There are apparently some Americans who are so interested in bringing about a war with Iran that they are willing to do or say anything to achieve that aim. A lead op-ed appeared in today’s New York Times written by Reuel Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz of the neocon Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. The article “Don’t Give Up on Sanctions” begins by asserting the usual unprovable, i.e. that Iran has a “progressing nuclear program.” In fact, of course, there is no evidence whatsoever that that is the case. The op-ed then goes on to shoot its own assertion in the foot, asking if one wonders “whether 30 years of sanctions have helped to thwart – or even stall – the country’s nuclear designs.” Well, given that speculation, one might well wonder how long a time period might be required to suggest that (a) Iran might not actually want a nuke and might not be building one and (b) that international pressure might have already worked to derail the program since at a best guess it has been vegetating for thirty years.
The tale might have ended there with Gerecht and Dubowitz drifting off into the usual neocon fantasy that Iran will have a weapon in six months or a year unless something is done etc. etc., but there was more to come. It seems that the United States can put more pressure on Iran and simultaneously lower oil prices for the American consumer according to a clever Foundation for the Defense of Democracies plan. The US should stop all its friends and allies from buying Iranian oil. That would mean that the Chinese would buy all the oil and, because they would not be competing with other purchasers, they would be able to pressure the Iranians to reduce their prices. At one stroke, oil prices would fall worldwide and the Iranians would have that much less oil revenue to make mischief.
It does not take much of a genius to figure out that oil is a fungible commodity that does not necessarily rely on one buyer or group of buyers. Many countries that are not US allies apart from China also consume oil and would buy what is available on the market. So why write such nonsense? I rather suspect that it is something like a psyops ploy, to convince the US public that a good result in the pocketbook could actually come out of pressuring Iran. Of course, if one actually bombs Iran or damages its economy so severely that it is provoked to a point at which it decides to retaliate, then all bets are off.