Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 28, 2013

The Rouhani Week

The Rouhani week is over and it was a full success. Contrary to various propaganda claims the Iranian president said nothing essential that differed much from what his predecessor said. But he said it in a different tone and with a much better orchestration and that made all the difference. When Rouhani arrived back in Tehran he was greeted by some 50 protesters who condemned him for talking with the Great Satan. They may well have been part of the Rouhani show demonstrating to the United States that Rouhani can not go all the way it wants him to go. He was also welcomed by Ali Akbar Velayat who is a close advisor to supreme leader Khamenei. His week in New York and his phone-call with Obama can therefor claim to have high endorsement.

The White House seems to be very happy that it can now deal with someone who its own and Israel's propaganda have not (yet) demonized as the next Hitler. It is also glad, for now, that it can avoid a further escalation with Iran and a possible war which, as the campaign against open war on Syria demonstrated, would have no support from United States citizens. Indeed a deal with Rouhani over the nuclear file, easy to get if the U.S. walks back from its hostile position, may help to find a solution for Syria where the U.S. regime change project has thoroughly failed and the threat of a new Al-Qaeda base is now its most pressing concern.

These new developments are destroying the strategy of Israel's prime minister Netanyahoo. He can no longer outright push for War on Iran. The Israeli delegation was the only one that left the UN General Assembly when Rouhani spoke. A clear demonstration of Israel's new isolation. Its AIPAC lobby had already lost the fight for War on Syria and upcoming domestic business will keep Congress occupied with other issues. Sure, there are still some loyal Senators for AIPAC pressing for more sanctions and war "preventing Iran from achieving nuclear capability". Nuclear capability is something Iran achieved some years ago and the U.S. public is not in the mood to wage war to turn the clocks back on that. The lobby has lost for now and some of its leaders are recognizing it. David Harris, Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee, warns Netanyahoo in a Haaretz piece:

[U]nless Israel wants to continue to find itself largely alone on the world stage, it will have to find new ways to make its case, so that it is not just talking to itself and its supporters. Simply implying, for instance, that anyone who sits down with Rohani is a modern-day Neville Chamberlain or Édouard Daladier won’t do the trick.

To the contrary, it will only give offense and alienate. There are more effective and less shrill ways of making the case for caution, vigilance, and strength.

One wonders what "more effective and less shrill ways" Mr Harris has in mind. One thing is sure, he is not yet willing to give up. We can expect some open and some hidden dirty tricks to derail any successful talks between Iran and the United States.

But Netanyahoo may truly lose this one. We will know that he has given up when he changes his target. After the first Gulf war Israel's propaganda changed from demonizing the then defanged Saddam Hussein and instead started to demonize Iran. Israel always needs an enemy, the new Hitler, to distract from its continuing colonization of Palestine and to keep its picture as an eternal "victim" alive. As the War On Iran project fails could, please, Saudi Arabia become Israel's new villain?

Next week Netanyahoo will be visiting Washington and New York. He is unlikely to get the same attention and success that Rouhani got. Another stupid comic stunt at the UNGA in New York would make him even more irrelevant. He needs a new game but will have difficulties to find one.

Posted by b on September 28, 2013 at 17:40 UTC | Permalink

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@all - Just deleted a bunch of "hmm" comments. If that troll comes back please don't feed it.

Posted by: b | Sep 30 2013 12:00 utc | 101

"He also made several weird assertions, the most bizarre of which was that Russia and Iran are rivals."
Ask iranians and they will tell you that they do not trust Russia(S300
# 20+ years for Bushehr NPP)they never forgot the occupation of northern Iran too,also the war between Egypt and Israel.This was just about trust.
Thy are rivals when it comes to caspian related issues and dont forget Iran as a gas-export hub for Europe.
So not bizarre at all.I recommend

"....Make no mistake, Obama hopes to return to the Syrian question at a future date - holding Rouhani's hand. Until then, it's all - well, mostly - Russia's privilege to hold the can of worms."

Posted by: Some1 | Sep 30 2013 16:12 utc | 102

i gess it was confuzius:The more you know the less you speak.
Thank you b.

Posted by: Some1 | Sep 30 2013 16:19 utc | 103

After a very long while, Cyrus Safdari has finally made a comment on the recent talks and speculations regarding the settling of the nuclear issue between US and Iran and in my opinion Cyrus NAILS IT:
What is Kerry actually negotiating with Iran?

I will quote some of the most important parts of his piece (although it is a very good piece in its entirety):

"This can be a "make-it or break-it out" outcome. If Iran succeeds in getting its nuclear program "recognized" by the US, the regime can not only point to a significant victory but also vindicate its nationalist credentials. The Islamic Republic will have officially "won" not just the dispute over the nuclear issue.If not, and if there is some sort of half-assed compromise that in any way delegitimizes Iran's nuclear program, then the regime as a whole -- and not just Rouhani's government -- is open to the charge that it compromised with foreign powers over the interests of the nation and people of Iran in order to stay in power a bit longer, and Rouhani himself will be facing the music."

The emphasis has been added by me.

"You know I'm not an optimist. I've seen similar build-ups of hype and speculation about a US-Iran breakthrough before. Won't happen. Thus far we have not seen an ounce of evidence that the US has decided to abandon pressing Iran to give up her sovereign right to enrichment, and that has always been the pretext that the US has used to exacerbate relations with Iran."

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Sep 30 2013 20:10 utc | 104

"What is Kerry actually negotiating with Iran?"

Larijohony answer to Cyrus question in 2005.

"Trading Pears with lollipop هيچ آدم عاقلي در غلطان را با آب نبات عوض نميكند)"
US want Cake and eat it too.

Posted by: LOYAL | Sep 30 2013 21:41 utc | 105

I believe you meant to write "pearl" and NOT "pear". Normally typos are unimportant because people understand what was actually meant, but in this case "pear" as you may know already, means actually a fruit (گلابي‌). So people won't understand that you have made a typo and will think that you really did mean "pear".

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Oct 1 2013 3:41 utc | 106

What a strange metaphor, "Trading pearls for lollipops." Surely the lollipop is a very recent invention?

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 1 2013 4:11 utc | 107

Posted by: Some1 | Sep 30, 2013 12:12:37 PM | 102

Thanks for taking the time to respond (and not taking offense at 'read into').
It satisfies my curiosity.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 1 2013 6:07 utc | 108

You're welcome.The reason why I posted the interview was because of the interpretation of Bandars trip to Moskow which differs from anything I red about this till now.I think it's very important to get a feeling for the decision making in KSA(the geopolitikal preception of KSA is important for the determination of future Iran-US relations).

Posted by: Some1 | Oct 1 2013 8:24 utc | 109


Posted by: Some1 | Oct 1 2013 8:26 utc | 110

@ 110.
It's OK, I knew who you meant, and can diff a slip from a sleight.
Re Iran's on again/off again S-300 contract, you may be interested in this from 2010 at the height of the 'controversy':

Russia ships China 15 S-300 missile systems: report

Whilst it's proof of nothing, Russia's stated position is that an arms embargo doesn't restrict its right to supply defensive weapons to long-standing clients. And the rules of Russian humour/diplomacy would oblige them to avoid openly inflaming tensions, but nevertheless to facilitate an oblique leak.

And thanks for the MKB atol article. I like MKB's perspectives but find his excessive diplomacy as irritating as some probably find the deliberate lack thereof in my own rants.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 2 2013 3:29 utc | 111

Oh, I agree. Bhadrakumar belongs to the school of dipspeak that never acknowledges that secret services exist at all, if it can avoid doing so, as if such things were indelicate.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 2 2013 3:49 utc | 112

"Russia has acknowledged making a contract with Iran for the supply of the same advance missiles..."
Yes they made a contract got paid $167 million of the money in advance(part of the contract)but Medwedew(hoaxed by Washington)canceled the dellivery.Now iran demands her $4-billion lawsuit (part of the contract and consent of the international arbitration court in Geneva last April)and Russia was searching for some kind of compensation till now I gess.

Iran demands more cash source:USA
Russia asks for resolving issuesource:Iran
Iran to Drop $4-bln Claim if Russia Delivers S-300 source:Russia
Russia to suply S300source:Israel

In a war like situation (like in Syria)Iran could not place reliance on the delivery and they knew before and this Knowledge was cemented in the contract(thats why they got the 4bil$-lawsuit).

Posted by: Some1 | Oct 2 2013 13:18 utc | 113

Mr. Bhadrakumar is a diplomat,he would never acknowledge the role secret services play.Thats the reason they are called SECRET.They are opperating in the shadows of diplomacy and anything else.

Posted by: Some1 | Oct 2 2013 13:26 utc | 114

They had a contract valued at $800 million,but Medwedew didnt deliver (hoaxed by the US)now Russia has to pay 4Bln$ after Iran sent her complaint to the International Court of Arbitration for compensation.

Russia returns S-300 air defense deposit
Iran to Drop $4-bln Claim if Russia Delivers S-300
Russia asks for resolving S300 issue
Russia to supply S-300
Now imagine a war like situation and this is your source for "quallity equipment".The Iranians were prepared for something like this and they cemented their misstrust in the contract.So when Russia does not deliver it gets punished(earn 800mil or loose 4bln.
I mean if you have a friend you trust you dont have to educate him trust.

Posted by: Some1 | Oct 2 2013 14:09 utc | 115

@ Some1 114.
Those stories certainly justify your response to my Chas Freeman Iran query, and bolster your 'trust' observations. But (sadly?) I'm rusted onto the theory outlined in 111 and excuse myself by posing the question...

"How much would it cost each/both Ir & Ru to conduct some public theatrics in international (Western-ish) commercial courts, considering that the parties to the contract are in complete agreement on the substance of the dispute and, no matter the outcome, any cash award (even one managed by the court) can be reversed/adjusted privately" (seen-to-be applies)?

Imo the answer is 'peanuts' relatively speaking. And you can probably appreciate the delicious irony (for both Ir and Ru) of one hearing taking place in Paris - aka Mr Bomb bomb bomb Libya's back yard.

Also, it could mean nothing but the S-300 shrouds/tubes in the IRNA report appear to be painted in IRG colours.

But if you wish to claim victory I'll concede in the interests of harmony.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 2 2013 19:51 utc | 116

on second thoughts, that sounds like a back-hander. Let's just agree to disagree.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 2 2013 21:18 utc | 117


Posted by: some1 | Oct 3 2013 17:46 utc | 118

I have to post another one because it's quite theWhole story

Posted by: Some1 | Oct 6 2013 10:51 utc | 119

When I look at a number of signals coming out of the US, the US definitely wants to change the strategy towards the Middle East. They want to shift their efforts towards Central Asia (Think Russia) & the Far East (Think China). That automatically means less focus on the Middle East. The US wants the Middle East to become less troublesome. And that requires an approach towards Iran. And distancing themselves more from Israel.

But the big question is: How long can the US government afford all these foreign adventures ?

Posted by: Willy2 | Oct 6 2013 18:02 utc | 120

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