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28 June 2015


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I am not advocating anything except a refusal to sign an agreement with Iran absent inspections. pl


"The main point of contention remain the schedule for dismantling of the sanctions regime against Iran."

Do you have evidence, Babak?

I followed links to media responses*, lots by American Jews, around the Oren-Indyk debate, that caught Pat,'s attention.

What was a bit of a surprise admittedly, was, that never-mind that Oren apparently managed to insult American Jews, or was shown to be not so careful with truth, most stand firmly with Israel on the issue of Iran and/or sanctions.

Why do you think that is?

* forget who would deserve credit for the links.

cville reader

Obama Team's legacy is the Green Agenda.

Don't believe me? Check back here in a year.

Babak Makkinejad

It is not desperation for legacy; the negotiations were started at US initiative by Sultan Qabus of Oman in the last year of the presidency of Mr. Ahmadinejad.

The aim, for US side and as far as I understand it, is to try to return the situation with Iran to one that obtained before 2003 - Dual-Containment, Adversarial Political relationship and all that from the current Near-War situation.

For Iranians, they are trying to get out of the sanctions and remove the threat of war to concentrate on more important things such as the wars in Syria and Iraq.

For US side, again, a Near-War situation with Iran is a vulnerability that could be exploited by other actors in the International Arena - including some of the erstwhile US friends.

All of this could have been avoided if the sage advice of Lt. Gen William Odom had been listened to.

This deal is a Win-Win situation for both US and Iran since it has initiated public discussions between the 2 governments - a situation that had not existed since 1979.

The deal, in my view, has been a loose-loose one for EU states and India who earlier had been successfully persuaded by the US diplomats to destroy their own positions in Iran in anticipation of a quick US "victory".

Babak Makkinejad

I am not an "Iranian spokesperson" - I do not take you, or CP, or DH as spokespersons for Germany, France, and UK respectively.

I am only making my own opinions knows - I feel that you guys are all entitled to them lest you fall into the trap of Group-Think.

Babak Makkinejad

It will be months, perhaps years, before additional Iranian oil hits the world markets.

In regards to Texas, this is not the first time; my "oil & Gas" colleague from Georgia was telling me how Reagan empowered piracy in the oil business with his deregulation drive.


Thank you for the link.

Who is the American Mousavian?

FB Ali

Col Lang,

If indeed the Borg is all-powerful, I doubt if Iran's acceptance of inspections will prevent the US attacking it. What is more likely is that the inspections will be made so intrusive as to cause Iranian resistance, thus providing more 'legitimacy' for an attack.

I wonder if the Borg will ever learn that blunt military force applied indiscriminately doesn't lead to any meaningful, lasting gains.


As I understand it, the inspections will be based on creating some kind of review board, that will consider allegations and make some determination whether there is a legitimate basis for inspecting a particular site, including IRGC sites. In other words, "snap" inspections will go through a process that "unsnaps" them. Khamenei makes public pronouncements as much to cover his position with all factions inside Iran as to make binding conditions. I still suspect that a deal will be hashed out at the last moment, past June 30 for sure, that can be sold to Congress and to the Majlis. Once a deal is signed, in the real world, there will be a stampede to Iran for deals. Regardless of whether sanctions are lifted all at once, over time, or over a longer period of time, once the deal is signed, the sanctions are finished, and that is how it will be read, by all who are interested in getting into Iran for "business." China and Russia are both part of the P5+1 and China has been Iran's closest supporter in the talks, while France has been the hardliner, allowing Kerry more wiggle room in the negotiations. Col. Lang is correct that if the deal does not happen, then we are on a war path, whether fast track or on the slow, installment plan. So I truly expect that the top Iranian leadership will keep negotiating until the last moment, and then take the best deal on the table. This is too transformational to let slip, and there will be domestic hell to pay with the young people of Iran if a deal is blown and the Mullahs are held responsible.


FB Ali

"If indeed the Borg is all-powerful..." The Borg is not "all powerful" but developments like failure in the Iran talks make it more powerful. pl


Seems to me that's embuing Netanyahu, Oren, McCain & Graham with far too much power.

Those persons work to advance Israel's interests, not the interests of the American people.

I don't think it is the American value set to bully into capitulation and call it a negotiation. It is undignified, and not worthy of a powerful nation.

Andrew Bacevich writes and speaks frequently about the difference between Israel's practices and those of USA leaders: Israel (and its advocates) use any and all means to advance Israel's interests without regard to US interests. That is what one would expect them to do, Bacevich says.

But the US does not do the same: the USA concedes its power and interest to Israel at the expense of its own interests.

Why would a strong and self-respecting nation do that?

Where is the statesman who will assert the supremacy and priority of American interests and American values?

In the Q and A segment of the Mousavian talk, the second questioner said that "Iran even denied the holocaust."
What has that got to do with American interests vis a vis Iran? ZERO, that is what. The events surrounding and including the holocaust are matters of history, not of "affirmation" or "denial." To the extent that Affirmation is demanded, i.e. the negation of denial, the demand is a religious test, and that is not permissible in the American Constitutional system.

It may well be an important component of the Israeli system to give one's Credo to the holocaust, but the same does not pertain to the USA. Americans operate under the American Constitutional system, not that of Israel.

Nothing in the five pages of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty requires that one affirm a particular narrative regarding the existence of Jesus, the validity of Buddhism, or commemoration of the Japanese rape of Nanking; the NPT rests on its own three pillars.

Does Ireland demand that the USA give its Credo to the Potato Famine before it will negotiate a trade or security pact with the USA?



The mechanism for "snap" inspections that you describe would allow the concealment of evidence. pl


Does it really matter?
Does THIS specific Iran/US problem really matter?
Is this not just a "flavor" of a more general problem?


Babak, you repeatedly seemed to do address me as such, beyond basic tit-for-that responses that are human, maybe? I would need to analyze and reduce our exchanges to the type of analytical generalizations you favor. I am also well aware, I may have interfered in debates into which I wasn't invited, to start with.

Forgive me, if "Iranian spokesperson" is insulting, but you defended Ahmadinejad, that would be my main point. Where I would agree is that interrupted communication channels may well produce people like him. But yes, I was polite in not using a different term but "people like him".

Strictly I wouldn't mind to be considered a non-hired German spokesperson, in other words a person representative of the larger cacophonous context.


Colonel Lang:

I have read your analysis with the attention it (no less than everything you write in SST) deserves. but fail alas to understand the logic animating it. Am I alone in this?

No matter what the issue at stake no country, the United States least of all, would accede to a demand to expose its military infrastructure to intimate and unrestricted inspection. So impertinent and disrespectful a demand would be rejected with undisguised contempt.

Why, pray, do you think the Iranians must be an exception to this rule?



Once again, this matter with the Iranians has nothing to do with fairness or justice. The negotiation is about THEIR weapons, not ours. International relations are not a matter of fairness. They are about interests. In this case, Iranian interests since the negotiations are about the P5+1 seeking a way to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons in Iran without war. Is this fair in light of Israeli nuclear weapons? No, but it is realistic. pl

Babak Makkinejad

I was only emphasizing that I was stating my individual opinions - often being a minority of one.


"Where is the statesman who will assert the supremacy and priority of American interests and American values?" There are no such people who have any chance of winning the WH. I would happily vote for either Rand Paul or Bernie Sanders for this reason, but the next occupant of the WH will be a servant of Israeli interests. Unlike Professor Bacevich I am concerned with what will be not what should be. In that context the best chance for the Iranians is for them to accept a deal with binding inspection provisions. For us to let them avoid such provisions is IMO to virtually ensure a US/Iranian war at some point in the future. pl

Babak Makkinejad


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On this argument, Masaryk's outrage in 1938 when faced with German demands for surrender of the Sudetenland together with a host of other conditions manifestly violating Czech sovereignty (including, if I am not mistaken,claims on the sophisticated light arms industry centred in Brno) was as foolish as it was irresponsible. Ultimately of course, and hearkening to pleas on every side, he did yield to these demands.

Fat lot of good that did.

International relations in this instance too were, notoriously, "not a matter of fairness" but about the strong feeling entitled to bully the weak lest war, they alleged, break out. The ball was in Prague's court: German aggressiveness was perfectly natural. If I follow you, Colonel, it is no less in the "interest" of Iran nowadays to capitulate to the P5+1 than it was in the "interest" of the Czechs, albeit in a different time and context, to dissolve their independence, preservation of world peace in both instances being at stake.

Though you will say no parallel holds and that besides, the P5+1 are negotiating not making peremptory demands (a claim that some might query), your "realism" about the pressure under which Iran finds itself placed and to which it ought to cave in I find to be less than persuasive.


On Iran a minority of two. On the significance of climate change we are in opposing camp.


Colonel Lang:

To my previous comment allow me to add - though it gives me no satisfaction to do so - that if, faced with an impasse in negotiations, there is to be war, then war alas it will have to be and the P5+1, led by the United States, will have been in every way responsible for having provoked it - not Iran.


"International relations are not a matter of fairness. They are about interests." I can't disagree with that but "... the negotiations are about the P5+1 seeking a way to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons in Iran without war." Really? I thought they were about humiliating Iran with the war bit being an optional extra. I live in the vain hope that the, non US, parties in the P5+1 can divorce themselves from the Borg and negotiate to avoid sanctions or war.



"... the negotiations are about the P5+1 seeking a way to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons in Iran without war." I don't think so. Ah, I see... Yet another anti-American Brit. pl



I would agree with that except that the Iranians far from having outplayed us will have provided an excuse. pl

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