Obama wants Tehran to shut down and in fact destroy the Fordow enrichment
plant, built under a mountain outside the holy city of Qom; he wants Tehran
to definitely renounce and "surrender" its entire stockpile of uranium
enriched to 20%; to stop any sort of enrichment, even to harmless 5% (which
means Iran renouncing its whole civilian nuclear program, to which it has a
right according to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty ); to allow
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors full access to all
Iranian nuclear sites (they already have it); and to let the inspectors talk
to all top Iranian nuclear scientists (that's not exactly possible; quite a
few have been assassinated by Israel's Mossad).
So welcome to the "roll over and die" school of diplomacy - as perfected by
the Obama administration, with vital input from the Israel lobby in
Washington. It's our way of the highway. And the highway is to hell - to the
sound of "Bomb Bomb Iran".
Another war for the 1%
No wonder the proverbial "Israeli officials" are delighted that Iran - via
its Foreign Ministry - has rejected all these demands as "irrational"; for
Tel Aviv, the Iranian response is "good".
"Good" means the list of demands spells out the inevitable failure of the
talks - which is the core of the Israeli strategy. Afterwards Obama may
(will) use the failure as the perfect excuse to apply even harsher sanctions
- and who knows what else. . . .
[The Obama administration and its European allies plan to open new
negotiations with Iran by demanding the immediate closing and ultimate
dismantling of a recently completed nuclear facility deep under a mountain,
according to American and European diplomats.
They are also calling for a halt in the production of uranium fuel that is
considered just a few steps from bomb grade, and the shipment of existing
stockpiles of that fuel out of the country--David E Sanger and Steven
Erlanger, "U.S. Defines Its
Demands for New Round of Talks With Iran," nytimes.com, April 7,
[Mr. Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, is making the case for
military action against Iran as Mr. Romney, the likely Republican
presidential nominee, is attacking the Obama administration for not
supporting Mr. Netanyahu more robustly.--Michael Barbaro, "A Friendship Dating to 1976 Resonates in
2012," nytimes.com, April 8, 2012]
[Remember: Iran has invested millions to build a protected underground
enrichment facility, which is what any sensible government might do it it
were constantly being threatened with a preventive strike. It would be an
extraordinarily humiliating climb-down for them to agree to shut the
facility down at this point and then dismantle it. Have you seen much
evidence that the highly nationalistic Iranians would accept this sort of
humiliation? Moreover, if Iran's main goal is not to have a nuclear weapon,
but rather to have the capacity to get one quickly if it ever needed it,
then it is unlikely to accede to our demands about its stockpile of 20
percent enriched uranium in the absence of some very big inducements.
. . . from where I sit today, our approach looks like a good way to
sabotage the negotiations before they start.--Stephen M. Walt, "Are we serious about talking
with Tehran?," foreignpolicy.com, April 9, 2012]
["The stupidest idea I ever heard," says the former Mossad chief. Still, the
U.S. government headed by "hope" and "change" candidate Obama is telling
Iran to submit to U.S. diktat while it has the chance, or get bombed.--Gary
Leupp, "The Irrationality of the Case against
Iran's Nuclear Program," counterpunch.org, April 12, 2012]
[Although these elections were dismissed outside Iran, they were
instrumental in conferring legitimacy on the winning faction. Once it was
clear that the Ahmadinejad faction had been soundly defeated, action has
followed swiftly by a leadership more confident than it has been for
years.--Chris Cook, "Iran
talks have right mix for history," atimes.com, April 12, 2012]
[The results were unambiguous: The vast majority of the Arab public does not
believe that Iran poses a threat to the "security of the Arab homeland."
Only 5 percent of respondents named Iran as a source of threat, versus 22
percent who named the U.S. The first place was reserved for Israel, which 51
percent of respondents named as a threat to Arab national security.--Nadim
N. Rouhana, "Misreading Arab public opinion on Iran's nuclear program,"
foreignpolicy.com, April 12, 2012]
[From a purely strategic point of view, this situation is pretty simple.
Iran is not going to give up its right to enrich uranium. Period. If the
West insists on a full suspension, there won't be a deal. It's that simple.
At the same time, the U.S. and the rest of the P5+1 would like to maximize
the amount of time it would take Iran to "break out" and assemble a weapon.
The best way to do that is to limit Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium to
concentrations of less than 5 percent. If Iran insists on keeping a large
supply of 20 percent enriched uranium on hand, we'll walk too.--Stephen M.
Walt, "The arrogance of power," foreignpolicy.com, May 26, 2012]
[Mr. Obama, according to participants in the many Situation Room meetings on
Olympic Games, was acutely aware that with every attack he was pushing the
United States into new territory, much as his predecessors had with the
first use of atomic weapons in the 1940s, of intercontinental missiles in
the 1950s and of drones in the past decade. He repeatedly expressed concerns
that any American acknowledgment that it was using cyberweapons... could
enable other countries, terrorists or hackers to justify their own
attacks.--David E Sanger, "Obama Order Sped Up Wave of
Cyberattacks Against Iran," nytimes.com, June 1, 2012]
[The bottom line is "not only has the West pushed Iran to seek
self-sufficiency, but at every juncture, it has tried to deprive Iran of its
inalienable right to enrichment. This has simply propelled Iran to proceed
full throttle toward mastering nuclear technology." . . .
Mohammadi also observes, right on the money, how the US, Israel, Saudi
Arabia and Turkey "reached the conclusion that the best way for preventing
Arab Spring developments to serve Iran's increasing power in the region was
to turn the whole situation into a conflict between Shi'ites and Sunnis." .
Asadi goes to the jugular - the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
petro-monarchies are terrified that "Egypt may renew relations with the
Islamic Republic of Iran or even enter into strategic relations with Turkey,
thus working to undermine the influence and clout of the GCC in the new
balance of regional power."--Pepe Escobar, "War fever
as seen from Iran," atimes.com, August 22, 2012]
[The 120-nation Nonaligned Movement handed its host Iran a diplomatic
victory on Friday, unanimously decreeing support for the disputed Iranian
nuclear energy program and criticizing the American-led attempt to isolate
and punish Iran with unilateral economic sanctions.--Thomas Erdbrink, "Nonaligned Nations
Back Iran's Nuclear Bid, but Not Syria," informationclearinghouse.info,
August 31, 2012]
[Iran has again offered to halt its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent,
which the United States has identified as its highest priority in the
nuclear talks, in return for easing sanctions against Iran--Gareth Porter, "The US Refuses to Negotiate With
Iran," counterpunch.org, September 24, 2012]
[Is the United States willing to allow Iran an honorable avenue of retreat,
if it halts enrichment of uranium to 20% and permits intrusive inspections
of all its nuclear facilities? Or are U.S. sanctions designed to bring about
not a negotiated settlement of the nuclear issue, but regime change, the
fall of the Islamic Republic, and its replacement by a more pliable regime?
If the latter is the case, we are likely headed for war with Iran, even as
our refusal to negotiate with Tokyo, whose oil we cut off in the summer of
1941, led to Pearl Harbor.--Patrick J. Buchanan, "Is a Nuclear Deal With Iran Possible?,"
independent.co.uk, October 9, 2012]
[The "Iranian threat" is overwhelmingly a Western obsession, shared by Arab
dictators, though not Arab populations. . . .
Americans can hardly be aware of how diplomacy has once again failed, for a
simple reason: Virtually nothing is reported in the United States about the
fate of the most obvious way to address "the gravest threat" - Establish a
nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.--Noam Chomsky, "The Gravest Threat to World Peace," truth-out.org, January 4