Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 18, 2021

Why Is Biden Creating Himself An Iran Quagmire?

Since he came to power President Joe Biden has done nothing to revive the nuclear agreement with Iran. The JCPOA was breached by the U.S. in 2018 when then President Trump left the deal and renewed a 'maximum pressure' sanction campaign against Iran. For over a year Iran stuck to its commitment under the deal. It then began to gradually exceed some of the technical limits of the deal. Those step were legal under the JCPOA because the U.S. had left the deal. All of them are reversible.

In response to the murder by Israel of Iran's top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh the conservative parliament passed a law that compels the moderate government under the Iranian President Rohani to further reduce its adherence to the JCPOA deal. As part of this the Iranian government will soon reduce the ability of the international inspectors from the IAEA to observe parts of its civilian nuclear program. As the Ambassador of Iran to the UN announced:

Gharibabadi @Gharibabadi - 16:11 UTC · Feb 15, 2021

Act of Parliament will be executed on time (23 Feb) and the IAEA has been informed today to ensure the smooth transition to a new course in due time. After all, goodwill brings about goodwill!

The Biden administration demands that Iran fully come back under the restrictions of the deal, to agree to an extension of some restriction under the deal and to agree to talks about its missile programs and its role in the Middle East. Only after that, says the Biden administration, would the U.S. remove some of its sanctions.

The demands are nonsense and have absolutely no chance of being fulfilled.

It is the U.S. that is in breach of the deal. Biden could simply reenter it by lifting the sanctions Trump imposed. Iran had promised that it would follow through by coming back into the technical limits of the deal. But instead of agreeing to that the Biden administration is trying to create a more complicated process by coordinating its negotiation positions with Saudi Arabia, Israel and other opponents of the deal:

Israel’s envoy to the United States suggested Tuesday that Israel may not consult with the new administration on its steps to reenter [JCPOA].

Biden has pledged to engage with allies and partners, including Israel, before making any moves to join the deal. But Reuters reports that some Israeli officials believe consulting with the Biden administration could backfire for Israel “by falsely signaling its consent for any new deal that it still opposes.”

During informal talks held by the Trump administration with Iran the U.S. had made similar demands as Biden is now making. Iran has rejected all of them.

Iran's missile force, built independently, is a deterrence against potential aggressors in its region. Since the Iranian revolution 43 years ago the country has been under various weapon embargoes. Its airforce has therefore no modern fighter jets. The Arab states in the Gulf Cooperation Council on the western side of the Persian Gulf have in total some 450 modern fighter jets in between them. Additionally the U.S. is keeping at times a hundred or more of its own fighter jets in the region.

Iran has little ability to defend itself from a concerted bombing campaign. The only thing it can do is to threaten a response by extensive missile strikes on regional targets. Its missile force is thus a sheer necessity. To suggest that Iran should limit its missile force is a demand that would leave the country defenseless.

A further prolonging of the time limits for restrictions under the JCPOA deal is likewise not agreeable. The JCPOA was negotiated in a long process during which both sides made concessions. That the U.S. is now coming back to unilaterally demand longer restrictions without offering anything new in return is unreasonable.

Iran will not agree to any negotiation with the Biden regime unless the U.S. returns to the deal first. Its Supreme Leader has spoken:

Khamenei.ir @khamenei_ir - 8:42 UTC · Feb 17, 2021

About the #JCPOA, promises were made by the other side. I am saying one thing: We’ve heard many promises which were broken & contradicted in practice. Mere words don't help. This time only action! Action! If the Islamic Republic sees action from the other side, it will act too.

In May 2021 Iran will elect a new president. The moderate Rouhani has failed to revive the Iranian economy. Rouhani negotiated and agreed to the JCPOA but was then betrayed by the U.S. with new devastating sanctions which brought more economic pressure. The conservatives in Iran have already won the 2020 parliament elections. (Note: The 'moderates' in Iran are neoliberals. The more hard line 'conservatives' are social-democrats.) The conservatives will likely win the presidency. Currently the former 'hardline' president of Iran Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, pictured below, has the highest voter approval of all potential candidates. Should the religious authorities allow him to run he is likely to win. U.S. diplomacy with Iran will then become even more difficult.


bigger

It is hard to understand what the Biden administration is expecting to win by slow walking a return to the JCPOA.

  • It practically guarantees that the Iranian side will become more hardline.
  • Keeping up the sanctions also guarantees that Iran will make new moves to counter those. It has reliable proxies in the region and there are many U.S. aligned targets and interests that can be hit. If Iran can not export oil because of U.S. sanctions why should it tolerate that Saudi Arabia can continue to export?
  • Without the U.S. rejoining the JCPOA Iran has all incentives to further increase its stockpile of enriched Uranium and to further increase its enrichment level. U.S. nuclear submarines run on 60% enriched Uranium. Why should Iran not build similar boats and enrich its stockpile to the necessary level? While Iran does not want nuclear weapons it could, like Japan, create and stockpile all the necessary ingredients. The time frame needed to become a nuclear weapon state would then be down to a weekend's project.
  • There is no chance to further increase the pressure on Iran without co-operation from Moscow and Beijing. While the Biden administration has talked with both on Iran there is no sign that they would (again) agree to limit their trade with Iran. This especially as Washington has declared itself to be hostile to both of them.
  • There is no reasonable way the U.S. can attack Iran or its nuclear program without risking intense damage to its own forces and to its allies in the region. Any attack would likely escalate into a wider war. Israel, a nuclear weapon state which is currently expanding its stockpile, would get involved and Iran's ally in Lebanon, Hizbullah, would use its missile force to destroy the economy of the Zionist entity.

The above has all been well known for months. By not immediately reentering the deal the Biden administration is committing diplomatic suicide as has been laid out by many commentators.

The Biden administration could have had an easy early foreign policy win by simply ending the sanctions on Iran and by returning to the JCPOA. Instead it is now creating a quagmire for itself that will consume most of its foreign policy energy.

It is beyond me why it is doing so.

---
PS: After finishing the above I unfortunately found that I have neglected the advice given here: How to Write About Iran: A Guide for Journalists, Analysts, and Policymaker. I'll try to do better next time. Then again, MoA is not main stream media nor does it desire to become such.

Posted by b on February 18, 2021 at 18:44 UTC | Permalink

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My take is a simple one:
Because moving towards peace with anyone at any time is invariably very risky for any US president - there's a whole chorus of people who will invariably criticize such attempts, however mild, as giving up too much / not demanding enough / not showing consistent leadership, yadda yadda yadda - "weak" for short.

There's a further complication specific to Iran in that Israel and Saudi Arabia both really really really want the US to attack Iran.

Posted by: Stephen T Johnson | Feb 18 2021 19:05 utc | 1

Biden has a chance to do the right and sensible thing, but, he won't. He'll follow the dictates of the deep state business cabal, and take the hard line route, because hey, the U$A needs enemies to justify it's commitment to the war machine industry.

Christ, this BS gets old!!

Posted by: vetivLA | Feb 18 2021 19:10 utc | 2

Two possible explanations:
1. shot oneself in the foot
2. provoke war
Maybe both!
---
PS: The guide from Ladane Nasseri looks like written application for the "Marketing Department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation". LOL!

Posted by: Wolle | Feb 18 2021 19:15 utc | 3

The Biden administration could have had an easy early foreign policy win by simply ending the sanctions on Iran and by returning to the JCPOA. Instead it is now creating a quagmire for itself that will consume most of its foreign policy energy.

It is beyond me why it is doing so.

The simplest explanation for this is that the USA can't afford a strong Iran anymore, in any form or shape. Because it is a crumbling empire etc. etc.

Posted by: vk | Feb 18 2021 19:17 utc | 4

The JCPOA was originally a cover for Obama's refusal to go to war after it was claimed Iran overstepped a "red line" Obama put his foot in over poison gas attacks. It was a way to avoid going to war and still look good. Iran did not have a nuclear weapons program and everybody knew it. Withdrawal from the JCPOA was a way of picking a fight, a fight that Israel wants. They see a formidable united front against them. Biden needs to serve Israel but look as if he isn't. Nothing better than to pretend you tried your best to restore the JCPOA while, wink, wink, offering the ridiculous spectacle of a state having just broken its word demanding renegotiation.

Posted by: Michael Doliner | Feb 18 2021 19:18 utc | 5

it is hard to understand what the Biden administration is expecting to win by slow walking a return to the JCPOA

US State Dept and Biden administration aren't just "slow-walking" it, they have no intention of rejoining it at all

Posted by: ptb | Feb 18 2021 19:23 utc | 6

I just want to say that it is very, very appropriate that Joe Biden is presiding over this period in our history, since he has been one of the most important of it's many architects.

Having Ahmadinejad back should liven things up.

What they want is:

a.) not to admit that we can be told what to do, corrected, or be coerced by anybody else. "There can be only one."
b.) not to settle for what Obama negotiated, since Trump has thoroughly screwed up their plans.

I suspect they will abandon the JCPOA, and the UN too, before they do that.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 18 2021 19:24 utc | 7

"It is beyond me why it is doing so."

Clearly, MoA must be aware of the paymasters dictating US foreign policy, from Media and MIC etc... low intensity war and tension is good for rating and for business.
Not to mention, both Blinken and many of his subordinates at State, are either Jewish, or married to, or at the very least, ideologically aligned with Israel and sworn true blue Zionists... it's pretty clear who is calling the shots in the US Gov't, and ultimately who's interests are being pursued first..

Posted by: Et Tu | Feb 18 2021 19:24 utc | 8

If good faith was the intention they could approach this by agreeing to a timeline where both parties take incremental steps over a 3 mo period. This would allow both sides to save face and in Iran's case would be necessary since some sanctions prevent their compliance.

France and especially Germany are such self righteous weasels. Both of them are pressuring Iran to get back into compliance. Iran should say, 'sure, when both of you start complying with the agreement, we will be glad to do so' (they might have said this already).

I cannot stand that France / Germany believe that saying you agree to something is the same as doing it.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Feb 18 2021 19:26 utc | 9

b, thanks for the great link to Ladane Nasseri's

"How to Write About Iran: A Guide for Journalists, Analysts, and Policymakers"

Would love the read the sister guides for other countries:

"How to Write About Russia: A Guide for Journalists, Analysts, and Policymakers"
"How to Write About China: A Guide for Journalists, Analysts, and Policymakers"
"How to Write About Venezuela: A Guide for Journalists, Analysts, and Policymakers"
"How to Write About Syria: A Guide for Journalists, Analysts, and Policymakers"

etc.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Feb 18 2021 19:29 utc | 10

Thanks for the McSweeney's link, it's great.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Feb 18 2021 19:29 utc | 11

Here's another reason the "business cabal" in the U$ won't let Biden make nice with Iran;

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/12/30/inside-irans-supermarket-venezuela/

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 18 2021 19:41 utc | 12

thanks b... ditto the above comments on mcsweeneys article... it is quite on the money...

the answer to your question is - israel and money.... this is what drives usa foreign policy... the politicians - all of them - are beholden to israel, if they aren't zionists and etc themselves... so the political parties - both of them - have to kowtow to israel and wall st - which are probably interlocked in more ways then i know... nothing will change here...why did the usa go to iraq, or afganistan or syria for that matter??? all for the same rotten objectives that have nothing to do with ordinary people in the usa's interest... it is really that pathetic in spite of any pretensions otherwise... western and usa media is a complete joke at this point... the article on the bottom is good!

Posted by: james | Feb 18 2021 19:41 utc | 13

The JCPOA was originally a cover for Obama's ....
Posted by: Michael Doliner | Feb 18 2021 19:18 utc | 5

Obama was busy undermining the agreement after it was sign by persecuting companies and individuals for violating unilateral American sanctions that were in force before the agreement etc. For example, an Iranian professor of medicine was arrested for "smuggling" some substance that was to be used for medical research, while the exemption from those sanctions was only for medical use. The arrest warrant was issued under Obama and the arrest happened in the first months of Trump, when the professor visited USA (and before Trump abrogated JCPOA). Such minor [deleted] was basically to stress that the agreement will not be interpreted as any kind of wider cooperation or even humane attitude. It made me wonder: was there ANY sense in negotiating it?

Obama, unlike most of American leaders, was actually intelligent, so it was a bit of a puzzle. However, there was a tangible gain!!! Gulfie tyrants became more paranoid and redoubled their assorted bribes, including purchases of heavily overpriced weapons and weapon-related services. As a con, JCPOA was a spectacular success.

But Biden group of senile friends and thoroughly opportunistic "technocrats" lacks Obamasque flair to "wash and repeat". In any case, now there is a legitimate worry that if Gulfies get yet more paranoid, they may bankrupt themselves or go for some desperate measures like getting weapons from Russia or, heaven forfend, patch the relationship with Iran. So the safest cost is to do nothing.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 18 2021 19:43 utc | 14

...
"Iran has little ability to defend itself from a concerted bombing campaign. The only thing it can do is to threaten a response by extensive missile strikes on regional targets. Its missile force is thus a shear necessity. To suggest that Iran should limit its missile force is a demand that would leave the country defenseless."
...

One suspects that this projected scenario will prove to be inaccurate.
Iran has known for decades that the Jewed-up Christian Colonial Powers were curtailing its ability to establish a capable airforce.

The Russians didn't anticipate the introduction, by Al-CIA-duh, of Stinger missiles into their Afghan rescue mission in the 1980s and they were obliged to retreat. Iran used an AA missile to shoot down a US drone a dozen or so moons ago. That was undoubtedly a surprise, albeit a forgettable one. They also seem to have 'forgotten' that Iran spoofed a US drone about 10 years ago and landed it in one piece.

Unfortunately, for the Christians, Iranians aren't as incompetent as the "Israelis" wish they could be.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 18 2021 19:53 utc | 15

"Iran has little ability to defend itself from a concerted bombing campaign."

Things haven't changed. Military advice was and is: don't bomb Iran. It will be a prolonged campaign, with likely many casualties. The main reason is geography, many widely spaced targets. Iran can't be defeated in a day. They will have time to respond on the Gulf states. And who knows whether Hizbullah will be provoked to launch their missiles on Israel?

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 18 2021 19:56 utc | 16

why oh why?

one word:

Israel

Posted by: michaelj72 | Feb 18 2021 19:56 utc | 17

Here are some ideas on benefits to the USA slow walking of its ignominious return to compliance with UN Security Council resolution 2231.

Keep in mind the USA Government is legally obliged to observe this resolution in full, as the UN Charter which USA signed forms part of the law of USA. (Incredibly, USA threatens other countries with trade blockades if they comply with SC 2231 - forcing them to also break International law!)

1. Under the JCPOA Iran has the legal right to develop peaceful nuclear programmes in line with Article IV of the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. The JCPOA and NPT agreements in effect promote mutually beneficial Russo-Iranian projects in nuclear energy development. Russian businesses such as Rostrom are engaged in this. So the JCPOA and NPT allow good relations and good business between Russia and Iran.

USA is trying to interfere as the USA does no business with Iran, and little business with Russia. But the USA Govt policy is to try to undermine Russia's government in every dimension, in the hope the people of Russia will suffer to the point of electing a government the USA can manipulate. Manipulate into selling off Russia's resource assets, especially uranium and oil.

The longer the blockade is in place, the better. (From US Govt. foreign policy point of view.)

2. UNSC Resolution 2231 was a major diplomatic coup involving for USA, Russia, Iran and others. But USA always saw it as a 'stop gap' measure. USA now see their negotiating power weakening by the day. Better to try to force 'the next stage' now than later when their 'leverage' will be weaker still. They have placed themselves in a miserable position, as Iran has survived some of the most brutal illegal blockades (a crime against humanity) in recent memory. So desperation, in part, then the next best thing, whicj is permanent blockade. (But the longer the US Govt. crime against humanity continues, the more clearly complicit all those persons and businesses involved become. This may have consequences in the future.)

3. The illegal US blockade on the Iranian Republic is founded on US effective control of the International Currency Settlement system, coupled with blackmail and bullying of other countries. A few countries, such as Germany, France, and UK, are very happy to use USA as a proxy in their complicity in this crime against humanity, as it gives 'cover' to their real intentions. Others are simply vassals of USA, and must ask humbly and meekly ask permission of the US to lift their blockade for a moment to buy some essential goods they need.

How does this benefit USA? Simple. It prevents European countries (in particular) from developing trade with Iran, thus reducing competition for expensive USA gas exports.(Recent cold in Europe has meant France has had to request gas from Russia...Macron must be relieved that Russia doesn't indulge in childish geopolitical games...)

In other words, EU countries are being played for fools by the US Govt - to the detriment of the lives of ordinary EU citizens.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Feb 18 2021 19:57 utc | 18

"Why Is Biden Creating Himself An Iran Quagmire?"

Because an age-old method of dealing with internal conflicts is to start a war. It will also rope in the Russians which will derail Nordstream 2 as even a cold war will make it impossible for Germany to continue. It will probably rope in the Chinese as well giving the US a pretext for seizing any Chinese assets that it can. The small detail, that it will probably end in a thermonuclear war dooming most of humanity is a risk that rich people with bunkers will be prepared to take, especially the evangelicals who seem to be under the insane impression that 'God' will reward them for being the greatest mass-murderers in history.

Posted by: MarkU | Feb 18 2021 20:09 utc | 19

I also think that the US has passed its time for major attacks on the Middle East. Any sort of US casualties are verboten these days. Deaths among special forces can be concealed, but that is not relevant to Iran. No doubt US special forces are already active in potentially rebellious areas, like Iranian Kurdistan for example, but that is not going to overturn the state.

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 18 2021 20:22 utc | 20

The IAEA isn't an International Atomic Energy Agency. It's the Israeli Atomic Energy Agency. Curiously, Iran is the ONLY country whose Nuclear facilities the IAEA has been invited to "inspect." It's much more interesting to list the Nuclear Powers whose facilities the IAEA has NOT been invited to inspect, including "Israel". How come?

The IAEA is as demonstrably fake as all the other Fake pro-Western NGOs such as Belling Cat, White Helmets, Human Rights Watch, and the ICC, to name but a few.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 18 2021 20:26 utc | 21

The US/UK have not recovered from the 1979 Islamic revolution. Iran has two things the US covets: 1) the world’s fourth largest oil reserves and largest natural gas reserves, 2) geostrategic position in the Middle East—between Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia and abuts the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic “choke point” through which circa 25% of the world's energy transits. In a prescient piece published several years ago, Dan Glazebrook pointed out- “The reason for this obsession with destroying Iran – shared by all factions of the Western ruling class, despite their differences over means – is obvious: Iran's very existence as an independent state threatens imperial control of the region – which in turns underpins both US military power and the global role of the dollar.” (See: Trump's delusional Iran oil gambit is decades too late by Dan Glazebrook RT July 9, 2018; Link: http://www.rt.com/op-ed/432418-iran-trump-china-tariffs). Biden/Pentagon have no intention of ending sanctions or bellicose threats against Iran and view the Iran-Russia-China axis as an obstacle to US global hegemony. As you point out, the only thing preventing a direct military attack from the US/Israel is Iran’s formidable defensive capabilities which includes their missiles. Indeed, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has concluded- ‘Iran possesses the largest and most diverse missile arsenal in the Middle East, with thousands of ballistic and cruise missiles, some capable of striking as far as Israel and southeast Europe.’(See: Missile Defense Project, "Missiles of Iran," Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies, June 14, 2018, last modified July 16, 2020, https://missilethreat.csis.org/country/iran).

Posted by: Paul | Feb 18 2021 20:32 utc | 22

B, please send me your e-mail address (the one on the "about" section is glitching.)
Thanks. Pandemic's effect loosening up a bit and trying to "donate."

Posted by: Carmen Grayson | Feb 18 2021 20:33 utc | 23

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 18 2021 20:26 utc | 21

Even Israel has turned out to be not keen on attacking Iran, for the same military reasons. Their nuclear weapons are aimed at Europe in any case, as we discovered some years ago.

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 18 2021 20:35 utc | 24

I really admire Khamenei--"Actions! Only Actions!"

I agree with ptb @6. There's no intention to rejoin the treaty. Perhaps if the Europeans finally do their duty and conform to the treaty that will force Biden's hand.

Sputnik has two articles about this today. The first cites Germany's Mass offering up yet another contrived excuse for the failure of Germany/EU to conform to the treaty:

"The more pressure is applied, the more difficult it gets to find a political solution...Talks are being significantly complicated at the moment because Iran obviously does not seek de-escalation but escalation - and this is playing with fire."

The second includes a reply by Iran's Zarif immediately after the joint Outlaw US Empire and vassals statement:

"'Instead of sophistry & putting onus on Iran, E3/EU must abide by own commitments & demand an end to Trump's legacy of #EconomicTerrorism against Iran,' Zarif tweeted. 'Our remedial measures are a response to US/E3 violations.'

"'Remove the cause if you fear the effect. We'll follow ACTION w/ action,' he added."

Iran holds all the high ground relative to those who've violated the treaty which also include the EU and the EU-Three along with the Outlaw US Empire. All of Iran's remedial actions are legal and not in breech of the treaty as those actually in breech of the treaty claim. Their attempt to create an unreal reality around this issue only serves to fool their publics.

Clearly, the "loss" of Iran in 1979 still cannot be abided by those commanding the Outlaw US Empire, which is the entire underlying reason for the ongoing crisis. Until that mindset changes, the crisis will continue. And if it leads to war, the Empire will lose regardless the damage inflicted on Iran.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 18 2021 20:38 utc | 25

We're back to the scorpion killing the frog while hitching lift across a river...."why?....why? we will now both drown...why?"

"Because it's in my nature..."

Posted by: foxenburg | Feb 18 2021 20:39 utc | 26

if you want to understand the usa's twisted logic on iran and IAEA, you can't do better then read the usa state dept press briefing...

Department Press Briefing – February 17, 2021

essentially up is down and down is up and there are a group of chimps asking the questions and providing the answers... this is an unfair characterization of chimps..

Posted by: james | Feb 18 2021 20:43 utc | 27

james @27--

Indeed! The USA would benefit greatly if a colony of Bonobos ran the nation!

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 18 2021 20:51 utc | 28

Since the recolonization of Iran will never be allowed by the Iranians, spite is the only rational reason behind the actions of the Outlaw US Empire since 1979. And in immature humans, spite never leaves the soul. But who still remains alive from 1979 to harbor such spite? Is it possible to pass spite on to other generations who never experienced the initial blow? Ah yes, they were "Carefully Taught" as the song from South Pacific goes. So, perhaps after the passing of several more generations, that spite will no longer be taught and the crisis will finally end.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 18 2021 20:59 utc | 29

Posted by: Paul | Feb 18 2021 20:32 utc | 22

You haven't got your understanding quite right

"The US/UK have not recovered from the 1979 Islamic revolution." True, but that's because it was a popular, even populist, revolution. The Iranians who advise the US, are all nationalist, pro-Shah. It would be difficult to understand how the religious regime has survived forty years, if they were really so unpopular.

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 18 2021 21:07 utc | 30

b writes:

Why Is Biden Creating Himself An Iran Quagmire?

... It is beyond me why it is doing so.

Huh? On January 20 you wrote:

Biden Administration's 'New' Foreign Policy Is The 'More Of The Same' Old One

Today a new U.S. administration will come in. On foreign policy issues it will be just as disappointing as the leaving one. U.S. foreign policy is dictated by ingrained interests....

The Iranian parliament has ordered the government to end some IAEA inspections and to increase the enrichment level of Uranium starting in mid February unless the Biden administration immediately removes the sanctions on Iran and returns to the nuclear deal. The Biden administration is likely to ignore this opportunity ...

On Syria, Turkey and Iraq Joe Biden's policy will continue to be regime change and is likely to intensify.

There will be absolutely no change in policy towards Israel ...

U.S policy towards Europe will also not change. The Biden administration will press for more weapon sales to NATO members in Europe. While it may return to the NewStart treaty with Russia it will otherwise uphold the hostility against that country.

Hostility against China will likewise persist ...

Biden will double down on Trump's failed Venezuela policy ...

The anti-Trump media will sell the foreign policies of the Biden administration as outlined above as fresh and rational approaches even when the do not differ at all from the foreign policies the Trump administration has persued.


Perhaps the answer to your confusion lies in the last paragraph of that Jan. 20th post: "While Trump had continued the wars the U.S. waged when he came into office he did not start any new ones."

Anyone that thinks that Trump bucked the Deep State Cabal on Foreign Policy is likely to experience some cognitive dissonance. Trump did everything that he was asked to do - just like that other faux-populist Obama, and every President since JFK.

With all due respect, it's long-past time that you (and many others) re-examined your thinking about Trump. Maybe you can start with this.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 18 2021 21:39 utc | 31

Iran might not be able to make a nuke but they can certainly make a dirty bomb, load it on a missile and send it off. A big problem for someone even if it's intercepted.
I wouldn't underestimate what anybody under attack might do. If I was boss of Iran, I'd have some ready to go if needed.

Posted by: Rabbit | Feb 18 2021 21:42 utc | 32

Assuming that four weeks of presidency really is long enough to make final pronouncements on policy, there are three reasons for Biden's commitment to following Trump's policy. First, because it's Trump's policy and Biden has started a conservative-but-not-Trumpist campaign for the midterm elections with concessions on policy. Anti-Iran is pro-Zionist, to try to satisfy the Christian Zionists, pro-Saudi *and* pro-higher priced oil.Second, as the article says, every indication is that the "hardliners" have already won. There's nothing to gain by concessions. Third, to rephrase vk's comment above, because real concessions would cost the US and it can't afford to actually buy out opposition in any form whatsoever. The US government is having enough trouble forcing itself to spend money on US citizens, much less let some go to foreigners, especially those who aren't de facto citizens of the empire. That last category means, rich enough to count in US politics. The King of Saudi Arabia is an obvious example but there's lots of billionaires who have more say in US politics than some states.

Technical point: The withdrawal mechanism and process for reinstating sanctions was put into place in the original agreement by Obama, so Trump exercising it was following Obama's policy and the treaty, not breaking it.

As for my first comment, ignore that. I was so tired I didn't even spell my name right.*

*j

Posted by: steven t johnson | Feb 18 2021 21:46 utc | 33

Iran is actually gaining in strategic importance. The BRI with Tehran is one area (Trains across Eurasia) and the ports that are being constructed outside the Straits of Hormuz (which will give the Iranians the opportunity to export without using the Hormuz bottleneck themselves.)
Add to that the tie ups with Pakistan and the prospective pipelines towrds China.

Even if the Iranians and the US came to some sort of arrangement over uranium enrichment, it is already too late to interfer with the BRI connections.

I reckon that the same as Russia and China, Iran has had enough of "sanctions" and all three are cooking up a new Eurasia-Asiatic bloc. The laggards, India and Europe, will have to make a real choice between the US and the rest of the world.

The Biden "non-attempt" is characteristic of the "deer in the headlight" moment for Israel and the US. Change is coming whether they attack or not. Neither will be able stop the creation of a new system of independent but mutually appreciative National blocs.

The sentiment is that it is Biden that has or does not want to take the initiative. The "western" viewpoint is "what the IsraUS wants it (always) gets". Does that stand up to scrutiny? I think not in the present context. The Iranians no longer care or expect anything useful to come from the JCPOA, the USisr or the EU.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 18 2021 21:50 utc | 34

Why? because, he’s reaching for paradise.{/snark}
Did you know that is Farsi word (pardis)?

This is a case of spider wasp .


female wasp searches the ground and/or vegetation for a spider, and upon finding one, stings it, paralyzing the spider. The targeted spider typically isn't able to kill the wasp, because the wasp can just fly out of reach, so at best the spider fights fiercely to escape…

Typically, a single egg is laid on the abdomen of the spider…

The egg hatches and the larva feeds on the spider, breaking through the integument with its mandibles. As the larva feeds on its host, it saves the vital organs, such as the heart and central nervous system, for last.


US is being eaten from the inside by the lobbies, and will be entirely gutted once the hubris wares off.

Also, the empire has no leverage and cannot create one out of the thin air. All the empire’s bases, ships, and assets sit exposed. Any attack will render them useless in the first minute.
The dog and pony show has nothing to do with nuclear weapons. On that, the question that never gets answered is: where would Iran detonate such a device? Riyadh, Tel Aviv?

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Feb 18 2021 21:53 utc | 35

...
Even Israel has turned out to be not keen on attacking Iran, for the same military reasons. Their nuclear weapons are aimed at Europe in any case, as we discovered some years ago.
Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 18 2021 20:35 utc | 24

Sorry, but deductive reasoning, alone, should make it obvious that "Israel" doesn't have enough Nukes to scare anyone.

Example 1. Why would an imaginary country bristling with Nuclear Teeth live in Existential Fear of non-Nuclear Iran? the whole idea childishly vacuous, if not downright idiotic.

Example 2. How come "Israel" is the ONLY country which claims to have built a Nuclear Arsenal BEFORE it had a delivery system?
That doesn't make any more sense than the Existential Fear claptrap.

The Head Jew doesn't give an FF about "Israelis" so it's much more likely that He and his friends used the Imaginary Nuke Arsenal excuse to write off several $Billion as Nuke Expenditure and pocketed the cash. 'Defense' is usually Top Secret Stuff and has always been used as an excuse to make vast sums of money disappear without a trace AND to CRIMINALISE any effort to uncover the truth as a Breach of NatSec. It's a Cheap Trick but it works superbly...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 18 2021 21:55 utc | 36

Clearly, the "loss" of Iran in 1979 …
Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 18 2021 20:38 utc | 25

Thanks for double quoting the word loss. Clearly you understand that Iran was never “owned” by anyone, than the Iranians.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Feb 18 2021 21:55 utc | 37

Thanks, b. For upwards of 15 years, maybe much longer, there has been an incessant stream of threats of military action against Iran. Maybe there was a brief intermission in this theatrical performance during the final lame duck period of Obama’s presidency, when Israel could no longer push him around. All would-be US presidents know that they are dependent for nomination, election or re-election on at least tacit support from the Israel lobby, which demands that the threats continue. Correspondingly, all Israeli leaders know that they cannot afford to independently launch a direct attack Iran without approval from the US, which has not been, and for the foreseeable future will not be, forthcoming, as the consequences of any such attack are imponderable and could be catastrophic for the US’s own interests

Posted by: Coldish | Feb 18 2021 22:00 utc | 38

In my opinion, Biden isn't rejoining the JCPOA because the adminstration is loathe to give any economic relief to Iran: they consider themselves to be at war with the Islamic Republic. Israel, too, wants the screws to stay at tight as possible. From their point of view, more resources going to Iran as a result of easing sanctions means more military development. The stronger Iran the greater is the perceived threat. I believe the US won't give Iran one iota of relief.

Posted by: bolangi | Feb 18 2021 22:05 utc | 39

Joe has dementia. He's not doing anything other then trying not to garbled what is coming thru his earpiece. So that leaves his rabid Zionist foreign policy team doing the Iran policy. Israel and the bipartisan war party wants us to do war with Persia. Sadly thanks to Russia-anon the Democrats lack a base to temper the war party. Sorry the squad is just for show, and lining their pockets while doing nothing just looking pretty while crying for the cameras.

Posted by: Old and Grumpy | Feb 18 2021 22:28 utc | 40

Sakineh Bagoom @37--

Thanks for your brief reply! I agree 100% with your analogy @35 and also agree about what possible target could Iran have given the fallout.

The Outlaw US Empire's policy is rational when we think of it as a spoilt brat who had his favorite toy taken from him and seeks to forever punish those who took it away--in this case, the Iranian people. Now that the brat is an old man, as I wrote @29 hopefully the spite will die with him and the crisis will cease.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 18 2021 22:35 utc | 41

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 18 2021 21:55 utc | 36

Example 1. Why would an imaginary country bristling with Nuclear Teeth live in Existential Fear of non-Nuclear Iran? the whole idea childishly vacuous, if not downright idiotic.

There are some fallacies in this post. Most people dislike the feeling of fear, but there is a sizable minority that seeks "adrenaline rush" and they engage in various activities, say, extreme sports or sadomasochistic sessions, to induce it. The same can be observe in dominant ideologies of quite a few countries, perhaps including USA. Israel may be extreme in that category, politicians tackle existential threats of which there are many (like sporadic gaggles of BDS activists) in shifts, 24/7. Importantly, because of pleasurable aspects of self-induced fear, those activities are allowed on Shabbat (no work, but activities for pleasure are permitted).

Of course, tackling BDS activism in Nebraska (by inducing the state legislature to pass relevant resolutions and follow-up actions, perhaps not done in Nebraska as yet) is a good achievement, but there is a hierarchy of existential threats and Iran is way, way up.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 18 2021 22:36 utc | 42

Hoarsewhisperer@36 shows how deductive reasoning from untrue premises leads to untrue conclusions. Valid logic is not enough, there has to be truth in a correct argument.

The error in premise #1 is assuming the concern of the Israeli state is solely about national survival. Quite aside from Zionism not actually being a person with individual motives, using nukes as a last resort in a smallish area would include a lot of national dying from fallout. Even more for vested interests, nukes are not good weapons for stealing land, crushing and expelling (and eventually exterminating) the Palestinians, etc. To put it another way, the problem some Zionists have with a strong Iran is not so much that they really think Iranian armies will storm in and literally push Israelis to the beaches and out into the water. It's that Iranian help is blamed, for instance, on Hezbollah defeating the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. The waters of the Litani river do not flow onto Zionist fields and into Zionist reservoirs.

The error in premise #2 is simpler, because more technical and hence more easily overlooked. But...delivery to where? Israel's enemies are close to hand, unlike the US which wants the ability to threaten annihilation to people a world away. Israeli nukes *have* a delivery system, which is medium-range bombers. It doesn't take an elaborately expensive new delivery system to get a nuke from Israel to the Aswan High Dam or even so much to Mecca.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Feb 18 2021 22:54 utc | 43

Joe Biden is a very stupid person. That's my first assumption for any idiotic thing he does [second is that he's an evil piece of shit]. It's a mistake IMO to assume there's any rationality or intelligence behind his actions.

(Of course this is for the sake of argument, in the possible case he's actually the one making these decisions.)

Posted by: Wind Hippo | Feb 18 2021 22:59 utc | 44

Something looks to be moving


"A senior US official told Reuters Thursday the US was "ready to show up" if the European Union extended an invitation to host talks with Iran.

"The United States would accept an invitation from the European Union High Representative to attend a meeting of the P5+1 and Iran to discuss a diplomatic way forward on Iran’s nuclear program," US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Thursday."

sputniknews.com/world/202102181082120225-us-ready-to-accept-eu-invitation-to-attend-p51-meeting-with-iran-state-department-says/

Maybe this as well. Unconfirmed on Twitter

spriters
@neccamc1
·
42m
The United States tells the Security Council to cancel a previous Trump administration request to re-impose UN sanctions on Iran.Washington will accept an invitation from the European Union to hold talks with Iran.

43m
Diplomatic website, according to an American official: It is possible that Biden will announce tomorrow a return to the nuclear deal with Iran

Posted by: JohninMK | Feb 18 2021 22:59 utc | 45

@karlof1(#25): This guy imitating German MFA is named Maas! Yes, he looks like a men executed in Israel. Hopefully not a sign, yet!
https://blog.halle-leaks.de/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/adolfeichmann.jpg

Posted by: Wolle | Feb 18 2021 23:04 utc | 46

Perhaps the Biden administration is behaving stupidly because they are all stupid. Who is the smart one in the group.?
For that matter who’s on first? It does look like Biden is mostly napping and Harris is making the phone calls, but who knows what that signifies.

Iran may have more ability to withstand concerted bombing than b imagines. Iran does have good missiles. US has a lot less than public relations would hope. Saudi and emirates have a lot of fighter jets, have never been good at flying them. The royal children use them as Ferraris

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 18 2021 23:05 utc | 47

Here's the link to the Sputnik article JohninMK @45 mentioned. The method mentioned by the Empire's spokesman is noted in this article.

Very curious these developments. Just vapor or substance?

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 18 2021 23:09 utc | 48

The problem with Iran is that it is not obedient.

Same as Putin said about Russia.

Posted by: arby | Feb 18 2021 23:25 utc | 49

@ Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 18 2021 21:55 utc | 36

Putting Israel into the equation only dislocates my logic.

The question remains: the USA can't afford to lose Israel to the point it can't nuke Iran, but at the same time it can't let it prosper economically. It is still an exogenous element on which the Empire is dependent on its own survival.

When analyzing empires, there's a metaphor that never fails: the short blanket metaphor.

To understand the short blanket metaphor, you first need to visualize: what makes the USA the USA? Of course, first place, the USN. Then the USAF and the USAA. You could also put the CIA next. And then the many other paramilitary and propaganda institutions that exist there. But that's not what makes the USA, those are only the USA's spear, the most visible part of the Empire if you're from the rest of the world.

You must see what this spear is protecting. First place, of course, it is protecting its corporations. Those corporations (finance and non-financial) are the vertebra of the Empire: it not only builds everything the USA needs, but also builds the spear itself.

But corporations are still institutions made out of people. If you go deeper in the interior of the Empire, you visualize what it is really protecting, its most precious treasure that must be defended at all costs. This secret treasure is nothing more nothing less than the American Dream.

The USA, therefore, is driving your Cadillac through the Californian coast. It's buying that big house in the suburbs. It's the barbecue at Saturdays with your friends and family. It's the four magic years in an Ivy League university. It your daily jog in the Central Park. It's having the latest piece of technology in your hands. It's throwing half of your Big Mac in the trash just because you're full that Thursday evening. It's Sunday football with a cold six-pack. It's seeing your country getting first place in the medal ranking every Summer Olympic Games. This is what makes America, America. That's what every American is fighting 24/7 to protect, against the whole world if necessary. This is why they fly to your country in order to kill you and your family.

But it is evident that this American Dream is very expensive. You need a lot of natural resources to sustain it. That's why they still haven't nuked China, or Iran for that matter. That's why losing Israel (and its fantastic position in the Levant) or even South Korea (to a North Korean nuclear attack) is too much for the USA. That's why the USA can afford to lose little in the geopolitical arena, but must always win big. It's dream has become too expensive, and the blanket became too short to cover it all and keep it warm.

Posted by: vk | Feb 18 2021 23:30 utc | 50

Dear B,

You're assuming that President Biden is in much control of anything now? Vice President Kamala Harris seems to be the one taking all the calls from foreign leaders around the world including the by-now well-known call she took from French President Micron in which he spoke to her in English for at least half an hour and most likely a lot longer. Probably explaining why France is not an English-speaking nation and why French people usually drink wine and not Budweiser or Bud Light.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 18 2021 23:31 utc | 51

Why Is Biden Creating Himself An Iran Quagmire? Not returning to JCPOA
b like I have written here before it is because of coming Iran’s presidential election ( you read another regime change opportunity ) precisely like 2009 when Obama regime took office in occupied DC, Biden’s regime wants to keep the negotiations, and the debate on to rejoin or not to region main debate of Iran’s election to create and widen the rift between the two camps making the atmosphere rip for divide and concur. Obviously, Iran knows this and will be prepared by making it harder for Americans in countries she has strong allies. I would say after Iranian new year 21st March we should expect Navenley style demonstrations (which will be extremely exaggerated on western MSM) here and there around Iran. Good of you to link Iran reporting 101 guidelines as you know she herself was a Bloomberg Reporter for years, or as old Persian proverb goes “suddenly the cat became a pious Muslim” On JCPOA my guess and hope is US and her allies to pay an even bigger price when she/they are geopolitically are forced to join again.

Cheers MOAers

Posted by: kooshy | Feb 18 2021 23:54 utc | 52

What was the reason for the JCPOA in the first place? I find it hard to believe the US signed it to be nice guys.

Posted by: arby | Feb 19 2021 0:11 utc | 53

I very highly suggest reading this 17-day-old article I provided as the second link @48. The article is based on an interview given by Zarif to CNN's Amanpour, which is linked at the original, in which this is the crucial part:

"CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour asked Zarif how he thought the US and Iran could escape the 'Mexican standoff' situation as each nation urges the other to return to the deal first.

"'There can be a mechanism to basically either synchronize it or coordinate what can be done,' Zarif said."

And just what is that "mechanism"? Zarif provides the answer:

"As you know, JCPOA has a mechanism built into the deal: that is the joint commission. And the joint commission has a coordinator. The coordinator has two hats - it used to be Federica Mogherini, now it is [European Union High Representative] Josep Borrell - he has two hats. One hat is representative of the European Union for foreign defense policy; the other hat is the coordinator of the joint commission. He can put [on] his hat as the coordinator of the joint commission and sort of choreograph the actions that are needed to be taken by the United States and the actions that are needed to be taken by Iran."

Then the Iranian Parliament passed a bill after the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh by the Occupied Palestine regime that set a time limit for the mechanism to be employed. Zarif explained the Outlaw US Empire "can eliminate this problem by returning to the deal before February 21."

Thus the moves that occurred today, the 18th. After reading several BigLie Media reports wherein they still lie about events, it appears Biden has invoked the mechanism.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 19 2021 0:16 utc | 54

Posted by: arby | Feb 19 2021 0:11 utc | 53

Simple, other than regime change, JCPOA is the best possible way for the west as well as R&C to have a control on Iran's nuclear activity

Posted by: kooshy | Feb 19 2021 0:18 utc | 55

Posted by: JohninMK | Feb 18 2021 22:59 utc | 45

Re accepting EU offer to mediate:

Iran already suggested that, so this looks like USA accepting that too. Slicing the salami thin, but it might mean they have done with the blather and posturing and are ready to talk. Let's see if the EU steps up and then Iran takes the bait.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 19 2021 0:20 utc | 56

Posted by: arby | Feb 19 2021 0:11 utc | 53

It was to buy time, things had not panned out the way they hoped.

Iran was always a target, but as others mention, we cannot fight Iran conventionally and win, and if we use WMD Iran will get suitable help with the problem from their friends. I can't think of a better way to demonstrate that we need to be "dealt with" than resorting to nukes. The so-called lack they have of jet fighters is just a large unnecessary expense avoided in favor of something worth having, effective means to hit back fast and hard. I would be interested to know more about their missile tech and EW capabilities, but I don't expect I will get to.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 19 2021 0:29 utc | 57

Kooshy , I agree but It seems to me that the fear of Iran developing nuclear weapons is a red herring.
They have been on Iran's ass way before the nuke nonsense.

Posted by: arby | Feb 19 2021 0:32 utc | 58

It looks like the Europeans are not going to be much help in getting the deal re-started. After the US removed itself, they quit trading with Iran and instead basically have just sat on their hands.

Presumably with a straight face, German Foreign Minister Heiko "Poodle" Maas now claims that “We are the ones who have kept this agreement alive in recent years, and now it’s about supporting the United States in taking the road back into the agreement.”

Similarly, British Foreign Secretary Dominic "Chihuahua" Raab claims that Iran’s threats are “very worrying,” stressing the need “to re-engage diplomatically in order to restrain Iran, but also bring it back into compliance.”

Lapdogs gonna lapdog...

Posted by: farm ecologist | Feb 19 2021 0:48 utc | 59

@ karlof1 | Feb 18 2021 20:59 utc | 29
“spite is the only rational reason behind the actions of the Outlaw US Empire since 1979… Is it possible to pass spite on to other generations”

The spite is passed along as an absurd claim to legitimacy (imagine Iran’s audacity in overthrowing the US dictator in 1979!) but US politicians’ motive is getting campaign bribes and payoffs for attacking the “shiah crescent” for Israel. Let’s hope that they someday get more bribes from other US minorities sympathetic with Russia or China (or even Iran).

Posted by: Sam F | Feb 19 2021 0:49 utc | 60

Seems to me that they want a regime in Iran that is obedient and compliant. The nuke fear was just an excuse to keep up the pressure. It seems like maybe Russia with China came up with the JCPOA idea to quell the story of imminent nuclear capability and the US could hardly back out from their own bullshit fear of nuclear weapons stories.
Since Trump was a big fan of tearing up agreements he just tore the JCPOA up so they could get back to the pressure game and blame it on Trump.

Posted by: arby | Feb 19 2021 0:53 utc | 61

It seems to me that the fear of Iran developing nuclear weapons is a red herring.

Posted by: arby | Feb 19 2021 0:32 utc | 58

I wouldn't be so sure. After all, Iran has been six months away from having nuclear weapons since the 1990's.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Feb 19 2021 0:55 utc | 62

Bemildred @57--

We shall see if Biden continues to fulfill the moves required for the mechanism to become active, and that means rejoining the JCPOA AND dropping ALL sanctions. No half-measures will be accepted by Iran. Remember, it's Actions, and that may also require Congressional action. I just checked Twitter, and there has yet to be a response from Zarif or Khamenei. IMO, there're many things that need doing in the next 48 hours to keep the Iranian legislation from coming into force, although as Zarif has said that can be walked back. The questions clearly are Why and Why now, particularly as it coincides with NATO's announcement that it's sending 3,500 more troops into Iraq because Daesh has supposedly resurfaced, which is a lie according to the linked article.

One action will be a reduction of the global oil price which is moving toward $70/bbl and is causing unwanted inflation within the Empire, although the dollar price might not drop as much thanks to the massive currency debasement performed by the Fed. But a similar action would've resulted from lifting sanctions on Venezuela. Perhaps the behind-the-scenes negotiations on Persian Gulf Collective Security have reaped results that oblige this action. Or maybe it's simply a PR exercise to make the Outlaw US Empire look better.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 19 2021 1:05 utc | 63

Xerxes Biden has only four years to lose many battles so he is picking his first war with Xerxes home team.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 19 2021 1:05 utc | 64

Arby @53, kooshy @55, agreed. I view JCPOA as an achievement for Iran in that, when it was signed, foreign ministers of permanent 5+1 gathered for 19 days, as if there was nothing else going on in the world. Unprecedented, can anyone name others like it?
It showed vassalage of EU to US, when it came to sanctions. Pre 2012 Europe, at least rhetorically, was with US. JCPOA split them.
It showed steadfastness to not bow to zero enrichment demand.
It showed that it’s not about nukes, but having leverage, and spying eyes in Iran. It was not about how many cerifuges are running, but how to get along with an insurgent Iran, and how to curtail it’s (nefarious :)) activities in SW Asia (i.e. the side deals). How to split the pie, as it were.
It showed how cruel the empire can be when it comes to this jewel.
It is still unveiling other hidden masks of the empire.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Feb 19 2021 1:05 utc | 65

Posted by: arby | Feb 19 2021 0:32 utc | 58

yes they have been after reversing Iran's revolution way before "nuke nonsense" and they will continue to be after Iran for years to come, nevertheless "a nuke nonsense capable Iran" is a bigger military threat to Israel and Arab ships than an independent iran. In geopolitics estimation everything is relative and prioritized. Iran became a nuclear capable state not to win a war against west but to win her independence. today very few states/nations have that luxury

Posted by: kooshy | Feb 19 2021 1:17 utc | 66

farm ecologist @Feb19 0:48 #59

... the Europeans are not going to be much help in getting the deal re-started....

Lapdogs gonna lapdog...


My view as well.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 19 2021 1:30 utc | 67

Yeah, maybe this is a worthless one liner, but I think the volume of BS from empire between now and the 21st is going to be huuuuuuge! That said, I really question what actual empire outcome will be reflected on the 22nd.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 19 2021 1:34 utc | 68

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 19 2021 1:05 utc | 63

You make good points. I see it as a "glimmer of hope", for now. I expect all the things you mention will have to happen, essentially we (USA) will have to convince Iran we intend to keep our word this time, or they won't play. But in the meantime, they can talk about it, perhaps a few more slices of the salami can be found. In this situation it gets us nothing to be pessimistic. And it is def. a change of tone.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 19 2021 1:57 utc | 69

"I just checked Twitter, and there has yet to be a response from Zarif or Khamenei.

I don't think they will lift a finger unless the Yurpeans step up, and that will depend on whether we tell them to step up. At least I wouldn't.

The questions clearly are Why and Why now, particularly as it coincides with NATO's announcement that it's sending 3,500 more troops into Iraq because Daesh has supposedly resurfaced, which is a lie according to the linked article.

Yes, that is a good question. We are sending more into Afghanistan too. But it looks like the Yemen war is ramping down if not ending. Syria is a little murky still. People coming in and going out. Little messes all over the place. Trump.

Your solution works, the oil price, especially with Texas down.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 19 2021 2:08 utc | 70

The bottom that Bidet, a corrupt war criminal so senile he literally didn't know where he is, creates anything for himself, instead of having things creates by his owners, is precious.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Feb 19 2021 2:59 utc | 71

*notion

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Feb 19 2021 2:59 utc | 72

Why Is Biden Creating Himself An Iran Quagmire?

That is a good question.

The reason is obvious.

When some one born from the womb of quagmire, and is in the center of it, any effort, any movement, will pull him down, down and down.

He can't stand still, too. He can't eye a rescue hand from China. Russia.

Blinken is very cautious and does not utter such words like "fire",  "fury",   but his German lapdog wowed, today:

"Iran obviously does not seek de-escalation but escalation - and this is playing with fire".

Heiko did not elaborate, which fire, he meant.

The faithful dog is coming to rescu. Heiko is dreaming,  Kissinger project is ended. Schlesinger, project ended.  But German  can dream to unite Eu, Russia and China  to revive a united  UNSC, to contain Iran.

 

Posted by: arata | Feb 19 2021 3:11 utc | 74

Mr. Kooshy

Americans and Western Europeans, having lost Iran, are not hoping for Regime change but disorder. That is the same policy that they are following against the Russian Federation.

Iran is at war presently across economic and military fronts. Her security services will ruthlessly deal with any Shot of disorder, and quite rightly so for a country at war. Westerners have zero chance of success.

At any rate, Iranian leaders and Iranian people have moved on. In 2015, Mr. I game do was in a weaker position than he is now due to the election disputes of 2009. Many of Iranians, being cuddled & ill informed about the Mad King, blamed their own government for the so-called nuclear crisis. The Iranian military did not have the precision rockets that it does now. Lastly, there was the tangible expectation of foreign investment in Iran from Europe.

None of that obtains now. The hope for Western investment is gone forever, Mr. Trump destroyed that American leverage. And then, the Mad King declared USA to be the enemy of the Shia Islam and friends to Saga his; proceeding to murder two heroes of Shia of Iraq and Iran.

The Mad King cannot walk any of those back. He might get a small USD 10-billion dollar deal with Iran but that is about all. Europe is irrelevant, the little minions of the Mad King demonstrated to the Iranian people that just like their King, they wished them to die of COVID-19.

Iran has her own major tasks in integrating the Shia Crescent and to protect the Shia and other sane Muslims in Afghanistan. There will be no withdrawal from Yemen either, Iran will continue to support Ansarallah to the hilt in their nations building project.

Posted by: Fyi | Feb 19 2021 3:37 utc | 75

Probably multiple reasons. Saudis and Israelis don't want it to keep Iran off balance and hurt economically. Biden does not want the Russians involved but the Iranians want them involved. Looks like Trump got his wish regarding Iran. I don't see how Biden relents and in the process loses face. I believe that Russia did end up shipping S300 systems to Iran.

Posted by: Erelis | Feb 19 2021 3:49 utc | 76

Mr. B.

Americans hate Iran, it is that simple. The cause is also quite simple, Iran has valiantly fought against their effort to maintain US Protestants' control over Palestine.

For the self-image of Euro-American Protestants, being opposed in their religious fantasies in Palestine by another group of self-proclaimed righteous religious people who call them satanic, is a deeply wounding affront.

Furthermore, regardless of the depth of their devotion to Israel, Euro-American Protestants know that they are supporting and evil unjust, mean, brutal and fundamentally un-Christian course of action in Palestine. They hate Iran for raising a mirror which reflects that ugliness.

Euro-American Protestants, the instigators of so many wars in the Middle East, should really really hope that there be no God and that if there be a God, he be not Just: lest God chastised them - as the late Senator Byrd eulogized in opposing the invasion of Iraq.

Posted by: Fyi | Feb 19 2021 3:56 utc | 77

The USA wants back in so it can blame blame blame Iran. As it is outside right now, and as the nuclear inspectors are prohibited visitors, the USA is prevented from spying for Israel. In addition they may soon lose the current Prime Minister in Iran.

If they can't get back in they won't be able to blame blame blame Iran or reinstall sanctions. Without that dishonest, belligerent narrative who will listen to Biden. To get a win, Biden has to first get back in.

It's the USA, it's not agreement capable, it has no integrity, it is a self grandising global menace. Just watch and expect betrayal, theft and killing.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 19 2021 4:20 utc | 78

karlof1 | Feb 18 2021 20:59 utc | 29
..."Carefully Taught" as the song from South Pacific goes. ...
Another greatest post!

A most telling statement in mankind's search for how did we get here. South Pacific presented this in late 1940s. It was during the 1940s that early researches were being done to explore the "subconscious" mind which, whatever it was, clearly held enormous amounts [evidence] of forgotten/imagined data in the form of scenery inclusive of apparently all recorded perceptions. This resulted in odd connections to hypnosis, claims of earlier-lifetimes, altered physical sensations in persons "remembering" experiences, etc. I knew nothing of this.

Those lyrics in the song "Carefully Taught" clearly allude to the subject of ingested mental data in very young children which later guides the child's mind to often irrational viewpoints.

By 1960 I chanced on US neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield's work at Montreal McGill Univ where he electronically probed the brain of awake persons, ostensibly to map specialized areas [speech/sight/sound, etc] and determine whether the brain and mind were one and the same or different "things" or electromagnetic field phenomena. As to brain/mind, he concluded failure to distinguish how and what they were in relation to each other. I was fascinated by his detailed accounts, yet somehow the accounts seemed to be missing other data that should have ben included...as if deliberate by omission.
Also in the 60s, psycholos and psychiatros were catching-on; data could be somehow "implanted" into minds and, especially, children up to age 3 would automatically ingest hearing/speech without any inspection at all as to what it meant!..then later as youth and adults would incorporate that data into their reasoning/"thinking". [For one, I recall Alice Miller did lots of work on this subject.]

Then that led to possible uses of the collected data as therapy and, malevolently, how to instill fake "memories" and how to neutralize or cancel them Then came trials in how to selectively erase others' memories.! Enter MKULTRA [and other gov programs in different countries].
By the mid-1970, I was connecting lots of dots...always wondering if Penfield was involved in, well, 3-letter Agency stuff. Then I chanced to learn his work was funded from the start by Rockefeller $ and it was hardly coincidence Penfield went [had to go] from US to Canada to do the work. Whether he knew or not WHY it was funded , I don't know. Someone wanted to really,. really know and use the differences between brain and mind...and how to control the damn things.

If you were looking for the ultimate trap and found Earth and its billions of people and the extremely strange goings-on and games being played...well, this is it. And if this is The Trap, then who/whatever created it would, by design, include the most extreme consequences for anyone trying to escape it by figuring it out. Namely, the mind must, by design, be a minefield. Anyone successfully delving too far into memory, mind, spirit to get out of THE trap better beware...THE trap contains within sub-traps to subvert any exploration ...even if it is just to help others. That last part marks the enemy of its architect.

Someone who would untrap automatically becomes the mind's target.

There is more if any are interested.

Posted by: chu teh | Feb 19 2021 4:22 utc | 79

In addition, if the current course continues, Trump will claim his policy was good and congratulate Biden for sticking to it.

So the little pick pocket Biden first has to return to the agreement and then exit at first excuse to then make it HIS policy.

If he can pocket a million or two on the roundabout, he will be extra happy.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 19 2021 4:31 utc | 80

P.S. Found this awesome pic of S Pacific's authors viewing try-outs.

link

Posted by: chu teh | Feb 19 2021 4:33 utc | 81

@62 farm ecologist
I basically agree with you comment,but....

Iran is politically 6 months away from having a nuclear weapon, but technically they are probably only a week away.
The caveat is that Iran has repeatedly rejected the idea of nuclear weapons, as they are deemed un-islamic by Iran's religious leaders.
Iran is showing remarkable restraint in this matter.
Off the mark; South Africa is the only known country to ever dismantle their nuclear arsenal.

Posted by: Den lille abe | Feb 19 2021 5:17 utc | 82

IMHO the Iranian approach of trying to pressure the USA into compliance with the JCPOA is the reason. Giving in would make both the USA and Biden look weak. This would not be a diplomatic victory but a diplomat defeat.

Keeping the sanctions in place, on the other hand, is no quagmire at all. It leads to nothing, but it also costs neither the USA as a country nor Biden personally anything.

From the perspective of Biden under these circumstances the costs of re-joining the JCPOA outweigh it's benefits.

Posted by: m | Feb 19 2021 5:44 utc | 83

The whole of humanity is in a state of hypnosis.
A hypnosis created by fascist politicians, oligarchs, big pharma, MSM.
They are all involved in a subtle conspiracy, to oppress, to enslave, to dominate the individual.
Spiritual enslavement is the most dangerous slavery because it is not coming from outside.
Your hands are not handcuffed.
The chains are not visible, they are deep in your mind.
They have been perpetually enforced by politicians using behavioral, psychological, repetitive suggestion and lies.
Reinforced by MSM talking heads.
Cemented in place by criminal Stasi policing tactics, fully backed up by the so-called justice system, using punishment and fear to create total compliance and obedience.
Remember, they proclaim, we are recording all of your criminal actions, names and addresses, and be warned, you will face our full justice!
There used to be political dependence all over the world.
Those empires have long since collapsed and that has given a great illusion to nations, that now, people have freedom.
And whenever some illusion is beautiful you want it to be true, you want to believe in it, but whether you believe in it or not, an illusion is an illusion, it makes no difference.
There was never freedom, only license.
Listening to all the politicians, the MSM false narratives created a certain kind of illusion, a certain feeling of freedom, which was never really there.
How the blind were leading the blind.
It is a strange world that we live in.
The society wants to dominate, the privileged classes want to dominate, to enslave, to oppress, to exploit.
They would like you to remain completely unaware of yourself.
Society is concerned only with making an unconscious slave of you, not a free individual - a revolutionary, because it is helpful to them.
It is easy to dominate a slave, it is almost impossible to dominate a person of self knowing.
The reality is humanity has lived only under the illusion of freedom.
Believing themselves to be free.
There is no such thing as freedom as far as our history up to now is concerned.
Slaveries have changed, new forms of slavery have taken their place, but freedom has not yet happened.
Freedom is still a dream.
We have to understand how to transcend the mind that the politicians have programmed in us all, that is only for war, destruction, slavery and violence.
These criminal politicians have come to the end of their time, so now they don't know what else to do except to destroy humanity itself.
Unless we can create a world which is really free, we are living only in an illusion of freedom.
And I don't see there is any freedom anywhere.
Freedom is the greatest value and the greatest achievement in life.
Everyone should be free from all kinds of fetters, political, economic, psychological, spiritual.
Yet your whole life, as it is, is approved by the society, by the state, by religion, it is based on self-ignorance.
You live without knowing yourself, because the society doesn't want you to know yourself.
It is too dangerous for the society.
An individual who knows themselves is bound to be rebellious.
Try this?
When you look in the mirror, it is not you who is reflected in the mirror, because you are not the seen but the seer.
You are not that which is reflected in the mirror, you are that who is looking at the reflection, who is watching the reflection.
You are always the seer, and the seer cannot be reduced to the seen.
Who is this seer hidden behind everything?
You are subjectivity, and you can never become an object.
You are irreducible, so how to encounter oneself?
To know oneself is the most difficult thing.
It should not be so.
It should be just the opposite, the most simple thing.
But it is not, for many reasons.
It has become so complicated, and you have invested so much in self-ignorance that it seems almost impossible to turn back, to return to the source, to encounter oneself.
First, you have to move from the outer reflective, the mirror-like world that surrounds you.
All is reflections.
The whole work, is to erase the past from your mind and give you a here-now-present orientation to look at reality with clean eyes.
And your future will be golden if your present is clean.
Out of this clean presence will arise a new future, which will not have any continuity with the past, it will be a quantum leap.
We have to create an atmosphere in the world against all forms of enslavement.
And the only way is to raise the consciousness of the people.
All the people of the world.
That is the only hope for which people of awakened consciousness go on working.
In spite of constant failure, in spite of humanity's ignorance, and persistent retardedness, they continue.
Their hope is infinite and their patience knows no limits.

Posted by: Awaken Now | Feb 19 2021 6:05 utc | 84

As foreign minister S. Lavrov (I think)stated:
The US can not keep to an agreement.

Well that is true, on top of my head, I can't think of any agreement they ever stuck to.
They should be shunned like the outlaws they are, they are no company for decent people. The US does not even treat their own citizens well. The ruling class should heed what happened in France in 1789 and in Russia in 1917, especially the years that followed the main event are very interesting...

Posted by: Den lille abe | Feb 19 2021 6:56 utc | 85

It is beyond me why it is doing so.

In many ways, the United States has become hostages of their own ridiculous and short-sighted policy of uncompromising and intransigence. By tireless efforts of propaganda, by the "personal opinions" of the military, by loud, steep statements by officials of various levels, they have put themselves in a position where making a compromise (even the smallest one) is an unacceptable "weakness" for them. To play back a stupid decision, to make a logical correct move is no longer possible without "losing face".

Therefore, from all possible options, they will always choose the most hopeless - threats, pressure, ultimatums, etc.
The situation can only change if the US voluntarily agrees to "humiliation" and sit down at the negotiating table to seek a compromise.

Posted by: alaff | Feb 19 2021 7:33 utc | 86

Dimona is not only Israels nuclear weapons forge but the tanks attached to the reprocessing plant are also Israels only storage facility for nuclear waste. Dimona has been built in the 50's to the safety and environmental standards of that era. Already once in 2004 the Israeli authorities had to issue Iodine pills to it's residents in that area.

My guess is that the Israelis have serious environmental issues at Dimona and that the recent construction works are connected to this.

Posted by: m | Feb 19 2021 7:34 utc | 87

Why is Biden creating himself a quagmire in Iran? It's all about the shekels, and Biden is as shekeled or blackmailed as any of the rest of them. So it's not Biden. It's (((Biden))), in effect. Sort of like we just had (((Donald Trump))), but the actual president was (((President Kushner))). Once you're a damned Israel-firster, you get the coincidence marks, doesn't matter if you are Jew or Gentile. And (((Trump))) is obviously the most Jewish president we ever had. Straight out of (((New York))). Just look at the way he acts. The guy's 500 years kosher. Jewishness is not a religion or an ethnicity. It's a state of mind, a spiritual state. So all of the Gentiles above are Jewish in a spiritual sense. Hell, this whole stupid country is Jewish. America is a Jewish country! We are all Jews now!

Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Feb 19 2021 8:05 utc | 88

@Robert Lindsay
"We are all Jews now!"
Please exclude me immediately!
Thanks in advance

Posted by: Den lille abe | Feb 19 2021 8:12 utc | 89

Posted by: m | Feb 19 2021 5:44 utc | 83

>>Keeping the sanctions in place, on the other hand, is no quagmire at all. It leads to nothing, but it also costs neither the USA as a country nor Biden personally anything.

And this is why they will never hire you in foreign policy fields.

Actually it leads to a long term loss of Iran and the Shia countries, the so called Shia block, from UE/EU influence to China and Russia influence, thus increasing and consolidating non-western controlled Eurasian block of ifluence and creating a significant Russia - Iran - China grouping, as well as the Russia - Turkey - Iran grouping.

These are groups that work to erode West's influence on the region.

As a result, EU businesses moved out and are to be replaced by Chinese businesses in a large 400 billion deal that also includes military cooperation between China and Iran. There are also millitias in Iraq that are sabotaging businesses of "undesirable countries", such as the US.

Moreover, US military forces are under constant attacks in Iraq, the recent one in Erbil.

Then there is the issue of Iran related proliferation of modern long range precision strike weapons among many local groups and millitias in the Middle East and the West's and israeli military decline due to that.

Then there is the issue of Iran being useful for Indian access to Central Asia (Chabahar port). This rising country is lobbying for JCPOA, together with Turkey.

Then there is the issue of Iran sabotaging US allies, such as Saudi Arabia, via the Yemen conflict. This country pays a lot to the US only not to receive any adequate help (Houthis are winning in Yemen and are bombing saudi cities). Which may cause that very rich country to look to diversify its partners.

Then there is Afghanistan, which remains important for the West, and Iran has influence there.

Then there is Iran joining the Eurasian Economic Union together with Russia.

So there is a price Iran is imposing on the declining West and this is why there was JCPOA in the first place.

The cost for alienating other countries is that they join the other side. And as the West declines and non-West grows, it will become increasingly difficult to sanction other countries, who will be easily able to replace western businesses with other players.

The issue with the US is israeli ifluence. The issue with the EU is hatred and greed. It both hates Iran but it also wants to make money from it, afraid to lose it in the long term to Russia and China, which is causing it to behave like a headless chicken, full of spasms caused by its internal infighting between hatred and greed.

Posted by: Passer by | Feb 19 2021 8:40 utc | 90

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 18 2021 20:38 utc | 25

Iran holds all the high ground relative to those who've violated the treaty which also include the EU and the EU-Three along with the Outlaw US Empire. All of Iran's remedial actions are legal and not in breech of the treaty as those actually in breech of the treaty claim. Their attempt to create an unreal reality around this issue only serves to fool their publics.

Yes, but fooling the home audience is really all that matters. In this game the empire certainly holds the narrative high ground. However compliant Iran's actions may be, however unfair and illegal are the conditions it faces, it will never be presented in an objective matter. The brand name 'Iran' is so heavily loaded that its mere mention in any news title automatically triggers a negative perception. The supreme leader could visit a public library and our first and lasting thought would be: "dear god, is there no end to their evil?".

Perhaps Teheran could try a different approach and very publicly lay down its own conditions:

- Complete nuclear disarmament of all signatories of the NPT.
- Whoever wishes to discuss missiles is welcome to do so as long as they are willing to put their own inventory on the table.

Posted by: robin | Feb 19 2021 9:11 utc | 91

@Awaken Now | Feb 19 2021 6:05 utc | 84

The whole of humanity is in a state of hypnosis.
A hypnosis created by fascist politicians, oligarchs, big pharma, MSM.
They are all involved in a subtle conspiracy, to oppress, to enslave, to dominate the individual.
Spiritual enslavement is the most dangerous slavery because it is not coming from outside.
Your hands are not handcuffed.
The chains are not visible, they are deep in your mind.
They have been perpetually enforced by politicians using behavioral, psychological, repetitive suggestion and lies.
Reinforced by MSM talking heads.

Thank you very much for you contribution! Truth matters a lot to me, and you are speaking truth and explaining what is really happening. You are absolutely right describing the current state of the world using words like hypnosis, spiritual enslavement and psychological lies. I value very much your analysis because most people are victims of this manipulation and do not dare talk about it. But it is real.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 19 2021 9:16 utc | 92

Biden IS the accelerationist candidate, he's fucking up both domestic and foreign policies at the same time.

Snow in Texas, nukes in Tehran.

Biden winning turns into a massive win after all.

Posted by: Smith | Feb 19 2021 9:17 utc | 93

Posted by: alaff | Feb 19 2021 7:33 utc | 86

"Face" and "Guanxi" are cultural games the Yankees (and pretty much everyone else) play in the workplace and in their social circles, but yet they also want to convince the rest of us only the "morally corrupt" Chinese are doing these "reprehensible" activities.

Posted by: J W | Feb 19 2021 9:25 utc | 94

Biden couldn't spell Iran if you fronted him the I

Posted by: Dogon Priest | Feb 19 2021 9:38 utc | 95

@90 Passer by
Biden doesn't care about EU trade, he is the president of the USA.

In regards to the other points: The Iranian leadership has already made it crystal clear that Iran has no intentions to resolve any of these issues with the USA in a cordial manner. No negotiations about the missile program, no negotiations about the regional tensions. The USA re-joining the JCPOA won't change that and Biden knows it.

Posted by: m | Feb 19 2021 10:11 utc | 96

It should be obvious that sanctions are an end, not a means.

Economic sanctions are weapons that combine effective demolition capacity with the advantage of little accountability. It is a branch of warfare where the general public righteously supports laying waste to distant places they cannot place on a map.

The devastation wreaked on Iran, Syria, Venezuela and many others is obvious as is the chilling effect on third parties discouraged from engaging in trade. However, as others have pointed out, western economic sanctions have an approaching expiry date. This creates a 'use them or lose them' incentive to rapidly clear the inventory and inflict as much damage as possible.

Inflicting damage is the bottom line when the great game is zero sum. If given the means, they would conjure floods, clouds of locusts and pestilence. Strategists are looking beyond the inevitable decline of the empire. Their system is comparable to the card game where, each round, the loser surrenders his best cards to the winner and, in return, receives the winner's worst cards. They don't want to lose the privilege that comes with dominance. But dominance is a relative term, and if growing stronger is no longer physically possible for the aging tree, there are strategies to slow down the emergent competition.

Posted by: robin | Feb 19 2021 10:16 utc | 97

Is "Biden" going to do a Trump?

The situation reminds me of Trump and North Korea. Happy buddies, Best friends, BUT when something was about to be done, Trump backed out leaving Kim high and dry. What Kim wanted was normalisation with the South (The South wanted it too). It was more than a PR exercise, it was a designed "failure" meant to compromise Kim's standing with the populations of the Koreas.

If Biden re-opens the negotiations with wide open arms, and then, when contact is made, suddenly drops out, this is supposed to leave the Iranian high command looking bad. Easy to point the finger and blame Iran for the failure. They "could have" stopped sanctions, they "could have" had peace or whatever, but "they" wouldn't make "concessions". All this in time for the Iranian elections. Throw in the MEK for disruption and US "Regime changers" at a crucial point, organise a demonstration with snipers and the elections will be manipulated. As per the usual "colour regime change", an opposition figure will be found, just at the right moment. Iran will be "Guaidoed".

Clearly the US will not and does not expect any change, either to the "sanctions" it now makes or will make in the future.

Do not get high on hopium.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 19 2021 11:44 utc | 98

Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 18 2021 21:55 utc | 36

.....deductive reasoning, alone, should make it obvious that "Israel" doesn't have enough Nukes to scare anyone.

Laguerre @24 is correct.

Going back to London in the 1968's, during the strange case of the Israeli Embassy and the radiation leaks from it, the shooting of a policewoman, we learnt about the necessity of a code input, that had to be renewed at regular periods, to stop a nuke from exploding. ie Blackmail. Probably (rumour) one in each Capital that had an Israeli Embassy.

The quantity of nukes available to Israel has been the subject of controversy ever since.
Starting at about 200+ it went up to about 400+. It was then progressively "talked downwards" to 80 or so. BUT Dimona has been producing material at a steady rate since the 60's. How many heads does that represent now?.

The Germans gave them submarines to carry tipped missiles, nuclear devices can now be "miniaturised" (ie multiplied using less material), and tailored to give an explosion at a desired strength etc. (One reason that some fools in the US military complex think a nuclear war is "winnable", as the victims won't shoot back thinking they are "ordinary" bombs.) How many do the Israelians have at the moment? Lots.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 19 2021 12:04 utc | 99

The names "Garden of Eden" (gan-ʿḖḏen) and "Paradise" (pairi-daêza)are both of Sumeric (Ur) and Persian origins. Maybe that's one of the reasons why the Germano.Arian Jews from Erope and Iran who ended up in Palestine felt so cheated and wanted to dominate south Iraq and Irân, and if not possible then to destroy what they cannot get? (Just asking)

Posted by: Tadlak Davidovitsh | Feb 19 2021 12:14 utc | 100

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