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13 October 2017


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Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner!


If that were the case, Trump wouldn't have punted to Congress.

Babak Makkinejad

War is the Great Teacher.

Babak Makkinejad

US does not need to sanction EU, EU will comply. The true interests of EU, and US, are determined by the electorate.

Babak Makkinejad

They are not structured politically like US so your observations do not carry the same import as applied to US. I think they will dive right after US.


Babak Makkinejad -

Apparently the EU thinks differently from you. So far anyway.



yes, agree, that is why HezB has all those rockets ready to fire on Israel - in self defense


And remember that America's main booster in Europe no longer has a position at its high table in Brussels. Europe is now Merkel and Macron, May and Britain are personna non grata.

Sixty years ago General De Gaulle specifically vetoed Britain's entry into Europe because he saw it as America's poodle. De Gaulle's non-aligned foreign policy could be resurfacing.


Australia may be facing a dilemma here. We don't want sanctions, we want to sell wheat, lots and lots, to Iran. While sanctions applied every sale had to be ticked off by DFAT. Sometimes banking sanctions were avoided by selling to a third party in exchange for gold. Competition between Australia, Canada, Russia, the EU and US for the Iran wheat market is intense. Nor can Australia hope to return refugees to a country to which we apply sanctions.


Rupert Murdoch's (London) "Times" has an article (behind a paywall) which sounds the battle cry.

"Iran attacks 9,000 email accounts in parliament

Iran carried out a “brute force” cyberattack on parliament that hit dozens of MPs this summer, according to a secret intelligence assessment.

Some 9,000 email accounts, including those belonging to Theresa May and other cabinet ministers, were subjected to a sustained attack on June 23. Ninety accounts were compromised.

Russia was initially blamed but investigators have traced the attack to the Tehran regime, The Times can reveal. It is believed to be Iran’s first significant act of cyberwarfare on Britain and underlines its emergence as one of the world’s biggest cyberpowers.

The timing of the revelation is awkward for Mrs May as she seeks to persuade President Trump not to abandon the nuclear deal."


But then Murdoch is fanatically pro-Brexit.

(I love the reckless cynicism with which the dead-on-its-feet "Russia hacked us" meme is miraculously re-cycled into a brand new "Iran hacked us" one. Waste not, want not.


Consoling to see someone rationally discuss matters. At least after watching the "US Make-America-Great-Again trump card" on the WaPo video.

The most interesting part is the IAEA's "third party" information. Triggers reminiscences.


This doc on the US economic sanctions against Iran is interesting too:




Maybe the US should follow up on leaving UNESCO, by pulling out of the deal and then enforcing a Security Council agreement of a joint US/Israel + new coalition of the willing war on Lebanon? The creation of a security zone up to the Litany river? Leontes?


How do you sell Boeing planes using " backdoor " ?
Iran will cancel the Boeing contact - 100 planes -.
How will react boeing workers ?


Yes but EU electorate is shifting quickly to a more " sovereign " view.See last election in Spain, France, Germany.
Next stop, Italian elections, big surprise to come.
Anti-EU trend is also Anti-US as EU is seen as an US poodle.
See the overall approval of sanctions against Russia ie.
july 2017 :
" Eighty three percent of Germans says the US plan to impose new anti-Russia sanctions is a mistake, a poll conducted by the Forsa for the Spiegel newspaper said on Saturday."


Kim's paranoia ? Omg !
Never heard of this infamous 2002 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review ?
Quote :
" Most importantly, Kim Jong Un, himself, has also appealed to this logic. Kim stated that “Our final goal is to establish the equilibrium of real force with the U.S. and make the U.S. rulers dare not talk about military options.” Those military options have included the explicit statement in the 2002 U.S. nuclear posture review that North Korea is a country that the U.S. should be prepared to drop a nuclear bomb on. The existential nuclear threat has continued uninterrupted in the form of U.S.-South Korean military exercises on the North Korean border that include stealth bombers simulating nuclear bombing attacks on North Korea."


Mike, first this:


Concerning the US conservative think thanks faction in the end, my mind marched in a somewhat complementary parallel direction.

Besides, the "bizarre and erratic president" (Stephen Walt) may well have solid support on the issue in the US , but I fear/(hope?) Europe isn't the best place to expect its respective subsidiarities to collectively bent their knee in awe of the emperor of the world.

I was vaguely thinking along somewhat parallel lines to the US conservative think thanks in the end. I sure hope that the EU's legal experts are busy with a risk assessment plan concerning potential thumbscrews as far as the recent hype of US desire for ever new sanctions are concerned, leave alone seizing assets and freezing accounts. Coercion by extra-terrestrial or secondary means?


"US does not need to sanction EU, EU will comply. The true interests of EU, and US, are determined by the electorate."

That is you personal opinion - which is BTW not supported by the reality on the ground. No serious politician supports the US position.



A large part of Rouhani's campaign was based on the benefits of the JCPOA. Essentially, the USG under Trump's leadership is acting in bad faith. While the government of Iran may elect to adhere to the agreement, notwithstanding Trump's folly, however, my sense is that the Iranian people are moving towards support for a credible nuclear deterrent. IMO this is new and will have serious consequences for all, including the clerical establishment itself.


Babak Makkinejad

I do not anticipate any changes against US; may be against Trump but not against US leadership.

Consider: without US, EU is a nothing militarily. Furthermore, EU does not have a sovereign currency and cannot insulate its monetary and economic activities from USD.

Furthermore, since the end of the Cold War, US and EU have walked in lockstep in a number of foreign policy items: Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Libya... to name a few.

The major disagreement was over Iraq War of 2003 when EU fractured - some went with US and some did not. EU leaders then proceeded, not to further separate themselves from US but, ins instead, to get closer to US. The results were the 10-year economic war against Iran, the destruction of Libya, the Syrian War, and the Ukraine Disintegration.

Thy will follow US against Iran if US Congress abrogates JCPOA, in my opinion.

Medicine Man

I think its fair to say that Kim is both paranoid and his paranoia is proven accurate on a regular basis wrt the US. As Croesus points out above, there is a powerful faction in Washington that is very single-minded about what they want for various uncooperative states.

different clue

Babak Makkinejad,

At some point it becomes a matter of Spirit and Will. If the EUropeans have the Spirit and Will to Be Independent, they will force the issue through the political structures they have.

And if not, then not.

Babak Makkinejad

Reality on the ground in EU is that they despise Islam, Iran, and indeed all forms of religion. The other reality is that they want to keep the Russ out. And lastly, they fancy themselves as Champions of Human Rights, Democracy, and Custodians of the Cult of Shoah. They will folow US. The only people who think otherwise are feeble minded Iranians.


NK will understand that US does not negotiate in good faith
everybody in the world especially NK has already experienced the ART of dealing with US.



I've been taking the position that Trump is punting it to congress *precisely* so he can look tough without actually doing anything. I will bet anyone a beer that congress doesn't actually scuttle the JCPOA. Then Trump gets to call congress a bunch of puppies that are soft on terrorism.

The Virginian

This is another example of how taking actions absent strategy creates uncertainty that undermines the US national interest. Tactics absent strategy are self defeating. Is the Iranian regime a foe of the US? Most certainly. But is it anywhere close to being a near pear competitor / threat deserving all of the attention given it? No. The JCPOA, like anything negotiated between a group of parties, has flaws / weaknesses throughout. But to jettison what the nation has committed to for the sake of ego, undermining the work of a past president whom you detest (Obama - because Trump was the butt of many Obama rhetorical flourishes), and for selling more unreal to your political base is not only shameful, but dangerous. Give Iran the rope to hang itself, and treat it as the third rate nation that it is (not its people - the regime) and stop blowing up the threat (NK is more of a threat than Iran). The only ones that benefit from uncertainty in our system is our enemies. The post-Cold War world without clear headed leadership is heading for trouble, and giving space for others that either pursue a regional sphere of influence approach (Russia) or global influence approach (China) increased space to act, and to win. Trump's approach may not see war in the next 3 years, but he is creating a set of realities and positions that future presidents will be hard pressed to reshape into something that at once benefits America and helps restructure a system that puts stability first.

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