Monday, October 16, 2017

The US Cannot Go It Alone on Iran- Richard Haas

Yes, that would be Richard Haas: President of the Council on Foreign Relations

Flashback : CFR President Richard Haass:Gap Growing Between Allies and Turkey

Flashback: Ground Zero: Meme Spirited/Neural Programming/CFR- w Jay Dyer

Of course the US IS NOT going it alone on Iran- The US already has Israel in it’s pocket (or vise versa)  Making Haas’s argument of going alone not credible. Bibi has also informed us all via his Fox news interview that other Arab states are hunky dory with the Trump announcement. So there is no going it alone.
Yesterday: Netanyahu Praises Trump for "Bold Decision" on Iran- Fix it or Nix it

From the Australian Strategic Policy Institute
US President Donald Trump has announced what was long anticipated: that he will not certify that Iran is complying with the July 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed by the United States, China, Russia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Iran. Nor will he certify that the suspension of sanctions undertaken by the US as part of the agreement is justified and in the vital national interest of the US.

To be clear, such certifications are not required by the JCPOA. Rather, they are required every 90 days by a law enacted by the US Congress soon after the accord was signed. It is also essential to underscore that Trump did not withdraw from the JCPOA itself. What he chose was a compromise: to make clear his disdain for the agreement without leaving it or reintroducing sanctions that were removed as part of it (a step that would be tantamount to US withdrawal).
 #Fix it or Nix It ?
What happens next is unclear. Congress has 60 days to reintroduce some or all of the suspended sanctions but is unlikely to do so. It might, however, introduce new sanctions tied to Iran’s behavior in Syria or elsewhere in the region. Consistent with this, Trump announced his intention to place extra sanctions on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
If the US were to impose new sanctions for any purpose at any time, it would likely find itself alone. The Europeans, China and Russia are highly unlikely to join, not only because of financial self-interest, but also because Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA. This is a point made by international inspectors operating under United Nations auspices, as well as by senior US officials, including Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.
Most of us should recall that Turkey circumvented US sanctions placed against Iran by trading in gold for oil. Which really raised the ire of the Americans.

Flashback 2013: Turkey: Halkbank - Role in Iran Gold Transactions Legal

- Gold Trader arrested charged in US with Violating US Imposed Sanctions Against Iran

To argue, as some in America do, that Iran is not complying with the spirit of the JCPOA is meaningless: ‘spirit’ is a term without legal standing. And while it is fair to argue that much of what Iran is doing in the region is a legitimate cause for concern, it is not grounds for reintroducing sanctions under the accord.
Renegotiating the JCPOA to extend the duration of several of its constraints, make inspections more intrusive, and expand its coverage to missiles is attractive in the abstract. But it is totally unworkable in practice, as Iran and most (or all) of the other signatories of the JCPOA would reject these demands. The threat to terminate US participation in the JCPOA if such changes are not made will thus prove either empty or self-defeating if carried out.
The US is not going to terminate it's participation in the JCPOA- The US is simply going to make this an untenable agreement.
 example- hands in the air- we just can't work with this agreement
None of this is meant to argue that the JCPOA is a good agreement. Still, Trump’s decision not to certify was unwarranted and ill-advised. The agreement was the result of a collective effort. American unilateralism now could make forging a common front against Iran much more difficult in the future.
As stated Trump has all the common front he needs
Trump’s move is also bad for US foreign policy. There must be a presumption of continuity if a great power is to be great. Unpredictability can provide a tactical advantage, but it is also a strategic liability.
Here there is an obvious link with North Korea. At some point, the US may determine that diplomacy has a role in managing the North Korean nuclear and missile challenges. But America’s ability to offer a credible diplomatic path will be seriously undermined if others judge that it cannot be trusted to stand by agreements.
There is also a more immediate problem: if the US sets in motion a dynamic that causes the JCPOA to unravel, and Iran resumes nuclear activities currently precluded by the accord, a crisis will erupt at a time when the US already has its hands full with North Korea.

Despite these considerations, it would also be a mistake to focus just on the US announcement and not also on Iranian behavior. In the short run, the world needs to contend with an Iran that is an imperial power, one that seeks to remake large swaths of the Middle East in its image. What is needed is a policy of containment of Iran across the region—including support for the Kurds in northern Iraq and Syria, as well as of other groups (?) and countries that are pushing back against Iran.
As I'd mentioned in this previous post Trumps move to decertify this agreement fit into the pattern of ongoing, for years, destabilizing to remake the region

Flashback: Razors Edge 2: US Faces Imminent Decision on Race for Syria's East

 That the Trump administration has been gunning for Iran is undeniable.  Hell, that even Obama's administration targeted Iran is undeniable. Who has forgotten Stuxnet? Flashback to 2010  & Flashback to 2011  The killing of Iranian nuclear scientists? Flashback to 2010 Arming and training Kurdish proxies to attack Iran? 2017- How about the fact that Kurds aka ISIS attacked Tehran The US training Iranian Kurds for destabilization of Iran? Iranian faction among Kurds trained by US against militants - "Sep. 08 2016: KHARABRUD, Iraq (AP) — An Iranian Kurdish rebel group received military training in weapons and explosives from U.S. and European advisers Decertifying the Iran nuclear deal is part of that ongoing targeting
Richard Haas continues:
In the longer run, the challenge is to deal with the JCPOA’s flaws, above all with its sunset provisions. The agreement ‘parked’ the nuclear problem, rather than resolving it. Important provisions of the accord will expire in either eight or 13 years. At that time, inspections will not prevent Iran from putting in place many of the prerequisites of a nuclear weapons program that could be made operational with little warning.
JCPOA's flaws- Bibi channels Haas or Haas channels Bibi?
It cannot be assumed, as some do, that Iran’s intentions and behaviour will moderate over the next decade or 15 years. On the contrary, Iran is more likely to remain a hybrid regime in which a government coexists with a permanent religious authority and with powerful military forces and intelligence units that exercise considerable political influence and largely operate outside the government’s control.

Dealing with an ambitious and powerful Iran thus entails a broad range of other open-ended challenges that define the ever-turbulent Middle East. Without the JCPOA, however, those challenges would become even more daunting.


  1. "Barzani has lost his high stake gamble." Looks bad for the Kurdistan/Israel project. Major development.

    1. Way to early to even suggest the Kurdistan project is over..

      The problem with b's thesis is the assumption that Barzani is the only Kurdish faction with ties to Israel and the US..

      " The leading Barzani clan and his KDP party, long associated with Israel..."

      As if Israel or the US would play just one Kurdish faction and that's it!

      Considering the decades and decades of utilizing multiple Kurdish factions- It doesn't work for me

      Plainly speaking: No way was the KDP the only egg in US/Israeli basket

  2. But see the MOA article - No US support. Right now it seems Pehsmerga are collapsing everywhere. Don't disagree it is hell there for millions thanks to the US and the terrorists but there ain't gonna be a Kurdistan, that's my point.
    Check Canthama's latest bunch of comments - they should cheer you up !
    Best wishes

    1. You're assuming there isn't going to be a Kurdistan, because you believe that the US put all it's eggs in the Barzani basket- In my opinion that is a mistake.

      You be sure to come back and check my post when I get it together about why it is naive, in my opinion, to believe that would be the case

      Think about this? Didn't the US employ both the Kurds and ISIS- As a tag team? Sure they did. And btw the Kurds of the SDF and Barzani's KDP are not one and the same, yet the US employed them both.

      It's way to early to even suggest that there will be no Kurdistan.

      Thanks for stopping by the way.:)