Posts Tagged ‘Sanctions Against Iran’

The passing scene – July 29, 2015

July 29, 2015

Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East? by Eliza Griswold for The New York Times.

26mag-26christians-t_CA2-blog427Christian communities in the Middle East, which have existed since the time of St. Paul and which survived under the rule of Iraq’s Saddam and Syria’s Assad, are threatened by ISIS and other extremist Islamist movements.

I think this is the fruit of U.S. interventions, which created the anarchy in which groups such as ISIS can flourish, and U.S. support of extremist groups to overthrow the governments of Libya and Iraq.

The Balance of Power in the Middle East Just Changed by Peter Van Buren for TomDispatch.

The real reason Israel, Saudi Arabia and neo-cons hate the Iran deal: They fear that Tehran will join the community of nations by Fred Kaplan for Salon.

The sanctions against Iran were never about fear that Iran would develop nuclear weapons.  They were about the fear that the balance of power in the Middle East would change in favor of Iran and against Saudi Arabia and Israel.  But Iran is a more reliable partner against ISIS and Al Qaeda than either of those two countries.

Jewish Americans support the Iran nuclear deal by Fred Kaplan for The Washington Post.

Interestingly, polls show that Jewish people in the United States are more supportive of the Iran deal than the general public.


Yemen intervention is dangerous for the US

April 21, 2015

The U.S. government should beware of being drawn into the conflict in Yemen.

The fight among Shiite Houthi militia, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the government of Yemen are part of a wider Middle East conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.


Source: Zero Hedge.  Click to enlage.

That religious conflict is overlaid with a conflict between two alliances of Middle East powers—Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Shiite militias on the one hand, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf emirates, the Sunni militias in Iraq and Syria and Turkey, with Israel as a silent partner, on the other.

Washington sides with Saudi Arabia and Israel.  I have come to realize that sanctions against Iran were never about the imaginary danger of nuclear weapons, but to keep Iran weak.   Now Iran has found an ally in Putin’s Russia.

This is a highly dangerous situation.  National governments are keeping the religious wars going by sending arms and money to the different religious factions.  But religious wars are not controllable.  Being drawn in to these wars serves no national interest of the United States, does not benefit the people of the region and puts the American people at risk of being drawn into a wider war.

The USA has had a strange relationship with Iran during the past 35 years.  While waging economic war against Iran, the U.S. government strengthened Iran’s position by defeating its main enemies, the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq.  A defeat of ISIS would further strengthen Iran.

By agreeing to end sanctions, the Obama administration appeared to accept Iran as a major power in the Middle East.  Now Obama is sending warships to checkmate Iranian power.

I’m by no means an expert on the religious and cultural geography of the Middle East, but I don’t see this ending well.


The facts about negotiations with Iran

March 16, 2015

The Iran negotiations are not about a treaty or executive agreement between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

images_104They are about whether the United Nations Security Council will pass a resolution saying that Iran is in compliance with the inspection provisions of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970, and that therefore UN sanctions are no longer needed.

The negotiations are not just between the USA and Iran.  The U.S. government is taking the lead, but the negotiations are being conducted on behalf of the USA, Britain, France, Russia and China, the five permanent Security Council members, plus Germany.

The 47 Republican Senators who wrote a letter to Iran, questioning President Obama’s authority to negotiate, either didn’t know these basic facts or didn’t care.  I don’t know which is worse.

The signers included three Republican presidential hopefuls, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio.  Among other possible Republican candidates, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and ex-Gov. Rick Perry of Texas endorsed the letter, and  ex-Gov. Jeb Bush, former HP executive Carly Fiorina, ex-Senator Rick Santorum and Gov. Scott Walker all spoke favorably of it.   This doesn’t speak well of the GOP.


Europe’s alternative to Putin’s oil and gas

October 20, 2014


Map: Global Research

Dependence of key European nations on imports of Russian oil and gas puts the European Union in weak position in relation to Vladimir Putin.

One way to get out of that position of weakness is to end the sanctions against Iran, and import Iranian oil and gas.  In the longer run, Europe would benefit from a new gas pipeline from Iran to Europe.

The European Union has no conflict of interests with Iran.  It is following the lead of the United States.  As far as that goes, the United States has no conflict of interests with Iran.  We Americans are merely nursing old resentments and following the lead of Israel and Saudi Arabia.


Breaking Europe’s Putin addiction by Amir Handjani for Al Jazeera.

Iran under siege becomes more authoritarian

March 7, 2012

An Iran expert says the government of Iran is responding to sanctions and threats by becoming even more repressive than it was before.  The Iranian government may be unpopular, but all peoples rally around their rulers when their country is under threat.

Click on The Effects of Sanctions and Talk of War on Iran for a transcript of the interview.

Click on Blunt Instrument: sanctions don’t promote democratic change for an essay in Boston Review.