Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 22, 2021

How Biden's Too-Clever-By-Half Iran Strategy Failed

Last week I remarked on the Iran talks:

The diplomatic talks with Iran will fail only if the Biden administration fails to return to the nuclear deal and does not lift the sanctions imposed on Iran by the Trump administration. The sole problem is that Biden wants more concessions from Iran than it had given under the JCPOA agreement.

We now learn that Biden not only wants more concessions from Iran but he also wants to be able to reimpose sanctions even when concessions are given.

Biden wants his cake and eat it too.

Trita Parsi, who has excellent sources on the nuclear deal (JCPOA) issues, writes for Responsible Statecraft:

A crucial turning point in the negotiations occurred earlier in May of this year. The Iranians had insisted on legally binding commitments that the United States would respect its signature and not re-quit the JCPOA, were it to be revived. Though the U.S. team found the Iranian demand understandable, it insisted it could not bind the hands of the next administration, nor guarantee that a future administration hostile to the JCPOA wouldn’t again abandon it.

But according to both Western and Iranian diplomats involved in the negotiations, the Iranians then lowered their demand and requested a commitment that Biden would simply commit to staying within the deal for the rest of his own term, granted that Iran also would remain in compliance. According to these sources, the U.S. negotiation team took the matter back to Washington but to the surprise of Tehran and others, the White House was not ready to make such a commitment, citing legal obstacles. Instead, it offered changes to the negotiating text that fell short of a legal commitment. 

This is something Iran can not agree to. The U.S. would rejoin the nuclear deal and lift some sanctions. Iran would in parallel dismantle the progress in nuclear developments it had made over the last three years and thereby lose its leverage. Biden would then reimpose the sanctions he had lifted to demand a lengthening of the restrictions on Iran's program and more on other issues like Iran's missile program and its support for Syria, Hizbullah and Yemen. This is of course not acceptable and the reason why Iran is currently slow-walking its return to the talks:

Biden’s decision has caused both Iranian and EU officials to suspect that the United States seeks to use the threat or actual reimposition of sanctions as leverage in post-JCPOA negotiations for a longer deal. Meaning, Biden would take a page from the Trump playbook and seek more concessions from Iran by threatening to reimpose sanctions it already has lifted as part of the JCPOA. Iranian and some EU officials suspect that committing to respect the terms of the JCPOA will deprive Biden of leverage in post-JCPOA talks.

The trap is obvious. Seeing it Iran will calculate that a return of the U.S. to the JCPOA deal has no value for it but would potentially increase the danger of U.S. action at the UN Security Council which the U.S. as none JCPOA member can currently not take:

Tehran may consequently see the current status quo — in which most sanctions remain in place while Iran still manages to sell oil to the Chinese — as preferable to allowing the United States to get back into the JCPOA only to see the deal collapse soon thereafter over Washington’s insistence on an unacceptable lengthening of the agreement’s strictest terms.

The U.S. had already tried to convince China to stop buying oil from Iran. The response was a hearty f... y.. spelled out in diplomatese.

Trita Parsi thinks that Tehran will continue to negotiate with the U.S. but will slow the talks down as much as possible. I agree.

Parsi also thinks that there is danger that Biden will then break off the talks and go with some Plan B which might include a military option. There is however, as I have written before, no plausible Plan B and no chance for the U.S. to win in a conflict:

It is funny then to hear Blinken talk of 'other options' when everyone knows that the U.S. does not have any. Any U.S. attack on Iran's nuclear installations will invite a strong military response. A war with Iran would destroy Israel and whatever is left of the U.S. position in the Middle East. Obama had recognized that. Trump had recognized that. It is high time for Biden to recognize that too and to act accordingly.

Biden could have solved the whole issue in January by lifting the sanctions on Iran and by recommitting to the JCPOA. But instead of solving the problem he waited three month to start talks about a return to the JCPOA with a too clever by half strategy of pressing Iran into more commitments.

'Maximum pressure' had already failed under Trump. Six weeks before Biden's inauguration I already explained why Biden's version of the same plan would likewise fail:

After four years of tight sanctions from the Trump administration, which were greatly supported by the Europeans, Iran has changed its economic structure and orientation. Oil revenues now play a much smaller role in the government budget than they did before the sanctions. The economy has adapted by concentrating on business with non-western countries. Iran is looking east.
...
Sanctions will not give the 'west' the results it desires. The only alternative to get to those results is a large scale war against Iran with the aim to overthrow its government. But such a war can not be waged because it would destroy the Middle East and would push the global economy into a deep recession. In short - it is no alternative.
...
A JCPOA ‘Plus + Plus’ deal will not happen. There is no realistic way to achieve it.

Despite that being obvious Biden still tried to go that route. That was a stupid idea to begin with and he has failed to achieve anything by it.

Posted by b on October 22, 2021 at 17:05 UTC | Permalink

Comments

It's a waste of time. Biden was in the white house when JCPOA was signed, and he is in the white house now. Even under this best-case scenario, earlier promises are disavowed. This puts to rest any "Trust us, we really mean it this time" claims.

Posted by: ptb | Oct 22 2021 17:35 utc | 1

to those who insist US foreign policy makes sense, heh no it doesn't. it's like climbing a tree to catch a fish

Posted by: Mastameta | Oct 22 2021 17:37 utc | 2

The Trump-era Iranian negotiator has been replaced by a hard line (or hardball in US parlance) negotiator. Iran must have a similar view of the US as observed by Russia - namely, it is non-negotitation-capable.

The logical approach is to work with the status quo, gaining strength to repel, or place a high price tag, on any Zionist-driven military intervention whilst the US gets weaker and weaker.

The US power comes from its economic clout based on the need for USD to purchase energy (oil/gas). That bottleneck is slowly being destroyed via mutual currency swaps. The EU, if it had any semblence of self-interest, would try to pay for Russian gas in euro, facilitating Europe/Russian trade rather than having to buy USD fiat at whatever exchange rate is established via US Fed manipulation.

Posted by: arfurmo | Oct 22 2021 17:39 utc | 3

I see Iran talking to the Outlaw US Empire as just an act of continuing dialog that will lead nowhere. Iran will continue its rise while the Empire continues its fall. It's Ali's Rope-a-Dope in the international arena.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2021 17:44 utc | 4

On one hand, one can understand sociological reasons for American strategery (meant as a derogatory term that can be uttered in an all-family setting). Washington committed enormous human/intellectual resources to sanction machinery. All those folks and their friends in think tanks, media etc. raise enormous outcry whenever a sanction is to be lifted. That creates a huge headache, so just keeping all sanctions as they are is the route of the least resistance.

My impression that over the years, this is more and more pronounced. This mentality is also dominant in European branch of NATO, although not to the same degree. My guess is that this is the true reason for Havana Syndrom. New people coming to the American Embassy there would make few walks around the town, and then succumb to a recurrent nightmare: sanctions on Cuba could be lifted. In the resulting paranoid state of mind, any type of tropical noise would be perceived as sinister and malevolent.

On the other hand, stupidity is astounding. Would Biden (and his cohorts like Blinken who give appearances of having working brains) ride the wave of inauguration when the first priority is to reverse whatever Trump did, and simply turn the clock back to the time of Trump's inauguration on that issue, he would look decisive, "new dawn" and all such. Now there is no way he can look good on that. Still, those problems are few years away, next elections, while the pressure from the sanction addicts is something that they feel daily.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 22 2021 18:00 utc | 5


Israel is the only constant in this US-Iran tango. And its policy will always be anti any-sort-of-agreement between West & Iran in any way-shape-or-form.

Posted by: nme | Oct 22 2021 18:01 utc | 6

I though the idea was that Israel ends up nuking Iran (in "self-defense").

Posted by: Keith Granger | Oct 22 2021 18:09 utc | 7

How Biden's Too-Clever-By-Half Iran Strategy Failed

I highly doubt it was ever suppose to succeed.

I doubt that Biden's 100 million shots in arms was supposed to succeed. Pandemic restriction were lifted as the Delta variant spread (and despite uncertainty about vaccine effectiveness against Delta).

Biden's Afghan pull-out also seemed designed to fail.

And Biden's kitchen-sink progressive spending has hit a brick wall.

But there's more: Border 'Czar' Kamala hasn't been to the border; vaccines for 5-11 year olds (whatever happened to "first do no harm?"); revenge prosecutions against Jan. 6 protesters, etc.

Why is anyone still thinking that Biden intended to succeed? Why is anyone thinking that Biden is anything but a placeholder for the next Republican President (which will likely be Trump or a Trump-endorsed candidate)?

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 22 2021 18:10 utc | 8

a general question---how does putin's 5hr meeting with israel yesterday impact this deal?

Posted by: emersonreturn | Oct 22 2021 18:17 utc | 9

Time is on Iran's side.

Posted by: Cid | Oct 22 2021 18:45 utc | 10

Biden is being fed a crow from his shitty advisors , mostly Zionist whom infiltrated the government and always make themselves important and knowledgeable, which they are not , but you blame the people who hire them and get their advices .
Off course Israel is the main culprit in all these negotiations.
Biden is afraid from the back lash from the news organizations which are controlled by the Zionist thugs , not to mention the prostitution of the Congress to the state of Israel.

Posted by: Bobby | Oct 22 2021 19:10 utc | 11

@5 There must be thousands of people working on sanctions, tracking ships, pouring over trade deals and bank transfers. But Iran survives. Nikki Haley thinks it's all because of China....

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/10/19/if-biden-wont-fight-chinas-importing-iranian-oil-congress-should/

Posted by: dh | Oct 22 2021 19:11 utc | 12

emersonreturn @9--

I don't see any evidence that the meeting will impact the negotiations. Not much info's been released. Kremlin's report and TASS report show pleasantries, but also discussion about Syria. I don't think Putin had met Bennett before. so there would be some natural feeling-out. And as Putin underscored, more Russian speakers live within Occupied Palestine than anywhere else outside of Russia, and that carries special significance given Russia's relations with its ex-pats. It should be noted that Occupied Palestine doesn't ape the West's Russophobia and would probably crack down hard if Wokeness were to appear.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2021 19:15 utc | 13

BIDEN wants a snack and a lie down. It's disingenuous to conflate his desires with American foreign policy regarding Iran.

Posted by: Jezabeel | Oct 22 2021 19:21 utc | 14

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2021 19:15 utc | 13

Putin was pretty clear about his love for Israel. It was on RT, how come you are not copy-pasting that stuff here?

“We are united by a resolute rejection of anti-Semitism, any manifestations of xenophobia and ethnic strife, as well as any attempts to falsify history and revise the outcome of World War II,” Putin said.

An "outcome of World War II" was the creation of Israel:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel#After_World_War_II


--

b: "A war with Iran would destroy Israel and [...]" ... Iran.

Iran's strategic deterrent posture is a thin conventional MAD that mostly targets Arab client states across the Persian Gulf. City of London could not care less if UAE goes up in smoke as the debt owed will remain. US losing a base in Qatar? Not the end of the world for US. Remember US sacrificed Pearl Harbor to get it on with Japan in WWII. You think a few bases and grunts in ME is more precious to them?

Ironically, Iran's best hope is that nervous Arab client states across the Persian Gulf -- which will be destroyed -- would do their part in making sure a war does not happen.

Posted by: no_really | Oct 22 2021 19:42 utc | 15

Wrong place and wrong time for this comment. It regards the recent "hypersonic missile test" by China. Sorry if this has been pointed out before. All orbital craft are "hypersonic", as is planet Earth. The US has been operating the Boeing X-37 since 2006. For hypersonic devices to be effective they need to be manoeuvrable within the atmosphere not just on re entry. The current cost for a low orbital device appears to be $1,750 to $35,000 per kilo. I comment late because this story isn't dying down.

Posted by: RZ | Oct 22 2021 19:50 utc | 16

Sorry. For hypersonic devices to be effective they need to be manoeuvrable and hypersonic within the atmosphere not just on re entry.

Posted by: RZ | Oct 22 2021 19:58 utc | 17

"It's all happening according to the Establishment plan! Bwahahaha!" --bunny

Now bunny wants you to think that the Establishment is jockeying to get Trump back in office after four years of raw Trump Derangement Syndrome hysteria followed by frauding the last election to get him out!

It must be so because Henry Kissinger said "MAGA!", only with different words that were actually more like "Build Back Better!"

So why was Trump allowed to lose the election if the infallible Establishment wanted him in the White House? Why did the Establishment gag and "deplatform" Trump if they are really on his side? "Don't know!"

Ah! It must be because Biden was so wildly popular that he got the most votes by a huge margin of any candidate in American history. Fickle voters, though, `cause now Biden has nearly the lowest approval rating of any President in history.

I do enjoy watching the bunny's efforts at damage control for the Democrats. Those efforts are so much more funny than poor ol` Circe's hysterical squealing in ALL CAPS.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 22 2021 20:27 utc | 18

b's write-up juxtaposes "Biden" with "U.S." which is a natural thing to do, but it highlights a basic problem with these president-written agreements with other countries which are unconstitutional. The United States Constitution provides that the president "shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur" (Article II, section 2). Treaties are binding agreements between nations and become part of international law.

So presidents have made the JCPOA a political plaything, it's in, it's out, it's this, it's that.

Oh, but there wouldn't be any agreement if the senate had to act on it, because the entire congress has been bought off by Israel, one might say (correctly). And that's fine with me. The UN Charter states that "The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members" and that means no limitations on Iran's sovereignty.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 22 2021 20:28 utc | 19

Biden's fists

The guy pretending to be President is cooked to a crisp. Too much amphetamines and antipsychotic meds trying to hold what remained of his mind together have burned through the few functional brain cells that he had left. The drugs have him so wired he can't sit down or even unclench his fists. The guy is burnt toast.

Biden has no Iran strategy. He doesn't even have a strategy to get to a restroom after his cringe-worthy "town hall" debacle. Instead America's poor excuse for an "Iran strategy" Depends™ entirely upon which woke-tard in his administration grabbed the helm for the day.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 22 2021 20:46 utc | 20

@ no_really 15
Iran's strategic deterrent posture is a thin conventional MAD that mostly targets Arab client states across the Persian Gulf.

Oh, so the 50,000 or so US troops and some dependents at bases around the Gulf would not be affected, nor US ships at sea? Isn't a US-bombed Iran nice not to kill any Americans (under your scenario).
Actually that's not true. All the repeated chest-thumping in Washington about "all options are on the table" -- Obama was good at it -- have meant nothing because the Pentagon has made it clear 'we're not going there.' . . .That's why they haven't done Iran already. . .Same thing for Israel if it attacks Iran; Iran would respond and probably Hezbollah too with many missiles.
To carry it a bit further, it's a fault of the US forward basing strategy, not only in the Gulf, but also Korea, and increasingly in Europe. Any bases with missile/rocket/indirect-fire range are prime targets if the US attacks. . . .plus Afghanistan. Syria, Libya, and Iraq didn't work out so well either.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 22 2021 20:48 utc | 21

no_really @15--

You mean this Putin citation:

"We are united by a resolute rejection of anti-Semitism, any manifestations of xenophobia and ethnic strife, as well as any attempts to falsify history and revise the outcome of World War II.”

The problem is from our POV--which just so happens to be reality--Occupied Palestine is deeply engaged in the first three actions Putin lists--Zionists are the world's #1 Anti-Semites which is tied to their waging a campaign of genocide against the native Arabs/Palestinians, a situation that's existed since the 1930s.

IMO, the contradiction stems from Russia's policy of total support for its ex-pats wherever they might be, which was the ultimate reason for Crimea's reunification. The very odd aspect of the contradiction is yet another contradiction: Russia has excellent relations with all the Arc of Resistance nations and groups, while having good relations with Occupied Palestine. Indeed, during the Cold War, Occupied Palestine was correctly seen as a Western planted colony aimed at abetting Anglo regional control and thus an opponent. The question of Jewish emigration from the USSR to Occupied Palestine was a very big issue during the 1960-70s, if you're old enough to recall those days. Post-USSR foreign policy and diplomatic relations changed, and relations are now governed by this document, "Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation (approved by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin on November 30, 2016)." I suggest it be read; here are the preliminaries consisting of the top 5 policy goals:

"3. With a view to upholding the national interests of the Russian Federation and achieving its strategic national priorities, the State’s foreign policy activities shall be aimed at accomplishing the following main objectives:

a. to ensure national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and strengthen the rule of law and democratic institutions;

b. to create a favourable external environment that would allow Russia’s economy to grow steadily and become more competitive and would promote technological modernization as well as higher standards of living and quality of life for its population;

c. to consolidate the Russian Federation’s position as a centre of influence in today’s world;

d. to strengthen Russia’s position in global economic relations and prevent any discrimination against Russian goods, services and investments by using the options afforded by international and regional economic and financial organizations;

e. to further promote the efforts to strengthen international peace and ensure global security and stability with a view to establishing a fair and democratic international system that addresses international issues on the basis of collective decision-making, the rule of international law, primarily the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations (the UN Charter), as well as equal, partnership relations among States, with the central and coordinating role played by the United Nations (UN) as the key organization in charge of regulating international relations."

Relations with Occupied Palestine are noted at point #92 with Syria following at point #93--#92 intersects with e above.

As a counterpoint to what USSR/Russia has done since 1920, I highly suggest reading/watching Dr. Hudson's interview with the Moderate Rebels. No nation is flawless in its conduct, but some are outright demons and outlaws. How to get along with such animals when they have nukes or are protected by nations that have them? How to deal with the fact that the Outlaw US Empire has daily broken its own Constitution and the UN Charter in the conduct of its affairs when it's immune to UNSC sanctions? How to overcome the Empire's global propaganda network to defeat its narrative? And how to upend all that crap having narrowly escaped being destroyed yourself?

Clearly, Russia sees some value in keeping Occupied Palestine close, and I doubt that's Putin's unilateral decision but likely his Security Council's consensus. Given Russia's aim to protect its ex-pats as best it can, Russia would attempt to convince Occupied Palestine of the futility of waging further war in the region, particularly against Iran which would cause much harm to its ex-pats.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2021 20:49 utc | 22

@ WG 18
Sounds like you've got a hare __ __ ___! . . .But I agree. Calling Trump establishment defies the facts.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 22 2021 21:02 utc | 23

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 22 2021 20:48 utc | 21

US command already has rehearsed moving out. Are the US human assets glued to the ground in ME? They can't leave before hand?

https://www.stripes.com/branches/army/2021-07-01/us-military-closes-qatar-camps-in-move-that-could-play-into-iran-policy-2009140.html

There was another rehearsal for a moving the command centers a couple of years ago.

--

"Zionists are the world's #1 Anti-Semites which is tied to their waging a campaign of genocide against the native Arabs/Palestinians, a situation that's existed since the 1930s."

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2021 20:49 utc | 22

The problem is your blogsphere "POV" that plays games with the word Semite. Anti-Semitism has nothing to do with semitic ethnicity.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisemitism#Evolution_of_usage

"IMO, the contradiction stems from Russia's policy of total support for its ex-pats wherever they might be, which was the ultimate reason for Crimea's reunification."

Well, IMO, the "internal contradiction" that matters is that Russia, a historic enemy of Iran since imperial Russia and then USSR, will gain tremendously from a highly diminished Iran. Russia is Iran's competitor/contender in terms of:

1 - Civilizational claims to Central Asia. They did quite a bit to erase Persian from their soviet -stans.

2 - Revolutionary Islam.

3 - Energy markets

4 - Leverage against China in case it becomes necessary. (Think, if US is worried about rise of superpower China, then Russia must be shaking in its existential boots.)

Posted by: no_really | Oct 22 2021 21:04 utc | 24

thank you, karlof1 @ 13, for your timely response, while i concur on the first meeting as well as putin's concern & care for the russians residing in occupied palestine...i was especially interested in your take on the meeting esp. given putin's remarks regarding the beirut port explosion & his generous offer of satellite images if requested.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Oct 22 2021 21:11 utc | 25

sure is a lot of work the usa does for israel... i don't think it is worth it in the long run... in fact, all this work contributes directly to the demise of the usa!

Posted by: james | Oct 22 2021 21:13 utc | 26

@ no_really 24
US command already has rehearsed moving out. Are the US human assets glued to the ground in ME? They can't leave before hand?
So the US closed a small army storage base in Qatar, with few troops if any. Big whoop. Meanwhile Qatar houses (not only al-Qaeda) the largest military base in the Middle East. Two years ago- WaPo: "Vast sums of money are being spent to improve this sprawling air base, making it not only more central to the U.S. military posture, but also more permanent." Al Udeid Air Base houses Qatar Air Force, United States Air Force, Royal Air Force, and other foreign forces, about 11,000 American and coalition service members.
Next door on Kuwait there are seven US army bases, with 13,000 American troops stationed in Kuwait, including those at the U.S. Army Central's forward headquarters. Right across the Gulf and easy targets in Bahrain, there are U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, United States Fifth Fleet HQ and the CENTCOM forward HQ plus visiting ships. If any other ships are in the area, Iran has submarines deployed with torpedoes and mines. . . .All this and more are reasons why the US has not and should not attack Iran. An example: In June 2019 President (renegade) Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing an American surveillance drone, but abruptly pulled back. He was told that his order would not be obeyed, probably, by more sensible people.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 22 2021 21:57 utc | 27

Sorry, but Hebrews aren't the only existing Semites; so, either Anti-Semitism acknowledges all Semites or none as it can't just be one. And that's the massive inconsistency that's always been at the heart of that concept. Concepts can be erroneous or propagandistic--look at democracy and human rights. I know many share my view of that concept as its truth-based.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2021 22:01 utc | 28

@no_really (15) Somehow you missed the fact that a war with Iran will most certainly result in a cessation of all petroleum shipments from the Persian Gulf, possibly for an extended period of time. That alone will wreak havoc throughout the world’s economy and will create tremendous hardships for many millions of people.

Posted by: Rob | Oct 22 2021 22:05 utc | 29


"The Pentagon moved CENTCOM to South Carolina for a day because its forward HQ is a ‘sitting duck’ for Iranian attacks"

https://taskandpurpose.com/news/centcom-al-udeid-south-carolina-iran-threat/

Sweetie, CENTCOM is not a "a small army storage base in Qatar, with few troops if any".

--

"Sorry, but Hebrews aren't the only existing Semites; so, either Anti-Semitism acknowledges all Semites or none as it can't just be one."

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2021 22:01 utc | 28

You should be "sorry" for your intellectual dishonesty.

Whether Jews and Arabs are "semites", whether Ismail is a legitimate brother of Issac, is neither here nor there.

The point which you are rather ineffectively spinning is claiming that when a world leader is addressing the president of Israel and uses the word "anti-Semite" he has the same notion as you are claiming.

Now, those of us who were not born yesterday remember vividly that after righteous indignation against Israeli crimes against Palestinians were being aired in campuses and on the Usenet, the Zionist in a desperate move started calling all critics of Israel as "Anti-Semites" to which the polemic device of shouting back "Arabs are semites too" was born. Now, when the Zionists were building up the anti-Semite brand in Europe in 19th century, Arabs were not in the picture, so rather unwisely they used their purported Semitic roots to build up the anti-semite propaganda device. A few decades and in a latter century, they were all of a sudden oppressing actual Semites in Middle East. Too late to re-brand.

Now, since you are so intimately familiar with the communiques of Kremlin and saintly Putin and Lavrov, kindly copy and paste the missive from Kremlin stating unequivocally that "anti-semitism in all its forms, whether directed against Jews or Arabs, is condemned by us".

k?

Posted by: no_really | Oct 22 2021 22:09 utc | 30

William Gruff @Oct22 20:27 #18:

"It's all happening according to the Establishment plan! Bwahahaha!"

Gruff is running interference for the establishment.

MOA readers are smart enough to see that the establishment does work together and the Deep State does plan. It's no secret that:

  • All recent President's have had connections to the Deep State - including so-called populists like Obama, Sanders, and Trump (The Deep State controls the Presidency and probably both Parties via friends like AIPAC and industy lobbies);
  • The constant bickering with Trump and hounding Trump with nonsense (TWO impeachments? LOL.) have caused many to recognize the political kayfabe (billionaire Trump actually did everything the establishment might've wanted from a President);
  • The Left agenda and the inept Biden Administration has accomplished little except to incite the outrage of conservatives ...
  • while, as a martyr, Trump has gained power.
  • MAGA! as a strategy is best accomplished via a solid move to the right;
  • The overall context should not be overlooked: Empire oligarchs and Empire Managers are facing their first peer competitor(s) in over three decades and, as a group, SCO countries are a serious threat to Empire plans and possibly it's existence.

If Gruff wants to look foolish by ridiculing logical deductions then he has every right to do so. MOA readers are already aware of his establishment-friendly POV and will make up their own minds about the nature of the political and media manipulations that they face on a daily basis.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 22 2021 22:11 utc | 31

...."the White House was not ready to make such a commitment, citing legal obstacles"....

So the White House cited legal obstacles. OK, what legal obstacles? Why are they insurmountable?

If the White House couldn't name them then their claim is bulls**t.
If the White House did name them then that would be useful to know.

I... honestly, I don't get it: why does so much reportage just end in the middle?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 22 2021 22:44 utc | 32

Any dust-up in the Persian Gulf, especially the Strait of Hormuz, shouldn't affect Iran oil shipments. Last summer the 1,000 km Goreh-Jask pipeline opened a new path for Iranian oil to the Indian Ocean by transferring it from Goreh in southwestern Bushehr Province to Jask on the shores of Oman Gulf, bypassing Hormuz. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 22 2021 23:15 utc | 33

The Scorpion and the Frog...

The nature of the US is to subjugate all other countries. It does this through its puppet "international organizations" (such as the IMF). Listen/read The Grayzone's latest interview of/with Michael Hudson: one of the best interviews. Fortunately, and this is what will save Iran from being pummeled, China and Russia have enough weight to now push back on the US.

Posted by: Seer | Oct 22 2021 23:16 utc | 34

You write as though Bidet was an independent actor rather than, like every Amerikastani "president " since the 1960s, a rubber stamp stooge of the racist apartheid zionist settler colony in Occupied Palestine.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Oct 22 2021 23:18 utc | 35

@ YR 32
The legal obstacles were written into the US law(s) to restrain the president from making changes that would violate the law(s). . .They were written in Israel, perhaps?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 22 2021 23:24 utc | 36

b thanks for the post , I frankly don’t even think president Furley (aka Joe)knows what’s going on, and or what are his policies. Nor do his actual policy makers.

Posted by: Kooshy | Oct 22 2021 23:27 utc | 37

"Any dust-up in the Persian Gulf, especially the Strait of Hormuz, ..."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 22 2021 23:15 utc | 33

Don, you're not the brightest bulb in the room, are you?

An oil terminal, unlike a modern 21st century command center, can NOT move. All those installations are toast, "up in smoke", on both sides of the Persian Gulf in the "dust up". The only question is whether the dust will be radioactive.


Is there a gentleman's agreement between the hostile forces to limit activity to Persian Gulf? After all, one side (IRI, Hezbollah) has already declared they will go all out, well outside of Persian Gulf.

If Iran lobs a few missiles on Israel's nuclear reactor, what do you think will be the response?

The entire calculus of the IRI regime is that the financial pain of the destruction of Middle East's critical infrastructure (mainly energy) is too high for the Anglo-Zionist empire. It's a bad bet, since they print money out of thin air and as the Covid regime has shown, they can even shut down their entire societies for months and have entirely docile populations that will swallow any lie that comes out of the organs.

I want to see an actual analysis, without partisan delusions or spin, as to who will be the losers and winners when Middle East is a smoldering pile of "dust". What Bernhard is providing does not measure up and we all know he is capable of actual analysis. (Note for example he never mentions that IRAN WILL BE DESTROYED).

Posted by: no_really | Oct 22 2021 23:45 utc | 38

@38--

The world and no_really too.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2021 23:50 utc | 39

@38
Iran is destroyed, Israel is destroyed, the ME is destroyed....if things don't go further, it looks like Russia is the winner, a draw for China and a loss for everyone else.

Posted by: jason | Oct 22 2021 23:56 utc | 40

@ no_really 38
Historically combat has been restricted, avoiding all-out war. There have been past episodes of mining the Gulf, and attacks on ships, without attacks on oil terminals. That's primarily because destruction of oil with attacks and counter-attacks would harm everyone.
Speaking in general, military people are inclined to keep affairs manageable. It doesn't require a "gentlemen's agreement." You really ought to educate yourself on recent past wars, there's enough of them, and none of them resulted in any area becoming a smoldering pile of "dust". Perhaps Truman's callous use of atom bombs affected military thinking.
As for Iran, it is a large country, seventy times the size of tiny Israel. The latter might all smolder, but not Iran.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 23 2021 0:02 utc | 41

The world and no_really too.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2021 23:50 utc | 39

If that makes you feel better, it's fine with me. I for one would be quite upset if anything happens to Iran.

As I said, seeking actual analysis, not spin, not wishful thinking, and not proxies for propaganda of geopolitical actors.

Meanwhile, how is your search of Kremlin archives going? Got the proof of Putin's definition of Anti-Semitism?

--

"On June 9, 2005, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexei II addressed the international conference of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in Cordoba, Spain, to declare that the Russian Orthodox Church shares concerns over "incidents of antisemitism, xenophobia and other forms of racism". He described antisemitism, as "one of the more radical expression of misanthropy and racism", and said its perpetrators included “public figures, publicists, and the leaders of radical organizations".[8]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisemitism_in_Russia

Posted by: no_really | Oct 23 2021 0:03 utc | 42

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 22 2021 20:46 utc | 20

Yep

Don Bacon right on

Posted by: jo6pac | Oct 23 2021 0:10 utc | 43

Posted by: no_really | Oct 22 2021 23:45 utc | 38

"The entire calculus of the IRI regime is that the financial pain of the destruction of Middle East's critical infrastructure (mainly energy) is too high for the Anglo-Zionist empire. It's a bad bet, since they print money out of thin air "
—Which needs the middle east and global economy to be intact to function in the first place and of which rapidly degraded under their erratic sanctions and trade war regime they employed anyway.

Yes it will destroy the entire Middle east Israel included. You hinted that a couple of missile strikes to Dimona by Iran or Hezbollah would give it the reason to use nuclear missiles against both Iran or the rest of their enemies? Was it really? Their nuclear weapons possession relying heavily in denying their existence because admitting them would give the legitimacy for other enemy state to develop similarly destructive weapons of which Syria had demonstrated could do in their backyard without outside help and it won't be hard to imagine their other allies could too.

Israel dome missiles expended with just the war against Gazan. I don't think they would fare better against Syria, Lebanon, and Iran included. Israel will not recover nor is the US if it's dragged into another quagmires when just continuing already stunted them of any real progress at home. Do you really could imagine that US can committ to them, losing their global financial leverages, and be fine? Even if we discount their peoples willingness for any of the renewed shenanigans?
And during another of their middle east adventure the world would still have to progress anyway leaving them bogged down unless they intent to burn the world over simultaneously so they weren't left behind.

And lets say you're right US would committed to completely destroy middle east, If the oil shipments stop from middle east or become too expensive or unreliable who else can supply the vacuum in the market? Venezuela and Russia ? Maybe also China with their Xuar gas deposits now the question is they wouldn't use USD for their sales now wouldn't they? What new leverages and influences would they find once the empire Caligula made the world unsafe and unstable for them ?

Posted by: Lucci | Oct 23 2021 0:20 utc | 44

Posted by: Lucci | Oct 23 2021 0:20 utc | 44

You have some good points there, worth considering.

On the USD front, the consensus is that that scam is on its last legs anyway. The question then is what is better for the A-Z empire? Wait for the dethronement of USD by say China or rearranging the deck chairs while USD is still the global reserve currency and putting the emerging competitor in a difficult position?

On the energy front, China, Japan, India, and EU would lose vital energy providers. Russia will benefit, and Venezuela is not that hard a country to take over, is it? Would the A-Z empire throw EU and Japan under the bus? "AUKUS" -- afaik, and I could be wrong, US and UK do not really need ME energy. My impression is that the Anglo-Zionist empire has already started shedding unnecessary parts, such as EU.

On the Israel front, US support has always been evangelical so Israel going up in smoke is a necessary prelude for Geesus coming back. Would Zionist central in UK be upset? I seriously doubt it, they seem to don't mind throwing expendable Jews into jaws of death when it serves their geopolitical purposes. Whoever matters will likely not be there for the dust up.

Israel itself, like IRI, is a borderline theocracy run by ideological fanatics. Maybe what you say about the lack of effective defenses is true, but they are actually the loudest voices for starting a war. What to make of that? It is interesting to note that there is a strong, historic, streak of irrational fanaticism among the Jews. Maybe they are going through another one of those episodes.

Posted by: no_really | Oct 23 2021 0:46 utc | 45

All of this requires very little analysis. Iran is not backed into any corner whatsoever. Over JCPOA, Iran's governance has simply now fully aligned with Khamenei's standing view. Iran can wait it all out, or confront - Iran has these options, while the US has none.

The US is backed into a corner, made up of shifting tectonic plates that cannot be turned aside. For the US, there's no way out of this corner, except through the invisibility that will come from inconsequence, over time. The US will simply fade away from power, and from West Asia.

Everyone knows this, probably including the Pentagon, or at least those there who will not attack Iran for any price.

Everything else from the US cohort is chatter. The inconsequence has already started.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 23 2021 1:09 utc | 46

Russia, a historic enemy of Iran since imperial Russia and then USSR, will gain tremendously from a highly diminished Iran. Russia is Iran's competitor/contender in terms of:
blah blah blah
4 - Leverage against China in case it becomes necessary. (Think, if US is worried about rise of superpower China, then Russia must be shaking in its existential boots.)

Posted by: no_really | Oct 22 2021 21:04 utc | 24
---------------
no_really does not acknowledge a difference between strategy and petty games. Iran, Russia and China have their separate interests, but they have a common threat that exceeds any bilateral differences. Iran needs some reliable partners, and it is perhaps sad, but it this time, nobody is better than China and Russia.

A "diminishing of Iran" is very dangerous for both Russia and China. No threat is larger than the persistent American dream of "first strike". Annihilate Russian and Chines nukes on the ground and wipe out the rest in flight. One weakness in this dream is that it is not possible to "suddenly" wipe out missile sites in the center of Asia (i.e. near the junction of Mongolia, China, Russia and Kazakhstan), since this is a large continent, it gives many minutes of warning between flashes of hypersonic weapons and reaching those central locations. That requires Central Asia to be free of American facilities, and given vagaries of local politics, that requires a ring around Central Asia. Russia, China AND Iran.

Generals like to thinks in terms of perimeters of defense.
Given a collapse of the Islamic Republic, who would be picking the pieces?

Number two, "leverage against China". There are mutual divergencies and convergencies of interest, and as I wrote, both countries need a reliable independently minded neighbor, not vulnerable to color revolutions etc. And there are some complementary capabilities, China has better industry on the average, Russia seems to be better in matters close to weaponry, both work on converting in into passenger aircraft and nuclear power, Russia, economically smaller and more focus, may get dominance in those two fields.

Interestingly, recently both India and China ordered/planned several nuclear plants each from Rosatom, so at this moment, 1/3 of ongoing and planned nuclear projects worldwide are in Rosatom portfolio. Most recently, Bangladesh contracted one. French and American capabilities seem to decline, while Russia also plans to add extensive domestic program to its foreign portfolio.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 23 2021 1:19 utc | 47

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 23 2021 1:09 utc | 46

If the status quo continues indefinitely, what exactly is the cost to US? How is this a corner? Please qualify and quantify the "pain" that US is feeling.

--

"A "diminishing of Iran" is very dangerous for both Russia and China."

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 23 2021 1:19 utc | 47

Russia simply requires Iran to survive, ala Cuba. But a fully developing Iran is definitely not something Russia will favor. That would mean an emerging superpower with competing interests right on their border, with historic ties to Central Asia. A nation that in the past 2500 years has fielded 3 world class empires and 2 (subsequent to Islam) major powers.

China, to an extent also benefits from the status quo: they must be paying fire sale prices for the oil they are getting, but historically, they are a friendly nation to the Iranians with longstanding ties.

When I say "diminished" I mean held back from reaching full potential.

Posted by: no_really | Oct 23 2021 2:07 utc | 48

There are 1.5 million Iranian-Americans, plus another 400,000 Iranian immigrants in Canada (also 1.2 million in Europe). That's one hell of a base for domestic terrorism/nationalist revenge against any attack that destroyed Iran (and killed many of their relatives). Many of those are very highly educated and skilled individuals who could do a lot of damage - and many of them are not the previous oligarch class. The US should remember that it is a nation of immigrants that is highly dependent for much of its talent upon those very immigrants. The possibility of absolute chaos in the US would be high given also the Jewish community, plus all the Arab-Americans and Muslims.

Russia and China would be massive winners in terms of soft power, as well as the significant degradation of US military and domestic strength. Russia would gain massively from the new price for oil and gas, and China has the capacity to deal with a significant reduction in oil imports (probably somewhat balanced by Russia) given its extensive electrified transport infrastructure. Europe would rue the day that they got arrogant with the Russians.

The US elite may be partly brain-dead and delusional, but I just don't see them making this level of geopolitical mistake unless they were truly suicidal. The Suez Crisis (where the UK and France were confronted with the new balance of power realities) would pale in significance.

Posted by: Roger | Oct 23 2021 2:13 utc | 49

Posted by: no_really | Oct 23 2021 0:46 utc | 45

You miss my point.
USA will not find any improvement or reversals to their decline even if it goes after entire middle east. On the contrary it would decline their control on the western countries even faster unless they grieve the rest of the world in the process to buy time so USA can catch up to Eurasian development.

Russia has pipelines, railway through China and north coastal lanes with icebreakers to circumvent middle east. Depending on where they stand S. Korea, India, and Japan can keep their economy intact even if it's going to be more expensive and empower their regional rival in the process.

On the contrary USA would have to commit their entire resources and influences to go after Iran that both China and Russia can't afford to lose to the US and would inevitably come to support either covertly or overtly.

Also you're wrong on the premises that UK or NATO goes after Iran because Israel. No they go after Iran because USA told them to.

Posted by: Lucci | Oct 23 2021 2:21 utc | 50

Posted by: Roger | Oct 23 2021 2:13 utc | 49

FEMA. c.f. Japanese-Americans in WWII

"the previous oligarch class."

If you mean the diaspora of '79, this was not an exodus of oligarchs. The material oligarchy in Iran was in the main Qajar princelings and the ruling members of the major tribes, and, the religious oligarchy of course has solidified its grip on Iran.

The diaspora you deride as "oligarchy" was in fact the emerging technocratic upper-middle class that the Shah was trying to create to counter the "1000 [feudal, Qajar] families". The radical land and labor reforms of late 60s -- the White Revolution -- were to an extent designed to clip the wings of that equip. It is interesting that some of the Qajar oligarch families are still doing well in Iran. Farman-Farmaian family, for example.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Revolution

Iran is a very complex nation, a puzzle even to the natives. If you wish to fully understand the dynamics, you should seriously study its modern history.

Posted by: no_really | Oct 23 2021 2:35 utc | 51

As I said, and as we see: "chatter."

Or as some good people would call it, "blah, blah, blah." All just word salad for the unwary.

~~

Meanwhile, reality is on the ground, where the enemy dares not look. Victory was clearly established in January of last year. And less clearly but just as certainly in 2006.

All the losing side has left to fight with is chatter..its word salad, its blah, blah, blah.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 23 2021 2:54 utc | 52

The USA gerontocracy is simultaneously playing a too clever by half strategy in Taiwan which it will lose, Syria where it just got bombed at its terrorist training camp, Iraq where its treacherous Kurdish terrorist proxies are being ground down, Europe where its 'alliance' is chilling out, South America where it is about as welcome as a swastika in a synagogue.

It has no friends - just a handfull of parasites to kiss Biden or the next Trump's butt. These same parasites have already made off with its wealth, its best technology patents, its factories plus a few empty cans labeled 'promises and agreements'.

The gerontocracy, swiping at the tables and chairs as it is wheeled to the exit. Meanwhile the the audience sings 'tomorrow belongs to me' wondering where those inspiring words came from. What a clown cart :/

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 23 2021 3:22 utc | 53

james #26

sure is a lot of work the usa does for israel... i don't think it is worth it in the long run... in fact, all this work contributes directly to the demise of the usa!

That is what happens when the wasp lays its egg in the paralysed host. The egg hatches and eats out all the contents of the host saving the life support organs to last. That way the egg has the highest chance of survival by keeping the host trapped alive but powerless for as long as possible. Consider Palestine.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 23 2021 3:37 utc | 54

@Posted by: no_really | Oct 23 2021 2:35 utc | 51

Point well taken, but lets not use wikipedia as a source on any nation that is defined as an enemy of the US - the "super editors" of wikipedia are hard at work whitewashing the previous friendly rulers and propagandizing against the current ones. More than happy to look at some more reliable sources.

I did find "Revolution in Iran: The Roots of Turmoil" by Mehran Kamrava, which was first published in 1990 and contains a lot of information from interviews with many of the senior individuals involved across the society. Looks like a real academic analysis and quite fascinating. Looks like the Shah tried a capitalist revolution from above, but then tried to reclaim a more absolutist status (after the 1953 CIA/MI6 coup against Mossadegh) over time that triggered increasing political opposition, and the coup de gras was the late-1970s oil price collapse.

Posted by: Roger | Oct 23 2021 4:48 utc | 55

The Iranian position seems reasonable and just. It appears Iran is constantly making diplomatic progress overcoming it's previous (pre 2015) international isolation more and more. This means that at the same Israel is gradually slipping into international isolation, a development that seems to be under the radar of most observers.

B colossaly overestimates the Iranian military capabilities. No_really is the other extreme but Inwould say he is closer to the reality. The Iranian missiles and proxies are very usefull as a dererrent in order to prevent a major war and keep Iran save. If deterrent fails, however, Iran would quickly run out of military options.

Anyway, there are always alternatives and this is also true for a large comventional war against Iran. Just that we can't see any military options for the US doesn't necessarily mean that there are none.

What for instance if rhe US joins the Israeli clandestine tanker war against Iran?

Posted by: m | Oct 23 2021 6:06 utc | 56

Excellent update b.

The ‘liberal’ voters are getting just desserts for buying into the pantomime left / right Punch and Judy act. That is what is always planned. Just as the ‘conservative’ voters , god bothered get regularly fluffed before their premature ejection as soon as they get anywhere near the cfr/ Chatham House ‘lobby’.

So when Putin is quoted in the comments here - even his simple direct words are twisted by the spam flying blue monkey troll army - even on this site where they stand out like bearded ladies calling for stoning of the adulteress. (Look it up for a laugh).

Anti semitism as Judaeophobia is of course wrong. Just as islmophobia Hindu, Buddhist, Zoroastrianism, Daoism and any number of Ancient belief - phobias are. This excludes Scientism and other new tangled fairytales designed to lure the weak minded such as George Lucas-ism and most Hollywoodisms. The latest iterations being Exceptionalist Super Heroes dressed as all-American individualism that acts unilaterally, outside
of a state and with impunity. The bigging up of the Billionaires and their Foundations.

Antisemetism as anti Juadeofascism is another matter altogether and should be supported . Just as standing up against any fundamentalist mass manipulation.

Russians of Hebrew descent have been subject to much of that by their Ask-a-Nazi doppelgängers throughout the last few centuries. Many of the gulags were filled of the former by the latter backed as they have been by their Financial Houses who rebranded themselves with such bloody skins.

Putin talks of that when he travels to the heart of the beast to speak truth to that power and clearly warns them to their face that the history of the Second World War will not be allowed to be rewritten- yes claim that millions of Europeans were targeted for their hassidic religions and assets BUT MULTIPLE more Russians of all ethnicities were the biggest casualties and the Red Army was the one that SAVED the world from a Ass-ka-Nazi victory for the Fed/City/Franfurter victory then.

Russians are in no mood to let these sacrifices be forgotten and no hurry to be led into further hurt by these Powers.
The way they do this is by rushing to the aid of other targets of these Ancients of Lud - knowing that by protecting these who have always been enslaved and pillaged - Russia is afforded their protection.

Not just their corrupt and quisling leaders and military slave masters but the poorest Peoples of all the World. With China and SCO there will be no further repeating history.

That is a very clear message of Putin The Peacemaker’s words, spoken clearly, softly and to the Faces of these foes. The Red Line s drawn in ‘their own land’ at their feet.

When a thug and bully is faced down and told that he is nothing without his reputation and cowardly hangers on ; and with knowledge of where they live and hide, any blow back goes beyond these expendable religious believers they hide behind and proxy wars they profit by from all sides.

The next war doesn’t require battlefields in far off places and deaths of millions of black/brown/yellow people’s as the Anglo Europeans are urged to ‘protect’ our colour’ by the same old same old Slave Owners. Because we know where they live , we know who their family and friends are. Where they hide in super yachts, compounds, bunkers secret islands and space stations even and we know where they hide their stolen wealth.

With high precision mini missiles and low tech guerrilla warfare and high tech financial IT skills - there is no place for these ancients to hide. They will be annihilated and forgotten within a generation. Their Families disbanded and their progeny will never know of their Ancestry.

Such are the actual strings on Events that the puppets of the White House and Fake democracies of the U.K. and France and the other 5 eyed Gollum dance to.

The retreating Dominate Empire like the Ming Dynasty in China 500 years ago is set to retire from the World whilst hanging onto all its ill gotten gains! Keeping a praetorian guard of dumbass supremacy and Exceptionalism through cultural hegemony and propaganda including the woke wing of XR under its fairy princess.

It Ain’t going to be so, as Putin clearly said so to their faces.

The Empire is dead dead dead!

Posted by: D.G. | Oct 23 2021 7:05 utc | 57

DG #57

Thank you for the funeral notice. I shall attend the wake after I am sure that the empire is dead, dead, dead. So will Putin it seems by this report at China Daily.

I get satisfaction from this report in that the wretched leach Nuland was prevented from getting any self aggrandizing press opportunity.

Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta said the prospect of another meeting between the two leaders might amount to a surprisingly good result from an otherwise less-than-productive visit by Nuland.

The newspaper said the visit passed without any important agreement on any one of the thorny issues in Russian-US relations.

Nuland met several senior officials during her visit to Moscow, but not a single meeting was followed by a joint news conference.

I appreciate the way in which Nuland is deprived of oxygen and Dmitry Peskov gets to pseudo announce it.

The Kremlin on Wednesday said there is a realistic possibility that another meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his United States counterpart Joe Biden can be held this year.

"In one form or another, a meeting is quite realistic," Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said when asked about the likelihood of a meeting in the closing months of the year.

Peskov said that Yuri Ushakov, the Russian presidential aide, and Victoria Nuland, the US undersecretary of state for political affairs, discussed "various options and certain understandings were reached" at a meeting last week.

Thank you Dmitry. Such a suave operator.

Biden will have to pull up his sox and unclench those fists a little or he might be mistaken for intending to 'shirtfront' Putin at their possible meeting. The last clown that voiced that intention is forgotten in history these days and bides his time picking bunya nuts for a crust.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 23 2021 10:56 utc | 58

What for instance if rhe US joins the Israeli clandestine tanker war against Iran?

Posted by: m | Oct 23 2021 6:06 utc | 56

Iran has proxy and has hinted for similar tit for tat clandestine ops. Recently Hezbollah threatened Israel to respond militarily to attacks against Iran aid shipments, threat that seems to be respected by Israel.

Frankly speaking US is really in no good conditions to start another overt military actions against new state levels opponents especially around middle east where deployment has been unpopular and where they're now vulnerable.

Posted by: Lucci | Oct 23 2021 12:08 utc | 59

@Biswapriya Purkayast, 35. Thank you for your comment. I'm always surprised how b' sometimes writes as if he's not aware that no US president is independent of Zionists pressure. And that nobody can become a US president without the Zionists approval.

Posted by: Steve | Oct 23 2021 13:32 utc | 60

A crucial turning point in the negotiations occurred earlier in May of this year. The Iranians had insisted on legally binding commitments that the United States would respect its signature and not re-quit the JCPOA, were it to be revived. Though the U.S. team found the Iranian demand understandable, it insisted it could not bind the hands of the next administration, nor guarantee that a future administration hostile to the JCPOA wouldn’t again abandon it.

That's so funny! What is important about that statement is that it applies equally to every single agreement the US signs with any country in the world.

US unwillingness to abide by its own commitments are not limited to Iran alone, but in the past few years have included the whole gammut of commitments to other countries including its own "allies". Henceforth any country in the world signing any agreement whatsoever with the US needs to insist on including a clause providing strong international legal guarantees that the US will abide by the agreement; if the US refuse, they need to insist on making explicit that the agreement is not binding on either party.

The following paragraph only adds icing to the cake and reconfirms that the US does not make one iota of a binding commitment ...

that Biden would simply commit to staying within the deal for the rest of his own term

Posted by: BM | Oct 23 2021 15:19 utc | 61

All this yada, yada with ‘war on Iran’ AGAIN. So tiring. The empire — tried for 20 years— but couldn’t beat the bare-foot-cave-dweller-goat-herders (that we were told Afghans are). How is it going to beat a country with seven millennia of history, and advanced network to protect itself?
All this talk, IS, about keeping Iran backwards, like they used to have it, in shah’s time. It’s not going to work.
There is no higher science than nuclear. Iran split atoms yesterday. It’s will do so today, and tomorrow.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Oct 23 2021 15:43 utc | 62

@ BM 61
As I have indicated above the perfidy of US presidents in international agreements, their propensity to make changes in them, is largely due to their unconstitutional role in foreign agreements, i.e. treaties, which require Senate participation according to the US Constitution. . .Probably there would never have been a JCPOA if the constitution were obeyed. . . There are previous cases of this type, for example the agreement to withdraw from Iraq seven years ago.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 23 2021 15:48 utc | 63

Piotr Berman @ 5 and nme @ 6 The outcry defense [and as observed by Bobby @11 is offered by the entrenched, highly infiltrated government] to any effort aimed at removing sanctions or returning the M.E. to non polar normality [I agree with Jackrabbit @ 8 ].

The are all including Biden commanded by the Oligarch.

No_really @ 15 An "outcome of World War II" was the creation of Israel: <=Isreal's recognition as a nation state in 1948, was a result of planning arising from Basil, Switzerland 1897. Nation state status was deemed essential to cover the nefarious deeds the "take the oil from the Ottoman Arabs and use the Arab oil to control the world [TTOFEOAAUITCTW] project would require. Without sovereign nation state status<= possession, development and use of weapons, equiping Armies and storing nuclear weapons would be acts of a terrorist instead of legitimate nation state activity. See the Balfour Agreement, Palin Commission reports, and Mearsheimer and Walts Book Israel and US Foreign Policy" for more.

Criminal act-ivies, war, armies and weapons developed and used from within the boundaries of a sovereign nation state are protected from prosecution by the owners of the global nation state system. Reporters who fabricate content for distribution as news and who develop the histories for mass audiences to engage; promote the official propaganda that officials operating within nation states are somehow legitimate?

Don Bacon @ 19 agrees "The UN Charter states that "The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members"

no_really @ 24.. makes a great point..
Well, IMO, the "internal contradiction" what matters is that Russia, a historic enemy of Iran, .. will gain tremendously from a highly diminished Iran. Russia is Iran's competitor/contender in terms of:

1 - Civilizational claims to Central Asia. They did quite a bit to erase Persian from their soviet -stans.

2 - Revolutionary Islam.

3 - Energy markets

4 - Leverage against China in case it becomes necessary. (Think, if US is worried about rise of superpower China, then Russia must be shaking in its existential boots.)

this statement is telling,, it explains why Russia does not complete its job in Syria.. and why Russia has not taken Turkey out.


M @ 56 What for instance if the US joins the Israeli clandestine tanker war against Iran? <= the joint venture will disappear into the bowels of the Iranian anti-Juadeofascish Tankers.. ?

Posted by: snake | Oct 23 2021 15:56 utc | 64

@ 54 uncle tungsten.. that is an apt description taken directly from nature!! good one!

Posted by: james | Oct 23 2021 17:26 utc | 65

to James @65

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovo_T0KqdYg

Posted by: ChasMark | Oct 23 2021 17:34 utc | 66

@66 Let's hope there are no cockroaches reading MOA. They would find that video totally unacceptable.

Posted by: dh | Oct 23 2021 17:49 utc | 67

Looking at the misplaced presidential prerogatives in foreign policy, like toying around with stupid punitive treaties, any contrast between Washington's "we're a democracy" and other countries "autocratic dictatorship" is total BS.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 23 2021 18:54 utc | 68

Putin's playing so many sides of the games that at some point something's gotta give. He can't please everyone. People often forget that there're many factions within the Russian power system. Most of the moneymen, who back Putin, also have residencies in Tel Aviv and powerful connections in the US. Putin needs them. Period!

How else can one explain how Bibi got away with causing the shooting down of a Russian plane killing all onboard? The Russians made a bit of noise for like a week and the matter was simply swept under the carpet and quickly forgotten.


The resistance axis have had it with Russia's double dealings and have made it clear they're going to respond to the constant Israeli aggression against Syria - which has the tacit approval of Russia in some twisted way.


Back to Iran. The Iranians know Russian very well. They've just signed a contract with Russian for some items. Apparently the Israelis got wind of the contract details. Hence the 5hr meeting. This will be a real test of Russia's seriousness in their relations with Iran.
There's also talks about Russia putting pressure on Iran to rejoin the nuclear talks. It's almost as though the West has subcontracted their role to Russia. Iran may very well leave the NPT and conduct their first nuclear explosion if they feel the pressure/cornered.


As for Biden and his failure to re-enter the nuclear deal. He simply can't! The US has over the years, through multiple presidents, woven a tangled web of sanctions and mundane policies that no president can easily untangle. They've effectively cornered themselves with their sanctions. Iran wants all sanctions lifted before any deal can be reached. Biden CANNOT lift all sanctions due to how they've been setup. So there'll be no talks. If this nonsense continues or another year, it's game over.

Posted by: Zico | Oct 23 2021 19:10 utc | 69

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Oct 23 2021 15:43 utc | 62

All this yada, yada with ‘war on Iran’ AGAIN. So tiring. The empire — tried for 20 years— but couldn’t beat the bare-foot-cave-dweller-goat-herders (that we were told Afghans are). How is it going to beat a country with seven millennia of history, and advanced network to protect itself?

I don't think your are looking objectively at what the Empire has done with Afghanistan. The country is no longer a functional state. The prospect for Afghans is pretty dim: permanent state of crisis, shortage, mass unemployment, terror attacks, rubble and misery. Mind you, the regular army may have left the country but economic warfare will continue with tacit support from a righteous western citizenry long ago sold on the concept of humanitarian bombings.

The way I see it, devastation is the end game. Do not underestimate the Empire, it wrote the book on devastation.

Posted by: robin | Oct 23 2021 19:36 utc | 70

Posted by: robin | Oct 23 2021 19:36 utc | 70

robin, Are you saying that Afghanistan was a functioning state, before the empire got there?
What are nearly 4 million Afghans doing in Iran? They didn’t just come because of the empire.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Oct 23 2021 20:13 utc | 71

@ ChasMark | Oct 23 2021 17:34 utc | 66... the symbolism seems perfect here.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Oct 23 2021 20:20 utc | 72

robin, I also think that Afghanistan's future is going to much brighter than the recent past -- without the empire. The neighbors will it to be (read: SCO, BRI, rare earth)

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Oct 23 2021 20:24 utc | 73

@ Sakineh Bagoom 71 and 73

I suppose we should first decide on WHEN the Empire first started to look at Afghanistan. In any case, I'm pretty certain the place would have been much better off without all the attention.

I also think that Afghanistan's future is going to much brighter than the recent past -- without the empire. The neighbors will it to be (read: SCO, BRI, rare earth)

Except that the Empire's attention doesn't end with the retreat of regular troops.

The idea is to ensure that Afghanistan and Syria and Lebanon, Iraq, and yes, Iran and just about every country within reach, remain a burden rather than an asset for an emergent, integrated world continent.

Posted by: robin | Oct 23 2021 20:43 utc | 74

"Are you saying that Afghanistan was a functioning state, before the empire got there?"

The Empire, while British, got there centuries ago. But, by the 1970s the Afghans had established a high degree of sovereignty- that is when the Empire, now US run, intervened to put an end to the Communist backed government which, among other things, was encouraging women to go to University.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 23 2021 21:20 utc | 75

The idea is to ensure that Afghanistan and Syria and Lebanon, Iraq, and yes, Iran and just about every country within reach, remain a burden rather than an asset for an emergent, integrated world continent.
Posted by: robin | Oct 23 2021 20:43 utc | 74

The locals — the always underestimated — had their say, and kicked the empire out.
Remember, the very same —> bare-foot-cave-dweller-goat-herders?

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Oct 23 2021 21:44 utc | 76

The entire industrial world runs on oil. The US used to be the main supplier, and then it was Saudi Arabia, whose kings were kept in power by the US in return for the Saudis compliance with the petrodollar.
The Iran/Iraq war of the 80s (both sides supplied by the US), then the sanctions on Iran and Iraq in the 90s, followed by the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the continued sanctions on Iran have led to today's situation.
Iraq and Iran are sitting on the two biggest pools of oil in the known world, and it has mostly been kept off-market for the last 40 years.
Saudi Arabia has most likely hit peak oil and will never again be able to be the swing oil producer.
So will the US let Iran sell its oil to China? Not bloody likely.
I don't see why destroying Iran's oil production would be seen as a downside to US oligarchs, compared to watching Iran sell oil to China.
I think that the US will do anything to keep control of the remaining oil in the world, and again, Iran and Iraq have the most.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Oct 23 2021 23:51 utc | 77

"Posted by: wagelaborer | Oct 23 2021 23:51 utc | 77

But Iran is selling oil to China right now.

Posted by: arby | Oct 24 2021 0:02 utc | 78

Millennium Challenge 2002. No, really.

Posted by: HD | Oct 24 2021 0:21 utc | 79

@78 Wait till those Ozzie subs get on the case. They'll put a stop to that business.

Posted by: dh | Oct 24 2021 0:33 utc | 80

B -- "It is funny then to hear Blinken talk of 'other options'
when everyone knows that the U.S. does not have any. "

It is also funny to hear Blinken 'talking from a position of strength' when he has none.

Not only funny, but saaaaaaaad.

Fake leaders in a fake government making fake threats as if there are no consequences when caught naked when the tide goes out (sorry, mixed metaphors).

Each time a bully's threats are shown to be hollow, to be a form of lying from a position of weakness, he loses credibility, until finally, people are no longer fearful of the bully, and they turn their backs on him one by one.

Make America Great Again is really happening. In reverse. LOL.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Oct 24 2021 1:28 utc | 81

Biden may not actually care that much about the JCPOA. I sometimes wonder how much he actually likes the state that keeps humiliating him. He may not be confident he can lift the sanctions against Iran without Israel/Congress stopping him. Perhaps letting the JCPOA die is his least bad option.

Posted by: Edward | Oct 24 2021 2:05 utc | 82

RFE news
Currently the IAEA chief is complaining that he can't access an Iran facility that manufactures centrifuge parts which was severely damaged by an Israeli attack in June, on which the IAEA has no position (of course). Of course Radio Free Europe blames that on "hard-line Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi." Nothing on Israel which has uninspected nukes.. .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 24 2021 2:45 utc | 83

@69 Zico
How did Erdogan get away with shooting down a Russian fighter bomber and murdering the parachuted pilot?

Both Erdogan and Netanyahu are great dividers who have lead their countries into international isolation. Before them their countries had been well integrated into the West.

That's why Putin has supported both of them no matter what else.

Posted by: m | Oct 24 2021 5:55 utc | 84

RE: Posted by b at 17:05 UTC | Comments (84)

“How Biden's Too-Clever-By-Half Iran Strategy Failed”

Evaluation is a function of facility and purpose, neither of which are shared.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Oct 24 2021 11:53 utc | 85

Thank you for the update B. There are a few things that relate to the Iran and the Biden admin's situation:


*Abraham Accords: Biden's close Iran advisors are not progressive/leftist, they are internationalist who come from the center on the foreign policy spectrum with the PR/outreach aspect carefully filled by pro-diplomacy people, i.e. Robert Malley, Colin Kahl, Tabatabai, etc with very if any authority. Blinken, Sulliavn, Burns, who are most engaged in the Iran case are pro-Israel (or shall I say pro-Tel Aviv rather than pro- Jerusalem for those who understand different strands of pro-Israel approach), thus they take into consideration the Israeli angle of the JCPOA once or if it is restored which I think will undoubtedly happen. From the Israeli POV it is ideal to extent this JCPOA "limbo" from the U.S. side to keep Iran on the 'edge', keep the perception of Iran as a destabilizing state and persuade other Arab dictatorships and medieval monarchies who are most afraid of the "Arab Street" than anything else to fall into the bosom of Israel as their main guarantor of the continuity of their authoritarian rules in the light of the U.S. withdrawal from the region. So the more this situation drags on the more Iran would need to assert/stabilize itself regionally to keep the power balance in check, which in the region translates into the activation/mobilization of the "Axis of Resistance" in the same Arab dictatorships and monarchies. If you pay attention to the content of the normalization between Israel and UAE or Bahrain, you see that the Abraham accords is still 'shitty' and hollow, meaning that it only covers tourism, Covid-19 coop, education exchanges, etc. which is really nothing to be proud of and thus are only window dressing. The 'meat' is where you officially sign defense, intelligence, security coop, and this IS what Israel seeks, not bread crumbs. Remember that Yossi Cohen a few days ago bizarrely (albeit for those who don't understand the situation) said that Iran is yet to reach critical stage of nuclear breakout, thus signaling the Israeli angle here of the continuation of the situation that translates into the prospect of more Abraham Accord normalization. So the more the JCPOA crisis drags on, the more Iran would need to assert its regional policy, which ultimately 'encourages' Arab dictatorships and monarchies to tilt toward Abraham accords.

*Russian-Israeli angle: the Sochi meeting was a success for the illegal Settler Bennett which ended in bilateral agreement in Israel keeping its bombing sorties and Russia turns a blind eye. Iran buying dated Russian arms and Russia assuring Israel of it and possibly other cooperation as well. Note that the Sochi meeting took place a few days after Iran's Joint Chiefs of Staff general Bagheri visited Russia and was given a tour of military equipment for possible future purchases in case JCPOA is resorted. There was a 'wooing' factor behind this Russian invitation of Iranian military leader too. The possible purchase of really unnecessary arms by Iran at the moment will have a terrible effect on the Iranian economy as it would 'divert' money from addressing social and economic issue to security and defense issues which Iran in all fairness does not need as it is self-sufficient in meeting its domestic defense needs. This meeting in general should be viewed as an affirmation of the regional Israeli-Russian ties that Putin very much enjoyed under Bibi and interestingly, Putin also asked illegal settler Bennett to continue the same quality of ties that was available during the "previous" administration. His words, not mine.

*Two recent polls conducted in the U.S. of A: One by University of Maryland (yes the same institution which also measured the late Martyr general Soleimani (peace be upon him) a few years ago at 80 something, arguably the most popular Iranian figure by a long shot) which said a clear majority of Iranians view the new administration positively and believe it can solve the economic crises in the future. The other one was the reputable Gallup poll (conducted Aug 24-31) which found 72% of Iranian responders viewing the new Raisi admin in positive light. I see these back-to-back polls with similar conclusions serving as pressure campaigns to the Biden admin who ran on the platform of resorting the JCPOA but so far has yet to lift a finger! to persuade the admin to seriously re-consider its current policies against another popular and democratically legitimate government (according to the tone of these two polls) or least, set up an interim JCPOA where both side (4+1 and U.S. of A) benefit from it.

***
Links to the polls:
https://news.gallup.com/poll/355973/iranians-show-faith-new-president.aspx

https://cissm.umd.edu/research-impact/publications/iranian-public-opinion-start-raisi-administration

Posted by: Russell Kirk | Oct 24 2021 14:18 utc | 86

Posted by: Russell Kirk | Oct 24 2021 14:18 utc | 86

Thank you for your comments.

I agree with 'm' up there, I've seen nothing to show "Biden" actually wants to restore JCPOA, and it's quite clear Blinken etc. are not at all ready for anything like that. I'm not saying it won't happen, but only miniscule "concessions" made so far.

And the points made about the meddling of the Congress are on the mark. They love cash, foreign and domestic. The Chinese should just buy them out.

On ther other hand they all like to posture and pontificate about it.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 24 2021 15:19 utc | 87

Arby @78 re: Iran selling oil to China.
That is my point. The US wants that oil and it doesn't want China to have it. Hence, the sabre rattling.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Oct 24 2021 17:35 utc | 88

US State Dept. Ned Price wanting to talk to Iran real soon: https://twitter.com/lori_wike/status/885168514679492612/photo/1

Posted by: bjd | Oct 24 2021 22:26 utc | 89

Posted by: wagelaborer | Oct 24 2021 17:35 utc | 88

The reason I said that is because you said "So will the US let Iran sell its oil to China? Not bloody likely.".

Little late wouldn't you say? Looks like they can rattle all the sabres they want to me.

Posted by: arby | Oct 24 2021 23:39 utc | 90

This is not difficult.

Biden wants a deal that is impossible for Iran to agree to, in order to provide an excuse to not reach a deal and go to war.

Posted by: Feral Finster | Oct 26 2021 16:03 utc | 91

"but to the surprise of Tehran and others" Why on Earth would anybody be surprised by this?

Posted by: goldhoarder | Oct 27 2021 17:53 utc | 92

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