by Chris Black
President Trump took the world by storm yesterday, when he announced he’ll basically put the kibosh on the Iran nuclear deal, also known as JCPOA, a move that sparked a lot of controversy in diplomatic circles, and which could potentially make for a significant reset of US’ foreign relations with the rest of the world. Now, the question is, Trump making good on his campaign promise (remember that he promised repeatedly during the presidential campaign to scrap Barry Obama’s legacy, including the catastrophic Iran nuclear deal, and the American people voted for him anyway) is a good or a bad thing for the American people? Is this the right course of action or a mistake? The answer to these questions depends on whom you ask, obviously, it’s a matter of perspective. And it also depends if on one’s perception about “the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism”, to use neocon lingo (that would be Iran), i.e. if you really believe that the ayatollahs are working frantically on creating a nuclear armed Iran, as per Bibi Netanyahu’s claims, or you don’t. However, with President Trump tearing up the nuke-deal, will he get a more secure Israel and a denuclearized Iran or not? And do American people really give a damn’ about what’s going on 7,000 miles away in the Middle East?
The official narrative about Iran getting ready to arm itself with nukes is 20+ years old already, and thousands of so-called analysts spilled rivers of ink explaining the American public how a potentially nuclear-armed Iran would attack those peace loving (and armed with nukes to the teeth by the way) Israelis, which would end up in War World 3 and all that nonsense. The presumption for this theory is that Iranians are mad dogs, while Israel is rational, i.e. Iran doesn’t have the right to acquire nukes for self defense, but Israel (and others, like North Korea) does. Or at least, the North Koreans don’t care about international treaties and they did it anyway, whether we like it or not. And it worked, i.e. there was no regime change in North Korea (none that I know of anyway), hence the theory about nuclear-capable countries being immune to color-revolutions courtesy of Uncle Sam &friends holds true.
Now, returning to Iran and Israel, both countries can be accused of engaging in military adventures beyond their own borders, and there’s no point in arguing who started wha. Let’s return to Trump’s “deal-making”: the Donald wants Iran to guarantee that they’ll never seek to develop nukes, like ever, which means he’s not happy with the sunset clause in Obama’s deal. Israel wants the same thing, for obvious reasons. Iran’s nuclear program started following Iraq’s (under Saddam Hussein) own nuclear development, after the Iran-Iraq war was over. Now, let’s assume that Bibi Netanyahu is telling the truth, and Iran is just 1-2 years away from building a nuke. Let’s remember what happened in 2012: the United States and a coalition composed of Israel, Turkey and a number of golf oil-monarchies (Saudis, Qatar etc) started the regime-change op in Syria. Simultaneously, Syria’s main ally (Iran) was cut off from the SWIFT system, and hundreds of billions in Iranian assets were frozen, as the country was basically neutralized via financial warfare. The Rial dropped like a rock overnight, losing half of its value. However, Iran survived, with a little help from (oh the irony) Turkish banks, that laundered Iranian oil money (over a billion dollars); Turkey is a NATO member by the way. Fast forward three years, and we have Assad’s regime hanging by a thread, in the year of our Lord 2015, with Western backed Sunni terrorists/mercenaries posing as rebels and freedom fighters ready to take over Syria, Russia seeing its access to the Mediterranean cut off, Hezbollah getting isolated in Lebanon, and EU and US contractors looking to get access to Iran’s oil and gas supplies with Syria basically destroyed, and pipelines coming in from Qatar and Saudi Arabia via Turkey into the gas/oil hungry EU, thus hurting Russia and Gazprom.
Hence, a nuclear deal with Iran made perfect sense at the time, as letting them back into the world markets would have been a massive win for the US and the West. With radical Sunnis taking over Syria and all through the region, Iran could have never threaten the Saudi/Israeli dominance. So, Obama’s nuclear deal with the ayatollahs was nothing more than theater basically, as Iran agreed formally to a moratorium on its nuclear weapons program, whether it existed or not, and in return its stolen assets were returned, and economical sanctions were reversed. However, after the deal was finalized in 2015, the Russians intervened in Syria on behalf of Assad’s regime, and I bet the Iranians knew about this move in advance, hence they agreed to sign the nuclear deal, knowing that Syria will never fall to radical Sunnis/Wahabists, hence the threat of regime change in Iran would be moot, even sans nukes to defend themselves. That’s why they signed the JCPOA.
To President Trump, the JCPOA with the ten years sunset-clause got the United States (and Israel) absolutely zilch but headaches, because it doesn’t solve the issue (permanently), and made Iran to look as a winner and the “good guy” in the process. Obama’s administration and world’s geopolitical geniuses failed to predict Russia’s military intervention in Syria, nor Hezbollah, Iran and China standing up to the United States in Syria. By the way, China was Assad’s regime silent partner, financially speaking, not Iran, thus providing “soft” support to Syrian/Iranian/Russian assets fighting in Syria against ISIS/Al Qaeda et al. America’s intervention in the regions made us look weak, as Iran managed to survive economic sanctions, Assad defied the US and won, and the whole Syrian operation ended up as an epic failure in the geopolitical sense of the term. Assad is still in power, Hezbollah and Iran were not isolated, Russia looks stronger than ever before, Turkey and Qatar cut bait in 2016, Egypt support is gone, and now the US, Israel and the Saudis are trying to salvage the situation. Russia survived its economic crisis, and together with China (which is already world’s largest economy from a certain perspective, i.e. the purchasing power parity) and the EU, they are ready to support Iran in case sanctions are put back on by the US, i.e. to help the regime get paid for its oil.
So, where do we stand now, and do Americans care about Trump’s Iran deal withdrawal? To be honest, I don’t even think anyone in DC actually believes Iran’s trying to get nuclear weapons, because doing so would be suicide. I mean, the Israelis would hit them immediately, and also, how would Iran conduct a nuclear test? Where? On the Moon? The next day, Teheran would be wiped off the map. I don’t think anyone in the US government is really worried about the Iranians. What I don’t get is why are so many people in the West terrified of Iran? Do they really think Iran is the greatest threat to the world? Iran is a non nuclear central Asian state, a pawn of the Russians. If they’ll ever get to have nukes, they’ll probably buy them from Russia or China anyway (if they didn’t already). Over the last few years, they’re actually liberalizing, and remember that it was us, the US, who put the radical Islamists, the ayatollah-regime in Iran, in power via a coup d’etat more than 40 years ago. Yes, we own Iran’s ayatollah regime, check out your history. Dumb decisions have consequences. Iran is not a threat to us. Slap sanctions on them, and then leave it at that. We hear about Iran getting nukes since the mid 1990s. It’s all a bad joke if you ask me and nobody cares, except Israel.