December 3, 2013

5 Reasons Why The P5+1-Iran Deal May Fall Apart

 "Let us talk now, so that we do not become mad animals!" - Joost A. M. Meerloo.

1. Lack of Unity Among World Powers.

Before the historic deal between the P5+1 (America, Russia, China, England, France, and Germany) and Iran was finalized in Geneva last month, France tried its best to disrupt the process, exposing discord and confusion among the world powers. Look for this trend to continue despite the success of this deal.

Time will reveal that the P5+1 is not a serious diplomatic partner. The divisions will continue to rise to the surface, especially in nations that are under heavy Zionist influence such as France, England, and America. This is not a block of nations with one mind and one goal with regards to Iran's nuclear program, so to expect meaningful diplomacy out of such an arrangement is delusional. There are too many chairs at the table. This is not poker, this is war, and in war, there are only two sides.

2. The U.S. Congress Is Not Interested In Normalizing Relations With The Islamic Republic of Iran.

After the deal was publicized, leading Congressmen and Senators dismissed its significance and said that they would continue to put sanctions on Iran. There was not even a honeymoon period. The neanderthals in suits didn't want to give credit to President Obama for master-minding a triumphal diplomatic deal, and they also didn't want to lose the cash-flow from the Israel lobby. What they hope to achieve by taking such a hard-headed stance is clear: deny Obama a victory, make sure Israel is still happy with its performance, and continue the suffocation of the Iranian economy.

This is good politics, but it deviates from the message that the Obama administration wants to send out to the world, mainly, that America is changing its hubristic foreign policy and scaling back its hegemonic ambitions in the Middle East.

3. The P5+1-Iran Talks Are One Dimensional And Avoid The Real Issues. 

The talks from the very beginning should have been approached in a holistic fashion, meaning the issues of the legitimacy of Hezbollah, the crisis in Syria, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should have all been on the table. The fact that they were not means that both sides are not serious about finding a long-term solution.

Piecemeal diplomacy doesn't work. You can't jump from hoop to hoop and expect to reach the finish line when the course has not even been laid out properly. And to start with the issue of the Iranian nuclear program, which has been hyped from day one, is an even bigger sign that the P5+1 lack the seriousness and the will to resolve the real issues of the Middle East in a fair and just manner. Skipping over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and jumping straight to the credibility of the Iranian nuclear program is an insult to the intelligence of all the peoples of the region.

Is there hope for a more meaningful deal that would address these issues in a balanced and credible way? Maybe, but only if there are serious changes in Israel's policy towards the Palestinians and in America's policy of war and confrontation throughout the region. Remember Obama's huge lie about Bin Laden hiding out in Pakistan under the eye of its military? That was a shot fired at Pakistan by America. So in no way are we out of the woods just because of this deal.

But, sure, it's always better to hope. Read this excerpt from, "Four Emerging Myths About the Iran, P5+1 Deal" by John Glaser,, November 25:
Yes, reaching agreement between all the parties for a more comprehensive and lasting deal 6 months down the road will be harder than it was this time around. But not if the U.S. and its allies are willing to compromise a little. This first phase deal is mostly Iran making concessions and the international community saying, ‘Ok, we’ll play.’ This won’t fly the next time around. The U.S. and its allies can’t get used to such lopsided deal and expect it to happen again. They will have to make concessions too and demonstrate they are serious about lifting sanctions. If they can manage that, then a more comprehensive deal is perfectly within reach.
4. Iran's Hardliners Want A Piece of Flesh.

Just as in Israel and America, there are some in Iran who would like nothing more than to see this deal come crashing down. They need a state of war with the West to survive politically and benefit economically. Peace is death. To take away the image of the villain is spiritually intolerable for them. Thomas Erdbrink writes in his article, "Iran’s Hard-Liners Keep Their Criticism of Nuclear Pact to Themselves," published in the New York Times on Sunday, December 1:
“Be sure that Mr. Rouhani will come under lots of pressure inside Iran,” said Ahmad Bakhshayesh, a hard-line member of Parliament. “If sanctions are not fully lifted, this temporary deal can be canceled easily.”

On Wednesday, the Committee to Protect Iranian Interests, a hard-line group whose members pelted Mr. Rouhani with eggs, and even a shoe, after his September phone call with Mr. Obama, issued a statement saying much the same thing, that Iran’s negotiators “burned all our winning cards in the first phase.” 

“This deal is like the one Iraq got: oil for food. We are giving a lot and are gaining a little,” said Ali Reza Matachi, a member of the group. “We reserve the right to protest against this agreement.”
This reaction is natural, as is the reaction of their counterparts in the US Congress and Israel. Skepticism of the deal is a good thing, but not when it borders on paranoia. The wait-and-see approach is wiser, but too few have the patience for that it seems.

The hardliners in all the camps are already setting up obstacles towards greater rapprochement between America and Iran with their rhetoric, and this will only intensify. But they won't be a big problem until what they say can no longer be dismissed because it reflects reality rather than their own paranoid assumptions and false impressions of the nature of the enemy. 

5. Lack of Commitment From Both Sides: Iran's Population Has To See Economic Benefits of A Deal With The West To Continue To Justify Support For President Rouhani. 

There are positive trends amongst Iran's large youth population. A significant number of young people in Iran identify more with American culture than the Islamic culture that is being shoved down their throats at gun-point by the clerics and the regime. This is a sign that the totalitarianism of the regime is failing miserably. Read this article that was published in the LA Times on November 24 by Ramin Mostaghim and Patrick J. McDonnell called, "For trendy Iran youths, 'Death to USA' is so 1979."

The article mostly focuses on the idle youth in Iran's richer, urban capitals, and ignores the rest of the country, so don't read too much into it. That's like trying to understand America by going to LA and New York to interview people and ignore Texas and Alabama. It's asinine to think you can understand public opinion in this way. There is still a very strong devotion to Islam among the youth in the rest of Iran, especially the poorer areas.

History is made by those who commit their blood to a cause, and that is not to write off young Iranians who are more drawn to American pop culture than to Islam, but there is a major difference between someone who is pleasure-seeking and someone who is willing to die to defend what he believes in. 

What does this have to do with the long-term success of this new deal? It's simple. Iranians elected the moderate cleric President Rouhani by a large margin at the polls because they were fed up with the dysfunctional economy that was caused in part by the previous president's reluctance to engage with the West and instead push Iran further down the revolutionary path. Rouhani promised to bring significant change to Iran's foreign policy and thereby help improve the economy. He decided to trust the West.

This could turn out to be a big mistake if America continues to pour on sanctions even after Rouhani's administration negotiated away significant parts of his country's nuclear infrastructure. What will Rouhani's supporters say when they see no economic benefits to diplomacy with the West? What will they say to the hardliners who are just waiting like restless children to take back power? And what will they say to those who didn't vote for Rouhani? They won't have any arguments to offer if it is shown with proof that moderation and concessions only hurt Iran. Rouhani will be exposed to be a fool for trusting the West and believing that he would receive something in return through negotiations.