Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 27, 2020

To Finally Kill The Nuclear Deal With Iran The U.S. Will Try To Rejoin It

On May 8 2018 the U.S. ceased its participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or nuclear deal with Iran. The New York Times now reports that the U.S. wants to be back in for some nefarious reason:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is preparing a legal argument that the United States remains a participant in the Iran nuclear accord that President Trump has renounced, part of an intricate strategy to pressure the United Nations Security Council to extend an arms embargo on Tehran or see far more stringent sanctions reimposed on the country.
In an effort to force the issue, Mr. Pompeo has approved a plan, bound to be opposed by many of Washington’s European allies, under which the United States would, in essence, claim it legally remains a “participant state” in the nuclear accord that Mr. Trump has denounced — but only for the purposes of invoking a “snapback” that would restore the U.N. sanctions on Iran that were in place before the accord.

If the arms embargo is not renewed, the United States would exercise that right as an original member of the agreement. That step would force a restoration of the wide array of the sanctions that prohibited oil sales and banking arrangements before the adoption of the agreement in 2015. Enforcing those older sanctions would, in theory, be binding on all members of the United Nations.

The real aim of the Trump administration is of course much wider:

Political calculations aside, the administration’s larger plan may go beyond imposing harsher sanctions on Iran. It is also to force Tehran to give up any pretense of preserving the Obama-era agreement. Only by shattering it, many senior administration officials say, will Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani be forced to negotiate an entirely new agreement more to Mr. Trump’s liking.

The idea is idiotic and it will not work. There will be no 'snapback' sanctions and Iran will stick to the deal.

The snapback option is part of the Dispute Resolution Mechanism that is laid out in article 36 and 37 of the JCPOA deal. UN Dispatch has a short description of what it means:

The deal signed this morning creates an eight member panel, called the “Joint Commission” to serve as a dispute resolution mechanism. The members of the panel are the five veto-wielding members of the Security Council, plus Germany, Iran and the European Union. There are eight members total. If a majority (5) finds Iran to be cheating, the issue is referred to the Security Council. No single country has a veto.

And here is where things get interesting. The language of the nuclear deal says that the vote in the Security Council would not be to reimpose sanctions. Rather, the Security Council must decide whether or not to continue lifting the sanctions. And if they fail to do so, the old sanctions are snapped back into place. This framing obviates the prospect of a Russian veto, and it all but assures that if the Western countries believe that Iran is cheating, sanctions will automatically be re-imposed.

The U.S. is no longer a participant in the 'Joint Commission' and can thereby not trigger the process. There will also be no majority which would then have to refer a dispute to the UN Security Council. In its Resolution 2231 the UN Security Council also set out that only JCPOA participants can trigger a snapback process:

11. Decides, acting under Article 41 of the Charter of the United Nations, that, within 30 days of receiving a notification by a JCPOA participant State of an issue that the JCPOA participant State believes constitutes significant non-performance of commitments under the JCPOA, it shall vote on a draft resolution to continue in effect the terminations in paragraph 7 (a) of this resolution [...]

That the U.S. will now claim to be still a participant state in the JCPOA will be seen as a joke by everyone who considers previous remarks the Trump administration made about ceasing its participation.

On May 8 2018 The White House published a 'Presidential Memoranda' which was headlined:

Ceasing U.S. Participation in the JCPOA and Taking Additional Action to Counter Iran’s Malign Influence and Deny Iran All Paths to a Nuclear Weapon.

In section 2 the memorandum orders:

The Secretary of State shall, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Energy, take all appropriate steps to cease the participation of the United States in the JCPOA.

During the press briefing on that day then National Security Advisor John Bolton emphasized that the U.S. had left the deal and could therefore no longer trigger the 'snapback' provision of UNSCR 2231. Talking about a sanctions detail he said:

AMBASSADOR BOLTON: [...] This contingency has been posted on the Treasury Department website since 2015 because of the potential for the use of the provisions of Resolution 2231, which we’re not using because we’re out of the deal. [...]

Q But that won’t be negotiated away during that — for those existing —

AMBASSADOR BOLTON: We’re out of the deal.

Q We’re out.

AMBASSADOR BOLTON: We’re out of the deal. We’re out of the deal.

Q Are we out of the deal?


The next day the Washington Post published an op-ed by Bolton. Its opening sentence is:

On Tuesday, President Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the failed Iran nuclear deal.

The August 6 2018 Executive Order 13846 which reintroduced U.S. sanctions on Iran says:

I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, in light of my decision on May 8, 2018, to cease the participation of the United States in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action of July 14, 2015 (JCPOA), [...] hereby order: [...]

Just six weeks ago the U.S. special representative for Iran Brian Hook reconfirmed that the U.S. is outside of the deal and can therefore not trigger the snapback:

Hook appeared, for now at least, to put to rest any speculation that the U.S. could try to step back into the deal, claiming participation despite the pullout, to trigger the snapback.

"We're out of the deal," he said when asked, "and so the countries that are in the deal will make decisions that are in their sovereign capacity."

After all these declarations and confirmations that the U.S. is no longer a participant in the JCPOA the other parties of the deal will certainly not agree with any U.S. argument that claims it is still in:

A senior European diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, dismissed the strategy as pushing the words of the agreement far beyond their logical context.

But the author of the NY Times piece, David Sanger, claims that the strategy could work anyway:

But the administration’s strategy could well work, even if other members of the United Nations ignored the move. At that point, on paper at least, the United Nations would be back to all the sanctions on Iran that existed before Mr. Obama reached the accord with Tehran.

No, it can not work. Only participants of the deal can trigger the snapback process. The U.S. is no longer recognized as such a participant.

Before a snapback can occur there are actually formal processes in the 'Joint Commission' and in the UNSC which must be followed. Those  processes will not happen because the other JCPOA and UNSC members will simply ignore a U.S. attempt to trigger them.

Other members of the deal could still do that though. But the Europeans are unlikely to take the U.S. side on this issue. In January they made noise that they would trigger the Dispute Resolution Mechanism of the JCPAO that ends with sanction snapback because Iran had exceeded some formal limits of the deal. But Iran countered that with arguing that it was still within the deal limits and then threatened to leave the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty should the Europeans follow through.

The Europeans did not want to risk that and have since shut up.

The clown that leads the State Department will have to come up with some better ideas.

Posted by b on April 27, 2020 at 15:38 UTC | Permalink


Whether it will work or not, it rather shows the irrelevance of the other "participants". Which suggests that it could indeed work.

Posted by: rucio | Apr 27 2020 16:00 utc | 1

I'd like to think these were the last gasp moves of a dying empire, sadly plenty of life left in the beast to cause death and chaos for a few more years

Posted by: ramon | Apr 27 2020 16:03 utc | 2

this gives new meaning to the term 'non negotiable'... i guess it was issued by a schizophrenic... no offense to the schizophrenic and i hope pompeo is able to get back to his church service in kansas soon enough.. he has a lot of praying to catch up on, like praying for an order of bleach for his boss, lol...

Posted by: james | Apr 27 2020 16:07 utc | 3

The US exists in a post truth/reality bubble. They believe their own exceptionalist propaganda and have therefore lost contact with reality and are now swimming in a sea of lies. They have no concept of what it means to enter or exit an agreement. They are non-agreement capable.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 27 2020 16:13 utc | 4

In reality, the JCPOA was and is dependent on American participation. The fact that other parties "adhered" to the provisions of the deal is in my opinion irrelevant and of no practical effect. The irrelevance of the EU, Russia or China is made obvious by the fact that none of them could counter Mr Trump's "maximum pressure" on Iran or even address the illegal nature of the American policy. If the US government decides to pull a stunt as detailed in the article above, all the other so-called powers will fall into line and betray Iran again.

Posted by: Jay | Apr 27 2020 16:25 utc | 5

Iran should sign a peace deal with the Israelis. If you travel around Iran as i have, you soon find that the average Iranian has zero interest with their leadership's obsession with what has long since become primarily a Sunni Muslim cause, and in fact deeply resent the detrimental effect it has on them. Iran has plenty of other regional commitments to it's wider Shia community and only loses from their position on the issue.
It would also benefit the Palestinian cause because major regional powers have pulled back from engagement as they don't want to be on the same side as Iran. Iran's position seems to be great news for all their enemies, and a disaster for themselves. The strategical idiocy is plain as day to all but the eccentric zealots at the top.

Iran has the largest Jewish community in the Middle East outside Israel and would benefit hugely from a change of direction. As would Lebanon and Syria who live in a perpetual state of unnecessary antagonism.

Posted by: Glasshopper | Apr 27 2020 16:42 utc | 6

War is inevitable before the election, both for the chaos it will cause and to increase the price of oil. Even Biden knows that Trump is goiing to cancel the election. The war wil be his main excuse.

Posted by: RenoDino | Apr 27 2020 16:42 utc | 7

!! a "deal" with "Not Agreement-Capable" entity.

... is that akin to the portion of a George Carlin comedy sketch ?

"From 1778 to 1871, the United States government
entered into more than 500 treaties with
the Native American tribes;
all of these treaties have since been violated
in some way or outright broken by the US government,

while at least one treaty was violated
or broken by Native American tribes."

Posted by: Mµ | Apr 27 2020 16:54 utc | 8

@ 8 glasshopper.. but i think it is israel (who bombed damascus the past 24 hours and killed a few more innocent people) that needs to change direction, and that looks extremely unlikely being the fanatics they are...

Posted by: james | Apr 27 2020 16:59 utc | 9

The EU rapprochement with Iran is all about the huge market the EU wants. Their interest in the JCPOA was always about Iran developing, and the EU benefiting for its trade and investment potential.

Crippling Iran again with snapback sanctions certainly would end Iran-EU relations for a decade or longer.

With the EU economy in the toilet due to the pandemic, now more than ever the EU needs Iran free of sanctions, not laden with crippling new ones.

Only one country benefits from the economic strangulation of Iran--Israel.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Apr 27 2020 17:07 utc | 10

In these times of memory holes, sometimes it pays to remember:

As much as I'd like to be optimistic that justice might actually be served for both Epstein and his myriad clients/co-conspirators, I think the powers-that-be will again squash this - or liquidate Epstein - before things get out of hand for them.

The American justice system has been corrupted in much the same way the political system has been, and it's primary objective is to protect the rulers from the common folk, not to actually deliver true justice.

I'll watch with anticipation, but I haven't had any satisfaction from either a political or justice perspective since at least the 2000 coup d'etat, so I won't hold my breath this time.

Does this seem precient?

Posted by: Huginn | Apr 27 2020 17:16 utc | 11


You have got to be a paid to be putting to be putting that shit up here. US doesn't accept peace deals.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 27 2020 17:17 utc | 12

Economist Michael Hudson explains how American imperialism has created a global free lunch, where the US makes foreign countries pay for its wars, and even their own military occupation.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Apr 27 2020 17:22 utc | 13

Posted by: Glasshopper | Apr 27 2020 16:42 utc | 8

"Iran has the largest Jewish community in the Middle East outside Israel and would benefit hugely from a change of direction. As would Lebanon and Syria who live in a perpetual state of unnecessary antagonism."

Shit! Iran, Palestine, Syria - who imposed sanctioned, more sanctions, bombed and more bombs.... did the Americunt or the Israeli .....?? Iran should sign a peace deal with the Israelis. Nope, Iran should drop a nuclear bomb on Israeli

Posted by: JC | Apr 27 2020 17:24 utc | 14

Re:#8 Glasshopper,

Israel's idea of peace with Iran is a knife at the throat of every Iranian and a jackboot on the neck of every Palestinian. There is no peace under such terms, only the pretext for the next war. Iran's stance towards Israel and the US are the logical and rational response to the irrational regional ambitions of the US & Israeli political elite.

With respect to the Palestinians, their mainstream leadership is hopelessly corrupt and are more interested in BMWs than the plight of their own people, so any "Peace Plan" they would support I would immediately suspect. In another 5-8 years (whenever the 84yr old Abbas kicks off) I suspect Hamas will totally replace the PA throughout Palestine and PA control will be in name only, once that happens we'll see some movement on the ground towards some sort of peace agreement, especially if the US has been expelled from Iraq and the Axis of resistance (Syria, Iran & Iraq) are in a position to start pushing back against. The coming economic crisis will hurt Israel far more than Iran/Syria/Iraq as their main financial backer, the US, is looking at a prolonged multi-faceted economic/political/domestic/fiscal crisis and will be forced into a less proactive position.

It's possible that the US will respond to it's various crises by being even more aggressive, but that will just weaken it further in the long run, making the "logic" of any sort of peace deal under the current situation, even more suspect. In short, the US can delay the change in regional power structures for a few years but it can't prevent it and it's efforts will only make the price it pays once that change occurs more steep.

Posted by: Kadath | Apr 27 2020 17:30 utc | 15

Live by Unilateralism; die by Unilateralism. Pompeo barks orders to the planet's nations but most of those nations no longer listen as they have other more pressing problems. The Parasitic Nations will soon experience a second viral wave of infection as their austerity addled populations demand to break from medical/scientific reasoning to get back to work so they don't starve, fall further into debt, or get evicted. Taking an inventory of where the Outlaw US Empire stands come this July 4 will present an picture whose caption we can now only guess at.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 27 2020 17:31 utc | 16

Re: #22 Glasshopper,

Politics makes strange bedfellows and Hamas doesn't need to be a formal ally of Iran, Syria and Iraq to benefit to benefit from their alliance. In fact, the existence of a powerful alliance arrayed against Israel immediately puts pressure on Israel to make a peace agreement with Hamas to secure their southwestern flank (imagine the chaos of a simultaneous missile war with Iran/Syria/Iraq on the East/North with Hamas on the Southwest. Regional power dynamics are pushing Israel into a weaker and weaker position

Posted by: Kadath | Apr 27 2020 17:50 utc | 17

Sorrie, I retract comment "Nope, Iran should drop a nuclear bomb on Israeli". What I meant to say, Iran should bombs Israeli nuclear bombs storage sites. It's no secret Israel has nuclear bombs, they should be eliminated at all cost... sorrie again.

Posted by: JC | Apr 27 2020 17:53 utc | 18

Thanks b.

The U.S. has been spooked by Iran's launch of its military satellite last Wednesday April 22nd, which gives them three legs up. U.S. is left scrambling.

Pompeo should be told you can't be a little pregnant.

The U.S. rescinded its signature upon unilaterally withdrawing from JCPOA and then their re-imposing sanctions sealed the reciliation of membership. So Pompeo's proposition is a non-starter:


Trump administration officials are reportedly mulling a resolution that would prohibit other countries from exporting conventional arms to Iran after the current ban expires in October. In order for this resolution to circumvent opposition from Russia and China, Pompeo's team has allegedly come up with a plan in which the White House would claim that, legally, the US is still a part of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

This could mean that, in the event that the arms embargo is not renewed, the US could enforce it from the position of a signatory, allowing the White House to restore sanctions previously imposed on Tehran before the 2015 accord was signed.[.]

love Iran's response:

Zarif Tells Pompeo to Stop Dreaming About Return to JCPOA After Failing to Bring Iran to Its Knees


On Sunday, US media reported that Secretary of State Pompeo was preparing to argue that Washington was actually still a party to the agreement.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called on the US secretary of state “stop dreaming” amid reports that the US was planning to make the convoluted legal case to the UN that Washington was still part of the JCPOA for the purposes of applying new sanctions against Iran.

“2 years ago, @SecPompeo and his boss declared ‘CEASING US participation’ in the JCPOA, dreaming that their ‘maximum pressure’ would bring Iran to its knees. Given that policy’s abject failure, he now wants to be a JCPOA participant. Stop dreaming: the Iranian Nation always decides its destiny,” Zarif tweeted, accompanying his post with screenshots of US documents confirming America’s withdrawal from the nuclear agreement."

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 27 2020 17:54 utc | 19

Glasshopper - your argument is basically - leave the Palestinians to deal with their conquerors on their own. Many of whom (extremist settlers) think that they have a God-given right to the land and its ok to kill Palestinians in order to take it. OK. But don't argue that it makes sense for Palestinians to do so.

Posted by: mpn | Apr 27 2020 17:55 utc | 20

.. preparing a legal argument that the United States remains a participant in the Iran nuclear accord that President Trump has renounced..

Gotta say, even Al-anfal 58 onwards didn't account of such skullduggery! Just igonre the bully - it works for the individual, it will work for the state!

Posted by: Ilya G Poimandres | Apr 27 2020 18:07 utc | 21

Re: 28 Glasshopper,

Israel's missile strikes accomplish nothing, they blow up a few truckload of weapons which are immediately replaced. three years ago they sent warplanes into Syrian airspace to attack targets on a almost daily basis, now, they stay outside the air space lob a few missiles. Again, these accomplish nothing, Syria's military position gets stronger. Ask yourself, what triggered Kushner's disastrous Middle East peace plan failure after almost 12 years of inactivity. The Trump administration recognizes that Israel's position is deteriorating and they are desperate for an grand bargain that can stabilize and legitimize the unsustainable positions that Israel has taken. Again, ask yourself why did the Trump Administration recognize the illegal annexations of the Golan Heights (and the coming annexation of the Jordan valley), the US was perfectly happy to ignore these issues for 40+yrs and now they decide to recognize it and shout it out to the world? These signs of weakness and decline, they fear that they can not holds these possessions in the near future so they make a show proclaiming their control of it. It will only make their humiliation more public when they are forced to relinquish it. Ignore the noise and focus on the trends and the trends are building upon themselves against the Empire of Chaos

Posted by: Kadath | Apr 27 2020 18:27 utc | 22

The oddest thing about this is the confidence that the ploy "may well work."

Posted by: jayc | Apr 27 2020 19:07 utc | 23

If you travel around Iran as i have, you soon find that the average Iranian has zero interest with their leadership's obsession

Posted by: Glasshopper | Apr 27 2020 16:42 utc | 8

If you travelled round Iran, as I did last year, you obviously failed to understand why the regime is still in power. Yes, hotel receptionists, whom you may have met, are anti-regime. The working class, though, continue to support them. If you haven't worked it out, it's a populist regime, much like that of Trump, and for much the same reasons.

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 27 2020 19:09 utc | 24

Glasshopper -

Assuming you are not a hasbara/jewish troll, I'll try to explain to you why making concessions with a really Aggressive Enemy right in your backyard, is a losing strategy.

Iran, unlike China, Japan and Germany (who have experienced "stability" by surrendering to the US/Israel mafia), is geographically speaking, right next to Israel. Unless you want your country to become an Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, or Syria, you have to take a more antagonistic stance or you are asking to be steamrolled by your enemy.

Putting aside Geography, Jewish culture says that peace with an enemy is having your enemy subjugated and enslaved. Why in the world would Iran, a proud ancient nation ever agree to be in such a position lol? Russia, China and even non-entities like Cuba and the Philippines resist such a foreign notion to them. It is the germans, and the Euro-wierdos that (like blonde-wigged prostitutes) are willing to close their eyes to "make peace" under such terms. With that said there is signs even they are waking up

Posted by: Im_Not_Retarded | Apr 27 2020 19:14 utc | 25

Background reading on Pompeo and his mafia.

This is part of Tom's description of the Article on Pompeo, Esper and the gang of 1986 (west pointers). They are well embedded.
In fact, one class from West Point, that of 1986, from which both Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo graduated, is essentially everywhere in a distinctly militarized (if still officially civilian) and wildly hawkish Washington in the Trumpian moment.
In case you missed it the first time, I repeat this link from the beginning of April,

Red Ryder | Apr 27 2020 17:07 utc | 14

One addition there. The EU lost "market share" in Iran due to US sanctions. (As they did with Russia). What they would like to do is to get it back. (France was one of the bigger losers)

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 27 2020 19:17 utc | 26

Before any aggression, the United States want Iran to be hermetically sealed with sanction just like Iraq was before our invasion. Everybody knows the US's intentions because we've seen it before. There will be NO domestic support for war on Iran as Americans die due to no public healthcare and massive unemployment and poverty. Iran and the Middle East view a war on Iran as an Israeli wet dream. Israel is viewed as the intellectual author of aggression against Iran, and Iran will respond appropriately. So, is AIPAC willing to get Israel destroyed? Is AIPAC on a suicide mission? Looks that way.

Posted by: El Cid | Apr 27 2020 19:24 utc | 27


You are mistaken in your assessment: In a sense that it is not Iran actively promoting a forward/aggressive strategy towards Israel, it is the other way around.

Israel's fundamental doctrine is based on "I am alone in the region and my only way of surviving is if the balance of power is in my favor".

This can only be accomplished for her, self-defined as the Eternal State for Jewish People but lacking historical background and strategic depth, by handful of means. Two among the most obvious being: (1) A permanent need to have a deterrent no one could have, even at the threshold stage (2) Divide them so we can rule them.

This is fundamentally the modus operandi of Israel as a state in the region. After having divided and weakened the Arab states, the time for the aggressive politics towards external powerful peripheric States have started since sometimes, Iran is first on line and to a lesser degree Turkey.

As for Iran, a sovereign independent state under permanent siege by adversaries, it will be sheer madness to lower its guard and to recognize the legitimacy of an enemy ultimately targeting its power and sovereignty. A best historical example for such a mistake was PLO and Arafat.

Dope on a rope is the best and most likely the winning strategy for Iran: long-term Israel cannot win with permanent war as a tool. And, some would say her existence as a Jewish state is under question because of this essential and inherent contradiction.

Posted by: ATH | Apr 27 2020 19:26 utc | 28

There are some Americans with Israeli passports just as a bit of Russians. What's your point.....that Israel is strong because of this alliance?

The benefit for Palestine and Iran is simple....alot countries thought they could siege mode their enemies, though half true, but this has made their enemies reliant even without nuclear options. This is something that is hard to reverse. This is something Israel should know well since it did the same move when it was young.

Many laugh and compare Iran with Iraq. If so make the first move. Since Israel is supposed stronger day by day. On the contrary, both countries have hurt themselves but Iran a little better since just like Israel, it can now survive the full brunt of the sanctions albeit with help from large players.

Posted by: jason | Apr 27 2020 19:27 utc | 29

@Glasshopper (8). Israel’s right wing leaders need an external enemy to rally the support of their own population and to distract from the depredations of the Occupation. If there were no Iran, Israel would have to invent it.

Posted by: Rob | Apr 27 2020 19:29 utc | 30

@ #8 Grasshopper

Israel and Saudi Arabia are de facto allies aiming to carve up the entire Middle East between them. Forget about Sunni / Shia / Hebrew, that is a manufactured excuse to war for resources (oil first, then water).

Proof? Mutual “enemies” (oil-rich Iran and Syria, which is the nexus for pipelines) and mutual ally (Uncle Sam). Also not a single complaint from Israel over the $100b US-Saudi Arms deal. As to Palestine, that is a human rights issue and has no weight because water is not recognized as a strategic resource (yet).

Posted by: Noah Way | Apr 27 2020 19:38 utc | 31


I am not sure the receptionist in the hotel being anti-regime is a correct argument here. I would venture to say that only around 10% to 20% percent of the population actively despise the political order and maybe only 1% is ready to go into direct action against it. On the other hand you most likely have around 20% of the population ready to put its life in the balance to defend the current order. The 50 to 60% in between are like any other country: In France, "je m'en foutiste"; in the US "not registered / not voters". For those 50%ers, the ones you encounter the most when travelling in a country, they flip-flop between voting, not voting, going to Soleimani funeral, not going to Friday prier, trying to please a foreigner by bad-mouthing the regime so maybe they can get more tips etc... In general those are the folks which will follow the lead and whatever they think it's in their interests, currently the clear majority of the population in Iran is in favor of the existing political order and this has nothing to do with populism.

Posted by: ATH | Apr 27 2020 19:43 utc | 32

I guess when an administration has shown over and over again that it does not respect, international law, domestic law, the US constitution, logic, meaning or the English Language then it can say anything and do anything.

Posted by: RT | Apr 27 2020 19:56 utc | 33

Re: Glasshopper 33

Russian ties to Israel are real but they are not the overwhelming focus of the Russian State like they are with the US. Rather these ties are simply another diplomatic tool for the Russian state. Russia would not coming running to Israel's rescue if it was attacked (if the US was unable too) anymore than they would come to Iran's rescue if the US were to attack it. Rather Russia, would offer it's services as an impartial negotiator, someone who has ties with all parties to the conflict (Syria, Iran, Iraq and Israel) to try to resolve a possible conflict with a minimum of bloodshed and chaos (a position the US is simply incapable of performing, it has no relationship with Syria or Iran).

the US (and Israel, Iran, Iraq & Syria) are all well aware of this fact that Russia is the natural negotiating partner for any wide-ranging peace agreement in the region. Iran, Syria & Iraq and building up their relationship with Russia to make them more positively disposed to them. Israel however it tied to the US and their mutual hostile policies towards Syria & Iran which are undermining US/Israel relations with Russia (remember the Russian communication plane Israel destroyed during their air strike 2 years ago, The Russian military explicitly blamed Israel for the shoot down and forced Israel to end their air incursions into Syrian airspace as the price for this action and then they increased their military aid to Syria). in this case Israel weakened their relationship with Russia and strengthen Russian ties to Iran & Syria, in international relations costs are rarely apparent at first, rather the costs are seen in how other actors respond to those actions which occurs over years. Again, Israel's desperate attempts to forestall the end of the Syrian War only served to strengthen Russia's relation with the Axis of Resistance but when the negotiations begin to create a real peace in the Middle East that when the real cost of Israel's actions will become apparent as Russia will remember Israel actions.

As for the Palestinians, as I said their leadership is garbage, until they change the leadership to something more competent it doesn't matter what regional powers do, because incompetent leadership will make incompetent decisions and will not be able to proactively grasp or develop diplomatic openings. Based on their prior experience I see no evidence that the PA leadership will suddenly become expert diplomatic operatives and "shape" regional power dynamics for the Palestinian people. They will remain passive passengers on the tide of regional geopolitics until they have better leadership (whatever that leadership is).

As for the Iranian people, they benefit by refusing what the US & Israel currently offering (let us be clear, the Americans are offering the Iranian people nothing more than slavery as a vassal state). The Americans had a chance to change what they were offering, it was called the JCPOA, but the Americans decided they wanted it all or nothing, so they broke the agreement and proved to the Iranian government (and dare I say most of the Iranian people) that the Americans were not honest negotiating partners. Thus it doesn't matter what the Iranians people would prefer, the Americans have thrown down the gauntlet and in the old traditions of the Melian Dialogue have told the Iranians to embrace slavery or death.

Posted by: Kadath | Apr 27 2020 19:56 utc | 34

The most important element is that Trump doesn't like wars. A big bang, over in one night, is fine, suits his personality. But if the war continues...that's a problem. He would prefer the classic American tactic of sanctions. A war against Iran would not be over in one night, indeed could last some time, as his military advisors are warning him. So the only solution is to try to wind up the sanctions, to achieve regime change. The religious regime are still there, after 40 years, because they are still supported by the religious working class. The so-called Green Revolution of 2009 was an example of that. It failed, because it was not popularly supported. The middle and upper classes are nationalist, and anti-Islam. The lower classes are religious.

Indeed, the situation is much the same as in early Islam. Present-day upper class commentators, who cleave to Sasanian nationalist pre-Islamic ideals, can't understand how it was that Iran gave way so easily to Islam. The answer is easy. Before Islam, the upper class didn't pay taxes, and everything was on the backs of the peasants. The egalitarian call of Islam was attractive.

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 27 2020 19:57 utc | 35

"The Iranians are not helping the Palestinians one iota. They are splitting the opposition."

Whoever has been helping Hezbollah has been helping the Palestinians. And whoever has been holding Syria together, despite the pressure of the imperialists and their sunni-state puppets, has also been helping the Palestinians by bringing some kind of balance into regional power calculations.

It is imperative that Iran continues not only to provide political support to the Palestinian cause but to democratise the Gulf, to the extent of bringing about the demise of the autocracies, and the Arabian world generally.

Israel has already exerted its maximum influence. The power of the United States is rapidly fading. The country is on the eve of a massive social crisis, as its ruling class fails even to understand the extent of the system's failure. (There will be no war to divert attention from the crisis.) And Israel will be left to solve its own problems as its 'allies' find themselves increasingly pre-occupied with real problems.
Supporting Israel and building it up as an imperialist base has been part of an era in which the empire was hegemonic and thus able to define international events in terms of domestic politics.
That era has ended. The USA is still powerful but it is no longer anything more than one of the major participants in geopolitical competition. Even to maintain its position it is going to have to do, what other powers have done and concentrate its resources on its real needs.
Israel is nobody's real need. Zionism is a philosophical oddity stranded by the tides of history, a mid Victorian nonsense entirely composed of racism and silly ideas about human inequality. Israel has one choice, to divest itself of its fascist government and its fascistic culture and seek accommodation within the neighbourhood or to wither away as its population emigrates leaving only the committed fascists to play with Armageddon.
Long before that happens the imperialists will have taken its weapons away from it.

It may very well be the case that the ordinary Iranian is no more committed to fighting on behalf of Palestinians than the average American is committed to risking all, or anything, for the sake of Israel. But Iran's commitment to Palestine is a powerful political statement and one that counters the divisive tactics of the wahhabis and their imperial friends. Iran has taken up the mantle that Nasser briefly wore, in the vanguard of a muslim and Arab nationalist movement. This makes it very difficult for the sunni tyrants actually to commit forces to defend Israel or attack Iran. Their duplicity is a measure of their own weakness.
Does anyone imagine that the pro-Israeli policies pursued by the Sauds are actually popular? The Gulf and Saudi policies of sucking up to Israel are far more damaging to them than Iran's stance is to it.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 27 2020 20:11 utc | 36

Working class Iranians have no reason to support the Palestinian cause,

Posted by: Glasshopper | Apr 27 2020 19:40 utc | 44

Certainly true, but then who really supports Israel and the US attack on Iran? It's not an important issue, at best, in the US.

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 27 2020 20:18 utc | 37

currently the clear majority of the population in Iran is in favor of the existing political order and this has nothing to do with populism.

Posted by: ATH | Apr 27 2020 19:43 utc | 45

Well, it is populism, in the sense of appeal to the lower classes, as against the upper class order. Otherwise I agree with you.

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 27 2020 20:28 utc | 38

@jay , glasshopper

Until they don't...

Posted by: donten | Apr 27 2020 20:48 utc | 39

bevin @49--

Excellent assessment. IMO, the average Iranian's political education is sophisticated enough to understand and support his government's stance on Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Saudi, and the Great Satan. My only objection, bevin, is your assumption that "the imperialists will have taken its weapons [of mass destruction] away from it," which I don't see likely at all. Perhaps when Occupied Palestine is on the verge of becoming Palestine some such attempt might be made. May I live long enough to witness such an event!

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 27 2020 21:23 utc | 40

I think it's important to note that Israel's own deep ambitions have been destroyed with the loss of Crimea. The current Zionists no longer have that option of departing the Mediterranean and the Euro-Atlanticists and moving to the Black Sea and Eurasia.

It was a dream they cherished and schemed over for many decades, and almost pulled off once in the time of Stalin, but he thwarted them in the end. No need to speak of the second - and final - thwarting, by Putin in 2014.

It will presumably take the Zionists a long time to understand that the current Israel is where they will actually have to make their stand.

I suspect they are still in the denial stage of grief.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 27 2020 21:54 utc | 41

David Sanger, the NY Times "reporter" who claims that this gambit could work, is largely a fraud, sort of akin to the infamous Michael Gordon and Judith Miller--both of the fall 2002 fables about WMDs in Iraq. Gordon remained at the NYT until the fall of 2017.

Posted by: Jay | Apr 27 2020 22:19 utc | 42

"Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is preparing a legal argument"...

Oh, a LEGAL argument? In that case the articles of the Vienna Convention On The Law Of Treaties is going to be our friend.

Article 31(b) prohibits any legal argument that leads to a result that "is manifestly absurd or unreasonable".

Granted that the JCPOA is not a treaty, as such. But it is an international agreement, and that nobody disputes.
Just as nobody disputes that the Vienna Convention is the codification of what had hitherto been accepted as International Customary Law.

LEGALLY-speaking - as we are, apparently - Pompous has handed his lawyers a task that they would call "a hopeless brief".

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 27 2020 22:48 utc | 43

@35 jayc "The oddest thing about this is the confidence that the ploy 'may well work.' "

Nah, to my mind the oddest thing is that Bolton was aware that withdrawing from the agreement meant forgoing the right to participate in the snap-back of UN-mandated sanctions, and simply didn't care.

Aren't these Presidential Advisors supposed to be, you know, professionals? Or at the very least..... smart?

Obviously not, and now we can add First-In-His-Class Blubberboy to the list of laughable dumb-asses.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 27 2020 23:00 utc | 44

The US is very good at making enemies and loosing friends, simply due to their treatment of other nations in the same manner they treat their domestic population.

Posted by: Dick | Apr 27 2020 23:08 utc | 45

Glasshopper @ 22 said in part;"Hamas is a Sunni fundamentalist organisation that supports the headchoppers in Syria."

That's empire/Israel's view all right, but then, others feel differently;

"‘Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared at the United Nations in 2014. Yet better than anyone else, Netanyahu and the Israeli political establishment know that Hamas and Daesh are not related, as do those Arab regimes that also tar all Islamic movements with the same brush to serve their own ends."


Posted by: ben | Apr 28 2020 0:10 utc | 46

@49 Bevin. Great post.

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 28 2020 0:28 utc | 47

Grieved @ 54:

Stalin might have thwarted Zionist ambitions in the past but Nikita Khrushchev went some way in giving hope when he arbitrarily decided to make Crimea part of Ukraine. This decision was never put to the vote in the Supreme Soviet in 1954, for obvious reason: the legislators would never have agreed to pass it.

What motivated Khrushchev to make such a decision will perhaps never be known, though I know this may have been much discussed in past MoA comments forums or other comments forums I have visited. The water pipeline reason (water was being piped to Crimea from Russia through Ukraine, and making Crimea part of Ukraine helped simplify the administrative paperwork and communication) has been discussed as has also the possibility that Khrushchev wanted to thwart separatist tendencies in Ukraine - the CIA and MI6 had agents including the notorious Stepan Bandera active in western Ukraine at the time - by adding Crimea with its population of people identifying as Russian to the Soviet Republic.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 28 2020 0:29 utc | 48

Odin's Raven @ 4:

"While I don't think this will work, it doesn't surprise me that Pompeo would try it. Has anyone heard from Mike D'Andrea lately? ..."

Sorry, here in Sydney I am under shutdown conditions so I have been unable to gather together myself and at least three other participants to participate in a ouija board session to contact him.

BTW has anyone heard from those 100 US soldiers said to have suffered from "brain trauma" at Ayn al Assad airbase when Iran lobbed some missiles there back in January after General Qassem Soleymani's assassination?

Posted by: Jen | Apr 28 2020 0:33 utc | 49

Wendy Sherman said it could "succeed", what do you have to say about that?

Posted by: Mahyar | Apr 28 2020 0:36 utc | 50

Glasshopper @ 28 and elsewhere:

It was Syria who requested Russia to intervene in its war against ISIS and ISIS' foreign supporters in the US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and about 30 - 40 other nations around the planet. Israel was also a supporter of ISIS by giving wounded ISIS and other jihadi fighters medical and hospital treatment.

Israel did itself no favours by encouraging its fighter jets to take radar cover under the Ilyushin reconnaissance plane (in itself a war crime) that led Syrian missile defence forces to hit that plane and kill several Russian military personnel back in September 2018. As a result, the Russian military promptly began sending S-300 missile defence systems to Syria. What Israel most feared - Syria having effective defence systems to combat Israeli air incursions - ended up coming to pass.

I should think it is very possible to travel around Iran many times and meet people from certain socioeconomic layers or particular backgrounds, talk to them and come back with a skewed impression that what they believe in is typical of the whole population.

I know a Sydney University lecturer who has made a number of trips to Iran - he runs a travel agency that specialises in trips to the Middle East and Central Asia - and he seems quite convinced that everyone there is opposed to the current government in its current form. As Laguerre has said elsewhere, it is possible that the people the lecturer speaks to have twigged that he has his own views, and they are probably too polite to correct him, else they might not get any return business from him or his tour group students.

People from the working class and other similar groups may support the Iranian government because among other things they bore the brunt of the Iran-Iraq war during the 1980s and as such they and their families qualify for charity and other forms of assistance from the IRGC and other major government organisations through the bonyads (charities and trust organisations) that run factories and various other enterprises providing employment. People who fled Iran during the war or sent their children away won't qualify for such assistance and they are the ones who are suffering from the Rouhani government's neoliberal economic policies.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 28 2020 0:56 utc | 51

@ 54 Grieved and @ 62 Jen - you piqued my interest. I just looked Crimea up in my copy of Khrushchev Remembers. Page 260 "Once the Ukraine had been liberated, a paper was drafted by members of the Lozovsky committee. It was addressed to Stalin and contained a proposal the the Crimea be made a Jewish Soviet Republic within the Soviet Union after the deportation from the Crimea of the Crimean Tatars. Stalin saw behind this proposal the hand of American Zionists operating through the Sovinformbureau. The Committee members, he declared, were agents of American Zionism. They were trying to set up a Jewish state in the Crimea in order to wrest the Crimea away form the Soviet Union and to establish an outpost of American imperialism on our shores which would be a direct threat to the security of the Soviet Union."

Posted by: lex talionis | Apr 28 2020 1:00 utc | 52

I dunno why so many are engaging with the hasbara troll. Of course he/she claims to support the Palestinian cause, that is what trolls do pretend to be acting outta the best interests of their enemies while they attempt to cut away support.
Most of MoA readers will remmber the 1980's when some of us were working to free the people of South Africa. The line being pushed by the hasbara troll here is almost identical to the line BOSS (bureau of state security) agents used to try on at meetings and through the media. "Get away from the ANC their radicalism & terrorism prevents a change, Inkatha (the zulu political movement which cut deals with the boer and betrayed the non-tribal, non-racial ANC many times). The communists, in particular Cuba, will destroy Africa. As we know now where hundreds of Cuban doctors & nurses have been dispatched across Africa to assist with Covid 19, Cuba has always been one of Africa's most reliable partners.
Israel using scum such as this troll tried to keep white minority rule as they were profiting from the rape of Africa instigated by the zionist deBeers organisation & even detonated nuclear weapons to the detriment of South Africa's indigenous population.
Lie cheat rape steal, the basic moves of apartheid israel.
The hasbara troll keeps talking of divide and rule to draw attention away from his own efforts in that regard. Ignore him leave him under the bridge picking the scabs off his well worn arsehole as he has nothing in the least interesting useful or relevant to say and spews destructive propaganda.

Posted by: A User | Apr 28 2020 1:05 utc | 53

@67 A User

I must admit I was actually astonished to read this thread and see how many people jumped into dialog with what was actually pure noise. It was kinda worth it just to get that great assessment from bevin, but everyone could easily have made their own comments to stand alone without referencing the troll directly. Now he can claim X number of interactions and make a greater score. And of course he polluted the stream we all drink from.

It bewilders me why people do this.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 28 2020 1:20 utc | 54

As regards Iran's support for Palestine, there is a lot to be said about Khomeini's view of 'moral power'. He has disavowed developing nuclear arms, declaring that it is incompatible with Islam, and to do so would make Iran no different from the imperialist US. As I interpret this: if you cannot overcome the US with military power, then you must retain what sets you apart -- moral power. This is consistent with Iran's international stance as a defender of the oppressed.

There is also a story told by General Soleimani, who recounted that they had arrested a terrorist after luring him with an invitation, after which Khomeini immediately ordered Soleimani to free the terrorist, citing the Koran as saying that no guest who is invited can be treated with discomfort (not unlike the taboo of the "Red Wedding"); at the same time, Khomeini also said that the terrorist must be caught, and they did indeed arrest him several years later without resorting to deception.

From these anecdotes and what we know about Iran's foreign policy, we have to take seriously Khomeini's views about moral power. It garners international support in the region, and it wins wars -- for morale derives from moral power. A country under the economic siege of sanctions cannot survive and stand strong without this moral power, which furnishes a relentless resolve.

Posted by: occupatio | Apr 28 2020 1:37 utc | 55

Sorry b but you have forgotten the UK. The F'd them selves leaving the EU and now have to get on their hands and knees to beg the US for a life line. The price will be the UK doing Iran dirty at the UNSC. Trump knows a useful idiot when he sees one and Boris applied for the job. Beside it isn't like the rest of the EU like France and Germany have any morals. They traded what is left of Palestine away to avoid tariffs on their cars. The snap back provisions will come back and then Russia and China will ignore them.

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Apr 28 2020 2:15 utc | 56

The US is correct on this issue.

It has not left the agreement. It has simply not fulfilled its obligations under the terms. Two very different things.

The only way to thwart it is by a veto in the UNSC.

Posted by: jiri | Apr 28 2020 4:17 utc | 57

Posted by: A User | Apr 28 2020 1:05 utc | 67

As an ex. South African whose parents were targeted by the CID during that period I'd like to thank you for your service. Some of us might remember the Immorality Act of 1960s ...
The State of Israel today is a reminder of that dark period me and those like me lived through, nothing can convince us that this is how the world was intended to be.

Posted by: Arch | Apr 28 2020 4:22 utc | 58

@jiri #75

The United States announced its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the "Iran nuclear deal" or the "Iran deal", on May 8, 2018.

This document discusses the legal rationale for the US withdrawal from tje JCPOA in detail:

Since when does announcing your "withdrawal" from a contract NOT mean "leaving the agreement" ?

Posted by: Arch | Apr 28 2020 5:12 utc | 59

So America wants to rejoin the very same JCPOA nuclear deal that it left ... so it can manipulate a pretext for imposing more sanctions on Iran.

American DoubleSpeak and Double Dealing at their finest.

What is hilarious is that the vast hordes of Americans delude themselves that their US Empire is a Force for Good™ in the world and stands for honesty, transparency, and straight talk.

But if you listen closely to when America talks, you can distinctly hear the sound of a snake hissing.

This is the true nature of the United Snakes of America.

Posted by: ak74 | Apr 28 2020 5:47 utc | 60

This tosh attributed to Swampeo is so mawkish, juvenile, and contradictory that I'm wondering why he allowed it to be published?
Second childhood?
Or was he just trying to scare himself?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 28 2020 5:57 utc | 61

@75 jiri "It has not left the agreement. It has simply not fulfilled its obligations under the terms. Two very different things."

I believe the legal description is "a distinction without a difference".

Even if we accept your argument then the inescapable conclusion is that the USA is in "manifest breach" of the JCPOA.

And it is a well-established (indeed, universally-accepted) principle of international law that when one party is in "manifest breach" of an agreement then the other parties to that agreement need not uphold their obligations.

Otherwise everyone ends up in a "gotcha" situation where Party A refuses to, err, party but then gets to be the complainant when Party B returns the favour.

That is a manifestly absurd proposition, and that takes us back to the Vienna Convention On The Law Of Treaties, Article 31(b): treaties can not be interpreted in a way that produces results that are "manifestly absurd".

Either the USA has withdrawn from the JCPOA, in which case it has no standing.
Or the USA is in manifest breach of its obligation, in which case it has no standing.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 28 2020 6:25 utc | 62

Iran should sign a peace deal with the Israelis.
Posted by: Glasshopper | Apr 27 2020 16:42 utc | 8

Some people should stick to what they do well, like hopping on glass. A simple observation: peace deal with "the Israelis" is not possible. Gulfie princes tried. No cigar. They genuinely tried to be nice with Israel, out of "anti-Semitic delusion that Jews control USA". I conjecture that Glasshopper made a similar assumption -- why would Iran consider a "peace deal with the Israelis" if its direct conflict is with USA (and the Gulfies)? How it would help them unless "Jews control USA"?

As a mental experiment, let Grasshopper sketch a putative "deal with Israelis". Kushner plan?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 28 2020 6:26 utc | 63

@70 BraveNewWorld, you haven't added up the numbers correctly. Take China, Russia and Iran out of the equation leaves you with five (including the EU as a whole, which is not a given). Take the USA out as well and it doesn't matter how sycophantic the Europeans are, Pompeo can only muster four votes.

And he needs five to refer the issue to the UNSC.

That's why Pompous wants to waddle his way back in: no matter which way he looks at this, without the USA sitting at the table he is one-short.

John Bolton, the gift that keeps giving.....

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 28 2020 6:36 utc | 64

Actually, I've just read the JCPOA and UNSC Resolution 2231 and neither has any mention of a "majority vote" requirement for a referral to the UNSC for a vote on "snapping back" sanctions. It appears that any one JCPOA participant can refer the issue of alleged non-compliance to the UNSC, provided that they first exhaust the Joint Commission dispute mechanism.

But I do note this in the JCPOA (my bold): "Upon receipt of the notification from the complaining participant, as described above, including a description of the good-faith efforts the participant made to exhaust the dispute resolution process specified in this JCPOA, the UN Security Council, in accordance with its procedures, shall vote on a resolution to continue the sanctions lifting"

Seems to me that there is a procedural "out" there for the UN Secretariat i.e. it may use that highlighted section to decide that the participant is a vexatious litigant whose participation in the Joint Commission was not in good faith, ergo, the UN can refuse to even take receipt of the complaint.

Everything else then becomes moot.

The USA would raise merry-hell, sure, it would. But that would be no more outrageous a ploy by the UN than was the USA's own argument that it can have its cake and eat it too.

After all, if a participant to the JCPOA referred its complaint to the UNSC without first going through the Joint Commission then it is a given that the UNSC is under no obligation to receive that complaint. No question.

So why can't the UNSC also refuse to accept a complaint when it is clear that the complainant has not gone through the Joint Commission process in "good faith"?

One for the lawyers and ambassadors to argue, I would suggest, but it is not a given that the USA can ram this through even if everyone were to agree that it were still a participant in the JCPOA.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 28 2020 7:12 utc | 65

@61 Arch: "This document discusses the legal rationale for the US withdrawal from tje JCPOA in detail"

Arch, the crux of that CRS legal paper boils down to this:
.."under current domestic law, the President may possess authority to terminate U.S. participation in the JCPOA and to re-impose U.S. sanctions on Iran, either through executive order or by declining to renew statutory waivers"..

All the other fluff in that paper is inconsequential compared to this question posed by that quote: can the US claim to be half-pregnant?

I suspect not.

Note that at the time the CRS paper was written (May 2018) it did have a valid point i.e. while Trump *had* refused to re-certify Iranian compliance, he had *not* reimposed US sanctions on Iran, and so the CRS paper could credibly argue that Trump wasn't pregnant, he just talking dirty to the Congress.

But that was then, and this is now, and - as b points out - Executive Order 13846 is the smoking gun because in it Trump is OFFICIALLY stating that he has decided to "cease the participation of the United States in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action".

That EO is clearly the killing blow to Pompeo's nonsense, and even the CRS legal paper you linked to would agree.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 28 2020 7:50 utc | 66

Breaking news about the cancelled Boeing-Embraer merger: Reuters reports that, after Boeing cancelled its planned merger with Brazil's planemaker Embraer, Brazil is now looking for a Chinese partner.

SAO PAULO/BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s Embraer SA said on Monday it had begun an arbitration process against Boeing Co, after the U.S. planemaker abruptly canceled a $4.2 billion deal over the weekend that was years in the making.

The deal’s collapse was not well received by investors who appeared to have hoped until the last minute that the takeover would not fall apart. Boeing shares fell to an 8-year low before paring losses and closing 7.5% lower.

But Brazil’s government, which used to own Embraer and is still the company’s largest military client, took a more upbeat tone. It eyed China as a potential new partner for the planemaker, even as several senior Brazilian government figures have attacked the Chinese government recently.

Brazil’s Vice President Hamilton Mourao, a retired army general, called the turn of events a “blessing in disguise.”

“We have the know-how, they have the demand,” Mourao said of China. “This shows once again that a marriage (with China) needs to continue, because it is an inevitable marriage.”

Posted by: occupatio | Apr 28 2020 9:10 utc | 67


Posted by: occupatio | Apr 28 2020 9:11 utc | 68


I wonder if Glasshopper has really been around Iran. I suspect not, and I get the feeling that he makes his living as a Zionist. Just a guess. Where were his interlocutor Iranis when their countrymen were mourning Soleimani? Were they sitting at home dreaming of the fleshpots of New York and Hollywood? Imam Khomeini did not lead a Shia revolution. It was expressly an Islamic one. A central tenet is that no Shia should hesitate to pray behind a Sunni imam. If Glasshopper is a Jew he will of course not find it easy to understand what religion means to normal humans. Any Muslim will know that Nasrallah is a better reflection of Islam or for that matter, religion, than MbS or any other degenerate beloved of Glasshopper. It's just that Shiaism survives while Sunni variants of Islam have been hugely corrupted by the petro-dollars of the crypto Baghdadi Jews who have taken over Arabia and by the satanic religion that was confected for them by the crypto-Jew Abdul Wahhab.

Posted by: sarz | Apr 28 2020 9:59 utc | 69

"We can't help our own people, but we can sure fuck theirs. Let's do it!"

Posted by: Goober | Apr 28 2020 11:05 utc | 70

As I see it, the historical problem with European fascism has been that when push comes to shove the knife comes out and its either give in to enforced collaboration or take a stabbing, it's your choice. Even if that means helping murder millions of your neighbours or being murdered. As Celan said "Der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland."

The US has been enforcing a morally sanitised Disney Adult version of this old world order since at least the 2003 Supreme Crime of Aggression against Iraq. Sooner or later as this global pandemic, political, and financial crisis unfolds, the US leaders will be forced to choose whether or not the UN is a viable vehicle through which to continue the elite lunatic project for planetary full spectrum dominance of 21st C financial and military affairs.

So I reckon the Pentagon at some point either gets to finally execute the long awaited 'Operation Conquer Persia' or the politicians and their chickenhawk ideologues will back off again and continue the death by a thousand cuts of the last 40 years. I'd probably bet the latter but that's the trouble with genuine psychopaths, push comes to shove they will go for it if they think they'll get away with it.

This last 2 decades has been like watching a reality TV series about a fat drunken psychopath with a bloody knife going around and stabbing people at a party, but now the psycho is starting to stagger and everyone in the house is watchful trying to keep their distance. House rules are that anyone starts an actual fight to the death with the psycho then everyone dies!

I more or less trust that if we ever get there, a multipolar world order won't collapse into outright fascism but we're closer to collapse every year, especially from this year on, and most especially in the Persian Gulf.

Posted by: Zeug | Apr 28 2020 12:29 utc | 72

In current US political system, it is not necessary to propose a valid claim, or proposal or argument - they intend to act from a position of authority. They know where you live.

Posted by: jared | Apr 28 2020 12:44 utc | 73

awesome analogy.

Posted by: arby | Apr 28 2020 14:35 utc | 74

RenoDino @

It's not that easy to cancel an election, even a flawed and hardly legitimate one. And it must be said, revolutions have a tendency to happen in times of war when things are not going well for the participant nations, especially if they have been weakened in respect to their economy as well as the treatment of the 'boots on the ground' lower echelons.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 28 2020 15:04 utc | 75

Sorry, that was "RenoDino @ 8.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 28 2020 15:05 utc | 76

Yes indeed: backing away slowly and arming themselves to the teeth with decent weaponry. It should also be noted that the fat bloody psychopath is getting frantic calls from the home front that the natives are getting restless..... The people at the party must surely have been making their own deals out of earshot so that when the building collapses they have somewhere to go.

Americans (Northern, USAn variety) may not have the strongest background in history, geography, or science but knowing that you are getting phugged is not "IQ dependent". This includes those in the military service. As the virus inspired meltdown gains momentum, whatever fragile "coalition" the USA has dreamed up will fragment. As noted by a poster above: the "deal" was dependent on the USA and it's influence upon vassals to participate. By now every nation on earth understands the meaning of 'not agreement capable'. I highly doubt there will be participation in another round of such bullying.

As far as additional sabre rattling goes: best of luck, USA forces have evolved into an occupation army and the only realistic option is airstrikes. It is clear that this will be countered to a certain degree and then retalliated against. Indeed Iran has already demonstrated this ability in a rather reserved manner. Options have been limited and outcomes potentially disasterous. But one never knows what a drunken psychopath will do....

Posted by: Chevrus | Apr 28 2020 15:51 utc | 77

This is actually a big story to me, because it seems the obvious implication is that the US has ordered its remaining minions in the agreement to proceed with the snap-back sanctions track and has been refused. Why else would the US embarrass itself and try to weasel its way back into the deal if it didn't feel it had to? I would love to know more details about who exactly is refusing to obey the US dictats, and why.

Posted by: J Swift | Apr 28 2020 16:23 utc | 78

@ J Swift

I think you might be into something here.

My guess regarding what might have happened would be something like this:

(1) Right after Soleimani assassination, US asked her allies, still party to the deal, to activate the JCPOA "snap back" mechanism.
(2) Allies procrastinated first and later on came back with some kind of lukewarm and mitigated response: publicly threatening snap-back activation against Iran and privately showing a hesitating stance with the US.
(3) Later the course of events got mixed up with the COV19 pandemic, which convinced and lead Europeans to ask US for the initial positive gesture before they pursue any snap-back activation policy.
(4) This was followed by some politically visible actions, likely coordinated with Rouhani government: publicly asking US through heavy weight intermediaries for de-escalation/"humanitarian" measures and Iran formally requesting $5 B COV19 based loan from IMF.
(5) US administration shut the European idea down by publicly refusing to ease on "humanitarian" and vetoing the IMF request. This had most likely something to do with recent military skirmishes in the Persian gulf.
(6) EU end up abandoning the snap back option, or at least for now.
(7) US advance a plan to activate the snap-back herself as political escalation of "maximum pressure".

Posted by: ATH | Apr 28 2020 17:08 utc | 79

I would add to the above,

the JCPOA October deadline, which calls for the UN sanctions being partially removed on military trade, is correctly considered by the US Administration as a milestone with heavy political damage for her "maximum pressure" policy. If such milestone come to pass, it will show that JCPOA has had at least one beneficial outcome for Iran and will put the latter into political driver seat letting her to stick to the JCPOA and to keep the momentum waiting. This will in the last resort allow the control of the military aspect of the political conflict between US and Iran.

Posted by: ATH | Apr 28 2020 17:25 utc | 80

y one country benefits from the economic strangulation of Iran--Israel.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Apr 27 2020 17:07 utc | 11

This is simply not true.

Iran was producing 6mbp in 1978, it was scheduled to completely renegotiate all its contracts with the oil cartel (the forgotten Seven Sisters).

Countries benefiting from the concerted actions of Iran's "friends and foes" has created the necessary desperation that allows China and India with access to fire-sale contracts. The fabled gas fields are being developed in "partnership" with foreign companies and nations with equity terms (20% for Iranians) pretty much in the same exact ballpark of the equally stupid deals with British empire, including the critical Anglo-Iranian cum BP company.

China and Russia were instrumental in placing Iranians in the 'sanctions box'. It is truly outrageous that Iran is the only country in the world being held to singularly maximal NPT extensions while countries such as India, Israel, and Pakistan don't even get a hand slap.

The same story goes regarding new organizations. SCO still (!) hasn't allowed Iran to become a full member.

Basically anyone who negotiates anything with Iran is holding some trump cards due to these sanctions. Convenient, per kabuki world, to paint US and Israel as the sole beneficiaries but actual consideration of matters, in toto, paints a distinctly different picture.

Posted by: concerned | Apr 28 2020 17:56 utc | 81

to lex T...Khrushchev Remembers is a fascinating book! I just ordered the Ribeiro His Own Man on your recommendation. Thanks. Keep em coming.

For music lovers, the Van Cliburn in Moscow recordings, including his winning, amazing performance of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1, some of them with Khruschev in the audience, are memorable. Slightly off topic I know, but I will claim connectedness by way of the Mariinsky Theatre performance in liberated Palmyra, in memory of the russian soldier who called in bombers on his own location to save the city.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Apr 28 2020 17:57 utc | 82

@84 Miss Lacy - I'll respond on the open thread. I don't want to get anyone mad.

Posted by: lex talionis | Apr 28 2020 18:13 utc | 83

I think if you looked it up in a dictionary, this would appear under the term 'Having your cake and eating it too.'
This is the kind of hubris that the empire still suffers from, all in the neocon infestation called DC. Some day, some one, will disabuse them of the notion. For now it seems glass guy is getting people all rile up in the comment section above.
All those issues mentioned have hashed out ad-infinitum before. S/he is just a getting a rise out of 'yous.' Let it be.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Apr 28 2020 19:39 utc | 84

I don't understand your point sorry..first of all sunni has nothing to do with real anti israel feelings..all the sunnis extremists have always done the job of the zionists primarly because they created them..second it's just the Shia the pain in the ass of the zionists..that's a historical truth..and then why make peace with an illegal occupying state that creates tensions everywhere in the middle east?the zionist cancer doesn't deserve peace.

Posted by: LuBa | Apr 28 2020 21:59 utc | 85

Why can't the Washington regime get some competent professionals who aren't a bunch of ideologues? Why are the cold warriors and capitalist thugs always running the show?

Posted by: Jeff | Apr 29 2020 1:21 utc | 86

@Chevrus 79

"Options have been limited and outcomes potentially disasterous. But one never knows what a drunken psychopath will do...."

Yes, it's long been noted that the US will need tactical nukes to bring authentic 'democratic freedom' to well armed unbelievers ... so decapitation airstrikes against Tehran followed by mass retaliatory missile strikes killing lots of US military sitting ducks in Iraq followed by outrage in the Free World Press and a fascist collapse at home opening up the option for nuclear belligerence as a last ditch 'self defence' against the marauding Islamic hordes ... with total domination of the Persian Gulf as a completely unintended bonus.

I've always thought the Pax Americana will have to go nuclear at some point or just f**k off home, and that actual fascists by simple definition, should they ever gain the ascendancy, will drive that risk right up to the threshold of MAD. It's what Adolf would have done if Heisenburg's team had got there first!

We already live in an Anglo-american world of completely insane double think, and if the fat psycho can domestically get away with bringing out the big guns then why not finally use them like Truman pondered and Churchill politely demanded?

The only problem would be how those Russian and Chinese thugs would react to their Iranian friends having their throats cut ... if and when push comes to shove. No one gave a shit about the Iraqi's for example, or the Palestinians, at least not enough to formally declare war against the global hegemon.

On the upside, that's a scenario for an openly fascist world order and we're not quite there yet! I reckon maybe 2030 we might be good to go?

Posted by: Zeug | Apr 29 2020 3:14 utc | 87

Yeah, Right @ 64

An exception to the hearsay rule in the US Federal Rules of Evidence (F.R.E. 801(c)), which prohibits hearsay (a statement offered as proof of the truth of the matter asserted therein) from being considered as evidence is the “statement against interest.” A statement made by a party that is not in his best interest is allowed to be considered as evidence because people who say things that don’t benefit them are more likely than not to be telling the truth in the statement.

Therefore, if the US makes unambiguous statements that it is out of the JCPOA and that statement is not considered to be in the US interest, the original (repeated) statement that it has withdrawn from the JCPOA is the US true belief about its actual withdrawal from the agreement.

Posted by: pogohere | Apr 29 2020 7:07 utc | 88

@90 pogohere I did not know that, but it makes sense.

I am convinced that Trump's Executive Order 13846 is the death-knell for Pompeo's argument.

The language of that Executive Order is pretty unambiguous, containing as it does the magic words "cease" and "participation".
As in: hard to argue that the USA is still a "participant" after Trump has ordered the USA to "cease" its "participation".

Kudos to Pompeo for trying, but still a fail-mark.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 29 2020 7:41 utc | 89

Zeug 89.

This would make Pentagon,White House and Congress in Washington DC a legitimate target for all countries' militaries that have been suffering the amerikan murdering spree of the last hundred years.I think it will .When China starts taking back Taiwan,and Trump reacts heavily,watch Iran launching their missiles in a humanity saving effort,while american working classes kick out the jams!

Posted by: willie | Apr 29 2020 11:07 utc | 90

I've often wondered about the nuclear option and what the rammafications might be. I agree, there is so much pent up rage world-wide that if that were to happen all the gloves would probably come off. I think the sense of "nothing to loose" so lets hit back with everything we have might take over. Giving a determined population the option of slavery or death is a sure fire way to get an extreme reaction thats for sure....

Posted by: Chevrus | Apr 29 2020 12:31 utc | 91

Iran and US are about the start ww3 by the strating of this year, thanks to god for not letting it to be happen. Actually i hate this year of 2020 it comes up with many problem, this pandemic and thing. Just wish that i can restart this year with all good things and no human verification of the bad people. thanks.

Posted by: Johns Mendel | May 12 2020 10:33 utc | 92

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