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The Problematics of Middle Eastern Diplomacy: the Case of Iran
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[Prefatory Note: this is a modified, updated version of an article published in CounterPunch, January 30-31, 2022.][*]

When a nuclear agreement with Iran was reached by U.S.- led multilateral diplomacy in 2015, despite vigorous opposition from Israel, it was widely viewed as the greatest foreign policy achievement of the Obama presidency, and for good reason. It also showcased the potentialities of great power cooperation when national interests sufficiently converge in a manner that supports the pursuit of the regional and global public good. In those days before Washington’s strategists and foreign policy wonks rediscovered the joys of geopolitical confrontation, not only the major NATO powers (UK, France, and Germany), but more intriguingly, China and Russia, joined as signatories to what became known at the time as the 5 +1 Iran Nuclear Agreement or simply, JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).

That Iran was willing to curtail its nuclear program without demanding compensating moves by Israel remains a surprise. Decades earlier Israel had been permitted, indeed helped, to acquire secretly the means to establish and develop a nuclear weapons capability without any adverse international reaction, becoming in 1967 or so the first state in the Middle East to possess nuclear weapons, although discreetly, to avoid embarrassment for the geopolitical promoters of a anti-proliferation approach to the risks posed by nuclear weapons. It would have seemed reasonable for Iran to have adopted a posture of willingness to commit itself to a nuclear-free Middle East, which would have been a more dramatic move toward denuclearizing the Middle East than was JCPOA. Why did Iran refrain in 2015 and now again, even with a hardline leadership in control of its government? Perhaps, because the Iranian leadership understood there was no prospect of sanctions relief if it depended on Israel’s willingness to give up its status as a nuclear weapons state. In this sense, the 2015 agreement can be interpreted either as a diplomatic triumph by the P-5 + 1 in so limiting the negotiating agenda, and especially the U.S., or as an indication that Iran was prepared to close its eyes to the unreasonableness of demanding restrictions on its nuclear program while ignoring the far greater breach of the nonproliferation ethos by Israel over a period of many years. Iran apparent willingness to accept such a bargain can only be explained by the high priority given to ending the societal devastation being wrought by the sanctions. It appears that the 2021-2022 Vienna talks among the five adherents to JCPOA (plus indirect talks with the U.S.) have similarly not been faced with demands to address Israel’s nuclearism, quite possibly for similar reasons.

Why did this exhibition of constructive diplomacy happen in a region of the world, entailing overlooking Israel’s arsenal of nuclear weapons coupled with its belligerent posture so as to reduce tensions with regard to Iran, which had long been a major site of struggle, strife, and periodic warfare ever since 1979? I presume the main motivation was war avoidance in the Middle East and the belief that JCPOA contributed to the overall goals of nonproliferation and thus avoided a regional arms race by major Arab states to acquire nuclear weapons in the event that Iran crossed the nuclear threshold.

A secondary consideration prompted by the lingering failures of the Iraq ‘democracy promotion’ regime changing intervention of 2003 was to reduce the level of American military and political engagementsd in the Middle East. The 2015 initiative to downgrade Iran as a confrontational priority was seen as facilitating Obama’s ill-advised ‘pivot to Asia.’

Proclaiming this pivot amounted to geopolitical coded message for ‘taking on China in the South China Sea.’ How different might the mood and politics have been had Obama instead opted for a ‘pivot to America!’ And even now it may not be too late for a turn away from global militarism, although Biden, frustrated in achieving his campaign promises by Republicans on the home front, now seems hell-bent on pivoting toward Russia, Iran, and China, all at once. Biden seems to be yearning for the good old days of the crisis-fraught geopolitics of the Cold War with the most opportune zones of confrontation currently being the Ukraine, Iran, and Taiwan.

A side benefit of the 2015 agreement, not often noted, was to give moderates in Iran a major victory in the form of achieving sanctions relief, unfrozen bank accounts, and a path to normalcy in their external relations. The agreement was vigorously opposed at the time by Israel and its supporters, as well as hawkish elements in the U.S. political class. Their main contentions were that Iran would be free from enrichment and centrifuge limits by 2030 and that the agreement did not include an enforceable Iranian pledge to end support for anti-Israeli, anti-Saudi, and anti-American political actors in regional conflict situations as well as to place restraints on its missile program. Iran has adamantly insisted on separating diplomacy concerning its nuclear program from its political involvements in regional politics and its national security posture. In effect, although willing to overlook Israeli nuclearism, Iran has been steadfastly unwilling to alter its sovereign independence with respect to foreign policy or in relation to the non-nuclear elements of its national security posture.

When Trump came along in 2017, the unraveling of JCPOA was a foregone conclusion, guided as much or more by his vindictive resolve to erase Obama’s legacy in ways designed to degrade and denigrate the achievements of his predecessor, while gaining praise from Israel, many members of the U.S. Congress, and militarists in and out of government. Trump somewhat absurdly denounced the agreement as one-sided in Iran’s favor, a betrayal of Israel’s security interests, and thus calling for replacement by a more stringent arrangement, or according to his transactional mindset, ‘a better deal.’ In May of 2018 Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement, followed that June by the reimposition of sanctions, which were later further intensified inflicting great damage on the Iranian economy and civilian population. These moves were all part of a comprehensive approach to Iran that came to be known as ‘maximum pressure.’ These escalating steps toward confrontation were hailed by Israel’s leaders. In contrast, the repudiation of JCPOA was not appreciated by the five other signatories, and deeply destabilizing for the region as well as striking a devastating blow to the reformist government in Tehran led by President Hassan Rouhani, having the effect of opening the gates for the hardline victory of Ebrahim Raisi in the 2021 elections. It also led to retaliatory action by Iran, especially attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

In Tehran this return to the tense pre-2015 days was regarded as confirmation that the West, and especially the U.S., could not be trusted to keep its word and was regarded as evidence that Washington remained determined to bring the Iranian government to its knees in pursuit of its political agenda. Trump had also authorized the assassination of General Qasim Soleimani in early 2020, the most popular of Iranian leaders and seen as a future president of the country. In such an atmosphere Israel felt emboldened enough to assassinate Iran’s leading nuclear scientists and to engage in unlawful sabotage attacks on its nuclear facilities without adverse effects.

As might have been expected, Iran although it gave the remaining JCPOA signatories a year to overcome the U.S. withdrawal, eventually responded by gradually increasing the enrichment of uranium fuel that were somewhat closer to weapons grade levels, reportedly reaching 60% as well as installing higher quality centrifuges. Despite these steps, Iran reiterated its intention not to develop nuclear weapons on numerous occasions, and Western intelligence services confirmed that there was no evidence that Iran was intent on becoming a nuclear weapons state in the near future. Israel and its supporters issued alarmist statements suggesting that Iran was only weeks away from have the bomb, and was determined to become a nuclear weapons state.

When Trump was defeated and Biden elected in 2020, it was naively assumed to be just a matter of time until the 2015 Agreement was restored, and again made operational. After all, Biden had pledged to do so throughout his campaign to become president. It turned out to be far from simple in practice, partly because there was plenty of pushback from Israel and Republicans, and a lack of enthusiasm on the part of many Democrats. In the meantime, the leadership in Iran shifted, with a conservative cleric, Ebrahim Raisi easily elected to replace Rouhani in early 2021. It is relevant to observe that Raisi was a pre-Trump advocate of skepticism about the wisdom of trying to reach a diplomatic accommodation with the West. Despite this background, after being elected Raisi has seemed open to restoring JCPOA, yet entertaining this option in an understandable spirit of caution, suspicion, and firmness. Despite pressure from Washington, Iran has refused so far to engage in direct talks, now in their eighth round, with the U.S. in Vienna. Iranian officials have been telling the media that Iran is awaiting reliable signs from the U.S. that it is prepared to remove all sanctions without conditions accompanied by guaranties that it will not again withdraw from whatever arrangement is agreed upon. Once such a willingness is signaled, if it is, Iran will agree to direct talks. Until then, it will discuss the issues directly only with governments of the remaining five signatories, that is, 5+1 minus the U.S., allowing the co-signatories to serve as intermediaries in what amount to pre-negotiations with Washington the purpose of which seems to be to allow Tehran ascertain whether negotiations of the U.S. return to the 2015 framework will be fruitful. Iran seems determined not seem so weak as to accept whatever arrangement the U.S. insists upon, or to be in a position of being portrayed as a deal-breaker when it refuses the conditions set by the American negotiators.

Beyond the obstacles associated with satisfying Israel’s alleged security concerns and a determination not to get mired in controversial foreign policy initiatives, Biden sought in the early months of his presidency to focus on domestic issues, especially the social and economic fallout from the pandemic. This meant an avoidance of even the semblance of a break with Israel, which helps explain why the White House made a series of unusual high-profile gestures to reassure Israel that the U.S. would not act unilaterally in negotiating the renewal of its participation in the 2015 agreement, but would coordinate with Israel its negotiating efforts to restore JCPOA. The only way for Biden to find such a level of approval by Israel for a restored nuclear agreement with Iran is if the new arrangements appeared to strengthen the constraints of the 2015 text by removing sunset clauses terminating vital features of the agreement, and through inclusion of more stringent monitoring and verifying procedures to assess compliance with permanent restrictions on enrichment, testing, stockpiling, and centrifuges. The U.S. has also signaled that the pace of sanctions relief would be quickened if Iran additionally pledged to roll back its political engagements hostile to the interests of the Gulf monarchies, Israel, and the U.S.. These engagements by Iran are supposedly currently causing trouble for Western interests in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Lebanon, and Gaza.

Matters of Context

Most important is the acknowledgement and relevance of the Trump withdrawal from the 2015 agreement because he (following Israel’s encouragement) thought it a bad deal. Because Iran reacted, at first cautiously, hoping for some compensatory actions from the European countries, which was never forthcoming. It seems obvious that Iran wanted the agreement to survive the U.S. withdrawal, but not at the cost of enduring the renewal of sanctions. With the present effort to restore JCPOA the U.S. acts as if it doesn’t even owe Iran an apology to Iran but seeks to condition its renewal of participation on the acceptance by Iran of a new more restrictive agreement, policy goals partly dictated by domestic circumstances. Anything less, will be openly attacked by Trumpists and by Israel, at least by the Netanyahu-led Likud opposition party.

The peculiarities of American politics should have been put aside in the Vienna diplomacy, and not heightened expectations about what it was reasonable to demand from Iran. If this was politically untenable, then Biden should have been willing to confess that his campaign pledge to restore American participation in the JCPOA was ill-considered. After all, from Iran standpoint it would have been reasonable to expect not only an apology and some compensation for the damage done to Iranian society by the post-2018 Trump sanctions. Instead Washington acts as if it is doing Iran a favor by rejoining and it is Iran that should be willing to accept more U.S. participation.

It is important to appreciate the broader context of both the 2015 agreement and this attempt to renew compliance by both the U.S. and Iran with or without an alteration of its terms. To begin with, as mentioned, the 5 +1 group should recognize that Iran’s willingness to curtail its nuclear program without reference to Israel’s nuclear weapons, constituted a major concession without which negotiations would have been fruitless from their outset. It should also be appreciated that a genuine concern with nonproliferation, regional stability, and the equality of states would have made it reasonable for Iran to insist on prior Israeli denuclearization or parallel negotiations of a Middle East Nuclear Free Zone. What is more, such an inclusive approach to regional denuclearization would have served the regional and global public good. At the same time, for Iran to condition negotiations curtailing its own nuclear program by linkage to Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal would preclude any diplomatic attempt to end Iran’s suffering from sanctions. It seems virtually certain that Israel would refuse all efforts to call into question its national security posture, including its right to possess and develop nuclear weaponry, and almost as certain that the U.S. and Europe would not exert pressure on Israel to link its relationship to the weaponry with efforts to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program never crossed the nuclear threshold.

Related to this, is the failure of Iran in its public discourse to condition its willingness to accept international controls be tied to an acceptance by Israel and the U.S. of a commitment to refrain from destabilization efforts to undermine the authority of the Iranian government or to damage its nuclear facilities by covert operations. In other words, Iran has not conditioned its participation in the 2015 agreement or its renewal on respect for its sovereign rights as prescribed under international law. This again is a meaningful indication of the importance Iran attaches to sanctions relief and overall normalization.

During this period of diplomatic uncertainty, Iran’s diplomacy has not been passive. The January drone attacks on Abu Dhabi by Houthi rebel forces in Yemen are assumed in the West to be undertaken with the approval of Tehran, and may be thought of as a setoff to Israel’s periodic attacks and threats directed at Iran, as well as a neutralizing response to the anti-Iranian moves of the Gulf monarchies. Whether the political allies of Iran in the region can be considered ‘Iran proxies,’ as contended in the Western media, is somewhat fanciful.

From the Western perspective, Iranian efforts to disregard the constraints of JCPOA seem to suggest an Iranian ambition to be at least a threshold nuclear weapons state, that is, capable of acquiring nuclear weapons in a matter of weeks. It remains ambiguous as to whether Iran is seeking leverage in the bargaining process currently underway or indeed had become disillusioned with accepting restraints in exchange for shaky promises of sanctions relief in light of Trump’s 2018 withdrawal, and the failure of the other parties to the agreement to step in to neutralize the imposition of harsh sanctions. In light of this history, it seems reasonable for Iran to demand a commitment against withdrawal or the reimposition of sanctions, although it may

not be implementable within the constitutional frameworks of the 5 + 1 states. For example, if Trump is reelected in 2024, it seems a near certainty that he would repeat his moves of 2018 without meaningful internal legal or political obstruction, especially given the conservative majority in the U.S. Supreme Court. If the restored agreement took the form of an international treaty, its legal durability might be enhanced, but such an instrument would require submission to the ratification procedures of the participating countries. Such a requirement would undoubtedly doom the agreement as the Republicans in the U.S. Congress, probably with help from some Democrats, would block ratification, which in any event would have to gain a 2/3rds majority in the Senate.

The broader context should not be overlooked. Imposing sanctions on Iran in relation to its nuclear program is unlawful as even the nonproliferation treaty does not impose such restrictions, making the sanction an unlawful exercise of force. Beyond this, foregoing nuclear weapons is from the perspective of international law a voluntary matter. The NPT gives parties to the treaty a right of withdrawal on the basis of supreme national security interests to be explained by an official explanation. Israel has resisted pressures to join the NPT, which would remove its ability to hide behind a refusal to admit or deny the possession of nuclear weapons.

Geopolitical Spillovers

If the agreement were to be restored within the JCPOA framework with minimal modifications, and is then implemented, including a show of tacit respect exhibited by Israel and, most importantly, if the promised sanctions relief is forthcoming and expeditiously implemented, the likelihood of a stabilizing impact on regional and global relations would greatly increase. It would also strengthen the political position of Raisi in Iran, claiming that greater diplomatic firmness yields better results.

If the Vienna talks fail, however, then the prospects for a heightening of regional tensions is likely, taking the form of intensifying anti-Iranian confrontational tactics, maintenance of sanctions, and a reactive Iranian pushback by way of asserting its leverage in regional hot spots. The likelihood of Iran’s alignment with Russia and China also becomes probable, already foreshadowed by long-term trade agreements, high-profile diplomatic visits, and recent joint naval training exercises. Again, the Raisi leadership will likely be strengthened by the claim that diplomacy failed, interpreted as showing the unwillingness of Raisi to fall into the kind of trap that occurred when the moderate leadership of Rouhani took the poisoned bait in 2015. The increased availability of reliable geopolitical alternatives that would ease the economic hardships long experienced by the Iranian people would also work to Raisi’s advantage.

Israel’s mood in its comparable post-Netanyahu phase exhibits continuity its stand of belligerent hostility toward Iran consisting of coercive diplomacy and threatened military strikes, combined with a major effort to expand the normalization accords, which was the final Trump gift to Israel, strongly affirmed by the Biden leadership. Israel’s president, Isaac Herzog’s, January visit to the UAE exhibited both the belligerence and the spirit of Israeli post-normalization self-confidence. While visiting the “Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi spoke these alarming words: “There are only two alternatives in this region. One is peace, prosperity, cooperation, joint investments and a beautiful horizon for the people, or alternatively, or alternatively what Iran is doing, which is destabilizing the region and using its proxies to employ terror.” This kind of language boils down to normalization for Israel, confrontation for Iran, the forces of stability versus the forces of chaos and terror, good versus evil.

As if to confirm my worst fears, Israel conducted at the beginning of February a huge air force drill off its coast to simulate what the Times of Israel called ‘a massive attack’ on Iran’s nuclear facilities. These military exercises included dozens of F-15, D-16, and F-35 fighter jets, and featured what was described as the unusual presence of an officer of U.S. Air Forces as an ‘observer’ of such classified military exercises. Among the practice maneuvers tested were mid-air refueling operations, long-range military strikes, and responses to anti-aircraft fire. This provocative event was reinforced by extra Israeli budgeting to fund preparations for a military attack on Iran and a formal statement by the Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, that regardless of whether an agreement is reached in Vienna, Israel reserves the right to protect its population by the means of its own choosing. The stunning silence of Biden/Blinken in the face of this belligerent independence and military drum beats by Israel should be deeply disturbing for all those wishing for stability, peace, and justice in the Middle East. Silence in such a context amounts to complicity in unlawful threats to engage in aggressive use of force with grave implications for regional peace and security.

Concluding Observation

It is way past time for the West to get over its distress about the outcome of the Iranian revolution that brought the popular movement headed by Ayatollah Khomeini to power in early 1979. In 2015 the JCPOA seemed a step in that direction, soon to be spoiled by the disruptive Trump behavior. With a new president the U.S. Government was positioned to take the initiative in reinvigorating the JCPOA, acting in ways that that would engender hopes of a new dawn of peaceful relations in the Middle East, an end to the prolonged misery of the Afghan, Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian and Palestinian people. Unfortunately, assuming my analysis is correct, this desirable course of action now seems extremely unlikely. The Biden administration seems disinclined to accept any U.S. responsibility for the breakdown of the 2015 agreement, and unreasonably expects Iran to start from a premise of co-responsibility, or worse, without taking account of the fact that JCPOA worked well until the U.S. withdrew. Israel remains defiant. And as for the Palestinians, who have been wrongly treated as disinterested bystanders, already disappointed by Biden’s decision to go along with several of the most blatantly partisan moves in favor of Israel during the Trump presidency. It is foolish to expect anything more from Biden than a more moderate style of pro-Israeli solidarity, and few course corrections as to the way Trump faciliated unlawful Israeli expansionism. In relation to both Iran, Israel, and Palestine, the essential message sent by the new leadership is continuity when it comes to substance combined with a resumption of the pre-Trump pretension of equi-distance diplomacy when it comes to the search for a sustainable peace.

• • •

[*] Richard Falk is Professsor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University; Chair of Global Law, Queen Mary University London; author of Public Intellectual: The Life of a Citizen Pilgrim (Clarity Press, 2001).

(Republished from Richard Falk by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. The funny thing is, the sad… the sickening thing is, that for well over 2,000 years Iran has been the safest place in the world for Jews.

    https://sott.net/article/437000-Irans-head-rabbi-claims-Jews-are-safer-in-Islamic-Republic-than-in-Europe

    • Agree: Biff, chris
    • Thanks: RedpilledAF
    • Troll: A123
  2. anonymous[277] • Disclaimer says:

    Why did Iran give up nuclear weapons without bargaining for a nuclear-free Mideast? One likely reason was technical and pragmatic. To decapitate the Zionist entity you don’t need nukes. A laydown would employ maybe two. Iran wisely focused on missile technology, and now has the equivalent of an OPLAN.

    https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/468091/Just-one-wrong-move

    It’s distributed over a broad territory of multiple nations to render Tel Aviv’s big bombs pointless. And its conventional effects approximate modern laydowns’ precise targeting of more targets with smaller or even kinetic payloads.

    Iran is dealing with a theocracy based on state religion of genocidal origin myths. Iran is acting on its erga omes obligations to stop the crime against humanity of extermination of indigenous Palestinian peoples. The Zionist entity is not a rational regime, it’s hostis humani generis. Capability for force is the only way to stop this failed state and protect the peoples it controls. Iran can further the independent momentum of the TPWN once the Palestinian people have been saved.

    As an early beneficiary of your extraordinary teaching, it’s great to see you here contributing to the freest discourse on the web.

    • Replies: @Insouciant
  3. @anonymous

    What is a Laydown?

    What is OPLAN?

    What does TPWN stand for?

    • Agree: Automatic Slim
  4. A123 says: • Website

    The most critical point is that Khamenei violated the JCPOA deal while Barack Hussein was still in office. (1)

    The IAEA first ignored the reports. This should not come as a surprise: the IAEA has a long history of misreporting the Islamic Republic’s compliance with the deal and declining to follow up on credible reports about Iran’s illicit nuclear activities. Iran’s clandestine nuclear sites in Natanz and Arak were revealed by the opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

    In any event, after a significant amount of pressure was imposed on the IAEA, and after the IAEA’s chief passed away and Iran was reportedly able to moving the suspected materials out of the secret nuclear facility, inspection of the site was recently implemented.

    What was the outcome? Even though the Iranian leaders had cleaned up the facility, the IAEA’s inspectors were able to detect traces of radioactive uranium at the site. Israel’s warning and other reports had proved accurate

    The IAEA is known to be very friendly with Iran, verging on co-conspirator levels of complicity. Khamenei’s violation was so extreme, obvious, and undisguisable even the IAEA could not orchestrate a cover up.

    Khamenei’s intentional assault on Obama’s legacy has alienated many Democrats who supported, or at least tolerated, the original JCPOA.
    ___

    On top of that, Khamenei is making demands that are obviously irrational. Even far left advocates of a JCPOA restart, such as The Guardian, see the folly: (2)

    A second issue surrounds the guarantees Iran is seeking that the US will not repeat Trump’s withdrawal from the deal in May 2018. The US cannot offer a legally binding treaty since the Senate would never agree to one. Price said: “There is no such thing as a guarantee in diplomacy and international affairs. We can speak for this administration, but this administration has been very clear that we are prepared to return to full compliance with the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] and to stay in full compliance with the JCPOA as long as Iran does the same.”

    A UN security council resolution might be a bare minimum of comfort for Iran, but is hardly binding on the parties. Tehran wants binding commitments that if the US quits the deal, the EU will do more to defy secondary US sanctions by injecting real cash into the abortive trading mechanism Instex set up by the EU to bypass US sanctions.

    The only tool in the U.S. Constitution that can bind a subsequent administration is a treaty. Given the state of U.S. internal politics + Democrats offended by Khamenei’s betrayal of Barack Hussein, the current White House occupant cannot obtain Senate 2/3 vote for ratification to lock in a new or amended treaty. The concept of “legally binding” is simply not available. Even if the U.S. negotiating team says “Yes” the U.S. Senate will openly rebuke Biden with a *bipartisan* “No”.

    Trying to obtain binding commitment from an EU teetering on the brink of internal conflagration is even more absurd. Europe cannot even guarantee that the EU will exist in 12 months.
    ___

    The futile negotiations are headed toward inevitable failure. One can imagine Shakespeare describing the show as:

    “Talks among idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    (1) From 2019 – https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/14910/iran-nuclear-deal-violations

    (2) https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/17/iran-nuclear-talks-deadlock-risks-dangerous-vacuum

  5. anon[318] • Disclaimer says:

    insouciant, sorry to be obscure. a laydown is a pattern of nuclear weapons strikes. The OPLAN is the basic US laydown for war planning. TPWN is my misspelled abbreviation for Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, TPNW.

    • Thanks: Insouciant
    • Replies: @Anon
  6. darius says:

    [It would have seemed reasonable for Iran to have adopted a posture of willingness to commit itself to a nuclear-free Middle East, which would have been a more dramatic move toward denuclearizing the Middle East than was JCPOA. Why did Iran refrain in 2015 and now again,..?]
    Iranian government tried VERY HARD and in many occasions raised the issue of ‘Middle East Nuclear weapon FREE Zone” but United States denied the region to protect Israel illegal nuclear weapon industry where US and the West allowed and helped the apartheid entity to obtain in the first place. Israel nuclear weapons are ILLEGAL and US is complicit in Israel’s crimes against humanity. The United States and Israel are the ONLY two countries where have colluded to keep the illegal sanctions on Iranian people.
    Since 2015, the UN resolution ‘The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East’ brought to the floor for voting where has been adopted over and over again, but US and Israel have prevented the world to take action. The world, including Iran, voted YES to “ME Nuclear Weapon FREE zone” resolution at the UN, where 157 countries voted YES, 5 countries including US, Israel, Canada and Micronesia (too weak to resist) voted NO where junior partner United Kingdom Abstained. The resolution was ADOPTED. Majority of the people in the world want “ME Nuclear weapon free zone” but the United states repeatedly DENIED the world to protect the nuclear weapons of an APARTHEID state.
    https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/827239

    In 2016, 2017 the same resolution was adopted AGAIN at the united Nation with similar results, but in 2018, two resolutions came forward where one passed with similar result, but the second one passed with ONLY 2 vote against it. These two countries were US and Isreael, where made them ISOLATED. You can review the result by clicking on the following link.
    https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/1655126

    Iran has voted YES to all resolutions at the UN to bring Israel nuclear weapons under international inspection and control, but the United States who PREACHES against Iran LEGAL nuclear program denied the world to protect an apartheid state with illegal nuclear weapons. The US have lied to American people and the world when making Iranian nuclear program a THREAT, but does not allow public and the media talk about an apartheid state’s nuclear BOMBS to keep gullible people on board. The US view the population gullible enough to deceive them and rule over them through deceptions.
    Why does Iran who has SINGED the NPT and its nuclear program is under stringent inspections, unique in the world because no other country’s nuclear program who have signed NPT has been treated like Iran’s program, but Israel who has not signed NPT goes inspection free and NO ONE talks about it?
    Why has Iran’s nuclear program presented as a ‘threat’ to the world and subjected to illegal sanctions? The US treatment of Iran nuclear program is ILLEGAL and against the international laws. US and Israel have committed crimes against humanity and must pay reparations. Iran has lost billions of dollars due to the west discriminatory policies and have lost lives due to lack of medication for cancer patients and other victims where medication should have not been sanctioned.
    The history of the nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East is a strong evidence that Iran nuclear program is an excuse to put Iran in a box and deny Iranians to develop their economy because Biden and other traitors know very well that if Iran is given 30% of Israel freedom to act, then the apartheid state go into its grave faster than anyone expects and Iran will dominate. Iran has been the power of the region for centuries where US and Israel are using deception to deny the Iranian economy to develop to create jobs for an educated and young population.
    The Biden regime apparently understands this, that’s why it has vowed to pursue a “longer and stronger” agreement in ‘negotiation’ where will be denied like Trump. Biden, is following Trump’s footsteps, where was in fact Netanyahoo and its fifth column FDD policy implemented by Mafia Trump. There is no difference between the tow. ‘negotiation’ is used to control Iranian economy and its direction.
    During 2018 UN ‘nuclear weapons free zone’ resolution, only two countries remained as opposition to the resolution, while the rest of the world, including IRAN voted for the resolution. Do you know which countries? You guessed correctly, US and Israel. Even Canada, a zionist colony voted Yes and adopted the resolution.
    There are Five nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZs) cover territory in most of the Southern Hemisphere and in Central Asia.
    The latest result in 2021 shows that Israel has lost the battle, and has become the only country in the world against the resolution ‘ME nuclear weapon free zone’ . With two countries ABSTAINED. Yes, you guessed correctly again: US and Cameroon. Now, we know what do the United States and Cameroon have in COMMON, don’t we? JP writes:
    Only Israel votes at UN to oppose ME nuclear-free zone.The UNGA asked that countries in the region “place all their nuclear activities under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.” Israel was the only country to oppose the UN General Assembly call for a Middle East nuclear-free zone, in a resolution approved 178-1 on Monday with two abstentions, the United States and Cameroon. Iran voted YES for the resolution.

    https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/israel-was-only-un-country-to-oppose-middle-east-nuclear-free-zone-688096

    • Thanks: Kolya Krassotkin
  7. darius says:

    Thank you Professor Falk for your work on Iran nuclear program and the US/Israel illegal action against Iran.
    I think, Biden Regime like Trump regime is violating US law regarding Nuclear Non-proliferation act which has passed the congress.
    On March 10, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978 into law. The Amendment barred U.S. economic and military assistance to any country that imported or exported spent nuclear fuel reprocessing or uranium enrichment equipment, materials, or technology but failed to comply with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) full-scope safeguards. The Glenn Amendment reaffirmed the provisions of the Symington Amendment in regard to uranium enrichment. Israel is that country where transferred nuclear weapon technology to apartheid South Africa.
    The Symington Amendment is legislation introduced by Stuart Symington, a Democratic senator from Missouri, to strengthen the US position on nuclear non-proliferation.
    The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 was amended by the Symington Amendment in 1976. It banned U.S. economic, and military assistance, and export credits to countries that deliver or receive, acquire or transfer nuclear enrichment technology when they do not comply with IAEA regulations and inspections.
    The United States not only has violated international law dealing with Israel illegal nuclear weapons, but also has abandoned the United States law, Symington Amendment, dealing with apartheid state of Israel. According to US law, Israel SHOULD have NOT received any economic, military or export credits assistance, yet has received \$Billions and given ACCESS to US market. India, Israel’s servant, is another country that US should have punished by not given India access to US market, but in fact promotes because India give the apartheid state services and is killing its own Muslim population, where US and Israel ignore and call India, a greater democracy, to REWARD India, but both USG and zionist think tanks fifth columnist Mark Dubowitz from FDD and Mafia members like Roya Hakakian in their twitters, day and night, are talking about FAKE Uyghur genocide for propaganda purposes to create hatred against china to promote Israel as ‘the only democracy’ in the Middle East, a FAKE.
    Since, Israel is the ONLY country in the world where does not support “ME Nuclear weapons free zone’, now the NYT Editorial group in order to help their little country, the apartheid state of Israel, they came with the following solution:

    [One Way Forward on Iran: A Nuclear-Weapons-Free Persian Gulf]

    As you notice, they have changed the ‘Middle East zone’ to ‘Persian Gulf zone’ in order to keep Israel out of it. They write:
    [An agreement to revive the nuclear deal with Iran appears possible as the United States and its partners are set to convene next week in Vienna. That’s welcome news.
    But some key provisions of the deal have an expiration date. That’s why a critical aspect of the process should be to open the way to further agreements that might soothe real concerns about Iran’s long-term ambitions and curtail an incipient nuclear arms race in the region. Ideally, the result would be a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East. The Biden administration apparently understands this, which is why it has vowed to pursue a “longer and stronger” agreement in the future.]
    So, the zionists want everyone in the region, including Iran, to accepts the free zone, but Israel keeps its illegal nuclear bombs to have the upper hands over the entire region. Shame on you all.
    The say: the Nuclear-weapons-free zones have already been established in Africa, Latin America, Central Asia and Southeast Asia. So, it is good for everyone except the CHOSEN people. Skeptics may dismiss the idea as a nonstarter, but progress could still be made, the zionist NYT Editorial board continue: between Iran and its Arab neighbors. Saudi Arabia, a Sunni Arab county.
    Israel and the US have black mailed the small Arab countries into corner and are milking out of them \$billions of dollars by making Iran as a THREAT, but make Israel’s illegal nuclear bombs NON Negotiable robbing these countries \$billions of dollars, selling them arms and equipment that they DON’T need, but trying to control Iran’s defense capability. This is shameful. The world is fed up with Israel and US and they MUST be held accountable for their crimes against humanity.

  8. sami says:

    Marandi spokesperson for Iranian negotiation team said:

    The US/E3 need to make important decisions for a deal in Vienna. Obama violated the deal & exploited its loopholes & deficiencies, while Trump tore up the deal. The US/E3 aren’t trustworthy. Iran won’t accept a deal that doesn’t verifiably end barbaric maximum pressure sanctions.

    Also about the latest fake news that Biden is giving Iran sanction relief, Marandi said:

    [Extremely misleading. The US has done absolutely nothing to end “maximum pressure” sanctions targeting innocent citizens.

    While preserving Iran’s rights, any deal must comprehensively & verifiably remove all of the barbaric sanctions & credible assurances must also be provided.]

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  9. It is not illegal or irrational for Iran to build nuclear weapons. It can drop out of the NPT as Pakistan and North Korea did, which the USA and Russia ignore anyway. Based on lessons from the Cold War, this should lead to peace.

  10. Iran must play hardball. Any other approach diplomatically will lead nowhere. With Russia and China backing them, I think they are in a relatively good position (yes, I am taking into account the damage done by the sanctions). Iran can win by just outlasting its opponents.

  11. @Ann Nonny Mouse

    Iran really needs to take care of the Jewish filth in their midst

  12. nsa says:

    The Parthians successfully resisted the westward expansion of the Roman Empire for 500 years. Now the heirs to the Parthian Empire are coming off as weak and whiny. Iran will be attacked no matter what they agree to (ask any American Indian about “treaties”), so might as well go for it…….nukes plus a delivery system will back off the zios. Look at plucky little North Korea……nukes plus a delivery system and the zios are lining up to kiss Kim’s ass.

    • Agree: nokangaroos
    • Replies: @nsa
  13. nsa says:
    @nsa

    ….make that eastward expansion of the Roman Empire……..one 24 ouncer too many this evening.

  14. Anon[756] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    Hasbara has entered the chat ….

  15. There was a video showing USUK mercenaries murdering random Iraqi civilians. It has been disappeared. There are a few cuts from it near the end of this:

    Search begins here:
    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=elvis+train+train+video+iraq+war+shooting&t=h_&ia=web

    Let me know if you find the whole vid. It should not be allowed to disappear.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Mustapha Mond
  16. Excellent article, and thanks to Mr. Unz for putting it here
    (I´ve been neglegting CounterPunch some as of late).
    What´s missing is how Clinton fucked over North Korea in a very similar situation.
    Oh, and did I mention the results?

    • Replies: @Rev. Spooner
  17. an unlawful exercise of force

    There speaks the Professor of International Law. Neither the Zios nor the Americans have the slightest interest in international law. The Zios want to see all the lands of the goyim reduced to expanses of rubble inhabited by desperate, starving people, and the Americans are, as the Russians put it, not agreement-capable. The only way out is the dismantling of the Zionist entity.

  18. gotmituns says:

    There’s no “Problematics” in the Mideast. Just get rid of israel and the Mideast will be fine.

    • Agree: Badger Down
  19. anon[284] • Disclaimer says:

    Its the 21st century, when are we going to stop fighting over the M.E.? What’s the definition of insanity?

  20. Anon[308] • Disclaimer says:
    @A123

    When you sleep with the dog of the Zionism beast, you never wake up . Nightmare of Zionist’s precondition, postcondition , intracondition and the involuntary thrashing of legs known to you as intellectual exercise , are what shape , control and reward your sub primate existence. Dirty apartheid regime has one place to relocate – Trump Tower in Delaware .

  21. anon[308] • Disclaimer says:
    @Badger Down

    And then some bastards wonder why they fight us or why terrorism in the heart of London.

  22. @A123

    What’s really needed in the case of Israel is some agreement with the UFO aliens that shut down the US missiles decades ago (this is an actual theory reported by the US military) to instead blow up the Israeli nukes in their silos.

    If the UFO aliens can shut down minuteman missiles one right after the other, then they should be able to detonate the Israeli weapons systems. The world would rejoice even considering the radiation fallout.

    • Agree: Kolya Krassotkin
  23. MLK says:
    @A123

    Like most everything Obama did, JCPOA was, ab initio, all wrong. On more than one occasion Obama has declared our Constitution “just an [worthless] old piece of parchment.”

    As with Obamacare, everything about the JCPOA was a destructive set of disingenuous work-arounds.

    This author, because of his resume, offers us a glaring tell in the form of his childish retelling of Trump’s actions and planation thereof. I just don’t get how so many like this author spend a life building a reputation only to diminish it in service of resentment toward Trump and blind adulation toward Obama.

    In any event, rather than reinvent the wheel, again, I will merely remind of Trump’s observation that “we’re the suckers” in foreign relations. You will note that Falk doesn’t even attempt to justify Obama/Biden on Iran in terms of the US national interest.

    The rot is so advanced that what passes for establishment foreign policy argument is shouting like this over which foreign power is more deserving of gifts from the US. The nadir of this long in the making disfunction came during Obama’s presidency — let’s just let those other powers hash it out for themselves.

    I suggest that everyone confused, including this author, hit the books on what is called a rapprochement. There are even recent pertinent examples in Nixon’s ‘Opening to China’ and Vietnam following our losing the war.

    I don’t begrudge Iran stubbornness on the question of national honor. But it should have known that nothing enduring would eventuate in negotiating with Obama, who openly made it clear his objective was national humiliation and failure for the American Project and its citizenry.

    • Agree: Old and Grumpy
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  24. Anonymous[263] • Disclaimer says:
    @MLK

    And now you are trying to play the blame game, which will gain you nothing, just as Trump was playing the Jew game which only added to the problems in the Mideast in general to make sure that no peace could exist and of course being a vindictive nation people included we couldn’t abide being run out of Iran we saw it as an insult to the empire.

    • Replies: @MLK
  25. Z-man says:

    Article not read.
    As much as I hate Izrael, and I do, the Obummer/Lurch (Kerry) treaty was definitely flawed. The Iranians had too many ways to still develop a bomb, if not in 2015 a few years after.
    But now, it really doesn’t matter because if the Iranians renounce the bomb completely they can still threaten the Joo+ish state with state of the art ballistic missiles with conventional warheads. Of course Biden and ‘his’ Jooz want the Iranians to give up the missiles also.

    • Troll: Justrambling
  26. Anon[310] • Disclaimer says:

    What is intriguing is the Chinese and Russian never coming to the right of history and offer full support for Iran at the UN . The dossier on the nuke should have never moved from IAEA to UN and Russia and China should have never agreed with sanctions imposed on Iran after 2003 Iraq war . But for small gains and benefits ,they allowed and sided with USA .
    UN was never meant for power play or territorial divisions according to the interests of the 5 powers .
    UN has become the ground on which these powers play their morbid games to secure national interests .

    China can force Pakistan to ditch Arab , and join Iran . It can recognize Afghanistan and build Pakistan Iran Afghanistan China consortium for business and transport chain .
    With Nord Stream in suspended animation , Russia can force India to take the polemic few pegs down and join the transport corridor . Thus opening its route to S Asia and SE Asia . Those countries can rope in Bangladesh slowly and get Myanmar and Bangladesh come to understanding thus creating south border of China to the Bay of Bengal .

    These developments are bound to happen . Question is when it happens will Iran be a wreck like Iraq or a country militarily like NK and kill the Israeli dog in its kennel .

  27. Do you remember after the killing of the Iranian general in Iraq, Iran shot down a commercial plane taking off from Tehran? Besides the remarkably surprising acceptance of the mea culpa that plane was carrying Ukrainians and Canadians to Ukraine – a FBI and neocon outpost. Makes me wonder is anything about Iran like what we are told? Israel is a what it appears to be – a duplicitous rogue state. Is there anything honest or sane about the US government these days? Put it all together it and could this simply be a really bad theatrical farce posing as diplomacy?

  28. I was 16 at the time (1962) of the Cuban missile crisis and a resident of NYC, so it should be easy to understand that I grew into adulthood believing that no mentally healthy society would seriously contemplate using them after their use on Japan. Then again, I also came to believe that a “mentally healthy” society is an increasing rarity. The USA, which has come to be a client state of Israel and international Zioism, has long since ceased to be a society that I for one would describe as “mentally healthy”. I emigrated to the Southern Cone from Spain 18 years ago and have no regrets. It seems the world–the Global North in particular, along with Australia and New Zealand–has become a madhouse al fresco and a runaway train inviting its own destruction. How on earth has this happened? Insouciance? The answer is beyond me.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  29. The logical conclusion about the betrayal of Iran by America and the European signatories to JCPOA is the appeasement of the only nuclear power in the ME, Israel, and one that effectively controls the majority of said signatories. It is regime change disguised as nuclear nonproliferation. At great cost, Iran has refused to abdicate its sovereignty and had it not developed its own missile program, Iran as we know it would have long ceased to exist.

    • Agree: Badger Down, mark green
  30. An impressive work for someone employed in key positions of instruction on geopolitics at Princeton and Queen Mary University in London, UK. He went about as far as one can go in such matters, without endangering career and life by strongly calling out zionist political machinations and control in the West. Very glad to see it published here on TUR. A very rational and needed discourse.

    I hope we can get even more of these types of articles here on TUR, as it is helpful to hear voices in high places speak at least some of the truth to zionist power, even if necessarily muted in many respects. Sadly, I guess we have to expect that, given the political realities of living in the West…….

    • Agree: Kolya Krassotkin
  31. @Badger Down

    Disgusting euphemism, this ‘military contractor’ designation when all they are is a bunch of murderous blood-thirsty psychopathic mercenaries who crave slaughter sanctioned by the evil regimes in the West.

    The money is secondary. They crave blood……..

  32. @Montefrío

    Then again, I also came to believe that a “mentally healthy” society is an increasing rarity. The USA, which has come to be a client state of Israel and international Zioism, has long since ceased to be a society that I for one would describe as “mentally healthy”.

    It’s because Jews see goyim as dispensable while (white)goyim see Jews as indispensable.

    Thus, “Jewish gods and goy mortals” is the Western Way.

    US is Jewish-Supremacist.

  33. MLK says:
    @Anonymous

    You’re confused. Trump started no new wars Obama did and people like you and Falk chortled with delight over his “leading from behind” magic in Syria and Libya, to name but two.

    My point is a simple one, if you’re an American and have respect for yourself, and especially an historian no less, then drop the nonsense that Obama constituted anything except a worse in every respect version of W Bush.

    You’ll note that Falk derisively repeats the supposed smear that Trump was “transactional.” As if the American POTUS is supposed to think of every other power and people except American sovereign interests and those of the American people.

    Trump taught the Iranians an important lesson. Even with everyone who is anybody, foreign and domestic, acting to destroy his presidency, he beat the Iranian regime about the head in furtherance of it getting serious about negotiating a rapprochement with him. In the event, Iran stayed on team “Trump Must Go!” and is now learning that the gifts that were promised by the illegitimate Biden’s handlers are proving a bridge too far.

    . . .being a vindictive nation people included we couldn’t abide being run out of Iran we saw it as an insult to the empire.

    Nonsense. The US, both the sovereign and even more so the American people, are anything but “vindictive.” I’ll give you a pass on that if you tell me you’re five years old and ignorant of post-WWII relations with Japan and Germany, and more recently Vietnam.

    I haven’t in a while but I previously explained something ineluctable, if the Iranian regime wants a rapprochement it will have to abandon all of its pre-1979 histrionics. They need to shake it off, and would have if Obama didn’t infuse national humiliation (of the US) into everything he did and attempted to do.

  34. @A123

    Really, the Islamophobic Gatestone Institute?

    https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/gatestone-institute/

    “Overall, we rate the Gatestone Institute Questionable based on extreme right wing bias, promotion of propaganda and conspiracies, poor sourcing, a lack of transparency and the publication of misleading or false information regarding Muslims.”

    “Poor sourcing” is an understatement; primarily quoting Nutty Yahoo and The Jewish Press is bootstrapping worthy of Ned Price (the evidence for my allegation IS my allegation (self-evident evidence!). Are you an Iranian agent?) Netanyahu, well after the US had already reneged on its agreement, cites secret chambers with traces of uranium. What are the odds of that within a legit nuclear energy development program?

    Even one of its own sources contradicts Gatestone’s claims (just pepper your article with myriad links that unpaid readers won’t bother to fact-check):

    https://www.armscontrol.org/act/2018-11/news/israel-claims-secret-nuclear-site-iran

    U.S. intelligence officials also disputed Netanyahu’s description of the facility and said his comments were misleading. One intelligence official quoted by Reuters on Sept. 27 said that the facility has been known to the U.S. intelligence community for some time and is full of documents, not nuclear equipment. The officials said that “so far as anyone knows, there is nothing in it that would allow Iran to break out” of the nuclear deal any faster. Iranian officials immediately denounced Netanyahu’s accusation as a farce, and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Sept. 30 that Netanyahu is “desperately seeking to find a pretext to create hype” about Iran’s nuclear program.
    This is the second time Netanyahu has publicly revealed what he describes as secret information tied to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. In February 2018, Israel stole archival material from a facility in Iran that appears to document activities related to the country’s nuclear weapons development and shared the information with several states and the IAEA.

    “…Those traces were, however, of uranium, the diplomats said – the same element Iran is enriching and one of only two fissile elements with which one can make the core of a nuclear bomb. One diplomat said the uranium was not highly enriched, meaning it was not purified to a level anywhere close to that needed for weapons.
    “There are lots of possible explanations,” that diplomat said. But since Iran has not yet given any to the IAEA it is hard to verify the particles’ origin, and it is also not clear whether the traces are remnants of material or activities that predate the landmark 2015 deal or more recent, diplomats say.

    The Guardian article is correct. Iran is unlikely to get a legally binding treaty thru the US Knesset. But that wouldn’t matter anyway. The US doesn’t honor oral assurances, agreements, international laws, UN resolutions, or treaties. As Russia states, the US is not “agreement capable”. Now that is self-evident.

    • LOL: A123
    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @A123
  35. @nokangaroos

    nokangaroos, 1o years ago CounterPunch had some credibility, today it’s just a sold out rag flapping in it’s own dirty miasma.

    • Agree: emerging majority
    • Replies: @gilles2
  36. There has been a lot of “realist” rhetoric spewing in all directions on this issue of I\$rael versus Iran, with the U\$ puppet regime dog being wagged by the financial elite, most particularly the Rottenchild Crime Clan with their deep connections to the rulers of the “Chosen People=Master Race” shtick, enforced primarily via the ancient Talmudist Sanhedrin and its primary set of tentacles worldwide, but particularly within the U\$, via the world’s largest secret society, the B’nai Brith.

    I\$real is not a true state and certainly not a real nation, as it is made up of Judaics emanating from many races, sub-races and nationalities, some with a religious identity and others who identify on a more cultural basis. That statelet was conceived by Benjamin Disraeli in the mid-late 19th Century and passed to his benefactors, the Rottenchild Crime Clan and later disseminated via various facemen such as Theodor Herzl and his fellow organizers of Zionism.

    [MORE]

    Reality in its bare-naked truth, insists that the Zionist \$tate within Occupied Palestine IS the metaphorical “fly in the ointment”. I do agree with those exclusivist Jews that they should have their own land. Thing is, though, that such a “homeland” absolutely does not belong in the Middle East. Essentially, it is an alien body inserted by outside powers at the beck and call of those Talmudist operatives who answer to the secretive Sanhedrin string-pullers who as the world’s most prominent racists, demand total world domination by themselves via those whose thoughts and very lives they happen to control.

    Solution? For years now I have advocated that, controlling well over half of the planetary money supply, that the Judeocracy can certainly pay the Australian national government and the state of Western Australia for the northwesternmost chunk of that part of the continent. Let us say that they purchase from those political entities and the very small indigenous and settler population on the shores of the eastern Indian Ocean for a title deed for a Jewish state to be created far away from the hated Goyim, with legal and exclusive rights over said territory, with the proviso of erecting a significant fence on their landward borders.

    Many problems would be solved by this relocation of Israel to a virtually unpopulated piece of real-estate. Jews who do not care to live among the Goyim and insist on their own space should be satisfied by this resolution. Non-Jews who despise the parasitism endemic among a subset of Jewery would feel deep relief and gratitude. Jewish people who prefer to integrate within their current homelands would no longer feel that intense pressure from the Talmudist rabbinate to maintain their apartheid status and could continue to contribute to the lands in which they live.

    Certain very powerful interests, totally sold on the concept of Judaicl world-domination, would not be happy campers and would do all they possibly could to prevent such a solution. However, there do exist a number of means of perhaps not so subtle persuasion which would encourage them to swallow their egotistic pride and move their presence to the sunny shores (and beaches) of the Indian Ocean…far, far, far from any Goyish influences. Such a deal.

  37. anonymous[971] • Disclaimer says:
    @Doug Hillman

    the evidence for my allegation IS my allegation (self-evident evidence!)

    I can state another analogy for such a laughably nonsensical claim (if some moron actually did, literally or figuratively).

    That would be when the Christians claim thus;

    The evidence that the Bible is the word of God, is that, said book states it is the word of God!!

    When the Christians’ entire pagan garbage claim to the “truth” of the “son of god” is evidenced on this deceitful nonsense, a claim impossible to logically comprehend, and truly millions upon millions of Christians actually don’t except “taking it on faith,” how pathetic is that?

    • Agree: Doug Hillman
  38. chris says:

    When Trump came along in 2017, the unraveling of JCPOA was a foregone conclusion, guided as much or more by his vindictive resolve to erase Obama’s legacy in ways designed to degrade and denigrate the achievements of his predecessor, while gaining praise from Israel, many members of the U.S. Congress, and militarists in and out of government.

    For all we know, and you could probably make a much better case for it, that the only reason Trump was even allowed to be elected, was to undo the JPCOA (that and moving the Embassy to Jerusalem against UN resolutions).

    That Trump, could be “guided … by his vindictive resolve” is imputing much more to the puppet than to the puppeteers.

  39. ***** When a nuclear agreement with Iran was reached by U.S.- led multilateral diplomacy in 2015, despite vigorous opposition from Israel, it was widely viewed as the greatest foreign policy achievement of the Obama presidency, and for good reason. *****

    When that agreement was reached, I recall reading a comment somewhere that it was merely a ‘holding action’, a stall while other and more pressing issues were pursued. Completing the destruction of Syria was the example that now-unknown person used.

    ***** … but more intriguingly, China and Russia, joined as signatories to what became known at the time as the 5 +1 Iran Nuclear Agreement or simply, JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). *****

    IMO it has never been in the interests of either China or Russia for Iran to get nuclear weapons. I’m guessing now, but perhaps they pointed out the relative uselessness of nukes, and gave substantial support to Iran’s non-nuclear deterrent of many highly accurate medium range missiles.

    ***** Decades earlier Israel had been permitted, indeed helped, to acquire secretly the means to establish and develop a nuclear weapons capability … *****

    The Apartheid state had tons of assistance from both the US and France in getting it’s world-class nuclear armory. Iran would have understood there was zero chance any of it would be given up.

    ***** The agreement was vigorously opposed at the time by Israel and its supporters, as well as hawkish elements in the U.S. political class. *****

    Opinion time: if the Pissant State had been “vigorously opposed” to the agreement, it would not have happened! Naturally God’s most favorite thieves and murderers had to pretend they were upset, but they’d have known that it was only a temporary thing.

    ***** When Trump came along in 2017, the unraveling of JCPOA was a foregone conclusion … *****

    It is my contention that Trump’s arrival in 2017 was a surprise. President-To-Be Hillary had already announced she was going to lay down the law in Syria and neuter the Russian involvement by installing a no-fly zone. (Even if she hadn’t been a murderous bitch, my fear of her being prepared to start a war with Russia would have been enough to keep me from voting for her in 2016.) After President Hillary had tied up the loose ends in Syria, I firmly believe she would have done exactly what Trump did – shred the JCPOA agreement.

    ***** Trump had also authorized the assassination of General Qasim Soleimani in early 2020, the most popular of Iranian leaders and seen as a future president of the country. *****

    The Apartheid state got plenty from Trump, but not the two things they wanted most: finishing the destruction of Syria and a US attack on Iran.

    ***** Ebrahim Raisi easily elected to replace Rouhani in early 2021. *****

    June 18 is NOT “early” in 2021. I see a lot of Biden-Fluffing by this author. Biden is totally in the pocket of the shithole state. Quite unlike the ignorant loose-cannon Trump.

    ***** From the Western perspective, Iranian efforts to disregard the constraints of JCPOA seem to suggest an Iranian ambition to be at least a threshold nuclear weapons state, that is, capable of acquiring nuclear weapons in a matter of weeks. *****

    Ambition? IMO Iran is already a “threshold” nuke state. Just like Japan and many other world nations.

    ***** In light of this history, it seems reasonable for Iran to demand a commitment against withdrawal or the reimposition of sanctions … *****

    I believe such a clause would be a complete waste of time, and that Iran knows it. That’s because the US is no longer ‘agreement capable’. This trait has been on display for the nation’s entire history, but much more in plain view lately. It’s because we’re so darned “Exceptional”. If there is some kind of new deal between the US and Iran in coming weeks or months, I predict it’ll be mostly or entirely for show-and-tell.

    In response to those attack-Iran practice sessions the Apartheid state has been running, Iran has announced a new solid-fuel rocket.

    Iran unveils new long-range missile
    The projectile can travel distances of 1,450 km, according to state media
    https://www.rt.com/news/548765-iran-unveils-missile-long-range/

    For what it’s worth, 1450 km is the distance from Tehran to Tel-aviv. Turns out that two can play the “signalling” game.

  40. A123 says:
    @Doug Hillman

    Attempting to divert from the truth by libelling a source is an ineffective diversion. One can find the results of the IAEA investigation from multiple locations. If you do not like my accurate source, you should be able to find one of your own.

    The timeline is really simple:

    — Iran had an obligation to disclose
    — Iran did not disclose (while Barack Hussein was still President)
    — IAEA tried to cover up for Iran
    — When forced to do their job, IAEA proved the Iranian failure to disclose as a matter of objective fact.

    The bottom line is quite obvious:

    Khamenei is not “agreement capable”

    No amount of deception can cover up the fact that he was caught red handed in violation of JCPOA. And, he betrayed Obama by violating the deal before Trump took office.

    PEACE 😇

  41. Anon[910] • Disclaimer says:

    A nuclear free Middle East is a worthy goal. Perhaps we should first work on places in the mid-east that illegally already have nukes.

  42. @A123

    This Sayanim or Ha\$barfa source is simply disgusting. “Hate Iran, Hate Iran, Hate Iran”—this entire scenario is all about the Zionist program to reduce or even destroy the primary obstacle to the “Eretz Yisroel” scheme. Utterly shamefully racist.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @Mevashir
  43. A123 says:
    @emerging majority

    Let me fix that for you:

    This Taqiyya deception is simply disgusting. “Hate Jews, Hate Christians, Hate Hindus, etc.”—this entire scenario is all about the Jihad program to reduce or even destroy the primary obstacle to the “Shia Crescent” scheme to exterminate Palestine Jews who have the temerity to live in Judea, the homeland of Judaism. Utterly shamefully bigoted.

    You are just upset that your genocidal Shia, submerged minority agenda is not working.

    PEACE 😇

    • LOL: Mevashir
  44. GeneralRipper [AKA "BlockadeRunner"] says:
    @Ann Nonny Mouse

    Curious as to why you actually care if ANYPLACE is “safe” or “unsafe” for Jews?

    I take it you’re some sort of wacko Protty who believes these goblins are still the “Chosen people”.

    Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldest not?…Matthew 23:37

    • Replies: @Mevashir
  45. Mevashir says:
    @emerging majority

    A123 is a Christian Zionist cuck for the Judaics. I had a friend who served in the Iranian Air Force under the Shah. He told me Iran respects Judaism and Christianity. Their argument with Israel has nothing to do with religion; it’s purely geopolitical and based on human rights. (It’s also based on their memory that Israel trained the Shah’s notorious secret please SAVAK.) He also told me that the tomb of Esther and Mordecai is an Iranian National shrine that Iranian school children make pilgrimage to every year!

    • Replies: @RedpilledAF
  46. @Ann Nonny Mouse

    Congratulations! The filthiest troll hereabouts, the odious Zionazi racist, A123, labels YOU a ‘troll’. Higher praise there is not.

    • Agree: Mevashir
  47. @A123

    This Evil, lying, Zionazi troll is happy that Iranians suffer and die thanks to sanctions, but like all true Zionazis it wants MORE. A New Purim, a new genocide of Amalek, ‘followers of Haman’, a new blood-soaked carnival to be celebrated every year by getting drunk and giving children human ears in cookie form as ‘treats’. To go with their ‘New Pearl Harbor’, 9/11. And what sort of lying Zionazi swine can call the liberal fascist Guardian ‘far Left’? Compared to a racist fascist like itself, perhaps ‘Left’, but ‘far Left’. Hatred and rage has long sent these Zionazis barking made-with apologies to all barking creatures.

  48. Mevashir says:
    @GeneralRipper

    You forgot the rest of the verse:

    YOU WILL NOT SEE ME AGAIN JERUSALEM UNTIL YOU SAY BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!

  49. Mevashir says:
    @A123

    If Iran hates Christians why is it closely aligned with the Russian Orthodox Nation? There seems to be deep respect between their leaderships.

  50. @sami

    The US and EU are TOTALLY untrustworthy because their politics are 100% controlled by Judaic money. So we all go merrily to Hell. And that dear fellow untermenschen is ‘liberal democracy’ the Wonder of the Age.

    • Agree: JR Foley
  51. @Mevashir

    Great points. I know from Iranian friends and colleagues that the Iranian national narrative and mythos absolutely includes the story Mordechai and Esther and the large Jewish population over the last two millennia in Iran. The Book of Tobit story, along with the Book of Esther, is featured in scholarly treatments in philosophy of religion and philosophy of mythology at the graduate level. There is a Jewish population that travels freely in and out of the country and within it, unfettered. I have been told, and have seen another poster here reference it, that many Persian Jewish children attend a yeshiva in Baltimore. Also, there are kosher restaurants in Tehran, Shiraz, and Hamadan. Jews openly wear their tallit on Shabbat as they walk to beit knesset. So, my point, to build off of yours, is that Zionist and Israeli and Anglo-sphere Jewish propaganda is completely false–an outright lie–in fact.

    • Thanks: Mevashir
    • Replies: @Mevashir
  52. ‘…with the most opportune zones of confrontation currently being the Ukraine, Iran, and Taiwan…’

    And which one will it be?

    Why, which one would please our masters most?

  53. I ran out of steam half way through, but the essay seems to miss the central point.

    Israel wants a war with Iran — or to be more precise, a war between the US and Iran. Once this is realized, the sheer futility of much of what is discussed above becomes clear.

  54. @A123

    Since only a tiny, miniscule percentage of Israeli Jews have even a scintilla of ancient Hebrew DNA, they have no more “right” to Occupy Palestine, than do the Christians (whose religion originated there) or even the Muslims who claim rights in that place.

    With over 80% of the Palestinian genome being derived from the Ancient Hebrews, those natives of that land have the primary right to occupation of it.

    Note to you and all other Sayanim and Hasbarfa: Northwestern Australia happens to be a land, perfectly suitable for creating a homeland for those Judaics who do not care to live with mere Goys. There is plenty of Gelt in Jewish hands to openly buy a chunk there twenty times the size of the current Zionist state—even including the Occupied portions of the West Bank and Jerusalem.

  55. Mevashir says:
    @RedpilledAF

    Thank you for these comments. My uncle was a nuclear physicist who was involved in Arms Control negotiations with the Soviets. He was sent by Obama as part of a delegation to investigate the Iranian nuclear program. I saw him shortly before he passed away and he told me the Israelis are grossly exaggerating the danger of the Iranian program.

    In my view the Israelis are projecting their own guilt onto the Iranians. They know that they developed a secret nuclear weapons program and are assuming the Iranians are doing the same thing. People forget that it was the Americans who gave Iran nuclear reactors under the Atoms for Peace program of Eisenhower. We are reaping what we sowed.

    (I think it would be great if Iran gets nuclear weapons. It seems to be the only way to prevent a country from being destroyed by the American aggressors. The same thing is true for North Korea.)

    • Thanks: RedpilledAF
    • Replies: @gilles2
  56. JR Foley says:
    @Ann Nonny Mouse

    Before Iran–what about Afghanistan ???

    Biden will also use emergency powers to consolidate and freeze all \$7 billion in assets held by the central bank and allow the remaining \$3.5 billion funds to be moved to a trust fund for humanitarian relief in Afghanistan via legal pathways.

    3.5 billion should be coming from the Fake Actors Guild-in Hollywood and Afghanistan gets the FULL 7 billion- NOW !!

  57. gilles2 says:
    @Rev. Spooner

    Counterpunch was a bastion of intelligent left but declined very quickly since Alexander Cockburn passed away in 2012, may he rest in peace.

    St. Clair, Frank, et al. allowed it to be yet another purveyor of typical identity nonsense, presumably to attract Nation-reading / CNBC- viewing college professor and mainstream left donors.

    It has no credibility any longer.

    -G

  58. gilles2 says:
    @Mevashir

    (I think it would be great if Iran gets nuclear weapons. It seems to be the only way to prevent a country from being destroyed by the American aggressors. The same thing is true for North Korea.)

    Absolutely; it would establish regional `balance of power’, a strategic concept long forgotten by Neoconservatives and particularly partisans of Israel.

    Must have something to do with `Chosen-ness’…

    -G

  59. @A123

    Indeed, the timeline is quite simple. And critical. Your one source now stands exposed as “questionable”; its key witness is a corrupt war criminal and its references directly contradict its own theory. It fails utterly to support your baseless allegation, that Iran violated the terms of the JCPOA before Trump reneged on and renounced on orders from his Zionist puppeteers.

    So what’s a shyster to do? Do the Ned Price thing. Double down on your baseless allegations … without any evidence at all. Don’t have the facts? Pound the table!

    • Replies: @Anon
  60. Anon[419] • Disclaimer says:
    @Doug Hillman

    Don’t offer any legitimacy or indicate any moral equivalence of ideas and behaviors to A123 by engaging with the putrid imaginative BS .

  61. darius says:

    For people, who missed the central point of this opinion piece, I should say that you have been brainwashed by PG who presents Israel as the main obstacle to protect USG. That’s why these brainwashed people say: Israel wants a war with Iran.

    No, this is US policy, but it is Israel’s interest because Israel was created by the criminal west, British, the US and Russia, all involved and voted for the erection of Israel on land of Palestinians to create chaos and put one against the other to weaken and divide the regional countries.

    The history shows that the American empire ALWAYS supported and protected the apartheid entity, giving them billions of dollars, advanced technology, political support at the UN and ‘international organizations’. Professor Falk knows these facts.

    The US government, does not matter which stooge sitting in the driving seat, all have supported Israel because Israel is part of their GRAND policy.
    The US like Israel is painting Iran as a ‘threat’ in the world, while selling billions of dollars arms to keep the ‘Arab head of states’ in their tool box using them as proxy against Iran in the region. Also US is involved in every assassination, terror, propaganda and war, including Sanction, against Iran carried out by Israel.
    The Jewish mafia propaganda is part of the strategy where US is 100% involved. If you have not understood that, then you know nothing about your government.

    This policy has been implemented by the empire against Venezuela too. Venezuela does not have a nuclear program, but ‘human rights’ FAKE has been weaponized by US and its junior partners, Canada, in the west to bring ‘regime change’. Israel is not located in Latin America, yet the same policy is used by the empire against Venezuela.

    Israel and Jewish mafia are part of this strategy to WEAKEN Iran for the final solution, regime change. They are not going to stop until they destroy Iran if they can.

    Iranian government, even Iranian people know these facts, therefore, they have created strategy, 100% indigenous, ‘the axis of resistance’ to fight back the evil empire.

    Iranian government knows that Israel is an enemy and part of the US strategy, where wants Iran to be destroyed because Israel wants to be the power of the region. However, the main enemy of Iran Is the evil empire. Israel has become illegitimate. US is using ‘negotiation’ to force Iran to limit its DEFENSE capability and become like the Saudi Arabia. Iran during the Shah was like Saudi Arabia helping US and Israel to fight their enemies in the region. There were 60,000 Americans military personnel and ‘advisors’ stationed in Iran during the Shah. Iran was an occupied country during Mohammad Reza Shah, buying weapons that Iran DID NOT need, but your economy needed billions of dollars to expand it’s influence around the world. Iran during the Shah, like the Saudi Arabia and UAE, was paying billions of dollars and sending its sons to fight for the corrupt US elite’s interest in the region. Some of the arms that US was selling the Shah, used against the Iranian people. Do you know how many Iranian youth were killed for the corrupt US elite’s interest?

    Now, US, like Israel wants war with Iran. US is carrying economic war against Iran right now, but
    it is NOT able to stage a hot war at this point. Bush and the Neocons wanted to invade Iran after they destroyed Iraq, but what had happened in Iraq, made these criminals think twice. It does not mean they don’t want war, it means they CANNOT do it at this point.

    On the other hand, Israel and jewish neocons want Iran to be destroyed as soon as possible, but the USG, starting from Bush to the present does NOT allow it. Why has Israel not been successful for the last 19 years, if what ever Israel want then get?
    Then, it is not what Israel wants, rather if US is capable of implementing such a war to achieve its goal, a regime change. Thus, the US has the upper hand over Iran policy NOT Israel.

    Iranian government knows very well that it is the US policy and wants to remove all the illegal sanctions then Biden CAN, but he will not do that because this is NOT the US policy. Iran is not going to be fooled again, because the Iran fifth column, Rouhani/zarif have been kicked out of power. The JCPOA was a tool created by Obama to do regime change from WITHIN, using the Iran fifth column ‘reformists’, including Rouhani/zarif.
    Now, everyone knows that no one can trust the corrupt US elite. They are all liars and traitors. They cannot even carry out their own policy where agreed upon. I don’t know what is the new government expecting to gain from the US?
    It is obvious that Biden, like Trump, wants more concessions from Iran in order to be used against Iran so can be weaken further. That’s why Biden and its criminal advisors, like Trump, have targeted Iran DEFENSE capability. They know Iran does not have nuclear weapons, this is an EXCUSE to weaken Iran economically. Israel has many illegal nuclear bombs that Biden where Biden ignore and is shut up and won’t allow anyone to talk about it, like other ‘presidents’, not because Biden is afraid, rather it is because of US policy.

    • Replies: @parand
  62. anon[330] • Disclaimer says:

    David Ochs, founder of HaLev, which helps send young people to American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference, described for the reporter how AIPAC and its donors organize fundraisers outside the official umbrella of the organization, so that the money doesn’t show up on disclosures as coming specifically from AIPAC. He describes one group that organizes fundraisers in both Washington and New York. “This is the biggest ad hoc political group, definitely the wealthiest, in D.C.,” Ochs says, adding that it has no official name, but is clearly tied to AIPAC. “It’s the AIPAC group. It makes a difference; it really, really does. It’s the best bang for your buck, and the networking is phenomenal.” (Ochs and AIPAC did not immediately return The Intercept’s requests for comment.)
    Without spending money, Ochs argues, the pro-Israel lobby isn’t able to enact its agenda. “Congressmen and senators don’t do anything unless you pressure them. They kick the can down the road, unless you pressure them, and the only way to do that is with money,” he explains.
    He describes a fundraiser for Anthony Brown, a Democrat running for Congress in Maryland, as typical. “So we want the Jewish community to go face to face in this small environment, 50, 30, 40 people, and say, ‘This is what’s important to us. We want to make sure that if we give you money, that you’re going to enforce the Iran deal.’ That way, when they need something from him or her, like the Iran deal, they can quickly mobilize and say look, we’ll give you 30 grand. They actually impact,” Ochs tells the reporter. -In the censored documentary, Ochs went on to describe a fundraiser hosted by Jeff Talpins, a hedge fund giant, as similar as well. “In New York, with Jeff Talpins, we don’t ask a goddamn thing about the fucking Palestinians. You know why? ’Cause it’s a tiny issue. It’s a small, insignificant issue. The big issue is Iran. We want everything focused on Iran,” Ochs says. “What happens is Jeff meets with the congressman in the back room, tells them exactly what his goals are — and by the way, Jeff Talpins is worth \$250 million — basically they hand him an envelope with 20 credit cards, and say, ‘You can swipe each of these credit cards for a thousand dollars each.’” 
    Ochs explains that the club in New York required a minimum pledge of \$10,000 to join and participate in such events. “It’s a minimum commitment. Some people give a lot more than that.”–https://theintercept.com/2019/02/11/ilhan-omar-israel-lobby-documentary/

    The crisis that is confronting US and weakening US so badly could have been addressed some 50 years ago .

    “According to the secret documents released by the State Department, back in 1972 Kissinger wished to put economic and ethical pressure on Israel, calling American Jewish groups lobbying the Nixon White House self-serving “bastards .The files also show that Russia had claimed the “Arabs” were willing to recognize the State of Israel at that time. https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4150018,00.html

  63. parand says:
    @darius

    YES, you are right, this is US policy that kills people in many countries with rich resources where are not willing to hand their resources over to zionist thieves who rule the world.

    Biden like Trump and former ‘presidents’ all were involved in killing people through sanctions and invasions bring their resources under the control of international BANKERS and their stooges. Venezuela does not have a ‘nuclear weapon’, so Iraq, but they are subjected to illegal sanctions to force them to give up. Iraq was totally destroyed by this GANG and millions were killed, either through terrorist invasion or malnutrition. US and its junior partners including Israel are responsible for this crimes against humanity and must pay reparations.

    Several studies documenting the harmful effect of U.S. economic sanctions on Venezuela’s economy. U.S. sanctions targeted access to international and financial markets of Venezuela’s oil industry, like Iran, which has historically accounted for more than 95 percent of Venezuelan foreign currency revenue.
    Time-series data …show that U.S. sanctions led to a significant decline in the country’s capacity to produce and sell oil.

    The expected consequence of U.S. targeting of the Venezuelan oil industry was a reduction in the country’s imports, including food, medicine, and other essentials. The evidence clearly shows that sanctions made an important contribution to the disastrous situation in Venezuela. They helped drive the deterioration of the country’s humanitarian conditions.

    The US sanctions intended to kill in order to bring the country into its knees, therefore, every ‘president’ who was engaged in placing illegal sanctions on people and those who voted for it at the UN, are CRIMINALS and should be held accountable. This is US policy and the Dept. of treasury is a terrorist net. Those who designed the illegal sanctions, majority are zionist Neocons, must be arrested and put on trial as war criminals.

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