangela: I appreciate your substantive postings.

  59. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says:

    March 31, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Populations have always been targets throughout history.

    They certainly were targets during the American Civil War.

  60. MassoudH says:

    Karl.. says:
    March 31, 2015 at 10:10 pm
    Masaoudh

    “Who is talking about sanctions against israel’s nuclear.weapons?”

    I remember seeing a few articles on this of late. Just did a quick search, and one example is the following, though it is not about weapons specifically:

    “EU report urges sanctions against Israel over Jerusalem policies”

    “The European Union has produced an explosive report recommending sanctions against Israel over its construction policies and security measures in Jerusalem, the British daily Guardian reported on its website on Friday.”

    http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/EU-report-urges-sanctions-against-Israel-over-Jerusalem-policies-394586

  61. MassoudH says:

    See also:

    “U.S. Threatens Sanctions Against Israel, Makes Excuses for Iran

    The U.S. government might impose sanctions on Israel or allow its greatest ally in the Middle East to be tried in the International Criminal Court, according to Politico. Michael Crowley reports:”

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/us-threatens-israel-makes-excuses-iran_891950.html

  62. fyi says:

    MassoudH says:

    April 1, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Will never ever happen.

  63. MassoudH says:

    fyi,

    “Palestine formally joins International Criminal Court

    Palestinians join The Hague-based International Criminal Court, setting scene for potential legal action against Israel.”

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/04/palestine-formally-joins-international-criminal-court-150401073619618.html

  64. fyi says:

    MassoudH says:

    April 1, 2015 at 10:46 am

    So what?

    A few Israeli war criminals have to take direct flight from Tel Aviv to New York or Washington DC.

    Only war will free Palestine.

    And that is not in the cards since no Muslim state with such power exists.

  65. Kathleen says:

    Thank you as always to the Leverett’s for their efforts to educate the public about Iran etc based on facts. Thank you for your efforts to push for diplomacy. Huge

    Hoping someone focuses on Senator Schumer’s public efforts to undermine the P5+1 negotiations. I am now referring to this group effort to undermine the S47+1. Republican Senators who directly undermined negotiations and add Schumer who has always supported Israel no matter what they do. Even when they directly undermine national security and these negotiations

  66. Kathleen says:

    Shared and liked

    Will link elsewhere also

  67. Karl.. says:

    MassoudH
    April 1, 2015 at 10:03 am

    As you said, that article isnt about nuclear weapons
    , second link is just a view by someone.

    Why would west sanction their friends, thats the question you need to ask yoursel imo. That will show that west will never give a dime about israeli nukes.

  68. masoud says:

    This is probably the most reputable report on what is happening in the negotiations.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/04/01/iran-sanctions-and-the-fate-of-the-nuclear-talks/

    This (proposed)deal is an unmitigated disaster. I don’t know how Zarif will be able to muster the courage to return to Tehran.

  69. fyi says:

    masoud says:

    April 1, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    I do not think that there would be any agreement; ever.

    This is very analogous to the so-called Peace Process in Palestine that Israelis and Americans used their strategic preponderance against Palestinians to extract that last sorry measure of concessions out of Palestinians.

    They were willing to let the Peace Process die.

    Which in due course it did.

    All of this was expected; I myself stated that sanctions cannot be lifted against Iran – and Mr. Khamenei also expressed deep skepticism years ago.

  70. Nasser says:

    fyi says: April 1, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Does Mr. Khamenei’s and others have the political cover now to do the necessary house cleaning in Iran?

  71. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    April 1, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    No idea.

    I think Iranian leaders were always interested in settling their difference with US and Axis Powers.

    10 or 13 years ago, after the Afghan fiasco, they concluded that their differences with US is not bridgeable.

    After 2012, when Mr. Obama’s policy was leading to war with Iran, and the election of Mr. Rouhani, some Iranians thought it best to try again with US.

    JPOA was the result; Iranians, like in Afghanistan in 2001-2002, bearing all the initial costs.

    Axis Powers wish to enshrine JPOA into a formal deal with Iran.

    They are unwilling to give away anything of substance – and gaining more things from Iran in the meantime.

    That failed this week.

    And note that in the Court of the Mad King, explicit support for Iran deal is lacking.

    Furthermore, no one in that court is contemplating strategic settlement with Iran; they just want to squeeze more concessions out of Iran.

    I think if US does not change tack, the conclusion in Tehran will be the initial assessment in 2003 was correct; US and Iran cannot settle their difference at the strategic level.

    Which basically means this confrontation, just like the one in Palestine, the one between Pakistan and Iran, the one between the Russia Federation and Georgia, the one between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and lastly the one between North Korea and US will continue indefinitely.

    Of course, over time, what began as a confrontation between Iran and US has now been transformed to one between US, EU, Australia, Korea, Canada and other Dukes and vassals.

  72. fyi says:

    meant to say:

    “…the one between Pakistan and India,…”

    rather than

    “the one between Pakistan and Iran”

  73. Fiorangela says:

    fyi says:
    April 1, 2015 at 9:42 am

    “Populations have always been targets throughout history.”

    oh. okay. that makes it all better.

    “They certainly were targets during the American Civil War.”

    “The generals always fight the last war.” My understanding is that WWII war planning frankly modeled Sherman’s scorched earth policy.

  74. kooshy says:

    By far this is the best analysis of the situation in the ME region and the east west struggle I have read in months, read the entire article

    Will Yemen kick-off the ‘War of the two Blocs?’

    “Once Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in Libya, all parties went their own way and the country fractured. In Egypt, a power struggle pitted Sunni against Sunni, highlighting the growing schism between two Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) patrons Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In Syria, a heavyweight line-up of Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, France, the US and UK could not pull together a coherent regime-change plan or back the same horse.

    In the vacuum created by these competing agendas, highly-organized al-Qaeda-style extremists stepped in to create further divergence among old allies.

    Western hegemons – the original colonials and imperialists – grew fatigued, alarmed, and sought a way out of the increasingly dangerous quagmire. To do so, they needed to strike a compromise with the one regional state that enjoyed the necessary stability and military prowess to lead the fight against extremism from within the region. That would be their old adversary, Iran.”

    http://rt.com/op-edge/245585-us-yemen-policies-middle-east/

  75. kooshy says:

    From the same RT OpEd
    By the way for once FYD can read something that is not coming out of his favorite Zeocentric TT organization likes of “Dr. Seuss”

    “Meanwhile, the Iranians don’t have to do much of anything to raise the Saudi ire. Iran has stepped up its regional role largely because of the Saudi-led counter-revolution, and has cautiously thwarted Riyadh’s onslaughts where it could. It has buoyed allies – much like NATO or the GCC would in similar circumstances – but with considerably less aggression and while cleaving to the letter of international law.

    The Saudis see Iranian hands everywhere in the region, but this is a fantasy at best. Iran has simply stepped into an opportunity when it arises, meet the threats coming its way, and utilize all its available channels to blunt the Saudi advances in various military and political theaters.

    Even the US intelligence community’s annual security assessment – a report card that regularly highlights the “Iranian threat” – concludes in 2015 that the Islamic Republic of Iran has “intentions to dampen sectarianism, build responsive partners, and deescalate tensions with Saudi Arabia.”

    Yet all we hear these days blaring from Western and Arab media headlines is “Shia sectarianism, Iranian expansionism and Persian Empire.”

    Tellingly, the American intelligence assessment launches its section on “terrorism” with the following: “Sunni violent extremists are gaining momentum and the number of Sunni violent extremist groups, members, and safe havens is greater than at any other point in history.”

    And US officials admit: many of these Sunni extremists have been assisted and financed by no other than Washington allies Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar.”

  76. fyi says:

    All:

    Dr. Hunter on Saudis and Iran:

    http://www.lobelog.com/the-consequences-of-saudi-paranoia-about-iran/

    She is not going far enough in what Iran must do.

  77. Nasser says:

    fyi says: April 1, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    What do you mean? What can Iran do as long as the US is backing the Saudis?

    Her article though factually right ends with an appeal to the West to reconsider their position regarding the Saudis. As we both have discussed before if 9/11 couldn’t make the US do so, nothing else will.

  78. Amir says:

    الغریق یتشبث بکل حشیش؟؟
    A Mr Goldman arguing for attacking Iran NOW, see link:
    http://atimes.com/2015/04/haaretz-denounces-my-book-how-civilizations-die-without-mentioning-my-core-argument/

    I suppose you all have seen it (its variants), right?

  79. MassoudH says:

    “AIIB: A foreign policy black eye for Obama”

    “Obama’s stand on China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, AIIB, on the other hand, was a self-inflicted black eye with no better explanation than as another consequence of American hubris.

    Officially, Obama proclaimed that with Asian Development Bank and World Bank functioning just fine under American and Japanese leadership, there is no need for AIIB. He asked America’s European allies, Australia, Japan and South Korea not to join the new bank.

    The first to bolt was U.K., America’s heretofore closest ally. All the rest pile in so as to not miss out being a founding member.

    When the formation of AIIB was announced in October, there were 21 countries that signed on. By the March 31 deadline, 46 countries have applied to be founding members.”

    http://atimes.com/2015/04/aiib-a-foreign-policy-black-eye-for-obama/

  80. MassoudH says:

    Amir says:
    April 2, 2015 at 3:47 am

    Goldman is a pathological warmonger. A neo-conman.

  81. Amir says:

    MassoudH says:
    April 2, 2015 at 4:41 am

    Right. But his analysis is very odd; if Iran is rotting from inside, why bother attacking it? And then having to collect the pieces? And put something in its stead? And bear the international criticism?

  82. Karl.. says:

    Saudi just invaded Yemen?
    http://rt.com/news/246189-troops-aden-port-yemen/
    Houtis need to mobilize alot better if they want to win this.

  83. MassoudH says:

    Amir says:
    April 2, 2015 at 5:06 am

    Exactly! He’s frustrated that Israel can’t attack Iran and USA won’t. So he’s daydreaming about Iran imploding from within because of a ‘population crisis’ in about 2 decades from now!

  84. MassoudH says:

    “Geopolitical Tremors: America, Nuclear Talks and the New Middle East

    The US is rethinking its approach to the Middle East and has even found commonalities with erstwhile archenemy Iran. Meanwhile, relations with traditional American allies, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, are cooling. A nuclear deal could further the shift…

    In Tehran, of course, it isn’t the government that has the last word, but the supreme religious leader Ali Khamenei. His preference would be to not sign a written framework agreement now, favoring instead a single deal at the end of June in which everything is regulated — without latitude for varying interpretations. Thus far, though, he has supported Iran’s negotiating team and in February, in a speech to the Revolutionary Guard, he even said he was prepared to “drink from the poisoned chalice.”

    The reference was to his predecessor Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of present-day Iran, who described accepting the cease-fire that put an end to the 1980s Iran-Iraq War as “drinking from the poisoned chalice.”
    “Just as we proved then that we are reasonable, we are doing so today with our nuclear policy,” Khamenei said, in emphasizing his willingness to make a deal. But only, he made clear, if it is a good deal. “Just like the Americans, I am of the opinion that no deal is better than a bad deal.”

    Of course, that, too, is a form of rapprochement.”

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/nuclear-talks-with-iran-show-new-us-approach-to-middle-east-a-1026489.html

  85. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    April 1, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    Iran needs to make herself and her allies strong.

    A very hard road ahead.

    And I emphasize again, Iran must have strategic deterrence.

  86. Amir says:

    Prof. Mohammad Marandi’s views on the current conflict in Yemen, see link:
    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/04/yemen-iran-houthis-conflict-saudi-150402065023680.html

  87. fyi says:

    All:

    Ambassador Bhadrakumar on Saudi Arabia and Pakistan

    http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/

    The implications for Iran and the Shia Crescent are quite serious indeed.

  88. Rehmat says:

    fyi – If Iran and its allies are not strong – then why the Zionist regime is so afraid of Hizbullah, Syria and Venezuela?

    http://rehmat1.com/2010/08/27/hizbullah-changed-the-me-in-2006/

  89. Rehmat says:

    fyi – Ambassador (EX) Bhadrakumar is a Hindu racist like any Zionist Jew could be. For him Pakistan is no different than Iran to Israel.

    After failure to bring anti-Iran regime changes in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan with the help of Saudi-Islam, it seems Barack Obama has decided to create a so-called “Sunni front” against a Shia-majority Iran while pretending to ink a nuclear deal with Iran. Washington is bullying and arming America’s regional “Sunni” allies to join Saudi-led Israel’s proxy war against Zaidi Shia government in Yemen.

    On Tuesday, Barack Obama lifted ban on military aid to Egypt, put-in-place since the pro-Israel Crypto-Jew Gen. al-Sisi took power in a military coup against democratically elected government of Dr. Mohamad Morsi in 2013. Obama’s decision clears the delivery of F-16 aircraft, Harpoon missiles and MIAI tank kits. In a telephone call Obama assured al-Sisi that Egyptian regime would continue to receive annual $1.3 billion USAID as long as the country keep peace with the Zionist entity.

    http://rehmat1.com/2015/04/02/obama-operation-soothe-the-israelis/

  90. Fiorangela says:

    Castellio @ March 31, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    Thank you.

  91. Fiorangela says:

    Lausanne — Yalta in the Alps

  92. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says:

    April 2, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Let us hope so.

  93. Fiorangela says:

    correction — maybe not the Alps, Lausanne is on a hill overlooking Lake Geneva.

    but in my opinion the Yalta comparison is apt.

    Consider this Haaretz headline —

    “Iran nuclear talks in Lausanne: Is this the Munich Conference of our day?
    Only a last-minute awakening in the face of Iranian audacity can stop this march of folly the most abject march of folly of our time.
    By Ari Shavit | Apr. 2, 2015 | 12:08 PM”

    The Israelist faction (which now includes the Wahabi and Democratic Monarchy of Saudi Arabia) insists on the FDR-Churchill-Stalin model of killing and destroying.

    It’s a model that Michael Ledeen celebrated, based on it is, said Ledeen, on the actions of Moses at Mt. Sinai where, having returned from the mountaintop and observed Jews worshiping the golden calf, Yahweh instructed Moses to kill those Jews. Moses, Joshua, the Levites and Aaron alone were spared; the Levites carried out the slaughter. This is necessary, Ledeen urges, because

    “Anybody looking carefully at Moses has to admit that in order to create a new state and a new religion [you] had to kill countless people. [This is insisted upon] that in order to create anything truly meaningful destruction is required because people are not inclined to go for that.”
    (see Michael Ledeen, Book Discussion on Machiavelli on Modern Leadership, C Span MAY 26, 1999 ).

    Israelis cannot resist provoking fear-mongering images of Germany and World War II.
    They feel quite confident that their propaganda will win because there is no counterbalancing narrative permitted: if an examination of actions involving World War II do not bear the ADL-MFA imprimatur it is censored or criminalized.

    That is the most profound tragedy of our age: the propagandists have bought or subverted all the sources of information that a democracy relies upon, and the historians have been censored and silenced if not actually imprisoned. Winning is guaranteed when there is no competition.

    That model did not work in Viet Nam and no matter how many times Ledeen’s fellow neocons re-implement the process of “creative destruction” in Iraq it is not working — correction: the “destruction” part is humming along, but in what sense should we consider corpses and rubble a proud accomplishment? The Ledeen process is underway in Yemen; it was carried out in Libya, in Afghanistan, and it is hanging over the heads of Iran’s negotiators as well as of the Iranian people.

    What would happen if the Kantian imperative were applied to Ledeen’s creative destruction model?

    Can anybody decide that the cultural and lives of another’s sovereign state should be subject to creative destruction?
    If, “for an action to be permissible, it must be possible to apply it to all people without a contradiction occurring” then why should any person or state feel constrained from creatively destroying any other person or state.

    —-

    Nixon and Kissinger did not destroy China in order to save it.
    There is another model.

  94. Amir says:

    It’s even worse than I thought!!! Well, who am I kidding? I didn’t really bothered to think about it. And what do I know?

  95. Karl.. says:

    Rouhani: Deal is done, complete at 30th of june
    http://rt.com/news/246297-iran-nuclear-talks-lausanne/

  96. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    American politicians enable Israel to continue its insane growth of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank, due to political calculations. The EU in my view must take the lead in forcing through a deal on Israel/Palestine.

  97. Karl.. says:

    headline at RT are: Sanctions removed AFTER IAEA “ok” stamp, that spells trouble right there imo.
    http://rt.com/on-air/iran-fm-nuclear-talks/

  98. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    April 2, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    EU will do no such thing.

    EU prefers ISIS to Iran and Jews to Muslims and Christians in Saudi Arabia.

    Nothing constructive will ever come out of EU in this regard.

  99. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    April 2, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    EU will do no such thing.

    EU prefers ISIS to Iran and Jews to Muslims and Christians in the Near East.

    Nothing constructive will ever come out of EU in this regard.

  100. paul says:

    Wow – based on what I’ve seen so far, this ‘deal’ is much much worse than was bruited, and that was very bad. It sounds to me like Iran gave up almost everything and got basically nothing. It sounds like the US proved that it could use economic warfare to grind a nation into dust, based on accusations that are patently false or distorted, and this will be hailed by all as peace…

  101. fyi says:

    paul says:

    April 2, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    There is no agreement; this is just empty an empty paper.

  102. Karl.. says:

    There seems to be a “deal” imo but still many issues before it (june deadline?), I already see obama giving himself credit, just ugly.
    If theres any truth in the leaked info there seems to be somewhat of a defeat for Iran there is no way around this.

    Is this just a way to send a signal to neocon/israeli hawks that talks is going ahead, no breakdown that they could use etc?

  103. ordinary says:

    Congratulations.

    If the end deal allows >5000 centrifuge, enrichment>=3.5%, agreement to continue research and development, a time limit of 10 year, with agreed level of strict and open supervision, then it is a good deal and big win for Iran and deserves congratulations.

    To be an accepted nuclear country by the superpowers and the UN, is a respectable achievement.

    Under strict supervision, the industry can advance with less scrutiny and possibly with help from more advanced countries, limiting fear and speculations.

  104. Fiorangela says:

    Closer to Versailles than to Nixon-goes-to-China.

    Obama’s triumphalist swagger was not the stuff of statesmanship.

    Iran is to be bound for 10 – 15- 20 years to intrusive inspections & to being treated like Martha Stewart in an ankle bracelet.

    Natanz to be only enrichment facility.
    Number of centrifuges to be dramatically reduced.
    Ferdo converted to research center with international access.
    No fissile materials at Ferdo.
    An international joint venture will assist Iran to rem ode Arak; it will not produce plutonium. Spent fuel to removed from Iran.
    Iran will sign Additional Protocol.
    IAEA will have enhanced and high-tech access to Iran facilities to verify “past and present issues.”

    Iran can have power and research reactors.

    “EU wil terminate implementation of sanctions and US will terminate nuclear-related sanctions simultaneous with IAEA certification that Iran is in compliance. [sanctions relief will be ‘snap-back’. US will retain terrurizm & human rights-related sanctions]

    Come to think of it this is much closer to Versailles than Nixon-goes-to-China.

    Germany remained under food blockade and as many as 35,000 additional German civilians died of starvation while terms of Versailles were negotiated — terms that went out of their way to humiliate Germany. see C. Paul Vincent, “The Politics of Hunger: The Allied Blockade of Germany.”

    Similarly, Iran remains under continued threat of a crippled economy, a pawn in the hands of vindictive powers including zionists.

    How would John Maynard Keynes assess the “Economic Consequences” of this deal?

    What is the US really achieving with this deal, and its triumphalist swagger?

    Will the US Congress sandbag it they way the Congress rejected Wilson’s League of Nations?

    The Nixon-China process did not involve humiliating China, or attempting to be its parole officer. Nixon dealt with China in furtherance of US interests — the commercial relationship was good for USA.
    Obama is doing the Iran deal out of desperation — his perception is that US economy requires KSA support for petrodollar, and US politics requires placating Christian zionists and Israel lobby.

    But how far out is Obama looking? While he continues to work old and tired relationships with KSA and Israel, Russia and China are changing the rules of the game.

    A better deal for the American people would have seen — or, if we activate, can see:

    — USA demanding that Israel sign NPT in exchange for an agreement with Iran
    — USA putting is political capital behind convocation of the conference promised in 1995 to the states of the Middle East to establish a Weapons Free Zone in the ME.
    — USA collaborating with new Russia-China monetary system and in collaboration, to pressure the real rogue states — Israel chief among them — to change their behavior or be shut out. Surely we have the financial know-how to combine with that system. ( I was tempted to say “compete” with BRICs banking development but I think USA has lost the concept of fair competition for mutual benefit; it has adopted the tactics of “harry the referee” and destroy, don’t negotiate.)

    Versailles turned out well for the USA — it cornered the world’s gold, and aggrandized power that led to its ability to be the industrial arsenal that “won” WWII and produced, for USA, 50-odd years of relative prosperity. Israel benefited mightily from Versailles.

    Versailles did not turn out well for Germany, Poland, Russia or Great Britain.
    USA played a major role in engineering the destruction of those nations, to the benefit of USA.

    But USA is not in a position to do another WWII. What USA brought to the battle in WWII was NOT military might, it was dollars that were able to prop up allies — Stalinist Russia and Churchill’s Britain. USA is not in that position any more; we are in a position similar to Britain & France in the interwar period, a beggar state.

    Israel has lined up another regional ally, KSA, and will happily throw USA under the bus if US fails to dance to the Israeli tune.
    KSA has been manipulating oil prices to its benefit, which has caused hardship for USA’s nascent tracking industry. It will do so or not as its interests require. Its military adventures in Yemen may give KSA the same confidence that Japan’s victory over Russia gave that nation; KSA may decide it no longer needs US to defend it, and will therefore no longer need to trade in petrodollars — especially if BRICs bank offers better terms.

    Support for Israel in USA is still strong, but it is hemorrhaging, most critically among Blacks, a key Democratic bloc. Netanyahu’s disrespect for Obama has been more costly than Bibi has comprehended so far.
    It may happen that Israel abandons USA!
    Congress will not know how to act!

    Why does the Israeli propaganda machine continue to raise the spectra of WWII and compare Netanyahu to Churchill?
    It’s an easy fact of history that Churchill alone demanded war with Germany, against the advice of his Cabinet.
    The dogmatized narrative is that Jews suffered disproportionately as a result of war with Germany.
    In a conversation at Politics & Prose in 2006, (the late) Carla Cohen, co-owner of P&P, said to guest/author Jeffrey Herf , “If there had been no war would there have been a final solution?”
    “NO,” responded Herf; “No war, no final solution.”
    “Really!?” responded Cohen, astonished.

    So exactly why is the Israeli propaganda machine relying on that event and individual who insisted that war, not a negotiated peace, pertain?

    Do Israelis WANT a repeat of all that followed?
    Do they think that their relentless propaganda has erased from the pages of history the details of what actually happened?

    “You can fool some of the people all of the time,
    And all of the people some of the time.
    But you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

  105. Karl.. says:

    Fiorangela

    “Iran will sign Additional Protocol.”

    Iran will let IAEA into Qom military base?! Then the sanctions will never be lifted. Versailles? Oh yes.

  106. ordinary says:

    The political atmosphere in the US surely required the strong posture Obama presented in first 15 minutes of his speech. It was against “any future nuclear-bomb making Iran” and was talking to the opposition to the deal. Obama was totally respectful of Iran during his speech.

    Obama emphasized that Iran will be able to continue with its peaceful nuclear energy, that this deal is his way to resolve this issue (speaking to the opposition), that confidence building is required to normalize relationship (a reality). That he “will” speak to Netanyahu “later today” (i.e. this is not a matter of “opinion or conjecture”) and the Golf countries much later.

    Looking back to 8 years ago, this is a great achievement.

  107. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says:

    April 2, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    This is all diplomatic smokes and mirrors.

    A piece of paper is produced to literally paper over the evidently very serious differences.

    This paper is called “A Framework” which satisfies Mr. Obama’s political requirements in US.

    This is not a legal document and imposes no obligation on wither side.

    Better luck in June.

    We shall see then.

  108. fyi says:

    ordinary says:

    April 2, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    It is so if you say so.

  109. Fiorangela says:

    ordinary says: April 2, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Indeed and indeed.

    And an extraordinary coincidence indeed that just yesterday ISIS was chased out of Tikrit by US-backed forces, not Iranian forces.

    This morning a wannabe war correspondent for The Daily Beast was asked if “US Congress has had any part in funding ISIS.”

    She replied breathlessly and credulously that “ISIS funds itself by selling oil — millions of dollars worth, and by taxing people . . .”

    Yeah, that works: a group just pops up out of nowhere, takes over some oil storage facilities, creates a customer base, sets up transportation systems and payment systems that for some unfathomable reason Stuart Levery/Daniel Cohen’s terror financing and intelligence exploiting shakedown operation in the Treasury Dept. is incapable of tracing. ISIS pockets the proceeds of these transactions and heads for the neighborhood MRAPs-R-Us and outfits those of its fighters who are not auditioning for the role of John the Head-chopper, or working on desert scenery for the ISIS hi-tech video operation. Wonder if they have their SAG cards.

  110. Fiorangela says:

    Important observation by Dan Joyner at Arms Control Law dot com:

    http://armscontrollaw.com/2015/04/02/jcpoa-first-thoughts/

    Obama administration is already spinning the deal —

    Federica Mogharini’s statement accurately reflect what Iran and the P5 agreed to.
    The White House ‘fact sheet’ includes these provisions which were not part of the agreement Mogharini was authorized by the participants to release:

    Iran will be required to grant access to the IAEA to investigate suspicious sites or
    allegations of a covert enrichment facility, conversion facility, centrifuge production
    facility, or yellowcake production facility anywhere in the country . . .

    Iran will implement an agreed set of measures to address the IAEA’s concerns regarding
    the Possible Military Dimensions (PMD) of its program.

    Joyner and his colleagues have reported on numerous occasions that IAEA has no authority to inspect military sites. That is outside their authority.

  111. Smith says:

    This is the deal: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/04/02/world/iran-nuclear-deal-parameters/

    Sanctions will remain, except for buying limited quantities of cheap watermelons and harmless consumer toys. More sanctions will be placed for human rights, animal rights, plant rights and gooz rights, to take the place of nuclear related sanctions.

    Enrichment
    ===========

    • Iran has agreed to reduce by approximately two-thirds its installed centrifuges. Iran will go from having about 19,000 installed today to 6,104 installed under the deal, with only 5,060 of these enriching uranium for 10 years. All 6,104 centrifuges will be IR-1s, Iran’s first-generation centrifuge.

    • Iran has agreed to not enrich uranium over 3.67 percent for at least 15 years.

    • Iran has agreed to reduce its current stockpile of about 10,000 kg of low-enriched uranium (LEU) to 300 kg of 3.67 percent LEU for 15 years.

    • All excess centrifuges and enrichment infrastructure will be placed in IAEA monitored storage and will be used only as replacements for operating centrifuges and equipment.

    • Iran has agreed to not build any new facilities for the purpose of enriching uranium for 15 years.

    • Iran’s breakout timeline — the time that it would take for Iran to acquire enough fissile material for one weapon — is currently assessed to be 2 to 3 months. That timeline will be extended to at least one year, for a duration of at least ten years, under this framework.
    Iran will convert its facility at Fordow so that it is no longer used to enrich uranium

    • Iran has agreed to not enrich uranium at its Fordow facility for at least 15 years.

    • Iran has agreed to convert its Fordow facility so that it is used for peaceful purposes only — into a nuclear, physics, technology, research center.

    • Iran has agreed to not conduct research and development associated with uranium enrichment at Fordow for 15 years.

    • Iran will not have any fissile material at Fordow for 15 years.

    • Almost two-thirds of Fordow’s centrifuges and infrastructure will be removed. The remaining centrifuges will not enrich uranium. All centrifuges and related infrastructure will be placed under IAEA monitoring.

    Iran will only enrich uranium at the Natanz facility, with only 5,060 IR-1 first-generation centrifuges for ten years.

    • Iran has agreed to only enrich uranium using its first generation (IR-1 models) centrifuges at Natanz for ten years, removing its more advanced centrifuges.

    • Iran will remove the 1,000 IR-2M centrifuges currently installed at Natanz and place them in IAEA monitored storage for ten years.

    • Iran will not use its IR-2, IR-4, IR-5, IR-6, or IR-8 models to produce enriched uranium for at least ten years. Iran will engage in limited research and development with its advanced centrifuges, according to a schedule and parameters which have been agreed to by the P5+1.

    • For ten years, enrichment and enrichment research and development will be limited to ensure a breakout timeline of at least 1 year. Beyond 10 years, Iran will abide by its enrichment and enrichment R&D plan submitted to the IAEA, and pursuant to the JCPOA, under the Additional Protocol resulting in certain limitations on enrichment capacity.

    Inspections and Transparency
    ==============================

    • The IAEA will have regular access to all of Iran’s nuclear facilities, including to Iran’s enrichment facility at Natanz and its former enrichment facility at Fordow, and including the use of the most up-to-date, modern monitoring technologies.

    • Inspectors will have access to the supply chain that supports Iran’s nuclear program. The new transparency and inspections mechanisms will closely monitor materials and/or components to prevent diversion to a secret program.

    • Inspectors will have access to uranium mines and continuous surveillance at uranium mills, where Iran produces yellowcake, for 25 years.

    • Inspectors will have continuous surveillance of Iran’s centrifuge rotors and bellows production and storage facilities for 20 years. Iran’s centrifuge manufacturing base will be frozen and under continuous surveillance.

    • All centrifuges and enrichment infrastructure removed from Fordow and Natanz will be placed under continuous monitoring by the IAEA.

    • A dedicated procurement channel for Iran’s nuclear program will be established to monitor and approve, on a case by case basis, the supply, sale, or transfer to Iran of certain nuclear-related and dual use materials and technology — an additional transparency measure.

    • Iran has agreed to implement the Additional Protocol of the IAEA, providing the IAEA much greater access and information regarding Iran’s nuclear program, including both declared and undeclared facilities.

    • Iran will be required to grant access to the IAEA to investigate suspicious sites or allegations of a covert enrichment facility, conversion facility, centrifuge production facility, or yellowcake production facility anywhere in the country.

    • Iran has agreed to implement Modified Code 3.1 requiring early notification of construction of new facilities.

    • Iran will implement an agreed set of measures to address the IAEA’s concerns regarding the Possible Military Dimensions (PMD) of its program.

    Reactors and Reprocessing
    =============================

    • Iran has agreed to redesign and rebuild a heavy water research reactor in Arak, based on a design that is agreed to by the P5+1, which will not produce weapons grade plutonium, and which will support peaceful nuclear research and radioisotope production.

    • The original core of the reactor, which would have enabled the production of significant quantities of weapons-grade plutonium, will be destroyed or removed from the country.

    • Iran will ship all of its spent fuel from the reactor out of the country for the reactor’s lifetime.

    • Iran has committed indefinitely to not conduct reprocessing or reprocessing research and development on spent nuclear fuel.

    • Iran will not accumulate heavy water in excess of the needs of the modified Arak reactor, and will sell any remaining heavy water on the international market for 15 years.

    • Iran will not build any additional heavy water reactors for 15 years.

    Sanctions
    ===========

    • Iran will receive sanctions relief, if it verifiably abides by its commitments.

    • U.S. and E.U. nuclear-related sanctions will be suspended after the IAEA has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps. If at any time Iran fails to fulfill its commitments, these sanctions will snap back into place.

    • The architecture of U.S. nuclear-related sanctions on Iran will be retained for much of the duration of the deal and allow for snap-back of sanctions in the event of significant non-performance.

    • All past UN Security Council resolutions on the Iran nuclear issue will be lifted simultaneous with the completion, by Iran, of nuclear-related actions addressing all key concerns (enrichment, Fordow, Arak, PMD, and transparency).

    • However, core provisions in the UN Security Council resolutions — those that deal with transfers of sensitive technologies and activities — will be re-established by a new UN Security Council resolution that will endorse the JCPOA and urge its full implementation. It will also create the procurement channel mentioned above, which will serve as a key transparency measure. Important restrictions on conventional arms and ballistic missiles, as well as provisions that allow for related cargo inspections and asset freezes, will also be incorporated by this new resolution.

    • A dispute resolution process will be specified, which enables any JCPOA participant, to seek to resolve disagreements about the performance of JCPOA commitments.

    • If an issue of significant non-performance cannot be resolved through that process, then all previous UN sanctions could be re-imposed.

    • U.S. sanctions on Iran for terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missiles will remain in place under the deal.

    Phasing
    ========

    • For ten years, Iran will limit domestic enrichment capacity and research and development — ensuring a breakout timeline of at least one year. Beyond that, Iran will be bound by its longer-term enrichment and enrichment research and development plan it shared with the P5+1.

    • For fifteen years, Iran will limit additional elements of its program. For instance, Iran will not build new enrichment facilities or heavy water reactors and will limit its stockpile of enriched uranium and accept enhanced transparency procedures.

    • Important inspections and transparency measures will continue well beyond 15 years. Iran’s adherence to the Additional Protocol of the IAEA is permanent, including its significant access and transparency obligations. The robust inspections of Iran’s uranium supply chain will last for 25 years.

    • Even after the period of the most stringent limitations on Iran’s nuclear program, Iran will remain a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which prohibits Iran’s development or acquisition of nuclear weapons and requires IAEA safeguards on its nuclear program.

  112. M.Ali says:

    I agree with fyi. It seems the ball is kicked up the road, up to June. In 3 months anything can happen, even something like, hey, another extension.

    But I guess the important thing is how much seriously negotiations was looked upon by the media and Iran’s role in it.

    Ahmadenijad’s strong resilience brought Iran this strength, but I have to admit that Rohanis negotiation team is better at PR than AH’s team. Dream team would be charisma of Khatami, balls & integrity of Ahmedinijad, media astituteness of Rohani and nothing of Rafsanjani

  113. M.Ali says:

    “Important inspections and transparency measures will continue well beyond 15 years. Iran’s adherence to the Additional Protocol of the IAEA is permanent, including its significant access and transparency obligations. ”

    A.P. is permanent? I guess we just have to wait for Ahmadenijad to come back again and throw out the A.P.

    If this IS the final agreement, I don’t see how Zarif and co won’t get burnt in Iran

  114. MassoudH says:

    Loved Stratfor’s description: “..there has been an agreement between the Great Satan and a charter member of the Axis of Evil, and that matters.”

    very aptly describes the significance of the agreement regardless of its letter and the hurdles ahead.

    Congrats to all!

  115. Fiorangela says:

    How long is “indefinitely into the future” as in —

    “Iran’s transparency obligations will remain in place indefinitely into the future; they will never expire?” — John Kerry, Apr. 2, 2015

    How long is “from now on” as in —

    “The United States pledges that it is and from now on will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran’s internal affairs.”

    ALGIERS ACCORDS
    January 19, 1981

  116. MassoudH says:

    Several of our contributors here are missing a crucial point: Iran only ever went down the high enrichment road precisely in order to offer it up as part of a grand bargain. Uranium enrichment (especially at 20% or higher) was a political tool with little economic value in itself.

    Those who insist on an alleged ‘need’ for a nuke by Iran (in order to be a ‘real’ power) are obviously upset by the deal. But if we take Iran at her word, then in fact Iran has given up nothing because there never was a plan to build bombs. Iran is only after recognition of her rights and standing in the region and the wider world, and is getting exactly that at the direct expense of her regional rivals. This is where the Iranians have been outstandingly shrewd and patient, and it has paid off.

    All the threats and hyperbole by western leaders about Iran’s compliance is quite empty rhetoric because Iran is quite happy to be totally transparent, as there never was a weapons programme in the first place.

  117. kooshy says:

    “If there’s any truth in the leaked info there seems to be somewhat of a defeat for Iran there is no way around this.’

    Why? Be specific, explain what was Iran’s and US’s objectives and why you think Iran’s were not achieved? And US’s were achieved, in my opinion as I have always said this exercise was never about N Bomb, it always was about “Acceptance of Iran’s new strategic reality” by the west they had no choice but as of today to officially accept a shift in balance of power. Iran is now accepted as an independent nuclear capable country among a much destabilized western regional client states with limited endurance due to their unrepresentative weight this includes Israel since she can never be accepted by her neighbors.

    Iran has said it many times and it’s true that the “regional” cost of being a nuclear state for Iran is far more expensive to that of its benefits with little value, see how much added security Israel has with her nukes and the umbrella of her three protectorate nuclear state the benefit of being a nuclear state for Israel amounts to zero, if it was not for her protectors economic power and payoffs no nukes would have been able to save her.

    IMO In Iran’ case the display of the nukes capability are firstly to confirm a technological capability and to inform her adversaries of this irreversible reality, by using her capability has facilitated the process of negotiations and her acceptance as a regional power more realistic to her neighbors and her global adversaries, if it wasn’t for this, making US realize her incapability to change Iran, US wouldn’t accept Iran as an independent regional actor perusing her national interests. Iran was not and is not pursuing Nukes, and no one is going to nuke Iran, that much is certain, and as the experience of the last 35 years are has shown the cost of attacking Iran is too high, especially now, but also Iran has demonstrated if someone has lost his head and attacks Iran she will respond firmly.

    Again all these 3 periods and styles of negotiations with the west/ Americans, meaning the pull back of Khatami (carrots), the push forward of Ahmadinejad (sticks) and the negotiations of Ruhani (Heroic Flexibility) was and is part of the same planed Iranian Carpet bazzar style of selling a rug in a bazar, unlike the American’s, the Iranian carrot and sticks were less visible and less noticeable plus they were smart not to announce it so loudly.

  118. Fiorangela says:

    kooshy says:
    April 2, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    thank you for your comment.

    There are no Irar-style carpet bazaars in USA.

    USAians cut up little pieces of paper and trade them for 20 cents off of a product we don’t need and that will make us fat and lazy. And because it’s such a bargain we buy a lifetime supply.

  119. Amir says:

    MassoudH says:
    April 2, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    I am just a lay person, but I’m just tossing around a question here:
    if the ~20% enrichment was a card to be traded away with recognizing Iran’s rights under NPT
    1) How are we supposed to keep our rights, if we give up some of them (sounds a bit odd, and possibly amateurish)
    2) If we give up something and the US doesn’t keep its end of the bargain, then what?
    3) What if we have legitimized our nuclear program, but made unnecessary commitments?
    4) What if we have recognized the arbitration of people/ groups that are hostile to us?

    And the last one is the reason that I honestly don’t think any sanctions would be ever removed, because in the end, the IAEA can not decide about all PMD-related questions, and they are using a complex, inter-dependent, weird approach, but we must give up substantial rights to even begin the process that is going to break down later.

    And again, I’m just a lay person, asking something to be educated. Thanks in advance.

  120. Amir says:

    I’m sorry MassoudH, and another question:
    On the US fact sheet, there is section on (in the eventuality of) lifting UNSC sanctions, by passing a new one, incorporating core concerns of previous ones, including restrictions on conventional arms and ballistics missiles.

    Now, I’m not an advocate of waging war, but as I had been told, missiles and conventional arms are our deterrence;
    5) How does legitimizing our nuclear program, but limiting our military, sound to you?

  121. masoud says:

    Unless Khameini sticks up for Zarif on this deal, impeachment proceedings will be launched in parliament against him. For my part, I hope they succeed.

    On previous ‘milestones’, Khameini has come out immediately to support his negotiators. Its been 12 hours now, and we’ve not heard anything. I think we’ll have a pretty good idea of which way this is going to turn within 36 hours.

  122. Amir says:

    masoud says:
    April 2, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    Highly unlikely, because 1) Alla-addin Broujerdi has spoken about the negotiations and he didn’t say anything about Zarif. Also, 2) everybody is cautious not to make Iran appear as the party that blocked the path to a negotiated settlement.

  123. MassoudH says:

    Fio,
    Nuclear safeguards have no time limit under NPT for any country. They are making it look harsher for Iran for their domestic audiences. In effect, they have welcomed Iran in the nuclear club but dressing it up to look ‘tough’

  124. MassoudH says:

    Amir,

    Quick response:

    1. Negotiations require give and take. Flexibility makes sense. Both sides have done this.
    2. Iran can restart higher enrichment levels if needed. But this won’t be necessary because Iran wants to break the back of sanctions and unilateral US sanctions won’t work after this deal. Iran does not need to trade with the US.
    3. The nuclear programme has been legitimised and it is acceptable to make extra commitments now for being pragmatic. This will pay economic dividends.
    4. That won’t happen because Iran knows the iaea inside out.
    5. Our military capabilities are independent of nukes and are recognised as highly effective. On top of that Iran has nuclear capability which is in itself a highly effective deterent. A one-year breakout period is enough to deter Israel. And in time this breakout period will get shorter.

  125. Amir says:

    MassoudH says:
    April 3, 2015 at 12:47 am

    Thanks for your quick reply! I just wanted to rephrase the last question (number five, about UNSC resolution). US fact sheet mentions CONVENTIONAL ARMS in addition to ballistic missiles; now that might be their wish list, but that’s their position.

    I guess you favor a model in which Iran uses economic levers to exert influence in the region, but you agree that security is important. And some have argued here that an Atomic bomb doesn’t deter let’s say small terrorist groups (which is a valid point); but what about conventional weapons?

    I’m not a weapons-enthusiast, but I think some of decision makers who are tasked with developing defense capabilities had hoped for cooperation with (maybe) Russia. There is going to be a problem here. You don’t have to answer this right away. And you don’t have to answer me at all, I’m a nobody. But I’m thinking, we are giving away something we didn’t need (say ~20% U enrichment) and receiving something we don’t need yet (vague promises to join nuclear fusion research, which probably wouldn’t happen).

    Also, about the first question you said “Negotiations require give and take”. TRR needed fuel plates that couldn’t be bought. If the situation happens again, and we have tied our own hands, who would we have to blame? The US didn’t really give us anything that wasn’t already ours. You could say the world is a jungle and I should get used to the facts, but that’s another story.

    Again, some of the steps Iran would take, although not irreversible, would take a looooot of time and resources to reverse. Consider Arak reactor’s core, which the US fact sheet says is to be dismantled.

    Finally, you mentioned “… and unilateral US sanctions won’t work after this deal. Iran does not need to trade with the US”.
    Although Iran doesn’t have to trade with the US, many companies wouldn’t dare trade with Iran because of unilateral US sanctions and threats to punish those that do so (and have businesses in the US).

    Thanks again, by the way.

  126. Karl.. says:

    ​US gets ‘incredible deal’ offering Iran no real sanction relief
    http://rt.com/op-edge/246425-us-iran-incredible-deal/

  127. Karl.. says:

    Massoudh

    “Nuclear safeguards have no time limit under NPT for any country.”’

    That is not right at all, Additional Protocol for example doesnt give them the right to go in into military bases.

  128. Pragmatic says:

    If the EU and America release all the sanctions, then it was a win-win situation for all parties.

    Why is it since Ahmadinejad left, nobody from Iranian side talk/mention about the Israeli’s bomb?

  129. David Martin Edmunds says:

    I think that the influence of the Leveretts in the success of the talks are not to be underestimated. No longer lone voices, they have had a significant effect and an admiring following, however the opposition to the ‘deal will be a real threat to its success. Essential to keep going.

    I would have liked to have heard a word from the Iranian delegation on others reducing the dangers inherent in their nuclear programs.

  130. kooshy says:

    Thoughts On That Maybe-Deal About Iran’s Nuclear Achievements
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/

    “Some preliminary deal has been agreed upon in Geneva that will restrict Iran’s civil nuclear research and production program in exchange for lifting sanctions.

    The deal is unfinished. The devil is in the details and those have yet to be agreed upon. The deal will fail when on June 30 those agreements will turn out to be unachievable.

    There are many distortions and lies in the “western” reporting on the issue. Facts that are left out include:

    The whole crisis over a “nuclear Iran” is manufactured based on lies from Israeli and U.S. intelligence services. The target of the U.S. and Israeli operations was never a “nuclear Iran” but an Iranian Islamic Republic that insists on independent internal and foreign policies.
    Iranian leaders have declared that any weapons of mass destruction contradict the philosophical and religious base of the Islamic State of Iran. They have insisted on this and did not retaliate even when their cities came under chemical attacks during the Iraq-Iran war.
    All U.S. intelligence services agree that Iran does not have any military nuclear program. There is nothing to fear from a pure civil nuclear program in Iran.
    All sanctions on Iran are illegal in the very first place. They have no basis in facts or law.”

  131. Rd. says:

    Behind all the smoke and screen, until, if and when there is a final agreement, looking at this purely as a football match the score doesn’t look good, right!! As many have suggested over the many years, the nuc issue has always been a pretext. That pretext has now been kicked down the road and eventually be off the table. beyond all the smoke and screen the objective is accomplished, keep US busy looking for other excuses. Now the focus can turn into economy and regional security.

  132. Rehmat says:

    Ian Williams, a senior analyst at Washington-based Foreign Policy in Focus, a policy think tank made the remarks on Thursday while commenting on reports that US-Iran have reached a historic understanding over Tehran’s civilian nuclear program. “In a sense, this gives the president a very good chance to poke Netanyahu in the eye,” Williams said.

    Steve Lendman, American Jewish writer, blogger and author commented on the US-Iran nuclear draft: “Hegemons don’t compromise. America is all take and no give. Longstanding US policy calls for regime change. Washington wants pro-Western stooge government replacing sovereign Iranian independence. As long as this policy holds, normal relations with Iran are impossible. Eventual confrontation looms. It’s just a matter of time.”

    Netanyahu claimed that he voiced strong opposition to the draft agreement in a phone conversation with Barack Obama. Netanyahu said he warned Obama that a final agreement based on this framework would “threaten the very existence of Israel,” the Associated Press reported.

    Under Iranian Constitution, it’s the Majlis (Parliament), not president Hassan Rouhani to ratify any foreign agreement. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, who has the ‘last word’ over country’s security issues, has not made any comments on the US-Iran draft agreement.

    Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, who served country’s president for eight years (1981-89), has often said that he never trusted Washington promises because they don’t represent the voices of a sovereign nation.

    http://rehmat1.com/2015/04/03/us-iran-reach-nuclear-agreement-draft/

  133. MassoudH says:

    Amir says:
    April 3, 2015 at 1:33 am

    Amir,

    I think Kooshy has described Iran’s current rationality or logic really well (April 2, 2015 at 9:12 pm).

    On conventional arms, I don’t think there will be any mention of them in the final agreement. Iran would not agree, and there is no rational reason for her accepting it. The ballistic missiles programme is as much a deterrent in itself as nuclear capability, and I’m not talking about its nuclear application here, though it is an essential part of nuclear capability too.

    Iran has the most effective conventional military in the region, and she will continue to maintain it, and is not really being given any choice in the matter by events in the region either. I don’t believe the UNSC will try to venture in that area in any new resolution, and Khamenei and many others have made it clear that they are not willing to negotiate on that matter.

    I would also suggest that we should not be too concerned about what Western politicians state in the interim period till June. You know a politician is lying when their lips move. Their utterances are in the main designed to fool their own constituents by raising fears or hopes or even both! The most glaring of these is the following: the negotiations are not really about nukes at all because everyone involved knows full well that Iran’s nuclear programme was and is peaceful, just as both MOSSAD and US intelligence services have stated. The new deal is about a grand bargain with Iran because the other side needs it (not that Iran has no need for it).

    USA, for example, needs to let Saudi Arabia and Israel down gently in a new era, so in their own political theatre they scream about what they will ‘allow’ Iran to do (also talk of ‘suspension’ versus ‘removal’ of sanctions)! Iran also plays the same propaganda game. But the truth is that all sides in this long running saga are tired of open hostility and would prefer to lower the temperature. It’s a win-win situation for all other than those who are known as hardliners on various sides of this. It’s a win-win approach versus a zero-sum mentality.

  134. MassoudH says:

    Karl.. says:
    April 3, 2015 at 2:23 am

    From what I’ve seen, Parchin is not mentioned in the agreement, and there are no inspections foreseen there.

  135. Amir says:

    MassoudH says:
    April 3, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Thanks a lot indeed! Just one more question and I’m done: what if something compels the Obama administration to change course (concerning letting Israel and KSA down, granted that it has such an intention of course), then what?

    Also, because the title of this piece on which we’re commenting is Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory—The Case for U.S.-Iranian Rapprochement That Obama Must Still Make, at least the Leveretts doubt that Obama is really thinking the way you are (and they think he should be thinking).

    Thanks a lot again.

  136. MassoudH says:

    Amir,

    I’m not sure how to answer that especially as we have seen the Americans betray Iran’s trust before, but look at this shocking quote (shocking because of its source):

    ““You don’t want a war with Iran,” he explained. “You don’t want to bomb that country because the unintended consequences will set the world aflame. So if you can get something that’s decent, you give it a shot. I think that’s a legitimate point,” O’Reilly said to a surprised Gretchen Carlson, host of the network’s daytime show, The Real Story.”

    Yes, that was apparently said by Bill O’Reilly, and on Fox of all places!

    http://thinkprogress.org/world/2015/04/02/3642246/bill-oreilly-expresses-support-iran-deal-give-shot/

  137. Amir says:

    MassoudH says:
    April 3, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Thanks! Clearly you know much more than myself about the mood in the US.

  138. MassoudH says:

    Amir,

    An additional point comes to mind: I don’t know if you are old enough to remember it, but in the case of Iraq, the US administration made every effort to cut short UN inspections/verification in a rush to war even against the advice of the IAEA inspectors at the time. In the case of Iran, they are making every effort to ensure that a commitment to inspections will go on as long as Iran will take it. This says a lot about their real intentions to avoid a war. And as I have mentioned before, IAEA inspections have (and should have) no time limits. The idea is to ensure that countries do not divert materials toward weapons production through regular and indefinite inspections or monitoring of enrichment sites, so it cannot have a time limit. I remember Zarif making this point in an interview with a smile that meant: “what are you guys on about with your silly 10 or 15-year timeframes?!”

    As for the additional protocols, a country that has nothing to hide would not object to them, and Iran doesn’t. Iran’s stance on this is good for the cause of non-proliferation, and is likely to push others in the same direction.

  139. kooshy says:

    Amir says:
    April 3, 2015 at 9:45 am

    If US and her client states including her European and regional clients were able to afford having a direct hot war with Iran and win ( change Iran’s system / Trajectory) they would have done a long time ago and wouldn’t ask the Oman to invite Iran to secret meetings. Looking at it in a different way if sanctions were the reason for pulling Iran to the table so was increasing and advancing Iran nuclear capability and military defense technology. Iran’s multi-facetted defense architecture is primarily and necessarily based on deterrence mainly by increasing her size using very friendly relation with her immediate neighbors on the streets (like when a cat wants to deter scares the potential adversary by inflaming her body). This is the reason that an entity like Israel can’t last where she is located even with help of nukes and her 3 protector nuclear P-UNSC states. Again security is about where, who, and how one is, this is the same.

  140. Karl.. says:

    Massaoudh

    For IAEA Parchin is still a problem and they will demand to get in there, especially if Iran accept AP/protocol and want the sanctions to go.

  141. Amir says:

    MassoudH says:
    April 3, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Yeah! I was a teenager then. But about Iran’s case I meant parameters are detailed, but the whole thing is based on the interim deal, hence the IAEA is responsible for judging whether Iran has ever cheated or not, and this, it couldn’t do, without the green light from the US (and others?).

    I remember when (maybe 5-6 years ago) almost everyone warned against accepting a deal that created a never-ending regimen of inspections (military sites, nuclear labs, interviews with scientists, etc) similar to that of Saddam’s Iraq, which tied down a substantial portion of their human resources, and constantly brought forth new questions (and provided the intelligence the US needed). I sense Iranian leadership is still pretty much preoccupied with this possibility.

  142. Amir says:

    kooshy says:
    April 3, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Thanks for your reply! Well, I wasn’t really worried about hot war with Iran. The part I mentioned about Iran’s military and deterrence was related to a point on the US fact sheet, which might not find a place in the final agreement.

  143. paul says:

    Today the Iran deal is looking more like what we have been hearing about – but it’s still a horrible deal for Iran and for the world, as far as I can tell. Basically the world has now agreed that any time the US doesn’t like a country, the US can legimately just blockade that country economically, cutting it off from the international system, ultimately bringing that country to its knees and forcing it to subject its policies to US approval. How can Russia now complain about the US and EU sanctions? Now Greece knows the fate that awaits it if it does not kneel to the will of Germany and the US. Now Venezuela sees its future.

    And this liberals and ‘progressives’ call “progress”. Yes, it’s great that at least we seem to avoid the bombing – for now. But it looks to me like Iran has signed on for the Iraq treatment. Sanctions won’t be lifted until the IAEA says to do it and it’s very unlikely that they ever will, I think. It sounds like the US can at any time simply declare that Iran is in noncompliance anyway and even those sanctions tht may have been loosened can ratchet back up.

    Russia’s role in all this remains soooo curious. By going along with US pressure on Iran, Russia has legitimated US economic warfare against Russia. When Russia complains about this, it sounds silly. Why is the way you treated Iran not good enough for you, Russia? The craziest thing is that Iran played the same game with Libya. Iran was only too eager to push Libya under the bus. So now Iran, hoping to avoid war and get the sanctions lifted has knelt. My bet is that it will not avoid sanctions or war without a much more radical regime change occurs, one way or another.

  144. Karl.. says:

    What do people here make out of the deal is ending circa 2025? Then what?

  145. Ataune says:

    From a political perspective it goes without saying that this potential deal will help the forces involved directly in making it to happen: the Rouhani administration in Tehran facing Majlis elections and the Obama presidency, and obviously the next democratic candidate, in the US.

    From a long-term view, at least on the Iranian side – and for a country which even now enjoy much of internal stability in a region engulfed in crisis – any agreement will be an additional bonus for internal peace and prosperity.

    From a strategic point of view, I tend to agree with Kooshy and MassoudH. Given that from the onset the fundamental Iranian demand was their sovereign right being recognized by the world powers and the rest being resolvable technical issues – even with the Ahmadinejad administration – and the public claim that they never intended to develop nuclear weapons, the “deal” will be a good one for Iran and should be written in the win column for her.

    The geopolitical consequences for the country are also huge. With Iran’s leader insistence from the start, and US acquiescence apparently, that the deal is on the nuclear issues only, we can witness in the near future a sovereign and independent political entity in South-West Asia with a genuine system of governance based on her culture and history – evidently with some deficiency like in any other legitimate system – being able to assert herself as a stabilizing factor and push other regional powers towards more of a peaceful trade and economic integration and less of a crisis and wars.

  146. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Your apparent belief that the EU has no desire to end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, is simply incorrect. I think the EU must take the lead in forcing through some sort of deal, and that the EU will do this.

  147. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    April 3, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    And pray tell me who would do that?

    The Conservative Party in UK?

    The Labor?

    The French and German Barons?

    That is not going to happen; EU does not have the power or the will to do anything against Israel.

    Just like US.

    But, we shall see, shan’t we?

  148. Rd. says:

    From an outsiders point of view; The Saker,

    “First and foremost, and I have said that innumerable times on this blog, this is not about some putative Iranian nuclear weapons program. I will not repeat all the arguments in detail here (those interested can look into the archives), but here is a short summary of why Iran never intended to have a nuclear weapon:

    1) Iranians are very smart, not stupid. They fully understand that a few nuclear weapons would make absolutely no difference in a war against Israel or the US or anybody else. If used aggressively, they would trigger a massive response and if used defensively, in response to an attack, they would not be here in the first place, because any attack would begin by a counter-force disarming strike, possibly a nuclear one. Any putative Iranian nuclear forces lacks both the survivability and flexibility needed to be used or even to deter any attack.
    2) Acquiring a military nuclear capability would instantly turn Iran into a pariah state. We saw the sanctions against Iran against an imaginary nuclear program; you can imagine what they would be against a real one.
    3) Iran is uninvadable as a country – it is too big, the terrain too complex, the population too large and, frankly, its armed forces too strong. Compared to Iran, both Afghanistan and Iraq were easy targets (there is a reason why the US has not even attempted to invade Iran since 1979!). Iran can, however, be very heavily bombed with missiles and successive airstrikes. This is not the kind of threat a nuclear capability can deter. In other words, Iran does not even need nukes.
    4) The US intelligence community has admitted that Iran has no military nuclear program. All they could claim is that Iran had one in the past. Considering the pressure the US intelligence community was under at the time, this is as exculpatory a report as can be realistically expected.
    5) The Iranian spiritual leaders have gone on the record multiple times and most officially declared that nuclear weapons are immoral, un-Islamic and forbidden. Secularists tend to believe that religious folks are always liars, I tend to believe that they do follow the principles which they believe in.
    6) It is most definitely not about anybody wanting to get (or prevent) and “Islamic bomb” as Pakistan already has just that.

    So if this not about nukes, what is it?”

    http://thesaker.is/the-deal-with-iran-a-major-sign-of-the-empires-weakness/

  149. kooshy says:

    Ataune says:
    April 3, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    You are right the importance of Iran and her longevity, endurance throughout the history was not based on her military power, actually IMO too much of non-conventional military power will not add any benefit but rather will increase the cost of its maintenance and therefore subside Iranian influence in her immediate region (lowering price of oil (income) and expanding areas, regions and allies to defend (expense) is not easy to maintain). So if you tactically accept something that you were not and you could not use, no matter what, in lieu of something you can and you need to use, and in the same time lowering the tensions around you and your allies, amounts to a strategic gain. Nuclear advancement was the medium to get to this point.

  150. fyi says:

    Rd. says:

    April 3, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Saker is wrong.

    He has not evidently grasped the notion of Escalation Ladder in War.

    Nor does he understand that a few nuclear warheads in hardened silos – on ballistic missiles or cruise missiles will make all the strategic difference in the world to Iran.

    Whether Iran is a pariah state or not is irrelevant, he long term survival as a coherent unitary state is.

    He is correct that this nuclear file had served other purposes.

    I am not going to belabor my opinions – everyone here knows them.

  151. kooshy says:

    Iran’s security and defense is based on deterrence, a deterrence that mainly is based on good intelligence, internally and externally. It is because of this good intelligence that Iran was able to defend herself during the Iraq war, and to maintain her internal and external security in the most volatile region of the word while changing and shifting her own governance system, I mean not just these past few decades, but rather the past few millenniums. Truly Iran is the crossroad of the civilizations, which it really means the crossroad of trade, back and forth for trade, in the process gaining and leaving some culture behind, in this kind of trade depot spots the best policing is always starts with good intelligence, this good intelligence is only possible with keeping good relation with all your neighbors be one of the locals and to share and be fair with your neighborhood. That is and should be Iran’s policy

  152. Nasser says:

    fyi says: April 3, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Agreed fully.

    I follow Saker’s blog but not on matters pertaining to Iran; he has also been consistently wrong on judging the Russian Federation’s self perceived interests and actions towards Iran.

  153. kooshy says:

    .” Nor does he understand that a few nuclear warheads in hardened silos – on ballistic missiles or cruise missiles will make all the strategic difference in the world to Iran.’

    Sure that actions sounds like the Dirty Harry’s “Go ahead make my day punk” one must be very stupid to think that what will deter US is a “few” Nukes on missiles, if that’s enough and what it takes to keep the US away, then one must conclude Iran already has some secret Nukes which so far has prevented US to attacked her in these past 37 years.
    Zio baby, I was arguing this same line in this same place with you 4 years ago then it was 33 years ago, can you tell us if Iran already has nukes? And so as the result of her already existing arsenal of “few nukes on missiles” your last four years “prophecies” -predications of Iran will be nuked has not materialized. If you can’t, it’s high time to bag it. Man the deal is already done, for how long MEMRI is planning to continue to push for this line. IMO they got to come up with something new, I don’t think many will any longer get excited with the this “ Iran needs nukes line” , you guys need to come up with some new lines better fitting to this new strategic reality.

  154. Kooshy says:

    What deters US from attacking DPRK? It is not DPRK’s tested but token nukes, realistically as always it’s China, and what she can and will to to US here in US near abroad. Like when Nixon negotiated with Mao, accordingly he responded to the “Mad King” we can lose 300 mil how many you can afford to lose ” in US” ? That’s a MAD situation call, but a few untested nukes pointed possibly at some shity US allies that US would welcome to lose is not and cannot make a MAD deterrence, it would be more like the Waco situation.

  155. Rd. says:

    fyi says:

    “He has not evidently grasped the notion of Escalation Ladder in War.”

    Your assertion does not explain why US has not engaged in a direct hot war with Iran over the last 35 yrs. Considering Iran was a keystone to US FP in the ME. That loss has been detrimental to US, has it not? Ofcourse the very many wrongs by US is given, but why so many wrong steps by US in the last 35 yrs? And yet not a direct confrontation?

    This does not imply that there are those within US who wish to, surely some of those crazies would even attach Russia. Should policies be formed entirely on the premise of what some crazy may do? As suggested, alternative (asymmetry, etc) approaches were planned from early on anyway.

    The US approach is like a virus, has but a life span, no point in exhausting ones energy. Just keep it at arms length. Let the virus run its course and die away. Most of the rest of the world is not willing to support this virus, nor are they able to face it directly. Let the virus deplete its energy and exhaust its resources. There is russia and china, let them be the target. Why not focus more on the improvement of the regional security and internal progress. Why focus on a potential hot nuc exchange? Not that the zio threat should be ignored as obviously has not been. No need to submit to their level.

  156. fyi says:

    Rd. says:

    April 3, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    I repeat again, after the nuclear explosion of India and Pakistan Iran should have left NPT in 1998 for the reasons of state cohesion and survival.

    Regional Security has not improved for Iran; she has had to fight from Hindu Kush to the Mediterranean Sea.

    In 1980s, US did not attack due to the existence of the Cold War.

    In 1990s, she expected Iran to collapse – under the Dual Containment strategy – and US was busy destroying Yugoslavia and expanding NATO – together with the EU barons.

    In 2000s, US was fighting on multiple fronts but limited wars.

    To defeat Iran, the Americans would have had to kill 4 to 6 million Iranians – I doubt they could do so without nuclear weapons quickly enough.

  157. Kooshy says:

    In the entire MD there are 2 countries that they use the other party to subdue the Arabs. Israel and recently autocratic Arab client regimes use scaremongering of Iran, Persian empire Shiehs to instigate and inflate
    the shieh sunnie dived and live more secure for how ever long in the vacuum of that conflict. At the same time Iran uses the Israel against the Arabs for doing the same, with one big difference Iran has and can get Arab street followers, Israel can’t, that is the reason people like our own zio baby feel less secure by day, to reverse their strategic descend they will need to increase the fear of Iran in Arab street as well as the DC streets. This new deal will make their work harder.

  158. MassoudH says:

    Karl.. says:
    April 3, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Karl,

    As far as I know, the IAEA has no sich perogative under the NPT. And the UNSC seems to have given up on trying to force Parchin on the table.

  159. kooshy says:

    “JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel introduced a new demand Friday for the final phase of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, saying the completed deal must include an “unambiguous Iranian recognition of Israel’s right to exist.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/04/world/middleeast/benjamin-netanyahu-says-final-nuclear-deal-must-include-irans-recognition-of-israel.html

    fyd, Zio baby how do you like this new demand line, this may be the new line and who knows may work , do you want to adopt this new line “Iran must recognize Israel “ instead of “Iran needs to get nukes”

    Yazdi light bulb seller who was still keeping the burned up bulbs in his shop was asked why are you keeping these ( useless bulbs) he replies “ yahow didi Kar kerd” ( who knows It may suddenly work) same for this new line you never know “ yahow didi Kar kerd”

  160. Rd. says:

    fyi says:

    “Iran should have left NPT in 1998”

    ‘perhaps’ . the Qajar shahs too should have their head out in the open to avoid the tsars and brits impose their colonialism. Water over the bridge.

    “In 1980s, In 1990s, In 2000s, US was fighting……”

    and in 2010s…. US will be busy figuring how to contain china and russia. So whats our dog in this fight? Besides, if 1998 was a missed opportunity, how did Iran’s internal and regional standing improve since, despite all threats, sanctions, etc??

  161. Kooshy says:

    After the events of yesterday, BibiJan is truly missed here, he debated and argued so much for this deal and this day.

  162. Karl.. says:

    Massoudh

    As far as I know, the IAEA has no sich perogative under the NPT.

    You may be right but IAEA would still demand access there, otherwhise the deal is likely to break down imo.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parchin#IAEA_Inspection

  163. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Billions up for grabs if nuclear deal opens Iran economy

    xxxreuters.com/article/2015/04/03/us-iran-nuclear-economy-idUSKBN0MU0QP20150403

    “Iranian investment banker Ramin Rabii says he shouted in joy when he learned that Tehran and world powers had reached a deal which promises to lift economic sanctions on Iran. Then he called colleagues to discuss the business implications.

    “We’ve been preparing for this moment for 10 years,” Rabii said by telephone, adding that in the months leading up to the deal Turquoise was in touch with hundreds of potential foreign investors about opportunities for them if sanctions were lifted.

    He said the company now planned to develop its asset management and brokerage businesses, and would hold roadshows for investors in Europe and possibly Dubai.

    Frozen out of the international banking system, its foreign trade slashed by the sanctions, Iran looks likely to become the biggest country to rejoin the global economy since post-Communist eastern Europe in the early 1990s.”

    -Old man, I don’t know what you are complaining about…I mean we finally have the Iranian muleteers being blessed with western corporate money, investment and most importantly- management culture- “rejoining the global economy”- to get over their backwardness and allowing them to have a better life.

    (I will no longer put these words and phrases in quotation marks because they are no longer contested concepts but have now become “truths”).

    Like Jenabe Rabii you should be shouting for joy!

    And all of it with the halal stamp of the Vali-e Amr! Just like when Imam (r) put the halal stamp on democracy and republicanism for the muleteers 1978.

    (Cue deep voice-over guy voice) “Democracy and corporate capitalism: Brought to you by the Shia doctors of law…(cue dramatic music)”.

    I mean what more could you want azizam…Like the good people of Greece, Spain and Portugal in 1980 and the good people of eastern Europe in the 1990s, the Iranian people will “benefit” from this in the long run…right? RIGHT?!

    (Sorry had to put the quotation marks cuz there’s still debates about this, right?)

    I guess your Zionist, pro-Israel self is now fighting with your capitalist, entrepreneurial liberal, free-market self…that’s why you’re “conflicted” about this whole new thing…”

    As for me, I will start a second career as the Iranian John Stewart or Stephen Colbert the new Iran corporate plutocracy…substituting nightly satire, mockery and insults for actual ethical and political debates and thoughts.

    Just pay me as much as they are getting and I’ll dump God, the Ahlul Bayt, sharia, the revolution, Imam and Agha…if you insist…RIGHT?!

  164. Fiorangela says:

    Karl.. says:
    April 4, 2015 at 2:56 am

    Wherefore Parchin?

    ” the question of what may or may not have happened at the Parchin military base is UTTERLY IRRELEVANT to the current dispute between Iran and the IAEA/the West over Iran’s nuclear program. Even if all of the allegations made about what happened at the site are true – i.e. that experiments were carried on there 15-20 years ago that increased Iran’s understanding of how to construct a nuclear warhead – SO FREAKING WHAT? As I’ve explained over and over, even if that’s all true, it wasn’t illegal in any way.**”

  165. Fiorangela says:

    and —

    Iran’s Nuclear Program and the Legal Mandate of the IAEA
    Wednesday 9 November 2011

    “Firstly and most fundamentally, the IAEA simply has no legal mandate to produce such a report on activities being carried on within an IAEA member state concerning items and technologies that may be related to the development of a nuclear explosive device, but that are not directly related to fissionable materials or associated facilities.

    A thorough discussion of the IAEA’s history, role and legal mandate cannot be presented here, though I have attempted such an analysis in my 2009 book, International Law and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. It must therefore suffice to say that the agency is tasked in the IAEA Statute to conclude safeguards agreements with IAEA member states, pursuant to which all fissionable materials and related facilities within the state are subject to IAEA safeguards, and to monitor and verify member states’ compliance with these agreements. The IAEA is not tasked, either by its Statute or by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), in monitoring or verifying the compliance of states with their broader NPT legal obligations. . . .”

  166. Karl.. says:

    Fiorangela

    I agree but the issue is – IAEA, they will keep wanting to go there (no matter what the mandate says) – thats the issue, but we will see how this evolve.

  167. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Career Update:

    I will shave my beard and get a silk tie and because of my “English skills” be a “bache zerang” and weasel my way into becoming a the rep of some western corporation in Iran- preferably in the oil and gas sector.

    And/or I will “convince” one of Mr.Rabii’s potential investors to fork over a shit load of cash for a “joint venture”- but end up investing into a new high rise in Zafarniye and a few Porsche Cayennes for my new surgically-enhanced gold digger girlfriend from Saadatabad (actually originally from Naziabad but after her first divorce settlement she bought a condo in Saadatabad with the mehriye she got).

    This just in:

    President Rohani tweets: “After the signing of the comprehensive agreement, when the youth of Iran go to the bathroom, gold will start coming out.”

  168. paul says:

    The more I read, the more the deal looks like this: Iran agrees to massively cut back it’s nuclear programs and even other programs that someone may claim to be relateable, and what it gets back is no commitment to timely sanctions relief and assurance that the threat of ‘snap back’ sanctions will not be removed even if there is some relief. Even Russia continues to withhold s-300s from Iran, which is not called for by the sanctions! Even now, after watching France withhold the naval boats it owed Russia, Russia continues to run the same game on Iran!

    But, most importantly, what this deal affirms is that economic warfare, no matter how brutal, is now considered to be a valid way for nations to interact, and that regardless of the legitimacy of any justifying claims. Russia’s role in all this is a real sick joke. Don’t complain about sanctions Mr. Lavrov and Mr. Putin!!

  169. Karl.. says:

    paul
    April 4, 2015 at 11:39 am

    I think Russia wanted better ties with the US (than with Teheran) and thats why they agreed to stop S300 deal and so on. Besides that I agree with your latest posts here.

  170. Jay says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    April 4, 2015 at 4:34 am

    Mr. Rabii will have to wait yet longer!! Much is made of this “deal”, but what is there in real terms is not a deal but a tactical delay.

    US and her allies will not uphold their end – they will come back with more (unrelated, un-negotiated) demands – with their subservient English and French in tow. It is necessary for Iran to proceed on at least two fronts: 1) to create economic buffers to withstand the reimposition of sanctions, and 2) to build the narrative for the ultimate failure of talks. It seems to me that this is precisely what is taking place in Iran.

    US and her allies will need to go broke before they come to their senses – or perhaps never! The fundamentals of waging war on Iran has not changed.

  171. fyi says:

    paul says:

    April 4, 2015 at 11:39 am

    It was precisely the failure of economic weaponization that brought Axis Powers to the table; in 2011 they expected Iran to crash and burn.

    I think this memorandum of understanding is a political disaster for Axis Powers and more broadly, P5+1 – for they have paid a very very high price indeed to get to this point.

    Consider: the 2003 Iranian offer included only 300 centrifuges.

    Consider: in 2007, the Axis Powers had the political cover through the US NIE to settle with Iran – they chose escalation.

    And they escalated through very very serious economic warfare the likes of which the world had not seen since the days of World War II.

    The legacy of the weaponization of finance and commerce cannot be unlived; almost certainly Iranian planners will continue on their autarchic development path – in a very analogous manner to what they did in the aftermath of Iran-Iraq War.

  172. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think Obama in 2011 thought that more sanctions against Iran would further injure the Iranian economy. I very much doubt he expected Iran “to crash and burn”.

  173. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Most European diplomats see the great need to make clear to Israel it cannot annex most of the West Bank. And that Palestine must be an independent state. And that the US is largely unable to act in its own best interests, in matters related to Israel/Palestine.

  174. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    April 4, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    You evidently had not been paying attention to the way EU carried out the economic warfare against Iran; expecting hyperinflation and utter disruption of the Iranian society and state.

    When that did not happen, in February-March of 2012, US began preparing for war with Iran.

    Iranians then stated that they are ready for war; at which point US beat the retreat from an imminent war posture.

    By 2013 and the Peasant Revolt in UK, Axis Powers’ policies in the Near East had reached the Dead End – the Dead End that was clear already in 2006 – but which the US planners and leaders were loath to admit.

    The Peasant Revolt in UK was followed by the Franco-German Baronial Revolt and the Minsk Deal with the Republican Tsar of Moscowy.

    These were the causes of Lausanne Agreement.

  175. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    April 4, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Most European, if they seriously believe in 2-state solution, are delusional.

    Americans and Israelis killed the 2-state solution; Israelis never had the intention to permit a Palestinian State and Americans because they loved Israel so.

    There could now only a single state between Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea – a future Palestine Republic modeled after the sectarian constitution of Lebanon.

    EU is basically an overall non-entity in the Near East; she can basically wage economic warfare and offer band-aides after episodes of rapine and murder.

  176. Jay says:

    To understand the capricious nature of the western position and the lack of any real long term value attached to this so-called deal, note the leaks from the French and the US, some of which is outlined in the Laurence Norman article today (APR 04) in the WSJ.

    The PR generated from the “deal” is a strong positive for Iran. Western powers had to relinquish, at least for the time being, their untenable demands. This is a golden opportunity for Iran to build bridges to cross once the western “deal” falls apart – which I believe it will; to the detriment of western powers.

  177. Irshad says:

    Does anyone know if there has been an official reaction by Ay. Khamenie to the Lausanne Framework Agreement? I find it suspect that he has so far remained silent but Rouhani and Obama have come out for the deal. Is the Ayatollah waiting to be briefed by Mr Zarif and Salehi before saying anything?

  178. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    European diplomats are well aware of the degree to which the US’s ability to act in the national interests of the US and its partners in the EU, is compromised severely in matters pertaining to Israel/Palestine. I think many of them see no reason for the borders of Palestine to change merely because Israel has illegally settled hundreds of thousands of Jews in Palestine.

  179. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    My understanding is that the EU expected the additional sanctions against Iran to inflict further damage on the economy of Iran. Full stop.

  180. M.Ali says:

    I don’t think Khameini is happy with this deal but he maybe prefers not to say anything for now so that certain people don’t quickly claim that he is derailing a “win win” deal. I am guessing, as is his leadership style, to have a hands off approach as much as possible.

    I feel politician oppositions to the deal are starting to heat up.

  181. fyi says:

    Irshad says:

    April 5, 2015 at 9:37 am

    There is no reason for Mr. Khamenei to take any position.

    Later, by the end of June, he may or may not say something depending on what has or has not been agreed to.

    The contour of the deal as it stands is this:

    Iran will be one year away from building a bomb for 15 years.

    Iran will implement AP but will not adopt it.

    Axis Powers will gradually dismantle some of their sanctions.

    UNSC sanctions with be removed quickly.

    Iran will be resuming full-scale nuclear developments in 15 years under NPT with no restrictions.

    These are acceptable, in my opinion, since Iran is not dismantling anything.

    And if the strategic situation deteriorates, Iran could always exercise her option and leave NPT.

    As I said before, Axis Powers have paid a very very heavy price for this agreement – they had a much better offer in 2003, in 2005, in 2007, in 2010.

    Their largest loss was any possibility of re-integration of Iran into their Empire.

    Their second biggest loss was the weaponization of finance and commerce, which will keep giving them negative dividends.

  182. Khomeini says:

    Irshad says:
    April 5, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Zarif and his team are under pressure inside Iran after US State Department published its own version of the agreement contradicting the Zerif’s version of the agreement. Publication of FACT-SHEET and MEDIA-SHEET by State Department has added to more confusion and heated debates about which version is correct. http://farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13940114000012

    In order to defend his version of agreement, Zarif and his deputy Ararchi has given separate interview in IRIB. Zarif (in 2 hours long interview) showed up with a copy of the agreement and read sections of it to prove that his version of agreement is correct. On the other habd, Ararchi(in 46 minutes interview) also assured that Iran’s version is correct and asked the public to believe Iran’s version of agreement and not US version because US has been lying about Iran for more than 35 years.

    As for Mr Khamenei, he is doing the wise thing. He does not want to add fuel to the ongoing fire of debates about the agreement. I think M.Ali(April 5, 2015 at 5:29 pm) has correctly accessed the situation “I don’t think Khameini is happy with this deal but he maybe prefers not to say anything for now so that certain people don’t quickly claim that he is derailing a “win win” deal.”

  183. M. Ali says:

    Economist in 2006,
    http://www.dolatebahar.com/media/image/userdata/246307622-1-20060506issuecovEU400.jpg
    Cover headline
    “Unstoppable? Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions”

    Economist in 2014,
    http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21629338-changes-iran-make-nuclear-deal-more-likelynot-month-perhaps-eventually
    Headline: “The revolution is over”

  184. fyi says:

    All:

    From Al-Watan – in Arabic:

    http://www.alnasiriyah.org/?p=2273

  185. Amir says:

    In response to a post by FYI,
    One purpose of constant covering of ISIS takfiris by the media would be pressing Sunni Muslims to commit cultural suicide, that is shaming them to abandon their identity. It has happened before, and I think it will happen again. Young Muslims in the US and Europe are forced to choose either ISIS or liberal-democracy.

  186. kooshy says:

    Amir says:
    April 6, 2015 at 9:39 am

    From what it appears, what could be agreed to was hard for both sides to sell to their own constituents and at home, clearly both sides had to agree to provisions that previously were called a red line by themselves as well as their oppositions at home and abroad. IMO the reason there was just a general and vague verbal announcement was to slowly retract and slide back from the previously made red lines, without getting outright rejection at home, so now both sides are back home with some middle of the way give and take, like Iran cutting 3000 currently working centrifuges, etc. and US accepting enrichment in Iran, and so on. Basically both sides are back home salami slicing the deal with their own constituencies to see if it fly’s or not.

  187. Irshad says:

    Thank you to all for responding to my query – I find it interesting that the Western media has not picked up on Leaders silence on this agreement.

    @Amir – rubbish! Not all Sunni Muslims are Wahabis and Wahabism is not the representative norm for Sunni Islam. The Saudis would love this to be so but their reformist “dawah” has had limited impact on the wider Sunni community. Just look at Algeria as an example. Also Muslim youth do not have a binary joice of either liberal democracy or Wahabi Islam – its more complex and nuance then that as a large majority of them choose to be law abiding citizens who take all the oppurtinities they can get. They can pray 5times a day or cover their head and still train to be a engineer or teacher etc or work in carious industries. A minority may choose to believe ISIStan is Gods promished utopia on earth – but they are normally looking for something they feel they have nout found in the West. Did the British govt force 3young school girls to runaway from home to go Isistan?

  188. fyi says:

    Irshad says:

    April 6, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    I agree, – rubbish it was.

    Certainly I have encountered many different people; young women who study medicine and wearing scarves, young women who study dentistry and do not wear scarves, men who pray at regular hours together with their families and attend mosque each weekend – but his daughters and wife do not wear scarves, and many many different kinds.

  189. Amir says:

    Irshad says:
    April 6, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    I didn’t mean it the way you have understood it. I should have explained it a bit more.