Being an abridged version of: https://www.opednews.com/articles/The-End-of-the-Iran-Deal-by-Steven-Jonas-Hezbollah_IRAN-NO-NUKES_Iran_Iran-Embargo-180508-216.html, published on May 8, 2018.
By welshing on the “Iran Deal” Trump and the Trumpites have declared economic warfare on Iran. There are a variety of questions concerning this move but the over-riding one here is why are they doing this? Iran has been complying with their end of the bargain — on their former nuclear weapons program (that is, if it ever really existed) — which was the reason why the negotiations were begun in the first place. If the Trumpites were really concerned about Iran’s ballistic missiles program or their Middle Eastern affairs interventions, they could attempt to open negotiations on them.
However, for quite some time I have not thought that it’s any real concern with those sorts of issues. If it were, the easiest thing to do first would be to attempt to re-open negotiations while, in order to establish bona fides, leaving the current deal in place. Rather, I had been thinking that it was primarily about the “foreign-policy-by-campaign-promise to appeal to the xenophobic/Islamophobic base.” However, the real reason behind the move beyond the blanatly political one — that is Trump’s primary motive for doing what he has done — has now become became abundantly clear. I heard it first articulated by none other than the former financier/PR-man/Trump’s-communications-director-for-a-minute Anthony Scaramucci.
Hardly an expert, or even half-an-expert, on foreign policy in general and the highly complex Middle East region in particular, the Mooch made it clear that that real reason behind the move is “regime change” (which, by the time this version of my original column is appearing, has become abundantly clear). Yes, the real reason why Trump welched on the deal (as he seems to have done so many times in his “business” career), that is maintaining/reinstating/increasing the sanctions on Iran, is to try to make life so unpleasant for the majority of Iranians that they will somehow get rid of the Mullahs and install, hopefully for him, another right-wing, but this time pro-U.S. right-wing, government. One can only surmise what such a government — sort of like that under the original U.S. Iranian puppet ruler, the Shah, — would achieve for major U.S. Middle East goals. And so, here is a list of the real (mainly unstated) ultimate goals of the Trumpite policy towards Iran.
1. Let the U.S. take charge of its oil industry.
2. End Iranian support for groups like Hezbollah that are hoping to end the gradual Israeli policy for taking over the whole of what the Israeli Right describes as Greater Israel (and in the process ejecting all of the Palestinian Arabs to who knows where).
3. Get Iran out of the way of the ambitions of the Saudis to become THE power in the Middle East, in the process crushing the anti-Saudi/Sunni Shiites wherever they may be found.
4. Enable the Turks to completely crush the Kurds, who presently have a physical presence in Iran (and while Iran has made it clear that that piece would never become part of an independent Kurdistan, they don’t suppress the Iranian Kurds the way the Turks do the Turkish ones). This would help re-establish a working relationship with the Turkish government under Erdogan which is becoming more fascist-like every day (and boy, does Trump like that sort of thing).
5. Further strengthen the dominance of Netanyahu/Likud in Israel.
6. End Iranian support for the Taliban (which is so ironic, because at the beginning of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the Iranians adopted an anti-Taliban policy).
7. Severely reduce Chinese access to Iranian oil.
8. Russia being an ally of Iran, reduce the Russian presence in the Middle East, particularly as an ally of Assad in Syria, and possibly get them turfed out of their Syrian Mediterranean ports at Tartus and Latakia.
9. Make the Persian Gulf the sixth U.S. Great Lake. 10. And I am sure that there are other reasons as well.
As for negative consequences for the United States, there are many, of course, being covered by many U.S. observers, even (conventional) right-wing ones like Richard Haas of the Council on Foreign Relations (“Morning Joe,” 5/9/18). Also, ironically, with the accompanying rising oil prices, Russia will benefit (although maybe that’s one thing Trump had in mind, if he can think that far ahead). But one that I haven’t heard mentioned yet is that it might lead to major changes in the international banking system, led perhaps by China, holder of one trillion dollars or so of U.S. debt, so as to get out from under the secondary sanctions that Trump intends to impose on any country still dealing with Iran. Citi/Chase/Wells Fargo and the banks of Great Britain and the E.U. don’t like them too much (to put it mildly). (On a side note, do you think that Trump’s sudden reversal on ZTE has anything to do with that debt package, huh?)
As to the supposed “concerns” of the Trumpites about Iran, let’s start with ballistic missiles. (You mean like the ones Israel likely already has, except that theirs are already nuclear-tipped?) A minor concern. The U.S. has tons of them. Iranian nukes? That program has been ended, so that cannot be a U.S. concern. Iranian “interference” in the Middle East (which is a joke complaint coming from the U.S.)? Well yes, that would be ended by “regime change” of the type the U.S. will try to arrange, first by totally crippling the Iranian economy. And so, and so forth.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Parting shot—a word from the editors