by Finian Cunningham
Crossposted from PressTV
February 7, 2013
Only days after American Vice President Joe Biden made a very public and tantalizing offer of bilateral talks between the US and Iran, there then follows another round of punitive trade sanctions imposed by Washington on Iran’s vital oil industry.
What to make of this seemingly contradictory US position? Some commentators say that the above anomalous attitude reflects a carrot-and-stick policy in Washington, by which incentives dangled in front of Iran are quickly followed by a blow of hardship, with the objective of forcing an end result.
The supposed end result in this case is that the Americans and their Western allies want Iran to demonstrate definitively to the rest of the world that it will never develop capability for nuclear weapons. This demonstration would be achieved, according to Washington, if Iran were to somehow give a cast-iron guarantee that it has circumscribed its nuclear technology and the crucial uranium-enrichment process.
So, this argument goes, if Iran were to comply with this desired objective by severely limiting its nuclear research and industry, then certain “carrots” will follow: a lifting of the crippling economic sanctions and a normalization of diplomatic relations.
That is the charitable view of the US position, a view that has been bolstered by the expectation that President Barack Obama in his second and final term in the White House is edging towards a more reasoned, less-hawkish and less Zionist-pandering foreign policy in the Middle East.
But there is another way of interpreting the US position towards Iran. Borrowing a phrase coined by the Native Americans who were continually deceived and dispossessed, it is more plausible that Washington is simply “speaking with a forked tongue” with regard to Iran. From this perspective, there are no intended concessions forthcoming from the US to Iran, in contradistinction to what Biden suggests, but rather all that will follow are unremitting hardships.
In this scenario of the US position, any concessions that might be made by Iran, in a reasonable expectation of reciprocation, will be cynically pocketed by Washington and its Western allies with nothing in return except more punitive demands.
How do we judge whether the US is adopting the more benign carrot-and-stick position or the pernicious forked-tongue approach to Iran?
History. Decades of American aggression and malfeasance towards Iran point to a beast that cannot simply change its predatory and nefarious habits over night. Last weekend, Iranian leaders responded to Biden’s words with the magnanimous caution that actions must speak louder than rhetoric.
While Biden arrogantly demanded that Iran has to show “good faith” for any putative negotiations to take place, the reality is that the onus is preponderantly on the US to decommission its arsenal of policies and practices of aggression towards Iran in order for the latter to treat any offer from Washington as being remotely sincere and worthy of respect.
The precedents do not bode well. Recall that in his first inaugural address in January 2009, Obama made a big play of rhetorical reconciliation towards Iran, promising that America would “extend a hand of friendship” if others would “unclench their fist”. What followed in practice was hardly a series of goodwill gestures, when American death squads assassinated several Iranian nuclear scientists.
Under Obama moreover, the US has unleashed three rounds of savage economic sanctions on Iran – on top of the decades-long embargoes that were already in place. Washington has press-ganged Europe and the rest of the world to comply with its crippling sanctions that have placed millions of Iranian lives at risk from shortage of essential medicines and other basic goods.
Obama has also overseen the increased use of surveillance drones over Iranian territory and the deployment of cyber warfare on Iranian society. The Stuxnet and Flame virus attacks on Iran that Washington launched in collusion with Israel can be seen as merely the first shots in a bigger onslaught with the declaration last week that the Obama administration intends to wage cyber war “preemptively”.
This history of overt and covert war of aggression on Iran by Washington – all of which is criminal – is the context in which the recent overtures for talks between the two countries must be evaluated. How is one expected to talk rationally with a demented, barbarous criminal who insists on a self-righteous right to attack the other party, including with the use of nuclear weapons?
To enter into such a framework of negotiations is delusional and indeed by doing so sets up a dangerous dynamic of one-sided concessions that will serve to embolden the aggressor.
The only proper framework for negotiations to take place between the US and Iran is for Washington to immediately halt all aggression towards the people of Iran. Primarily, this requires the reversal of all sanctions, American and European, imposed on Iran. Then, and only then, should Iran consider negotiations as being conducted with a modicum of good faith.
However, it is doubtful that such a reasonable criterion for talks will be met. This is because the problem that Washington and its Western allies have with Iran is not its alleged nuclear program. The real problem for these imperialist powers is Iran itself.
The Americans and their European puppets cannot abide the mere fact of an independent Iran – a country that believes in harnessing its resources for the development and benefit of the Iranian people, as opposed to the exploitation by Western capital and the Western-dominated global banking system; a country that is critical of Western militarism in the Middle East and Africa and other impoverished parts of the world; a country which defends the rights of Palestinian people who are being subjected to slow-motion genocide by the Western-backed Zionist regime.
These are some of the real issues why Washington is trying to defeat the Islamic Republic of Iran, the current leader of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). And Washington is using the spurious concern over Iran’s alleged “nuclear ambitions” as the pretext for what is, in plain truth, criminal imperialist aggression.
This is another reason why the carrot-and-stick characterization of US policy towards Iran is flawed. That concept is based on the false premise that Washington’s desired end result is the surrender of Iran’s right to nuclear technology. Not true. In reality, Washington wants the surrender of Iran as an independent country. That’s why America speaks to Iran with forked tongue.
Despite this seemingly bleak – albeit realistic – scenario in US-Iranian relations, there is nevertheless a positive note. Every effort to demonise Iran has backfired to elevate that country in the eyes of the world, while US standing has degenerated to gutter status. The unanimous support for Iran from more than 120 nations at the NAM summit in Tehran last August is symptomatic of the shift in international perceptions. Iran is building partnerships on every continent while the US is incinerating bridges.
Furthermore, as the surge in oil prices over the latest Washington sanctions on Iran portend, the American policy of aggression to vanquish Iran will more likely end up rebounding to wipe out what’s left of the imploding American and European economies. Iran should therefore resist any supposed overtures from the US. The empire, with its venomous forked tongue, is destroying itself. Let it writhe and wriggle all it wants.
Finian Cunningham, is a columnist at Press TV and a Featured Writer on Dandelion Salad. He can be reached at email@example.com.
[DS added the video.]
No talks with US under pressure: Ayatollah Khamenei
PressTVGlobalNews·Feb 8, 2013
As Iran and the US, are preparing for nuclear talks later this month, the notion of bilateral talks as a possibility between Iran and the US has been thrown about, such as by the US VP Joseph Biden recently. Iran’s leader, meanwhile, has rejected talks with the US, were it to be under pressure and threats. In this debate the possibility of such talks, and whether a thaw is on the horizon is examined.
Julian Assange: The Push For the War With Iran Is Far From Over
The Age of the Siege: Sanctions Are An Act Of War by Felicity Arbuthnot
IAEA Data on Sensitive Iranian Stockpile Mislead News Media by Gareth Porter
West Moves In For Syrian Endgame and War On Iran by Finian Cunningham
Pingback: US Steps Up Regime Change Bid On Iran by Finian Cunningham | Dandelion Salad
Pingback: Travesty of Saudi Dirty Tricks Against Iran by Finian Cunningham | Dandelion Salad
Pingback: Barack Obama’s Notice: Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Iran | Dandelion Salad
Pingback: Russia needs wake-up call on Syria and Iran by Finian Cunningham | Dandelion Salad
Pingback: Michael Hudson: Economic Policy Deception | Dandelion Salad
The pretext for attacking Iran because of its nuclear program, saying that they are developing WMD is all hogwash and we know it. It’s no more true for Iran than it was for Iraq, but aggressive foreign policy likes to use the same playbook.
How the U.S. could go into Iran and freeze bank accounts like it did is beyond me. It seems pretty criminal on the face of it. Clearly what needs to be done is to impeach Obama and most of the senators in the Senate, as well as a great number of representatives. Obama is a war criminal, hands down, with the illegal policy of using drones to kill people in Afghanistan on a regular basis.
I saw Julian Assange today being interviewed by Bill Maher on Real Time. Julian described Obama’s policy of assassinations by drone quite accurately,
Here’s the interview:
peacevisionary I so agree, impeachment is (as Daniel Ellsburg suggested on DemocracyNow!) a proper and morally constitutional possibility. What the consequences might be are fiendishly difficult to imagine however, if the dollar tumbles. But morality should prevail.
So well said , Finian. Deception is the first rule of war. Always on topic. Nobody with any brain or sense trusts the US establishment that is owned by megalomaniacal industrialist elites. The State Dept. is ideologically perverse; rife with toadies, cronies, proxies and patsies. Bad money talks.
There is a fundamental irony with respect to US strategic objectives that should be examined in the broadest possible historical context, the importance of which cannot be overstated.
The immediate context however, is the unprecedented rise of the US since WWII, that until recently was virtually uncontested ~ because of the collapse of the USSR; that in my opinion was itself a catastrophic error in “realpolitik” orchestrated from the Vatican. The new international reality is now shaped by the ambition of China and the environmental implications of globalization in a rapidly mutating, floating multipolar, planetary society.
The core irony is that the professed aims of the US are at odds with its actual objectives. American planners are extremely immature, “insular” and naive when it comes to the continuity of collective human experience. You cannot arrogantly “impose” (corporatized) freedom through full-spectrum dominance and expect to be greeted with universal approbation. This is a strategic contradiction that makes US policy completely ludicrous. Nobody with any capacity for political judgement can take this pathetic democratic hyperbole seriously. It is patently absurd, and lethal.
Moreover, nuclear Pakistan (!) and Israel (!!) constitute far more dangerous risks than Iran. The argument that Iran is the real threat is transparently redundant. The US fears the collapse of the hegemony of their dollar currency. The more they threaten, intimidate and bully their way around the ancient ‘hood, the more rapidly they will accelerate their own fiscal (and political) demise. The unimaginable must be imagined. Uncontested power is a hollow delusion.
Some context (from Wikipedia) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammad_Mosaddegh:
Good article, Finian I generally have the same perception of the realities.
The Americans were in a state of shock when the regime of their Dictator the Shah, crumbled like a castle built on sand. Democracy was not for the Iranian people with America’s Dictator in place. That was only for American domestic consumption.
What was more shocking about the ’79 Iranian Revolution was it was a peaceful revolution, not needing the weapons of war America proliferates throughout the world, being the biggest arms merchant in the history of humankind.
The other British created monarchies in the ME were shaking in their boots as the biggest throne in the area, with the longest history, just melted away. They were in fear they could be next in line to fade out of history.
What to do? That Iranian Revolution had to be nipped in the bud.
The nominally Christian US and the West, in their false and hypocritical morality, needed boots on the ground to nip the Iranian revolution in the bud and Saddam was the only one big enough to start a war with Iran. It was brutal for 8 years and ended in a stalemate, but the Americans financed it. Everyone has seen the picture of US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam when he was a useful tool and front for Western interests.
While I have absolutely no evidence to support my speculation, and it is only a speculation, my gut feeling tells me the US and the West promised Saddam the return of what used to be Iraq’s 13 Province before the British arbitrarily carved it out of Iraq years earlier to set up their monarchy in Kuwait.
When Saddam could not achieve a clear victory over Iran after the loss of over 1,000,000 casualties in that brutal war, the West reneged on the promise and Saddam went in anyway. The rest is History!
All signatory Countries to the NPT, by it’s terms, have the right to refine uranium up to 20% the refinement needed for producing medical isotopes. Iran has been made the exception to the rule. Israel is exempted without criticism.
The US is telling Iran to surrender to US Dictates and then they can talk. Iran is saying stop your Economic warfare destroying our country and then we can talk. The US in engaged in unilateral economic warfare against Iran that are way beyond UN approved Sanctions.