Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 21, 2020

U.S. Will Sanction Other Countries For Not Enforcing UN Sanctions That Do Not Exist

Yesterday U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attempted to trigger the 'snapback' of UN sanctions against Iran. He failed.

The snapback option is part of the Dispute Resolution Mechanism that is laid out in article 36 and 37 of the nuclear deal with Iran. The UN Security Council adopted the deal in its resolution 2231. When the U.S. move was first announced we explained in detail why the it would fail and summarized:

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.

The legal argument the U.S. makes to claim a right to trigger the snapback sanctions is bizarre and it does not hold up.

Soon after Pompeo's announcement Russia, China and the EU3 countries Britain, France and Germany as well as Iran rejected the U.S. move. EU High Representative Josep Borrell, who coordinates the Joint Commission that supervises the nuclear deal, declared the U.S. move to be null and void:

I take note of today’s announcement by the US regarding the so-called UN sanctions “snapback mechanism” under UN Security Council resolution 2231.

As I have repeatedly recalled, the US unilaterally ceased participation in the JCPOA by presidential Memorandum on 8 May 2018 and has subsequently not participated in any JCPOA-related activities. It cannot, therefore, be considered to be a JCPOA participant State for the purposes of possible sanctions snapback foreseen by the resolution.

Belgium, which is the UN Security Council "facilitator" of the residual UN sanctions on Iran under UNSC resolution 2231, also rejected the U.S. position.

Pompous may still try procedural tricks at the United Nations to somehow put the issue on the agenda. But other Security Council members are likely to find ways to prevent that.

This is the second time within a week that U.S. attempts against Iran at the United Nations were rejected. Last week the U.S. proposed to prolong an arms embargo against Iran. The current one will run out in October. The move failed:

The US has suffered a humiliating defeat at the United Nations as its proposal to extend an arms embargo on Iran won support from only the Dominican Republic at the security council vote.

The whole attempt to reintroduce sanctions under the nuclear deal has only one purpose:

The Trump administration is not seeking to restore U.N. sanctions because they want to preserve the JCPOA, because it has been their goal all along to kill the agreement and create a pretext for conflict.

The U.S. hopes to pressure Iran until it formally declares the deal dead. That could then give pretext for launching a larger conflict against the country. But as long as the other deal members hold up their commitments Iran is likely to stick to the deal.

The U.S. therefore swings the wrecking ball that it calls foreign policy against anyone who still supports the deal.

The U.S. will now pretend that its illegal move triggered the 30 days period that is foreseen in resolution 2231 before sanctions would come back. In 30 days it will pretend that the UN sanctions are back. After that the U.S. will sanctions those countries which ignore UN sanctions against Iran that do not exist:

The United States will not hesitate to impose sanctions on any nation that opposes its effort to "snapback" United Nations sanctions on Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told "Special Report" Wednesday night.

"When we have seen any country violate our current sanctions, the current American sanctions, we have held every nation accountable for that," Pompeo told host Bret Baier. "We will do the same with respect to the broader U.N. Security Council sanctions as well."

I hope that the U.S. will follow through on this. The more it sanctions left and right for totally irrational reasons the more incentives will other countries have to build mechanisms that make U.S. sanctions ineffective and useless. Russia has already done that and China to some extend. The Europeans should have done this long ago but are only now considering it seriously.

There are also counter measures that could and should be considered. A European tax on digital products would seriously hurt Google, Facebook, Ebay and other U.S. companies. When their profits and stocks drop the Trump administration might learn that wrecking balls have the tendency to swing back.

Posted by b on August 21, 2020 at 16:44 UTC | Permalink

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We are seeing desperate measures taken to keep empire from crashing further and faster. We may be at the point where things where going slowly and then speed up all of a sudden.

I agree that Trump tactics have been like those of a wrecking ball and I don't think he/his handlers care about any coincidental damage.....this game continues to be for control of all the marbles and empire is losing, hence more delusional bullying.

The facets of the civilization war humanity is in will visit and touch every country. The bonds of financial slavery will be broken by this war.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 21 2020 17:03 utc | 1


"Wreaking balls"?

Posted by: MarkU | Aug 21 2020 17:04 utc | 2

MarkU @2

A visual to help you out.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 21 2020 17:12 utc | 3

It seems to me Trump/Pompass are hoist on their own petard here, in that: had they stayed in the JCPOA, they would now be in a better position to induce "snapback". Hmmm. Priceless.

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 21 2020 17:16 utc | 4

It's almost as if the U.S. state is a mindless, merciless, soulless entity which evil, selfish people serve for own self-interest. Fortunately it would appear this monstrous creature is discrediting and destroying itself. Perhaps with help from occasional provocation. It flails like a blinded cyclops, momentarily very dangerous.

Any group still collaborating with the US deserves no sympathy for what happens.

Posted by: jared | Aug 21 2020 17:16 utc | 5

"The Europeans should have done this long ago but are only now considering it seriously.

There are also counter measures that could and should be considered. A European tax on digital products would seriously hurt Google, Facebook, Ebay and other U.S. companies."

Well, one can hope but I had high hopes the Europeans would react against the original sanctions enforcement two years ago as well. They sadly did not and acted like the weak satraps that they have been since WW2. Europe needs to wake up and become relevant again.

And it has always been possible to do this: just counter sanction every sanctions act against the US companies doing work in Europe. Every single time. And use the monies raised to pay the European companies impacted by US sanctions.

Until a bully is faced down, it will keep bullying.

Posted by: Caliman | Aug 21 2020 17:18 utc | 6

thanks b.... i agree with @6 caliman - until the bully is confronted directly, it will continue on as usual... europe needs to show some spine.. this is a start.. we can't expect the uk to fall of our line on all the usa madness, as they generate a fair amount of their own... what i find entertaining is this concept of usa law that is supposed to apply universally... that sums up the way the usa political class seem to think... everything revolves around the usa - the sun rises and sets over only the usa.. the usa is becoming more and more pathetic.. i thank trump and pompeo for this.. i am sure it will continue of biden or harris are to get given the keys... poor israel... they are going to have to find another country to latch onto.. the usa is not fulfilling its mandate here..

Posted by: james | Aug 21 2020 17:26 utc | 7

we ''can'' expect the uk to fall in line - that got all jumbled..

Posted by: james | Aug 21 2020 17:28 utc | 8

"I hope that the U.S. will follow through on this." I hope so too. Day by day the USA is getting globally isolated. And that's a very good thing.

Posted by: Steve | Aug 21 2020 17:35 utc | 9

There are also counter measures that could and should be considered. A European tax on digital products would seriously hurt Google, Facebook, Ebay and other U.S. companies. When their profits and stocks drop the Trump administration might learn that wreaking balls have the tendency to swing back.

I don't think the EU can do that (unless it's just a symbolic tax, "to the delight of the masses"). At this point in history, those big American companies are probably very well fused and entrenched with the European government and governments of its members.

Besides, to do that would (that is, even if it could) automatically mean having to go back to China as an inferior part, and we already know at least Germany and France don't want that (they want a new European imperialism, as Merkel has already made clear many times over the years of her endless reign).

Posted by: vk | Aug 21 2020 17:39 utc | 10

I have seen speculation that Trump may want to "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran" as an October surprise. Could this be a part of such a plan? I don't see such a move as being necessarily benefitting him electorally — would his base like that? Even more importantly for him, perhaps, would undecideds or people wavering like it? It would make a lot of Democrat heads explode, especially with the addition of Iran to the list of "bounties for dead American troops" nations.

Posted by: Prairie Bear | Aug 21 2020 17:42 utc | 11

IIRC, JCPOA specifies a dispute resolution process that is to occur prior to notification to UN for a snap-back.

Does anyone know if that process was followed?

It seems that not only is USA no longer a participant but they have ignored the JCPOA dispute process. Or have they? US allies control four of the seven votes. So they would prevail in the dispute resolution process if they all followed US diktat.

This seems like an important point because someone might think that 'participant' might be interpreted broadly. Does JCPOA make it clear that 'participant' excludes former participants.

PS Sorry for not doing the legwork. I don't have the time to go through the JCPOA right now.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 21 2020 17:46 utc | 12

The U.S. hopes to pressure Iran until it formally declares the deal dead. That could then give pretext for launching a larger conflict against the country.

israel/neocons want war with iran before trump leaves office bc while they don't think biden/harris would necessarily start it they'd have no choice but to continue if war was already started, hence the (30 day) timeline.

Posted by: annie | Aug 21 2020 17:48 utc | 13

annie @Aug21 17:48 #13

... hence the (30 day) timeline.

IIRC, the 30 days is specified in JCPOA. It has nothing to do with the US election timetable.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 21 2020 17:53 utc | 14

@11 Higher oil prices and a meltdown on Wall Street won't help Trump at all. Nor would a lot of US troops with bad headaches.

Posted by: dh | Aug 21 2020 17:54 utc | 15

If the sanctions are really imposed, it is likely the poodles (UK, France, Germany) will chicken out rather than fighting against US. That will give Russian and China companies and arms sellers a field day - bigger profits, less competitions - won't they?

So, who says Trump is not an agent of Russia / China? /sarc

Posted by: d dan | Aug 21 2020 18:25 utc | 16

Once the UN nuclear related sanctions are permanently lifted, there's a good chance Iran will respond to the killing of Suleimani. And if Trump doesn't reimpose UN, a good chance he will ensure a war is started before the election - more so if he thinks there's a chance he will lose the election.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 21 2020 18:47 utc | 17

"Wreaking balls"?
Posted by: MarkU | Aug 21 2020 17:04 utc | 2

verb: cause (a large amount of damage or harm).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 21 2020 19:07 utc | 18

@jackrabbit 12

someone might think that 'participant' might be interpreted broadly. Does JCPOA make it clear that 'participant' excludes former participants.

Being a 'participant' is a matter of status. It's akin to being pregnant--you either are or you aren't. There is no middle ground. A well recognized principle of contract law is that a person cannot repudiate a contract and also enforce its terms. JCPOA is a contract--that is an agreement supported by legal consideration. Having repudiated JCOPA the U.S. lacks status to enforce any of its provisions.

Posted by: Lawrence Miller | Aug 21 2020 19:26 utc | 19

It’s pretty mind blowing that the geniuses running the good ship America don’t realize that by sanctioning “left and right”, as b says, and treating even their supposed allies as second rate vassal states works against their fanatical hegemony project. Like b, I too hope they keep shooting themselves in the foot and showing their “allies” what they really think of them.

But if Biden wins the election you can bet that the media, NATO think tanks, the spook agencies and the usual suspects will work relentlessly pushing an “America is back!” agenda in order to woo back ‘allies’ that have cooled their relations with the Empire during the Orange Man’s reign . They will try to paint Trump as a one off phenomenon, a freakish aberration who “doesn’t represent America” and thank God we can now back to our regularly scheduled program. Hopefully the vassals won’t immediately roll over and acquiesce.

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 21 2020 20:03 utc | 20

The world’s largest producer and arms trader, sponsor of terror ...

"It is an enormous mistake not to extend this arms embargo. It's nuts!" Pompeo told reporters at the United Nations.

In the meantime, Iran announced a new ballistic missile with a range of approximately 870 miles and is named after Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani. A new cruise missile boasting a range more than 620 miles was named after Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Interview Pompeo at a friendly CNBC broadcast today.

Posted by: Oui | Aug 21 2020 20:13 utc | 21

@ 3 (William Gruff) & 18 (Hoarsewhisperer)

I was simply pointing out what I naturally believed to be a typo or an error to someone who may not have English as a first language. I note that a substitution of any word with the same meaning as the word 'wreak' into the phrase in question (still) does not make proper sense in English. 'Causing balls' 'inflicting balls' 'creating balls' none of these actually work.

Posted by: MarkU | Aug 21 2020 20:24 utc | 22

Daniel 20

EU falling out with US is over Iran and China as much as Trump. Going by Belarus though, the EU is still fully aboard US/Brit anti Russia moves.

Under Biden, I can't see US policy towards Iran and China changing at all as that is bipartisan.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 21 2020 20:34 utc | 23

MarkU @22

I agree that the sense of the sentence is not perfectly clear as that word is spelled, which is why I believe the following might have been more appropriate:

"When their profits and stocks drop the Trump administration might learn that reeking balls have the tendency to swing back."

A little less confusing, perhaps?

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 21 2020 20:39 utc | 24

What the useless morons leading Europe should realize is that the only way forward is to isolate the US and work with everyone else, China and Russia to begin with, to fully blockade the country economically. Basically do to them what they'll end up doing sooner or later to any other country. That EU countries can't see that they'll share Iran or Russia fate in the future is painful - one wonders how world leaders can be so dumb.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Aug 21 2020 20:52 utc | 25

to CLueless Joe:

all those European "allies" have simply been bought with money. Money talks and BS walks, right? But they are finally understanding that US will trample them over as much as it would trample Iran. the North Stream 2 project gave them a big clue.
The US has been stomping on the Euro for decades now, in fear it will become more powerful than US dollar.
It just takes time. 50 million jobless in USA, dollar's purchasing power collapsing, while the Americans argue over Antifa and BLM and the rights of transgenders as their country is imploding all around them. Soon very soon indeed. The only problem is US might start a war to divert the attention of the average American moron. War is always the final card they use.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Aug 21 2020 21:05 utc | 26

Below is a quote from the latest Reuters posting
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States was further isolated on Friday over its bid to reimpose international sanctions on Iran with 13 countries on the 15-member U.N. Security Council expressing their opposition, arguing that Washington’s move is void given it is using a process agreed under a nuclear deal that it quit two years ago.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 21 2020 21:14 utc | 27

Something is puzzling to me. What countries will be intimidated by the "snapback" sanctions of weapon trade with Iran? It is quite possible that Chinese and Russian have some shipments ready or getting ready for the Fall delivery. But Iran is not about to engage in some huge shopping spree.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 21 2020 21:18 utc | 28

MarkU | Aug 21 2020 20:24 utc | 22

If you understand the meaning, what difference does it make? Reeking sounds good to, lol

Posted by: Perimetr | Aug 21 2020 21:21 utc | 29

A visual to help you out.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 21 2020 17:12 utc | 3

OMG! It is not child pornography, and probably it is not banned, but it should be banned. People, don't click that link, unless your mind is already rotten beyond redemption.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 21 2020 21:24 utc | 30

b, wonderfully sarcastic and at the same time acutely factual headline. As well as excellent reporting. Reminiscent of the early days of zerohedge (fond memories here so in my mind that is a big compliment).
Had to check in and upvote :-)

Posted by: Leser | Aug 21 2020 21:30 utc | 31

So, who says Trump is not an agent of Russia / China? /sarc by: d dan @ 16 <= If you were to replace Russia/china with Council for International (foreign) Relations, I think you would be on target..

Neither Russia nor China have the need to trash America.. A trashed America would put wrinkles in their economies. However the CFR has long had a plan, since its inception, for a single government to control the lesser governments in control of the nation state segmented world. Destroying the USA powerhouse was, is, and shall be for the future the essential goal, as long as USA politics is subject to interference by Americans the CFR will lack the power it needs to prevail in any circumstance.

Posted by: snake | Aug 21 2020 21:33 utc | 32

Here is what will probably happen. Israel or the US will create intelligence to show Iran has the capability to produce nuclear weapons. Then a false flag will occur in which a tactical nuke is detonated in some city in the US. It will immediately be blamed on Iran and the conflict will begin. Of course starting a war is easier than ending one, nor will the ending be what was planned. US and Israeli leadership are crazy and insane and will stop at nothing because they think god is on their side.

Posted by: ARI | Aug 21 2020 21:36 utc | 33

to CLueless Joe:

all those European "allies" have simply been bought with money. Money talks and BS walks, right?
Posted by: Hoyeru | Aug 21 2020 21:05 utc | 26

I do not see any support for this theory. This or that think tanker is paid from Atlanticist shops that provide employment for people to stupid to make a good buck, say, working as repo men or creating Ponzi scams. But in general, Europeans are being fleeced and insulted by "sanction enforcement". And their leader remain meek, in other words, useless. So one has to look for other explanations.

One explanation is that British political class is chock full of masochists. This is occasionally documented when someone dies in the process of getting pleasure. But it cannot explain what goes with the French and the Germans. Far from being masochists, these guys dread typical BSMS plays like bondage and abandonment. Apparently, what they dread most is exclusion from intelligence sharing. Again and again, continentals make some brave noises and they are whipped to submission be the threat of exclusion from intelligence sharing. Some people need to sniff a security blanket or a toy they used in early childhood. Apparently, you cannot become an important European leader unless you have incurable addiction to printing and sniffing intelligence dispatches from USA.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 21 2020 21:44 utc | 34

If you understand the meaning, what difference does it make? Reeking sounds good to, lol

Posted by: Perimetr | Aug 21 2020 21:21 utc | 29

Indeed, our host is a Poor Poet, and poets have a license to create new words. A wreaking balls makes a place wracked, wrecked and reeking to High Heaven, I would not be surprised if IDF had it already in its arsenal.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 21 2020 21:48 utc | 35

Our host made a minor spelling error (“wreaking” for “wrecking”).

From Wikipedia

A wrecking ball is a heavy steel ball, usually hung from a crane, that is used for demolishing large buildings. It was most commonly in use during the 1950s and 1960s. Several wrecking companies claim to have invented the wrecking ball. An early documented use was in the breaking up of the SS Great Eastern in 1888–1889, by Henry Bath and Co, at Rock Ferry on the River Mersey.”

The article goes on to explain how the wrecking ball has been superseded since its heyday in the 1950-70 period and younger barflies may be unfamiliar with the demolition of buildings using the technique.

Posted by: Cortes | Aug 21 2020 21:50 utc | 36

#28: "What countries will be intimidated by the "snapback" sanctions of weapon trade with Iran?"

It's not weapons, it's everything ... the "snapback" is back to the original UNSC comprehensive sanctions program on Iran that was in effect prior to the Agreement. It would basically affect everyone dealing with Iran.

Posted by: Caliman | Aug 21 2020 21:57 utc | 37

Unsurprising, after all Chump's neo-confederates destroying what was left of American credibility are paragons of virtue and salt of the earth people. They're only enforcing messianic judeo-christian values. Right ? Steve Bannon caught on tape bragging about stealing build the wall money to buy yacht ? Deplorable fools and exceptional degenerates deserve everything they will get. Rest of the world, including poodles, is starting to keep ledgers... So much for winning, but payback is a b*tch.

Posted by: Horatio | Aug 21 2020 22:07 utc | 38

Forgot to comment here that this erratic move by Pompeo is another indication of the hypothesis that the American alt-right (i.e. Trump et caterva) see the world essentially in bilateral terms: each country, one at a time.

Well, this time Pompeo pissed off more than one country, but nobody stated the alt-right is smart: they try until they can, then they maneuver as they can, when they can, the way they can. The bilateral doctrine is, thus, simply a north the alt-right follows - its north star being "Neohamiltonianism" (aka American Fascism).

The USA will probably try to deal with each country separately after the "30 days", although it can easily treat the European countries as one single country, for geopolitical purposes. Or they can simply enforce the American sovereignty over the Seven Seas, as it is today's Thalassocracy, the capitalist version of Poseidon, king of the seas.

Another evidence I forgot to mention here that the Alt-Right operates in bilateral terms is Trump's destruction (and reconstruction) of NAFTA. Alleging the deal was unfair to the American blue collar workers (as the car makers were fleeing to Mexico), Trump unilaterally (and easily) dissolved NAFTA... only to rebuild it through two separate free trade deals (one with Mexico, one with Canada). After Canada made the deal with Mexico, NAFTA was essentially reborn as three bilateral free trade deals - an architecture which, allegedly, is advantageous to the USA (as its economic and military weight always guarantees it peace on its own terms against any isolated nation-State).


@ Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 21 2020 21:44 utc | 34

But it cannot explain what goes with the French and the Germans.

NATO. Who said those American bases, tactical nukes and American troops can only be used against Russia? In case the European Peninsula falls outside the line, it is perfectly possible - indeed probable - that the USA will be able to easily subjugate the entire peninsular ("Continental") Europe. There wouldn't be even a Fulda Gap or a GIUK gap to slow them down, as their bases are already in Germany proper and their Navy already is on the south side of the Arctic.

Posted by: vk | Aug 21 2020 22:21 utc | 39

Doesn't any of the countries threatened with sanctions have standing to bring a case in the World Court?

Posted by: lysias | Aug 21 2020 22:22 utc | 40

@38 I don't think anybody expects Bannon to crawl away and hang his head in shame. Guys like him always double down. No doubt his lawyers will show that he has been the victim of a political smear job. Maybe Alan Dershowitz will take the case. I wonder if any of his wall building donors are upset about it?

Posted by: dh | Aug 21 2020 22:26 utc | 41

From Reuters..

"A 2015 Security Council resolution enshrining the nuclear deal states that if no council member has put forward a draft resolution to extend sanctions relief on Iran within 10 days of a non-compliance complaint, then the body’s president shall do so within the remaining 20 days.

The United States would be able to veto this, giving it a cleaner argument that sanctions on Iran have to be reimposed.

However, the 2015 resolution also says the council would “take into account the views of the states involved.” Given the strong opposition, some diplomats say the council president - Indonesia for August and Niger for September - would not have to put up a draft text.

“Faced with this very strong view of a majority of Security Council members that the snapback process has not been triggered, as the presidency they are not bound to introduce the draft resolution,” said a U.N. Security Council diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Pompeo and outgoing U.S. Iran envoy Brian Hook signaled that Washington expects Indonesia or Niger to put a text to a vote. Another U.S. option is to put forward the draft itself or ask the Dominican Republic to do so."

It seems all US has to do is a little arm twisting of Nigeria to ensure the UN sanctions are put to the vote.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 21 2020 22:34 utc | 42

Probably not, figure they're getting sheared for higher cause of racial purity and renewal. I checked on Breitbart and Infowars, the Maggats are chalking it up to Dem Communist DA's and Antifa in league with the deep state. As things continue to devolve, there's a huge segment of Yt population ready to accept clerical fascism. Current QAnon campaign (conservative military intelligence - Col Paul E Valley and other confederates) eerily similar to progapanga campaign by Franco camp prior to spanish civil war. Buckle up and get your houses in order !

Posted by: Horatio | Aug 21 2020 22:44 utc | 43

Posted by: jared | Aug 21 2020 17:16 utc | 5

"It's almost as if the U.S. state is a mindless, merciless, soulless entity which evil, selfish people serve for own self-interest. "

I love your comments and exactly how I feel Trump and his hangmen. Please don't spare his coalition of the willing who had participated in many of the crimes committed in Iran, Ukraine, Syria, HongKong (China), Cuba and more. While on other hand "Joint Commission" and in the UNSC itself except Russia and China are evils.

"It flails like a blinded cyclops, momentarily very dangerous.... Any group still collaborating with the US deserves no sympathy for what happens." and the groups include Germany, UK, France and the 5eyes.

Posted by: JC | Aug 21 2020 23:14 utc | 44

Posted by: jared | Aug 21 2020 17:16 utc | 5

"It's almost as if the U.S. state is a mindless, merciless, soulless entity which evil, selfish people serve for own self-interest. "

I love your comments and exactly how I feel Trump and his hangmen. Please don't spare his coalition of the willing who had participated in many of the crimes committed in Iran, Ukraine, Syria, HongKong (China), Cuba and more. While on other hand "Joint Commission" and in the UNSC itself except Russia and China are evils.

"It flails like a blinded cyclops, momentarily very dangerous.... Any group still collaborating with the US deserves no sympathy for what happens." and the groups include Germany, UK, France and the 5eyes.

Posted by: JC | Aug 21 2020 23:14 utc | 45

Yes, the Drowning Outlaw US Empire did indeed get slapped and had its face rubbed in the mud!

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 21 2020 23:22 utc | 46

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 21 2020 20:34 utc | 23

"EU is still fully aboard US/Brit anti Russia moves.... Under Biden, I can't see US policy towards Iran and China changing at all as that is bipartisan."

and that's exactly how I feel. never never underestimate the freaking EU and the 5eyes. They will continue to do what their master ask them even with Biden and Kcunmala...

Posted by: JC | Aug 21 2020 23:26 utc | 47

Very interesting op-ed from Scott Ritter.

Posted by: Graf_Zahl | Aug 21 2020 23:29 utc | 48

Posted by: Graf_Zahl | Aug 21 2020 23:31 utc | 49

"When I see a swarm of conmen around one man, in this case Trump, experience suggests they recognize one of their own"

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Aug 22 2020 1:23 utc | 50

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Posted by: Ram narayan | Aug 22 2020 1:28 utc | 51

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 21 2020 17:46 utc | 12 Does anyone know if that process was followed?

I believe it was. The EU initially resisted triggering it when Iran wanted to do so early on. Then the EU threatened to trigger it in order to force Iran to reinstate measures it had departed from in their nuclear program. Then the EU finally triggered it when it was apparent no solution could be found to the fact that the US was going to sanction any EU company that did business with Iran anyway. Apparently the idea was to resolve the issue one way or the other.

I didn't follow each of the JCPOA steps that were taken. But before it gets to the UNSC, they have to be taken, so I assume since it was taken to the UNSC that they were followed. So the Joint Commission did their meetings, got nowhere since Iran insisted on sanctions relief from the US and the US wasn't going to do it since they weren't even a participant any more in the Joint Commission. So everything subsequently was also a waste of time since the US wasn't going to budge and neither was Iran.

So it ended up in the UNSC and the US was shut out. Now the US will try some weird trick which will probably fail. Then the US will reimpose its sanctions - which probably never ended in the first place, certainly since Trump was in power. The US will also sanction any company in the EU that does business with Iran. So basically nothing has changed.

So now the question is: Will Iran drop out of the NPT? Because that is what they threatened to do if sanctions relief was not provided. And since the EU can not provide sanctions relief without indemnifying every EU company that gets sanctioned by the US for doing business with Iran, and the EU likely won't do that, and the US will continue to impose its sanctions, then Iran will not experience any sanctions relief.

So it has been suggested that Iran will continue their part of the deal. But why? They literally aren't getting anything out of it and never will. If Russia and China can offset the US sanctions to some degree, then maybe Iran will stay in the NPT. For one thing, staying in the NPT puts them on the "correct" side of history and establishes their "moral high ground" over the US which has geopolitical value. But that's about the only reason they have for staying in it. Of course, they also recognize that if they leave the NPT, the US and Israel will use that as an excuse to attack them. So self-defense is also a good reason to stay. But that reason will only last as long as the US and Israel can't find another excuse to "justify" attacking Iran.

As I've said before, history shows that countries with this level of enmity between them usually end up in a war. Some fools think Iran is too powerful to be attacked by the US. They're wrong and they will be proven to be wrong at some point. It's nothing but cognitive dissonance that fuels their thinking. The US and Israel stand to profit - in their eyes, at least - by degrading Iran and they will do so eventually. They will fail at regime change, certainly. After the war, Iran will remain standing in terms of its political structure and ideology. But it will suffer massive damage to its civilian infrastructure and probably lose a million or more dead civilians. Israel may suffer some damage. The US will suffer no damage at all, except the loss of some soldiers and ships and planes - which the military-industrial complex will immediately replace at great profit to them and great loss to the taxpayer. And the neocons will continue their control of US foreign policy. And none of the US elites will lose one thin dime over a war that will last one, two or even three decades.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 22 2020 2:10 utc | 52


Thank you for this analysis.

As for Europe, I am reminded of an earlier thread where karlof1 posted this:

I highly suggest reading this excellent recap of the paradigm shift in Geoeconomics by Dilip Hiro that clearly shows Trump's fighting an uphill battle to try and compete with a dynamic China whose political-economic system is far more advanced and efficient than the Parasite governed Outlaw US Empire's Neoliberal degrowth engine. This statistical excerpt is a case in point:

"China also led the world in mobile payments with America in sixth place. In 2019, such transactions in China amounted to $80.5 trillion. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the authorities encouraged customers to use mobile payment, online payment, and barcode payment to avoid the risk of infection.

The projected total for mobile payments: $111.1 trillion.
The corresponding figures for the United States at $130 billion look puny by comparison."

Those last two sentences I bolded for emphasis for this reason--the velocity at which China's economy's running is 10X that of the Outlaw US Empire's!!!! Hiro's conclusion echoes what I've said in my own writings over the past 2 years of Trump's Trade War with China:

So what are the figures for the Euro at the same period?

Is this a realistic permanent measure that b might include in a specific thread that we can return to from time to time and update? Given that GDP is a shonky and much derided measure, I would think that actual consumer trading volume might be much more informative.

Can any barfly advise on a reliable source for this comparative data?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 22 2020 3:52 utc | 53

ARI @Aug21 21:36 #33

Here is what will probably happen.

I like the attempt to anticipate what will happen. And, although later comments outline a more likely US strategy that 'fracks' UNSC, I think a false flag of some sort could still be possible for demonstrating the need for action that might lead to war to a skeptical Western public.

... Israel or the US will create intelligence to show Iran has the capability to produce nuclear weapons.

TPTB have already warned of the dangers of Iran nuclear development ad nauseum. I doubt that they need anything more than that and I doubt that they'd want to spend months creating such intel and driving it home via media.

... a false flag will occur in which a tactical nuke is detonated in some city in the US.

tactical nuke? A dirty-bomb that can be traced to Iranian nuke material would be all that's necessary. It doesn't kill (except maybe in vicinity of the blast) but causes great public anxiety and disruption.

USA? But it's Europe that is shaky on Iran. And it's Europe that has 4 JCPOA votes (EU, France, UK, Germany) and 2 permanent members of the security council *UK, France).

And why not pin it on Hezbollah (which USA-Israel claim to be Iran's terrorist organization)? That way not only is Iran implicated but the operation to eject Hezbollah from Lebanon is also furthered.

Given this reasoning, we can actually go further. We can narrow down where in Europe an attack is most likely to occur! Germany and UK have banned Hezbollah. France has not. From an anti-Iran/anti-Hezbollah false-flag planners point of view, this makes a false-flag in France very attractive and Paris is the highest value target for a dirty bomb - perhaps near a High Street or tourist area like the Eiffel Tower or the Paris Stock Exchange.

US and Israeli leadership are crazy and insane and will stop at nothing ...

I disagree. Crafty is not "crazy". And "stop at nothing" exaggerates their determination into something "insane".


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 22 2020 3:52 utc | 54

oooops pardon the bold buggerup.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 22 2020 3:53 utc | 55

Forgot the link

US intelligence director urges France to ban Hezbollah

MAY 3, 2020

BERLIN – US acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell has conveyed to France’s government the pressing need to outlaw the Lebanese terrorist movement Hezbollah.

“Grenell, in his capacity as acting director of national intelligence, spoke with Emmanuel Bonne, the foreign policy adviser to the president of France, to press him on banning Hezbollah in France and working to support an EU-wide ban,” Fox News reported on Thursday.

. . .

Germany’s government banned all Hezbollah activities within its borders on Thursday and classified Hezbollah a “terrorist movement.”

France, Austria and the EU have banned Hezbollah’s “military wing” and allow the Shi’ite organization’s “political wing” to operate.

The UK, the US, the Netherlands, Japan, the Arab League, Canada, Israel and a number of Latin America countries have designated Hezbollah’s entire organization a terrorist entity. Hezbollah’s leaders have declared their movement is a monolithic organization without divisions.

Emphasis is mine.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 22 2020 4:00 utc | 56

Thanks for the analysis b.

It’s too cute by half to say they’re in the nuclear deal for purposes they want, but not for those they don’t.

I don’t know why more is expected of US and all the criminals running it.

US is a country born on genocide and land theft, built on the back of slaves and low wage immigrants, for the rich to park their money in.
Money earned by pillaging and murdering the world over.
It is a country that had to go to war — with itself — to “free” some of it’s citizens.
It is where freedom ain’t free.
It is where two tiered laws are practiced, and has been a police state (voyeur camera in every corner) for a long while, all, without the populace realization.
It is where thought control is practiced every day via MSM propaganda.
It is Exceptional only in pillage and murder.

Once you look at it that way, perhaps your exceptions can be adjusted accordingly.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Aug 22 2020 4:08 utc | 57

Graf_Zahl #48 and 49

Thank you for that link.

I am waiting for any media organisation to put a few questions to O'bummer and whether he has the balls to respond in a specific way to those questions. Where do the Democrazis sit regarding this game by Trump and the destruction of their original deal with the world leaders.

I don't expect Biden or Harris would say a single word about this as it is red hot politically. Would some MSM or Greyzone or Jimmy Dore pose the question to Obummer?

BTW I am glad to see that Jesse Ventura is going along with the write in campaign and will be interested to see what unfolds there.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 22 2020 4:18 utc | 58

Timing for any potential false-flag?

At least several days before the 30 day period. Perhaps a week before to be safe.

On or about September 11th would amplify the effect on people of USA.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 22 2020 4:18 utc | 59

I think the Iranian question needs to be consider within the wider framework of the US's 20 year war on the UN and the Security Council in particular. I imagine most readers on MOA remember that US think tanks, Neocons and Liberal Interventionalists have been kicking around the idea of a league of Democracies as a replacement for the UN. The basic idea is that the US would create a pseudo-UN open only to "Democracies" (by which they mean compliant US vassals like Canada, UK, France, Germany, Ukraine, Poland, etc...) to bypass a "bureaucratic" and "obstructionist" UN & Security Council (by which they mean a UN that refuses to a rubber stamp for US aggression against other countries). This pseudo-UN would be a US controlled and directed catspaw used to create a fake form of international consensus for US aggression against US enemies and support for US economic and political policies. The Neo-cons within the US government (like Mike Pompeo) want to provoke a crisis within the Security Council so they can push this league of Democracies farce.

Here's what I suspect will happen, the US will force some sort of resolution demanding the (re)imposition of sanctions on Iran to the Security Council for a vote (the other Security Council members will try to use procedural methods to prevent or delay it till after November, but eventually, before or after the election, it will come to a vote). Whatever the US puts forward will be vetoed (either by Russia/China or by the US itself). The US will then unilaterally declare that the UN sanctions are reimposed and it will impose US secondary sanctions on all states and businesses that violate the US sanctions. The UK, France and Germany will hem and haw but will obey US dictates (maybe with more convoluted legalise arguments that they are still somehow supporting the JCPOA while enforcing US sanctions to try and save face and appear that their promises can be trusted, they cant be, not as long as they aren't willing to stand up to the US).

China and Russia on the other hand will tell the Americans to shove it and will expand their trade (including arm sales) and political relationship with Iran. In response, the US will impose more meaningless sanctions on Russia and China, but the thinktanks, mainstream media, interventionalists and Neo-cons will start a smear campaign against the Russians and Chinese arguing that they are undermining the Security Council/global security, thus the UN needs to be fundamentally reformed to be more compliant with US policy, since this is structurally impossible to do (Russia and China would need to agree to give up or limit their vetoes on the Security Council), the logical solution would be for the US to create a parallel organization to supplant the UN (possibly sliding NATO itself within this larger organization as its' military wing). This new organization would be in all practical purposes a US political tool, the US would then divert funds from the UN to this organization (the US pays something like 60% of the UN's budget), it would use these funds to bribe countries into joining the organization and once they have joined they will find they have no influence on its' policies. From the US perspective, the UN could then be left to rot on the vine while a new cold war rages between the US and its' vassals vs the Sino-Russo-Persian coalition (there will be dozens of nations within the coalition, but these will be the core members)

Obviously, this scenario won't happen within the immediate future (this would take 5-10 years to really get running). Yet the philosophical groundwork to create this organization has already been created and as the US increasingly butts heads with China and Russia, but is able to cow the other major powers into submission. the constant failures at Security Council will force the US to either A) admit they are wrong and they need to work constructively with the other powers - or - B) Blame those nasty Russians and Chinese for cheating, that they are behind every failure and that they need to be isolated internationally until they learn to obey the US. Based on US behaviour of the past 20 years, what option do you think the US will chose?

Even though the US acts unilaterally it still wants the cloak of legitimacy that comes from having an "international coalition" when it sells it's latest war to the US populous. This is why Pompeo makes such a big deal about "60 nations support the Guaido as the interim President of Venezuela" (even though more than 100, roughly 2/3, still recognize Maduro). This is also why the US makes such a big fuss about leading a coalition of "X" countries during it's latest war, who cares if these other countries only provided a single platoon or some truck drivers and the US made up 90% of the force and paid 100% of the expenses. The US is an Empire of Lies, these lies form a narrative that legitimizes the crimes they commit, public defeats that disprove those lies, like losing votes at the UN Security Council, are far more costly to the US then they appear on the surface as they bring the ugly truth to the front. I wish that the US populous would take notice of that (or at least that US leaders would adjust their objectives to be more in line with what the international community will accept). But the most likely response from the US will be to take its' ball and go home - tell a new lie and create a new fake narrative to justify the policies they already wanted to do. The danger is that we as a society were lucky to survive the 1st Cold War, a 2nd Cold War is a completely unnecessary risk especially when it is being pursued for the profit of people who are already obscenely rich beyond prior human experience.

Posted by: Kadath | Aug 22 2020 4:51 utc | 60

Iranian Defense Minister General Amir Hatami: Our Missiles Can Penetrate the Enemy’s Defenses:

Posted by: ARIES | Aug 22 2020 5:28 utc | 61

For what it is worth, the legal argument proposed by the USA hinges upon a manifestly absurd interpretation of paragraph 10 of UNSCR 2231:
"10. Encourages China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union (EU), and Iran (the “JCPOA
participants”) to resolve any issues arising with respect to implementation of JCPOA commitments through the procedures specified in the JCPOA,"

Their claim is that this paragraph created a Security Council "definition" of who is or is not a "JCPOA participant" and (regardless of what the USA itself decides in its own domestic politics) the UNSC is constrained ever after by that definition *until* such time as it passes another Resolution that redefines that term. (a resolution, of course, that the USA would veto).

As a self-serving argument it goes way beyond the USA claiming that it is "half-pregnant". It is akin to arguing that the UNSC must consider the USA to be pregnant even while the USA insists that it is a virgin. Unless, that is, it is addressing the UNSC, at which point the USA is insisting that it is in labor.

Manifestly. Absurd.

But regardless, the legal argument is a hopeless brief.

Read that paragraph again. It is clearly descriptive, and was never intended to be definitive.

The wording clearly presupposes that the "JCPOA Participants" already exist, ergo, that paragraph doesn't seek to "create" that list or even to define who is or is not in that list.

Or, put another way: the existence of the list of "JCPOA Participants" both was created before the Resolution was adopted and exists outside of that Resolution. Which means Something Else must have defined who is or is not on that list.

Q: What is that Something Else?
A: Why, the JCPOA itself.

Here, a simple thought experiment to illustrate: suppose - for whatever geopolitical reason - Iran objected to being explicitly named in paragraph 10 (for example: "Encourages China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union (EU), and other participating states....") then would that mean that Iran *WASN'T* a JCPOA Participant for the purpose of snap-back?

The USA's position would have to be: No, Iran isn't a participant state.
Everyone else's position would be: Hell yeah, of course it is.

In short: the UNSC never possessed the authority to define who is or is not a "JCPOA participant". That is a matter for the parties to that agreement to decide amongst themselves. All the UNSC can do is to acknowledge that reality, which is precisely what it did at the time the Resolution was adopted.

It is not for the UNSC to decide otherwise, hence, the USA's legal position is without any merit.

Indeed, the USA's argument is so lacking in merit that it is making a laughing stock of itself.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 22 2020 5:30 utc | 62

I don`t think that anybody in Europe will lift a finger for Iran and I think that`s the right decision, for two reasons:

1. Iran is a small and far away country. Well, actually it isn`t THAT small and far away, but still the Iran conflict definitely isn`t a core interest of Europe. The USA on the other hand is a major trade partner and at least until Trump had been the major security partner. Economic recovery in the age of Corona is a European core interest.

2. Like the Israelis the Iranians on the one hand want us to fight their wars and on the other hand regularly display open contempt. Eh, sorry! It doesn`t work that way. Signing the JCPOA and (unlike the USA) actually adhering to it was a step in the right direction but it didn`t make us friends and allies. Right now we are somewhere at ambivalent/neutral/mildly hostile. From both sides.

Posted by: m | Aug 22 2020 7:01 utc | 63

@Yeah, Right | 62
Excellent analysis. Thanks.
Came here to discuss just that.
All the arguments put forward across the media hinge on this one highly questionable interpretation of 'particpant' and no one is buying it.
Even the presentation of the new report which will no doubt highlight breaches to the agreement - Iran has been open about those breaches and they were a reaction to the US's withdrawal - will be rendered irrelevant until this issue of 'participant' is resolved.

In addition I think this 'Europe should do more' line is naieve and undeserved. There is no way that Europe can just stand up against the US everytime there is disagreement between other nations. And successful reallignment of national, in this case mutli-national, interests takes time.
But, that the EU has already shifted course is clear - it just wasn't announced on Twitter.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 22 2020 7:28 utc | 64

Posted by: JC | Aug 21 2020 23:14 utc | 44

The EU is synonymous with collective spinelessness. It has no future because it doesn't deserve to have one.

Posted by: J W | Aug 22 2020 9:19 utc | 65

Clueless Joe | Aug 21 2020 20:52 utc | 25

I don't think they are "that dumb". Firstly, I don't think they are "that patriotic". No, I think they are either bought or blackmailed. Or possibly, they are, like Boris Johnson, "fervent Zionists"?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 22 2020 9:21 utc | 66

having the u.s. as a "security partner" is like having the mafia as a part owner of your business. iran doesn't have any bases in europe that i know of.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 22 2020 9:27 utc | 67

Reading some of the comments here, I often get the impression that people think the Iranians, Russians, Chinese etc are naive fools.

They are not.

They have a grasp of the U.S.A. and the 5 eyes ( and others ), culture, mentality, intellect and ethos with a comprehension and depthh far more intense and comprehensive than the other way around.

Which means they can play a very effective game of geopolitics from an apparently weak hand. Except China’s economic and soft power isn’t in any way weak as neither is Russia’s Nuclear weapons capability.

A few people in the west might acknowlege this but in the main, these people are ignored.

There is no inevttability the U.S. will go to war with Iran, just as the thought of a dirty bomb being blamed on Iran is inherently risible. As hubristic as U.S. politicians are, they know that a nuclear first strike or accident will be the termination of any and everything they hold dear.

Posted by: Beibdnn | Aug 22 2020 10:22 utc | 68


Consider the following:
--- Iran, having suffered the burden of being cheated of its rights under JCPOA for 5 years, has now a good excuse to leave the agreement altogether; AND abandon NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) following the example of North Korea.
This would free Iran of its crippling obligations in the field of nuclear technology and pave the way for rapid progress towards, for example, acquiring indigenous nuclear-powered warships and submarines.
As far as future Iran sanctions are concerned, they can't become much harsher than what they are today. Friendship with China and Russia will help a lot, added to that the widening split between EU and US will help the rest of the world have easier times unburdened of American interference.

--- UNSC would likely emerge weakened and in shambles after this foolish Pompeo initiative. It opens the way for a much-needed reform of the Council: A reorganization of the UN Security Council long-demanded by the non-permanent members such as India, Japan, Germany, Brazil and Indonesia.

Posted by: Aren Haich | Aug 22 2020 11:43 utc | 69

Posted by: m | Aug 22 2020 7:01 utc | 63

So according to you it is normal for Europe to be a puppet of the US?

How do you explain then that the US does not want to be a european puppet?

If being a puppet is a good thing then why did the US implement the Monroe Doctrine and kick out the europeans from the Americas? Why don't they have european military bases on their soil?

Who is right? Europe, which says that it is good and normal to be a puppet and vassal to someone else, or the US boss, who thinks that being a vassal isn't normal, and it does not want that for itself?

So the EU must be a puppet, you say. Cause "trade relations" with US?

Do you understand that the US is hungry, it does not have money anymore, and will canibalise the EU in order to sustain itself?

Didn't US support for Brexit and all the bullying over EU relations with Russia and China taught you something?

When the time comes, the master eats the servant's food and starves him in order to save himself.

Most importantly, if you are a european, you show a significant lack of european geopolitical knowledge. Europe does not have an interest in large conflict in the Middle East (bigger than Iraq war), or Iran being forced to go nuclear.

The JCPOA is not simply about trade relations with Iran, but about preventing a large war in the Middle East and a blockade of the Persian Gulf, which will explode the price of oil.

As well as about preventing a collapse in the NPT regime and nuclear armed Middle East, which will surely happen if Iran goes nuclear (Saudi and Turkey will follow).

Do you understand now why even the UK resisted the US on JCPOA? Because this is a geopolitical issue, and the UK, even though it may hate Iran, is on the European Peninsula and not in North America, and thus it is more vulnerable to large war in the Middle East, a blockade of the Persian Gulf, or a nuclear armed Middle East.

So things about the JCPOA are a bit deeper that simply having trade relation with Iran and measuring that vis a vis trade relations with the US.

Not to mention that this is an issue of sovereignty for Europe.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 22 2020 12:14 utc | 70

Piotr Berman 34. The explanation for British politicians devotion to the US is simpler than “masochism”. British politicians operate on the delusion that Britain “punches above its weight”. Being no 2 sidekick “as far up the US presidents arse as possible” in Blair’s immortal words to his ambassador to the Bush administration, fosters their delusion. It would be unthinkable for the Tories to do anything other than side with Trump. Especially when they owe him for May’s support in trying to bring him down with the dodgy Trump dossier. All he has to do is threaten to take away their nuclear toys and they will be putty in his hands.

Posted by: PhilE | Aug 22 2020 12:21 utc | 71

Yeah, Right @Aug22 5:30 #62

Yet a similar absurdity has been allowed to exist for over a year: the absurdity of U.S. occupying Syrian territory to fight ISIS - which they claim to have defeated (in Syria).

U.S. claims the right to do so is authorized by a UN Resolution. But most analysts believe that is a twisted interpretation of the Resolution.

UN members have mostly shrugged.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 22 2020 12:30 utc | 72

@70 Passer
The point about the US trying to devour Europe is actually quiet good. Washinton is for instance threatening Germany in regards to Nord Stream 2 with sanctions.

So what exactly is Iran going to do about it? Nothing, of course. They don`t care. They don`t even pretend to care.

From the perspective of the Iranian leadership Iran and Europe are on the same side when it is about Europe supporting Iran against the USA and we have nothing to do with one another when it is about Iran supporting Europe.

Posted by: m | Aug 22 2020 13:26 utc | 73

What kind of nonsense are you spouting?

Should Iran tell the US to leave Germany alone and stop trying to push it around?

Posted by: arby | Aug 22 2020 14:17 utc | 74

M , and another small point. Germany was a signator to the JCPOA. Iran has absolutely nothing to so with Nordstream 2.

Posted by: arby | Aug 22 2020 14:49 utc | 75

Why nonsense? The Iranian side expects Eurpope to wage a full-fledged economic war against the USA in order to preserve ties to Iran, something that nobody in Europe has ever promised when signing the JCPOA.

Posted by: m | Aug 22 2020 14:53 utc | 76

Where are you getting this notion?
Iran is not asking for anything,nor is it expecting anything that was not agreed on.
It is the US that is doing the threatening. You seem to have it upside down.

Posted by: arby | Aug 22 2020 14:59 utc | 77

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 22 2020 5:30 utc | 62

Here is the actual resolution:

You are welcome to search (ctl-F) for "JCPOA participants" (with the quote marks). You get 1 instance, the first mention of "JCPOA participants", in parenthetical quote, as a standard, well known, legalalize that gives a party to, or subject of, a legal document a definitive identifier. Anyone who has ever signed an employment agreement knows this.

You are then to search simply for "JCPOA participants" (without the quote marks). We get 5 instances, which all immmediately follow what clearly is the "definition" of "JCPOA Participants".

The full quote of "10", btw, is as follows (not your truncated version):

10. Encourages China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union (EU), and Iran (the “JCPOA participants”) to resolve any issues arising with respect to implementation of JCPOA commitments through the procedures specified in the JCPOA, and expresses its intention to address possible complaints by JCPOA participants about significant non-performance by another JCPOA participant;

The reason you snipped that full text was because of your "stellar" bogus analysis would fall flat with those non-quoted 2 subsequent uses of the identifier "JCPOA Participant".


The Islamic Republic of Iran, likely entrapped in the early 80s with "Pakistani" nuclear technology -- permit me to take a moment here to have a general laugh at the story of how the intrepid Dr. whatever stole nooclear knowhow from under the nose of the Dutch and (magically) Pakistan got the A-Bomb. How did backwards Pakistan manage to do all that uranium enrichment in 70s when "amazing" Islamic Republic of Ayatollahs has to put on a such a "grand show" of Iran's "nuclear ambitions"?

Ok, back to the "conspiracy-theory". So the Iranians were basically tainted with this baloney story of Dr. Atomic Bomb from Pakistan which openned the door for IAEA -- let me take another moment to ask a simple question: Is there ANY United Nations agency that is not corrupt and satanic to the core?

Ok, so the "genius classically trained Ayatollahs" -- thanks for the laugh mr. barret, but oy vey, mr barad, you are a tricky one are you not?

Yes, the genius best classically trained minds on the planet then decide to pick a fight with the Superpower. Does Russia lead by bare chested Putin call USA "satan"? Does China lead by "Scientific comrade" Xi pick a fight with USA? No, they are always negotiating with their "partners". Every freaking Friday they sully spiritual services with "death to" this and "death to" that. Do civilized geniuses behave this way? Iranians were supposed to be smarter than this! Thousands of years of civilization and they put up with these devils for 40 years!

And of course, "JCPOA Participants" China and Russia were more than happy to FORCE Iran into this travesty of an agreement. JCPOA defecates over Iranian sovereignty. No other nation on earth is subject to the non-sense "JCPOA Participants" have forced on the Iranian nation. None.

Posted by: conspiracy-theorist | Aug 22 2020 15:10 utc | 78

@ Kadath | Aug 22 2020 4:51 utc | 60.. it is much too late for all of that... usa has maybe 10 years left before it is no longer the supreme dictator on the planet...

@ passer by... i hope your mom is well and fine..

europe will continue to have to deal with a failing empire - usa... i am sure they see this... they need to figure out how to stand up to usa bullying.. they have here!

Posted by: james | Aug 22 2020 15:18 utc | 79

Posted by: james | Aug 22 2020 15:18 utc | 79

Thank you. She got through the operation sucessfully and is recovering.

Hope all is fine with you too.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 22 2020 15:35 utc | 80

btw, note that while we have "European Union" and not "Europe", and "Russian Federation" and not "Russia", we have "Iran" and not "Islamic Republic of Iran". Because this travesty of an agreement is designed to last beyond the IRI and is hoisted on Iran, the nation.

Posted by: conspiracy-theorist | Aug 22 2020 15:42 utc | 81

@68 Beibdnn

Thank you. Well said. I agree completely.

There are several extreme options that either China, Russia or Iran could take to fatally wound the US, but this is not their intention, as we can observe, and as they state repeatedly. A fatally wounded US still has enough mass destruction in its hand that it can menace the entire world, and an outright fight could present similar danger. Collateral damage is not what these powers want if they can avoid it - and a totally broken US is damage also, a loss to the world in many ways.

As we have often discussed here, and illustrated with passing events, the goal of the world is containment of the dying US empire as it decays. I stand in complete admiration of the world's powerful forces as they have supported this giant in a gradual sinking to its knees, all the while building perimeters around it in case of death throes.

The matter of the UN is the same. The US will continue on its path to sever itself from the UN, while the world builds an alternative, perhaps from the bones of the existing one, perhaps not. People will watch the giant as he fumbles, flails and blusters. But the things to watch are the other giants and small ones, gently and gradually stepping aside from this, even suffering small amounts of damage as they evade the main thrusts.

The world understands that the very best way to destroy a bad system is to build a good one to replace it and get on with life in the good system as the bad one becomes irrelevant.

Piece by piece, the US is making losing plays from which it cannot replace what it loses of its former self. When I think back to 2014 and the Maidan, when the notion of taking down the empire seemed so daunting, I'm quite astonished at how the scale of that challenge has shrunk to the size of a hand - China's, perhaps, or Russia's, or even Iran's.

And if the moment ever comes that the peace of the world can be reasonably assured within the same vector as the chance for pushing back, one of these powers may reach out its hand and punch the US in the mouth. And nothing will follow from this except a dazed bewilderment from the US, and silence. These things have been happening already on smaller scales - we have already seen Iran administer one telling slap - and they are growing apace.

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 22 2020 16:20 utc | 82

The main reason Iran continues with the JCPOA is promises by Russia, China to admit her to SCO following end of sanctions. Which occurs in October.

No member can be admitted to SCO if under sanctions, or has contested territory. End of sanctions... SCO admission....

Only likely dissenting state is India.... currently under US thumb....... which is why China treats Modi with kid gloves...

The arms deals are but the cherry on the sundae... the OBOR projects are more important.


Posted by: Dr. George W. Oprisk | Aug 22 2020 16:38 utc | 83

Grieved, I always appreciate your perspective. You have this remarkable ability to filter the worst news through a prism of generosity, hope, and optimism will being both realistic and reasonable. No small achievement.

Thank you.

Posted by: Lohmann | Aug 22 2020 17:10 utc | 84


Grieved, I always appreciate your perspective. You have this remarkable ability to filter the worst news through a prism of generosity, hope, and optimism while being both realistic and reasonable. No small achievement.

Thank you.

Posted by: Lohmann | Aug 22 2020 17:11 utc | 85

I do agree with the trend of comments on b's very complete analysis here. There is somewhat of a pause in activity that is like what happens in chess I think when the game turns on attrition rather than outright 'snatch and grab'(I'm no expert on chess, I hasten to say.) The latter tactic may be employed by the less farsighted player at first to some effect, surprise being that player's main asset --- but we are at the stage where those 'surprise' tactics have begun to fail in ways that are apparent to all observers. It's no longer shocking when a coup is in the works or a treaty walked back from, and the hegemon is running out of pawns to sacrifice.

The key, as Grieved points out, is that such failures (unlike in chess) are being met with mercy, and have been all along. At first maybe, the hegemon might have felt that was because its opponent was weak, but surely by now it knows that has been the plan all along. Some awareness must surely by now be entering the thick skulls of the belligerent. This contest isn't for domination; that was his mindset, not theirs. It is, as the genuine powers now coming into play have always seen, for world survival. And the sooner we all join forces to adapt to what nature has in store for us, the better.

Posted by: juliania | Aug 22 2020 17:13 utc | 86

@2 MarkU - Balls (all sorts, including those that end in cks?) which wreak havoc...

"To wreak "is related to wreck at one remove...

The difference is that 'wreak' is the direct descendant of the OE verb wrecan 'to avenge, drive away...' while wreck is an adoption in ME of an Anglo-Norman verb wrec, itself a descendant via ON of a Germanic verb *wrekan. The same reconstructed form is the ancestor of OE wrecan (wreak). Te subsequent history of the two verbs has been set down with great thoroughness by the OED. It is all very complicated. Fore the connection between 'wreak havoc' and 'work havoc,' see Work..."
Taken from the "New Fowler's Modern English Usage" Third ed., ed by R.W. Burchfield, (OUP: Oxford, 1996)p.858

Given that Bernhard is a German speaker...cut some bloody slack (actually his English is generally far better than most native speakers...but then how many read still really good writing?)

Posted by: AnneR | Aug 22 2020 17:38 utc | 87

@11 Prairie Bear (perchance a Grizzly?)

I would only suggest that if it might benefit the Occupier of All Palestine, then dreadfully it might happen. And let us not pretend that the DNC-ers (Biden and Harris included, particularly) are pro-the indigenous Palestinians. They could give flying F*** about the Palestinians (so much for the higher melanin of Harris - immaterial).

Posted by: AnneR | Aug 22 2020 17:46 utc | 88

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 22 2020 16:20 utc | 82

Thank you Grieved. Nice post.
The concept of Haqq — Arabic word for truth (loosely translated, equity, or one’s rights under laws of nature) comes to play in all this. In Farsi haq-e-ma-ra-khordand, literally —that one’s right have been eaten — plays a card in Iranian mind every day. It is with righteousness that this is spelled out.
For long, foreign powers have exploited Iranian resources, for their own gain. No more, says Iran. For now, we are the masters of our universe.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Aug 22 2020 17:52 utc | 89

@ 6
But, Caliman, until – say – around the Nordstream 2 shitstorm (caused by guess which nation, ‘cos gotta sell *our* oil/nat gas, never mind the global warming effect difference twixt piping it from Russia and burning diesel oil to ship it across the pond; not to even raise cost differences…all irrelevant)…
Steve – so bloody right on
@ 10
vk – she has indeed, and Macron is hardly behind the door as this whole abominable mess in Beirut has demonstrated with the even clearer background of les Gilets Jaunes…Hypocrisy doesn’t even begin to describe EU leaders (the US and UK governments are clearly imperialist to their utter cores)…
@ 13
Biden-Harris wouldn’t lickspittle their way to Netanyahu, to do AIPAC’s bidding????? Please. Are you serious? Biden has already admitted (my word) that he fully (as ever he has) been the doormat for the Occupiers of All Palestine; as for KH? Yup, no different – AT ALL.

Posted by: AnneR | Aug 22 2020 18:01 utc | 90

(translated with Google _ yes, I know.)

Good afternoon

Old reader. First comment.

Here at MoA since the explosion in the Port of Beirut, it is common to expose the idea of ​​Hezbollah's departure from Lebanon.

Hezbollah members are citizens of which country?

Its cleansing is genocide; thus constituting a crime against humanity.

The idea of ​​ethnoreligious socio-political cleansing cannot even be considered academically.


Posted by: VS | Aug 22 2020 18:07 utc | 91

Postato da: VS | 22 agosto 2020 18:07 utc | 91

Yes it's a crime against humanity perpetrated by the zionists..but it's in their tradition so nothing surprising here.

Posted by: LuBa | Aug 22 2020 18:22 utc | 92

@78 conspiracy-theorist "The reason you snipped that full text was because"... what followed was not relevent to the USA's argument that it must still be regarded BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL as a "JCPOA Participant", even if the USA itself insists that it has ceased all participation in the JCPOA.

It is the part that I quoted that forms the bedrock of the USA's legal brief. The remainder of that paragraph makes no difference one way or the other w.r.t. the USA's argument, which is the only reason why I did not include it.

conspiracy-theorist: "-- The Islamic Republic of Iran, likely entrapped in the early 80s with "Pakistani" nuclear technology"... blah blah blah. And what follows is utterly irrelevant to the disagreement that you have with my post.

So why include it in your "rebuttal" to me?

conspiracy-theorist: "And of course, "JCPOA Participants" China and Russia were more than happy to FORCE Iran into this travesty of an agreement."

Yawn. Regardless of how much you dislike the JCPOA, it is beyond dispute that the Iranians agreed to sign that document.

In international relations - as in most things - your word is your bond, and your signature is supposed to mean something. To be otherwise is to be "non-agreement capable".

conspiracy-theorist: "JCPOA defecates over Iranian sovereignty."

All international agreements "defecates" on the sovereignty of the signatory powers, precisely because they involve the fettering of those who have signed on the dotted line. Trade deals. Border demarcations. Nuclear activity. Agreements on patents and copyright. Whatever.

If you don't like putting on those fetters then don't sign the damn document.

Pretty simple, really.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 23 2020 2:14 utc | 93

Larry Johnson's opinion piece has now been published online:

Obviously, I agree completely with his analysis that UNSC 2231 does not define who is a "JCPOA Participant", it is merely describing who is in that gang at the time of the Resolution's adaptation.

To argue otherwise (as Pompeo argues) is to accept that the Security Council alone can "redefine" who is a "JCPOA Participant State".

As in: it must be able to include states that haven't actually signed the agreement, or to exclude states that have signed and wish to continue to be party to the agreement, irrespective of whether on not those states even want to be included or excluded.

Saudi Arabia? Why not, you're in, baby.
Israel? Sure, we just added you to the list.
Barbados? Aw, heck, OK, everyone's welcome.
Germany? Nah, you pissed us off with Nord2. You're out.

To accept the USA's argument is to accept the notion that the UNSC can do any of that, limited only be the need to muster the necessary votes in the Council.

Which is an absurd proposition: the agreement is between the P5 + 2 + EU, and so only they can decide who is a Participant and who is not.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 23 2020 2:39 utc | 94

Here is an FAQ from the appalling Foundation For Defence Of Democracy setting out the USA's argument.

The author, needless to say, is an ardent Zionist working in the Trump Administration under the equally-appalling Brian Hook.

The entire argument hinges upon this proposition: "Operative paragraph 10 of UNSCR 2231 defines “JCPOA Participants” to mean China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union, and Iran."

The weasel-word is, of course, "defines".

Which (as Larry Johnson points out) is incorrect. For it to have any merit then OP10 would have to use the magic-word "decides". As in: Decides that the JCPOA Participant States consists of.....

This is the difference between the meaning of the word "define" versus the meaning of word "describe", and OP10 is clearly describing the makeup of the "JCPOA Participants".

As in: UNSCR 2231 didn't *create* that phrase, and it isn't *defining* that phrase. That creation occurred elsewhere, and its definition lies with the parties itself.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 23 2020 2:59 utc | 95

Yeah, Right

It depends on the presiding overseer of the UNSC if it is brought up for a vote. Nigeria's turn is coming up shortly and a good chance they will kow tow to US demands.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 23 2020 3:00 utc | 96

@96 Peter AU1 "It depends on the presiding overseer of the UNSC if it is brought up for a vote."

Untrue. The first step in any Security Council meeting is to agree on an agenda. That is agreed upon by a vote of the Council members themselves. If the USA puts this on the agenda then that agenda will simply not be adopted, and the meeting then ends.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 23 2020 3:04 utc | 97

Definition of "JCPOA Participants"

It's a thorny problem.

Is the UN Resolution defining a particular list of countries as "JCPOA Participants" separate and independent from the JCPOA or is the list of countries just a meaningless re-statement?

USA will say that an interpretation that makes part of a UN Resolution meaningless should be avoided. And they will point to potential alternative phrasing that could've been employed if UNSC members had desired.

Practically, US has enough influence on Indonesia and Nigeria and enough of a case to make for their interpretation of the wording of the UN Resolution that it's likely that USA will prevail. I think many are loath to recognize this state of affairs.

We should start to discuss what happens if/when USA prevails and UN sanctions are re-imposed. Will Russia, China, and Iran (and others? Pakistan? Venezuela? Syria? Bellarus? etc.) leave the UN? Will Russia and China sell weapons to Iran in violation of a UN Resolution? Will SCO change it's criteria for admission to allow Iran to join?

<> <> <> <>

From my cynical viewpoint, this appears to be an example of lawfare. It seems that the wording was intended (by USA) to allow USA to pull just this sort of stunt. It is also similar to the intended ambiguity that has allowed USA and Turkey to keep forces in Syria. And then there's Obama's turning a UN-authorized No-Fly Zone (NFZ) for Lybia into a bombing campaign. USA has been able to 'play' the UN and the world community repeatedly. But the indulgence that has allowed that may have finally come to an end with this latest example.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 23 2020 3:33 utc | 98

Yeah, Right @Aug23 3:04 #97

Isn't it tabled by default? The Resolution says:

... expresses its intention to address possible complaints by JCPOA participants ...


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 23 2020 3:36 utc | 99

@98 Jackrabbit: "Is the UN Resolution defining a particular list of countries as "JCPOA Participants" separate and independent from the JCPOA or is the list of countries just a meaningless re-statement?"

If the former then that must constitute a "decision" of the Security Council, in which case the paragraph needs to include somewhere within it the magic words "Decides that" or "Deciding that".

If the latter then the Security Council is not making a decision regarding who is or is not a "JCPOA Participant", in which case the paragraph can use innocuous phrasing like, oh, I dunno, "Encourages".....

OP10 "Encourages China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union (EU), and Iran (the “JCPOA participants”)".... Oh, OK, so it's the latter then. Certainly not the former.

Jackrabbit: "USA will say that an interpretation that makes part of a UN Resolution meaningless should be avoided."

UN Security Council Resolutions always contain paragraphs that are meaningless, in the sense that member states are only under a treaty obligation to carry out anything other than "Decisions" of the Council (refer to Article 41 of the Charter).

Disagreeing with the USA's interpretation does not render UNSCR 2231 "meaningless", precisely because any one of the remaining JCPOA Participant States (i.e. China, Russia, UK, France, Germany, and even Iran itself) can invoke the snap-back provision of the Resolution.

The USA can't, because it is no longer a JCPOA Participant.
But, then again, neither can Israel. Or Saudi Arabia. Or Nigeria.

The inability of the Israelis, or the Saudis, or the Nigerians, to invoke snap-back doesn't make UNSCR 2231 meaningless.
So why would the inability of the USA to do so once it ceased participating in the JCPOA do so?

I'm not alone in this. Even Bonkers Bolton agrees with me that the USA gave up the right to snapback when it ceased its participation in the JCPOA.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 23 2020 5:21 utc | 100

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