Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 14, 2019

Why Is Europe Trying To Sabotage Iran's Nuclear Deal? - (Updated)

Updated below

The Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), limits Iran's nuclear activities for 15 years. After that period Iran would still be bound by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and its Additional Protocol. But Iran would be free to produce enriched Uranium for its nuclear reactors.

In October 2017 the U.S. left the treaty and reintroduced economic sanctions against Iran. But the European signatories, France, Britain and Germany, said they would stick to the deal. Gérard Araud, France's ambassador to the United States, tweeted around that time:

Gérard Araud @GerardAraud - 19:25 utc - 8 Sep 2017

France doesn't support any reopening of JCPOA which should be implemented as it is.

France and Germany created a complicate structure to allow some commercial dealing with Iran while escaping secondary U.S. sanction threats. Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei called the construct "a joke" as it will hardly allow any serious trade.

Last week Germany, Britain and France also stepped up nagging Iran about its ballistic missile programs. Iran harshly rejects (vid, recommended) any such criticism. It has long voluntarily limited the range of its missiles to 2,000 kilometer. As it has no modern air force, missiles are its only means to hold its enemies' assets in the Middle East at risk. It will never give up on them.

Iran sticks to its side of the JCPOA deal. It limits its nuclear activities while allowing the IAEA full access to inspect the country. With U.S. sanctions piling up while the Europeans are unwilling to support regular commercial exchange and waffle about Iran's ballistic missiles, it becomes more and more difficult for Iranian politicians to justify the deal. If the U.S. and the EU do not stick to their side of the deal why should Iran do so?

The Europeans continue to drag their feet. Last week the Royal Mail in Britain said that it would no longer accept parcels to Iran. No sound reason was given. Yesterday Gérard Araud, who in 2017 defended the nuclear deal, set out to put it under doubt:

Gérard Araud @GerardAraud - 19:10 utc - 13 Apr 2019

It’s false to say that at the expiration of the JCPOA, Iran will be allowed to enriching uranium. Under the NPT and its additional protocol, it will have to prove, under strict monitoring, that its nuclear activities are civilian.

Gérard Araud @GerardAraud - 19:17 utc - 13 Apr 2019

As we said in 2002 that enriching uranium without a credible civilian program was illegal under the NPT, we’ll be able to react likewise in 2025 if necessary. Sanctions were imposed. Sanctions could be reimposed. There is no “sunset” after the JCPOA.

Gérard Araud @GerardAraud - 19:20 utc - 13 Apr 2019

Russia is providing enriched uranium to the Busheer nuclear power plant. So there won’t be any conceivable reason for Iran to massively enriching uranium after the JCPOA.

Germany should stop to build the Nord Stream II pipeline because it is supposedly dangerous to depend on gas imports from Russia. But Iran should trust Russia with providing Uranium for its nuclear plants? Why is Germany allowed to enrich Uranium for its nuclear plants? Russia could surely provide that too.

After the 15 year moratorium under the JCPOA ends, Iran is of course free to produce its own Uranium for its own nuclear plants. There is nothing in international laws that demands that Iran continues to buy it from Russia. Araud's statement makes no sense.

This morning Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister replied to Araud:

Seyed Abbas Araghchi @araghchi - 9:02 utc - 14 Apr 2019

If tweets by @GerardAraud represent French position, we're facing a major violation of the object and purpose of the JCPOA and UNSCR 2231. Needs immediate clarification by Paris, or we act accordingly.

It seems that Germany, Britain and France are inclined to make it increasingly difficult for Iran to stick to the JCPOA deal. They are playing into the hands of the neoconservative hawks in the U.S. who want Iran to exit the deal to then claim to have reason to attack it.

Like with the war on Syria it would be the Europeans that would suffer from any U.S. conflict with Iran. Why are they playing this game?

Update 1:20 PM EST

It seems that Gérard Araud got an urgent call fome the Quai d'Orsay or Palace Elysée and was told to delete his tweets:

Mohammad Ali Shabani @mashabani - 15:46 utc - 14 Apr 2019

French ambo to US (recently retired) removed tweets reneging on pillars of JCPOA and implying reimposition of sanctions if Iran expands enrichment (as permitted under JCPOA) post-2025.

Here's to hoping for a new French approach to Iran. Current one is a sinking ship.

Unbeknownst to me Araud indeed retired. His far-well party was on April 3. His twitter bio though still has him as current ambassador.

Why then would he tweet that? Was the content correct but published prematurely? Or were those tweets his application to some well paid position in this or that hawkish think tank?

Posted by b on April 14, 2019 at 14:04 UTC | Permalink


We all know the answer to this:

The Israeli lobby

Posted by: Alaric | Apr 14 2019 14:10 utc | 1

You ask a question about European political class's perception and defence of European interests that is as perplexing here as it is in regard to Libya and Syria, to name just these. There was at least some coherent defence of international law and principle during Bush II's lead up to the Iraq war, but Europe's defence of law and Europe's common interests seem to have ceased at some point since then.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Apr 14 2019 14:19 utc | 2

so many poodles, but there can only be one alpha poodle and that's the uk so far.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Apr 14 2019 14:31 utc | 3

"Why are they playing this game?"

Because, like the US European government is a tool of the Global Power Elite, it is nothing more than pantomime. The West is fully owned and operated by the global elite.

In books going back to C Wright Mills' The Power Elite in 1956 to SUPERCLASS by David Rothkopf, and GIANTS: The Global Power Elite by Peter Phillips clearly outline just how powerful the Global Elites really are.

In SUPERCLASS we learn that this class of people actually own and control the three largest Western religions and many of the secondary ones - they all preach obedience to authority as paramount. They also own the drugs trade around the world. 95% of the world supply of opium comes out of Afghanistan under the watchful eye of the Elite through use of the US military.

There is one and only one Western empire - that of the Global Elites.

85% of the valuable assets in the world are controlled by the Global Elites.

There is no offsetting force against them, there simply does not exist today a force capable of challenging their ownership of the world.

And just as an aside to any historians out there, Thomas Piketty's book Capital in the Twenty-first Century shows how a critical mass of capital was had formed 500 years ago and has grown consistently at a rate greater than the general economy ever sense. He showed that before, during and after the French Revolution and later the US "revolution" the core capital of the west made profits. These revolutions, like government today, were pantomimes whilew the real power profited from the slaughter. The Elite prosper from war that is why there has been continual war and slaughter on their behalf sense August 6, 1945. The nuclear weapons belong to them.

Posted by: Babyl-on | Apr 14 2019 14:43 utc | 4

PressTV, Apr 14, 2019:

French ambassador's remarks blatant violation of JCPOA: Iran

Posted by: John Doe | Apr 14 2019 14:45 utc | 5

The beaches of Venezuela have been closed, and the war mongers are frustrated there. Pompeo is now pooping his pampers everyday now, and Iran is the better juicy target, and sucking the Euro trash in with them. International law, contracts, handshakes, if you are a crook those things do not matter. Gosh, don't you just love Zionism./sarc.

Posted by: Taffyboy | Apr 14 2019 14:51 utc | 6

Interview by Permanent Representative Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia to Asharq Al-Awsat:


Q.: There are a lot of questions about Iran’s role in the region. The US administration is raising its voice about Iran’s threats to other countries including Israel. Are you worried about any serious confrontations?

A.: Iran is a part of the region, not an alien entity. Iran has legitimate interests that go beyond its national borders and are aimed, among other things, at ensuring their national security. Arab States, Israel or Turkey – they all have such interests. The reason is in the transnational nature of global threats today.

You talk about threats that Iran poses. But don’t forget about the threats that Iran faces. Today they are clear and imminent. They are announced and proclaimed openly. Do you think Iran should not take them seriously? Unfortunately, recent steps and rhetoric from Washington, including withdrawal from the JCPOA and the initiation of large-scale sanction pressure only increase risks of escalating tensions and making further developments of the situation totally unpredictable.

As for the concerns about interference of Iran in the internal affairs of States in the Middle East, there are diverging views on this, even among the Arabs themselves.

Our approach can be described as very simple, even standard. All the countries of the region have their own interests. They should be taken into consideration. The only requirement is that those interests should be legitimate. If there are any concerns, they should be resolved by political and diplomatic means. For this, we need a convenient platform to discuss the whole range of existing problems.

Several years ago Russia proposed a security concept for the Persian Gulf that envisages a dialogue platform for all the countries of the region, which would be eventually joined by other States of the Middle East and North Africa. This could be the first step towards establishing a regional security architecture that would help maintain peace and security in this part of the globe.

We are discussing this idea with our Arab friends. It has not been put into life yet, but it is going to happen sooner or later.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has been advocating a similar idea of a “Helsinki-type process” for the Middle East.



Iran and Turkey Will Leave Syria, Russia’s UN Ambassador Tells Asharq Al-Awsat

Posted by: John Doe | Apr 14 2019 14:52 utc | 7

We all know the answer to this:

The Jewish lobby.

Posted by: Mario | Apr 14 2019 15:03 utc | 8

IRIB News Agency, April 14, 2019:

Iran FM @JZarif said the #JCPOA's EU signatories are behind schedule in fulfilling their #JCPOA promises, adding they shouldn't assume Iran would be waiting for them. Describing #INSTEX as a preliminary measure, @JZarif said the Europeans need to work hard to honor their pledges.

Posted by: John Doe | Apr 14 2019 15:09 utc | 9

Europe has no excuse to delay INSTEX: Zarif

Tehran, April 14, IRNA – Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday criticized the European states for delay in functioning the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEXT).

Posted by: John Doe | Apr 14 2019 15:14 utc | 10

Because, at the end of the day, Europe is still an American vassal.

Posted by: vk | Apr 14 2019 15:19 utc | 11

i agree with @1 alaric.. it is as simple as that.. until the world deals with this the insanity and hypocrisy will be on full display..

Posted by: james | Apr 14 2019 15:21 utc | 12

The JCPOA was just to buy time in order to 1) Instigate regime change in Iran and Syria, 2) Build a case for military action agains Iran. Since (1) has failed, Iran will be provoked into leaving or violating the JCPOA in order to accomplish objective (2). we might see a regime change in Venezuela first because a war with Iran would likely close off the Persian Gulf and the oil that passes through it. Venezuela’s oil would minimize the disruption.

Posted by: Kevin | Apr 14 2019 15:30 utc | 13

It's a rhetorical question, meant to imply Europe is betraying its own interests. The thing is, the EU notwithstanding, there is no "Europe" in the sense implied. The EU does not well serve the interests of the whole people of its member states either. The EU does serve the ruling classes of each state to some degree. But the EU has difficulty formulating a policy that compromises the interests of each state. Germany and France take the lion's share, to be sure, but they have to agree and they have to force the others into line. This makes the EU politically weaker than the superficial appearance might suggest. The EU is having trouble dealing with Brexit not because the English are so potent but because the EU is more like the Articles of Confederation in US history than the federal (national) government instituted with the Constitution.

Even more, to go against the US involves being independent. The EU is not an independent military power. That limits their ability to go against the US foreign policy. The EU is making feeble gestures towards a European military force. But at this point it is largely Trump demanding they increase military spending against Russia but still under the guidance of NATO. This ultimately is a policy of turning Europeans into American mercenaries, not independence.

The real moral is, "Hard power trumps soft power." This is bad news for the EU, and for Xi Jin-ping too. Putin inherited some hard power. But "Hard power + soft power trumps hard power." So he can't win in Syria and he's refusing to fight for a win in Ukraine, turning it into a running sore that will bleed his Russia out.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Apr 14 2019 15:32 utc | 14

Araud is retired since begining of this month.

Also, he used to be called "Araud the american".

Posted by: Lao Mutisto | Apr 14 2019 15:36 utc | 15

The simple answer is that Vassals do what Vassals are told!

Posted by: Kadath | Apr 14 2019 15:39 utc | 16

B's question, why is the EU playing this game ?
Because Germany wants NORD II,?
Because EU needs Iran technology knowhow, as EU faces threats from Israel, Saudi, and Pakistan, China, and Russia?
Oil is on its way out.. Sun, Wind, and Hydro storage are replacing it..<=no matter the politics.
Also, except for the war and space machines, the surge power needed is declining,
many many new efficient power machines are working against oil and gas. Autos will soon be electtic.
I expect the size of Jumbo Jets to be spilt into sizes equivalent to regional flying machines and converted to a different power system. The Jumbo has become too complicated and its manufacturers highly unreliable and morally expired.
Jobs Piloting Airplanes and drones will increase by a large percentage over the next few years.
The Euro will no longer be the transaction exchange standard.. Gold, Palladium space dust maybe?
Transport by sea is needed only for oil.. all other energy can be set up and made to work on site or near by.
I look to privatization of airspace over ones land as the next Economic Zionist move..
I think the folks at the EU see the handwriting on the wall, with no Empire, the loss of Britain, the EU enemies ( Saudi Arabia, Israeli, Spain, Greece and Turkey) that used not to be a threat are now highly problematic.. yes I know SGT are all still in the EU, but I look for that to change soon.
Turkey intends to take on Eastern Europe.. that is clear.. and dispose of all Europeans for prior EZ offenses.
When Turkey exits NATO and Bexit is forced into place, the empire loses at Venezuela, and Russia Ousts the Empire from Ukraine, EU will be defenseless, technology dunces, and left defenseless to the weather technology.
the global power structure is likely flip flopping in favor of China's road, Russia's banking, Pakistan's nukes, Iran's super technology. and the folks on the island of North America will find themselves unable to get anyone to visit or trade with their island. Isolation is on the horizon for the empire.. My Opinion.

Posted by: snake | Apr 14 2019 15:42 utc | 17

@14 steven.. good response.. thanks.. regarding the last part - might they dynamic also bleed the usa out?

Posted by: james | Apr 14 2019 15:42 utc | 18

Why are they playing this game?
That is what a vassal has to do.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Apr 14 2019 16:21 utc | 19

Europe will stay with the US to the end. Passer @19 <==I think staying with the US is the underlying basis for the conflict between the governors in charge of the EU states, and the masses of humanity governed by EU Governors.. The masses do not agree, they want out of the EU now, they want their independence back, they do not want a government that spies on them and they do not want to belong to an organization that one member is so powerful it dictates to all others, or to an organization that attempts to control their lives with rules, directives and laws, the control they are looking for is from family and local society, they want what they were born into, not what the global community insist they be. The power of the masses is growing throughout the world, but in the EU and US it is growing at increasingly rapid rates. I think the masses will force the EU to leave the puppy house of the empire almost as soon as Turkey leaves NATO.

The rumbling of the masses is getting louder and louder.. and the governors are responding with more and more aggressive retaliation; retaliation raises the voices, and loud noise increases the aggression.. Soon well you know..

Posted by: snake | Apr 14 2019 16:27 utc | 20

The reason is that European politicians have no moral compass or sense of duty and it's easier to not oppose the US than it is to stand for national sovereignty or international law. People like Pompeo and Bolton will make life difficult for them otherwise. When you have no moral courage, you do what is easy.

Posted by: worldblee | Apr 14 2019 16:29 utc | 21

You know, it would be ok with me if others would help to point out the obvious.

Why is anything happening in the EU? Money talks and BS walks.

The EU is a toady to the God of Mammon just like all the rest of the parts of the West.

Global finance is like the blood supply to the human body. In the West finance is privately owned and operated in the interests of the owners. They can't exist long term without global domination. Iran represents a threat to that domination

End of story.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 14 2019 16:48 utc | 22

"Europe sees Russia and Russians as a bunch of unsophisticated, illiberal barbarians. It hates Russia. It wants to colonise those "troglodytes" and take their natural resources. And it hates Trump. Do you know who is it that Europe loves? Obama. He is the symbol of the racial diversity that is superior to the european nationalism of the past." @19

The "Europe" in question, the one that hates Russians and lacks moral courage(@22) is a very tiny thing-a small political class, and its associated ideologists which is becoming less and less popular in Europe. The Europe that does what the US wants and Israel's lobbyists call for is becoming less relevant.
The real Europe, of tens of millions of people has not been heard from for some time.
There is going to be a crisis, of the sort telegraphed in France, because life is becoming less bearable and hope for future improvement is dissolving. When it comes everything associated with the current ruling classes is going to be discreditable- the fact that the Tories in Britain, Macron in France and the dishonourable duopoloy in Germany hate Russia will make Russia popular, the fact that they love Israel will turn public opinion against it.
As to Obama: the honeymoon is over, the extent of his personal involvement in the nonsense of Russiagate is going to become clear. As are renewed questions about his lifelong closeness to the CIA and the FBI.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 14 2019 16:49 utc | 23

The question is: 'Why are they playing this game?'

The purpose of the JCPOA deal was to draw Iran away the 'Multi-Polar World Order'(MPWO), led by China and Russia, and towards the 'Globalists' who run Europe, the U.K. and the U.S. deep state. Recall that the 'Globalists' are pursuing a project of 'Global Governance' using international institutions under their control.

Drawing Iran away from the MPWO is not working. In fact, Iran is becoming ever-more integrated as a western pole of the MPWO, and the central organizer of the northern middle east, including Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria into an integrated economic zone aligned with China's Belt and Road Initiative. The 'Globalists' need to reverse, or at least slow down, this development. This is why they are playing the game with the JCPOA.

The 'Globalists' were happy to sit back while Trump, Netenyahu and Bin Salman sanction Iran and threaten direct attacks. However, the failure of the coup in Venezuela, and thus the failure to secure Venezuelan oil to replace lost Iranian oil, undermines this strategy.

The 'Globalists' need to urgently step up their efforts to shut down Eurasian integration into the MPWO.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Apr 14 2019 17:16 utc | 24

"There is no offsetting force against them, there simply does not exist today a force capable of challenging their ownership of the world." Babyl-on @4

I tend to agree with your overall view that the governments of the US and EU are tools of the Global Elite, which explains why they act in unity on things that matter most, seemingly against their own interests.

I disagree that there is no force capable of challenging them. I think the people of the world are capable and the Global Elites know this - which is why there is so much investment in keeping us docile and happy in the West; while allowing their own forces and mercenary warlords to commit quasi-genocide in bringing the outer regions in line.

The other counterweight is Russia and China. Now I realize some will argue that the elites in those countries are in on the game, but I don't think so. They may have been, or wanted to be, part of The Club. But the current anti-Russia/China propaganda we are being subject to, coupled with more money being invested in Defence and war games being practiced on Russia's border, tell me that the remaining power that the Western Global Elites do not have does not want to be surrendered.

Posted by: Activist Potato | Apr 14 2019 17:19 utc | 25

Europe was "occupied" by the US after 1945 and that occupation remains in place. Therefore, Europe will do what it's told.

A war with Iran (while destroying the unique, beautiful cultural and architectural heritage of that country) will probably be lost unless the US/West resorts to the use of nuclear weapons (even then the US/West may lose) - I'm afraid that Iran is just too big, prepared and motivated for the West to prevail.

The result of a war with Iran will be a complete shattering of the myths that we in the West tell ourselves about our way of life and our (supposed) superiority - the Empire will lose cohesion and will collapse (and the US/West will experience something far worse than Russia did in the nineties).

For purely selfish reasons the people of the West should reject the stance that the US/West has taken with regard to Iran and demand that our politicians implement the JCPOA, end sanctions and normalise relations with Iran.

(Strangely, no trolls have posted - I guess they are not being paid to promote war with Iran yet?).

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 14 2019 17:34 utc | 26

One word - Israel - is your answer to ‘why’ - I’m surprised that this site should even ask why, the answer is so obvious. Looking at the web of ‘media’ it’s like a recording stuck in an ever repeating grove, it’s boredom is overwhelming, but possibly that’s the way of propaganda, to dull the mind to accept everything it’s told. Sad.

Posted by: Sadness | Apr 14 2019 17:36 utc | 27

b: "...the Royal Mail will no longer accept parcels for Iran..."???

All I can do is recommend Grieved's post on the previous Assange thread which I tried to make readable at the top of page 2 of comments. (Didn't entirely succeed, sorry.) Rumblings of the proletariat indeed. It would seem the elite are losing control.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 14 2019 17:36 utc | 28

ADKC @27

"Strangely, no trolls have posted - I guess they are not being paid to promote war with Iran yet?"

I can now see that there are some posters who are trying to (mis)lead people down the antisemitic path. I can also see that they are being ignored, so I will do the same.

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 14 2019 17:51 utc | 29

I was too vague in my previous comment, so I'll elaborate a little bit.

After WWII:

1) There's the ideological factor: the Atlanticist ideology states the USA is essentially the successor/inheritor of Western Civilization. That means they are a continuatino of Europe, Europe in the Americas. Therefore, there's no distinction between USA and Europe: both are the same thing, only separated by a strip of the Atlantic (which the British suggestively and not by chance call "The Pond"). By logic, that means protecting the USA is the same as protecting Europe, or, more precisely, Western Civilization. Many Europeans consider culture, and not geography/economy, more important as a nation-building factor.

2) The social-democratic consensus (welfare state) Europe built requires not large expenses on defense. NATO is the answer here. So, NATO's survival is not that much a continental security issue against an external enemy, but more of a continental security issue against the internal enemy (inequality, poverty, riots and revolution). The social-democractic consensus is also essential as a soft power weapon (the superiority of the white race for the far-right, liberal democracy for the center and social-democracy for the left).

3) NATO is essential to (allegedly) avoid Europe plunging into endless wars between its minuscules countries again. In this case, they are literally giving up sovereignty in exchange for "avoiding the next WW". This is an important fear factor to legitimize both the American hegemony over the peninsula and to legitimize further, even if it needs to be forced, European integration (the "United States of Europe"). A fiscally united Europe would be a paradise for the Fraco-German big banks.

4) Finally, Europe's geography puts it into a peripheral position in a new world order where the West is dislocated to North America and China is rising again. They become the ideal proxy region, since the German plains are the only safe way for a Western conquest of the "Heartland" (the old USSR territories except the Baltics plus Mongolia and China). Japan and South Korea (two of the three main keys to conquer China -- the third is North Korea) are already fully in a vassal mode, so that's secured; attention is now in the European Peninsula. That, on top of the fact that European capitalism is dying, puts it into a SE Asia situation, where it will have to juggle between the two superpowers where and when it can, without any possibility of a long-term strategy.

Posted by: vk | Apr 14 2019 17:56 utc | 30

james@18 asks "might the dynamic also bleed the usa out?" US "soft power" aka economic strength is indeed bleeding out. Since Bush 41 the US has more or less openly relied on using military force to attack weak opponents, to keep the world roiled, so that it remains "indispensable." Capital will find its refuge there, the dollar will remain the world's prime reserve currency, no economic competitor like China will find reliable source of essential trade goods like oil, world finance will still be dominated by players who need the US military shield for protection against their own people, etc. The relative decline is why Trump makes noises about reindustrialization policy. But Trump is a creature of the Wall Street swamp, whose key market has been the financial elite. He will not implement a coherent industrial policy at their expense.

But, as Adam Smith supposedly said, "There is a lot of ruin in a nation." The decline of the US economy hasn't left the US a wasteland, it is still a major industrial nation. It took centuries for the Byzantine empire to decline enough for it too fall to the Turks. In hindsight we can see the battle of Manzikert in 1071 as the last turning point. Constantinople didn't fall till 1453. The decline in the US' soft power will eventually result in the decline of its hard power. One could argue that its military has already declined to the point where it can't win outright victories, but only spoiler victories, where the ruins it leaves serve to terrorize the world. The thing is, those are all it needs. The speed of US decline after an open military defeat will be shocking. Consider how even the rather limited defeat in Vietnam served to caution the US against large troop commitments. But it's going to take serious losses in the military, not just humiliation, before US militarism* starts losing its grip.

*The US is highly militaristic. The military and security services are not the Deep State, they are the state. The political system is corrupt, a playground for political bandits and employees of assorted oligarchs, which is why it relies on militarism.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Apr 14 2019 18:14 utc | 31

There are inconsistencies in the efforts of major European countries around the Iran Nuclear Agreement (JCPOA) because there are two powerful forces at work inside those countries.

First, there is general recognition by the leaders of Germany and France and others that the Iran Nuclear Agreement (JCPOA) was a good sound achievement. It worked, as everyone knows. They wanted it maintained.

But second, in these same countries is a powerful Israel Lobby, just as in the United States, and Israel is entirely responsible for Trump's impulsive tearing-up of the Agreement and his making all kinds of new, almost irrational demands. Netanyahu has even bragged about it.

Demanding measures like adding missile technology to the Agreement are completely arbitrary, having nothing to do with the original purpose of the Agreement. They are the work of the Israel Lobby and its chief Western mouthpiece today, Donald Trump.

There is nothing rational at work in any of this.

Israel wants Iran reduced as competitor for influence in the region. It wants its 8 million to dominate instead of Iran's 80 million.

A rather odd way of looking at things. As though Luxembourg were entitled to dominate Germany, but then there is almost nothing rational coming out of any demands today from Israel, on any matter, the situation’s most volatile and dangerous aspect.

It has nothing to do with genuine threats from Iran. There are none. Although Israel has made many threats and charges against Iran, all without justification.

Anyway, how does a non-nuclear nation threaten a nuclear one, one moreover with a huge arsenal of the latest weapons supplied by its patron, the US. It cannot happen.

The claim is as silly as some of the presentations Netanyahu has given before the UN and other places, presentations complete with laughably childish bomb charts and phony displays of supposedly purloined Iranian secret data. The man often borders on the lunatic.

The Iranians, despite having a religious state, are quite rational people. They start no wars, but do seek to position themselves against someone else starting one. And they are not about to attack an (illegal) nuclear state whose leaders regard Iran with poisonous hatred.

Iran knows firsthand the horrors of war from the largely American-induced Iraq-Iran War, eight years of fighting with losses comparable in scale to a world war.

Israel uses the tiresome line about "existential threat” about the same way it uses "anti-Semitism" against anyone criticizing its often-appalling behavior. There is nothing there, but the leaders of France and Germany cannot be seen by the Lobby as saying so. That way lies serious political risk.

Just ask Donald Trump, who hired himself on as Israel’s chief advocate and breaks a new law every week trying to show how good he is at the job.

Posted by: JOHN CHUCKMAN | Apr 14 2019 18:14 utc | 32

Any EU reaction to threats on Golan? Masyaf bombing?

Posted by: Mina | Apr 14 2019 18:37 utc | 33

vk The social democratic consensus-welfare state- is no longer part of the Atlanticist ideology. It was only there at all, in contradiction of liberalism, as a compromise necessitated by the Red Army's victory in 1945.
It is the absence of this social and political glue-which was simply too tempting not to be privatised out of existence-that indicates the coming demise of imperialism. What is missing, and will not easily be supplied, is the 'leadership', philosophical and organisational, required to smash the crumbling empire before it falls down and crushes everyone below it.
In the meantime, as indications of the fragility of the system multiply, the classes which it has sustained, from the remnants of the aristocracies, through the bourgeoisie to the millions of managerial and intellectual functionaries and their clans of dependents, rally to the flag of Empire. That is what we are seeing in the incredible multiplicity of the ways in which imperialism's small fry, the foremen, charge hands and slavedrivers of the ideology, are establishing that in their views Assange must Die, that lese majeste must be punished.
For all these people there is a spectre haunting the world-having to work for a living and think for themselves.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 14 2019 18:43 utc | 34

Apartheid regime is strong in France, Germany and UK, they are playing a dangerous card that the EU is basically the one to lose it all. The fact is the 3 countries have not helped Iran at all after US sanctions, we have seen too much talk and very little action. Iran is descending into a serious recession meaning US sanctions are working and the EU could have helped to smooth it, but it did not.

Posted by: Canthama | Apr 14 2019 19:33 utc | 35

Ruhani and Zarif bet their entire political careers on the JCPOA and got snookered! What did they expect?

Iran was duped into pouring concrete into their reactors as a "confidence building measure"(whatever that means) in resturn for promises. More sanctions were imposed after that!
Mr. Kim of NK must be looking on and wondering how dumb the Iranians are. They don't seem to understand the power principle.

For a deal that was never passed by congress, the Iranian negotiators should've realized the US was NEVER going to honor the deal. It was a classic case of good cop, bad cop - with the EU playing the role of the good cops.

JCPOA is dead but Zarif/Ruhani are hanging on it's carcass in the hope that they might be able to revive it. I see the same mistake Gadaffi made happening with Iran.

Posted by: Zico | Apr 14 2019 19:59 utc | 36

@24/35 bevin.. thanks for your comments.. always interesting and informative..

@32 steven... thanks for the additional comments and thoughts on this.. in other words, it is impossible to predict the demise of the usa, but the decline is obvious to see.. you state - "The speed of US decline after an open military defeat will be shocking." i have thought about this some.. it seems the usa is no longer willing to go full on.. ukraine, syria and venezuala are the 3 places we see this, although it could change at any moment.. what it tells me is there is some uncertainty on the part of some within the usa military and secret service state to join in the koolaid that many in the political class are happy to drink.. that also could change, but for the time being cooler heads are sort of prevailing... the msm is broadcasting these neocons 24/7, but it is mostly all talk and no action.. with regard to iran - the sanctions seem to be working thanks the willingness of europe to go along with it all.. i can't see that changing.. as someone else mentioned - probably bevin - a lack of leadership in the west is really in evidence here..

Posted by: james | Apr 14 2019 20:06 utc | 37

vk @ 31 1. there's no distinction between USA and Europe ..Agree but also there is no destinction beteen the
governed saps in American and the nations of Europe.. And these two groups the nation states vs
those governed by the nation are very much opposed at nearly every step of the way.
2. NATO more a continental security issue against internal enemy (inequality, poverty, riots and revolution) Agree.
3. fear factor to legitimize both the American hegemony nation state power to get at resources or to change laws the lawless corporations want.. and today most
of the governed Europeans understand that ( why I said above, the masses are moving in to take control
of their own nation states the masses no longer accept the EU, and no longer fear the wars, because
when the masses are in control of the nation states, there will be no wars.
4. The Internet has educated even the masses to global presence and I just can see why Russia or China should
considered by the masses in side of the EU to be anything but happy trading partners, its the EU and
USA banks and mopopoly powered stock companies that will be unhappy.
Steven t. Johnson @ 32 The US is highly militaristic <= you mean the USA, but the American people are very upset about that
and I think the next election is going to make that point very clear.
It is extremely important to understand the difference between the masses in EU and America and the
officals who claim to rule the masses. What you say fits the USA-EU but not the masses.
The privately owned fake news has just about lost its power to sway the masses. because the
masses have caught on. They now know they should not think as instructed, but they do have quite
a bit to catch up on and I observe many times if the fake news says it is so, then obviously it is not
true or it is true but it is being presented to redirect attention from the real news.
John Chuckman @ 33 Israel wants Iran reduced as competitor for influence in the region. It wants its 8 million to
dominate instead of Iran's 80 million. <=Agree, that is the essence of Economic Zionism.. not just defeat the
competitor in competition, but destroy him, eliminate his or her right to live.. take everything he
or she has.. and kill off anything surrounding that has even a remote chance of coming back to compete.
bevin @35 I would love a reference to "imperialism's small fry, the foremen, charge hands and slave drivers of the
ideology, are establishing that in their views Assange must Die, that lese majeste must be punished.
For all these people there is a spectre haunting the world-having to work for a living and think for
themselves. Yes, but I think the masses have learned to ignore them.. except when required for work.
Zico @ 37 "JCPOA is dead but Zarif/Ruhani are hanging on it's carcass in the hope that they might be able to revive it.
I see the same mistake Gadaffi made happening with Iran.
<==its too bad the international law is so corrupt that one cannot rely on a contract?
Americans have the same problem with the bill of rights. The 10 amendments are really nothing
more than a unilateral contract. Unenforcable by the protected side, and enforceable by the
protector side. mistake to be duped.. is a fallacy of being honest.. and it is this
very problem that keeps the world in war and turmoil.. ..

extremely interesting interaction going on here.. thanks..

Posted by: snake | Apr 14 2019 20:18 utc | 38

Why then would he tweet that? Was the content correct but published prematurely? Or were those tweets his application to some well paid position in this or that hawkish think tank?

Fake news so that confuse the Iranians about EU intentions, which continue being the same, comply with the JCPOA.
The Elysée should not only order him to delete the Twitt, but also force him to correct his profile on current status as former ambassador. He is clearly supplanting an official to advance US Trump´s administration´s interests. Most probably he has been offered a seat in some Atlanticist think tank or transnational corporation as advisor.

Posted by: Sasha | Apr 14 2019 20:24 utc | 39

@ b

Araud will stay in the US and will be working for the International Crisis Group

Posted by: Yul | Apr 14 2019 20:33 utc | 40

Why? The Voting Morons of America are no longer in control of their own government.... probably never have been now compounded by European toe sucking toadies.

Posted by: Ger | Apr 14 2019 20:47 utc | 42

@38 James

" it seems the usa is no longer willing to go full on.."

What is being missed by most is that we entered a new era March 2018 when Putin unveiled his new toys. The u.s. is no longer the presumed supreme military power on the planet. Of course they will not not admit this, but I believe we are approaching the moment when the U.S. will be told to stand down or suffer the consequences, whether it be in Syria, Venezuela or Ukraine.


"I want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed at containing our country's development: Everything that you wanted to impede with your policies has already happened," he said. "You have failed to contain Russia."

"No one listened to us then. So listen to us now,” Putin said to thunderous applause in the speech, which was held at a venue just outside the Kremlin and televised live nationwide.

The pentagon has admitted it has no defense against those hypersonic missiles.


"If that happens, what kind of defense do we have against the hypersonic threat?" Inhofe asked.

Hyten replied, "We have a very difficult — well, our defense is our deterrent capability. We don't have any defense that could deny theemployment of such a weapon against us, so our response would be our deterrent force, which would be the triad and the nuclear capabilities that we have to respond to such a threat."

Putin has quite clearly stated the what the Russian response will be should the U.S. resort to the use of nuclear weapons.


"Only when we know for certain – and this takes a few seconds to understand – that Russia is being attacked we will deliver a counter strike. This would be a reciprocal counter strike. Why do I say ‘counter’? Because we will counter missiles flying towards us by sending a missile in the direction of an aggressor. Of course, this amounts to a global catastrophe but I would like to repeat that we cannot be the initiators of such a catastrophe because we have no provision for a pre-emptive strike. Yes, it looks like we are sitting on our hands and waiting until someone uses nuclear weapons against us. Well, yes, this is what it is. But then any aggressor should know that retaliation is inevitable and they will be annihilated. And we as the victims of an aggression, we as martyrs would go to paradise while they will simply perish because they won’t even have time to repent their sins. "

Russia is not going to allow the U.S. to destroy Venezuela, Iran, Syria or Ukraine. It makes sense because Ru cannot allow the United States and vassals to continually put Ru in the position of one step forward two steps backs via their destructive policies and I firmly believe that Putin will not allow the u.s. time to develop counters to their new missiles. That would be foolish as the u.s. has shown what they are capable of when there is no serious threat to their military. It will be a world war and the unites states has been pushing hard to keep its allies on a short tether.

U.S. has been stalemated in Syria, (soon to be ejected) Ukraine is about to fall back into ru orbit after the elections next week. Venezuela has Russians on the ground. They dare not go into Iran, because the iron dome is rusty and one direct hit by the foab about 13k southeast of dimona is going to make a large part of that illegal settlement called israel uninhabitable.

There is much room for miscalculation, and I believe war is an almost certainty. At the same time, I think we need a few tens to hundreds of millions to meet their maker as the human race is only growing more stupid by the minute and eliminating a large portion of the race will likely extend its survival. Sad but true.

'nuff said


Posted by: b4real | Apr 14 2019 21:17 utc | 43

don't respond to 44 here please. This should have been posted to open thread... Too many windows open and I wondered how people made that mistake. :)



Posted by: b4real | Apr 14 2019 21:18 utc | 44

>> USA, but the American people are very upset about that
>> and I think the next election is going to make that point very clear.

I’m not as upbeat.

They nearly all have short memories. Most of them just do not care how many foreigners die or else they wouldn’t continue reading sources that mention casualties on only one side. Most of them think “it’s not many anyway”. And they have faith their institutions are “doing the right thing even if the real reasons are not obvious”. So they go about their everyday lives and, when they have some leisure, binge-watch on government-approved shows streamed to their TV’s.

I have spoken with people who admit they were shocked to learn no WMD was found in Iraq, concluded their government lied to them, but refuse to look for news sources to replace the sources that steered them wrong, believe every subsequent lie about new bogeymen, and refuse to entertain contrary arguments from me even though my call about Iraq WMD turned out correct. I’m talking about reasonably smart, seemingly good-hearted, honest people. The callous denial, disinterest, and agnosticism astonishes me.

Do not count on American voters to show any change at the next poll. They will vote for whoever either party nominates. They suffer as much from battered wife syndrome as the Europeans.

Posted by: oo goo gachoo | Apr 14 2019 21:26 utc | 45

snake@39 is correct about distinguishing the ruling class from the rest of us. As to the notion that the fall of the fake news means the masses will no longer tolerate this or that, I can only ask why anyone thinks it matters what the masses think. The political system is set up so that a minority can block the majority. It will take a strongly disciplined majority to overcome the obstacles to majority rule. There is nobody to replace the old system. It will not tamely disappear, to let a rational debate take time to devise a new way. People have no agreement on what else. The fake news does not after all need to convince everyone, it need only keep them to disoriented and divided to succesfully act. At this time it is not even widely agreed that majority rule is essential to define democracy, with large numbers of people preferring the rule of law or some such twaddle.

Also, the notion the fake news has lost its sway is wrong. The notion that Clinton was a traitor for emails, Benghazi, Clinton Foundation and the biggest crook was fake news of the highest order, and it was carried by all the news networks,not just Fox. The notion that Trump was a successful businessman instead of an heir and a successful crook, that Trump wasn't a militarist ranting about winning wars, that Trump would reindustrialize policy, that Trump wasn't promising to take up Nixon's lead in trashing the old version of democracy was carried by all the news networks, not just Fox. The fake news is telling us that Julian Assange is a monster finally getting his just desserts. Fake news is still with us and still powerful.

b4real@45 suggests genocidal improvements in humanity. This strikes me was prompted more by meanness that reason. As for the notion that Putin/Russia won't let Ukraine be "destroyed," Putin let the fascists take over. So much for Russia's determination to fight. The notion that an election will kick out the fascists strikes me as nonsense. A faction of fascists might try to seize sole power and provoke some sort of struggle. But as of this time, it appears most people are still committed to the vicious proposition that the soul of Ukraine is anti-Communist. There is nothing more anti-Communist than fascism. Last but least, the notion that Putin was telling the truth about his new weapon systems strikes me as being like believe Reagan about Star Wars, or Bush about the Patriot missile, or the Israeli's about Iron Dome.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Apr 14 2019 22:12 utc | 46

Posted by: Alaric | Apr 14, 2019 10:10:31 AM | 1

We all know the answer to this:

The Israeli lobby

Posted by: Mario | Apr 14, 2019 11:03:27 AM | 8

We all know the answer to this:

The Jewish lobby.


Feel the difference. (c)

things need to be called by their proper names...

Posted by: John Smith | Apr 14 2019 22:56 utc | 47

Why then would he tweet that?

He just wanted for one last time to sniff sell and inhale Mike Pompeo’ big fat arse. French and general European politicians can’t get enough of sniffing American political class arses.

Posted by: Kooshy | Apr 15 2019 0:13 utc | 48

Psychologically/spiritually Europe exploded itself in the first half of the 20th century and since then no longer has had any capacity for leadership or even for agency. Since Europe's not willing to give up ecocide, not willing to give up the worthless destructive junk, and not willing to give up aggression for the sake of aggression, it has no choice but to submit to the berserk US leadership of all this.

Even the doormat countries within the EU like Greece aren't willing to give up doormat status if that's all they can beg and scrape for, they're still so desperate to have some part in the total conflagration. And we see how Brexit has been a non-starter; even a nominal official Brexit still will conserve every aspect of globalization, and Brexit's own supporters don't really want to exit anything.

(Of course by all this I don't mean to abet the delusion that China, Russia, etc. offer any alternative to the ecocidal civilization. The only good role they can play is to give real conflict within the system which helps bring down the empire, generating chaos which may in various foreseen and unforeseen ways permanently cripple the modern civilization's functioning. This in turn is our only chance to end the overall ecocidal-genocidal-mass suicidal Dominionist war of total destruction on the part of civilization against its own basis of life, the Earth.)

Posted by: Russ | Apr 15 2019 2:51 utc | 49

Do they think that $200/brl oil will stimulate their economies, perhaps in some 6-D chess sort of way?

Posted by: Schmoe | Apr 15 2019 3:06 utc | 50

b4real@45 suggests genocidal improvements in humanity. This strikes me was prompted more by meanness that reason. As for the notion that Putin/Russia won't let Ukraine be "destroyed," Putin let the fascists take over. [...] Last but least, the notion that Putin was telling the truth about his new weapon systems strikes me as being like believe Reagan about Star Wars... steven t johnson | Apr 14, 2019 6:12:42 PM

I think steven is inaccurate. The notion raised by b4real was that Putin will not allow some countries to be destroyed by USA, included Ukraine. That leaves the opportunity for Ukrainians to do it, and how possibly can Putin prevent that? Concerning weapons unveiled by Putin, they are not as fanciful as Star Wars. For example, the idea of having a missile power by a nuclear reactor was tested by Americans and it did show some promise 60 years ago, and Russians have experience with nuclear reactors in a large span of sizes, plus they are good at making rockets. By the way of contrast, grant solicitations distributed at American universities in the aftermath of Reagan initiative asked for "new physical principles", new paradigms in programming etc. You see, automatic system of missile defense requires humungous "real-time" software that would better be correct, but how can you prove that software is correct?

Simple, you write the specification, translate it into formal logic, and then write the software that follows the logical proofs generated ahead of time. How you check that the thousands of pages of the specifications make sense? Perhaps this is something that software engineers working for Boeing failed to do, but honestly, they were neither pilots nor aerospace engineers. Additionally, they were suppose to work on hardware 20+ years old, which raises subtle problems. Back when the hardware was introduced it was probably up-to-date plus software designers knew tons of tricks to save memory, storage accesses, CPU time etc which are long forgotten among the folks that actually write programs today.

I read that complex system usually have most critical bugs removed after a year of constant use, so would a nuclear was last more that a year, defenses would eventually work, at least the software part. Software for an individual missile is probably simpler than for a nationwide/worldwide defense system integrating data from a myriad of sources etc.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 15 2019 3:07 utc | 51

"Like with the war on Syria it would be the Europeans that would suffer from any U.S. conflict with Iran. Why are they playing this game?"

Creative stupidity.
"Israel" and only "Israel" with a population of 6+ million violent, racist, Jewish occupiers, wants Iran, home to 80+ million human beings, destroyed. I'm all in favour of "Israel" keeping the destruction of a functioning country for psychotic ideological reasons "on the table" because when "Israel" is destroyed it'll seem almost "natural".

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 15 2019 5:54 utc | 52

The U.S. is not an honest broker not with the Palestinians who have held back on Intifada for years of peaceful protest and are still getting hammered by Israel and losing everything thanks to Trump. The U.S. is not on honest broker with Iran when Iran was in full compliance of the deal, and now here we are with a nuke-free Iran getting hammered with sanctions and next in line to be regime changed after Venezuela.

Kim needs to hold on to those nukes. Why can't North Korea be a mini-me China? Why can Pakistan have nukes and harbor terrorism and Iran, a much more rational, civilized country, not posess nukes?

Unfortunately, with lunatic operators, like the U.S. and Israel, intent on domination, and bent on destruction, everyone else should and must have nukes. If I had a crazy neighbor who was making moves on my land and resources, who regime changed me in the past and installed a tyrant monarch, the Shah with the help of Mossad, I WOULD HAVE NUKES IN MY ARSENAL. PERIOD.

There is no other way out of this.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 15 2019 12:48 utc | 53

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