April 11, 2012
Asia Times

Surrender Now or We'll Bomb You Later

by Pepe Escobar

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. . . .


Andrew Beatty, "Poll: Israel and US Biggest Threats to World Peace," EUobserver, October 30, 2003

Gen. Wesley Clark, Commonwealth Club, October 3, 2007

"America's Undeclared War on Iran Has Already Begun," The Wisdom Fund, December 7, 2011

"War With Iran Neither Rational Nor Lawful," The Wisdom Fund, January 11, 2012

[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,", April 7, 2012

[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,", April 8, 2012]

Joby Warrick and Greg Miller, "U.S. intelligence gains in Iran seen as boost to confidence,", 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?,", 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,", 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,", 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,", April 12, 2012]

Roy Gutman, "Agreement reached with Iran on formal nuclear talks in May," McClatchy Newspapers, April 14, 2012

David Ignatius, "The stage is set for a deal with Iran,", April 17, 2012

"Iran will be given nukes if attacked," Russia Today, April 27, 2012

Mehdi Hasan, "Netanyahu looks increasingly isolated on Iran,", April 30, 2012

M K Bhadrakumar, "India dumps Iran, squeezes Obama,", May 17, 2012

Fredrik Dahl, "U.N. nuclear chief hopeful on Iran deal before Baghdad meet," Reuters, May 20, 2012

Eli Lake, "As Obama Preaches Patience, Mattis Prepares for War With Iran,", May 21, 2012

M K Bhadrakumar, "Iran nuclear talks gaining traction,", May 22, 2012

James Blitz and Najmeh Bozorgmehr, "IAEA says Iran nuclear deal reached,", May 22, 2012

Gareth Porter, "US Hard Line in Failed Iran Talks Driven by Israel,", May 26, 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,", 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,", June 1, 2012]

Gareth Porter, "US Rejected 2005 Iranian Offer Ensuring No Nuclear Weapons,", June 6, 2012

Ray McGovern, "Sorting Out the Facts About Iran,", June 7, 2012

Jim Lobe, "Iran attack 'wrong move': Obama allies,", June 8, 2012

Robin Wright, "Obama's Drift Toward War With Iran,", June 14, 2012

Kenneth Waltz, "Iranian nukes? No worries,", June 17, 2012

Patrick J. Buchanan, "Why This Obsession With Iran?,", July 6, 2012

Carol J. Williams, "No imminent threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, experts say,", August 3, 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,", August 22, 2012]

Sheldon Richman, "The American People are at the Mercy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,", August 27, 2012

August 30, 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,", August 31, 2012]

Noam Chomsky, "Why America and Israel Are the Greatest Threats to Peace,", September 3, 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,", September 24, 2012]

Vijay Prashad, "Bibi's Graphics: Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran,", September 28, 2012

Robert Fisk, "Benjamin Netanyahu's warning reveals his moments of memory loss,", September 29, 2012

[In 2002, State Department official Philip Zelikow said that if Iraq were permitted to keep its WMDs, "they now can deter us from attacking them, because they really can retaliate against us."--Glenn Greenwald, "The true reason US fears Iranian nukes: they can deter US attacks,", October 2, 2012]

Amber Lyon, RT America, October 2, 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?,", October 9, 2012]

John Glaser, "US Cancels Mid East Conference on Nuke-Free Zone: The US blamed regional turmoil, but it was Israel's refusal to attend that prompted cancelation,", November 24, 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,", January 4 2013]

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