Tag Archives: Iran Nuclear Deal

My Congressman Is Wrong on Iran, Yours Might Be Too

By David Swanson
Global Research, July 15, 2015
Let’s Try Democracy, July 14, 2015

 

Trigger an "Accidental Confrontation" as a Pretext to Wage War on IranFor the United States to sit and talk and come to an agreement with a nation it has been antagonizing and demonizing since the dictator it installed in 1953 was overthrown in 1979 is historic and, I hope, precedent setting. Let’s seal this deal!

Four months ago the Washington Post published an op-ed headlined ‘War With Iran Is Probably Our Best Option.’ It wasn’t. Defenders of war present war as a last resort, but when other options are tried the result is never war. We should carry this lesson over to several other parts of the world.

The time has come to remove the “missile defense” weaponry from Europe that was put there under the false pretense of protecting Europe from Iran. With that justification gone, U.S. aggression toward Russia will become damagingly apparent if this step is not taken. And the time has come for the nations that actually have nuclear weapons to join and/or comply with the nonproliferation treaty, which Iran was never actually in violation of.

In addition to the prevention of a massive bombing campaign in Syria that was prevented in 2013, a major recent success in war-lie-preparedness is the holding off, thus far, of a U.S. war on Iran — about which we’ve been told lies for decades now. The longer this debate goes on, the more it should become clear that there is no urgent emergency that might help justify mass killing. But the longer it goes on, the more some people may accept the idea that whether or not to gratuitously bomb a foreign nation is a perfectly legitimate policy question.

And the argument may also advance in the direction of favoring war for another reason: both sides of the debate promote most of the war lies. Yes, some peace groups are talking perfect sense on this issue as on most, but the debate between Democratic and Republican party loyalists and those in power is as follows. One side argues, quite illegally and barbarically, that because Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, Iran should be bombed. The other side argues, counterproductively if in a seemingly civilized manner, that because Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, a diplomatic agreement should be reached to put a stop to it. The trouble with both arguments is that they reinforce the false idea that Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon. As Gareth Porter makes clear in his book Manufactured Crisis, there is no evidence for that.

Both arguments also reinforce the idea that there is something about Iranians that makes them unqualified to have the sort of weapon that it’s alright to voluntarily spread to other nations. Of course, I don’t actually think it’s alright for anyone to have nuclear weapons or nuclear energy, but my point is the bias implicit in these arguments. It feeds the idea that Iranians are not civilized enough to speak with, even as one-half of the debate pushes for just that: speaking with the Iranians.

On the plus side, much of the push for a war on Iran was devoted for years to demonizing Iran’s president until Iran, for its own reasons, elected a different president, which threw a real monkey wrench into the gears of that old standby. Perhaps nations will learn the lesson that changing rulers can help fend off an attack as well as building weapons can. Also on the plus side, the ludicrous idea that Iran is a threat to the United States is very similar to the idea that Iraq was such a threat in 2002-2003. But on the negative side, memory of the Iraq war lies is already fading. Keeping past war lies well-remembered can be our best protection against new wars. Also on the negative side, even if people oppose a war on Iran, several billionaire funders of election campaigns favor one.

Will Congressman Robert Hurt who claims to represent me, and who got Syria right in 2013, commit to taking no funding from those warmongers? Here’s what Hurt had to say on Tuesday:

The Threat of a Nuclear Iran Persists

Dear Friend,

“The long-running nuclear negotiations with Iran and the United States, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom finally reached a head early this morning. Even with the deal reached, I am skeptical that Iran will keep their word, act in good faith, and abide by the terms of the deal.

The deal is an INSPECTION arrangement, not based in any way on anybody trusting anyone.

I remain committed to the goal of eliminating Iran’s nuclear capabilities because the prospect of Iran attaining the ability to produce a nuclear weapon is a grave threat to the world, and it is a very real possibility that this deal may only fuel Iran’s ability to expand its nuclear ambitions and facilitate its efforts to spread terror in the Middle East.

What nuclear ambitions? What terror? This from a Congressman who voted for pulling out U.S. forces on June 17th but has taken no further action and has funded the U.S. operation that is currently killing people in the Middle East?

Iranian leaders clearly remain focused on expanding their nuclear capabilities. They only want to do the bare minimum necessary to lift damaging international economic sanctions that have crippled their economy.

What mindreading feat is this based on? Where’s evidence? Haven’t we learned to demand it yet?

Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terror.

Not according to any world source, but rather the U.S. government which defines terrorism to suit its ends. The world disagrees.

The regime makes no secret of its longstanding commitment to see the demise of the United States and Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East.

Then why don’t you point to a single scrap of evidence?

On Saturday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke about the need to continue to fight against the “arrogant” U.S. regardless of the outcome of these talks. Allowing Iran to achieve the nuclear capabilities it seeks would pose an existential threat to Israel and the world.

There’s nothing there about the demise of the United States or Israel or the slightest evidence of Iran pursuing or threatening to use any weapon. Expecting people to believe otherwise seems a bit — if you’ll excuse me — arrogant.

Given Iran’s nuclear ambitions and history, I remain unconvinced that Iran will act in good faith and adhere to any of the terms of a deal. Iran has been unwilling to make necessary compromises to meaningfully limit their nuclear program, and there is little reason to believe this will change. Reaching a deal just for the sake of doing so is not worth putting the safety and security of our allies and our country at risk; no deal is better than a dangerous deal.

Again, what ambitions? What history? Why the steady avoidance of documenting any claims? Iran is complying with restrictions not imposed on any other nation. How is that a refusal to compromise?

If this deal is in fact a bad one, the American people have a role to play in this process. In May, the President signed into law the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which would require congressional review of any final nuclear agreement with Iran before the President can waive or suspend sanctions previously imposed by Congress. Now that an agreement has been reached, Congress has 60 days to review the agreement and pass a joint resolution to approve or disapprove of the deal. Should Congress disapprove the deal, the President would likely veto that measure, but Congress can override the veto with a two-thirds vote.

The American people, in case you hadn’t noticed, favor the deal, including a majority of Democrats and a plurality of Republicans.

It is my hope that Congress will carefully consider the consequences of a deal with Iran and maintain its focus on the ultimate goal of eliminating the threat of a nuclear Iran. I remain committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to enhance the necessary sanctions against the Iranian regime. We must do everything within our power to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear capabilities.

Is that a proposal for war?

If you need any additional information or if we may be of assistance to you, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.

Anyone can tell their rep and senators to support the deal here.

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org andWarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

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CIA Director: Iran Deal Good for America

By WashingtonsBlog
April 9, 2015
Washington’s Blog

“Those That Say This Deal Provides a Pathway to Iran Developing a Nuclear Bomb Are Being Wholly Disingenuous”

CIA director John Brennan is a hawk …

As we noted in 2013, Brennan endorsed torture, assassination of unidentified strangers without due process, and spying on all Americans.

But even Brennan thinks the Iran deal is good for the United States:

This is not surprising, given:

  • Contrary to widespread claims, there is that Iran is building a nuclear weapon.  Even Israel that Iran has not decided to build a nuclear bomb.
  • that Iran poses very little threat to the West or Israel . Top American and Israeli military and intelligence officials say that – even if Iran did build a nuclear bomb – it would not be that dangerous, because Israel and America have so many more nukes. And see this
  • The people pushing for war against Iran are the same people who pushed for war against Iraq, and said it would be a “cakewalk”. See this and this
  • They’ve been pushing for another round of regime change in Iran for decades
  • The CIA admits that the U.S. overthrew the moderate, suit-and-tie-wearing, Democratically-elected prime minister of Iran in 1953. He was overthrown because he had nationalized Iran’s oil, which had previously been controlled by BP and other Western oil companies. As part of that action, the CIA admits that it hired Iranians to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its prime minister
  • If the U.S. hadn’t overthrown the moderate Iranian government, the fundamentalist Mullahs would have never taken over. (Moreover, the U.S. has had a large hand in strengthening radical Islam in the Middle East by supporting radicals to fight the Soviets and others)

Iran nuclear deal: US prepares for new wars

By Peter Symonds
April 6, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

25a0a-war-looms-for-obama-in-iran-syria-and-north-korea-img_The framework nuclear agreement struck last Thursday by the US and its negotiating partners with Iran, while still facing obstacles, marks a significant strategic shift in American foreign policy.

For the entire period since the 1979 Iranian revolution overthrew the US-backed Shah—that is, for 36 years—Washington has maintained a stance of unremitting hostility to the Iranian regime. This has been a constant in US policy in the region and internationally. Now the US has reached a deal that holds out the possibility of a broader rapprochement between Washington and Tehran.

Confronting opposition in the political/military establishment at home and from US allies in the region, President Obama has touted the agreement as the only alternative to “another war in the Middle East.” But the diplomatic efforts to secure a deal with Iran have nothing to do with a turn towards peace. Rather, they are aimed at buttressing US imperialism’s position in the Middle East and Central Asia as it prepares for war with more powerful rivals, Russia and China.

As part of its plans to secure US hegemony in the Middle East, the Bush administration targeted Iran, declaring it in 2002 to be part of an “axis of evil” along with Iraq and North Korea. Flush with apparent victory after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, a senior administration official let the cat out of the bag, declaring in a widely reported remark: “Anyone can go to Baghdad. Real men go to Tehran.”

Even as the US military occupation of Iraq descended into a quagmire, the Bush administration seized on Iran’s nuclear programs as the pretext for pressure and provocations against Tehran, culminating in advanced preparations for American military attacks in 2007.

Bush pulled back from an all-out war with Iran amid rising criticism within the US political establishment of the military disasters he had overseen in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the course of the 2008 election campaign, Barack Obama declared that in bogging the US military down in the Middle East, Bush had failed to counter China’s rising influence, especially in Asia.

In what became known as the US “pivot” or “rebalance” to Asia, the Obama administration has since mid-2009 mounted an aggressive diplomatic, economic and military strategy aimed at subordinating China and the broader Indo-Pacific region to the US, if necessary through war.

At the same time, Obama initiated a “carrot and stick” approach to Iran—holding out the possibility of a negotiated end to the nuclear standoff, while dramatically escalating economic sanctions on Tehran and maintaining the threat of military strikes.

Significantly, one of Obama’s chief foreign policy mentors was former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, a long-time advocate of a Washington-Tehran axis in line with his insistence that American global hegemony depended on securing US dominance of the vast Eurasian landmass stretching from Eastern Europe through Russia to China. Iran is strategically situated at the crossroads of Central Asia, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

The deepening breakdown of world capitalism since 2008 and rising geo-political tensions have imparted a new urgency and recklessness to Washington’s plans. In August–September 2013, the US came to the very brink of war with Syria, only to pull back at the last minute amid divisions in the American ruling elite over the war aims, the failure of the British government to secure parliamentary backing, and vigorous opposition from Russia and Iran. Tehran had warned Washington that military intervention in Syria could lead to war with Iran.

The Obama administration responded to the debacle by adopting an aggressive two-prong strategy. While moving toward a confrontation with Moscow, which became evident with Washington’s open intervention in Ukraine in late 2013, Obama accelerated nuclear talks with Iran that had already been secretly underway.

He spoke via phone with newly-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during the annual UN meeting in September 2013—the first publicly acknowledged contact between American and Iranian government heads in more than three decades. An interim nuclear agreement was reached in November 2013 and finally implemented in late January 2014, even as Washington’s intrigues in Ukraine intensified, culminating in the fascist-led coup in Kiev in February 2014.

From the outset of negotiations with Iran, the Obama administration made clear that any agreement would be on Washington’s terms. The result has been a drawn-out process extending well beyond the original deadlines, in which Iran’s bourgeois-clerical regime has made sweeping concessions on every issue.

While the US has conceded that Tehran can retain a nominal nuclear program as a face-saving measure, Iranian negotiators have agreed to dramatically reduce the country’s uranium enrichment capacity, wind back existing stockpiles of enriched uranium, and allow the most intrusive inspection regime ever devised.

The US, on the other hand, is bound by nothing—offering only a “suspension” of international sanctions once Iran has fulfilled its many tasks. Moreover, the entire framework of sanctions will be kept at the ready, to be “snapped back” in the event Iran is said to be in “non-compliance.” As a result, the US has free rein to re-impose crippling sanctions without having to secure the support of China and Russia in the UN Security Council.

The agreement has provoked divisions in Iranian ruling circles, but the predominant faction represented by Rouhani insists that a deal is necessary not only to end the immediate sanctions, but also the longstanding US economic blockade. Rouhani was a leading figure in the so-called reform governments of presidents Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami, who pressed for a deal with Washington along with a sweeping pro-market restructuring to open up Iran as a cheap labour platform. As the Iranian bourgeoisie aligns itself more and more closely with Washington, it will intensify the attacks on the Iranian working class.

Whether the agreement will be finalised in the next three months is far from certain. The Obama administration is facing bitter opposition from the Republicans in Congress as well as sections of the military/intelligence apparatus, as well as from American allies in the Middle East, particularly Israel and, less publicly, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Egypt.

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to warn of the imminent danger of an Iranian nuclear bomb, as he has done for at least a decade, the underlying concern of Israel and other US partners is that a turn by Washington to Tehran could diminish their own importance, and thus their bargaining power with the US. Far from stabilising the Middle East, the finalisation of an agreement could well inflame tensions as Iran’s rivals seek to shore up their own positions.

In a broader historical sense, the deal is not worth the paper it is written on. If and when it is expedient, the US will shred the agreement, as has happened many times in the past. The Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi cut a deal in 2003 to give up its WMD programs only to find itself the target of a NATO-led war for regime-change in 2011. Amid its own economic decline, US imperialism will stop at nothing in its reckless drive for global domination at the expense of its major rivals.