“The premediated American dismantling of an agreement that was the product of more than a decade of intense diplomacy and economic pressure marks a staggeringly counterproductive step.” Suzanne Maloney, Deputy Director of The Brookings Foreign Policy Program and Senior Fellow in the Center of Middle East Policy.
The American fear of Iran is pathological. It is something that stems from our government’s reactions to Iran responses to our own ill-conceived cold-war foreign policy. When the CIA and British Intelligence initiated a coup against a democratically elected if unfriendly Iranian government in 1953, the United States and the UK sold their souls. And there’s no argument about this event. The CIA Admits it. The United States illegally overthrew the Iranian government and installed their own puppet.
We then installed the Shah, you know, a tyrant. He locked up between 100k-350k of his own people and executed 100,000+. SAVAK, the Imperial Iranian Intelligence agency w#as judge, jury, and executioner for many. (and kidnapper, torturer, etc.). Anyone who resisted the Shah’s rule, theologians, writers, theater directors, actors, and university teachers were all arrested, for nonviolent political activities.
Oh, and how do we know Iran has a nuclear weapons program? We have the receipts. The United States gave Iran the seed materials and technology to build an enrichment facility and several reactors under the Shah. Khomeini initially closed it down as Un-Islamic but restarted it after being convinced that such a program was necessary for national security.
So is it ANY WONDER that, after the 1979 Revolution, Iranians would distrust, even hate the U.S.? We give this lip service to freedom and then we give Iran (and a host of other countries) tyrants to rule them.
I have no patience for the fear and propaganda coming out of Washington by the warmongers. I have no time for it. I am NOT afraid. WHY? Because it’s the same old song and dance they do every single time they want to rile up the headcount. They pick someone and demonize them.
I also that the Iranian Government is a barking dog. “Death to America!!!” Who gives a shit? And given what we did to them in 1953, I don’t blame them for hating the American Government. What we did to Iran in 1953 was EVIL.
They support terrorism? Well, thank the Gods the U.S. never does that unless of course, they’re the equivalent of the U.S. Founding Fathers……… 😐
Saddam Hussein shaking hands with Donald Rumsfeld
But at the same time, EVERY SINGLE IRANIAN I’ve ever met, EVERY SINGLE ONE, and there have been a few, some of them Khomeini loyalists, say that they love AMERICANS, but don’t understand how a people like us can support such a corrupt government.
So maybe instead of listening to the fear mongers, maybe we should educate ourselves about how the world works OUTSIDE the U.S. Sphere of influence?
Maybe we should be Patriots, the parents of our country, and try to correct its bad behavior. Behavior that begets a host of troubles. But it’s very easy to just be a child of the country, a petty nationalist, and wave the flag. It’s so much less work. Takes so much less thinking.
As to Israel. I do not consider Israel an ally. The U.S. relationship with Israel is akin to the relationship between a narcissist and his victim. The U.S. is the victim. I’m tired of our politicians, our so-called leaders, having loyalties divided between the U.S. and Israel. For more on that read;
Netanyahu coming out with this little bullshit show this week was pure political theater. He claims the Iranians lied about a nuclear weapons program??? Hey, Bennie, can you tell us about Israel’s program? No? See. Countries have NO OBLIGATION to tell anyone about National Security matters.
As to the Iranian lie about having a program. It’s a shitty secret. The only people surprised are those who haven’t paid attention. I.e. Trump and the sheep that follow him.
That particular lie has been known in the intelligence community since well before the negotiations. It first showed up on the sources I read in about 2003 – Project Amad was even confirmed by inspections by the IAEA in 2011. Four years before negotiations began.
As I said, it’s only a revelation to those who aren’t paying attention. Or people who are happily led by their nose rings and have no interest in being REAL responsible citizens and informing themselves about what is going on.
Dina Esfandiary, a fellow at King’s College London, said that Netanyahu’s speech was “frankly underwhelming.”
Suzanne Maloney, an Iran scholar at the Brookings Institution (that hotbed of liberal thought – that’s sarcasm for those who missed it), said she heard “nothing new.”
Kingston Reif, a nuclear proliferation expert at the Arms Control Association, says “we already knew” most of what was in Netanyahu’s speech.
NTI Co-Chair and CEO Ernest Moniz: “Well, first of all, of course, we all knew that Iran had a weapons program. Our intelligence agencies (publicly revealed) that in 2007 (eight years before negotiations). The IAEA, the international inspectors, said they had a structured program. So there was no deception here, in the sense of their having a program.”
So, yeah, Bennie’s lying about this being something “never before revealed.”
The nuclear weapons research program Netanyahu was discussing ended about 15 years ago. The prime minister presented no information that Iran was currently producing nuclear weapons, or was otherwise in violation of the deal’s restrictions on nuclear activities.
The ONLY thing of interest here is the actual espionage. The fact that the Mossad MAY have penetrated Iran this deep. (Though, I can also put up a wall of folders and CDs with nothing on or in them… so … dunno).
Sturm und Drang. Political theater.
I fought the Iranians in the Tanker War. I was in Operation Nimble Archer and Operation Praying Mantis. Nimble Archer was the first REAL Naval battle since 1972 in the Battle of Đồng Hới in Vietnam. We destroyed Iranian military property, sank one SAM Frigate (we eventually sank six or seven of their ships over the course of the war).
RaShadat Oil Platforms burning after US Navy Destroyers shelled them.
S Sahand (F 74) burns after being hit by Harpoon Cruise Missiles.
“Conservative” politicians want YOU to be afraid. Why? Because the conservative party cannot exist without an enemy to distract people with, otherwise, someone might actually look at what they’re doing.
I’ve read the treaty. It’s no worse than anything we had with the USSR. Guess what? Those treaties (mostly) kept us out direct conflict with the USSR for…how many years?? Oh, yeah, from the start of the Cold War to the FALL of the Soviet Union.
I heard some GOP mouthpiece say that the Iranian treaty as “short term” – 20 years is an AGE in politics. No one has any idea what may happen in that time period, not even our most intelligent analysts. After all, the Berlin Wall coming down was a surprise.
How is it NOT a good thing that during the treaty period, Iran’s capabilities are limited to a level where it cannot produce a bomb? The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly confirmed Iran was complying with the terms. That finding is also shared in the main by U.S. and Israeli intelligence officials. But we’re not listening to them anymore in this administration, are we? The deal includes a pledge by Iran never to seek a nuclear weapon.
Some people piss and moan about the money that changed hands. Well, that was Iran’s money. Iran, under the shah, had paid the U.S. some $400 million for military equipment – including four really fancy Destroyers that the US bought (One of which, the USS Kidd, originally named Kouroush, was with us when we destroyed the Command and Control platforms at RaShadat –a poke in Khomeini’s eye) that was never delivered because the Islamic revolution cut off ties. And the reason it was cash was that we have no banking ties to Iran. Personally, I think that could have been handled better, but… DIPLOMACY is messy.
The main bitch about the inspection criteria is the time frame. Yes, 24 days is a long time. But we’re not talking about you being able to throw shit under your bed. A nuclear centrifuge is neither portable nor easily unassembled when installed. These are LARGE facilities. NEVER MIND that activities involving nuclear material will be detectable for DECADES no matter how thorough the cleaning.
Could they hide something underground? A secret base? Of course, they could. BUT that’s easier said than done. It’s James Bondian when you get right down to given the capabilities of new spy satellites (even Keyhole could find underground facilities and Keyhole has been retired for some years).
The complaint also ignores that the IAEA has installed video surveillance at all Iranian facilities, that they are performing TWICE the number of physical inspections pre-treaty, and that the IAEA has sealed 92% of Iran’s nuclear materials in a way that makes it inaccessible (they have this tamper-proof seal that I can’t even find out the capabilities of). Never mind that the “inspections” are just ONE means of verification. SALT didn’t even have physical inspections and was limited to, what the treaty calls, National Technical Means – I.E. overflights, spy satellites, etc. Those methods are still being used today under the treaty between the U.S. and the Russian Federation (Why Russia Was Allowed to Fly a Surveillance Plane Over the Capitol and Pentagon)
The simple fact of the matter is that under the JCPOA, Iran is subject to the most comprehensive inspection and verification regime ever negotiated. Iran’s declared facilities are also under real-time monitoring by the IAEA and inspectors have daily access to Natanz, Iran’s enrichment site.
John Brennan, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, called the monitoring and verification “as solid as you can get” and judges those who say that the deal paves Iran’s pathway to the bomb as “wholly disingenuous.”
As to the threat.
EVEN IF Iran developed a bomb, it could not deliver it. Iranian missiles are not capable of reaching U.S. cities. Both technical limitations and orders from Iran’s supreme leader have restricted the range of ballistic missiles manufactured in the country to 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles). That puts them in targeting range of the entire Middle East, including Israel and U.S. bases in the region, but nowhere near the continental United States.
Additionally, We have this:
And the aircraft, the B-52 Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer, and B-2 Spirit, that can deliver these weapons.
Ohios carry up to 24 Tridents (limited to 14 by treaty). One warhead from one Trident missile, (There are 12 in later models) from an Ohio Class Sub is all one would need to end Tehran. The airblast radius of a single W-88 at 455kt will reach the outskirts of the city (ignoring geographical effects and assuming detonation at 1,000 feet over the city center (not actually what I’d do, I’d use the mountains north of the city as a blast barrier and intensify the effects of multiple MiRVs).
You’ll need a second one to take out the airport.
You’ve also killed 1.6 million Iranians, 3.4 million are injured (many of those will die in the coming days). Ultimately, projections show up to 9 MILLION dying from this MINIMAL US nuclear attack on Iran.
V. an Iranian bomb that may be 30kt that can’t even be delivered.
That leaves you with 166 MiRVs on your sub. Now what?
If you don’t think this is an insane scenario, then I question your humanity. If you think anyone wants this to happen to their country, then I question your intelligence.
At the same time, the Iranians have shown that they are not willing to be intimidated by U.S. forces. Their ability to respond asymmetrically (i.e. unconventionally) is greater than our own. We also know from past experience that Israeli leaders will do anything to make us do their dirty work (Saudi has a history of this as well, and let’s not forget Saddamn Hussein’s Iraq – where we supported a brutal dictatorship in a fight against another brutal dictatorship in Iran – never forget that WE supported a despot that used chemical weapons on his own people to commit genocide, and we only took him out working as mercenaries for the Kuwaitis – to protect Saudi, of course – but that’s another essay – in fact, you can start with this one: End the Carter Doctrine Now!). But that war, a war the Iranians call “The Imposed War” because they believe that that United States orchestrated it (we did on many levels), merely exacerbated a bad situation. The result? Hezbollah. The best part and I’m not going to get too much into this legacy here… is that because of US policy, US military adventurism – all of which can laid at the policies and actions of the Post-Reagan GOP (with a seed planted by a recalcitrant Jimmy Carter) – Iran has been made a more radical and extreme county. Because we left a power vacuum in Iraq, Iran is the dominant foreign power in Baghdad today. Good job!
As to today, The GOP sycophants forget both the failures of their own policies and that diplomacy does NOT mean getting everything you want. So yeah, this treaty was far from perfect, but it is NOT fatally flawed.
Truth is Obama was too anxious to make a deal. BUT HE DID MAKE A DEAL. Something no one had been able to do since the Ayatollah reactivated the Shah’s nuclear program in the early 1980’s. That’s called progress. Which is a dirty word to our so-called “conservatives.”
But TRUMP is a hammer, and to a hammer, everything is a nail. Is there some reason the “great negotiator” can’t make another deal to amend this one? Part of that is because hammers are actually only good at a couple of things, nailing nails in, and taking nails out. Trump is a bloviating blowhard who couldn’t negotiate his way out of a wet paper bag unless it involved paying hush money to someone.
There is one other reason….
The simple fact of the matter is that even if this treaty was PERFECT, Trump and the GOP would undermine it because it is part of Obama’s legacy. I challenge ANYONE to argue otherwise.