“We’re relying upon others, because we’ve sanctioned ourselves out of influence with Iran . . . in other words, we don’t have much leverage with the Iranians right now.” – George Bush, 2004
So, in the course of a few days the world took a an interesting turn for President Biden:
Iran had previously raised uranium enrichment to 60% purity as a bargaining chip (there is no legal upper limit to enrichment under the terms of the NonProliferation Treaty, only that such fissile material be accounted-for & not be diverted to nonpeacful uses, which always was IAEA-certified to be the case in Iran.)
The Iranians say (pretextually) that they would use it power nuclear subs (they don’t legally have to explain anything to anyone, and other countries are also making similar plans for nuclear powered subs.)
The Iranians don’t have any nuclear powered submarines and probably fully expect to bargain away that chip in the JCPOA talks (higher-enriched uranium can be quickly diluted down; Iran has done it before when first entering the JCPOA.)
However, there’s now a new wrinkle: the Americans want to give nuclear powered subs to the Australians , to counter the Chinese and so are making arrangements at the IAEA for necessary inspections of the transfer of the nuclear fuel – which is made from 60% enriched uranium.
And all this happened over Thanksgiving while Biden and the rest of America was eating turkey. I’m repressing a joke along the lines of “birds coming to roost”; for example Biden could have used his post-election honeymoon period to just simply reenter the JCPOA but, restrained by domestic pro-Israeli-Saudi pressure in Congress opposed to any peaceful deals with Iran, as well as an Israeli gov’t that repeatedly promises to start a war with Iran that will inevitably drag in the US, instead Biden continued Trump’s policies of max pressure plus doubling-down…because he wants to be reelected, can’t afford to be seen as ‘weak’ on Iran, and also wants to have his domestic spending bills pass Congress… The same Congress that Trump characterize as having been “occupied by Israel…rightfully so.” So, what little Biden had to offer Iran in any deal, is now worth less. Biden barely could promise he’d stay in the JCPOA deal even if Iran abided by its end of any agreement, he has nothing to offer to Iran for a deal because Congress has tied his hands. The only card he has left to play are threats of military force, which can only lead to another quagmire as the war in Iraq that Israel singlemindedly pushed for.
Ayway all this footdragging by Biden ended up helping “hardliner” Raissi get elected in Iran as multiple polls show the people there have decided America can’t be trusted and are actually becoming more pro-Chinese. And it doesnt look like the Chinese and Russians are in a mood for cooperation with US over Iran.
Things are getting more complicated regionally for the US as it seems to be squaring-off with China. The Americans had to recently pressure the PERSIAN Gulf state of United Arab Emirates to stop secretly building a Chinese naval base there. The Arab states of the PERSIAN Gulf don’t seem all that committed to backing the US in a US-Chinese conflict, perhaps that’s why they’re making nice with Iran now too. It isn’t just because the Americans are leaving, they’re really not as interested as the Israeli in conflict because they know (after Iran indirectly demonstrated it to them very effectively) that the US won’t necessarily bail them out as it would if Israel starts a fight with Iran. So, for the Arab States of the Persian Gulf, it is back to hedging those bets all around! (It wasn’t so long ago they were sword-dancing with Trump and holding into a spooky ball together. Yes kids, that all happened.)
And speaking of turkeys, a mysteriously-funded pro-Israeli outfit in New York which has no Turkish members has hired mustachioed lunatic John Bolton and other rightwing hawks to “Promote Democracy” in Turkey, wink wink…Let’s all remember that John Bolton’s idea of democracy-promotion falls from bombers flying overhead.
Turkey happens to be a NATO ally, supposedly to counter Russia…currently fighting in Syria…
i would hate to seen Biden’s email inbox come Monday, and the long holiday isn’t even over yet.
The problem is, the US pursues policies that end up checkmating itself. This, is “drinking your own Koolaid.” The manufactured narrative of a threatening nuclear Iran has taken a life of its own, moving under its own momentum towards conflict, no longer controlable by the Chief Executive. It now has alienated a country that the US should probably try to count on its side in any cold war with China but can’t. More proof is in how back when the JCPOA was first being negotiated, Congressional GOP leaders sent a letter to the Iranians, over the head of President Obama, the Chief Executive who is constitutionally responsible for foreign policy, promising the Iranians that whatever agreement they reach with Obama will be torn-up come next elections. That’s right folks, the deal (such as it was – Obama insisted it was just nonbinding silliness at home, while voting in favor of a UNSC resolution further upholding the deal at the international level) practically caused a constitutional crisis in the US. Congress even invited a foreign head of state (Netanyahu) to appear before them and denigrate their own President’s foreign policy. I mean, talk about chutzpa!