« So, Trump Tower WAS actually wiretapped by the Obama people. | Main | Open Thread - 20 September 2017 »

19 September 2017

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Babak Makkinejad

In the absence of strategic settlement with Iran, which is not in the cards and is not even considered an option by the Western Alliance, what is left is the option of trying to intimidate Iran to give up her gains in Iraq, in Syria, and in Lebanon.

Trump, the Mukhtar of Arabs and the Captain General of the Western Fortress, is trying to soften Iranians while Marcon, his consigliere, is at the moment whispering to Iranians: "With this unstable guy in the White House, if you value JCOPA, you should make concession in Syria (foremost) as well as in Yemen and in Iraq."

When Iranians demur, Trump will abrogate JCOPA and the Europeans, reluctantly, oh so reluctantly, will be reimposing crippling financial and economic sanctions on Iran. This will go on for another decade until the next next US President changes tack again - for while.

Today, Trump called China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea on the carpet. Let us see how far he can accomplish.

Mac

Colonel,

Not to mention how this plays out among ordinary Iranians who have expressed remarkable good will for the US and the American people. It is easy for me to envision a time where the goodwill of Iranians towards engagement with DC on the nuclear issue, at least, is replaced with genuine antipathy, forcing whoever is in control in Tehran to move towards a credible nuclear deterrent.

The American public are blind to this risk.

Mac

Anna

Would be nice if this Israel-provoked noise re nuclear agreement with the law-abiding Iran, finally leads to a question of when exactly the state of Israel is going to register with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Long overdue.

Red Cloud

Watching this unfold, North Korea is going to realize if they already haven't that it isn't worth sitting down with the US to negotiate anything at all.

Kooshy

I agree very well said. Will change nothing on either side.

Babak Makkinejad

That will never happen for it would require Protestant Christians to question their enamoration with the Old Testament. That would be admiring, in principle, that they are and have been schismatic all along.

Babak Makkinejad

That horse has left the barn.

Jack

President Trump is now surrounded by the generals. I don't believe the armed forces 4star's mindset have had as much influence on a POTUS in recent memory.

Unlike JFK who resisted the generals and prevented a nuclear holocaust during the Cuban missile crisis, I don't believe DJT has the conviction to resist the generals that control his information flow.

With Jared providing a direct conduit of influence for Bibi's harebrained schemes and his brain trust of generals who likely provide DJT's only counsel providing his options for consideration we have to be concerned. I have no idea how hubristic Kelly, Mattis and McMaster are and how hard they'll push. With Bannon out I don't believe there's anyone who has the president's ear that will provide an opposing view and remind DJT on the messaging that won him the election.

robt willmann

Babak M.,
I have always thought that the part of the Iranian government that dealt with the outside world displayed calmness, measured responses, and "kept their cool". This is different from those in Iran who would say the usual pot-boiling slogans for general political effect.

Back when the matter of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was first kicked up to demonize Iran -- this would be before the latest agreement during the Obama administration -- I kept up with it some and read some of the documents that were filed with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). I think this started when Mohamad El Baradei was the head of the IAEA.

The lead representative for Iran in the IAEA talks at that time was Ali Larijani. I was impressed by the documents he filed or presented from Iran's standpoint. They were very precise and detailed. There was no slop when he was heading the work. I think he went on to be in the Iranian Parliament.

Tidewater

Tidewater comments to all,

French President Emmanuel Macron was in New York Tuesday to make his maiden speech to the UN General Assembly. He met with President Hassan Rouhani and stated strongly that he sees "no alternative" to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Further, he sees no reason to renegotiate the plan. I think Trump might run into some difficulty getting France to drop out of the JCPOA. Iran has at least 300 orders out for western aircraft. Airbus has an agreement with Iran Air to deliver 46 Airbus A320's, 30 Airbus A330's, and 16 Airbus A350-1000's --a deal valued at at least 20.8 Billion. Airbus has already delivered 2 A330's and a single Airbus A321 to Iran Air. Seems they had them on the lot.

Boeing had an agreement as of December 2016 for the purchase of 80 aircraft. In April of 2017 Boeing reached a Memorandum of Agreement for the purchase of 30 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, with purchase rights for another 30. Is that more, or what? Anyway, billions are at stake for Boeing.

In May of this year Shanghai-based COMAC introduced its C919, a passenger plane designed to compete with Boeing and Airbus. It has decades of development behind it. Reporters were shown around the 110 buildings of the huge corporation. The plane has many components manufactured by western companies, including Honeywell. (Which is said to be reassuring.) It is not certified for service outside of China, however. But there are already many Chinese orders.

If Trump forces the cancellation of the American orders--which are not yet cleared, apparently, with the US government-- it would gut Boeing. (Maybe Trump, too? Could he stand making such a sacrifice? Of those beautiful planes?) And I can't help wondering if there is anything that the US could do to keep Airbus from selling planes to Iran if the Europeans began to balk. If there is, and both Boeing and Airbus are prevented from doing business with Iran, it would seem to me that this would give a terrific boost to the clearly stated intention of China of becoming a world class airplane manufacturer. After all, China itself needs a trillion dollars worth of airplanes in the very near future.

Then, as far as Macron is concerned, there is also the recent multibillion investment of Total in the development of the Iranian South Pars oil and LNG field. There is ferocious competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran over the export of LNG to Europe and the world. Would France knuckle under to a US and Saudi Arabian demand that Total get out of Iranian territorial waters?

What is even more remarkable to me is the arrangement that Iran has made with Oman. Iran will build a pipeline from Kish Island down around behind Bandar Abbas, and on down to the southeast coast, a low lying, dreary mangrove stretch of littoral outside of Hormuz. In the vicinity of Bandar Jask, Iran will build refineries and will also run a pipeline down under the straits of Hormuz very deeply, and over to Sinbad's city, Sohar. Oman has vacant LNG producing capacity which Iran will use to convert its gas to LNG. Oman will become a full partner in exporting Iranian LNG to Europe and to China. And remember--Sohar was once upon a time 'the gateway to China'...

What's wrong with this picture? Hey, I thought Oman was in the GCC?

Thirdeye

The nuclear issue with Iran - boiling up after Iran had already decided to forego nuclear weapons in the early 2000s - was never anything more than a pretext for economic, and potentially military, war on Iran. It was very much like the chemical weapons issue in Syria and both issues took a similar path, finessed diplomatically by Russia, leaving the Israeli and American provocateurs scrambling for their next move from a vastly weakened position. The means to mount effective economic war against Iran are losing their effectiveness and the risks of military war against Iran are too great. I'm not in love with what DPRK is doing with nukes and missiles, but in an odd way it seems to be fulfilling a useful function where the Iran issue is concerned.

mike

FM Lavrov has said Russia will defend JCPOA.

turcopolier

Thirdeye

I don't think you can call it a pretext. They convinced themselves that it was true. That was remarkable because the evidence indicates to me that the Iranians abandoned their nuke weapons program in 2003 after we occupied Iraq and they no longer needed it as a planned deterrent. pl

The Porkchop Express

Sorry, but are the Israelis not attempting to interfere in the US political system? Are they not colluding with people inside the US (including elected officials) to manipulate the American electorate and its foreign policy?

I hope Mueller gets to the bottom of it, I do.

Babak Makkinejad

It matters not, Russia and China are powerless to prevent US from exiting JCPOA.

It was a cease-fire deal which, evidently, could not even last 2 years.

Babak Makkinejad

Before the economic war, EU was Iran's largest trading partner, now it is China.

In my opinion, EU will willingly follow US out of JCPOA for a combinations of reasons.

Western policy is not determined by economic considerations at all; heck, the Westerners fed China until she became what she is today.

Babak Makkinejad

I think your observations are in the nature of a national character; sometimes emotional, some times highly rational, and at times vacillating between the two poles.

Revolution, on the other hand, is an emotional reaction and not one based on rational or dispassionate considerations of profit or loss.

Oilman2

@ Tidewater, etc..

It isn't just planes that the EU sells to Iran. Since the US abrogated cordial relations with Tehran, Iranians have had to source most of their technical oilfield equipment, military equipment and computer equipment from other places. There is a LOT of industrial production that is predicated on supplying Iran with technical equipment solely based on the fact that the US will not. Oilfield tech is very much in this vein, and I know of at least 4 companies that were born explicitly to fill this niche to supply Iran. I have been contacted myself with respect to supplying the technical expertise for them to "roll their own".

IMO, it is this commerce likely to be the only brake on scrapping the JCPOA. If they do scrap it, the push for Iran to grow their own oilfield supply industries will be even greater. The result of that would be a local, Islamic supplier of technical oilfield equipment not controlled by Riyadh - not exactly in the best interests of the US suppliers, such as Halliburton. And this is just oilfield. I am sure other industries would be similar.

Our sanctions force them to work around, and that makes them much more independent and self reliant. We are seeing sanctions coming home to roost this way in Iran and Russia today.

Walrus

Can Trump do anything to stop Airbus from selling aircraft to Iran? Yes he can. Airbus uses USA technology in their aircraft. It is inextricably mixed in throughout the engines, avionics and airframe. The sale and end use of anything containing such American technology to third parties (ie. Airbus customers) is regulated by both American law and contract conditions between Airbus and American suppliers.

Larry M.

Tidewater...

"Hey, I thought Oman was in the GCC?"

The Sultanate of Oman has always been the odd man out in the GCC, constantly arguing for a modus vivendi with Iran. In the day of the Shah, Oman accepted Iranian troops on its soil to help fight a Marxist insurgency supported by the then South Yemen. That was at a time when the Shah was vilified by the rest of the GCC states for his occupation of three small islands in the Gulf belonging to, or at least claimed by, the United Arab Emirates.

And all the time after the Islamic revolution, Oman, more than any other GCC state, even Kuwait, has argued for dialogue and normalization with the Iranian government. In short, the cooperation on the export of natural gas that you describe is actually a continuation of a long-standing policy. The only real difference lies in the sharp worsening of the background situation, that is, relations between Teheran and the biggest GCC member state, Saudi Arabia.

One explanation of Oman's policy may be that it has a very different history from the five other GCC member states, and that unlike them, the majority of its citizens are Ibadites AKA Kharijites rather than Sunnis. Col. Lang most probably knows fare more about this, but I think that, in Islam, the Ibadites/Kharijites are kind of a "third way" between Sunni and Shia.

Anna

http://thesaker.is/russian-special-forces-repel-a-us-commanded-attack-in-syria-denounce-the-usa-and-issue-a-stark-warning/
"US backed “good terrorist” forces attempted a surprise attack against Syrian government forces stationed to the north and northeast of the city of Hama. What makes this attack unique is that it took place inside a so-called “de-escalation zone” and that it appears that one of the key goals of the attack was to encircle in a pincer-movement and subsequently capture a platoon of Russian military police officers deployed to monitor and enforce the special status of this zone. The Russian military police forces, composed mainly of soldiers from the Caucasus region, fought against a much larger enemy force and had to call for assistance. For the first time, at least officially, Russian special operations forces were deployed to rescue and extract their comrades. At the same time, the Russians sent in a number of close air support aircraft who reportedly killed several hundred “good” terrorists and beat back the attack...
Head of the Main Operations Department at Russia’s General Staff Colonel General Sergei Rudskoi declared that:
“...According to available data, the offensive was initiated by American intelligence services to stop a successful advance of government troops east of Deir ez-Zor“.
The Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov:
"Russia unequivocally told the commanders of US forces in Al Udeid Airbase (Qatar) that it will not tolerate any shelling from the areas where the SDF are stationed (…) Fire from positions in regions [controlled by the SDF] will be suppressed by all means necessary.” ---
Is it really Bibi who is in charge of the command?

Rob Prince

Interesting comments - and from what I can tell - "on point"..That is what is happening, both in Russia and Iran

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

August 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          
Blog powered by Typepad