February 14, 2015

A U.S.-Iran Nuclear Deal? Don't Get Your Hopes Up Lovers of Peace

"On Iraq, they may find a deal, the nuclear issue may be tranquillized or it may not, I have no way of knowing. On Afghanistan they might try to do something, but I stress the Iranians don't have much leeway. Lebanon, it would seem that this new coalition, arrived at in a very odd way, may last. But it leaves the question of Palestine, which I don't see them being able to find a common ground on, because the Iranians would not be able to deliver Hamas, and the Americans cannot deliver the Israelis. So they would have to accept that, and not to raise hopes too high. I think that's also very important." - Professor Fred Halliday (from his lecture 'The Islamic Republic of Iran After 30 Years,' February 23, 2009, 1:24:40 - 1:25:15).
There is a growing sense of optimism about the progression of the P5+1-Iran nuclear talks. President Obama has put the Congress on notice and indirectly told Netanyahu to stop his sabotaging ways. Iran's Supreme Leader has cornered the hardliners and made them shut up.

But, we must remember that both the President and the Imam are sly politicians who should not be trusted. And it's not just them personally who can't be trusted, but the people around them. Both the American and Iranian regimes are based on state terrorism, illegal assassinations, suppression of civil society, executions without trial, grand deceptions, torture, propaganda, and myths.

President Obama does not want to impose new sanctions on Iran right now as Netanyahu does because, well, that would be very stupid. The timing is bad. President Obama wants to impose new sanctions after he blames Iran for the derailment of the talks, not now when both sides appear to be talking graciously at the same table.

Netanyahu wanted to impose new sanctions yesterday because he is a mad dog with his tongue sticking out who can no longer differentiate a threat from a friend at the door. He's been barking for so long that he doesn't know anything else. No President will ever be able to tame him, not with money, not with the withholding of arms, not with anything.

Let's put aside the rogue Netanyahu, and focus solely on the leaderships of the United States and Iran. Can these bums manage to get a deal done that will satisfy both sides? Can they bring much-needed hope and peace to the Middle East region?

Nothing will stabilize the Middle East more than a comprehensive and historic agreement between America and Iran. Such a deal, if done right, would not just address US and Israeli concerns about the Iranian nuclear program, which is an imaginary threat to begin with, but will incorporate a whole host of issues.

A defeat of ISIS by the U.S.-led international coalition in an open or closed alliance with the Iranian-led coalition of Shiite militias will see Iranian power diminish over time in countries like Iraq and Syria. Regional chaos and genocidal sectarian groups like ISIS currently give Iran a bigger footprint in Shiite communities across the region so it would be wise for Washington to see the ISIS wild fire come under control sooner rather than later, which paradoxically means recognizing the Islamic Republic as a permanent power in the region.

If there is no common understanding between the U.S. and Iran then chaos will continue to reign, ISIS will grow more powerful and ambitious, and frightened Shiite communities in the Middle East will look to Iran as their sole protector. Limiting Iran's regional sway cannot be done so as long as ISIS remains a genocidal threat in the region.

Wrong or right, the U.S. has left the battlefield. It is not a dependable ally in any meaningful sense of the term. The U.S. historically has abandoned its friends at the first signs of trouble. Air strikes alone can only get you much leverage with fighters and communities on the ground.

Jordan and every other Arab monarchy won't be leading the charge to remove the ISIS cancer from the pages of time. They helped breed this cancer in the lab rooms of ignorance and gave it room to breathe and grow in all sorts of way, from direct state support to ISIS terrorists to defending their ideology in their media through their surrogates. The best they can do now is stop their funding of ISIS terrorists and just get out of the way. They have already done enough damage.


Professor Fred Halliday:
"Let us remember that Rafsanjani, who was president for eight years, and then Khatami, were both trying to deals with the Americans, and, in the end, they couldn't do it. Why? Because Khamenei was against it, because at times they overplayed their hand, and also because let us not forget that in the United States, because of the hostage crisis, and because of everything that's happened since, including in Lebanon and Palestine, there is immense hostility to Iran. And this will not be easy to overcome. 
I would like to think they would sit down, and do a deal. And there are many very clever Iranian diplomats, some of whom I know, there are very, very clever American diplomats. But whether they can do it, whether political conditions can be right, we have to wait and see. But the logic of it is there. But I do not believe, given that Iran remains a revolutionary power, a power that aspires to regional influence, if not hegemony, that they will simply abandon Hezbollah or abandon Hamas, and that if they tried to do so Hezbollah or Hamas would agree to what they say. No, I don't believe that. Any more than I don't believe the Americans can simply call up the Israelis and say abandon the West Bank. It won't happen. The world doesn't work like that." From Professor's Halliday's lecture 'The Islamic Republic of Iran After 30 Years,' February 23, 2009, 1:04:20 - 1:05:25.
Video Title: The Islamic Republic of Iran After 30 Years. Source: London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Date Published: December 9, 2010. Description:
Speakers: Professor Fred Halliday 
Chair: Professor Michael Cox 
This event was recorded on 23 February 2009 in Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building Thirty years after the fall of the Shah of Iran and the advent of Ayatollah Khomeini to power, the Iranian revolution continues to exert a dynamic ideological and political influence across the Middle East. In a retrospective analysis of the revolutionary period itself, some of whose decisive moments he witnessed at first hand, and of the subsequent development of the Islamic Republic Professor Fred Halliday will attempt to set these dramatic events in context, as much that of the comparative study of revolutions as of the history of the contemporary Middle East.