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The Algiers Accords: Decades of Violations – And Silence

BY Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich | American Herald Tribune | January 17, 2018

This week marks the 37th anniversary of a pledge made by the United States in 1981:

“The United States pledges that it is and from now on will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran’s internal affairs.”

This week also marks 37 continuous years of the United States failing to uphold its pledge: the 1981 Algiers Accords.

Just how many people have heard of the 1981 Algiers Accords, a bilateral treaty signed on January 19, 1981 between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Iran? Chances are, not many. Just as chances are that not many are fully aware of what actually led to the signing of this treaty.

Following the success of the 1979 Iranian Revolution that overthrew the Shah, America’s strongman in Iran, plans were made to topple the new government in Tehran. In 1980, under the Carter administration, the United States began clandestine radio broadcasts into Iran from Egypt. The broadcasts called for Khomeini’s overthrow and urged support for Shahpur Bakhtiar [1] , the last prime minister under the Shah. Other plans included the failed Nojeh coup plot as well as plans for a possible American invasion of Iran using Turkish bases [2].

The new Revolutionary government in Iran, with a look to the past and the 1953 British-CIA coup d’état that overthrew the Mossadegh government and reinstalled the Shah, had good reason to believe that the United States was planning to abort the revolution in its nascent stages. Fearful, enthusiastic students took over the U.S. embassy in Tehran and took the diplomats as hostages in order to prevent such plans from fruition.

These events led to the negotiation and conclusion the Algiers Accords, point 1 of which was the pledge by the United States not to intervene in Iran’s internal affairs in anyway. The Algiers Accords brought about the release of the American hostages and established the Iran–U.S. Claims Tribunal (“Tribunal”) at The Hague, the Netherlands. The Tribunal ruled consistently “the Declarations were to be interpreted in accordance with the process of interpretation set out in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.” (*)

A pledge is only as valid and worthy as the person making it. From the onset, the United States failed to uphold its own pledge. For instance, starting in 1982, the CIA provided $100,000 a month to a group in Paris called the Front for the Liberation of Iran. The group headed by Ali Amini who had presided over the reversion of Iranian oil to foreign control after the CIA-backed coup in 1953 [4]. Additionally, America provided support to two Iranian paramilitary groups based in Turkey, one of them headed by General Bahram Aryana, the former Shah’s army chief with close ties to Bakhtiar [5].

In 1986, the CIA went so far as to pirate Iran’s national television network frequency to transmit an address by the Shah’s son, Reza Pahlavi, over Iranian TV in which he vowed: “I will return,” [6]. The support did not end there. Pahlavi had C.LA. funding for a number of years in the eighties which stopped with the Iran-Contra affair. He was successful at soliciting funds from the emir of Kuwait, the emir of Bahrain, the king of Morocco, and the royal family of Saudi Arabia, all staunch U.S. allies [7].

In late 2002, Michael Ledeen joined Morris Amitay, vice-president of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs; ex-CIA head James Woolsey; former Reagan administration official Frank Gaffney; former senator Paul Simon; and oil consultant Rob Sobhani to set up a group called the Coalition for Democracy in Iran (CDI) [8]. In spite of his lack of charisma as a leader, in May, 2003, Michael Ledeen wrote a policy brief for the American Enterprise Institute Web site arguing that Pahlavi would make a suitable leader for a transitional government, describing him as “widely admired inside Iran, despite his refreshing lack of avidity for power or wealth.” [9] In August 2003, the Pentagon issued new guidelines -All meetings with Iranian dissidents had to be cleared with Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith. Reza Pahlavis’ name was included in the list of contacts that had been meeting with Pentagon analysts [10].

Concurrent with this direct interference, and in the following decade, Washington concentrated its efforts into putting a chokehold on the Iranian economy. A provision of the Algiers Accords was that “the United States will revoke all trade sanctions which were directed against Iran in the period November 4, 1979, to date.” Embargoes and sanctions became the norm. Failing to interfere in Iran’s domestic affairs in order to topple the Islamic Republic through economic hardship, the United States once again turned up pressure through broadcasts and direct support for dissidents and terrorists – in conjunction with economic sanctions.

This stranglehold was taking place while concurrently, and in violation of the Algiers Accords, the CIA front National Endowment for Democracy was providing funds to various groups, namely “Iran Teachers Association” (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994,2001, 2002, 2003); The Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI founded in 1995 by Kenneth R. Timmerman, Peter Rodman, Joshua Muravchik, and American intelligence officials advocating regime change in Iran), National Iranian American Council (NIAC) 2002, 2005, 2006), and others [11].

Funds from NED to interfere in Iran continued after the signing of the JCPOA. The 2016 funding stood at well over $1m.

In September 2000, Senators openly voiced support for the MEK Terror group Mojaheddin-e-khalgh. Writing for The New Yorker, Connie Bruck revealed that: “Israel is said to have had a relationship with the M.E.K at least since the late nineties, and to have supplied a satellite signal for N.C.RI. broadcasts from Paris into Iran.” [12]. Perhaps their relationship with Israel and their usefulness explains why President Bush accorded the group ‘special persons status’ [13].

During the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, the terrorist group got protection from the U.S. troops in Iraq despite getting pressure from the Iraqi government to leave the country (CNN [14]). In 2005, “a Farsi-speaking former CIA officer says he was approached by neoconservatives in the Pentagon who asked him to go to Iran and oversee “MEK [Mujahedeen-e Khalq] cross-border operations” into Iran.”

Moreover, according to Pakistani Intelligence, the United States secretly used yet another terrorist group – the Jundallah, to stage a series of deadly attacks against Iran. The United States seems to have a soft spot for terrorists.

In addition to CIA funding and covert operations with help from terrorists, the United States actively used radio broadcasts into Iran to stir up unrest including Radio Farda and VOA Persian. It comes as no surprise then that the recipient of NED funds, NIAC, should encourage such broadcasts. Also, the BBC “received significant” sum of money from the US government to help combat the blocking of TV and internet services in countries including Iran and China.”

It is crucial to note that while the United States was conducting secret negotiations with Iran which led to the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA), the MEK were delisted as a foreign terror organization. This provides them with the legitimacy to write opinion pieces in leading American papers.

Also important to note that during the JCPOA negotiations in which the United States participated as a party to an agreement, it was busy flouting the Treaty with its broadcasts in to Iran – apparently, without objection. But the violation was not limited to broadcasts. Item B of the Treaty’s preamble states:

“Through the procedures provided in the declaration relating to the claims settlement agreement, the United States agrees to terminate all legal proceedings in United States courts involving claims of United States persons and institutions against Iran and its state enterprises, to nullify all attachments and judgments obtained therein, to prohibit all further litigation based on such claims, and to bring about the termination of such claims through binding arbitration.”

Unsurprisingly, the US again failed to keep its pledge and a partisan legislation allocated millions for the former hostages.

Clearly, the United States felt bound by the Treaty for it recognized Point 2. Of the Algiers Accords when in January 2016 Iran received its funds frozen by America in a settlement at the Hague. Perhaps for no other reason than to pacify Iran post JCPOA while finding the means to re-route Iran’s money back into American hands.

It would require a great deal of time and verse to cite every instance and detail of the United States of America’s violation of a Treaty, of its pledge, for the past 37 years. But never has its attitude been more brazen in refusing to uphold its pledge and its open violation of international law than when President Trump openly voiced his support for protests in Iran and called for regime change. The US then called an emergency UNSC meeting on January 5, 2018 to demand that the UN interfere in Iran’s internal affairs.

America’s history clearly demonstrates that it has no regard for international law and treaties. Its pledge is meaningless. International law is a tool for America that does not apply to itself. This is a well-documented fact – and perhaps none has realized this better than the North Korean leader – Kim Jong-un. But what is inexplicable is the failure of Iranians to address these violations.

Endnotes

[*] U.S. TREATIES AND AGREEMENTS

The Vienna Convention on theLaw of Treaties defines a treaty “as an international agreement concluded between States in written form and governed by international law, whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments and whatever its particular designation.”

Under United States law, however, there is a distinction made between the terms treaty and executive agreement. ” Generally, a treaty is a binding international agreement and an executive agreement applies in domestic law only. Under international law, however, both types of agreements are considered binding. Regardless of whether an international agreement is called a convention, agreement, protocol, accord, etc. https://www.law.berkeley.edu/library/dynamic/guide.php?id=65)

[1] David Binder, “U.S. Concedes It Is Behind Anti-Khomeini Broadcasts,” New York Times, 29 June 1980,

[2] Mehmet Akif Okur, “The American Geopolitical Interests and Turkey on the Eve of the September 12, 1980 Coup”CTAD, Vol.11, No.21, p. 210-211

[3] Malintoppi, Loretta.  World Arbitration Reporter (WAR) – 2nd edition, December 2010

https://arbitrationlaw.com/library/algiers-accord-and-iran-united-states-claims-tribunal-1981-algiers-world-arbitration.  Downloaded January 14, 2018

https://treaties.un.org/doc/publication/unts/volume%201155/volume-1155-i-18232-english.pdf

[4] Bob Woodward, “Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA, 1981-1987”, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987, p. 480.  (Cited by Stephen R. Shalom, “The United States and the Gulf War”, Feb. 1990).

[5]Leslie H. Gelb, “U.S. Said to Aid Iranian Exiles in Combat and Political Units,” New York Times, 7 Mar. 1982, pp. A1, A12.

[6]Tower Commission, p. 398; Farhang, “Iran-Israel Connection,” p. 95. (Cited by Stephen R. Shalom, “The United States and the Gulf War”, Feb. 1990).

[7] Connie Bruck, ibid

[8] Andrew I KillgoreThe Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.  Washington:Dec 2003.  Vol. 22,  Iss. 10,  p. 17

[9] Connie Bruck, ibid

[10] Eli Lake,  New York Sun , Dec. 2, 2003

http://daily.nysun.com/Repository/getFiles.asp?Style=OliveXLib:ArticleToMail&Type=text/html&Path=NYS/2003/12/02&ID=Ar00100

[11] International Democracy Development, Google Books, p. 59 https://books.google.com/books?id=ReTtEj6_myAC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

[12] Connie Bruck, “A reporter at large: Exiles; How Iran’s expatriates are gaming the nuclear threat”.  The New Yorker, March 6, 2006

[13] US State Department Daily Briefing http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2004/34680.htm

[14] Michael Ware, “U.S. protects Iranian Opposition Group in Iraq” 6, April 2007 http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/04/05/protected.terrorists/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

January 17, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Iran rejects Financial Times’ claim on accepting missile talks

Press TV – January 17, 2018

Iran has categorically dismissed a claim by The Financial Times that it accepted to enter negotiations over its national missile program as well as its regional role during a recent meeting over the 2015 nuclear deal in Brussels.

Citing the German Foreign Ministry, the paper reported on Tuesday that German, French, and British foreign ministers — together with Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief — had agreed during recent talks with Iranian officials in Brussels to hold an “intensive and very serious dialogue” on the country’s conventional missile work and regional influence.

The report claimed that the Europeans have stepped up pressure on Iran over such issues as they struggle to respond to President Donald Trump’s latest threat that he would pull Washington out of the nuclear deal if some “disastrous flaws” were not fixed.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi called the daily’s claim “unfounded” and said the country’s “policy and stance concerning its defensive missile program are completely clear and transparent, and that other countries are well aware of that position.”

Everyone knows that Iran’s defense program is not up for negotiation, Qassemi said, stressing that Tehran’s position has not undergone any changes regardless of the smear campaign, threats and standpoints of the US and others.

The Iranian missile work is of completely “defensive and deterrent nature” and is not targeted against any country, Qassemi said, adding that no hollow and baseless claims would change this “principled and substantive” position of the Islamic Republic.

“The Islamic Republic does not allow any interference in its domestic affairs and defensive policies, especially its missile program.”

Further, Qassemi described Iran’s regional policy as “constructive” and “in line with the promotion of peace and stability in the region and the entire world.

“If ill-wishers and extremists are incapable of contributing to regional stability and security, they cannot turn a blind eye to the role played by Iran — which has paid an inestimable price for its engagement in the fight against terrorism, insecurity and instability — and work to increase chaos, insecurity and terrorism in the region,” he added.

The January 11 meeting in Brussels saw Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discuss the implementation of the nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, with Mogherini and his counterparts from Germany, France and Britain.

Following the talks, the senior European diplomats lined up to deliver a strong defense of the landmark pact against Trump’s threats, with Mogherini saying the JCPOA “is working” and hailing Tehran’s full adherence to its side of the bargain.

January 17, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | , , , | Leave a comment

US Urges EU to ‘Fix’ Iran Deal: Brussels Between a Rock and a Hard Place

By Peter KORZUN | Strategic Culture Foundation | 15.01.2018

President Trump said it was the final waiver extending Iran nuclear deal. He did it with strings attached. The president’s demands include: immediate inspections at sites by international inspectors and “denying Iran paths to nuclear weapons forever” (instead of 10 years as stipulated under current law). New sanctions were issued against 14 people and entities involved with Iran’s ballistic missile programs and a crackdown on government protesters. The president wants the deal to cover Iran’s ballistic missile programs.

Restrictive measures were extended three times last year. And Donald Trump never certified the agreement. Senator Bob Corker, the current chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations, said “significant progress” had been made on bipartisan congressional legislation to address “flaws in the agreement without violating US commitments.”

According to President Trump, there are only two options: either the deal is fixed or the US pulls out. This time he wants to pass the buck, emphasizing that the decision to do it the last time is explained by his desire to secure the agreement of US European allies to fix what he calls “the terrible flaws” of the Joint Commission Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the Iran nuclear deal. Europeans have 120 days to define their position. From now on, Europe is facing a real hard choice: it’s either dancing to the US tune or being adamant in its support for the deal. The latter will bring it closer to Russia.

Germany said on Jan.12 that it remained committed to the deal and that it would consult with “European partners to find a common way forward”. The European Union remains committed to support the implementation of the JCPOA.

The US plan hardly has a chance of success. Even if Europe joins the US, which is not the case, at least for now, the introduction of any changes to the deal requires the consent of other participants: Russia, China and Iran. Tehran has taken a tough stance, flatly refusing any talks on changes.

Another element of US proposal is also a tall order. The president wants a separate follow-on deal on Iran with the EU “to enshrine triggers that the Iranian government could not exceed related to ballistic missiles.” The consent of other participants is not needed but a separate agreement will bury the JCPOA as the provisions of the two deals will contradict each other. Iran will have to pull out and it will not be its fault and responsibility.

A unilateral US withdrawal is the most feasible option. But it will provoke an international outcry. It’s better to face the consequences being a member of an international coalition. So, the US is aggressively pursuing its goals. The stakes are high and Europe will have to make its choice. If it does not back the deal, its image as a reliable partner will be damaged internationally. The EU has economic interests in Iran. It’ll lose a lot pulling out from the JCPOA. On the other hand, Europe is not at all happy at the prospect of deteriorating relations with the United States.

There is another important aspect not to be forgotten. It’s a win-win situation for Moscow. Russia does not want the Iran deal threatened. Its contribution into it was important enough. But if Brussels succumbs to pressure, it’ll be a political win for Russia to bolster its image as a reliable partner remaining faithful to its obligations. Even with the JCPOA in place, some restrictions on economic and military cooperation remain in force. If the US tears up the deal, there will be no formal obligation to comply with them. Tehran will be pushed to develop even closer ties with Moscow and Beijing.

If the EU stands tall and has it its way, the US European partners may not back the United States in the United Nations, undermining what is called “Western unity”. Brussels and Moscow will get closer. Iran will become a field for cooperation. The process of rapprochement will be spurred if the US imposes restrictive measures on European companies participating in joint projects with Russia, such as Nord Stream-2, for instance. That’s how US sticking with tough stance on Iran may backfire. Acting high and mighty on international stage does not always bring the desired results. Taking well-thought-out foreign policy moves as elements of grand strategy does pay off but the US prefers to act otherwise. By doing so, it risks shooting itself in the foot.

January 15, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

US Likely Took Course to Demolish Iran Nuclear Deal – Russia’s Deputy FM

Sputnik – January 13, 2018

Russia, as well as the European Union, remains committed to the Iran nuclear deal, despite the recent US waiver of sanctions against the country.

Moscow would oppose any attempts to undermine the existing nuclear agreement between P5+1 countries and Iran, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has stated.

“The JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] cannot be amended and we will oppose any attempts to hamper it,” Ryabkov said.

The minister went on by saying that Trump’s move raises questions concerning his negotiability on international issues, adding that Moscow will insistently explain to Washington the viciousness of its sanction policy towards both Tehran and Pyongyang.

“We have a very negative stance on yesterday’s decisions and statements announced by Washington, our worst expectations are coming true,” Ryabkov said commenting on Trump’s words, saying that the US thus demonstrate their preference for the use of power to solve issues.

The minister underlined that statements by US President Donald Trump will be very carefully studied in the DPRK and other countries and may influence the existing tensions on the Korean peninsula.

“According to our estimates, our American colleagues act in such a way as to constantly find opportunities to increase tensions on the Korean peninsula. Despite the signs that there has been some shift in the direction toward political dialogue, here we also note intra-Korean contacts, which are very important — despite this, Washington is looking for ways to constantly remind everyone, including in Northeast Asia, that it is committed to pressuring and methods of force, and, using this same American terminology, keeping all the options on the table,” the deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry added.

The diplomat added that there was no sense in overestimating Trump’s decision on waiving the sanctions, as the United States was seeking to undermine the JCPOA and is reinforcing a categorical approach to Iran-related issues.

“The prospect of the US withdrawal from the Iran deal will deliver a very serious blow to the whole system of international agreements and to the enhancing of the nuclear non-proliferation regime,” Ryabkov said.

Speaking about a new deal on Iran, which the US has claimed to elaborate, the minister stressed that Moscow could hardly understand how it might look like.

“We do not understand what our American colleagues mean when they start to negotiate the development of some new agreement, which, as they think, will ‘correct the shortcomings’ of the existing agreement,” Ryabkov said.

“It has been announced in advance that Iran, Russia and China are not invited to negotiations concerning this agreement. This is the US’ decision, the content of the talks and their subject is unclear. But for us, strictly speaking, they are of little interest because the JCPOA is not subject to correction,” Ryabkov stressed.

US Sanctions

“Of course, the decisions on enlargement of the sanction list [as for Iran] by including 14 individuals and entities, including the citizens of foreign states, not only the Iranian institutions and organizations, spark concerns,” Ryabkov has commented on the US sanctions on 14 individuals and entities over Iran’s human rights abuses and ballistic missile program, including the ones from China and Malaysia.

The minister called on the international community to consolidate efforts aimed at securing the Iranian nuclear deal.

“We think that in this context, the international community should double its efforts aimed at consolidation of the approach to the protection of the JCPOA shared by Russia, the Europeans and China in favor of its strict and full implementation by all the participants,” Ryabkov said.

The statement was made in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s announcement on January 12 of his decision to waive sanctions on Iran as required by the JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal. Trump, however, specified it would be the last time he signs the waiver unless the deal is modified.

This move follows the common path the US president took in relation to the Islamic Republic ever since his election campaign. When elected, he reaffirmed opposition to the deal officially in late October 2017, refusing to re-certify it and accusing Tehran of violating the spirit of the agreement.

However, the president still does not contest Tehran’s compliance with the deal at the international level, while at the same time not excluding the possibility of withdrawing from the deal if the agreement is not improved. Other JCPOA signatories have called on the United States to comply with the agreement’s provisions, saying that the deal had yielded results and was non-negotiable.

READ MORE:

Trump Decides to Extend Iran Sanctions Waiver, But for the Last Time — WH

January 13, 2018 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , | Leave a comment

Trump waives Iran nuclear sanctions, but for last time: White House

Press TV – January 12, 2018

US President Donald Trump has reluctantly agreed not to reimpose nuclear sanctions on Iran, but it would be the last time he issues such a waiver, according to the White House.

Trump wants America’s European allies to use the 120 day period before sanctions relief again comes up for renewal to agree to tougher measures, a senior White House official said Friday.

The US Congress requires the president to periodically certify Iran’s compliance with the agreement and issue a waiver to allow American sanctions to remain suspended.

While Trump approved a sanctions waiver, the US Treasury Department announced that it has imposed sanctions on 14 Iranian individuals and companies, including Iranian Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani.

A senior administration official said Trump had privately expressed annoyance at having to once again waive sanctions.

Trump has argued behind the scenes that he sees Iran as a rising threat in the Middle East and the nuclear deal makes the United States look weak, a senior US official said.

The Republican president had privately expressed reluctance to heed the advice of top advisers — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster — recommending he not reimpose the suspended sanctions.

A decision to reimpose sanctions would have effectively ended the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The agreement was reached between Iran and six world powers — the US, the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany.

The deal puts limitations on parts of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program in exchange for removing all nuclear-related sanctions.

Trump had come under heavy pressure from European allies to issue the sanctions waiver.

On Thursday, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini together with foreign ministers of France, the US and Germany delivered a strong defense of the deal in separate statements, which were issued following a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Brussels.

January 12, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

Future of JCPOA In Hands of GOP Indebted To Billionaire Iran Hawks

By Eli Clifton | LobeLog | October 19, 2017

President Donald Trump’s decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), appears to have fallen in line with the views espoused by several of his top donors. These funders believe that Iran poses an apocalyptic threat only addressable through military action, including the use of nuclear weapons.

Two years ago, every Republican in Congress opposed the JCPOA. With the future of the agreement now in the hands of a GOP-controlled House and Senate, those same billionaire Iran hawks may hold a powerful influence over any Republican lawmaker contemplating voting against legislation designed to harm the JCPOA.

Indeed, the influence of these key donors—Sheldon Adelson, Bernard Marcus, and Paul Singer—over U.S. foreign policy, particularly with regards to Iran, doesn’t stop at the White House, where combined they contributed over $40 million to various pro-Trump political groups and causes.

Those three donors also contributed $65 million at the congressional level. That represents nearly half of the individual contributions made to the Senate Leadership Fund (CLF) and Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), Super PACs dedicated to maintaining Republican majorities in the House and Senate. Those contributions provide a considerable incentive for Hill Republicans to stake out a hawkish position on the JCPOA.

Trump’s decision to punt the decision to Congress about whether to reimpose sanctions or attempt to unilaterally rewrite the JCPOA, a multilateral agreement, threatens to unravel the nuclear deal and/or put the U.S. into noncompliance with the accord.

Republican members of Congress owe a great deal to the CLF and the SLF. In the 2016 election cycle the two GOP Super PACs were some of the biggest sources of independent expenditures in House and Senate races. The SLF was the biggest spender in the 2016 election cycle after Priorities USA Action (a Hillary Clinton-supporting Super PAC) and Right to Rise USA (a Jeb Bush-supporting Super PAC).

The CLF raised $50 million in individual contributions and the SLF raised $90 million in individual contributions in the past election cycle. That is in no small part thanks to Adelson, Marcus, and Singer, three of the Republican Party’s biggest donors. They also provide millions in funding to hawkish think tanks like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), which regularly promotes military intervention against Iran. Adelson and Marcus, in particular, have been outspoken in their opposition to the JCPOA and expressing their extreme hostility toward Iran.

Adelson, who actually suggested firing a nuclear weapon at Iran as a negotiating tactic, alongside his wife, Miriam, are the biggest overall donors to both the CLF and SLF as well as Trump’s largest campaign donor. They contributed $20 million to the CLF and $35 million to the SLF. Adelson, via John Bolton, may have helped inject language into Trump’s speech last week decertifying the JCPOA. Politico reported (my emphasis):

The line was added to Trump’s speech after Bolton, despite Kelly’s recent edict [limiting Bolton’s access to Trump], reached the president by phone on Thursday afternoon from Las Vegas, where Bolton was visiting with Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson. Bolton urged Trump to include a line in his remarks noting that he reserved the right to scrap the agreement entirely, according to two sources familiar with the conversation.

Trump wound up saying that the agreement “is under continuous review, and our participation can be canceled by me, as president, at any time.” Bolton declined to comment on any conversation with the president.

Singer, who was the second largest source of funds supporting Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-AR) campaign, contributed $1.9 million to the CLF and $6 million to the SLF.

Cotton, an outspoken critic of the Iran deal and proponent of pursuing a regime-change strategy in Iran, reportedly advised the White House on decertifying the agreement. He is the cosponsor of legislation that would institute automatic reinstatement of sanctions if Iran comes within a year of a nuclear weapons capability and eliminates the JCPOA’s sunset clauses, effectively rewriting the agreement and potentially putting the U.S. in violation of the accord.

Marcus contributed $500,000 to the CLF and $2 million to the SLF. He is Trump’s second biggest campaign donor after the Adelsons and contributes tens of millions of dollars to FDD and other groups opposing the JCPOA.

In a 2015 Fox Business interview, he compared the JCPOA to “do[ing] business with the devil” and, in case he wasn’t clear about who “the devil” was in his metaphor, clarified “I think Iran is the devil.”

Adelson, Singer, and Marcus’s combined contributions account for 44% of individual contributions received by the CLF and 47% of those received by the SLF. Marcus and Singer are already spending on the SLF for the 2018 cycle. Singer contributed $1 million and Marcus contributed $2 million, providing over a quarter of the $11.13 million the Super PAC has raised for the coming election.

January 6, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Think Tank-Addicted Media Turn to Regime Change Enthusiasts for Iran Protest Commentary

By Adam Johnson | FAIR | January 5, 2018

Since the outbreak of mass demonstrations and unrest in Iran last week, US media have mostly busied themselves with the question of not if we should “do something,” but what, exactly, that something should be. As usual, it’s simply taken for granted the United States has a divine right to intervene in the affairs of Iran, under the vague blanket of “human rights” and “democracy promotion.” (The rare exception, such as an op-ed by ex-Obama official Philip Gordon—New York Times, 12/30/17—still accepted the premise of regime change: “I, too, want to see the government in Tehran weakened, moderated or even removed.”) With this axiom firmly established in Very Serious foreign policy circles, the next question becomes the nature, degree and scope of the “something” being done.

Leading the pack in the “do something” insta-consensus was the right-wing pro-Israel think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), which has overwhelmed the narrative. In the past five days, FDD has had op-eds in influential US outlets like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New York Post and Politico, and has been quoted in a dozen more. Its punditry was marked by cynical “support” for Iranian protesters, demagoguing of the Iranian “regime” and disgust with the Obama-era Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran deal.

The scrapping of JCPOA has been the primary political charge of FDD for years, and it seems to see the recent unrest in Iran—and any subsequent crackdown—as the thin moral pretext it needs to justify snuffing out a treaty it’s long opposed. Thus FDD has eagerly jumped on the unrest, painting itself as the sigh of the oppressed.

Op-eds written or co-written by FDD staff in the past five days:

  • “Iran’s Theocracy Is on the Brink” (Mark Dubowitz/Ray Takeyh, Wall Street Journal, 1/1/18)
  • “Where We Can Agree on Iran” (Mark Dubowitz/Daniel Shapiro, Politico, 1/1/18)
  • “Eruption in Iran: And It’s Not Just the Economy, Stupid” (Clifford D. May, Washington Times, 1/2/18)
  • “The Worst Thing for Iran’s Protesters? US Silence” (Reuehl Marc Gerecht, New York Times, 1/2/18)
  • “What Washington Can Do to Support Iran’s Protesters” (Richard Goldberg/Jamie Fly, New York Post, 1/2/18)

A sampling of quotes by FDD staff in news reporting:

  • “Since Rouhani entered office, he has managed to inflate expectations with lofty rhetoric but has actually done little to change the reality of life on the ground in Iran,” said Behnam Ben Taleblu, an Iran expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington.” (Washington Post, 12/30/17)
  • “‘Western governments should make it clear that the regime will be held responsible and will pay a price for any bloodshed,’ Mr. Dubowitz said.” (Wall Street Journal, 1/1/18)
  • “‘[Trump’s] not going to want to waive sanctions and keep money flowing to dictators when there are people protesting in the streets,’ said Richard Goldberg, a former Senate Republican aide who helped design Iran sanctions and is now a senior adviser at the hawkish Foundation for Defense of Democracies.” (Politico, 1/2/18)
  • “‘If there is a bipartisan bill that is ready for congressional action, that would go a long way toward persuading the president to issue the waivers,’ said Mark Dubowitz, the chief executive of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. ‘If there’s not, what’s happening in Iran will give the president all the more reason to say, “I’ve had it with this deal.”’” (New York Times, 1/2/18)

FDD op-eds and quotes followed a similar formula: express outrage on behalf of the protesters, applaud Trump for his hypocritical defense of the right to protest, and push for increased sanctions against Iran—often while taking a swipe at the hated Iran deal.

FDD’s pro-Iranian people posture was rarely accompanied by an explanation of their ideological project. The outfit—funded by big-name pro-Israel billionaires like casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, Home Depot founder Bernard Marcus (who’s said that “Iran is the devil”) and Wall Street speculator Paul Singer—are  largely presented as bespectacled academics calling balls and strikes without a particular agenda beyond their self-proclaimed “defense of democracies.” (The name ought to provoke some skepticism, given the group’s eagerness to enlist the hereditary dictatorship Saudi Arabia in its anti-Iranian crusade—LobeLog, 2/26/16.)

This problem is not unique to FDD; as FAIR (8/12/16) has noted before, the overreliance by the media on deeply conflicted think tanks that present as neutral but are, in reality, glorified lobbyists for a political cause or corporate cohort misleads readers on an institutional scale. (In FDD’s case, it’s Israel’s right wing; for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, it’s weapons contractors—FAIR.org, 5/8/17, 7/17/17.)

FDD, it’s worth noting, also worked closely with the Trump administration and CIA to curate documents implicating Iran in the 9/11 attacks, as part of a broader anti-Iran strategy that rogue DoJ lawyers spelled out in November in leaks to the Washington Post (11/17/17; FAIR.org, 11/24/17).

Reuel Marc Gerecht

FDD’s Reuel Marc Gerecht has had stints at PNAC, AEI and the CIA

Occasionally, editors will note they are “conservative” or “hawkish,” but FDD is mostly presented as a quasi-academic and impartial observer. The average reader, for example, would probably be surprised to find out the FDD “fellow” expressing concern for The Iranian People™ in the Times, Reuel Marc Gerecht, has long joked about wanting to bomb these same Iranians. As Eli Clifton noted in LobeLog (1/4/18), in 2010 Gerecht quipped: “Counted up the other day: I’ve written about 25,000 words about bombing Iran. Even my mom thinks I’ve gone too far.”

Shouldn’t someone so self-admittedly obsessed with killing Iranians be disqualified from posing as their protector in a major US newspaper? Failing that, shouldn’t readers be alerted that Gerecht was the director in the late ’90s of the Middle East Initiative at the Project for the New American Century—the most prominent advocacy group for the invasion of Iraq, a war that left 500,000 to a million dead?

Think tank addiction for overworked and often myopic reporters and editors has rendered such glaring questions unaskable. FDD are the “experts,” and the “experts” are needed to drive the bulk of commentary, regardless of their well-documented ulterior motives.

January 6, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

US House passes bill scrutinizing Iran plane sales

Press TV – December 15, 2017

US lawmakers on Thursday approved a bill that will bring the sales of American planes to Iran under the close scrutiny of the Congress.

The bill passed 252-167 — all but four Republicans supported it, and they were joined by 23 Democrats.

It would require the Treasury Department to report to Congress on Iranian purchases of US aircraft and how those sales would be financed.

The key company that would be the primary target of the bill would be US aviation giant Boeing. In December 2016, Boeing sealed deals with Iran’s flag-carrier airliner Iran Air over sales of 80 jets valued at $16.6 billion. They include 50 narrow-body Boeing 737 passenger jets and 30 wide-body 777 aircraft.

US media reported that the new Congress bill had once again brought into the spotlight the question whether undermining plane sales to Iran would break US commitments under the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Republicans argued that the legislation would not bar any aircraft sales to Iran. Instead, it would require the Treasury Department to notify Congress about the activities of the Iranian company that purchases the planes, as well as the financing used for the deal, according to a report by the Washington Examiner.

House Democrats maintained that the bill might provoke Iran to abandon the nuclear agreement, however, by interfering with their ability to work with US corporations as promised under the pact.

“[This bill] would impose a new condition,” Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., said on the House floor. “A new condition which would require certification by [the executive branch] and all of the process which would ensue. It is not a stretch, in fact it is fairly clear, that if [this bill] were to pass, the Iranians and others could credibly claim that we have violated our obligations under the JCPOA,” Himes was quoted as saying by the Washington Examiner.

Iran sealed the JCPOA in 2015 with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, Britain, France, Russia, and China – plus Germany.

Based on it, Iran would restrict certain aspects of its nuclear energy activities. In return, the parties that signed the JCPOA with Iran – the P5+1 – would act to lift the economic sanctions imposed against the country – generally described as the toughest in modern history.

Iran has previously announced that the US was falling short of its commitments toward the JCPOA by failing to remove the sanctions against the country and even by moving to impose new sanctions against it.

This is while the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – which reports Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA – has for multiple times emphasized that the country is fully implementing its commitments toward the nuclear deal.

December 15, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , | 2 Comments

Netanyahu calls on US ‘policy community’ to revise Iran deal

Press TV – December 4, 2017

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on the “policy community” in the United States to push decision makers in Washington and European countries to revise the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran.

“I urge you, in the policy community, to help decision makers in the capitals of Europe and Capitol Hill, to take advantage of this opportunity,” the Israeli premier said.

By the “policy community”, the Israeli leader apparently means powerful lobbyists such as the Israeli American Council and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) which are central to all anti-Iran motions.

Netanyahu, whose regime is believed to possess the only nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, has repeatedly made unfounded accusations that Iran was seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

His new call came in a taped message that focused primarily on Iran to the Brookings Institute – Saban Forum meeting in Washington.

The annual conference is funded by the Israeli-born business mogul Haim Saban who said in November 2014 that “I would bomb the living daylights out of these [expletive],” if former US President Barack Obama struck a “bad deal” with Iran and Netanyahu assessed it as putting Israel at risk.

American Jewish billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a powerful casino magnate and another funder, suggested then that the US detonate a nuclear bomb in the Iranian desert before negotiations with Tehran.

Netanyahu hailed President Donald Trump for refusing in October to certify the Iran deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The Israeli premier said the decision “has created an opportunity to fix the great flaws” of the JCPOA after the US president warned he might ultimately terminate the agreement.

Trump is required by law to certify every 90 days whether or not Iran is complying with the nuclear deal. If he argues that Iran is not in compliance, that could cause an American withdrawal from the international pact.

While Trump did not pull Washington out of the nuclear deal in October, he gave the US Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions against Tehran that were lifted under the pact.

December 4, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Washington speeds up collision course with Europe over Iran

By Finian Cunningham | RT | October 24, 2017

The Trump administration is accelerating on a collision course with its European allies over the Iran nuclear deal. Washington is essentially demanding the EU joins in backdoor sanctions against Iran – or face financial penalties. In short: browbeating, arm-twisting, and bribery.

In a sign of the times, the Europeans are resisting American pressure. With huge investments already lined up between EU countries and Iran, the Trump administration is being viewed with contempt for daring to bully European economic interests.

In a classic backfire, Washington’s browbeating of European allies is pushing them to reorient their strategic interests toward China, Russia and a multilateral global order in which US power diminishes even further.

Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gave an extraordinarily explicit warning to Europe over Iran. At a news conference in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, Tillerson said European companies are “at great risk” if they invest in Iran owing to the Trump administration possibly re-imposing sanctions on Tehran in the coming months.

Trump’s dangling of sanctions follows his “decertification” earlier this month of the international nuclear accord signed with Iran and five other world powers: Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany. Known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the July 2015 deal promised to lift trade sanctions on Iran in exchange for the latter’s restriction on its nuclear energy program to prevent any weaponization.

Washington’s repudiation of the JCPOA is not shared by the Europeans, Russia nor China. The UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has also confirmed that Iran is in full compliance with the terms of the accord. EU leaders and diplomats have adamantly said they have no intention of abandoning the agreement or renegotiating it. China and Russia likewise concur.

From the early days of Trump’s presidency, he has been griping about the Iran deal, calling it the “worst ever.” He and others in Washington claim Iran is using sanctions relief to finance support for Syrian ally Bashar Assad, Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement and clandestine terror operations in the Middle East. Washington’s claims are invariably vague and unsubstantiated. Tehran has dismissed Trump’s accusations as ignorant.

Evidently, the Europeans do not have the same pejorative view of Iran as a “global sponsor of terrorism” as the Americans. Neither does China or Russia. Even before Trump decertified the JCPOA – a move which could trigger a full-blown cancellation after a Congressional review requested by the president – there was already talk about Washington and Europe clashing. “Europe and the USA on collision course,” ran a headline in Deutsche Welle in August.

Now, after Tillerson’s pointed warning to the Europeans to “stay out of Iran,” the US is ramping up the clash. Bloomberg headlined last week: “Trump’s Iran policy is a headache for EU business.” The report noted, however, that: “America’s U-turn on nuclear accord won’t spike existing [European investment] deals.”

Since the signing of the JCPOA two years ago, European investment and trade with Iran have burgeoned. For example, French oil major Total earlier this year finalized a 20-year oil and gas project worth around €5 billion, along with a Chinese firm.

That followed the announcement of multi-million euro investment plans by car manufacturers Renault and PSA (Peugeot and Citroen) to expand factories in Iran. This month, only days after Trump announced he was decertifying the JCPOA, a Norwegian-led consortium signed a €3 billion project with Iran to build solar panels for the international market. “Norway is fully committed to the JCPOA,” said the Norwegian ambassador to Iran.

Germany and France have both seen exports to Iran rapidly multiply. The German chamber of commerce expects total bilateral commerce to double in the next two years. Next month, the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is to travel to Washington where she will reiterate the bloc’s resolute support for the nuclear accord. Last week, Mogherini made the case that Europe must now take global leadership. She didn’t mention Trump by name, but it was clear she was rebuking Washington’s isolationist policy.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has also berated Washington’s bullying tactics over Iran. Gabriel said Trump was inevitably pushing Europe toward consolidating economic interests with China and Russia.

Following Tillerson’s lecturing to the EU earlier this week about not investing in Iran, the New York Times reported: “European diplomats have said they would defend their companies against such sanctions, potentially setting up an epic battle between close allies and two of the largest commercial markets on the planet.”

This is the ineluctable thing. The Europeans have already committed enormous amounts of capital to developing trade and industry with Iran – a country that ranks in the global top five for oil and gas reserves. With a population of 80 million and a high standard of education, Iran promises to be a lucrative growth area. Even under decades of US-led sanctions, the country scored impressive achievements in development, innovation, and engineering.

Unlike the Europeans, the US has negligible commercial ties with Iran. It is therefore easy for Washington to threaten sanctions against that country. Washington has little to lose. Not so the Europeans. For the Trump administration to say that investments are “at risk” is therefore seen as an outrageous infringement on Europe’s future economic plans.

As France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told American officials ahead of Trump’s expected knock-back to the Iran deal: “The US must not appoint itself as a global policeman.” The irony is that Washington’s overweening attitude toward its European “allies” is likely to hasten the global dynamic it most fears. That is the decline of American economic power and the rise of a multipolar global order.

Former US President Jimmy Carter acknowledged the shift when referring to North Korea this week and the need for diplomacy. He said the US was “no longer dominant” and that “Russia was coming back, and China and India were coming forward.”

The once-mighty American dollar is increasingly challenged in its status as the world’s top reserve currency. China is moving to a gold-backed yuan payments system for its imports and exports. Russia is stockpiling gold reserves, in another move which is seen as Moscow making preparations for a break with the US-dominated financial order.

Washington still retains tremendous control over international banking and finance. It has veto power at the International Monetary Fund, and it dominates the SWIFT banking system for payments.

Nevertheless, nothing remains forever. China and Russia are making strides toward economic life without the dollar. The Europeans already have a reserve currency with the euro. If push comes to shove, the EU could conduct its business with Iran and let the Americans go hang. With China and Russia already forging ahead on a new multipolar global order, the Europeans might soon realize that their best interests are served from breaking away from Washington’s shadow.

It is increasingly apparent especially under Trump that American interests are colliding with those of European “allies.” In the end, it comes down to the exigency of self-interest. Europe is finding it simply can’t afford America’s stupid arrogance. Washington’s hectoring of allies is digging its own grave as a global power.

October 24, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

US, Iran break ice at UN

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | September 21, 2017

The US President Donald Trump’s speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday has drawn attention to the Iran nuclear deal of July 2015. Will the deal survive? Or, will it perish in a sudden death? Trump said,

  • The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the US has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it. Believe me.

Harsh words, indeed. Meanwhile, the P5+1 and Iran met at foreign minister level in New York on Tuesday. According to European sources, “the meeting included a long discussion” between Tillerson and his Iranian counterpart Mohammed Javad Zarif – although Tillerson publicly maintained that they merely shook hands. In a subsequent interview with Fox News, Tillerson narrowed down the US demand at this point to the so-called “sunset provision” in the Iran deal under which time limits (of varying lengths, such as 10 or 15 years) apply to some of the restrictions put on Iran’s nuclear program.

Evidently, there is much sophistry in the arguments being proferred, (as explained lucidly by Paul Pillar, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University and in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution in a blog in the National Interest magazine.) Tillerson indeed hinted that the issue goes beyond Iran’s nuclear programme. As he put it,

  • Our (US’) relationship with Iran from a security standpoint and a threat standpoint is much broader than that, as is the entire region. And we’ve really got to begin to deal with Iran’s destabilizing activities in Yemen, in Syria. The President (Trump) highlighted that today, that under the agreement – the spirit of the agreement, if you want to use that word – but even the words of the preamble of the agreement, there was clearly an expectation, I think on the part of all the parties to that agreement, that by signing this nuclear agreement Iran would begin to move to a place where it wanted to integrate – reintegrate itself with its neighbors. And that clearly did not happen. In fact, Iran has stepped up its destabilizing activities in the region, and we have to deal with that, and so whether we deal with it through a renegotiation on nuclear or we deal with it in other ways.

Simply put, the US feels agitated about Iran’s cascading influence in the Middle East and its emergence as the foremost regional power – even surpassing Israel. In turn, Israel, which has lost its military pre-eminence in the Middle East, is counting on the Trump administration (which also has a big contingent of “hawks” on Iran) to push back at Iran’s lengthening shadows, especially in Syria, Lebanon and Gaza.

One hitch here is that the European Union disfavours a re-opening of the Iran nuclear deal (for whatever reasons.) The EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini made this point quite clear after the FM-level meeting in New York. The EU position is also shared by Russia and China. The point is, the Iran nuclear deal is working splendidly well and Tehran is fulfilling to the last word its obligations (which is something even Tillerson admits.)

Unsurprisingly, Iran is furious about Trump’s threatening speech. The chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari (who reports directly to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei) hit back strongly:

  • Time is now ripe for correcting the US miscalculations. Now that the US has fully displayed its nature, the government should use all its options to defend the Iranian nation’s interests. Taking a decisive position against Trump is just the start and what is strategically important is that the US should witness more painful responses in the actions, behavior and decisions that Iran will take in the next few months.

However, it cannot be lost on Tehran what perturbs the Trump administration most could be the need to re-engage Iran in negotiations relating to regional politics. Significantly, while making an impassioned plea for the raison d’etre of the nuclear deal in his speech at the UNGA on Tuesday, President Hassan Rouhani desisted from touching on options available to Iran:

  • The deal is the outcome of two years of intensive multilateral negotiations, overwhelmingly applauded by the international community and endorsed by the Security Council as a part of Resolution 2231. As such, it belongs to the international community in its entirety, and not to only one or two countries.
  • The JCPOA can become a new model for global interactions; interactions based on mutual constructive engagement between all of us. We have opened our doors to engagement and cooperation. We have concluded scores of development agreements with advanced countries of both East and West. Unfortunately, some have deprived themselves of this unique opportunity. They have imposed sanctions really against themselves, and now they feel betrayed. We were not deceived, nor did we cheat or deceive anyone. We have ourselves determined the extent of our nuclear program. We never sought to achieve deterrence through nuclear weapons; we have immunized ourselves through our knowledge and – more importantly — the resilience of our people. This is our talent and our approach. Some have claimed to have wanted to deprive Iran of nuclear weapons; weapons that we have continuously and vociferously rejected. And, of course, we were not and are not distressed for forgoing an option that we in fact never sought. It is reprehensible that the rogue Zionist regime that threatens regional and global security with its nuclear arsenal and is not committed to any international instrument or safeguard, has the audacity to preach peaceful nations.
  • Just imagine for a minute how the Middle East would look had the JCPOA not been concluded. Imagine that along with civil wars, Takfiri terror, humanitarian nightmares, and complex socio-political crises in West Asia, that there was a manufactured nuclear crisis. How would we all fare?

Rouhani remarked later in New York, “We don’t think Trump will walk out of the deal despite (his) rhetoric and propaganda.” Tehran has all along estimated that Trump is a bluff master and a bazaari at heart. Of course, Iran is unlikely to re-negotiate the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal. But below that threshold comes the tantalizing prospect of a (re)-engagement between the top diplomats of the two countries. To be sure, the ice was broken on Tuesday. Notably, Zarif is keeping his thoughts to himself.

The US and Israel have suffered a strategic defeat in Syria from which they will never quite recover, and would, therefore, want to safeguard at least their irreducible core interests in the post-conflict situation in the New Middle East. The question is, what is it that the US can offer Iran in return? The US is only hurting its self-interests by preventing American companies from doing business in the Iranian market. Trump isn’t Barack Obama and he simply lacks the persuasiveness or the moral authority to get the rest of the world to fall in line with the US’ sanctions regime against Iran so long as Tehran scrupulously observes the terms of the nuclear deal. Having said that, from the Iranian perspective, a full-bodied integration with the international community has always been the strategic objective of its foreign policies.

September 21, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

JCPOA not renegotiable, better deal “pure fantasy”: Iran’s Zarif

Press TV – September 14, 2017

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the 2015 nuclear deal with the P5+1 group of countries, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is not open to renegotiation, stressing that there is no better alternative to the deal.

“The #JCPOA is not (re)negotiable. A ‘better’ deal is pure fantasy,” Zarif tweeted on Thursday, adding that it was time for the US to “stop spinning and begin complying, just like Iran.”

The remarks came at a time when Washington, which is a party to the nuclear agreement, seems to be laying out a case for abandoning it.

Zarif’s remarks also came following a meeting between Iran’s top diplomat and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi on Wednesday.

During the meeting, the two sides stressed that the nuclear accord was non-negotiable and that all sides to the agreement must honor their obligations, Zarif said.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has so far fulfilled all its commitments concerning the JCPOA, but unfortunately certain sides have not remained as committed as they should. Today, we stress that this (nuclear deal) is an international and multilateral agreement and that all sides must adhere to it,” he added.

Last month, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley traveled to Vienna to press the IAEA on accessing Iran’s military sites; a demand, which has been categorically rejected by Tehran.

The top Iranian diplomat said at the time that the US was “openly hostile toward the JCPOA and determined to undermine and destroy it.”

The JCPOA was reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries — the US, Russia, China, France, and Britain plus Germany — in July 2015 and took effect in January 2016. Under the deal, Iran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the termination of all nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has on multiple occasions affirmed Iran’s adherence to its commitments under the nuclear agreement.

September 14, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment