Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 04, 2021

'Maximum Pressure' Against Iran Has Failed. What Will Biden Do Next?

A week ago I wrote about Biden's failing foreign policy. With regards to the nuclear agreement (JCPOA) with Iran I remarked:

During his campaign Biden had promised to rejoin the nuclear deal with Iran. But no action has followed. Talks with Tehran started too late and were filled with new demands that Iran can not accept without diminishing is military defenses.

The arrogance of the Biden administration is at full display in its believe that it can dictate the terms to Tehran:
It is not Iran that left the UN endorsed JCPOA deal. It was the U.S. which went back on it and re-introduced a 'maximum pressure' sanctions campaign against Iran. Iran has said it is willing to again reduce its nuclear program to the limits of the JCPOA deal if the U.S. removes all sanctions. It is the Biden administration that is unwilling to do so while making new demands. That is obviously not going to work.
If the U.S. does not come back into the JCPOA deal, without any further conditions, Iran will eventually leave the deal and proceed with its nuclear program as it wants. That would be an utter failure of Biden's hardline tactics. One wonders what the Biden administration has planned to do when that happens.

The Biden administration thinks it can tighten sanctions on China's oil business with Iran:

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman was expected to discuss the prospect of tightening U.S. sanctions on Chinese entities importing Iranian oil when she met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and other officials in Tianjin, China on Monday (July 26), should agreement on a return to the nuclear pact not be able to be reached.

“We have been hoping, we could lift sanctions,” on Iran’s energy and banking sectors, including on Chinese entities purchasing Iranian oil, if the U.S. and Iran could agree on a mutual return to the nuclear deal, the US diplomat said. But “if there is no return to JCPOA…and if we are settling in for a long period of no return to JCPOA,” we will first look at our sanctions enforcement policy, he said.

But this is no longer 2012. Back then China and Russia agreed with the U.S. to put pressure on Iran. That pressure led to the nuclear deal. But today the situation is much different. It was the U.S. that left the deal. Iran, China and Russia are all in a stronger position than they were a decade ago. Why would the later two agree to support Biden's malign foreign policy and unilateral U.S. sanctions against Iran?

The former Indian ambassador M.K.Bhadrakumar draws a similar picture:

[T]he US negotiators drove a hard bargain in Vienna. They underestimated Iran’s grit to secure its core interests. They assumed that given Iran’s economic difficulties, it would bend over backward to get the sanctions lifted. And they began dictating terms and conditions.
Khamenei, who has the last word on Iran’s state matters, declared last Wednesday that Tehran would not accept Washington’s “stubborn” demands in nuclear talks and again flatly rejected the insertion of any other issues to the deal.
Having weathered the brunt of Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’, Tehran is in a better situation today. The international situation works in its favour too. Iran has gained strategic depth in the deepening partnership with Russia and China. It is neither possible now to ‘isolate’ Iran nor prudent to exercise the military option against it.

The former British diplomat Alastair Crooke agrees with that view:

The recent accounting of obstacles on the negotiation track listed by Iran’s envoy to the IAEA indeed seems a daunting catalogue of moveable U.S. and EU goalpost: From the original ‘no uranium enrichment’ doctrine; then to a ‘breakout’ horizon of less than one year; and now to that same threshold demand, plus the instance on assurances that Iran will immediately enter into regional and missile talks with the U.S., with any return to JCPOA.

A full post-mortem of the errors leading to this point must await the future. But, for now, U.S. officials insist that it is Iran that misreads its situation; but equally, it may be argued that the U.S. has misread how much the strategic situation in the region – and indeed the world – has changed; and the extent to which the mood of the Iranian people has shifted towards the Principal-ists’ viewpoint, over the period of the last four years.
Is then, the U.S. threat of an international consensus against Iran – similar to that of 2012 – more plausible? Consensus …?
Hasn’t Washington noticed that there isn’t one: not even for Washington’s aspiration to stop Russia from bringing its gas to Europe, via Nordstream 2? Haven’t they noticed the fracture in global politics? Yes, Europe is spineless, and will go with U.S., come what may, but that does not amount to a global consensus.

The U.S. attempt to press Iran into a stricter agreement than the nuclear deal Iran had agreed to and the U.S. abandoned has failed.

If the Biden administration does not pull back on its demands, the nuclear deal with Iran will be dead. Domestic pressure to 'do something' about Iran's growing nuclear technology will then increase.

But there is no global consensus to sanction Iran. Russia and China will resist any pressure to support them and Iran will have no reason to change its ways. Nor is there a military option. Iran has serious weapons that can reach any corner in the Middle East.

The Biden administration has driven its Iran policy into a blind alley. The wall in front of it is solid. But how will it reverse to get out?

Posted by b on August 4, 2021 at 18:13 UTC | Permalink

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it is hard to impossible to teach an old dog new tricks.... i don't think it is usa domestic pressure, but pressure from the israel lobby that has been discussed here numerous times, which is driving this... i get the impression ordinary americans don't care about this... american politicians as servants to israel view it quite differently though... so, the usa will continue to try and bully others to isolate iran.. good luck with that... china, russia and all other countries that want to have an independent viewpoint will not stand for the bullying... the usa can make laws for it's own country, but it is not in a position to make laws for others on other peoples freedom to choose who they cooperate and work with... the usa really is losing its place in the world today...

Posted by: james | Aug 4 2021 18:21 utc | 1

Easy. Allow Israel to stage an attack on Iran directly and then come to Israel's rescue

Posted by: Suresh Syed | Aug 4 2021 18:30 utc | 2

Related: It is claimed that Iran is now controlling all movements of ships in the Persian Gulf:

Iran Asserts Control of Ship Traffic in Persian Gulf After Accusations Over Tanker Attack

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Iran is controlling all movement of ships in the Persian Gulf, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) navy commander said on Wednesday in the wake of recent attacks on two tankers in the region.

Maybe this is in anticipation of an escalation.

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 4 2021 18:49 utc | 3

ha, how silly. USA/Israel WANT to get a no deal so they can then have a full excuse to attack Iran. That will have serious problems for China too. If people such as b really think USA/Isreal/West want a deal with iran people are really dumb.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Aug 4 2021 18:55 utc | 4

This update is incomplete without noting recent events and media narratives that revolve around:

  1. no-evidence claims of Iranian attacks on Gulf shipping;
  2. scare-mongering about the transition of power in Iran.

Iran's next President is said (by Western media and Israeli leadership) to be a 'hardliner' who will block any JCPOA agreement and has deep anti-US/anti-Israeli mindset that makes Iran more dangerous. (Naturally, the actions and rhetoric of 'hardliners' in Israeli and the West that raise tensions with Iran are ignored.)

What does the end of JCPOA negotiations (blamed on Iranian 'hardliners') and false-flag(?) attacks in the Gulf portend if not war?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 4 2021 18:56 utc | 5

The U.S. and its allies are looking for every possible way to maintain a dying narrative that Iran is some sort of evil force which must be contained through sanctions and militarism.

They will never publicly backtrack on their policy towards Iran and others unless it is a ruse, and they will do everything to preserve their current narrative about Iran at the same time. If they ever do walk back the narrative against Iran, the West risk exposing all their lies about the Middle East, and public confidence in those lies, which, for Iran, goes back to at least 1953.

The lies may go dormant for a while, but they will be kept alive in Western media and the public consciousness until it is opportune to use them again.

Even if the global hegemonic tables are turned in my lifetime to favor Iran and others, I expect propagandistic lies from the West about all financially-unabsorbed nations to propagate freely in the press until the end of time. And when US and Allied citizens stop believing the lies en masse, there will be a lot of stress and suffering imposed on them until the narrative is re-established.

Posted by: Rutherford82 | Aug 4 2021 18:57 utc | 6

The USA could have re-entered the JCPOA on the first day of the Biden regime had the USA ever intended to make an agreement. Iran has been quite clear about its conditions. The USA has met none of them, but instead does what it always does; carry a big stick. But thanks to the profit-motive the 'big stick' is now a wet noodle compared to the weapons advances of our 'enemies.'

There was never going to be a return to the JCPOA because that means 'peace' with Iran and that is existentially unacceptable to the Cult of the Chosen.

War is not only not off the table, but still the wet dream of the insane no matter how many times the USA loses the war games.

Posted by: gottlieb | Aug 4 2021 18:58 utc | 7

Plus, b is forgetting the fundamentals: a cornered animal is the most dangerous. And USA is a cornered animal and WILL start a war if it doesn't gets its way. All you have to do is read history: capitalism ALWAYS starts a war because capitalism always eventually fails. Bu wars cover that fact. USA entered WWII to get out of the 30s depression. Then it saw how profitable wars can be and hasnt stopped since.
Geez, I think Im outgrowing this site too. The "articles" are becoming silly and deliberately stupid.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Aug 4 2021 18:59 utc | 8

"Why would the later two agree to support Biden's malign foreign policy"

It is important that the word "malign" is used to describe what the US has done and is doing.

The US uses that word as constant self justification for its own crimes. I say crimes, because they are international crimes under the Nuremberg standards established to convict the Nazis.

US hawks are unlikely to be prosecuted, but they can at the least be called out for the criminals they are.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Aug 4 2021 19:02 utc | 9

From that M.K. Bhadrakumar's article:

"US officials are already arguing that no American president can guarantee that an agreement with a foreign country will not be undone by a future president or Congress."

If that is so, that really spells out to the world once again that the US is quite simply not agreement-capable.

As has been seen time and time again, negotiations and deals with the US cannot be trusted except for short-term gains at long-term cost.

And from the Bhadrakumar excerpt that b quoted:

"They assumed that given Iran’s economic difficulties, it would bend over backward to get the sanctions lifted. And they began dictating terms and conditions."

Those economic difficulties were of course deliberately imposed by the US and its crew as collective punishment designed to make the people of Iran suffer - referred to by the Western establishment and its media euphemistically as "maximum pressure", but very much a crime under international law.

Besides collective punishment of civilians, it's also quite clearly extortion by the UKUSA crime organization, backed by its Five Eyes gang lieutenants and its NATO protection racket thugs. Just give us what we want and we might do something to alleviate your unfortunate "economic difficulties".

("In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism." - Major General Smedley Butler, USMC, 1935)

The rest of the world has had enough of being bullied and taxed by this UKUSA mafia, and can hopefully now stand up to them at long last.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Aug 4 2021 19:22 utc | 10

Again quoting from the above cited article by Alastair Crooke: "Perhaps Iran will take a sojourn in the East, for a while, until America takes leave of the Middle East. The U.S. eventually will go ‘yes’, but Israel can’t. What happens there? Now that is a question …"
Wonderful turn of phrase that, "...sojourn in the East...". This is already in place with Iran's turn toward Russia and China. Iran tried repeatedly to accommodate the West, but the West adamantly refused to listen. That horse has bolted.
The horse that hasn't bolted, that will need to be put down, is Zionism. Without the demise of Zionism, it's either civil war in the U.S. and in Israel, or it's some form of Armageddon across the Middle East.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Aug 4 2021 19:23 utc | 11

I'm going to jump in here because I see pure silliness from at least one commenter who 'thinks' that the US will 'start' a war with Iran [or allow Israel to start it---even sillier!]

As Bernhard very carefully underlined:

Nor is there a military option.

Iran has serious weapons that can reach any corner in the Middle East.

Maybe I should consider doing a technical article on Iran's very formidable missile capabilities? Obviously some people need to be disabused of their disneyland notions about who actually holds the hammer!

In the meantime...Everything New We Just Learned About The 2020 Iranian Missile Attack On U.S. Forces In Iraq

Posted by: Gordog | Aug 4 2021 19:27 utc | 12

@ Hoyeru | Aug 4 2021 18:55 utc | 4

I agree with you, the US/NATO axis was never interested in an agreement with Iran. I reckon they were taken by surprise when Iran accepted the original deal, the US never fulfilled their part of the bargain with the first deal anyway.

Posted by: MarkU | Aug 4 2021 19:27 utc | 13

Hoyeru @4 actually made a valid point but probably doesn't know so I'll tell it--You're correct that the Outlaw US Empire didn't want a "deal" with Iran; rather, it wanted to dictate to Iran what would be permissible for it to do, once again acting as if it still had "Primacy."

b asks how will the Biden team extricate itself from the hole Trump dug and it continued digging. Trump was explicitly told what the consequences of a military attack on Iran and its escalation would entail, and Trump prudently backed down and allowed the situation to fester. It appears Russia will need to repeat itself, but that doesn't resolve the issue. IMO, before any further progress can be made, Biden must admit it was the Outlaw US Empire under Trump that violated the JCPOA as such an admission has yet to occur, but I don't see such a confession happening given the current state of geopolitics.

Raisi has just declared Iran to be the Persian Gulf's policeman, as the article linked @3 announces. IMO, this isn't just related to the recent provocations, but also tied to rapprochement discussions with the Sauds. As much as the zealots now governing Occupied Palestine yearn to attack Iran, they won't because that will bring about the self-inflicted end of their game and victory for Palestine. So, the situation will again be allowed to fester, while Iran continues to recover from the war waged on it since 1980 by the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals--The longer Peace prevails, the stronger the Arc of Resistance becomes, and that includes Russia and China.

A stalemate in chess needs to be agreed upon by both players. But in this case, such a declaration would be the same as an admission of defeat for the Outlaw US Empire, so the situation will likely be allowed to fester until the great majority of the Empire's military assets are removed from the region thus ending their status as hostages. A radical transformation of the situation would occur if/when the Gulf States agreed to a Collective Security Treaty. The possibility of a transformation within Occupied Palestine is also possible as emigration continues to drain it of its non-Semetic population.

So, my answer to b's question is Biden's team won't do anything to extricate itself from the hole it further dug for itself until it removes most of its hostages.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 4 2021 19:39 utc | 14

Maximum pressure on Iran failed, but that pressure had made life in Iran more unbearable while the other side has apparently nothing to lose. As such you can bet the other side would try again and again nasty pressures. The solution to this predicament has to be one that involves giving the other side something to lose. Here is where China and Russia can come into play. Both are advanced in weapon production, and Israel being a small spot of ground to cover is vulnerable to blanket conventional weapon bombardments. So, if China/Russia development advanced weapon transfer program with Iran, it would give the other side something to think about. And why not, doesn't the other side sell advanced weaponry to enemies of China/Russia on regular basis--Taiwan, India, Ukraine, Georgia, Japan, Australia, blah blah????

Give them some angst, see how they respond. We'll go from there on.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Aug 4 2021 19:48 utc | 15

One thing I didn't notice mentioned in the article is that Iranian enrichment for medical use and nuclear power doesn't represent a strategic threat to the US. Iran has no interest or need for nuclear weapons. Iran's military and technical prowess is the actual threat to the US and its quisling allies, but the US can't make that its primary argument - so they try to hype the nuclear threat.

Posted by: worldblee | Aug 4 2021 19:48 utc | 16

@Gordog 12

This article still contains a lot of wishful thinking. It omits the warning given via Swiss diplomatic channels, claiming they knew the incoming attack from "intelligence". And it (like any other article about this event) failed to explain the brain injuries of so many troops - all the same, strange. As for the latter, quite large number, I suppose that the randomly looking hits of Iranian missiles imply knowledge of where the bunkers are. Brain injury is what you expect, if a big, non penetrating HE war head explodes on top of a thick bunker with lots of personnel, isn't it?

Posted by: BG13 | Aug 4 2021 19:48 utc | 17

Hoyeru, I agree with your general rule that "capitalism ALWAYS starts a war because capitalism always eventually fails." But I can't imagine how a war that would immediately result in a five- to tenfold increase in the price of crude oil would benefit capitalism, or even capitalists outside, say, the Exxon boardroom.

I'll grant that the quality of our (US) military leaders is poor, but even they seem less than thrilled by the prospect of a war that would result in the more or less immediate vaporization of American forces within the hundreds of miles' worth of striking range of Iranian missiles. And I take some comfort, however meager, in the fact that despite constant and intense pressure from the thuggish "Middle East's Only Democracy," we haven't agreed to play their game of Let's You and Him Fight.

Is the Beltway Booboisie spoiling for a war? For sure. But pity them; they can't identify a war anywhere that they'd stand a chance of winning. Not even a "color revolution" in Venezuela!

Posted by: corvo | Aug 4 2021 19:49 utc | 18

The Financial Empire wants to control Iran.

The Financial Empire has been after Iran since early 1950s. Remember, the regime change to install a monarch. It wants to control and price all global resources in its currency 💲. This way it can thwart any alternate powers such as China and Russia. In the former by controlling its access to resources and limiting the PRICING Power in the case of latter. Biden’s administration just follows orders from the Imperial Council of the Financial Empire, that wants to consolidate its power in the Middle East.

Plausible Scenarios: Destabilize, Destruction, Deadlock... (high to low probability)

Why is JCPOA still a valid deal?
If a party to the deal walked away, then the deal is null and void? The probability of the U$A returning back to the JCPOA is nearly zero. Iran’s response has been one of “strategic endurance”. The continuation of the current dire situation would lead to undetermined and appalling consequences. If one nation can have and use nuclear weapons, then all can.

China & Russia show their vulnerability and suzerainty status by bowing to extraterritorial sanctions. Russia has a poor record of delivering on agreements (Minsk, Astana, JCPOA...). Why does Russia enter into agreements? China seems to be been boxed in by 2021 Winter Olympics. WIMPY nations can’t be viewed as sovereign and pillars of the multipolar world order.

Who are the sovereign nations standing up to imperialism and enslavement?

Posted by: Max | Aug 4 2021 20:00 utc | 19

@12 Gordog said: "Maybe I should consider doing a technical article on Iran's very formidable missile capabilities? Obviously some people need to be disabused of their disneyland notions about who actually holds the hammer!"

Yes, I second that suggestion. I think it's important - especially for US Americans - to understand the military aspects of this confrontation much better, in addition to understanding the history of the U.S.' terribly unfortunate relationship with Iran.

The U.S. press, of course, is not going to cover this story, Gordog. It would be great if you would.

BTW, really enjoying your articles on rockets, and aerodynamics, and physics. Thx b for hosting them.

Posted by: Tom Pfotzer | Aug 4 2021 20:13 utc | 20

worldblee @16--

With its last installation of centrifuges, Iran has the capability to enrich to 90%--weapon's grade. Also, much like Japan's ability to turn its weapons grade into weapons rather quickly, so it is with Iran given the state of its industry. Both nations have declarations on sheets of paper pledging never to construct nuclear weapons, but I only trust Iran to remain faithful to Khamenei's fatwa; although, that might change upon his death. Japan isn't at all sovereign and will do whatever the Outlaw US Empire tells it to do.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 4 2021 20:13 utc | 21


" high-ranking foreign officials from around the world are arriving in Tehran to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Raeisi, which is set to be held at 5:00 p.m. local time (1230 GMT) on Thursday, August 5." (Press TV Iran).

Provocation or payback, this is carefully timed by someone.

When the foreign officials are at the official dinner post-inauguration, maybe,just as an exquisite Iranian honey and almond cake is served, the new Iranian President will turn to the Swiss Foreign Minister and casually say, "Oh, do convey to Mr. Biden that we have just..."

Posted by: powerandpeople | Aug 4 2021 20:25 utc | 22

BG13 @ 17:

Exactly right, lol!

How about that cockamamie story about how US 'intel' was monitoring Iranian access to open source imaging sats like Google Earth...and then when the Iranians logged off from their computers, the US 'knew' the Iranians had 'acquired' their targets [thanks google LOLOLOL] and it was time to head for the bunkers, lol!

I mean come on man. That doesn't even pass the village idiot test! 😹

This is the level of military and 'science' reporting in the US!

Like the Iranians don't know 24/7 exactly where the US forces are in Iraq especially. Even their guys on the ground with a simple handheld gps map is going to know. Never mind surveillance drones run by the Iranian-linked militias there etc.

Btw, some weeks after the strike I had a rather fitful 'discussion' with a typical American civilian. He was utterly apoplexic that that the US didn't strike back!

I tried to explain to him that those US military commanders on the ground in the many huge bases in the region are not going to recklessly paint a target on the enlisted folks and officers that they are responsible for.

He just couldn't get that. People think that the 'president' can just give the order and bingo, the military starts shooting. it doesn't work that way, folks.

The US has siloviki too---a lot of guys in uniform with many little stars pinned to them. As in every civilization, when push comes to shove, its the guy with the BIG FIST that says what goes and what doesn't.

They will even nuke wall street if they choose to! That is precisely where the buck stops, and where it has always stopped. All throughout history.

As for the silly notion that the US is going to 'withdraw' all its forces from the Middle East, in order to remove 'hostages' that can be targeted by Iranian missiles: well, that's an idea I suppose. It's also the instant end of the Petroponzi Empire!

Bottom line: there will be no attack on Iran. US clowns in suits on TV can huff and puff and that will be the end of it.

The military already said 'NO' back in January 2020. And it still says 'NO' even louder today!

PS: Funny how US 'missile defense' neither saw the attack coming [that heads-up was provided by the Iranians through neutral channels], nor even thought about any 'interceptions.'

Posted by: Gordog | Aug 4 2021 20:28 utc | 23

Posted by: Hoyeru | Aug 4 2021 18:59 utc | 8

b is forgetting the fundamentals: a cornered animal is the most dangerous. And USA is a cornered animal and WILL start a war if it doesn't gets its way.


Any evidence for that? "Cornered animal" is an entity threatened with its very survival, and how the heck it matters to USA if Iran "obeys" or not? Any impact on the lives of people in USA, except incidence of clinical depression in some think tanks? On the second thought, think tankers will do well: they are in the business of claiming that the sky is about to fall, and therefore they need more funding for more studies. Lamentations are simply what makes them fat (well funded) and happy.

By the way of contrast, a war with disastrous results may divert plutocratic favor toward competing shops like Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, Inc. Rather than pressed to a wall, warmonger may prosper, but they have somewhat delicate path to thread.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 4 2021 20:32 utc | 24

Posted by: worldblee | Aug 4 2021 19:48 utc | 16

Everything is a threat to America. It's own shadow for example. Did you notice the larges cocaine bust in US Customs history just occurred in Pennsylvania, a mere stone's thrown from Biden's new (for him) roach motel, the White House? There've been plenty of rumors that the 2008 bail out was for Wall Street's coke supply.

I'm serious, the liberal dope fiends in office get their paranoid world view by the kilo. There's going to be some strung out congressman.

Posted by: Bones | Aug 4 2021 20:36 utc | 25

What Biden will do next will be to hand over to Israel to play stupid games in the Gulf.

UAE, it seems, has agreed to become "fabrication central" for the US and Israeli Presidents 'needling' and propaganda schemes.

What will be the unintended consequences of playing with this important area?

It won't scupper the Russian promoted Gulf Security concept, there is too much for all Gulf countries to gain.

It is just another morally bankrupt move.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Aug 4 2021 20:39 utc | 26

Posted by: Gordog | Aug 4 2021 20:28 utc | 23

Well, Iranian attack proved, if anything else, that:

1. US has no functioning AB defense in ME, they don't even have functioning anti air/point defense (no, mounting naval Phalanx on ugly trailers doesn't count)
2. US doesn't even expects to be attacked by serious weapons, talking about picking your wars with nations that can't strike back

So, basically, US is emperor without clothes and everyone there knows it.

Also, I expect that in 10 or 40 years, Pentagon finally release documents about real casualties from that day. It took them only how, 50 years for Tonkin bay, right?

Posted by: Abe | Aug 4 2021 20:42 utc | 27

Looking at the situation from another angle, the "threat of Iran having nukes - and using them", is far fetched from what we know today. They have nuclear power ambitions, but the use of nukes would entail some sort of finality via a nuclear winter. The Iranians realise that even if the US "big daddyship" (leadership) does not.

However, the key to US foreign policy is knowing what Israel wants. This policy is NOT simply that Iran does not get nukes. Israel needs the "threat" to continue to "justify" their present policies AND hide worse ones at the same time.

ie "Policies" include bombing the neighbours under the pretext that there are Iranians there. (Syria). That there are friends and weapons suppliers from Iran there (Lebanon). US adds Iraq/ as a weapon supplier.
This enables pressure, you know, "because Iran.....". to be brought on Gulf States. (SA, Qatar, etc.). Now more pressure is being brought on Oman because of the offfshore attacks. (The latest was possibly a false flag, or a contraband effort, More likely the former otherwise how could the "armed men get off the ship and disappear with multiple navies watching". Maybe their radars didn't work? .. But I digress.).

Policies include self righteousness by Israel as it carries out the ethnic cleaning of Palestine. If there wasn't Iran - wouldn't the world's MSM HAVE TO talk about the continual brutality of an oppresssive force? On the regular bombing of Gaza, and the deprivations, No electricty, or water on a regular basis. The dispossesion of a population, who are the owners of the land, destruction of meagre resources (agricultural bulldozing and fishing "rules", restricted imports for 2 million people), injust "laws" set by a military or in biaised courts. Settler violence.

All that and more Israel wants to hide. "So Iran....."

In sum. It is NOT Iran which is the problem, but Israel and it's continual flaunting of the principles that should have been learnt at the termination of WWII, at Nuremberg trials, and subsequently in the setting up of the UN?

Here for reference is Principle VI Nuremberg

The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

(a) Crimes against peace:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).

(b) War crimes:
Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the Seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.

(c) Crimes against humanity:
Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.
Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.

(My emphasis)

ALL countries should follow these Principles. As long as one does not, and Israels crimes are not brought to light from under "The cloak of darkness" and seen for what they are - there will not be a return to a JCPOA. As the attention it gets is too useful for Israel as a diversion..

Posted by: Stonebird | Aug 4 2021 20:44 utc | 28

Regarding the nuclear deal, Reuters noted in April that Iran was going to proceed to 60% enrichment. 20% is the threshold for "weapons usable", which means that you can create a nuclear detonation (not sure about the yield, but I assume at least a "fizzle" size detonation of maybe 1 kiloton) although you can't "weaponize" it for bombs and warheads because of its bulk.

But remember that the US used 60% HEU for the first atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Once you achieve 20% enrichment (and have HEU), it does not require nearly as much time to progress to weapons grade HEU.

I am not making any statements about Iranian intent to make nuclear weapons, rather I am simply commenting upon capabilities.

Posted by: Perimetr | Aug 4 2021 20:51 utc | 29

Sorry, I meant to write 80% enrichment for the Hiroshima bomb.

Posted by: Perimetr | Aug 4 2021 20:53 utc | 30

and spinning the message even further, the Iranian missiles may have hit not the bunkers of the deplorable privates, but of the guys with the biggest stars. Therefore, they are busy digging deeper. Somewhere I have seen a video with a major from the US base in Al-Assad "The Lion" whining around deeply surprised by "how dare they" shooting back

@20 Tom Pfotzer & others
I visited Iran in 2019. It is a booming country, building everywhere. Not the one whining from "sanctions". No idea how it would look like with normal relationship to Western economies. Likely megabooming. Stupid action from the West. Iran is (was) more oriented to the West, it needed really a big punch to reorient to China and Russia.

The people are incredible friendly, never intrusive (a very rare combination). No beggars. Not many foreigners. Within 2 weeks I saw about 100 foreign travellers, despite having visited also some tourist hot spots. Very large inland tourism. People including the "suppressed" women and girls often started communication (after having assured not being disturbing). When asking young people what they are learning, studying - mostly STEM with a strong focus on water - the most serious problem of Iran nobody is talking about. The golf war against Iraq is still omnipresent, streets named after martyrs, pictures in the streets, but also in private homes pictures of martyred uncles, grandfathers ... Many people suffered injuries from gas. Blind people or people in wheelchairs get a lot of attention and priority in boarding busses, planes. Most bus stations, metro stations have not only praying rooms but also rooms for mother and baby. And the mosques offer a lot of free jacks - for the smartphones.

Posted by: BG13 | Aug 4 2021 20:55 utc | 31

So Max @9 diplomacy and patience are wimpy traits? The adults in the room are accomplishing their goals and ignoring the tantrums of the psychotic gorilla making a fool of itself on the global stage.

The smallest penis has the most to prove
JUSA is way out of its league

Posted by: ld | Aug 4 2021 21:10 utc | 32

sorry that was a reply to Max@19 not 9

Posted by: ld | Aug 4 2021 21:11 utc | 33

@19 Max You are mistaken to think Russia was a signatory to the Minsk Agreement, either Minsk 1 or Minsk 2. This shows you don't know what's in the Agreement. I have read it, so I can say that not only is Russia not a signatory, but also that Kiev, a pawn of the US, has never kept its end of the Agreement, nor will it ever. Every honest commentator has noted that Russia was careful to not agree to any obligations under that Agreement, but Paris and Berlin are two of the four signatory parties and they do have obligations which of course they have never kept. Kiev agreed to both Minsk Agreements because those sheets of paper allowed about Western "military advisers" to sneak out of the encirclement and avoid capture. 300 in the case of Debaltsevo in February 2015, and probably a smaller number at Ilovaisk in Sept. 2014. I'm still not sure why Moscow encouraged the separatists in Novorossiya to sign it, but I suppose Moscow was trying to save the West from huge embarrassment. Moscow does things on its own schedule, for its own reasons.
BTW, don't expect to find much of the truth on Wikipedia.

Posted by: JessDTruth | Aug 4 2021 21:12 utc | 34

"There is no way that this dog will bite me. What could the dog gain from that? It would make no sense for this dog to bite me. It should be obvious to the dog that I could hurt it very badly if I had to, so what logical reason could there be for the dog to take such a risk?"

The problem with asserting that there can be no war launched by America against Iran is that assertion is based upon the premise that we are dealing with rational actors making the decisions in the USA. You are not. Instead we are dealing with people mired very deeply in delusion. They cannot make rational decisions based upon facts and conditions existent in the real world because they are oblivious to those facts and conditions. Those making the decisions in the US do not even want to know what those facts and conditions are because they are super depressing.

General: "The Russians have hypersonic missiles that we have no defense against."
Political whore: "You're just brainwashed by Russian propaganda!"
General: "The Iranians have medium range missiles that have terminal guidance and incredible accuracy. We're going to be hurt very badly if we fight them."
Presstitute: "OMGWTF! This general is a coward! He needs to be diversitied out of a job! Cancel! Cancel! Cancel!"

With the United States you are not dealing with a rational actor. It is not even a monkey with a hand grenade. You are dealing with a diseased and ailing mad dog; a rabid dog.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 4 2021 21:26 utc | 35

Will Iran show creativity and courage?

A new article by Bhadrakumar: A new dawn breaks in Tehran.

Iran needs to create sovereign money, pursue state-industrial capitalism to fund its entrepreneurs and create jobs & real economic growth. It can minimize its society’s pain by announcing universal basic income. Raisi intends to pursue nationalist credo, “empower the middle and lower classes of society that are shouldering the burden of economic problems,” and solve economic, social and cultural problems of the society.

If China can support Iran in this endeavor then its return on $400 billion investment will be 10X. Let’s see what happens between Iran & China. China needs a successful partnership story.

Which developing nation besides China will demonstrate an economic success story?

Posted by: Max | Aug 4 2021 21:40 utc | 36

Too bad Gordog wasn't here during the Trump years and all the discourse we conducted on this issue, literally many thousands of comments. The barflies then present learned much, like Russia telling both Occupied Palestine and the Outlaw US Empire that it had Iran's back and would treat a nuke attack on Iran as an attack on Russia. That was shorty after Iran had taken out the ultra sophisticated Imperial drone that Iran proved entered into its air space with very precise radar imagery--the sort the Empire thought Iran didn't possess. That the hostages tied Trump's hands was proven beyond doubt. And nothing has altered that fact.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 4 2021 21:52 utc | 37

@ ld (#31), learn to be civil and focus on the subject matter. No digression.

Diplomacy without good results is waste of time and resources. Why isn’t there a clause in the JCPOA that nullified the agreement if any party walks away from it? A good deal maker will have that clause in every agreement in the termination-exit section.

Please share examples of Russian diplomacy successfully delivering on the agreements over the last decade. Also, show creative clauses introduced by Russian diplomats in their agreements.

@ JessDTruth (#33), I never said Russia was a signatory to the Minsk agreement. Don’t assume. However, Vladimir Putin and Lavrov personally led the development of the Minsk agreement and defined the signatories of the agreement. Weren’t they present at Minsk?

Trolls expose themselves through their BS.

Posted by: Max | Aug 4 2021 21:57 utc | 38

I am no historian, but I have read a few things about the Persian Empire that are still relevant today.

1. Persia has been technologically advanced for thousands of years. There has always been a strong focus on what we call today Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. This allows Iran to indigenously design and produce cutting edge military gear and civilian products.
2. Persians possessed a strong warrior culture. Maybe not like the Spartans, but still formidable. This makes Persians unlikely to easily submit to economic warfare or a military invasion.
3. Iran is a natural fortress. Geography alone makes marching on Tehran almost impossible if the advance is contested.

Taking all these together means Iran is a hard target for economic sanctions or military actions. Much like Russia, Iran has the will and ability to withstand any siege the US conducts and it is simply not in their nature to surrender.

So, the usual US tactics of intimidation, bullying, ultimatums and threats have no effect. Since that is all the US knows how to do well, and any winning war strategy is unknown to the US, there is a stalemate. That will probably continue until the US gives up.

Posted by: Mar man | Aug 4 2021 21:59 utc | 39

Representatives of 70 countries including ten head of states will attend Iran’s new president’s inauguration tomorrow a peaceful transfer of power in the only nonaligned independent country in western Asia. That’s is what is burning the American, Israelis and their creator the queen’s tyranny of UK asses , they tried hard to discredit Iran’s elections they failed. there is a rumor that even the American satrapy KSA is sending a representative for inauguration. Blinken’s and allies ass is on fire may god burn them to hell.

Posted by: Kooshy | Aug 4 2021 22:09 utc | 40

Mar man @ 38 drives the nail home! 👍

Thanks also to BG13 @ 30 for excellent firsthand reports on the ground from Iran!

Iran is a formidable country in many ways and modernizing quickly. They graduate as many engineers as the US, with one quarter the population!

Karlof mentioned the Iranian takedown of the Northrop MQ4 high altitude UAV a couple years back.

That's a 200 million dollar aircraft, folks! A technological triumph---until it meets a SAM crew that doesn't care for peacocks flying around its backyard, lol!

@ Abe # 26, who rightly points out the cardboard maquettes that the US calls 'missile defense' lol! Yeah that's about the size of it.

Excellent article today by Bhadrakumar too. What's got into him lately? After putting up a few real clunkers on Afghanistan, suddenly he's in top form on Iran?

Very informative, although I also take BG13's first-hand report about ACTUAL living conditions of ordinary Iranians into account---and it seems they are doing just fine.

Posted by: Gordog | Aug 4 2021 22:31 utc | 41

Valuable discussion.

But though i frequently see reference to the growing partnership / support network linking Russia, China and Iran, I see very little discussion of Russia / Iran relations, which are complex and, I gather, difficult.

I am prepared to accept Karlof1's account of Russia telling Israel and US that a nuke attack on Iran will be treated as an attack on Russia--who the hell would find nuclear detonations on a neighboring country as anything but a maximal national security threat?

But we have to ask ourselves how the hell Russia and China would sign off on the JCPOA in the first place--why would it be valid to limit Iran's civilian nuclear program--and why they seem incapable or more likely unwilling simply to ignore or bypass US sanctions to deliver aid and support to Iran.

Not saying there isn't sympathy and moral support but between Russia and Iran I see mostly symbolic support, and between Russia and China I see more benefit going to China than to Russia.

But it would be easy for a layperson such as i to 'misunderestimate' things...

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Aug 4 2021 23:04 utc | 42

@Gordog | Aug 4 2021 22:31 utc | 40


Liked your recent articles here. If you do write an article on "Iran's very formidable missile capabilities", I would be highly interested in just how much Russia contributed. Or any other countries.

Now that the world has seen Iran's first rate missiles in real combat, there has been debate on whether it was Russian missile technology we saw in Iraq or indigenous Iranian technology. Iran is known to have some Russian missile tech.

Supposedly, Iran also has Chinese missile technology and even some North Korean missiles thrown in for good measure.

That is quite a menu!

Your opinion regarding that question would be highly regarded.

Posted by: Mar man | Aug 4 2021 23:06 utc | 43

Dear Gordog and b; Please do write about the Iranian missile program!

I am also curious whether this is generally repicable in other technologically advanced countries in a reasonable time frame as well. Many in my country (Canada) are hoping to purchase F35s to deter against a Russian incursion. (As if they don't have enough land? And do they not have better fighters than those rather bulky strike fighters?)
Of course, they're actually intended to be used to bomb swarthy countries.

Posted by: bobzibub | Aug 4 2021 23:22 utc | 44

Posted by: Max | Aug 4 2021 21:57 utc | 37

Diplomacy without good results is waste of time and resources. Why isn’t there a clause in the JCPOA that nullified the agreement if any party walks away from it?

What was JCPOA designed for?  There were 7 signatories for for the agreement ( 1 + 5 + Iran) + UNSC. Each group had his own purpose. I do not go in to details.  From Iran's point of view, or Iran's intention it was to crack the UNSC. Indeed it was done perfectly. Now the JCPOA is Mullah's steam felt rolling bath. Let see when the sky rain bloods, or Caliphate takes his last breath.

From Iran's view UNSC is bastion of Imperialism. And since Soviet collapse, it turned to a formidable tool of $ imperialism. 

Posted by: arata | Aug 4 2021 23:23 utc | 45

@23 Gordog "PS: Funny how US 'missile defense' neither saw the attack coming [that heads-up was provided by the Iranians through neutral channels], nor even thought about any 'interceptions.'"

Were there any missile defenses in Iraq?

I assumed that once the Saudi's proved themselves utterly incapable of shooting down anything that The Donald had ordered US-manned Patriot missiles to be moved out of Iraq and put inside Saudi Arabia to protect all that oil.

So the most likely reason that Iranian missiles were not intercepted was because no Patriots were in Iraq; what Patriot batteries the US possessed in-theatre were busy playing whack-a-mole inside Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 4 2021 23:23 utc | 46

Readers now have to decide who is more right ...

the experts that say war with Iran is impossible (technology! geography! Pershians!), or

the worrywarts who are concerned that butt-hurt (over the prospect of losing the dream of world domination), ideologically-driven Empire asshats that always double-down because they are never held accountable make war very very possible.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 4 2021 23:25 utc | 47


It depends whether the realists (there must be some) or the lunatics prevail.

After all, the lunatics didn't get their way when they tried to start a war with the drone, and then Soleimani .

Posted by: Ash Naz | Aug 4 2021 23:30 utc | 48

"That would be an utter failure of Biden's hardline tactics."

I read sentences like this and I wonder what I woke up to and what I'm doing on this site.

How is it an "utter failure" if that is exactly what the Bidet regime wants? As things stand, Amerikastan has isolated itself on the question of the JCPOA, its vassals are uncomfortable with its leaving the agreement, and they have not followed in ditching it. Yet the orders from the Bidet regime's zionist owners are as clear as they were to Trump: Iran must not be allowed to function normally Iran must be isolated, and that means no agreements. Bidet therefore cannot rejoin the JCPOA yet has to show that it isn't his fault that he isn't. It must all be shown to be Iran's fault, that it is Iran that is walking away from the agreement.

How is this then a "failure" exactly? As you Germans say, it's planmäßig.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Aug 4 2021 23:36 utc | 49

My guess is that any attack on Iran would, at the very least, result in the pretty much total destruction of the Middle East. The Israeli Dimona nuclear plant would likely get splattered all around. And the US economy would probably disintegrate. Unfortunately, due to the US attraction to lost causes, this cannot be removed from the bloody 'table'. Perhaps the Yemeni Houthis would eventually survive to some extent.

Posted by: blues | Aug 4 2021 23:37 utc | 50

The so-called "JCPOA" is not an agreement. It is terms of Iran's surrender signed by the westoxicated regime of Rouhani and company.

Posted by: Ali | Aug 4 2021 23:45 utc | 51

And let's not forget that Iran actually shot down a Ukrainian (!!) airliner containing 176 civilians by accident following the Soleimaini kerfuffle. An incident that has been sufficiently forgotten about / memory-holed that I actually had to look it up to confirm that it actually happened.

Posted by: Ash Naz | Aug 4 2021 23:48 utc | 52

I don't think Biden has any plans at this point. Problems are mounting at home, and he has a lot of fires to put out at the same time.

If there is a plan, it is to merely survive, and pray for Trump to earn the nomination of the GOP in 2024 (he apparently is going to comfortably win the nomination) so he as some chance of being reelected.

It's important to highlight Biden himself already is the Democratic Party's plan B. It wasn't to be him: he was an improvisation by the DNC to block Bernie Sanders from winning the nomination (he entered in the middle of the race against the statute of the party; the DNC had to literally change the rules in the middle of the game to put him in after the postmodern candidates didn't pass 1% and Sanders was rolling over all of them).

Biden was put by the DNC so that the surge of its left-wing faction could be stopped and contained. As such, Biden is a chimeric POTUS by himself.

At the beginning of his reign, it appeared his goal was to resurrect the old symbols and slogans of the American golden age and to go all in on a huge, robust vaccination program, to be finished by Independence Day (July 4th), and then use this prestige to cockblock the agenda of the leftists (Democratic Socialists/Gaitskellites). All the while trying to resurrect the illusion of the Western alliance in Europe, SE Asia and elsewhere.

The problem is that not even his minimum program (the vaccination campaign) worked, and now he's stranded in a sea of false promises and geopolitical contradictions. To make things even worse, the MMTers were wrong, and inflation started to bite the American purse, while its GDP grew only 6.5% this quarter - 2% below the expected (China also grow less than the expected, but only by 0.2%). His infrastructure package also seems to be much smaller than he intended (the original was already small), and there's already pressure by the landlords to liberate the wave of evictions.

I don't know. I think the USA may be in disarray. The key here is that capitalist societies don't collapse; they degrade layer by layer. It may well be the case the economic base of the USA is already gone, and, in a context where a big hot world war is not possible, the propaganda warfare "layer" is still intact and hence it is still kicking. We'll only find out post facto, but we may be witnessing live the process of Third-worldization of the American Empire; if that's true, then its collapse will be much more like the case of the Roman Empire, not the Soviet Union.

Posted by: vk | Aug 4 2021 23:59 utc | 53

'Maximum Pressure' Against Iran Has Failed. What Will Biden Do Next?

Whatever his handlers tell him to do....

Posted by: circumspect | Aug 5 2021 0:00 utc | 54

Great analysis, thank you B. After reading your good analysis I thought of a few points that I believe would help shine more light on the matter. So let me go to the meat of the matter by posing two crucial questions:

1. Which direction the JCPOA might be heading to?
2. How does the JCPOA fit into the larger Iran-U.S (and to the larger extent, the Iran-West) relationship in the future?

The JCPOA is currently at a very detrimental point, one which is either 0 or 1. There is no other way around it. Prior to the June election and especially after the leak Zarif tapes (1) which set the record straight by letting everyone 'understand' that all strategic decisions from A-Z are made by the SL Ayatollah Khamenei, -not Rouhani and the executive branch in general- the prevailing logic was that the establishment was keen on wrapping the nuclear issue BEFORE the election and allowing Raisi to have a smoother first term presidency by reaping the benefits of the JCPOA re-entry and to not be forced to go through the hardship of meeting/bartering face to face with the 5+1 who had managed to develop good relationship with FM Zarif from 2013 (and even before when Zarif was Iran's Amb to the UN during Khatami and Ahmadinejad admins). As you mentioned, now the situtation is very different: 4+1 plus the U.S. in SIX rounds of negotiations met a deadlock after the U.S. started demanding more concessions from Iran instead of sticking purely to the nuclear issue by unnecessarily bringing two other issues, A) the regional presence i.e. the Resistance and B) Iran's domestic missile capabilities. These two are non-negotiable and Iran will never accept to barter them as part of re-entry to the JCPOA. Iran too had and still has been seeking verifiable guarantees namely that the U.S. to never be able to leave the deal again as it did in May 2018 and also lifting UN arms embargo for good and finally the complete dismantling of the sanction SNAP-BACK mechanism of the UN. Iran's list of demands was finally published to the public for the first time a few days ago which comprised of 10 demands that Iran seeks from 4+1 and the U.S. You can see view them in brief here (2). Interestingly, it was published in the official website of the SL, so take note. You wrote,

"The U.S. attempt to press Iran into a stricter agreement than the nuclear deal Iran had agreed to and the U.S. abandoned has failed. If the Biden administration does not pull back on its demands, the nuclear deal with Iran will be dead. Domestic pressure to 'do something' about Iran's growing nuclear technology will then increase."

I believe you are incorrect here B, unfortunately or fortunately (depending on which ideological camp one belongs to) Iran is quite a 'niche' topic inside the U.S. and the American rank and file do not care about what happens in the ME, let alone Iran, unless they are Jewish (both pro and anti Israel), work in think tanks in D.C. who want to make money by selling policy papers to 'customers' or the administration, or the 'BLOB' who mostly is comprised of liberal internationalists (R2P types) and the neocons (3). I would even go as far as to claim with high confidence that many in the U.S. believe Iran already has nukes, which tells you a bunch about how 'informed' domestic populace in the U.S. are vis-a-vis Iran. So there is no such a thing as domestic pressure to the Biden admin to re-entry to the JCPOA. The ONLY pressure to the Biden re-entry would come from the lib internationalist types and those whose primary motivation regarding the JCPOA was (and still is) a special form of democratization by gradual prosperity and politicization of the Iranian middle-class which from the beginning was met by fierce opposition inside Iran by the 'PAYDARI Front' who resemble the neoconservative wing of the conservatives in Iran. Not all Iranian conservatives and IRGC commanders (or Sardars in Farsi) opposed the JCPOA when it was signed in July 2015, the best examples are the IRGC's No.1 Cmdr. Aziz Jafari, joint chiefs Cmdr., Firouz-Abadi, and even the perennial presidential contender and also a long-time IRGC Cmdr., Mohammad-Baqer Ghalibaf the current Speaker of the Iranian Parliament (or Majlis) (4). It is an open secret in Iran that Aziz Jafari's congratulation cost him an an 'early retirement' from the IRGC a few years ago because of pressure campaign by those who were and still are most opposed to the JCPOA (e.g. the PAYDARI Front) and ultimately a 'détente' with the West and viewed him as persona non-grata. Aziz Jafari was and still is a great and competent Sardar under whose leadership and patriotism many advanced projects flourished (namely the reverse engineering of RQ-170 and Shahed 129).

Regarding the 2nd question I posed above, let me answer it in this manner: there was a quote from Alistair Crooke that I found incorrect:

"A full post-mortem of the errors leading to this point must await the future. But, for now, U.S. officials insist that it is Iran that misreads its situation; but equally, it may be argued that the U.S. has misread how much the strategic situation in the region – and indeed the world – has changed; and the extent to which the mood of the Iranian people has shifted towards the Principal-ists’ viewpoint, over the period of the last four years."

The reality of the matter is that there are 3 major 'political/voting' cohorts that exist in Iran: 1.the establishment type with ties both directly and indirectly to the 'NEZAM' (or the establishment in Farsi) whose voting pattern is regularly pro-conservative/right-wing; 2. the opposite of the former who mostly are located in bigger cities (much like the Democratic Party-types) such as Tehran, Shiraz, Tabriz, and Isfahan and regularly vote 'reformist' or left to center-left WHENEVER the Guardian Council decides to allow certain 'reformist' politicians participate in an election. In recent years there has been a meaningful relationship between voter-turnout and the presence of reformist candidates, denoting that voter turnout hikes if there are reformist candidates running. Examples are 1997, 2013, and 2017 elections all of which voter turnout were very high (even at the high 70% and low 80%). 3. the 3rd and final cohort is called the 'grey' votes who is more transactional and depending on where the wind is blowing, it would cast its votes either for the conservative or for the reformist camp. This 'grey' cohort is very susceptible to populism and usually vote at very very late hours after careful calculations and doing personal 'pros and cons' considerations. The winning strategy is one that 'cooks' most populist campaign promises to attract the most 'grey' votes. For example Mohsen Rezaii a perennial presidential candidate and longtime IRGC Cmdr. promised to pay each family more direct cash subsidy, or another super religious candidate from the city of Mashhad, -a prominent religious city and the site of the Holy Shrine of the 8th Imam of the Shi'ites- Ghazi-Zadeh Hashemi promised a really substantial 'marriage loan' to couples hoping to hit two birds with one shot (if you know what I mean!). Fast forward, this year however, Raisi won-with 'extra help' from NEZAM (if you get what I mean!) but in a record-low voter turnout (5) in the mid-to-high 40% and with the 2nd place being the 'invalid' ballots people cast with around 13% which constituted the highest number of 'white votes' in the history of Iranian elections. The running joke these days is that the current elected president's closes rival was the invalid votes that came second not other candidates, notably Mohsen Rezai or former central bank chief, Nasser Hemmati who was a centrist candidate who did not manage to capture the endorsement of the Reformist camps in the June election for higher voter turnout. More than 50% of the people stayed at home and either as a protest or due to Covid-19 concerns decided not to participate. So In sum, Alistair Crooke is incorrect to suggest that the mood of the Iranian public has migrated to the conservative camp; in fact the recent race clearly shows the opposite. In fact, the former uber conservative minister of Culture during Ahmadi-Nejad's first admin Saffar-Harandi a few days ago made headlines that he was EXTREMELY happy that most people stayed at home and did NOT vote! because if more people had voted, Ibrahim Raisi would not have stood a chance of winning (or whatever that means!), so he was quite thankful of those who did vote (6). Plain and simple.

Where does the Iran-U.S. 'imaginary' relationship go from here? The answer is that the damage of NOT returning to the JCPOA by both sides is very high and in recent days Iran upped the ante and embarked on a naval campaign to raise its negotiation position vis-a-vis 4+1 and the U.S. Iran would not mind to become a nuclear threshold (not actual nuclear-armed state! big difference) state given the fact that since reducing its commitments under the article 36 of the JCPOA it has amassed enough know-how and expertise which interestingly makes the Western position more and more awkward since it was their own massive mistake to pull out of the deal and their current hesitancy to re-enter further weakens their hand vis-a-vis Iran. Whether JCPOA is revived or not Iran correctly and reasonably is motivated to look to EAST (i.e. China and SE Asia) to re-build its infrastructure and economy and the whole modernization program. The West was and still is and will be dominated by nonsense culture/identity wars that will inevitably DESTABILZAE it in the near future. Iran even in the first place could not have 'looked for answers to its problems' by pivoting to West because there was nothing worth trying there and Iran's crucial challenge is modernization not ideology reformism or liberal political re-organization that have no place in the history and culture of the nation. Just take a look at the West and tell me how an up-and-coming nation in dire need of investment, rebuilding of its economy and infrastructure can benefit from importing 'WOKISM' inside its borders? How could possibly 'Wokism' ameliorate Iran's problems? How could 'Wokism' provide jobs, insurance, and personal dignity to the 85 million Iranians? The answer is that it can't. France, the birthplace of Democracy has understood that this wokism, e.g. the dustruction of one's culture history and national identity can lead to chaos and instability, so it is slowly but surely resisting it under Macron in recent months because it already had 5 Republics from 18th century onward and it is trying hard not to see the 6th Republic in the future. On the Eastern front, China strictly rejects the importation/imposition of ideological and socio-cultural issues that the West tout as 'progress' and 'liberation', and instead correctly and reasonably views them as having dire 'destabilizing' effect on the whole of the society they have been tirelessly building since the mid 1970s with so much blood and sweat poured into it all these years. Same wisdom can be seen in Russia's Putin. Iran must learn from this. Iran can and must pivot to East and especially China because it will find answers there and not in San Francisco or NYC.

I apologize for writing such lengthy comment, I got a little carried away...I guess! I hope you the reader find this comment useful and instructive.








Posted by: Russell Kirk | Aug 5 2021 0:01 utc | 55

Posted by: Ash Naz | Aug 4 2021 23:48 utc | 51
"And let's not forget that Iran actually shot down a Ukrainian (!!) airliner containing 176 civilians by accident following the Soleimaini kerfuffle. An incident that has been sufficiently forgotten about / memory-holed that I actually had to look it up to confirm that it actually happened."

That is another story all by itself. I have heard multiple theories. No idea which one is true.

1. Complete accident due to fog of war.
2. Israelis somehow spoofed the Iranian radar and tricked them into thinking it was actually a US Air Force bomber about to bomb Tehran.
3. Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was packed to the gills with western intelligence assets fleeing Iran before nation was completely locked down with martial law and Iran's leadership saw a chance to eliminate them all.

Again, no idea what is true. Number 1 theory is most likely and accidents do happen during wartime.

Posted by: Mar man | Aug 5 2021 0:02 utc | 56

Paul Damascene @41--

You asked an excellent question: Why did Russia and China agree to the need to curtail Iran's nuclear program and sign onto the JCPOA? As I recall, they saw the deal as a means to unwind the tension and promote the establishment of peace within the region, which as UNSC permanent members is well within their remit--a responsibility the Anglos refuse to own up to, which is why they're Outlaws. It preserved Iran's rights under the NPT to develop their civilian nuclear program while ending the rationale for the constant belligerence aimed at Iran by Occupied Palestine and anyone it could convince. It was also supposed to remove the UNSC empowered sanctions as well as all the additional illegal sanctions, which would allow Iran's economy further unhindered development. Instead, Obama immediately reneged on what he just signed, and Trump further escalated the situation close to war. (Yes, the Syrian situation played into this, but that wasn't the point of the treaty.) IMO, the better question is why did Obama negotiate, sign, then renege on the treaty, which is also a UNSC Resolution?

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 5 2021 0:02 utc | 57

Mar man,

Agree with your theory #1. Complete accident.

Posted by: Ash Naz | Aug 5 2021 0:08 utc | 58

@48 "How is it an "utter failure" if that is exactly what the Bidet regime wants?"

Fails the simplest of sniff-tests, which is that Biden could have simply stated that his regime will follow the policy of the Trump regime and stay out of the JCPOA.

"Bidet therefore cannot rejoin the JCPOA yet has to show that it isn't his fault that he isn't. It must all be shown to be Iran's fault, that it is Iran that is walking away from the agreement."

Shown to... whom, exactly?

The only people who might be fooled by such too-smart-by-half tricks are not people that Biden needs nor cares.
The only people who he does need to keep onside do not need to be fooled by parlour tricks; they're already onside.

You've concocted a Machiavellian plot where none is needed: Biden need only have kept Trump's policy in place and he'd be exactly where he is now, without any need for any ridiculous Pantomime acting.

The simpler explanation is far more likely: like Trump beforehand Biden is a dimwit with an obscenely overonfidence in his ability to get his way via threats and bluster, and so like Trump before him he though he could thump the table and the Iranians would jump.

Or, in short: Biden is no different that any other President in the amount of hubris he can drag into the room with him.

You really don't need to go beyond that for an explanation for what is happening.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 5 2021 0:13 utc | 59

After Iran gets a new President and eventually a new Ayatollah, they should develop nuclear weapons and announce their arsenal is a result of being subject to the same punishments while abstaining from nuclear weapons so now they have decided there is not value in continuing to do so.

1. It will end the myth that Israel kept Iran from having nuclear weapons for 20yrs because of their legendary Mossad.

2. It will free Iran to harass the evil doers who currently steal from them with impunity. On 7/29, Bahrain joined the party and seized over $1B of Iranian assets held in their bank accounts. Bahrain joins S. Korea, the U.S. and the E.U. in depriving Iran of their own money after selling them oil in good faith and actually expecting to be paid for it. With nuclear weapons, Iran can board Gulf State tankers and have real deterrence working for them.

3. It would show that acting in bad faith has consequences. At the very least, I would love it if Iran enriched to 90% and then sold that inventory to China and developed nuclear engines for their navy.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Aug 5 2021 0:18 utc | 60


We would ALL love to see you do an in-depth analysis of Iran's missile capabilities. I understand that the Qiam-1, 11 of which hit Al Asad, is not anywhere near the apex of their missile arsenal, and they deliberately chose to use "low tech" for this strike. This demonstrates prudence and confidence on the part of the Iranians. In addition, as someone mentioned above, the warning from the Iranians to the Americans to get the planes and human resources out of the base was deliberate and methodical, a veritable statement that the Iranians were not looking for an immediate escalation, BUT WERE PREPARED TO RESPOND TO ANY ATTACK ON IRAN WITH A FULL ATTACK on both American bases and any country that hosted launch sites of an attack on Iran. One final point is that I have read that Trump and the US reached out through the Swiss diplomatic channels to ask the Iranians to provide coordinates for an uninhabited location in Iran that the US could bomb to "save face". I understand that the Iranians responded that ANY attack on any grain of Iranian sand would result in a full missile response on US assets in the region.

Posted by: frankie p | Aug 5 2021 0:48 utc | 61

Posted by: Russell Kirk | Aug 5 2021 0:01 utc | 54

There is no other way around it. Prior to the June election and especially after the leak Zarif tapes (1) which set the record straight by letting everyone 'understand' that all strategic decisions from A-Z are made by the SL Ayatollah Khamenei, -not Rouhani and the executive branch in general

Firstly, Zarif complained that the parliament nuclear bill decided the negotiations not the SL. Secondly if anybody in the west read Iranian constitution and at least paid attention to last 20 years of nuclear negotiations understands that all strategic security related policies domestic and oreign gets decided in Supreme National Security Souncil (SNSC) and not SL head of SNSC is Iran’s president suprema leader usually has one member appointed by him and usually head of council is endorsed by President and SL.
Even the parliament nuclear bill after it was endorsed by SNSC was implemented by the administration.

Unlike the US empire Iran’s constitution was written for a parliamentary system and not a US’s roman style presidential empire.
Therefore, parliament has more power dictating lows than president for that reason president of Iran has no veto power to veto a bill nor has the power like in US to execute a presidential decree. Even Mr. Khomeini founder of the revolution said “Parliament is top of all the state affairs “ that was when the current SL was the president. Mr Zarif and Mr Rohani had no choice but to fallow the parliament bill after it became law and endorsed by SNSC. President of Iran is just the administrators of state affairs.

Posted by: kooshy | Aug 5 2021 1:05 utc | 62

Re fun little war with Iran
Does anyone think Washington has learned anything since then?

Posted by: Patrick Armstrong | Aug 5 2021 1:05 utc | 63

@ arata (#44), No digression, please. Not talking about JCPOA’s purpose, but TERMINATION clauses. How can there be an agreement without termination clauses? They’re standard in most agreements.

“Iran's view UNSC is bastion of Imperialism.” If they know they’re dealing with an Imperialist entity that doesn’t honor agreements, then they need to be extremely careful with the termination clauses and commitments made, as all will be used against them.

What terms & clauses did China and Russia defined to achieve fairness and that the agreement delivers results as per the expectations and commitments?

An UNFAIR agreement is no agreement at all. All unfair agreements are thereby null & void. It is time for our world to make a stand for fairness and challenge Imperialism.

Posted by: Max | Aug 5 2021 1:13 utc | 64

@Chris Chuba 59:

Until and unless any future Ayatollah dares reverse Khomeini's fatwa against nuclear weapons - and that will take some doing, to contradict the Founder Of The Islamic Republic- Iran will never develop nuclear weapons, and Enstone concerned knows it, which is why Bidet et al feel comfortable trying to force Iran to quit the JCPOA. They get what they want, an Iran blamed and sanctioned by not just then not their slaves and vassals, and on the other hand Iran still won't have a nuke anyway.

@Yeah, Right 58:

You must have missed the Bidet regime's posturing about being back and ready to lead the world.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Aug 5 2021 1:29 utc | 65

Biswapriya Purkayast @Aug4 23:36 #48:

How is it an "utter failure" if that is exactly what the Bidet regime wants?

While this statement has some truth, it's misleading in suggesting that there is a "Bidet regime" [sic].

It's not difficult to see that US Presidents are mere window-dressing. The 'regime' never really changes. There is no "Biden regime", there is only a fresh face for the Empire. And with this fresh face, the page is turned and all past sins are forgiven.

<> <> <> <>

Yeah, Right (whose commentary and humor is much appreciated by this reader) @Aug5 0:13 #58 dismisses the point for all the wrong reasons.

The Empire constantly seeks to prove its righteousness. Thus Iran MUST be the one to reject Biden's peace-loving initiative.

Furthermore, reporting by Empire media has never questioned Biden's peaceful intent, despite good reasons to do so (USA belligerence; USA-Iran history; Israel; etc.) and they have reported that Iran is behind attacks on Gulf shipping as though it were an established fact (it is not - only an 'assessment' by USA-Israeli spooks).

<> <> <> <> <>

I find the reporting in the last few days to be very concerning. It can be summarized as follows:

Iranian hardliners have prevented USA's rejoining JCPOA and have extended their control by winning the latest Iranian Presidential election (the new President will be sworn in TOMORROW). Iranian hardliners are responsible for renewed attacks on shipping(*) - which has now killed two innocent people - and their bad behavior is expected to get worse.

Anyone that is skeptical of this narrative is justifiably concerned that this might be a set up to a false-flag.

(*) AFAIK no hard evidence has ever been presented that links Iran to any attacks on shipping. Some of us at moa have questioned if there is any logic basis for such attacks by Iran. It seems possible, if not likely, that someone (some State) is trying to establish a 'pattern of behavior' that could be used to justify war (at some point).


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 5 2021 1:33 utc | 66

Karlof1 @56 --
Thank you for the succinct explanation, which seems adequate on its face.

To the question you posed at the end--why the Obama regime reneged -- I assume your intent was rhetorical, since I take you to be among the first to recognize that the US is non-agreement capable in the sincere sense, and is on the contrary in the habit of entering into multilateral agreements to dilute and subvert them, as was the case with COP 15 in Copenhagen.

The reason Obama's puppeteers reneged seems to have been precisely the reason the RF and PRC signed on.

With the additional consideration that the deal was meant to slow Iran down and maintain a nuclear window open for Israel.

But the issue I would be grateful to learn more about is the present state of Russia / Iran relations, which I do not see as having particularly warmed, notably in light of RF's balancing act with Israel in Syria.

Perhaps I'm mistaken?

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Aug 5 2021 1:39 utc | 67

Patrick Armstrong @ 62
As a Canadian let me say it's good to have you with us.

As you say, after the Millennium challenge and most recent war-games ass-kicking in South China Sea, there's nothing quite so ripe for Schadenfreude (if only we lived on a distant planet), as prospect of the US taking on Russia, China and Iran simultaneously in their back yards in three separate theaters in conventional warfare.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Aug 5 2021 1:45 utc | 68

@29 et al

It is impossible to create a purely uranium bomb with 90 % enriched uranium.

With a plutonium core and trigger,a neutron flux can transform 90% enriched uranium to reach criticality. The more 90 % you use, the more plutonium you need. For 80%, the problem is exponentially bigger.

IIRC Nagasaki was a plutonium core.

Hiroshima was largely,not completely, uranium based, which requires infinite finese in taking a large amount of uranium to the 95+ % enrichment, without it blowing up in your face.

Iran has no source or access to plutonium. If it was wanting a bomb, 90% enrichment is NOT breakout, it is only the easiest 20 % of the work. The last 5+ % is 80 % of the work...

Don't believe anything the ziocon says

Posted by: les7 | Aug 5 2021 2:06 utc | 69

@MAX 63

You are talking about fairness of an agreement, are an academic talking about  commercial agreement? Fairness is in  dreamland. Come on man. When there  were 6 sanctions by UNSC, nobody thinks about fairness JCPOA was not an agreement to be executed for fairness. It was a very nice trap to lure 5+1 naughts of UNSC in and crack them. It was done perfectly. Why you are looking for exit clause?   The rest is the history. 

Posted by: arata | Aug 5 2021 2:37 utc | 70

Who is driving the bus?

WHY did Trump (who really doesn't have any real political instincts or political background- he's a freaking huckster) pull the US from the JCPOA? Hint: Look up Trump's biggest 2016 donors.

Toss in Jeffrey Epstein.

There's linkage here. Connect the dots from my donor hint to Jeffrey Epstein.

And to completely give it away... Nina Turner was just defeated by...

When RussiaGate was peddled it was PURE PROJECTION. Russia didn't have "pee tapes." But "pee tapes" (blackmail stuff) are out there, out there for everyone who is put in to positions of power: it's the means of control (those with clean records can't be controlled, in which case it's a must to derail them before they get into positions of power).

US Power is totally controlled. Iran cannot be allowed to rise lest all the "pee tapes" come popping out of the woodwork. Most of the US population has little faith in its politicians; just wait until there's actual evidence outing the lot of them! So, Joe, a huge capitalist whore, what ya going to do? ONLY thing he can do is what he's always done: be the whore he is. [apologies to the world's oldest profession for using a label in such a horrible way] It's possible that the US has a Vasily Aleksandrovich Arkhipov or two, but I wouldn't bank on it. Joe will put on a record for us and all will be perfectly fine: our PATRIOT MISSILE SYSTEMS will protect us! Wave the flag! (got yer fallout shelter ready?

Posted by: Seer | Aug 5 2021 2:43 utc | 71

Which war will happen first? The one against Iran or the one against China?

Posted by: jiri | Aug 5 2021 2:59 utc | 72

Max @ 35 Which developing nation besides China will demonstrate an economic success story? I vote for Iraq.. Ansuralla controlled Yemen and Palestine.

Kooshy @ 39 Blinken’s and allies ass is on fire may god burn them to hell.
I predict, the oligarch owners of the monopoly powered corporations will use Homeland Security to bail Blinken out.

Blues @ 49 the US economy would probably disintegrate.<= yes usually the final step in the take down of a once powerful nation state. just as WWII was the final step in take down of Germany, Japan and UK.... there are 256 nation states to play financial sea saw with.. the idea is to keep taking down those nation states who accomplish real success.. I vote that a real war will happen.. Biden's insistence that Americans submit to bio-genetic mRNA re-engineering tightens the discipline needed to fight that war.. as seer @ 70 puts it: US Power is totally controlled.

vk @ 52 we may be witnessing live the process of Third-worldization of the American Empire; if that's true, then its collapse will be much more like the case of the Roman Empire, not the Soviet Union. <= my take exactly.. its not a collapse of
Empire, but a collapse of coherence between the individual states here for example.. governors and legislatures are distancing themselves from federal central..the governed people are seeking alternatives to doing business with the global monopoly powered corporations. dissatisfaction is everywhere, no one is willing to work, but as of yet, no movement for independence has organized. ..
Many of governed will not vote for an establishment candidate no matter the candidate.

Jackrabbit@65.. (*) AFAIK no hard evidence has ever been presented that links Iran to any attacks on shipping. <=agree.. here

Posted by: snake | Aug 5 2021 3:21 utc | 73

@ arata (#69), If a party to the deal walked away, then the deal is null and void. It is as simple as that. An agreement without termination clauses, is no agreement. Iran has no obligations.

What happened to diplomacy? FEIGN tactics.

If it was a nice trap by UNSC, then it is fired. It is good to see the Financial Empire destroying its institutions, reputation, credibility.... Its lackeys exposed as Orcs (individuals without conscience). The Empire is history!

Posted by: Max | Aug 5 2021 3:39 utc | 74

@ Jackrabbit | Aug 5 2021 1:33 utc | 65 who wrote

It seems possible, if not likely, that someone (some State) is trying to establish a 'pattern of behavior' that could be used to justify war (at some point).
I agree but it is not just against Iran but China and Russia that those justifications for war are trying to be built. The interesting point for me is that since Russia stymied the US in Syria under the Obama days, the attempts at war seem to be getting more and more futile.

And the bottom line is that if you start a war which is a Might-Makes-Right event and lose then the Great Game is over and the global private finance elite know this so they are not going to go there unless they are sick enough to instantiate extinction.

Are we at a social inflection point or just a burp in the current pattern of cultural genocide of the West?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 5 2021 4:33 utc | 75

Both sides overestimate their position and will end up in a dead end id negotiations fail. The difference is that in the USA it's the politicians who are going to "suffer" by not achieving a foreign policy success while in Iran it's going to be the Iranian people that's going to suffer by economic sanctions for decades.

Posted by: m | Aug 5 2021 4:40 utc | 76


Like Cuba, Iran will be under sanctions until US collapses or is destroyed. Nuke deal is meaningless. The only way Iran can avoid sanctions is total capitulation. Iran went through the original process, stuck to its side of the deal and now has full backing of China and Russia.
US is not agreement capable.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2021 4:57 utc | 77

jiri 71 "Which war will happen first? The one against Iran or the one against China?"

The days or Russia China and Iran being at odds with each other, US being the sole superpower and ruling the unipolar world are gone. None of its target countries will have to stand alone.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2021 5:07 utc | 78

The law of unintended consequences

I agree that the US, Iran, even Israel do not want a major war. Neither did Hitler in 1939. He knew Germany wasn't ready for a major war. He kept doing what he had been doing successfully, bluffing and provoking. The US/Israel/NATO is doing the same.

The USSR did not want a major war either, Britain and France did not want to fight a war either (although they did hope to see Germany and the USSR in a war).

WWII happened anyway. We can see similar patterns today. Nobody wants a major war, but everyone is preparing for one. The problem is the political posturing, provoking others in the hopes of reaching ones objectives without war. This seems largely to be coming from the US, who seem to have adopted Hitler's tactics, and they might just lead to the same unintended result.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Aug 5 2021 5:29 utc | 79

@Max | Aug 5 2021 3:39 utc | 72

You are talking about JCPOA as an agreement, I am talking about a delicate trap, every party have been planing to use it for own benefit. In a trap every one thinks about nodes and ropes and pitfalls.
Putin's Russia has been gaining , doubly, on all 6 UNSC sanctions against Iran. Europeans were guilty pawns, as usual.  Obama has clearly expressed his thought aloud that his trap will yield in 15 years time to subjugate Iran.
And what happened then?
Someone told that he has been trained to lie, to steal, to cheat, He stole and appropriated the trap for U$ ( you call it walk away with trap) Lol!.
Now, you have seen U$, is longing and begging to enter the trap again, in Vienna,  to be able to use some of  the nice trigger switches  left inside (  outside?!). He is so stupid that he is not realizing that the trap is with him, he is carrying the trap along.
U$ carried his Flag to display in the hotel meeting room. Iran ordered to expel him from the hotel with his flag and his trap.Lol!
That is not a fairy-tale, neither fairness-tale. It was a JCPOA, It was castration of UNSC.  A good trap does not provide an exit hole clause, it can be dangerous too 

JCPOA was castration of UNSC as Imperialism tool.
Empire is not imperialism. Empire is not history, neither Imperialism is. They are present and functioning and plundering, everywhere, every time, every moment.

Posted by: arata | Aug 5 2021 5:36 utc | 80

Biswapriya Purkayast 48 "I read sentences like this and I wonder what I woke up to and what I'm doing on this site."

When I looked at your site a week or two back, I looked at the first few of your things that were up and thought they were ok, but bthen a bit later I started going through more of the .. what turned out to shit that you were putting up there.

Like you, I also wonder what you are doing on this site.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2021 5:38 utc | 81

Mar man | Aug 4 2021 23:06 utc | 42

Awhile back when I was sill reading Lang's SST blog, there was a comment there on Iran not just having a good, but the top electrical engineering university in the world which a few others there agreed to. The something about a honcho from Stamford university also saying that and looking it up, found him saying that on a video.

Modern missiles are all about electrical engineering. It controls all stages of the flight and actually hitting a target.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2021 5:50 utc | 82

@ Posted by: james | Aug 4 2021 18:21 utc | 1

“it is hard to impossible to teach an old dog new tricks “

That is a source of opportunities enhanced when old dogs live in holograms of their own projection, and consequently tend only to perceive old tricks in new tricks. Consequently some do not attempt to teach old dogs new tricks or old tricks, whilst old dogs tend to project their holograms onto others thereby "perceiving" new tricks as old tricks.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 5 2021 5:56 utc | 83

Biden needs to genuflect before Naftali Bennet and receive his marching orders. Trip to master's residence and affirmation of fealty mandatory.

Posted by: Genu Flect | Aug 5 2021 6:13 utc | 84

@ Posted by: james | Aug 4 2021 18:21 utc | 1

@ Posted by Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 5 2021 5:56 utc | 81

“it is hard to impossible to teach an old dog new tricks “

“Consequently some do not attempt to teach old dogs new tricks or old tricks, whilst old dogs tend to project their holograms onto others thereby "perceiving" new tricks as old tricks.”

Perceiving tactics and strategies as “tricks” in analysis, formulation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation thereby facilitating old dogs to be at war with their own tails/tales in paradigms of "constant war" and "sacrifice".

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 5 2021 6:19 utc | 85

The Biden program is to lose the mid term elections and restore a Republican majority in both Congress and Senate.

The Xerxes option - lose so you can say you won and blame the flyover states, Russia, Iran, Julian Assange or whatever scapegoat comes to mind. Biden is no Democrat he is just a self serving, repugnant, dumb rsole doing whatever he is advised by his Delaware business cronies to enrich himself. The overseas crap is Blinken's job as far as he cares.

Biden's big problem is that the doorways into Afghanistan will be slammed shut long before the mid terms. There is no going back and if he thinks he can use the place as flyover land and bomb it incessantly he might be in for the surprise of his life. Besides the opium croplands will no longer enrich the CIA black ops oligarchs and they might be uncomfortable with that loss and so pay out on the idiot loser. The Iraq situation could well go the same way. He could find a serious rebellion on his hands in Haiti given his stupid adventure into the poorest nation on earth.

The USA at least seems to have a friend in jesus Jordan. Who knows but for sure Iran can now totally ignore this clown and just go through the polite motions while peace is restored to its Hazara 'brothers' in Afghanistan and perhaps the millions of Hazara refugees might return if there can be a solid rapprochement between Shia and Sunni after the infidels get the f out.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 5 2021 6:49 utc | 86

@jiri | Aug 5 2021 2:59 utc | 71


Which war will happen first? The one against Iran or the one against China?

Look at history of wars for last 21 years of this century, you can see the logic of war. Every war occurs at a weakest point of the chains. The first war was Afghanistan, next Iraq,  follow the line >> Lebanon, Gaza, Gaza again , Libya, Syria, Gaza. and Gaza. Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia. 

Conclusion: there will  not be a direct war against China.

U$ is a money. Imperialism war Is not to loose money but it is to gain $.  or recycle $ in a safe battle field

Posted by: arata | Aug 5 2021 6:58 utc | 87

@75 Peter AU1
I agree.

The problem with this notion is that the USA will never be "destroyed". Even after a catastrophic collaps America would still remain a greater power (in a similar manner to Russia after the collaps of the Soviet Union). However, the likely scenario for the next years (and possibly decades) is gradual but slow decline.

Cuba could have possibly escaped it`s fate after 1991 by finlandization. Fidel Castro wasn`t ready for this so now that chance is gone for good.

Posted by: m | Aug 5 2021 7:17 utc | 88

m 86

Every great empire falls. Some last for centuries, some only a short time, not outliving their founders. The writing is now on the wall for the US empire. Empires rely on strategy and tactics, after that weapons tech. US now comes behind Russia in all three. As icing on the cake, China is now the manufacturing center of the world plus an alternative economic center.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2021 7:59 utc | 89

jiri #71

Which war will happen first? The one against Iran or the one against China?

Neither war will happen. The USA is past it jiri, it is in the same cage as the dead parrot.

I posted this on the open thread but it bears repeating when slavering war lovers gather around the fire: How Taiwan will fall into China's lap like an overripe mango.

The fashion in naval circles is to talk about the First Island Chain, which is a sort of barrier along the coast of China, the Kuriles, Japan, Okinawa in the Ryukyus, Taiwan, the Philippines, and even Borneo. The idea, apart from some fairly silly notions about “containing China,” is that these islands will want to join with Washington, which is somewhere else, to fight China, which is right there, to defend Taiwan, which also is right there.

Now, who would actually defend Taiwan—that is, go to war with China? Japan? Note that Japan is within missile range of China, and probably does not want missiles of large warhead raining down on Tokyo. Japan gets ninety percent of its petroleum from the Persian Gulf and, If Tokyo’s reserves of oil run out, Japan stops. All of it. China has pretty good submarines these days. The beltway Hawklets might say, “Don’t worry. We have magic anti-submarine stuff, no prob.” Given America’s military record, would you buy a used car from these people?

Do you suppose the Japanese have thought of this?

Just to add to the flogging, consider how the USA warmonger might be viewed by other nations after having seen its flipflop allegiance to Ukraine, Afghanistan, Libya!!! Now Libya alone is enough to make a Valkyrie blush when it comes to duplicity, (Erdoghan is not in the race here).

The Japanese might whisper into American ears, “All cool, Round Eye. But it’s just your empire on the line. It’s our ass. we’ll sit this one out.”

South Korea might think similar thoughts regarding use of its air bases, especially given that the Korean peninsula has a land border with China. Washington doesn’t. Seoul needs a war with the Middle Kingdom like it needs smallpox. “Tell you what, Round Eye, bugger off….”

Taiwan would get wind of this through back channels if not by sheer deduction.

But then there is the mighty, invincible US Navy. The same navy that has lately given up ramming super tankers in the sea of Japan (by mistake that is).

Further, realists in Washington might ask themselves what would happen if the war didn’t go as planned, as wars usually don’t, and a carrier and three destroyers became marine barbecues before sinking. War games and Pentagon studies suggest that this is quite likely. To save face, the hawks would have to turn a regional war into a world war, which America would win. “Win.” Millions would die and the world economy stop. Never underestimate the influence of vanity in world affairs.

Taiwan could divine all of this. It could also divine that the Navy had divined it.

So let us consider what an attack against Iran might look like assuming the humans from the USA don't actually land there and do a rerun of the Gallipoli invasion of Turkey in February 1915. Unlike Gallipoli the only FUKUSA warships in the vicinity will be disadvantaged by being subject to unexpected water pressure as they lie on the bottom of the surrounding seas. Their skippers and admirals will be wondering where all those Sunburn missiles came from and the air force will be demanding replacement crews and planes asap.

There will be no war in Iran.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 5 2021 8:16 utc | 90

Why aren’t Russia and Iran closer? Iranian journalist Ramin Mazaheri who writes on the Saker blog (but not so much recently, why is that?) is a great source for what is really happening in Iran. As has already been mentioned Iran has a proud and independent culture going back 3000 years. They take their non aligned position seriously and are constitutionally prohibited from allowing foreign forces on their soil. There was blowback from the population for allowing the Russian airforce to use an airbase to attack ISIS/separatists in Syria a few years back.

The Iranians genuinely want to do their own thing. Maybe the Russians genuinely have their back on any nuclear threats from USA but you don’t last 3000 years by not being able to stand on your own two feet.

Posted by: Phil Espin | Aug 5 2021 8:27 utc | 91

@Phil Espin | Aug 5 2021 8:27 utc | 89

you don’t last 3000 years by not being able to stand on your own two feet.

Very good point. I think you are correct in pointing to Iranian focus on independence and what that implies for their cooperation with Russia and China. I'd say their history is much older than 3000 years, but it is kind of beside the point and emphasizing it at the same time.

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 5 2021 8:47 utc | 92

@jiri | Aug 5 2021 2:59 utc | 71

“ Imperialism war Is not to loose money but it is to gain $.  or recycle $ in a safe battle field “

Hopes often diverge from outcomes when tested by those “Perceiving tactics and strategies as “tricks” in analysis, formulation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation thereby facilitating old dogs to be at war with their own tails/tales in paradigms of "constant war" and "sacrifice". “

“Which war will happen first? The one against Iran or the one against China? “

War is not restricted to things that go bang and hence the question should be rendered as “Which war happened (past tense) first”; hence the answer in this particular instance is China.
However war is an interaction not restricted to things that go bang, and hence without reciprocation by the chosen interlocutor, war is not facilitated, only the playing of charades by hope-to-be-initiator, an example of “facilitating old dogs to be at war with their own tails/tales in paradigms of "constant war" and "sacrifice". “ illustrated by the recent US/Israeli attempts to suggest that Iran took hostage an "Israeli" vessel in "International waters", sought to sail the vessel, its carge, and crew to Iran, but underwent a vision akin to Saul/Paul and changed direction.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 5 2021 10:43 utc | 93

Gordog #12

Thank you for the link. They sheltered in Saddam Hussein constructed shelters ! And later the woman soldier actually said "they had god on their side" as the reason why no one was killed ! That was the last straw for me so I watched it again and I would say the commanding officers really wanted dead men to justify a counter attack and all they had was useless men with smashed brains and a President that lost his nerve after murdering Soliemani. I thought the purchasing of satellite imagery on the commercial market was mighty odd and a dead giveaway for Iran. I thought they had their own geostationary satellites in orbit. I was not convinced of that line of 'reasoning'.

They took the hint though it seems and would prefer never to experience such an attack again. I doubt they will go after Iran other than just through interminable niggling and belligerence.

On the nuclear issue though I gather that the Iranians have no need to increase their enrichment even for nuclear power generation as I gather Russia has just leapfrogged over traditional nuclear generation technology and has an entirely different technology in actual use through prototype full scale reactors. Then there is China edging close to fusion (yes they all keep repeating that mantra). Both these render the enrichment game somewhat obsolete.

All of that leads me to think today's entire JCPOA wrangling by the USA is just bluster and wounded pride and they would have a conniption if Iran were to accede to their demands just to 'have a talk'. USA - 0, Iran - 1.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 5 2021 10:47 utc | 94

@ 43 bobzibub

Looks like the military is trying to purchase Saab Gripen fighter jets, not the F-35s. The many in our country who are advocating for the F-35 aren’t perhaps affiliated with those defence-themed think-tanks, are they? Canadian reporter, Lee Berthiaune writes on this topic, fighter jet acquisition, frequently.

The initial, geopolitically correct, list of finalists was to include the Eurofighter Typhoon (used by the RAF - that’s enough for wary Canadians to want to steer clear of this choice, and they withdrew from the competition), the Rafale (used by the French Air Force - our relationship with France was so poor that this fighter jet wasn’t even included on the revised list of finalists - they withdrew early on), Lockheed Martin’s F-35, Boeing’s SuperHornet, and Saab’s Gripen.

A quick Google search on “the Toronto Star fighter jets” reveals that no less than 5 articles were published in July on this subject. Headlines being:

Buying new fighter jets would waste billions of dollars — and increase the likelihood of another climate disaster

Why spend billions on combat aircraft to fight a war we won 30 years ago?

Canada pays another US$71 million for F-35 development

Greece takes delivery of the 1st of 18 French Rafale warplanes

Putin hails Russia’s air power as new fighter goes on view

Russia to unveil new fighter jet at Moscow’s air show

Fighter jets scramble, interrupt leaders in Lithuania

— all of the above, in July 2021

There has been some material published in trade magazines as well, promoting the Saab Gripen as a good choice for Canada. Likely targeting decision-makers in Parliament and Dept of National Defence.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Aug 5 2021 12:29 utc | 95

Thought I should mention a little more on the poor relationship with France... a few years ago, according to a suggestive video on Canada’s Armed Forces Twitter account, the French tried to poach some of our special forces personnel. Bilingual and all that. If you enjoy suggestive Tweeting, I’d highly recommend the CAF Twitter feeds. All sorts of innuendo shows up there.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Aug 5 2021 13:33 utc | 96

uncle tungsten @Aug5 6:49 #86:

The overseas crap is Blinken's job as far as he [Biden] cares.

Biden was Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for many years and then led (or one of those who led) Obama's foreign policy. We can safely assume that he understands USA foreign policy and wants to be involved.

uncle tungsten @Aug5 8:16 #90:

So let us consider what an attack against Iran might look like ... There will be no war in Iran.

Many people make the false assumption that war with Iran = invasion.

Much more likely is that "war" with Iran, at least initially, is just taking sanctions to the next level. Essentially a stronger embargo, more determined internal disruption. Cyberwarfare. Guerilla war. Political demonstrations. Perhaps the sinking of an Iranian tanker.

Any military response against USA or allies would then be termed "aggression" by Iran and be responded to on a case-by-case basis. That could escalate to bombing Iran. Seizing oil fields. Etc.

Does any of this makes sense? Not to you and me. But it is exactly the kind of thing that asshats dream of.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 5 2021 14:37 utc | 97

@ MagdaTam | Aug 5 2021 6:19 utc | 85.. of course the analogy of a dog chasing it's own tail is also a good one here....

Posted by: james | Aug 5 2021 15:40 utc | 98

Terrific analysis. 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: Biden/Pentagon have no intention of ending sanctions or bellicose threats against Iran. They view the Iran-Russia-China axis as an obstacle to US global hegemony. Clearly, the American empire fears the growing influence of Iran in the ME, with Iran becoming a major power broker in the region. This needs to considered within the context of the accelerating rot/decline of late-stage American capitalism which has progressed to the point where its very survival requires constant debt monetization (aka money printing) to prop up Wall St., over-priced real estate, the Pentagon and war. It is difficult to see this ending well.

Posted by: Paul | Aug 5 2021 15:49 utc | 99

@ arata (#80),

Time will reveal whose trap wins... It ain’t over till it’s over.

Define your “Empire” and “Imperialism”.

When is winning losing and losing winning?

Posted by: Max | Aug 5 2021 15:55 utc | 100

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