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There Won’t be an Iran October Surprise
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No Washington-designed “maximum pressure” has been able to derail a crucial milestone this Sunday: the end of the UN arms embargo on Iran, in accordance with UN Security Council 2231, which has endorsed the 2015 JCPOA deal.

The JCPOA – or Iran nuclear deal – was unilaterally ditched by the Trump administration. But that, notoriously, did not prevent it from engaging in a massive campaign since April to convince the proverbial “allies” to extend the arms embargo and simultaneously trigger a snapback mechanism, thus re-imposing all UN sanctions on Tehran.

Foad Izadi, professor of International Studies at Tehran University, summed it all up: “T he US wanted to overthrow the government in Iran but failed obviously, they wanted to get more concessions out of Iran, but they have not been successful and they actually lost concessions. So the policy of maximum pressure campaign has failed.

Under the current US electoral shadow play, no one can tell what happens next. Trump 2 most certainly would turbo-charge “maximum pressure”, while Biden-Harris would go for re-incorporating Washington to the JCPOA. In both options, Persian Gulf oil monarchies are bound to increase the proverbial hysteria about “Iranian aggression”.

The end of the arms embargo does not imply a renewed arms race in Southwest Asia. The real story is how the Russia-China strategic partnership will be collaborating with their key geostrategic ally. It’s never enough to remember that this Eurasian integration trio is regarded as the top “existential threat” to Washington.

Tehran patiently waited for October 18. Now it’s free to import a full range of advanced weaponry, especially from Moscow and Beijing.

Moscow has hinted that as long as Tehran keeps buying Su-30s, Russia is ready to build a production line of these fighter jets for Iran. Tehran is very much interested in producing its own advanced fighters.

Iran’s own weapons industry is relatively advanced. According to Brigadier General Amir Hatami, Iran is among a select group of nations able to manufacture over 90% of its military equipment – including tanks, armored personnel carriers, radars, boats, submarines, drones, fighter jets and, crucially, land and seaborne cruise missiles with a respective range of 1000 km and 1400 km.

Professor Mohammad Marandi from the Faculty of Policy Studies at the University of Tehran confirms, “Iran’s military industry is the most advanced in the region and most of its needs are provided by the Ministry of Defense.”

So yes, Tehran will certainly buy military jets, “but Iranian made drones are the best in the region and they’re improving”, Marandi adds. “There is no urgency, and we don’t know what Iran has up its sleeves. What we see in public is not everything.”

A classic case of the public face of something that can’t be seen was just offered by the meeting last Sunday in Yunnan province in China, between excellent pals Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister, and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

That’s of course part of their own strategic partnership – to be sealed by the now notorious \$400 billion, 25-year, trade, investment and energy deal.


Both China and Iran happen to be encircled by rings of the US Empire of Bases and have been targets of varying, relentless brands of Hybrid War. Needless to add, Zarif and Wang Yi reaffirmed the partnership evolves in direct contrast with US unilateralism. And they must have discussed weapons trade, but there were no leaks.

Crucially, Wang Yi wants to set up a new dialogue forum “with equal participation of all stakeholders” to deal with important security issues in West Asia. The top precondition for joining the forum is to support the JCPOA, which was always staunchly defended by the Russia-China strategic partnership.

There won’t be an October Surprise targeting Iran. But then there’s the crucial interregnum between the US presidential election and the inauguration. All bets remain off.

(Republished from Asia Times by permission of author or representative)
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  1. Smith says:

    Good news to say the least.

  2. A123 says:

    While theoretically the arms embargo is ending, the hapless Iranian regime is so close to bankruptcy that it cannot afford to buy anything. Sociopath Khameni’s Rial continues to plummet: (1)

    The Iranian rial fell to a new low against the US dollar yesterday as the economy reels under pressure from the Covid-19 pandemic and US sanctions. The dollar was selling for as much as 304,300 rials on the unofficial market, up from 295,940 on Friday, according to the foreign exchange site The economic daily Donya-e-Eqtesad’s website gave the dollar rate as 303,300, up 6,000 rials from Friday.

    The currency has lost about 56% of its value in 2020 as a drop in oil prices has deepened the economic crisis in the country, which also has the highest Covid-19 death toll in the Middle East.

    The theocracy’s claims about military manufacturing are at best laughable. The Iranian ‘stealth’ aircraft deception is an obvious fail: (2)

    IAIO Qaher (“Conqueror”) 313 stood out as a diminutive franken-plane that would look cool in an action flick. It retained significant design characteristics of the F-5 Freedom Fighter, but sported canted vertical stabilizers like an F-22 Raptor, flouncy wings reminiscent of a 1950s-era MiG-17, drooping wingtips resembling Boeing’s discarded Bird of Prey concept, and bat-like canards—a second set of wings next to the cockpit.

    It didn’t, however, look like something that could actually fly—as pointed out by David Cenicotti of The Aviationist—in an epic takedown.

    Tehran’s predilection for fabricating easily disproven evidence of its military capabilities testifies to the revolutionary state’s enduring sense of insecurity.

    Remember, the Iranian Navy is so incompetent that they sunk a barge blocking their own military harbor. (3)

    Despite repeated provocations, Trump has refused to take the bait laid out by the clearly weak and desperate Khameni. There will be no October surprise, because Iran lacks the capability to create one.

    PEACE 😇




  3. Unfortunately the exact level of nuclear weapons capability cannot be measured. As the size of A-weapons become smaller , the more likely their use and further, Iranians may have discovered how to perform a just in time extraction of Americium 242 during the commercial reactor process. Again we really don’t know, what novel techniques were shared by AQ Khan’s network…There is a possibility that Plutonium 240 contamination during small weapons manufacturing has been either circumvented for sufficient fission or the contaminant removed entirely. These military considerations are now coupled a new discovery by an Iranian scientist who created an Electronic Warfare devise, Khibiny, capable of jamming missiles, battleground communication, ground-to-satellite communication, drones and cruise guidance systems. It was was successfully deployed, by Russia, against two Israeli jets during a confrontation in Syrian air space as well as against the USS Donald Cook during patrols in the Black Sea. It was so effective it temporarily knocked out the entire early warning system for Alaska’s NORAD. On reflection then, let’s not embarrass ourselves again with senseless and needless confrontations…in the South China sea or in the Persian Gulf.

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