Friday, March 01, 2013

Round Numbah 6

The newspapers are to-day full of stories about a 'break-through' in negotations with Iran over its nuclear program. At the same time, there are stories of America 'kow-towing' 'selling-out' and 'giving-in' to terror. At the same time, US media is reporting that the Senate took time  from its deliberations about another imminent fiscal catastrophe, to introduce 'non-binding' legislation that the US would support Israel if, for reason of 'self-defence', it is "forced" to attack Iran. A 'straw vote' of how the Senate feels about aiding gallant l'il Israel if need-be.

Sounds interesting. Let's start at the top.

 The 'break through' news is reported to originate in the Iranian committee, who note, for the first time, a fairly reasonable tone in regard to Iran's atomic enterprise. The 5+1 negotiators have introduced the notion that economic sanctions might be eased if Iran was to commit itself to enriching no more of its uranium than it has already done. This is a sea change from the previous stance of, 'We KNOW you're working on a bomb let us in to see.' And the concomitant: 'Stop everything you're doing, turn it over to us, let us in to see and we'll give you some fuel rods.' The Iranians for some reason think this new stance in an improvement.

What it is, is the Euro perspective being applied  as a precursor to the hoped-for Iranian recalcitrance that will 'force' Israel to attack.America remains firmly unconvinced by anything the Iranians are offering, shy of restoring Shah Jahan II of New York City  and the CIA.

 The Israeli press is full of the same old - last wind-sprint toward an Iranian nuclear bunker-buster, or mother of all bombs and the story of how the Americans have been duped into rolling-over so the Ayetolleh can get at their 'jools.' Avigdor Lieberman - who, until this time could barely tell what was for lunch, has donned the cape of the 'head screamer' in the newly-revised 'Stepford Wives vs Nukuler Peril'. Little Bennie Netanyahoo is saving the 'big guns' for later, or else he's speechless at the Turks calling his regime 'fascist'.

 Apparently it's one of those 'look at things differently and be surprised at how much they change' things. Going into this, much has been made of how former deadly menaces (like China, Russia and Vietnam) were morphed into something far less frightening when they stopped being viewed as monsters. But considering that a recent poll indicated that 99 percent of American (99!) feel that Iran is a threat to America, I don't give the change of perspective a hope in hell. The only thing that will change that demographic is a remake of 'Argo'. This last having far more impact on the great American 'sheeple' than a couple of years worth of  honest diplomacy. AIPAC has done its job well.

 So what is to be expected?

Obviously the Iranians could lob the ball back into America's court by making the 5+1 a compromise that would be hard to reject.  Open up the nuclear industry but demand that IAEA open its membership to more reliable - ie less-biased - observation.  A couple of Russians or other friendlier Europeans or Asians might help. The Iranians have said that they have converted what enriched material they had into 'fuel plates' for their reactor operation. That should be easily verifiable.  They might even give up their domestic nuclear industry in return for non-aggression treaty. The Iranians really have little to lose and much more to gain.

If the US and Israel are bent on aggressive regime change that will happen no matter what Iran does. It's just that, in the court of world opinion, there will be nothing to use as an excuse. America wouldn't have invaded Afghanistan without the Taliban and couldn't have invaded Iraq without Saddam Hussein. Plum dog dirt loco as George Bush was, after 9/11 he had some 'creds' with the UN and his NATO allies. That situation does not apply to Iran, without the threat of another nuclear maverick at large.

There is something being made of the up-coming Iranian election seating a new Prime Minister who could possibly be worse than Achmedinejad or a lot easier to live with. That day is some way off and may prove something. In the interim I think it should be clear to America that the President is on the same page as the current PM, if not even a little more extreme. President Khameini may be religious but he's a Persian first. There isn't much dissent in Iran, especially over the nuclear issue.

POSTSCRIPT: The sixth round was a bust. The Iranians offered the unacceptable and the Euro position was undercut by restatement the standard US/Israel  surrender or die position.
Couldn't have smelled that coming.

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