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An Economic 'Siege' of the Islamic State of Iran

by Oui Tue May 22nd, 2018 at 04:56:28 AM EST

Persons at the U.S. State Department have always sought revenge for lives lost during the Lebanon Wars between Sunni, Shia proxy groups in conjunction with Israel. Many American citizens were taken hostage for ransom in Beirut and the greatest loss of American lives was the Beirut Marine baracks bombing during the Reagan administration.

The US retaliated by supporting Saddam Hussein during the Iraq-Iran war and turning a blind eye when massive use of chemical warfare was used. During this war Iran lost a million lives on the battle field. Iraq used US satellite intelligence to pinpoint it's destructive arsenal of weapons.

By shredding the JCPOA nuclear deal, the USA has lost all of its credibility across vast regions of the globe.

The tragicomedy of Iran sanctions | Al Jazeera |

Iran marks May 22 as the anniversary of its economic 'siege' by the US. Following the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran in 1979, Jimmy Carter, the then US president, imposed sanctions on Iran, freezing around $12bn worth of Iranian assets abroad.

But coming as it did during a period of internal upheaval for Iran and shortly before the Iran-Iraq war, the sanctions were initially little more than an irritant for a country facing much greater issues.

In most cases, US-produced goods could be purchased through third parties, adding relatively small transaction costs. And Iranian exports - which tended to be essential items such as oil or high quality goods such as carpets, caviar and pistachios - did not depend on any single market.

In 1995, then US president Bill Clinton expanded the scope of sanctions significantly to include oil, gas and trade, effectively banishing US firms from the Iranian market.

Continued below the fold ...

Exclusive: CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran
Iran's chemical weapon survivors show twin horrors of WMD and sanctions
Halabja is Not Forgotten

In the Obama administration, foreign policy advisors who block a closer relation to Iran because of personal grievance of buddies lost in Beirut hostage taking.

Israel Clears the Bench in Iran Fight - Amb. Ron Dermer

Israel's Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer, acting like the coach of a football team, instructed congressional Republicans to "leave everything on the field" in the fight to defeat the international agreement with Iran over its nuclear energy program, a sign of how openly Israel now feels it controls the GOP.

Israel wants the Iran deal killed so it can keep open options for bombing Iran and imposing "regime change." And, immediately after Dermer's locker-room-style pep talk, Republican members of Congress began falling into line, lashing out at Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior officials who negotiated the agreement reached earlier this month between six world powers and Iran.

House Speaker John Boehner announced that he would "do everything possible to stop" the deal. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker told Kerry that he'd been "fleeced." Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican candidate for president, said the next president presumably meaning himself if he's successful could overturn the deal because it's not a binding treaty.

All this was remarkable even to The New York Times, which usually looks the other way when Israel flexes its muscles in Official Washington. A Times article by Jonathan Weisman noted the extraordinary image of the Israeli ambassador using sports analogies to rile up Republican congressmen to overturn a key foreign policy initiative of the U.S. president.

Saudi Arabia and Israel: Looming Threat of Regional War | Tikun Olam - Nov. 2017 |
Israel Lobby Pressures Qatar to Kill Al Jazeera Documentary | Tikun Olam - Feb. 2018 |

The United States has lost all legitimacy to be considered a leader of the free world!

Dead in the Water: Trump Middle East Peace Plan and Pompeo's Iran Plan B | Tikun Olam |

Trump's new motto should be: if at first you don't succeed fail, proceed and fail again.  And since he has no sense of pride about these matters, he'll repeatedly state the same nonsense ad nauseam, even though no one believes him; and he'll repeatedly put forward the same policy notions which he's tried and failed to implement in the past.  Exhibits A and B are what I would call Trump's folie à deux: his much-vaunted Israel-Palestine "peace plan" and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's expected Plan B regarding Iran.

The AP's Matt Lee reports that the peace plan will be unveiled in mid-to late-June.  It's main provision seems to be punishing the Palestinians for refusing to participate.  The U.S. has virtually turned off the spigot on hundreds of millions worth of humanitarian aid.  What's going to `do the trick' apparently, and bring the Palestinians round to the negotiating table is twisting their arms even more severely than previously.  Trump will look for scattered crumbs on the floor the Palestinians may've scooped up without our noticing and sweep them away as well.  Yessiree, nothing like punishment to bring your negotiating partner back to the table.

My most recent posts related to this topic ...

Tillerson's Legacy: America Reaching for the Twilight Zone
EU to Ditch Dollar in Iran Trade
By ending the Iran deal, Trump has put America on the path to war | The Guardian - Opinion | by Bernie Sanders

Some "progressives" still fail to distinguish evil brought on nations from American foreign policy. Still claiming exceptionalism as a feature of their higher moral values. Most fascist leaders made a false claim of their exceptionalism or race compared to a enemy of a subhuman standard. Such propaganda may lead to a bout of genocide so often witnessed throughout history.

I had bookmarked these three diaries, they are well worth a read in tioday's politics. Nothing has really changed except we've all become older though many not wiser ...

Iraqi Oil - the $250bn gift to Saudi Arabia and Russia by Jerome a Paris on Dec. 12, 2005

    Whenever one talks of Iraqi oil, conspiracy theories abound as to the real motive of the Iraq war, or the intentions of the Cheney clique viz. Iraqi oil.

    As I have written before, the only theory that vaguely makes some kind of strategic sense is that Bushco wanted to sit on the Iraqi reserves, deny them to everybody else and keep them for the time in the near future when peak oil strikes and it becomes a huge strategic advantage. Not very useful in the short term, but possibly rational in the long run (in a narrow, zero-sum game tunnel vision sense, but hey, that's who they are).

    But in the meantime, some other players, and I am not talking about ExxonMobil or the other majors, are laughing all the way to the bank.

Of Forgeries and Kidnappings by de Gondi on July 20, 2005

    Whatever information on a possible Saddam-Niger uranium pact was dismissed by CIA analysts in 2001. Presumably the CIA had received some forgeries, directly or indirectly from the Italian secret services, SISMi. The rest is public: Cheney wanted a double check on the CIA conclusions. Wilson was dispatched to Niger; General Fulford also went on a fact-finding mission to Niger and, according to some European reports, to the Congo. Both Wilson and Fulford came to the same conclusions: there was no yellowcake traffic to Iraq.

    In September 2002 a sexed-up set of forgeries was offered to Elisabetta Burba, a reporter for Panorama. "Sexed-up" because some of the documents could not have been presented in 2001. They refer to events that occurred in 2002. On advise from her editor, Carlo Rosella, she turned over copies to two employees at the US Rome Embassy. It was Rosella who organized the meeting. It was not known what role these two employees covered.

    Now it gets interesting.

    In an overlooked column in Il Riformista, dated July 23rd, 2003,  the anonymous author declares that Jeff Castelli, the Rome CIA station chief, had just been recalled to Langley by Tenet allegedly because of his misconduct. The article states that according to anonymous intelligence sources, Castelli had not handled the Burba Niger forgeries correctly.

    Apparently Castelli had dismissed the forgeries right off as the same old stuff and had not bothered to forward them to Langley until February 2003.

"The Israel Lobby" -- overview and discussion by DeAnander on May 9, 2005

by Oui on Tue May 22nd, 2018 at 05:14:16 AM EST
Iran Nuclear Deal Survives Trump's Vandalism
Top Iranian officials maintain that although Tehran appreciates the EU's constructive attitude, it is unsure whether the latter is doing enough to ensure that major European companies do not roll back their involvement in the Iranian economy.

Only Russia has underscored in practical terms the determination to press ahead with economic and business cooperation with Iran. A major - even historic - step has been taken for the establishment of a free trade zone between Eurasian Economic Union and Iran, which provides the latter preferential access to a 180-million market. Moscow and Tehran extended their so-called "oil-for-goods" deal, which jettisons the use of US dollar in bilateral trade. (50 percent of revenues from oil sales will be spent on implementation of various joint projects.)
In these circumstances, the survival of the 2015 agreement seems very difficult, unless what Mogherini calls the new "EU/E3 + 2 and Iran format" gains traction in real time, while alongside major European capitals also show the political will to assert their business interests in Iran's economy, especially in the oil and gas industry, which is what Tehran is seeking.

Meeting of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA in Vienna on 25 May 2018
E3+2 (China, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, and Iran): Please make a note of it.

There is a Structural Crisis of Capitalism

As you know delink is a slogan. I use it as a slogan. The actual problems of delinking are always relative. You cannot delink totally, or hundred per cent. But a gigantic country like China, India and some others can delink to a large extent, can delink 50 per cent or delink 70 per cent. The Soviet Union and China at the time of Mao had delinked 80 or 90 per cent but not totally. Still, they had trade with Western countries and with others. Delink does not mean that you forget about the rest of the world and move to the moon. Nobody can do that, and it would not be rational to do that. Delinking only means compelling imperialism to accept your conditions or a part of those conditions. When the World Bank speaks of adjusting, it always has a unilateral vision of adjusting.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri May 25th, 2018 at 05:54:25 AM EST

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