Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 17, 2008

Did the Wind Really Change over Iran

The U.S. will open a diplomatic interest section within the Swiss embassy in Tehran. That does not mean that peace will now break out. The U.S. has such an interest section in Havana since 1977 and it is still sees Cuba as an enemy.

That Undersecretary of State William J. Burns will sit in during one negotiation between Iran and the 5+1 group may not mean anything either. As Laura Rozen writes:

What remains uncertain at this point is whether the move represents what Bush administration officials publicly insist – a one-time offer by Washington to demonstrate its willingness to negotiate only if Iran should agree to halt its uranium enrichment activities, or the beginnings of a greater flexibility and willingness by the Bush administration in its twilight months to engage in a more sustained diplomatic process toward Tehran ...

Iran will not suspend enrichment and I do not believe yet that the Bush administration will accept that stand.

But here is one sign that this may be the start of a real negotiation attempt. The Israelis are getting nervous about it:

"There is a bad feeling in Israel and dissatisfaction with the U.S. move," Israel told senior Washington officials, according to a source in Jerusalem. "There can be no concession on the demand to end uranium enrichment as a precondition to negotiating with Iran," Israel added.

The Israel lobby in Washington will certainly want to have a say in this. I expect a renewed push in Congress for the Congressional Resolution 362 and some other serious interference by the hawks in both parties.

Posted by b on July 17, 2008 at 14:30 UTC | Permalink


I get the impression that it is just a ploy to get McCain elected. Every threat made by the US and Israel against Iran raised oil prices, making Bush and his doppelgangers very unpopular as fuel and food costs soared. Same is true with Bush's 'reassurances' that the economy is peachy-creamy. Added to it, I suspect that a temporary drawdown in Iraq, if done before the elections, is another ploy to get McCain elected.

Of course, all this will reverse itself if McCain wins. It's all show-biz.

Posted by: Ensley | Jul 17 2008 14:39 utc | 1

Meditation for today:


small changes

are powerful changes,

and drastic changes

are no change at all.

Change where the State is concerned is never to the benefit of it's citizens, but first and foremost AND always in the best interest of State power. Just as the drug war of Zero tolerance, where Zero tolerance = zero critical thinking. overzealous application of the policy...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 17 2008 15:14 utc | 2

The US is represented, officially, since...mmm? a decade at least, by the Swiss, the Embassy / Consular office.. (has changed status several times) in Teheran, to the satisfaction, it is said, of all 3 parties, if not the Swiss public, who occasionally writes moaning letters about the cost and being US lackeys, and why can’t the US effin well represent themselves?

The US does a lot of mundane bizness, commercial and diplomatic, with Iran. The last thing that struck me, and as I don’t have a link, and don’t remember the details, it is just a telling example, the before last? physics championship for young researchers (a person I know had a friend who went) took place in Teheran, the winners (1st and 2nd slot) were American (they had a big group there) and Chinese (iirc); all this of course takes place in a parallel world that is never ever reported in the US press, while innocently displayed in academic news as well as national newspapers elsewhere, in the middle pages, provided it has some interest.

The announced opening of an interest section is a move forward.

The USuk has been screwing everybody else’s arms to stop trade with Teheran. With Iraq, it was the same, and in the field (sic) of oil, the first (and many have been condemned since, by the US itself, no one else could be bothered) to ignore and profit from the sanctions, as underground evades multiple costs and tax, were the Americans.

The sanctions are on the one hand symbolic moves, on the other yet a further step towards corrupt ‘free’ but ‘illegal’ commerce - very lucrative. (See, the war on I see Uncle refers to same..)

The whole approach is outdated - somehow, Iranians are to be seen as ‘unclean’, evil, dirty, diminished, as in a tribal war in some mythical jungle, or factions fighting in the Middle Ages. Meanwhile, commerce continues - with kickbacks and pally agreements. And more for sure at top levels.

When the US took out Saddam and destroyed Iraq it created a local superpower - Iran. Who is controlling Iraq? The US and Iran. Who supports Maliki (as far as I can see), the US and Iran. And so on.

Israel is only goading its superpower life-line patron, prodding it to be more aggressive, inflaming a natural rivalry between those who hold the cards, as that is all it can do. Beaten by the Ay-rabs (eg. Lebanon), it needs new enemies, not of its own, but those that might titillate and wake up the Big Bosses. Anything to get them hyped up and moving, in any direction, keep the symbiosis going. A long US-Iran history exists, etc. but how relevant is that today? What does Israel care about Iran? They aren’t even Arabs, or pertinent to Greater Israel in any way.

Ok, the national terms here are perhaps not the best, the criminal class (a meld of corps/gov/oil biz/traffikers/bankers/etc.) is perhaps what one should keep one’s eyes on.

Posted by: Tangerine | Jul 17 2008 17:12 utc | 3

Simple answer: US needed an immediate cut in oil prices in order to keep all the balls in the air until the election. At least 20% of the price is due to US threats to Iran.

Posted by: biklett | Jul 17 2008 20:06 utc | 4

Why would anyone want to oppose Nuclear Proliferation?

Not only is it a violation of another nation's right to develop it's military.

It is also futile. Technology spreads. This is a historical fact.
This is not something to fear. This is progress.

Mutually assured destruction kept the peace between the United States and the Soviet Union for decades. Mutally assured destruction makes war obsolete. It creates peace by making war

Just imagine how much safer and peaceful our world will be once everyone who wants an atomic bomb has one.

Posted by: Thinking Dove | Jul 18 2008 2:36 utc | 5

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