Provoking Iran

Provoking Iran
by Stephen Lendman
Observers call Geneva a “historic agreement.” It remains to be seen. The proof of the pudding is in the implementation. 
It’s whether Washington upholds its obligations. For sure Iran will. It has everything to gain by doing so. It has much to lose otherwise. 
Agreed on terms didn’t end 34 years of US hostility. Longstanding sentiment hasn’t changed.
America’s imperial agenda remains firm. Its duplicitous history isn’t encouraging. Dozens of treaties and deals were systematically violated. 
Trustworthiness isn’t a US tradition. Obama is a serial liar. He broke every major promise made. Is Geneva different? It requires a giant leap of faith to say so. Perhaps it reflects naivete.
It remains to be seen what happens going forward. Some signs aren’t encouraging. Israel is going all out to sabotage the deal. So is its US Lobby.
Congress is considering more sanctions. Right wing extremists infest the body. They’re militantly anti-Iranian.
Rep. Michele Bachmann isn’t atypical. Others think like she does. Iran “must be bombed,” she said.
“It may be incumbent upon the Prime Minister (Netanyahu) to make a decision he has no desire to make, and that would be to bomb facilities, that must be bombed, in Iran.”
Geneva harms Israeli security, claims Bachmann. “That decision that was made by the P5+1 in Geneva had more to do with Israel than it had to do with Iran,” she added. 
“Because, you see, the decision that was made could be the biggest cudgel that our president, and that the nations of the world, could use to prevent Israel from defending not only herself, but her right to exist.”
Israel’s “right to defend herself may possibly include the right to be able to bomb nuclear facilities and potential nuclear facilities in Iran.”
Don’t bet against it jointly happening with America. Not now. Perhaps later. Events going forward demand close scrutiny.
US agreements and public comments have no credibility. Actions alone matter. They reflect longstanding policies. They’re belligerent. 
They target independent sovereign states. They want subservient pro-Western ones replacing them. Iran is America’s top target. 
It’s been that way for 34 years. Geneva changed nothing. Honest diplomacy isn’t Washington’s long suit. It bears repeating. America’s imperial agenda remains unchanged.
A previous article quoted Professor Abbas Edalat. He founded the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII).
America won’t regain Iranians’ trust quickly, he stressed. Doing so requires recognizing its legitimate rights. Its ending all sanctions. It’s treating Iran with respect.
“The West us(es) Iran’s nuclear program as a pretext,” said Edalat. It’s “much like alleg(ing) (nonexistent WMDs) in Iraq.”
It’s “to demonize the Islamic Republic. (It) exert(s) pressure (to) isolate it internationally to pave the way for regime change.”
Anti-Iranian sentiment is “manufactured by the US, UK France (and) Israel.”
“The West mobilized all its political, economic, and military resources as well as its propaganda machine to force Iran to surrender its (legitimate) nuclear rights.”
Despite crippling/lawless sanctions, Tehran resolutely defends them. America’s imperial agenda is its greatest obstacle.
Following Geneva agreed on terms, Fars News published the full text. A previous article discussed them.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry accused the White House of releasing an invalid press release. It’s not an encouraging sign. According to FM spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham:
“What has been released by the website of the White House as a fact sheet is a one-sided interpretation of the agreed text in Geneva, and some of the explanations and words in the sheet contradict the text of the Joint Plan of Action, and this fact sheet has unfortunately been translated and released in the name of the Geneva agreement by certain media, which is not true.”
Shortly after agreed on Geneva terms, the precise text was released. The White House press release modified it dupliciously. US media reported its version.
US/Israeli saber rattling is planned. On November 27, Time magazine reported it. “Israel and US to Hold Military Exercises When Iran Deal Ends,” it headlined.
According to an anonymous “high-ranking Israeli officer:”
“The strategic decision is to continue to make noise.” It’ll come to a head in six months. It’s when the interim agreement expires. It’s renewable by mutual consent. It remains to be seen what happens.
“In May,” said the Israeli source, “there’s going to be a joint training exercise. It’s going to be big.”
“The wind from the Americans into the Israeli sails is, ‘We will maintain our capability to strike in Iran, and one of the ways we show it is to train.’ “
“It will send signals both to Israel and to the Iranians that we are maintaining our capabilities in the military option.” 
“The atmosphere is we have to do it big time. We have to do a big show of capabilities and connections.”
Washington and Israel hold lots of joint war games. They’re strategically timed. They send messages to adversaries of both countries.
According to Time:
“(F)ull-throated US participation in a May 2014 joint exercise would stand in especially vivid contrast to what transpired in the last large joint exercise: Washington quietly scaled back its level of participation, amid fears that Israel was growing too bold.”
Its threats to attack Iran unilaterally ring hollow. For now, diplomacy gets room to work. According to the anonymous Israeli source:
“The focus will be to gather intelligence in order to reveal a fraud, and not to (do it) for an attack.”
“At the same time, Israel shows signs of working to rehabilitate the military option,” said Time.
Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Securities (INSS) maintains close ties to Israel’s government and military.
Many of its professionals have government and/or IDF backgrounds. Retired Major General Amos Yadlin heads INSS. Israel helps fund it. 
On October 3, it published a report titled “If Attacked, How Would Iran Respond?” 
It suggests the threat of major Iranian retaliation is exaggerated. It believes a regional war is unlikely. It may be wishful thinking on both counts.
Yadlin voiced qualified support for Geneva. Israel has time to explore options, he said. He was a pilot in June 1981. 
He was involved in destroying Iraq’s Osirik nuclear reactor. It was under construction at the time. 
He believes Israel can strike Iranian nuclear facilities successfully. It can handle the blowback, he believes.
Yiftah Shapir is an INSS research fellow. Israeli plans to strike Iran are longstanding, he said.
“Many people have been working on this option for many, many years, and I don’t think they can think of anything else,” he stressed.
Israel has formidable weapons. It has nuclear, chemical and biological ones. It has long-range fighter-bombers and missiles. 
It has deep-penetrating bunker busters. It has other sophisticated US supplied weapons and technology. It developed its own. It has a longstanding history of belligerence. So does America.
Geneva temporarily constrains things. At issue is for how long? Washington and Israel deplore peace. They prioritize conflict and instability. It serves their mutual interests.
Current Netanyahu bluster is red meat for loyal constituents. Rhetoric lacks credibility. Actions alone matter. 
Israel and Washington have longstanding plans to attack Iran. They can be implemented straightaway if ordered. Not now. Maybe later.
Giving peace a chance isn’t in the vocabulary of either country. How long diplomacy takes precedence bears close watching. 
Perhaps saber rattling will replace it next year. Maybe pretexts will be invented to do so. 
Longstanding US/Israeli anti-Iranian sentiment remains unchanged. Odds favor business as usual next year. Both countries must prove otherwise. Don’t expect it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


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