Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 16, 2008

Iran: Next Step - Sea Blockade

Here is the current plan to achieve regime-change in Iran:

The Iran NIE was greeted with some relief as it asserted that Iran didn't have an active military nuclear program. People believe that this has made an attack on Iran unlikely. But as I remarked when it was published, the NIE contained a poison pill. It also asserted that Iran has had a military nuclear program up to 2003. Iran must now "confess" this or it will be used to justify more sanctions and, in the end, war on Iran.

There is no public or reported evidence for the second NIE assertion and the IAEA has found no hints for a past or present military nuke program in Iran. Despite threats against IAEA director ElBaradei from the U.S. and France, the IAEA is likely to give Iran a clean bill of health in its upcoming report.

But the U.S. is committed to regime change and ever tightening economic and physical pressure on Iran is seen as the way to get there.

It has now laid out a strategy for implementing this:

  • The U.S. accuses Iran of some nefarious programs Iran has most likely never done.
  • Selected secret evidence for such programs from the highly dubious Niger papers "Laptop of Death" has been given to the IAEA. (The Laptop might be somewhat authentic and include some Iranian student's college notes. Its content could also be completely forged. Most likely it is a mix of both. The Niger papers were false but written on real Nigerian embassy stationery.)
  • The U.S. now officially demands that Iran "Must Confess" that it has had the military nuke program the NIE alleges.
  • The IAEA will ask Iran about the plans and experiments laid out in the secret evidence and, as Iran has never had these, come back with nothing.
  • El Baradei, the IAEA chief, will say that there is no proof for such programs. But he will be pressed into also saying that the "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."
  • The IAEA board, which consists of 35 country seats, will then report to the UN that the IAEA has done all it can, but that it cannot guarantee for the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program.
  • The UN security council will then either tighten sanctions and demand that Iran proves a negative, or, more likely, not further sanction Iran.

The situation is then the same as it was on Iraq and the U.S., with the support of France and the UK, will in one way or another act with the flimsy justification that the "UN is not willing to act."

The most likely act is a blockade of sea transport from and to Iran.

Under the justification of the need to prevent smuggling and proliferation of nuclear material, the U.S., the UK and France will establish sea patrols that will interdict all ships from and to Iran and search these for "dual use" material. (The French are preparing for this with their new Navy base in the United Arab Emirates.) They will confiscate any "dual use" stuff under a similar flexible definition of "dual use" as was used against Iraq and killed 500,000 Iraqi children.

Such plans for sea interdiction were laid out in the first reports about a third round of UN sanctions against Iran. These were not, as falsly reported by the NYT, part of new sanctions the permanent SC members had agreed upon, but a suggestion in one of various proposals that were distributed to non-permanent UN security council members.

In international law, the interruption of free sea traffic without a UN SC resolution is an act of war. Iran will be fully in its right to use force to break such an imposed blockade. But if it does, the Iranian use of force will be a welcome justification for punative air strikes and devastating cruise missile attacks against it.

After the first few air campaign days Iran will no longer have an Air Force and Navy to speak of. It will be bombed again and again, its trade further suffocated, until its people submit to U.S. will by changing their government, or until Iran, ten years from now, is just a former shell of itself that can easily be invaded.

That is the script, as far as I can tell. It is independent of who will become U.S. president. If it looks somewhat familiar to the history of what happened to another Middle East country that is certainly no coincidence.

The script has worked once. That why it is used again.

Posted by b on February 16, 2008 at 16:03 UTC | Permalink


Remember the Maine/Radio station in Marktgliewitz/Gulf of Tonkin/Straits of Hormuz Incident...

Posted by: ralphieboy | Feb 16 2008 16:26 utc | 1

"As you know, our blockade is perfectly legal."


Posted by: Cloud | Feb 16 2008 16:56 utc | 2

What was that about, politically marketing "successful" product war strategies only in the spring? mhmmm? Was that Andy card? I forget...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 16 2008 18:02 utc | 3

Umn, maybe slightly OT, but Denmark has been plagued this past week by cars and containers being torched. (we're talking 20-50 cars a night).

The cause is supposedly the "Mohammed" cartoons being reprinted. That was in connection with the threatened expulsion of two guys back to Tunis because the secret police (PET) said they had planned to murder one of the guys who drew the cartoons. Iran now has refused to let Danish politicians enter Iran until the Danish gov't apologises.

The background is of course a bit more complicated that I can briefly sketch -- but it strikes me that this blows up again here at the same time as the US is blowing again on the flames -- as is well known the Danish gov't always sucks Uncle Sam's cock.

Posted by: Chuck Cliff | Feb 16 2008 18:31 utc | 4

Well, I was half right it was Andrew Card I was thinking about, but he said, "You don't roll out a new product in August." Would it be foolish to predict that that is exactly what they are planing 1) because they think it's clever, and 2)this will be the last Harrah* of summer they get to play war roulette. This summer will be a hot one, they will make sure of it by escalating the heat. And the boys of summer, They think it will be fitting to lay the consequences on the next administration no matter it it's the jackasses or the elephants. Coke or Pepsi, makes no difference...

Bush played his role he got us there... He's been an outstanding success. Hell, he did more than they expected, so success, (in their eyes) begets more war.

*pun intended

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 16 2008 18:37 utc | 5

The Bush administration must have at least one more atrocity to pull out of its bag of tricks.

Posted by: Copeland | Feb 16 2008 18:42 utc | 6


there is nothing these dumb & cruel motherfuckers could do that would surprise me & they are sufficiently stupid to see some gain in invading iran

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 16 2008 20:10 utc | 7

b, yes, this will be a slow and long haul, always had to be. But it will develop somewhat faster than the Iraq script.

In that light, a small piece of the picture:

Iraqi FM: Some 200 MKO members leave Iraq

Baghdad, Feb 16, IRNA - Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said on Saturday that some 200 members of the outlawed grouplet called Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) have left Iraq in recent days.

Wonder where they went to. Straight to Iran, so they can begin ratcheting up ethnic tension in Khuzistan? Or to the same secret camps that once hosted Iraqi Scorpions for a bit of CIA training first?

Posted by: Alamet | Feb 16 2008 23:11 utc | 8

Another recent news:

Iran May Sell Oil in Rubles to Break `Dollar Slavery'

Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil producer, may use the Russian ruble in trading on its new oil exchange, the country's ambassador to Moscow said.

``Big energy producers like Iran and Russia should try to free the world of dollar slavery,'' Ambassador Gholamreza Ansari said on Moscow's Ekho Moskvy radio station today.

Won't even buy them time. Iran can only survive this game by overturning the chess table.

Posted by: Alamet | Feb 16 2008 23:17 utc | 9

Iran & USA each have a stack of ideas and initiatives aimed at tweaking one another. And both governments benefit from the political tension & distraction created by this posture.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Feb 17 2008 1:49 utc | 10

Iran and Bush's Crisis of Truth

...Recently the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit investigative reporting institution, published a report: "Iraq: the War Card." The report documented 935 false statements made by President Bush and seven top administration officials in the two years following September 11, 2001 concerning the national security threat posed by Iraq to the US

The top liar was the President. He made, according to the report, 232 false statements about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and 28 false statements about Iraq's links with al-Qaeda.

In this light we should examine carefully any statement the President makes concerning Iranian threats to world peace...

And a weak as toilet paper congress will swallow the shit again, hook, line and all.


Russia doubles staff at Bushehr


Iran, Tajikistan may sign military pact

Tajikistan's Dushanbe based 'Asia Plus' weekly wrote in its latest edition that Iran and Tajikistan might sign a military pact...

Well, what do you say, that's right next to China.

Posted by: Juan Moment | Feb 17 2008 5:10 utc | 11

US B-2 bombers are being flown into Diego Garcia for the Iran attack,
ironically dubbed "Camp Justice", which has hangars for four B-2's.

"With its GPS Aided Targeting System (GATS) combined with GPS-aided
bombs such as Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), it can use its
passive electronically scanned array APQ-181 radar to correct GPS
errors of targets and gain much better than laser-guided weapon
with "dumb" gravity bombs with a GPS-aided "smart"
guidance tail kit attached."

B-2 Armament

* 2 internal bays for 50,000 lb (22,700 kg) of ordnance.[17]
o 80× 500 lb class bombs (Mk-82) mounted on Bomb Rack Assembly (BRA)
o 36× 750 lb CBU class bombs on BRA
o 16× 2000 lb class weapons (Mk-84, JDAM-84, JDAM-102)
mounted on Rotary Launcher Assembly (RLA)
o 16× B61 or B83 nuclear weapons on RLA

So ... 64 nuclear bunker-busters first-strike capability, not even a $B there.
4 B-2 bombers, each worth $2.7B, about $10B there, even if they ditch all four.
8 crew members, plus ground support and two air tankers for return leg refueling.
Don Rumsfeld's very economical WW3, a blitzkreig for under $12B. Fuck-it money.

Straight shot NNW 3,000 miles to target, invisible to Pakistani and Iranian radar,
(unless the Paki's and Irani's link their radars and detect the off-path bounce.) [Diego Garcia due south of Mumbai by "INDIAN OCEAN"]

They're just waiting for the next haboob, to GPS bomb through dust cover,
and obliterate any of the ordinance evidence under a blanket of glowing sand.
Ironically, Carter's Eagle Claw failed in just such a haboob. Sweet revenge.
24 April 1980 recapitulated 24 April 2007, right after the credit.con implodes.

Posted by: Pari Doxical | Feb 17 2008 8:30 utc | 12

Interesting Guardian comment: Reviving the Iranian revolt

For 16 years, Iranian government was in the hands of the Euro-American educated bureaucrats who were gradually departing from the specific subjectivity (rejection of the universals, in Foucault's term) which brought about the Iranian uprising of the 1979. The spectre of modernity slowly started to dominate everything, from the economy to the politics, and the two consequtive administrations picked up a similar project of modernisation which the shah had previously failed to continue, and with it, the gloomy consequences started to wane in too: corruption, incompetence, and socio-economic inequality.

The elite's vision of economic and political "reform" was transforming Iran into a country very similar to what it had been under the shah, but with an Islamic posture. At the same time, Europe and the US were not only happily watching as Iran was practically undoing its revolt, but even assisting and accelerating the process.

Then came the shock. Ahmadinejad, an outsider to the Iranian establishment who was never taken seriously by journalists or most politicians, won the election. Compared to his main rivals, he had lower religious credentials, less support from the elite, less money for campaigning, and gave zero promises to normalise relations with the US. Instead, he travelled much more around the country and met face-to-face with the forgotten majority of Iranians, talked more about economic equality, and promised more of a serious war on corruption.

He simply pledged a return to the abandoned values of the 1979 uprising, with independence, freedom and justice at the centre. (...)

If western journalist left the northern part of Tehran more often, they would be able to observe how much Ahmadinejad represents a passionate revival of the core values of the uprising. They would also discover how Islam is functioning as the best, but not the only, carrier of those values.

Posted by: b | Feb 17 2008 10:55 utc | 13

Something is brewing here - Feisal is doing some supicious trips:

Saudi Arabia Eager to Replace Iran

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin met with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal yesterday, February 14, 2008. In Riyadh, they are strongly concerned about the large-scale cooperation of Russia and Iran, particularly the nuclear one.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal stayed in Moscow only for a few hours yesterday, and the meeting with President Vladimir Putin took most of his visit. The prince delivered to Putin a personal letter of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, who initiated negotiations.

The sources say the letter describes Riyadh’s evaluation of the Middle East situation. But Saud Al-Faisal evidently passed the most vital message by word of mouth. In Saudi Arabia, they are sure that Iran’s policy will shatter the region in future and the helping hand of Moscow is needed to prevent it.

Riyadh elaborated a plan to save the region from the so-called Iranian threat, where it is to play the key role in tandem with Moscow. So, the Saudi guest endeavored to persuade the Kremlin that stronger Iran would disbalance the Middle East. In return to winding up Russia’s-Iranian contracts, Riyadh promised to buy Russia’s weapons at large, replacing Iran as its partner in military and technical field.

Saudi Arabia won’t confine to the military deals. The minister urged Moscow to conclude a big agreement of bilateral cooperation, fueling mutual turnover and investments to $50 billion in the nearest five years.

An attempt to bribe Putin? I'm not so sure. Why then this?

Bush meets Saudi FM at White House

President George W. Bush held a closed door meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal on Friday, White House press officers said, though the substance of their talks was not made public.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said Bush planned to meet the Saudi foreign minister at 10:10 am in the Oval Office.

"The foreign minister is in town for various engagements, and the president looks forward to discussing with him a wide range of regional issues including the president's recent trip to the Middle East, to the region, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the situation in Lebanon," Stanzel said.

A spokeswoman for the National Security Council later confirmed that the meeting took place but declined to provide any details about what was discussed.

Posted by: b | Feb 17 2008 11:11 utc | 14

ATOL: Disinformation flies as US raises Iran bar

A new report on Iran by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is about to be released and US "pre-emptive" diplomacy, aimed at preventing an IAEA "clean bill of health" that could derail Washington's effort for a new round of UN sanctions on Iran, is at full throttle - with the timely help of disinformation.
the IAEA must stay firm on the rules of game and consider the fact that any overstepping of its bounds - eg, by pressuring Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment program in spite of Iran’s legal rights and its nuclear transparency - will definitely backfire against the agency and, indeed, the entire non-proliferation regime.

After all, Iran has the solid backing of a bulk of international community, namely the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which covers some 118 member states.
with [U.S. ambassador at IAEA] Schulte sending the wrong signal, the Iran nuclear crisis will likely become more aggravated in the coming months if (1) the US and its allies succeed in forcing a more circumspect IAEA report that does injustice to Iran, and (2) Iran fulfills its threat to scale back its work with the IAEA if the agency permits the powers that be to manipulate its findings on Iran. Such a negative leap backward is not in anyone’s interest.

Posted by: b | Feb 20 2008 16:28 utc | 15

Dear Sirs

I think we (iranians) should thank president bush and america
because of the economic and other restrictions on iran.

That caused very interesting improvements in many sciences as you know.

The only way for changing regime in IRAN is removong restrictions for 10 years and behaving friendly with IRAN for about 10 years.
then you can establish heavy restrictions on IRAN that will make changing the regime very easy.

but with current method you will not have any success!!!

Posted by: an iranian | Feb 27 2008 13:26 utc | 16

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