Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 03, 2015

Thoughts On That Maybe-Deal About Iran's Nuclear Achievements

Some preliminary deal has been agreed upon in Geneva that will restrict Iran's civil nuclear research and production program in exchange for lifting sanctions.

The deal is unfinished. The devil is in the details and those have yet to be agreed upon. The deal will fail when on June 30 those agreements will turn out to be unachievable.

There are many distortions and lies in the "western" reporting on the issue. Facts that are left out include:

  • The whole crisis over a "nuclear Iran" is manufactured based on lies from Israeli and U.S. intelligence services. The target of the U.S. and Israeli operations was never a "nuclear Iran" but an Iranian Islamic Republic that insists on independent internal and foreign policies.
  • Iranian leaders have declared that any weapons of mass destruction contradict the philosophical and religious base of the Islamic State of Iran. They have insisted on this and did not retaliate even when their cities came under chemical attacks during the Iraq-Iran war.
  • All U.S. intelligence services agree that Iran does not have any military nuclear program. There is nothing to fear from a pure civil nuclear program in Iran.
  • All sanctions on Iran are illegal in the very first place. They have no basis in facts or law.

There is now a very disturbing tendency in U.S. commentary, following Obama's lead, to say that the (unfinished) deal should be taken because it the only alternative is war.


  • Who would start and wage such a war?
  • On what legal basis?
  • For what purpose given that Iran clearly has no military nuclear program?

Such stupid alternative "deal or war" as argument for a deal is dangerous because the deal can still fail and the hawks will then argue that "even the lubral commentators said 'deal or war' so now it must be war."

Indeed, given Obama's very aggressive foreign policy thus far I can not exclude that war on Iran is his real aim and only hidden behind very public but sham negotiations to make a public case for it.

Posted by b on April 3, 2015 at 8:40 UTC | Permalink

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Given Iran has signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and Israel has studiously avoided doing so, in an honest world the US would be sanctioning Israel.

Of course it's not an honest world and much of US foreign policy is directly driven by Israel and its agents embedded in most of the US Government hierarchy.

Posted by: Charles Wood | Apr 3 2015 8:48 utc | 1

As b said, its far from done, 5+1 and Iran agreed on a framework for a potential future deal, and "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed". Still such initial agreement is historic and shows how much the West wants an alternative for Russia's energy supplies.

In the meantime, many things can happen, either Israel through US congress, or false flag, or biased IAEA, etc. can sabotage the deal. Iran should push removal of "IAEA satisfaction" or make it very transparent and with a timeframe, otherwise as an ex-director of IAEA R.Kelley said, even after 10 years of Iraq's inspections, IAEA wasnt allowed by US "to be satisfied". Such vague points for 100% biased organization could mean non-satisfaction indefinitely. Of course, US can just as well make IAEA to be satisfied, but since I have no trust in Obama, and even less trust in whoever replaces him, this uncertainty could stay forever. Iran cannot allow it to be the requirement for sanctions removal.

Posted by: Harry | Apr 3 2015 8:59 utc | 2

I'm remembering when Iran suspended all enrichment in Nov 2003, for nearly a year, on the promise of UK, Germany and France (EU3) who were undoubtedly taking orders from US.

The EU3 had to scuttle their own plan nearly a year later when none of the promises the EU3 where delivered. I mostly remember the neocons in DC fuming in the media - couldn't believe Iran would suspend enrichment to be brought in the WTO, access to direct foreign investment, access to international financial markets, etc. I also remember the total silence of the press following the EU3's pullout. I mean not a word.

That's when Iran realized that they'd been had, and in Oct started enrichment again.

But I agree with Bevin, the reason not a single US corp had started a plant since about 1988 because without taxpayer subsidies a nuclear plant will NEVER make money. I'm not even counting taxpayer paid-for waste storage. I.e. they're money losers. I think Iran got into the nuclear power plant business because the Shah had a program in place when the revolution in 1979 happened. And Russia was building that plant down on the Persian Gulf. I suppose at some point the Ayatollahs and politicians saw some kind of "prestige" value in it.

Like most of the ME (the world actually) Iran has enough sun and wind to become independent of fossil fuels. Which leads back to the 'prestige' argument. Great engineers and all that...

Posted by: okie farmer | Apr 3 2015 9:37 utc | 3

b said,

The whole crisis over a "nuclear Iran" is manufactured based on lies from Israeli and U.S. intelligence services.

As far as US intelligence goes, I don't believe this is accurate. If I recall correctly, the most recent US national intelligence estimate, a summary of all US intelligence agencies, has stated that Iran does not presently have a nuclear weapons program and if it ever did, it appears to have been abandoned 10 to 15 years ago.

As far as Israeli intelligence, I believe I have read similar things about Mossad's assessment.

As was true during the buildup to the Iraq War, the politicians seem to be twisting the intelligence facts to serve their political interests. This is not to ignore that certain elements in the intelligence communities have undoubtedly gone along with the sham, as they did in Iraq as well.

Posted by: sleepy | Apr 3 2015 9:51 utc | 4

The Iranians have given away nothing they had. Nuclear weapons are irrelevant to their strategic future as the regions dominant economic and political influence. This contrived 'drama' is simply a carefully designed anti-psychotic policy programme for the inmates at DC Central.

In the end there is a loss of nothing they needed while Iran's economy comes on-line 100% to the developing world. They'll be joining SCO and probably be eventually invited into BRICS. They'll store their new economic wealth in new non-US controlled banks.

And they'll work with (and on) the cr-ISIS in Iraq-Syria to achieve complex regional strategies and desirable outcomes. All while the US goes into paralyzing economic recession/depression as peace breaks out -- and during a presidential election cycle that will struggle for the 'war party' without one of its pet whipping boys.

If Obama signs his 'Nixon' peace agreement with Iran then he shoots one of the Republican's (and mad neocon McCain & Co's) key platforms -- possibly even Shrillary Clinton's hopes to show Thatcherite 'balls' in the run up. If he pulls it off he might even have made some steps towards earning his Peace Prize gong.

Posted by: x. | Apr 3 2015 10:34 utc | 5

It is policy which determines what any government does, not intelligence, for instance the US/UK decision to go to war in Iraq was not based on bad intelligence it was based on policy. The intelligence available and interpretation thereof could mean different things, depending on the policies of whichever political party was assessing the information at the time. The intelligence does not determine policy, it only gives the maker of the policy an excuse "The Intelligence made us do it".

Posted by: harry law | Apr 3 2015 12:05 utc | 6

The US lost unmeasurable credibility after it became clear there were no Nuclear weapons to be found in Iraq. I doubt there are many people here unaware of the ramifications of this error which will unfurl in perpetuity for decades to come. If a war is waged against Iran, what then? It seems so myopic even for the US, but especially from regional powers like Saudi Arabia and Turkey that will surely suffer severe blowback due to their politics, influence, and geographical proximity.

Even the hawkish policy makers who aren't lying to themselves about their motives for pursuing war with Iran must be aware that they may well be writing the final chapter of the empire. It seems there was an effort to understand the mistakes made in Vietnam, but the absence of any mainstream academic reflection on Iraq is hard to understand. We ought to be a nation paralyzed with indecision, and instead aggression and risk have fused and accelerated in lockstep.

Posted by: IhaveLittleToAdd | Apr 3 2015 12:27 utc | 7

I am quite distrustful toward the US motivation in these talks, especially after reading the following:

Pentagon Chief: We Might Bomb Iran Even if Nuclear Deal Reached

As the P5+1 nuclear negotiations - ostensibly seeking to ensure a peaceful future for the Middle East - conclude, they were prefaced by a surprising announcement. On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said that even if a deal was reached, the US reserves the right to bomb Iran.

This was posted on Sputnik (thus without link) on 2.4.15.

Posted by: Fran | Apr 3 2015 13:40 utc | 8

I hear that people of a libertarian-leading
have given the Iran-P5+1 "deal" the thumbs-up

The Deal
It’s a good one – but can it survive the US Congress?

it's going to be fascinating watching the neo-cons/ Israel firsters
do their damndest in the next few weeks to scupper the deal

a friend in need is a friend indeed

Posted by: chris m | Apr 3 2015 13:45 utc | 9

I think that if the Iranians can somehow get the IAEA out of the PMD business ... out of the picture entirely ... then maybe.

The links on another thread to the retired IAEA guy 'analysing' the deal point out that this is the red flag. He reminded that the inspection regime in Iraq was orders of magnitude tougher than what's specified here ... and that the IAEA (a crypto US political operation) still wasn't 'able' to give Iraq a 'clear bill of health' TEN YEARS after those inspections were initiated. That would mean 10 more years of sanctions in Iran's case. And the destruction of their nuclear program, which they value, presumably. I fully agree that they should stop dumping their resources into the black hole of boiling water for steam turbines via nuclear fission - so filthy, and dangerous, and 20th century - and instead get with photosynthetic hydrogen and the 21st.

It will be the same with Iran as it was with Iraq. It's not about nuclear weapons, it's about crushing Iran via US/Western sanctions just as they crushed Iraq pre-invasion.

But really ... the Iranians would be better off forgetting about the West, just as Russia has, stop wasting time 'negotiating' with the US and the others, and develop a real alternative to dealing with the perfidious West.

They can expect 'negotiations' with the West to be just as fruitful as the 'Palestinian Peace talks' with Israel have been.

Iran should cut its losses and put its energy into developing its relations with Russia, China, and Central Asia.

Looking at the map that means with Turkmenisan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. And of course doing the best it can with Azerbaijan, Turkey, Syria, and Iraq.

Forget the US, the West. Those liars are looking to destroy Iran just as they have destroyed Palestine, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan ... and just as they are trying to destroy Ukraine and Russia.

What's more the West is a sinking ship. The Iranians will be better off disembarking in any case. I'm sure there are more Ukrainians who agree on that score ... if only THEY had ... everyday.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 3 2015 13:52 utc | 10

@5 Like Cuba*, all the issues with Iran start in Washington. This deal is low hanging fruit Obama has opted to pursue in his quest for a legacy. The Iranians would have made a "deal" with the backing of Russia and China over a decade ago.

*When Obama failed to get a bump, this deal has gone on the back burner; although, I had assumed Obama wanted to get ahead of the Pope's call for an end to the Cuban sanctions. Embarrassing Obama is the only way to motivate the clown.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Apr 3 2015 14:46 utc | 11

I'm with President Obama on this one,(for once)

After all, nobody else is.

the ball is now in the Israel-firsters court, as they say in tennis.

Posted by: chris m | Apr 3 2015 14:47 utc | 12

jfl@10 Could you remember those links to the ex IAEA guy who said Iraq could never satisfy the IAEA, because the US had too much influence. Very important detail, thanks.

Posted by: harry law | Apr 3 2015 14:55 utc | 13

The original schedule was to find ageement in principle at end March, which has now stretched into April. The final deadline is in June. So this announcement is not imho positive or negative but was to be expected.

Based on news from Swiss press: In these negotiations, it was Laurent Fabius (FM of France - the negotiations are P5+1, UN Security Council plus Germany) who has put batons in the wheels. Teheran and Washinton agreed on a surveillance schedule / contract for 10 years, but France objected to many points, thus holding up everything.

The other bone of contention is scotching sanctions. On this issue it is Russia - Lavrov - who on the side of Iran, wants them removed speedily, at best all at once, at worst with some minor concessions that wouldn’t scupper the deal. (Hyper important for the Iranian authorities at home, Iran joins the world again, business booms, etc.) What counts here is the UN sanctions, not what the US unilaterally decides.

France disagreed, along with, gingerly or strongly (depends what you read), Kerry - they should only be lifted gradually in function of xyz controls, conditions, etc. In short the main contention points are sanctions, timing details in the agreement, not the content of the agreement about nuclear matters.

Not at all sure the deal will fail, I give it 50% one way or the other. There is of course the problem of Obama and his R Congress.

Still, these negotiations go far towards overcoming breaches. Zarif takes bike rides on the ‘quais’, Kerry goes ‘footing’, etc. These ppl have now been tied up together for so long, they are all exhausted.

Laudatory from the US (the Guardian)

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 3 2015 15:12 utc | 14

see moa: Why Wage War On Yemen? 62 or 63

Posted by: jfl | Apr 3 2015 15:13 utc | 15

On the US 'influence' at the IAEA, see William Blum's Anti-Empire Report #138, section entitled Torture via sanctions

Discussions on constraining Iran’s nuclear program have been going on for well over a year between Iran and the P5+1 (the five nuclear powers of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany), led by the United States. Throughout this period a significant stumbling block to reaching an agreement has been the pronouncements of Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA is the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, and its inspections are considered a key safeguard against countries using civilian nuclear energy technology to produce weapons. Amano has consistently accused Iran of failing to reply fully and substantially to queries about “possible military dimensions” of present and past nuclear activities, or failing to provide sufficient access to nuclear facilities.

Failure by Iran to comply fully with IAEA demands undermine Tehran’s efforts to win the lifting of crippling UN, US and other sanctions, which currently prohibit foreign companies from doing business with Iran and deny access to the global financial system. Media coverage of the negotiations regularly emphasize Amano’s claims of Iran’s insufficient responses to IAEA’s demands. It is thus worth inquiring just who is this man Amano.

In 2009 Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano became the head of the IAEA. What the Western media routinely fail to remind its audience is that a US embassy cable of October 2009 (released by Wikileaks in 2010) said Amano “took pains to emphasize his support for U.S. strategic objectives for the Agency. Amano reminded the [American] ambassador on several occasions that … he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.”

I looked at wikileaks and found IAEA: AMANO READY FOR PRIME TIME

1. (SBU) In several meetings with USG officials before he departed Vienna at the end of the IAEA General Conference, DG-designate Amano displayed remarkable congruence of views with us on conducting the Agency's missions in safeguards verification, nuclear security, and promoting peaceful uses of the atom as well as on reforming Agency management. Latest information from the Japanese Mission is that Amano will return to Vienna in late November and occupy an office in the IAEA during his final, intensive preparation to assume office December 1. This report responds directly to instruction ref A. End Summary. DG of All States, But in Agreement with Us ------------------------------------------ 2. (C) In a meeting with Ambassador on the eve of the two-week Board of Governors (BoG) and General Conference (GC) marathon of mid-September, IAEA Director General-designate Yukiya Amano thanked the U.S. for having supported his candidacy and took pains to emphasize his support for U.S. strategic objectives for the Agency. Amano reminded Ambassador on several occasions that he would need to make concessions to the G-77, which correctly required him to be fair-minded and independent, but that he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program.

The ambassador is Glyn T Davies (American politician), a Shillary appointment.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 3 2015 15:36 utc | 16

Thanks jfl. I agree with all the points you made, the devil will be in the detail, I think the US will move the goal posts. The aim of the US is not only to keep the sanctions in place and to dismantle Iran's peaceful nuclear ambitions, but also curb the arc of resistance, Iran of course leads the arc. plenty of time for the US to move the goal posts as they did when Turkey and Brazil negotiated an agreement with Iran, only for O'Bama to renege on it, even when it satisfied all his previous demands.

Posted by: harry law | Apr 3 2015 15:44 utc | 17

War over "failed" negotiations or a "dangerous" deal as pretext for an Israeli/Saudi attack are my fear. It's difficult to believe that the US has broken allegiance with the US/Saudi/Israel axis. It's much more likely that subterfuge and manipulation are being employed to create the conditions for more war.

That said, The Saudi military is busy in Yemen at the moment, leaving Israel on its own militarily. Not that it would matter much to Israel.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | Apr 3 2015 15:47 utc | 18

Also, the endgame for the U.S. is create complete global hegemony and Russia and China must be subjugated for that to happen. Considering Iran is such a strong ally to Russia and will likely join BRICS and/or SCO at some point, US sabotage of Russia thru Iran seems more likely than a historic deal.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | Apr 3 2015 15:54 utc | 19

i agree with fran @8 and a number of other posters here - charles wood @1 and etc..

financial sanctions are a form of war.. the usa has shown it can't be trusted and that bullying is the only form it knows.. same deal towards russia and it will be the same deal towards any country that doesn't bow to it's will while accepting all the lies and deceptions it wants to project onto others.. yes - iraq and the weapons of mass destruction is a case in point.. how often do we have to go thru the same lies and deception before we can acknowledge the usa is not an honest broker, and never has been for such a long time?

Posted by: james | Apr 3 2015 15:58 utc | 20

it's war 24/7 from the perpetual warmongering nation.. let's not fool ourselves with the hopey changey bullshit..
U.S. Military Planes Cleared to Refuel Saudi Jets Bombing Yemeni Targets.
see here

Posted by: james | Apr 3 2015 16:04 utc | 21

What the Iran deal proves is there that there is a split in the U.S. deep state between the Saudi/Israeli neocon "destroy everything right now" camp and the Zbig realpolitik U.S. unipolarity school of destruction spread out over many decades. Since Congress is controlled by the former and so too will the next POTUS, the chances that the present tentative agreement will be spiked are great. I hope Obama keeps calling out the warmongers in Congress. Apparently his comments were broadcast live yesterday in Iran.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Apr 3 2015 16:05 utc | 22

@harry law #13:

jfl has gone straight to the horse's mouth, but what I had read about that was a piece by Ray McGovern:

Why Iran Distrusts the US in Nuke Talks

There's also this, from 2012:

Yukiya Amano: Minion of the Empire

@Fran #8:

You can get around TypePad's blocking of Sputnik by using TinyURL the way Noirette did at #14. (I use Twitter myself for this purpose and have never used TinyURL.)

Posted by: Demian | Apr 3 2015 16:08 utc | 23

@21 US has had plans to factionalize SA and create a greater Yemen extending into Saudi territory in Saudi's southwest border area. That *could* explain US involvement, though I'm not convinced of it yet.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | Apr 3 2015 16:12 utc | 24

I have been wondering too if after the Iran deal the US will remove the missile shield in Europe - though my guess is the Russians were right, the shield was never against Iran but Russia.

Sputnik has a story and I hope Demian's tip for posting Sputnik links works and thanks.

Posted by: Fran | Apr 3 2015 17:17 utc | 25

I have to disagree with b on this one. It might be logically correct that lack of a deal will not necessarily lead to war but the current situation is very dangerous. We all know the reasons. The US fabricated this crisis in the first place to either destabilize Iran or create a pretext for war. However, after 15 years of incessant US propaganda the US had talked itself into a corner where we had to do something about Iran's nuclear program or go to war. We created a very unstable situation. This deal raises the possibility of undoing what the US created in the first place.

From Iran's perspective it was this kind of deal or continued sanctions. The Iranians have shown that they can resist sanctions but there is no doubt that they have made economic life much more difficult. Being cut out of international finance has made it difficult to sell oil, purchase goods abroad and for individual Iranians to engage in foreign travel. Iran is getting something very real in return for doing nothing more than returning their nuclear enrichment program back to where it was about six years ago. If you recall Iran deliberately expanded its enrichment program in the face of US intransigence to send a message that they would not be intimidated. In any case that whole nuclear program is more of a white elephant than a realistic energy program. Yes, of course they have the right to do so but that does make it sensible.

In short this is a very good deal for Iran. They give up nothing of value in exchange for the US backing down from its irrational threats and sanctions. There was a reason thousands of Iranians were celebrating in the streets of Tehran yesterday.

Posted by: ToivoS | Apr 3 2015 17:37 utc | 26

Good story in NYT on Saudi overreach in Yemen. Reporters Kirkpatrick and Fahim, who are a cut above the usual hacks the newspaper of record employs overseas, echo MoA and say al-Saud has a catastrophe on its hand. They point to Prince Mohammed as the principal cause. He is in way over his head.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Apr 3 2015 17:37 utc | 27

What the Iran deal proves is there that there is a split in the U.S. deep state between the Saudi/Israeli neocon "destroy everything right now" camp and the Zbig realpolitik U.S. unipolarity school of destruction spread out over many decades. Since Congress is controlled by the former and so too will the next POTUS, the chances that the present tentative agreement will be spiked are great.

This is about how I see it, although I don't think destroying Iran (long term) is even in the cards for the Zbig camp. (Probably it's more complicated than simply two primary camps.) I found the following passage about Iran from Brzezinski's The Grand Chessboard (which I am ostensibly reading, but which is actually sitting on the shelf) in a comment over at Washington's Blog:

...Iran, despite the ambiguity of its attitude toward Azerbaijan, similarly provides stabilizing support for the new political diversity of Central Asia. It dominates the eastern shoreline of the Persian Gulf, while its independence, irrespective of current Iranian hostility toward the United States, acts as a barrier to any long-term Russian threat to American interests in the Persian Gulf region...Iran's aspirations are vaguer still, but in the long run no less threatening to Russia's ambitions...Iran's role is likely to be even more problematic. A return to a pro-Western posture would certainly facilitate the stabilization and consolidation of the region, and it is therefore strategically desirable for America to encourage such a turn in Iran's conduct...In addition, it is not in America's interest to perpetuate American-Iranian hostility. Any eventual reconciliation should be based on the recognition of a mutual strategic interest in stabilizing what currently is a very volatile regional environment for Iran. Admittedly, any such reconciliation must be pursued by both sides and is not a favor granted by one to the other. A strong, even religiously motivated but not fanatically anti-Western Iran is in the U.S. interest, and ultimately even the Iranian political elite may recognize that reality...

I also go back to Russian analyst Andrei Fursov:

When I say "Obama", I mean the clan behind him. From the very beginning these clans wanted to improve relations with Iran to the detriment of relations with Israel, obviously. How is Iran useful for the United States? Imagine Iran as a partner of the US. Firstly, it's a much bigger country than Israel. It occupies a magnificent geopolitical position. Has magnificent resources. If Iran is a partner of the US, then you have an Iran-India axis against China, against Russia, while maintaining the tension. Israel has the tension of being a Jewish state with Arabs, while Iran is Shi-ite. The tension is primarily with the Sunni monarchs, with Saudi Arabia. Thus the tension will remain.

Obama has taken a whole series of steps intended to improve relations with Iran. A whole wave of publications appeared, claiming that the US was going to abandon Israel. But Obama found himself under the powerful influence of a variety of groups, including the pro-Israel lobby. Improvement of relations with Iran isn't happening so far. What's interesting is that whether relations with Iran improve or deteriorate, it forces the Americans to solve two problems.

One is to eliminate the regime of Assad. And with that eliminate the "fabulous" organization Hezbollah. We don't regard Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. It's a Lebanese Shi'ite organization, which is truly global. . . . They take the view, correctly, that eliminating Syria as an Arab partner of Iran, whether relations with Iran are good or bad, Iran will be weaker, and it will be easier to get an agreement with them. The removal of the Assad regime therefore became objective No.1 for the Americans. Likewise for Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Even if the above is true about Obama's Iran policy, isn't there a risk of completely alienating Iran in these efforts to isolate it and weaken its bargaining position by attacking its allies?

Posted by: RudyM | Apr 3 2015 17:44 utc | 28

Trita Parsi, who is president of the National Iranian American Council and has written a book on Bush II's non-diplomacy with Iran and a book on the Obama administration's vestigial diplomacy with Iran, is optimistic:

Peace won. War lost. It’s as simple as that. Make no mistake, the framework agreement that was announced yesterday is nothing short of historic. A cycle of escalation has been broken – for the first time, Iran’s nuclear program will roll back, as will the sanctions Iran has been subjected too.
A recent piece he wrote for the Atlantic is also worth quoting:
From 1813 onward, Iran’s interaction with world powers has by and large been one of continuous defeats. The Treaty of Turkmenchay in 1828 stands as one of Iran’s greatest humiliations in modern history; under the terms of that agreement, the Persian Empire ceded to Russia much of its territory in the Caucasus and Central Asia. …

The current regime, however, appears determined not to once again succumb to Western demands and lose territory (or, in this case, uranium-enrichment rights) that it can never reclaim. The difference now, according to what’s publicly known about the current talks, is that Iran is expected to retain its enrichment capability.

Given Obama's recently poor relations with Netenyahu, there is a chance that Israel, the neocons, and the Republicans will not be able to scuttle this deal.

@Fran #25:

It worked!

Posted by: Demian | Apr 3 2015 17:45 utc | 29

b said: "Indeed, given Obama's very aggressive foreign policy thus far I can not exclude that war on Iran is his real aim and only hidden behind very public but sham negotiations to make a public case for it."

Remember that Obama is the kind of person who will never forgive anyone who crosses him or makes him look bad. Recall 2008, when some wing nuts dug up, and quoted out of context, parts of some sermons given by the aptly named "Jeremiah Wright", the pastor of Obama's church in Chicago. Obama then gave a pompous speech about how he could no more disown Jeremiah Wright than he could disown his own white grandmother (who brought him up) and who also had some racial insensitivities.

Next week Wright went on the television, and spoke at length about his views, every one of which Obama must have heard Wright discuss many times in Chicago. Nonetheless Obama gave a press conference, and declaring that he was "shocked" he did the very thing that only a week before said he could never do, and disowned Wright.

Fast forward to 2015. Anyone would be pissed at what Netanyahoo did with his unauthorized speech before Congress; and for Obama it was probably a double or triple betrayal.

I doubt that Obama would willingly go to war with Iran unless something fundamental changes in the situation. His hatred for Netanyahoo is just too strong. Even if his treaty with Iran is somehow blocked by congress (and I don't know if that is even possible) he would just find some even nastier way to get even.

And returning to the world of reality, the other parties to the negotiation: the Russians, Chinese, French, the EU secretariat, and even the UK would probably go ahead with it anyway. More friction between the Merkins and their faithful "allies".

Posted by: diogenes | Apr 3 2015 17:49 utc | 30

I do agree with Toivos,

This is what Kerry said:

“Simply demanding Iran capitulate makes a nice sound bite, but it is not a policy; it is not a realistic plan,” Kerry said. “Success is not whether [the deal] meets all the desires [of one side]. The test is whether it leaves the world safer than without. The comprehensive plan of action we are moving toward more than meets that test.”

Which is exactly the talking point Iranian negotiators, from Khatemi administration to Ahmadinejad and now Rouhani, kept repeating during these years. Iran wanted her sovereign right to be recognized as such by the big powers, and the rest being technical details, and if this agreement is signed she will get exactly that.

Posted by: ATH | Apr 3 2015 17:49 utc | 31

Oops. That Wikispooks link should have appeared under the last quote.

Posted by: RudyM | Apr 3 2015 18:02 utc | 32

(Or to take more responsibility: I should have put it under the last quote. Mistakes were made.)

Posted by: RudyM | Apr 3 2015 18:02 utc | 33

People need to remember two things about Obama:

1) He is a serial liar.

2) He is, as Normal Finkelstein pointed out, "a stunning narcissist".

So he managed to negotiate something close to a deal with Iran. Does anyone really believe that this President, who has spent his ENTIRE term of office accusing Iran of having a nuclear weapons program and killing every potential opportunity for a deal up to this point, has suddenly changed his spots and is sincerely interested in a deal now?

Remember the negotiations in fall of 2009 and spring of 2010? Obama wrote a letter to the Brazilian and Turkish government leaders explicitly laying out the deal he wanted. Clinton and the rest spent weeks pooh-poohing the idea that such a deal could be obtained with Iran by Brazil and Turkey. But Brazil and Turkey GOT that deal. Within 24 hours, Obama and Clinton turned on the deal and said it wasn't enough. This is why Brazil and Turkey released that Obama letter - to show what a total liar he was.

What is happening now is that Obama, looking at his "legacy" - and his clearly undeserved Nobel Peace Prize - is constructing a scenario wherein he manages to negotiate a good deal with Iran - only to have his political opponents ruin the deal at the last minute or down the road.

This absolves him of all blame! But this was his plan all along! He always was on board with a war with Iran, because that's what his "Israel-First" and military-industrial complex masters in Chicago wanted - and he never goes against them. He was fully on board with attacking Syria in 2013 until he got out-maneuvered by Putin. He was fully on board with supporting Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria as well, pursuant to the usual US policy of supporting the chaos-inducing forces in any country.

All he's doing now is hiding behind the Republicans and war-monger Democrats who will kill the Iran deal. Or he's assuming that Israel will start the war - something he was hoping all along because HE doesn't want to BLAMED for starting the Iran war.

That, by the way, was the same situation back in 2006. Bush and Cheney wanted Israel to start the Iran war; Israel wanted the US to attack first. Israel tried to destroy Hizballah in Lebanon in 2006 because Israel realized they couldn't afford to have the Israeli population dealing with Iran missiles, Syrian missiles AND Hizballah missiles in an Iran war - too much economic and social impact. Israel wants a CHEAP Iran war - fought by the US. But Israel couldn't defeat Hizballah in Lebanon without attacking them in the Bekaa Valley which would entail crossing Syrian territory and thus engaging Syria and Hizballah in a two-front war.

So there the situation stayed until the Arab Spring. Then after Libya, someone got the bright idea that if Syria could be overthrown by either an insurgency or by a US/NATO air campaign, then Israel could deal with Hizballah. Two goals would be achieved: Syria's military capabilities in an Iran war would be degraded, and then Israel could degrade Hizballah's missile arsenal.

But the attempts failed. Russia and China, burned by the Libya case, vetoed the THREE UNSC Resolutions the US sponsored that included Chapter 7 language authorizing war with Syria. The attempts by Turkey and Israel to get Syria to respond to military provocations also failed. Then came the "chemical weapons" ploy - which was derailed by Putin.

The ENTIRE goal of the Syrian crisis is to enable Israel to take out its near enemies so that a war with Iran can be started.

This has not changed. Even the Yemen crisis is just another attempt to demonize Iran during the nuclear negotiations.

Obama has not changed his spots. His intentions remain to further the course for an Iran war. This Iran deal WILL fail at some point and the Syria crisis will become worse, and eventually Israel will attack Lebanon yet again. After all this has been resolved one way or the other, the final push for war with Iran will begin. It might be in two years, in five years or ten years. But Israel will never stop until Iran is destroyed by the US and the US will never stop until it removes Iran as a major actor in the Middle East.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 3 2015 18:03 utc | 34

From my view, the issue isn't "national" US policy or even "neoliberal" US policy - it is more a function of internal US 1% dynamics, and even more a specific family:
Stewart and Linda Resnick control about 60% of the pistachio crop in the US. $600M a year business, also the Pom brand pomegranate juice, Fiji water, other stuff
Looks on page 41: There they are, the Resnick's
Page 8
The Washington Institute for Near East Studies and the American Friends of the IDC are both multi-million dollar lobbyist organizations supporting ongoing sanctions against Iran
A google searchsite: iran sanctions yields 3480 results
On the one hand, $600M a year in Pistachio revenue. On the other hand, $2M or $3M (or more, who knows really) spent lobbying against repealing of sanctions on Iran
Feinstein a member of the Iran "oversight" committee in the Senate - basically making sure the sanctions don't get repealed
And here's Resnick's connection to Feinstein:
The Resnicks and associates have contributed $29,000 to Feinstein and $246,000 more to Democratic political committees during years when she has sought re-election.
With more general Democratic party donations:
Note the above list only extends to 2009...

Posted by: ǝn⇂ɔ | Apr 3 2015 18:06 utc | 35


Plans, and the ones you are devising sound more imaginary than realistic, are plans. They can't predict future political outcomes.

Both the pressure put on Menendez, and his recent announcement that he will resign his leadership position in US Senate; and the clear public animosity between US presidency and the Israeli government which cannot be dismissed as pure theatrics are belying your scenarios. These are real divergences between the interests' of an entity defining herself as a global power and the one with regional, albeit evidently overhyped, ambitions; this even if you consider the latter a kind of satrapy of the former.

Posted by: ATH | Apr 3 2015 18:16 utc | 36

@ATH: You're wrong.

There are always minor disagreements between national leaders. That is irrelevant. The real forces behind the US government are the military-industrial complex, the national-security complex, the banking industry and the like. The same applies to Israel on a smaller scale. National leaders do what their masters tell them. There may be some reluctance to always obey, some back-and-forth based on personal interests, some negotiation, but in the end the masters usually get what they want - or they dump that leader and wait for the next one (in this case, the massive hawk Hillary Clinton.)

Maybe Obama doesn't like Bibi. So what? Obama also doesn't like Putin - because Putin out-maneuvered him on Syria. Which is one reason we have the Ukraine crisis. Obama is not going to double-cross his masters in Chicago - who are full-on Israel supporters. And if he does, Hillary won't disappoint.

The problem is, you people really don't understand - due to cognitive dissonance - the depth of corruption of the US government. So you live in a Pollyanna world where the last thirty years of US Israel support and Iran animosity are suddenly going to go away because the "Nobel Peace Prize President" suddenly changed his mind.

Good luck with that. You're a fool.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 3 2015 18:31 utc | 37


All you are saying about US government being influenced by financial and military-complex interests can be true - or not. But this is basically irrelevant in this particular context.

One thing is a fact, the now publicly claimed US strategic vision is to ensure her supremacy in the world will remain militarily un-challenged for a foreseeable future. This vision has hit a wall right now with Russia re-emerging militarily and China soon taking over economically. For the US to prepare for bigger crisis (thus bigger profits for your MIC and financial lobbies) she needs a pull-out from the quagmire in the middle-east and re-focus on China and Russia. Israel's interests are more specific to the Middle-East region and are related to her misguided and schizophrenic view of her security needs as a "the only and one place and state for every person of the Jewish faith in the world called the State of the Jewish People". These 2 visions cannot obviously co-exist harmoniously right now. This is not an issue between two men, nor between two stooges masquerading as the public face of the real powerbrokers behind the scene. It's about 2 different ways of seeing their interests, which obviously can be seen from a purely financial perspective.

Posted by: ATH | Apr 3 2015 18:51 utc | 38

But Israel will never stop until Iran is destroyed by the US and the US will never stop until it removes Iran as a major actor in the Middle East.

Seems to assume that defeat will not stop both Israel and the U.S.

Posted by: lysias | Apr 3 2015 19:00 utc | 39

Any personality conflict between Obama and Netanyahu is merely a scuff on the much deeper US/Israel relationship -- not irrelevant, but not central either. Neocons and Liberal Interventionists come together in the USG to create a monolithic foreign policy that won't be much changed by whoever occupies the White House. The only way that rapprochment with Iran will happen is if the men and women behind the curtain want it.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | Apr 3 2015 20:06 utc | 40

@24 "US has had plans to factionalize SA and create a greater Yemen extending into Saudi territory in Saudi's southwest border area. That *could* explain US involvement, though I'm not convinced of it yet."


Djibouti was in the news today.
That's the other leg of the Bridge across the Horns of the Red Sea -- Yemen to Djibouti.

The bin Laden family is developing the project.
Madeleine Albright is involved with US engineers and other designers and contractors who will build the towns on either end of the bridge.

Wendy Sherman is a partner in Madeleine Albright's consultancy.

Posted by: ChasMark | Apr 3 2015 20:08 utc | 41

The basic point is that Rouhani is a bright guy (who by chance has become the head of Iranian policy). Much turns around this fact. He seems to understand that nuclear weapons have no importance for Iran, but that economic pressure from below is pressing him to reach an agreement which will permit Iranian industries to export. I well remember three years ago in Turkmenistan seeing the columns of Iranian trucks conveying products for Central Asia, a destination open for them. We bumped along the pot-holed road, hoping to overtake one Iranian truck after another.

Economics is the issue. Iran wants to export. That's the reason Rouhani makes an agreement. Why not surrender what Iran doesn't care about, if they achieve what will lead their economy to success?

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 3 2015 21:31 utc | 42

While is true that the American war machine will rumble on regardless of the deal with Iran, ask Bob Menendez if he believes the differences between the neocons and liberal interventionists are merely superficial. The muted response in Congress to the nuclear agreement can be partially chalked up to the DOJ indictment of Menendez this week. Bob Corker might not be as ostentatiously corrupt as Menendez, but he is rotten too. Seeing a fellow employee of Zion on a conveyor belt to the clink has made many pols taciturn for the time being.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Apr 3 2015 21:35 utc | 43

I think you are correct. The US/West are flat-out liars. Listening to what they say is a waste of time. Taking seriously what they say is suicidal.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 3 2015 21:46 utc | 44

@B: NO, NO, NO !!!!

- Based on my info Obama, Biden & Kerry DO want a deal on the iranian nuclear issue. But Israel & the neocons are fighting tooth & nail to prevent that.
Scott Horton regularly talks to a former CIA official who still has good contacts inside the CIA. And this former CIA employee is quite adament that the "The White House" & John Kerry WANT a deal with Iran !!!!! Want to improve relations with Iran.

- Obama DOES want to distance himself more from Israel & Netanjahu. One piece of evidence is that 2 or 3 days after Netanjahu won the Israeli march 2015 elections, Obama talked to Netanjahu on the Phone.
Obama congratulated Netanjahu but at the same time he rebuked Netanjahu for using such aggressive/negative language regarding the Palestinians & the Israëli arabs.
(The NYT is spinning this in a way I don't like)
("Far left president" ?????)

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 3 2015 21:48 utc | 45


'... if they achieve what will lead their economy to success? '

They Iranians will be betrayed by the US/West. They will not receive what's advertised. They are better off abandoning the West, past its peak and in decline in any case, and investing their efforts in the North, South, and East. They used to say the East is red ... all that blood paid off, the East is now green.

I certainly have no inside information ... this is just my opinion based on what's before my lyin' eyes. I gotta go with my lyin' eyes view.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 3 2015 21:57 utc | 47

Saddam Hussein illegally invades a neighboring country with what he reasonably thought was tacit U.S. approval. Bang! USNATO rides to the rescue! Years of crippling, murderous sanctions, setting the stage for the next war...

US/Saudi brutally, illegally attacks a neighboring country and... crickets. US/Likud/Saudi are now establishing the southern front. Perhaps most significantly, this includes vital waterways.

The inexorable slog toward WWIII.

Posted by: chuckvw | Apr 3 2015 22:11 utc | 48


I think you may be right, but Obama and Kerry are being undermined by traitors at home and duplicitous allies abroad. They are also hurdled by the contradictions within their declared policies. There's a whiff of Weimar hanging in the air...

Posted by: chuckvw | Apr 3 2015 22:18 utc | 49

Richard Steven Hack @37

ATH had some sensible insights. You cannot grasp that because you seem to believe that US is being ruled by some invisible puppet master who control all of the power players. For us mortals we see these different power players as competing for influence, networked often in alliances of common interests, but groups with their own interests. Your view of the world reminds me of old time religion -- there is one all powerful God that determines our fate and any efforts to discern worldly efforts is in defiance of God's will and blasphemous.
You come from that tradition of thought. Rather than believing in an invisible sky god, you cite an invisible conspiracy who control us mere mortals.

In any case I do not think MoA is going to be very productive place for you to find converts for whichever cult you come from.

Posted by: ToivoS | Apr 3 2015 23:31 utc | 50

It appears that the only losers in this deal may be Russia. The Iranians are already talking about attracting Western investment back to their energy sector and with their huge gas supplies Europe may have a new reliable supplier reducing the Russian monopoly.

This deal may also draw Iran back from their increased reliance on Asia for exports and their energy investments which the Iranians see as not as productive as hoped.

Even though France appeared to play the Bad Cop in these negotiations it appears to me to be more an European/Iran economic normalization deal than a US/Iran political deal.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Apr 3 2015 23:33 utc | 51

The USA has had to move cautiously since 911 to corner the perpetrator. After spending a couple of trillion it has now been able to move into the execute phase. The house of saud is now in their sights, all covers have been blown. The tango with Iran for twelve years has ensured the slow encirclement of the beast. Now the iron is hot. All borders are pressed. Yemen is ready to bite slices from the west. The east is coming to a simmer. The north is resolute and hostile. The claim to guardianship of the sites is the only thing separating them from their fellows. It is not a right, it is an imposition, and now their fellows are waking to it. None will mourn their passing.

Posted by: bridger | Apr 3 2015 23:44 utc | 52

@50 toivo.. i don't get why you say what you say in response to @37 rsh..

it doesn't take a genius to see how usa foreign policy seems to function in a one track manner where the end result is war, with the mic and fic profiting off the same.. i don't see it as a conspiracy theory myself.. regardless whether one thinks 9-11 was an inside job or not, the facts on the ground since remain the same.. war, war and more war, with thoughts of war to go along with any lapse in war.. pardon me for being cynical, but i think all the hope for some change in this war agenda would be great, but it is unrealistic.. financial sanctions.. what part of that isn't a basic way of war as well? the usa rubber stamps this for russia and iran and iraq previously for a bunch of bogus reasons.. people are tired of it and less inclined to get the hopey changey president any reason to doubt otherwise.. call me a conspiracy theorist or whatever - i am looking at the reality of the last 14 odd years without having to solidify it by going back further.. the usa is run by the 24/7 war party.. call it what you want. i agree with @37 for the most part, although i don't like telling people they are wrong.. that is about the only place where i differ..

Posted by: james | Apr 4 2015 0:11 utc | 53

@WoW #51:

It appears that the only losers in this deal may be Russia.

So Saudi Arabia and Israel are winners, according to you? You just can't help making trollish remarks, can you?

Also, you must think that Russian negotiators don't know how to work in Russia's interest, given that Russia is one of the P5.

This is not to say that one of the motivations for the White House to go ahead with the deal is that they think that it will weaken Russia. They are too clever by half.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 4 2015 0:38 utc | 54

it doesn't take a genius to see how usa foreign policy seems to function in a one track manner where the end result is war, with the mic and fic profiting off the same..

But the question remains in each case: why this war rather than another one? Why this war at this time? And maybe why not even more war?

Posted by: RudyM | Apr 4 2015 0:45 utc | 55

Two or three years ago, Wikileaks exposed several US and UK intelligence papers showing that the japanese director of IAEA, Amano, is on their payroll. True dangers lie ahead for the Laussane agreement, not to mention a zionazi false flag action...

Posted by: guy | Apr 4 2015 1:23 utc | 56


I probably should have written 'only economic losers' above but it probably wouldn't have changed your almost pathological, over emotional responses to any mention of Russia that could be interpreted as negative. Mother Russia is a big strong girl and can defend herself from online criticism.

My point was that the Pars Pipeline, which Russia claims to support, could be competition for the new Turkey destined pipeline from Russia. While I think economic considerations trumped politics in this Iran agreement Russia may have let its political goals trump economic competition with Iran. Besides Russia has no real leverage to stop the Pars Pipeline. Another possible negative for Russia is that when Iran's sanctions are lifted another million barrels of oil will hit the market and may depress oil prices further into the future.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Apr 4 2015 2:08 utc | 57

There is interesting news that the Saudis have publicly accepted the Iran Nuke deal and may use it as a model for their own Nuke program if it is successful. This doesn't mean they will stop their confronting Iranian expansion in the region with their new Pan-Arab Army but they seem to see some benefits from the agreement.

The Israelis seem to have realized they lost this battle but are still demanding Iranian recognition of the State of Israel be included in the deal. They are already seeking other ways to confront Iranian expansion by supporting the Saudi offensive in Yemen.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Apr 4 2015 5:10 utc | 58

@55 rudy m... the answer to your question is the same regardless - more war from the 24/7 war party.. they play chess like a drunk who only knows how to knock pieces off the board indiscriminately.. if there is any plan to their madness it would take an idiot savant to figure out it.. either way it's war, war and more war with buffoons like mccain or shrillary as the potential present day dr. strangeloves of the usa..

Posted by: james | Apr 4 2015 5:22 utc | 59

The(y) Iranians will be betrayed by the US/West.
Posted by: jfl | Apr 3, 2015 5:57:06 PM | 47

That's it. End of story.
Obama's Murder & Vandalism Inc are still blaming Russia for the Ukraine clusterfuck.
One would have to be terminally naiive to even imagine that M & V Inc won't dream up some imaginary reason to back track on US 'promises' of relief from sanctions. The point that the wishful thinkers are (forgetfully) overlooking is that Obama/US hasn't, and never will, withdraw the utterly false accusations of Nuclear malfeasance on Iran's part. Until M & V Inc admit that Iran has not breached ANY of its Nuclear obligations, Iran can't afford to take Obama's bullshit seriously.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 4 2015 5:26 utc | 60

This is part of the Asian pivot and has little to do with peace. The 'sensible' faction of the US ruling class knows it cannot fight the entire world at once, and it sees China as the main obstacle to US world domination.

The US needs Middle East detente to clear the decks for a confrontation with China.

Obama is just a smarter imperialist than Bush or the neo-cons.

Posted by: purple | Apr 4 2015 5:33 utc | 61

James @53 it doesn't take a genius to see how usa foreign policy seems to function in a one track manner where the end result is war,

I can't argue with that. There is no question that the war party gained ascendancy after 911 and managed to suck in many other power players. What we are seeing today is a breaking down of the war coalition. It is a slow process. Certainly seeing what happened in Libya, Syria, Yemen and the Ukraine in recent years it is difficult to be too optimistic about that progress. Unfortunately, many of the bureaucrats that advanced in State, the CIA and military yield tremendous clout. Vicky Nuland is the prime example. Not to mention the continuous influence of the Israeli lobby over Congress and the huge sums of Zionist money that goes into national elections. This, I believe is changing. My point above is that Richard Steven Hack lives in a totally different universe than I (and I suspect you) do. It is a universe where we are supposed to spend all of our time seeking the invisible sky god , er invisible grand puppet master. Political organizing and analysis in RSH's universe are only for fools, it is only he that has the truth.

Posted by: ToivoS | Apr 4 2015 5:38 utc | 62

"But the increasingly tense military standoff in maritime Asia demands that the United States find a way, at least over time, to reduce its granular involvement in the conflicts of the Middle East.

There is no more efficient way to do this than to enter into a strategic understanding with Iran." - Robert Kaplan

Posted by: Sensible | Apr 4 2015 5:59 utc | 63

If a deal is signed it will include a clause stating that Iran will ONLY respond to Yankee expressions of good faith by removing sanctions BEFORE Iran acts in response to each signed, sealed and delivered act of good faith.
i.e. NO acts of good faith = NO change to Iran's Nuclear status quo.

If "Israel" attacks Iran then Tel Aviv and Haiffa will be obliterated by Iran.
Russia will run interference (at the very least).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 4 2015 6:08 utc | 64

I agree with purple @61 and the other commenters saying the same thing: this is about the US trying to extricate itself from the Middle East to FINALLY pivot to Asia. It's very understandable that most people here don't trust the American deep state to follow through on this bargain, but consider this: Bush and Obama have been following PNAC's roadmap for world conquest for fifteen years now, and it's resulted in nothing but a series of horrific failures for them. Iran benefited tremendously, sanctions nonwithstanding, and are being welcomed back into the fold by the EU. Russia and China ascended and reasserted themselves on the world stage. South America turned its back on neoliberalism. BRICS formed. Yeah, the defense contractors made a pretty penny, but America's reputation is in tatters. The world got to see the curtain come down and view the true face of American Imperialism. The people of the world, NATO and Israel excluded, want a multipolar world, and are moving toward it.

America's might has obliterated a number of small, poor countries in its "War on Terror". Iran is neither small nor poor, and a formidable enemy. No matter how stupid, arrogant or insane we may think the boys at the CIA and Pentagon are, a full scale war in the Middle East is out of the question. The greatest military machine in the world has spent a decade losing to guerillas and militias (the GCC are about to get in on the fun in Yemen). A war with Iran would be fatal to US interests and to the Empire itself.

Risking a catastrophic war against Iran while China continues to rise and exert its influence financially is simply irrational. This deal seems to be an attempt to pull Iran away from the loving embrace of Russia and China.

Posted by: Almand | Apr 4 2015 7:07 utc | 65


Here's a contrarian view: Former Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr: This Is 'A One-Sided Agreement' Against Iran

It's really all about the Kerry-Nuland Axis of Evil, the 'shiney object' to make America forget all about the $38 BILLION in gold bullion the Kiev Junta Coup looted and sent to NYC private banks; the $40 BILLION that IMF underwrote the issue of $38 BILLION in Kiev Junk Bonds with; and Kerry's promise to backstop IMF for those loan defaults, after every world financial authority has said will never be repaid by the Junta Coup.

This is known as 'bicycling': looting the Ukranain people of their Treasury's gold bullion, the IMF lending credit-status to the Kiev Junta's Junk Bonds for the NYC Banksters to slide into American 401k and pension fund portfolios, and Kerry's American taxpayer bailout for IMF, adding more $10s BILLION in onerous odious wholly illegal synthetic 'debt' that will become Interest Only FOREVER looting for The Chosen, and perpetual penury for Ukrainians.

The Junta Coup are already demanding another $54 BILLION!

We are all broken on their Wheel, and We don't even know it yet. On to Tehran! Lu-lu-lu-lu!

Posted by: NoReply | Apr 4 2015 8:41 utc | 66


The US needs Middle East detente to clear the decks for a new propaganda front with China.

'Creeping Communism™' (1947-1979)
'Islamic Jihad™' (1980- )
'Pivot to Asia™' (2008- )

It's important to understand 'P2A' joie de guerre transfer of 60:40 Atlantic:Pacific to 40:60 Atlantic:Pacific forces redeployment has a hidden clause: none of the Atlantic forces may be reduced in size, none of the Atlantic bases may be closed, and nothing may be permanently redeployed away from the Atlantic without back-filling e.g. the real final ratio will be 60:90 Atlantic:Pacific. MIC Pentagon is operating a massive +50% 'P2A' arms race, the largest arms expansion in all world history, right there on prime time TV every night. Yet nobody bright enough to ask, Hey, who's paying for all this shit, and how much will it cost US? I haven't even included the $TRILLION F-35 program, or NASA's new Heavy Lift Mission Mars Mandate, which is just the tip of the operations and maintenance iceberg that will sink the USS United States.

It takes 1000 people to operate and maintain one F-35.

It takes 10,000s to operate and support one space mission.

And now Defense has taken over 'Green' technology programs too, issuing a $7,000,000,000 contract for biomass, wind and solar, with the goal of 100,000s of Mil.Gov 'Environmental Security'. Watch in the next 12 months as the Droughtpocalypse plays out in California.

So call it what you wish, Pivot 2 Profits, USA will never engage China in the Battle Space.

Posted by: NoReply | Apr 4 2015 9:36 utc | 67

Six solid reasons why Iran should be considering very carefully whether they want to 'give it up' to the US/West - and the past - or to join the SCO - and the future.

  1. China announced ... the creation of their own analog of the inter-bank payment system SWIFT, announcing the deadline - the end of 2015.

  2. [T]he Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank [ of the Russian Federation are] to develop a plan of financing the construction of power plants in Crimea. ... the Central Bank begins to finance the economic development of the country with its emission. This is a revolution. A quiet revolution. ... mortgage and agricultural loans will be subsidized - this is also a big success.

  3. After approval by the government, the Central Bank of Kazakhstan announced a plan for the de-dollarization of the economy until the end of 2016. ... The main goal is to get rid of macroeconomic instability, which is created by the U.S. currency.

  4. [T]he Central Bank of the Russian Federation and the government [are] to determine the feasibility of creation of a monetary union of the EEU (Eurasian Economic Union). RIA Novosti leaked that the new currency of EEU, Altyn (or Evraz) may appear in 2016.

  5. Goldman Sachs ... recommends... to buy Russian bonds ... recommends buying the bonds of the country, whose economy Obama supposedly "ripped to shreds"!

  6. Britain expresses the desire to enter into the capital of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank - international financial institution, which China has founded as a rival and a replacement of the International Bank, which is controlled by the USA. ... London did not even bother to respond to the outrage of Washington.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 4 2015 9:57 utc | 68


RSH, you forgot to include the totally transparent setup for HRH Hillary in 2016, and the incredible baaksheesh kickbacks available to the WH/DNC, for unwinding the Iran screws.

Somebody's got to pay for the Old Girl's presidential campaign. You know, like the 'unknown benefactor' who paid off her -$35M bankrupt 2008 run in the months after she grifted Karzai $5 BILLION stolen for US humanitarian aid to Afghanistan? At that time, more than the total of all humanitarian aid on earth ... looted! The 'rainmaker's fee' kickback is always 1%, or $50M: $35M to pay off her deadbeat debts, and $15M to float the Clinton Foundation with.

How did she get worth $15M after only 8 years in public office, making under $200K a year?
Bill's 'speaking fees'? Are you fracking kidding me? Are Americans that ignorant? I guess so, when an 'unknown benefactor' pays $35M to a political candidate AFTER the selections, yet nobody raises an eyebrow, or requires a mandatory audit? It's a miracle! A miracle!!

To paraphrase Kill Bill, for what America has done, they deserve to die.

Posted by: NoReply | Apr 4 2015 10:03 utc | 69

Iranian domination of the Gulf is inevitable as long as the Gulf dictatorships remain unpopular dictatorships. Look at how a poor but popular army, the Houthis, will kick KSA military @ss in the next couple months. Weak weak embarrassingly weak!

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 4 2015 11:20 utc | 70

I tend to agree with Toivos @26 - what Iran has agreed to here is a deal-in-principle that returns their nuclear program back to what it was when it first thought it had hammered out a deal with the original E3.

That the E3 reneged on that previous deal (under US pressure) shouldn't be allowed to disguise this fact: that proto-deal was acceptable to Tehran then, so it shouldn't surprise that much the same proto-deal is acceptable to them now.

Really, that's the story here: this is a deal "the West" could have clinched a decade ago, and with much less angst into the bargain.

And would have been clinched, except the chicklittles got in amongst the chickhawks, resulting in a decade of chickshits running around in a flat panic repeating Netanyahoo's nonsense that The Sky Is Falling! The Sky Is Falling!

A decade, completely wasted.

Posted by: Johnboy | Apr 4 2015 12:20 utc | 71

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Apr 3, 2015 7:33:21 PM | 51

That's a good but short-sighted take. Russia needs to be prodded away from over-reliance on energy, so a deal could be good for Russia as well in the slightly longer run.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 4 2015 13:16 utc | 72

Interesting division of opinions on Iran deal: roughly, two camps:

1) USisr- (plus KSA etc.) will not halt agression, these negotiations were designed to fail, or will do so thru inertia, bad faith, intransigeance from X or Y, sabotage, and so on. Several ppl mentioned a clear split at the upper levels in the US: very evident, the USisr war party vs. other - one need only look at contradictory statements from the US, or Bibi’s talk to Congress.

Which faction will win? is the question.

2) A more tempered, cautious pov (like mine), which sees the US negotiating at least with some sincere impulses to bring Iran back ‘into the world.’ Not to trap Iran further, or prepare excuses for war, etc. Seeing the USisr as the all powerful Satan is reductionist imho.

I have made it clear that the United States of America wants to move beyond this past, and seeks a relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran based upon mutual interests and mutual respect. … We have recognized Iran’s international right to peaceful nuclear power. - Obama, 2009

or see:

O's statements that go in the other direction are when he is in a team with France (Sarkozy), Germany etc. or when talking to US press. He swerves his spin between ‘strong sanctions as a path forward’ (eek) and ‘real progress if Iran behaves reasonably’ to ‘my attitude towards Iran is open-minded and positive’ - going so far as to send a New Year video to the Iranian people - depending on the audience. He was also against US reactions to the Iran protests, remained very low-key and muted. (McCain and his ilk continued the Bomb Iran Clarion Call.)

Note that Obama’s attitude to Russia has always been ambiguous (except at the very start of his tenure, though even the ‘reset’ was imho tentative and fakey) and relations deteriorated sharply over time. Here we are today - moves towards rehabilitatin’ Iran, and war (mercantile and proxy in Ukr. for now) with Russia.

Not very reassuring…the war faction pops up wherever it can!

Obama is but a figurehead who embodies these contradictions, so perhaps one shouldn’t make much of the above, and opine that Dems and Reps like to oppose each other on exactly what destruction they favor. Yet, there is some consistency there. Palestine has just joined the International Criminal Court, for ex., an event that Isr. has done everything it could to oppose.

The Saker, whom apparently many set store by, and who has changed his mind recently, predicting an attack on Iran consistently in the past, writes:

We are not talking about a US-Iranian love fest, at least not quite yet, but rather a way from freeing the USA from this exhausting and useless confrontation with the key regional superpower.  With now three major potential wars possible (Ukraine, Yemen, Iran), the US wants at least one put back on the back burner to free resources for the other two.

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 4 2015 14:07 utc | 73

TS @ 50 said: "Rather than believing in an invisible sky god, you cite an invisible conspiracy who control us mere mortals."

Nope! The lust for power thru greed and avarice have never been invisible, nor a conspiracy, they are human negative traits, clear for all to see thru history.

Posted by: ben | Apr 4 2015 14:43 utc | 74


I don't think Russia would appreciate being prodded to do anything. For their own reasons they do need to transition away from their heavy dependence of energy extraction revenues but those revenues are the capital that they need to make this transition. Lower prices and more competition will only make that transition more difficult if possible. The Dutch Disease is almost impossible to cure but can be treated if the conditions are favorable.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Apr 4 2015 14:49 utc | 75

Just read all the comments and they've inspired a few thoughts. The deal is a realpolitik one aimed not just at China but at Russia. The US-led neoliberal empire wants to isolate those two nations and the EU needs Iran if it must wean itself from Russian energy supplies. So a turn toward a now isolated Russia/China makes sense, is almost essential, from the giant-banks-dominated, austerity-inducing world empire perspective. Not that it _really_ makes sense, since isolating China seems impossible ...

But the big fact is that the deal will not happen. The US Congress is Netanyahu-ized and he doesn't want it. The American people won't pressure Congress to be sensible, since we don't really care about that furrener stuff. So, on the US will go with the Israel-authored militaristic and chaos-strewing Middle East policy that neo-cons have worshipped since the 90s. As Johnboy @71 states, another decade wasted. Actually, more than a decade if we start the neocon era at 9/11/01.

But was it wasted from every key perspective? Of course not, from the perspective of the arms companies who fund the neocons. In 2001 pre-9/11 the US military budget was stagnating, since there weren't any real enemies to scare the American people with. About all we had was a jailed Milosevic and an impoverished Saddam. A day before 9/11 who would've bet that the next 14 years would see year-after-year massive increases in military and arms spending? It's been a spectacular almost decade and a half for the merchants of death. They gotta keep this party going, so they need those crazed Netanyahu 'plans' that create endless war and chaos in the Middle East to keep going too. So scuttling the Iran deal isn't just about loyalty to Israel, though that alone might be enough, it is also about loyalty to military-related and arms-supplying corporations who are massively funding/corrupting Congress.

My questions, from my perspective: If Obama's handlers _know_ they can't get this deal through Congress, then why are they proposing it? Is this about posing as 'the peace-loving Democratic Party' in the 2016 election? But you almost always lose elections in the US by opposing what Israel wants, and 'peace with Iran' won't matter to voters. Is the deal then part of a plan to throw the 2016 election to the Republicans? Again, it's crazy to oppose The Israel Lobby, especially a year and a half before a Presidential election. I wonder how supportive Hillary is of the Iran deal, because in the end it seems intended to drive a wedge between Israel Lobby funding and the national Democratic Party: i.e., it seems intended to screw her over.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 4 2015 15:52 utc | 76

Those who agree with the establishment always seem to assess their views as 'more temperate' and 'more reasonable' than the views of those who do not agree and, of course, the less reasonable the establishment is, the more strident such claims seem to be. But while this Iran deal IS historic, it's not for the touted reason that it represents the victory of diplomacy over war. Economic warfare is NOT diplomacy. Economic warfare carried out on the basis of lies and distortions is even further away from being diplomacy. As always, we are being sold the usual line that we must embrace a bad policy as a good policy because the alternative would be even worse. But even if it is true that a bad policy is good in comparison to a worse policy, what we have here is a situation where Iran seems to have backed itself even deeper into a corner than it was before.

Posted by: paul | Apr 4 2015 16:16 utc | 77

Very interesting thread, thanks all.

I do think Isr could have handled the iran deal had Syria gone as planned, but it surely hasnt. Hezbollah is stronger than ever, and the Iran deal still made? They're pissed and will be causing all the trouble they can.

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 4 2015 17:23 utc | 78

@62 toivos.. thanks for your response. regardless the reality of rhs, i see @31 ath's comments quoting kerry as complete bullshit.. to quote from his post "“Simply demanding Iran capitulate makes a nice sound bite, but it is not a policy; it is not a realistic plan,” Kerry said. “Success is not whether [the deal] meets all the desires [of one side]. The test is whether it leaves the world safer than without. The comprehensive plan of action we are moving toward more than meets that test.”

this guy is a pathological liar who would like others to believe he is working for the betterment of humankind.. that couldn't be further from the truth.. otherwise you don't condone financial sanctions in the way the usa has.. the usa's acts are that of a bully, and no amount of nice words coming from kerry (or any other shit artist from the usa state dept. for that matter) are going to change any of that. bottom line is i am more in agreement with rhs, then ath..

skipping over (100% usa cheerleader) wow's comments for the moment, on to -

@61 purple.. there might be some truth to your viewpoint. the usa might just want to create a new quagmire for saudi arabia too.. however, i don't think they are pivoting out of the middle east.. shifting the chairs on the ship usa titanic perhaps.. if this deal goes thru and the financial sanctions are removed i will view things differently.. right now while promising, i am not convinced of any good intent on the part of the usa, kerrys words not withstanding, lol.. the usa has lied too much the past 15 years for me to believe a change in the 24/7 usa war policy..

@ 73 noirette.. thanks. i always enjoy reading your well reasoned viewpoint. you are an optimist and the world likes an optimist.. i can't say i view it the same way at this point.. i am much more cynical..

@76 fairleft. some good questions on internal us politics, but as for isolating china/russia thru a friendlier connection to iran - good luck with that, lol..

@77 paul... thanks. that is what i was saying upstream.. financial sanctions are a form of warfare.. there is nothing nice about them and when they are leveled with a pack of lies that some are stupid enough to believe, it changes nothing either.. the usa can go fuck themselves with all the policiallly diplomatic bullshit..

Posted by: james | Apr 4 2015 17:25 utc | 79

Israel, I mean.

As for "Russia losing" garbage from the the king of trash. So long as Europe gets gas from one member of the SCO anti-US combine, its a win for Russia. Money is money - Russia will get its from China now. Geopolitically the important thing is keeping the EU tied to the east in on way or another.

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 4 2015 17:27 utc | 80

What a clever move by the Iranians, appeal to their greed. Iran said on Saturday that it will hold a much-awaited conference to present the new format of contracts for the development of its lucrative oil and gas projects in London in September 2015.

Posted by: harry law | Apr 4 2015 18:27 utc | 81

Agree that all US policy is ultimately aimed at minimizing the power of Russia and China, both of which are impediments to US global domination. If viewed through that lens, why would US remove sanctions on Iran?

1. As Saker says, the US may be trying to consolidate its resources for the much touted pivot toward Asia and subvert Russia on other fronts.

2. The US wants to develop some sort of alliance with Iran to gain access to its oil resources and possibly shift loyalty away from KSA/Israel. This will drastically shift power in the ME. The US may be attempting to snatch Iran from Russian influence. It would never work.

3. The US is disingenuously using a deal with Iran to create a pretext for a war. Russia would believe, at least initially, that it had won this round on Iran only to find that hot war will begin.

Both Russia and KSA have been receptive to the Iran deal. My guess is that Russia played an important role in P5 +1 deal and got at least some of what it wanted. Perhaps we should be giving more weight to Russia in the deal. However, given that Russia is US's number one target for destruction, I'm skeptical of US policy here.

Saudi Arabia has indicated an acceptance of the deal. I wonder why. A prosperous Iran is a threat to the Saudi status quo.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | Apr 4 2015 19:21 utc | 82

ToivoS 26 is right that the issue is economic rather than military.

Iran is said to have made 96% of the concessions, and the US 4%, in order to reach the agreement so far. True or not, it must be approximately right. As Iran doesn't actually have a nuclear weapons programme, they have probably reached the conclusion that surrendering it is in their best interests. Much like the agreement with Bashshar al-Asad over the nerve gas which he had, but had no interest in using.

What is important for Iran is their economy. It is an economy bursting to succeed. I've told you before about my experience in Turkmenistan three years ago, where the roads were filled with convoys of Iranian trucks exporting their products to Central Asian countries which were open to them. All the photos of Tehran show a wealthy city, with the upper-class women throwing off their headscarves.

It is this which is driving Rouhani's team in Lausanne.

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 4 2015 20:03 utc | 83

Laguerre says:

...with the upper-class women throwing off their headscarves.

It is this which is driving Rouhani's team in Lausanne

yes, you read Meyssan's piece. it's an erudite vision.

Posted by: john | Apr 4 2015 20:20 utc | 84

I think from the neo-con point of view it's

' Iran wasted for a decade. '

And for another decade to come if they cut this deal with the US.

But perhaps they 'have to'? @83,84 point out the same 'magic' appeal to the middle/uppermiddle class that was so effective in driving the Ukrainians to devastate their own country may well be working in Iran.

Someone ought to send the Iranians a postcard from the edge ... from Ukraine.

The attempt is to recreate the Ukraine in Iran ... and if it fails? ... Iran is wasted for another decade.

Don't trust the freaks bearing 'gifts'.

Quoting Obama?! Just kidding. Still a great fan.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 4 2015 21:16 utc | 85

A Seventh Solid Reason for Iran to look East ...

In Hawaii last month, the latest round of five-year-long TPP talks between the 12 governments involved broke up without any further agreement. For the third year in a row, the White House’s deadline for a final deal looks set to be breached in 2015.

Falsely presented as a “free trade” deal, the TPP is the opposite. It is aimed at creating a vast US-controlled economic bloc. In return for favoured access to the US market, which is still the largest in the world, the TPP requires its members to scrap all legal, regulatory and government impediments to American investment and corporate operations.

Washington is concerned that other imperialist powers, such as Germany, Britain and Japan, could strengthen their positions in China, at the expense of the US, unless America “writes the rules” for world trade in the 21st century.

Wonder how those 'other imperialist powers' are regarding the TTIP?

A similar drive is underway to incorporate the European Union into a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) bloc. Like the TPP, the European treaty is being negotiated amid tight secrecy, with hundreds of the world’s largest corporations taking part, behind the backs of the international working class.

I suppose the same group of would-be imperialist fools who've sanctioned their own economies in order to further the US' war plans against Russia - and are seemingly as eager to have the NATO-Russian war fought on their own territories, again! - are foolish enough to embrace the TTIP as well?

Posted by: jfl | Apr 4 2015 21:44 utc | 86



"Falsely presented as a “free trade” deal, the TPP is the opposite. It is aimed at creating a vast INTERNATIONAL BANKSTER-controlled economic bloc. In return for favoured access to the INTERNATIONAL BANKSTER market, which is still the largest in the world, the TPP requires its members to scrap all legal, regulatory and government impediments to INTERNATIONAL BANKSTER investment and Corporate operations.

Enough with this tired 'US Hegemony' Trope! The 'USA' has nothing to do with this. 'USA' is just a worker internment camp now, wrapped in a Cross of David, rampant on a field of red, white and lucre. You might as well talk about 'Yogi and Booboo's Hegemony'. Is this what they mean by perceived group bias?

TPP allows MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS to challenge 'USA' environmental, consumer and labor laws as 'illegal tariffs/sanctions', and decide under an INTERNATIONAL BANKSTER TRIBUNAL, the same way that the RINO Congress is proposing SuperMax Federal prisons in every State, with a gang of 'Special Judges and Prosecutors' operating ex judicio under a Department of Homeland Security Czar, instead of the Department of Justice.

Adapting from Cyril Connolly, "MoAs cardinal assumption is that neither the poster nor the reader is in a hurry, that both are in possession of a classical education and a secure military.government pensioned income."

Guess I just miss the original MoA.

Posted by: NoReply | Apr 5 2015 0:21 utc | 87

james @79: "as for isolating china/russia thru a friendlier connection to iran - good luck with that, lol."

I'm not sure why you're laughing off what seems to be the plan. The neoliberal empire has considerable resources and is persuasively brutal/murderous. It may not succeed in pulling Iran into its ranks for the coming world cold/hot war, or it may succeed and still 'lose' that war, but they're a helluvan adversary.

Again, though, I predict the whole plan blows up in Congress. The neocons get to keep their chaotic Middle East with Iran and 'the Shias' as the designated enemy. Needy Israel really could be the end of the neoliberal empire. The neocons are just too Israel-centric and refuse to buy into the big picture.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 5 2015 2:56 utc | 88

NoReply @87: That's a good point. But 'US' is almost but not quite shorthand for 'international banksters'. 'UK' is also just about the same thing as 'international banksters'. 'EU' too, unfortunately. It makes us more realistic when we look at things your way, because it tells us how large the forces are on the evil empire side. Resistance is and will be extremely challenging.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 5 2015 3:55 utc | 89

@83 Yes, exactly right. This agreement looks like it would wind back Iran's nuclear program to a stage that is significantly more advanced than it would have been had the E3 not reneged on the Tehran Agreed Statement of October 2004.

Indeed, it sets back the clock to (roughly) about where it would have been had the E3 accepted Iran's proposals under the Paris Agreement of November 2004 (instead USA leant on the E3 to insist on the game-breaking "no enrichment, not ever").

So it's uncertain that Iran has now "given up" anything other than the bargaining chips that they had been carefully accumulating since 2005 - and accumulating for the purpose of "cashing those chips in".

They've certainly kept everything (and more) they were proposing to keep in those 2005 Paris negotiations with the E3, so as far as I can see the only result of the USA's intervention has been to impose a pointless 10-year delay in getting this far.

Or, put another way: the USA has moved heaven and earth to..... get everyone to a place that they would have been in 2005 had Uncle Sam not intervened in the first place.

So, not really much of a triumph of US diplomacy, when you think about it that way.

Posted by: Johnboy | Apr 5 2015 5:45 utc | 90

@fairleft #88, Johnboy #90:

That Obama read (or just released?) a flatulent statement calling this agreement "historic" is a sign that this is not going to come to anything, even before the neocons and Senate Republicans start trying to block it. The Iranian F.M. says that the agreement is for UNSC resolutions against Iran, and hence nuclear-related sanctions, to be lifted once the final agreement is signed. The US in contrast says that sanctions will be lifted incrementally as the IAEA verifies that Iran is fulfilling its commitments. Iran has no reason to believe that the USG is acting in good faith. Thus, it will not begin to start fulfilling its obligations as specified in the final agreement unless the nuclear-related sanctions are lifted first.

Reuters: Zarif stresses benefits to Iran of framework nuclear deal
NY Times: Outline of Iran Nuclear Deal Sounds Different From Each Side

Posted by: Demian | Apr 5 2015 6:11 utc | 91

@91 You might well find that Zarif is talking "different sanctions" to those that Obama refers to.

There are actually three sanctions-regimes in play:
a) The sanctions mandated by UN Security Council resolutions
b) Unilateral sanctions imposed by the EU regarding Iran/Europe trade
c) Unilateral 3rd-party sanctions imposed by Congress, which seeks to punish other countries for trading with Iran (direct US-Iran trade being, of course, negligible)

Zarif is taking about (a), and everyone agrees that the existing UNSC Resolutions will be replaced in their entirety by a single new resolution (though they disagree on what that new resolution will say).

But when Obama talks about "incremental lifting of sanctions" he is referring to the EU and the USA sanctions, but not the UNSC sanctions.

(Note that, strictly speaking, Obama is speaking out of turn when referring to EU sanctions. But, OK, it's a given that the Euro-pimps know which side their arse is buttered......)

But the two sides aren't completely contradicting each other, they are just spinning the story for the benefit of their domestic constituency.

Which may well look unseemly, sure, but it is not necessarily proof of "bad faith".

Note that there is nothing official written down on paper. The only official communique is the joint statement that was read out by the EU's Mogherini and Iran's Zarif.

This one, in fact:

Posted by: Johnboy | Apr 5 2015 6:51 utc | 92

@91 Note that the official communique has this to say:
"The EU will terminate the implementation of all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions and the US will cease the application of all nuclear-related secondary economic and financial sanctions, simultaneously with the IAEA-verified implementation by Iran of its key nuclear commitments."

There is plenty of wriggle-space in that sentence for both sides to spin, spin, spin.

If you don't believe me then mull the difference between:
.."the IAEA-verified implementation by Iran of its key nuclear commitments."
and an alternative such as:
.."the IAEA verifying the implementation by Iran of its key nuclear commitments."

The latter definitely does require that the Iranians complete its commitments before that "verification" is forthcoming. No question of that.

But the former? Nope, in the former case it's not at all clear that the "verification" is something that's only handed out at the end.

Maybe it is (the USA claim) and maybe it isn't (the Iranian argument).

Posted by: Johnboy | Apr 5 2015 7:07 utc | 93

@Johnboy #92:

Thanks for clarifying that.

BTW, my understanding is that only the UNSC has the authority to impose economic sanctions on a country. Thus, sanctions falling under (b) and (c) are illegal, in the same way that the US and EU economic sanctions against Russia are illegal. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 5 2015 7:13 utc | 94

@94 My understanding is that the EU sanctions are not illegal under international law, since nobody can tell the EU who it can and who it can't trade with.

But, having said that, certain EU sanctions might violate the domestic law of individual European countries under some free-trade (or fair-trade) agreements, or because they violate some "due process" provision of an individual country's domestic law.

So I believe that some EU sanctions have been struck out by appeal to European domestic courts, but that's not the same thing as taking the case to international courts nor is it the same as an appeal to int'l arbitration, etc.

So, no, I don't think that there is any international law that forces the EU to trade with Iran.

The case of the 3rd party sanctions imposed by the US Congress is altogether different, since they involve the USA imposing financial penalties on foreign companies that dare trade with Iran.

Those sanctions are almost certainly illegal under international law i.e. the USA has no business telling (say) a French bank that it can't do business with an Iranian bank.

That's not a hypothetical case, btw, and the penalty imposed was in the $billions.

But no foreign company is going to challenge those penalties, and no foreign country is going to challenge those laws in any international venue.

They wouldn't dare, since such daring would be akin to rushing up to a enraged, completely irrational and totally out-of-control 800lb gorilla and then kicking it in the balls.

Full marks for courage, but that's a one-way trip to a very cold wooden casket.

Posted by: Johnboy | Apr 5 2015 8:24 utc | 95


Now or later, acting or not acting, the West/gangster-capitalism is headed for a very cold wooden casket.

And if there were a real European Union, one acting in the interests of Europe, acting would make short work of the US' gangster 3rd party sanctions. Even one country the size of France standing up to the bully and pointing out the obvious illegality of the US imposing its 'law' on foreign nations would do the trick.

The problem is they're all literally on board with the US. They think they're all going to own a piece of Iran, a piece of Russia. That'd be the only way their ridiculous 'investment' could possibly pay off. They are willing accomplices.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 5 2015 8:51 utc | 96

"And if there were a real European Union, one acting in the interests of Europe,"...

Well, yeah, and if there were leprechauns living in the bottom of my garden then there's a nice pot o' gold awaiting me if I could catch one.

But since leprechauns don't exist....
And since "a real European Union" doesn't exist...

"They are willing accomplices."

Maybe. Or maybe they are just scared shitless because the USA has been 20 years in the grip of neocon madness.

In which case the safe approach is to keep your head down and do as you are told and Whatever You Do, Don't Find Yourself In A Neocon's Headlights.

Posted by: Johnboy | Apr 5 2015 9:48 utc | 97

Interesting comment from Said at the latest State Department Press Briefing.

In amongst the monstering that the State Department Spokesmodel got while trying to defend the contradictions in the White House Fact Sheet, he made a pithy comment that she could not rebut.

It was this.

Said: "Let me ask you a very simple question regarding the Iranian claim. They said that they basically offered you the same deal, the same kind of framework deal, back in 2003. Do you refute that?"

Harf: "Well, I certainly wasn’t here in 2003"

Oh dear. Not very convincing....

Posted by: Johnboy | Apr 5 2015 9:52 utc | 98

OT but ...

Malaysia Heli Crash - Exploded In Mid Air, Former Envoy to US Dead

US ambassador to Malaysia, Ambassador Joseph Yun on also extended his deep condolence on behalf of the US to those killed in the helicopter crash. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very difficult time. Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis was tirelessly dedicated to advancing Malaysia's interests by enhancing relations with the United States

Before the Malaysia air disasters of MH-370 and MH-17 …

Posted by: Oui | Apr 5 2015 10:07 utc | 99

Posted by: Johnboy | Apr 5, 2015 3:07:17 AM | 93

I beg to differ and I think you're missing something. The difference that matters is in the first paragraph you reproduced, whereas the difference between 'verified' & 'verifying' in your mull option isn't as significant as the use of 'EU to terminate implementation of ...' and 'US to cease application of...' in the first par.

Imo if one offers to "terminates the implementation" of a sanction then that is an offer to abandon a not yet implemented PLAN. It's not an offer to terminate an active sanction. The offer to "cease application of" an active sanction is as vacuous and misleading as "terminate implementation" - unless it includes A DATE.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 5 2015 15:57 utc | 100

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