I have never understood why anyone expected any US action on Iran’s nuclear
program. Basically, there was never any chance the US would undertake any
military action or allow Israel to do so, even if Barack Obama had never been
Here’s what was always going to happen: The US would
impose economic sanctions that never had a chance of fully succeeding; too much
cheating, among others by China, Russia and Turkey. Negotiations would fail
because Iran would stall, play games and resort to trickery. Iran would
eventually get nuclear weapons. The US would then adopt a policy of
Yet that’s not what happened – Hassan Rouhani won the
Iranian presidential elections.
Let’s review. Rouhani is a veteran
national security official.
He was backed by the regime. The voters were
not allowed to choose a real reformer, only a phony one.
happened then? “President Rouhani says Iran will never develop nuclear
(But wait a minute, isn’t that what Iranian leaders have been
claiming all along?) The Los Angeles Times applauded the release of 10
dissidents, saying “It’s Rouhani’s strongest signal yet that he aims to keep a
pledge to improve ties with the West” – except he didn’t actually do
The story then circulated that Iran had renounced Holocaust denial.
That turned out to be another lie.
Then there was Rouhani’s phony New
Year’s greeting to the Jews. Rouhani also added a Jew to Iran’s UN
The message? Rouhani loves the Jews and wants to make
Obama swallowed the bait, eagerly.
But note that Rouhani
does not have a moderate record, and that meanwhile Iran now has troops in
Syria. What suckers Americans are.
But no, it is Israel that wants to
plunge the world into war. The New York Times writes: “Netanyahu Scoffs at
Iranian Overtures, Setting Stage for Showdown With US.” It is Israel that is
setting up a US-Israel “showdown” because America would understandably rather
have a nice peace than a nasty war with Iran. Yet there is no indication in the
article that experience has shown that Israel is likely to be right on this
The Times writes: “Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu,
moved quickly to block even tentative steps by Iran and the United States to
ease tensions and move toward negotiations to end the nuclear crisis, signaling
what is likely to be a sustained campaign by Israel to head off any
This is a lie. Netanyahu cannot “block” an initiative and if Obama
wants talks he will have them. And it is simply assumed that the initiative will
move “toward negotiations to end the nuclear crisis.” Peace in our
Yet there is one more bit of poison. The reader is warned that
there will be “a sustained campaign by Israel to head off any deal.” Israel will
frantically try to head off an attempt to make peace! Bad Israel! In fact, it is
obvious that several actors have good reason to claim a deal is certain and that
Iran wants one.
Like [Russian President] Vladimir Putin on the Syria
deal, it is Rouhani that gets an op-ed, in The Washington Post instead of the
Times, to make his claim and be cheered.
Already there has been a payoff
for Iran in a series of European Union court decisions which recommended the
removal of unilateral sanctions against dozens of Iranian firms, including
crucial shipping lines. The European states are eager to drop sanctions; there’s
money to be made.
Rami G. Khouri writes: “The positive possibilities that
could emanate from the escalating signs of a direct Iranian- American engagement
are dazzling in their intensity and historic in their scope. Rarely in modern
history has the Middle East region experienced such a hopeful moment as this,
when one major diplomatic shift towards productive American-Iranian relations
could positively impact half a dozen conflicts in the region.”
evidence? “Will Iran trade al-Assad?,” asks al-Ahram, at the same time as it
appears Iran is actually escalating the Syrian civil war. “Syria deal holds a
lesson for Barack Obama – talk to Iran,” says an op-ed in The Financial
Reuters calls the regime a “centrist government.”
Guardian tells us: “After years of seeing their personal freedoms and political
demands quashed, young Iranians hope the efforts of the new government led by
President Hassan Rouhani will open up Iranian society and restore the country’s
standing on the world stage.”
On what evidence? About the only article
reminding us that Tehran is a sworn ideological enemy of America that actively
seeks to deceive it was Ray Takeyh, an Iran expert who has worked at the
National Security Council. Speaking of an article in an Iranian newspaper, he
said: “The article stressed that former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s
confrontational policies and reckless rhetoric had caused the international
community to perceive Iran as threatening and dangerous. In that context, Iran’s
quest for nuclear empowerment was bound to be resisted by the great powers. And
cleverly manipulated by the United States and Israel, the United Nations
censured Iran and imposed debilitating sanctions on its fledgling
“The editorial went on to say that to escape this predicament,
Iran had to change its image. A state that is considered ‘trustworthy’ and
‘accountable’ is bound to be provided with some leeway. Iran can best achieve
its nuclear aspirations not by making systematic concessions on the scope of its
program but by altering the overall impression of its reliability as a
Iran no longer regards America as the Great Satan, but as the
Beware of Iranians bearing gifts, and even more of Iranians
that aren’t.The author is director of the Global Research in
International Affairs (GLORIA) Center ( www.gloria-center.org). His
forthcoming book is
Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East
(Yale University Press).