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Iran nuclear deal: Why Empire blinked first

köp viagra med faktura August 6, 2015 Iran, News Comments Off on Iran nuclear deal: Why Empire blinked first 184 Views

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We’ve now spent three weeks watching American politicians argue needlessly over the Iran nuclear deal. For or against, they all miss this one salient point: It is the US that needed to end this standoff with Iran – not the other way around.

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Köpa Inderal Örnsköldsvik mercado de opciones financieras en colombia cs go start options trading online costo minimo binäre optionen handeln mit system ebook metatrader demo So if the Iranians were not ‘dragged’ to the negotiating table, then what was the sudden incentive behind a multilateral effort to forge a deal in 2015 – 36 years after the first US non-nuclear sanctions were levied against the Islamic Republic, and nine years after the UN Security Council first issued nuclear-related sanctions?

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A view of Bushehr nuclear power plant. © Raheb Homavandi

A view of Bushehr nuclear power plant. © Raheb Homavandi / Reuters

And the world turned

Beställ billiga Strattera på nätet utan recept US intelligence agencies, over the years, have conceded that Iran has not even made the “decision” to pursue weaponization, and the IAEA has repeatedly stated in 52 periodic assessment reports that there has been “no diversion” of nuclear materials to a weapons program.

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In a Telegraph op-ed on the eve of the Vienna nuclear agreement, Britain’s influential former ambassador to Washington Christopher Meyer wrote:

“Whether we like it or not, we are in de facto alliance against ISIL with Assad of Syria and with Iran, the implacable foe of our long-standing ally, Sunni Saudi Arabia…. if ISIL is able to expand further in the Middle East, won’t this unavoidably lead to the conclusion that our strategic ally in the region for the 21st century must be Iran?”

This is the conundrum Washington began facing in 2012. And so it set in motion a face-saving strategy to enable itself to “deal” with Iran directly.

The Vienna Agreement

Here’s what the Iran nuclear deal does – besides the obvious: it takes the old American-Iranian “baggage” off the table for the US administration, allowing it the freedom to pursue more pressing shared political objectives with Iran.

The Iranians understood full well in Vienna that they were operating from a strong regional position and that the US needed this deal more urgently. The Americans tried several times to get Iran to expand discussions to address regional issues on a parallel track, but the Iranians refused point-blank. They were not prepared to allow the US to gain any leverage in various regional battlefields in order to weaken Iran’s position within broader talks.
“What the president (Obama) and his aides do not talk about these days — for fear of further antagonizing lawmakers on Capitol Hill who have cast Iran as the ultimate enemy of the United States — are their grander ambitions for a deal they hope could open up relations with Tehran and be part of a transformation in the Middle East,” reads a post-Vienna article in the New York Times.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, commenting after the deal, said: “I know that a Middle East that is on fire is going to be more manageable with this deal and opens more potential for us to be able to deal with those fires, whether it is Houthi in Yemen or ISIL in Syria and Iraq than no deal and the potential of another confrontation with Iran at the same time.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani © Beawiharta

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani © Beawiharta / Reuters

“The Iran agreement is a disaster for ISIS,” blares the headline from a post-agreement op-ed by EU foreign affairs chief Frederica Mogherini. She explains:

“ISIS is spreading its vicious and apocalyptic ideology in the Middle East and beyond…An alliance of civilizations can be our most powerful weapon in the fight against terror…We need to restart political processes to end wars. We need to get all regional powers back to the negotiating table and stop the carnage. Cooperation between Iran, its neighbors and the whole international community could open unprecedented possibilities of peace for the region, starting from Syria, Yemen and Iraq.”

Clearly, for Western leaders Iran is an essential component in any fight against ISIS and other like-minded terror groups. Just as clearly, they have realized that excluding Iran from the resolution of various regional conflicts is a non-starter.
That is some significant back-tracking from earlier Western positions explicitly excluding Iran from a seat at the table on Mideast matters.

And stay tuned for further policy revisions – once this train gets underway, it will indeed be “transformative.”

As for the Iran nuclear deal…except for some hotheads in Congress and the US media, most of the rest of the world has already moved on. As chief US negotiator and undersecretary for political affairs, Wendy Sherman said recently: “If we walk away, quite frankly we walk away alone.”

The balance of power has shifted decisively in the Middle East. Washington wants out of the mess it helped create, and it can’t exit the region without Iran’s help. The agreement in Vienna was reached to facilitate this possibility. Iran is not inclined to reward the US for bad behavior, but will also likely not resist efforts to broker regional political settlements that make sense.

It was not a weak Iran that came to the final negotiations in Vienna and it was not a crippled Iran that left that table.

As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman (for once) aptly observed: “It is stunning to me how well the Iranians, sitting alone on their side of the table, have played a weak hand against the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain on their side of the table. When the time comes, I’m hiring (Iran’s Supreme Leader) Ali Khamenei to sell my house.”

Iran just exited UNSC Chapter 7 sanctions via diplomacy rather than war, and it’s now focusing its skill-sets on unwinding conflict in the Middle East. If you’re planning to challenge Empire anytime soon, make sure to get a copy of Iran’s playbook. Nobody plays the long game better – and with more patience.


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