US-Iran 2019-05

Here is what I wrote on the nuclear deal in 2015.
https://cassandraspeaksblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/the-iran-nuclear-deal/

What is happening now is that the Iranian government (Rouhani government) after waiting patiently for two years (since Trump unilaterally pulled out of the agreement) has responded by sating that they may withdraw from the agreement after 60 days if the US continues to violate the agreement.

This is in response to two very egregious actions by the US government recently:

1- designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization and
2-putting in action the threat of military interference by sending the American military ship to the Persian Gulf.

Iran is demanding that the other signatories, the Europeans, China and Russia to put pressure on US to abide by the agreement, otherwise Iran may withdraw from the agreement altogether.

From the beginning of the Rouhani government’s signing the agreement, there has been strong opposition to the agreement in Iran from two political forces:

  • One is the forces (I call revolutionary forces) that are in effect anti-imperialist and were represented by Ahmadinejad’s presidency. They had always held the position that was signed by Carter in the Algiers agreement that US will not interfere in Iran and that would be the first condition for any agreement between Iran and the US. Their position regarding the Nuclear Deal has been that it only opens up Iran to further threat by forcing Iran to give up its nuclear-energy facilities and  giving the US another excuse to attack Iran economically and possibly militarily, while procuring almost no advantages for Iran.
  • The other opposition forces, which have more actual political power in the Iranian parliament and the Judiciary, are what the US analysts call “hard liners” or “conservative religious leaders”. These are opposed to the opening to the US because they believe in the expansion of the Islamic Shiia ideology in the region as opposed to the Wahhabi ideology implemented militarily by Saudi Arabia.

In effect both of these political factions represent an anti-US interference position.

The actual events since 2015 has proven them right. Not only the US did not remove any sanctions imposed previously but has continually increased its sanctions on Iran.

The US government has clearly stated they want Iran to change its “aggressive behavior”, by which they mean that Iran has to stop its coalition and support for Hamaas in Palestine, its support and cooperation with Lebanon’s Hezbollah and its support for the Syrian government and cooperation with the Iraqi government and military even though the American analysts state that Iran was on the side of the US in Iraq fighting ISIS.

Now that all the prophesies of those opposed to the Deal have come to pass, the  US- appeasing forces represented by the Rouhani government and its supporters in the Parliament have lost face and any support among the people and have been forced by actual circumstances to take a harder line on US actions regarding the Deal.

After the 2009 elections where the pro-US forces tried and failed to win the election, they continued their effort to get the people to vote for them by convincing them that the economic conditions in Iran were difficult because of US sanctions (correct) and by appeasing the US, sanctions would be lifted and economic conditions improved.

Now people have seen in reality that any appeasement of the US hardens the US and makes conditions more difficult.

Since the implementation of the deal and the Rouhani government, the value of Iranian currency has fallen by 5 times (from 3,000 to one dollar to 15,000 to one dollar) and it is falling.

Now that the US is implementing its extreme policies as stated by the Trump administration, to bring Iranian oil export to zero, the economic conditions in Iran will become devastating for many people who depend on government policies.

In conclusion, the US has used every trick to overthrow the Islamic Republic and implement regime change in Iran. They have been transparent about this. This is also exactly what they have been doing in Venezuela.

As we have seen, the Venezuelan military has stood by the majority of the people in that country and the US has failed in regime change.

In Iran the Revolutionary Guard, which has within it representative of all three political positions, has also stood with the Islamic revolution and the majority of people.

While in Venezuela, the US has tried to win over the military to carry a coup for US supporters (Guaidó and co.), in Iran it has increased its pressure on the Revolutionary Guard.

So, the US acts in Iran as it did in Syria. It is depending on the separatist Kurds and other national minorities, and the Mojahedin (as they did on ISIS in Syria), as pro-US militias.

So, I see the situation extremely dangerous. If the US is not successful to create enough chaos from within, it will resort to direct military intervention. In fact, they did this in Syria by accusing the Syrian government of being behind gas attacks.

Again the only hope left for Iran is the unity of the military forces to defend Iran at any cost and the majority of people standing with them.

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Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard on American Foreign Interventionism

Kudos to congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard for her courageous position against American intervention in other countries. She is the only American elected official  I have ever heard who has absolutely opposed American intervention, overt or covert, whether by CIA or direct military action or any other tools, whether or not called “humanitarian”,  for regime change.

It is significant that she reminds Americans of the long history of American interventions and their tragic outcomes for the people of the countries subjected to intervention and or regime change. She goes back to the historic 1953 CIA coup in Iran which overthrew an elected government and imposed decades of suffering on the Iranian people.

This CIA coup is historic because it was the first successful covert operation by the CIA and became the prototype for other coups such as the 1973 coup in Chile.

And, then, she strongly opposes the current plan for intervention in Venezuela. She states how in every case of American intervention the people of those countries are worse off.

She also makes it clear that the outcome of these interventions not only cost America lives and disabilities, and waste billions of taxpayers monies, but they never make the world more secure for Americans either. So, American people and the people of the world are all worse off.

I would like to add that the beneficiaries of these interventions are global corporations representing the 1% of the people.

I would like to point out that I do not necessary agree with the congresswoman’s characterization of certain foreign rulers as dictators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All We Need to Know

All we need to know about Iran and the US, we can know by comparing the Tweets
of Donald Trump with those of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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The “Iran Nuclear Deal”

This is a re-post of my writing on this subject from 2015, but it is still relevant today.

July 29, 2015 (Revised August 5, 2015).

The US-Iran nuclear agreement is a victory for US imperialism and a danger to the Iranian nation and people.

This agreement affords the US its demand of limiting Iran’s nuclear-energy program and imposing draconian restrictions on Iran’s independence and territorial integrity. The only apparent advantage to Iran from the agreement would be the lifting of the sanctions; however, such lifting only figures in the agreement as a promise to be implemented in the future. Moreover, according to the US administration, removal of any sanctions is accompanied by a provision that will allow the sanctions to snap back into place as soon as a problem is perceived with Iran’s compliance with any of the many intricate requirements.

The requirements detailed in this agreement go way above and beyond the regular and additional protocols of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), taking away Iran’s international rights afforded to all NPT signatory countries. In addition, Iran has agreed to the inspection of any site including its military sites. Since the agreement contains no sunset, Iran has committed itself to this intervention in its sovereignty forever.

Prior to this agreement, even during the additional-protocol inspections, the IAEA reported no material evidence of cheating by Iran. Nevertheless, the US expressed suspicions that Iran was cheating in order to sell the public on measures and threats against Iran. This new agreement makes a whole new category of obligations that the ruling class can accuse Iran of violating. Consequently we have every reason to expect them to use such pretexts for more serious threats and possibly actual military attack.

This agreement began covertly in March of 2013 with Nicholas Burns, former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, acting as the undercover negotiator, with the Party of Moderation and Development ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moderation_and_Development_Party ), whose leader, Rouhani, was expected to be the incoming president. Consequently upon the beginning of his presidency, his government, unilaterally suspended uranium enrichment, as the Khatami government had done for two years. In addition, Rouhani’s government began implementing many neoliberal policies by reducing or eliminating many welfare programs, such as bread subsidies, to the lower-income families, and reducing free services, such as daycare centers for children with disabilities such as Down syndrome.

Rouhani represents the pro-global-capital, neoliberal class in Iran. From the beginning of the victory of the 1979 revolution, while the US used every tool, including the Saddam Hussein war on Iran, for regime change from without, it tried to find allies in the class struggle in Iran. The 1979 revolution was an anti-US-imperialism revolution that included the Islamists, the nationalists, and the socialist/communists. The Islamist forces, who had been the majority, eventually eliminated the others from the power structure. But within the Islamist forces, the class struggle has continued between the revolutionary, anti-imperialist, pro-working class forces (who wanted a welfare state independent of imperialist forces), and the wealthy classes (who preferred a more western type capitalist economy). Via the victory of Khatami in 1997, the pro-western, anti-welfare, neoliberal forces came to power. The Khatami government began the appeasement of the US, and in order to attract more investment, it forgave the monarchists, many of whom had fled Iran, and invited them to come back. Many went back and reclaimed lands that had been confiscated in the revolution. Despite all the overture, the US continued its sanctions and hostile rhetoric against Iran. This was due to the fact that the revolutionary forces were quite strong and required US confirmation of the Algiers agreement signed by the Carter Administration as part of any negotiation. The first provision of the Algiers agreement is, “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.” The US would not agree to that because its strategic goal is the control of Iran for its geopolitical importance and oil and gas resources.

In furtherance of that goal, in 2002 the US began a new attack on Iran by accusing it of trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran had signed the NPT in the 1970’s and had begun building a nuclear-energy program. It was in 2002 that the Iranian government decided to restart that program according to NPT regulations. However, the US said that Iran was cheating, and their first source of the information of this alleged cheating was reported to be the Mojahedin Khalgh Organization of Iran (MKO). Somehow, the IAEA had not found any problem, but an exiled organization living in an enclosed camp in Iraq was successful in discovering problems with Iran’s nuclear program. This lie was accepted in the west even after the US lie about chemical weapons in Iraq had been exposed.

Again, to appease the US, the Khatami government unilaterally suspended uranium enrichment in 2003, hoping for an agreement with the US for lifting of sanctions. However, in any preliminary discussions conducted by other nations as intermediaries, Iran demanded the non-intervention condition, and the US refused to begin direct discussions with Iran.

With the US increasing its sanctions despite Iran’s suspension of enrichment, the revolutionary forces won the election in 2005, electing Ahmadinejad as president. His government expanded many existing welfare programs and implemented new ones, such as massive affordable housing for the poor. This government also raised the slogan of nuclear energy as an international right and restarted the enrichment program. He also expanded international relations with independent and/or socialist countries, especially Cuba and Venezuela. His government reaffirmed Iran’s commitment to support liberation struggles in the Mideast, especially Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon. All of these domestic and international actions were considered hostile by the US, which increased sanctions and anti-Iran propaganda. The US also increased its support for the neoliberal forces in Iran and attracted many of the educated upper-middle-class youth through”pro-democracy” slogans and financial and training support. These people were in the same class as the ones recruited in color revolutions in various countries. So, in the 2009 election, the class struggle was represented as between, on the one hand, a pro-Ahmadinejad faction (mostly poor working-class from outside Tehran), and on the other hand, a pro-Mousavi faction or the Greens, mostly urban upper-class youth and the neoliberal capitalists (the symbolism of the green color being interpreted in this social context as the color of Islam, not the environment).

This movement was clearly pro-Imperialist, since the slogans included death to China and death to Russia and no more money for Palestine. This was the first time in Iranian history where anti-Palestine slogans had appeared. While Russia and China had nothing to do with the Iranian elections, the US was extremely involved in promoting the Greens and condemning Ahmadinejad’s government. The US was hoping for a win by Moussavi, and Obama promised to begin talks with Iran after elections. When the Greens lost, the US attacks on Iran increased and the elections were called invalid.

The US kept increasing sanctions on Iran and threatening Iran with military attack while expanding its support for the neoliberal forces in Iran. During the eight years of Ahmadinejad’s government, the class struggle in Iran had intensified. The majority of the members of the parliament were anti-Ahmadinejad forces, especially the neoliberals. With the increasing US sanctions and financial attacks on Iran and embargo of Iranian oil, and the US covert support for the neoliberals, the anti-imperialist and populist government of Ahmadinejad came under political attack. The neoliberals, who wanted appeasement of the US in order to attract international investment to Iran, had gained such power that no presidential candidate from the anti-imperialist and populist forces was certified to run.

This is the context in which ambassador Burns was sent to begin talks with the almost assured incoming president, and the US was assured of suspension of uranium enrichment, giving up of the previous Iranian demands, and implementation of neoliberal policies.

This is that reason that Obama decided to have a direct talk with Iran for the first time. It was not a talk between equals, but the master and the servant.

The agreement creates many detailed obligations on Iran. The perceived failing of Iran in any detail will provide the US with a pretext to snap back the sanctions and attack Iran. During the whole process of these talks and subsequent to the signing of the agreement, the US government has maintained that the military option is on the table. So, Iran is still considered by US as “a supporter of terrorism”, and Iran is still under threat of military attack by the US. This agreement provides extended opportunities, excuses and pretexts for the US to attack Iran militarily without resort to any new UN resolutions where the US might face opposition by Russia and China. Now, Iran has agreed to be directly responsible to the US under the draconian measures of this agreement.

What is the basis of US hostility to Iran? It stems from Iran’s nationalization of its oil. The US responded with the infamous CIA coup of 1953, which brought Iran under US influence. The 1979 revolution overthrew the Shah and the US influence and interference in Iran. Ever since 1979, the US has used every excuse and attempted every trick to change the regime in Iran either through revolt, threat of military attack or subversion of the current system to the will of the US and its supporters in Iran (the pro-globalization, capitalist class).

Iran has never threatened to attack the US or its “interest”. In fact, during the war on Afghanistan, Iran declared neutrality. Al-Qaida and the Taliban were and are determined enemies of Iran. Although Iran was opposed to US military occupation of Iraq, it has supported the government established by the US in Iraq. On the other hand, the most important ally of the US in the Middle East (after Israel) is Saudi Arabia, the founder and supporter of Al-Qaida, ISIS, and the Taliban.

So, considering that this agreement does not change any US policies or strategic goals toward Iran, what are the possible outcomes for the Iranian people?

1- Increased probability of various degrees of military intervention by the US for the reasons explained above. This is coupled with increased vulnerability of Iran’s defense due to the compromise of its military secrets via IAEA inspections.

This increase in the probability of war is against the interests of the American and Iranian people.

2- Increased probability of covert US operations in Iran resulting in revolts and chaos as is happening in many Arab and/or Islamic countries where the US has had access to do so. The opening of Iran to the US as a result of this agreement will make it easier for the US to support “pro-democracy” (neoliberal and pro-US) factions.

3- Decrease in actual support by Iran for liberation movements in Palestine, Lebanon, Yemen, and military and political support for the governments of Syria and Iraq. Under the current political atmosphere where the power struggle between revolutionary forces and the pro-west neoliberals has not ended in complete victory for the latter, this outcome, which is one of the main objectives of the US, cannot be easily and openly implemented. The possibility of this outcome increases gradually as the revolutionary, nationalist and anti-Imperialist forces in Iran lose power.

4- Weakening of Iran’s trade and political alliances with the ALBA countries (Bolivarian Alliance for Latin America, including Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua and other Latin and Caribbean countries), Russia, and other non-aligned countries in the world. This outcome will become more probable as Iran expands its relations with the West.

5- More reduction in welfare and social programs for the poor and working people to attract global capital. The neoliberal forces in Iran, who are in control of the Administration, the Parliament and the Judiciary at this time, have already begun the process to achieve this outcome as a prerequisite for the Agreement.

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Celebrate the Declaration of Independence

On this fourth of July of 2018, we read the Declaration of Independence of July 4th, 1776, where one of its more prominent complaints against the British monarch is “for depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury.” So we are wondering about, given that our founding fathers went to a war to stop this cruelty, why is it that today, that same cruelty is imposed on us through multi-billionaire corporations such as Yahoo, Google, Facebook, …, whereby they make us sign away our right to jury trial, and they enforce on us their absolute edict to accept their mediation process in any conflict of interest that we may have with them, on their pre-designed form, with no ability to negotiate.

So, Americans, rise against the cruelty of the new kings.

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“Democrats” Support War While Shedding Crocodile Tears

The “Democrats” say Trump is a madman and that he may start a nuclear war. So how do we square that with the chair of the DNC, Tim Kaine, cosponsoring a bill to transfer the power to declare war from the Congress to Mr. Trump? Which is more dangerous and important? That the American people allow their Congress to undermine their Constitution, and more importantly, to give over the power of declaring war to a president that they consider a madman? What is more important, that one, or the details of how border security is implemented? And for the bleeding-heart liberals, does a war separate children from their families by killing, bombing, destroying homes, making them into refugees, children with dead parents and so on? Were the war and sanctions on Iraq that killed at least half a million children more dangerous to the children of the world? Or temporary separation of some children from their parents at the US border? If you can advocate about both issues, do it, but we don’t see you putting any attention on the more severe issues; the ruling class is succeeding in diverting your attention.

If you want the children not to be separated at the border, you should end the condition that makes them come to the border. You should not give the power of war to your madman president or his successors. In fact you should do everything to stop American wars and interference in other countries, undermining their communities, supporting dictators, and on and on and on.

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What Makes an American President Presidential?

Self-styled “Democrats” — Why is Mr. Trump presidential when he bombs another country but not presidential when he enforces border-control laws which may lead to temporary separation of some children from their parents, but the bombing that kills and separates families and maims and kills and makes them homeless is OK? In fact, most refugees in the world are so as a result of wars. Instead of enforcing the border laws, should he be bombing some Latin American country to get your approval, since the only time he got approval and was called “presidential” was when he bombed Yemen and bombed Syria. When he has tried to negotiate and use diplomatic means to settle the nuclear issue with North Korea in a peaceful way, the “Democrats” and their followers have yet again made fun of him and said the two madmen love each other and opposed the meeting of Trump with the leader of North Korea.

In fact, the “Democrats” so fervently judge that waging war is the most presidential character, and in the case of Mr. Trump, his only presidential action, that the chair of the DNC, Tim Kaine of Virginia, has cosponsored a bill to transfer the power to declare war from the Congress to the President.

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