Tag Archives: Iran’s nuclear ambitions

The Sick Men of Washington

President Trump,  has now  officially pulled the United States out of the Iran  nuclear deal , officially known  as the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action ( JCPOA) 

Negotiated via U.N.  auspices, the Iran deal limited Iran’s capacity to enrich uranium and thus limit any potential  for Iran to develop  nuclear weapons;  something it has always said is has not intended  nor planned to  do. UN inspections prove that  Iran has indeed complied with  the JCPOA in  full  since its inception in 2015. The deal  in no way  prohibits Iran’s develop  of missile technology,  which would be seen by  any state as a   sovereign  right to protect  itself from  aggressors.

And Iran has many threatening states  to protect  itself from. These include Israel, who  sees Iran  as its major  spoiler to the  ongoing expansion of Israeli  territory  in  the Middle East;  particularly  because of Iranian support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, who  roundly  defeated  Israel in its last  attempt to  occupy Lebanon in   2006 . Then  there is Saudi Arabia,  the despotic regime which  pretends to be a ‘monarchy” who  actively supports protects and funds the Salafist terrorists  across the Middle East  and beyond.  Salafists believe that  all  other Islamic and other religious  beliefs   other than  their own  are ‘heretical”, and therefore those people who  hold such beliefs need to be either forcibly converted or disposed of. Hence the  millions of Shiite peoples of Iran   and its Shi-ite theocracy are anathema to  the Saudi  ‘princes’. Iran is a  large country of over 80  million people,  and while its economy has been made vulnerable by  years of U.S. and other Western countries sanctions, it has managed to develop a wide range of responses to those sanctions,  and particularly  a  home grown defence industry.

Iran is therefore not  significantly vulnerable to  attack  by  Saudi Arabia ,  despite S.A.s huge defence spending ($76 billion in 2017 – third  highest in  the world after the U.S.  and China) ,  as opposed to Iran’s approximately $14 billion), largely because of its very  effective home grown  ballistic missile systems. (it is always amusing to note that U.S. military ‘specialists  always attribute this or that countries’  home grown  military capabilities to some other country – implying in some way  that the specific  country does not have the  technology ,  research  capability and technical know-how that  only  the great and exceptional  U.S.  has!)

And finally,   Iran’s perhaps most significant threat  comes from  the United States,  who has desperately tried to destabilize Iran’s theocracy  in  every  way  possible way since its inception in  1979, after overthrowing the U.S.  and and U.K. installed  despot, the ‘Shah’  of Iran .

The U.K.  has also  played a supporting role to the U.S.  since 1953 in supporting the salafist regimes in the Persian Gulf  and encouraging the export of  Saudi  and Qatari  jihadist  terrorists to  Middle East  states  which  are not active supporters of Western colonialism or Israeli  expansionism.

Thus the latest  move by  the Trump administration to  undermine the U.N.  JCPOA agreement  and threaten sanctions against  countries  and companies that do  not comply with its renewed sanctions against  Iran, is simply part of the ongoing war  by the United States against  Iran that had its inception in  the overthrow of its  brutal dictator ,  the Shah.

The drivers for this  ongoing  war against  Iran are  largely economic:  primarily  re-acquisition of the huge Iranian  oil  market  by  American oil  companies  will  buffer the U.S.  against  the imminent collapse of the local  shale oil  market, whilst  ensuring that Iranian owned oil  and gas is not pipe-lined through to  Europe and Turkey.

However the other major U.S.   impetus for Iranian destabilisation and overthrow of its  independent theocracy is the role of Israel  and its Zionist  lobbyists in  Washington.  Now that Saudi Arabia has been bought into  the Zionist  fold and accepts  the Israeli   theft of Palestinian  lands since 1948 as legitimate, there is only Iran  as a significant power player in  the Middle East  who is  able to  confront Israeli  expansionism.  A tame Iranian regime that supported both  Israel  and  U.S.  colonial policy in  the Middle East  would mean Chinese and Russian commercial and strategic   ambitions  there could be thwarted, and  U.S.  and U.K.  (and to  a smaller degree, French) companies could make billions exploiting the region. With  the truly psychopathic John Bolton now  as Trumps defence advisor, drooling for war  with Iran, and Israel’s Netanyahu frothing at  the mouth for the U.S.  to bomb Iran, all  options are truly on  the table.

While Iran does not have an  effective airforce, due to the  long-standing sanctions against it; it’s ballistic missile  capacity is  indeed formidable,  although largely deprecated by  U.S.  defence analysts . Should the U.S. launch  an attack on  Iran’s infrastructure, as it has continually threatened to do  over the years, the U.S.  would undoubtedly be able to , over time,  obliterate much of Tehran  and  its  key urban  centres as it has done in North Korea,  Vietnam Libya and Iraq in  the past, along  with the consequent  huge suffering and civilian casualties  that  entails. However in  the first  days and weeks of such  a war, Iran’s  widely  dispersed military units, and particularly its missile and anti-ship  units, will  be able to  inflict  massive damage on  U.S.  military bases and aircraft  carriers in  the Gulf because of their close proximity to Iran. An ongoing guerilla war against  U.S.   economic and military  interests in  the Middle East   could well  last  for years. In  comparison  to  the U.S.  war against  Iraq,  Iran’s military capabilities cannot be under-rated as American  defence  analysts  are wont to do  in  their arrogance. This would not be the  “cake-walk” that  the neocons pretended the Iraqi  invasion would be!

The Sick Men of Washington 1

Should Israel  also enter the war,  as it has often promised to,  then Tel Aviv is now  well  within  missile striking distance by  Iran’s  Lebanese allies.  Hezbollah.

One would hope that  the crazies like Netanyahu  and John Bolton will  finally be locked away  somewhere safe for the rest of humanity’s sake ,  and the fools like Donald Trump  fade into  quiet  oblivion,  but sadly it seems , that may not be the case…


Links

The Deep State First – Madness On Both Ends of the Acela Corridor

How Hezbollah Defeated Israel

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/05/countdown-to-war-on-iran.html

All Options On the Table

Iran has a proud heritage as an independent nation for much  of its long  history.   The   Achaemenid Empire,  Saleucid  period,  the Parthian  and  Sassanid Empires all reference a proud history, with the Median empire  dating back  to at least  728 BCE.

The long history of human civilisation  in Persia has resulted  in a very varied ethnic  composition to the country.   The Shi-ite branch of the Muslim faith forms the vast  majority of religious views, with 75-80% of the country speaking a variety  of forms of Iranian (known as  Farsi).  The ethnic composition  currently is Persians 61%,[5][6] Azeris 16%, Kurds 10%, Lurs 6%, Arabs 2% Baloch 2%, Turkmen and Turkic tribes 2%,

Iran  with its unique cultural  and ethnic identity, has therefore  always strongly resisted foreign  occupation  forces, ranging from the Turkish Ottomans  to the Russians, British, and finally the Americans by proxy.

Since the Revolution in  1979,  which  saw the overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty, (a hereditary   dictatorship installed by  the British  and Americans to manage oil  distribution),  Iran has become  both  a democracy  and theocracy. Voters  are able to vote for an “approved”  list of  candidates in  each election  whose  appropriateness is vetted by  the  Supreme Council of mullahs.  Thus the range of candidates in Iran is circumscribed by  the candidates’  apparent moral  and religious rectitude, rather than, as in  the US, and increasingly other Western  countries, by the size of the bank balance backing the candidate.  While levels of imprisonment, torture,  and arbitrary  execution remain  high,  they appear to be significantly lower than  in  the heyday of the revolution, and proportionally less than  the Saudis across the Gulf.  There is solid evidence from  surveys undertaken in Iran by  independent surveyors that the current Iranian system of government has the support of significant majority of the population; perhaps particularly so  because it is a unique and indigenous product of Iranian culture and community, and not one imposed by  other foreign cultures and governments.

Since the Pahlavi  Shah  was deposed and the American Embassy  occupied by Iranian student revolutionaries, the US and its allies have imposed  tighter and tighter levels of sanctions on  Iran;   supposedly for its development of nuclear weapons, but undoubtedly because the current government does not share the commercial  and power block interests of the  US, UK, Israel and its  Saudi  anti-Shi-ite backers. These  sanctions have both created opportunities for  considerable Iranian  scientific and industrial innovation, but also  restricted sales of its petrochemicals and other exports via Western  banking systems  (predominantly the Swift electronic transfer process). These commercial trading blockages  have also  resulted in  a very high  inflation rate  and lack  of access to  some essential  goods like pharmaceuticals; particularly radio-isotope  anti-cancer  drugs.

New systems of both  banking transfer and use of  non US dollars are however  now being developed by  the BRIC nations to circumvent the  monopoly  on  international commercial transactions  by US allies. These alternative international transactions method are naturally a cause of significant anxiety to   the US and UK who  have traditionally monopolized the methods and systems of monetary   transfer across the world-a source of both great  wealth  and power to both  countries state and commercial financial   entities.  How  drastic the response by  the US,  UK  and the EU and  its  ‘international’ institution,  the IMF,   to attempt  to stop these new systems developing further  is unknown  at  this point.

Despite much Western hype about the so-called “green  revolution” at  Iran’s last  national  elections, support for the  current system of government remains high, and a sense of national Iranian pride and  solidarity in  its unique culture and independence  is strong.  Iran appears increasingly supported by  both the BRIC countries and the non-aligned nations in  its struggle to remain  outside Western commercial and cultural domination.

Aside from Iraq’s fragile national entity and the tottering predominantly  Alawite  Syrian regime, Iran remains the one substantial  Shi-ite state in the Middle East; something that is anathema to  the extremist  Salafist Sunni hereditary dictatorships in Saudi Arabia and Qatar  across the Persian Gulf.

Given  the advanced state of Iranian scientific  research  and its industrial  capabilities, it would be extraordinary  for Iran to have taken 54 years to  develop  its nuclear weapon  capabilities; with the  initial technology  being  supplied by  the Americans to the Shah in 1959 .  Israel  and the US media have been crying “wolf’  about an Iranian  nuclear programme since the Iranian revolution,  despite all  declarations from Iran that it has no intention of producing nuclear weapons. That  declaration is in  sharp contrast to  Israel, which  has stockpiled a massive nuclear weapon  arsenal but  continues to  deny its existence and refuses to sign international nuclear protocols (with the full support of the United States).

Iran’s position on Israel  has always been  quite clear;  Iran will not attack  Israel unless it is attacked first,  but  believes that  the Israeli  state  is an anathema to the region as  a rascist  and apartheid-like entity, and an oppressor of the Palestinian people who  who have been forced from their lands and homes..  Iranian President Ahmadinejad  (branded ‘crazy’  in  the Western media -as all  anti Western leaders  are), never did say (as often quoted in  the media)  that Iran  would wipe Israel off the map; he  stated that  the state of Israel  had no future and would cease to  exist in  time. Iran has not attacked any other foreign country  in the past 100 years, despite continued illegal threats and harrassment from Israel , the United States,  the UK,  and Saudi Arabia .  It has however certainly used its proxies of Hamas and Hezbollah, and to an unknown degree, its informal  military,  the Revolutionary Guards,  in  the   region to  de-stabilise what it sees as anti-Shi-ite and reactionary forces and to  support anti-Israeli occupation forces in  Lebanon.

The Iranian “Supreme Leader”  has repeatedly stated and issued fatwas to the effect  that it would be morally wrong for Iran  to  possess a nuclear weapon. Such statements make it  virtually impossible for  Shi-ite Iranians  to develop  a nuclear weapon; to defy a fatwa by  the Supreme Leader would be suicide.

Even the US “intelligence” community as late as 2011 reluctantly confirmed that Iran has no nuclear weapon  development programme,  but has continued to insist on its legal  right (under international law) to develop  nuclear  fission  capability for peaceful purposes. Iran is under no illusions that the continuing ongoing  threats and sanctions by  the Western community are  about stopping a non-existent weapons programme: they are about regime-change.

Therefore US Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent statements in Jerusalem (8-4-13) (or El Quds as it is know in Moslem countries),  warning  Iran  that his country would not hesitate to take military action if the diplomatic process failed to prevent Tehran from continuing its drive for nuclear weapons, is thus one more  threat  from the world’s superpower to  a country that insists on its independence. The threats are of course entirely illegal  and sanctionable under international  law: but who would dare (yet) to prosecute the US?

However it should by now be self-evident to even  the most  dupe-able politician  in the US or Europe; that the only way the Iranian population would accept a Western  installed regime; as in  the Gulf states, would be through  massive all-out war  and occupation.

While it is clear that  US, Israeli and Saudi  forces combined would annihilate most Iranian conventional military forces within  days or weeks, causing millions of civilian deaths in  its wake , the ongoing unconventional  and “assymetric’  war  would continue for years and likely decades, disrupting oil transit through  the Gulf,  eventually result in the overthrow of the Saudi regime, the disintegration of the Israeli  apartheid state, and the collapse of other US client states in the region  like  Jordan. In the short to medium  term, a victory  against  Iran by the  mediaeval  mysoginist  Sunni Salafists  running Saudi Arabia  would also likely result in incalculable suffering to the millions of Shi-ites in  the region.

But, despite all  facts to the contrary, US Secretary of State John Kerry once again has  supported Israel’s war rhetoric against Iran at a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) on Monday.

“No option is off the table. No option will be taken off the table. And I confirmed you Mr. President that we will continue to seek a diplomatic solution, but our eyes are open, and we understand that the clock is moving,” Kerry stated.

While it is undoubtedly true to most Western observers that  the Iranian state  is an autocratic,  religious based entity that uses executions and torture to control its adversaries, the same can of course be said for its US adversary, the Israeli state against its Palestinian population,  and the Saudi   hereditary  dictatorship. Additionally, Iran’s democratic  institutions are, from  a Western cultural perspective, far in  ‘advance’ of anything in  the Western backed Gulf states across the Gulf. Women’s rights are also largely guaranteed in Iran, in contrast to the misogynist  laws and values across the Gulf.

The only reason therefore  why  the West  continues to threaten  Iran, is that it represents an alternative, independent,   third way   of international power and relations  in  a region  where Western predominance is vital to  maintain the flow of oil to  the West (despite the hype about shale oil) ,  and  a potential  threat  to the continued existence of a “western”  Israeli  entity artificially planted in  a sea of Arab  and Persian nationalism.

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Postscript:

Glenn Greenwald’s Podcast discussion with two of America’s leading Iran experts: the Leveretts

Two former officials of the US National Security State become the most vocal critics of US policy toward Tehran…

Or read the Leverett’s take on  the issues directly here at  Consortium News

Note their attendance at  a student seminar with  Noam  Chomsky  at MIT  on Tuesday May  14th  here

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The Elephant in the Room: Militarism

by Jeff Cohen

I spent years as a political pundit on mainstream TV – at CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. I was outnumbered, outshouted, red-baited and finally terminated. Inside mainstream media, I saw that major issues were not only dodged, but sometimes not even acknowledged to exist.